How to Cut a Window in a Greeting Card

It takes practice to cut a window neatly, especially an oval or round window. Windows cut into greeting cards can be used to frame a contrasting texture or a photograph, or they can simply be a design element on their own. You can buy card blanks with windows cut into them but you may have a hard time finding a ready-cut window in the color of card that suits your particular project.

Rectangular windows (see below for an easier alternative)graph paper

Step 1

Cut a piece of graph paper exactly the same size as the greeting card front. For this example, our card front will be 4¼"W x 5½"H.

Step 2

Determine the size of the window. Ours is 2¼"W x 2"H. Draw a 2¼"W x 2"H rectangle on the graph paper in the position you want it to appear on the card. (fig. 1)

Step 3

cutting window Open card flat (inside face-down) on a cutting mat. If you don't have a cutting mat, make sure it's a surface that won't be ruined by punctures and cuts. Carefully align the graph paper on top of the card front. With a needle or an awl, pierce through the graph paper and card front in each of the four corners. Remove graph paper.

Step 4

Using a craft knife and a metal ruler, cut the window out of the card front using the four holes as guides. (fig. 2)

Round and oval windows (the hard way)

For circles, use a compass to draw the circle. You can try using a craft knife to cut out the circle but you may find scissors to be easier. Either way, a certain amount of practice will be needed to make decent-looking circles or ovals. If you use scissors, cut an "x" inside the circle or oval so the scissors have a place to start.

For ovals, you'll need a template with ovals cut into it to trace onto the card - then proceed as above.

Round, oval, and rectangular windows (the easy way)

Shapexpress If you're going to make more than just a couple of circles or ovals, you need something called a ShapeXpress. I'm a little "economy-minded" (read "cheap"), but I didn't mind having spent the few bucks it cost once I found how easy it was to make great-looking circles or ovals in greeting cards.

It's also easy to use the ShapeXpress for rectangles and squares but you are limited to the sizes the templates provide. However, this may not be a problem as the templates provide five sizes of rectangles and seven sizes of squares.

You can use it freehand but that way it's not much easier than using a craft knife. I almost always use it with the templates. The circles and ovals templates each have seven sizes to choose from.

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