• Christmas Box decoration using Sizzix dies

    Monday, 8 December, 2014

    Christmas is only a few days away. But I like to make small decorations each year during the month of December. This time I have made a box for an artificial tea light candle.

    I used the Thinlits Christmas Phrase Cards 659973, card, vellum and adhesives.

    I took a piece of red card that measure 6 x 12".
    I started with the smaller of the two outer cards included in the set as a guideline on where to make the score lines, top, bottom and side always on the outside of the die.
    then I scored those long horizontal lines.

    By placing the same die over I ensured that it was the right size each time. You see that die create a thin border but with the added metal on the side creates a perfect size panel as you can see on the right.

    I kept making marks and scoring each panel.

    The final one creates a tiny 5th panel which is brilliant to close the box.

    Before starting to die cut I made a few marks. Left, you can see the two arrows on the little strip to make sure that I die cut the Phrase cards all in the right direction (as you can see I did the same with the die with a permanent marker after I did a mistake). I also wrote Back on the left panel to make sure I did not die cut it.

    Because this die has a lot of detail and you have to die cut it for the box laid horizontally every time I die cut it I turned it over to make sure all the words are die cut. I secure the die each time with low tack tape to make sure the die is in the correct position all the time, even if I had to run it through the machine a second time.

    Once finished die cutting it should look like this.

    I used the same die to die cut a shiny mirri gold card to add more reflection to the light and attached it to the back panel.

    I also die cut three vellum cards to attach from the inside so that the light would be more diffused.

    To assemble the box I trimmed the tabs to make the folds better, as well as the bottom to become thinner so that I could place the battery operated tea light. I glue the little 5th panel o the back using wet adhesive for a strong hold.

    I then glue the tabs together and place a square card to make it look prettier.

    And here it is, lighted and with the lights of the room on.

    You can do this one in so many diferent ways, I hope you give it a try.

  • Christmas tree decorations! Christmas Challenge week 3!

    Monday, 24 November, 2014

    It's week three of the Sizzix Christmas Challenge 2014! And it is Tree Decorations! So I decided to do a large bubble with a decorated inside.

    For this third Christmas Challenged I used:

    Thinlits™ Die Set 9PK - Winter Borders & Rosette by Paula Pascual 659978
    Thinlits™ Die Set 9PK - Christmas Phrase Cards by Paula Pascual 659973
    Framelits Die Set 8PK - Circles #2 658604
    Bigz Die - Ribbon, 3-D 658978

    And I used the free downloadable papers from Sizzix, click here for the link.

    I started by die cutting the rosette from the Winter Borders & Rosette set. I die cut two strips and covered the back with washi tape to make sure that the perforating lines don't brake. (They usually don't, but if you live in a very dry place or have the heating up as I do, the fibers are more brittle and tend to break much easily than they should.)
    I cut the strips to be five pointers each amd making sure that one of the ends ended in a W and the other on a M. Then I linked those to create a lampshade sort of shape.

    I die cut two circles using the medium circle die included in the set. I placed a bop of  hot glue in the center of one and pressed down on the rosette. then I used another circle to secure it in place.

    I used a double sided adhesive sheet from Stix2 on white paper and die cut it using the larger circle die from the Winter Borders & Rosette set. I removed the backing of and placed the white paper die cut snowflake (also from the Winter Borders & Rosette). Then I dumped in my gold flake tub and rub any excess off - To see more of this technique click here.

    I finished it off layering it with circles die cut from the Circles #2 set. On the opposite side I die cut the word peace from the Christmas Phrase Cards and snowflakes. Then I placed it on a plastic bubble and pour chunky matte glitter. Finally I added a die cut bow, embellishments from the Hobby House and a ribbon loop.

    And there it is...
    Soft Christmas Tree Decoration!

  • Christmas floating card

    Monday, 10 November, 2014

    Hello! We are now close to Christmas so it is really time to make our Christmas cards. Perfect timing for the Christmas Challenge!

    Using the free downloadable papers from Sizzix - click here to download - I made a floating Christmas card.

    After I downloaded the paper (click here for the link) I printed them in white textured paper. I trimmed the stripy blue paper to fit inside of a white square card. I checked which size of circle would fit for the printed blue snowflake. I took the next one up from the same set of Framelits 658604 Sizzix Framelits Die Set 8PK - Circles #2 and die cut the centre of the card.

