Monday, June 17, 2013

3-D Flip Folder

When I make cards and gifts I am usually putting the finishing touches on at the last minute.  Even though birthdays and holidays arrive at the same time each year, I have not yet learned to create ahead.  So it is hard for me to take the time to photograph these projects in the making.  Heck, it is hard for me to just get them done and me out the door on time!  (Ask my husband.)

Such is the case with my granddaughter's birthday folder.  I had to ask for it back so I could take photos of the finished piece.  :)  So to show you how I actually constructed it, I made a project for myself.

Last year when we visited England we spent some time in the Cotswolds and discovered this delightful little village called Blockley.  The streets are very narrow so there are no bus trips to this village, which made it the perfect place to take a quiet stroll and take some photos.  In fact, so many photos that it was hard to choose which ones to use - my folder grew quite large!  I would love to rent one of the little cottages and spend a month painting the scenes we saw.  It had a fun shop in the center that served as post office, restaurant, library, grocery store - and even a daycare on the side. 

Putting this folder together the way I did makes it a very sturdy and lasting project but it also complicated the process a bit.  I will do my best to explain how I proceeded and hopefully it won't be too confusing.

Each panel in the folder consists of four layers - patterned cardstock, lightweight cardboard, Tyvek and another layer of patterned cardstock.  The photos are separate cut-outs and are mounted to the patterned cardstock.

The products I used are:
Sizzix dies - Accordion Flip 3-D Album and Bracket Frame and Label
Patterned cardstock from DCWV French Country Calendar Kit
Xyron Create-A-Sticker 2.5" and 5" with permanent adhesive
Tim Holtz Distress Ink by Ranger - Vintage Photo
Lightweight cardboard from a graham cracker box

I first cut 8 pieces of cardboard, 8 pieces of Tyvek and 16 pieces of patterned cardstock to 6" x 5.25".  (If your patterned cardstock has a definite direction and top and bottom, you should determine this before cutting.)  I then ran all of the Tyvek and patterned cardstock pieces through the 5" Xyron to add adhesive to the backs. Running all of the pieces through continuously and as close together as possible keeps waste to a minimum - the rolls can get expensive. 

Some of the Tyvek wrinkled when I was running it through.  If this happens, peel the Tyvek from the backing where it is wrinkled and then smooth it back down, smoothing the wrinkles out as you go.  It is important to have it smooth before you add the cardstock and die cut it.

I then laid out all of my cardstock to determine how I wanted the patterns and colors on my finished folder.  I am too much of a perfectionist to leave this to chance.  :)  The pieces of patterned cardstock for the front (8) were each then applied to a piece of the cardboard (there is no adhesive on the cardboard).  I applied the cardstock to the printed face so that once the piece is die cut no portion of the printed side of the cardboard shows on your finished piece.

I then applied each of the pieces of patterned cardstock for the back (8) to a piece of  Tyvek.  Leave the sticker paper on the side of the Tyvek facing away from the patterned cardstock.  Now cut each of the front pieces (cardstock on cardboard) with the Accordion Alum die, patterned cardstock facing down.  Cut each of the back pieces with the same die, Tyvek facing down.  This will give you a clear fold line on the Tyvek backing for your hinged pieces.

Lay the front pieces out with the hinge tabs facing to the right and mark the upper side of each piece with a "T" or a piece of masking tape so that you don't get them turned around later. Using an Xacto knife or scissors, cut the hinge tabs off of all of the front pieces. 

Leave the hinge tabs on the back pieces (the pieces with the Tyvek), but lightly slice through the backing covering the glue on the Tyvek along the scribed fold lines.  You will be removing the backing from the main portion of these panels later but you will want the backing to remain on the hinge tabs. (Don't press so hard that you slice through the Tyvek.)

If you want to distress the edges of the panels with some Distress Ink as I did, then you will want to do that now before you apply the photos and begin putting the panels together.

For the photos, I printed them on photo paper at just slightly larger than 3"x3".  I cut around each photo and then ran them through the 2.5" Xyron to add adhesive to the backs.  (Even though the photos were 3x3 I was able to run them through the 2.5" size.)

Next I die cut the photos using the Bracket Frame & Label Die with the photo side facing down.  (You can do a couple of photos at a time.)  I taped them carefully over the bracket label portion of the die to secure them before cutting.

 I laid out all of my panels and attached a photo to each.  In the above photo, the back panels (cardstock on Tyvek) are on the top row and the front panels (cardstock on cardboard) are on the bottom row.  Notice the top row has hinge tabs intact and the hinge tabs are facing to the left.  The bottom row has the hinge tabs removed but they would be facing to the right as you see on the first panel in the row (which has already had the back applied).

1.  The first panel is simple, just peel the backing off of the Tyvek on the corresponding back panel (leaving the backing on the hinge tabs), line up the panels and adhere back to front.

2.  Now lay the next front panel face down on your first finished panel, peel off the backing from the hinge tabs of the first panel and wrap them around the second front.  It should look like this.

3.  Apply the corresponding back to the second panel. Bend back the long hinge and remove the backing from that hinge only.

4.  Adhere the next front panel to the long hinge, but not to the small hinge tabs.

5.  Adhere the corresponding back to the third panel smoothing down the frame portion only - not the photo portion.  Close the folder.  Remove the backing on the short hinges of the previous panel and slip them between the front and back photo layers of the third panel and then smooth this part down to seal.  This part is a little tricky but makes sense once you begin putting your folder together.

Repeat steps 2-5 until you have attached all of your panels.  Cut the hinge tabs off of the last panel once it is all assembled.

As I mentioned before, it takes a bit of work and concentration to put the folder together this way, but it creates a very sturdy finished product. If you decide to give it a try, it may be best to commit to just a few panels until you understand the process.

As always, thanks for stopping!


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