Tips for Using and Creating Your Own Stencils

DIY Stencils #closetomyheart #ctmh #diystencils #makeyourownstencils #stencils #stenciling #stencilling #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

If you have yet to dabble in the world of stencil design, this is a great place to start! Even if you are a seasoned pro, maybe we’ll share something that you haven’t thought of yet. Either way, stick with us and then share with us some of your thoughts and ideas in the comment section that follows!

A stencil is a material with a cut-out design to which you apply your choice of pigment in order to transfer the design onto a separate surface. The benefits of using a stencil range from helping those of us who struggle with drawing a straight line ( ✋🏼 we’re all welcome here!) to those of us who like to create and duplicate intricate patterns, time and time again, quickly and with ease.

Stencils can be made of all sorts of materials and created in a myriad of ways. What we share here is just a sliver of the possibilities these multifaceted tools are capable of.

MATERIAL OPTIONS

The very first step in stencil design is determining the product you want to use for your stencil. You can purchase ready-made stencils or create your own. If you are creating your own, consider the following information about these popular materials:

Stencil Sheets. Our stencil sheets are made from a medium weight stencil film. They can be machine cut, die cut, or paper punched and used with wet and dry applications. The see-through quality of stencil sheets, makes stencil placement easy—this is especially useful if you are layering images. Stencil sheets are the most durable way to go if you are hoping to reuse a stencil over and over again.

Cardstock. Stencils cut from cardstock have a limited use but are very economical. Placement can be tricky, however, since you can’t see through the stencil. Cardstock is great for edge stencils and positive shapes.

Vellum Paper. Vellum stencils work a lot like those cut from stencil sheets, but with one major drawback. These can only be used for dry applications and cannot be washed off. They are also not as durable as stencil sheets.

TIPS FOR USING MACHINE-CUT STENCILS

1. Get the most out of machine-cut stencils by choosing layered shapes. Always keep all of the negative pieces and store them together with the stencil. You never know when you may want to use one of these pieces for additional texture, color, or dimension in your art.

2. Use the contour feature (in Cricut Design Space™) to make multiple stencils from a single image. Block out different parts of the image for each of the different stencils. This will allow you to create unique designs, but also to easily separate colors in different sections of the image if you want to use the stencils together, like we did with the two flower cards you see here.

3. Use basic shapes to weld images onto and to restructure shapes for easier stenciling. To create the cloud stencils, above, we welded cloud shapes (#M418DFA) onto a rectangle base. If your shapes don’t quite cover the size “base” you need or want, remember that you can easily duplicate and resize your shapes to make them work. When you are using a stencil like this one, move it around on the page as you add the color, or flip it over and use the back, to create variety from the one stencil pattern.

TIPS FOR USING DIE-CUT STENCILS

4. Just like we suggested for machine-cut stencils, keep both the positive and negative pieces that are made when you cut a stencil from a Thin Cuts die. They may be used for different looks and effects.

DIY Stencils #closetomyheart #ctmh #diystencils #makeyourownstencils #stencils #stenciling #stencilling #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

5. Create stencils from stamp coordinating Thin Cuts, too! You can use these alone or to add dimension to a stamped image.

DIY Stencils #closetomyheart #ctmh #diystencils #makeyourownstencils #stencils #stenciling #stencilling #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

The butterfly above was sponged with color then stamped. Use these sorts of stencils directly on your projects or cut them out, like we did here.

6. Make letter and word stencils out of stencil sheets. You want these to be as durable as possible because these generally get used a lot.

DIY Stencils #closetomyheart #ctmh #diystencils #makeyourownstencils #stencils #stenciling #stencilling #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

7. Keep the separate letters of favorite “words” together in a storage envelope for quick access. Make sure to keep the negative space pieces as well. Take a look at the letters “a,” “p,” and “o,” below. Easily attach these to your stencil with a small amount of adhesive tape to have ready to place and use when needed.

DIY Stencils #closetomyheart #ctmh #diystencils #makeyourownstencils #stencils #stenciling #stencilling #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

8. Explore different media to use with your stencils.

DIY Stencils #closetomyheart #ctmh #diystencils #makeyourownstencils #stencils #stenciling #stencilling #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

If you use alcohol markers, these can bleed slightly past your stencil image, as you see in the red Y. Metallic markers are another option. These work especially well on darker papers (see the Y on black cardstock). For a more textured look, consider heat embossing. Using embossing ink pens, like on the Y on the blue cardstock, you can have a more controlled inking experience, like you would with a marker. Use your stencils to create dimensional, shadow effects, too. In the case of the Y on the green cardstock above, we used the negative stencil shape to color in a black shadow with a journaling pen, then attached a die-cut paper Y on top, slightly offset.

