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


Soda Shaker

Soda Shaker - Front Close up

Who hasn’t watched the bubbles in a carbonated drink rise to the top of a bottle? I was inspired to create this soda shaker by some pink seed beads that I found in my stash.

I picked a chevron striped pink card base and some printed cherry paper. First, I cut the card base in half separating the front from the back. I next cut the cherry print to match the inside dimensions of the front of the card. Then, using removable tape, I secured the front of the card to the cherry print making sure the edges all met up. Using the Bottles and Bubbles Framelits dies from Stampin’ Up, I cut the bottles out of both the card front and cherry print.

Soda Shaker - inside

After separating the card front and cherry print, I cut two pieces of clear acetate smaller than the dimensions of the card front, but large enough to cover the bottle cut-outs. Using double-sided tape I adhered the acetate to the back side of the card front and cherry print.

I cut two of each straws from red and white chevron striped paper and snipped each straw below the bend. I glued the straight straw pieces to the back side of the acetate and the bend straw parts to the front of the card front and cherry print to make the straws look like they were inside the bottles.

soda shaker-front CU

Normally I would have used craft foam to cut out the negative of the shaker, but I didn’t have any on hand. So, I cut out eight of each of the bottles from white cardstock, rough cut a ¼ inch frame around each piece and glued them together. Next, I aligned the frames to the acetate covered back of the card front and glued in place. Using foam tape, I filled in the space between the edge of the card front and the bottle frames. Let the glue dry for a few hours so the glitter and beads won’t stick to the edges of the bottle.

Soda Shaker -spine

Before fill the bottles, I used an anti-static pad to wipe down the acetate inside the bottles  Using my fingers and tweezers to fill the bottles with pinches of glitter and the three colors of seed beads, I was careful not to fill them too full. Next, I peeled back the foam tape backing papers, applied tiny bits of glue to the bottle frames and matched the cherry print card up to the bottle frames. A shaker card was born.

Soda Shaker - outside spine

I had cut the card base apart because the thickness of the shaker front would not have allowed the card to close properly. I used clear tape on the inside to tape the shaker front to the card back. Next, I cut a polka-dotted print paper to cover the inside card back and add sturdiness to it.  It was adhered with double-sided tape. Polka-dotted washi tape was used both on the outside spine of the card and on the inside of the card to frame the inside back and to cover unsightly edges. The finished card has the feel of a school composition book.

soda shaker-front CU

Using scrapes of red paper from an old Christmas envelop, I first stamped the bottle label sentiments with Versa Mark ink and the white heat embossed them. Next using the label dies in the Bottles and Bubbles die set, the labels were cut out. Glue was used to adhere the labels.

Soda Shaker - inside CU

With plenty of space inside the card to write a personal message this card is ready to be Happy Mail.

Supplies used:




Inks and Embossing Powders