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Card Size And Shape Basics

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Cards come in all shapes and sizes. The art form is what we add to those basic shapes. But it all starts with the frame work- the card basw

Cards come in all shapes and sizes. The art form is what we add to those basic shapes. But it all starts with the frame work- the card basw

Understanding Basic Card Shapes

We all think of the most basic and common card shape as the standard shape of the simple fold over card shape. And they are a lot of what is commonly used in various sizes.

But once you understand that concept, your art form can take many new forms in the shapes and sizes of the cards that you make.

Each of the card bases folds not only has a basic shape but many variations. For example in the simple one fold basic card that most of us are familiar with, it has variations. You can fold it like a tent, or you can fold it with the opening to the side. As you go along learning new shapes, will find a lot of variations, You may even invent a new one,

Here is an opportunity to get some free templates to create card bases in a variety of shapes and sizes. Get your templates here. These templates will help you get used to different shapes and sizes for card bases.

Basic Card Sizes

Name Of Card SizeSize Of Card (inches)Size Of Card (cm)

Ao

33.11 x 46.81 in

84.1 x 118.9 cm

A1

23.39 x 33.11 in

59.4 x 84.1 cm

A2

16.54 x 23.39 in

42 x 59.4 cm

A3

11.69 x 16.54 in

29.7 x 42 cm

A4

8.27 x 11.69 in

21 x 29.7 cm

A5

5.83 x 4.13 in

14.8 x 10.5 cm

A6

4.13 x 5.83 in

10.5 x 14.8 cm

A7

2.91 x 4.13 in

7.4 x 10.5 cm

A8

2.05 x 2.91 in

5.2 x 7.4 cm

A9

1.46 x 2.05 in

3.7 x 5.2 cm

A10

1.02 x 1.46 in

2.6 x 3.7 cm

More Card , Fold And Measurement Guides

Using The Right Card Stock

The first and most important thing to know and remember is to use the right card stock. You want to build your frame (the card base) solid so that the other things that you add will stay put. The more layers and accessories that you add to the card, the heavier the card stock that you will need. I recommend that you consider using a good card stock between 80-110 lb weight.

I know that we all watch our craft budget, but using a less expensive card stock will make a card that simply does not hold up. The last thing you want is to have a card get to an address destroyed. Use the best card stock that you can afford and you will be much happier in the end,

Tools And Supplies To Create Card Shapes

There are some basic supplies that you will need to create some card shapes. You may have some of these supplies on hand. We are making essential suggestions and then some additional tools and supplies that you may want to consider also.

Essential Tool And Supplies For Card Shapes

  • Card stock- You will want to use good cardstock, especially for the base of your card. Our favorite is the Neenah White Cardstock in the 85-110 lb weight. This particular brand comes in colors too.
  • Printed Card Stock- Again, quality is important. When choosing card stock, consider double-sided paper. It gives you more bang for your buck. Also, consider buying paper packs. You can often catch them on sale. They come in different sizes.
  • Bone Folder-Makes creases and folds perfectly every time. If you do not have one a ruler can be used. A small investment that you will use over and over again.
  • Paper Trimmer- A paper trimmer is an essential tool because not only does it cut paper cleanly, but it also has measurements that will help you get exact cuts every time. You can use a ruler, a pencil, and a scissor, but you will save a ton of time with a paper trimmer. If you do get one, make sure to get an extra blade to have on hand.
  • Scissors-You will need a couple of different types of scissors for your card-making projects. One larger pair dedicated to paper is a necessity. You will also want a paper of small scissors to fussy cut around small objects. These are also called detail scissors.
  • Rulers- There are several different types of rulers My personal preference is a clear ruler that has dark markings. I like to be able to see where I am marking
  • Pencils-You need to have a pencil or two in your stash to mark things.

Additional Tools And Supplies For Card Making

  • Score Pal-This tool helps you create the most accurate and clear lines and folds every time
  • Stamps-You will want to add decor to your cards. As a paper crafter, you will find that your collection of stamps actually becomes a side hobby. Start with general stamps for celebrations and branch from there. Having sentiment stamps also will save you time
  • Stamp Pads-Once you start stamps, you will also need stamp pads. There are so many options when it comes to stamp pads, so take some time to think about the pads that will serve your needs.
  • Acrylic Blocks- You will need some acrylic blocks to hold your stamps on when you stamp your projects. Acrylic blocks come in an assortment of sizes and shapes.
  • Stamp Platforms- These are an alternative to acrylic blocks. You can see through the platform and allows you to stamp on any surface.
  • Misti-This is another alternative to acrylic blocks and platforms. It places the stamp on the exact location of the paper every time.
  • Dies-Dies are handy when it not only comes to making embellishments for your cards but for making openings and apertures on your cards
  • Die Cutting Machines-There are manual and electronic die cutting machines in different price ranges. Do a little shopping to find the one that meets your needs and price ranges
  • Embossing Folders- There are plastic folders that are used with your die-cutting machines (they most often will double as embossing machines too) These folders make fancy embossed designs on your paper
  • Heat Embossing Tools And Supplies - These create raised images, designs, and sentiments on your cards.

