Happy Father’s Day (3D die cut card)

FatherDay_Card_1My dad wears a ratty, tattered vest and even though I’ve given him new ones, he still keeps wearing the old one anyway. He doesn’t wear a bow tie, but I think he’ll get a kick out of this card anyway.


I’ve been experimenting in the realm of “printables” and this is made of 3 pieces – the bow tie, shirt, and vest, cut from 1 sheet of letter-size paper on 80lb cover stock. It was fun to shade the bow tie and give it a sense of 3D while really giving a 3D shape. Details in the buttons and stitching was a cinch to print. It helps keep the vest flaps down when the card is closed. I’ve written my message under the shirt, which is removable.


Somehow I quite like the back as well simply for its minimalism. He’s a man of little words, so I’ll see what kind of reaction I get during tonight’s dinner.


If you’d like to cut this card by hand, I’m selling a “printable” and “cuttable” file on Etsy.

Monster Bookmark – Free Die Cut (SVG, DXF, PDF)


I’m showing Ann Martin’s book, All Things Paper, to family and friends, and as I flip to my project in I realized I could simplify my life with a bookmark.


There are many wonderful monster ones out there but I wanted ear flaps so they stuck out for easy finding. I added a dash of color in the eyes, so some quick marker strokes were all that was needed before gluing down the triangular flap.

Download a free compressed file containing SVG, DXF, and PDF files for personal use. Please leave me a comment if you have some time – I love hearing if you’re inspired to make something.


Mysterious Stationery Box, All Things Paper


Open, says me! I can finally open up and share more about my Mysterious Stationery Box, which was included in Ann Martin’s wonderful book, All Things Paper. Being the eagle-eyed blogger she is, Ann was able to call upon creatives all around the world who work with paper, and showcase just how versatile paper can be.

My project is based on a common Japanese box (Karakuri Bako), which is traditionally made of wood and fabric to hold jewelry in evenly divided compartments. The mystery behind it is how the lid is double-hinged, allowing it to reveal the main compartment (above), and the smaller side compartments (below).


I make the lid stay closed snugly by gluing panels that just friction-fit within the compartment. I shot a video showing how it works that I hope Tuttle will show it soon on their site. This isn’t the first time making this box – actually I made it as my grad project while attending Emily Carr College so many years ago. I didn’t have money to buy the best materials back then, so when Ann asked me to create this project, I have to admit I was eager to re-do it with proper materials.


Lineco Binder Board did exactly as advertised. Lineco’s board scared me at first because after applying glue to most of the surface, it did bow, but flattened itself out as it dried (I used to apply Lineco glue to matte board, then pile on phone books and wait overnight).
In the photo below I’m protecting the compartment with scrap paper while applying glue to a tab with a brush, another splurge since college and one that I was so pleased with because it allowed me to control the amount of glue better than spreading with a credit card. The Japanese patterned paper is made by hand and I was assured it will not tear even with repeated use because of its long fibers.

This project can be daunting for beginners, but I hope it inspires you to look at paper as a strong structural component to your creations.

Another project in this book that caught my eye immediately was Allison Patrick’s Phone Book Letter Holder. I love how she’s given the diminished Yellow Pages a new life. Simple yet stylish, using materials around the house – my favorite combo.Want to win your own book? Simply visit Ann’s giveaway post!


Flights of Fancy – My Favorite Pop-ups

Bird Pop Up

I’ve always wanted to make a pop-up book – not design one, because my mind doesn’t think this way – but I’ve always wanted to see how the mechanism worked just for the sheer magic of minimalism at its finest.

This swallow is a design by Jessica Tice-Gilbert who makes the most wonderful “how to” video that takes away any intimidation of making pop-ups. The wing rotates!

So when Paper Poet‘s Meet Up Group theme was Birds of a Feather, I interpreted it loosely and chose to make pop-ups I’ve admired over the years.

pop up

1) I used paper I had on hand. I had a stack of pre-cut metallic pearl colored card stock which I scored into an accordion fold for the spine. The inner page elements are all cut from Daiso’s colored paper, which was perfect for colors and thickness.
2) I loved how inkjet printing on it still allowed the metallic sheen to come through, as if the blue itself was metallic.
3) The message of hopeful love is so obvious and engaging in Mari Kumada’s Pop-Up Valentine.
4) Robert Sabuda’s Bird comes flying out of its house.
pop up
5) The Angel by Robert Sabuda always evokes an “ahh” from my readers.
6) Even though most didn’t think this dove silhouette qualified as a pop-up, I love it for it’s minimalism and how it evokes a quiet peace for me. It’s an invitation for Christian Blanken by Agitprop.
7) I thought the Ark by Robert Sabuda could be seen as flying the high seas, but anyway, I just loved how all the animals are on different planes yet it’s all one sheet of paper.
8) I made line drawing outlines of each page and added credits to my book. I’m so grateful to all these amazing designers for sharing their work. I loved making my small version of their world.
If you haven’t tried making your own pop-up book, I hope you’ll be inspired by these examples.

Happy Mother’s Day Card (die cut tea cup)

mother's day, tea cup, 3D

My mom has kept and treasured the handmade cards I crafted for her as a child. There’s no better #1 fan than the person who has reassured my fears and advised me to do what made me happy.

I tend to be very structured in my designs, even though I have always admired more free flowing pieces. So I’m trying to push beyond my comfort zones and this is my first experiment.

Happy Mother's Day, card, 3D, tea cup

I sketched my ideas, imagining how the layers of colors will come together. Stardream and Daiso paper is wonderful to cut even with a dullish blade and somewhat fine lines, because there aren’t any residual fibers of paper sticking out in tight corners.


It’s amazing how an idea can end up being so much more labor intensive than I imagined. The finer lines makes a smaller area for gluing, so the flowers simply take more time to secure. The graphic designer in me wants to simply print the color, even though I enjoy the look of layered paper. However, I can’t dispute how well it looks overall when it matches the teacup perfectly.

3D, tea cup

I’m still working out the kinks on my 3D teacup, but I like how it comes off the page. I wanted to make the “tea” shiny and wet looking so thought of using some glitter nail polish.


Quilling birthday cards 3

quilling, birthday card

Quilled birthday card for a guy this time.

Quilling birthday cards 2

quilling, birthday card

Another quick and simple quilled birthday card.

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