Looking to make a card that’s more interesting than the normal folded-in-half kind? (Also known as a standard A2 fold.) While there’s nothing wrong with the “norm,” sometimes you want something that
is a little less boring stands out from the crowd. Or maybe you want a card that tells a story. Or you just want something fancy schmancy that can support some frills and doodads. OK, a lot of frills and doodads. Enter the Side Step card, the miniature staircase that has all sorts of paper real estate that begs to be dressed up.
Don’t be fooled – the side step card looks complicated, but it’s not
You may have seen directions to make side step cards that look something like this:
There’s nothing wrong at all with instructions like these – they’re extremely precise. But if you’d rather take a shortcut than the slow boat to China, there’s a faster and easier way to get there.
Now in the spirit of full disclosure, the easiest way to make a sidestep card is with a cutting machine. I use a Silhouette Cameo, which makes cutting this card easier than breathing. OK, almost easier. But if that’s not in the cards for you right now, my method will have you cutting a side step card in minutes. As opposed to exhausting your brain with measurements, lines and numbers, oh my! So let’s get to it.
The list is short and sweet:
- One piece of cardstock measuring 5 1/2″ by 8 1/2″
- A scoring board (mine’s ancient and not as good as this one, which I’ve just ordered – it helps with making boxes and envelopes too!)
- A paper cutter
- Additional cardstock and embellishments
- A small scrap of ribbon or cardstock (optional)
Instructions for making a side step card the easy way
More full disclosure (because I’ll always try to credit my original inspiration): I was introduced to the side step card courtesy of the creative genius of Beate Johns’ tutorial over at Splitcoast Stampers. Hers was the original quickie method. But I still ruined cardstock because apparently, I needed slightly more spelled-out instructions. As in to. the. letter. So I’ve reworked her original tutorial to include the extra fleshing out.
All images are my own, of course.
Line up the short side of the cardstock in the paper cutter at the 3″ mark. Start at the 1″ mark and cut to 6 1/2.” You now have a slit in the middle of the cardstock, and you’ll see that the paper is now divided into two widths: 3″ and 2 1/2″. (For a total width of 5 1/2.”)
This is the only tricky step because you’re cutting inside the piece and not from the edge. And while a separate ruler is not required for this step, I find I get the most precise measurement if I use one. If you’re good at eyeballing (I’m not), you won’t need one.
Place paper on the score board and score the narrower (2 1/2″) side at the 4 1/4″ mark. Score only to the slit.
Without moving the cardstock, and starting at the slit, score the wide (3″) section at the following marks:
- 3 1/4″
- 4 1/2″
- 6 1/2″
You should have 5 score lines on this side.
Fold the score line on the narrow side (at the 4 1/4″ mark) into a “mountain.” This means to fold the paper down along the line.
On the wide (3″) side, fold the first score line (1″ mark) down into a “mountain” fold.
Fold the second fold up (a “valley” fold).
Continue to fold the remaining score lines in alternating mountain and valley folds.
Fold the last score line down (“mountain” fold).
Voila, your side step card base is finished.
Step 6 (optional)
While not absolutely necessary, attaching a small piece of ribbon to the inside of the tall “step” adds stability to the card. This allows the addition of embellishments without causing the card to fall open and flatten. It IS essential if you’re going to load the card up with pretties as I did in this Christmas side step card. You can use a scrap of cardstock for the purpose, but I prefer ribbon. It’s lighter in weight and prettier. And it folds nicer when the card is folded flat for mailing.
And that, lovely reader, is the super shortcut to making an easy side step card. The decorating… well, I’ll be back in my next post to ‘splain how I gussied this card up.
Now it’s your turn
Have you ever made a side step card? How did you make it? Was it easy, or were you frustrated? Try this method and share your results on the G&B Facebook page! We’d love to share your success!
You might also like…