Need an awesome card for your next special occasion? How about something with moving parts that reveal a surprise photo or image?

While these mechanical iris cards are a little time consuming to assemble, they're definitely worth the effort. The versatile design can be used for everything from adorable baby announcements to party invitations. Create a camera for a picture perfect valentine's day card or a submarine porthole for a steampunk Christmas card - the possibilities are endless.

If you're into irises, you should also check out these awesome instructables that were instrumental in making this card come together:
Mechanical Iris by carlbass
Paper Mechanical Iris by dombeef
Paper Iris Glasses by art.makes

Step 1: What you'll need

You'll need:
  • the template provided with this instructable (in either pdf or Adobe Illustrator)
  • cardstock or thin cardboard
  • mini brads
  • an x-acto knife or scissors
  • double sided foam tape - you can use cardboard and glue if you don't have foam tape
  • a printer
Depending on how you want your finished card to look, you might also want:
  • a glue stick or other glue
  • paint
  • markers
  • photos
  • glitter, stickers, sequins or other decorative stuff
Finally, if you plan on making lost and lots of these cards (for wedding invitations or a big holiday mailing list), you may want:
  • a digital cutting machine
  • an account with Ponoko or a similar service
<p>I love these cards! You could try using iris-calculator.com to get your dimensions, it might help stop the pieces getting caught.<br>I think everyone is going to get an iris birthday card from now on! Awesome stuff!</p>
Cool! I'm gonna HAVE to make one!
You mention running one of these files through a cutter machine? I have one but don't see how they could be used to transfer it to a cutting file? Do you have a pdf that prints the registration marks?
You can use the software that goes with your cutting machine to convert the pdf to the correct type of&nbsp;file. We use <a href="http://www.make-the-cut.com/" rel="nofollow">Make the Cut</a> which works with many different&nbsp;machines.
hello im a year 9 student tryuing to make this and i am having major porblems with it if you could make a video tutorial that would be mucch appreciated
Thanks. Looks like I got it all figured out. I'm going to use this to make a Magic 8 Ball box. I think I will modify this with Laser cut wood and brass sheets for the blades.
Do you have a video of the assembly for this? I would like to use it for a project and this one is the best and easiest I have seen. <br> <br>Great job!
I don't currently have a video for this card, but I'll try to remember to film one the next time I'm putting one of these cards together.
Very nice. <br>What did you use to make that .pdf file?
Awesome instructable, and the first one I've made! I used aluminum sheets for mine, but it works just fine: <br> <br>http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FGA/K9AW/H4VQNGRO/FGAK9AWH4VQNGRO.THUMB.jpg <br> <br>http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FFT/2WDZ/H4VQ9RJ4/FFT2WDZH4VQ9RJ4.THUMB.jpg
Did you cut the aluminum with an ex-acto knife?
The blades are actually really thin and I cut then with a scissor from floppy disks' little metal covers. The circles in the outer ring were made out of a thicker aluminum sheet and cut with a cup saw, and the square was cut with a common metal saw.
wow i love the idea i think i might make one of these someday
Thank You. My dream home will have a larger scale version of this iris in it somewhere. I think air powered by a low voltage compressor.
Love it!
I wonder if you want to make a camera, how to use a rubber band to make it ''automatic'' you know you pull the outter ring to close the iris (in this case the camera's diaphragma) it automatically opens again, like taking a photo. Any idea? i want to make for my brother.
This is an awesome idea, and great timing too!<br>I'm going to try making an Aperture Science version for my brothers birthday (only 2 days away, aaaah!). It will go perfectly with the present, a Portal 2 water bottle from Think Geek. <br>Thanks for the istructable, I'll post a pic or two here if you like, when (if) I finish it.
If you're interested in a Portal-themed iris, check out my <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Aperture-Science-Business-Card/" rel="nofollow">Aperture Science Business Card</a> instructable.
Cool idea.

About This Instructable


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Bio: For more about my costumes, crafts and general craziness, check out my blog: http://modmischief.blogspot.com/
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