Saturday, July 16, 2011

Foamcore card or vignette

This can be used to make a greeting card with a small vignette inside or simply as a setting for a seasonal vignette (such as a Christmas scene).

Made this way, there are no visible seams on the outside of the vignette.

Cut a piece of 3/16” foamcore to the height you want for your wall and twice the width of one wall. (This particular vignette will be 8” tall with two 5” sides so this piece is 8” x 10”. This is a good size for a card. Where I’ve wanted a larger scene, I’ve used a piece 10” high x 20” wide and a piece 10” square for the base.)

Draw a vertical line down the exact centre of the foamcore. Draw another line 3/16” to the left of the centre line. Then draw a line up 3/16” from the bottom of the piece.

Using an X-Acto knife with a brand new blade, cut along the bottom line in two strokes: first cutting through the upper layer of cardstock, then cutting through the foam layer, being careful not to cut through the bottom layer of cardstock.  Run the blade of your X-Acto knife between the bottom layer of cardstock and the bottom of the foam layer. Remove the 3/16” upper layer.

Now cut along the two vertical lines at the centre, again cutting only through the top layer of cardstock and the foam. Fold the right hand side back at the centre line and again run the blade between the bottom layer of cardstock and the bottom of the foam layer to release the centre strip.

Run a bead of Tacky glue down the left hand side of the middle strip. Fold the right hand side into that strip. (Measure your sides at this point to make sure each side is the same length.)

Clamp the pieces at right angles until the glue is dry. (I use this wonderful corner clamp from Princess Auto but you can dry fit the bottom piece at this point and use books or anything else heavy to hold the piece at right angles until the glue dries.)

Cut another piece of foamcoare 5” x 5” for the “floor” of the vignette. Run a bead of glue along the inside angle of the bottom  cut and fit this piece in place.

Because foamcore tends to warp when a water-based glue is used, I generally use rubber cement to attach any large areas of paper (such as a picture on the front of the card or wallpaper to the ‘walls’ for the inner ‘room’) to it.

If you wish, you can glue (using Tacky) ribbon or cord along the edges of the vignette to cover the raw edges of the foamcore.

We used these to make Mother's Day cards with DD Leanne's kindergarten class. This wedding vignette is 10" x 10" x 10". 

I've used them to make birthday vignettes and school classrooms

Hints: If you’re making several of these at once, don’t make the cuts to remove the centre and bottom strips until you have several ready to do. Cutting through the foam is very hard on your cutting blade so if you make all the partial cuts first then remove the strips, your blade will last longer.

There are two important things to remember when you're cutting foamcore:

1. Cut it in three stages - first cut through the upper level of cardstock; make a second cut through the foam itself; then cut through the lower level of cardstock. Of course, for your centre and bottom cuts for the vignette, you will only cut through the top two layers.

2. Start with a new blade in your X-Acto knife and change your blade often. If your blade isn't sharp, it will tear at the cardboard and foam and you won't get a neat, even cut.

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