Season's Greetings Open Center Ring Accordion

For the August Designer Challenge I taught a technique for an Open Center Accordion and mentioned that it works with any of the Accordion dies.

Today I'm showing a Christmas version of the Open Center Accordion using the Ring Accordion.


The concept of an Open Center Accordion is that the center two pages have incomplete outer frames, leaving them open for unobscured viewing of the inner shapes. This is particularly useful when the center pages have a greeting and/or photographs.

For my project I used the Ring Accordion and cut the open center pages from a sturdy white cardstock. I used the built-in  stencil on the die to add the stitching lines with a red pen and then stamped the frames with the three snowflake dies from the Merry & Bright Clear Stamps.


For the outer (full) pages I used a sturdy red cardstock for the pages themselves and then layered the small inner pieces from the open scallop frame edge that comes included with the Ring Accordion over the solid scallop edge from Ring Frame Edges 1. I stamped red snowflakes on the frame.


The inner circle decorations start with the head of Rudy the Reindeer, wearing a bow from the Sleigh die. The patterned paper is My Mind's Eye Sleigh Bells Ring - a 6x6 paper pack. On the second page I used the birch tree paper and embellished with a couple of branches from the All Seasons Tree die, a glittered wreath from Rudy the Reindeer and a stamped greeting from the Merry & Bright Clear Stamps. I cut out the "from our family to yours" using the fishtail banner die from the Lorna Label. (All supplies are linked at the end of the post)


I repeated the same papers for the final two pages, stamping and embossing Season's Greetings with white powder and cutting it out with one of the decorator dies included with the Ring Accordion. Another Rudy head completes the final page.


For the front of the album I used the open scallop frame edge that comes included with the Ring Accordion, plus the snowflakes that come included in the All Seasons Tree die set.


Ready to give an Open Center Accordion a try? Watch the video below for instructions. If you want more information on the Halloween album made in the video you can go to that blog post here: Halloween Open Center Accordion.



Elizabeth Craft Designs products are sold at independent craft stores worldwide. Here are some online shopping links for the products used. 

Aug 2015 Pop it Ups Designer Challenge - Inspired Creations

It's Designer Challenge day! This month I challenged the team to be inspired by each other. They were instructed to go back through their teammate's creations and find one (or more) to use as inspiration for a new project. They could be inspired by the whole card, a technique, a color scheme, a combination of dies - anything. The results are magnificent and you'll definitely want to check them all out on the Elizabeth Craft Designs Blog Post here.


I was inspired by three projects - Kelly Booth's Easter Oval Accordion from the Spring/Easter challenge, and Caz Counsell's "FrankenPop" card and Fran Sabad's Poppy Halloween card from the Spooky September challenge.


From Caz's FrankenPop card, I took inspiration for styling Jolly the Mouse as a monster. I filmed this as its own video so it can double as the "how to assemble" video for Jolly. Just cut the pieces from traditional mouse colors instead of monster colors when you want to create a sweet mouse instead of a scary one.


Once I had my "monster mouse" I was ready to tackle the main project, where I included several techniques. Here are the techniques (and start times) included in this video:

  • Technique #1: How to create the silver/black embossed damask pages. (slide to 1:50)
  • Technique #2: How to create an Open Center Accordion. (slide to 3:35)
  • Technique #3: How to cut an opening in an accordion page and add fishing line to float items. (slide to 6:00)
  • Technique #4: How to make bats and bones from the Cocoa the Horse die. (slide to 8:40)
  • Technique #5: How to use transfer paper to make a spooky debossed tree background. (slide to 12:35)


When the album is closed there is no indication that the middle pages are not full outer frames. This is why it's important to make Open Center Accordions in multiples of 4 pages so that each "open center section" is attached to full pages on each side. This view shows off Technique #1 (silver/black embossed damask), #3 (Cocoa bat) and #5 (transfer paper spooky tree background)



Here is a close-up of the first two pages:


The close-up of the second two pages shows Technique #3 (fishing line floating) and Technique #4 (Cocoa bat & bones) plus another version of Technique #5 (spooky ghost tree)


Here’s a handy reference for making bats using the Cocoa the Horse die.


