Tips for Creating Embellishment Clusters!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Follow along with us, today, as we give you an inside scoop into our creative process for designing and creating embellishment clusters of your own!

Embellishment clusters are large, sometimes intricate, paper accent pieces that are capable of standing on their own but can also be incorporated into larger projects, like scrapbook layouts, cards, or gift bags. We call these accents embellishment clusters because we are essentially putting several individual embellishments together, in a cluster.

While there are no set rules on where to begin creating these clusters, and there is no right or wrong way to proceed, we do have a few guidelines and tips to get you get you started on a successful creative experience!

1. Stick to a Color Scheme

When you first start designing an embellishment cluster, we recommend that you stick to a specific color scheme and spice it up with a complementary color or more neutral shade here and there. When you work off of a set color palette, it’s easier to focus your creative energy more effectively, and you’re more likely to end up with an embellishment cluster you really love!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #shakerwindow

This shaker window cluster is a great example of how to create around a color scheme. By focusing on cool shades of blue, throwing in a couple of green hues, and incorporating a few neutral tones, the elements of this embellishment cluster effectively harmonize with each other for a beautifully coordinated result!

2. Use a Variety of Paper and Cardstock Options

Incorporating different types of paper not only brings variety in patterns but in texture as well. Using our unique patterned papers next to our heavier, solid-colored cardstock helps to bring a nice variance to embellishment clusters.

If you’re looking to keep things a little simpler with the embellishment cluster itself, you can also consider saving more textured elements for the background.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting

With the card shown above, we kept things a little simpler overall and created exclusively with cardstock. Rather than featuring textured elements on the embellishment cluster itself, we used a large Thin Cuts die and two coordinating cardstock colors to create a gorgeous textured backdrop for this simple embellishment cluster!

3. Layer, Layer, Layer!

A great embellishment cluster often includes a few layers and dimension. Even a simple embellishment cluster should have at least one layered element to make sure it stands out from whatever background you may end up putting it on.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #youmakemesmile

With this embellishment cluster, we made sure to create multiple layers so it will have some extra pop once it’s placed on a scrapbook page. (Using dimensional adhesives, like 3-D foam tape, are a great way to ensure that your embellishment clusters have added dimension, as well!)

4. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Incorporating this photography technique into your embellishment clusters is a great way to ensure that they remain balanced and can even help to simplify your design process. If you’re unfamiliar with what the rule of thirds entails, it’s basically the process of dividing your subject or scene into three distinct sections, making sure that each one is visually balanced with the others.

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #bloomandgrow #bloom&grow

With this embellishment cluster, imagine that there’s a 3″ x 3″ grid over it. With this imaginary grid applied, you’ll notice that the butterfly and floral accents are fairly close to intersection points on the grid, while the stamped “Bloom & GROW” title occupies the center square. By distributing the butterfly accent, stamped title, and floral accent in this way, it ensures that the entire cluster remains balanced. (Check out our photo composition blog post for a more in-depth explanation about the rule of thirds.)

5. Be Flexible

When it comes to crafting, you don’t always have to use crafting materials for their intended purpose. Take a look at this cute little cluster, for instance:

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #ohhappyday

The envelope you see here was actually created using a stitched hexagon Thin Cuts die, folding the sides of the cut hexagon shape into its center! Re-purposing die-cut shapes, incorporating paper scraps, and even trimming patterns or icons from other patterned papers for use in an embellishment cluster is an excellent way to make sure your work stays fresh, fun, and completely unique!

6. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Once you find a design, color combination, or shape pairing you love, stick with it for a few more embellishment clusters! This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to re-make the same identical embellishment cluster over and over again. Simply switching out a single element can make a huge difference!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #Easteregghunt #Easter #welcomespring

If a single, simple change isn’t doing enough, you can do a more drastic re-design while retaining the overall shape and combination of elements. These two shaker window clusters are a prime example of how different colors, patterns, and stamped images can be incorporated into a pre-existing design for a beautiful, brand-new result!

Embellishment Clusters #closetomyheart #ctmh #embellishmentclusters #paperaccents #cardmaking #scrapbooking #papercrafting #shakerwindow #sunnydaysahead #youaremyluckycharm

Another way to work smarter is to think about future crafts and prepare for them while you’re in your creative zone! If you use a Thin Cuts metal die to cut an element for an embellishment cluster, cut a few more for future use! If you use a Cricut Design Space™ file to create your cluster, make sure to save it so you can return to it the next time you want to create a beautiful embellishment cluster!

