How To Make An Easel Card
Making greetings cards is one of the most popular craft hobbies in the UK and in other countries around the world. Creating your own handmade card is a great way of ensuring that the cards you give to people are unique and individual. The greetings cards that you make yourself can be as simple or elaborate as you choose. Here, I have given instructions on making one of my favourite types of card - the easel card. It's relatively simple to construct but you can create whatever images and embellishments you like to make something that is bound to impress the recipient.
Making An Easel Card
There are three main parts to the easel card - the easel base, which is the main structure of the card, the topper which is the main card front and the stopper which is attached to the base and holds the card open. Here are the instructions to make a simple, basic 5 inch square easel card:
Take 2 pieces of A4 or letter size cardstock. Try to use a card which is of a good quality but which can be folded easily. I tend to use a medium - heavyweight card. Whether you use a gloss finish or matte card will depend on the finished design you are aiming for.
For the easel base, cut out one piece of card measuring 5 inches by 10 inches and one piece of card measuring 5 inches by 5 inches for the topper. Cut a piece of card of approximately 2 inches by 3 inches for the stopper (exact size is not important for this part). To avoid wasting card, why not use scraps to make the stopper?
To make the base, fold the 5 inch by 10 inch piece of card in half to create a 5 inch square. I find it is best to measure the card and score it, using a scoring tool, before folding. This will allow you to fold the card more neatly. Once you have folded the card, use a bone folder or something smooth such as the handle of your scissors to run along the folded edge. This will give a crisper crease and improve the finished effect. Fold the top part of the base in half again, just the same way as you made the first fold. This makes the basic easel shape as you can see from the diagram.
Adding the Easel Card Topper
Take the 5 inch square topper you have cut out and line its bottom edge up with the bottom edge of the easel card base. Attach it using double sided sticky tape or glue, making sure not to go beyond the bottom half of the topper (see diagram).
Attach the stopper to the base of the card using sticky pads or glue dots for depth. The stopper should be positioned so that it holds the topper in place when the card is displayed and prevents it from slipping forward and closing. The card can be folded flat for posting. When the recipient gets the card, they simply open it up and place the topper behind the stopper to hold it in place.
This is the basic card construction. To create the card you want, however, you can add decoration using background papers, stickers, ribbons, bows, flowers, glitter, borders, frames or any of the thousands of cardmaking and scrapbooking embellishments available before assembling the topper. The only limit is your imagination.
Once You've Mastered Easel Card Construction
I recommend trying to make the easel card using plain card so that you can check you have the construction right before creating something that uses expensive embellishments. Once you have the hang of it, the only limit to what you can create is your own imagination. You might want to consider making mini cards that measure about 3 1/2 inches. You can make this from a single sheet of card and they look really cute. You can also think about creating a shaped edge to your topper. Why not try a scalloped edge like the one in the diagram above?
Decorative Easel Cards
Double sided printed card is great for making easel cards as there will be no white showing, no matter which angle you view it from. Alternatively, why not use printed backing papers, stuck onto both sides of white cardstock? Mix and match patterns to make something truly unique.
The card above uses three great background papers which complement each other. There is a ribbon fastened across the topper and it has a cute little button and a tag saying 'sweetie' fixed to it. There are also some paper flowers to give a little texture and an additional splash of colour. You could use a different sentiment tag such as 'Happy Birthday' or 'Happy Mother's day' with a card in a similar design. Notice on this card, that there is a flower stuck on the stopper which holds the topper in place as well.
Downloadable Easel Card Kits
A great alternative to creating your own easel card from scratch is to consider downloading a printable easel card kit. The cute sledging teddy at the top of the page was made from a kit that included everything I needed. There was even a matching envelope for me to make. There are many great card kits available for download and all you need to do is print out the kit from your computer. Then you simply cut out the pieces and assemble as per the instructions included with the kit. You can still add your own embellishments, glitter etc. to personalise the card, but you save a little time with the initial design.