You can follow this project, or you can use it as inspiration for your own designs.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Light-weight card, either white or coloured as required.
- Glue. Glue-stick or white PVA are best.
- Coloured pencils, felts or markers.
- Craft knife.
- Ball-point pen (a dead one is fine)
- Metal ruler.
- Cutting surface.
Step 2: Basic Technique.
This project uses a simple creasing technique to make flat card resemble more organic, natural shapes:
Cut out a curved piece of card.
Lay it face-down on a slightly flexible surface (either your cutting mat, or a piece of scrap card from a cereal packet)
Pressing firmly, draw a line down the centre of the card.
Using a pinching motion, slightly bend the card along the scored line.
Done. Easy, wasn't it?
This technique can be used to make shapes like grass-stems, leaves, scales, claws... only your own imagination properly limits the possibilities.
The actual gift
I got hold of lightweight (120gsm) card in a variety of colours, and thunk a bit.
I need a frame, and a picture to go in the frame.
Step 3: The Frame.
Note that one end of each section is right-angled, the other has a 45° slope. Each square end slots into the next 45° end (to give the appearance of a mitre joint), and is glued in place.
When tracing and cutting out the piece with the template, draw firmly over the fold-lines with the ball-point pen to score the bends.
The frame is glued together in the corners, and then glued to the back layer of the actual picture, giving quite a rigid structure.
(You may find it easier to have help at this stage, or at least a couple of clothes pegs to hold the ends together.)
Step 4: Grass.
Step 5: Dragonfly
I scored the body sections of the dragonfly twice, in an oval pattern, to emphasise the the plate-like nature of the animal.
I decided to leave the wings plain, since the true vein-pattern does not lend itself to scoring.
Step 6: Assembly
"Assembly" seems an odd word to use for a work of art, but...
Note that, because I was using liquid PVA glue ("white" glue), I had to leave it to dry for a few minutes between each step. If I had used a glue stick, assembling the picture would have been much quicker.
1) Layers of card made the background.
2) I glued the frame together, and set it aside to dry.
3) I glued the reeds in place (the reeds needed a little trimming to stand flush to the frame).
4) I glued the dragonfly's body to the background and the reeds (remember - small drops of glue!)
5) I glued the wings in place.
6) Finally, I glued the frame to the picture.
Step 7: Delivery
I didn't really trust the picture to a normal envelope in the mail, so I packed it in polystyrene chips in a cereal packet.
Wrapped, labelled and stamped, off it went...