The video mentions that the display of an Open Center Accordion will differ slightly from a typical accordion. The two inner ovals will not pull out all the way into a straight line but will stay slightly bent in the center. However, the lack of a center outer frame means there’s no problem viewing both inner ovals.


Don't forget to see all the inspiration pieces on the Elizabeth Craft Designs Blog Post here.

Elizabeth Craft Designs products are sold at independent craft stores worldwide. Here are some online shopping links for the products used in both videos:

Edited to add . . . Shelly Hickox told me that there are actual craft videos on Vine, which I found surprising as you only get 6 seconds. I've used Vine to post looping videos of my cards opening and closing, but never any instructions or anything. So I thought I'd see if I could pick out 6 seconds of the Monster Mouse video and it's surprisingly how much you can show in 6 seconds! So if you don't have nearly 8 minutes to spare to watch the real video above, here's a 6 second version:


July Secret Word Giveaway *WINNER*(s)

Congratulations to Judy, who was chosen by random draw as the winner of the July Secret Word Giveaway. Judy's comment:

I am excited about the merry and bright collection. I get excited about anything that pertains to Christmas. Excited about adding to my Christmas stuff.

The secret word for July was "Excited" in honor of the brand new collections. Judy's comment on the July Designer Challenge - Homegrown Holidays blog post was chosen by random number generator and she has won her very own #1045 Fence Pop Stand die plus a Farm Character die of her choice.


Now why is the July winner announced in mid-August, you ask? Two reasons - 

  1. I didn't send the July newsletter in July. I waited until the dies were shipping the first week of August, so as not to frustrate folks who wanted the dies as soon as they saw them. (What can I say? I'm a giver!)
  2. I forgot to post the winner last week like I was supposed to. Luckily Liz e-mailed me a reminder so I am rewarding her niceness by picking a second not-at-all-random winner from a list of exactly one comment and guess who won? LIZ!

Liz's comment...

I’m Soooooooo Excited !! as the song goes …. Thank you for the wonderful additions to the Farm series. My card recipients will appreciate their new cards. The Mouse and Reindeer characters will be MUST HAVES too. Can’t wait to get my hands on them. Thanks again for your creativity.

...was chosen as a bonus winner. Liz will also win her very own Fence die and her choice of Farm Character.

Congratulations, Judy and Liz! Check your e-mail for some happy mail!
Want to be in on future Secret Word Giveaways? Join my mailing list for ONE e-mail a month that will include the secret word for that month's giveaway plus a link to the Designer Challenge post where you should add your comment. Click the button below to join the mailing list. Your first newsletter will come on the next Designer Challenge day (or sometimes the next day)
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Or another way to join the mailing list is by using this handy "text to join" method. No need to do both, either the blue button above or the "text to join" below accomplishes the same thing. (Readers outside the United States should probably choose the blue button rather than the text option, since standard messaging/data rates may apply.)


17th Birthday Cards for Karl & Emma

HEY! This isn't funny . . . these babies just keep growing up! Here's a selfie of us Thursday on their birthday - seventeen years old! (Can you believe Karl was less than 3 lbs at birth? I know! Crazy!)


I like to personalize their birthday cards for what they're into at the time. Two years ago they got Dr. Who 9th Doctor cards. Last year Karl got a video game/music card and Emma got a Captain America card. This year I was a little stumped for Karl because he really hasn't changed his interests in a year. However, he does attend horse therapy and we do live in Texas, so I hit on the idea to make their cards have a Texas theme. 