TIPS FOR USING SPECIALTY INKS WITH STENCILS

DIY Stencils #closetomyheart #ctmh #diystencils #makeyourownstencils #stencils #stenciling #stencilling #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

9. Achieve a subtle shadow, watermark-type look by using embossing ink with your stencils. You can dab the VersaMark™ ink pad straight through your stencil and onto your art, or have a more controlled inking experience using embossing ink pens.

10. Use inks from our Exclusive Inks™ re-inker bottles or ink squeezed out from our shimmer brushes with a sponge or dauber. Add the ink to an all-purpose mat and pick it up with a sponge (or dauber), then pounce the sponge on a scratch piece of paper to remove some of the excess ink before adding it to your project through the stencil.

Of course, you can use a shimmer brush directly on your artwork, too, without squeezing out the ink, for a brushed on ink effect. It will look different than the pounced-with-a-sponge look. Similarly, you can also use a waterbrush to brush on the Exclusive Inks™.

Now that we’ve given you a few tips on how to make and use stencils, let’s explore a few ideas on how to store them. In the video below, our Creative Arts Manager, Karen, shares several tips:

(Here’s the link for the Design Space file Karen mentions in the video!)

Stencils are a great way to quickly and easily add dimensional elements and general pizzazz to artwork. Do you use stencils? Let us know in the comments below how you incorporate this versatile tool in your art!

Leave a comment

Back to School Teacher Gifts!

How is it the middle of August already? Bells will ring, announcing the start of a new school year, and students and teachers, alike, will be back in the thick of it all before we know it!

Our teachers give so much of themselves, year after year. As our children prepare to return to fill their classrooms, let’s add to their supply lists a small gift of appreciation and encouragement!

We’ve got three simple projects for you and your kiddos to work on and bring to your teachers on that momentous first day.

First, we have a fun twist on the traditional school apple.

Did you know that, back in the 1700s, some families would give teachers a basket full of apples as payment for their child’s education? Now-a-days, the gifting of apples (or an apple) shifted from attempted compensation to a kind gesture of appreciation.

We’ve got a delicious variation of this popular gift with these gorgeous paper apples.

You will need three different color/pattern papers for the body of the apples, another paper for the leaf, and another for the tag (if you choose to add a tag). You will also need a pencil (cut down to 6″), adhesive, and twine.

We used a combination of shapes from our Art Philosophy Cricut® collection and free shapes available through Cricut Design Space™ to cut the pieces you see here. (School Apple Cricut Design Space™ file.) If you don’t have a cutting machine, we kept the shapes fairly simple so they could be recreated by hand. We recommend making the apple shape first, on a scratch piece of paper, and then using this as a template to trace and hand trim the six apples needed for the 3-D apple shape.

Once you have all of your shapes cut, fold the apple pieces along the score lines and attach them to each other, as shown above. (For those of you who cut these shapes by hand, there should be two score lines in the middle of each, approx. ⅜” apart.) Before attaching the last two wedges together, closing the circle, glue the pencil inside the “core.”

Embellish the apple with a leaf and a tag and then it’s ready for school!

Dressed up sticky notes is another fun way to show your teachers a little love. You know they will use sticky notes throughout the school year, so why not add a little flair and present them as gift?

To make one of these, you will need a 3″ x 3″ sticky note pad, one sheet of cardstock for the base of the holder, hook and loop dots (aka velcro dots), adhesive, and any type of embellishment you wish to add to the inside or outside of the base.

Use this Design Space file to cut the long, scalloped and scored rectangle cardstock piece you see here. (If you are cutting it by hand, the rectangle is 3¼” x 8½” and has score lines at 2⅛”, 2⅝”, 5⅞”, 6⅜” from the bottom.) Once you’ve cut and scored the cardstock, this project is pretty intuitive. First, attach the note pad to the center of the cardstock. Next, fold the pieces up and around the note pad. Then, embellish the top of the holder however you’d like, and finish by adding a hook and loop pair for the closing.