To Get The Right Fold, You Need A Score Pal

Simple Standard Fold Greeting Card

This is a layered stamped standard fold greeting card

This is a layered stamped standard fold greeting card

Standard Fold

This is the easiest and most common card made. You fold a piece of card stock in half either vertically or horizontally. It results in a rectangular shape that you can decorate to your hearts content.

Accordian Fold Card

card-size-and-shape-basics

The Accordian Fold Card

The Accordion Card fold is similar to a Tri-Fold Card, however instead of folding twice to make three panels, you fold three times to create four separate panels – like an accordion. All four panels are exactly the same size, so the three folds will be at an equal distance apart.

Accordian Fold Card Ideas

Cascade Accordian Fold-Another Variation

Create a variation to the accordian fold

Create a variation to the accordian fold

Aperture Card

card-size-and-shape-basics

Aperature Card

card-size-and-shape-basics

Aperture Card

An aperture card is where a special image takes center stage in an opening. Because the image will be floating in the opening, it needs to have two similar sides. They are also called a window card.

You start with a folded card. It can have an opening on the side or the bottom.

The aperture (opening) can be placed anywhere on the front of the card. The opening can be square, rectangular, oval, or a circle. It is up to you.

You can hand cut it, But it would be easier to use a die ( a die is a piece of metal used to create a shape, rather in this case a hole

Place the card base flat. Place your die and your paper in a sandwich as directed by the manufacturer. Tape both the die and the card so that it does not shift. Rub it through your manual or electronic die cutting machine.

Another option would be to cut the hole on your electronic cutting machine. Select your shape. Size it to fit your card. Make sure that your image is placed over the front of the card and cut away,

More Aperature Card Ideas

Masculine Gatefold Card

The gatefold card is perfect for making masculine cards

The gatefold card is perfect for making masculine cards

Gate Fold Card Diagram

Basic gate fold card is easy to make and fun to decorate

Basic gate fold card is easy to make and fun to decorate

Gatefold Card

This is a simple card to make as long as you get your folds correct. A gatefold card has two folds that meet in the center of the card. These folds give the opportunity for creative design on the flaps as well as the inside of the card.

How To Make A Gatefold Card

  1. Start with a piece of strong card stock in the color of your choice. It should be * 1/2 " by 8 1/2 ".
  2. Place the paper against the scoreboard or on your work space with the 8!/2 " side against the top of the scoreboard. ( the paper is sideways)
  3. Score at 2 1/8″ and 6 3/8″. If you do not have a score board, measure the same. Make a very light line at these measurements and score with a bone folder.
  4. Crease on these score lines with a bone folder so the card stays shut just right.
  5. Decorate the card front.

More Tips For Gatefold Cards

  • Score the paper or card stock before you make the fold. Your folds will be crisper.
  • Create a special image on the inside of the card that is revealed when the flaps are open
  • Layer printed paper over a solid color on both the flaps and the inside of the card
  • Use printed paper that has smaller images

More Gatefold Card Inspiration

Square Fold Cards

This is very similar to the square fold with one difference. Instead of folding the card into a rectangular shape, the card is folded like a square. All sides are equal in the type of card.

One of the most popular cards is the 6 by 6 inch folded square card. A 12 by 12 inch piece of paper yields two 6 by 6 inch cards.

