Friday, November 27, 2015

Poinsettia Double Bi-Fold Card Assembly Guide

Choose four or more favorite seasonal paper prints
to decorate the front of this sides-toward-the-center
double bi-fold card. Front bracket panel with offset inner panel
holds a dimensional poinsettia consisting of
swirl leaf layer, large and medium petal layers,
and top dimensional layer that has four petals
that fold toward center with slot to tuck tip into.

ASSEMBLY: 1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A card front panel   B card side panel extension
C accent front half panels (4)
D inside side accent panels (2)
E message panel for card inside (NOTE that there is
a full back inside accent panel included in the file)
F front bracket panel base
G front bracket offset panel
H tendril/leaf swirl design shape
I - K petal swirls
2. Prepare the front panel sections by bending at
vertical perforation lines as shown here
(when panels are laid side by side as they will be joined,
bend two outer perf lines as "mountain" folds,
inner perf line and tab perf line as "valley" folds).
3. Overlap and attach the side section inner straight
edge over the main section right side tab.
NOTE that the bracket attachment cutout does not
have a perforation line and therefore remains flat, unbent.
4. Position and attach the outer half accent panels and inner side
accent panels, sentiment panel as shown.
NOTE that the half panels abut, with offset margins
all around; inner side panels have offset margins around.
Left inner panel (as viewed here) slides under the
bracket 'base' cutout extension which will remain unattached
to cover the "hole" behind the bracket cutout - take care when
applying adhesive to that side panel backside since
a portion will not attach to panel.
5. Prepare the poinsettia petals by adding some curl
to the two largest swirl tips, bending slightly forward 
at the base of the 'stem'.
(Also note that these shapes and others in this sample
have had edges ink-distressed for visual dimension.)
6. Assemble the bracket panel two layers, tendril swirl,
and two petal swirls. Adjust for preferred petal rotation
offset, with center punch holes of all aligned, 
and glue together near centers only.
7. Assemble the dimensional top petal swirl
by inverting the shape and bending the petals back,
working in clockwise sequence so that each petal
lays on top of its neighbor.
8. Tuck the tip of each petal into the adjacent petal's slot,
and glue in place on the underside.
This process should give this top petal section some dimension.
(If you wish to send the card flat, omit this step.) 
9. Position the top petal unit over the bracket panel assembly,
aligning punch hole. Rotate to achieve desired petal offset,
then glue base "square" in place.
Insert flower center reg. size brad through holes,
and bend prongs back behind the bracket base shape.
10. Position the bracket assembly over the matching bracket
cutout on the base base, and glue the complete bracket
assembly in place.
To close the card, bring the folds together under the bracket panel.
Here is card shown closed.

NOEL Blocks Ensemble Assembly Guide

Four "block" boxes measuring 
approx. 3.5" wide x 7.25" tall x 2" deep are constructed 
as base and lid, with inner strut support strips, 
then glued together to form block box. 
Accent offset rectangle block front is decorated with layered letters 
and "harlequin" style decorative letters. 
Great for mantel, shelf or table display. 

NOTE this tutorial is borrowing photo images
from a different box ensemble; notations of differences will be made.
Identify and cut the shapes. 
Each of the boxes is composed of: 
1) LID rectangle with 'T' symbol and two boxing strips;
2) BASE and two boxing strips that have oval symbol cut in tab;
3) pair of STRUT inner supports; 4) ACCENT box rectangle front (red); 
and . . . 
. . . 5) LETTER offset, base and accent arrows (representative O shown).

2. Prepare the boxing strips by bending back tabs,
bending back at vertical perforation lines.
3. Beginning with LID, align one side (long) edge of rectangle
over matching tab of one boxing strip, adjust so that top and
bottom match up and that rectangle edge and tab perforations are
as perfectly aligned as possible, then glue in place.
4. Bend boxing strip to align the adjacent short rectangle edge
and tab, adjust and glue in place.

