Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tutorial: Making Window Cards - and Reversible Images for Windows

Recently, I made an acetate window card for one of Mothers and Daughters Creations challenges and then I made a similar but not as complex window card for the recent VSN. These were very easy cards to make, and here is how I made them. For details regarding stamps and products used, visit my gallery at Splitcoast Stampers by clicking the link on the left.
The Acetate Window Card:

I used the Cuttlebug to cut out 12 ornate squares to use as window panes. I glued six of them to a piece of acetate aligned in three rows of pairs, let the glue dry, and then turned the acetate over and glued 6 more over the original six, so the window on both sides of the card would be "finished".

I cut a piece of designer paper in a speckled gray design that I thought looked a lot like stone to use for the front of the card and taped it with removable tape at the four corners to my card base. Then I laid the acetate over it, centering it, and ran my scoring tool around the edge of the window to mark where I needed to cut. I cut the window through both the card front and the designer paper with an Exacto knife. (Be sure to open the card when you cut, and only cut through the front. Don't even ask how I know this LOL!) Otherwise, the back of your card will also have an unpected window.

After cutting out the window, I removed the designer paper, laid the acetate window over the opening, and touched up a couple of places where the cut wasn't quite perfect. Then I adhered the acetate to the card base and adhered the designer paper over the acetate.

I wanted the front of the card to look like a brick/stone wall, so I stenciled an architectural element onto a scrap of the designer paper, cut out several images, and placed them strategically around the window. The rest of the window card is simply "window dressing" and you can decorate it for any season or holiday.

Reversible Menorah:

I made a reversible menorah to place in the window, as I thought it would be clearly seen from the inside as well. I stamped the menorah onto acetate and embossed it with gold embossing powder.
You have to use a light touch with the heat tool to prevent the acetate from curling. Acetate can actually withstand a high temperature (these are designed for copiers, and they do get hot) but not a sustained high temperature, so your best bet is to wave the heat tool back and forth over the area you're embossing, changing the angle of the tool to direct the heat directly onto the embossing powder.
After embossing the menorah on the first side of the acetate, I inked the stamp and laid it ink side up on my work table.
Standing over it and looking straight down on the image, I carefully laid the unstamped side of the acetate onto the stamp, lining up the image with the stamped side. Then I simply rubbed lightly with my index finger to transfer the ink to the acetate. Then I carefully lifted the acetate off the stamp and embossed it.
You end up with an embossed image overlaying another embossed image on each side of the acetate. This makes for a lovely addition to a window card. You can do this with any stamp that has symmetrical right and left sides.

Window Without Acetate:

For a similar window without acetate, the process is even easier. For this card for the VSN challenge, I cut four ornate images wtih the Cuttlebug. I wanted more glitz on this card, so I laid these down onto my embossing pad, pressed gently to coat them with embossing ink, and then embossed them with marcasite embossing powder. I glued them onto the card, and voila, I had a window. The ornate corners are from another Cuttlebug shape from the same package (Victorian), embossed the same way. That glitzy filligree background is a random stamping with a filligree stamp, then also embossed with the marcasite.

The wreath was the most time-consuming part of the entire window. I stamped the leaf clusters and bow elements with embossing ink onto vellum, dusted and embossed them with marcasite powder, painted them with watercolor pencils, and then cut them out. Even the painting goes quickly... it's the cutting that's so tedious! But I was still able to finish this card well within the 45 minutes allotted.

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