Mixed Media, a Stencil, and a Free Cricut Design Space™ File—Oh My!

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

Just in time for the fourth of July, follow along with us in this DIY décor session and whip up some red, white, and blue Americana, and celebrate all patriotic holidays using a little bit of texture paste, a stencil, and a free Cricut Design Space™ file!

Materials Needed:
Candy Apple Cardstock (1 sheet)
White Daisy Cardstock (1 sheet)
Sapphire Cardstock (1 sheet)
Silver Glitter Paper (1 sheet)
Stencil Sheet (1 sheet)
Espresso Exclusive Inks™ Pigment Pad
Opaque Matte Texture Paste
Palette Knife
Chipboard Monogram—4
Adhesive Runner
Silver Glitter Gems
White Ribbon
Glue Gun
12″ Wreath
Pencil
Scissors
Fine Sandpaper

This tutorial uses shapes from the Close To My Heart Cricut® Artistry collection. The necessary shapes needed to complete the wreath exactly as shown are available as a project file in Cricut Design Space, here. If you do not have this Cricut® collection and would like to purchase it, contact your Close To My Heart Consultant (or find one here).

Step 1: Cut Your Paper

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

From the provided Design Space file, cut the shapes shown above first. Once you’ve cut these shapes, lightly trace the chipboard four with a pencil onto the remainder of your Sapphire cardstock sheet. Cut the shape out with scissors and then, to age the appearance of your project, distress the edges with a fine grit sandpaper.

Step 2: Add Mixed Media

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

One of the Cricut® shapes that you will cut using the provided file is a star patterned stencil sheet. Before attaching the Sapphire cardstock layer to the chipboard four, use this stencil with texture paste to create a raised star patterned on the cardstock.

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

Once the paste is dry, use an adhesive runner to attach the cardstock to the chipboard.

Step 3: Assembling the Tags

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

Most of the pieces you will need to assemble the tags are included in the Design Space file provided. What you will have to cut on your own are the Sapphire, silver glitter, and Candy Apple pieces used behind the “USA” cutouts in the first tag and four 5½” x ⅜” white stripes to attach to the second, red tag. The third tag is simply the Sapphire tag with the cutout stars attached on top of the solid White Daisy cardstock tag.

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

If you prefer a more vintage look, use the sandpaper again and also the Espresso pigment pad to lightly rub along the edges of the tags to achieve a distressed, weathered appearance. Add as little or as much pigment as you’d like to make this look just how you want it.

Step 4: Put It All Together!

Fourth of July #cmth #closetomyheart #mixedmedia #stencil #USA #Americana #starsandstripes #diywreath #independenceday #fourthofjuly #designspacefile #cricut

Using your handy dandy glue gun, attach all of the pieces to the wreath. (Even though our tags may look like they are attached to the chipboard four, they are not. These are glued to each other and to the wreath.) Embellish with some ribbon and glitter gems, and you are all set to proudly display your Americana décor!

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How To: Michelle Snyder’s Shadow Box

Don’t you love this festive time of year? Christmas seems to give us the most beautiful creations in every category, and papercrafting is no exception. For example, check out this adorable shadow box!Learn how to make this beautiful Christmas shadow box! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhwhitepines #diychristmas #papercrafting #christmasdecor

Wouldn’t you love to decorate your home with something like this? We can’t decide what we like best about it: the holly berry gems, glittery lettering, or dainty snowflakes. And you’re probably dying to put your favorite family picture inside the frame!

We have the lovely Michelle Snyder to thank for this beautiful piece of artwork—some of our readers will recognize it from Convention, where she donated it to our Operation Smile™ auction.

It’s no surprise that Michelle’s shadow box sold for a generous price. What did surprise Michelle was how many people asked her how she’d made it. In response to all these requests, Michelle graciously put together some instructions for the project and shared them on our Convention Facebook page. Many of our Consultants have since taken advantage of this and created shadow boxes of their own. Here are just a few of them:

Look how great they turned out! Don’t you want your own now? Well, you’re in luck—Michelle wants as many people as possible to have access to her instructions, so with her permission and blessing, we’re sharing them right here on the blog! This will give all of you the chance to make this Christmas masterpiece in time for the holiday season.

We’re so grateful for Michelle’s inspiring artwork and giving spirit. Thank you, Michelle! 🙂 Now check out her instructions at the link below, and merry crafting!

Michelle Snyder’s Shadow Box Instructions

P.S. Before you start work on your shadow box, you’ll also need the White Pines paper packet. It’s only available for another month, so make sure to order it right away! For more White Pines artwork inspiration, search #ctmhwhitepines on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

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A Creative Attitude of Gratitude

We’ve all done it: dwelt on the thought of that thing we just don’t have. But how often do we think about that thing that we do have—or, let’s be honest, the MANY, even innumerable, things?

There are blessings in our lives we cannot count in the typical sense of the word. It wouldn’t be possible to assign a number to all of the miracles we see on a daily basis! But we can “count” our blessings in so many other ways. In our words, and especially in our attitudes, the world can see our grateful hearts.

Throughout this month, we at Close To My Heart want to celebrate the joy of gratitude—both of feeling it and of showing it, because, as William Arthur Ward once said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Whether or not you celebrate your gratitude with a turkey this month, you can join us as we experiment with creative ways to say thank you.

First off, a simple and beautiful way to display your gratitude: the Designed Décor Colonial White frame! With the help of the Pathfinding and Wanderful paper packets, delicate golden embossing, and several fun stamp sets, this frame is a showcase of gratitude.

Gratitude Frame

The beauty of a display such as this is its accessibility and versatility—you can swap out photos  as often as you like! If you want to focus on a certain family member every week (or every day, if you’re feeling ambitious!), fill it with pictures of only them. If you want to focus on a different aspect of your life every few days, group your pictures beforehand and have them ready to swap out: family, pets, nature, neighbors, friends, specific life events.

They’re so easy to rearrange, and just a few themed shapes cut from your Cricut® machine will accent your photos nicely. Use a mini clothespin, hook clips, 3-D foam tape, or Glue Dots™ to attach your photos and artwork.

Gratitude Frame close-up

What a wonderful way to jumpstart your gratitude for the series of fortunate events that is your life.

Tell us, in what ways do you display your gratitude?

Recipe:
Today I’m Grateful Frame
B1463 My Acrylix® Thankful Heart, D1604 My Acrylix® Season of Thanks, C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness, C1504 My Acrylix® Fall Harvest, X7191B Wanderful Paper Packet, X7186B Pathfinding Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, X5637 Barn Red Cardstock, 1276 Ponderosa Pine Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z2114 Cocoa Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2145 Ponderosa Pine Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2104 Barn Red Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z891 VersaMark™ Ink Pad, Z2457 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Marigold Marker, Z1865 Designed Décor Colonial White Frame, Z2023 Bling Gems Gold Assortment, Z1790 Cricut® Artiste Collection

Cricut® Shapes:
Artiste
4″ Shift+Border <4> (p. 41)
2½” Icon <b> (p. 72)
2 ½” Shift+Icon <B> (p. 72)
2″ Border <b> (p. 72)

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