Blog, tutorial

Another Tutorial Sneaky Peek

Did you have some Black Friday / Cyber Monday fun? What bargains did you bag? I didn’t go mad, much to my own surprise. I bought a webinar that I’ve had my eye on for a while, at a super duper price, other than that I was good! *sigh*

I do have a tutorial for you, it was up on the Blitsy blog on Cyber Monday.

The idea behind this tutorial is a bit of inspiration for some super-simple last minute Christmas cards that you can mass produce if you need to.

So, go on, what bargains did you get, spill…?


Blog, tutorial

Bow-it-All Christmas Wreath Tutorial

Did you see my Christmas wreath with the big Bow-it-All bow on Wednesday?

Yep, this one…

Did you fancy a tutorial to go with that make? Hope the answer is yes, because here it is!

You Will Need:

Zutter Bow-it-All*
Hobbycraft 8 inch Rattan Wreath*
Berry/Wire Hobby Bag Red* or Hobbycraft Christmas Silver Berry Pick with Cone*
Ribbons – I used two 1.5 inch (3.8cm) wide red ribbon and a 8mm wide brown ribbon

The Zutter Bow-it-All is available in the Blitsy Black Friday sale* so you might want to catch it at its bargain price and they ship worldwide – just saying!

Berry confession – I bought the fab berries you can see in the photo from Hobbycraft* but when I came to write this tutorial up they seemed to be all gone *sad face* so I’ve linked to a couple of alternatives you might want to try instead. The ribbon was from my stash but as you are at Hobbycraft you might as well checkout their ribbon too*.)

Step 1

Set up the Bow-it-All to make a 4 inch wide double bow by placing the pegs in the 3 inch and 7 inch holes on the middle row and the 3 inch and 6 inch holes on the bottom row. I also wanted to add a piece of ribbon to tie the bow onto the wreath so used the outer ‘Helping Hands Peg’ holes.

Wrap the thin brown ribbon around the helping hands pegs and clamp the ribbon in place with the helping hand clips.

Cut an arrow point into the tail end of the bow ribbon (the end to the ribbon on the left of the picture above) so that you can easily keep track of it when you are tying off at the end.

Now start wrapping the working end of the ribbon (the bit that isn’t arrow-cut, and may still be attached to the spool) around the two middle row pegs in a figure of eight. I wrapped the ribbon around three times.

Step 2

Once you have the number of loops you want it is time to tie the bow. Now this is where it gets hard to explain in writing and if you get stuck go check out one of the videos on YouTube.

a. Take the working end of the ribbon to the back with your right hand then wrap the tail / arrow-cut end forward, over the top of the loops, through the middle of the two pegs with your left hand. Then pass the tail / arrow-cut end under the ribbon wrapped around the pegs and through to the back again.

b. At the back swap hands, so that the tail/ arrow-cut end is now in your right hand and the working end is in your left hand (told you this was hard to explain in writing didn’t I?).

c. Now make a loop with the working end ribbon in your left hand and wrap the tail / arrow-cut end over the top of the working end, round, under and through to make a knot.

d. Swap hands again so that the working end is back in your right hand and the tail / arrow-cut end is in your left hand and pull the ribbon ends to tie the knot. Check you are happy with the way the front looks before pulling the knot fully tight.

Yeah, not so easy to describe but super easy to do once you have the hang of it, honest!

Step 3

Now repeat but this time use the front two pegs.

This time when you come to tie the infamous bow knot make sure that you wrap the tail / arrow-cut end around the first bow you made, sitting on the back pegs, and the placement ribbon that has been minding its own business between the helping hands pegs too.

Tie the knot as tight as you can, it helps to scrunch up the loops and pull alternatively left and right on the two ribbon ends. Then cut the ends of the ribbons.

Once you have finished you just pull the bow off the pegs, turn it the other way up, you have been looking at it from the front but upside down when it was on the pegs, and fluff out the loops to how you want them.

