We have an early Valentine for all our loyal readers—a free card pattern! Celebrate along with us and share the love this Valentine’s Day, and anytime, with a personalized handmade card!
Making its original debut in our Blossom Workshops on the Go® cardmaking guide years ago, we paired this timeless pattern with our lovely Perfect Match collection to create four cards, two that are romantic themed and two that are not.
This classic pattern can be used for every celebration and occasion with the right combination of papers, embellishments, and sentiments. If you’re not sure how to mix and match these products, we’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation for you! For effortless coordination, simply choose any one of our creative collections and stick to just those products within the suite. Another option is to pick a color combination from either of our Love of Color volumes, and to strictly work with products within that color palette. (Making cards can be that easy! 🥳)
The flower card above was made using one of the Ballerina color combinations: Ballerina, Pewter, Carolina, and Sugarplum. If you look closely, you’ll notice that even though we picked this combination, we left Sugarplum (one of our retired colors) off and added White Daisy. It still works!
The Hello card on the right was made from one of the Candy Apple combination options: Candy Apple, White Daisy, Lagoon, Sapphire, and Black.
Download the free pattern below and share some love this Valentine’s Day, and beyond, with a handmade card from the heart. ❤️
It’s no secret that we love getting crafty around these parts, and Valentine’s day gives us an excellent excuse reason to spend a little extra time and energy creating pretty things because we’re doing it for other people!
Spreading kindness, especially during a time where we feel more disconnected and distant than usual, is contagious! Throughout this season of love, we challenge you to find ways to safely lift someone else’s spirit and let them know that you care.
One simple way to make someone’s day is with a small handmade gift from the heart. Since getting together isn’t an option for everyone right now, we thought we’d show you a few small gift boxes we created that can be dropped off in a mailbox or on a doorstep.
If you don’t have access to a Cricut® machine, don’t worry! You can still participate in the challenge of putting a little love into the world, as well. We’ve asked our Creative Arts Manager, Karen Pedersen, to show us how to make a box and small pocket envelope by hand. As always, she delivered! Take a look.
We hope you found some creative inspiration as you took a peek at these artwork examples today, and that you were able to see just how simple it is to make something beautiful with your own two hands! Let’s take care of each other this Valentine’s season and spread kindness and positivity. As you do, you’ll not only bring happiness to others, but you might just see a little added joy in your own life, too!
Today’s post is written by the talented, handcrafted lifestyle expert, Aimee Ferre! Follow along as she shares her unique designs and style while creating a beautiful gift for a special gal in her life. <3
During the cold month of January, with cloudy and dark skies, I start feeling restless for brighter and warmer days. Just when I think I can’t take one more day of gloom, February peeks her head around the corner and offers feminine shades of pink and red for Valentine’s Day. The love and sweets that she offers act as a “hold me over” until spring returns. I do love Valentine’s Day, but I have to admit, I love Galentine’s Day even more!
One of my favorite gal pals lives several hundred miles away. Her marriage last year took her all the way to Los Angeles to finish schooling. It’s my daughter Elsa. Now as an adult, she is a favorite gal pal even though we are so far apart.
When my three daughters were little, I always had “Cupid” come and bring them valentines and sweets in handmade boxes and fabric bags. It’s become a tradition I don’t want to ever let go of, no matter how old they are. So, this year, I thought of designing a beautiful care package to ship off, and not just in a red, white, and blue Priority Box from the United States Postal Service.
I want to send something like we sing about in the My Favorite Things song, “brown paper packages tied up with strings.” That’s what I was going for, with the addition of sweet ink stampings covering the outside of the box, giving a hint of the treasures that could be inside. I couldn’t wait to begin designing Elsa’s Galentine’s package with my Close To My Heart stamp sets!
I am drawn to the large heart candy boxes of yesteryear with the oversized satin bows. For the past several years, I’ve made variations of these candy boxes for girlfriends. Sometimes I’ve hosted a swap where we all bring items to exchange and put in the heart boxes, and some years I provide the treasures inside. This year, I loved the way I could really embellish and personalize the heart boxes, the stationery, and even the shipping boxes using the Close To My Heart stamps and Thin Cuts paired with a few other materials.