There’s no hard-fast way to create embellishment clusters, but by holding yourself to a few basic guidelines like these, you can fast-track your creativity and make absolutely gorgeous embellishments that are completely unique to you!

How have you been using embellishment clusters? If this a brand-new concept to you, what’s the first thing you want to create with an embellishment cluster?


Recipes:

5″ x 3″ Party Time Shaker Window
Z3931 Kitchen Gnomes Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1867 My Acrylix® Best Wishes All Around Stamp Set, C1886 My Acrylix® Cheers My Dears Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5968 Lagoon Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3831 Peeled Paint Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, X7267E Eat Play Love Wood Shapes, Z3875 Black Bursts, Z3784 Bright Bitty Beads, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z4304 Silver Loose Sequins, Z2900 Silver Star Confetti, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2515 Earth Brown Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2479 Gold Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2510 Ice Grey Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2498 True Black Marker, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

4¼” x 5½” Hello Lovely Card (Vertical)
C1889 My Acrylix® Cherry Blossoms Stamp Set, X6055 Desert Rose Cardstock, X5960 Fern Cardstock, X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3825 Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3639 Scalloped Circle Thin Cuts, Z3693 Floral Background Thin Cuts, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3560 Golden Rod Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2512 Muted Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2496 Pale Pink TriBlend™ Marker, Z2530 Pale Pink Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3¾” x 3¾” Welcome Spring Embellishment
D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X6044 Peach Cardstock, X5958 Peacock Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3830 Mustard Seed Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3688 Stitched Scalloped Brackets Thin Cuts, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3874 Springtime Flower Sequins, Z2524 Aqua Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2483 Light Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2520 Yellow Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3¾” x 3¾” Easter Egg Hunt Embellishment
D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, X7267B Eat Play Love Paper Packet, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5960 Fern Cardstock, X5958 Peacock Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3825 Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, Z3874 Springtime Flower Sequins, Z4259 Stitched Square Frames Thin Cuts, Z3688 Stitched Scalloped Brackets Thin Cuts, Z3562 Silver Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Cricut® Artbooking Collection, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
#M46110

12″ x 12″ You Make Me Smile Page
Z3932 Daisy Meadows Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3765 So Happy Together Stamps + Thin Cuts, D1988 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, C1889 My Acrylix® Cherry Blossoms Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X5960 Fern Cardstock, X5959 New England Ivy Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3686 Stitched Fancy Brackets, Z4235 Gold Loose Sequins, Z2496 Pale Pink TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2530 Pale Pink Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2520 Yellow Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, Sewing Machine

2″ x 3⅜” Bloom & Grow Tag
D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6502 Peach Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3831 Peeled Paint Distress Oxide™ Ink Pad, X7266E Daisy Meadows Dots, Z4054 Gold Embellishing Thread, Z3869 Wood Hearts, Z3726 Tags & Tabs Thin Cuts, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2477 Tan TriBlend™ Marker, Z2525 Vintage Blue TriBlend™ Marker, Z3515 Black Journaling Pen (.01), Z3886 Mini Ink Blending Tool, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, ¼” Hole Punch

3½” x 3″ Oh Happy Day Envelope

Z3939 Besties—Lucy Stamp + Thin Cuts, Z3937 Besties—Olivia Stamp + Thin Cuts, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, D1999 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—April Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), X6044 Peach Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3678 Stitched Hexagons Thin Cuts, Z2489 Blue Turquoise TriBlend™ Marker, Z2523 Blue Turquoise Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2476 Fair Skin TriBlend™ Marker, Z2479 Gold Brown TriBlend™ Marker, Z2516 Gold Brown Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3½” Sunny Days Ahead Shaker Window

B1734 My Acrylix® Sunny Days Ahead Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, D2009 My Acrylix® Be the Good Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z6521 Sundance Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Set, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z3677 Gold Star Confetti, Z3784 Bright Bitty Beads, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2418 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2519 Gold Yellow TriBlend™ Marker, Z2488 Green Turquoise TriBlend™ Marker, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine

3½” You’re My Lucky Charm Shaker Window
Z3929 Be the Good Stamp + Thin Cuts, C1867 My Acrylix® Best Wishes All Around Stamp Set, D1998 My Acrylix® Months of the Year—March Stamp Set, X9026 Mix-in Paper Packet (March–April), 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2849 Peacock Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4189 Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3783 Bold Bitty Beads, Z3677 Gold Star Confetti, Z4309 Circle Shaker Window Thin Cuts, Z4310 Circle Shaker Window Foam + Acetate, Z2475 Brown Grey TriBlend™ Marker, Z2481 Coral TriBlend™ Marker, Z2518 Coral Shades TriBlend™ Marker, Z2486 Dull Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2487 Jade Green TriBlend™ Marker, Z2089 Glue Dots® Micro Dots, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Die-cutting & Embossing Machine, Cricut® Basic Shapes

Cricut® Shape:
Basic Shapes
#M369879

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Vision Boards for Intentional Living

We have the perfect project to help inspire and motivate us this new year as we strive to live intentionally—vision boards!