How To Make A Square Fold Card

  1. Take a 12 by 12 inch piece of heavy card stock in half
  2. Fold each of the two pieces of card stock in half
  3. Rub a bone folder or a ruler over the fold to make it crisp

How To Fold The Step Fold Card

The strep fold card is elegant and easy to make

The strep fold card is elegant and easy to make

Double Step Fold Card

You can create a single or a double step fold card

You can create a single or a double step fold card

The Step Fold Card

Step fold cards are easy and elegant to make. The nice thing about these cards is that they are easy folds that even a beginner can mange

How To Make A Step Fold Card

Supplies

  • 1 51/2" piece of medium to heavy card stock
  • Scoring tool
  • Paper trimmer
  • Adhesive
  • Stamps
  • Printed or solid card stock for embellishment
  1. Line up the large piece of card stock in the paper trimmer longways at the edge of the paper overlaps at the one inch mark.
  2. Place the blade of the paper trimmer st one inch and cut from 1" to 6 1/2 inches
  3. Turn the paper over and do the same on the other side.
  4. Place the paper on the scoring tool lengthwise.
  5. Using the bone folder, score the paper from the edge to the cut at 1"
  6. Score at the 2" and the 6.5"
  7. Flip the card over and do the same on the other side
  8. Score between the cut lines at 51/2"
  9. Fold all the score lines upward, Think of a mountain rising. That is called a mountain fold. The first, the third and the center should be folded upward like a mountain.
  10. The second score is like a valley. So you score downward
  11. Reinforce all folds with a bone folder to make them crisp
  12. Decorate your card with paper and a stamped image

Step Fold Card Variations

Like other basic card shapes, there are variations to the step fold card. One type of variation is the concertina step fold card. In this card, the step fold is actually within a standard folded card base. It is not that difficult to make. The results are outstanding and worthy of giving it a try.

Here is another idea for a variation on the step card. It is called a step card with a twist. It is a fin variation that you may want to use, especially on a holiday card.

Finished Step Fold Card

This is a completed step fold card before embellishments are added

This is a completed step fold card before embellishments are added

More Step Fold Card Ideas

Double Easel Card

You can create a single easel card or a double one

You can create a single easel card or a double one

Easel Card

Easel cards are so pretty. Though they look like they took a long time to make. the fact is is that they really are easy, even for a beginner

An Easel Card is made from one piece of card, using a variety of folds to form a front panel, a base panel and a stand – holding it up much like an easel would hold a canvas. You'll also need a variety of card, paper, dies, embellishments and whatever else you'd like to use to decorate.

How To Make An Easel Card.

Supplies

  • A square card blank or a folded piece of card stock
  • Card stock
  • Embellishments
  • Three D foam pads or double sided tape
  • Double sided tape
  • Scoring board or tool
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  1. Before you start make sure that the fold of your card is on the left
  2. Mark the middle center of card front. So if your card front was 5" you would make a pencil mark at the top and the bottom at 2.5"
  3. Now score the font of the card with a scoring tool or pad ( if you do not have a scoring tool, Just fold the card stock at the middle line in half.)
  4. Score two or three times with less pressure to make a firm crease. Watch your pressure so that you do not rip the card
  5. Now fold the card down ward. This creates a mountain fold. ( the fold has the shape of a mountain.
  6. Decorate the inside of your card. Use a patterned paper, vellum or whatever you think is pretty. Attach the paper with double sided tape.You can add a sentiment if you wish.
  7. Create a three d panel to hold up your easel, You can do this simply. You can use a button or large half beads. You can also use a three D bar. Just add foam dots to the bottom of the paper and attach to the base of your card.
  8. Next add your greeting to the front of the easel piece. You are only adding decor to the half that will show when the card is propped up.
  9. Make sure not to adhere anything t the back side of the easel card or the card will not fold right,



How To Make An Easel Card

The Z Fold Card

card-size-and-shape-basics

The Z Fold Card

The z fold card card is easier to make than you think. You can make it as a single z or a double Z fold. The nicest thing about a z fold card is that they actually stand up on their own. These cards are perfect on a mantlepiece or on a table. They can be made as a contemporary card or more traditional, male or female. It is all up to you.

Supplies

  • Stamp and Die Sets
  • Patterned paper
  • Cardstock
  • Scoreboard
  • Bone folder
  • Die cutting machine
  • Paper trimmer
  1. Score a 30x20cm piece of cardstock at 7.5cm and 15cm. Trim 5cm from the cardstock to create two separate panels.
  2. Valley-fold both pieces of cardstock along the 15cm score line and mountain-fold along the 7.5cm score line.
  3. Cover the front panels with patterned paper, leaving a narrow border. Adhere the narrower strip to the card front to form the ‘Z’ shape.
  4. Stamp a sentiment on the right-hand smaller panel, then attach the die-cut sentiment to finish.

