The cute creatures in this stamp set were just made for popping their heads through windows or over walls. As soon as I saw them, I wanted to use them on a vertical pull tab card and thought it’d be a great opportunity to show that, although there are fancy dies that can make this kind of interactive card easier. You can do it yourself without special equipment and using any stamps you like.
Stamp out the animal of your choice, its paws, and a handful of flowers. I used colouring pencils on mine. Diecut those pieces, glue the paws on and a flower into its mouth, and set aside to dry. Cut a panel of white card the same size as your card front and mask off the bottom third and a couple of clouds. I’ve got a cloud punch, or there’s a die linked below, or you could draw overlapping circles and cut out with scissors.
Blend Tumbled Glass sky blue ink over the top. Move your masking to reveal the bottom third and ink that in Mustard Seed. I stippled or dotted the brush onto the card with a little sandy-coloured ink too for texture.
Lay a bricks stencil over the now inked bottom third – if you don’t have one, you could cut one yourself with a craft knife, just a series of offset rectangles. Ink through the stencil in Carved Pumpkin and Barn Door, again with a bit of stippling, til you’re happy with the depth of colour and texture.
Remove all the masking and use a craft knife to cut a slot at the top of the wall in the middle. The slot needs to be ever so slightly wider than the widest bit of the animal that’s going to peep through it (including paws/flower if they overhang its outline) and a few thicknesses of card deep.
Mark the top edge of the panel level with the ends of the slot – conveniently, the slot I needed to cut was the same width as my steel ruler so it was really easy to make those marks. Draw a semi circle between the two marks at the top edge. I used the inside of a reel of washi tape as a stencil. Then cut along that line to leave a hole, this is going to be where you get hold of the pull tab to operate the card.
The pull tab mechanism is way simpler than you might first think. If you’re sceptical about getting it right first time, I thoroughly recommend making a very rough mockup in scrap paper where you won’t mind chopping bits off and taping bits on til you get it working. You need a T shape. The stem of the T should be only slightly narrower than the slot you cut and about the same height as your card.
It’s very important that the sides of this part are perfectly parallel, smooth and straight so the tab doesn’t get stuck. I drew it both sides of my steel ruler and cut those lines with a trimmer, carefully stopping in time not to cut the bar off the T. The bar is going to be at the bottom, stopping the pull tab from sliding too far up or down by hitting against walls of foam tape, so its exact dimensions don’t matter so much – mine started out just under 2cm square off each edge of the T stem.
At this point, you may want to ink the few parts of the pull tab that are going to show to match the panel. This will be the bar end of the T around where the animal will be, and the other end of the stem. I chose to leave this til the card was more assembled so I could see exactly where to colour, and used blue pencil that matched Tumbled Glass as closely as possible so it looks the same but I had more control for getting in around the diecut shapes – I also used yellow pencil just in the semi circle hole at the top to look like the sun and draw attention to where you pull the tab.
Stick down your first wall of foam tape on the back of the panel across the bottom.
Adding The Critters
Thread your animal through the slot so just its ears show at the front and most of it is behind the panel. Sit the bar of your pull tab over the top on the back of the panel, resting against the foam tape wall. Get hold of animal and tab together to turn them over, keeping them how that positioned them. Mark that position so you can apply a narrow strip of double-sided tape to the bottom of the back of your animal and get it back in place. Reinsert through the slot to check that with the tab in its lowest possible position that the animal is where you want it. Mine sat a bit high so I trimmed a few mm off the T bar.
Checking The Interactive
Carefully slide the tab up now to the highest position you want to see the animal in – paws just over the wall. Where that puts the tab – you want to put walls of foam tape either side. The inside of those walls is the slider track for the tab. The bottom ends of those walls are what the T bar knocks into to stop the tab pulling out too far. This is when I did my colouring on the tab and stamped the little ‘pull here’ and arrows. Foam tape the edges and top corners of the panel for stability and attach it to your card blank with the tab sandwiched in between.
Stamp your sentiment in Tumbled Glass on white card using a stamping tool, so you can go as many times as needed for even coverage. Diecut and stick down with foam tape. Glue on the remaining flowers along the bottom of the wall. I trimmed one of the stalks down slightly with scissors for a bit of variation.
Ta da! I trust all your cards will have pull tabs from now on 😉
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