Z-fold Christmas Tree Card

Z-fold cards are very cool! This card was demonstrated by Amanda from Inspiring Inkin’ during a recent team training video.  I have made Z-cards before but I liked Amanda’s addition of the ‘foot’.  This card also offers the opportunity to use up any odd bits of DSP.

Whilst the supplies list may seem extensive, once they’re all assembled, the card comes together really quickly.  As well as a fab Christmas card, this can also be modified to include a gift card holder too.

I scored only the centre of the card base to begin and masked the back with a sticky note.  Using the same ink as the card base, I randomly stamped the tree image.  This process was repeated on the reverse side.

The tree image was also stamped on the card liner and envelope.

I heat embossed the tree and cut it out using the punch.  The sentiment, from Itty Bitty Christmas, was stamped on the white circle.

Next, I added the second score line onto the front of the card, to form the Z-fold.

The tree was mounted onto the largest circle.  It’s important to get it central so I used the grid paper to help with this.

I didn’t have any DSP to match the Seaside Spray card, so instead I stamped the group of small stars (So Many Stars) repeatedly on Layer 3.  All the layers were assembled and the tree mounted in the centre.  Again, I used the grid paper to ensure the tree was central.

The liner was stuck onto the inside of the card.  The left-hand side of the layered piece was glued onto the front of the Z-fold.  Once this was in place, the foot was assembled and glued onto the front, lining up the edge of the circle with the bottom and edge of the card base.

Z-fold card in Seaside Spray, Silver Foil paper and silver embossed tree.

To convert to a gift card holder, I took a piece of card 2¾” x 4⅛” and punched a semi-circular thumb hole.  Tear ’n’ tape was applied to the other three sides.

This piece was then stuck onto the reverse of the Z-fold to make the pocket for the gift card.

Gift card holder in Real Red, Gold Foil paper, DSP and gold embossed tree.
The complete collection. Additional two cards are Night of Navy, Silver Foil paper and N-o-N/clear embossed tree and Old Olive, Copper Foil paper, DSP with copper embossed tree.

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Crackers for a Gift Box

On page 31 of the holiday catalogue, there’s a suggestion to make traditional cracker boxes using the Brightly Gleaming suite of products.  Whilst these aren’t the usual pulling-banging crackers, they can be at least filled with decent stuff rather than useless bits of plastic.  The crackers would also make ‘cracking’ gift boxes! 😊

The trick is to use the small ornament punch to make the holes which allow the ends to fold in.  In case you’ve not got the ornament punch, I did try it out using a circle punch. The sides are smaller on this one, 3.5cm each.  For this end, I used a ¾” punch……

….and this end used the 1” punch.  This end’s a bit gappy.

Anyway, onto the ornament punched cracker.  Since I don’t have any Brightly Gleaming DSP, I decorated some Highland Heather card with the ornament stamps.  Whilst the catalogue suggests sizes for the sides, that’s all the information it gives.  I cut out a square 7.5” and scored it as follows:

Next, I stuck a length of double-sided tape along the small tab, then punched the holes, lining up the small ornament punch along the score lines.

I had trouble getting the ends to fold in on my prototype so I scored along the top and bottom edges of the holes.  This made construction considerably easier.  If you wanted to be able to ‘pull’ the crackers, it’d probably require adding a perforated line down the centre of these score lines.

I lightly folded in the edges along the holes like this:

Then, I flattened it out again and folded along the other score lines.

The next job was to remove the backing tape and stick the edges together to form a tube.

Lengths of ribbon were tied around the holes to gather the ends.

Lastly, I made a tag using the scalloped tag topper punch and the Itty Bitty Christmas stamps.  These would look great on the Christmas table or for presenting a small gift.  Now, who wouldn’t want this awaiting them under the tree?

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

Glittery Snow Front

Glitter and Christmas are synonymous with each other, well, in my book anyway. What better way to ‘glitter-ify’ a card than to completely cover it with the sparkly stuff?!  Read on for how to bling up your card with some super festive sparkle.

The Snow Front stamp set is the Christmassy cousin of Waterfront, also with the same water-colour styling.  For my sky, I used the starry background stamp from the Bokeh Dots set.

I was excited when I first received the Bokeh Dots set as I love the bokeh effect.  However, when I went to use the background stamps, the results were just rubbish; no definition, too much ink, bare patches etc.  I was so disappointed ☹  So, I put them back on the shelf and moved onto something else.  A google search revealed that what I had encountered was a common problem.  Juicy ink pads are not your friend with these stamps.  Apparently, the trick is to apply the ink using a roller of some kind.  Heeding this advice, I tried both my brayer and a foam roller.  Both of these methods yielded great results first go – phew! I did make sure to press and hold the stamp in place for about 10 second to ensure the ink had the time to transfer.

I used Night of Navy with the foam roller and Pretty Peacock with my brayer.