Z Fold Card Template

The z fold card is actually much easier than it looks With two pieces you can create a card that will be proudly displayed

The z fold card is actually much easier than it looks With two pieces you can create a card that will be proudly displayed

Z Fold Card Tutorials

The Double Dutch Fold Card

Not at all difficult to make, the double dutch fold card is popular. So much fun to make and decorate

Not at all difficult to make, the double dutch fold card is popular. So much fun to make and decorate

Dutch Fold Card

Easy but charming dutch fold card

Easy but charming dutch fold card

The Double Dutch Fold

You can make the double dutch fold card with just a few steps. More than likely you have everything you need in your craft stash.

Supplies

1-4 3/16 by 9 piece of card stock for the base

1-2" by 8 1/2 " for the dutch fold bottom

1-4" by 3 !/4" piece of card stock or patterned paper for your layer

Scoring tool

Adhesive

1 larger image or die cut of your choice

Stamps of choice

  1. Score the 4 3/4" by 9 " piece of card stock at 5 1/2 " set aside. It should be length wise
  2. Score the 2" by 8 1/2 " piece of card stock at 2 1/8" and 6 3/8" like a gate dold card
  3. Fold the outer panel of your 2" by 8 1/2" of card stock in and decorate as desired.,Adhere the second panel at the bottom of the back of the 4 3/16 " by 9" piece of card stock piece.
  4. It should now have double folds along the left and right side as well as the top.
  5. The bottom of the top fold should line up with the double doors at about 3 1/2" from the top

More Dutch Fold Card Ideas

Pop Up Cards

Pop up cards hold a secret surprise inside

Pop up cards hold a secret surprise inside

Basic Pop Up Card

There are different kinds of pop up cards. The most basic kind is a simple card that has a pop up piece in the center as you open the card, the pop up image literally pops up from the card base.

There are only two parts of the card itself. One is the outer card which is a single fold card. The other part is the pop up mechanism. This is a card base the exact same card as the outer card. Within the inner card, you cut a tab in the center of the card. For smaller images, you would make two 1 " cuts next to each other. That should take care of images two to three inches. For larger images, you would have to make larger cuts.

Supplies

  • Two pieces of card stock the same size- folded the same way
  • An image, picture, gift card
  • Pair of scissors or a craft knife
  • Bone folder
  • Adhesive
  1. Fold both pieces of card stock the same way
  2. Press the bone folder against the pieces of card stock to make the folds crisp
  3. Take one of the pieces of card stock and keeping it folded make two 1 " cuts parallel ( next to each other cuts) in the center of the card. You are creating a tab.
  4. Open the piece of card stock with the tab
  5. Gently, push the tab towards you.
  6. Run your fingers along the tab, to make sure that the tab is firmly creased.
  7. You are creasing the tab so that it pops away from the card
  8. Open the piece of card stock with the tab
  9. Glue your image, gift card or photo to the tab bottom
  10. Allow to dry
  11. Adhere the inner piece with the popup to the outer card
  12. Decorate as desired

Tips

  • You can place multiple images on the inside of your pop up card by making multiple tabs

More On Pop Up Cards

Pop Up Cards Gift Card Holder

Free Pop Up Patterns

Tri Fold Card

card-size-and-shape-basics

Tri Fold Card

You can make this card in just a few simple steps

You can make this card in just a few simple steps

Tri Fold Card

The tri fold card is one if the easiest cards to make. It can be made in different sizes depending on your needs. Identical to leaflets, this Tri-Fold Card folds twice to make three panels instead of two. All three panels will be equal sizes to fold precisely on top of one another.

You can take a 12" by 12" piece of card stock and cut it into 2 pieces.Each piece can be folded into the tri-fold shape. You will wind up with two cards measuring 6" by 4".

A letter sized piece of paper cut in half and made into a tri fold card will give you two cards that measure 3.8" by 4.25".

How To Make A Tri-fold Card

Supplies

  • Letter size card stock (8 1/4 by 11 3/4" )
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bone folder
  • Cutting mat
  1. Lay the card stock on the cutting mat
  2. Then from the short edge, measure in 10 cms (3 7/8") score and fold the card either way
  3. Turn the card and again from hen from the short edge, measure in 10 cms (3 7/8") score and fold the card the other way.
  4. You can trim the card down to any level across or you can vary the levels

Tips For Tri-Fold Card

  • Simple tri-fold cards are used for long, thin and tall images
  • A piece of 12 by 12 inch piece of card stock will make a simple fold card that measures 6 by 4 inches.

Shaker Cards

Shaker cards are fun to make and fun to receieve

Shaker cards are fun to make and fun to receieve

The Shaker Card

Shaker Cards are similar to Aperture Cards as they both have a window in the front, however they only fold once to create two panels. This window will then hold glitter or embellishments, sealed in with acetate. Once you've cut out your shape in the front panel, you need to use a foam sheet to create space between the acetate and a back panel so that the glitter can move around. Once the space is filled, simply glue on the back panel to hold it all together. The card will then open like a Standard Fold Card.