This air mail sparrow card used Mint, White, and Ballerina cardstock. I stamped the designs with Glacier, Candy Apple, and Smoothie Exclusive Inks™. I glued Julep sequins pieces inside the stamped hearts and on top of the “cloud.” The cloud was made from a small sampling of loose quilt batting that was then machine sewn on using a straight stitch all the way around the edges of the cloud. I used 3-D foam tape to stick on the air mail sparrow. The envelope was sealed with the “Sealed with a Kiss” heart that was hand trimmed and glued halfway onto the envelope flap.
I found a 12″ heart box from the local craft store made of brown paper mâché and a smaller paper mâché heart box perfect for a bag of favorite candies or small jewelry piece. (You could also recycle any commercially made heart candy box.
On the smaller heart box, I stamped the two leaf sprig stamps from the Air Mail by Aimee Ferre set directly on the box. I love that the banner in this stamp set is left blank to hand letter a recipient’s name or a sentiment inside. I stamped the banner in Candy Apple red, used the coordinating Thin Cuts metal die to cut the shape out, and attached it to the box with 3-D foam tape.
Once my large box had a base coat, using coordinating colors, I freehand painted some simple folk-art designs on the lid. To beautify the inside, I lined the box with parchment paper.
Every Valentine’s Day, I bake my famous fortune cookies dipped in chocolate to share with friends and family. I knew Elsa would feel close to home if I baked her a few to include inside along with some favorite candies of dark chocolate truffles, peppermint white chocolate pretzels, and, her favorite, sour gummy hearts.
I painted the rims of plain white paper baking cups with watercolors and stamped the bottoms using various designs from the Air Mail by Aimee Ferre and Snail Mail by Aimee Ferre stamp sets. Some of the cups I trimmed off a half inch to create a layered tutu look when nested inside each other. I even machine stitched a couple cups together at the bottom using coordinating thread.
I nested cellophane bags of sweets in the paper baking cups. Once the box was filled, I tied it up with a red and white striped ribbon. Using the scalloped heart stamp that coordinates with one of the Thin Cuts dies, I created a gift tag and tied it to the box.
Plain white or brown shipping boxes can be decorated as well. Make opening the package part of the excitement and experience of receiving their package. Measure the rectangular box flaps on the side that you plan to put the address label on, and then cut 4 sheets of cardstock one inch smaller all the way around to mount on each of the inside box flaps. It makes opening up the package a fun surprise!
You could write personal messages, poems about friendship and love, write memories or sweet sentiments on each of the flaps. You could even include fun photographs. I used a mix of hand painted folk-art designs and hand stamped artwork from both of the Aimee Ferre stamp sets to decorate the flaps.
I love the 3 small parallelogram stamps that are used to create the “Air Mail” border. Space them out carefully. I used Candy Apple and Glacier ink as the coordinating colors to create this border.
Brown paper packages, sweet treats, and hearts can all say, “fries before guys” to those gal pals that are some of the sweetest relationships in your life. I hope you find yourself thinking of those powerful women who influence your life for the better, and then create something special for them that will keep them close to your heart.
We’re at it again! Last week we shared a fun way to dress up a girl’s room using beautiful large paper flowers, and, as promised, today we’ve got some inspiration on how to use papercrafting to decorate a more boyish space. (It can be done!)
The Urban paper collection is one of our absolute all-time favorites. We love it so much, in fact, that we brought it back for a second time around! Whether you missed it when it made its debut, or you love the designs just as much as we do, now is your chance to stock up!
We paired these classic Urban patterns with a few of our other go-to products and came up with some really fun, trendy, and even purposeful, décor pieces. Take a closer look.
We backed this third frame with some cork board to effortlessly add or move photos, notes, and other mementos around. With a little bit of personal thought and inspiration, you could easily turn one of these framed pieces into a vision board!
If you haven’t gotten down and crafty yet this year, now is the perfect time to start. For our second week celebrating National Papercrafting Month, we created this beautiful, large scale, floral wall décor and are giving you our Cricut Design Space™ file, FREE, to recreate this very same project at home!
(Click on the individual images for a closer look!)
