I like to make spinner cards, and I find that people like receiving them. They are so fun and game-like.
I thought I’d show you how I made a New Year’s card for a select few friends. It’s a remake of one I made four years ago during another election cycle.
I’d thought back then that things couldn’t get any worse. Never say never!
First, I start in Adobe Illustrator. It has a handy polar grid tool that is perfect for making spinner templates. It is found nested under the Line Segment Tool.
If you double-click on the Polar Grid Tool Icon in the tool bar, it will bring up a dialogue box. For this purpose, 2 concentric dividers and 8 radial dividers are just about right. I skew the concentric divider so that it’s close to the center:
I actually hadn’t put in those measurements on top: 6.66 inches. I just noticed them as I was taking the screenshot. Very interesting . . .
At any rate, once you have your parameters set, draw your template:
You could, of course, continue to work in Illustrator. But I’m going to be doing the rest with photos and I’m more comfortable in Photoshop. So I close the file in Illustrator and re-open it in Photoshop as a Photoshop file. You also, of course, could just draw it by hand if you don’t use Illustrator.
With your template open in Photoshop, select one of the sections with the magic wand tool and create a new layer.
Then you can find a picture of something you’d like to put in the section. It might be something nice… or it might be something disturbing, as in my example. You can combine images too, of course:
Keep adding images, working in a new layer for each section. If things overlap, select inside the shape of the section you’re working on, then select inverse and delete to neaten things up. When you are done, you should have a wheel filled with pictures:
As you can see, I got rid of the lines in the middle and filled it in with white. This also has a bigger circle in the middle than our original example, because I made it earlier using a different template.
You could then cut it out and glue it to your card. Or you could create a document in your layout program of choice and insert it. I use InDesign.
I created a new InDesign document with three joined pages of equal size. This is going to be a rather small card, since the arrows I will be attaching are small, and I also want to print it out on my wide-format printer, which can handle a page that is up to 13″ wide. Three pages that are 4″ across will fit nicely, so I made each joined page 4″ wide and 6″ long.
I placed the image on the page to the left, and added some text on the page to the right. The middle was left blank. You’ll soon see why.
I then created a PDF of the document, being sure that it was saved as “spreads” with all of the correct pages lined up together and the pages at 100% scale. It is also helpful to make sure that the crop marks will be included.
I printed it out on matte card stock. I then scored at the appropriate markings and trimmed along the outside, following the crop marks. I then made a mountain fold at the first score line, and a valley fold at the second.
I then made a hole in the center of the spinner, at the dot in the middle. It should be just big enough to fit a tiny brad. To keep the arrow from scraping on the card, I sandwich a little nylon washer between the arrow and the card.
To help the arrow spin more freely, I find it helps to stick something thin like a metal spatula underneath each prong as you press down on top of it with a bone folder.
When it was all assembled, I folded in the mountain fold and sealed the card up around the inside edges. You can use glue or double-sided tape. Now you see why the middle page was left blank — when fully assembled, it hides the back of the spinner.
Now it’s done! Although… come to think of it, this is so grim I think I’ll lose friends if I actually mail it to anyone.
Happy New Year! And best of luck in 2016!