Yesterday I had a fun couple of hours in my craft studio with a very special guest, my granddaughter Alyssa. She’ll be 8 next month and it was such fun to watch her design and create her own pop-up Christmas card.
Let me say from the outset that this card was all her idea. She’s been playing with the “pop-up” process at home and wanted to show me how to do it. All I did was show her how to put the pop-up layer inside another card to hide the mechanism. Then, apart from some very minor assistance with scoring and spritzing, everything else was entirely designed and created by her.
THE POP-UP MECHANISM
Alyssa started by choosing the large pile of presents image from the Santa’s Workshop 12″ x 12″ Specialty Designer Series Paper (DSP). She cut out the image using Paper Snips, and when I asked her the rule for cutting she remembered “let the paper do the work”.
For someone who is still only 7 her cutting skills are simply amazing.
Next I cut a piece of card 8″ x 5-1/4″ and scored it along the long side at 4″. Then Alyssa showed to me how to make the pop-up.
“You take some card and fold it. Then you cut two cuts from the fold in the middle. Then you push the bit in the middle the other way to make it pop-up”.
I knew what she meant but she’s been doing this on paper back home and she found the card more difficult to manipulate. So I stepped in and scored between the cut lines about 1″ in on each side of the centre fold. Alyssa could then push the centre part of the card to create a sort of ‘step’.
Now it was my turn to show her how this folded card could fit inside a card base I’d already had prepared.
With the ‘step’ pushed in, we put liquid glue on the back of one half of her pop-up layer and placed it inside the card base with the centre folds together. Alyssa closed the card base and pressed down firmly. Then we flipped the card base over and glued the other side of the pop-up layer in the same way.
Now when the card base was opened there was a little ‘step’ that popped up in the middle. Next we put some Tear & Tape Adhesive along the top edge of the front of the ‘step’ and along the bottom edge of the fussy cut presents. Alyssa laid the fussy cut piece face down inside the card with the bottom pressed put against the bottom of the step. Then she closed the card and pressed firmly again. Now when she opened it, the pile of presents popped up.
At this point I asked Alyssa what she would like to do for her background on the front of the card. She didn’t want coloured card so I suggested she could use patterned paper or perhaps emboss some card instead. We went over to my collection of Textured Impressions Embossing Folders and she fell in love with Basket Weave. This is a Dynamic folder and so I lightly spritzed some Whisper White Card she’d chosen with some clean water.
Then Alyssa placed the card inside the Basket Weave folder, and placed it onto the multipurpose platform. She placed a cutting pad on top and then rolled it through the Big Shot forwards and backwards.
I love my embossing folders, especially the Dynamic ones but am probably a little blase about them now. Not Alyssa, when she opened the embossing folder for the first time and took out the card all she could say was “woah!” Several times. It was so funny and I wish I’d caught it on video.
I explained that the embossed piece would be damp so we needed to put it to one side to dry.
DESIGNING THE FRONT OF THE CARD
We pulled out about a dozen stamp sets (and the coordinating Framelits dies where appropriate) so Alyssa could decide what she wanted for the front of the card. I wasn’t surprised when she settled on the Signs of Santa Stamp Set and Santa’s Signpost Framelits. She put various stamps onto the front of her card base so that she could see how the images might fit and was then ready to get stamping.
On some Thick Whisper White Card Alyssa used Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp an elf, the wagon and pile of presents. Then she decided to colour them using Stampin’ Blends alcohol markers.
Alyssa has never used alcohol markers before so I stamped another elf and showed her how she could use a dark colour around the zig-zag edge of the elf’s hat, and then colour the whole area with the lighter colour to blend them together and provide a little shadow. One example was all it took.
Alyssa then proceeded to colour her three images using the Stampin’ Blends like a pro. The colours she chose were: light and dark in Poppy Parade, Mint Macaron, Petal Pink, Daffodil Delight, Smoky Slate and Crumb Cake, plus the light Flirty Flamingo.
Once coloured she cut out the images using the Big Shot and Magnetic Platform and the coordinating dies from the Santa’s Signpost Framelits.
ASSEMBLING THE CARD FRONT
Now the embossed card was dry Alyssa decided she wanted to try adding a little colour with a sponge. She chose Pool Party ink for this as she wanted it to “look like Antarctica”. Once the sponging was finished she stuck the piece to the front of her card base with liquid glue.
The colored and die-cut images came next. I suggested that she place them onto the background so she could decide exactly where she wanted them to go.
At this point Alyssa said that she didn’t want the stack of three presents in a stack on the wagon. So she took the Paper Snips and cut off the top present, and then the one underneath. She decided that she wanted these presents to look like they’d fallen out of the wagon.
Using Stampin’ Dimensionals and Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals Alyssa then attached all her pieces to the card front.
Just the sentiment was left.
Alyssa had chosen the long ‘Merry Christmas’ sentiment from the Timeless Tidings Stamp Set and decided she wanted to heat emboss it.
I found a strip of Thick Whisper White Card and Alyssa stamped the sentiment using VersaMark ink. She sprinkled Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder over the sentiment (because gold is Christmassy) and I showed her how to tap off the excess.
Then I told Alyssa she needed to check for any odd specks of powder that weren’t where they were supposed to be. I gave her my tweezers and explained that if she just touched the speck of powder with the tweezers it would pick it up. Once she was satisfied that she’d got them all I switched on the Heat Tool and gave it to her to melt the rest of the powder.
It was only afterwards that she reminded me that she’d seen me emboss once last year, but she’d never done it before. You’d never know it from her results!
Then Alyssa used Stampin’ Dimensionals to attach the sentiment to the front of the card.
I thought we were finished but there was one more thing Alyssa wanted.
While we’d been deciding on the stamp sets she was going to use she’d seen a ‘hand stamped by’ sentiment. It was in the Feathers & Frost Stamp Set.
So Alyssa stamped this onto the back of the card base with Pool Party ink. She wanted a darker blue to sign her name and chose the Blueberry Bushel Stampin’ Write Marker from the 2018-2019 In Color collection. She signed her name and her card was finished.
All in all we must have been working in the studio for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, but time really does fly when you’re having fun.
Mummy came up to see what we were up to when Alyssa was almost done, and videoed Alyssa explaining her card design (completely unscripted and unprompted).
It’s a good job Stampin’ Up! don’t let almost 8 year olds become Demonstrators, or I could be out of a job.