8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

Gallery walls are a great way to infuse a space with colors and patterns. Not only are they a more affordable way to decorate large walls, but they give us the opportunity to showcase multiple pieces of art in one place and to express who we are and what we love!

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

If you’ve never created a gallery wall before or if you’re looking for ways to update your current gallery walls, here are some tips to help you create a meaningful, cohesive gallery:

  • Decide if you want your gallery to be just pictures and photos or if you want to include dimensional pieces, like wooden shapes, wreaths, etc.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall #cricut

  • Choose a favorite photo or piece of artwork as your starting piece, and then add to your wall by finding pieces that coordinate with your first item.
  • Another way to start is to choose one main color to anchor all the pieces in your gallery, and then create a color scheme around this main color.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littlegirl #girlsroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Rather than searching for the perfect picture frames to coordinate with your artwork, try adding paper to plain picture frames. It’s an easy way to make everything match!
  • Hang your picture frames both horizontally and vertically for variety.
  • Add personal touches to your gallery, like a monogram, scrapbook page, or favorite family quote.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Use a variety of shapes and dimensions, as well as picture frame sizes, to create a well-balanced look.

8 Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall #closetomyheart #ctmh #littleboy #boysroom #homedecor #tips #gallery #wall

  • Lay out your gallery on the floor before hanging it on the wall. You’ll easily be able to move around pieces until you get the look you want, and then you can take a photo to reference when hanging the gallery up on the wall. Want to be even more precise? Trace the pieces of your gallery on scrap paper, cut them out, and hang them on the wall to see how they look before attaching the actual pieces.

And maybe most of all, make sure you have fun! Gallery walls are a great way to get in touch with your creative side. Now go get crafty! 🙂


Recipes

“Xander” Gallery Wall
X7222B Jack Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, 1386 Black Cardstock, 1388 Colonial White Cardstock, X5927 Ruby Cardstock, X7222C Jack Complements, Z3314 Black & White Dots, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Sewing Machine, Thread, Frames, Wooden Arrow, Letter Form

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
2 1/2″ <font> “XANDER”

Floral Hanger Gallery Wall
Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals Paper Packet, X7220B No Worries Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals Paper Packet, X5777 Fern Cardstock, 1282 New England Ivy Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5772 Canary Cardstock, X5763 Smoothie Cardstock, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3295 My Crush® Artistic You Pages, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Frames, Letter Form, Ikea Hanger

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
4 1/2″, 4″, 3 1/2″, and 3″ Shift+Icon <J> (p. 27)
1″ Shift <Hibiscus> (p. 30)
2″ <Rose> (p. 42)*
3 1/2″, 2″, and 1 1/2″ <Poppy> (p. 45)*
3 1/2″, 2″, and 1 1/2″ Shift <Poppy> (p. 45)*
1 1/2″ <Daisy> (cut 2, p. 46)*
1 1/2″ Shift <Daisy> (cut 2, p. 46)*

*Real Dial Size off

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New Spins on Old Techniques

Like the world of fashion, trends in papercrafting are always changing. One day it’s all about brads and buttons and the next it’s all about sparkles and shimmer!

Just because an artistic technique or aesthetic may no longer be “on trend” doesn’t mean that you can’t still use it. You just need to freshen it up!

To show you what we mean, we dug through our archives to find artwork created with some old-school techniques. We then asked our artists to create new artwork using these same techniques…with a modern-day spin!

They’ve come up with some amazing alterations to these techniques that will make your artwork amazing!

Old Technique:

Distressing the edges of your titles with ink. Remember when we did this for everything? Distress all the things! 🙂

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Instead of distressing your titles, try stamping them using the rock n’ roll technique. It keeps your edges clean, which is the new trend, but just like distressing, it gives your titles dimension and color variation.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Old Technique:

Ripping and inking your edges, aka, making your artwork look like it’s 100 years old. And remember how burned edges were such a thing? Ripping and inking your edges with black ink mimicked that trend, which you can see on the card below.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Instead of inking your ripped edges, try leaving your ripped edges un-inked and inking your clean edges instead, using a color other than black or brown! The key is subtlety! You can see we added some faint pink inking to the edges of the pink paper here. It helps to add some depth to the paper without screaming “I’m distressed!”

