Recessed Window

by Lynn Mercurio

Create a beautiful recessed window for your main image.


  • One piece of 5 1/4" x 10 1/2" cardstock, folded in half

  • Ruler

  • Pencil

  • Craft Knife

  • Bone Folder and/or other scoring tool

  • Patterned Paper

  • Adhesive Permanent and repositionable

  • Supplies to finish your card


  1. Step 1

    Use a ruler to measure an outside square 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" on your card front. Trace lightly with a pencil.

    Measure in 1/4" and trace another square within the first square. As a last step, trace an "X" from outside corner to outside corner.

    Here, the window was placed slightly higher than center to allow ample room at the bottom for the sentiment. Placement of the window depends on your final design.

  2. Step 2

    Using a craft knife and ruler, cut from outside corner to outside corner, creating an "X" opening.

  3. Step 3

    Using a scoring tool, to score both the inside and outside squares.

  4. Step 4

    Turn your project over, and use a bone folder to burnish the "X" outward using the outer scored lines.

  5. Step 5

    Burnish the X inward using the inner scored lines.

  6. Step 6

    Turn your project over to the front - it should look like this.

  7. Step 7

    (Skip to Step 14 if you aren't covering the front of your project with patterned paper.)

    Trim patterned paper a bit smaller than the front of your card ( here, 5" x 5") and use repositionable adhesive to secure it to the front.

    If you don’t have repositionable adhesive or tape, take a piece of regular tape and rub it on your clothes to remove some of the stickiness. Make a loop and use this as your repositionable adhesive.

  8. Step 8

    Flip the project over and use a pencil to trace around the square on the backside of the patterned paper.

    Remove from the front of your card after tracing

  9. Step 9

    Cut out your square from patterned paper as shown.

  10. Step 10

    Adhere patterned paper to the front of the project with permanent adhesive.

  11. Step 11

    Using the square removed from the patterned paper as your guide, cut TWO pieces of complimentary paper to use for the background of therecessed window and for the backside of the window (on the inside of your card).

  12. Step 12

    Apply permanent adhesive to the four flaps and press background paper into place.

  13. Step 13

    Your project should look like this from the inside of the card.

  14. Step 14

    Apply the second piece of complimentary paper from Step 11 to the backside of the recessed window.

  15. Step 15

    Add a focal image and embellish as desired.

  16. Step 16

    Finished card.

    The finished card measures 5-1/4" X 5-1/4" and, because of its recessed window, will require special packaging if you intend to mail it. The best way to mail would be to package in an acrylic box or something similar with tissue paper placed around the inside of the card around the recessed window to prevent it being crushed. Better yet, hand-deliver your gift to a friend or family.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Recessed Window. 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.

Oh wow, thank you so much for this great card.

I tried it and it's so much fun!! I love it!


Kleine85  |  Sat Sep 5, 2009 at 9:52 AM
I love this and it was so easy to do. But it looks as though it took hours to make. I am new to this website and making cards. This was my first try. Thank you so much. I will try to figure out how to download my frame.
LynnScraps  |  Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 3:04 PM
These are great & I speed the process up by making cardboard frames to draw the squares
KarenR  |  Thu Sep 17, 2009 at 6:11 AM
This is a very beautiful and creative technique. Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to make one myself:)
Tammie  |  Sun Sep 20, 2009 at 6:35 PM
I loved this "window" idea and took it a step further. I added a piece of acetate and a frame and turned it into a shaker box. I have made several that were fantastic.
Marie  |  Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 11:28 AM
Thanks you so so much for such a fantastic tutorial!! I loved it!! And I made my FIRST Recessed Window Card and i LOVE it!! I don't think I could ever give it away. lol.
Kylie-Jo  |  Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 6:26 AM
This is a great video and I love the card. I have just made my first one. You can see it here....
Thank you!
Sue  |  Sun Nov 8, 2009 at 9:43 PM
Thanks so much for this tutorial, its a little tricky and the good step by step info really helped me get it right and I am so pleased with the result.
beetle76  |  Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 1:24 AM
LOVE this card technique. I just made a dozen of them. I found for making multiples rather than making the 3 1/2" square and the 3" square inside of that with the use of a ruler, I cut those 2 sizes of squares out of scrap CS and traced around them. Very quick and easy placement! Thanks so much
Brandy Jarvis  |  Wed Feb 17, 2010 at 9:11 AM
Lovely tutorial, thank you so much for sharing. You can see my recessed frame design here:
Vanessa  |  Fri Mar 12, 2010 at 2:00 PM
Very clever card. You do a great job of explaining the steps smile

What kind of paper cutter did you use for this project? It looked like you could be very exact as to the start and stop point of your cuts. I use a rotary cutter and it wouldn't work very well.
Kay Zink  |  Wed May 18, 2011 at 2:39 PM
You made this look so easy, I hope mine will look half as good as yours. TFS
Sarah Miller  |  Thu May 19, 2011 at 10:13 PM
OMgoodness. This is lovely, hugely labor-intensive, clever, beautiful. The video is so well done (how do you whip those measurements right off your tongue like that?) Very talented and great video!

Aloha, KonaRose
KonaRose  |  Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 12:07 AM
I have just found this wonderful technique. I made my first card, and there is a gap on the corners of the box. What have I done wrong?
Julie  |  Mon Jan 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM
Hi Julie,
Not sure where your gap is. On the window edges? That shouldn't be possible. As you see in the photos for step 11 - step 13, there are gaps in the recessed pard of the window. You fill those with your inner layer, which should be 3 1/2" if I read the tutorial correctly. I haven't made one of these cards in a long time.
Beate  |  Mon Jan 2, 2012 at 9:51 AM
where can I get the board with the groves for scoring paper?
Sandra  |  Thu Mar 15, 2012 at 9:47 PM
The tool used in the video is called a Scor-Pal. You can purchase it in many online and brick and mortar stores as well as the Scor-Pal site directly.
I LOVE this tool!
Hugs and smiles
beate  |  Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 6:07 AM

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