Introduction: Screened in Back Porch 3D Postcard

I am making this card because my mom works very hard at Meals on Wheels, and with the current crisis- she is now the only person left at her location giving out meals. She does such a great job and I'm so proud of her, and she sends me beautiful handmade cards all the time....and I always forget to send her any :(

So with that being said, this card can be applied to any scene you want to make- I am making this one specifically of my mom's screened in back porch which my mom, my mom's cat, and I like to hang out on.


  • Sharp and small sewing scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Super glue
  • Construction paper in multiple colors
  • Tracing paper
  • Markers
  • Water colors
  • Ruler or triangle ruler
  • Card stock
  • Reference photos of what scene you want to make
  • Pen and pencil
  • Clear packing tape

Step 1: Find Reference Photos

You are going to either have a good memory of the area you are trying to recreate or you are going to want to have pictures- both of the scene and multiple angles of smaller objects with in it. For example, I wanted to put my mom's cat in the scene but I specifically needed her in one pose so I looked through my pictures to make sure I knew her color pattern and then on google for better cat positions. (First kitty is reference, second is real)

References are your friend and tracing is going to be super important!

Step 2: Planning Out Your Scene

You next need to distinguish 3 things: background, middle ground, and foreground, with the latter being the closest towards you when looking at the scene. I would recommend drawing it out layer by layer like I did in the picture to get a rough sense of how you want things to line up.

Note: You will end up changing this down the line, even at the very end of the card at 11:59pm so don't sweat if it's not perfect--it's just a rough draft.

Step 3: Sketching and Measuring the Layers

This step is all about refining your vision- specifically with a ruler. I used a triangle ruler because it helped in making 90 degree corners a lot easier and repeatable, however just a normal ruler will work.

For this step: cut out your required number of layers from printer paper- dimensions 4 inches by 8.5 inches. I chose to make it 8.5 just because that made the process of measuring that much easier (you don't have to measure what's already there). This is your refined rough draft so start being more careful about what things look like and proportions to other objects in the scene.

There are many pieces to this card including:

  • cat
  • table
  • 2 chairs
  • 2 trees
  • coffee mug
  • fence
  • ring of bricks around 1 of the trees

That does not include layer background that were broken up into either construction paper or watercolor parts

But don't panic! The table you make this card on will look like a tornado disaster area but all you need to do is make sure to keep track of the little pieces.

A few notes:

1. Like the first picture shows, you are going to want to put layers together to see how it will look stacked together in the end. The light allows you to see previous layers (I could see about 4 layers deep pretty well)

2. For objects you are not sure the size of: I would highly recommend drawing things out either on a white piece of paper or a tablet drawing app and then resizing it in power point and printing multiple sizes so that you can test them out in real life. I ended up printing so many sizes of the cat onto card stock (as I knew one of them would definitely be the final cat) that I felt like I was at a cat casino and she was my pawker chips (jokes). (pictures 2-3)

3. For objects that aren't fully on the page (like trees): I put the layer I wanted to draw on on top of another peice of paper and then drew the whole tree so I could really understand the scale that was going on. (picture 4)

Step 4: Tracing and Transferring to Card Stock, Then Cut Out

Further refining!

If you are trying to replicate this card exactly: I have included the pictures of measurements I took for the table, fence, and screened in porch portions of the card--- otherwise it was free hand- as trees are not created in nature with a ruler, I will not replicate them with a ruler. The chairs were free hand (with a ruler), and I just eyeballed the scale off the table.

I used tracing paper and a pencil to copy the designs (or you could just print everything directly onto card stock (see last step)).

For cutting objects out, you could use an exacto knife however I had much better luck with some small sharp sewing scissors.

Step 5: Painting and Details

This step is all about making the card look more realistic, specifically to objects in the middle and foreground as these objects are what you would naturally see higher details in.

The table: I used multiple layers of packing tape pressed sticky sides together, along with sticking it to my hand multiple times, to create a see through but cloudy table top like my mom has.

The screened in porch: Tulle is a little finicky, but it looks quite nice I think. If you are having problems glueing it with the glue stick, I would reccomend tacking important points (like the edges of the card and the edges of the windows) and then worrying about sticking it all on there. Truth be told, I did not end up sticking every millimeter of tulle onto the screened in porch layer- I just tacked the important points and let it live.

Construction paper accents and water color details: At this point, you should really focus on what colors look good with the entire picture and what ones are going to blend in with everything else. On the screened in porch, I remembered that my mom's back porch is black (and also that even if it was white I would have tweaked it so the porch popped out in the picture more) so it got a construction paper layer over top (same dimensions as the actual layer). The very background layer was painted mural style. The tree leaves, tree trunk, bricks around the trees, the chairs, and the ceiling fan were all also painted and accented (make sure to check that your water colors aren't just making the paper wet, and are actually putting down color (the trees are a bit flat for this reason)).

Step 6: Final Cuts and Grouping Layers

Group the small peices by layer, and in the event of multiple part objects- tack them together with some glue. Also, do any last minute fixes and check layer placement.

A hint on the fence, I actually cut the linking 'planks' and then glued a support peice on the back where you would not see it because cutting tiny spaces is quite hard.

Step 7: Gluing Layers and Spacers, and Trimming

For the fence, trees, and chairs- I glued pieces of card stock together to form small spacers and used those to add depth specifically to the fence line.

Add a last minute floor to the porch and trim off excess edges and... Presto!

You have a finished card

Added: better angle to see tulle porch and tape table

Step 8: Final Notes

This was my first instructable and I meant to publish it for the contest but I missed the entry button and now it's too late.


Start things very early

Be very aware of your deadlines

....and how to use the website you plan to post things on

Added a picture