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Old Technique:

Stippled titles. Remember this one? You’d spell out your title with stickers, make a million little dots over the stickers with a marker, and then peel off your stickers to reveal your finished title.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

New Spin:

Watercolored titles. Instead of stippling over your stickers with a marker, paint over them with a wide paintbrush and some watercolor paint. We used this technique with a “hello” sticker from our Springtime Complements to create the title below.

New spins on old papercrafting techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #learn #technique #scrapbooking #papercrafting

Pretty neat, right?

Just because papercrafting trends change doesn’t mean you need to throw out your bag of tricks. All you need to do is find a way to make your old tricks feel new again!

Which spin is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!


Recipes

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Welcome Baby Card (Horizontal)
C1668 My Acrylix® Baby Bundle Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, 1292 Crystal Blue Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Embossing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Flower Market
1″ Shift+Title <?> (p. 8)
1 ½” Shift_Title <R> (cut 4, p. 14)
 

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Happy Birthday Card (Vertical)
B1537 My Acrylix® Birthday Sparkles Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
2 ¼” Flower-2 <7> (p. 7)
 

12″ x 12″ Hello Page
CC1219 Swirly Seashells Stamp + Thin Cuts, x7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor PaperZ3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3307 Springtime ComplementsZ3216 White Twine, Z3089 Grey Enamel Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, 3505 Watercolor Pencils, Z3285 Cricut® Flower Market Collection, Pen

Cricut® Shape:
Flower Market
2 ½” Flower-2 <7> (p. 7)

 
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Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations!

If we’re going to talk about mixing and matching papers, we have to start by talking about our Fundamentals! In a nutshell, each of our color palettes has coordinating Fundamental papers, and these papers feature a variety of single-color paper designs. You can think of them the same way you think of cardstock: You have single-color patterns in each of our exclusive colors that you can use any time you are working with a given color.

We’ve created the Fundamentals so that they can be used as both stand-alone paper packets and be mixed in with themed paper packets, like those in our seasonal idea books. If the thought of trying to mix your Fundamentals with a different paper packet makes you nervous, we’re here to walk you through it, step by step!

Step One: Find the themed paper packet you want to work with. Let’s start with Little Dreamer as an example.Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howtoStep Two: Look up the featured colors in this paper packet. They’re listed in a few places: on the zip strip at the very top of your papers, in the idea book, and on our website when you’re viewing the paper packet in online shopping.

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Step Three: Choose which color you want to add more of to your artwork. Then it’s as simple as finding that specific color in the Fundamental paper packets, and using that paper in your artwork!

Not sure which colors are in each Fundamental paper packet? No problem! They are listed in your idea book and online, just like you can see with the Little Dreamer paper packet above!

For example, let’s say you’re working with Little Dreamer. You see that Thistle is one of the featured colors, and you would like to add more of it to your artwork.

Thistle is part of the Whimsy color palette, so you can pull out your Whimsy Fundamental paper packet, find the Thistle designs, and add them to the other papers you’re going to be using.

Can you spot the Thistle Fundamental paper on this layout?

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

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How about now? 🙂

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

It matches perfectly, right? There’s also Lagoon Fundamental paper here.

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Here are some other examples where we’ve mixed Fundamental papers with themed papers:

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

No Worries paper packet + Rustic Home Fundamentals neutral chevron paper and linen paper + Adventure Fundamentals Lagoon paper

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Prickly Pear paper packet + Whimsy Fundamentals Sorbet paper + Enchantment Fundamentals Sapphire paper

Try This Technique for Mixing Up Your Paper Combinations! #ctmh #closetomyheart #paper #scrapbooking #tips #techniques #howto

Jack paper packet + Rustic Home Fundamentals neutral linen paper and wood paper+ Uptown Fundamentals black plus-sign paper + Enchantment Fundamentals Ruby paper

Now you certainly don’t have to follow these steps to mix and match papers. You can always just grab patterns and colors that look good together (our artists do it all the time!). But if you haven’t tried going free-style before, or if just the thought of it is enough to scare you, following these steps is a good place to start.