5. Align and attach second boxing strip end by overlapping
straight end edge over tab, adjusting and gluing in place.
6. Bend the third boxing side into position at rectangle edge
and glue in place.
7. Bend final boxing side into position and at the same time
bend end tab back to tuck under and align with first strip end. . . 
. . . and glue both side/tab and end/tab in place.
(Apply pressure along top edges as shown to assist
with joining of edges and tabs.)
8. Repeat steps 2-8 with BASE rectangle and boxing strips.
9. Prepare support STRUTS by bending at the half perforation
line, and also bending end tabs back slightly.
10. Apply glue to the end tabs, then insert into the BASE
with the center "pointy" touching the inner surface of one
end, face surface of tabs touching sides; glue in place.
Repeat for both struts.
 11. Prepare the letter shapes by layering and attaching
the offset base shape, the letter shape, then the accent shapes.
Letter 'O' is shown here. NOTE that the "arrow" accent
shapes for the 'O' are slightly curved (i.e., use the arrow shapes
with the particular letter with which they are associated when
the cut file opens).
NOTE the suggested coloration will place contrast arrows
over upper accent or onto letter shape, as shown.
12. Position (centered side to side, top to bottom)
letter assemblies over accent box front rectangle and glue in place.
13. Position rectangle assembly over LID (centered) 
and glue in place. (NOTE that completing the attachment
to LID at this stage of the assembly will allow the LID to be
turned face down on table surface to apply thorough pressure
to achieve maximum adhesion of front panel to LID.)
14. Assemble the "block" by sliding the LID over the BASE
(this image shows a different project as mentioned).
The fit is intentionally snug.
Apply adhesive between the walls of LID and BASE to join.

Wreath "Merry Christmas" Card Hanger

Have you also fallen in love 
with the beautiful wreath 12x12 card stock print
from the DCWV "Hand Painted Christmas"?
Presented here is a custom designed die cut to make a special project
(or at least one project idea).
To obtain the FREE digital download for Silhouette Cameo or
other cutting systems,

One process involves using the inner wreath file shape as template
to lay over the card stock print to trace, then fussy cut by hand
and punch holes as marked.
Follow the process described in this tutorial to use a "dummy" cut shape
as template to mark a center top registration hash on the print sheet,
next cut a second "dummy" from "waste" paper, then
weed outer and inner shapes away from mat,
and re-position the wreath sheet over the dummy wreath shape
taking care to line up the registration, pressing to attach
sheet in place (good to use a new mat),
then re-load the mat to re-cut the wreath shape.

FOLLOW THIS TUTORIAL to see the fussy cut process step by step.

CUTTING: 1. Identify the shapes in the cut file, which are:
(left, top to bottom)
a. top reinforcement shape (to strengthen for hanging)
b. base wreath shape
c. top wreath layer (fussy cut from traced template, or registered
on digital cutting machine; see description that follows)
d. bottom reinforcement shape
(right top)
e. "weeded" center shape from the special paper print

2. Cut the shapes, *including a "waste paper" or "dummy" copy 
of the inner wreath, which will be used to mark a registration hashmark 
onto the printed card stock paper.
 Wait to cut the top wreath (and center) shapes.
3. Set up your cutting device to cut *a second "dummy" copy 
of the inner (top layer) wreath,
making sure to center it side-to-side and top-to-bottom.
IMPORTANT: as you load the cutting mat into the cutting machine,
take special care to use the machine markings to insert the mat
using your very best "method", and pay attention because
you will need to repeat the load as closely as possible a second time.
(Also NOTE that it is a good idea to use a fairly fresh mat:
stickiness is valuable in this process!)
(* see NOTE in Step 5 below for an alternative)

4. Once the second dummy wreath shape is cut, eject the mat
and remove the outer waste frame and inner waste shapes
and discard (see NOTE with next step).

5. Place the dummy cut #1 over the printed paper,
centering around the "Merry Christmas" and
over the wreath design, though it can't be seen. Once satisfied
with the placement, use a light pencil to mark the vertical center
(up and down) with a tick mark, and also the top center edge
of the wreath scallop.
(*NOTE: an alternative is to retain the waste frame from a 
single dummy cut of the inner wreath to center and mark
the vertical and top ticks. This will allow you to view the wreath print
to make sure it is centered appropriately - probably better!)

6. Apply a ring of light adhesive in the center margin of the
 dummy wreath on the mat to help the new sheet stay in place once
the cut is being made, since this cutting will release it 
from the mat's stickiness.
Carefully position the wreath print paper onto the mat,
on top of the dummy cut that is still adhered . . .

using the pencil marks to position the print EXACTLY
over the same position on the dummy cut. . . .

Square up the sheet, and "scrape" with your applicator to get 
the best "grab" you can where the exposed mat touches the print
and also from the temporary adhesive applied.

You may wish to ratchet up your blade cutting depth and settings
a notch, in case the mat is not loaded absolutely exactly as during
the dummy cut, when the blade would be cutting two layers. 