Step 4 

Stick your berries of choice into the rattan wreath, if the berries are on a wire they should fit nicely between the pieces of rattan. If not you may have to use a glue or tie the berries on.

Step 5

Now turn the wreath over and use the brown piece of ribbon on your bow to tie it to the wreath. How simple is that?

Well that is another Christmas decoration done! I’ve made a grand total of two Christmas decorations now. Yay! I’m on my way. If you are tempted by the Bow-it-all don’t forget to go check out the Blitsy Black Friday sale.


[*Just so that you know some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links and the Blitsy link is a referral link.]

Blog, Mixed Media, tutorial

Bright And Bold Bloom Tag Tutorial

Who fancies something cheerful and bright? ME! ME! ME! Yep, I thought that today would be a good day to share a big, colourful bloom tag tutorial using watercolour and pastel pencils. What do you reckon? Are you up for it too?

It is a project revisit and you may have seen it on the Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft in 2012 but it is new to my blog so I hope you enjoy it and have a go at it yourself.

You will need:

Art Grip® Aquarelle Watercolour pencil (colours: 119, 125) or

Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour pencils*

PITT® Pastel pencils* (colours: 199, 153, 156, 109, 104, 101, 168, 170)

PITT® Artist Pen (black)*

Watercolour Paper*

Daler Rowney Masking Fluid*

Winsor & Newton Fixative*

Kaisercraft Numbers Texture Stamp



Ranger Archival Ink Pad Jet Black

Step 1

Prepare the surface with a layer of gesso then once the gesso is dry lightly draw the outline of a large bloom on the bottom right hand corner. Fill the bloom shape with Masking Fluid* and let that dry. Use the texture stamp and the Ranger Archival ink to stamp in random places.

Then start adding colour using the Watercolour pencils* by picking up the colour with a wet brush from the pencil point and brushing it over the surface.

Step 2

Keep adding colour with the wet brush to get the intensity that you want then run the pencil point along the outer edge of the tag. Use the brush to soften any edges as needed then let the tag dry completely. Load the wet brush with colour then flick the tip to get a colour splatter on the surface. Once the surface is dry peel off the Masking Fluid*.

Step 3

In the space left by the Masking Fluid* draw in the big bloom with a black PITT® Pastel pencils*. You may want to redraw the bloom in lightly with a pencil first to give you some guidelines for the pastel outline.

Step 4 

Start adding colour to the petals by using different tones of your chosen colour of Pastel pencil*; try using the darker tones nearer the centre and bottom of the petal and the lighter tones around the edges.

Add some extra highlights and blending with a white Pastel pencil*.

Step 5

Finish the tag with a hand written sentiment cut out and lined with the black Artist Pen* and some hand drawn Pastel pencil* leaves.

There you have it, a bright, bold, bloom tag!

with lots of lovely layers and textures.

I think these techniques would look lovely on a canvas or a journal page, what do you think?

Thanks for dropping by for my revisited tutorial today.


[*Just so that you know some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links.]

Blog, tutorial

Two Free Projects For The Weekend

Oh yeah it is Sharing Friday.

Yep, you know it is Friday so it must be *Sharing Time*! What will you be up to this weekend? Ok, let’s ignore what I will be up to as it will be mostly cleaning *boo*. But what about you? Got any crafty or arty plans for the weekend?

You know I love looking at blogs for some inspiration, I know you do too and it suddenly hit me, myself and the other designers with Practical Publishing International Limited have loads of free projects over at the Papercraft Magazine website and even though I always share them on my Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter I haven’t really shared them on my blog much! D’oh! 

Seems obviously really. Me slow on uptake!

Free Craft Inspiration

So if you are looking for some weekend crafting inspiration how about these two for starters? Both of them are mine but other designers are available!

For all you happy snappers (yep, I’m looking at you!) check out my bonus make with step by steps for Simply Cards and Papercraft issue 128 on the website.

