A Graduation Card

It’s the time of year for graduations and I found myself in need of inspiration for making a card.  In my search,  I came across the Stampin Up graduation digital image of graduates standing side-by-side with only their gowns and feet visible. It made me laugh because I have seen the same at past graduations that I have attended.  The added bonus was that it was available in digital format, so I could make it whatever size I desired for my card. Optimized-CardFront

The process was to first choose my envelope and determine the size of the base card.  In this case, my envelope measured 5.25″ x 7.25″, so I cut the base card 10″ wide x 7″ tall; scored the 10″ width at 5″ and folded it in half; which resulted in a card that measured 5″ wide x 7″ tall. I chose white cardstock for the card base and black cardstock for the middle layer, cut 4.75″ x 6.75″.

My first design decision was what size to make the 3 pieces on the front and how I would transcend from one piece to the next.  Basically I placed the grad feet where I liked them best and that determined the size I needed for the backgrounds above and below.  I chose black grosgrain ribbon between the sections. Optimized-Front Pieces

When using Copic pens my favorite cardstock is Neenah Classic Crest Cover, Solar White.  I like it because when doing a print and cut, it gives a nice clean cut, whether using my KNK Maxx Air or Zing machine.  I looked for background papers to complement the graduation feet and didn’t find anything I liked, so I decided to make my own, using the same cardstock that I had cut the feet from for continuity of color.

For accuracy and speed in assembly, I chose to cut all the front pieces, using
the print and cut method.  To create the grad hat background, I imported the desired clip art by clicking on  the Pixel Trace Button at the top of an empty Make The Cut screen.  The first thing was to create a texture that can be printed with registration marks.  This picture illustrates the settings for making a printable texture. Optimized-CapAsATextureIn MTC  After creating the texture, the next step was to create a rectangular shape that can be filled, creating a background.   The picture below illustrates the diploma imported, texturized, resized and turned to create a pleasing background that is somewhat scaled to the graduate feet.  The same was done with the grad hats.

Optimized-DiplomaTextureIn MTC

With these two designs completed, the next step was to combine them on one 8.5″ x 11″ mat because that was the size the cardstock that I was going to print and cut my designs from.

Optimized-Diploma_Hat_CutFile

This step gave me registration marks that printed with the diploma and grad hat backgrounds.  These are the same registration marks used for the next step of actually cutting the shapes.  When all shapes were cut, assembly was fast, easy and accurate.  I tucked the ends of the grosgrain ribbon in between the card base and the black piece in the middle, which completed the front of my card.

On the inside I chose to include a pop-up grad hat and banner from Extreme Cards & Paper Crafting, which I cut from the same black cardstock that I used on the front of the card.

Optimized-CardInside

My final touch was to add a tassel to the hat and  my signature on the back, which I cut from vinyl.  This is a perfect reason for saving all those tidbits of vinyl that you might have thrown away before.

Optimized-Back

 

Layered Easter Bunny

Bunny_1 Easter comes earlier than usual this year so it is just around the corner, but there is still time to create these easy, free-standing bunnies; or only the front or back, like I did on the card.  Each measures 3″ tall.

Supplies needed are white cardstock for the bunny, quilt weight cotton or a pretty decorative paper for the contrasting ears and foot pads, 2 mini black brads for the eyes, 1 mini heart-shaped brad for the nose, 3/4″ pom pom for the tail, and a small amount of ribbon for the bow.

The bunnies were cut out of white cardstock on my 15″ KNK Max Air with a force of 60, Speed of 200, Blade Offset of .35 and one pass.

I used quilt weight cotton to embellish these bunnies.  I love using fabric and have finally come up with a method that works consistently for me…To begin with, I have dedicated a cutting board just for cutting fabric, which I make very sticky.  I prepare my fabric by ironing “Steam-a-Seam 2” on the back, if I am applying it to fabric or “Heat ‘n Bond” on the back, if I am applying it to paper.  In this case the bits of fabric that I used were left over from a sewing project and already had “Steam-a-Seam 2” on the back that worked great.  The backing of Steam-a-Seam and Heat n’ Bond has a finish that doesn’t readily stick to the mat, so I spray the backing with 505 (a temporary adhesive).  With 505 on the back, the fabric and backing sticks securely to the mat without taping.  On my 15″ KNK Maxx Air my settings were Force 75, Speed 200, Blade Offset .75, and one pass.  The reason for having a dedicated mat is that there is some residue left on the mat from the 505.  I leave it because it just lends to a secure bond the next time.