7. Load the cutting mat as precisely as possible
to duplicate the original cut from Step 3.
NOTE that one of the hazards of this process is that
since the shape being cut will only be sticking to the mat
around the edges and in the center "hole"
(and where you applied temporary adhesive to the dummy)
 until the cutting progresses, after which time it could POP free
and interfere with the machine's carriage movement. 
So you will want to watch the cutting process, in case
a quick rescue is required!

8. Layer the inner and outer wreath shapes and glue together.
Also glue the top and bottom reinforcing shapes to the
backside of wreath base. 
If you want the "Merry Christmas" middle to be part of your wreath,
simply apply adhesive near the edge of it's face surface,
then position the wreath over the center cut, and adjust
before joining the two.

9. To use this project as a card hanger display,
prepare it by attaching fancy ornament hooks through
the tiny holes along the bottom edge.
(Or alternatively, use the wreath as an over-size 
fancy Christmas greeting card,
with ribbons through the top punch holes.
"Release compound path" in Silhouette software
to "ungroup" and eliminate the bottom punches, if you wish.)

Here's our finished project, with ribbon inserted through
upper side punch holes, and cards (hand punched) 
hanging on the hooks.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

December Countdown Mini Sacks Tutorial

Create a small lunch sack-style container with 
three different tab-into-slot fold-down flap profiles, 
then add decorative panels and numbers for 
a fun can't-wait-'til-Christmas activity. 

Place religious advent messages, winter time activities, 
service ideas, or small treats or toys inside each sack. 
Pin 1 thru 12  for the "Twelve Days of Christmas count down
(or 1 thru 24 for the full December countdown) 
to a ribbon clothesline strung on a wall. 
Accent front panels and flaps provide scope for 
your favorite Christmas prints. 

The paper inspirations for the set pictures here were created
using DCWV Christmas card stock stacks,
"Hand-Painted Christmas" and 
"Merry Memories".
1. Identify and cut the shapes for the quantity of sacks
for your selected length of activity period. For each sack, 
cut one "front" that includes the flap tab slot, plus one "back", 
with matching flap accent, plus a pair of top and base panels.
NOTE: if you are using the panel sheet from 
DCWV "Hand Painted Christmas" stack, use rotary cutting equipment 
or scissors to cut them apart on their division lines.
2. Prepare the "front" sack panel by bending on the perforations as shown.
(side perforations are "mountain" "valley" "mountain; bottom is bent back;
triangle side bottom tab is bent back; diagonal lines are "valley").
3. Prepare the front panel in identical fashion, 
plus fold the flap as "mountain" fold.
NOTE: if you are preparing multiples (12 or 24, etc.),
construction efficiency will be increased with
an "assembly line" approach where all of one operation
is completed at one time. For example, shown here, all the
front panels were prepared, and then all the back panels.
4. Line up and join the front and back at one side seam.
Take care to match top edges, and bottom of lower tab
with bottom panel perforation line, opposite.
5. Bend to form the sack panels into a tube,
align, and complete the second side seam.
NOTE that the symmetrical shape of the sack will allow for 
pressing the sack flat on table top surface where direct fingertip
pressure can be applied along the side seam.
6. Bend the bottom side triangle tabs toward the center, then bend
front bottom flange inward, back bottom flange inward as
the top layer. Glue together all layers that touch.
Square up, then apply pressure to achieve maximum attachment.
NOTE that it may be helpful to place sack bottom flat on table top,
then ready hand inside and press against bottom tabs.
7. To facilitate flat storage, press the sack to flatten.
Place front side down, then begin at opening end to press sides
and side "gusset" folds flat . . . 
. . . working downward toward the bottom and up under the
gusset folding . . . 
. . . and finally folding the bottom toward the back and pressing all
layers as flat as possible.
8. Position and attach flap. NOTE that flap design edges of front
and accent shape should line up exactly,
with a slight offset below the top perforation line.
9. Layer front accent panel and base accent.
Position and attach to sack front, centered side to side,
and slot to bottom.
10. Test the sack's close-ability by curling the top flap
to insert tab into slot.
11. Position (centered) each number onto the round "badge" shape
and glue in place. Arrange sacks in preferred order, then attach appropriate
badge to the flap. Insert the tab into slot to help identify the spacing.
12. Finish your sacks set according to the way you have decided to display
or make them work. The suggested method is to clothesline clip each
to an appropriately-sizes length of ribbon which is attached temporarily
to a prominent wall.
Enjoy your completed project.