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Window Cards

Window cards are so simple to make but many times we don't think outside of the standard card. I'm always on the lookout for ways to create simple cards that have a little wow factor. Creating an opening in the card front allows a peek inside, making a frame for a cute image, a place for a sentiment or just adding a pop of color. Window cards are truly cards that anyone can make, which makes them fun to try.

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A window card is simply that -- a card with an opening or window. The opening can be any shape: circle, square, heart, rectangle, you name it! You can make the opening by using a die, a punch or a craft knife. It can be large or small, it can be at the top of your card, at the bottom, in the center, at right or left. You can have one opening or a trio. There's no right or wrong way to create a window card.

The quickest way to make a window card is to use a punch. Just grab your favorite shape punch and punch an opening in the front of a basic card. The downside to using a punch is that they have a limited reach. You may not be able to get the window exactly where you want it on your card front. Shapes that are simple and don't have to be used in a certain direction work best, such as a circle or square. If you try to use a heart or other directional punch, you can only slide the paper into the punch from one direction and that may mean that the heart would be upside down or sideways.

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Using a die to create the window opening will allow you a lot more freedom, but you need to make sure you have a manual die-cutting machine. A tip to help you keep the die in place so the window is exactly where you wish it to be is to use a piece of washi tape or painter's tape to help the die stay put while you run it through the die-cutting machine. You could also use a digital die-cutting machine and use an existing shape or create your own.

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After you've made an opening in your card base, what do you do with it? You can line the inside of the card with a contrasting piece of cardstock or patterned paper for some instant wow. Or you can layer a die-cut piece or other embellishment in the center of the opening. The sentiment can go on the front of the card or on the inside. If you'd prefer, you can stamp the sentiment in the window.

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Once you get the hang of making the openings, try variations such as multiple openings all in a row, either horizontal or vertical. Try having different images peeking out from inside your card or create a cute scene in a main opening where the recipient can't wait to open it to see the rest of the design.

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