Questions? Leave them in the comments below! 🙂


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Believe In Yourself Layout
C1660 My Acrylix® Happy for You Stamp Set, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3253 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3321 Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ XOXO Layout
X7220B No Worries Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3253 Adventure Fundamental Paper Packet,  Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, X7220C No Worries Complements, Z3322 No Worries SequinsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ Enjoy Today Layout
X7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamental Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5775 Sapphire Cardstock, X5789 Sea Glass Cardstock, Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, X7221C Prickly Pear ComplementsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen

12″ x 12″ Happy Camper Layout
X7222B Jack Paper Packet, Z3254 Enchantment Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3262 Rustic Home Fundamental Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamental Paper Packet, X7222C Jack Complements, Z3314 Black & White Dots

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Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique

Just over a week ago, we released our latest idea book—Seasonal Expressions 2! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can look through an online version or even download it as a PDF here. We know you’ll love it!

One of the paper collections in this idea book is called Little Dreamer, and it’s all about unicorns, magic, and dreams…which got us thinking about a certain sponging technique we love that adds a dream-like magic to all your artwork. Since it is so perfect for this collection, we just had to share it with you!

In a nutshell, here’s the technique: Use titles or shapes cut with your Cricut® machine or with Thin Cuts metal dies as stencils for sponging ink onto your pages.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

First, use a bit of adhesive to attach your title or shape to the page. Next use a sponge dauber or the round sponge to add ink over your title or shape, and then fade the ink into your paper. Once the ink is dry, carefully remove your stencil (if there is any adhesive residue, it’s a cinch to remove with our Rub & Remove™ eraser).

For our artwork, we found it worked best to use both the round sponge and sponge daubers. We used a sponge dauber for a more concentrated look, like you can see immediately around our title, and then the round sponge for fading the ink into the page.

Sponging Tip: If you haven’t used a round sponge before, you’ll want to cut out a pie-shaped wedge from the sponge rather than using the entire sponge. That way your sponging will be more precise, and you can get more use out of your sponge!

We recommend playing with the round sponge and sponge daubers, as well as various amounts of ink, on some scratch paper before sponging onto your artwork.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

This stenciling technique is a great way to create unique backgrounds for your artwork. For this page, we attached three clouds to the page and sponged around them. After allowing the ink to dry, carefully removing the clouds, and removing any adhesive, we cut three more clouds and sponged around the edges. Then we popped them up with 3-D tape to give the page dimension. The final look sure is dreamy!

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

You can incorporate multiple colors into your stenciling! Here we used a scalloped piece for our stencil, and then sponged on a rainbow of colors. There are SO many possibilities!

We hope this post has inspired you to try stenciling on your artwork. It really is such a fun way to get in touch with your inner artist!

Which page is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂

Recipes

 12″ x 12″ You Make the World Sweet Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3321 Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
1″ Shift+Background <K> (p. 28)

12″ x 12″ Find Your Rainbow Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Thread, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Shift+Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)

12″ x 12″ Believe in Yourself Page
X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2853 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
8″ Shift+Photo Mat 1 <S> (p. 59)

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One Awesome Stamp, Four Incredible Looks!

When you find a stamp you love, you tend to use it over and over (and over) again—we get it! 😉 Today we’re sharing some fun ideas to showcase one stamp in four different ways so it’s not the exact same every time. To show you what we mean, we’re going to use the darling “HELLO” stamp from our Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking stamp set.

The following stamping techniques range in skill levels—try them all to find your favorite!

