Impossible Card

by Dina Kowal

Make two variations of this mind-bending card with a quarter sheet of cardstock.


  • Cardstock
  • Trimmer or scissors
  • Scoring board
  • Patterned paper
  • Adhesive
  • Die (Impression Obsession DIE569-YY Baby Giraffe dies used here)
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (used here: Impression Obsession CS861 Mini Peekers clear set, WP771 Baby Giraffe clear set, colored pencils, Copic markers)


  1. Step 1

    Prepare a card base. Here, a quarter sheet of cardstock is used (4 1/4" x 5 1/2").

    These cards can be made with any size base.

  2. Step 2

    Score down the center of the panel (scored at 2 1/8" on the short side here).

  3. Step 3

    Make a cut down to the score line from one long side. For practical purposes and ease of measurement, the cut is centered here at 2 3/4”.

    This cut does not have to be centered - it just needs to be in between the cuts made in step 4.

  4. Step 4

    From the other long edge of the panel, make 2 cuts down to the score line. Here, the cuts are made 1” from each end.

    These cuts don’t have to be exact, but these measurements give good stability to the card.

  5. After cutting, the card base should look like this.

  6. Step 5

    Holding one side of the card still, flip the other side down on the score line (fold one narrow cut and the center cut down, and the half panel cut up). In the photo, the left side was flipped down, but you could start with the right.

  7. Fold only the center panel back up at the score line.

    The basic card base is completed.

  8. Step 6

    Cut patterned paper into layering panels for the card. These should be 1/4” smaller (each way) than each card half, measuring from the single center cut line. The panels here are each 2 1/2" x 4”.

  9. Cut across the panel to create a layering piece for the larger area on each side (2 1/2” x 1 7/8” here). From the remaining piece, cut a piece 3/4" wide. This will cover the score line and layer the smaller strip (see photo in Step 7).


    If you are matching a pattern in the paper, take care to position your paper correctly when you cut.

  10. Step 7

    Prepare a focal panel for the center standing piece. The panel here is 3 1/2" x 2 1/8”. Layering pieces are 3 1/4” x 1 7/8” and 3” x 1 5/8”.

    Prepare a horizontal strip panel to go across the open area of the base. This can be optional, but it does add stability to the base.

  11. A second horizontal piece can be added if desired.

  12. Step 8

    Complete the project. The center panel will fold flat for mailing. The back of this panel can also be decorated.

  13. Step 9

    To create a card with a partial die cut center, score down the center of the card base as before. This card base is 5” square, scored at 2 1/2”.

  14. Step 10

    Measure your die of choice to determine the width of your center panel, allowing for a reasonable width on either side. Remember, 1” is a good width for these cuts, but they can also be wider or narrower depending on your card design.

    The die for the sample is just under 3” wide.

    Be sure that the die you choose will provide enough stability for the central piece. It should be at least 1” wide where it meets the score line.

  15. Step 11

    Mark a line on either side of the center panel. Here, a 3” panel is needed in the center, so the lines are marked at 1” and 4”.

  16. Cut on the lines, up to the center score line.

  17. Step 12

    Position the die in the center panel, and tape it in place.

  18. To die cut, lay the panel and die down on a cutting plate. Position the top cutting plate so it just covers the die above the score line. Run the sandwich through a die cutting machine. The die will only cut where the 2 plates put pressure on it together.

  19. Step 13

    Align a ruler with the center score line of the card. Using a craft knife, cut along the score line from the die cut line out to the cuts made in step 11b to remove the negative die cut.

  20. Step 14

    Find the center of the die cut area. Mark a line to that point from the uncut side.

  21. Cut on the line, up to the center score line.


    This line does not need to be in the center of the card.

  22. Step 15

    Holding one side of the card still, flip the other side down on the score line (fold one narrow cut and the center cut down, and the half panel cut up). In the photo, the left side was flipped down, but you could start with the right.

  23. Fold only the center (die cut) panel back up at the score line.

    The basic card base is completed.

