Saturday, November 15, 2014

How to make fabric covered Christmas cards


Christmas is coming!! Did you see how many beautiful Christmas fabrics are available in the stores? This time of the year, I really enjoy to make some crafts to be prepared for Christmas.... and one of my favorites is to make unique Christmas cards and send them to my friends! 

Today I will share with you how to make beautiful fabric covered Christmas cards that you can decorate as you want to share your wishes with your friends!

Cartonnage is a technique to make boxes, functional cases, albuns and other things. In this tutorial, I have applied some of the steps we use in Cartonnage to make cards. Of course, the paper is not as thick as we use to make boxes, but the way you will cover the card is the same we cover simple chipboard pieces in Cartonnage.  If you are interested in see more about cartonnage, or to have complimentary instructions check the section “Basic about Cartonnage” here in my blog.

I hope you like this tutorial, make lots of cards and have fun!!

         Basic material to make the card:

·         Fabric to cover the cards (about 10.5 x 7.5 inches)
·         Cardstock paper (9 x 6.5 in)
·         Cardstock paper (8 x 6 in) – internal finishing
·         Glue All (from Elmer’s)
·         Cutting board, rotary cutter,
·         Paint roller, paint brush and tray
·         Scrap paper to cover your table
·         Plastic knife or bone folder
·         Cartonnage tools (spacer 15 mm and corner miter tool ) – optional
·         Scoring board (optional)

How to make it (visual steps):

First, cut the fabric about 1 inch bigger than the cardstock you will use to make the card (Fig 1). Then, put a small amount of glue in the tray and roll your paint roller all over it, to have the paint roller fill out of glue.  Apply glue to the cardstock, and spread it with the roller, making sure you have glue all over the paper (Fig 2). IMPORTANT: DO NOT APPLY TOO MUCH GLUE, just enough to cover all paper surface as a thin layer (Fig 3).
Turn the paper and place it on the back of the fabric (Fig 4). Turn again to have the fabric facing you. With your hands, go carefully from the center to the edges of the fabric pressing a little bit to have your paper well covered, with no air bubbles (Fig 5). 

After gluing, you need to trim the fabric in all edges to have around ½ inch of fabric around the paper. If you have the cartonnage tools, you can use the spacer 15mm as a guide to cut (Fig 6 and 7), if not, just cut leaving ½ inch of fabric.
Now it is time to cut the fabric at the corners to have a good finishing of your card. The best way to do that is using a corner miter tool (Fig. 8). But if you don’t have this tool, you can cut the fabric with scissor. In this case, you need to cut the fabric to be like shown in Fig 10, but do not cut straight in the corner, you need to leave around 3mm of fabric at the corner.
Cut the fabric in all corners as shown below in Fig 8, 9 and 10.
These cartonnage tools are great helpers for Cartonnage projects! Take a look for more information about it on my shop.

When you have cut all of your corners, you need to fold and glue the fabric on the edges. For this,  first apply glue to the long edges, one of a time (Fig 11). When you are spreading the glue with your brush, apply a little bit of glue on the fabric at the corners, this is really important (Fig 12)! Then, using one plastic knife or a bone folder, fold and glue the fabric in this edge (Fig 13). Another important step now is to press down the fabric at the corners with your plastic knife or bone folder (Fig 14). Repeat this process for the other long edge (Fig 15). Then, apply glue to the short edges and fold the fabric over it. Check your corners, they will be neat (Fig 16)!

In order to have one beautiful and flat card, now you need to  keep it between two sheets of paper and under some form of weight, like one heavy book or another heavy item you have around (Fig 17 and 18).  Leave the card like that for about  1 hour. This will make your card be really flat when dried.

After this time, lets finish the inside of the card. For this, you will need another piece of cardstock with 8.5 x 6 inches. Note: if you have made the card with other dimension that the one I indicate in this direction, no problem, just cut this inside paper ½ in small than the one you used for the card.

Apply glue to the cardstock, and spread it with the roller, making sure you have glue all over the paper (Fig 19). IMPORTANT: AGAIN DO NOT APPLY TOO MUCH GLUE, just enough to cover all the paper surface as a thin layer.  IMPORTANT NOTE: Be careful in this step, hold the paper to make sure it will not move when applying glue. Do this quickly and be careful when you take off this paper to not mark the right side of the paper with glue.

Find the right place for this piece of paper, over the center of the back of the card and with a plastic knife or bone folder go carefully gluing and pressing to avoid air bubbles (Fig 20). 

Now your basic card is almost done!! Just a few more steps to have it perfect!
Fold your card in half. For this, you can use some scoring board to mark down the center (Fig 21), or just fold the card in half and with one bone folder press down where you have folded to have a nice finishing. 

You are almost there…. Now, just put some paper inside the card (Fig 23) and put some form of weight over it, like one heavy book or another heavy item you have around (Fig 24).  Leave the card like that for about 1 hour. This will make your card be really flat when dried.

Ok, if you follow the steps you are ready to decorate your card!! And now, it is with you!! Use your creativity and stamp or write some message inside and decorate the outside as you wish!

Here are some of my cards for your inspiration. When I use basic fabrics I like to decorate a little bit more on the outside, like this picture below.
Another thing I LOVE to do is to stamp: “made just for you” in my projects! For me, seems like I really care for the people I am gonna give it!! 

For some fabrics, I just add a few Rhinestones or other coordinating decorations, like this picture below.

Here are more of my cards! I hope you like it and feel excited to make your own cards this Christmas!!

Thank you for being here, I hope you have enjoyed!
I will be very glad to hear from you, please leave your comment!!!
If you liked it, feel free to share with your friends!

Your Cartonnage friend, Claudia

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