Our Maker community recently created 12″ × 12″ vision boards using our custom wood frames and we’re loving how each turned out so uniquely beautiful!

A vision board helps you clarify and stay focused on what truly matters to you. What inspires us most about this concept is that everyone chooses different images, photos, ephemera, etc., to help represent their goals. When you mix in beautiful patterned papers, stamps that provide inspiration, and photos you can print in any size, you have no limits to the creative expression of your vision.

Here are a few examples of what our team created. Each person was given the same collection of basic supplies, yet their boards are all so different, just like their creators.

This 12″ × 12″ framed vision was created using half of one of our scrapbook patterns (Make It from Your Heart Vol. 1, pattern 4) with a mix of stamping, handwriting, and, of course, bling—achieving that perfect blend of clean images and personal touches! The outer frame was stained using a stamp pad and sponge, adding color while still showing the wood grain.

This layout uses SVG cut files mixed with stamping and stickers to create a large title. Tags and polaroid-like frames help bring emphasis to the elements on the page. Remember, if you don’t have a photo of your aspirations, the internet is your friend! You can find any image and print them just as you would a photo to help you document your vision. This frame was covered with a light color of Distress Oxide™ ink to give a more solid coverage to the wood.

This board uses the awesome collage template found at Persnickety Prints. Paired with our Multi Circle Windows Thin Cuts, you can create a template of your photos and frame it with this versatile die-cut shape. Use the negative space circles from the die to create a banner for added detail. This concept lets you put small images as one focal point in your frame and create a reference list to support it. We colored the wood frame and a few wood embellishments with Gloss Spray, which added intense color as well as a little shimmer.

This next idea makes the pattern paper really shine! We love using the retro polaroid style to make photos pop off the page. This was done with an SVG file, but you can easily print from Pernsickety’s 3″ × 4″ retro prints for the perfect uniform display of your photos and goals. Mix in some stamped sentiments for inspiration, and make things happen!

This last idea uses four 12″ x 12″ frames to create one large wall display. This multi-frame approach allows you to focus each quadrant on a different subject. Here, we’ve set goals for family history, creativity, home, travel and fitness. Look at all the ways the various photo print sizes can be used to help you visualize your goals. These frames were painted with black acrylic paint.

We hope these creative displays we shared for our 2021 visions will inspire you to create one for yourself. Manifesting your vision through photos paired with written words truly help realize what is possible. Putting a beautiful collection together will undoubtedly inspire you to create the life you desire for the new year!

Check out our very own Jill Broadbent talking about these beautiful boards with out friends in Studio 5!

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5 Ways to Get Out of a Creative Rut and Get Inspired

We’ve all been there. No matter how much we enjoy creating, eventually there comes a time where we find that our creative juices are anything but flowing. It is nothing to feel bad about. Lulls come and go and are part of the creative process. However inevitable these ruts may be, we do at least have some control over how long we allow ourselves to stay in them. Below are five suggestions to get out of that brain-lock and find your muse.

  1. Carve out a creative space.

Workspace Wonder™ Organization #ctmh #closetomyheart #workspacewonder #work #space #wonder #organization #organisation #system #storage #solution #stacking #declutter #papercrafting #paper #craft #crafting #diy #cardmaking #scrapbooking

Dedicate a physical place for your crafting and take the time to nest. Make it a place that reminds you of how much you love scrapbooking or cardmaking (or both!) and why. While craft rooms can be fabulous, this creative space doesn’t have to be an entire room. A desk or a table work just as well. Include quotes, photos, finished projects, supplies—whatever supports your creative energy. Once your place is all set up, don’t let it get stale. Keep wanting to spend time there by keeping it up with a cute new pillow, or quote, or photos, etc. Make this the place you physically go to, and want to go to, when you work on your art.

A physical place is just the beginning of a creative space. Before going to your place, make sure your mind is going with you, too! Clear your mind of stresses to make room for new ideas to sprout and grow. Everyone does this a little bit differently. For some, going on a walk or a drive does the trick. Others may require locking the door, turning on some music, and dancing without inhibitions. Whatever your process, do your best to clear your mind and stay present before you sit down to create.

