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Friday, 15 February 2013

Creating your gift wrap and a few paper beads.

Hi Everyone
A lovely sunny sky this morning, the sun is intense and very bright. It's not brilliant for taking photos but I'm not complaining ! Lets hope it sticks around for a few days.

Today, it another Die Cut Friday Project. As promised, I'm focusing on making gift wrap. I was going to do this for my Valentine wrap yesterday but ran out of time. I thought I should take the opportunity today, to 'play' a little with my idea and show how versatile die cutting can be. I'm making some gift wrap for a close friend. It's not a specific event, just a gift for a friend. However, with Mother Day coming soon, the idea could lend itself to that event or could be customised in any way for a birthday for example.
In my project, I wanted to use a die to help create some customised gift wrap paper with a gift tag that would compliment the paper. Here are the results of my very short session.

I've taken two Tim Holtz butterfly dies and made a couple of stamps by die cutting foam and sticking them to an acrylic block. If you use print stick for sticking the foam to the block, its an easy option to clean the block afterwards and sticks the foam immediately. This means you only need the one block. I may create a wooden base for the stamp if it works out well ?

I've also used a Paperartsy dragonfly die to produce a third stamp. This is a very thin die so Ive used the Sizzix platform (look back to my die cutting information blogs if you are not familiar with die cutting) as you see in the picture.

Paperartsy also sell stamps which exactly fit the dies Ive used to form flowers (eventually these will be tags). I used these stamps to decorate my die cuts.

This Grunge Flowers die (seen in the photo) is marketed as a die to use with thin metal sheets and procures a fabulous 3D flower as seen in the picture. This is another Friday Project but the die is also useful for my project today, using paper and card.

You can see the results of my simple stamps on foam. I've used 3 shades of ink (see the photo for details) - I mixed and matched with no particular reason, just playing. I do think this size and shape of the stamps lends themselves to a gradual 'shaded' finish with the ink. I like the shaded image for the butterfly wings ie being delicate and almost 'see through'. Lots of 'playing' is needed with each project to determine just the right inking approach. Experience will produce great results.

I've cut out more die cuts in complimentary papers, testing what works. I will develop more examples to match my samples and ultimately develop a collection of stamps and tags. I will make all the elements on the whiteboard into a collection of tags - I will share when they are ready. I would call this activity a development session for the prototype which will eventually (in my case) be available for sale ( I will flag up when we are ready to launch). If you are doing this for fun, I still think you need to experiment and produce a batch of stock for yourself. When more personalised items are needed you can always add extra embellishments eg names, dates etc. Having a good general design which works for you is great for starting a new 'design direction', some of my best ideas come from using limited materials and starting with something which Ive already made (and usually left over from another project). I rarely throw anything away !!!!

The penultimate photo shows my home made dragonfly stamp with the manufactured stamp layer on top and cut out with the die. I have offset the stamp to allow for some glitter treatment to the edge. You may notice a line at the bottom of the stamp. This is a 'dent' in the foam. I need to do another. This shows how easily you can develop definition within your foam. My nail made this dent (by mistake). This mistake gave me an idea to improve the stamp with a pattern on the wings and possibly defining the body. I will do this and see what happens. I will report my results, good or bad.

I have stamped my wrap paper (a pretty blue plain, pearlised paper) with only one of my butterfly stamps, gradually lightening the ink around the paper. I often think 'less is more' so tend not to overdo decorations. I thought adding all the stamp shapes would make the paper too 'busy'.

I think I will add some 'flying' cut outs when my present is wrapped. I feel this will allow strategic positioning and help make the wrapping easier. When complete I will share the finished item before its delivered. I also want to show how different tags can be produced with the elements in this project.
Hope you liked the idea.

My other little item today follows on from the paper bead idea I had yesterday. I tried out the 'stripey' decoration plan (as discussed yesterday). I only managed 3 beads. I like the result so far. The beads are not varnished and I may try a smaller version today. Will keep you updated with my progress - I'm going to make a bracelet.

Well, that's it for today. Have a great weekend.

Bye for today.