[Photo credit: Practical Publishing International Ltd]

I want all those cameras in the background of that photo! In the magazine there is even more inspiration for making the most out of those gorgeous pics you take of random things when you are out and about. 

But are you ready for Christmas yet? Are YOU ready for CHRISTMAS? 

Argghhh! I mean it is only erm, so many days (someone count the days, I can’t do it), I mean not many days at all, really, if you think about it. It’s practically Winter already. Admittedly a warm Autumnal Winter, but blink and it will be Christmas Eve, so get yourself ready now with my Seasonal Table Décor ideas in Papercraft Essentials issue 112

How about this Cracker of an idea (get it? Cracker? Sheesh, lucky I don’t earn my living by trying to engage an audience in a fun and interesting way on a blog or something isn’t it? Mmm?! Oh dear, beans on toast again! What do you mean we can’t afford the bread?).

[Photo Credit: Practical Publishing International Ltd]

The template for the cracker and the Winter Rose are on the Papercraft Magazine website free to download.

So what will you be doing this weekend? Do let me know and if you want to share the results with me do link-up or leave a comment. I’m having lots of fun with Instagram at the moment so come and say hi if you are on it!

You are ok, my rubbish jokes and I are going now, you can go about your business.


Blog, tutorial

DIY Notebooks Tutorial With The Cricut Explore

Are you ready for another DIY tutorial using the Cricut Explore? Great ‘coz I’m ready too and this week I’ve been making DIY notebooks and journals using the Cricut Explore. But before I show you how, you might want to catch up with my other How-Tos with the Cricut Explore this month so check out my Journaling cards and the Stamps tutorials for more DIY fun.

Let’s get started shall we?

DIY Notebooks made with the Cricut Explore

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

You Will Need:

Cricut Explore

Cricut Design Space

Cricut Explore mat
Cricut Explore basic tools

Cricut Explore Scoring tool

Paper and thin cardstock

Needle / coloured thread

Paper piercer


Cricut design space workspace

1. Open up the Cricut Design Space software and start a new project. Insert a square with rounded corners, I’ve used #M46C02 and ungrouped the layers then made the bottom layer visible and deleted it. Resize the square to make your notebook cover, I want a 5 inch x 7 inch notebook so I made the square 10 inch x 7 inch. Use the numbers in the box when you pull the corner to help you size the shape or use the ‘Size’ option in the ‘Edit’ window.

Adding a score line in Cricut design space workspace

2. There is a rather handy free score line if you search for #M48E16, I found it using the keyword ‘line’ in the search box. Insert the score line and resize it to fit the height of your notebook. Now here is the tricky bit. There are no centering or alignment tools in Cricut Design Space (or at least I’ve not found them) so you need to do a bit of jiggery pokery (official crafting term) to get the fold line in the centre of the notebook cover.

The easiest way I found was to move the notebook cover shape so that it is up against the ruler on the left-hand side then select the score line and move it left or right, as needed, with your mouse. As you move it a box will tell you where the line is on the workspace so use this to place the line exactly halfway on your notebook cover, so for my case when the X coordinate hits 5 inch. Alternatively use the ‘Position’ option in the ‘Edit’ window and change the X coordinate directly.

If there is an easier method please do let me know!

Placing the score line in the Cricut design space

3. My next step is a lazy step and you can skip this one if you like and go straight to step 4. For my lazy step I decided I wanted the machine to ‘tell’ me where to place my holes to bind my book, so I inserted another score line, turned it 90 degrees and decreased its size until it was just a long dot. I then copied and pasted it and placed both notches along my centre score line in the positions that I wanted to stab my holes. You might need to use the zoom to help you do all this.

These little notches become very hard to see so once you have them in place group them together to make them easier to move around.

Placing the images in the Cricut design space

4. Now that you have your cover, how about some inside papers for your notebook? For your basic inner pages copy and paste the cover page then resize the copy to be slightly smaller than the cover, I went for 9.81 inch x 6.81 inch. You are going to need to re-size and re-centre your score line, just do what you did for the cover, but take into account the change in size.

