Christmas card,  matching tag and  re-cycled gift wrapping.jpg

Christmas card,  matching tag and  re-cycled gift wrapping

by Ada Daly [email protected]

Ada moved to Portugal over a month ago, together with 60 large boxes overflowing with crafts materials and not much else! She had been crafting most of her life and as well as running her own successful crafts business, worked for many years for Europe’s largest art and craft distributor and alongside many of the UK’s top craft magazines.

This month I am going to introduce you to one of my very favourite, and an absolute ‘must have’, crafting machines. The Cuttlebug is one of the most useful and innovative machines I have ever used.

Not only does it cut and emboss with the turn of a handle, but it is light weight and very simple to use thus making crafting so quick and easy. And with literally hundreds of beautiful dies and embossing folders to choose from, what more could a dedicated crafter ask for?  

I promised last month to make a much funkier Christmas card, avoiding the use of traditional Christmas colours. So, as we live in the sunshine, with blue skies and turquoise waters, I just had to use these vibrant colours to put a more modern slant on my Christmas card.  

And, as I also want to do my bit towards reducing waste, I have given you a few gift wrapping ideas so that you can re-cycle your white plastic shopping bags.  Make your card, gift tag and your wrapping paper in coordinating colours and help to reduce waste at the same time.

Basic crafters tool box:

You should always have these items available in your box, as they are crafters’ essentials and will be used all the time.  

• Scissors, small and sharp

• Various types of glues – glue pen, Pritt stick, photo glue

• Metal edged ruler

• Sharp cutting knife

• Various sizes of double sided foam pads (to give dimension)

• Double sided tape

• Pokey tool (useful to make holes with)

• Cutting mat with gridlines (essential to line up and help you cut straight)

• Tweezers (useful for picking up and moving tiny items)

You will need:

• 1 A4 sheet of yellow card

• 1 A5 sheet of fuchsia card

• 1 A5 sheet of turquoise card

• 1 A5 sheet of gold textured card

• Assorted buttons in coordinating colours

• 1cm wide ribbon in coordinating colours (approx. 1mt. long)

• ‘Merry Christmas’ rubber stamp

• Colour box pigment Ink – gold stamp pad

• Adhesive stones – gold

• Stickles glitter glue – gold and turquoise

• Liquid pearls – white and fuchsia

• Funky fibres – white

• Provo Craft Cuttlebug Machine

• Cuttlebug Cutting & Embossing Die Set – Beautifully Boxed

• Embossing folder – Snowflakes

• Foam pads, pokey tool, scissors, tweezers, hole punch

How to:

1. Take your A4 sheet of yellow card and fold down the centre.  This will be your base card.  (See Hints & Tips below on how to make a perfect centre crease)

2. Lay the turquoise sheet inside the folder and run through the Cuttlebug.  Trim excess edges away.  

3. To decorate, glue coloured buttons onto the card, threaded with funky fibre and knotted to secure. Dot some snowflake centres with white liquid pearls, and fill others with gold stones.  Allow to dry.

4. Mat this on the fuchsia card and then use larger foam pads to mat again onto the gold card.

5. Then glue all three layers onto the yellow base card, making sure you centre it evenly.

6. Using remaining fuchsia scraps to cut out a piece 2cms x 9cms mat using larger foam pads onto turquoise card.

7. Glue a strip of ribbon 2cms from the top and 2cms from the bottom of card. Dot flower centres with white liquid pearl. Allow to dry.

Matching tags:  

1. Run some of the ‘beautifully boxed’ tags through your Cuttlebug.  

2. Layer and glue three together, keeping the turquoise as the centre, the yellow as the back, the fuchsia as the front. Cut off the centre ribbon.

3. With the hole punch make a hole in the centre of the top of the tag.

4. Thread decorative ribbon through the hole and knot to secure.

5. Decorate as on the card with buttons, pearl and gold stones and tie to your parcel with funky fibres.

Re-cycled plastic carrier bags:

• Depending on the size of your gift, cut enough from your plastic bag to cover completely, allowing enough to cover ends and tops and leaving ample to make your rosette.  In my example, I have covered a round box.  To make a good full rosette in the centre, I used 2 layers of plastic bags.

• Lay the round box in the centre and leave a good frame all around the box.  Mark this with a pencil.

• With the fuchsia, white pearl and gold glitter glues, decorate your plastic surface by making patterns of dots, swirls, circles etc around the outer edges Allow to dry completely.

• With needle and thread sew a small running stitch all around, following the pencil marks.

• Place your boxed gift into the centre and draw up the thread as tight as possible.  Knot the   thread around the base of the rosette to secure.  Fluff out rosette, separating the layers to make them stand out fully.

A few useful hints and tips to help you along the way:

• When picking out card, ribbon and embellishments, glitter glues, etc, pick colours that coordinate with your central and main theme.  

• Do make sure that you measure very carefully before cutting your matting frames out.  If necessary, make pencil marks on the back of your card to help.

• You could also use more foam pads on each layer to create more height.

• Folding and creasing is really simple. Roll rather than fold your card over to meet the other side and then run your hand slowly up and down the backbone of the card pressing down lightly as you go until you have completely creased the card flat.  Turn it over to the inside and do this again. This way you will always get a perfect centre crease and can correct any misalignments as you go along

• If you have larger items to wrap, glue decorative shapes, cut from the Cuttlebug selection of dies, to the outer box in colours that match your tags and cards.

• Decorate used gift bags and boxes in the same way.