Friday, April 25, 2014

Lots and Lots of Pops Thank You Card

About the Card
Every year I attend an invite-only board game convention, named The Gathering of Friends, hosted by American game designer, Alan Moon. Hundreds of people attend from all over the world, from Australia to Europe. Many attendees are in the board gaming industry: designers, manufacturers, and retailers. (I’ve my toe in that world as well – I contribute to board gaming sites, Opinionated Gamers and Board Game Geek News, as well as a podcast called The Dice Tower.) I wanted to make a special thank you card for Alan that represented some of the elements of the Gathering and a couple of his game designs: Airlines and Airlines Europe. I combined these themes into my card.

Making the Card
Note: the supplies are listed at the bottom. I tend to use Glossy Accents for glue because it is both strong and dries fairly quickly, but of course you may use any heavy-duty adhesive of your choice.
Cut a piece of kraft colored cardstock to 7x10 inches (A7 sized card). Fold it in half. I use a bone folder/burnishing bone for this to make a nice crease. This card is going to open on the long side.
To decorate the cover, find the paper in the World Traveler* pad with the airport tags (or create a background of your own). Cut off 4.5 inches (the width should be 6 inches), keeping the excess strip for the inside of the card. Adhere the paper to the front of the card as shown, lining it up with the top of the card (I offset it a bit to the right).
*This paper has an extra strip with a hole in it for hanging in a display case at the store – cut this off first.

