Flower Shadow Box

At the end of last month, my in-laws celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.  I had seen these box frame projects on Pinterest and wanted to make one in reds and purples since traditionally 40 years is a ruby anniversary.

To begin, I downloaded a flower file and cut it out on my Cricut.  It was a bit large to fit under the glass but a good practice.  After scaling it down to fit, I then cut out 25 flower templates in a mix of red, pink and purple card.

Flower templates cut from Stampin’ Up! card in Real Red, Lovely Lipstick, Melon Mambo, Cherry Cobbler, Blackberry Bliss and Rich Razzleberry

Using my bone folder, I gently curved the first 3 petals and then, using my tweezers, started rolling up the petals.  Once rolled, I released the tension slightly until the flower was the right size and then glued the base on with my hot glue gun.

The next stage was to cover the back of the shadow box with white card and then glue the flowers in place.

I used Cricut’s Design Space to make my vinyl decal, which was stuck onto the front of the glass, and then assembled the box frame.

 

Britannic Bunting!

To celebrate VE Day earlier this month, I wanted to put up some bunting even though we were not doing any actual celebrations.  I went to get the bunting from storage and realised that my Mum-in-law still has it – she has it on permanent loan for WI purposes!  Since I didn’t view bunting collection as being a critical journey during lockdown, I set about making some more.  As I wanted a patriotic look, I rifled through my fabric collection and pulled out all fabrics that had red, white or blue in them – most were offcuts from clothing or other sewing projects – and set to work. 

First job is to make a cardboard template for the flag size.  You can make the flags whatever size you like – mine were 6” x 7½”.  I also cut out a 2” cardboard spacer although you can put the flags next to each other if you prefer.  After drawing around the flags, I cut them out using pinking shears, which have a zig-zag edge so prevent the fabric from fraying.  I cut the top edge with regular scissors as a reminder as to which edge I needed to sew.  It’s easy to get confused when you’re head down in the sewing machine!

I used double fold bias binding to attach my flags.  Once the binding was opened up, the flag was laid inside with the top edge against the centre fold, the binding folded over and then stitched along the edge of the binding.  After laying the spacer alongside, I then positioned the next flag and stitched that in place. Repeat for as long as you want your bunting to be.

I made two lengths; one each for upstairs and downstairs.

This is a great project to repurpose old clothing or bedding.  It’s also very straightforward and quite quick to do making it ideal for beginners or children.   So, jazz up your lockdown celebration with some unique bunting!

 

 

 

Word Art

Pictures made up of words are all the rage now and I’m a huge fan.  I hope one day to be able to produce such things with my own calligraphy but for now, I’m happy to use my Cricut to create these works (or words!) of art.  I posted my latest project in the Cricut Facebook group and had a lot of comments asking how I did it, which prompted this blog post.  Apparently, there is a website or app you can use to arrange your words but personally, I think that takes all the fun and creativity out of the project.

First, I drew in a heart the size of my intended project in Cricut Design Space.  I then listed words that I wanted to include in the piece.  Then it was simply a job of changing the fonts, sizes and alignments and fitting the words into the heart shape.  Where there were gaps too big to leave blank but too small for words, I added little images like hearts, stars, paw prints, cats and aeroplanes.  Once I was happy with the layout, I then changed the words and images into 4 colours as I was using black, gold, silver and brushed metallic pink vinyl.

The key at this stage was to “Attach” the images by colours as this allows the Cricut to cut out that colour with the words in the correct position so you don’t have to be bothered trying to line them up on the canvas.  As is usual for me, I made my life more difficult by making my project lots bigger than my cutting mat so I had to divide my words into two mats for each colour.  After ‘hiding’ or deleting the heart shape (this needs doing to prevent the machine cutting out a vinyl heart too), the next task was to cut out each colour.  I cut out the sections of vinyl without any words to save for small projects.

The next job was to ‘weed’ the project.  I begin by removing the centres of the O, R, Ps etc.

And then removed the rest of the surrounding vinyl.

