Sunday, September 30, 2012

Paper Cut Card for Love Birds

I came up with the name for this blog, Craft Bandit, sort of by accident.  I was sitting on the bus, on my way to work, looking out the window and daydreaming as usual.  A friend suggested that I join her in an upcoming 10 km race by "running bandit", meaning to join an organized race without paying.  I have played race bandit in the past, for the purposes of joining a large pumped-up group of runners on a pre-mapped out course, and I was pondering the ethical debate of doing so on this particular bus ride.  It got me thinking about creative work, and how some artists hold their designs and techniques very tightly to their chest.  Perhaps they hope that by doing so, their products will remain unique and the demand for them high.

All too often do we stress the importance of profiting from selling crafts, and too little on the importance of the crafting movement.  Helping people understand how your crafts are made only enhances their appreciation of the craft.  If your product is a good one, of solid design and quality workmanship, more people will still opt to buy than try to copy.

The crafting community relies on the support of each other.  Every talented crafter has achieved success and recognition through the help of the talented others before them.  I like to think that the name Craft Bandit suggests borrowing and sharing ideas and techniques with ethics and respect, but without explicit permission.  For any project that I make and post on this site, I will provide the guidance you need to make your own.  I will admit that I'm incredibly lazy about posting instructions, so if I've not made it obvious, please post a comment with your email address and I will be sure to contact you.

All that said, I am happy to announce my first tutorial!  It's a super-simple, paper cut greeting card.  Because who doesn't love receiving a handmade card?  Best of all, making your own card often costs less than buying a pre-made card, which isn't always the case when you make your own, considering cheap overseas labour and rock bottom-priced mass manufactured goods.

In September, I attended three weddings, and thus was in need of three wedding cards.  So I popped into my local paper store to get some ideas and supplies.  The idea came from a pack of Japanese gift tags that had a design of painted black sillouette birds behind white birds.

Paper Cut Love Birds wedding card

What you'll need to make 1 or 2 cards (4.25" x 5.5" each):

- 4 sheets of paper (8.5" x 11" each): 1 card stock, 1 white/pale colour, 1 bright colour, 1 white
- 2 envelopes (4.5" x 5.75" each)
- paper cutter OR x-acto knife and ruler OR rotary cutter and ruler (optional)
- scissors
- pencil
- fine-tipped black marker
- glue stick

Using your paper cutter / x-acto knife / rotary cutter / scissors, cut all 4 sheets of paper in half, width-wise.  This will leave you with 8 sheets of paper, measuring 8.5" x 5.5" each.  Fold the card stock in half.  This forms main body of the card.

Lightly trace out a line of birds on the white/pale paper with a pencil.  Feel free to print out this helpful bird template.  Cut your birds out with scissors, trying to keep a smooth line by making long, continuous cuts.  The side with the pencil marks will be glued down, so no need to erase the marks.  Apply eye dots to each bird with a black marker.

Similarily, lightly trace out the two main birds on the bright paper with a pencil, and cut out with scissors.  Draw small hearts for eyes with black marker.  Glue the line of birds down first onto the card stock, and then layer the two birds glued on top.

For the inside sheet for your hand-written greeting, cut the remaining white paper into a 7.75" x 4.75" size.  Fold in half, and write your message on the inside right-hand half.  Glue only the back of this half, and paste into the inside of the card.  Your first card is complete!  If you want to make a second card, repeat all instructions above a second time.

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