Sometimes it makes a fun change to create a card that is a little bit different. It doesn’t take much effort to design something special, simply by varying the shape of your base card. Base cards can be made in various different shapes and sizes, using different card weights and textures. As cardmakers get more creative, new base card shapes are always appearing on the scene. Twisted easel and stepper cards are particularly fashionable right now!
What card should I use?
Card is sold by weight, which is often shown on the packaging as ‘gsm’ (grams per square metre). The higher the number gsm, the heavier (or thicker) the card will be. The standard weight is 260gsm. When making shaped base cards, be careful not to use anything too thick, or it may be tricky to fold neatly. I find that 220gsm works really well.
What else do I need?
When creasing and folding your card, always use a bone folder. These are inexpensive and readily available. To use, simply crease with the pointed edge and then fold over your card and run the bone folder up and down the crease for a lovely, crisp finish. Trimmers and guillotines have handy guides to help you measure, score and cut to size easily. Score boards and Hougie Boards have scorelines and come with a scoring tool, making it quicker to create your base card.
Cut a 297x147mm piece of card. Starting from the left hand edge, measure and score at 147mm and 152mm, as shown. Crease well. This forms a spine so the card will lie flat when closed.
Draw diagonal lines across front of base. Cut a 122mm square and a 108mm square from scrap card. Place large square centrally on base. Draw around it. Remove. Put the small square inside the pencil lines. Draw around it.
Score all the pencil lines well. Use a craft knife or a scalpel to cut diagonally across the squares in both directions, as shown. Carefully rub out the pencil lines.
Open up the card so that you are looking at the inside. Fold the outer score lines outwards and the inner score lines inwards. Close card so that you are looking at the front. You should have a recess.
Cut a piece of card to 120mm and glue into recess. Trim another piece of card to 140mm square and glue on the inside to cover folded area. Your box card is now ready for you to decorate.
Dawn's Top Tips for making shaped cards
Cards that have the folded edge at the top are more stable than cards with the folded edge at the side. Bear this in mind if you want to use embellishments, as these can be heavy and may cause the card to fall over.
Making templates from scraps of card and writing down sizes for layering onto them will save you time. They can be used for reference again and again.
Don’t use card that is too thick or thin. Card that’s too thin may tear or fall over and card that’s too thick will be difficult to fold well. A good weight is 220gsm as it stands up well but will still fold and crease nicely.
It’s worth taking a little extra time to measure and fold accurately, as this can affect the end result of your card base, especially on cards such as the diamond fold. Mark measurements lightly in pencil, then rub out for a neat finish.
When you send your card, pop a layer of bubble wrap over it, or use a card box rather than a standard envelope. Shaped base cards are more fragile than standard cards and it would be terrible if all your hard work got damaged in the post!