    I also die cut the blue circle and then I die cut a snowflake from the 659978 Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 9PK - Winter Borders & Rosette.  Then I took a white thread and glued verticlly top and bottom of the circle aperture.

    Once dried, I placed the blue circle and attached it to the thread. I then place an identically size circle die cut from the printed snowflake paper.

    To cover the back of the aperture, I placed the exact same die that I used for the aperture on top of it, with the blade edge upwards and two pieces of really low tack tape facing upwards as well. Then I placed the paper already trimmed to size facing upwards. Yes, should be placed front upwards, I made a mistake for the photos, it really should be front up, otherwise it wont work.

    Once that the piece of paper is centered on all edges, press down and the low tack tape will hold the die in the exact place. Then die cut using your Big Shot and glue down.

    Finally I added a strip from the printed papers to create a vertical line between the top and the bottom.

    I hope you enjoy this little tutorial!

    Happy crafting!

  • A layout with lots of flowers!

    Monday, 27 October, 2014

    October is being a busy month for me but a great one too. In June my cousin Angela (who is one of my closest friends as well as being my cousin) and I decided we wanted to participate in this year' Ofrenda de las Flores in our native Zaragoza (Spain). It is a lovely fairly modern (sixty years or so) celebration and it consist of dressing up in our local traditional attire and take flowers to a Virgin Mary statue. We already done it together once before fifteen years ago and we felt it would be nice to do it again. So we did! We had a blast that day and the previous and after days, and because of it I felt I really needed to keep the memories with a layout.

    I wanted a layout with pictures of us two. As she lives in Spain and I in London we dont have that many moments of us together, so this is more about us than the sights. I printed my favorite in a larger and then the rest in more or less half the size. I cut all the photos to size ready for later.

    I like to have a border all round and a white base. It is something that I do all the time, and I always cut the bit of the patterned middle to save for a future project. Frugal? Me? Of course!

    I placed all the photos on the page and started to pull different dies to see how would they look. Since I was there to bring flowers, I thought it had to have loads of them so I die cut them using my Intricate Flowers 2 dies and the Happy card from the Phrase cards set.

    Finally, I added embellishments for the centers and some printed stickers from the same collection as the papers which is Spice Market from Basic Grey.

    And a couple of close ups:

    I treasure this moments and I think it is important to capture and preserve them. That is the point of scrapbooking, isn't it?

  • Snowflake rosette and borders dies!

    Monday, 13 October, 2014

    So, those Christmas cards... well, if you are organized it would be a would idea to start them now. Here you have an idea using one of my latest dies for Sizzix, Thinlits Die Set 9PK - Winter Borders & Rosette - 659978.

    The set consist of 9 dies, three borders, a rosette die, a snowflake, a flower and three circles. To make the rosette you will need two lengths of it, so just die cut it twice.

    You can make it larger or smaller, but I like my rosette to have eight points, so I trim two on both. Then I glue the ends.

    I die cut two circles to secure it in place. I used cool glue gun, a big blop of glue in the centre. 

    I pushed the center to the glue. Then I used the smaller circle on top and pushed down to secure it in place.

    One of the borders included in the set is the one I call Candy Cane as creates the diagonal lines of the sweet. This one fits nicely on a A6 card creating the apertures.

    Perfect for a red card with a white insert. The second border has dots and stars and this one mesures up 6 inches tall and it does cut all four borders.

    Quickly, I assembled this Christmas card with all the elements.
    Good luck with your Christmas cards!

  • Blackboard Elements Frame

    Monday, 29 September, 2014

    I have been wanting to do this idea for a while, but I couldn't find the right product. Then, on a lazy Sunday in Brighton I found the decal blackboard material in a kitchen supplies shop and then I realized I didn't look for the right words! Blackboard Vinyl thats what I should have looked for!

    Anyway, I found it as well as some coloured chalk, a deep IKEA frame and with two of my new dies sets, the Sizzix® Framelits™ Fancy Cards 659967 and Oval Cards 659968.

    The Fancy and Oval cards are designed to fit pocket scrapbook protectors as they are just under 3 x 4" but they are useful for so many different things, like this project.

