Craft, Paper Artist

Surprise Effect Card

This card adds a fun surprise effect and can be customized for any happy occasion! It only takes a few bits of paper and a little bit of time.

Total Project Time: 45 minutes

Birthdays during a pandemic are hard. There is so much I want to do and so little that I can do. Ordering something online doesn’t always feel right and with so many choices, it feels like it’s impossible to find the right one. So, I decided to take a step back and start with the basics: a greeting card. A Greeting card is easy though, so I thought why not spice it up with a surprise effect??

Check out the Craft section of MCG for more unlimited ideas.


This process only takes some paper and some double-sided tape. You can use glue as well if you don’t have double sided tape, but I prefer the tape as it’s easily controllable. It can be found at any craft store in the scrapbooking section. For the paper, I used a plain paper to be the base of the card, a calmer paper to be the main background and a bit of a flashier paper for the highlight on the inside and the front.


At this point, it’s probably a good idea to decide how big you want the card to be. This was for my mother, so I like going big ^.^ I decided to make a square card that was 16 cm by 16 cm. Which meant, I needed the outside paper to be 16 cm by 32 cm as each of the flaps would end up being 8 cm. For the inside, I would need two square of the other two papers that were 14 cm by 14 cm. On the front, for added effect, I needed 2 squares of the flashier paper that was 6 cm by 14 cm.

I decided to do a large hole in the center, so I used a protractor to create that perfect circle (I think mine ended up being around 11 cm in diameter). In order to have the perfect reveal, I used the tape to attach the top and bottom of the flashier paper to the highlight paper. Now I knew what size I was dealing with so I could write the words I wanted to. I kept it simple. This whole unit would be centered on the inside of the card.

Now for the most exciting part, the surprise effect! I used plain paper to create wings that slipped inside. Finding the right dimensions for the wings was honestly difficult and I don’t know the exact method for doing this. Mine ended up being about 6 cm at its longest point.

Once they slip in, push them all the way to the edge of the inside unit. This will be the card closed state. Place the tape (or glue) on the flaps on the wings and close the card! The last step is adding the flashier paper onto the front as something fun for the front! And voila! A fully finished surprise effect greeting card!


Bigger Circle Less Effect

When you make a bigger circle on the inside of the card, the wings have less room to move which can lessen the effect in total. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a cool effect but there is just less of an impact. For more impact, draw a smaller circle with wider margins on the center unit!

Cutting with a razor and a ruler

If you’re using tools around the house, I would recommend a razor cutting along a rulers edge before using scissors. The scissors probably won’t create a fully straight line unless you have some major skill (which I do not).

Quick Recipe


  • Cut the Pieces of Paper as follows:
    Outside Paper: 16 cm by 32 cm, 12 cm by 6 cm (x2)
    Background Paper: 14 cm by 14 cm
    Design Paper: 14 cm by 14 cm, 14 cm by 6 cm (x2)
  • Fold Outside paper, like a book, with the back being 16cm by 16cm and the front folds being 8cm by 16cm each.
  • Cut hole in the 14 by 14cm Design Paper, Attach the top and bottom to the 14 by 14cm background paper.
  • Add Message
  • Attach 14 by 14 unit in the center of the 16 by 16cm section on the Outside Paper
  • Cut the wings (Outside Paper) into the desired shape, keeping the 12 cm height. Fold uncut edges by one cm.
  • Slip wings into the sides of the main unit. Attach binding material to folds of the wings. Close card.
  • Attach 14 by 6cm design paper to the outside flaps of the card.

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