Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Father's Day Shirt-Fold Card

This post will include instructions for the final project from my Father's Day Class, the shirt-fold card. You can also find directions for the Father's Day chipboard frame here, and the Father's Day tie-shaped box (complete with pattern) here.

First, you will need a sheet of paper. You can use whatever size you want, but rectangular seems to work best if you want your shirt to look correctly proportioned. I used Blue Bayou Prints Designer Series Paper (DSP), which I trimmed to 8"x10". I want to use the argyle print that is shown face up below. The Prints DSP has a number of patterns that look wonderful as shirt material.[TIP: practice these folds with 8"x10" printer or scrap paper until you become familiar with the pattern, and then use patterned papers once you master the design!]

The first step is to fold both of the long sides in to the center point. Regular printer paper is thin enough to be quite cooperative, however, Designer Series Paper (DSP) is double-sided, and is thicker than regular paper so that the design from the opposite side won't show through. When folding DSP, you will have much more success making score marks first. Since my paper is 8"x10", I know that each long side will have to fold in 2" to reach the center. So, I will want to score at 2", along each long side...the photo below shows white lines in the approximate locations I will want to place score marks.

To make score marks, I like to use the (Fiskars) 12" Paper Trimmer. However, the scoring blade that comes with the Paper Trimmer is very small and blunt, and tends to easily puncture paper. So, I take out all the blades from my trimmer, line up the paper to the measurement I want--which is 2" in this case--and run my bone folder along the seam where the blade would slide. You can see what I mean if you click on the picture below, to enlarge it.

After scoring, I fold both sides in, to the center. (In the picture below you can see how it looks as I fold only the first side in.) The side of the paper with the pattern that I want to use will be the only side of the paper showing once I fold the two edges into the center.

After folding both sides to the center, turn over the folded piece so that the seam is facing down on your work surface. Choose one end to be the top, and fold about one inch of your paper down on itself, as shown below. (This would be another great place to score before folding.)

You will then turn the piece over once again, so that the one inch folded piece is face down on your work surface, and the side with the seam down the middle is facing up. The placement of the collar folds is critical to getting your card to stay closed. To make each side of the collar, pull one of the top corners down at an angle to where the tip of the corner meets the center seam, as signified below by arrow 1. At the same time, you should be folding the collar at an angle which will give you a horizontal line between the two opposite sides of the collar, as shown below by the white dashed line at arrow 2. When you have your folds positioned correctly, press them flat with the bone folder to get a good crease. Remember: click on any picture to enlarge it and see the detail more clearly.

In the next step, the folded piece is still lying with the seam side up. Take the bottom of the long piece and fold it up towards the top, tucking the end as far under the collar tips as it will go, as shown in the picture below. (This picture is from a side angle so you can see the fold direction.) Hold the paper firmly in its position under the collar, and crease the fold with the bone folder, so that when you let go, the bottom piece stays tucked under the collar tips.

At this point, your card will look like a folded collared shirt with no sleeves showing. Untuck the bottom of the folded piece from the collar, and smooth it flat. Your next folds will create the sleeves, by pulling back each end of the paper from the center seam. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll give you TWO pictures showing how you fold the sleeve pieces out...instead of 2000 words! Be aware of the fold across the middle of the card, where one end of the sleeve fold starts, and the bottom corner of the front piece, where each sleeve fold ends. Click on each picture below to see it up closer.

All that's left is to re-fold the shirt up under the collar, and now your shirt has sleeves!

You can add a greeting to the outside, and/or greetings and writing space on the inside. When using this as a card, many folks like to cut white or vanilla card stock in the shape(s) of the open space(s) inside the shirt, to cover up the center seam and sleeve folds. If you wanted to just use this as an embellishment on a gift box, you could adhere the shirt closed and simply use a "To" and "From" label on the shirt front. This fold works exactly the same way with smaller pieces of paper, and makes a cute miniature shirt embellishment for a standard-sized greeting card, if you start with a 4"x6" piece of Designer Series Paper.

Just keep in mind that you may have to resize your folds in proportion to your original starting piece when using differing paper sizes. In other words, when using a 4"x6" sheet of paper, your folds in towards the center will need to be scored at 1" on each side, and you'll probably want to only fold down about 1/2" for your collar. Again, experiment with scrap paper and see what measurements and angles work best for you with different sizes.


  1. Excellent tutorial and wonderful card. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Top tutorial Dianne. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is so neat I did this a long time ago. It was so hard.. But U made it a lot more easier to follow Now I will make soem more. I used cash money for the paper tho.. THANK u for sharing this..

  4. A darling idea and one that I will be sharing with friends - you are a talented lady - thanks
    Marti Crapo


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