Advent Challenge: Day 24 – Flowers and ribbons

Day 24: Flowers and Ribbons

20111206-135150.jpg

20111206-135155.jpg

20111206-135202.jpg

20111206-135207.jpg

I’ve saved my favourites until last. They contain my four favourite card-making materials: ribbon, brads, paper flowers and peel-offs – perfect! The *only* thing I don’t like about them is that they’re too thick to post as a standard card, and need a large letter stamp. But, you can’t have everything, and I think these cards are so pretty that I have actually gone against my natural instincts and posted a few of them!

I had such a lot of fun making these. I’ve made 13 in total, all slightly different. The flowers and epoxy brads in the centres are from the same range, and I bought them at the NEC craft fair back in November. The various ribbons have been either puchased or received in swaps. I started by making the flowers and choosing a suitable brad to go in the centre of each. When I had a pile of those, I had to decide which ribbon would go best with which flower. Then finally I could choose the card blank. It took a while to get to the ‘construction’ stage of cardmaking, but once I did, the cards came together really quickly.

How to make these cards:

  • Choose two or three different sized paper flowers in complementary colours. Use a matching Christmassy epoxy brad to attach the flowers together.
  • Choose a suitable colour small square card blank and ribbon of about 1 inch width. Wrap the ribbon vertically around the card about a third of the way from the crease. Secure with double sided tape.
  • Attach the flower about two thirds of the way up the ribbon. Either use double sided tape, or make a small hole and push the brad through the card to secure it.
  • Place a greeting peel-off in the bottom right corner of the card.

I like to use double sided tape to attach ribbon, but it does depend on the type of ribbon you have chosen as to how you do this. The silver ribbon in the blue and pink cards above is thin and the stickiness of the tape comes through it. I used a double layer of ribbon by folding it under itself before using the tape, and this seemed to work well. I did also pop a bit of tape under the ribbon where the flower is attached, to give a bit of extra security.

So that concludes my Advent Christmas Card Challenge! Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and I also hope that it’s inspired you to get making some cards yourself. I’d love to see your efforts, so please do post a link to your blog in the comments below so I can see what you’ve been up to!

Merry Christmas!

Advent Challenge: Day 23 – Gatefold Poinsettias

Day 23: Gatefold Poinsettias

20111127-193132.jpg

In the blog post I wrote about the craft fair at the NEC that I went to, I mentioned a lovely paper flower punch and embosser kit that I bought there. You create the flower shape with the punch, then put the flower into the embosser, squish it down, and when you take it out it’s shaped and embossed beautifully. This card was made using that little kit. I’m particularly pleased with the flower centres – once again, I’m glad I never throw away my leftover bits of cross-stitch thread!

To make this card:

  • Punch 6 light red and 6 dark red flowers, and emboss each one.
  • Thread a needle with 6 strands of yellow cross-stitch thread. Tie all the strands into a knot about 1/2 cm from the end. Don’t worry if they’re not all the same length as you can trim them.
  • Use the needle to punch a hole through the centre of a light red flower first, then a dark red one. Pull the thread so that the knot lies at the front of the flower.
  • Cut the threads at about 1/2 cm  behind the flower and use a small strip of double sided tape to secure it.
  • Repeat this for each flower.
  • Once you have 6 flowers, attach them to the front of a small gatefold card using the double sided tape that is also securing the thread. Mount three in the bottom left corner, and three in the top right.
  • Cut two squares of pearlescent card, a dark red one to fit within the gap between the flowers, and a light red one just slightly smaller. Attach together with double sided tape.
  • Again with double sided tape, attach the red square to the left ‘gate’ of the card so that it is central and overlaps the right ‘gate’.
  • Finally, place a gold greeting peel-off in the centre of the red square to finish.

This sounds quite a complicated card to make, but as long as you have the punch & embosser it’s actually very straightforward. It’s also a great one to do whilst watching telly or – *gasp* – conversing with your husband ( 😉 ) as punching and embossing the flowers takes minimal attention, and you can easily get carried away and make loads.

Advent Challenge: Day 22 – Cute Papers

Day 22: Cute papers

20111127-193418.jpg

20111127-193422.jpg

20111127-193426.jpg

20111127-193429.jpg

20111127-193433.jpg

 

I just love these cards! I bought a pack of A5 papers which contained some lovely backings, but also 5 gorgeous character papers, plus some matching die cut tags and shapes. Three of the character papers are glittery too. They made very easy cards, and are ideal for sending to kids too.

Because everything came from one packet (plus the odd obligatory peel-off of course!) it was easy to pick and choose matching paper ribbons and tags to go with each character. I’ve got heaps of plain backing papers left to play with now too, so this little pack was a very good buy. If you’re just starting out in crafting, and haven’t built up much of a stockpile of papers and embellishments, buying packs with matching bits in is a great way to go. Easy inspiration, and usually much cheaper than buying lots of different items.

Advent Challenge: Day 21 – Teacake Baubles

Day 21: Teacake Baubles

20111206-135141.jpg

 

I’m never known to throw anything away if I can see it has potential. So off the back of yesterday’s post I bring you Leftover-Tunnock’s-Teacake-Wrapper-Baubles. Bit of a mouthful really. Teacake baubles will do. I cut my baubles out freehand (as you can probably tell – most of them are somewhat wonky and not very symmetrical), but you may wish to use a template to make them all the same.

