In this greeting card tutorial, learn how to use folded paper strips to give your card added depth with three-dimensional layers. Strip folding is a flexible paper crafting technique closely related to iris folding. This tutorial features a frame created with folded paper strips that enhances a small image or photo as the focal point of your card. Also, this is a great way to use paper leftovers or recycle decorative papers used in other crafts.
Related craft: See how to make a Strip Folding Hearts Card.
This greeting card tutorial builds on previous tutorials in the original Greeting Card Class set of tutorials. If you are new to card making, review these tutorials for ideas and basic techniques.
This card is built around a 3½" frame with its corners built out, and uses layered strip folding to form a 2" square-on-point inner frame.
Select an image that will fit into a 2" square-on-point. Cut a 2" square from cardstock to use as a guide, or draw a 2" square on clear plastic—transparent report covers work well.
Tip: To make templates, print Aunt Annie's strip folding pattern to cardstock and cut out templates for the frame and the center image. The pattern includes frame templates in three sizes: 3", 3½" and 4". For easy card making, the templates include correctly-sized images of wishing trees and shamrocks—great for weddings and St. Patrick's Day!
Tip: Cut images from old greeting cards or stamp an image. The image used here is clip-art downloaded from the internet.
Select colors for the paper strips that coordinate with your selected image. For the bunny, yellow strips are used for the outer frame, and pink strips for the corner layers. The card's mat is blue, and the strips for the inner frame are blue to match it.
For the outer frame, cut strips that are ¾" wide, with enough length to later cut four 3½" strips. For the corners, cut strips that are ¾" to 1½" wide. For the inner frame, ½" wide strips are needed.
Fold the strips in half lengthwise and glue. Tip: You can fold and glue all the strips now or as you need them.
Cut four 3½" folded strips for the frame. Arrange the strips into a square, and glue them together at the corners. Be sure to turn the folded edges of the strips toward the center of the frame.
Note which side of the frame looks the best. The corner layers are glued to the back of the frame.
Tip: Download and print one of the frame templates to use as a guide.
Fill each of the frame's corners with layers of folded strips. Lay a short strip, with the folded edge toward the center, across the corner and glue in place. Lay another strip across the corner, overlapping the first strip just a little, and glue in place. Add more strips, if needed, to fill the corner. The last strip should meet the midpoint marked on two sides.
Tip: Don't worry if the strips extend beyond the outside edge of the frame. You will trim them in a later step.
Create an inner frame of paper strips that match the card's mat. To do this, lay a narrow strip over the last strip on each corner. Adjust the strips so that only a tiny bit shows on the front.
Flip the frame over and position it over the image. Glue in place.
Trim any paper that extends beyond the outer edge of the frame.
Glue the frame with image to the card's mat. Add an accent strip across the mat near the bottom. Glue the mat to the card.
Now anytime you have a special—but small—image, you'll know how to build it up to make a terrific card!
That's it! Your card is done!