Friday, 21 July 2017

Faux Stained Glass Butterfly Cards

Hi, Janet here with one of my favourite card-making techniques - faux stained glass. The Silhouette cuts great frames to show off the pattern variations and rich colours of decorated vellum paper.  I've adapted the card design so that the card base has the open pattern, as well as the card front, so that light can pass through. Using adhesive cardstock gives a clean, smear-free finish.

What You'll Need

Butterfly Card #124784 file by StudioIlustrado
Silhouette® Cameo 3
Pearlescent vellum
Alcohol inks & blending solution
Black medium-weight cardstock
Liquid craft glue
Silhouette Adhesive Cardstock

Prepare the Vellum

Decorate a sheet of vellum and allow it to dry. I used a blending tool with a felt pad to dab a few drops of alcohol ink onto pearlescent vellum. Work with your paper in landscape orientation and try to make the the pattern vertically symmetrical. You can blur parts of the design by dabbing ink and blending solution at the same time.

The photo below shows two decorated sheets. I chose to work with the one on the left for this card.

Prepare the Card Base

The card base in the file is solid, but in order for the light to shine through, it is necessary to add the holes from the card front to the card base. 

Open the file on the virtual mat and ungroup it. Group the card base with its dashed lines. Discard the upside down copy of the butterfly. Make a copy of the butterfly front and move it aside. Release the compound path on the other (bring up the context sensitive menu by right-clicking your mouse and then select 'Release Compound Path').  Select everything and, while holding down shift, deselect the butterfly outline. Then group the selected pieces (Object > Group).

Select the newly grouped shapes and the outline and align them onto the card front.


Move the outer butterfly shape aside. If you have trouble selecting it, select the card outline first and send it to the back (Object > Align > Send to Back), then the butterfly outline is easier to grab. Select the butterfly card base and the grouped pieces and group them together (shown in black below). This will be cut from medium-weight card and the outline will cut from the patterned vellum, but not yet.

Prepare the Card Front

Make the card front slightly bigger than the card base to create a margin of card around the vellum. This sandwiches the vellum independently of the card base and ensures everything remains stuck together. 

Take the copy butterfly front and release its compound path. Selecting just the outer, create an offset:

  1. Open Offset panel
  2. Select Offset
  3. Set distance at 0.1"/2.5mm
  4. Select Square corner style
  5. Click Apply.

Move the original away to use as a template and group the offset and the small pieces. Make a mirror image copy.

Select ALL the card elements and resize to suit. I made the width of the biggest butterfly a little under 8"/200mm so that the card base could be cut from A4 cardstock.

Cutting Guide

Cut pieces as follows:
  • Card base from medium-weight black cardstock
  • Two large butterflies from black adhesive cardstock
  • One butterfly from scrap as a template (this will be smaller than the adhesive ones) 
I also added a few more butterflies (design #59805) to use in another project (ignore the butterfly bodies, which I didn't use).

Make the Stained Glass Insert

These steps show how to cut the butterfly from the best part of the the vellum pattern.

Take one of the adhesive cardstock butterflies, work out the best position and, without allowing it to stick to the vellum, draw around it. Remove it and centre the scrap butterfly within the drawn butterfly outline.

Draw around the scrap and cut it out with scissors. Centre the cut vellum onto one of the adhesive butterflies. Trim excess vellum from the butterfly body.

Align the other butterfly on the reverse of the vellum and press them together.

Adhere this finished front onto the card base.

Add a sentiment.

Oh, and don't forget to use the vellum scraps from around the butterfly to make smaller butterflies to use for other projects!

I hope you'll try this out - the stained glass effect is beautiful in real life.

Bye for now,

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