In order to keep things simple, we manipulated shapes from just one of our Cricut® collections, Flower Market, while designing our arrangement. If you don’t own the Cricut® Flower Market Collection, contact your Close To My Heart Consultant (or find one near you, here) to get started.
To give you an idea of the physical size of this project, the center French Vanilla flower is 20″ in diameter, both Peach flowers are 17″, the Lilac flowers are 14″, and the smaller Mint flowers are 13½” each.
When you open the file in Design Space, you will find some hexagon shapes among the petal shapes. These are your bases for each of the flowers. Attach the petals of each flower, layering them from largest to smallest, to these bases. You will also notice that the eyelashes are quite large. They are so large, in fact, that when you attempt to “make it” the program will tell you that you need a 12″ x 24″ mat. We did not use a longer mat to cut these, so there is a way around it! When the prompt comes up, all you need to do is select the image and rotate it to make it fit diagonally in the 12″ x 12″ square.
With so many different black ink pads at our disposal, deciding which is the best option for a project can get a little confusing. Let’s shed some light into this black situation by examining each one of these inks individually and identify what their strengths and purposes are so you’ll never have to second-guess yourself again.
Before getting started, let’s identify all of the players.
All of the black Exclusive Inks™ stamp and pigment pads come in a sleek patented case. The innovative case features an in-lid stamp pad, keeping the ink at the surface and ready to use, as well as a convenient magnetic closure. The raised pads are approximately 3¾” x 2½”, making them larger than average and more versatile.
Although they are very similar in appearance, and are all technically black, each ink is formulated from scratch to produce unique stamping results. We discussed these inks and how to use them with our very talented Art Studio and came up with the following:
1. BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD
The Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad is a water-based dye ink. Our artists like using it for stamping sentiments and other images that will not be colored over with markers or watercolor. It is ideal for cardmaking, tags, and other everyday uses.
2. ARCHIVAL BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD
The Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad has the deepest black ink out of all our black inks. It is a solvent-based permanent ink. Waterproof, lightfast, fade-proof, and archival. We recommend using this ink for scrapbook pages and for stamping on vellum. Archival Black is ideal for stamping images and sentiments with staying power.
3. INTENSE BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ STAMP PAD
The Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad is intense not because of its color but because it is a non-smearing, fast-drying, solvent-based permanent ink. Like its Archival Black counterpart, the Intense Black ink is also waterproof and archival. If you want to add color with watercolor or alcohol markers, however, Intense Black is the way to go.
4. BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ PIGMENT PAD
Next, there’s the Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad. The major difference between this ink and the others is that it is a pigment-based ink. Pigment inks dry permanently on porous surfaces after heat-setting. It takes a little more work to use a pigment ink, but the results are definitely worth it! We recommend adding clear embossing powder to your stamped images, and heat setting them with a Heat Tool, to create beautiful glossy raised images and sentiments.
5. BLACK STAYZON™ INK PAD
Last, and certainly not least, is the Black StazOn™ Ink Pad. This pad offers a fast-drying solvent-based ink designed specifically for use on plastic, metal, glass, ceramic, laminated paper, coated paper, leather, and other non-porous surfaces. Even though this ink is technically “fast-drying,” it can be wiped off a truly non-porous surface within minutes after it is applied, using a Stamp Shammy and StazOn™ Cleaner. This is great to keep in mind because the majority of non-porous surfaces tend to be slippery and can be difficult to stamp with accuracy. Once the ink completely sets, however, it will yield permanent results. (So, make sure to keep that Stamp Shammy nearby! 😉 )
We want you to be able to take all of this information with you wherever your stamping takes you, so we’ve created the following chart, including photos of our artwork examples, for you to download and print.
With this quick and simple breakdown, we hope you will make all of your future black ink decisions with clarity and confidence! Please let us know in the comments below if you found this blog post helpful today. Happy stamping! <3
It is officially love day, and we couldn’t be more excited! Valentine’s Day is a time designated to focus on and celebrate the relationships that matter most, and, in case you didn’t know, you are at the top of our significant others list as part of our beloved crafting community! We simply couldn’t let this special relationship go unnoticed, so we made you a one-of-a-kind Valentine that we hope you’ll enjoy!
We updated the color wheel we shared with you last year to include this year’s new colors from our exclusive color palette!