  1. Show up.

You’ve carved out a creative space, both physically and mentally. Now, the next thing is to show up. Set time aside for the thing that you love and make it the thing to do at that time. Add it to your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. The important thing is that you include it in your routine and that you actually take the time to do it. Even if you don’t have a project that you are currently working on, feed your creativity. Sit down in your place and create something. Remove the pressure of creating for a specific reason. You create because you love to.

  1. Try something new.

Enhance your creativity by doing things differently from time-to-time.

sistine-chapel-ceiling

Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time, always thought of himself as a sculptor and not a painter. When he was commissioned to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel he tried turning it down but was eventually persuaded otherwise. (Aren’t you glad?) Up until that commission, Michelangelo had never painted in fresco or even used color in any of his art.

Just like Michelangelo, you’ll never know what you are capable of if you stick to the same, habitual, never changing methods and ideas. Experiment with new media, new products, and new techniques. Even though you will fail occasionally, you will also have successes.

  1. See what others are up to.

This is the point where we tell you to take your headphones off and connect with the world that is around you. Visit museums and art shows, attend concerts and live theater, flip through magazines, go shopping, eat at your favorite restaurants, and spend time with uplifting people. Allow all of this creative energy to rub off on you and reign it in to use on your art.

  1. Keep an inspiration journal.

Keep a notebook or use your phone to gather and keep ideas that inspire you. You never know when you’ll see something that you just love to look at, for whatever reason—it could be a color combination, an arrangement, a theme, etc. Keep all of these ideas in one place to refer back to often, especially when you’re feeling creatively stuck.

Take a look at these two examples:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal

You’re out shopping for new linens one day when you realize that you can’t stop looking at the arrangement of the wall display. There is something comforting about how neat and organized everything is, so you snap a photo and move on with your errand. Later that week when you sit down in your creative space, you pull out the photo you took and then create the following page for your scrapbook, using the lines created by the shelves as your inspiration:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal #awesomelayout #scrapbooking

On another occasion, you’re flipping through a magazine and see this photo:

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal

You clip the photo (or take a photo of it with your phone) and save it in your inspiration journal. Pulling from the heavy pattern on the wall and smaller items offset to the side, you create a card.

How to Get Out of a Creative Rut #ctmh #closetomyheart #creativerut #creativespace #creativeinspiration #artinspiration #inspiration #inspirationjournal #wildaboutyou

The card is based on the same compositional elements as the photo. There is a heavy pattern in the background, a large sentiment in the front (like the chair), with smaller complements next to it.

We hope that this new year brings lots of creative ideas to you all. And if ever in a rut, review our list above to help you find your inspiration.

What are some things you do to feed your creative energy?


Recipes:

4¼” x 5½” Wild About You Card (Horizontal)
X5999 Charcoal Cardstock, X6027 White Daisy Cardstock, X7241E Picture My Life™ Cards—So Much Happy, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins, Z4221 Mink Twine, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape

12″ x 12″ Awesome Page
X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X5999 Charcoal Cardstock, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

 

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5 DIY Gift Tag Ideas

Gift Tags #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #gift #tag #Christmas #presents #reindeer #rudolph #merry #bright #holiday #wishes #ribbon #mistletoe #snow #santa #tree #nice #naughty #list #red #green #ruby #newenglandivy #gold #glitter #complements #cricut #cutabove

We can think of no better way to dress up a gift than with a personalized handmade tag, so we came up with a quick list of ideas to help up your tag-making game this season!

1. Cricut® Shapes
Gift Tags #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #gift #tag #Christmas #presents #reindeer #rudolph #merry #bright #holiday #wishes #ribbon #mistletoe #snow #santa #tree #nice #naughty #list #red #green #ruby #newenglandivy #gold #glitter #complements #cricut #cutabove

Select a few of your favorite shapes and let your Cricut® machine do the rest! If you need to make a large number of gift tags, using a Cricut® shape is an easy way to get it done.

2. Pocket Cards
Gift Tags #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #gift #tag #Christmas #presents #reindeer #rudolph #merry #bright #holiday #wishes #ribbon #mistletoe #snow #santa #tree #nice #naughty #list #red #green #ruby #newenglandivy #gold #glitter #complements #cricut #cutabove
If you have extra pocket cards, try trimming them into a gift tag. Your pocket cards can become the base paper or even the sentiment!

3. Cut Above® Tag Kit
Gift Tags #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #gift #tag #Christmas #presents #reindeer #rudolph #merry #bright #holiday #wishes #ribbon #mistletoe #snow #santa #tree #nice #naughty #list #red #green #ruby #newenglandivy #gold #glitter #complements #cricut #cutabove

This kit was designed for tag making! Pair these tags with different ribbons, embellishments, and sentiments to change their original look, and voila! You have beautifully unique tags for the beautifully unique people receiving them.

