Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Focus: Magic Cards

My church is having a service day tomorrow and my job is to work with a group to create birthday cards for Lutheran Family Services to give to kids who are clients.  I decided that I wanted to make the card a gift in itself so planned to make Magic Cards.  Have you seen them?

Cute, but a little boring:


I searched all over the internet to find ways to make this project manageable for a large group of people, many of whom aren't even cardmakers.  And I came up with a card that is a mish-mash of a variety of sources.  (I have credited all the sources at the bottom.)

I also want you to realize as you read this tutorial that we are doing these in bulk so there is really nothing fancy about these cards other than the "surprise!"  You can obviously add dsp, ribbon, gems, etc.

The basic concept is simple.  Stamp images on a piece of acetate and a piece of white cardstock.  Color the image on the cardstock.  If there is a piece of cardstock under the acetate piece, you only see the black stamped image.

But if the cardstock is removed, you start seeing the colored image underneath!

A Magic Card is constructed so that the plain white cardstock is the middle of the card and as the recipient pulls up on the tag, the colored image comes into view!!  It's so much fun!!!

Here's what you need:


1. A 4x8 piece of cardstock for the main card, scored at 2" from each side (as if to make a trifold card)

2. A way to cut a window in the center of the card - punches, nestabilities, craft knife, etc.

3. A way to decorate the front.  Because we are making these in bulk, we are simply embossing the front.  You could easily add patterned paper - cut a 3 3/4" square and it will center right on this 4x4 card.  (Of course, if you use paper, you probably want to add it before cutting out the window in step 2!)


1. A 2 1/2" x 4 1/4" inch piece of cardstock with an image stamped on it.  The only trick here is that the image needs to be able to peek out the window.  So put your cardstock into the card with about 1/2" sticking out of the top (that is going to become our pull tab.)  Then stamp through the window.

If your image is too big for the window, place it in the card as in the first picture and then lightly pencil around the window.  Take the cardstock out and you can stamp your image.  To be honest, I like making my image bigger than my window - it's a bigger surprise when they pull it up!

2. Color it!    It's also fun to add sentiments or other images because they will not appear in the window until the tab is pulled up.

3. A 2 1/2" x 4 1/4" inch piece of ACETATE with the image stamped in on it in STAZ-ON ink - LINED UP WITH THE IMAGE ON THE CARDSTOCK!  Here are the steps:

     a. First, adhere the blank acetate onto the top of the cardstock with the image.

     b. If you are using a clear stamp and can see through it to line it up - just stamp it on the acetate!!  Otherwise, find your stamp-a-ma-jig! Remember - you need to use Staz-On ink because you are stamping on plastic

A Stamp-a-Ma-Jig tutorial can be found on this post.

     c. I only stamped my main image on the acetate so the remainder will be hidden until the tab is pulled.  At this point it looks like this.

Lifted up, you can see the image.

If the acetate is down, you cannot
tell that there are two images.
4. A 1 1/4"x 3" piece of cardstock folded in half lengthwise.  This is simply to hide the tape.

5. A punched circle to make it easier to pull.

I computer generated the "pull
here" but it is certainly not necessary.


1. A 3 3/4" x 7 1/2" piece of card stock, scored in the middle (at 3 3/4").  Then you need a slit in the center of the scored piece leaving 1/2" on each side.  I just held a ruler along the scored edge and used a craft knife, but the second picture shows another easy method with the Stampin' Up Word Window Punch...or you could use the edge of a nestability.


Using the punch upside down,
line it up about 1/2" from the edge.

After the first punch, simply slide it over
to about 1/2" from the other edge to
make a full slot.


Just use one side of a nestie.

2. A 3 1/4"x 5/8" piece of white cardstock to act as a "stopper"


1. Slide the paper part of the image panel into the slit of the cardstock from the prior step.

2. This is the backside of the piece.  If you were to pull the tab up - the whole thing would come right out of the slit.  So we are going to add a "stopper".

     a. Apply adhesive along the bottom back portion of the image panel.

     b. Add the small piece cut in the prior step with a little bit sticking out of both sides.

     c. So when you pull it up, the piece of paper is too large to fit in the slit and it stops it from coming all the way out.

3. Now you want to add the image mechanism into the main card so that it looks like this.

     a. To adhere it all together, apply adhesive down both sides of the front of the image mechanism - be sure not to get any adhesive on the acetate or it won't pull up!!

     b. Lay the image on the main panel - aligning the top of the image mechanism with the main panel.

4. Now we want to close it all up.  Apply adhesive around the outside edges of the main panel.

5. Fold it closed.

Ta da!!  You are done!!

Now...a few other sources...

Magic Birthday Card YouTube video - the mechanism that I used came from this video.  Her card is a larger size because she does use a version of the tab that "hides" in the card (it's not above the card), then she inserts a ribbon to pull it up.  I find this a little harder method as it is very difficult to line up the two images and it is also hard to put the image back down as it gets stuck on the way down.

Magic Max YouTube Video - this video gave me the idea of the tab above the card but the problem in her method is that there is no "stopper" to keep the image from coming right out of the mechanism.

Magic Card Tutorial on Splitcoast - this is a very original way to do the card out of one piece of paper.  It's fascinating to do it once - but it's very complicated - you have no idea what you are doing until it is all together.

Last but not least, all my colors came from colourQ (except that after an entire day of cutting, stamping, photographing and writing this blog post, I just realized it was supposed to be vanilla! I hope you'll forgive me!)  For our project tomorrow, I am simply taking up packs of these colors and letting each person pick their own arrangement of colors.

  • Stamps: A muse rocket, Darcies sentiment
  • Ink: Memento black and copics that coordinate with Daffodil, Tangerine, Peach, Turquoise
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Daffodil, Tangerine, Peach, Turquoise
  • Accessories: large oval punch, star punch, Cuttlebug embossing folder


  1. Fantastic!! I've never seen one of these before. Your tutorials are always so brilliant. I'm definitely going to give this a try. :)

  2. This is totally brilliant, Kim! I love the surprise of the colored rocket, and how generous of you to share the tutorial with so many great photos and tips. So glad you shared this with the ColourQ this week!

  3. Fab tutorial Kim and thank you for putting it together and sharing it. I'll be giving this a go for sure. Zx

  4. WOW! What a fun card and GREAT tutorial! Count me as a new follower:) Love the sweet rocket image:) Thanks for joining us at CQC this week!

  5. Great tutorial and super card, Kim! Thanks for joining us at the ColourQ this week and sharing this good idea!

  6. Wow, this is a really fun project Kim & an absolutely fantastic tutorial! Thank you so much for taking the time to put it all together. :)

  7. How fabulous is that? The crad is absolutely awesome and so is your tutorial. :)
    Thanks for joining us at ColourQ!

  8. Super cute card and excellent tutorial! Thanks for playing at ColourQ!

  9. Apologies for a double comment.
    This is a fabulous tutorial, Kim! And ... look at all those photos ... you have the patience of a saint. I am definitely bookmarking this one to try! TFS Hugs xxaxx
    PS Your hubby needs a medal ... if this is the card that he cut card for ... for your ministry day!? Wow! Must have taken hours! xxx


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