Lock Cards: 3 Ways

Lock Cards: 3 Ways main article image
Posted on April 28, 2021 by Zeldi Smulders
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These three lock cards were each made by first creating a base card with sides that can fold in, then cutting out and attaching mirror-image type of shapes, and then finally using those shapes to create locks. The locks are created by using different methods to attach two shapes to each other in some way, closing the card and keeping it in place.

What is a lock card?

A way of describing it is that it is a type of card the receiver needs to open or unlock in some way to reveal the rest of the card, making it an interactive card. Therefore, this type of card needs a way of opening, and closing and it also needs something to keep it closed when it needs to be closed.

The 3 type of lock cards we will look at now:

  1. A lock card with two shapes that slide out of a small hole.
  2. A lock card with two shapes with slits that slide into each other.
  3. A lock card with two shapes that fold over each other.

When is it a good idea to make one of these cards?

  • You have a secret message to reveal. Think gender reveal, a surprise gift or any other secret message.
  • You have a lot of things to include in the card. This is when everything won’t fit on one section, and it needs to have various sections that fold into each other. This type of card can hold a lot of layers for extra photos and messages. Use the space you are hiding away with the lock to add an accordion or waterfall feature for the contents of the card. The lock will keep everything in place. Adding layers of paper to your card will give it an interesting design, and it can only strengthen the card which is always a good thing for a card like this that will be handled a lot.
  • You just want to make something cool. No explanation needed. Some people just appreciate someone going the extra mile to make something special like this.
  • You don’t have a lot of fancy craft equipment to work with. With these lock cards, you don’t need them. You just need to follow the steps and take note of the extra comments and tips to get the basic principles right. Of course, using cutting machines and other crafting equipment can enhance the look of the card and give you a few extra options to work with.

For now, let’s start with the basic lock card steps!

What you need:

  • Cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Scoring tool (optional)
  • Adhesive
  • Embellishments

Lock Card #1

  1. Start by making the base card: There will be four blocks to measure, and they will all stay attached to each other. The middle and top block needs to be the same size (14×10 cm), while the two side blocks that connect to the left and right side of the middle one need to be half the width (7×10 cm) so that it can fold close and meet in the middle. Once you have measured it and cut it you can score the inner lines as they will be folded in later.

2. Cut out the shape: Measure the size you would like the shape to be. For this card, you will draw a tulip on a 6×6 cm block. Fold the block in half and draw half a tulip from the folded side to get a mirror image when you cut it out. This step might take a little practice. Luckily, you can use the first tulip as a template for the second one. 3. Assemble and lock: Attach your tulips to the left and right side blocks of the base card. Half of the tulip will be placed on the base card the other half will not be attached to anything.

Next, you will make a slit on the top block of the base card. The slit needs to be big enough to accommodate the shapes sliding into it. Therefore, the slit needs to have the same size in height as the cutout tulip shape. The width depends on the type of paper you used but just a few mm should be sufficient. The slit will be in line with where the two halves of the tulips meet. Make sure the tulips will be able to slide into place before cutting the slit and committing to its position.

Something to remember with this card is that you need to choose a symmetrical shape so that it looks good on the front view of the card. The back of the shape will be visible once you open the card, so make sure you use double-sided paper or decorate the back of the shape in some way. Also, take note that the tulips or whatever shape you choose might not be able to have an entirely flat fold when it is slided into the slit and this is normal.

4. Decorate as you please!

Lock Card #2

  1. Start by making the base card: The base card will have five blocks that stay attached to each other. Measure a middle block of 10×10 cm with smaller blocks on each side that are 10×5 cm each. They are half the width of the middle block so that they are able to fold in and meet in the middle.

Move on to the two blocks on the left and right side of the base card. Looking at the height of the blocks, make a mark to indicate where the middle is. Using a pencil, draw a line from the middle of the long side of the block to the two corners on the opposite side. This will create a triangle shape that you can cut.

2. Cut out the shape: Cut out a smaller block shape that is approximately the same size you would like the butterfly shape to be. Fold the block in half and draw one butterfly wing from the folded side so that the shape you cut out will be a mirror image and will result in a full butterfly.

3. Assemble and lock: Make a slit on the bottom middle part of the one butterfly and on the top middle part of the other one. The two slits should both be the same length that goes to about the middle of the butterfly’s height. Attach the butterflies to the triangles, positioning the end of the slit on the top part of the triangle. Slide the one butterfly on the left side of the card into the butterfly on the right side of the card using the two small slits. They will slide into each other to make a full shape.

What you need to take note of with this card is that your shape needs to be able to receive a slit. So, if the shape doesn’t have enough space for that it might be a problem. Take note that the back of the shape will be visible, so you can use double-sided paper or decorate the back of the shape as well. Use strong paper that can handle the friction this lock creates.

4. Decorate as you please!

Lock Card #3

  1. Start by making the base card: This card will have three blocks that will stay attached to each other. The middle block is 10×8 cm and the two smaller blocks on the left and right side are 5×8 cm, allowing them to fold in and meet in the middle.

Move on to the two blocks on the left and right side of the base card. Looking at the height of the blocks, make a mark to indicate where the middle is. Using a pencil, draw a line from the middle of the long side of the block to the two corners on the opposite side. This will create a triangle shape that you can cut.

2. Cut out the shape: To make the heart shapes, cut two more 5×8 cm blocks and fold them both in the middle. Draw half a heart shape from the folded side of the block. Cutting this out will create a mirror image and will result in a symmetrical full heart shape.

3. Assemble and lock: Paste the hearts on the triangles, making sure to cover the pointed end of the triangle with the heart shape. The rounded parts of the hearts will face inwards. Lock the two heart shapes by slightly twisting them and fitting them in between each other. One flap will go on top and one on the bottom and vice versa.

Remember to use paper that’ll be strong enough to handle the tension. The shape is also important as it will have an effect on how your lock elements fold into each other.

4. Decorate as you please!

Now that you know a few ways to make locks on your cards you can make it your own and try different shapes that’ll work with the different types of locking techniques. If you don’t want to cut out your own shapes, you can find graphics on the Creative Fabrica website. Print or cut out these designs on suitable paper.

Which one of these lock cards would you like to try out? Let us know in the comments below!

Need some more interactive card ideas to try out? Check out How to Make a Pull Tab Slider Birthday Card and How To Make A Pop-Up Birthday Card.


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