The last diy gift of appreciation we’re showing you today is actually a gift box for you to make and then fill with small goodies.

To make one of these boxes you will need two sheets of cardstock or pattern paper (that’s if you’d like for the box insert and sleeve to be different colors or designs), adhesive, and embellishments of your choice.

Use this Design Space file to cut the necessary shapes. (If you don’t have a cutting machine and would like to make a gift box, use this link to learn how to make one similar to the one shown here.)

Fold the cut paper along the score lines and attach them with adhesive to create the sleeve and box insert. Decorate the top of the box with additional papers, the teacher’s name, and other embellishments, and then fill it with goodies you know your teacher would like (tissues, lotion, hand sanitizer, a gift card, candies, etc.). That’s it!

Now, let’s show our teachers some love and encouragement this upcoming school year by letting them know, even in small ways, that we see and recognize their hard work and dedication.

In the comments below, we’d love to hear what you’re doing to show your teachers how much you appreciate them. ❤️

Leave a comment

A FREE Card Pattern for Valentine’s Day and Beyond!

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. ❤️

**The Perfect Match collection is available now and through the end of the month (February 28), while supplies last!

Leave a comment

Making Gift Boxes with and without a Cutting Machine!

DIY Gift Boxes #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhperfectmatch #perfectmatch #valentine #giftboxes #diygift #diygiftboxes #diyvalentine #papercrafting #cricut #cricutartiste #cricutartphilosophy

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.

DIY Gift Boxes #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhperfectmatch #perfectmatch #valentine #giftboxes #diygift #diygiftboxes #diyvalentine #papercrafting
(Perfect Match Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet)
DIY Gift Boxes #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhperfectmatch #perfectmatch #valentine #giftboxes #diygift #diygiftboxes #diyvalentine #papercrafting
(My Acrylix® Perfect Match Stamp Set)

These first examples are made by pairing a couple of our Cricut® collections with the papers, stickers, and stamp set in our Perfect Match collection.

DIY Gift Boxes #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhperfectmatch #perfectmatch #valentine #giftboxes #diygift #diygiftboxes #diyvalentine #papercrafting #cricut #cricutartiste
(Cricut® Artiste Collection)
DIY Gift Boxes #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhperfectmatch #perfectmatch #valentine #giftboxes #diygift #diygiftboxes #diyvalentine #papercrafting #cricut #cricutartiste #cricutartphilosophy
(Cricut® Art Philosophy and Artiste Collections)

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.

DIY Gift Boxes #closetomyheart #ctmh #ctmhperfectmatch #perfectmatch #valentine #giftboxes #diygift #diygiftboxes #diyvalentine #papercrafting

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!


Recipes

3¾” x 3¼” I Love You Square Box
CC12204 My Acrylix® Perfect Match Stamp Set, CC12202 Perfect Match Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, Z3367 Vellum Paper, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, CC12206 Perfect Match Mini Hearts, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shape:
#M46846

5½” x 3¼” XOXO Loving You Hexagon Box
CC12202 Perfect match Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, CC12203 Perfect Match Coordinating Cardstock, CC12206 Mini Hearts, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shape:
#M3B6FD

3½” x 5¼” x 2¼” We’re the Perfect Match Gift Bag
CC12204 My Acrylix® Perfect Match Stamp Set, CC12202 Perfect Match Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6509 Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6520 Flamingo Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Cricut® Art Philosophy Collection

Cricut® Shape:
#M3F94E

4″ x 1½” XOXO Square Box
CC12202 Perfect Match paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, CC12206 Perfect Match Mini Hearts, Z3790 Onyx Pearl Liquid Pearls™, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape

4″ x 2″ Love Is in the Air Square Box
CC12204 My Acrylix® Perfect Match Stamp Set, CC12202 Perfect Match Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6520 Flamingo Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, CC12206 Perfect Match Mini Hearts, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

2½” x 3″ Crazy for You Pocket/Envelope
CC12202 Perfect Match Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, CC12206 Perfect Match Mini Hearts, Z3678 Stitched Hexagons Thin Cuts, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

2½” x 3″ Happy Day Pocket/Envelope
CC12202 Perfect match Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, Z3678 Stitched Hexagons Thin Cuts

Leave a comment

Galentines with Aimee Ferre!

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

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

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!