Both cards are 5" x 6" cards, fitting nicely in A7 envelopes. For Karl's card front I assembled a Texas flag using strips of cardstock and the barn star from the Star Accordion die. By selectively inking three stamps in the Homegrown Greetings Clear Stamps I was able to create a custom "Keep Calm and Howdy Birthday" greeting and used a tag die from the Tags Pivot Card to cut it out. The barbed wire is from the new Western Edges die set.


Inside Karl's card I've used the pop-up portion of the Sleigh Gift Card Holder die to make the platforms and then used the Barn and Cocoa the Horse on the platforms. I embossed the Chicken Wire die in silver and black powder for the foreground and used the horses edge die from the Western Edges for the backdrop. The "Texas, Est. 1836" is a Deadbeat Designs rubber stamp that is stamped, colored and fussy-cut, then added with All Seasons Tree clouds into the sky. Cocoa the Horse is styled as a Texas flag with an altered Props 1 Bowler-hat-turned-cowboy-hat.


In this next photo you can see that when the barn doors slide open a little "happy birthday" message is revealed inside the barn plus some additional hay blobs from the Hay There set. The grass die comes in the Western Edges die set.


I wanted to continue the Texas theme for Emma's card but also wanted it to have a driving theme as she recently got her Learner's Permit and is currently doing her driving sessions. I decided to make a Texas Longhorn cow and style her like Emma with short brown hair and hipster glasses. The Western Edges were used to create a suitably Texas backdrop for the card front and Brownie Emma sports a pink cowboy hat.


I used the tail of Jolly the Mouse to make the horns for Brownie the Cow. The cowboy hat was made easily by simply trimming the top of the bowler hat from Props 1 into a cowboy hat shape.


When the card is opened I wanted to have Brownie Emma driving a car. The Lorna Label pop-up die provides the platform for the car and the backdrop is the barbed wire Western Edge and some fussy cut clouds from a piece of patterned paper. I used gray cardstock to make the road and added the stripes with yellow and white graphic art tape. The striped patterned paper is an older Basic Grey paper from my stash.


I assembled another Brownie Emma, this time with her hat attached to a horn as though it were flying in the wind. I also trimmed out her front legs and tail to move them into a driving position. The steering wheel is two small nested circle dies and two thin cardstock strips to make cross bars.

The car itself is made from the Bathtub die. I cut one from red and turned it upside-down to be the main portion of the car. Then I cut another bathtub from silver Shimmer Sheetz and trimmed out the lip to be the car's bumper. I found some metal mesh and two silver buttons in my stash and added them to the front of the car. I made the little Texas license plate by hand and used two black rectangles of cardstock with rounded corners for the tires. For the top I used the Oval Accordion and largest oval decorator die, nested together.


The cards were a hit! Happy Birthday, my babies! 


Want to make your own Texas-themed cards? Elizabeth Craft Designs products are available at independent craft stores worldwide. Nowhere near a craft store? Here are some online links for all the ECD products used on these two cards:

Video: Cut a clear stand to keep pop-up cards open for display

Here's a great way to keep your general pop-ups open for display. These are the cards that are meant to be viewed at 90 degrees.  



Here are the eight (as of now) general Pop it Ups dies that will work great with the clear stands:

Video Tutorial: Pop it Ups #1039 Merry Christmas Pop-up

The Merry & Bright collection is shipping now! Here is a video tutorial for the Merry Christmas Pop-up die:


Here are some photos of the card from the video. The front is a very simple lead-in to the magc inside. Just a tag with the "Santa Says" stamp outfitted with the Santa costume from the new Props 5 die set. (Supply links at the end of the post)

1039MC Front

Inside the card is the Merry Christmas pop-up, some washi tape and another tag cut with the Tags Pivot Card and stamped with the prancing reindeer stamp. I also added Glossy Accents to the Merry Christmas to make it shiny.

1039MC Open

A side view of the die shows that it's just a box-on-a-box, exactly like the Lorna Label and the Happy Birthday pop-up dies. If you're familiar with either of those dies you already know how to fold the Merry Christmas pop-up die.

