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Wed 27

Zig Zag Slider Video by Dave Brethauer

Hello and welcome!

I am always trying to use my dies in new and different ways - and I wanted to share a new idea for working with slider dies. Sometimes these ideas do not come easy - I am always super impressed when I see designers use dies in a way that I never would have imagined - so I was excited to try this when I started thinking about connecting the paths of sliders.

This idea uses the Memory Box Slider Grooves die set to create a unique slider pathway in a zig zag shape. Take a look at the video to see how it works...

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

I am fascinated by interactive cards, so slider cards have been really inspiring to me lately. I received my Mechanical Engineering degree about 25 years ago and even after all this time I still gravitate a bit towards cards that have some sort of movement involved. And what better way to spend an afternoon than to play with some slider cards! (Instead of pursuing an engineering career I took up stamping, then started Memory Box, then Poppystamps and then Birch Press - and I have had a lot more fun in this creative field!) 


I decided to apply the zig zag slider idea to a Halloween card so I used the Whimsy Ghost and the Playful Boo dies to create the scene.

When you put the ghost in the upper right corner and start to tilt the card back and forth, the ghost twirls and slides down the pathway to the bottom!


When I designed the Whimsy Ghost die I was playing with the notion that some areas could be cut out (like the bow tie) and some areas could just be cut (like his smile). I think creating designs for craft dies has endless possibilities and every time I sit down at my desk to design I literally smile while I am drawing.

When I am creating a die design I think about how fun it will be to try out the new die, and to see what others will do with it. When I was drawing the ghost I was thinking how fun it will be to put a little dot of white ink (from a White Gel Pen) onto his eyes! That little twinkle gives him a little bit of charm - don't you think? I was thinking that he would look kind of good with a small witch's hat - and then thought the witch's hat would look good on a stamp set I was drawing at the time (the set was the Feline Spooky set in poppystamps, and the hat would be perfect on one of the cats!).


I wanted the background for the slider card to be a little special- so before I cut the slider pathways into the black cardstock, I splattered it with metallic watercolor paint. This set of metallic watercolor paint is my favorite - a few sprinkles of this onto a card transforms the whole thing!

What is it about silver and gold on black cardstock that looks so magical and rich? I think I splattered paper for about 10 minutes before I remembered that I had other things to do!


I love these paints - they are so bright and dense, and when you start building the color onto the black cardstock it becomes hard to stop.

I was trying to create sort of a sparkling and spooky effect - like the ghost is flying across a starry sky. But then I saw some Distress Oxide inks on my desk and...


...I had to try it with a Distress Oxide background! I used Wilted Violet and Broken China with a spritz of water to create this look - a magical background with more of a twilight color scheme.

Then, I thought - well this would work as a beautiful color scheme for a winter card - and I bet a snowflake would work as the slider!


I went through my designs and grabbed the Batavia Snowflakes and matching Batavia Stitched Snowflakes to create a winter themed slider element. The Batavia Stitched Snowflakes are slightly larger than the Batavia Snowflakes - so that when you layer them together, the result is dimensional and detailed.

I put the snowflake slider card together in a flash - and I show it in the video too as a bonus card. The snowflake spins down the zig zag pathway, just as you might expect a snowflake to drift back and forth as it settles to the earth. The Let It Snow die is a peaceful and subtle addition to the lower corner.


I spritzed the background with a bleach and water solution - about 2 teaspoons of bleach to a cup of water. This is a little stronger than I usually use for a bleach and water solution - but I noticed something when I was playing with this solution the other day.

You will notice that where the drops hit the paper, they spread just a little into the surrounding ink and lighten it - this creates a bright spot in the middle of the splatter, which is then surrounded by a little halo of color. Can you see it on the close up above? It really shows up in the Wilted Violet area - there is a nearly white spot in the middle, surrounded by a soft blue halo of color.

I think this is really effective for snow scenes - the way this softens the colors and gives the idea of snow blurring slightly as it falls.

I hope you enjoyed today's video! Get out your slider dies and create this card! What will you come up with? 

I want to encourage your creativity so I am having a giveaway! Please leave your idea for a fun zig zag slider card in the comments section by September 30, 2017 Midnight Pacific Time. I will choose one comment at random - and that person will win a metallic watercolor set from Finetec! I can't wait to read what people come up with!



Used your bleach technique to make a sun with that amazing slightly blurred effect. It takes a while to work out how much bleach mix to drop with a pipette as you don't want too big a sun or to have too much yellow or orange, and then I used a stitched circle to cut it out. I put it on to a black slider card but it was lonely until I splattered white paint - no metallics here...yet? It looks good as the planets do move in relation to each other. Then I made a blue sky similar to yours, and let the sun go down behind a raised stitched landscape coloured as sand (technique stolen from Pam's card with a deer). Astonishing what you can do with sliders.

I love the bleach technique. A fun slider would be some blocks for a kid's birthday card, like those old alphabet blocks. Those metallic watercolors are really intense--hard to believe they are watercolor.

David: I really love your videos, I wished you made more of them. My favorite was the glitter fish. You are such a fantastic artist. I learned how to color with prisma colored pencils from you at a class in Tukwila many years ago. Your class was awesome.

I love the many butterflies MB has so perhaps one of those flying through some flowers? Love the splattering - it gives movement to the background which goes perfectly with the sliders.

I just love your ideas using this zig-zag die and those metallic paints are amazing! I can see myself using this die with birds and bees. I'm sure I could come up with lots of other uses when I search through my stamps.

I like to send preview cards to my friends before we take a trip. On a trip to any area where there is water could you use a water related paper and turn the card sideways to make it look like a fish is swimming or jumping? Hmmmm, another idea to try?

Santa dropping a present down to a christmas tree ... looks so cute

What a great idea to connect the slider dies!!! Never would have thought to do that. Love it.

Those are so innovative. I am really in love with the snowflake version. The watercolors are rich and could be used so many different ways.

Hello Dave - Your slider card is a brilliant idea... Since it's fall time, perhaps a twirling leaf against a background of other leaves or fall colored trees would make a cute card.. The Finetec metallic watercolor paints are awesome.. Thank you for your informative video giving me some new card ideas to try..

Great idea using the slider die to create a Z. How about Santa sliding down a hill?

I think it would look great with a cute critter/person skiing down a hill.

Love your Z slider card! I hope to try your idea with balloons, a beautiful fall leaf and a larger snowflake!

Thank you for the awesome video. Very easy way to make a slider card.

I'd like to try making 2 to 3 zigzag next to each other, but each starting a little lower and have cascading snow flakes. Do you think it would work. You'd have use a heavier card stock to cut the d's from.

An airplane slider for someone going away or on a trip. Love the ghost and snowflake ideas.

love the slider cards and so do my great grand kids

How fun are these cards? I think anyone would love them. Since it is fall,perhaps a leaf or 2 zig zagging down. I'll have to try the bleach technique. Well done!!

Hi Dave, I too love your videos and wish you would do more, great for us newbies! I think a butterfly, bird or a dragonfly would be great, so many things you could make with the dies. I also love the idea of using a bit of bleach it is such a soft spot with it bleaching the area around the spot out!

Fabulous Cards! I could see a snowman zig zagging down card! A birthday present!

Wow !! These are awesome sliders cards !! I love the gold splatters so much !

This is a fantastic video - learning new things - TFS - fabulous!

I think it would be cute to make a card with a mountain and a car using the zig zag idea. You know one of those roads with all the switch backs? I think that's what they are called.

Great card!! Love the Zig Zag Slider.

Love this ghost card! I would use a fish in the ocean for a large slider card! !!

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