    The vinyl is thin enough to die cut with Framelits as it is just about a card thickness wise. I die cut two of the largest ones and two of the smaller ones (no smallest). I cut some stripy paper to the same measure of the frame, which is 9 x 9".

    Because of the vinyl nature, they are re positionable so don't worry to much at putting them exactly perfect. I placed the glass so it's all the way back which will leave me an edge to place the chalk.

    And there you have it. A quick and simple project!

  • Scraptastic!

    Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

    I know I don't often feature Scrapbook layouts on this blog mainly due to time constraints, but I do love scrapbooking, especially as it is responsible for so many great products to play with and innumerable cool techniques to learn, all of which filters into my other crafty interests.

    I was going to make a card with the magnificent Thinlits Die Set Winter Borders and Rosette designed by my good buddy Paula Pascual. this is one set from Paula's new Everyday Collection released this month, I implore you to check it out (if you love delicate butterflies then look no further!!!)

    When I say I was going to make a card, I promised Barbara at a show in Manchester that I would do just that, however I couldn't resist doing a little layout, I hope you will forgive me?

    Below you will see the die set mentioned previously, an 8" x 8" square of card (all the card is from the My Mind's Eye Lost & Found 3 Collection) and three photo's of my daughter Poppy taken in the heavy snow we had in the UK a couple of years back.

    At this point I have no idea what I am going to do!

    OK! I now have a rough plan/idea so I'm going to start by die cutting a circle from Kraft card using the largest Circle Framelits die. I have combined both sets of Circle Framelits and between them I have every size I need ( 657551 and 658604). After die-cutting the first circle I place the die which is the next sized down onto the die-cut circle slightly offset. I repeat this twice more until I have three thin kraft card rings. Next, I use a brayer to apply a thin layer of gesso.

    I cut a rectangle of the pale blue dotty paper and trimmed away one edge using the snowflake border die. I applied some rows of faux stitching using a pattern makers wheel and a white gel pen before attaching all the separate elements to the layout together with a die-cut silver snowflake border.
    From the same dotty card I cut two halves of the snowflake rosette and proceeded to lighten the tips by dry brushing with gesso. Next, I concertina folded the two halves before attaching end to end to form a crown before folding in toward the centre to create the rosette. I usually secure this at the rear with a piece of scrap card attached with a hot glue gun to get a solid bond. I next die-cut a deep blue circle, a silver snowflake and a deep blue border strip whose edges I gently sanded to add a little contrast.

    I attached all the elements to the layout together with the photos and a rectangle of green patterned card which has been lightly distressed. I covered a piece of mount board with the deep blue card and used the Block Talk Lowercase Alphabet Die to cut the letters and printed the word 'Princess' onto the green card using my PC. I have a set of similar alphabet stamps which would work equally as well. After attaching the words to my layout I started to add a little bling in the form of assorted adhesive pearls and gems.

    Finally, I die cut a circle from card and used it as a template around which I attached a row of clear adhesive gems using my trusty tweezers before removing the card circle.

    Here is the finished article, lots of fun to do as always, I think the green really lifts it especially as I could use pearl gems of a similar colour. I love the way the circles give it a sense of movement. 

    So many little time!

  • A crafty way to keep track of flower dies

    Monday, 15 September, 2014

    I am not sure about you, but I do love and have loads of flower dies. So many that sometimes it is hard to keep track of all of them. For this reason, I came up with an easy reference swatch book that allows be to look through the different flower dies as well as allowing me to check whether some of them look good together even though they are from different sets.

    This is the finished swatch book. Here is how I made it.

    I die cut all my flowers using different scraps of paper. I printed (as my handwriting is atrocious) the name of each set for easy reference. I attached the name of the set onto thick acetate and then glue the flowers on the acetate. Each set is on a separate acetate.

    Using a Cropadile, I made a single hole on the top left corner of all the acetates, and linked them all with a ball chain, which is easy to open to add more or rearrange order.

    Here is some of the pages of my swatch book.

    This is how it works, by layering different pages I can find out how some of them will work together.

    Some of the possibilities were a complete surprise how well they look together.

    One of my favorite combinations was this one above, using the Intricate flowers 1 and Intricate Flowers 2. Even though they have similar names I did not designed them to work together at all. But they work really nicely so I am very happy.

