Saturday, November 8, 2008

DIY 3-D Cards - Kickin it old school

For no other reason than "I felt like it," I decided to put together some old school 3-d cards and post a mini 'how-to' on here. After all, what better place to talk about making your own 3-d cards than on TDTC!?

I will be discussing two variations on the theme - a two-card method and a three-card method. You, of course, could use more cards if really want to get into it. Just know that the more cards you want to incorporate, the more planning you need to do. Materials needed include: duplicates of the same card of the same year etc; scissors or a hobby knife (X-Acto); glue, tape, or other adhesive.

Our first subject is Jim Abbott. I chose him for two reasons: 1) I have about 8 of these same card, and 2) It would be an easy 2-carder.

So, let's look at the 1996 Pinnacle Jim Abbott:

We see a pitcher in motion with the crowd behind him. We also see the triangle shape at the bottom, and because of some nice camera work, some of the 'brighter' areas of the player. His leg, right arm, cap, and ear are all "in front" of the other parts of his body. Once you decide what parts you want to 'bring forward,' you can cut those out of the second card. Do NOT cut anything on the first (or 'base') card!! Here is what things looked like after I was done:

I originally planned to include the triangle, but after I got the other parts on, I decided it would take away from the player's 3-d look. I screwed up the cap a bit, as you will see in a minute, but I thought including the ear would add a little 'card humor' to the mix. Yeah, I'm a baseball card dork, so what?

I used scissors for this because I didn't really care about being 'exact' and was just doing this for demo purposes. I also planned to use a glue stick, but the only one I could find had dried up around the time this card was originally produced. I used Scotch tape and just folded it over, trimming as I needed.

Once you have the pieces ready with adhesive, carefully place the parts onto the 'base card' (the one you did NOT cut up) looking for key places to align the cut-outs. When you are done, you have a basic two-card 3-d item:

I know it may be hard to compare the two, since they are now reduced to flat, scanned images, so I combined the 'before' (left) and 'after' (right) for comparison:

You can see where the scissors left traces of edging in certain places (cap, lower half of arm piece, top half of leg piece). In a way, though, that adds to the "3D Effect" of the card.

If you have youngsters in the house, this is a great way to spend some time together. Just be sure to educate them as to which cards they CAN and CANNOT do this to! :-)

Next, I decided to do a 3-card project to show some of the depth you can get. For this project, I found three Mo Vaughn 1999 UD Ovation cards. This project is a little more complicated. As I looked over the card, I knew I wanted to leave the already-embossed stitching alone. So, that only leaves the circular 'fans' and Vaughn himself. There is the banner at the bottom, though, too.

Remember, the more cards, the more planning. So, here is what I wanted: Vaughn to be at the most-forward position, the crowd behind him, then the base card. The banner at the bottom could be either one or two 'stick-ons' deep. I opted for just one stick-on because I wanted Vaughn to be the thing that sticks out the most.

I set the base card aside. Card #2 became the basis for the crowd. Notice how the background is basically a circle. Perfect. I cutout the circle as best I could. Remember, Vaughn will be in front of any places you might cut off his head or other body parts, so you do not have to worry with that right now. I also decided to cut the bottom banner off this card.

The next chose was cutting Vaughn out of card #3. I found the easiest way to do this was to discard anything that was "not Vaughn" and not worry about the 'cleanliness' of the remains. After all, it was the guy in the center I was after. Ideally, I would have taken time to cut out ALL of the background parts. You can See in the finished product, I did not remove the crown between his right arm and body. Honestly, I don't think anyone noticed.

Now for assembly. I attached the circle and the banner to the card. Then, I placed Vaughn on top of the circle, aligning things as best I could. The scan of this card shows the 3D effect much better than the 2-card method because it is literally more 3-dimensional.

Again, I put the cards side-by-side in a single scan so you could see them next to each other:

If so desired, slip the finished product into a penny sleeve for safe-keeping.

Why would you want to more than three cards? I was hoping to find an example, but couldn't in time to get this posted for tonight. But, several ideas come to mind... You could use one to make a 3d border (Say, for those 1990's Donruss we all have), then use other cards to create the 3d effect. I think you could also use cards to layer in the background crowds, etc. For example, let's say you have a card with the player in the foreground, a bit of field, the dugout, and two tiers of fans visible. Starting with the fans near the top of the card serving as the base card, you could build a card that gradually 'popped' out to the viewer. Depending how complicated the build, you could even preserve the border each time and end up with a diorama-type project all in a 2.5"x3.5" space. I'll keep searching for dupes and see what my daughter and I can come up with (my son was none too interested in this project, though I caught him pairing up his Pokemon cards into dupes....).


Joe S. said...

These are great! Kills a ton of time at work... thanks!

--David said...

LOL, any time I can help put American productivity through tthe floor, I have done my duty. :-)