Some of my favorite things about the holiday season are the lights and the sparkle. Since the winter months are so dark, we need to brighten up our surroundings as much as possible. I think that glitter is magical and when it catches the light it always makes me smile!
Along with glitter and things that sparkle, I have a fascination with intricate cuts. I often design and cut delicate designs that I can cut with the Cricut or Silhouette machines but they can take a long time to cut and are prone to errors, particularly when there are lots of curves that might cause the blade to "hang." There are a number of companies that make intricate cutting dies - some of my favorites are by Memory Box.
I recently bought this die - the "Emma" ornament which has the added attraction of a snowflake design (if you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I am a little bit obsessed with snowflake patterns!). I wanted to cut out the shape and make it as sparkly as possible. I have various glitter papers in my stash but the twinkle of actual glitter is hard to duplicate.
I recently bought some of this sticky back paper at my local stamp and scrap shop, Ink About It. It is from Art Glitter and there are lots of ways you can use it (see the Art Glitter site HERE).
There are fifty card size sheets in the package - you can also buy single sheets but it actually turns out to be a little bit cheaper to get the precut package. This paper has an edge to edge very strong adhesive on one side.
I taped the die to the paper side of the sheet and ran it through the Cuttlebug. I needed to put it through several times to make sure that all of the fine details were cut through. (I have noticed that sometimes my Cuttlebug leaves one area not quite cut through - I wonder if I've worn the rollers down from overuse! Next time I'll try it with the Vagabond - the Cuttlebug was handy when I started on this project...)
I chose this beautiful blue shade of glitter from a collection pack of Martha Stewart glitters. I peeled off the protective backing paper from the ornament cut and poured glitter over the adhesive to get a layer of glitter on the ornament. I poured the glitter onto a piece of scrap paper and after the top was coated I pressed the sticky side of the ornament into the glitter to be sure it was fully covered with glitter.
I was so excited to get the glitter on the ornament cut that I forgot to take photos at each step. Here is a photo of one of the letters as I glittered it. Once the cuts were covered in glitter I put them flat on the table and placed another piece of scrap paper on top of the glittered side and burnished the cut to make sure the glitter was completely secured.
I cut the letters using the "Jolly" font from the Holiday Frames & Tags cartridge. There are three fonts on this cartridge with upper and lower case letters. The Jolly Font has some additional letter options so you can choose upper case letters with straight lines or curls. I used the curly options for the "N," "E" and the "L" but decided to make the "O" in the simpler shape with no curl. The card base is Core'dinations textured cardstock and the mat layer is shimmer cardstock from The Paper Company.
To add more texture to the card, I embossed the mat layer using the "Snowflakes" Cuttlebug embossing folder. I put the starburst design at the top of the card and aligned the letters to the shapes along the bottom of the card.
When I bought the ornament die, I didn't see a background plain die for that shape. I checked online and found that Memory Box does have a plain die so I may try to order that. I decided that I could make my own shape using the die that I already own.
I cut the ornament again from a scrap piece of pink cardstock to make a template for the background. I placed this "stencil" over the piece of shimmer cardstock I wanted to use for the background and traced the shape. I made sure to do my tracing on the back side of the cardstock so any pen lines wouldn't show.
Then, I did something a little unusual for me these days - I cut the shape out with a pair of scissors! I was careful to stay exactly on the line and moved the paper instead of the scissors to get around the curves smoothly.
The hand cut shape fits the delicate ornament cut very neatly. Since there is so much open space in the design you have a little bit of stretch as you add the top layer. I used the Creative Memories Precision Point Adhesive pen to adhere the glittered cut to the background shape.
The ornament is popped up from the card front with some foam circles.
It might be nice to make the ornament removable so it could be hung on a tree by the recipient. You could make it two sided by adding another glittered shape and attaching it to the card with a ribbon, ready to hang.
I tied a small bow from shimmery ribbon (I think this is from May Arts) and attached it with a glue dot right at the top of the ornament. Even though it was slightly off center, I made sure to have the top highlighted by the starburst shape in the embossing.
If I was planning to make a lot of these ornaments I would definitely but the plain die but since I discovered that it is not very difficult to cut it by hand I may use the money to buy another one of the ornate shapes. There are so many pretty Memory Box dies that I'd love to add to my small collection.
I am very pleased with how firmly the glitter seems to be attached to the ornament shape and the letters. I have handled the card and rubbed my fingers on the glittered parts and nothing has come off. None of these photos can show just how sparkly and pretty the card is in person - you'll just have to try making one yourself!
I had planned to finish up the post about this card yesterday but some "real life" things kept me away from my computer. I hope you didn't mind the wait too much. I am shopping for a new laptop as this one is several years old, has been used very heavily and is starting to give me a few too many problems. There are a lot of choices so I am trying to decide whether to stick with an HP model or try something new...any ideas?
If you can't find the Memory Box dies locally you can order them from Simon Says Stamps (affiliate links)
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