Posted in Project

Blue and Natural “Boat and Tote”

“Boat and Tote” is an LL Bean product. I get apparel from them, and see their “boat and tote” featured all the time. Essentially, it is a natural canvas bag, with handles and bottom in a different color. I thought the handles go all the way to the bottom (or even wrap around). But, I guess I should have gone back to check the product first.

I have yet to put together the bag from the All Dressed Up dies, so I thought why not try to recreate the “boat and tote”. I think I was largely successful, too. Given what I thought it looked like…

I die cut two of the bag pieces (as needed for a bag) from Very Vanilla. I then embossed both pieces in the Subtle 3D embossing folder, stopping about 1″ from the bottom. I wanted the bottom to remain smooth.

(Little embossing tip: if you place the bevel edge of the cutting plate at the edge of the embossing folder, partial embossing doesn’t create a sharp edge, compared to if you put your cutting plate fully on the embossing folder. The right piece was embossed this way. The left piece had the embossing folder fully covered. You can see how sharp the transition is to flat on the left piece.)

Die cut two pieces in the second color. I cut such that there was about 1-1/2″ above the bottom of the bag. On the side, I had to trim off a bit, to make sure that the sides were also 1-1/2″ above the bottom. On the back side of the die cuts, I put Tear and Tape along the top edge.

I lined up the contrast pieces with the full Very Vanilla pieces.

Don’t those look sharp already? Here is what it looks like from the back. Nothing interesting, right?

I then cut off the extra Very Vanilla cardstock at the bottom.

Put the bag together. Glue sides together first, then close the bottom. I like to put the small bottom tabs on the inside, then the two larger bottom flaps. The bottom flaps don’t reach all the way across. By putting the small tabs on the inside, you won’t see them from the outside.

Now, if you can see a bit of the Very Vanilla peeking out at the seams:

just use a marker and add some ink. It’s not perfect, but not as visible.

Now, for the handles. I die cut 2 full handles, as you would normally. I also die cut 4 partial straps, at least 3-1/4″ long. On each side, glue down two partial handles, putting the nice finished edge on the bottom.

Trim down the excess. Make sure the handles are well secured at the top.

Curl one of the full handles with a bone folder. Glue to the top edge of one side.

Repeat for the other side. Complete!

Now, I am thinking, if there is a way to extend the handle die cut, such that you can make it a full 11″, you don’t need the partial pieces. Hmm…

Posted in Project

Alternate Valentine Treats

As I was mulling the possibility of handing out treats, I prototyped another treat box that would fit the same amount of candy. I ultimately decided this box would take longer to make. It came out really cute, though. So, of course, I have to share!

This treat box is based on a box by Julie DiMatteo.

Mine is sized to fit the candies that I bought. It will also fit 2-3 Ghiradelli squares.

And here it is opened up.

See, super cute, right?

I found that the construction creates a kind of locking mechanism, so that you don’t need to make a belly band to hold it closed. Really! The triangular parts that are folded in will catch on the sides of the box. Snug fit, and the two parts won’t fall off. My kind of box!

Mine is a little bit smaller than Julie’s. I have a couple of tips for making your own in your own size.

I wanted the finished size of the box to be 2-1/4″ x 2-1/4″ x 1″. Each triangular wrapper needs two square widths plus the depth in the long direction, and one square width plus one depth in the other direction. This means each half of the wrapper starts with DSP measuring 2-1/4″ + 2-1/4″ + 1″ (5-1/2″) long and 2-1/4″ + 1″ (3-1/4″) wide.

For the base, I would need one square width plus two depths (for the sides). However, I want them to fit inside the wrappers. I found that if I decreased the total width by 1/8″ (and score as I mention below), then I get the perfect fit. Thus, the base starts with a piece of cardstock 2-1/4″ + 1″ + 1″ – 1/8″ (4-1/8″) square.

To make sure that my base fits perfectly, I shift over the cardstock slightly before scoring at the depth I am looking for (in this case, 1″).

Here’s another tip for you, to make sure your two halves are facing the same direction when using a directional pattern of DSP. I scored both wrapper pieces as one piece first, then cut them apart. Here’s what I mean.

Start with a piece of DSP measuring 6-1/2″ x 5-1/2″. (The beauty of this is that you can get four pieces from one sheet of DSP. You have to cut in a windmill pattern. Because you are working with the two pieces together, it doesn’t matter if the pattern on the DSP is directional. Really.)

With the 6-1/2″ side along the top of the Simply Scored, score at 1″ from each side.

