Thursday, December 16, 2010

Directions for Tags with Ribbon Windows

Just ten days until Christmas!  I am getting closer to being ready but still have lots to do - no matter how much I plan there seems to be a mad rush at the end to finish it all!  I am in Pennsylvania with my now "second semester college senior" son visiting my Dad for a couple of days before heading back for the final week of preparations.  I took an unplanned nap when we arrived and now I have a second wind so I thought I'd get the directions for making the ribbon tags up for you.

I looked through my cardstock and found good matches for the colors in the ribbon.  The light green and light blue glitter cardstocks are DCWV from the Citrus cardstock stack.  The pink textured cardstock is Stampin' Up "pink passion" which is a retired color I got from their sale rack.  My first cuts of the ribbon were made in between each ornament decoration, trying to use all of the images.  If you look carefully at these cuts you can see that there is very little space at the top and the bottom. 

I decided to change the way I cut the images and cut around each giving me the full amount of the blank space from the top of one image to the bottom of the next.  In the photo above the top three ornaments are cut this way.  The ornament at the bottom is cut right to the design and is a "leftover" that I'll have to find another use for (don't worry, I already have something in mind!).  It takes more ribbon to make the cuts this way but the images are much easier to work with.

I measured the usable area above and below the ornament to determine the size of the window, allowing some white to show on all sides.  I came up with a measurement of 2 1/4 x 2 3/8 inches.  If you are working with a different ribbon design the steps will be the same but the measurements will vary depending on the images you have to work with.  The ribbon I have is wired ribbon and I carefully slid out the wires to make it a bit easier to work with and reduce bulk.

I used this tag on Plantin Schoolbook for my tags but if you don't have this cartridge you can use just about any tag by following the same procedure.  I have to admit that in my hurry to make these I completely forgot that there is a shadow for the tag I chose and I just stretched the original shape to create my own shadow (which is why it might look a little different to you).  You will probably want to use the shadow that is already done for you!

I chose the size to allow some room around the edges of the cut piece of ribbon and, for this tag, 4 3/4 inches worked out nicely.  Then I used the measurements I had decided on for the window opening to alter a square slightly by changing the values in the Shape Properties box.

Then I simply centered the box to cut the window inside the tag shape.  You do not have to weld anything, the Cricut will cut the tag and the window as separate images but since you have placed it in the proper position with Design Studio (or with the Gypsy) there will be a properly shaped hole cut in the tag.  Here is a tip to help align the two shapes if you don't want to use math to center them.  At the center of each image there is a very pale gray "plus" sign.  You can align the plus sign for the tag and the rectangle cutout by overlapping them so the plus signs look like one darker sign (they are exactly on top of one another).  Then use the handle at the top center to slide the opening up until it is at the correct height - you can eyeball this or measure - depending on your mood!

To be sure that the window in the tag and the window in the shadow tag are perfectly aligned, place the shadow tag on the same mat as the tag and center it, then copy and paste it to a new mat.  This works in Design Studio because pasted images are placed at exactly the same spot on the mat - one of the features of Design Studio that is not the same with the Gypsy and one that I find to be a very handy design tool.  If you are working on a Gypsy, you can add the tag shadow to the same page as the tag and center it, noting the x and y coordinates.  Then duplicate it on to a new page or layer and change the values in the x and y boxes to match.  Be sure to delete the extra shadow tag from the first page.

You will end up tags and tag shadows with frame openings.  I used the pink passion cardstock for all of the shadows or backs but did some green and some blue top layers.

Next I carefully placed the ribbon on the back of the top tag layer with the glitter side facing the top, glitter side of the tag.  I used ordinary tape to hold the top and the bottom of the ribbon in position (you may have to trim away a bit of tape at the top if your tape is wide.

The I placed Scor-Tape on the sides, covering the silver edges of the ribbon but trying to be sure that it did not extend into the window opening area.  I peeled off the protective backing and, working very carefully, aligned the top and shadow tag layers and put them together.  The Scor-Tape is extremely strong so you will want to line them up properly the first time!

I had hidden the holes in the top layer of the tag but then I decided I wanted a hole for ribbon so I used a regular office hole punch to punch through from the back using the hole in the shadow layer as a guide.  If you want holes, just place the tags on the mat.  When the tag and shadow are adhered they will be aligned properly as they were designed to do this straight from the cartridge when you cut the tag and the shadow at the same height.

Here you can see the back of the tag with the perfectly framed piece of ribbon showing.  This ribbon has some sparkles in the white area and when you hold up the finished tag the light shines through and looks very pretty.

Here is a view of two tags before the ribbons were added.  The ribbons were from a large set of American Crafts ribbons and I don't know the name of the colors but they were a good match.

You can do this same basic procedure for any ribbon that has a design you want to work with.  You will just have to do a bit of figuring to get the sizes and placement correct. You could also layer acetate, cellophane, tissue paper, vellum - almost anything between the two tag layers so have fun experimenting with this!

So many of you have already commented wishing that you could have some ribbon from my little giveaway.  While it is very pretty you may be able to find something similar in other stores so keep checking - the closer we get to Christmas the less expensive it will be!  The ribbons at Costco could be nearly done by now.  I know I am always amazed if we go in right after Christmas because everything seasonal disappears very quickly.

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  1. Love them!
    At first I thought you embroidered the ornament on the ribbon. I have a sewing machine that does embroidery . . . I wonder if I could use plain ribbon and put my own designs on it?

  2. Hi, Loved it that you taught us this time how to use the machine to make holes. I still don't know what all my machine can do.

  3. thanks diane. very creative.


  4. Thanks for those directions, Diane. :)

  5. Wow...these tags are wonderful. Great use of ribbon!

  6. Love the idea & the sparkly colors! Thanks for sharing!


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