Tip – if you used the notches trick from Step 3 to help you with the placing of your holes when you come to bind the book then make sure the cover notches are grouped together then copy and paste them. Place them so that the top one is the same distance from the top of the page as the bottom one is from the bottom of the page, but make sure you don’t resize them. This means that the holes in the inside pages will be in the same position as they are on the cover even though the cover is bigger than the internal pages. I hope that makes sense.

You can now add some cut-out shapes to your internal pages to make them even more funky! Insert an image or two and use the ‘Contour’ button in the ‘Layers’ Window to remove any lines you don’t want to cut by clicking on them to ‘turn them off’, then click ‘Contour’ again and select the image and the page layer and ‘Weld’ them together by clicking the ‘Weld’ option in the ‘Layers’ window or use ‘Weld’ in the right mouse button drop down list.

Cutting in the Cricut design space

Troubleshooting – if you press the ‘Go’ button but the ‘Mat Preview’ window doesn’t load properly and just hangs. You might also spot an orange message appearing underneath it saying ‘Global Flex Error’ (nicely hidden, so you might have to move the window down to see it). Try going back to your project workspace and making any hidden layers that you don’t want visible, ungroup them and delete them.

5. To cut out and score your notebook pages and covers don’t forget to select your cover or page shape, the centre score line and any notches you have made and attach them together before pressing ‘Go’ then follow the instructions to cut and score. Remember also to put your score tool into clamp ‘A’ on the machine!

Stitching the DIY notebook together

6. Once you have cut your cover and pages fold them and place them inside one another, then line up the internal pages with the cover page and punch a hole where the notches indicated, or if you didn’t use the notches trick use a ruler to help place the holes.

Tip – If you are using a thicker paper or card you might need to punch the holes individually on a couple of pages at a time and then put them together and align the holes.

adding a knot to the DIY notebook

7. Use a needle and thread to thread through the holes and then tie a slip knot. Tighten the slip knot as much as you can and then tie the two ends together with a permanent knot. Trim the threads as needed, I kept mine quite long. I also tied my knots on the outside of the books as I like the look, but you can always tie them on the inside of your book to hide them.

Covers of the DIY Cricut Explore notebooks

Now all you need to do is decorate the cover and start using them!

Inside of the DIY Cricut Explore notebooks

Do you recognise these cut-outs? They are die-cut files I made from my doodles and I show you how in my DIY Stamp making tutorial.

DIY Cricut Explore notebooks

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a bit of a notebook and journal fanatic, so these are a great addition to my ever growing collection! Now I just need to decide what to put in them! What about you? What use would you like to make a notebook for?


Kim Dellow Blog post signature

Like this? You might also like: 

Cricut Explore reviewJournaling Cards With the Cricut ExploreDIY Stamps With the Cricut Explore

Blog, tutorial

DIY Stamps Tutorial With The Cricut Explore

Welcome back to my DIY with the Cricut Explore series for this month where I share some tutorials for projects you can do with your Cricut Explore. If you haven’t seen it already, check out my first instalment with the DIY Journaling Cards.


Today I thought I would share some tips for DIY stamps.


DIY Stamps with the Cricut Explore

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]



You Will Need:

Cricut Explore

Cricut Design Space

Cricut Explore basic tools

Cricut Explore Mat
Craft foam

Cricut Deep Housing and Blade (optional)

Inks – variety of colours

Card blanks – white, kraft

Poster board / Art board

Pen / pencil

Scanner / photo-editing software



Drawing images to upload into the DIY Stamps with the Cricut Explore software


1. Start with a doodle! Doodle out some designs, use a black pen or start with a pencil then go over the lines with a pen. Then scan the picture and save it on your computer.


Cleaning images to upload into the DIY Stamps with the Cricut Explore software


2. Use your photo editing software to crop the scan if you need to. It is better to work on one sketch at a time if you want them to be individual cutting files. I’ve used Adobe Photoshop Elements but there is plenty of free photo-editing software out there to use.