4. Complements
Gift Tags #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #gift #tag #Christmas #presents #reindeer #rudolph #merry #bright #holiday #wishes #ribbon #mistletoe #snow #santa #tree #nice #naughty #list #red #green #ruby #newenglandivy #gold #glitter #complements #cricut #cutabove

Make use of any extra complements you have by sticking them on gift tags!

5. Stamping on Scraps
Gift Tags #ctmh #closetomyheart #diy #gift #tag #Christmas #presents #reindeer #rudolph #merry #bright #holiday #wishes #ribbon #mistletoe #snow #santa #tree #nice #naughty #list #red #green #ruby #newenglandivy #gold #glitter #complements #cricut #cutabove

We all have scraps of paper lying around from bigger projects we’ve worked on in preparation for the holidays. Instead of throwing it away (or hoarding it! J) turn your scraps into little gift tags with some fun stamps and ribbons!

Who knew that so much cuteness could fit into such small pieces of paper! Make your gift giving that much more special this season with some personalized handmade tags!

Share your results with us in the comments below!


Recipe:

Gift Tags
Z4043 Silver & Gold Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, B1574 My Acrylix® I Made This Stamp Set, C1692 My Acrylix® The Thought that Counts Stamp Set, D1744 My Acrylix® Season of Sweetness Stamp Set, Z4048 Cut Above® Card Kit—Merry Everything, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5959 New England Ivy Cardstock, X5975 Cranberry Cardstock, X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet, Z4051 Picture My Life™ Cards—Silver & Gold, Z4050 Picture My Life™ Cards—Beary Christmas, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2835 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7226C Silver & Gold Complements, Z4012 Black Shimmer Ribbon, Z3363 Enchantment Ribbon Pack, Z3364 Basics Ribbon Pack, Z3216 White Twine, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z3344 Thin Cuts—Basic Tags, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Cricut® City Sidewalks Digital Collection, Die-cutting Machine, Hole Punch

Cricut Shapes:
Artistry
2¾” <Thksgvng> (p. 45, #MF644C1)

City Sidewalks (no longer for sale)
1¼” Snowflake (#MF644C1)
1¾” Holly (#MF647BC)

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5 Quick Ways to Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Table!

Dressing a Table #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #thanksgiving #dinner #diy #placemat #pumpkin #paperleaves #napkinband #placesetting

When preparing for Thanksgiving, it seems that one of the most often overlooked aspects of the dinner is the actual place setting. You think of the food—how to prepare it, how to get it all to cook on time, how to keep it all warm. You think of the pies—if it’s the day of the big event and you don’t have a pie, then you’re already too late. Then there’s the guest list—do you admit you’re actually related to all of those crazy people and have them over to your house? ☺

Who has the time to think of a place setting? We do! And we want to share with you how quickly you can put together a few pieces using our Basics Fundamental paper collection that will leave your guests feeling like you’ve been planning this for weeks!

The very first thing that will go on your table (after a tablecloth, if that’s your thing) is a placemat.

Dressing a Table #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #thanksgiving #dinner #diy #placemat

Make a 12″ x 16″ placemat by sewing a 4½” x 12″ piece of coordinating paper to one of our 12″ x 12″ paper sheets. Use the extra ½” to overlap in the back for attaching.

Let your guests know where to sit with a personalized name place pumpkin!

Dressing a Table #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #thanksgiving #dinner #diy #pumpkin #nameplace #name #place #papercraft

This little gourd is easier to make than it looks. First, cut 12 kidney shaped pieces of the same size from the paper of your choice. We created our own template and cut each piece by hand, each measuring approximately 3″ x 4½” (there are also plenty of Cricut® shapes that will fit the bill). Then, score each piece down the middle and start gluing them together, aligning the round edges and leaving the scored part exposed, creating a “book” of sorts.

(These two images are from a different project illustrating the same technique.)

Once all of your pieces are stacked and glued to each other, attach a small straw or dowel to the “binding” and wrap the pumpkin around it, gluing the top and bottom of your stack together, creating the pumpkin shape. Add some embellishments to the top, including your guest’s name, and you’re done!

Next, you will need a napkin band.

