Last time I shared with you the card I made for my best friend’s daughter, Jocie. Well, her older brother, Justin’s birthday was a few days later, on December 30, so it was another late birthday card that I sat down to make last weekend.
As you may know, if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, I haven’t made a whole lot of masculine type cards. I took a look at my idea book where I jot down card ideas as they come to me, and came across a sheet of quilt block patterns. After perusing some of the ideas, I settled on the pattern known as courthouse steps. (See a sample pattern here.) I thought it was one of the easier patterns to recreate. No triangles or lots of small pieces to cut out and glue.
I’ve said this many times in the past, but I love to find creative ways to re-use magazine paper, so for this card I decided to cut out the strips from magazine pages. I figured this would also help give the card a more masculine look. I rummaged through my paper collection and pulled out a bunch that had different colors and patterns to give my card more interest.
I decided to cut my strips a half inch wide – not too wide and not too narrow, which would make it difficult to trim accurately. A paper trimmer made this job relatively quick and easy.
Since the pages were large, and I only needed a small portion of each, I chose to cut out the part of each paper that had the most interesting pattern or vibrant color.
I found a leftover piece of cardstock in my stash that was the right size for the pattern I had chosen, about 6 inch x 6 inch.
(The color didn’t matter too much, as the strips of magazine paper would completely cover the piece of cardstock.)
To start, I glued down two strips on opposite ends of the piece of cardstock.
I could have used tape runner for my adhesive, but I chose to use extra strength glue stick glue instead because 1) it’s much cheaper, and 2) it’s repositionable, which really helps when you’re trying to be precise.
(Initially I didn’t pre-trim the paper strips before gluing them down, but as I got more comfortable with the technique, I would line up each strip, edge to edge, against the previous strip, fold it to the right length and trim off the excess.)
For the next set of strips, I chose different colored ones and trimmed them down to 5 inches long, and following the pattern, glued them along the other two edges of the card stock, one on either side.
I continued trimming down the strips of paper, two by two, pairing colors/patterns as I went, with each subsequent set of strips one inch shorter than the previous set, and gluing everything down, lining up the edges carefully.
For my quilt block, I paired up the colors and patterns, but you could use a different color/pattern for each strip, or mix and match however way you choose to go for the look you’re after.
(If you look closely at the preceding photo, you can see that the edges of my paper strips are a little raggedy. The blade on my paper trimmer should be replaced, but I think the less than smooth edges of the strips give the overall pattern a slightly rustic look.)
When I got to the center of my card stock, I was left with a square opening.
I covered the opening with a contrasting 2-inch square piece of magazine scrap.
The finished pattern was 6 inch by 6 inch in size, which is quite large for a card, especially given that I was planning to glue the pattern to an even larger sized card base. I decided to trim off a half inch on either side of the pattern, ending up with a 5 inch x 6 inch piece of cardstock.
You learn as you go :0) If I were to make this card again, but wanted to keep it square, I would eliminate some of the strips to make a truncated version of this pattern.
Next, I cut out a cream colored piece of cardstock for the base of my card, so that when folded in half, it would be slightly wider and longer than the quilt block layer, approximately 6.5 inch x 11 inch. (If I had not trimmed down my quilt pattern, I would have needed a piece of cardstock that was over 12 inches long, something that not only I don’t have, but I don’t even think is available in the marketplace!)
Using tape runner, I glued down the quilt pattern layer on top of the card base, allowing a quarter inch border all around.
Next I created an embellishment by stamping a birthday sentiment on matching cardstock. I trimmed out the sentiment and inked the edges to give it a kind of distressed look.
To finish, I added two foam pop dots to the back of the sentiment and adhered it to the center of the card.
I love how this card turned out! I wasn’t sure if I could get everything glued down precisely, but I couldn’t be happier with the end result :0) What I especially love about this idea is that you could change out the patterns and colors of your paper strips to make the quilt pattern more feminine or masculine, more childlike or adult. The sky’s the limit!
One final thing – how was I going to mail this card? The dimensions were 5.5 inch x 6.5 inch, which is a good-sized card. I didn’t have any envelopes on hand that could house it. Stay tuned for my next post to see what I did to get out of this little dilemma!
Have you ever tried replicating a quilt block pattern in your card making? Which one(s) have you tried? Please share in the comments.