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

When going for a saturated and vibrant look, especially in small details, ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ markers are an excellent choice. They are bright, smudge-proof, and, because they are alcohol-based, they are easy to blend. The fine tip on each marker is ideal for coloring intricate images, like those flowers and leaves in our stamp. To ensure a crisp outline of your stamped image, use our permanent Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad. Unlike other inks, Archival Black won’t smear or smudge when you apply color.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

For a softer  look, use watercolors! Once again, stamp your image using Archival Black ink. Because this ink is waterproof, it won’t run when you apply your paint. In this example, we used a fine tip brush to color the small details.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

Ready to add some texture? Try embossing! For those of you who are new to this technique, embossing powder is a special powder that, when heated, melts to form a raised surface. To start, stamp your image using the VersaMark™ ink pad (embossing ink), which will create a clear, wet-looking print of your stamp. While the ink is still wet, cover it with embossing powder and carefully shake off any excess. In our example, we used white embossing powder to make our image pop on the colored cardstock. Use a craft heater to dry and seal your design. Craft heaters blow extremely hot air with a low air current, which keeps the powder from blowing right off—hair dryers are not a good substitute!

After your powder is set, add some shimmer using our gold and clear shimmer brushes. When you use these, prep your brush before you do! You want to squeeze your brush over scrap paper until the shimmery liquid comes out. Keep brushing it on the paper until you get the consistency you want on your brush before coloring in those details.

4 awesome stamping techniques #ctmh #closetomyheart #stamping #scrapbooking #embossing #how #diy #tips #tricks

Okay, here’s technique we’re really excited to share! Did you know that you can pair our Exclusive Inks™ mini pigment pads with clear embossing powder to emboss in any color you want? Yes, really! Stamp an image with your choice of pigment ink, cover it with clear embossing powder, and then set it with your craft heater! It’s that simple! You can match all of our exclusive colors perfectly using this last technique!

Of course there are many more ways to customize a stamp. That’s the best thing about finding a great stamp—you can use it again and again without it being identical each time. Give these techniques a try and have fun dolling up your current fave. 🙂

Recipes

Hello—Markers
D1714  My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2453 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Lavender Marker, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2455 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Light Orange Marker, Z2459 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Pastel Green Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker

Hello—Watercolors
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3271 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set

Hello—Embossed
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X5776 Peacock Cardstock, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2068 Ranger™ White Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater, Z3293 Shimmer Brush—Clear, Z3316 Shimmer Brush—Gold

Hello—Embossed Pigment
D1714 My Acrylix® Dreamin’ Big—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2507 Sea Glass Exclusive Inks™ Mini Pigment Pad, Z2088 Ranger™ Clear Super Fine Embossing Powder, Z555 Craft Heater

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Shading Flowers with Watercolors

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Today is National Floral Design Day, and to celebrate, we want to share with you a fun watercolor technique for getting beautifully shaded flowers, like those on this card from our Seasonal Expressions 1 idea book.

Step One

Mix your favorite watercolor paints with water to create a mixture that has roughly the same consistency as milk. Then, using an ink color of your choice, stamp your flowers. We stamped ours with Whisper ink.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Two

Paint a light coat of your watercolor mixture onto your first flower, covering the entire surface.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

Step Three

Mix a darker shade of the same color, and start adding it to just the “shaded” areas of the flower. You want to add it as a thick line. It won’t look pretty and blended yet, but that’s the look you want for this step!

Not sure where to add shading? A good general rule is to shade the edges of the petals that are closest to the center of the flower. If you prefer, you can also look at real photos of flowers online and follow the shading you see there. Continue to step four before the paint has dried.

Step Four

Rinse out your brush. Using a small amount of clean water, gently blend the color out toward each petal’s edge without going all the way to the edge. Allow to dry.

How to shade your stamped flowers using watercolors #watercolors #watercolortechniques #howto #painting #crafting #cardmaking #wedding #bridalshower #ctmh #closetomyheart

That’s the gist of the technique! Repeat for any additional flowers and leaves that you want!

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when painting with your watercolors:

  • You’ll notice we didn’t use our waterproof Archival Black ink to stamp this image. You can use dye-based inks when coloring with watercolors, but you’ll want to be careful not to touch the edges of the stamp image with your brush or else it will make the ink bleed.
  • If using dye-based ink, we recommend using a lighter color. That way if there is any slight bleeding, it will not be too noticeable. A lighter color also draws the eye to the watercoloring of the flowers rather than the outline of the flowers.
  • If you want a “no line” look, you can use a light ink color and carefully color the lines completely. If you like to see the lines though, you can reinforce the stamp image by stamping the image again after the paint is completely dry. Both methods have their own beauty.