1039MC SideView

 The finished card will mail for a single stamp in an A2 envelope. 


Wouldn't your friends and family be ever so impressed if they received a card like this from you for Christmas? With Pop it Ups dies it only LOOKS complicated. I'm your silent partner. I'll design the dies with all the intricate folds and tricky business figured out, and then you assemble, decorate and collect all the accolades from the impressed recipients. It's the perfect partnership, you and I!

Elizabeth Craft Designs products are sold at independent craft stores worldwide and we always encourage supporting your local store with your business first. If you need them, here are some online shopping links for the products used in both Merry Christmas cards above:


Video Tutorial: Pop it Ups #1037 Christmas Trees Pop Stand

The Merry & Bright Collection is shipping now! Here is a video tutorial for one of the new pop-ups, the Christmas Trees Pop Stand die.


This is such a versatile die set as the trees can be combined in lots of ways to make pop-ups and flat trees. The set includes a star, trunk and two garland dies in addition to the tree dies.

Pop it Ups Christmas Trees Pop Stand Front

 Use the included Pop Stand die to make pop-up tree(s) inside a card.

Pop it Ups Christmas Trees Pop Stand Open

 From the side you can see all the layers of the tree and how they expand when the card is opened.

Pop it Ups Christmas Trees Pop Stand Side

 Here's a printable reference sheet for how to assemble the large expanding tree:

1037 DirectionsThe smaller solid tree can also be used with the Pop Stand to make an animated tree. There is even a stamp from the Merry & Bright stamp set that fits the solid tree perfectly for instant decoration.




Interested in the supplies used in the video? Check with your local independent craft store to see if they've ordered them. Otherwise, here are some online links for the video supplies:

Video Tutorial: Pop it Ups #1042 - Sleigh Gift Card Holder

The brand new Merry & Bright Collection is now shipping! One of the new pop-up dies is the Sleigh Gift Card Holder die set. Check out how to assemble it here:


Need a closer look at Fran Sabad's birthday hot air balloon card from the video? Here's the link to her blog post: Celebrating You Card

The next video will be for the Christmas Trees Pop Stand die, so stay tuned for that!


Please check with your local independent scrapbook store for the dies. For anyone without a local store, here are some supply links for the products used in the video. 


Halloween Ring Accordion - Ghost Poppy

Two posts in a day?! I know . . . who AM I?

But the dies were out on the table, you see. And it's ever so much more fun to craft with stuff on the table than to put said stuff away. (YAWN!)

So here's another idea for using the dies you can win (QUICK! almost over!) on the Elizabeth Craft Designs Facebook Page  - Ring Accordion, Poppy the Owl, Clock & Gears and Props 1 ( I didn't use Props 1 for this card)



This is a 3-page Ring Accordion with a few fun techniques. For the orange leafy pattern on pages 1 and 3 plus the clock numbers, I used stencils and Texture Paste. Once dry I simply brushed orange ink over the paste. The stencil I used for the outer rings is a Jenni Bowlin TCW stencil called Mini Vineyard. To make a clock stencil I used Plaid's "cut your own stencil" material, the Clock die and the Sizzix Precision Base Plate to make sure the stencil material cut easily with the die.




For "ghost Poppy" on Page 1 I used white transfer paper. First I arranged an embossing sandwich in my Big Shot, which is Tab 1, Impressions Pad (hard), Silicone Rubber (soft), cardstock, transfer paper, Poppy detail layer die, cutting pad.


After rolling through the machine, the transfer paper will add a nice ghostly white texture to the cardstock in the shape of Poppy the Owl. Don't throw the transfer paper away because it can be used over and over.


Use the Poppy shadow layer die to cut out the ghostly Poppy. Voila!


 I cut an All Seasons Tree from black cardstock, pounced with watermark ink and embossed with clear powder for a nice shine. Ghost Poppy is perched on the tree for Page 1. The spiderweb is a very old stamp from my stash. Poppy's eyes are a combination of red glitter dots underneath some metal jewelry spacer beads.