Since we’re celebrating relationships today, we thought it would be fun (and practical) to talk about relationships between colors and what makes certain pairings work. We’ve summarized color theory principles from previous blog posts and compiled them, below, to have them conveniently available for review all in one place.
Once you’ve chosen basic colors using any one of these combination options, jump on the Close To My Heart color wheel and take your pick from the exclusive colors that fall into each category. If you’d like to learn more about any of the individual principles or would like to see more artwork examples, click on the provided links at the end of each section. Lastly, if you don’t have the time or would simply rather not read through color theory (we get it 😉 ), skip to the end of this post to see how we make using a full spectrum of color even easier!
Monochromatic and Analogous Colors:
Monochromatic color designs make use of a single color that varies in lightness and saturation. Sometimes, a piece of artwork that we may think is monochromatic is actually following an analogous scheme, which is just a fancy way of saying that the featured colors are next to each other on the color wheel. One color is typically dominant while neighboring colors are used to enhance the design. (Monochromatic and Analogous Colors)
Complementary colors are two colors opposite each other on the color wheel, such as Candy Apple and Clover (red and green), and Goldrush and Bluebird (orange and blue). If you notice, one side of the color wheel is made up of warm colors while the other is made up of cool colors. Complementary colors, since they are across from one another, will have one of each. They create a vibrant contrast, making each other pop without being jarring to the eye. (Complementary Colors and How to Use Them)
Split-complementary colors are pretty much what the name implies. When you are using two complementary colors, split one of them into its two adjacent colors on the wheel to end up with three colors that will visually work. Take red-orange and blue-green, for example. They are opposite each other on the color wheel and therefore complementary. Add a third color using the split-complementary scheme by splitting red-orange into two and use red and orange with the blue-green instead. (Using Split-complementary Colors)
A triadic color scheme is a lot easier to understand than it may sound. Just like some of the other theories, triadic color combinations make use of three colors. This time, instead of being next to or opposite each other, triadic colors are three colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel, and when connected by lines create an equal sided triangle.
There are only four triadic color combinations on your basic color wheel:
In a double complementary scheme, we use a combination of four colors that, as the name implies, is made up of two complementary color pairs. (Remember, two colors are complementary if they are opposite each other on the color wheel.) To make it even easier, this kind of color combination is also known as rectangular colors because, when the four colors are connected on the color wheel, they form a rectangle. (Double Complementary Color Schemes)
After reading, reviewing, and applying these color principles it’s easy to see that making harmonious color combinations isn’t so hard. Keep that trusty color wheel close by and pick your colors with confidence!
We also know that color theory isn’t for everyone. If you fall into this category or would like to see pages and pages of artwork examples that we’ve come up with using these principles, then Love of Color is for you.
Love of Color
Love of Color is our latest how-to book, and through its pages the exclusive Close To My Heart color palette comes to life! In it, breathtaking artwork illustrates how to create beautiful and perfectly balanced color combinations without any guesswork. Each spread in this book starts out with one exclusive color that is then combined with two, three, and four other exclusive colors, shown in beautifully crafted inspirational artwork.
This layout was created using one of the three Smoothie color combination options offered in Love of Color. In this example, Smoothie was paired with Ballerina, Eggplant, New England Ivy, and Heather. Smoothie is the dominant color and the others were used to create accents throughout.
Thank you for being our Valentine today and joining us through this celebration of color! We hope that you are always living your life in full color and that you are moved to do something creative today!
If you’re looking to make some personalized ornaments for your Christmas tree this year, you’ve come to the right place! By combining a few photos with the Favor Box Thin Cuts (die), our Oh What Fun papers, and a couple embellishments, we were able to create a memorable (and sturdy!) paper ornament to hang on the tree.
To make a single box ornament:
1. Use your die-cutting machine and cut a base shape out of white cardstock with the Favor Box Thin Cuts.
2. Cut 1¾” squares out of pattern paper to cover the sides of your box. Cut any photos you will be using to the same size. You will need a total of 6 squares, pattern paper and photos.
3. With adhesive, attach loose squares to the sides and bottom of your base before folding it into a box. (Do not attempt to attach the top piece at this time.)