Since the bunnies are flocked with “Fun Flock”, these were my steps for putting them together:

1) Iron fabric or glue decorative paper to the front ears and the 2 separate feet.
2) Flock the back side of the bunny and the face.
3) When the glue on the face is dry, insert the brads for the eyes and nose.
4) The tail is shown here, but actually, it is best if it is applied last because it makes it easier to flock the front of the bunny.

Bunny_2

5) The picture below on the left is the inside of the back of the bunny.  Do not apply glue below the line, if you want to be able to have him freestanding.  After glue is applied above the line, glue the front in place, matching the edges of the ears and the side attached legs.
6) Glue the face in place.
7) Glue the top half of the bottom paws. If glue is put on the bottom edge of the paws, the front will be attached to the back, eliminating the freestanding aspect.

Bunny_3Bunny_4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. With the bunny assembled, the next step is to apply glue to the areas on the front that have not had flocking applied to them and complete the flocking process.
9) Lastly glue the pom pom tail in place and finish off with a bow at the neck.

The bunnies on the front of the card are made exactly the same, except the front and back are not glued together.

Bunny_5

Layered Bunny Free Files attached are in KNK, MTC and PDF formats, zipped.

Judy Keating is here visiting this week.  My thanks to her for helping me get this project ready to post on time.  Don’t miss her special post next Wednesday, which we also have been working on.

St. Patrick’s Day Plates

This posting evolved from a mind’s eye vision of decorating a rich green plate with white vinyl for St. Patrick’s Day.  That almost didn’t happen because all the normal places that have charger plates for the holidays didn’t stock shamrock green this year!  But, as you can see here, I finally found one…it was left over from Christmas and on close-out for the big bargain of 39 cents!  The lesson is …if you want shamrock green, buy them in  December in the Christmas decorations.

All the cutting was done on my Klic-N-Kut Maxx Air, using Make-the-Cut software.  The design was created in KNK Studio software.

Optimized-GreenPlate

This green plate is decorated with white glossy vinyl from Accugraphics. The St. Patrick’s Day letters are a  ‘fussy’ design with shamrocks embellishing them. Settings used for cutting on my Maxx Air were:  Force, 20; Speed, 150; Blade Offset, 35; Red Blade; Blade height 25.  Font used for ‘happy’ was Charlee Regular.

Since I think you may not be able to purchase green plates now, I have also decorated a gold plate, using the same design.

GoldPlate

The shiny gold plate was a little more difficult to photograph, so it is photographed at an angle.  The design was cut from Con-Tact Brand self-adhesive foil.  It was very thin and the adhesion characteristics had something to be desired.  I’ve included it as part of this post, just in case you have this product it in your stash or are tempted to purchase it.  I think there are better choices for this application.  Like the green plate the design is going to be a bit difficult to read from across the room, but both are very readable in my small breakfast area.  Settings used for cutting on my Maxx Air were:  Force, 6; Speed, 150; Blade Offset, 35; Red Blade; Blade height 25.

Although I like the ‘fussy’ design used on the green and gold plates, if you are in a hurry or you want to make multiples of them, then the simpler design on the silver plate might be a better choice.  Optimized-SilverPlate

The vinyl used on the silver plate is my very most favorite vinyl.  Accugraphics calls it Gemstone Metallics Vinyl – color #6220, Emerald Green.  On the silver plate it is very readable from a distance. The simplistic design lends itself to easy assembly, while the Gemstone Metallics vinyl gives an instant, smashing impact.  Settings used for cutting it on my Maxx Air were:  Force, 20; Speed, 150; Blade Offset, 35; Red Blade; Blade height 25.  Font used for the lettering was Freehand521 BT.

In addition to embellishing plates, you might also find some of the pieces perfect for other applications such card and scrapbooking design.

Free Files for StPatrick’s Day Plates  in MTC & PDF formats; zipped

Valentine’s Day Plate with Subway Art

Are you ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day next month?  Or are you like me with not quite all of my Christmas decorations put away?

