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!

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All Around Creativity: Adding A Splash of Color

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We’re jumping right into the new year and celebrating National Papercrafting Month with the All Around Creativity special, featuring four gorgeous wreath kits that are only available from Close To My Heart through the end of the month. There are so many different ways to embellish  these beautiful wreaths, so we figured we’d have some fun and share with you four simple ways that we’ve added color to the plywood bases.

Adding color to wood doesn’t need to be super messy or take a huge amount of time. It can be quick, easy, and clean. To start off, we’ll take a peek at one of the easiest wood-coloration techniques. This method uses an Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad and will only take you a few minutes from application until it’s completely dry!

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Simply select the ink color you’d like to use and gently swipe the stamp pad over the surface of the wood with quick, dabbing motions, going with the grain. Going with the grain helps you to emphasize the natural beauty of the wood, while also protecting your stamp pad from getting scratched up or caught on the wood. As you’ll see in the video below, we left some of the wood grain visible for a more stained look, but you can make it as light or as dark as you’d like.

To achieve a softer, mottled look, try sponging the ink onto the wood.

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Cut a Round Sponge into quarters. While gripping the point of one quarter with your fingers, gently load your sponge with ink by pouncing it on your stamp pad. Because the sponge absorbs the ink, it may not look like you have a lot on there, but you’ll have more ink than you think!

Once you’ve got your sponge inked and ready to go, use the same pouncing motion you used on the stamp pad to apply the color to the plywood. The ink will dry lighter than it looks while you apply it. For a darker, richer tone, you will have to apply additional layers of ink.

This next technique uses TriBlend™ markers. When using an alcohol-based marker to color wood, you’ll want to go in the direction of the grain and use a steady hand to achieve even color throughout.

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Because you have greater control over color distribution when you use this method, you also have more control over the appearance of the colored wood. For instance, if you want a softer, lighter look, use a light hand and don’t go over the same spot too many times. For darker and richer tones, add more color layers to really get the pigment into the wood.

If you’re going for a darker color, don’t jam the marker tip into the wood, as this may damage your marker. Instead, go over the same area of the wood multiple times for color layering and try using a lighter shade of your TriBlend™ marker.

The last technique we’re showcasing today adds a bit of sparkle to your art. Heat embossing! (We went there, and it’s beautiful!)

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First, place your wreath over a piece of scratch paper so you can catch any excess embossing powder. Then, begin by rubbing the surface of the wreath with an anti-static pouch. Apply VersaMark™ ink to the wreath, a few sections at a time, using the same pouncing motion you saw in our first technique. While the ink is still wet, sprinkle embossing powder over it, shake off any excess powder onto your scratch paper, and heat set with a heat tool. (Use your scratch paper to easily funnel your excess embossing powder back into its container for future use.)

We absolutely love these wreaths and National Papercrafting Month, because it really gets us thinking outside the box! We can’t wait to see all the different ways you choose to add color to your wreaths.

Remember, you can only get these gorgeous wreath kits until January 31, and if you buy four or more you even get a discount! Make sure to take full advantage of the All Around Creativity special while you still can. For a few of you who may be on the fence, we are giving away four of these kits to four lucky readers! For a chance to win, you must do two things. First, make sure you are subscribed to this blog. If you are not, find the blue button on the sidebar that says “Subscribe to list” and follow the prompts once you’ve clicked it. Second, leave us a comment below telling us what types of crafts you like to work out, outside of scrapbooking and cardmaking. You have until 12 p.m. (MST) Thursday, January 9, to submit your entries. All winners will be notified by email. Good luck and happy crafting!