Dressing a Table #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #thanksgiving #dinner #diy #napkinband #silverware #grateful

Wrap some Kraft paper around your napkin and utensils to see how big of a piece you will need for your setting. For ours, we used a 2″ x 9″ piece that overlapped about 2″ in the back for easy securing with glue dots. We added a zip strip around the middle before attaching a 2½” circle with a thoughtful stamped sentiment for the guest. (Earn some extra brownie points here by making each sentiment unique to the person reading it!). At this point you can either leave your band as is, for that “minimalist” look, or add some embellishments.

Complete your guest’s dining experience with a few final touches.

Using our trusty Cricut® You Are Here Collection, we cut up a bunch of these 3½” leaves from silver foil, vellum, and patterned paper. Before cutting the foil, we embossed it with our leaves embossing folder to add some textured details. And to add a touch of color to our vellum leaves, we simple used a waterbrush with some watercolor paints. Before you’re ready to scatter these leaves, curl them slightly by wrapping them around your finger or another rounded edge.

Lastly, make a card!

Dressing a Table #ctmh #closetomyheart #holiday #thanksgiving #dinner #diy #gratitude #card #grateful

Make a card for your guests and write a message inside thanking them for coming to your home. Or, use this card as an opportunity for everyone at the table to consider what they are grateful for and have them write it down inside.

There you have it! Five quick ways to dress up your Thanksgiving table!

The holidays can be stressful when trying to make everything look and taste just right. We hope you take a few of these ideas and make them your own, taking some of that stress away and allowing you to enjoy the reason for the season a little bit more.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Recipes

 12″ x 16″ Placemat
X7223B Falling for You Paper Packet, Sewing Machine

Name Place Pumpkin
Z4041 Falling for You Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7223B Falling for You Paper Packet, X7223C Falling for You Complements, Z4029 Bronze Sequins, Z3363 Enchantment Ribbon Pack, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida™ LePen™ Journaling Pen, Pumpkin Template, Straw

 Napkin Band
B1570 My Acrylix® Your Thoughts Here Stamp Set, X7223B Falling for You Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Paper, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7223C Falling for You Complements, Z4029 Bronze Sequins, Z3363 Enchantment Ribbon Pack, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape

Leaves
X7223B Falling for You Paper Packet, Z3366 Silver Foil Paper, Z3367 Vellum Paper, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3224 Waterbrush-Small Round, Z4031 Leaves Embossing Folder, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection

Cricut® Shape:
You Are Here
3½” Icon-4 <a> (p. 21, #M27629BD)

4¼” x 4¼” “Grateful Heart” Card
B1569 My Acrylix® A Grateful Heart Stamp Set, X5946 Linen Cardstock, X5953 Charcoal Cardstock, Z2831 Charcoal Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z4029 Bronze Sequins, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, Z3224 Waterbrush—Small Round, Z2468 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Warm Grey 7 Marker, Z2467 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Warm Grey 4, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2452 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Golden Yellow Marker, Z2457 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marigold Marker, Z2451 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Clay Marker, Z2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange Marker

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Holiday Village

holiday paper village #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhouse #papervillage #wintervillage #papertree #paperlamp #christmasvillage

The winter village on the cover of our Holiday Expressions idea book has been getting a lot of attention, SO we are breaking it down on the blog today for you to make one of your very own!

First things first—to replicate our little paper houses exactly, you will need 3 kraft tapered tote boxes, two 6″ and one 8″ like these:

When we assembled our village, these were readily available at one of our local craft stores, but we’ve found some similar options available online that you can use to get the same look (see the recipes’ below for the links).

Now, let’s take a look at how we transformed these boxes into festive holiday decorations!

 

9″ Sparkle House

Materials Needed:
X7225 Beary Christmas Paper Packet
X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet
1385 White Daisy Cardstock
X7226C Silver & Gold Complements
X7224C Cats & Bats Complements
Z3371 Gold Pearls
Z3348 Thin Cuts—Scallop Border
Z4037 Thin Cuts—Tree Line Border
Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots
Z3372 Adhesive Runner
8″ Kraft Tapered Tote Box
Cotton Ball

Tips:

  1. Use Beary Christmas pocket scrapbooking cards for roof
  2. Trim holly from Beary Christmas zip strip to attach to front windows
  3. Front door is a sticker from Cats & Bats Complements
  4. Use a gold pearl as doorknob
  5. Dovetail “SPARKLE” sticker from Silver & Gold Complements and attach above door
  6. Fold chimney, cut to fit on rooftop, and attach with thin 3-D foam tape
  7. Attach cotton ball to roof inside chimney and pull up to create “smoke”

 