  24. Step 16

    Create layering panels as before. Measure each area to determine size – each panel will be different if the single cut is not centered.

  25. Step 17

    Add a focal image and horizontal panel(s). Decorate as desired.

  26. Step 18

    Complete the project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Impossible Card. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

This is just ADORABLE and SO N O T impossible., thanks to the outstanding video technique tutorial. Thanks Dina
Prissequito  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 6:13 AM
Iíve seen the impossible card but this partial die cutting variation is new to me and it is absolutely adorable. I love this - thanks so much!
Carolyn S  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 6:17 AM
Thank You for sharing, You made it SOooo easy to follow and do... I just made a pattern with the instructions and it WORKED!!! Now I have to make some of these for My Stach!
Again Thanks!
Dotty A  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 6:43 AM
Your directions for the Impossible card are absolutely the easiest I have seen! Loved the one including the giraffe's head! I can hardly wait to try something similar as I have only tried the simple labels die. Thank you for your time.
Peggy Terry  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 6:50 AM
What an interesting design fold. Great video, Dina! I've ordered a new Dino Stamp set and it might be fun to try this new fold with it.

Teddy loves Dinosaurs, and as one can imagine he has made it his job to know all the periods and pronounce all the names. He'll be very interested in the card fold. Especially seeing how it initially works.

Thanks again, Dina
Susie Lessard  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 6:55 AM
Susie, I remember just doing the base 'trick' with a sheet of paper when my brother and I were young - that might be a good start for Teddy!
dina  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 7:10 AM
Amazing, love it and will have to give it a try! Thanks for the fantastic video!
Olga  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 7:14 AM
I love the way you did the giraffe here Dina, this is very cool smile
Stacy Sheldon  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 8:08 AM
Oh, Dina, thank you so much for the step-outs and for the great video! I love both cards, and what a darling one with the giraffe! Hugs! xoxo
Cheryl Scrivens  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 10:16 AM
Your directions are always so clear. Am always amazed at the scope of your ability and knowledge.
Stephanie Jager  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 12:14 PM
What a great tutorial! You spoke clearly and slowly and we were able to see each step! Thanks so much for sharing your techniques with us!
Barb Flavin  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 1:54 PM
Thanks so much for sharing. I especially like the die cut - so cute and as one reader posted, "so NOT impossible". Thanks again!
Mary Ellen Staley  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 4:19 PM
So happy to see that adorable giraffe. I just loved this technique.
Tracie Clary  |  Wed May 30, 2018 at 5:41 PM
This looks like a huge amount of fun. I must give it a go. I love the stamps you used on these!
burningrubber  |  Fri Jun 1, 2018 at 2:37 PM
This may just be a silly question for this type of card. Where do you put your message? Or do you just write on a separate piece of paper to include with the card? Or is this intended to be a single line message card? I can't stand to send a card without being chatty and the people Insend my cards to love hearing all the little things that happen around me and my family. Like the time someone put an avocado in my fuchsia. Yep, really happened. smile
Cheryl Otto-Cunningham  |  Sun Jun 3, 2018 at 5:57 PM
That's a good question, Cheryl! I sent the kitty card to a friend and just wrote a quick "Love you!" on the back. I guess you could mount it on a card front, or write a letter separately...?
dina  |  Sun Jun 3, 2018 at 7:32 PM
Awesome technique! looking forward to making it! Thanks for sharing.
Kim Score  |  Mon Jun 4, 2018 at 12:07 PM
Lovely card, so cute!
Creagirl  |  Wed Jun 13, 2018 at 7:10 PM
Love the technique, especially the giraffe one! Any chance you would post a picture of the card closed?
Elsie Haynes  |  Mon Jul 9, 2018 at 6:12 PM
Was hoping you'd have a video of this and of course you do! Always well done and easy to understand your directions. Thank you!
basement stamper  |  Tue Jul 10, 2018 at 11:02 AM

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