A Ship In -A Bottle Birthday

Inspired by an image of a ship in a bottle, I set out to create a schooner in a bottle birthday card for a retired Navy officer.

Bottle:  Because I didn’t have a bottle die large enough or in the shape I desired, I made a template from a 9 inches x 4 inches scrap piece of paper folded long-ways and drew a bottle and cut it out. (See Materials Used list to download a bottle template.) Next, I traced the bottle onto my navy-blue card base (9 inches x 8 inches folded to 4 inches by 9 inches.) In order for the inside paper to match the outside bottle cut-out, I positioned the inside paper (8 ¾ inches by 3 ¾ inches) and taped it to the front with low tack tape. Using a craft knife, I cut out the bottle through both layers of paper. I cut two sheets of acetate 8 ½ inches x 3 ¾ inches for the “glass” of the bottle and set aside until the assembly of the card.

Ship:  I made the schooner stamp into a digital stamp that I could flip into a mirror image and slightly enlarge the size to fill the bottle better. You could still stamp the ship and using a mirror stamping technique to make a smaller ship. (Here is a video demonstrating the mirror stamping.) Once I had my two images stamped onto vellum, I fussy cut them out and glued them together where the sails and flags matched up since I knew the glue would show through the vellum. I also stamped the ship and its mirror image onto white copier paper and watercolored the flags. The sails and flags were fussy cut and using my fingers I curled them. Using tiny pieces of foam squares behind the sails and glue on the flags, they were adhered to the front and back sides of the vellum ship. I cut a small stand from green scrap for the stand on which the ship rests in the bottle.

Assembly of Card:  The baker’s twine was taped to the back side at the neck of the battle. Using double sided-tape I adhered one sheet of acetate to the back or inside of the bottle cut panel. Next, I glued the ship to its stand and then glued the stand to the inside/backside of the bottle cut-out. Again using double-sided tape, I glued the last sheet of acetate over the other piece of acetate sandwiching the ship in between. Finally, I adhered the inside paper over the acetate using double-sided tape. The lower inside piece was adhered in the same manner. I drew the lip and bottom of the bottle on the acetate with a black gel pen.

Sentiments:  The foiled sentiment strip was one I had made during a batch foiling session using up scraps. It was die-cut into a doted ribbon. The inside stamp sentiment and two sea gulls were placed so that the ship hid all but the one gull when the card is closed. It was easy to get the position correct using a stamping platform. The final embellishment to the front of the card is a tiny handwritten tag that says “FOR YOU” with a twine bow tied to it. The tag is adhered with a foam square.

As is my style, I stamped the back of the envelope with a sentiment and two gulls flying to hint as to what is inside.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please like and leave a comment. 😊

Materials Used:




Dies/Foiling Plates


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