How to Make an Easy Shaker Card

How to Make an Easy Shaker Card main article image
Posted on July 11, 2021 by Natalie Ballard
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Shakers are fab for adding a little fun and movement to any project: greeting card, scrapbook page or even a tag. This project shows you how to create a dimensional tag with your electronic cutter. Please be aware, machine do vary, and select a foam sheet that fits the depth tolerance of your machine.

Completed shaker element featuring a two bunny outline with a country scene within

You will need:

  • Coloured card
  • White stamping card
  • Cute animal/critter stamps or designs
  • Ink blending tools
  • Inks and pens for colouring 
  • Anti-static bag or talc
  • Glitter, sparkles and other tiny ephemera
  • Acetate
  • Adhesive foam sheet
  • Shape or silhouette-style design for your shaker

Choosing and setting up your design

You want to choose a simple bold image which will be the outer edge of your shaker. ScanNCut users: you can use one of the built-in designs by adding it to your mat and saving to Canvas Workspace; open it on your computer and edit as follows.

  1. Import your chosen design into your design software for your cutter. This initial shape will be both your backing panel and your acetate panel.
  2. Duplicate this shape to start to make your shaker frame.
  3. With the duplicate selected, create an inwards offset; some packages will give you the option for inwards, otherwise use a negative figure to offset inwards (such as “-5mm” for a 5mm inwards offset). This should be at least 5mm if not more – the bigger this number the thicker your frame.
  4. Now to create the shapes as a frame. Now, this step isn’t 100% required, but it is required if you want to add a title or other elements to your frame. It’s a good practice to get into. Select both the duplicate background shape and the inside offset. Use subtract to remove the inside shape from the outer.
  5. You will cut this frame from your coloured card and your foam adhesive sheet.

Cutting your pieces

Starting with the background layer, you are going to cut this twice. 

  1. Start with your white card and cut the shape from this. I’d recommend cutting a couple of spares in case you go wrong. Set to one side for now.
  2. Replace it with acetate on your mat and cut the background shape again. The acetate can be plain or switch it up with a foiled acetate for a different look. You could even use vellum if you are confident cutting more fragile materials.

With your frame design, you again are going to cut this twice.

  1. Cut your first frame piece from your coloured card; this could be mirri, glitter, foiled or patterned cardstock instead if you wish. The purpose of this piece is to hide the adhesive. Once you are used to creating this file, you could add a small positive offset to make it easier to assemble; this is entirely optional.
  2. Cut a second frame piece from your foam adhesive sheet. Depending on your machine, you may want to swap your blade to a deep cut blade for a cleaner cut. This is when a test cut is useful by comparing the blades you have available to you. Do not remove it from its surrounding foam at his stage. 

Assembling the shaker

Most of the work is in creating the background now. So, grab your white card piece and stencil, blend and stamp to your heart’s content. Here’s the instructions for what I made:

  1. Stamp your cute critters along with any scenery or accessories directly onto your white card piece. Check you use an inked that isn’t going to smudge or smear with your chosen colouring media. I used Versafine, but Squid Ink and Memento are others you could use. You could also draw on your critters if you have digi stamps or print these first before cutting out your piece.
  2. Colour your sky using inks and a cloud stencil (optional) for blending. A light blue pad such as Broken Glass Distress Ink or similar works great for this.
  3. Mask your characters if you wish, and then use a green ink to give your characters grounding.
  4. Use alcohol markers, pencil crayons or watercolours to colour in your characters, accessory and scenery.
    Coloured in panel featuring a country scene with cute bunnies
  5. Allow to dry thoroughly; this is really important! Use an anti-static pad over the top to make extra sure.
  6. Anti-static the reverse of your acetate and place this front down onto your work surface.
  7. Remove the protective sheet from the front of your foam frame without removing it from the main sheet. Carefully overlay the acetate and align it carefully. 
    Photo showing aligning the acetate
  8. Remove the outer and inner pieces of foam and set them aside for another project. Add your glitter, sparkles or beads to the well. Place more than you think you need but not so much that you character will be hidden.
    Adding the shaker bits to the well
  9. Remove the protective sheet from your foam adhesive carefully. Flip your background piece over and apply it making sure to be accurate with placement.
    Aligning the backing piece
  10. Apply your coloured frame to the front with PVA. Alternatively, you can cut a third frame design from double sided adhesive sheet and apply this to your frame OR apply the adhesive to your coloured card before cutting it out.

Using this technique, you can make so many different shaker options. Try changing up the materials for the different layers, add detail to the front frame or use multiple foam layers to create a layered scene within the shaker.


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