My Acrylix® Snail Mail by Aimee FerreGalentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

My Acrylix® Air Mail by Aimee Ferre:Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail(Outlined images coordinate with Thin Cuts metal dies.)

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.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

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.

Using a good quality paint that has primer included in the mix, I painted 2-3 coats on each box. Hardware stores now offer sample paint containers of whatever color you want for a few dollars, so I chose a color that went well with the Close To My Heart exclusive colors I planned on using: Ballerina, Glacier, Candy Apple, and Smoothie.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

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.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

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.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

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.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail #treatbox #diy

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.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

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!

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

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.

Galentines with Aimee Ferre #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhaimeeferre #aimeeferre #galentine #valentine #love #candybox #treatbox #diy #cardmaking #papercrafting #airmail #snailmail

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.

Hugs, Aimee Ferre

Leave a comment

DIY Décor to Make Over Your Boy’s Room

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth

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.

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth #chipboard #monogram #visionboard

Our chipboard frames and monograms are a great way to showcase personality in any given space. The patterns found in the Urban papers and stickers provide just the right amount of warmth, edge, and attitude to do just that!

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth

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!

As a reminder, the Urban collection is here for a limited time! That includes the paper packet, coordinating cardstock, and the My Acrylix® Urban Flair stamp set. Make sure to get yours before it is gone for good!

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #urbanflair

My Acrylix® Urban Flair Stamp Set

For those of you who, like us, also love all things scrapbooking and cardmaking. We put together a workshop that uses these designs to create this stunning artwork:

DIY Boy's Room Decor #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhurban #frameitup #urbanframes #diydecor #boysroom #skater #skateboarding #rustic #epic #guitar #chipboard #monogram #visionboard #scrapbooking #cardmaking #scrapbookingworkshop #cardmakingworkshop #papercrafting #npm #nationalpapercraftingmonth

Download the free instructions, here.

We love National Papercrafting Month, and we absolutely love with our Urban collection. Don’t forget, you only have until January 31st, while supplies last, to get your hands on this go-to classic!


Recipe

16″ x 16″ Urban Frames
CC12194 My Acrylix® Urban Flair Stamp Set, CC12191 Urban Paper Packet + Sticker Sheet, X6046 French Vanilla Cardstock, X5947 Mink Cardstock, X5950 Toffee Cardstock, Z2849 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Set, Z2829 Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2825 Mink Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2828 Toffee Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4088 White Alphabet Foam Stickers, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z2478 Earth Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2479 Gold Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z3580 Chipboard Frame + Overlay, Z3430 Chipboard Monogram—R, Artiste Cricut® Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artiste Collection
#M3BCAC

Leave a comment

Make Your Very Own Paper Flower Unicorn Wall Décor!

Floral Unicorn Wall #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalpapercraftingmonth #unicorn #diydecor #cricut #flowermarker #paperflower #paperunicorn #girlsroom #youaregorgeous

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!

Floral Unicorn Wall #ctmh #closetomyheart #nationalpapercraftingmonth #unicorn #diydecor #cricut #flowermarker #paperflower #paperunicorn #girlsroom #youaregorgeous

(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.

We don’t want any of our readers to feel left out, so for those of you who do not use Cricut®, a few months ago, our very own Jill Broadbent visited Studio5 and shared how to make similar large paper flowers without a cutting machine.

Download the PDF below for a template to make large paper flowers without a cutting machine.

Paper Flower Template

Every little (and grownup) girl deserves to know just how gorgeous she is! Happy crafting!

Make sure to stop by next week to see what we’ve got in store for a boy’s space using our Urban collection!

Leave a comment

Choosing the Best Black Ink for Your Projects

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon

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.

  1. Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  2. Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  3. Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
  4. Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad
  5. Black StazOn™ Ink Pad

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

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

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

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

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

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon

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.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

4.  BLACK EXCLUSIVE INKS™ PIGMENT PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

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.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

5.  BLACK STAYZON™ INK PAD

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

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! 😉 )

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diyBlack Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

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.

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

Download US/CA version, here.

Download AU/NZ version, here.

We even left enough space in an empty second column for you to stamp a solid heart and outline from the My Acrylix® Erin’s Hand Stamp Set using the individual inks to have real visual examples. (Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder was added to our Black pigment ink and heat set in order to create the glossy raised images shown.)