Happy painting!

Recipe

4¼” × 5½” You’re Invited Card (Vertical)
X7216B Hello Lovely Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2872 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3313 Blush Shimmer Ribbon, Z3312 Gold Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set, Z3301 Hello Lovely Cardmaking Thin Cuts Bundle (includes stamp set C1670), Z2046 Piercing & Embossing Tool Kit, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z3247 Simple Chevron Embossing Folder, Embossing/Die-cutting Machine, Thread

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To the Person Who Says She Isn’t “Crafty”…

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #wedding #gifts

We get it. It’s easy to write yourself off as “not crafty” when it seems like others turn anything they touch into crafting magic. We’re talking about the mom in your kid’s class who somehow turned packaged brownies into reindeer, and even came up with a pun to tie the whole ensemble together; the neighbor who has 20 scrapbooks for each kid, grandkid, and pet; the Facebook friend who spontaneously refinished her kitchen table and chairs over the weekend. We all know the type. 🙂

Whether you see these “crafting queens” and envy them for their talents or just think to yourself, “ain’t nobody got time for that,” we want to help you see crafting in a new light…because it’s really so much more than what you see (and it really doesn’t have to be that hard!).

We’ve come up with 11 reasons you should give crafting a second chance in 2017.

1. You don’t have to go all out. Forget the Joneses, and do your own thing!

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #scrapbooking #pocket

Lots of us get our crafting ideas from Pinterest, but it can be pretty intimidating to try to replicate those picture-perfect projects. Just remember your project doesn’t have to be perfect—or even that fancy! Crafting is all about making something your own and finding out what works for you!

2. You don’t have to be the jack of all trades.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #smoresbar #partyideas

Even though Suzy Scrapbooker is also Suzy Sews-A-Lot, it doesn’t mean YOU have to do it all, too. Just take that leap of faith and try ONE type of crafting you might like. If you fall head over heels, don’t forget crafting monogamy is perfectly fine. 😉

3. It’s more about the purpose behind the craft than the actual craft.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #gift #ideas #package

Crafting is about so much more than just, well, crafting. It’s about tapping into your creativity, preserving and making memories, showing someone you care—and taking care of yourself! It’s a great way to lower your stress levels, along with a bunch of other health benefits. That’s why it doesn’t really matter if what you make is perfect or not—perfection is not the point!

4. You might discover more about yourself.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #diy #paper #flowers #bouquet #wedding

Trying a new hobby, like crafting, is a great way to learn more about yourself. As you think critically about how you want to approach a project and research ideas online, you learn more about what you like and don’t like—and you may even discover your own niche!

5. You can strengthen your relationships, old and new!

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #card #kit

The great thing about crafting is that you can do it with people. If you’re always looking to meet new people, try attending a local workshop, crop, or class. You could also create your own crafting support group by inviting family members, friends, and neighbors to join you—whether that is your mom, sister, the widow next door, or your high school bestie that you’ve been meaning to spend more time with lately. Crafting can become more enjoyable and meaningful when you do it with those you love.

6. You can save money.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #wreath #kit #paper #succulents #home #decor

Now don’t get us wrong, you can certainly spend lots of money on crafting if it’s your passion (though your husband certainly doesn’t need to know that 😉 ). But you can also save a lot of money by making things yourself! From home décor to handmade cards, you can make something your own AND save some moolah in the process.

7. It can help you slow down.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #fathersday #gift #homemadeIs it just us, or is life just getting busier and busier? With the fast-paced nature of our lives, it’s nice to take some time to unplug and make something with your hands. It forces you to slow down and think about something else besides your never-ending to-do list.

8. It’s a great way to “treat yo self.”

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #visionboard #howto #vision #board #2017

Is there a project you’ve seen on Pinterest that seems really cool? Give it a go! You deserve a little “me” time. 😉 And again, just because you do one type of crafting doesn’t mean you have to instantly become “the crafty mom.” Keep your kids’ school projects and parties simple if that’s your style, but maybe try making something for yourself or home instead.

