Asian Beauty – an Accidental Chinese New Year Card

Completed card for non-traditional Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Cards are traditionally red, but I stepped out and created this turquoise one instead. Here’s how I did it… and why.

A Chinese New Year card by any other color (the “why”)

OK, true confessions. Chinese New Year cards are traditionally R.E.D. I get it. I know. I know. But when I was making this card, it wasn’t intended to be a card for a holiday. It was to fulfill a challenge thrown down by the darlings over at Gecko Galz for their January challenge titled “Far East Beauty.” So I thought I’d play along and make, you know, a Far East Beauty.

My heart was in the right place…

Close up of one angle of this non-traditional Chinese New Year card
These digital papers are gorgeous

So I was dinkin’ along, playing in glitter and pretty paper in my favorite color turquoise, when I suddenly had the brilliant idea to, hey, turn this into a greeting card with an actual greeting on it instead of a mere sentiment. A greeting like “Happy New Year” instead of “I’m thinking of you.” That sort of thing. And for a card with an Asian theme so close to the Chinese New Year, what better greeting than, well, Happy New Year!

What better indeed. It just flat never occurred to me to Google “Chinese New Year cards.” Does that happen to you? Do you get so involved in a craft project that you overlook a small (but really huge) detail?

Fake perfection just ain’t my style

Now I could have hastily created another card in the traditional red, and you, my darling reader, would never know the difference. But then I thought why should I? This is a beautiful card, it’s going to someone who will love it no matter what color it is (who happens to have a Chinese step-mother – DOH!), and I always try to be authentic with you and keep things honest. Because sometimes we humans DO goof. So which is better – to cover it up and create an appearance of false perfection, or to admit my flaws and humanity and lay it out there for you, the reader, to decide?

I vote for transparency. And hope you’ll go easy on me.

The “how”

Phew. Now that we have True Confessions out of the way, here’s how I decorated this purdy Asian-themed side step card.

In my last post, I showed you how to make a side step card base without needing either a cutting machine or an engineering degree. Though full disclosure (more honesty and transparency!) requires me to tell you that making a side step card is sooo much easier on a cutting machine. I use a Silhouette Cameo, and it knocks both the base and the mats out in mere seconds. But if a cutting machine wasn’t under the tree for you this past Christmas, I showed you how to make the card base manually, which is still easy. So let’s get to the decorating part.


Cutting the designer paper mat

Don’t worry about the term “designer paper,” it simply means the pretty (often patterned) paper you’re going to use to decorate your card. After much (and I mean MUCH) trial and error, I came up with these measurements. (This time an engineering degree would have come in handy, because this took me FOREVER to get right):

Designer paper cut into pieces to fit side step card base
Pay attention to the design on the paper
  1. First cut a piece 4″ long x 5 1/4″ wide
  2. From that piece, cut a section 3″ wide x 3 1/4″ long (almost a perfect square)
  3. Cut that section into two smaller pieces:
    • 2 3/4″ wide by 1 3/4″ tall
    • 2 3/4″ wide by 3/4″ tall

I first inked the edges of the mats with the black ink and adhered them in a pleasing way on the corresponding areas of the base card with tape runner. Then I adhered the pink flourish to the tallest piece.

A Chinese New Year card almost insists on some glimmer

The fan image from the Digital Craft Kit looked a little lackluster, so I first inked the edges with black ink and then added a few glittery accents. I then placed the image on top of the flourish with pop dots. This fancy fold Asian-themed card insisted on the added glamour.

The butterfly (from the same digital image set) also called out for some dressing up, so I added some glitter to the wings and body, and then I used the gold glitter pen to highlight the wings for a bit more interest. I then adhered it to the outer corner of the middle “step.”

Butterfly cutout dressed up with glitter and gold gel pen
Paper butterflies often appreciate a little sparkly help

Inking the edges of papers adds a very subtle “finish” to the pieces and helps give them definition from the paper behind them.
~Shea McNaughton

Because I don’t have any word dies, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the greeting, then highlighted each letter with the gold glitter pen. I adhered them to the “steps” with liquid glue. That needle-nose tip is essential for the tiny letters.

Close up of one angle of this non-traditional Chinese New Year card
Now these words POP

I colored all of the flowers with my homemade shimmer paint and attached them as shown. I used a little red artist’s chalk to enhance the centers of the cherry blossoms, but that’s not a requirement. They’re just as pretty without it.

A light sprinkling of pink micro mini pearls, and voila, this Asian-themed side step card was finished. Once the base card was made and the mats were cut, this card went together in mere minutes, even with the extra glitter and painting that I did.

Now it’s your turn

Have you made a Chinese New Year card yet? Did you make it in red, or were you a card-making rebel (either by accident or on purpose) and choose another color? Come share on the G&B Facebook page and share any stories that go along with it. Because stepping out always comes with a story.

Until then, 快乐的手工艺! Or… Kuàilè de shǒugōngyì!

Or… happy crafting! (I hope that’s what Google translator said.)

You might also like…

A Christmas Side Step Card
Halloween Side Step Card – Sweet Kitty
A Side Step Card Full of Color, Texture and Fun!

Challenges entered:

Gecko Galz January Challenge – “Far East Beauty”
Gecko Galz January Challenge – “Good Wishes – Anything Goes”
Gecko Galz January Challenge – “Flowers & Lanterns”
Get Creative Challenge #97 – “Anything Goes/No Twist”
Simon Says: “Layer It Up”

1 thought on “Asian Beauty – an Accidental Chinese New Year Card”

  1. It’s an amazing design – so many details.

    Thanks for joining us at the Get Creative Challenges.

    Helen x

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