Friday, January 31, 2014

Faux Cupcake Cup with Pennant Tutorial

Now available on the Silhouette America online store
is this cupcake cup with bottom platform and swizzle stick pennant flag,
from the creative minds at SnapDragon Snippets.
Design title: "cupcake cup with hearts or stars and pennant"
Download and cut this standard size cupcake cup, assemble it
following the tutorial here. It fits a standard frosted cake dessert.

But here we fill it with a "no-calorie" frosting swirl 
that is actually a folded, rolled and pinned washcloth.
Insert a swizzle stick/coffee straw with cut and assembled pennant 
and you have a quick and unique gift for
Valentine's Day, birthday, teacher appreciation day,
visiting neighbor, or any other occasion.
(You could even print&cut a custom name or greeting for the offset flag shape.)


1. Fold back the 6 base tabs at perforations. Also curl the body arch by sliding it between thumb and forefinger while adding a little pressure. The sections will "automatically" fold slightly along each separating perforation.

2. Apply adhesive of choice around the punch holes in the section that is attached to the base polygon.

3. Slide the opposite end section with the punch holes behind the section with the adhesive, the adjust until scallop edge and holes line up exactly.

Hold until joint is secure.

4. Apply adhesive to the face surface of each tab. Fold the base shape into position while inserting the folded tabs behind the body edge, taking care to line up perforation with bottom cut edge of body . . .

then apply pressure to join the tab to the body. Reaching thumb and forefinger around the body wall to press tabs is one good way to accomplish this. Work quickly to make sure the joining takes place properly, then keep working around to check and hold each tab as may be needed.

5. Insert the small brads into the punch holes and bend backs to secure in place.

and FLAG
A. Obtain a wash cloth (or cleaning cloth for this demo) that has a serged edge. The luxury style cloths which have turned hems will be too thick to roll properly. 

The 10x10 inch cloths used in these images came from Bed, Bath & Beyond as is shown with packaging in the picture at right. The pack comes with two contrasting cloths. I wanted only the violet one to show, but in the finished "roll", the green one was simply layered inside the other one.

The following images show just the violet cloth, to avoid confusion.

B.  Spread the cloth out flat (face down, if there is a face and back difference), then fold two opposite corners into the center.

C. Fold the previously-made fold edges in toward the center.

D.  Bring the two folds together.

E. Determine the "prettiest" point end, and start from the OPPOSITE end to tightly roll the cloth.

F.  When the rolling is completed, swing the final point slightly downward so that it won't show near the top. Use a fine straight pin with a simple "nail" head to hold the corner in place. HOWEVER, angle the pin so that it pierces just the next layer, so that it won't interfere with the next shaping step.

G. From the bottom, gently insert the tip of a finger to push the "swirl" of the center roll up slightly, trying to immitate the swirl of frosting on the top surface.

H. Carefully insert your optional flag "staff" into the center of the coil. I am using the "free" coffee stirring stick/straw from a local snack bar, trimmed to approx. 5" long.

If you prefer to use a larger diameter stick such as a seasonal decorative pencil or a candy stick, you may wish to actually begin the wrapping around that shaft. 

(Other pennant shapes with larger diameter tab punch holes can be purchased and downloaded in the "mini pennant flags for 3 size sticks" design in the Silh online store.)

I. Cut and assemble the pennant by folding and unfolding the flag at the center perforation, applying adhesive between the layers, then refolding to align edges and hold until glue is secure.

Fold the top and bottom punch hole tabs inward at a right angle.

(NOTE that my offset shape is decorated using a couple of the "weeded" hearts from the cupcake cup cutting step.)

J. Attach the offset shapes to front (and back, if desired). Slide pennant onto the staff by inserting stick through lower hole, then upper. Adjust to the appropriate position slightly down from stick end.

And your FIRST faux cupcake gift is completed!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

3d Heart Candy, Gift or Card Box Tutorial

New for Valentine's Day 2014 from SnapDragon Snippets
through the Silhouette America online store
is this petite candy box that can also be
a gift card holder with added insert.
Measuring just 4.5" x 4" x .75", it holds just the right amount of treats!

1. Identify and cut the shapes.
lid hollow heart & scallop face shape
lid left & right boxing strips
base heart & liner shape
base left & right boxing strips
insert "extra" box tab with support strip
gift card insert platform

2. Fold base boxing strips at perforations. Fold tabs back. 

3. Locate the non-"T" tab end of boxing strip (find the circle symbol tab). Apply glue and overlap opposite non-tab end to perforation, align so that boxing edges create a continuous straight edge, then hold until adhesive is secure.

4. Apply glue to tab to one side of the boxing strip seam. Attach tab under the base heart at corner.

Continue applying glue one or two tabs, folding boxing at perforation to align tab fold edge with edge of base heart until first half is complete and in place.

Follow the same process to attach the second boxing half.

5. Apply glue to the top center tab. Slide it into position behind the opposite boxing vertical edge. Hold joint until it is secure.

6. Finish the base by applying glue and placing liner face side up into base.

Note that the liner in the cut file has a small arch cutout near the bottom left edge so that it won't be confused with the base shape.

(This notch was not included in the shape above used for the photographs in this tutorial.)

7. Join the rim boxing strips into a single length.

Fold the lip edge "tabs" back, apply glue to each, then re-fold into place and hold until each is secure. DO NOT glue the final rim "tab" near the un-glued non-tab boxing end until other free edge is joined (rim boxing will form a ring at this point).

8. Apply glue, overlap tab over backside of opposite strip, hold in place until secure.

Glue and re-fold final rim tab into place.

9. Begin gluing hollow lid shape to rim tabs at center top. Work around heart to align and glue tabs to corresponding edges of hollow face shape until all edges are attached to hollow heart. 

