<!-- I made this demo to try out and illustrate some of the subtle button effects you can create just using box-shadow and borders on pseudo–elements.

Inspired by the work I saw a while back over on Beemuse (http://beemuse.com/paper) and so this is a heavily tweaked more dynamic version of those effects.

Also see Nicolas Gallaghers previous post on effects like this:
http://nicolasgallagher.com/css-drop-shadows-without-images/

Tested in latest Chrome and Firefox, but no reason it shouldn't work in all latest browsers. -->


<link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>

<h2 class="no-separator">Raise on hover from flat</h2>
<a href="" class="btn paper-raise">Try Me</a>

<h2>Flatten on hover from raised</h2>
<a href="" class="btn paper paper-raise-flatten">Try Me</a>
  
<h2>Raise from Less flat position on hover</h2>
<a href="" class="btn paper paper-raise">Try Me</a>
  
<h2>Lift sides on Hover</h2>
<a href="" class="btn paper-lift">Try Me</a>
  
<h2>Flatten sides on hover</h2>
<a href="" class="btn paper-flatten">Try Me</a>
  
<h2>Curl right corner on hover</h2>
<a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl-right">Try Me</a>
  
<h2>Curl right side on hover</h2>
<a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl-right-side">Try Me</a>

<h2>Curl bottom corners on hover</h2>
<a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl">Try Me</a>
  
  
<h2>Group examples</h2>
<h2>Raise on hover</h2>
<ul>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-raise">Button One</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-raise">Button Two</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-raise">Button Three</a></li>
</ul>
  
<h2>Flatten on hover</h2>
<ul>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-raise-flatten">Button One</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-raise-flatten">Button Two</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-raise-flatten">Button Three</a></li>
</ul>
  
<h2>Less flat raise on hover</h2>
<ul>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-raise">Button One</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-raise">Button Two</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-raise">Button Three</a></li>
</ul>

<h2>Lift sides on hover</h2>
<ul>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-lift">Button One</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-lift">Button Two</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-lift">Button Three</a></li>
</ul>

<h2>Flatten sides on hover</h2>
<ul>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-flatten">Button One</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-flatten">Button Two</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper-flatten">Button Three</a></li>
</ul>

<h2>Curl right corner on hover</h2>
<ul>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl-right">Button One</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl-right">Button Two</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl-right">Button Three</a></li>
</ul>
  
<h2>Curl right side on hover</h2>
<ul>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl-right-side">Button One</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl-right-side">Button Two</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl-right-side">Button Three</a></li>
</ul>

<h2>Curl bottom corners on hover</h2>
<ul>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl">Button One</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl">Button Two</a></li>
  <li><a href="" class="btn paper paper-curl">Button Three</a></li>
</ul>


<a href="https://twitter.com/AshNolan_" target="_blank" class="footerLink">made by @AshNolan_</a>
/* Base page styles */

body {
  font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;
  background-color: #f1f1f1;
  text-align: center;
}

h2 {
  text-transform: uppercase;
  font-size: 16px;
  margin-bottom: 0;
  padding-top: 20px;
  border-top: 1px solid #ccc;
  
  &.no-separator {
    border: none;
  }
}

ul {
  list-style: none;
  margin: 0 auto;
  padding: 0;
  text-align: center;
}
  li {
    display: inline-block;
    margin: 0 20px;
  }


/* Base Button Style */
.btn {
  position: relative;
  display: block;
  width: 250px;
  margin: 20px auto;
  padding: 10px;
  
  background-color: #fff;
  border: 1px solid #ccc;

  color: #000;
  text-align: center;
  text-decoration: none;
  text-transform: uppercase;
  
  transform-style: flat;
  transition: all 250ms ease-out;
  
  &:before,
  &:after {
      content: "";
      position: absolute;
      z-index: -2;
    	transition: all 250ms ease-out;
  }
}

/* Paper effect – slightly raised off background */
.paper {
  box-shadow: 0 1px 4px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3), 0 0 40px rgba(128, 128, 128, 0.1) inset;
  border-color: #dedede;
}

/* Raised effect – pushes up on hover */
.paper-raise {
  &:before {
    top: 0;
    left: 0;
    width: 100%;
    height: 100%;
  }
  &:hover {
    border: 1px solid #fff;
    