9. There is more help than you think.

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #scrapbooking #kit #baby

From YouTube to blogs, there is basically an online tutorial for anything you want to learn! However, if you prefer learning in-person, there are lots of companies, including ours, with Consultants who can give you the one-on-one help you like. Also, don’t forget how helpful how-to books, pre-made kits, and coordinating products can be!

10. You can carry on family traditions, or start your own!

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #family #tree #scrapbooking

Be it quilting, stamping, or baking, there’s probably a crafting tradition your mother carried on from her mother, and so on. Why not try it out (with your own spin, of course) and continue the family tradition? If you prefer to be the trailblazer, start a new crafting tradition with your own family!

11. It’s a great way to preserve (and create) memories!

To the person who thinks she's not "crafty"...#ctmh #closetomyheart #crafting #paper #diy #crafts #beginner #wedding #gifts #diy #handmade #decor #home

We already know that memory keeping is one of our favorite crafting activities because we love the process of telling stories and making them beautiful, too. But we realize that at the same time we are preserving memories, we are making new ones, and that is true of ALL crafts. You never know when the project you undertake on a whim will become a family treasure ten, twenty, or thirty years down the road.


So go ahead and get started! No matter which creative project is calling your name, there is no better way to explore your creative side than by diving right in and trying something new.

You’ve got this! 🙂

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5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board

With the new year quickly approaching, we want to share with you some tips for creating an amazing vision board for 2017. And as an early Christmas present, our vision board will give you a sneak peek at some of the products in our upcoming catalog, which will be live on January 1! 🙂

5 Tips for Creating a Vision Board! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diySo what exactly is a vision board? It’s a place to display images, words, or objects that represent both what you want to be and what you want to do with your life in one beautiful, central location. Our hope is that this fun project will help you solidify a vision for your art and your life for the upcoming year, all while keeping your thoughts and actions organized so you can accomplish this vision.

Your vision board can become your light at the end of the tunnel during creative blocks. It can keep you motivated to continue on when things get hard.

Now let’s dive into what you’ll need to do to create your vision board! As with all art projects on this blog, we encourage you to use the artwork you see here as a jumping-off point for your own artwork. With a vision board in particular, it is especially important for you to make it your own!

1. Determine what you want your vision board to accomplish.

Then find words, lyrics, or quotes that go along with your vision. Use stamps, Cricut® cuts, Picture My Life™ cards, or simply your own handwriting to add these words of inspiration to your board.

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

2. Spell out your dreams and goals.

Whether it’s a list of crafting techniques you want to learn, projects you want to finish, places you want to visit, or dreams you have for your family or career, writing down your goals and reading them every day will help you take the steps necessary to bring your vision to life!

3. Always look for inspiration.

A vision board is a project you never finish. It is a source of inspiration and a tool for staying organized, so it makes sense that it will change again and again over time. Every day, make an effort to notice the beauty around you, and then add anything that inspires you to your board. One simple way to do this is keep your eyes open while you craft. Add any embellishments, ribbon, washi tape, or Complements that speak to you. If you cut a little more shimmer trim than you need, add it to your vision board instead of tossing it out!

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

4. Use it as an organizational tool. 

Add to-do lists to your vision board. Tasks that might otherwise seem mundane become easier to tackle when they are part of the grand vision for your life—and plus, they look so much cuter! Even weekly schedules take on a new light when you dress them up. Your vision board is also a great place to include tasks you may otherwise procrastinate, such as sending a thank you card to someone or visiting an old friend.

5. Throw out the rulebook!

Add items to your vision board that you’re naturally drawn to, not what you think you should be drawn to. Remember, your vision board should be a reflection of you! Get creative, choose things out of the ordinary, and be true to yourself. Dare to do things like stamp on a photo or add random scraps of doodling. The most important thing is not to overthink it—just follow your intuition!

DIY vision board for 2017! #ctmh #closetomyheart #visionboard #inspiration #goals #2017 #crafting #corkboard #homedecor #diy

There you have it: the beginner’s guide to creating a stellar vision board! Although our craft rooms may never stay organized, at least our creative visions can stay on track. 😉

We’d love to see how your vision boards turn out! Share photos of your vision board on the Close To My Heart Facebook page!