Black Ink Options #closetomyheart #ctmh #blackinks #inkpads #stamppads #pigmentinks #pigmentpads #exclusiveinks #archivalblack #intenseblack #blackpigment #stazon #scrapbooking #cardmaking #papercrafting #diy

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


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Happy Birthday Card (Vertical)
C1782 My Acrylix® Party Balloons Stamp Set, X7245B Craft On Paper Packet, X6028 Black Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Memories Saved Page
D1848 My Acrylix® Craft On—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7245B Craft On Paper Packet, X6008 Lemon Cardstock, X5984 Pixie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7248 Craft On Picutre My Life™ Cards, Z4059 Crafty Loose Sequins, Z4057 Craft On Rubber Shapes, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

4¼” x 5½” Thinking of You Card (Vertical)
C1794 My Acrylix Floral Delivery Stamp Set, X7246B Sweet Girl Paper Packet, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X6022 Smoothie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4243 Watercolor Paper Pad, Z4213 Silver Embellishing Thread, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Small Round Waterbrush, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12¾” x 8¾” Welcome Home Frame
E1043 My Acrylix® Solid Classroom Alphabet Stamp Set, X5994 Ballerina Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X6018 Raspberry Cardstock, Z8000 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad, Z4057 Craft On Rubber Shapes, Z2088 Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z3503 Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection, Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
1¼” #M4235A

You Are Here
1¼” #M282C66F

5″ x 7″ Bride & Groom Frame
D1849 My Acrylix® True Love—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X6003 Fern Cardstock, X5988 Peach Cardstock, X6016 Pixie Cardstock, X5993 Sage Cardstock, Z888 Black StazOn™ Ink Pad, Z4059 Crafty Loose Sequins, Z4064 Stitched Flowers Thin Cuts, Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting Machine

Leave a comment

For the Love of Color: A New Color Wheel!

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!

For the Love of Color #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhloveofcolor #loveofcolor #ctmhexclusivecolorpalette #colorwheel #ctmhcolorwheel #colortheory #colorcombinations #diy #color #colour

Download your new CTMH color wheel, here! <3

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:

Color Theory #ctmh #closetomyheart #monochromatic #analogous #color #colour #wheel #bashful #pixie #blossom #raspberry #combination #coordinating #coordinate #coordination #theory #pink #shades #variant #variation #pretty #prettyinpink #girl #girly #butterfly #heart #gold #accent #embellishment #complement #pearl

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:

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:

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)

Triadic 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.Triadic Color Combinations #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhstargazer #stargazer #star #gazer #colortheory #color #theory #redyelloblue #red #yellow #blue #canary #cranberry #sapphire #scheme #combination #vivacious #bright #harmony #harmonious #balance #balanced

There are only four triadic color combinations on your basic color wheel:

  1. Red, Yellow, Blue
  2. Red-orange, Yellow-green, Blue-violet
  3. Orange, Green, Violet
  4. Yellow-orange, Blue-green, Red-violet.

(Triadic Color Combinations)

Double Complementary Colors:

 

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

For the Love of Color #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhloveofcolor #loveofcolor #ctmhexclusivecolorpalette #colorwheel #ctmhcolorwheel #colortheory #colorcombinations #diy #color #colour

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.

For the Love of Color #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhloveofcolor #loveofcolor #ctmhexclusivecolorpalette #colorwheel #ctmhcolorwheel #colortheory #colorcombinations #diy #color #colour #papercrafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking

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!


Recipe:

12″ x 12″ Sunshine Layout
D1817 My Acrylix® So Much Happy—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X5994 Ballerina Cardstock, X6000 Eggplant Cardstock, X6006 Heather Cardstock, X6011 New England Ivy Cardstock, X6022 Smoothie Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4244 Stencil Sheets, Z6501 Ballerina Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2847 Eggplant Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2826 Heather Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, Z4245 Opaque Matte Texture Paste, Z4247 Palette Knives, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Z3503 Cricut® Artbooking Digital Collection, Z3501 Cricut® Flower Market Digital Collection

Cricut Shapes:
Artbooking
6″ Overlay <g> (p. 62, #M3F0A2)

Flower Market
1¾” Shift + Title <&> (p.7, #MD38CC3)
3½” <Hibiscus> (p. 30, #MFAD3B7)
3½” Shift <Hibiscus> (p. 30, #MFAD3B7)
¾”, 1″, 1¼”, Shift <Rose> (p. 42, #MFAD8CB)

Leave a comment