For Page 2 I found an old pumpkin brad in my stash to hold the clock hands on the page. I added red rhinestone eyes, some webbing and a plastic spider.


Page 3 is also some stash diving - an old "Happy Halloween" stamp from years ago (source unknown.)


The finished card folds up to be just under 5" in diameter, meaning it will fit in an A7 envelope. Because my card is bulky (plastic spider, Poppy's eyes) it may require a second stamp.


Elizabeth Craft Designs products are sold at independent craft stores worldwide. We always encourage shoppers to check with their local store first, but for anyone sadly without a local store, here are some online shopping links: 

Ring Accordion - Back to School Time

Elizabeth Craft Designs is running a great giveaway on their Facebook page but you have to act quickly because winners are announced on Thursday, July 30, 2015 (tomorrow!)

Two lucky winners will win the four dies used by Shelly Hickox on her now famous Steampunk Poppy Birthday Card


In honor of this promotion I decided to pull out the same four dies (Ring Accordion, Clock & Gears, Poppy the Owl and Props 1) and make an "inspired-by-Shelly" project. 

Back to school is fast approaching and while my two about-to-be-Seniors would just roll their eyes if I gave them a back-to-school card, I thought some of your younger kids/grandkids might find it fun to receive a card like this.


My first step was to cut two pages of the Ring Accordion from yellow cardstock and stamp them in black ink with two of my favorite Lost Coast Designs background stamps. I cut off the tabs on the second page and die cut the clock out of the middle, making sure that 12 was at the top so the red clock would inlay perfectly. The red clock is simply a piece of red cardstock die cut with the clock, pounced with watermark ink and embossed with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel for a raised glossy sheen. I also die cut the clock's solid circle shadow layer die from black cardstock that had ECD double-sided tape applied to one side.


To inlay the clock I first peeled up the liner on the black circle and pressed it behind the page's opening so the top was sticky. The red clock inlaid perfectly onto the sticky cardstock and then I dumped black Silk Microfine Glitter over the piece, which stuck down into the sticky number holes but also into any crevices in the UTEE.



I pierced a hole through the center to add two Royal Blue glittered clock hands using a similarly colored brad. The clock hands can point to the child's grade. I also stamped the "Love You" stamp from the Homegrown Greetings Clear Stamps and hand cut a banner shape around it.



For the first page I wanted a little piece of notebook paper so I used a ruler and a blue pen to make horizontal lines on a scrap of white cardstock. I added a dark pink line vertically and then cut it out with the little rectangle die that comes with the Rectangle Pull Card (cut a rectangle with a trimmer as an alternate method) and punched three 1/8" holes. I wrote "back to school" on the paper.


Poppy sports a pair of Royal Blue glittered glasses from the Props 1 die set and a little ruler button from my stash. Poppy's eyes are glittered in Cool Diamond.


For the front of the card I intended to use the scalloped ring frame edge that comes included in the Ring Accordion but mistakenly pulled out the solid scalloped edge from Ring Frame Edges 1 instead. In either case, the way to best line up the Ring Frame Edges is by starting at the bottom and centering a frame edge so that two scallops touch the bottom edge. Notice that a thin line of yellow is visible between the edge of the Frame Edge and the edge of the circle. 


Once the first Frame Edge is on it's easy to just line up the next one touching the first one and around the circle you go. It will take 4 frame edges to go around.


I die cut red and black "ABC" letters from the Alphabet Caps die to decorate the inner frame. The finished card can be mailed in an A7 envelope (5x7) for a single stamp.


This could also make a nice gift for your child's new teacher, by substituting the "Love You" for the teacher's name, perhaps even in your child's handwriting! Instant teacher's pet status!

Elizabeth Craft Designs products are sold at independent craft stores worldwide. We always encourage customers to give their business first to their local store, but since (sadly) many of you are without local stores, here are some online shopping links: