Greeting Cards and Gift Bags

This week, Gloria is joined by Belinda Kangwa from Scrapbook Direct. She will be showing us how to make personalised greeting cards and gift bags that have creative designs and colours. We will learn exciting techniques using specialised craft equipment such as dry embossing, dye-cutting, layering, creating textures, card measurements and so much more.

By Belinda Kangwa

Scrapbook Direct

Pin Wheel Gift Bag


  • Trim & Score Board – (71337-1)
  • Pinwheel Punch Board – (71345-6)
  • Gift bag Punch Board – (71333-3)
  • Crop-A-Dile power punch ¼” hole – (71272-5)
  • Double-sided Tape
  • Small piece of matching ribbon for the bow
  • 1 brad (or pinwheel accessories)
  • 2 pieces of scrapbook paper 12×12” or 2x A4 papers.


  • Step 1: Cut both sheets of paper down to 280mm (height of the bag) x 200mm (width of the bag)(7 7/8” x 11”)
  • Step 2: Trim & Score board
  • Insert the longest side of the paper and press it against the top of the board. Score a 1 3/8” line on the short side of the paper. This is the part of the bag that we will fold over to create a neat and sturdy edge at the top. Rotate the paper and on the longest side of the paper score a 5/8” line. This forms the lip that you use to attach the 2 sides of the bag together.
  • Step 3: Gift bag punch board
  • Remember that you always punch the BOTTOM of the bag – this becomes relevant when you are working with a patterned paper like the one we used where the cakes have to face upward. Press the length of the paper that you want to use as the “width of the bag” against the top of the board. Insert the paper from the right and align it with the “start line” printed on the board. PUNCH. Score the horizontal line, then the “V”. The “V” creates the gusset of the bag. You can expand the length and the height of the bag, but the gusset will always remain the same. Remember to score both vertical lines as well. Take care not to score over the bottom edge of the board as you may damage your paper.
  • Step 4: Move the paper to the left. Remember to complete the horizontal score line through all the phases as you move up the paper. The second score line must line up with the start line (little plastic lip on the board) PUNCH. Line up your last score line with the plastic lip and PUNCH. Use the scoring tool to flatten all the score lines. Take care to flatten the “V” of the gusset correctly. You have to fold the gusset in a zig-zag pattern to get the correct shape.
  • Step 5: Snip away all the small corners that will prevent the bag from closing properly. You can punch through 2 layers of paper to make the holes for the bag, but not 3 pieces. Repeat all the steps on the second paper.
  • Step 6: Attach the double-sided tape correctly on the bag as shown. Place the 2 parts you have made down in front of you so that the pieces line up correctly. Stick the narrow side lip of the first paper to the gusset of the second paper. At this point you can fold the top part of the bag over and use double-punch the back of the punchboard to make holes in the top of the bag where you can attach ribbons or a handle if so desired. Stick all the sides of the bag together.
  • Step 7: Pinwheel Punch Board
  • Decide what size pinwheel you want to make and cut the paper size according to the size guide provided.
  • The paper size for the pinwheel we will be making is 4×4” (10.2cm) The Punch Board has 2 sides. The left side is used to make single pinwheels and the right side is used in combination with the left side to make double pinwheels.
  • Step 8: Lift the transparent plastic cover. Punch the four corners of both squares. Place the first square to line up with the guide (using the correct measurement) on the left and press down so that the point presses a hole in the paper.
  • Step 9: Remove the blade from the housing, insert it in the left rail and cut down. Remove the blade. Leave the paper pierced through the plastic point and simply rotate it so that the cut line lines up with the blade track. Insert the blade again in the rail and cut. Complete all 4 cuts. This shape makes a single pinwheel.
  • Step 10: Repeat the process with the second square but on the right hand side of the board. You will notice that the cut made on the right hand side is less curved than the one made on the left hand side.
  • Step 11: When all the cuts have been made, overlap the 2 squares at 45’. Make sure that the square with the cuts that are rounder (the one you made first) is in front. Tuck the corners of the back square through the slits of the top square. Use a toothpick from the back to keep the holes aligned while you fold the fans of the pinwheel in place.  Insert a brad and ‘voila’, your pinwheel is complete!

Card Making


  • Embossing Powder gold
  • Emboss pad
  • Bronze pearls x 3
  • Cardstock: Cream, green, gold, bronze
  • Matching envelope
  • Double-sided Tape
  • Craft glue


  • Embossing Folders: EF-057 (Grande Caliber)
  • Tool-n-one
  • Magnetic Envelope notch punch 71344-9
  • Moulding mat
  • Paper Shaping Tools
  • Craft Sheet
  • 2-DIE-4-DIES: 2-die-4-219 Mantle Clock
  • Quick-Stik Pick-up tool
  • Embossing Heat tool
  • Foam Tape
  • Fine metal tips for glue bottle
  • Metal Shim
  • Tattered Lace Dies: TTL-D468, TTL-D667, TTL-D503


  • Step 1: Trim the cream cardstock down to 260mm x 160mm and then fold the card in half and flatten with your paper shaping tool.
  • Step 2: Take the card and insert one of the halves into the embossing folder. Line it up with your pattern and run through your die-cut machine. This is called dry embossing.
  • Step 3: Take out the dies you want to use for the project and layer them on top of each other to get the design right. Remember that the cards will ultimately be a mirror image of what you are doing. Select the cardstock colours you want to use for your project and die-cut them out. You have to use a metal shim to cut most of the very finely detailed dies on the market today for the best results.
  • Step 4: To make a realistic looking flower you have to layer at least 3 petal shapes on top of each other.
  • However, it is important to stretch the fibers in the paper of the flower to create a more organic shape. Place the flower shapes on top of the molding mat and using your paper shaping tool, very gently (without tearing or folding the paper) from the center of the flower, press down and with circular movements start to stretch the paper so that the petals lift up. Turn the paper over and repeat on the other side. Do this with all the petals until you are satisfied with the result. Layer them on top of each other so that the petals overlap and stick them together using glue. Do this on all three flowers.
  • Step 5: You can do heat embossing on top of low-profile metal dies as they are very easy to clean by simply rubbing them with a baby-wipe or rinsing them off underneath a tap. After you have die-cut and embossed the clock, do not remove it from the die. Use an earbud and apply the glue from the emboss pad over the numbers of the clock that are protruding at the front of the die. Do not dilly-dally. While the embossing glue is still wet, sprinkle gold embossing powder over. It is often better to do this in stages if you are scared that the glue will dry before you complete the entire task. Work on top of your craft sheet as it is able to withstand 260’C and will protect the surface of your table. Use your heat gun to slowly warm up the embossing powder until it becomes glossy and see the magic happen! It is not advisable to use a hair dryer for this purpose as it blows too hard and the paper may also be scalded)
  • Step 6: To easily remove all the bits and pieces form your die, place the die facing down on top of your molding mat and gently run over it with the Tool-n-one. Using this tool cuts down your die-cut time by +-80%.
  • Step 7: Make sure that the card opens the correct way before gluing down the individual items (you will be amazed how many people, even experienced card makers, accidentally glue items upside down on the card!) Also make sure that you get the spacing just right before sticking down the items. Glue the clock onto the paper, then the swirls and the leaves.
  • Step 8: Use 3mm as well as 1mm foam tape to achieve different depths on the flowers and stick them down so that they overlap each other. Use the quick-stik tool to glue the pearls to the center of the flowers. Your card is now complete and ready to be used.