    &:before {
			box-shadow: 0 15px 10px -10px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.5);
    }
  }
}

.paper-raise-flatten {
  border-color: #fff;
  box-shadow: none;
  
  &:before {
    top: 0;
    left: 0;
    width: 100%;
    height: 100%;
    box-shadow: 0 15px 10px -10px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.5);
  }
  &:hover {
    border-color: #dedede;
    
    &:before {
			box-shadow: 0 1px 4px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3), 0 0 40px rgba(128, 128, 128, 0.1) inset;
    }
  }
}
	

/* Lift effect – lifts sides on hover */
.paper-lift {
	&:before,
	&:after {
		bottom: 15px;
     width: 50%;
     height: 20%;
     max-width: 300px;
     max-height: 100px;
    
		box-shadow: 0 10px 10px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.5);
	}
  &:before {
    left: 8px;
    transform: rotate(-3deg);
	}
  &:after {
    right: 8px;
    transform: rotate(3deg);
	}
  
  &:hover {
    border-color: transparent;

    &:before,
    &:after {
	    box-shadow: 0 15px 12px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.7);
    }
    &:before {
    	left: 10px;
    }
    &:after {
      right: 10px;
    }
  }
}

/* Flatten effect – flattens sides on hover */
.paper-flatten {
  border: 1px solid transparent;
	&:before,
	&:after {
		bottom: 15px;
     width: 50%;
     height: 20%;
     max-width: 300px;
     max-height: 100px;
    
     box-shadow: 0 15px 12px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.7);
	}
  &:before {
    left: 10px;
    transform: rotate(-3deg);
	}
  &:after {
    right: 10px;
    transform: rotate(3deg);
	}
  
  &:hover {
    border-color: #ccc;
    
    &:before,
    &:after {
      transition: box-shadow 600ms ease-out, left 200ms, right 200ms;
	    box-shadow: 0 8px 8px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.5);
    }
    &:before {
    	left: 5px;
    }
    &:after {
      right: 5px;
    }
  }
}


/* Curl effects – curls corners on hover */
.paper-curl,
.paper-curl-right {  
  &:before,
  &:after {
    bottom: 12px;
    width: 50%;
    height: 55%;
    max-width: 200px;
    max-height: 100px;
	 box-shadow: 1px 8px 12px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.6);
  }
  &:before {
    left: 10px;
  }
  &:after {
    right: 10px;
  }
  
  &:hover {
    &:before,
    &:after {
      box-shadow: 1px 8px 12px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.8);
    }
    &:before {
	    transform: skew(-8deg) rotate(-3deg);
    }
    &:after {
      transform: skew(8deg) rotate(3deg);
    }
  }
}
.paper-curl {
  &:hover {
    border-radius: 0 0 40% 40% / 0 0 30% 30%;
  }
}
.paper-curl-right {
  &:before {
    display: none;
  }
  
  &:hover {
    border-radius: 0 0 40% 0 / 0 0 30% 0;
	}
}

/* Curl effects – curls right hand side on hover */
.paper-curl-right-side {
  &:before,
  &:after {
    right: 10px;
    width: 50%;
    height: 55%;
    max-width: 200px;
    max-height: 100px;
  }
  &:before {
    top: 12px;
    box-shadow: 1px -4px 12px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.6);
  }
  &:after {
    bottom: 12px;
    box-shadow: 1px 4px 12px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.6);
  }
  &:hover {
    right: 0;
    border-radius: 0 3% 3% 0 / 0% 50% 50% 0;
    
    &:before {
      box-shadow: 10px -4px 12px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.8);
	    transform: skew(-8deg) rotate(-3deg);
    }
    &:after {
      box-shadow: 10px 4px 12px rgba(31, 31, 31, 0.8);
      transform: skew(8deg) rotate(3deg);
    }
  }
}

.footerLink {
  position: absolute;
  bottom: 0;
  right: 0;
  padding: 10px 15px;
  
  color: #fff;
  background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8);
  border-radius: 5px 0 0 0;
  text-decoration: none;
  transition: 300ms;
  
  &:hover {
    background-color: rgba(60, 60, 60, 0.8);
  }
}

External CSS

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