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5 Tricks for Attaching Vellum

Specialty papers like vellum are great for making a card or scrapbook page unique. The trouble is, vellum can be tricky to attach because of its translucent nature, but don’t fret! The creative geniuses in our Art Studio have agreed to share their vellum knowledge with you all here on the blog. Try these five tricks for attaching vellum without showing any adhesive!

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum1. Hidden Tape & Glue Dots™

You can use a tape runner and Glue Dots to secure your vellum—you just have to know where to hide them! Use adhesive to attach the vellum to portions you know you will cover with paper. For example, here we used adhesive in the middle of the vellum because we knew it’d be covered up by the yellow-striped paper.

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum

You can also sneak Glue Dots behind embellishments to further secure the vellum, like we did with the star on the vellum shown here. With this technique, the edges of your vellum probably won’t all be attached, but in the case of this card, that’s just the effect we were going for!

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum2. Stitch Guide & Piercing Tool

Use our stitch guide and piercing tool to stitch your vellum onto paper. Stitching is a great option if you want to secure the edges of your vellum from lifting off the card.

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum

To make sure your vellum doesn’t slide around when you’re using your stitch guide and piercing tool, use a little adhesive to secure the vellum to the paper in a section you know will be covered with paper later.

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum3. Glue Pen

The key with using the Bonding Memories™ glue pen is to apply a VERY thin layer to your paper, and then to let the glue dry just a second or two before attaching the vellum. It will become clear and a little more tacky when it’s ready.

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum4. Mini Staples

Mini staples are a quick and decorative way to secure the edges of your vellum to the edges of your paper since they are effective fasteners that also pass for unique design elements.

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum

You can even add staples to embellishments and paper pieces placed on top of the vellum to secure the vellum even more in place.

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum5. Hidden 3-D Foam Tape

Again, this is one that you have to be tricky with. For this page, we laid out all the pieces on the vellum without attaching them, and when we got the look we wanted, we attached them using a tape runner. To attach the vellum circle to the page, we hid 3-D foam tape behind the photo and paper so you can’t see it.

5 ways to attach vellum with out the adhesive showing! #ctmh #closetomyheart #craftingtips #tipsandtricks #paperhacks #howtoattachvellum #vellum

The 3-D foam tape is really fun because it gives the page added dimension and makes the vellum appear to be floating.

We hope these tips give you the confidence to play around with vellum. It’s such a fun material and really adds a unique touch to your cards and scrapbook pages.

Now we want to hear from you! Tell us in the comments below which approach of the five is your favorite!

Recipes

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Happy Birthday to You Card
B1537 My Acrylix® Birthday Sparkles, X7213B City Sidewalks Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals, X5785 Lemon Cardstock, X5762 Lagoon Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2806 Emerald Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3264 Good Life Complements, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
2 ¼” Shift+Border <TeamWork> (p. 83)

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Happy Birthday Card
B1537 My Acrylix® Birthday Sparkles, Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5763 Smoothie Cardstock, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2012 Gold Sequins, Z4014 White & Gold Twine, Z1852 Stitch Guide, Z2046 Piercing & Embossing Tool Kit, Thread

4 ¼” x 5 ½” Hello Card
Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals, Z3253 Adventure Fundamentals, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3238 Gold Glitter Paper, Z3289 Uptown Ribbon Pack, Z3089 Grey Enamel Gems, Z3259 Thin Cuts—Hello & Thanks

12″ x 12″ Hello Page
Z3255 Whimsy Fundamentals, X7213B City Sidewalks Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3264 Good Life Complements, Z2012 Gold Sequins, Z2027 Mini Stapler

12″ x 12″ Love Page
X7212B Swan Lake Paper Packet, X7214B Oh Deer! Paper Packet, Z3263 Uptown Fundamentals, Z3294 Memo Fundamentals, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z3240 Sea Glass Glitter Paper, X7212C Swan Lake Complements, Z3269 You & Me Complements, Z3089 Grey Enamel Gems, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
9″ Shift+Border <TeamWork> (p. 83)

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