Recipes

Create Wreath
CC12017 Create Wreath Kit, Z2848 Sapphire Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad

Stay Awhile Wreath
CC12019 Stay Awhile Wreath Kit, Z6512 Evergreen Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z697 Round Sponge

Grateful Wreath
CC12018 Grateful Wreath Kit, Z2478 Earth Brown TriBlend™ Marker

Be Kind Wreath
CC12016 Be Kind Wreath Kit, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2812 Raspberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z3293 Clear Shimmer Brush, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z697 Round Sponge, Z4249 Gold Tinsel Embossing Powder, Z4220 Anti-static Pouch, Z4252 Heat Tool

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Create Decorative Borders for All Kinds of Artwork

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If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss for how to transform plain, straight lines on your papers into sensational, artistic statements, the Decorative Borders Thin Cuts set is the answer! These dies give you so many options for adding fun effects to your artwork. Take a look at all the unique shapes you can get from this one set:

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This first photo shows the dies in this set made to cut away the edges of your papers, leaving the rest of the piece in tact. Here you’ll see papers we’ve cut with the small scallop, the fringe border, the large scallop, and the notebook paper dies. Notice that you can repeat these cuts to add the effects to a piece of paper larger than the die, as we did with the small scallop border. Accomplish this by repositioning the die after the first cut and sending it through your embossing machine a second time.  Also note the faux stitching detail on both of the scallop borders!

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These next two dies are a bit more traditional in that they cut shapes to be used as embellishments. These borders work especially well when layered with other paper strips and accents.

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This last group we’ll call our “special effects” dies, for obvious reasons! Rather than cut a complete shape, these borders add patterns while leaving your paper intact. As we saw with the small scallop border, many of these can be repeated over large pieces of paper. Hopefully you also picked out the fun “pull tab” created by the far left die. Let’s get a closer look at what that looks like in artwork!

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The pull tab die is a great way to add an interactive element to cards and other artwork. The die is designed to leave tiny connection points down the length of the cut shape, resulting in a perforated paper shape that is easy to tear away, revealing a stamped message beneath. Because this is such a fun effect, we’ve put together a brief tutorial for adding a pull tab to a custom-made envelope.

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Start with a 5¾” x 7¾” piece of cardstock for your envelope base. Fold and score the envelope 3 3/8″ up from the bottom.

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Next, use a separate 3″ x 5¾” piece of cardstock for the envelope flap. Score the envelope flap 1″ from the top, but leave flat after scoring.

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Position the pull-tab die about 3/8″ from the right edge of the envelope flap, centered between the bottom edge and the score line. The die will extend beyond the left edge of the envelope flap, and that is just fine! Once you’ve made sure the die is parallel to the edge of the cardstock, secure it in place using washi tape. Then use your embossing machine to make the cut.

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To create the hidden sentiment that will be revealed by the pull tab, cut a 5¾” x ¾” cardstock strip and stamp the sentiment about 1″ from the right edge. For maximum effect, use a different color of cardstock for this strip of paper.

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Now attach the hidden sentiment piece to the envelope base as shown. Before gluing in place, check to make sure your sentiment will line up with the pull tab on the envelope flap and position accordingly!

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To assemble the envelope, you’ll need two more pieces of cardstock to form the sides of your envelope. Cut these both at 1″ x 3¼” and then score and fold both in half.

Attach the envelope sides and flap to your envelope base, then fold closed, gluing all pieces to the insides of your envelope.

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Next add your card and use adhesive to close the envelope flap. When adding adhesive to the inside of the envelope flap, be sure to avoid getting adhesive on the pull tab itself!

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There you have it! Have fun adding pull tabs, fringes, and lots of other decorative effects to your artwork using the Decorative Borders Thin Cuts!


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Merry Christmas Card (Vertical)
Z4240 My Acrylix® Oh What Fun—Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7238B Oh What Fun Paper Packet, X7238D Oh What Fun Coordinating Cardstock, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z6503 Mint Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z4216 Raspberry Baker’s Twine, Z4241 Thin Cuts—Decorative Borders

‘Tis the Season Envelope
C1746 My Acrylix® Oh What Fun—Cardmaking Stamp Set, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X5986 Mint Cardstock, Z6507 Clover Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4241 Thin Cuts—Decorative Borders

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Split Stamping Technique

In honor of National Stamping Month, we thought it’d be fun to share with you some stamping techniques on the blog—because no crafter can ever have too many stamping tricks up her sleeve, right? 😉

Today’s post is going to teach you what we call the Split Stamping technique.

