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Gatefold Card Instructions

We're using the Ballerina Gatefold Card Kit in these instructions, but all the basic Gatefold cards are constructed in exactly the same way.  These cards are really easy to do and are nice and 'chunky', making them a good choice for kids to both make and receive.

printable ballerina gatefold card

Ballerina Kit is Available on it's own or in a Bundle


Craft Supplies Needed

  • Card and papercraft supplies need to make the ballerina gatefold card

  • Scoring system or a good ruler and score tool.

  • 2 x scissors, large for main cutting and detail scissors for decoupage

  • 3D sticky pads

  • Adhesive that won't buckle paper e.g double-sided tape

  • Optional: Quicky Glue Pen & Glitter

  • Download the kit

Printing your Gatefold Card Kit

Open your files and print out the envelope front, back and card insert on paper. Print the main card front, and decoupage elements on card. The insert of the card only needs paper, if you printed onto card you would find it too stiff to fold nicely inside the card shape.

printed sheets from the ballerina gatefold card kit

Printed contents of the card kit

Make the Envelope

Envelope Tips:  take care to get the adhesive right to the straight edges of the envelope, you don't want your envelope to have loose flaps at the edge for them to get caught up in the post.

Making your own envelopes might seem unnecessary if you have one big enough already, but it's really simple and coordinated envelopes really finish off a handmade card.

1. Using your score tool score along the fold lines indicated on the printed envelope sheets.

2. Apply your adhesive to the envelope flaps on the envelope back section. Use an adhesive that will not wet the paper and make it buckle. Double sided tape would be great, or a glue runner as used here. 

3. Affix envelope front to the rear section - your envelope finished.

ballerina gatefold envelope printables

Envelope Printables from the Ballerina Kit


scoring the folds on the envelope printable sheet

Scoring the Envelope Sheets to Make Folding Neater


glue the folded flaps of the envelope printable sheet

Glue the Folded Flaps of the Envelope 


handmade printable envelope for the ballerina gatefold card

Your Fabulous Handmade Envelope!

Making the Card

Prepare the card insert by scoring along the indicated lines and then cut carefully around the outside. Prepare the card front in the same way.

This step is optional, but I like to ink the folded edges of the card front and insert with a matching ink pad.

It helps to disguise the fold line markings and gives a more professional look to the finished card.

printed front of card from the ballerina gatefold card kit

Your Printed Front of the Gatefold Card


Scoring Tips:  get into the habit of scoring before cutting, as with some templates you may find that the score line markings are not so obvious once you have cut.

Now it is time to attach the insert to the inside of the card base. Once again use a dry glue, like a runner or double sided tape. Only apply the glue to the centre section of the folded card base. If you try to completely stick the insert to the whole of the card base you will find that when you come to close the card the insert will prevent to card from closing properly and buckle up inside....not pretty! The insert is sized perfectly to fit the card base with a slight border remaining.

folded gatefold card

The Scored and Folded Card

Cutting Decoupage Pieces

Now we need to prepare and decorate (if desired) the decoupage elements. A little thought is required here - if you have chosen to decoupage the inside and outside images you need to make sure you keep them separate: the inner and outer images are slightly different, if you mix the decoupage pieces up they will not match.

Cut the decoupage as carefully as you can. I always cut any black line around the image away, a personal preference, so I cut very slightly inside the line: think of it as cutting the line away and not cutting on the line.

ballerina decoupage pieces from the kit

Ballerina Decoupage Pieces from the Kit

ballet card cut out pieces

Ballerina Pieces Cut and Ready to Decoupage Your Card!

Dealing with 'Delicate' Decoupage

Sometimes decoupage pieces can be very delicate, as with the ribbon on the shoes.

Cut as close as you dare, but don't risk cutting through just to remove all the white...there is a trick to use!

Take a matching colour marker pen, I have used a Promarker here, and very gently just touch up any of the white you were unable to remove when cutting out the decoupage.

No one will ever know!

printed ballet shoes Printed Ballet Shoes - Use the 'Delicate' Trick to Hide any White


cut out and inked ballet shoes

The Cut and Inked Ballet Shoes


glittered cut out star

Adding a bit of Glitter Bling to the Star


For a little extra bling, use the Quicky Glue Pen to draw around the edge of the star, and also along the edge of the top layer of the girl's skirt. White glitter has then been applied to the glue pen. This step is decide how far you want to go with the glitter!

Apply your double sided pads to the reverse of your decoupage pieces: cut the pads to make smaller pieces if you need them for tiny areas like the ribbon.

Attach the main complete image to the front of the card.

Remember!  The nature of this gatefold card is that half of the main image will overlap the opening, so don't put glue all the way across the back. I have used my tape gun for this image as I didn't want to much depth on the front of the card. Something to think about if your card is to be posted. Too many 3D double sided pads means more expensive to send.

Apply the decoupage layers, and you have finished your Gatefold Card!

If you like the look of these simple, chunky Gatefold cards - perfect for kids to make and receive - then check out the big value bundle that this Ballerina card comes from...

Ballerina Kit is Available on it's own or in a Bundle

Other Types of Gatefold Card

gatefold envelope handmade card from a printable kit

See how to make this Gatefold Envelope Card from another printable card making kit in the store.

Browse the Gatefold Cards in the store, including our big value Bundles.

Find out more about the types of Card Making Printables we have in our shop.

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