10. Apply glue to the underside of hollow lid heart. Insert cut clear heart shape and hold in place to secure. Take care not to touch clear plastic to avoid body oil or glue smudges. 

11. Apply glue to the hollow lid face surface. Position and attach face shape, taking care to align inner heart edges that should match up.

12. Fold gift card insert edges back along perforations. Fold back each of the narrow triangular-shaped tabs in the gaps between sections. Apply glue to tabs one at a time, overlap adjacent straight boxing section edge and hold to glue in place.

(Gift card does NOT need to be place at this stage of construction. When placing gift card onto insert, avoid pulling at semicircular tabs. Instead, flex card into an arch, then in this slightly "shortened" configuration carefully insert edges until end tabs.

13. Prepare "extra" boxing section with tabs and platform support. Fold end and top tabs back. Fold support strip inward at perforations.

14. Attach tab end under section straight vertical edge near heart top as shown. Before gluing, direct the strip to extend toward heart area center, below the platform area.

15. Underneath the heart insert, fold the strip into a loose triangular shape.

16. Position the insert into the box base. Push downward into the box until it is fully in.

17. Finally, place lid onto base.

Now your heart box is ready to fill with treats, or with gift card on the insert.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Valentine Block Boxes

Now available from SnapDragon Snippets
through the Silhouette America online store
is the third in a series of dimensional paper craft
block box seasonal ensembles.

Find the tutorial for the box construction here.

"Wonderful Winter" Wreath Project

 Paper-cut dimensional and regular elements find a perfect home
in this multi-materials wreath project. 
Scroll thru the construction process and read about the fun elements
and the "found" fixin's that make this chock-full decoration so visually interesting.
Part of the fun was gathering materials and accents that I already owned,
then creating something that looks so rich for under $15 of actual expense.
(The burlap ribbon was the most expensive single item purchased "new",
even though there are trimmings that would have cost $45; 
many items were "cast-offs" or left-overs from other projects and jobs.)

My wreath began with a plastic-wrapped straw base form found at a thrift store for $1. "Greenwrap" recycled paper webbing for mail shipping that I had on hand was cut into long strips, scrunched, then wrapped and hot-glued in place as the foundation covering.

Here is the pre-performance collection of completed elements that I created or assembled for my wreath. Details are shown in following pics. As I envision, plan and then finally execute a wreath project like this, the collection and prep process is BOTH the best and worst part. It is exciting to hunt and find, but all the time I am impatient to actually get into the project.

Tiny pinecones gathered during my autumn "Thanksgiving Point Garden" walks were wire-mounted into bamboo skewers, immersed in gesso base coat, dried, then top-coat dipped in colored acrylic paint. Here you can see one cone inserted into a deep plastic cup then "spun" by rolling stick briskly between my palms to remove excess paint. When dried, the cones were sprayed with adhesive and sprinkled with crystal glitter to make them sparkle as though just kissed by Jack Frost. 
(Skewers help with the painting; wires remain attached, unwrapped first from sticks.)
In this prep step I turned deep-discount Christmas tree glass mini ball ornaments into "woolly snow blossoms". A searched blog post shared information about cutting 5-petal flowers from wool felt, pre-clustering the petal shape with needle and thread, then joining these into dimensional blossoms. I modified the process to use four of these cut shapes clustered around the ball stem (removed the metal cap/hanger). For Silhouette users, find a petal shape in the online store or your library, or email me a request for the one I created and I will send it by email as a pdf file or svg. file per your request.

Now the details: "Wonderful Winter" (created with this project in mind) is available from SnapDragon Snippets. Three layers were cut and joined, then edge "antiqued". I cut chipboard duplicate base shapes, threaded faux silk ribbon between as these were glued, then attached ends to each side of the wreath. The string of snowflakes are metal "found" shapes I already had, mounted on an offset shape created with the "trace" feature in Designer Studio (traced the metal flake shape) with added holes for the string, with beads between.

Wanting to "cameo" this dimensional snowflake was at the idea genesis for this wreath. Snowflake is also a SnapDragon Snippets cut design.

This image shows the cream bulap ribbon that was the second wrap layer, on top of the brown paper web. The next wrap layer was cream colored faux silk ribbon loop "fringe" that was a contracted sewing project "left over" that suited this project well. You can also see the silver glitter ball pick cluster wrapped in leftover pleated trim, sequin glittered branch tips (under snowflake) from a deep-discount after-Christmas bin.

In this photo, you can see the finished woolly blossom, and also the "extra" ball blossom created from flattened and clustered mini-cup pleated papers (think cupcake paper cups, only smaller) that were used to finished the sixth blossom needed for my three pairs (I ran short of woolly felt). 

At lower right, see the painted pine cone cluster that was tied with ribbon short lengths.

Here is a closeup of the miniature 3d skis and poles, a cut design also created with this wreath in mind.

Plastic Darice tiny snowflake ornaments show in this image (again left over from a decorative craft project).

At lower left a pinecone cluster peeks into the shot. Here you see the tiny "seed drop" stems clustered with the pinecone wires that were separated from a "closeout" pick in the seasonal bins at Jo Ann Fabrics.

The final featured dimensional design is this vintage ice skate. Below is a fabric covered button (again left over from other paid-for projects), made into a double rosette using left-over pleated ribbon trim, hot glued to a circle chipboard base.

Once again, the finished wreath.
Hope you are inspired and energized
to create your own wreath project.

SnapDragon Snippets cut designs available in the Silhouette America online store:
3d skis and poles miniatures
3d snowflake with triangle points
3d ice skate ornament
wonderful winter word art