I thought I’d do something a little different for today’s video and blog post. I’m going to be talking all about shakers. Whether you’re a beginner and have never made a shaker, or have several under your belt already, I hope you’ll find something useful in this post.
Types Of Shaker
There are several ways that you can create a shaker. You could add a card front sized frame and turn the entire card into a shaker. You could set the shaker into a panel on top of the card, or create a shaker element to sit on top of the design. You can make shakers within shakers, double layered shakers, and even flat shakers or faux shakers.
Creating The Window
The options for creating the window will depend what kind of design you’re going for as well as what supplies you have. For a simple square or rectangle shaker a paper trimmer or even a craft knife and ruler can work for cutting the window. If you have a die cutting machine you can cut a window with a simple shape such as a circle or oval, or try a more intricate shape which could even include a word die. Stacking two nesting shaped together can allow you to create a frame for your shaker if you wish, or if you have a die specifically designed for shakers you may be able to cut the window and frame with that alone.
The most common window material for a shaker is clear plastic such as acetate. Acetate works well as it allows you to easily see the shaker elements and it is nice and sturdy. Some kinds of acetate can even be heat embossed if you’d like to add a stamped design to the front of the window. Other kinds of clear plastic can work too, though they may not be as sturdy and you should take care of trying to heat emboss as they may melt.
Another relatively common window material is vellum. This is more opaque than acetate. Vellum can come tinted in a variety of colours which could be matched to the design of the card. It can also usually be heat embossed on. Some types of vellum may also have a design already printed on them.
Tulle is a fun option to use for a shaker window for a different look. It is very light weight so will be less sturdy than the previously mentioned options. Also by its nature it will not work well with fillings that have small particles, as they will just pass through the material of the window.
There are a number of other options, too. Anything that is somewhat see through can work for a shaker depending on the look you are going for. Parchment is similar to vellum but with a slightly heavier, more plastic feel to it and again can be found in a variety of colours. Tissue paper is a lighter weight alternative, but bear in mind that particularly light weight ones may be flimsy and difficult to work with. A lacy material may work well instead of tulle. And if you’re using a die that is designed for creating shakers you may find that the company who designed it have coordinating shaker pouches that can be used for the window element.
The most common filler to use in shakers are sequins. Sequins can be purchased in ready mixes that will generally have coordinating colours and a variety of sizes for interest. It is also possible to mix up your own sequin mixes for a more custom look.
Glitter is another option for filler material. This of course wouldn’t work with tulle, and it’s extra important to take care when assembling the window to ensure the glitter doesn’t leak. Glitter will give a much softer sound to the shake, but can look very pretty. You may find that if you have an acetate window, or similar, the glitter may cling to the window due to static.
Seed beads also work well. I’ve not tried them myself, but again they give a different sound and look then either glitter or sequins. Using a combination of seed beads, glitter and/or sequins can also give a more custom look and feel to the card.
Then there are a variety of other options to be explored. I’ve previously made shakers with sand (like glitter you need to be very careful that it can’t sleep out) and even water. I’ve seen shakers that use coffee beans or seeds. Anything that is small enough to fit in the shaker and that shakes well can be used. Just be sure to plan the other components of the shaker accordingly so that the fillings can’t escape.
There are a number of ways to add dimension to a shaker. Foam tape is the most common. For most kinds of foam tape, doubling up is the best way to get enough space for the shaker filling to shake well. Make sure that there are no gaps in the walls of the shaker well or else the filling could escape. If using a larger filling then small gaps won’t be too big a deal, but with something like glitter or sand, even tiny gaps can be a big problem!
Foam adhesive squares are another option but may be more difficult to snugly fit together, so they may be more likely to leak. Foam strips are ready cut and may be easy to fit around the window but might be tricky to stack depending on the width.
Some companies make foam adhesive sheets which if using a full piece with the window cut from the centre will completely eliminate the issue of gaps. Likewise using craft foam and adding your own adhesive can have the same effect, likely with less cost.
As previously mentioned, choosing the right materials and design is a big part of creating a shaker. Once that’s decided it’s simply a matter of putting it all together. Make sure the elements you’ve chosen will work well together and build it up. Some people like to back the shaker with a second piece of acetate or vellum. I generally prefer to just put it straight on the card base. An anti-static tool can be very helpful when assembling the shaker – run it around the edges of the foam tape after creating the well, and over the window, to help prevent the filling from sticking.
As mentioned in the video, I will be sharing this card separately tomorrow. If you’d like to learn more about it be sure to check back then!
My second card has an inset shaker die cut with a swan die from the Love From Lizi June card kit. The filling consists of Rainbow Wishes sequins and they are set behind a tulle background. I used foam tape for the dimension, keeping it to one layer. The card was finished off with a heat embossed sentiment and some peach and gold sway peel-offs.
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I used the shadow die from the Pink & Main Thanks set to cut the window for my shaker which I backed with parchment paper and added the word of the sentiment on top. The shaker filling is white glitter and the dimension comes from a sheet of craft foam. I finished off with a sentiment, yellow sway peel-offs and some enamel dots.
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Shaker cards are really fun to make – and to receive! I hope you found this blog post discussing the elements of shakers to be useful. If you have any tips or tricks regarding how to make shakers please do let me know!