Sunday, February 23, 2014

3D Leprechaun Canister Wrap Tutorial

Perky little leprechaun 3d canister character design
for cut paper is now available
from SnapDragon Snippets
through the Silhouette America online store.

Canister (octagon-based) is built with top 
and bottom rim rings and bottom whole insert, 
then 2d decorations are added to front
to create perky leprechaun, including the pot of gold side accent.
Dimensional hat has a bottom surface flange
that inserts into the top of the canister
to hold it in place.

1. Identify and cut the shapes. 

shown here:
canister main tube shape
top rim reinforcement
bottom rim reinforcement and whole insert
pot of gold accent shapes

B. lower brim
C. brim flange
D. hat wedge sections (8)
E. upper brim
F. hat band
G. shamrock decorations
H. shirt base
I. lapels (left & right)
J. button circles
K. face
L. beard/hair
M. face details
N. bowtie
(not shown: bowtie center shape)

2. Prepare the canister by following this link to the Scarecrow Canister Character tutorial, then return for the specific steps that complete the Leprechaun character.

3. Pre-fold each of the hat wedges as shown, side tabs toward back, lower tab outward, body sections inward.

4. Apply glue to side tabs on one wedge. Overlap adjacent straight edge of second section so that edge and perforation align, also that horizontal perforations of section line up. Hold until glue sets, then shape the next section above to align edge/perforation in the same manner, then repeat for the third (top) section.

5. Join four sections into "front" half and four sections into the "back" half.

6. Apply glue to remaining side tabs of front and back halves, then align and join to complete crown.

7. Apply glue to the upper surface of crown lower tabs, then slide the upper brim over the top and down into position so that brim can attach to the tabs. Press each tab to thoroughly attach brim to crown.

8. This is how the upper brim and crown assembly should look from the inside.

9. Fold the flange outer tabs back. Apply glue to the surface between tabs and flange backside (except near the edge opposite the end tab), then hold in place to secure full length of flange.

10. Apply glue to the tab front and back, then insert between the flange and back tabs, push in to ensure that end edge and tab perforation line up, then apply pressure to secure.

11. Identify the long flange sections and inner tabs that will be positioned at center front and center back of brim. Also locate the long slots on the lower brim that correspond to these long sections. Insert tabs into slots, gently working them into position fully so that tabs extend completely to the brim backside as shown. Apply glue to the inner backside of tabs, fold to the center and hold in place until each is secure.

12. Apply glue to backsides of brim(s) that will touch. Rotate crown/upper brim so that a wedge section faces EXACTLY forward and parallel to one of the large flange sections, then join hat upper and lower sections. (NOTE that wedge sections should also line up and be parallel to flange back large section, and side end sections.

13. Pre-fold the hat band at perforations, then glue in place at bottom of crown with seam at back. Position and attach shamrock decoration shapes.

14. Join the left and right lapel shapes over the corresponding parts of the shirt base shape.

15.  Insert face into beard/hair shape, then carefully slide into place until top straight edges align. Slot ends should fit snugly to ears. Turn assembly over and apply glue to the surface that touch, behind upper and lower areas of face shape.

16. Assemble eye white and black shapes, then position and attach face details: mouth, nose cheeks, eyes.

17. Assemble bowtie by folding side loops inward (avoid creasing the loops), folding center knot section and wrapping over secured ends at center.

18. Fold bowtie loop ends in to center (notched end first) and glue overlapping center tabs in place, then fold center downward over tabs, with lower tab wrapping to backside and glue in place.

21. Position and attach shirt and lapels assembly to the front wider face of the canister, with bottom edge aligned at canister bottom.

Position and attach head/hair assembly above shirt/lapels, with head top straight edge aligned at canister top edge.

Position and attach prepared bowtie at the bottom of the beard.

22. Position and attach the pot of gold accent assembly with bottom edge at canister bottom edge. NOTE: move the pot to the right until the handle extension is comfortably under the bowtie extension.

23. Place the hat onto the top of the canister with the flange extensions fitting into the rim of the canister.

Here again is the completed project. P

Now you are ready to place him with your other St. Patrick's Day decor, 
or fill him with green jelly beans and give away. 
Or perhaps you will make one for 
EACH of your favorite "leprechaun lovers".


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monogram Projects Inspiration

A whole alphabet of fun awaits
if you have discovered the new collection of
letter monogram designs
recently made available from SnapDragon Snippets
through the Silhouette America online store.
(Each letter is sold separately. Top and bottom sections are separated,
awaiting the "word or words" you decide to insert.)

Probably you have your own great ideas already.
Hope you get even more inspiration from 
the following six projects that I developed using 
different monograms.

In this first project, I created a seasonal marquee using the "S" monogram with "SPRING" written out and inserted in between the upper and lower monogram sections.

For the second project, a 12x12 white ceramic tile ($.97 from Lowe's) is the canvas for my family name and initial. For this size project, I was able to enlarge the monogram. I also added a .20 inch wide frame approx. 1" in from the tile's edge, and extra lines (rectangles) above and below the name text to help fill the square space more attractively in the new size. All of these additions were accomplished inside my Designer Studio (or Studio, too) software.

