Sunday, January 23, 2011

Let's have some PRACTICAL fun!

Getting ready to give the perfect gift

When the recipients of your holiday, birthday or "just because" gifts are really young, it's pretty easy to shop for them. Just hit the toy store and pick out an "age appropriate" gift! It's just that simple. However, when the kids and grandkids start getting a bit older--and more particular, this once-fun job often becomes a bit of a chore. So, for many of us, we resort to giving a gift card.

I have found several creative ways of incorporating a gift card into a hand-made greeting card, but none as fun as this approach. The directions are simple, and you will use only your basic tools. However, there is one rule than cannot be broken: you may only use scraps. You may NOT, under ANY circumstances, cut up full-size sheets of paper!

Here we go:

The Envelope

I have found the perfect size envelope for this job to be a 5-3/4" wide envelope, which, when folded vertically in half creates a pocket that is just the right size for the gift card. The ones I use are from DCWV.

The first steps are all done with the back of the envelope facing you.

  • Using your centering ruler, and with the envelope flap in the closed position, find the center of the envelope and mark it with a pencil at the top.

  • Now, using the scoring blade on your paper trimmer, score the envelope down the center several times, applying a pretty heavy pressure.
  • Open the envelope flap and cut it in half vertically to the fold line (A).

  • Fold the left flap down and seal (B).

  • Trim 1" off the flap on the right (C).

Shaping the card

  • Trim the left side of the remaining flap to duplicate the angle on the right; round both corners (D).

  • Close flap (do not seal) and fold envelope in half vertically along the scored line. Adhere a 15" length of 1/4" ribbon along the midsection, gluing it in place on both the front and back sides of the envelope (E). I have found a glue runner to be just a bit too wide, so I apply glue from a Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue Chisel Tip directly onto the ribbon. To accomplish this, I wrap the ribbon around the envelope and use a pencil to mark a "glue line" on the inside of the ribbon. When your project is complete and you have placed your gift card in the pocket, tie up the loose ends of the ribbon into a bow.

  • Choose four scraps of coordinated paper and cut each 2-3/4" x 4-1/4" (F).

The creative stuff
  • Using a round punch, take a bite out of the piece of paper you will use for the front of your card insert (G). If you don't have a punch, just cut a V shape with your scissors.

  • Stamp all sentiments (handwriting works, too) before you adhere your paper to the envelope (H).

  • Adhere front, back and center pieces of paper to the envelope (I), leaving the top of the pocket open. I generally use a pretty plain paper for the back so that I can use my "handmade with love" stamp on it. Also, at this point, if I have enough scraps of paper, I will cover the front or both the front and back of the newly-created flap over the card pocket. The easiest way to do this is to trace the flap on your scrap and cut it out. Once you have adhered the scraps to the flap, you can trim away any irregularities.

  • Cut another scrap of paper for the front of the card (2-1/4" x 3-3/4") and decorate it for the occasion (J). I like to use pop-dots under this smaller piece to give some depth to the front of the card. Another advantage of using pop-dots here is that it will allow you to use a brad without the prongs causing an unwanted bump.

Here are a few more holders I have made for a swap with other scrapbookers:

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OK, go forth and create!