Monday, February 22, 2010

A Special Birthday Card

Hello everyone - want to know what has kept me busy at the weekend (apart from going to the movies, attending a classical concert, being locked in the studio for a photo shoot and hosting a craft afternoon - *woosh*, I get tired just reading that long list of weekend activities...)? I made a special card for my dad's upcoming birthday. (Hope he is not reading here, otherwise the surprise is spoilt...)

Yeah, right, a card that is. What's so special? Well, that is what is called an "infinity card". My scanned pictured doesn't show you what it can do. Essentially it can be opened up and folded back to reveal more pictures, all without changing the orientation of the card.

My daughter had been given an infinity card for Christmas and I was fascinated by it. I had no idea how it was made - and then I stumbled across a great clip and a template by Toymaker Marilyn Scott Waters (via one of my reader's comments - I have been trying to search and find who of you had a link to Toymaker, and give you credit for the inspiration - sorry, can't find you again, please accept my thanks this way...)

To really show you how the infinity card works, I've made a little video. Check it out, it's only a minute long and shows the magic in action:

I nearly lost the plot making this card - the template I worked with had graphics, not photos, and so I had to experiment in order to get the orientation of the photos right. You see, the images get "twisted around" when you fold and turn the card. I think I printed about five drafts until I got it right. (And while writing this tutorial I also realised that I needed to take pictures to show what you need to do - words are not enough...). This is what happens:

Good person that I am (...), I have decided to make a template for those of you who want to recreate this, using your own photos. You can download it (for free, of course) at the end of the post via scribd. (Aside: Wow, I am really learning so much while I am blogging - scribd is so cool for document sharing!!!)

A few notes on making the card: The template is general and allows you to adapt it with your own message and photos. The red boxes are designated for a message. Word MS will let you click onto the writing in the boxes and add your own message. The orientation of my notes in the document shows you which way up the pictures should go. You can simply copy and paste photos and place them in/on the document, sizing them as required. Note that you may have to cut photos in half and change their sides so that they show up correctly in the finished card!!! (I have indicated that in the template.)

Once you have written your message and pasted all your photos in, you can print out the pages on card. Page 2 has to be printed onto the back of page 1; page 4 goes on the back of page 3. It should all align, so that you can trim off the excess. 

Next you cut your two square print-outs in half along the red line in the middle. The black dotted lines denote the lines where you should score the card. (If you are printing on normal paper, you won't need to score!) Then fold along the score lines - both ways.

Place your square from page 3 and 4 in front of you with page 4 facing up. You should be able to see that there are four boxes on the two strips that say "Glue Point". These glue points should be in the four corners of the "square". Put a bit of glue on each of them. 


Take the two remaining strips with page 1 facing up. Page 2 also has four boxes labelled "Glue Point". Attach them to the bottom square by placing glue point onto glue point.

And you are done. You may need to fold the strips back a little more as you are trying it out, but the infinity card should work now.

Here is the template for downloading. I am not sure why, but scribd's preview shows the elements of the card scrunched together and overlapping. I have tried downloading it and the template comes out correctly on four separate pages, just the way you can work with it. I created it using MS Word 2007.

Template for Photo Infinity Card                                                            

By the way - opening and folding the card backwards does not work!! It only works seamlessly if you start with your message square first; otherwise the pictures and the text will be completely jumbled up...

Hope this wasn't too complicated? Have fun with this - it will amaze your children and is an easily made card for any occasion: next birthday? Valentine's Day? Paddy's Day? Or just for a loved one to show that you care and are willing to spend time on an original craft for them.


PS: Have you entered the giveaway? It's your last chance now - I am pulling it off tonight at 11.30 pm GMT. Just go to my celebration post and leave me a comment. Seriously, that's all!

PPS: Yay: oneprettything

Linking to:


The Girl Creative


 The DIY Show Off


Anonymous said...

Sonja, that is AMAZING. I must try it. Thank you for spending the time putting it all must have taken forever (lol). I truly cannot imagine, but I love it!

Upstatemomof3 said...

That is beautiful - and so special for the person receiving it. My SIL makes cards and they are so beautiful. You all inspire me.

molly susan strong said...

Just so lovely. I will definately follow along.

too Blessed to Stress said...


~ Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

Allison Shops said...

What a special card! Your details are so easy to follow along. Thank you.

I hope you'll drop by AtticMag to tour my home.

Sarah said...

Great card!
God's blessings,
Sarah :D

Mathmom and family said...

I am in love with this idea!! I'm homeschooling 4 kids and always looking for a unique way for them to make things that show what they are learning. I think I will use your template to create mini cards on the artists we are studying.

Alisha said...

This is so cool! Thank you so much for making the template and instructions. I think I'll make one for my niece for her birthday.

Sonja @ Craft-Werk said...

Hey everyone, thanks for all your comments! So pleased that my instructions and template might be of use for others. Good luck with it - they are such fun and really easy to make!!!

whatsonox said...

Thanks for your template. I shall try this. My son was given something like this when the fire service visited his school - it showed you what to do if there was a fire - and we played with it for ages trying to work out how it worked. I never did discover quite how to do it. But I did discover flexagons and even made a Tritetraflexagon - which is probably easier to make than to spell!

Check out the wikipedia entry if you are interested in more of these amazing folding thingamebobs.

Tiff @ Making The World Cuter said...

How fun is that?
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I can't get the link to work for the template. Could you please update it? Very neat idea! Thanks for posting about this :)