Friday, 5 October 2012

Secret Message Card Instructions

I had so many requests at the Port Sunlight show on Saturday, also in comments and emails, for instructions to make this simple Secret Message Card. It looks complex but once you try it you will realise that it is quite simple and has a variety of options to make it your own style.
There is a sample in my previous post and here, in this one, I used printed card and stamped the quotes on the reverse blank surface.
There are many examples out there on the web of this fold so I won't credit anyone in particular and I have added lots of ideas of my own to the original one I spotted somewhere ages ago.  
 The cards are really effective when standing opened 
 The front
 To make the card cut an oblong piece of card... any size as desired. I generally use an A4 piece of cardstock and cut 2 or 3 inches from the length. Concertina fold it into four sections. You can make a smaller card with just 3 sections. 
Make the sections a minimum of approx 1.25 inches (3cms) for stability. I never measure, I just judge it.
Fold in half and cut through the centre two sections to create the slits. 
These do not have to be measured unless you REALLY prefer to have have four even flaps. 
You'll see here that they are irregular and when complete you'll see that it doesn't matter.

Cut two pieces of card slightly smaller than the quarter sections.
You can use printed card or a good quality 2 sided scrapbook paper 
or you can decorate it yourself. 
Remember to decide where your quotes etc., will be stamped.
If they cannot be on a light coloured surface then they can be stamped and mounted onto plain card.
The quotes/ messages, images can go on to the main body of the card, instead of or, as well as on the inserts.
Weave the inserts alternately into the slits.
If they are too narrow they will slide out.
If they are too wide they will not slide in.
The surfaces can be stamped and decorated before inserting them and, if it helps, you can make a pencil mark to indicate their positions.
I often stamp them in situ and if I make an error I stick a mounted item over the mistake!
If you prise open the centre the card opens to reveal an inner section where your secret message can hide. This will happen on both sides of the card.
Cards can be presented gate fold style with a mounted front stuck on to the left hand side. Remember to trap a ribbon sandwiched behind the front layer of card and the mount if you want the card to fasten.
The cards can also be presented fourfold giving a slim line finished result.
Some options....
The card can be cut with pointed tops on the main card and/ or on the inserts.
A ribbon can be added to the tops so it looks like tags.
This black and white one has been stamped alternately "black on white" then "white on black"
Ribbons can be tied to the slits without impairing the mechanism of the card.
If you add brads then you will need to add something to cover their backs, eg., a stamped, mounted quote,or a toning punched out shape, as all surface will visible at some stage of opening all the sections.

Acetate was layered on the front panel and inserts for this "Time" themed card were made very effectively from good weight acetate, coloured and stamped. 
Have fun if you try this out and please shout out if anything is not clear to you.


Joynana said...

Hi Jo, sorry that I have not been able to get back to you. I would love to have you to send me the sample. When I get home from work, i will send you my address. I pulled your email address the other day and just have not had the time to send you my address. I do love this card and can see me making lots of them.

Paul Browning - The Artsider said...

Wow, now that I've seen how it's done I understand what you mean. It is deceptively simple. Three folds and three cuts and you're done. Such a great idea. Very impressive and can be styled in a multitude of ways. Thanks for sharing. Pxx

Helen said...

What wonderful cards, and thank you for sharing the instructions. Going to bookmark this page so I can find it again, lol!!

sam21ski said...

Hope you had a fab time at Port Sunny Jo xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow Jo! No wonder we couldn't get a look in-looking forward to having a go at this when I go home! No blogging for me as my phone is refusing to play with our new laptop! Chrisx

Redanne said...

Hi Jo, great card and great tutorial. I used to make these for the Grandchildren and they absolutely loved them and were always intrigued as to how they work. Thank you for inspiring me to make some more! Crafty hugs, Anne x

Lynn Holland said...

These are really effective Jo. I like how you can make them as simple or as complicated as you like.
Lynn xx

Annie said...

Wow you are amazing Jo. You make it all sound to easy and yet it looks so complicated.
A x
ps will be visiting little Sam tomorrow cos he has broken his leg this afternoon :-( kids eh?

Cath Wilson said...

You made some fab samples, Jo - lovely - a great idea for a card. Always nice to do something that little bit different, even if I never do :-(

I remember making one of those at school and also getting one free in one of the comics - Dandy/Beano/Sparky? It was part plastic but we had some fun with it, lol. Lovely to see you again after such a long time - mustn't forget your challenge x

Cardarian said...

Hi Jo!

I will email you later in the day just wanted to say I love your tutorial for the "secret" card!
Lots of hugs and see you soon!

Monika said...

thanks u made this sample for me at port sunlight. Just sent a picture of my fabric bag card to you. love it.

Whimcees said...


I love this style card - the person who receives it always thinks one brilliant for creating it! Love your cards - you have spent a lot of time perfecting this card! Wishing you a happy day!


Barbara Diane