Third is another seasonal design. This time "CHRISTMAS" is the inserted text, adorning a large glass cylinder, with seasonal chunky pot pourri filling.

My vinyl supplier now carries a "frosted glass" (white) vinyl that would make this design look like it was etched. My next glass embellishment project will hopefully use this new-to-me product.

Fourth is this "W" monogram cut in the design's original size, with "WELCOME" inserted, then cut and transferred to the center panel of my interior panel door.

I plan to do something similar for my exterior front door, which, interestingly enough, has a shorter center panel than my interior door, so I am still planning my design. Black door, so I plan to cut white vinyl.

Finally, two fabric bag projects that use smooth heat transfer vinyl for the monogram designs. (Remember that designs using this medium MUST BE prepared as reverse image designs before cutting.)

First project is on a purchased canvas bag (from JoAnn Fabrics), monogrammed to show the project type contents - my floor frame equipment and tools. Your bag might read "SCRAPBOOKING" or "JOURNALING" or 'KNITTING" or "CROSS-STITCHING", etc.)

Finally, here is a custom-made book bag with the new owner's initial block on the front. Great for church activities, music transport, homework, or more.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

March "Calendar Graphica" Quilt Design

The March panel quilt, "Rooster Vane & Shamrocks" 
in the "Calendar Graphica" monthly series
is now available from the creative minds at
SnapDragon Snippets
through the Silhouette America online store.

This design is available both as a cut file (svg) 
and as a published print pattern from 
While some of the steps described here will be specifically for the cuttable version, constructions beyond the "cutting" steps will apply to either.

(You can also refer to another post 
for construction tips - search "January Calendar Graphica Banner Quilt".)

Step 1. Prepare to cut the fusible applique shapes. I manage this by making a quick swatch chart with the shape description and a place to pencil in the size requirements for the shape or shapes to be cut.

You can determine what size you need to cut for the shape being cut from a specific fabric by positioning and rotating the shape for efficient use of the space. In this screen shot of my Silhouette 12x12 mat, I have used the "Page Tools" to adjust the slider in "Reveal cutting mat" so that I can see the 1x1 grid. Now I can see the spacial area that my fabric should cover in order to successfully cut my shape. According to the grid, I can cut a piece of fusing approx. 5" wide x 4" long, apply it to a matched size fabric patch, and position it in the same mat area.

You can also "select" the shape, read the size notations that appear in its "bounding box", then add 3/4"-1" overall to each dimension for fusing and patch sizes.

For multiple patches being cut from the same fabric, arrange those shapes together with small margins between to allow the blade to cut the fabric and shapes, then follow similar procedures to determine required sizes.

Step 2. Cut the upper panel fabric: 11 1/4" x 15 7/8".
Cut the "MARCH" lower panel fabric:11 1/4” x 4 1/8”.

Step 3. Fold the upper panel and crease lightly to establish the vertical center line. Unfold. Arrange the cut applique pieces with the vane "post" centered over the center line, 
the bottom-most applique edge approx. 1/2" from the panel cut edge, and the top-most "comb" shape edge approx. 1/2" from the panel cut edge. (Tail plume will be approx. 3/4" from top cut edge.)

Here you can see me using a see-thru ruler with the 1/2" cross lines at panel edge, and ruler edge at comb applique edge.

Arrange all "first layer" shapes, make adjustments if necessary, then press to fuse in place.

Step 4. Arrange remaining rooster and vane shapes. Then fuse in place (follow product directions).

TIP: This image shows how the wing "swoosh" shapes can be grouped from the original download file, moved as a unit to be cut on the mat, then the "weeded" discard fabric shape used to help transfer the three shapes' positions to the rooster body.

You could also cut a paper/card stock template of the original arrangement to accomplish this same thing.

Step 5. Once the shapes are fused completely, use matching color thread to stitch over the raw edges. You can use a zigzag/satin stitch, or a blanket stitch (my preference).

(NOTE: this image shows the "MARCH" over edging, though this step is demonstrated in Step 10.)

Step 6. As each "run" of over-edge stitching is completed, leave 1" to 2" tails. Pull the bobbin thread to bring a "loop" of the top thread to the backside, work the tail end all the way out at the backside, then tie a double knot and clip threads short.

Step 7. Mark the positions of the shamrock appliques to left and right of the center post using the measurements shown in the illustration at left.

To make this easy, cut the "whole" shamrock shape from cardstock, then use it to follow the guide measurements from the image to trace the outline using temporary marking tool of some kind.

Step 8. If you have an "Applique Pressing Sheet", you can pre-assemble/fuse the component parts of the shamrocks before positioning them over the marked outlines on the center panel.

Otherwise, position the shapes onto the center panel, make adjustments then fuse in place. Follow this order: the outer petal shapes and stem, then the inner shapes, then the center base, then inner oval, then smallest oval.

Step 9. Prepare  "MARCH" letters panel. One way to ensure proper positioning is to cut the "layout" panel from cardstock as a tracing stencil, as is shown here.

