Guys & Gears Birthday

I wanted to make a masculine birthday card that had both shine and contrast. I was inspired by the gorgeous card by Tristan Dawes at Tinstar Designs with gears and a grunge background. I didn't have the same dies, but I had the Tim Holtz gear die set instead. I wanted to experiment with using dies for embossing as well as for cutting out gears.

So, using a light gray cardstock, I first stamped darker gray "splotches" that reminded me of grease. I used the Stampin' Up! (SU) "Gorgeous Grunge" stamp set for this.

Then using three dies from a Sizzix Tim Holtz gears die set, I ran the stamped cardstock through my Big Shot with a rubber embossing mat under the cardstock so that the cardstock wouldn't be cut, but would have deep impressions of the dies. The result was a nice impression with the centers of the dies "bulging" up between the spokes of the dies.

I then did a regular die cut from silver foil cardstock of the same three dies, plus the corner die stack that is in the set. I glued the three silver dies into their impressions on the embossed panel, and REALLY liked how they gave so much dimension to the gears! The corner gear stack was just glued directly to the panel.

Now, with a lot going on with splotches and gears, I needed a sentiment that would really stand out. I had a very "flourishy" die that said "Happy Birthday", but it wasn't at all appropriate for a guy card. I decided with a little "trimming" I could make it less feminine. So after die cutting the sentiment out three times from black cardstock, I glued the three together atop one another, and let them dry completely. Then using paper snips, I cut tails and flourishes off all the words, and snipped out internal whorls and loops from the open letters. I think the result is a more bold and masculine feel. This stacked sentiment was glued to the card front , then the finished panel was glued to the black card base.

While the added dimension of the upper three gears may not stand out in the photo, they REALLY do in person. I'll definitely use this technique again!

I am rating the difficulty of this cards as a "2" out of a possible "5". I love cards where I get to try new techniques! Thank you, Tristin, for the inspiration!

Stamps: SU Gorgeous Grunge
Paper: SU Smokey Slate, Basic Black, Recollections Silver Foil
Paper Size: A2
Ink: SU Basic Gray
Accessories: Sizzix Gear Thinlit Dies, SU Happy Birthday Thinlit Die, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Big Shot, Rubber Embossing Pad, Paper Snips
Techniques: Die Cutting, Die Embossing, Stacked Die Cuts


  1. Hi, Donna! What a fabulous guy card! I especially enjoy the metallics, and the "splotches" in the back remind me of oil that is required to keep those gears running smoothly. thanks for visiting my blog yesterday and leaving a sweet comment! hugs, de


Post a Comment