Once you have your image, save it and log in to the Cricut Design Space, pick ‘Create New Project’ and go to the ‘Upload Image’ option in the left-hand menu of the workspace. A window opens with two choices: pick the ‘Basic Upload’ option on the left then on the next page click the ‘Continue to Step 1’ button to get to your image upload page.


uploading images into Cricut Design Space


3. Use the ‘Browse’ button to find your saved file on your computer; once you have selected it, you will see it as a thumbnail on the left. I used a simple black and white image so picked the ‘Simple Image’ option, but make a judgement based on the type of picture you are using as to what level you are going to need. Then click the ‘Continue to Step 2’ for the next part.


processing images into Cricut Design Space


4. Your image will open in the clean up window and you can now get rid of the areas you don’t want in the image and remove any extra lines if you need to. Choose ‘Select and Delete’ if it isn’t already selected and move your cursor over the unwanted areas, which are the white areas in my image, and click on them to remove them.


Don’t forget all those little unwanted areas in the pattern. Use the zoom in and out if you have a problem seeing the little areas. You can also crop if you need to and use the erase option to remove sections. Once you are happy, use the preview to check that you haven’t missed anything.


saving images into Cricut Design Space


5. Then click ‘Continue to Step 3’ and you can now name and use keywords to tag your new image. Once you have saved your image, you can find it listed in the ‘Upload Image’ section, but you will also be able to search for it by name, keywords or the design number it has been given in the ‘Insert Images’ option too when you are logged into your account – pretty cool!


To insert your new image just click on it as you do with the other images.


OK, so you have your fabulous new images, so what about these stamps I mentioned at the start? To make my stamps I used craft foam (aka funky foam, or fun foam). Yes, the Cricut Explore can cut craft foam but I have a couple of tips to help you cut it.


Using uploaded images into Cricut Design Space


6. I fiddled about a lot to get as smooth a cut as I could. If you have ever cut craft foam with an electronic cutting machine, then you will know that you normally have to tear the die-cut away from the excess foam as it doesn’t cut all the way through and it can leave a jagged-looking edge. I don’t have the Cricut Deep Cut Housing and Blade and I imagine that it might be easier to cut the foam with this. Do let me know if you have cut foam with the Deep Cut blade.


So my settings are for cutting craft foam using the standard blade and housing.


Tip – Try using a thinner foam, around 1mm thick, and if your foam is thicker then pass your funky foam through a manual die-cutting machine to compress it a bit. I did this and it worked a treat!


Send your image to the machine to cut by clicking the ‘Go’ button, work through the Mat Preview to the Cut Preview, load the mat with the foam attached and choose the ‘Custom’ option on the dial on the machine.


Making custom cuts in Cricut Design Space


7. Click the ‘Materials Settings’ button and then ‘Add Material’ to set the pressure to around 330 using the slide bar and the Multicut to x4 from the drop-down window. Name the new material setting and save it then click ‘Done’ and cut as normal. Once the cutting is over, take the foam off the cutting mat and carefully peel the die-cut away from the excess foam as needed.


Tip – if the markings left by the rollers in the foam annoy you, turn the foam over and use the back of the die-cut.


DIY Stamps made using the Cricut Explore


8. Stick your new stamps to a piece of poster board or art board then ink them up and stamp, stamp, stamp!


Greeting cards made with the DIY stamps




If you could make any stamp you want, what would it be? Do let me know in the comments below.


Thanks for popping by.




UPDATE 4/10/18: If you are looking for materials for making your own stamps in a cutting machine then try the Silhouette Stamp making Material:

…Buy from Amazon: UK | US | CAN


Like this? You might also like:

Cricut Explore reviewJournaling Cards With the Cricut ExploreDIY Notebooks made with the Cricut Explore


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Blog, Memory Keeping, tutorial

DIY Journaling Cards Tutorial With The Cricut Explore

I have been putting the Cricut Explore through its paces this week and what a fun week it has been. The more I do the more I want to do! Yep, definitely loving this machine. So do you want to see what I have been up to? I’m going to share a few Cricut Explore DIY project tutorials with you this month starting with this…

 DIY Journaling Cards with the Cricut Explore

[There are some affiliate links in this blog post, so if you buy through them I do get a small amount of money at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks for your support!]