    To make a simple card, I stamped a message on the same paper and die cut it using one of the Sentiment Tag dies. As I wanted it a little bit shorter I place the die purposely over the edge of the paper, one of the beauties of the Framelits I know exactly how it is going to look once die cut.

    And that is the finished card. The flower is the central point and I would have only come up with this combo because my new flower reference booklet.

  • Butterflies card

    Monday, 1 September, 2014

    I am really excited to be sharing my first project with my new collection of dies for Sizzix, Everyday Memories! It is my fourth release for Sizzix and I can not be happier about them.

    Today I am sharing a card that I made using two sets of dies, Thinlits™ Die Set 8PK - Butterflies, Intricate 659971, and Thinlits™ Die Set 6PK - Butterfly Cards 659972.

    As you may know I love butterflies, so I was really adament that this collection should fature a set of intricate single butterflies and one that cut an aperture with them on. the idea then came to make an optional outer frame that was 3 x 4" (perfect for pocket scrap booking).

    You can die cut every element on their own or together to create different effects. Mixing and matching! I use low tack tape to secure dies in their place when I cant find my magnetic mat under layers of paper.

    You can cut two (the inner aperture and the outer at the same time to create the effect on the right.

    Other versions. As you can cut the the butterflies with the very thin edge, though it is very thin, or you can use it as a plain mat and layering. By cutting the outer postage stamp rectangle on its own, it creates a perfect under layer.

    One of things I love to do is that elements of the collection mix and match perfectly, so of course the butterfly cards and the intricate ones match. this means that if you die cut the butterfly solid dies out of a contrasting paper and place them under it is a lovely detail.

    I attached them with foam pads that come in a thin straight line, perfect for this project.

    Finally I added it to the card, tilted over the edge. I stamp the message on a little Sentiment tag from the Sizzix Framelits Die Set 12PK - Tags, Sentiments 658612.

    I hope you like the new collection!

  • A rainbow necklace made with shrink plastic and a Bigz banner dies

    Monday, 18 August, 2014

    A few weeks ago I shared a necklace I made using the Prima Love Gears in this blog. I was one of my favorite projects I have done and today I would like to share another necklace project but this time with a very different look.

    I used Sizzix Bigz Pennats die 659739, a Big Shot, shrink plastic either in frosted or clear, Versamagic ink pads in different light colours, a 3/16" whole Punch, jump rings, heat gun, link chain and if possible jewelry tools.

    I started by die cutting the banners.  One of the beauties of Bigz dies is that you can cut pretty much anything you can cut with scissors, so two layers of shrink plastic is no problem, so with one go I die cut 12 banners. A part from time saving, die cutting makes sure than all are exactly the same, which is very important when you want a handmade look not a homemade look. I placed them in a row to make sure that the right mix of shapes in the "right" order.

    I made a template to place the wholes in all the banners. The holes are about 5mm from top and left/right edges. I used the template to punch out each hole in all banners. I place the ink pads in order so I would know which ones to use in which order.

     I colored each banner separately on a piece of scrap paper. This is important since if ink gets to the other side will show later. Then I placed it on a heat resistant surface and heat it up with a heat gun. If you font have one, you could always use the oven with very low heat, but follow the shrink plastic manufacturers instructions!

    I love watching the shrink plastic get all curly and more curly. It looks that it is all going wrong, but you just need persevere to keep the heat on.

    Once that it looks pretty even, still is very hot, so if you would like to flatten it use a acrylic block or any heat resistant flat object.

    On the left you can see how they look colored and shrinked beside the original size. On the right, you can see all the coloured banners.

    One of the things you need to consider with shrink plastic is that the colour intensifies, so some may not look as you thought they would, like the pink and purple. So I redid them with a different ink pad to get the right hue. Once I was completely happy, I started to link them with jump rings.

    OK, this step I recommend to do before than I did this. To preserve the color layer it is best to apply some sort of glaze all over the back of the banners. I like to use a clear gloss spray glaze from DecoArt and let them dry completely.

    Open each jump ring with the help of two flat nose pliers or similar. Then I thread the banners  through the jump ring: right hole from one - left hole of the next one.

    Once I had them all linked, I used a link chain and joined the ends. Finally I added a lobster clap in the middle.

    And here it is, a rainbow banner necklace!

    I love how colorful it is and how shinny looks.  I hope you do too!
    And give shrink plastic + Bigz dies a go!

View Older Posts