Category Archives: Tip

Tuesday Tip — Ribbon slot

When you have a side-fold card like this one, how can you get a ribbon tied horizontally around the card front?  Simple!  At the point where you want the ribbon, with the card folded, use the soon-to-be-retired Horizontal Slot Punch to nip off the tiniest bit of fold.  (It will be twice as wide with the card unfolded.)  That will be big enough to feed the ribbon, but not enough to distract from your design.  No punch?  Use a craft knife — carefully, please! — to cut a slit.

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Tuesday Tip: DIY padded envelope

When I got ready to mail this card to my friends last week, I was a little concerned how it would travel through the mail.  More than once a recipient has told me that a brad or other embellishment was poking through the envelope upon delivery!

To protect my work, I simple took 1/4 sheet of coordinating card stock and ran it through the Crimper.  This piece then faced the front of the card when I inserted it into the envelope.  Although it may not have remained crimped en route, I think it should have provided sufficient cushioning.  And it also gives the recipient something to wonder about when they open the envelope:  “What am I supposed to do with this?”

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Tuesday Tip — Using the Movers & Shapers Windows

I bought my Movers & Shapers die when there was a super special.  I think if you bought the die, you got the windows free.  Whatever it was, it pushed me over the edge!

The point of this product is to allow you to die cut a window in the front of card, in a position that would be impossible for a punch to reach and creates a window just slightly bigger than the corresponding punch.  I used it for this card.  And actually, to be more accurate, the M&S die cuts the card (assuming you’re using a piece of card stock bigger than 11″ x 5½”), scores it, and cuts the window.

The two sets of window dies — the original Punch Windows and the Holiday Windows set last seen in the Occasions Mini (but still available) — are placed within the “well” on the M&S die.  Because the window dies are magnetic, they are firmly in place when you run them through the Big Shot.  I found however, that I needed more precise placement than just eyeballing the alignment.  So I cut a piece of scratch paper the size of the well, measured carefully, and marked where the die should be placed.  This guide is not adhered; the magnet on the window die will keep it in place.

That’s as simple as it gets!

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Tuesday Tip — Make your own embossing plate

I’ve always wanted an embossing plate or folder with stars. Maybe there is one out there, but I thought I’d try my hand at making my own:

  1. Cut a thin piece of chipboard to size.  Here I used a piece of cardboard from the back of a notepad, cut to card front size.  From the same weight of cardboard, punch more shapes than you think you’ll need.
  2. Adhere the punched shapes to the chipboard panel.  Allow to dry thoroughly.
  3. Build the sandwich for the Big Shot, experimenting with shims.  From the bottom up, I used the Multipurpose Platform open to Tab 1, a Standard Cutting Pad, my cardboard embossing plate, my card stock panel (sprayed with rubbing alcohol), the Standard Texturz Silicone Rubber Pad (“squishy pad”), and the Standard Texturz Impressions Pad.  It was fairly tight, which was good.  But remember never to force anything through the Big Shot, lest it pop its screws!
  4. If you’ve used alcohol on the card stock, allow to dry, then finish the card.  I will say that the reverse, debossed side looked very fine also!  Who’s to say which side is the “right” side?

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Tuesday Tip: Paper roses

A big thanks to Stampin’ Up! demo Julie Buhler for her tutorial on these paper roses (or carnations).  I followed her instructions with few variations.  Here’s my take:

  1. Begin by punching or die cutting three scalloped circles.
  2. Run the shapes through the Crimper (I do all three at once) three times, changing direction each time.  This will begin to break down the fibers.
  3. Pull each flower against side of Bone Folder or pan scraper, as if curling a ribbon, several times.  Changing direction each time, repeat until layers of card stock begin to split at the edges.  Take care not to tear the card stock, which will become very soft and pliable.
  4. You are really beating up this card stock!
  5. Carefully pull apart the two layers.  Repeat with other two flowers, creating six layers.
  6. Stack the flower layers.  With the rough side up, pierce the center of the stack and affix a brad or button.
  7. Pull up first layer of flower.  Crinkle and crush card stock.
  8. Repeat with each layer.
  9. Repeat with each layer.

Don’t over-think this technique! There is nothing perfect about the result, so don’t stress about getting it that way. Your flower will be charming, I know!

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Tuesday Tip: How to find the center of a star

Some stampers are able to eyeball things (e.g., centering a stamped panel on a mat) and some of us need a little help (e.g., with a ruler).  I myself cannot cut a round pizza into 8 equal pieces.  (Okay, that’s not a huge skill deficiency and, no, I don’t get out the ruler to ensure precision in this case!)  Anyway, you may find this tip useful in your paper crafting!

  1. With a straightedge, mark a line from one point to the opposite “crotch.”
  2. Mark another line from any other point to its crotch.
  3. The intersection of those two lines is the center of the star.  Pierce or punch at that intersection and affix the brad.

No, I haven’t forgotten that I promised the tutorial on the paper roses/carnations.  I’ll see you next Tuesday with that tip, for sure.

Now, what can I do with this embellishment, hmmmm?

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Tuesday Tip: Conserving paper with the Big Shot

I use my Big Shot a lot, more than I ever imagined I would.  (If you’ve seen my cutting pads, you know!)

Sometimes I use it to prep materials for camp.  A few weeks ago, I was cutting 120 scalloped circles, three at a time, and I didn’t want to use any more card stock than necessary.  I measured the die and knew that a square of card stock 2⅛” x 2⅛” would be just barely big enough.  But how to make sure those squares would be placed exactly right?  You know how maddening it is to find that you didn’t get the entire die cut, so here’s a simple tip.

  1. Use the Signo Gel Pen to mark around the die, directly on the foam. The gel pen ink dries quickly and, as far as I’ve experienced, does not rub off. This allows you to clearly see the outline of the die (even if your lighting is not the best) and to place the card stock so that it is covered.
  2. See how little waste!

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