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How to make a shaker card (tutorial)

By Chameleon Art Products
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Shaker cards are a great way to add a fun, interactive touch to the ordinary greeting card. There are plenty of different designs to follow but today we’ll be showing you how to do it and an idea on how to add looooooads more color. So, grab your sequins and confetti and let’s get the shaker-party started...

Full scene shaker card

Cathy Andronicou, Chameleon’s very own artist whose Instagram you can check out here, created an enchanting Christmas card. An adorable hedgehog in an oversized Santa hat sits in the centre of the card, clutching a sock as snowflakes fall all around him. Want to create a full scene shaker card like Cathy’s? Follow our easy step-by-step guide below!

What you’ll need:

You’ll need these items to create a shaker card in general.

  • Three pieces of card stock
  • Shaker filling (Cathy used snowdust and microbeads but you can use whatever filling you want)
  • Clear acetate sheets
  • Foam tape
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Marker pens (to color in with)

And, if you want to recreate Cathy’s hedgehog in snow scene, you’ll need these additional items:

  • Penny Black Santa’s Hat
  • Penny Black Santa’s Hat Cut Out
  • Penny Black No Two are Alike Die
  • Penny Black Under the Mistletoe
  • Tim Holtz Distress Oxide - Salty Ocean & Faded Jeans


1. Choose your theme

Decide what sort of theme you want your card to be. Cathy created a lovely Christmas card but you don’t have to. Perhaps you want something simple with just the shaker filling and the card’s greeting printed clearly across the front. Or maybe you want a specific theme like a wedding, a beach or a winter scene.

2. Prepare the sentiment

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Once you’ve chosen your theme, it’s time to get the card ready. Start by cutting out a rectangle frame with a deeper border at the bottom. This can be whatever size you want but typically, greeting cards are 5” x 7” (to fit in an A7 envelope), 4 ½” x 6 ⅛” (to fit in an A6 envelope) or 4 ¼” x 5 ½” (to fit in an A2 envelope if you’re after an extra large, novelty card).

Cathy used Penny Black’s Under the Mistletoe stamp set to stamp a “Winter Wishes” sentiment to the bottom of this border. But you don’t have to. You can write it by hand if you want.

3. Attach the acetate

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Cut a piece of acetate that is large enough to cover the gap in the frame. Use glue to fix this into place on the underside of the frame. This is the side of the card that doesn’t have the sentiment on.

4. Start decorating (optional step)

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Cathy used Penny Black’s No Two are Alike die to create a lovely snowflake background. She adjusted this die to fit the frame and removed some of the snowflakes so the hedgehog won’t be obscured. Cathy then fixed this to the underside of the frame.

This is an optional step. If you’re not creating a card just like Cathy’s or a Christmas card at all, you can skip to the next step.

5. Add foam tape

Line foam tape around the inside of the frame. Make sure there aren’t any gaps where pieces of filler could fall through.

6. Grab your markers and get coloring

Of course, you could just leave your card plain and let the mixer filling steal the show. But where’s the fun in that? If you want your greeting card to have the most impact, draw and color in a pretty design. We recommend alcohol-based marker pens because they’re easy to draw controlled designs with and the inks and colors are permanent and vivid.

So, you could draw an adorable little hedgehog like Cathy did. She used the following Chameleon Pens:

  • Burgundy (RD5), Crimson Red (RD4) and Coral Red (RD2) for the hat.
  • Cool Gray (CG5) and Baby Blue (BL2) for the hat’s fur and bobble
  • Crimson Red (RD4) and Spring Meadow (YG3) for the sock.
  • Sand (NU0) and Bisque (NU1) for the body.
  • Dusty Rose (PK2) for the cheeks.
  • Burnt Umber (BR4), Bark (BR5) and Taupe (BR1) for the prickles

Check out the video tutorial below and color alongside Cathy…

7. Continue decorating the card

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Now that you’ve got your little hedgehog, AKA the star of the shaker show, it’s time to attach him. Stick the animal to a thin strip of acetate which is the length of your card’s width. Now, glue that to the bottom of your card.

8. Prepare the background

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Grab another piece of card stock and cut it to the same size as your frame. Color it in any color you want. Cathy used Salty Ocean Distress Oxide for the middle and Faded Jeans Distress Oxide to the edges. Then, she added some water to paint in snow tracks, banks and falling snowflakes (she flicked water on the page for the snowflakes) for realism.

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9. Add the shaker filling

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This step’s pretty self-explanatory. Just take your shaker filling and pour it out into the center. Cathy used Pinflair Snowdust, Iced Diamond and microbeads for the snowflakes. But you can use whatever filling you want. For example, cool toned sequins would look awesome as snowflakes.

10. Add the back of the card

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Peel the backs off the foam tape and attach the back of the greeting card (this will be the part of the card that you can write in). It needs to be at least the same size as your frame.

11. Finishing touches (optional step)

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Cathy added extra snowflakes from the No Two are Alike die to the frame. But you can skip this step if you want.

And voila! Your card is complete!

Add color like no other shaker card you’ve ever seen

So, Cathy’s tutorial features a little hedgehog, but you can draw anything you want. It can be an animal or a landscape or something abstract.

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Image by Jodi Thome

You could draw a gorgeous mandala like the one above which was created by Chameleon user Jodi Thome (check out her Instagram here). She used Chameleon Pens to create stunning tonal gradients and multicolored blending. That’s the magical thing about Chameleon Pens. They’ve got a unique Mixing Chamber which allows you to create multiple color tones when you fuse the pen nib with the Mixing Chamber.

As you shade, the color will slowly turn from a diluted tone back to its original saturated hue. And you don’t need a blending pen because the Chameleon Pen will do all the blending for you. Color gradients never need to be a chore again.

Jodi’s mandala features a lovely mountain scene at the center, but you could leave that blank and cut out a circle. This can be where your shaker filling will go.

Want to learn about even more ways to use Chameleon Pens?

Chameleon Pens can be used to create the cool designs for shaker cards, but that’s not the only thing they can do. You can use them to decorate ceramic homeware. There’s a whole world of creativity that Chameleon Pens can introduce you to. Download our ultimate guide to using this innovative art tool below…

Unlock Your Potential With Chameleon Pens Guide CTA