Monday, September 02, 2013

Changing Image Congrats Card (Kathy Berger)

Changing Image Congrats Card
by Kathy Berger

Since my childhood I have been fascinated by pop-up books. I just love the way they tell their stories with dimension and action. Whether it is a pull-up flap, a pop-up design, or a moving feature, it has never failed to captivate me.

To me, one of the most intriguing elements I'd ever encountered was the dissolving or changing image books of Ernest Nister. He used sliding and rotating mechanisms to make one drawing seem to magically transform into another. Before now, though I understood his mechanism for the rotating dissolve, I had not been able to achieve it. My craft knife skills were far too poor to be able to replicate the precision needed to have a smoothly working piece.

But now I have a Silhouette Cameo.

I drew the mechanism in the Sihouette Studio software and created a cut file that I am willing to share with you for a limited time. You must have a DropBox account to access the file, but you can create one for free. Remember, this file is going to be available only for a limited time. Get it before Christmas 2013!

So... here is how I created this Changing Image card...

First, I cut the cut file on white card-stock using my Cameo and removed the three pieces from the cut mat. I set the ring aside for later.

It is really important to be sure to have the same sides of the mechanism up when doing the stamping and coloring steps, otherwise you will end up with a mechanism that looks like this on one side while being correct on the other:

To avoid this, I placed the square mechanism down on the table. I noted which direction the slots in the mechanism open (clockwise or counterclockwise). Next I placed the circular mechanism down so that the slots opened in the OPPOSITE direction. Now I was sure the mechanism would have the correct sides stamped and colored.

I created a mask by using a Spellbinders Nestabilities Circle die (matched to the size of my mechanism) to cut a large circle in a piece of scrap paper. (After having to do this, I decided to add a mask to the cut file!) I placed the mask over the mechanism and stamped the Frantic Stamper Leaf Background stamp with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.

I colored the square mechanism with autumn colors and the round mechanism with summer colors of Copic Ciao markers.

Now comes the tricky part; assembly.

I folded the tab of the round mechanism back at the perforation. I placed a small amount of glue at the end to keep the tab folded, but that step is not completely necessary; the card will work fine without it.

Next I positioned the round mechanism behind the square mechanism and inserted the sliding tab through the rounded slot of the square mechanism, being sure the two stop-tabs to either side of it stayed out of the slot.

With the square mechanism facing me, I positioned the sliding tab all the way to the right of the rounded slot.

Carefully aligning the two mechanisms at their centers, I GINGERLY inserted the centers of the square mechanism's slot tabs through the slot in the corresponding tab of the round mechanism. (If you are having trouble visualizing this, zoom in on this photo and look for my finger peeking out from behind the mechanism... the orange tab is to the right and slightly above that, and the slot I am passing it through is being held open by my finger.)

Once all of the tabs were passed to the back of the round mechanism, the center of the mechanism had a small "flower" shaped part of the round mechanism showing through to the front.

I gIently slid the mechanism's sliding tab all the way to the left. It was easiest to do this with the mechanism flat on a table!

Next I turned the mechanism over and applied glue to the top and top-portion of the sides of the mechanism, and glue dots to its lower corners, and attached it to a card.

It was finally time to decorate the card itself.

I cut a very large circle using the largest of my Nestabilities dies, from the Small circle die set) in a piece of patterned paper. I glued that paper in place on my card, centering the circle over my mechanism, and then trimmed the paper to fit the card.

Next, I cut a ring from a coordinating piece of patterned paper (from the Bo Bunny Autumn Song collection 6"x6" paper pack) using the largest of the Nestabilities dies from the Large circle die set and a circle that was just a little larger than the inside of the ring in the Silhouette cut file.

I attached the patterned ring to the plain ring with glue.

Then I attached the whole ring to the card by putting small foam dots on the very outermost edge of the plain ring. (Putting them any closer or any farther can interfere with the workings of the mechanism.)

I finished the card off with a metalic leaf cut with a Spellbinder's leaf die and a die-cut "Congrats"

Here are close-up photos of the mechanism with the tab to the far left, center, and far right.

I hope you enjoyed my card and hope that, if you have a Silhouette, you'll give one a try!


Products Used:


  1. That is absolutely mind-bending! Thanks for sharing Kathy! I just got my Silhouette a short time ago, so this is way beyond my expertise! 

    1. Hi Rozy! The Silhouette part of this project is the easy part. Lol. just download the file, open it with the Studio software, put paper into your Silhouette, and cut!

  2. This is stunning, Kathy! What a feat of paper engneering. I am eager to try it myself. Just need to think about the stamps to use. Thanks for generously sharing the cut file.

    1. I made another one of these for my mom's birthday. I put "Happy Birthday" on the square mechanism and violets, which are her favorite flower, on the round. A cupcake would also have worked well. I colored the background of the saying in a similar color to the background of the violets.

      When you do stamp something, be mindful of where the images will overlap in the centers and avoid having vital features of your images there.

      Have fun with making something, and please share what you make!

  3. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Thank you for sharing your cut file. I had hand cut one of these mechanisms for a card a couple of years ago and have never done another one because of the time involved. Seeing your card motivates me to try another one and having the cut file will make everything easy.

  4. Hi, could you make the file available again? Would be really helpful for me, I tried understand the mechanism by looking at the pictures, but I'm having trouble with the center cut.