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Karen Burniston Designer Challenge 52: Mod Holiday!

Welcome to our December Designer Challenge with a theme of "Mod Holiday." I challenged the team to create a Christmas card in non-traditional colors.

For my project and video I chose a piece of plaid paper from Echo Park's Witches and Wizards collection for a maroon and gold Christmas Tree Duo mod holiday card. I made a second card in more traditional colors with a single tree.


The technique for this card is to swap out the 4-sided base that comes included in the Christmas Tree Pop-up die set for the 6-sided base that comes included in the Palm Tree Pop-up die set. This allows the Christmas Trees to collapse straight forward instead of at a diagonal. When placing two trees in one card a straight collapse is preferable so they don't crash into each other in the closed position. Learn the full technique by watching the YouTube video here:

My card is a large 8.5" x 5" top fold card. It can be mailed in an A9 envelope and, if I removed the rhinestones, would lay very flat. For the card front I repeated elements from inside the card using leftover materials. The cardinal comes included in the Christmas Tree Pop-up. The labels are our Crosshatch Labels and the border is from Border Blends - Trims.

Christmas Tree Duo Front

As the card opens the trees start to lift straight up instead of from a diagonal. For a greeting I used our Merry Christmas and Merry Christmas Shadow dies. As a shared tree-skirt I used the second-largest crosshatch-pattern rectangle from our Long Rectangles - Crosshatch set.

Christmas Tree Duo Partial

Once open the two mod trees are revealed. I chose solid cardstocks to match the plaid paper and decorated with die cut circles from the Christmas Tree set. On the solid ornaments I added rhinestones. The same labels and borders are used inside the card.

Christmas Tree Duo Open2
Christmas Tree Duo Open2

One of the things I realized after fully decorating my card is that the tabs I created on the big trees to allow for the base swapping were weaker than the more substantial tabs at the base of the palm tree. To stiffen them I added small strips of cardstock, but this was definitely more difficult to do once the outer trees were on. Instead, I recommend adding the cardstock strips before adding the outer trees. In the video I made a green tree to show this process. I decided to finish out the card for the green tree by using it solo in an A2 top-fold card. 

For this more traditional Christmas card I used the same dies as the double but added the candy canes and peppermints from Gingerbread Tiny House Add-ons and the tree and reindeer edges from the Outdoor Scene die set. The patterned papers are older designs from Bo Bunny's Merry and Bright collection.

CandyTreeCard Both

Ready to give this technique a try? Here are the dies and supplies used in the video for both cards:

NOTE: Amazon links are affiliate links where I receive a small commission on the sale at no cost to you. 

Now let's take a look at the awesome MOD HOLIDAY cards created by our talented design team. For each of these cards there is a full blog post, supply list and, for some of the cards, a video as well. Click the designer's name to visit the blog post, which will open in a new window.

Fran Sabad made a delightful elf using the Bitty Ball Pop-up and Character Add-Ons 2. I love her repurposing of the mustache (cut in two) as elf ears! And the non-traditional color scheme of this card is so eye catching. Check out the front of the card with a colorful sleigh by clicking to her blog post. Swoon!


Frances Byrne used the new Little Labels Pop-up for a slimline card in a chic color scheme. I love the pinks and blues and the addition of the Street Lanterns next to the pop-up to set the scene. Absolutely gorgeous!


Sandy Diller used the Katherine Label Pop-up to lift up a trio of mistleTOADS! (Get it?) I love this clever use of the Bayou Animals for a holiday card and the teal/orange/white color scheme is so unexpected and delightful!


Lois Bak used the Little Labels Pop-up for a sweet purple-toned Christmas card using the Holiday Charms and others. I love how she wove the Border Blends together to make a peppermint stick border. Click over to Lois's blog to see the equally lovely card front.

Purple Christmas inside 2

Kelly Booth used the Snowflakes Pattern Plate as a stencil for this striking Snowman card. The pop-up is the Little Labels Pop-up and I just love how the snowmen are wearing colorful hats to match the scheme. Kelly's signature use of white space really draws the eye to the pop-up. Click over to Kelly's blog to see the card front and her beautiful staging.


Karen Aicken finishes us up with a show stopper of a Snowman Pop-up card. I absolutely LOVE the snowman cut from blue/teal and the gorgeous frosty colors on this. Karen's card front is equally shiny and pretty. Click over to her blog for a video walkthrough of this card.


Have you had a chance to check out my business partner Tanya Kostynuk's creative ideas on the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo's virtual @home events? She's been showing fabulous projects using our dies. Here is her latest, which works perfectly for the Mod Holiday theme, so I had to include it for the challenge. Tanya has combined the Twist Panel Pop-up, Winter Animals, Word Set 13 - Snow and trees from the Evergreen Pivot Panels. You can watch Tanya explain the ease of this card's assembly on Saturday, December 11, 2021 on the SSBE Facebook and YouTube channels at 10 am, PST.


Well I hope you feel inspired to make some mod holiday cards of your own. Thank you everyone for a wonderful year of challenges. Join us next month (and next year) on January 5, 2022 for our next Designer Challenge with a theme of BIRTHDAY CAKE. We'll be making birthday cards that feature cake or cupcakes.

We started our Mission Poppable hashtag with Designer Challenge 45 and have been delighted with the projects posted. For the November challenge our winner (by random draw) is Dorothy Kleber, who posted a delightful "Does this card make me look flat?" window pop-up pig card.

Each challenge will bring a new mission and you have a month to complete it. You are welcome to post more than one card for the mission, which will increase your chances to win by random draw.

DEC2021 Mission Poppable

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make your own card following this month's challenge theme of "MOD HOLIDAY" Make sure your card features a non-traditional color scheme for a holiday (doesn't have to be Christmas) card, plus uses our die(s) heavily. Post your card on Instagram using the hashtag #missionpoppable OR on our Facebook Group Karen Burniston Pop-up Peeps OR both. If posting in the Facebook group, please add it to the photo album for this month's challenge, which you'll find in the Media section of the group. You have until the next Designer Challenge date (January 5, 2022) to complete your mission. This message will not self-destruct because I don't know how to do that.

We will choose a winner by random draw from all the cards for a $25 credit to our website. The winner will be contacted via messenger or e-mail. 

Make sure if you're posting on the Karen Burniston Pop-up Peeps Facebook Group that you follow the rules of the group. Outside product is allowed, but not for the pop-up portion of the card. Cards posted on the group must heavily feature our brand. You can find us on Instagram @karenburnistonbrand and also my personal account @karenburniston

Happy Crafting!

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