On cream cardstock, stamp the passenger coupon, compass rose, and jet from the Stampers Anonymous Air Travel set using Versafine Onyx Black ink, or other permanent black ink; I prefer this one for its detail. Hint: use a slightly firm foam pad (e.g. Fun Foam from the craft store) under the cardstock for stamping – it tends to give a better impression. Cut around the designs, leaving a small border. Using a foam blending tool, you will work from light brown to dark, applying less each time, starting from the edges working in towards the center. Specifically, using the Antique Linen, work from the edges towards the center in spots, leaving some areas uninked – you want it to look slightly splotchy and old, especially the passenger coupon. Next use the Brushed Corduroy (don’t apply much; I recommend trying it on scraps first) but don’t go in very far. Apply the Gathered Twigs last, mainly to the edges, but very light amounts further in. For the passenger coupon, I wanted to have a corner rolled over a bit so I also applied ink on the back of that corner. Optional: rough up the edges of the passenger coupon with a distressing tool or the edge of your scissors then use Gathered Twigs to ink over those spots again. I added a highlighter marker to the word “Airlines” on the coupon to make it stand out a bit.
Assemble a large metal gear, medium metal gear, and game spinner pieces as shown on the front of the card. Use a metal brad to hold them together (mine barely reached through the stack so I ended up adding Glossy Accents to be sure nothing moved or came apart).
Cut a length of twine about 9 inches long. Optional: use some of the ink already on the blending tool to darken parts of the kraft color a bit. I thought it was a little too bright, especially on the inside banner – I didn’t want the eye drawn to it that much.
Die cut two of the gears (Note: they no longer make the die I used but the Gearhead Thinlits dies can be used to create ones like mine - just cut multiples, maybe 3 or 4, and glue them together in a stack) and the small frame from chipboard. If you don’t have a similar frame die, you could simply make a frame using a craft knife. Rub silver colored Viva Decor Inka Gold on the frame (just use your finger) and one of the gears. Rub gold on the other gear. Buff them with a rag or paper towel to bring out the shine. I thought the gold was too yellow so I used some Antique Bronze Distress Stain in a few places to give it a little reddish tint. Sand off some of the shine on all the pieces, especially along parts of the edges. I like to fold the sandpaper then use the edge to create scratches here and there. Apply Gathered Twigs with the foam blending tool to the roughed up areas. If you apply too much, gently wipe the excess off with a slightly damp paper towel. Since my frame had a place for ribbon and I already planned to use a ribbon inside, I decided to just cut a strip of kraft cardstock along with a little of the inked twine to run through the holes, gluing them to the back of the frame with Glossy Accents. See the photo of the front of the card for placement of items. I glued the film strip ribbon to the back of the frame before sticking it to the front of the card. Optional, I added a little brown Adirondack Alcohol Ink to the edges of the mini domino to age it. Alternatively, you could probably use a Copic marker or brown acrylic paint applied very sparingly with your finger to the edges.
Now you will create the pop up platform. This is a little tricky so you may want to experiment on a piece of scrap 6x6 paper first. From the World Traveler pad, find the sheet with the passport stamps. Fold it in half (design inside). You will use the main Lots of Pops die to create a longer platform by selectively cutting and using the mats. Open the paper; measure and put a small pencil mark in the middle of the crease. Place the Lots of Pops die on the crease, lining it up as usual (see the video below if unfamiliar with this), but slide it to the left until the main box (i.e. the large square with two solid rectangles going off the top and bottom) is on the left side of the mark except for the cutting edge (i.e. the right side of that box edge is just over the line). Affix it in place with painter’s tape or a Post-It note. Make your die “sandwich” but place the top cutting mat on the left side stopping at the middle so that the cutting edge you placed over the middle line is outside of the cutting mat. You do not want any pressure on the right side; this way the die will just cut the left side. My sandwich looked like this (bottom to top): platform/cutting mat/paper/die/offset cutting mat. After rolling it through, slide the die along the crease until it is mostly on the right side, with the edge of the larger rectangle over the middle on the left side – the top and bottom of the large rectangle should line up with the lines you just cut. Place the top mat such that it stops at the middle, similar to what you did on the other side. After rolling this through you should have one large platform and six small ones.
Watch Karen Burniston cut, fold and adhere the Lots of Pops platform inside her card base (Lots of Pops starts around 4:38 in the video). After working the folds of the pop up platform, apply adhesive over one side of the back of the paper you just die cut (do not put any on the pop up areas!), center and line up the fold with the base card fold then stick it down. Apply adhesive to the back of other side of the pop up platform then close the card to stick it to the card base. I recommend strong adhesive, such as Tombow Xtreme.
Die cut the two sizes of clouds from the All Seasons Tree set in both cream and black cardstock. Die cut two posts each from both black cardstock and Grunge Paper. Finally, die cut 3 triangle flags and 3 rectangle flags from the map paper in the World Traveler pad. I tried to position the flags on the map paper such that every other flag would be a different type of map. Slightly ink the edges of the flags, including the top when folded, with Gathered Twigs using the ink blending tool. Use the paint dabber to color the Grunge Paper poles black.  Once dry, sand them similar to how you sanded the frame and gears earlier. Ink with Gathered Twigs. This gives the poles an aged iron look. Glue the Grunge Paper poles onto the black cardstock poles for extra support. The Grunge Paper side is the front. Glue the cream clouds to the black clouds of the same size so that a small amount of the black shows slightly offset as a shadow at the bottom.
With your Cricut, cut the bow from black and kraft cardstock (I think I used 2 inches). Assemble the bow. Cut the ticket (Art Philosophy) at 1 inch from kraft cardstock. I recommend cutting several in case you make a mistake during stamping. Stamp the month/date using the appropriate Cherish the Day stamp and Versafine Onyx Black ink. Ink the edges with Gathered Twigs using the foam blending tool. If you do not have a 3/8 inch circle punch, you could use the Cricut to cut circles of the same size from the cream cardstock – be sure to cut extra for stamping. Stamp the letters T-H-A-N-K-S onto the cream cardstock. If you cut them with the Cricut, you will have to try to center them within the circles. I prefer to use the circle punch upside down after the letters have been stamped so I can line up the letters within the circle before punching.