7″ Shine House

Materials Needed:
X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet
1385 White Daisy Cardstock
X7225C Beary Christmas Complements
X7226C Silver & Gold Complements
Z3371 Gold Pearls
Z3312 Gold Shimmer Trim
Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim
Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker
Z3348 Thin Cuts—Scallop Border
Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots
Z3372 Adhesive Runner
6″ Kraft Tapered Tote Box
Cotton Ball

Tips:

  1. Use scallop border Thin Cuts to create the shingled-roof look
  2. Green tree on front is one of the white trees from the Beary Christmas Complements colored with marker
  3. Front door is a trimmed sticker from Silver & Gold Complements
  4. Attach black tree with thin 3-D foam tape
  5. Side shutters are a trimmed sticker from Silver & Gold Complements

 

7″ Bright House

Materials Needed:
X7226B Silver & Gold Paper Packet
1385 White Daisy Cardstock
X5954 Pewter Cardstock
X7225C Beary Christmas Complements
X7226C Silver & Gold Complements
Z3371 Gold Pearls
Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker
Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen Journaling Pen
Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
Z341 Glue Dots® Mini Dots
Z3372 Adhesive Runner
6″ Kraft Tapered Tote Box
Cotton Ball

Tips:

  1. Front door is a trimmed sticker from Silver & Gold Complements
  2. Draw a line with journaling pen to create double doors
  3. Green tree on front is one of the white trees from Beary Christmas Complements colored with marker
  4. Embellish green tree with red glitter stars from Beary Christmas Complements
  5. Attach black tree with thin 3-D foam tape

 

4½” Village Lamp Post

Materials Needed:
Z3366 Silver Foil Paper
1386 Black Cardstock
X7226C Silver & Gold Complements
Z1809 Black Shimmer Trim
Z2060 Thin 3-D Foam Tape
1772 Glue Dots® Ultra-Thin Dots
Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection
4″ Black Dowel
Glue Gun

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
½” Shape <Hlloween> (cut 4, p. 43)
1″ Shape <Hlloween> (cut 2, p. 43)

Tips:

  1. Attach two 1″ silver foil paper circles to dowel by wrapping dowel with thin 3-D foam tape
  2. Attach silver foil circles to each other at top with glue dots
  3. Wrap black shimmer trim to one end of dowel
  4. Glue together four ½” black cardstock circles to form base
  5. Attach dowel to base with glue gun

 

Trees

holiday paper village #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhouse #papervillage #wintervillage #papertree #paperlamp #christmasvillage

Materials Needed:
X7223B Falling for You Paper Packet
X7225D Beary Christmas Paper Packet
Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker
Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
2¾”, 3½”, and 4″ Icon-2 <Christms> (cut 2, p. 48)

Tips:

  1. Trim stars and tree trunks off the Cricut® shapes
  2. Cut slit up the middle of tree shapes and slide them together to stand
  3. Color edges with marker

 

There you have it—our secrets to creating a paper winter wonderland! Please ask questions or share any tips of your own in the comments below!

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Large-scale Inspiration in Small Spaces

One of the perks of having Convention in Salt Lake City this year was the tour of our home office. Those who got to visit our place kept telling us how inspiring it must be to work in such a gorgeous and innovative environment. Well folks, the truth is, it is! If you tuned in to our Facebook Live yesterday, you got an up-close look at the space where Close To My Heart artists create all of the memory keeping and papercrafting artwork you love. It’s a craft room dream come true. We want to show you how to take some of the ideas we used to create this atmosphere back to your own crafting nook so you, too, can be inspired!

The first step in this process is to find what actually inspires you. Look for something great that someone else has made and make it your own. Once you’ve chosen something you like, take a moment to really consider it. What is it at its core? As you think about it, is there anything that clues you into how it was made?

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativityTake a peak into the Close To My Heart foyer. One of the first things visitors see when they walk into our building is this impressive mobile. Created from hundreds of paper hearts in various sizes and shades of pink, this is a breathtaking paper creation.

hearts-317

Because most of us don’t have fifty-foot ceilings to fit such a large décor piece, use this mobile as a starting point. Simplify the project. You can make a small version of this mobile or a banner of hearts that fits any space, including above a desk. The idea is the same—create a decorative piece with different shades of paper hearts, but with smaller and fewer pieces.

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #wallpaperhearts #walldecoration #wallhanging

Let’s take a look inside our art studio.

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #create

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #cricut #flower #banner

These two images show a small sampling of the papercrafting pieces and inspirational quotes our artists have designed to foster an atmosphere of creativity.

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #quote #createthethingsyouwishexisted #create

Here is that same quote found on the wall of our art studio. With a small frame and a handful of small paper flowers, you can showcase something that makes you feel creative while using little space.