With the 5-1/2″ side along the top of the Simply Scored, score at 2-1/4″ from each side.

With the 6-1/2″ side at the top of your trimmer, cut the piece in half (3-1/4″).

Flip both pieces over. In my pictures, I flipped side over side, so that the outer edges are now in the middle.

Put a small piece of tape on opposite outer corners. (They should be on large squares.)

On the opposite side of each piece, put Tear and Tape along the edge of the middle section and the section next to the one with the small piece of tape.

In this way, I marked opposite corners of each piece. That is also the same section that will need the flap glued down last.

Now, I can put a piece of tape on the other corners.

Cut flaps and notch middle section.

Fold on score lines.

Fold corners to the middle. Tack down with the small pieces of tape.

Start assembling each half. First, fold up the middle flap to the OUTSIDE of the flap without any tape.

Then, fold up the outer flap. This gives a clean inside and outside.

And look! Both sides are in the same direction!

If you had started with a pattern that went in the 5-1/2″ direction (instead of the 6-1/2″ direction in my sample), the opening would be top left to bottom right instead. I found this a much easier way of keeping the patterns matched up. My first two attempts were dismal.


Posted in Project

Valentine Treats

I wasn’t sure I was going to make a nice treat package this year. I had bought candy before I realized my work schedule was for a satellite location. I ultimately did make packages, though. I just gave them out early!

I made them using the From My Heart specialty paper and Flirty Flamingo or Real Red cardstock.

These treats are based on the triangle tent boxes featured by Pootles (you can find the post here, although a bigger version). The shape looks a bit different because the sides are pushed out rather than in. (I needed just a little bit more space for one of the candies. I thought this was easier than expanding the box.)

Here is a better look at one of them:

My version starts with a piece of cardstock 2-3/4″ x 7″. Score at 2″, 3-1/4″, 5-1/4″, 6-1/2″. Put tick marks at 2-5/8″ and 5-7/8″. Rotate counterclockwise and score at 1-3/4″ (the top of the box will be to the left). (Are you mass producing? Start with a piece of cardstock 11″ x 7″, do the scoring at 2″, 3-1/4″, 5-1/4″, 6-1/2″. Cut apart every 2-3/4″ along the 11″ side. Then for each piece, do the final scoring at 1-3/4″ and put in the tick marks. You save time doing the main scoring once for four pieces.)

You will use the tick marks to score diagonally down to the 1-3/4″ score line where it meets the two closest score lines to either side.

Here is where to trim, and where to add some Tear and Tape.



To assemble, first fold on all score lines.

With the last side and flap folded over and to the left, fold over the first side on the right. This will close up the box.

Finish assembly by folding in the sides first, then the flap without any tape, and finishing with the flap with tape.

At this point, Pootles pushed in the sides to close the box. Instead, I let mine puff out to accomodate the candy.

The wrapper is 2″ x 5-1/2″ of the specialty paper. With the design going top to bottom, put some Tear and Tape to the back side of the bottom of the wrapper.

Starting from the top side of the wrapper, place on the bottom of the box starting from the back. I didn’t put it all the way to the edge, probably about an inch. Wrap around to the front and stick down the other end over the first. Be careful of wrapping too tightly. I recommend taking off the liner of the tape before starting, i.e., don’t wait until you wrap partway.

To finish off the package, I stamped the word “love” from Well Said and added a red rhinestone beneath. To save time during mass production, I die cut a whole bunch of hearts first, then stamped in a template in my Stamparatus.

Posted in Project

Vellum Templete for Drawing Frames

I recently saw a demonstrator post a card that had three hearts and a sentiment, surrounded by a hand-drawn frame. I have seen the technique before. However, getting the frame “just right” always bugged. The other demonstrator suggested buying a T-square to draw the lines (Jennifer McGuire uses one, too). But, I didn’t feel like ordering one. The space *ahem* on my desk doesn’t allow something 12″ long to be used, so I went for a different approach. (I don’t like free hand, so that wasn’t the answer either.)

I decided to create a vellum template with a window cut out of the middle for the approximate box I wanted to draw on my card. I ended up making it 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″. The window is cut at 1″ from all edges, just to make it simple. Turns out, it worked well for the card I made.

Stamp: Painted Poppies, Peaceful Moments

Ink: Night of Navy, Night of Navy marker

Paper: Whisper White thick and regular, Night of Navy, Vellum

Accesories: Stamp-a-ma-jig (retired)

I kept the inside simple.