DIY Journaling cards, project life cards, journal cards, or whatever you like to call them, are super simple with the Cricut Explore and once you have started you ain’t gonna want to stop!

You will need:

Patterned paper


Cricut Explore

Cricut Design Space 

Pen to fit the Cricut Explore

Cricut Explore mat 
Cricut Explore basic tools

Cricut Design Space Software Insert image page

1. Open up the Cricut Design Space and login, if you aren’t logged in already. Start a new project and insert a square (I used #M46C02) and then make both layers visible and resize the shape to 3 inch by 4 inch. Ungroup the shape and resize the nested journal card shape to approx 2.45 inch by 3.45 inch. 

If you have used a square that doesn’t already have a layer then just copy and paste it, then resize the copy to fit inside the first.

Cricut Design Space Software workspace page

2. Once you are happy with your journaling card sizes, select both shapes by clicking outside the shape and holding the left-hand mouse button down to drag the select box over both shapes, or by clicking on the shapes in the ‘Layers’ window and holding the CTRL button as you select both shapes (sorry Mac users, I don’t know if this is the same for you guys).

With both shapes selected, either right button click and select ‘Weld’ from the drop-down menu or use the ‘Weld’ option in the ‘Layers’ window.

Ta-da! You have a border / frame!

Cricut Design Space Software Insert image page

3. You can now put in it all sorts of things! Go on have a go! I was looking for words for my journal / Project Life cards. You can of course write them yourself with the ‘Add Text’ option; remember, you can now use all the typefaces you already have on your computer – Score! 

But for mine I thought I would use some of the word art already in the Cricut Library, so after clicking the ‘Insert Image’ button, I searched for ‘hello’ and spotted #M3049A. 

Welding images in the Cricut Design Space Software

4. Move and resize the word to fit the journal card frame, then select all the shapes and weld them together.

OK, so that is pretty cool. But this next bit is way cooler! Copy and paste your new card and click on the little ‘Cut icon’ circle on the copied hello journal card layer in the ‘Layers’ window. A little side window pops up with a colour palette and three little icon circles at the top in the ‘Line Type’ option. Click on the middle icon that looks like a pen nib. 

It’s magic! You have just converted your die-cut journaling card into a written journaling card!

Making journaling cards in the Cricut Design Space Software

5. To make it into a complete journal card that cuts out, just make another journaling card blank, just as before, size it to 3 inch by 4 inch and resize the written design inside, then select both the blank card and the nested written design and either right button click and select ‘Attach’ or use the ‘Attach’ option in the ‘Layers’ window.

There you go – it’s a written journal card ready to cut and write.

MASSIVE TIP: Whatever you do, make sure that you save regularly whilst working on your projects in Cricut Design Space! Yeah, I found this out to my cost when they did some maintenance work on the website but had only let folks know through Facebook *sigh* #notahappybunny. Really hope they start using in-program warnings for those who aren’t looking at their Facebook page at the right time!

But all is forgiven ‘coz look at all these…

all the journaling cards in the Cricut Design Space Software

Oh yes, I might have gotten a bit carried away!

Using the Cricut Explore pen to draw

Oh and another super tip…something looking familiar about the pens below?

Pens you can use with the Cricut explore

You get a silver medium nib Cricut pen with your machine, and I’ve been really lucky and got sent some more of the metallic pens which I am super grateful for, but I really needed a black thin nib pen – I know, so ungrateful! Then I realised that something looked really familiar about the pen that came with the Cricut Explore, it is the same design as some of the American Crafts pens. So if you have some Slick writers or Galaxy markers, they will work beautifully! YAY! 