The vinyl needs mounting on transfer paper in order to remove the backing prior to sticking to the project.  I had some difficulty in doing this from above by placing the transfer paper onto the vinyl, so I placed transfer paper face down on my light pad and then positioned the vinyl into the correct spaces, using the Design Space for reference.

Once all the pieces were in place, I roughly cut the transfer paper into a heart shape to help with centralising on the canvas.

The transfer backing paper was in two halves which helped a lot for the final sticking into position.  I lined up the image, then held the top section onto the canvas whilst I peeled off the backing paper of the bottom section, sticking the bottom onto the canvas.  With the bottom secured, I then removed the top section of backing paper.

Despite burnishing the images really well, the vinyl preferred to stick to the transfer sheet rather than the canvas so a bit of work was required to encourage the letters off the transfer sheet.  Once they were all on the canvas, I burnished them well again to ensure they were properly adhered.  The only job left was to hang it on the wall.

I then made a similar canvas for my friend’s big birthday.  He is retired now but worked in the aviation industry so I used an aircraft silhouette as my shape to fill.  This was trickier as the font was smaller but each colour did fit on a single cutting mat so lining up was easier.

Things I learnt from these projects:

  • Don’t use fonts with really long, skinny parts to the letters.
  • Do a test cut of a small shape if using new vinyl; they don’t all cut the same.
  • Try out the transfer sheet on the project first. Mine was a bit too sticky and the vinyl stuck better to that than to the canvas.
  • The smaller the font, the trickier it is to weed and transfer.
  • Use “Unlock” to allow words to fill the spaces better otherwise they scale proportionally.

Finally, for a bit of fun, I pimped up our new robovac.  In honour of the Robocop being Jean-Claude Van Damme, we’ve named our robovac Jean.  I designed a logo for her and added a little slogan! Aside from the fun decals, the little vac is brilliant – in fact, Jean’s busy doing the vacuuming whilst I’m writing this post. Now that’s my idea of housework! 😊

 

 

Merry Christmas!

Are you ready for Christmas then? I don’t really know how (since December always follows November!) but December has suddenly crept up on me this year.  It’s been hectic getting cards and presents made, wrapped and delivered, together with going to work and also, sadly, having to return to Derbyshire for a few days for a family funeral.  However, the end of this week saw me being able to just relax and do some Christmassy things for me. 

Firstly, my sister has come to stay for a few days so we started by visiting the local garden centre to see the reindeer that they have each year in December.  This year they were called Glacier and Cloudy and they were gorgeous, as always.

This one was particularly hungry and kept coming to the fence to see if there was any food available, which allowed me several strokes of his velvety nose! Love that nose!!

We then took advantage of the photo opportunity on the snowman seat – it was a bit of a squeeze!

I did have to do some last-minute crafting this week.  We’ve bought gift vouchers online for some gifts so I wanted to make a more interesting presentation wallet than just a plain envelope.  Mr L had requested some Christmas cards like Santa suits….

…so I made the gift envelopes in the same style but with a beard rather than fur trim on the coat.  For the beard, I die cut half a scalloped oval however it could be a shape cut out with scissors though.  I embossed it with a swirly patterned embossing folder to add some texture.  I have a buckle die but one can easily be made by cutting out a black rectangle the same width as the belt, cutting out a glitter/metallic rectangle ⅛” bigger and sticking the black rectangle on top.

Next, after foraging in the garden and the lane, I passed an enjoyable hour making my festive foliage table decoration.  The trouble is that it’s so large, we won’t be able to get our plates of Christmas dinner on the table! 

Lastly, I finally got around to making a tree to display my Twelve Days Ornaments (from April 2019 blog post).  I didn’t want to put them on the Christmas tree as I thought they’d get a bit lost and I wanted to be able to properly see them! I chopped a couple of branches, tied them together then glued them into holes I drilled in a log. I sprayed the branches with some glitter spray, wrapped a hessian strip around the trunk, fairy lights around the branches and covered the top of the log with some embossing paste mixed with glitter. I was very happy with how it turned out.

However you’re celebrating Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful time!

 

 

 

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!