I’m patting myself on the back for grabbing these plates when I first saw them at Michael’s with all the rhinestone bling already on them.  Because I did, I am actually going to have a month to enjoy this plate before Valentine’s Day comes and goes…and even have time to make and share them with special friends.  Isn’t that a novel way to begin 2013?  The good news is that there is still time for you to do the same.  The project is quick and easy!  Optimized-VPlate1

Supplies:  1 red plate, 1 – 9″ square of White Vinyl, and Transfer Tape

I cut the vinyl on my new KNK Maxx Air machine from Make-the-Cut software, using a standard material blade (red capped).  The settings used were: Force: 19; Speed: 150; Blade Offset: .35, One pass.

The biggest challenge to this project might be centering the heart within the plate, so I am including pictures of how I did it:

1.  After cutting the vinyl, cover the vinyl (still on the backing) with a layer of Transfer Tape.
2.  Closely cut the Transfer Tape and Vinyl backing to the shape of the heart, being careful not to cut the heart perimeter.VPlate6

3. Lay the heart shape into the plate center for a visual of where you desire final placement.
4. Carefully remove the backing from the vinyl; With the sticky side of the vinyl facing the plate; center and carefully place it on the plate; burnish for a smooth application.  VPlate7

SubwayArtHeartCuttingFiles in KNK, MTC & SVG Formats

PDF Listing of Fonts used in Valentine Subway Art Design

Make Merry with Christmas Coasters and Napkin Rings

Last December I shared a plate about Santa coming at Christmas.  It said “If you stop believing in Santa Claus, you get underwear!”.  My daughter has that plate hanging in her kitchen.  Even though my grandchildren are 8 and 11, they aren’t hinting that they don’t believe. If you ask, all you can get from them is a big grin.  Since we are still playing the game, I’m milking it one more year with this mitten coaster and Santa napkin rings on my dining room table when we celebrate Christmas Eve together.

Both are no-sew projects that I cut from felt on my new Klic-N-Kut MaxxAir.  In completing both projects I tested more than one brand of felt, acquired from local craft stores and one mail order source.  The red and white felts are  Kunin Stick’rzfelt and Tree House Studio Peel & Stick Craft Felt, both of which came with a peel and stick paper backing. The pink felt was from CommonwealthFelt.com and was not peel and stick, but with Heat ‘n Bond, Ultrahold, ironed to the back side of it, it gave me the same results as those I purchased with a sticky back.  Felt has the reputation of not being the easiest material to cut, but I was blessed with the results I was hoping for, even using the same settings for all 3 brands!  But, it is important to realize that just because you can cut one material at a certain setting, it doesn’t mean ALL brands of the same material will cut the same!!

Make-the-Cut settings I used for cutting the felt with a blue-capped thick material blade:  Force of 150, Speed 165, Blade Offset .5, and repeated 3x

 

Supplies used for
Mitten Coaster

9″ x 12″ pc Sticky Back Felt
6 1/2″ inches of 2″ wide fur
1 – Holly Berry trim

 

 

Remove the paper backing and carefully put the two very sticky sides together, matching all sides.  Glue the holly sprig in place and the fur cuff, with the seam in the back. 

Supplies used for Santa Napkin Ring

  • 9″ x 12″ pc White Sticky Back Felt
  • Small pc Pink Sticky Back Felt or Pink Felt with Heat ‘n Bond ironed on back
  • 5″ x 8″ pc White cotton fabric for lining with Heat ‘n Bond ironed on back
  • 1 – 7mm Red Pom Pom for Nose
  • 2 Back Beads for Eyes

Make-the-Cut settings I used for cutting the felt with a blue-capped thick material blade:  Force of 150, Speed 165, Blade Offset .5, and repeated 3x

Make-the-Cut settings I used for cutting the fabric lining with a fabric blade:  Force of 100, Speed 165, Blade Offset 40, and repeated 2x

Files for the Mitten Coaster in MTC, KNK, PDF, & SVG Formats  Mitten Coaster

Files for the Santa Napkin Ring in MTC, KNK, PDF & SVG Formats Napkin Ring