Having said that, I have so got my eye on the Cricut Antiquity Colour Pen Set, love those colours!

Journaling cards made with the Cricut Explore

I’ll be back next Friday with another Cricut Explore DIY tutorial so do drop on by and in the meantime let me know what you want to do with your machine. What will be the first thing you will make?

Catch you later.


Kim Dellow Blog post signature

Like this? You might also like: 

Cricut Explore reviewDIY Stamps With the Cricut ExploreDIY Notebooks made with the Cricut Explore

Blog, Mixed Media, tutorial

Christmas In A Sardine Tin Tutorial

Putting up our Christmas decorations this weekend I came across a project that I did last year for Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft.

Some of you might remember it, I had a step by step tutorial for it too but the tutorial only went up on the Design Memory Craft blog and I thought it might be fun to post it here on my blog.

I’ve added some more details to the tutorial here but if you want to see the original post then pop on over to the Design Memory Craft 2012 12 Days of Christmas, Day 5: Christmas in a Sardine Tin.

You Will Need:

Sardine Tin – empty and clean!


Card – white

Old sewing pattern tissue


Gingham rubber stamp (optional)


Water spray bottle
Bulldog clips
Cocktail stick


Deep Scarlet Red 219 Stamper’s Big Brush pen

Dark Chrome Yellow 109 Stamper’s Big Brush pen

Leaf Green 112 Stamper’s Big Brush pen

PITT Gold 250 Artist Pen

PITT Metallic Green 294 Artist Pen

Metallic Mint Gelato

Metallic Gold Champagne Gelato

Step 1 – Prepare The Tin

So you have eaten the sardines, or feed them to your cat, cleaned the tin and dried it, now you need to prepare the inside ready to stick on the fabric. Either cover it with gesso or use a sturdy multi-purpose glue to stick on some white paper and let it dry completely before starting the next stage.

Step 2 – Prepare The Fabric

You can use any fabric you might already have and if you have a nice patterned fabric already then trim it so that it is bigger then the tin then move on to Step 3.

I decided to use a blank loose weave canvas type fabric and decorate it myself. I stamped a pattern on it using the Gelatos and Stamper’s Big Brush pen.

Step 3 – Cover The Inside Of The Tin

Paint the inside of the sardine tin with glue and start pressing the fabric into the tin. Smooch the frabic up into each of the corners and take your time covering all the walls.

Bulldog clips or clothes pegs come in handy holding the fabric in place whilst the glue dries.

Step 4 – Make Your Tree

Cover some card with old sewing pattern papers and cut out your Christmas tree shapes. Then use your colouring materials to colour the pieces. The Gelatos and Stamper’s Big Brush pen work well because they are watersoluble so are translucent and you can still see the sewing pattern

You can add a bit of sparkle too with a metallic pen like the PITT Metallic Green 294 Artist Pen, I’ve skimmed it over the edges and along any folds in the papers. 

Make a little star using the same method then round the tree over a pen and stick it in the tin.

Step 5 – Make The Banner

Stamp or write your sentiment and colour a cocktail stick. Wrap the sentiment strip around the cocktail stick and glue it into the tin. Then make a little heart cut from coloured card to finish the make.

Hope you enjoyed this project revisit. Now I’m wondering what other Christmas scenes I could put in a tin, what do you think?

If you like this tin, please do checkout some of my other tins:


Blog, tutorial

Thinking Of You For Creative Expressions

Hey up lovely folks, so yesterday I posted a make for Creative Expressions and it is your lucky day ‘coz I have another one to share with you today to finish off the November DT makes using the Umount Winter Flower stamp set.

It’s an ATC and I wanted to share with you the making of this one.

You Will Need:

Umount Winter Flower stamp set 

Archival ink pad – Jet Black

Cosmic Shimmer Mist – Lava Red

Corrugated cardboard

Clear embossing powder






Threaded button

Heat tool

Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue

Step 1 – Make The ATC

Tear the cardboard to ATC size (3.5″ x 2.5″) and remove the top layer to show the corrugations. Then add a rough coating of Gesso, don’t be afraid to splodge it on unevenly.

