January 25, 2019 2 min read

The nature lover in your life will be delighted to receive this unique card! For anyone looking for a fresh change from the traditional pinks and reds of Valentine’s Day, this project is for you.


Leaf cutter ants are tropical insects that harvest leaf pieces. The leaves are used to cultivate a specialized fungus in the ants’ nests and the fungus is then fed to the leaf cutter ant larvae (babies). It’s a fascinating natural history relationship. The ants often cut leaves into large curved pieces, which led me to think of this design.


When working on this project, keep in mind that there’s no need to be concerned about following exact lines when cutting out leaf and ant shapes.

SUPPLIES

INSTRUCTIONS

Card

Trim your Kraft Speckletone Cardstock to 7” x 10”, scoring so that the card folds into a standard 5” x 7” card.

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card

Ants

Print the Leaf Cutter Ant Print Out on to White Sweet Tooth paper. There are enough pairs of ants on this print out to create 3 cards. Using scissors or a blade, cut out a pair of ants. I initially cut with a blade and left a generous margin around the ants. The margin allows ant paper pieces to be sturdier, and aesthetically they will contrast better with their background.

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card

I then used scissors to trim the hard corners into softer curves.

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card

Leaves

Cut out the leaf shapes, place one on each of the green cardstock papers. Use these shapes as a stencil, and then cut out the leaves from the green cardstock.

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card Leaf Cutting

I used a combination of the scorer that came with my paper trimmer and the blunt side of a butter knife, to score a vein pattern into the leaves. Start with the central vein, then add veins extending from the center vein.

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card Leaf Scoring

Putting it all together

Glue the leaves to the ant’s mandibles (mouthparts). Make sure each ant is holding the correct leaf so that when they meet together, the leaf forms a heart shape.

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card

Cut out 10 small (¼ inch) squares of adhesive foam. Stick two on each ant, and two to three on each leaf.

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card

When glue has dried, peel the backing off the adhesive backing and turn the ants and leaves over. Center them over your card and ensure the leaves overlap to form a heart shape. Press ants and leaves down so that they adhere to your card.

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card

Variations

Leaf Cutter Ants Cardstock Paper Valentine Card

The leaf cutter ants can be carrying ANYTHING! Cut leaves into Letter shapes for someone’s initials. Use a train of ants to carry letters forming a word. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to share your creations with us onFacebook orInstagram!

 

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! -Jen (GinkgoMaker)


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