Sunday, February 3, 2013

Zelda Pop-up Valentine

[If you are getting here for the first time from a link on the back of your Valentine's Day card, Hi! Thanks for stopping by all the way from Alabama, California, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington!]

A and I worked for a bit on some ideas for a geeky valentine this year. One idea was sprite characters rendered in Perler beads, but that's kind of been played out right now. Then we thought about sprite art as printed valentines like the old eight-to-a-sheet numbers we used to give out as kids. Then, A remembered a pop-up card she saw on Pinterest, and it all fell together: A Zelda-themed pop-up valentine, combining old-school gaming references with paper crafting. So, this is With Our Powers Combined's first valentine card.

I'm a big Zelda fan, though I'll admit I've drifted away from the games in recent years, mostly because keeping up with the Nintendo consoles between the SNES and Wii just wasn't my scene, but I played quite a bit of the 8- and 16-bit versions back in the day. The theme has a special place in my heart, the Hyrule Crest is one of my favorite belt buckles (if a bit pokey for long car trips on account of the Triforce), and references to the game always make me smile. I figure gamers around my age would appreciate the reference.

I chose to combine the well-traveled meme reference from the first game (the old man in the cave with the original sword, which for whatever reason as a kid I always assumed was wood), but combined with the heart icon from A Link to the Past because the 8-bit heart was just a little less... interesting. Using the advice from the Pinterest link A had, I was able to figure out how to apply the same ideas to the SNES sprite, scaled up in a graphics program to 2 inches across. To avoid extra cutting lines which called attention to the cut-out nature of things, I added a 3 "pixel" drop shadow to help align my ruler and make consistent cuts. From there, I was able to create the document in Publisher as a front and back, with logos and whatnot. From there, I can print one sheet in cardstock and cut it in half, folding the front in half as the outer part and then carefully cutting and scoring the inner half to free the card and fold the heart up and away when the card closes.

We'll be putting up a printable .pdf next weekend if you want to build one for your geeky sweetheart. If you simply can't wait until then, feel free to stop by the Etsy store and snap one up. If the link is down, it's because yet one more person has ordered one. We've basically sold one a day since we put it up, making it the most successful thing we've ever sold at the shop.

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