Next was to create my scene using the Snow Front.  There are so many scene variations you can create with these stamps.  It’s great fun playing around and seeing what scene comes to life.

Now comes the messy bit!  I used an IKEA glass candle dish (a silicon mat, plate or other such item that you can put glue on and wash afterwards would work too) and squirted some glue into it.  I added a single drop of water to loosen up the glue a bit. 

Using a sponge, I dabbed a few times into the glue to get a good coverage on the sponge and then dabbed all over the card until the whole piece had a glue coating. The inks used to create the picture are water based so I was mindful not to go over the inky parts too many times to avoid  inadvertently transfering any ink onto the white areas.  Once the card was covered with glue, I applied Dazzling Diamonds glitter and then left to dry.  Once the glue was dry, I rubbed over the surface to remove the excess glitter.  And that’s all there is to creating a super sparkly card front!

I also tried the technique using some Feels Like Frost DSP and the Ice Stampin’ Glitter.  This is a chunkier glitter and I don’t think it works quite so well as the fine glitter for this technique.

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

Arm-ageddon

This whole arm problem is really starting to get to me now.  The constant pain is just exhausting.  Whilst the physiotherapy and acupuncture have improved the tennis elbow symptoms, it seems those symptoms were disguising other elbow pain.  It feels like I’m taking one step forward and two steps back.  On the plus side, I am getting to be a dab hand at ‘mousing’ with my left hand.  To avoid having a similar problem with my left arm, I’ve purchased an ergonomic left-handed mouse.  Aside from having to switch around the left and right buttons to be the same as a right-handed mouse, it’s been really easy and comfortable to use.

Anyway, I’ve really been missing crafting and crafting is one of the things I would do to de-stress.  I figured that not crafting hasn’t improved my arm situation so I may as well do a bit and de-stress myself.  A large box of Stampin’ Up! goodies was delivered this week and I was keen to get playing with some new stuff.  I was conscious that I didn’t want to be doing too much and making my arm lots worse so I went for a simple, quick festive project – a Christmas tree garland.

I used a new set from the Autumn/Winter catalogue, Perfectly Plaid with the matching tree punch.

I cut a 2½” strip each of real red, old olive and thick whisper white card.  This was enough for 6 trees of each colour.  After using my Embossing Buddy, I stamped one of the trees with Versamark, applied gold embossing powder and heat set it.  I then punched the trees out.

Using glue dots, I attached each tree to a length of ribbon, spacing the trees about 2½” apart.

The finished garland is about 1.1m long but could easily be extended either by increasing the spacing or making more trees.  I’ve attached this one to our mantlepiece but it’d also look great in place of ribbon on a gift.  This was a quick little project which took me about 20 minutes and it satisfied my crafting mojo.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

Left-Handed Crafting!

I’m happy to report that I’m out of the sling this week although nowhere near back to normal yet ☹ The few days in the sling allowed my muscles to calm down enough so that the weight of my arm was bearable again.  This week I’ve had some physio and acupuncture and I’ve got this really jazzy strapping helping me out.

However, I still can’t use my right hand for very long until my arm starts to hurt so I thought I’d challenge my left hand to some everyday tasks!  The first was writing.  Well, I struggled to even hold the pen to begin with! My pages of alphabet look like they were written by a 6-year old but at least they look like letters.  My blog posts and photo editing is also all being done left handed, albeit slowly, but I have learned some useful keyboard shortcuts.

So, then I turned my attention to crafting and what I could make that would be simple, forgiving and hopefully not too frustrating.  I had some 2” strips of card left over from another project that I’d saved for tags, so tags it was! My coordination with my left-hand, when operating solo, is a bit sketchy so I used my Stamparatus to help with the stamping.  The bare trees from Winter Woods were mounted on one side of the door and the greeting on the other.  I stamped them onto the lining paper so I could line up my tags with the images.

Using Versamark ink and clear embossing powder, I stamped and heat set the trees on each tag.  Then I cut a wavy edge to the top of a Post-it note for the mask and used the overhangs of the mask to hold the tag in position.  I used a sponge brayer to colour the sky.  The ink is applied so gradually, it’s a very forgiving method so handy for my non-dominant hand.

The embossing resists the ink and any residue was easily removed with a tissue.  To give more texture to the sky, I spritzed some water on and dabbed it off with a tissue.

Next, the door of the Stamparatus was turned over so I could stamp the greeting.  I then punched the tops with the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.

Since they were Christmas tags, I wanted a bit of sparkle so I put them into my ‘spraying box’ and sprayed with Champagne Shimmer Mist/isopropyl alcohol mix.

The last job was to attach some ribbon, for which I did have to bring my right hand out of retirement!  The whole project probably took me twice as long as usual but at least I was crafting.  It must have given my brain quite a workout too as I had to have a nap afterwards!

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!