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African Dress Birthday Card for the Inventor

African Dress Birthday Card for the Inventor
By: Melanie Smith, Artistic Guide

Finished Card Size:  9" x 4.25"

This month I made three cards in different styles using variations of the same basic technique (masking) and the same four stamps.  See my other designs for the Discoverer and the Adventurer.

This card uses a template as a mask for sponging and stamping.  I've used a bodice template with the Lion/African stamps to provide an interesting contrast between masculine and feminine themes.  You could make your own t-shirt template for a more masculine card - or use a cat face and flowers for a fully feminine version.

Lion AAA45L (Rubbadubbadoo)
Toi toi C389T (Rubbadubbadoo)
Shadow Tree 3 (D592SRubbadubbadoo)
Birthday Block AAA78B (Rubbadubbadoo)
Manilla colour cardstock 4.25" x 5.5"
Manilla cardstock (for sentiment) 4.25" x 5.5"
Black paper (for matt) 4.5" x 5.75"
Black paper (for sentiment) 4.25" x 5.5"
Sand cardstock 9" x 8.25" (Score and fold down the middle at 4.5")
Sand cardstock 4.25" x 5.5"
Black Archival ink pad (Ranger)
Distress Inks pads (Ranger)
    Antique Linen
    Vintage Photo
    Shabby Shutters
    Worn Lipstick
    Spiced Marmalade
Adirondack Ink pads (Ranger)
Memento ink pads (Tsunikeo)
Double-sided tape

Bodice Template (Stampendous)
Scrap paper for lion head mask

Sakura Glaze Pens
White tissue paper (wrapping style)
Removeable glue stick
Cutting tools - blade


  1. Lay template over the 4.25" x 5.5" manilla cardstock. Hold firmly in place and sponge Antique Linen ink over the whole bodice area. Sponge Meadow ink on to the 'hip' area and blend Spiced Marmalade and Worn Lipstick inks over the 'bust' and 'waist' area until you are pleased with the result.
  2. Keep the template in place and stamp the Lion and then the 'Toi-toi' stamps.
  3. Make a mask of the Lion  and put in place.  Stamp the Tree into the top right space. Remove mask and template. With Glaze pens dot around the top of the bodice with Pink and around the bottom edges with White.
  4. Take the tissue paper and lay out on cutting mat. Lay a large dinner plate on top and cut around it.
    Crumple up the circle and unfold. Add colour to raised areas using 'direct to paper' method. (Direct to paper - DTP is adding colour by touching the ink pad directly on to the paper). Crumple the paper up again, unravel and add more colour until you achieve your desired result. I used Memento Dandelion, Adirondack Stream and Raisin inks around the outside only.
  5. Fold circle in half.  Pinch/pleat to make a skirt.
  6. Using a craft knife, cut along the bottom edges of the bodice as shown in the photo.  Trim the card so that the bodice is in the middle (horizontally) and the width of the card is 3.75".  Slot the skirt piece into place and attach with tape on the back.  Trim the top and bottom of the card to 7".  Sponge the edges of the Manilla cardstock with Antique Paper ink followed by Spiced Marmalade ink, add Worn Lipstick ink highlights and an edge of Adirondack Raisin ink.
  7. Mount onto Black paper and trim closely.
  8. Attach to the folded Manilla cardstock.
  9. Stamp the Birthday block with Black ink onto a piece of Manilla cardstock scrap.
  10. Trim around the shown phrase and mount on Black paper and trim closely.
  11. Attach the phrase as shown.

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7 Responses »

  1. WOW! This card is amazing its so unique!

    I was wondering..because it my birthday on 31st DEC (New Years Eve) I've been looking a dress and the style of the dress you've done is the one I'm exactly looking for!
    *A corset top with a puffy bottom I'm going for a soft punk look. If you know the name of the style of the dress please let me know!

    You have a strong talent please continue to inspire others as I'm already inspired! 😀 <3

  2. This dress is amazing
    I have a project for school at the end of the year for fashion design
    I was hoping if I could make one a bit like this , my inspiration is Africa
    it's beautiful 🙂

  3. Thank you very much for all of your kind comments. This is one of those creations that started off as a little spark of an idea and grew and morphed into this final card after a lot of trial and error. (I now I need to make a box for it to go in as it is no good for going in an ordinary envelope - a lesson learned too late).

  4. Your work is fabulous! I just love this card. TFS how to info.

  5. What an incredible card! Thanks so much for sharing it and the instructions. Just marvelous.

  6. That card is stunning. Probably the most imaginative thing I've seen in quite a while.

  7. This dress is amazing, Melanie.