Step 2 – Clear Emboss The Flowers

On a spare piece of white card clear emboss one of the flower stamps from the Winter Flowers Stamp set.

Step 3 – Add Some Colour

Paint on some colour from the Lava Red Cosmic Shimmer Mist and wipe off excess mist with a cloth.

Step 4 – Cut Out A Heart

Make yourself a heart template from spare paper and draw out the heart shape over your image, then cut it out.

Step 5 – Add The Sentiment

Stamp out one of the sentiments from the Winter Flower stamp set with the Archival Jet Black ink pad and trim it to fit the ATC.

Step 6 – Put It All Together

Stick the heart and sentiment to the ATC and finish with the threaded button. The Cosmic Shimmer glue works a treat, even with the button.

Thanks for popping in.

Catch you later.


Blog, tutorial

Love To Stitch Mini Book Tutorial – Part 1

Welcome to part one of my Love To Stitch Mini Book Tutorial series.

I’ve got a mini-book for Creative Expressions to share with you and as I’m working with the Umount Vintage Sewing A5 Stamp Plate I thought I might go for a sewing theme – it seemed logical!

And, well, sewing does hold a special place in my heart.

My mum is a stitcher, both her mum and dad were stitchers, it is just in my blood.

I’m altering this mini book over the next few weeks and sharing the steps of this stitching-dedicated journal with you guys. 

What You Will Need:

Eco-Green Crafts Board Book 4″ x4″

Umount Vintage Sewing A5 Stamp Plate

Eco Green Acrylic Paints – Sand, Tide Pool

Ranger Archival Ink Pad – Olive, Jet Black


Baker’s Twine – Red

Large Polka Mask – can use the That Special Touch Mask


StazOn ink pad – Blazing Red, Jet Black

Old book pages

Scallop border die

Tools – Sponge, brushes

Golden Soft gel

Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue

Marker pen for writing on acetate

Before I start I thought I would give you a closer look at the Eco-Green Crafts Board Book:

The book is made up of six pages, so that is 12 surfaces to alter plus the spine. Each page is made of layers of paper to a thickness of 3 mm.

So the 4″ by 4″ book is around 3.5 cm thick and stands freely, which makes it nice and easy to photograph! (Yes, that is a jar of Marmite in the background, I’m working in the kitchen again).

Step One – Preparing the surface

I started by glueing torn pieces of old book pages over the spine and part of the back and front of the cover.  I also covered a strip of spare card too. Then let the glue dry completely.

Step Two – Some Gesso Texture

I then applied a layer of gesso to the cover, spine and sides of the book, only a light covering to blend the book page collage into the surface. Then once this layer was dry I added a thick layer of gesso through the large Polka Dot mask and let it dry completely, you can also use texture paste if you like.

Step Three – Adding Colour

Next stage is to add a bit of colour, I added a layer of the Sand Eco-Green Crafts acrylic paint with a piece of kitchen sponge and let it dry before adding the Tide Pool paint to the outer edges. I also covered the strip of card too.

Step Four – Adding Depth

Once all the paint is dry I then brushed the Ranger Archival Olive ink pad over the edges and the gesso texture of the mini book and the strip of card too.

Step Five – And Now The Stamping Part

First up, I stamped the row of dressmaker dummies with the lettering background on acetate with StazOn and cut it out to stick as the background on the front cover. I then cut a piece of white card with a scallop edge die and layered it with the old book page strip, wrapped with Baker’s twine, and stuck them to the front.

I stamped the sewing machine, buttons and sentiment, cut them out and stuck them to the front cover then finished with a touch of stitching stamped over the acetate background with StazOn and finished with a marker pen that writes on acetate.

Thanks for popping by and see you next time for Part Two!


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Love To Stitch Mini Book Tutorial – Part 2