School Bus Gift Card Holder

Hey there!  Welcome to Hybrid Monday!  New Hybrid team member, LuAnn, here with this week’s project featuring one of Deena’s cutting files.  Wait!  I hear you on your side of the computer screen mumbling to yourself, “I don’t have a cutting machine.”  This is a very easy project that can also be done with good old fashion scissors!

One of my most favorite things to do is to take a template or cutting file and use it in a different and unexpected way.  I frequently print templates or cutting files in grayscale mode on my printer, cut the file and then start looking at it from different angles.  Sometimes I score the lines and fold the file without adhering it.  This gives me a chance to see what else I can do with it.  Today’s project is no exception.

I am going to show you how to transform one of Deena’s D-Cuts Journal Pocket volume 1


into a school bus gift card holder perfect to hand out on the last day of school – you know it will be here before you know it!!!  And my Mom always told me to be nice to the bus driver because it’s a long walk home if you aren’t!!!



  • Deena’s D-Cuts Journal Pocket volume 1 – I used the 4 x6″ sized pocket
  • Silhouette Cameo or scissors
  • cardstock – I used yellow, black, gray and red for this project
  • adhesive of choice – I used my tombow adhesive tape runner
  • paper trimmer or use your scissors
  • rounded corner punch (optional)
  • circle and square dies, big shot (optional – could use punches or scissors)
  • pencil (optional)
  • craft or exacto knife (optional – you could use your scissors to cut the slits for the gift card)
  • number stamps and ink or a black marker
  • silver paint pen (optional)


Let’s start with the Journal Pocket template.  If you don’t have a cutting machine, you will need to print the largest journal pocket on computer paper, trace around it on the yellow cardstock, and then hand cut the pocket with scissors.  This was my first cut with my new Cameo – it cut the pocket like a hot knife going through butter!  Cameo, oh Cameo!  Where have you been all my life?!?

journal envelope

Next, in order to start to create our bus shape,  you will need to cut off the top section of the pocket as shown below.

cut flap

Just go ahead and throw it away.  You won’t be needing it.   Score and sharply crease the fold lines on the journal pocket taking care to line up the edges of the template.   Go ahead and add your adhesive to the tabs to form your pocket.   Once assembled, you may want to use a round corner punch(or your scissors) on the square corners so that all four are rounded.  Totally your call based on your preference.

At this point, go ahead and create the windows, the stripes, and the tires for your bus.

To create my windows, I used two small square dies and my Big Shot.  If you don’t have square dies or a big shot, cut a wide strip of black cardstock paper and then cut it down into square shapes.  The three smaller windows are about 1 inch x 1 inch.  The driver window is a little bigger – but you don’t have to make your’s bigger.

I then used my paper trimmer to cut two thin strips of black cardstock.  Again, you could use your scissors to cut the strips.  Perhaps you would like the strips on your bus in a different area.  Go for it!  Make this bus YOUR OWN!!!  Adhere the windows and your stripes.

windows and stripes

The tires were created using 3 different sized circle nestabilities and my big shot.  You could hand cut the circles or use two different sized punches.  Go ahead and assemble your tires but don’t adhere them to the bus yet!  We’re not ready for the wheels on the bus to go round and round….


Now, we are going to create the front part of the bus.  This piece will act as the “hood” of our bus and it is also the part that holds the gift card.

Using the same yellow cardstock, cut a strip 6 ¼” x 2 3/8.   I again used my rounded corner punch on all four corners so that the insert “fits” the pocket more naturally and so that it makes it a little more pleasing to the eye.  If you don’t like how far the “hood” sticks out, trim a little more off until you like how it looks.  I adhered a strip of black cardstock to the bottom of the insert – I was going for a “bottom of the bus” look and trying to get a bumper looking thing in front.  Yeah, I’m not happy with how that part turned out. Anyway, I also rounded those corners.

I decided that I wanted my gift card to be attached to the insert in a place that would allow the gift card to be safe and secure in the smaller portion of the pocket on the back.  To “attach” the gift card to the insert, I positioned the gift card where I wanted it to be and then used a pencil to draw two light pencil lines – each one opposite of each other.   Use an exacto knife or your scissors to carefully cut a small diagonal slits so that the corner of the gift card can be secured in the slits.

I used a silver paint pen to draw a headlight on my bus.  A simple square of red cardstock quickly becomes a stop sign by snipping the corners off the square.  Add the sign markings and lettering with a white gel pen.  Attach the stop sign to your bus.  I also added a few decorative white gel lines to the tires and to the windows.  I tried to create a grill on the front of my bus by cutting very thin strips of black cardstock.  I used a number stamp to do the bus number at the back of the bus.  You could use a black marker.

Position the insert in place and decide where you want the wheels to be attached.   And there you have it, a journal pocket turned in to a school bus gift card holder.


And here is the bus with the insert holding the gift card removed from the bus.

bus gift card

I hope you like the project that I shared with you today!  Hopefully, I now have you thinking about other templates and what you could do with them!  If you decide to create a bus gift card holder of your own, I’d love to see it!  And, if you have any questions about any part of the steps, just holler!  See you again soon!

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