Sweet Dreams – A banner idea

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotWhen you’re not much of a card maker it’s often a challenge to figure out how to use products made for card makers in a different way. That was my challenge for my new Spellbinder’s die I received recently.

This is the new Spellbinder’s Die Labels Thirty-Six, S4-418. They’re really cute labels! I used them to create an adorable banner. I love banners – don’t you? They just look so cute hanging across a window, cabinet, on the wall – just about anywhere! I started by cutting the shapes from a DCWV Stack titled Dark Romance. I chose several coordinating papers and cut each size out of different designs for stacking.

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The title ‘DREAM’ is made from chipboard letters. I placed them in the Xyron 2.5″ Create-A-Sticker face-down then sprinkled with a pretty pinkish glitter – Tea Rose Ultrafine Opaque from Art Glitter.

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I like to gently press the glitter into the adhesive to ensure it stays put. While the chipboard was out I ran some scraps through the Xyron as well to make dimensional squares for stacking the labels.

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The two bottom layers of the larger flags are layered on top of one another, stuck together with Xyron 5″ Creative Station and permanent adhesive. The top layer is popped up with the home-made dimensional squares.

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After stacking the three large labels together I then stacked the three smaller labels together to use as filler between the larger flags on the banner and added a little fussy-cut butterfly and moth.

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After the letters are glittered they’re put through the Xyron 2.5″ Create-A-Sticker face up and then centered on the larger flag.

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I used a 1/16″ Fiskars hole punch to make small holes near the tops of all the flags and threaded May Arts Solid Wrinkle Ribbon through them.

I’m happy with the results and think it looks very nice hanging on this old cabinet I’ve been working on lately. I think it would look very cute in a little girls room. I can see it hanging on the wall above the bed so send her off to slumber land with thoughts of sweet dreams.

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To see even more great ideas for Xyron and Spellbinders check out their Facebook pages.

 

 

Quick cards for the New Year

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotEvery year I always miss someone or two or three on my Christmas card list. I’m sure that never happens to happen of you! My solution is to send a New Year’s card and include a little family newsletter. That way it looks like I haven’t forgotten them – I just choose to wish them a Happy New Year!

I made these cards from left over Heidi Swapp Christmas papers and embellishments. Who says you can’t use Christmas paper for other occasions? Without the phrase Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, these papers are just lots of pretty prints!

This set of cards came together really quickly: using a paper trimmer, a couple of punches, some Distress Ink and my trusty Xyron Creative Station.

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After gathering all supplies I cut simple rectangles to fit my standard A2 cards. I punched some borders with a Martha Stewart border punch and used a Fiskars hexagon punch to create some coordinating hexagons. I also used some of Heidi’s Believe Banner Delights as added elements. I just played around and did a quick layout of designs before inking all edges with Ranger’s Black Soot Distress Ink.

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I don’t seem to own a ‘Happy New Year’s’ stamp so printed my sentiment on white cardstock. I punched some with a Marvy scallop circle punch and trimmed out the others with the paper trimmer. I used my Teresa Collins Stapler to add some detail to one of my sentiments before attaching it to the card.

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All my card pieces are run through my Xyron 9″ Creative Station. I like to use this size when I have lots of pieces. I can line them up before shipping them through so adhesive is not wasted.

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Then the fun begins – peel and stick! So easy!

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These are the finished cards so now I only need to type up the newsletter and pop them in the mail after Christmas! This makes me feel like I’m actually ahead of the game.

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Lovin’ this little box …

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotI love looking at blogs where the artist creates adorable little gift boxes. I think gift boxes are such a lovely and fun way to present a gift to someone – in addition to the gift inside they also get to enjoy or reuse the box it came in!

I’ve never really tried to make too many boxes. I always thought it would be a bit time-consuming. Boy, was I wrong!

I made this little box in under two hours – I think it was more like an hour and a half from start-to-finish.

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I got the idea this morning when I was putting a new bar of soap in my shower. Yardley soap is one of my favorites, I especially love their English Lavender, and when I was flattening the box for the recycle bin it occurred to me that the box is the perfect size for a little gift of candy or a gift card – or both! So instead of adding it to the recycle bin I headed for my room and carefully opened the box on its side seam so I could use it for a template.

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I used a paper from my Ciao Bella Stack from DCWV and traced the soap box onto the backside of the paper (it’s easier to see the pencil lines on the white rather than the pattern paper). Cut the box by cutting on the inside of the pencil line so no pencil lines will remain that might be seen. Use a scoreboard to score lines on your paper in the same places the box has score lines. A bone folder will give you a nice smooth crease.

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I used the cut-out sheet and a coordinating paper from the same pack of Ciao Bella Stack from DCWV. I selected my title for the box and carefully fussy-cut that out, then cut about a two-inch strip of the coordinating paper to use as a wrap on the box. The Fiskars Lacy Doubles Interchangeable Border Punch was perfect to punch the edges on the wrap strip. All the edges – box, title and punched strip – are inked lightly with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

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I added a strip of Sticky Strips to the outer edges on the punched border strip. These will easily hold Poupon 717 Microfine Transparent Glitter and help to add a bit of glitz to the wrap.

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I used my ‘glitter painting’ technique on the title by squeezing out a dollop of Designer Dries Clear (DDC) onto a palette. I take a fine-tip brush and carefully ‘paint’ the DDC onto parts of the rose on the title cut-out then sprinkle with the appropriated glitter color. I used Juicy Fruit 99 and Just Peachy 162 Ultrafine Transparent glitters along with Poupon 717 Microfine Transparent glitter on the rose to create a variegated look. The leaves are done the same way using Leaf 114 Opaque along with three additional greens from a medallion of glitters. The rim of the ‘Love’ title is ‘painted’ with Tree Bark 524 Microfine Opaque.

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I love the look from adding glitter to die-cuts or stickers for that matter. It really helps dress up a plain-Jane and adds a nice touch of glitz to what, otherwise, might be flat and dull.

While the glittered pieces are setting aside and drying, it’s time to add the glitter to your Sticky Strips. This is so easy! Peel the protective cover from the strip and pour on the Poupon glitter. I always gently rub the glitter into the Sticky Strip before tapping the excess off.

Fold the box and add adhesive to the side to adhere together. I used the Xyron Mega Runner with permanent adhesive. Only the side seam needs to be adhered but I also added adhesive to the bottom flap so it will not open. Fold the box closed then wrap the wrap band around it to see where to crease the band. Remove and score so the band will wrap and lay nicely; secure to box with ends meeting in front (the title is adhered over the ends). I wanted my title to be domed so added three strips of adhesive foam tape to the center areas then used DDC to adhere the title to the box (this creates the dome).

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Fill with some Valentine candies for a cute little gift.

I also decorated some recycled jars for Valentine’s Day gift-giving. Visit the Art Glitter Blog for the tutorial.