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Friday 17 June 2011

Come Swim With Me...Gel Card Tutorial

Good Morning Gorgeous Bombshells!!!  Lucky, Lucky you ladies!!!  Today you get the pleasure of not only ONE Bombshell Tutorial but TWO Bombshell Tutorials!!  Yep!  That's right...we're doubled up today on amazing coloring skills and a super snazzy card!!!  
My tutorial today is going to teach you how to create a card using gel.  Yes, you heard me right..straight up, old school, clear hair gel.  It will make whatever image you place behind it seem as though it's floating in water! So cool!!!  It is a fantabulous card style for a fun tag plus it can be used as a nifty gift card or cash holder if you wanted to give those as a gift!!

The first thing I did was print out the template. I then scored and trimmed my paper at the measured amounts:

I then scored vertically at 5" then at 8" leaving you with 3 sections measuring 5", 3" and 2.75".
You will then score in 1" on each side and trim the 1" pieces on both sides of the 5" section and the 2.5 " section. Leaving the 1" side tabs on either side of the 3" section. (these will be your tabs that will hold your pocket in place later.)  I then scored on all lines making sure that every line was nice and crisp.
I added my SEI brand designer paper to the larger panel that will be your background.  You want to then fold the flap inward that that it matches the back panel.  The two tabs will wrap around the back of your card securing everything in place.  You want to then decorate the front section of your card.  You will want to adhere your background and front papers at this time.

There is no window yet...don't worry.  You haven't missed a step.  =)
Your next step will be to punch out a window.  You will do this by folding the two smaller sections together.   Keep your tabs out to the sides for now.  Don't get them into the mix yet.  Choose your punch.  Make sure you use a heavy duty and good quality punch so that you can get through all layers.  The reason that it's best to do all layers at the same time is to ensure that everything lines up exactly.  After choosing your punch you will slide both pieces, so you'll have your decorated DP front panel as well as it's mate in the back, in your punch at the same time.  Ready, set, PUNCH!  =)  Now you will have two pieces punched with the exact same shape.
The next part is adding the gel. My suggestion is to use a tiny zip top bag such as the kind the extra button comes in when you buy a sweater or the ones you can buy at beading stores, etc are the best for this project.  You only need a very small amount of gel - approximately a teaspoon or so otherwise it won't fold flat and will push your paper out too much.
Next seal the bag.  Gently push the gel around a bit to make absolute sure that your bag is sealed.  It'd be a shame to have gel squish out and ruin your beautiful work!!!  In my example today I found that my zip top bag was to large for my project so I had to trim it down.  No worries...I zipped it through my sewing machine and it was sealed well.  It doesn't look too pretty but that's ok...no one will ever see it.  I also ran out of liner tape otherwise I would have sealed it up a bit easier with that.
You want to add liner tape or flat glue dots along the insides of the circular window, as well as on the small tabs to the left and right of your window. These will wrap around and hold everything in place.
Once your liner tape is in place you can adhere your gel pack to the inside of the card. You then want to fold up the front of the "pocket" and adhere.
You will then flip your card over, fold the front piece (with the gel) up and wrap the tabs around the back of the card adhering them.  You can see in the picture above, in the lower left hand corner the tab that's wrapped around and adhered to the back.
Now comes the insert!!  I measured my "tag" that is the insert to my card.  This measures roughly at 4.5" x 3.75". I chose to use my pinking shears for the corners of my tag.   Today I'm using my brandie new Ahoy Sailor set.  LOVE IT!!  There are 11 stamps in this set.  11!!  It's awesome.
When decorating my tag, I chose to use the same size punch as I did when I punched my window.  That way I was also ensuring that my image would peek through the "water" aka gel window perfectly.  I held everything in place before I actually adhered it to my tag JUST to make sure she wasn't crooked or tilted in any way.  I colored my Bombshell using my Copics, Souffle and Sakura gel pens.

I used all manner of designer papers and cardstock that were simply lying around on my workspace.  I used the knot stamp to embellish the top of my tag and added an SU! jumbo rivet to the top.  I used my very last piece of vintage (true vintage) *sniff* ribbon as the pull tie for my tag.  Even though it didn't "match" per say it fit this project perfectly. 
I added a layer of homemade ruffled ribbon around my scalloped base.
I then decorated the back of my tag using the Hold Fast sentiment banner while leaving space to write a little message to the recipient.  Now all that's left to do is slide your tag in so that your image faces outward and VOILA!!  What a cool card to receive!!!

If you have ANY questions regarding this tutorial, or need clarification on how to work this please do not hesitate to leave a question in the comment section and I will be sure to respond!!

I do want to thank the amazing gals at PTI for creating the template displayed above and having this great idea years ago!!  I borrowed this, added my own touches and can now teach you how to do it!!  =)

I hope you all have a beautiful, creative and very inspiring weekend!!

Crafty Hugs!


  1. Just darling Meredith and fabulous tut! Something tells me I'll be using this technique in the near future. LOL xxD

  2. Love this gel thing. Really cool. I think it would look great with the under the sea stuff.

  3. What a kewl technique, I cannot wait to try it on the Mermaid Anchor set. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial.

  4. So cool. I agree with Alaine that it would be great with all the mermaid sets.

  5. I'm so glad you gals like it!! I had a great time creating this!! =) I agree, the mermaid sets would rock with this technique. I don't have any yet so that's why I used the Ahoy Sailor set.


  6. Great tutorial! I love how the tag comes out. ;D