The Circus is Coming!

Circus-inside

After seeing numerous circus theme cards being made because of Craft Consortium’s Circus collection and Sam Calcott’s Mixed Up Crafts tutorials on circus themed spinner cards. I decided to make my slimline version using some wooden block rubber stamps that I had played with as a child.

The funny thing about these stamps was I thought I had lost them in my last move, but a few days ago the battered box they were in caught my eye as I was looking for something else on my craft shelves. My great aunt who had been a schoolteacher from the 1920s-1960s had given the original of the stamps to my siblings and I. My father having a machine to make rubber stamps, was able to duplicate the stamps so that each of the children in my family could have our own set.

Circus-stamps

As I reacquainted myself with these stamps, I found the lady who I always made ride the prancing horse and the flying trapeze artist. There was my favorite stamp – the cage wagon in which I could stamp whatever animal I wanted to be in the cage. There were seals and bears balancing balls and a dog that would jump through a paper covered hoop. This was definitely a circus from another era with different notions of how to treat animals.

Because I could not find any suitable red and white striped paper in my stash, I used Adobe Illustrator to create the striped paper I needed and to create a number of versions and sizes of the circus sign.

Circus-front

Because the slimline card is 4 inches by 9 inches, it will fit into a #10 business size envelope. With this long and narrow card, I could make my 3-ring circus with two spinners and the flying trapeze artist using nesting circle dies to cut out the three circles and created decorative rings to frame the cut-out circles. I should have taped my two sheets of stripped cardstock together and cut all three holes on both sheets at the same time having them lined up. (I made the mistake of cutting first one and then having to tracing the holes on to the second sheet.)  (NOTE: Don’t glue your backing paper to your front until you attach the spinners.)

I highly recommend watching the spinner videos by Sam Calcott before making one. I used black sewing thread for this card using 2 to 4 strands for the spinners. (NOTE: Don’t glue your backing paper to your front until you attach the spinners.) I also stamped reverse images of the three stamps I wanted for spinners/swingers using a gellie plate. (Sam demonstrates in one of her other videos how to make the reverse image. Sorry I don’t remember which video, but it involves giraffes.) I used the printable glitter paper because it is glitzy, but also it hides bad stamping better.

Circus-inside-flat

Having learned a few tricks since I had last played with these stamps, I masked off parts of the cage wagon before I stamped the bull lion (We always called this stylized creature the bull lion because we didn’t really know which it was.)

I cut a white stitched rectangle from a Lawn Fawn die set to use as a place for a personal message.

To active the spinners, you must twist them before closing the card and placing in the envelope. They will spin when the card is open.

Supplies

Dies

Stamps

  • Rubber stamps designed circa 1920-1960 from my stash

Inks/Watercolors

Paper

Miscellaneous

3 thoughts on “The Circus is Coming!

  1. Love this one👍🏻🙋🏼‍♀️ Really like the 3 spinner idea👌😘 Will be watching the Sam Calcott video Thank You for the recommendation.👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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