The card front was originally 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ to match the vellum template. I stamped the flower approximately where I wanted it (I could have used the Stamp-a-ma-jig, if I wanted), then lay the template on top. Since the two pieces are the same size, all I had to do was line up and secure to my work surface. (Sorry, these are rotated.)

Using the inside opening, I used my marker to add a box, stopping before I got to the flower.

What’s super cool is that, since the marker doesn’t go right on top of the edge, I can use the cut out part to make a double border. Using a bit of repositionable adhesive, I put the cut out into the middle of the template.

Draw along the outside, stopping before reaching the flower.

I added the sentiment using a Stamp-a-ma-jig. I could have used the Stamparatus, but thought it would be easier this way for a one-off card. Whatever you use, do make sure you are not fumbly fingered.

Before adding to my card, I cut down my stamped piece to 3-7/8″ x 5-1/8″.

Now, going back to the idea of having three items and a sentiment with a box around them, I stamped the smaller poppy on another 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ piece of Whisper White. Using my template as guidance, I stamped my sentiment underneath, such that it would be right where the drawn box would go. However, I found that the row of poppies were just a bit too wide for my template. Not to worry.

I lined up the template with the piece of cardstock and secured to my work surface. Note that the opening of the template should be approximately centered over the poppies and the sentiment goes right across one edge of the opening. Just where I want everything to be.

Using my marker, I start drawing my box on the top and bottom edges only. I don’t go all the way into the corners.

Now, keeping the top and bottom edges of both layers aligned, slide the template to one side, so that the opening now clears that side of the poppies.

To help disguise starts and stops in drawing the box, I used randomly-placed dots as part of my box. Draw in the first side and corners of the box.

Shift the template to the other side of the poppies, again keeping the edges aligned between the two layers.

Finish drawing the other side and corners.

Complete! Again, I cut down this stamped layer to 3-7/8″ x 5-1/8″ before adding to my card.

For the inside, I thought I would get a little bit fancy, while still staying in the theme of lines and poppy line art.

I used my template to draw these lines, and not a ruler / t-square!

Line up the side edges this time, and slide up the template, until the outside edge is where you want to draw a line. (You will see that I already cut down this layer, so only lined up the left hand side of both layers.)

Draw your line.

Move it again, to draw another line.

Draw your second line.

It was at this point that I realized that the lines come out better if you go slow.

Hope you like this technique and try it for yourself! All you need is some vellum and a blade trimmer. Chances are, you already have them!

Posted in Project

Accordion Tri-Fold Card, Valentine Style

I couldn’t help but revisit the accordion tri-fold card design that I showed you late last year, and update it with the From My Heart suite! (I am using the 3-1/2 x 5 version that I linked instead of the swap version, which measured 2-3/4 x 5-1/2.)

What do you do, really, when you realize it’s almost Valentine’s Day, and you only ordered the paper for the new suite? Use the previous year’s dies. The hearts are not quite the same shape, so I had to stick with adding die cuts to the paper, rather than using the dies to die-cut the paper… (I also came across a retired heart punch. It *may* work, although the point of the heart is sharper, meaning it curves in. The new heart punches have a more straight point.)

Stamp: Meant to Be, Lined Alphabet

Ink: Real Red, Real Red Blends combo, Cherry Cobbler Blends dark, Flirty Flamingo Blends dark

Paper: Whisper White thick and regular, Real Red, Flirty Flamingo, Vellum, From My Heart specialty DSP

Accessories: Stitched Be Mine dies, From My Heart faceted gems

In order for the heart to stand out a bit from the background, I added a bigger heart die-cut from vellum. I also mixed up the color of the scallops and heart, as compared to the background. Another way I made the heart stand out was to use dimensionals. I also wanted the scallop border to stand out a bit, so I stacked two together. The end result looks like the heart is puffy.

On the inside, I couldn’t think of a four-letter sentiment (besides love). I decided to leave one of the four accordion panels undecorated, and added a sentiment across the remaining three.

I stamped the letters from Lined Alphabet stamp set and colored them with a gradient. I had to use Dark Cherry Cobbler as my color darker than Real Red, instead of light. Weird, right? Instead of cutting out the dot for the “i”, I used a faceted gem instead.

Oh, and the stamped heart is from Meant to Be, in Real Red. Originally, it’s a striped heart on Whisper White. It looked out of place with the letters. So, I opted to color over with a Flirty Flamingo Blends dark.

I also used the Real Red Blends dark to color the edges of the letters and the stamped heart. Getting rid of the little bit of white showing really makes a difference.