To apply the dimensional tape and adhere the letters, I find it easiest to do things in the following order. Line up the banners along their tops so that they look pleasing (e.g. alternate shapes and colors); they should be folded. If necessary, use a little repositionable adhesive inside to keep them from opening. Cut the dimensional adhesive to fit behind the letters. Remove one side of backing paper and stick it to my craft sheet. Color the edges using an alcohol marker (Copic or Sharpie). Peel off the top sheet and stick the letter onto it (lining it up with tweezers). Gently pull it off the craft sheet with my fingers then stick it onto its banner using tweezers. The tweezers allow me to see around the letters more easily than when holding them with my fingers. Be sure to line up the letters along the banners as you work.
Refer to the photo of the inside of the card for placement of all elements. Add dimensional tape behind the small cloud as described above then stick it to the larger cloud as shown. Adhere the clouds in the upper right corner. Use a double stack of dimensional adhesive behind the jet to make it pop out further than the clouds. Adhere it as shown. Cut a scalloped circle out of black cardstock just larger than the compass rose. Glue the compass rose to the scalloped circle then glue it to the upper left pop up as shown. Use as strong liquid adhesive to glue a black key to the right pop up. Adhere the two poles to the side pop up platforms with strong liquid adhesive, leaving a slight gap at the bottom for folding. Be sure the antiqued side is facing forward. Note: if it is easier, you could wait until the banners are in place first (see the next few steps) before gluing the poles to the platform, although gluing first might help with lining up the letters between the poles.
To add the banners to the twine, line up the banners in the order they will be put on the twine then lay the twine just above the letters so that there will be some extra on either side. Note: the letter banners will fit between the poles with very little extra room; they will be need to be placed right next to each other on the twine. Apply adhesive to the inside back of the first banner (with the letter T) all the way up to the fold. I find it best to use Glossy Accents or other liquid adhesive for this. Carefully wrap the banner in its place on the twine so that the twine is snuggled up against the crease inside the banner before closing the banner. Hold it for a few seconds until the glue dries before moving on to the next letter. Repeat until all banners are on the twine.
You will glue the left side of the twine to the left pole first by holding up the twine and trimming it such that it will wrap around the back of the pole, being careful to leave enough twine to center the letters between the poles (alternatively, you could glue first, then trim once the glue has dried). Put a small line of strong liquid glue around the pole where the twine will go, then apply the twine. Hold it until it dries. Do the same on the other side. I put more glue on the backside over and around the twine for added security.
Glue the smaller gear to the larger gear as shown. Adhere them with strong glue to the bottom left pop up. Adhere the ticket to the right pop up slightly overlapping the gear.
Using your printer, editing software (e.g. Word), and a piece of the kraft cardstock create the sentiment as follows. Choose a font and type your sentiment, centered. Be sure to leave space for the ribbon holes on either side of the sentiment (turn on rulers in your editing software for size). Make several copies. Print. Cut out the sentiment using the label in the Lucy Label Pop Up set. You can easily see the sentiment through the die to line it up. The next part is sort of complicated so I cut several extra just in case. The seam binding ribbon I used is larger than the die holes so I decided to extend the holes so that the ribbon would go through them flat. With a pencil, lightly mark the length where you would like the ribbon holes, using the ribbon width for size. With the ribbon hole dies from the same set, place them so that the top of the die cut out is at the top of your mark. Use painter’s tape or a Post-It note to hold each in place as you run the label through your die cutting machine. Use a die pick to remove the waste from the dies then place the dies on the lower half of your marks, lining them up with the holes you just cut. If you start with the dies in the holes you just cut, sliding them down you can sort of feel them in the grooves of the holes. Tape them down and run it back through your die cutting machine. Lightly ink the edges of the label with Gathered Twigs. Die cut a circle from the map paper large enough to go behind the bow. Ink the edges. Die cut a scalloped circle from black cardstock just large enough to show behind that circle.
Cut a length of seam binding to go across the bottom inside of the card, with an extra couple inches to wrap around the back. Slide the label onto it. Place the airport tags strip, set aside earlier, on the card base where it will be positioned. Place the map circle on the left as shown. Line up the seam binding and position the label as desired. Use a pencil to mark its position. Remove the map circle.
Remove the paper strip and put adhesive tape all over the backside; temporarily stick it to your craft sheet. Add a strip of adhesive tape down the center of the strip length (this is where the ribbon will go). Before completely sticking down the seam binding ribbon, remember to adjust the placement of the label. Position and stick down the right side of the ribbon so that end will wrap around the paper. Gently stick down the rest, making sure the label goes in the proper place. Pull the strip off of the craft sheet and adhere it to the bottom inside of the card as shown, lining it up on the right. Add adhesive tape to the left side of the card under the ribbon, wrapping it around the back of the card and adhering it. Using dimensional tape, adhere the map circle as shown. Glue the bow into place.
I was thrilled that so many pops could be fit inside this 5x7 card. It even closes pretty well, despite the many layers (the bow being the main obstacle).
Elizabeth Craft Designs
  • 778 Lots of Pops
  • 779 Lucy Label Pop Up
  • 781 All Seasons Tree
Other Supplies
  • Kraft Cardstock, Black Cardstock, Cream Cardstock, Chipboard
  • Paper Pad 6x6 World Traveler by Teresa Collins
  • Spellbinders: Big Scalloped Circles Large S4-249, Big Scalloped Circles Small S4-250, Standard Circles Small S4-116
  • Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz, Air Travel CMS102
  • Sizzix ScoreBoards Pro Die - Box, Pizza 657336 (Use Frame Only)
  • Tim Holtz/Sizzix Gadget Gears Bigz Die, 656636 (Substitute Gearhead Thinlits Dies)
  • Mini Domino, Black Metal Key (From Craft Store)
  • Viva Decor Inka Gold, Gold, Silver
  • Distress Stain, Antique Bronze,
  • Versafine Ink, Onyx Black
  • Ranger/Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Gathered Twigs, Brushed Corduroy, Antique Linen
  • Ranger Ink Blending Tool/Foam
  • Twine, Kraft/Black
  • Tim Holtz/Idea-ology, Game Spinners, Gears, Brads
  • Tim Holtz/Idea-ology, Grunge Paper
  • Tim Holtz/Idea-ology, Film Strip Ribbon
  • Adirondack Pitch Black Acrylic Paint Dabber
  • Close to My Heart Stamps, Cherish the Day + Cricut Cartridge Art Philosophy
  • Cricut 3D Bows, Digital Cartridge
  • 3/8 Inch Circle Punch
  • Small Alphabet Stamps (From Dollar Bin at Craft Store)
  • Strong Adhesive Tape, e.g. Tombow Xtreme Adhesive
  • Sandpaper
  • Seam Binding Ribbon
  • Ranger Glossy Accents or Other Strong Liquid Glue
  • Dimensional Tape
  • Painter’s Tape or Post-It Notes
  • Copic Marker (I used W9) or a Sharpie


  1. Cool modification of the Lots of Pops. What a delightful card, with lots of great details.

  2. Oh my goodness, Mary! Thank you so much for this detailed description! The blog post alone must have taken you days! Xxx


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