Saturday, April 25, 2020

Grad Cap 3D Easel Card

Round card has attached underneath panel that bends 
to display the attached dimensional graduation 
mortar board cap up at an angle. 
Cap is composed of four-part shaped crown, 
square layered top with center “button” circles in recess;
card top has layered circles for strength and reinforcement. 
Add school color accents with dimensional paper fringe 
tassel that attaches with narrow ribbon (or paper strip)
crown rim strips, interior panels, etc. 
Attach the double layer sentiment panel with 
“Congrats Grad” (optional “Accomplished” also included) 
and star to provide the “stop” for the easel mechanism. 
Closed card measures approx. 5” x 5” x 1.25” deep. 
Enclose the card in a custom-fit container companion design 
View the instructions link to see assembly steps. 
A SnapDragon Snippets design.

ASSEMBLY: 1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A main card base with 'mechanism' folded top circle
B card front circle reinforcement
C accent offset circle (narrow border)
D card front offset inner circle with cap tip slots
E card back circle reinforcement
F & G interior offset accent shapes
H mortar board bottom layer (with slots for cap)
I interior mortar board squares (2)
J mortar board top square (with faux stitching)
K button build up circles (4)
L dimensional cap side shapes (2 with tabs, 2 without)
M cap lower rim trim accents (4)
O tassel fringe strip  P tassel top cap
Q tassel top band
R stop plaque shapes (2), star, "Congrats Grad" words
A matched color 6" length of 1/4-3/8" width 
satin ribbon will also be needed for the tassel.
2. Prepare the shapes that need to be glued, pressed,
and allowed to dry first:
Position and attach the interior mortar board squares
taking care to align all cut edges as precisely as possible.
3. Position and attach the top mortar board layer
onto the stack.
NOTE: to keep the glued-up shapes from warping or
curling as the liquid adhesive dries, press the shapes flat
under flat weights such as these fabric-covered re-purposed
free weight bars, a large book, or equivalent household object,
and leave in place until the stacked shapes are completely dry.
4. Position and attach all the button circles as a stack.
Press under a heavy weight until dry.
5. Position and attach the 'stop' plaque shapes, then . . .
. . . use the weeded 'waste' Congrats Grad paper
to help center and position the words onto the lower arch
of the plaque.
Add the star. Press flat and allow to dry.
6. Prepare the card base 'mechanism' by bending
with backsides together at center short perf line,
then bending back at top horizontal center line
and crease well.
7. Position the front circle reinforcement shape
onto the mechanism upper half circle, align curve
edges, and attach together. (Adhesive tape works well.)
8. Position and attach the back reinforcement circle
in the same manner on backside of base.
9. Position and attach the offset interior circle accent
shape onto the inside of back base panel.
Position the half circle accent onto the exposed half
of the mechanism, with straight edge aligned
at crease/fold line, curved edges offset.
10. Position and attach the accent color circle
onto the front of card.
11. Position, center, and offset a tiny bit along bottom curves
to attach the 'stop' plaque to the card inside.
Here is how the card mechanism will work.
12. Prepare the cap side wall shapes by bending
back on ALL perforation lines for segments, side tabs
and top tabs, except bend center top tab and
'leg' tabs forward.
13. Identify the tiny wedge tabs (make sure these
are bent back on the perforation lines), then . . .
. . . bend to overlap the adjacent straight edge
to overlap the wedge tab to the perforation line,
and glue the seam.
Repeat for the seam on the other side.
14. Repeat to prepare all FOUR of the wall shapes.
15. Assemble the cap by positioning (left here) one
of the tabs-attached wall shapes with one of
the no-tabs shapes, overlap the straight edges
(on no-tabs edge) over tabs to perforation lines of
the two sections of the seam, adjust for alignment
across the two shapes, then glue the seam.
16. Repeat to join the third section on, and then . . .
. . . add the fourth wedge. Finally complete the final seam.
17. Prepare the accent rim trim shapes by bending
back slightly on the two tiny perf cuts at approx. one-third
distance inward from sides.
Position along the lower edges of each wedge,
aligning the bends of both layers, and attach in place.
18. Prepare to attach the cap assembly to the mortar board
by bending the corner pairs of top tabs inward,
leaving the rounded tabs up.
19. Position tabs beneath the slots of the bottom layer
square of mortar board and insert each through slot.
Bend each tab in toward center and glue in place.
NOTE: it will be helpful to invert the assembly
and apply finger pressure where the four tabs
are being attached.
20. Position the upper layers assembly of
mortar board squares onto the top of the base layer
taking care to align all outer cut edges precisely,
and attach in place.
21. Insert each cap 'leg' tabs pair through the slots
of the card front circle top layer, then . . .
. . . bend outward and glue in place.
21. Position the assembly on top of the card base
assembly, centering so that offset of accent color circle
appears as equal width narrow border all around.
22. Prepare the tassel 'cap' shape by adding some
curl to the strip portion, then . . .
. . . bend back the tiny tabs along the top edge.
23. Form the cap into a tube to wrap the straight lead
edge to overlap opposite tab to perforation line,
and glue seam. NOTE: use a new standard no.2 pencil
as a wrap form to provide a 'press against' surface.
24. Slide tube to un-sharpened blunt end of new
pencil (or new eraser end), bend the top tabs in,
and push slotted cap down . . .
. . . to fit over the tabs and tube and glue in place.
25. Add curl to the 'header' of the fringe strip
to prepare it to more easily be rolled.
26. Apply adhesive at one end of backside of header
for an inch or so, then use a standard round toothpick
(if available) to begin to tightly roll the header . . .
. . . into a tight tube . . .
. . . adding more adhesive ahead of the rolling until . . .
. . . the end begins to stack and approach the diameter
of the inside of the cap tube. NOTE: make sure
as the rolling continues that it remains as tight as
possible, and that the cut edge stays aligned straight.
Once the roll is as 'fat' as it can be and still fit
into tube, trim away any excess strip.
Make sure final edge end is attached well.
This is showing the size check of fringe roll to cap fit.
27. Fold the ribbon in half at tassel end, and insert
into the cap slot, then . . .
. . . push through and out bottom. Create a 'stop'
for the ribbon end by folding end back on itself
and gluing or tie a not-too-bulky knot.
28. Push/pull the 'stop' back into the tube and . . .
. . . push it as far into the tube as possible without pushing
thru the slot. Add spot of glue if deemed necessary.
29. Add glue to fringe end/shaft, then insert fully
into the cap tube to top of fringe cuts.
30. Add curl to the accent strip with fine shaft tool
such as this stylus, then . . . 
. . . position and attach at the end of cap,
matching the position of seams if possible.
31. Mark an exposed length of approx. 4.5" from
cap end, using a pin or other temporary means.
(NOTE: this length can be adjusted to be slightly
shorter as desired.)
32. Determine best position for ribbon across mortar board
surface upper diagonal edge (check the open position
to see how the sample project looks, NOTING
that it may be preferable to have it "hang" over opposite
LEFT side, which is where in the graduation process
the tassel gets moved to when the graduate
has received diploma and official graduated). 

Position the end mark at the button recess edge,
trim excess leaving a short tail, remove pin and 
glue end in place.
33. Position and attach button, centered, in recess,
concealing ribbon end.
34. Open card and position front bottom edge at
stop for display position, arrange the ribbon to allow
tassel to hang as desired, then assist this position
to be 'permanent' by adding adhesive dot or equivalent
to mortar board underside to hold ribbon in place.
Consider preparing the companion design
gift box to hold the dimensional easel card.

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