A few weeks ago I did a demonstration based on a challenge. This challenge was to see what I could make using polystyrene eggs (in various sizes) and the Xcut nesting die set – Easter Eggs (XCU 503419). For ease and clarity, when describing making of the projects, the six dies in this set will be numbered 1 to 6, with 1 being the smallest and 6 the largest.
Never one to refuse a crafty challenge I started my egg-speriments (sorry! ) and the next few blog-posts will detail some of the creations I came up with.
The challenge was obviously very appropriate to the time of year, so with Easter still a few weeks away I will show the seasonal makes first.
Apart from chocolate eggs, probably the most likely thing to be given at Easter is a card – so to start with I made some egg-shaped card blanks. I started with some textured cream card blanks from my stash, probably about 240gsm, moved through smooth white card blanks from Craft UK Ltd (250gsm) and onto Centura Pearl Snow White with Gold flecks, which is 300gsm.
All these cards cut beautifully – I used a Grand Calibur, but I do not see why any other die cutting machine would not cope with these card weights doubled (folded).
The card/card blank was folded and die 6 (largest) of the six Easter Egg dies was placed so that the ‘cutting’ edge of the die slightly overlapped (i.e. would not cut) the left edge and bottom of the card – this is to ensure you end up with an egg-shaped card (instead of two egg shaped pieces of card) that will stand up instead of rolling over.
As can be seen from the pictures, the cream card I decorated with a kraft card egg-shaped frame (cut using dies 4 and 5 in the Easter Egg die set) and three eggs (using die 2) cut from Madame Payraud paper by DoCrafts Papermania. The peel-off Easter greeting is on some cream card cut using the Spellbinders Die D-Lites – Petite Labels One.
The Centura Pearl card blank forms the basis for a ‘clean and simple’ card made to look like an expensive Easter egg.
To achieve this look, I cut another piece of Centura Pearl (using egg die 6), as I wanted the card front to be completely egg shaped, i.e. not have a flattened side (it still has a slightly flat base, to allow the card to stand). I left the cut card in the die and used the technique of ‘embossing through, or in, the die’ to give an embossed egg with the flat edge where the die prevents the embossing folder from reaching the card.
This is a really effective technique, but you need to get the ‘sandwich’ correct for your machine to prevent damage to your embossing folder.
For the Grand Calibur it is as follows:
6 – Raspberry D Adapter Plate
5 – a couple of sheets of cardstock acting as shims (mine were approx. 220 gsm) – these provide the thickness that is missing because your embossing folder is open (see below)
4 – Tan (rubber) Embossing Mat
3 – Card in Die – NB the cutting edge of your die MUST be face up so it will be pushed into the tan mat
2 – Embossing Folder OPEN, with inside (i.e. embossing part) uppermost – you can use either side of your embossing folder, however, if you want the card embossed as though you had run it through the folder normally, you will need to use the ‘top’ side of the folder (you might need to experiment to see which side of the folder you want to use, before using your project piece)
1 – Grey A Base Plate
For those with a Sizzix Bigshot please follow this link to see information about embossing through a die.
Just remember the Golden Rule – no matter which die-cutting machine you have, if you feel too much resistance DO NOT FORCE the sandwich through the machine – it will break your machine!
The lovely pattern on my egg was produced by using the embossing folder ‘Curly Swirly’ by Sheena Douglass.
I then wrapped a flat piece of ribbon around the embossed egg and stuck the ends to the back (another advantage of doing an egg ‘topper’). The bow was made from another piece of the same ribbon and the cameo was one of a set of 4 for £1.99 in The Works – one of my regular haunts for embellishments and other crafty bits & pieces. This ‘topper’ was then stuck to the original ‘card blank’ cut from Centura Pearl and a peel-off Easter greeting was stuck inside.
To end this post I have some very simple Easter decorations which are becoming more popular – usually these are hung from a simple ‘au naturel’ or pastel coloured twig forming an ‘Easter Tree’.
The first set of photos shows different sized polystyrene eggs which have been painted with watered-down emulsion paint (test-pots are perfect for this), then decorated with sequins and beads in Spring colours.
The photos below show decorations made using both the dies and polystyrene eggs. The card was cut by placing two sheets back-to-back and cutting the larger egg shape through both (die number 6) – then still with the two pieces of card back-to-back (but not stuck together at this point) the inner aperture was cut with die 3 of the nested Easter Egg set. Cutting the card this way ensures the aperture is in the same place on both pieces.
A small polystyrene egg was decorated for each ornament – one with ‘Lilac’ Pinflair Glitter Paste, the other with ‘Sky Blue’. The extra decoration on the blue egg was added using Pinflair’s Glitter and Pearl wands in different colours.
The cord was attached to the egg, by pushing a cocktail stick into the top to make a hole, squeezing a little Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue into the hole, then pushing the cord into the hole using the cocktail stick (which is then removed) and allowing this to dry.
Once everything is dry, the two pieces of card are stuck together sandwiching the cord for the aperture egg and decoration’s hanging cord between the two sides. Remember, you will want to choose ‘pretty’ card for both sides as the decoration will swivel when hung on your ‘tree’.
My next post will give instructions for a fun Easter gift – look forward to seeing you then.