You might not have a large space for working on your favorite projects, but you can use what’s around you to beautify your creative space in small ways. Large-scale sayings, banners, and other papercrating décor can be simplified to fit anywhere. You can see how all the parts and pieces came together to fill this desk space with elements of the papercrafting you saw in a much larger scale at the home office.

Large Scale Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #papercrafting #paperhearts #hearts #mobile #inspiration #inspiringcreativity #creativity #craftingspace #flowers #cricut

Have you used large-scale inspiration to put together a crafting space that stimulates your creativity? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Christmas Album Inspiration

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is just around the corner, with Christmas only a little over two months away! To help you get your holiday cheer going (if it isn’t already!), we are sharing a Christmas album with you made entirely from patterns featured in our new how-to book, Make It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3.

 Use the images below as inspiration to make your own layouts. If you’d like to replicate them exactly, look to our supply list at the end of this post. You’ll see that you only need a handful of products, including one of each of the items in our Beary Christmas suite: one paper packet, one set of coordinating cardstock, one set of Complements, one set of dots, and one silver shimmer trim.

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 17 (p. 38)

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmas

Add stamped accents like this one to your pages with the October Stamp of the Month, Christmas Tunes

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart ™, Vol. 3: Pattern 1 (p. 6)

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 4 (p. 12)

 

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 5 (p. 14)

 

 

Christmas Album Inspiration #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #Christmas #album #holiday #family #merry #ornament #reindeer #jolly #tree #wreath #holynight #presents #gifts #bearychristmasMake It from Your Heart™, Vol. 3: Pattern 8 (p. 20)

 

 

Prepare now to preserve all of the wonderful memories the holidays have to offer.

If you plan on making this album, but maybe not until after the craziness of the season, make sure you grab your supplies while they are available! The October Stamp of the Month, featured in several of these pages, is available this month only, while the Beary Christmas suite is only available through December 31, while supplies last.

Keep up with us on the blog all season long to see all the fun things we have in store for you! We are going to do our darndest to make sure you are ready for the holidays this year!

Supply List:

S1710 My Acrylix® Christmas Tunes Stamp Set—only available October 1–31!
X7225B Beary Christmas Paper Packet
X7225D Beary Christmas Coordinating Cardstock
1385 White Daisy Cardstock (4 sheets)
Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
Z2850 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
Z2816 Cranberry Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad
X7225C Beary Christmas Complements
Z4038 Beary Christmas Dots
Z1799 Silver Shimmer Trim
9043 Make It from Your Heart™ Volume 3

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Usher in a New Season

Earlier this year we showed you how to use the Cricut® Flower Market Collection for a springtime monogram. Today we have some artwork that just goes to show that this truly is a collection for all seasons! Take a look at this beautiful wreath celebrating the upcoming fall!

Papercrafting Wreath #papercrafting #cricut #flowermarket #diy #CTHM #closetomyheart #fall #autumn #wreath #paperwreath

Starting with a simple grapevine wreath, we decorated our piece with paper flowers and leaves in stunning fall colors. (Picking our colors was easy—we just turned to our brand new fall-themed paper packets from the Holiday Expressions idea book, which is available for purchase as of September 1.)

When working with Cricut® shapes in your décor, add dimension and life by curling and bending petals and leaves. Add embellishments, like buttons and ribbons, for more textures, details, and volume.

With its changing leaves in rich hues of reds, oranges, and yellows, fall is by far the most colorful season of the year to draw inspiration from. Bring some of those glowing vibrant tones into your home by creating some of your own décor pieces—it’s all about where your creativity takes you!


Recipe

Fall Wreath
Z4041 Falling for You—Cardmaking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7223B Falling for You Paper Packet, X7224B Cats & Bats Paper Packet, X5949 Almond Cardstock, X5951 Espresso Cardstock, X5952 Nutmeg Cardstock, X5965 Ruby Cardstock, Z2832 Pewter Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7223C Falling for You Complements, Z3323 White Burlap Ribbon, Z3385 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Z3389 Cricut® You Are Here Collection, 18″ Grapevine Wreath, Hot Glue Gun

Cricut® Shapes: 
Flower Market
3″ Shift + Icon <J> (cut 8, p. 27, #MD6F435)
4½” <Chrsnthm> (cut 2, p. 47, #MFADEB0)

You Are Here
2½” Icon-4 <a> (cut 18, p. 21, #M27629BD)
2½” Shift + Icon-4 <A> (cut 18, p. 21, #M27629BD)

Numbers starting with #M specify the image number in Cricut Design Space™

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