To make this card:

  • Take the leftover sections of patterned teacake wrapper from making a cracker card, and cut out some bauble shapes.
  • Place them on a tall thin dark red pearlescent card blank and arrange them as you wish.
  • Use a ruler to draw a straight dashed line from the top of the card down to the top of each bauble. A silver pen works well for this as it shows up well against the card background and also matches the silver of the baubles.
  • Stick the baubles on with adhesive foam pads.
  • Place a silver peel-off greeting towards the bottom of the card.

20111206-135146.jpg

 

The second card uses one less bauble and no peel-off for a less cluttered look. I tend to draw the lines before sticking the baubles on because the baubles are raised off the surface of the card by the foam pads, making it tricky to hold the ruler flush against the card.

It is hard to see in these pictures, but I also coated my baubles with Anita’s 3D Gloss Finish which adds a smooth shiny surface to them. It does take ages to dry though, especially when used quite thickly, so leave the cards overnight if possible, and DON’T touch the surface ‘just to check’ if it’s dry – if you think it might still be wet, it probably is! And yes, I did exactly that, and now have a matt fingerprint in the middle of one of my shiny baubles. One of these days I’ll take my own advice. Until then, I’ll continue to cover all my craft with smudges and fingerprints. *sigh*

Advent Challenge: Day 20 – Tunnocks Teacake Wrapper

Day 20: Tunnocks Teacake Wrapper

20111126-212924.jpg

You may have seen a version of this card on my blog previously, but I love it so much that I thought I’d share my new version of it with you. I made a few of these last year, but I confess, I stole the idea from another WordPress blog, HomeShoppingSpy. You can read the original article that inspired me here. It’s two years old now, but the idea remains – buy teacakes, eat teacakes, make cards using the wrappers. Really, what more could you ask for?! The main difficulty comes in training the family to remove the wrappers carefully, without tearing them, and without balling them up to make a cat toy either. But once you have a supply of wrappers, the cards are very easy to make.

To make this card:

  • Glue the wrapper onto some plain cardstock and leave to dry.
  • Cut the wrapper into a cracker shape by making a long rectangle, then cutting notches where the central silver circle is.
  • Tie two lengths of ribbon into a bow around the notches.
  • Attach the cracker to a Kraft card blank using adhesive foam pads.
  • Using a red pen, draw little stars over the background, and write a greeting in the bottom corner.

Tomorrow I’ll show you what you can use the leftover bits of wrapper for…

Advent Challenge: Day 19 – Biscuit box

Day 19: Biscuit Box

20111201-160107.jpg

If you’ve been following my blog since I started it last April, you may well recognise this card. I blogged about it in my A-Z Challenge post ‘U is for…’ which you can read here. It is made from the remnants of a box of Marks & Sparks Christmas biscuits, received (with thanks!) last year. Once the biscuits were a distant memory, I decided that the box was too pretty to just recycle, so I chose to up-cycle it instead – ie cut it up and make it into a card. The only thing added to the biscuit box on this card is some glitter glue, peel-off borders around the spotty strip at the bottom, and two adhesive gems. It just goes to show that inspiration (and crafty goodies!) can come from any number of sources.

To make this card:

  • The most important step first – eat the biscuits!
  • Cut up the box so that you have a border, an interesting topper that fits inside the border, and narrow strip. Use a corner rounder punch to round off the edges of the topper and the border.
  •  Glue the border to the upper section of your card blank so that you have even spacing around the top and sides.
  • Fix the topper inside this border using adhesive foam pads.
  • Use glue or double sided tape to fix the strip to the lower half of the card, and edge with narrow silver border peel-offs.
  • Accent the topper with adhesive gems and iridescent glitter glue. I also glitter glued the spots on the strip at the bottom.

I’m hoping to receive more biscuits in pretty boxes this year so I can do the same thing…

Advent Challenge: Day 18 – Santa Toppers

Day 18: Santa toppers

20111126-212234.jpg

I was browsing round a craft shop recently and found a lovely 12″ x 12″ scrapbooking sheet with lots of Santa Claus images – 24 to be exact. Each image is 2″ x 3″, and just crying out to be made into a fab Christmas card! I’ve still not used all the images up yet, but I’ve enjoyed making each card slightly different. I received the brown mesh ribbon in a swap – I wish I knew where to get some more from – it looks so good with the distressed style of the images.

How to make these cards:

  • Take a Santa image and mount onto cream cardstock, leaving a 3 mm border around the edge.
  • Mount this onto matching coloured paper.
  • Take a 4″ length of mesh ribbon and dab the back with a glue stick. Stick onto a 5″ square cream card blank, either to one side (for a horizontal topper) or along the bottom (for a vertical topper). I also used a small strip of very strong double sided tape hidden behind the topper to make sure it stayed put!
  • Place the topper so it slightly overlaps the ribbon, and is to one side of the card.
  • Finally, put a greeting peel-off in the remaining space.

20111126-212239.jpg

I’ve also made a few cards with some red mesh ribbon which I’ve had pretty much since I started crafting. I never had any idea what to do with it, but it looks great on these cards. It just goes to show that if you wait long enough, inspiration is bound to strike eventually!

20111126-212318.jpg

This one looks a bit more fancy. I’ve used several layers of pearlescent card, and I think that the red fibre sets it off nicely. It was a bit more work than the other design though, so I stuck with the mesh ribbon / santa topper / peel-off combo for the bulk of the cards I’ve made so far with these Santas.