How To Make A Shaker Card

Making shaker cards is easier than you could imagine. They are lots of fun to make and to give. A shaker card is basically an aperture card where there is a backing. The window of the card is covered by acetate. There is foam tape holding the aperture card base to the backing. In between are the little things used to make the card shake.

Let's get started making a shaker card

Supplies

  • Cardstock in the color of your choice
  • White card
  • Patterned paper
  • Acetate or some other kind of clear plastic
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Foam squares or tape
  • Ruler
  • Ink pads
  • Scissors or a page trimmer
  • Pens and pencils
  • Stamps
  • Oval or square dies to cut window


More Shaker Card Projects

Rocker Cards

Rocker cards fold flat but have a nicely designed shape

Rocker cards fold flat but have a nicely designed shape

The Rocker Card

Rocker Cards are really simple to make – once you've folded your card once in half, all you need to do is cut an even curve out of the bottom. The tricky part is ensuring that the curve is even, or else it may not work. When your card is stood up, it should rock when touched!

How To Make A Rocker Card

More Rocker Card Ideas

Cascade Cards

Nicely floated and designed cascade card

Nicely floated and designed cascade card

The Cascade Card

Cascade Cards are made using two pieces of card, however can be made with a single piece to simplify the process. These cards have two panels that interlock with slots. Once slotted together, the panels spring out similarly to an accordion, then fold flat for posting.

How To Make A Cascade Card

Tips For Making Cascade Cards

Diorama Cards

Dimensional card that folds flat for mailing

Dimensional card that folds flat for mailing

The Diorama Card

Slightly more complex, Diorama Cards use several pieces of card taped or glued together, allowing you to build up a 3D scene with designs. They feature several card folds, a window with a design in the background, and designs glued onto the foreground – creating lots of dimension. There are many ways to make these cards, however the finished product will always have multiple layers to give incredible depth. Once complete, Diorama Cards fold flat for posting.

How To Make A Diorama Card

More Diorama Ideas

Spinner Cards

Spinner cards are beautiful and easier to make than you think

Spinner cards are beautiful and easier to make than you think

A Spinner Card

A Spinner Card is a simple idea – when you move the card to each side, the 'spinner' on the card will slide along with it. To make, you need to cut a long box out of a piece of card and layer it on top of a card blank. The spinner can be made using two coins or coin-like embellishments, layered together with a foam pad – the spinner image is then stuck on top. These coins are then placed within the long box and will slide to the side when moved.

There are two basic ways to construct a spinner card:

  1. The first kind is a wrap and tie design, In this method, you have an aperture in the center of your card. A thread is carefully wrapped and tied along the center of the aperture. A piece of double-sided tape is used to anchor it in place, on both ends. In this type of card, you will be covering the card with several layers of patterned paper.
  2. The second option is to run a thread from the top of the aperture to the bottom securing it with double-sided tape both at the top and below. You do not need a lot of layers to cover this mechanism.

How To Make A Spinner Card

More Spinner Card Ideas

Slider Cards

Slider cards can be as easy or as detailed as you want them to be

Slider cards can be as easy or as detailed as you want them to be

Slider Cards

Slider cards are fun interactive greeting cards. There are many different ways to construct a slider card. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Basic Slider-Simple across the card slide
  • Metal Die Slider-Uses a slider die to construct the card
  • Pull Tab Slider-Uses a pull tab to move the element.
  • Spinning Slider - A spinning element that slides too
  • Zig Zag Slider-Zig zag designed slider
  • Circle Slider- This slider is in a circle
  • Pop Up Slider- This slider pops up the element
  • Magic Slider-A surprise in every slide
  • Curved Slider-It curves above the card
  • Double Slider-A slide on each side

More About Slider Cards

An Arrow Fold Card

An arrow fold card is one of the most unique cards. I would use this fold for a more masculine card.

An arrow fold card is one of the most unique cards. I would use this fold for a more masculine card.

More Unique Shaped Card Folds

© 2021 Linda F Correa

What Are Your Favorite Card Shapes? What Card Shapes Have You Made?

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on February 16, 2021:

Thank you for stopping by and for the comment. There are so many wonderful options when it comes to card shapes !

Elaine Byers on February 15, 2021:

Great work, I love making cards thanks for the tips !!