Friday, February 11, 2011

Quickie Button Valentine's Day Card


I know that there are many people out there, still wanting to make a homemade Valentine's Day card, but running out of time. No worries! I made this card in about 10 minutes and I think the result looks really elegant. I'm big on visual instructions, so the tutorial is mostly via photos for extra easy following. Let's cut to the chase:

Materials:
  • Cardstock, one sheet per card
  • Buttons, about 12 per card
  • Glue dots or craft glue
  • Glue stick
  • Permanent, waterproof marker/pen
  • Decorative/patterned paper: Origami, the inside of junk mail envelopes (they can have really cool patterns!), wrapping paper, fabric; be creative and use what is laying around.
A note about materials: You can improvise! Use fewer buttons if you don't have many; make a smaller card or a postcard size; use colored pencil instead of marker/pen, etc.

How-To:

1) Grab your decorative paper, which will be the background for the buttons. Since I was using red buttons, I liked the contrast of this piece of small origami paper behind them.


2) Fold your paper in half, cut out one side of the heart. You should get something like this, below.


3) Cut your cardstock to the card size you want. I had a pre-made set of blank cards/envelopes that were 4 x 5.5 in. and was feeling lazy, so used these. They are great to have on hand, for making last minute cards! But using a sheet of cardstock is quick too. Up to you. Play around with spacing to see where you want to place your heart on the *front* of the card.


4) With newspaper underneath, glue your heart on the cardstock. Glue sticks are super easy and create no mess! If you are using thicker paper or fabric, you will obviously need to use craft glue or something stronger.


I glued mine more or less centered, like this:


5) Get out your buttons and start playing around with where you want to place them, over the patterned heart. I used about 12 red buttons of all sizes, but you can really personalize this. Use the recipient's favorite colors, use only a few buttons and leave the background more visible; anything is possible.


Here is the layout I chose:



6) Once you have your heart configured, one by one, remove buttons and add one glue dot per button. Glue each button down where it belongs. Tip: Start removing buttons from the outside and work your way toward the inside, so they are less likely to move around in the process. Remember, this is not a hard science, even if some buttons move, don't fret! It will look good and no one will know that your button is one millimeter to the left of where you wanted it.


I accidentally glued one button too close to the other. I decided to remove it and try again. This is proof that even when you make mistakes, they won't show up at the end, see:

You'd never know by the finished product that this ugly rip happened!

I used a contrasting color in one of the buttons just for some "quirk." Final heart, all glued and happy:


7) On a scrap piece of paper, write out your message, in my case, a simple "I love you." Play with size and alignment and see how it looks under your heart or anywhere else on the page you like. Once you are satisfied with your writing and placement, write it on the real card. Use your scrap paper as a guide, you can even put it directly below where you are going to write, for reference and spacing.


8) For the inside of the card: Cut out another heart, same as before, but smaller. You can use the same paper or different decorative paper.

9) Practice writing the inside message, just like you did with the outside message. In my case, I used "today, and every day." I wrote it in a bunch of different directions and and placed the second cut out heart in various places to see which I liked best.


10) I chose my favorite position, and glued the second heart on the inside of the card with a glue stick. Using my scrap paper message as a guide, I wrote the inside message around the heart, as planned. I left a lot of room below the heart to write my own personal message.


11) You're done! You can decorate the envelope in a similar way if you want. I left mine plain for simplicity. Jake is going to love it!


2 comments:

  1. Quickie Button Valentine's Day Card tutorial is very useful for handmade valentine's day card designer's.
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  2. This is a sweet and easy card - thanks for the post! I love using the envelope liners in junk mail. Another idea is to use buttons you receive with the purchase of shirts. I had a bunch saved for shirts I no longer even had in my closet. But not all cute red buttons. Still - a nice, cheap resource.

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