For the top paper, punch holes where the two outer holes are on the base. The easiest way to do this would be to lay the top flap of your base on top of the square pattern paper and punch out the holes.
4. Next, fold your base into a box. The video below will walk you through the process of assembling a favor box, from start to finish. For this ornament tutorial, disregard how the ribbon is attached in the video. We will be doing something a little bit different.
5. With your box folded, we are ready to add the ribbon. Because we will be covering the top of the box with another piece of paper, simply string the ribbon through the two outer holes and ignore the one in the middle.
6. Once the ribbon is in, add the top paper to your box.
Tie a knot at the top of your ribbon and you’re all done!
A single box makes a wonderful ornament on its own, but you can double your fun by stringing two boxes together! To make a double box ornament, follow all the steps above to assemble your bottom box, but before tying the ribbon together, you’ll want to assemble a second box, this time punching holes on the bottom flap of the base, too.
The easiest way to do this is to punch the holes out before folding the base to the box shape. With the holes punched, fold your box up. Before closing the top, take the ribbon from your first box and string it through the holes you punched at the bottom of your second box and tie the ribbon inside. Finish the ornament top the same way as described in steps 5 and 6 above.
These ornaments are the perfect way to get crafty this season with the kids, grandkids, and friends! With the right photos and embellishments, these could quite possibly become a holiday favorite!
From nurseries and dorm rooms to wedding gifts and everyday gifts, or even your own photo gallery, a rolled paper monogram is a fun way to personalize any given space. For today’s tutorial, we paired one of our chipboard monograms with the beautiful Grateful Heart paper collection.
Step One: What are you making and in what colors?
The very first thing to do is to figure out what you want to spell out, if not just a monogram, and in what color motif. For color coordination made easy, stick within one of our paper collections where the papers and accessories are purposefully designed using the same color palette. If you’re looking to mix things up—say you have some older papers from previous collections that you want to combine with some of your newer stash—the new Love of Color book is a great place to look for color combination ideas.
Step Two: Gathering your supplies.
For this project, other than paper and chipboard letters (and some basics like a ruler, paper trimmer, and hot glue gun), you will need a small dowel pin to wrap your paper around. The larger the dowel, the larger the paper rolls will be. As you are choosing a size, consider that tight rolls are not only harder to achieve but will also create smaller straws, meaning you will need more paper to cover your letter(s). In our example F, we achieved those tight rolls you see using a 3/16″ dowel. It took a total of 40 straws to cover the entire letter.
Step Three: Cutting your paper.
To know what size to cut your paper, measure the width of the letter(s) you are covering and then add 1/8″. Our F has three different widths at three different points. The long side is 2 3/8″, so those papers were cut 2½” wide. The top rung is 4 7/8″ wide, so those papers were cut 5″ wide. And the pieces for the bottom rung were cut at 4¾” because the letter itself measures 4 5/8″ wide. You don’t need very much paper to roll, lengthwise, so be conservative and stick around 2″. Our final pieces measure 2½” x 2″, 5″ x 2″, and 4¾” x 2″. A little tip for when you are cutting your paper, think about the pattern orientation. Make sure that when it’s time to roll your paper the pattern will face in the direction you want it to.
Step 4: Rolling your Paper.
We’re up to the fun part! Grab your pieces of paper and roll away, one by one. Start by wrapping your paper around the dowel and then, while holding the ends with your fingers, rolling it into a straw. If you are using a small dowel, you will want to have a misting pen handy. When the roll is too tight you run the risk of cracking the paper and exposing the white core. If you see this happening, and it’s not the look you are going for, lightly (lightly!) mist your paper with a little bit of water to give it some flexibility.
When you get to the end of your roll, secure the paper in place with hot glue. Hold it for a few seconds as it bonds and then carefully remove the dowel.
Repeat until all of your paper is rolled into a bunch of colorful gorgeous straws.
Step 5: Attaching your rolled paper.
With a hot glue gun, attach each of your rolled paper straws, one at a time, starting at the top and work your way down.
Your straws don’t have to be perfectly rolled or exactly the same size for the end product to still look awesome. Take a look at this side view of our perfectly imperfect F.
Have we got your creative juices flowing with this one? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!