The stencil is centered over the front of the cut-to-size lower panel and strategic positioning guide marks at corners and extremities are marked with temp marker.

Step 10. Position the cut appliques (with fusing in place) following guides, then fuse in place. Over-stitch raw edges as for other appliques in Step 5.)

Step 11. The rooster's eye shape is very small. If you prefer, you can paint the pupil instead of applique stitch it. Here I am using the rounded end of a decorative paint brush dipped in black acryllic paint (dip from the lid) to make a "perfect" tutti-dot in the center of the outer eye applique circle.

To finish your quilt banner, including adding borders, refer to the equivalent steps demonstrated in "January Calendar Graphica" post on this blog:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

3d Large Mailbox Project Tutorial

This large 3d mailbox design
is now available from the creative minds of SnapDragon Snippets
through the Silhouette America online store.

With dimensional front and back rims and center support,
this mailbox is very sturdy.
It's large interior space and door opening will easily accept
large card envelopes up to 5x7 inch size.
Include this project as a focal point for your seasonal cards
including Valentine cards, Christmas card, wedding guest gift envelopes,

1. Identify and cut the shapes, using all the shapes in the cut file download. The optional shape included in the download is the "rim reinforcement/decor" shape near the bottom right of the screen when the file opens.

(Not shown here is the circle cover for the brad prongs of the front door backside. Also NOTE that the "stop piece" has been modified slightly from this image to have an arched lower edge.)

2. Fold side panels inward on perforations, outward at top long tab perforation.

3. Fold 4 bands on perforations in similar fashion, then position and glue in place at approximately one-third positions, so that top holes align, as well as bottom middle holes. Also note that one band includes the flag hole punch that should align at the position of one side panel as shown in this image. 

NOTE that the band perforation positions are designed to allow for the curve of the side, so they CANNOT be glued when pieces are flat.

4. Fold sides of base upward.

5. Fold center support in half, lower tabs outward. Glue the support edges together above the tabs.

6. Insert the support end through the center slot of the reinforcement shape.Glue tabs to underside.

7. Position and glue the reinforcement shape to the inside portion of the base shape.

8. Attach left and right side panels to the base shape. Make sure the side lower edges are aligned snugly into the perforation corner of base, with holes aligning.

9. Position and attach the center support top tab to the first side panel top tab, taking care that holes align. In this image, a piercing tool is being inserted through holes of layers to make sure they align properly.

10. Position and align second side panel top tab to join along previous side top tab, sandwiching the support top tab between. Glue in place.

11. Fold rim shape front edge tabs and sections inward at perforations, back edge tabs outward.

12. Work along the widest section ONLY of the rim, to align a segment straight side edge over the perf line of the adjoining tiny triangle tab, and glue in place, working one segment at a time until each is section is secure. This process will begin to give the rim its arched shape.

Complete both the front and the back rims.

13. Insert the back tabs into the side panel slots. Carefully work inward until fully extended. Fold toward mailbox center and glue each in place to panel underside.

14. Arrange the front tabs over the opening edges, then glue each in place, taking care to work the panel edge fully into the angle of the rim corner at perforation. It may be helpful to begin at the top center two tabs then work along each side.

Inserting a long, narrow tool such as a knitting needle into the long side sections will help to provide a leveraged surface to press against to help join the seam.

15. Fold tabs of door stop piece back, and fold and glue the lower edge shape back (keep in mind that the "new" stop piece has a cutout at the bottom edge to facilitate taller cards into the finished mailbox.)

16. Fold the lower handle as shown, with larger backside square window "cut out" free to show thru large hole punch in front shape. Glue small hole punch hole end tab layers, and center section layers together. Center and glue in place at top of door panel so that small holes in each layer line up. (See handle in place in image with step 22.)

17. Prepare upper handle shape by folding in half, with tabs folded outward. Glue top sections together. Insert handle through the slot on the stop (from Step 15 above). Glue tabs to stop backside or upper tab.

18. Position and glue stop into the top arch of front opening as shown.

19. Glue the decorative echo shapes to front door and back panels. Echo shapes are sized specifically for door or back panel, so take care that they are paired correctly.

20. Position the lower tab of back panel so that it "slots in" to the notch area of base . . .

then glue to the underside of the base.

21. Slide panel fully into opening, adjusting so that the panel is recessed approx. 1/8" back from front of rim, and glue tabs in place.

22. Position and attach the lower tab of door panel in similar manner to back panel.

23. Assemble the flag by layering and gluing left and right flag staff shapes, then layering and gluing front and back flag shapes, with base shape (slightly larger than staff base) on top.

24.  Attach flag to box with medium brad through designated hole as shown.

25. Attach small brads through all side panel and lower door handle holes.

26. Fold and attach optional name marquee at top. Glue in place if desired, then insert brads through holes.

Name marquee offers a place to add a name or other identifying text or shapes to truly personalize this box.

27. Glue the circle over the backside of the door to cover the brad prongs.

Now have fun filling your 3d mailbox
with valentines, birthday cards, Christmas cards,
or wedding guest cards.