This technique is exactly what it sounds like: You split your stamp image. There are a few different ways to do this.

One of the easiest ways is to stamp an image onto a piece of cardstock and then cut it into pieces, like the elephant below.

Split stamping technique #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #techniques #clear #stamps #card

Cutting up an image and reassembling it on your artwork is a unique way to draw more attention to your stamping.

Another way you can “split” your stamp is with masking. Not sure what we mean by “masking”? Masking is when you cover up part of your stamp or paper before stamping an image. Split stamping technique #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #techniques #clear #stamps #card

Here, we attached a strip of cardstock across the center of our card with just a little bit of adhesive so it wouldn’t slide around. Next, we stamped our flowers along the top and bottom of the card, overlapping them slightly with the strip. We then carefully peeled off the cardstock strip, removed any leftover adhesive with our Rub & Remove™ eraser, painted our flowers, and then stamped our sentiment.

For a more advanced spin on this technique, try incorporating the piece of cardstock you use for the masking!

Split stamping technique #closetomyheart #ctmh #stamping #techniques #clear #stamps #card

For this card, we cut both pieces of White Daisy cardstock, attached the smaller piece to the center of the larger piece with a little bit of adhesive, and then stamped our flowers over both pieces. Next, we carefully separated the smaller piece of cardstock from the larger one, painted our flowers, and popped the piece up on Bashful cardstock with 3-D foam tape. To add even more dimension, we also stamped some of the blossoms on scrap paper, painted them, trimmed them out, and then attached them over the matching blossoms with 3-D foam tape.

What do you think of the Split Stamping technique? Tell us in the comments below! And be sure to follow the blog all month long to see even more stamping techniques! 🙂


Recipes

4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Congrats Card (Vertical)
D1726 My Acrylix® Sweet Baby Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3361 Whimsy Ribbon Pack, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Best Wishes Card (Horizontal)
D1747 My Acrylix® Happily Ever After Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4014 White & Gold Twine, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ So Happy for You Card (Vertical)
C1693 My Acrylix® Many Congratulations Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5941 Bashful Cardstock, X5953 Charcoal Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

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More than Just a Moment of Recognition for Mothers

She did it, and she did it without complaint. She did it for free. She did it when she was tired. She did it when she was overwhelmed. She did it and then did it again. The woman to whom you owe your life did everything—and it was all for you.

Now it’s that special time of year when you have a whole day devoted to simply saying “thank you” to your amazing mother—or grandmother, aunt, sister, friend, or any other motherly figure—for being in your life. We’re here to help you do it in a way she’ll always remember.

What’s our secret? The My Acrylix® Flowers for Mom stamp set (B1473)—also available as the Flowers for Mum stamp set (B1474). With this set, you can grace all your artwork for this special day with an extra touch of love.

My Acrylix® Flowers for Mom stamp set

 

Your mother has devoted her life to giving you memories, so a fitting gift would be scrapbook pages full of your memories of her! Cards, too, give a special mom in your life the opportunity to glimpse the ripples her loving care has created across generations.

Mother's Day artwork

A single sentiment from this set sums up perfectly the influence a mother has on another human soul: “Because of you, I am me.” Could there be a more touching way to tell your mother that a piece of her lives on in you?

Mothers deserve to hear that they’re doing their job well on more than one day of the year. Giving her a little artwork that she can display in her home all year long will be like telling her how much she means to you every single day. It’s a tiny way to repay her for all of those sleepless nights and messy bedrooms. It may seem small, but to her it means everything. So this Mother’s Day, give her everything!

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