This project evolved from being generally dissatisfied with the selection of Father's Day cards at retail stores this year. I love letterpress, but the beauty of that technology is lost on my dad, so it didn't make sense to go that route, either. It came down to trying to figure out what was uniquely him, but I had already gotten him an eight pack of tickets to the Yankees for him and a friend for the holidays, and I absolutely refuse to buy a Jimmy Buffet CD, regardless of whether or not I end up keeping it. Yyou see, my father (the wonderful man he is) would like to imagine he spends every day in paradise. He's at the beach every moment he can be, and spends most of the summer in Hawaiian shirts with various strange prints on them, from beer mugs and bottles to Hawaiian luau girl bobble bodies (you know, those little luau girls you stick on your car and they dance when you drive).
That was my "ah-ha!" moment. How cute would it be if I could recreate his Hawaiian shirts with a card, but not so, well, kitschy? I was determined. Here's the process of how I made the card. It's super simple, and if you have all the supplies together from the get-go, it only takes 10 to 15 minutes. This obviously doesn't have to be a Father's Day card; the sample I made for the photos on this tutorial are a more preppy-looking patterned shirt or polo, and the design can be altered to make more specific shirts that apply to the person you're handing this to at the end of the day.
- Patterned or Solid Paper for Shirt "Material", larger desired size of card
- Folded Blank Card (or Flat Card that can be folded)
- Glue Stick (I don't recommend PVA or white glue for this - it makes the paper too wet and flimsy)
- Envelope for Mailing or Giftability
You May Want:
- Solid Paper for "Button Strip"
- Small Buttons (adhere with a glue gun) OR Printed Stock Photography of a Button, Cut Out (used in this example, and shown cut in the lower left corner for scale)
- Bone Folder for simpler, cleaner folding
- Heavy Book to press card flat when finished
Step One: Turn folded card to front, ensuring the fold is crisp and even. Apply glue with glue stick liberally and evenly, leaving no chunks on the surface while still covering it completely.
Step Two: With the patterned paper face down, flip the glued side of the card over and carefully align the folded side to the edge of the paper. If you don't align the folded side and use the booklet side instead, you'll have a bit of trouble cutting in the next step. When the fold is perfectly aligned to the edge of the paper, press down to adhere the card to the paper. Give it about thirty seconds to set before continuing; you may place a heavy book on top of the card to make the paper really stick to the card.
Step Three: When the paper has been allowed to set, trim the excess paper away from the card. I set it aside to use it for another project, but you can use it to decorate your card or line your envelope later.
Step Four: Measure or eyeball the center and cut two inches straight down the center of the card.
Step Five: Fold over one part of the cut so the non-patterned side is exposed. If you have a bone folder handy, use it to make a clean fold; if not, use your thumb. The collar should ideally be square with, but not reaching, the edge of the card. Repeat on the other side.
Step Six: To make the base of the color, cut a strip of paper (I used the white back of the patterned paper) and cut a slight notch at the top of it.
Step Seven: Fit the notch into the area where the cut stops at the lower part of the folds as shown. Use the glue stick to adhere it.
Step Eight (Optional): Using cut out printed images of a button or small real buttons, arrange on white strip and space evenly. Glue paper cut outs with glue stick; use glue gun for real buttons (paper cutouts are recommended if you are mailing the card to avoid any broken or ripped off buttons when going through the post office machines). Glue down both sides of the collar for a more graphic look, as illustrated above, with a glue stick, and press the face of the card down with a heavy book.