Introduction: Expanding Paper-cut Greeting Card

This is a unique and special card that folds up to resemble a standard note card, and unfolds to reveal five different papercut scenes. It takes a bit of extra effort but the results are definitely worth it.

(I'll apologize in advance for the blurry images, I will be taking some new ones of the finished project soon!
Also, if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask in the comments :D)

Step 1: Materials and Designs

For this project, you will need:
- Three colors of cardstock (for the base, first layer and second layer)
- Scrap paper
- Bone folder
- Pencil
- Craft knife
- Eraser
- Scissors
- Glue
- Ribbon
- Ruler
- Cutting mat
- Tape (not pictured)
- Patience!

Start by sketching out the five scenes you will have inside your card, on the scrap paper. You can make them as simple or complicated as you want, but remember, you will be cutting them out later. You MUST leave a border around the edges of your pictures, so that the card can be properly assembled. Also make sure the edges of your images touch the border, because again, you will be cutting them out later. You can add overlapping images and patterns because there will be two 'layers' in each scene (you may want to draw two separate pictures for each scene).

Step 2: Cutting and Folding

You will need three long strips of paper for your card. The first strip is for the base, and measures 74 cm x 10.5 cm (29 inches x 4 1/8 inches) You will probably need to cut and tape together multiple sheets of paper together to achieve this length. Try to keep any pencil markings and tape on the back of the paper, so they don't show on the finished card.

Next, accordion fold your strip into 5 equal sections, each section being about 14.8 cm long.

Once your paper is in 5 sections, make a valley fold in the middle of each section.

The last step for making the base is to glue the backs of the pages together (see picture). You may want to clip your base closed after you have glued it, to make sure the pages stick.

Step 3: Making the Layers

You will need to make two more long strips of paper for the layers of the scene. Make the first layer (navy) 55 cm x 10.5 cm (21 1/2 inches x 4 1/8 inches), with a tab on each end. Make the second layer (white) 45 cm x 10.5 cm (17 3/4 inches x 4 1/8 inches) with a tab on each end. The tabs make it possible for you to attach the layers to the base later.

Accordion fold each of the layers into five sections, the same way you did the base. The five sections of the first layer will be 11 cm each and the five sections of the second layer will be 9 cm each. Make a valley fold in the middle of each of the five sections.

All of your finished pieces should resemble the picture.

Step 4: Cutting, Cutting, Cutting!

This step takes the longest. Transfer or draw your pictures onto the folded paper strips. Remember that the longer strip (navy, 55 cm) will be behind the shorter strip (white, 45 cm). Each image should take up one of the five sections, and touch at least one edge of the section. Also remember to leave a reasonable border (at least 1 cm) on all sides, so that the card is sturdy and we can assemble it later.

Use a craft knife and/or scissors to cut out your images! This can take a while but be careful and patient to avoid any mistakes.

I did a simple patterned border for each of the images in the second layer (white, 45 cm), and a more complicated object for each of the images in the first layer (navy, 55 cm). If you are unsure of the way your images will look together, draw them full-sized on tracing paper, and lay them on top of each other.

Remember, you don't have to use paper-cutting alone, you can add illustrations, fancy papers, stickers, glitter, or anything that can withstand being folded. Be creative!

(Apologies for the awful, grainy pictures! Hopefully the basic shapes are still visible!)

Step 5: Assembly!

Now that you have cut out all of your scenes, it's time to put the card together!

We will glue on the first layer (navy, 55 cm) first. Start by putting some glue on the borders in between the pictures (see image), and sticking the border-parts to the edges of the base. (Sorry this is hard to explain, if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments!) It helps to clip each edge down as you go, to make sure the layer is held down securely.

Once all the edges are glued on, glue on the tabs of layer one to the front and back  pages of the base (the pages that are only one sheet thick). You should now have a foldable (and unfoldable) card, with one layer of paper cut-outs.

Now glue on the edges of the second layer (white, 45 cm) the same way you did the first layer, but DO NOT GLUE DOWN THE TABS! You should now have a card with a base, and five scenes with two layers of cut-out images.

Step 6: Ribbons and a Cover

Cut two 20 cm lengths of thin ribbon. Glue one end of a piece of ribbon to the center of one of the tabs of layer two (white, 45 cm). Glue one end of the other piece of ribbon to the center of the other tab. Add glue all over the tabs, and fold them over, onto the front and back pages/covers. 

Cut a piece of cardstock approximately 16 cm by 10.5 cm. This will be your cover. Fold the ribbons back over the tabs so they don't get caught under the cover, and glue the cover on. Let all the glue dry for a few minutes, and.....

You're done!

To close the card, fold all the layers together and tie it shut with the ribbons. To open it, unfold/expand it all the way into a circle, and tie it in the back with the ribbons.

Once again, if you have any questions or advice, please leave a comment below! Thanks :D 

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