Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Phenakistoscope Blizzard (Kathy Berger)

Phenakistoscope Blizzard
by Kathy Berger

Recently I saw a post on SplitCoastStampers for creating a card with a spinning mechanism controlled by pulling a string. The creator of the card called it a zoetrope card, but I thought it was more like a phenakistoscope. A zoetrope uses a cylinder with a strip of drawings to create the illusion of animation. A phenakistoscope uses a disc with slits to create that illusion, and since this card uses a disk, that will be my name for this card even though it, too, is a misnomer since there is no animation involved.

The zoetrope card used clear acetate sheets and a set of self-adhesive foam rings made by a particular home-party-based stamping company. I didn't have those items so I set out to create the card with items I did have and that are readily accessible. To replace their foam rings I opted for some craft foam and some strong adhesive. To replace the acetate sheets I opted for clear packaging tape.

First I cut a circle, about 1 1/4" in diameter, from craft foam that I had covered front and back with the strong adhesive tape. I also cut a medium circle (about 1 3/4" in diameter) and a large circle (about 2 1/4" in diameter) from card stock; the large circle was covered on one side with strong adhesive. Then I cut a large scallop circle (about 2 3/4" in diameter) from a double layer of card stock with strong adhesive between them. And lastly, I cut two small round tags for my pull tab, with strong adhesive on one.

I then put clear package tape on one side of the medium circle and on the non-adhesive side of the large circle.

It was then time to assemble the mechanism.

I adhered a piece of baker's twine (about 18" in length) to the craft foam, and then the craft foam to the scallop circle. The craft foam was then adhered to a card-stock circle a little larger than the foam circle.

I poked a hole in the center of both the stack and the large circle. The scallop circle mechanism was then attached to the remaining piece by putting a brad through the hole in center of each piece of the mechanism, and folding back the brad's legs. The mechanism was then affixed to a piece of card-stock, and then to the card. A tag was prepared to attach the pull end of the baker's twine.

In following Jennifer's plan to create holiday cards throughout the year, I decided to make my card a snowy blizzard of a card. My card base is white with snowflakes stamped in Memento Nautical Blue ink and then embossed with a Cuttlebug "Snowflakes" embossing folder. My disk was decorated with a larger snowflake on a small scalloped circle (I wanted to hide the brad's head), and finished off with sparkling blue gems. With this snowy fun card added to my collection, and a few more more every month, perhaps this year I will be ready for this holiday season when it arrives!

Here is a video that shows the steps I took to make the mechanism, and the finished card in motion.

Here is the sandwich stack details:

I hope you have enjoyed my snowy card. Until the next time!


Products used:


  1. Very cool! I've never seen anything like that on a card. Thanks for the video. I'll have to give it a try.

  2. Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!