Saturday, 14 December 2013

Christmas Tutorials ~ Gift Card Holder

Today I’m bringing you the second in my mini series of festive tutorials, as part of a “Project a Day” that UKS are running on the Homepage this month. There have been a wide variety of lovely items and plenty more to come. Why not check it out, if you haven’t already. All the projects shared so far can be found here.

Have you ever had to pick up a gift card at the supermarket as a last minute gift? Wouldn’t it be nice to pretty it up a bit before giving. Well, here’s how to do just that.


You’ll need cardstock, patterned paper, ribbon, a circle punch and a greeting stamp.


Cut a piece of cardstock measuring 10 3/4” x 4”. Score at 2 3/4”, 4”, 5 1/4” & 8 1/8”.


Fold the 1st, 3rd and 4th score lines in one direction and the 2nd the other way. The photo above shows the inside of your gift card holder.


Flip over (top to bottom *not* left to right) so that the outside is uppermost. Cut a piece of patterned paper 4” x 2 3/4” and adhere to the left hand panel. Put double sided tape just to the right of the 1st score line, as shown. Round the corners of the right hand panel, punch out a circle* and stamp your greeting.


Remove the tape liner and bring the folds together. This will form the section where the gift card will be held.


Flip back to the inside and mark the width of your gift card in pencil.


Centre your punch and punch approx 1/4” from the folded edge. Slide the punch to the right (up to your pencil mark) and punch again. Do the same to the left.


I used a slot punch for mine as it gives nicely rounded corners, but it also works with a square, as shown in the previous picture. Insert your gift card.


Fold the bottom up….


….and the top down. Wrap a piece of ribbon around the card and tie in a bow. I positioned the bow at the top of the circle, to give it the look of a bauble.

Here are some others I made previously, for a couple of birthday girls. Instead of simply rounding the corners on the front flap, I used a scallop punch. Mine is a Fiskars one and punches quite deep, so in this instance I cut the card at 11” long. As you can see, it’s easily adapted to the occasion and supplies you have.

*I used a 1 3/4” circle punch, but other sizes will work. Alternatively you could use a wafer thin die, such as a Spellbinder circle, if you prefer.

PS If you don’t have a suitable punch for cutting the gift card slot, then you might like this previous gift card holder tutorial I wrote.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday? #236

Christmas card production has been very slow this year. Lack of a permanent work space has severely hampered the process. I have been making them in fits and starts over the last few weeks. Cutting card to size, stamping images, die-cutting and putting everything away, ready to assemble, when I have a minute.


Cherry red cardstock, polka dots and pennies….




….turned into a tumbling gingerbread man, who’s raised a smile everywhere he’s arrived so far.

Pop over to Julia’s place, for more Christmas cheer, on a desk somewhere near you.

PS I’ll be back on Saturday with the next in my set of Christmas tutorials, this time for a simple gift card holder.

Monday, 9 December 2013

The Great Big Swap of Little Festive Things

A little while ago Miriam dropped me a line, to see if I would like to take part in her Festive Swap and of course I said, “Yes please!” It was very exciting when a fat envelope landed on my doormat, all the way from Nashville, Tennessee, containing these little vintage style beauties.


As the light has changed throughout today, I have tried again and again to get a good shot of them. From the murk of the morning, to the brilliant sunshine at lunchtime, all to no avail. That pesky shiny metal defeated me, until the dampness set in at about 3.30 this afternoon and I decided this would have to do.


There was also this tiny tree in a thimble, which I couldn’t resist using to stage my gift box tutorial photo on Saturday. Isn’t it sweet? Thank you so much Barbara, I love them all and can’t wait to put them on our tree, when we put it up in a few days.


For my swap partner, I made a hanging snowflake ornament from stamped images, with a little added bling, in the shape of 30 rhinestones and some silver glitter. There is a ‘show & tell’ post on Miriam’s blog, with a linky list leading to lots of the other participants, if you fancy a peek. There is a fine selection to see.


Thank you Miriam, for a very enjoyable swap. Same time, next year?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Christmas Tutorials ~ Gift Box

The first December ‘how to’ is for the gift box I shared on Tuesday.


Start with a piece of cardstock measuring 8” x 5 1/2”.


Score at 1 1/2”, 3 1/4”, 4 3/4” and 6 1/2”.


Turn and score at 1 1/2” and 4”.


Cut along the lines shown in red.


Cut from corner to corner on four panels, as shown. Cut a strip from the tabs on one side. It makes the box go together better and you only need glue on one set of tabs.


Make the handles by punching out ovals and rounding the corners of the middle sections on each side. Use a bone folder to burnish all the score lines.


Flip the card over and add a narrow line of glue along the edge of the left hand tabs.


Bring up the two middle tabs.


Bring the right hand side of the box up towards the middle and fold the tabs inside.


Do the same with the left hand side and pinch the sides so that the tabs (with the glue on) adhere firmly. That’s it. You’re done with the construction. Decorate the box as you like and tie the handles together with ribbon, once you’ve filled it.


I added a stamped panel to mine, to match the card it would be given with. You could stamp a design onto the cardstock before you score and cut it or use heavy weight patterned paper to construct the box. Lots of possibilities for decorating.

PS That cute little tree in the first photo? It came all the way from Nashville and I’ll tell you about it on Monday.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Seasonal Variations

I love Christmas, but like to keep it firmly in December, where it belongs. Since I started teaching classes, I’ve had to begin my Christmas card planning a little bit earlier. I was finding it difficult to come up with designs, when we were looking forward to carving pumpkins and watching fireworks.


I got over it by adapting a previous design into a more seasonal version. This was a Thank you card I made some time ago. I took a different flower from the set and switched the soft vintage colours for a more traditional red, gold and green.


The final touch was the ‘merry’ stamped tag, hanging from the candy striped twine. I made a little gift box/treat holder to match. It’s very easy to make from half a sheet of A4 cardstock and I’ll share the instructions on Saturday. The first of three Christmas themed tutorials for December. I hope you’ll find them useful.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Storytelling Sunday 3 ~ Passport

Three years of Storytelling with Sian draws to a close today. Not being much of a writer, it was a good few months before I plucked up the courage to join in for the first time, with the story behind a dress. I’m glad I did.

So, for the last time, with Sian’s encouragement, I’m picking a precious…..


Around this time, in 1985, I was in my first term of A Levels and preparing to set off to India, with a fine group of friends, for five weeks.

Here we are in 2013 and my son is just beginning his A Level studies. On Thursday I waved him off on his own little adventure, to Barcelona for a five day Geography trip.

Neither of us would have got very far without our passports.

Thank you Sian for giving us this platform to share our stories and thank you to everyone who did just that. I enjoyed reading them, long before I shared any of my own. I’ve been a sporadic participant over the three years, but many thanks to all of you that have taken the time to read and comment here. It’s been fun.

Of all the stories I’ve told, the shortest is still my favourite. How about you?