Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mylar Snowflakes for Christmas Sparkle!

Not just for Christmas, sparkle is great for all kinds of celebrations! 

I love mylar! You know, the thin sheets of holographic cellophane that you use to put in the top of a gift bag.... there's something about the way it shimmers and sparkles and makes everything look wonderful.  I've always wanted to make some kind of decoration with it for Christmas, but it's waaay too thin.  So how can I make it thicker?

I've used Xyron® cartridges since the mid  90's and love them all, but have done so many fun things with the laminate cartridge.  Sooooo.... maybe I can laminate it!! One hour later, I have dancing snowflakes hanging from a chandelier......

You will need:
Xyron® Creative Station
5" Double-sided laminate cartridge
Cricut® cutting machine (I use my Explore, or Maker)
Mylar gift tissue
Metallic, or nylon thread
Tapestry needle
Adhesive gems

And here's what I did:

1.  Load the cartridge into your Xyron Creative Station.

2.  Unfold the sheets of mylar then separate 2 sheets.  Leave these 2 sheets stuck together.  Cut into smaller pieces along the folds.  Pieces will be about 4" x 9".

3.  Carefully feed the pieces into the machine to laminate.

4.  Trim around the laminated mylar leaving about 1/8" of clear laminate from the edge, so the pieces don't separate, then place on your cutting mat.

5.  Upload snowflake designs into Cricut Design Space, then follow the on-screen instructions to cut. I used the medium cardstock setting, but you may have to adjust the settings depending on the brand of mylar.  Cut one shape to test.



6.  After cutting, gently peel away the mylar from around the snowflake then, because it has a sharp edge, I use a paint scraper to carefully remove the snowflakes.  Remember you're using 2 layers of mylar.  Now the shape has been cut, you can separate the layers. You will have 2 snowflakes laminated on one side.  Note: you can also laminate one sheet of mylar for a sturdier shape.   


7.  I adhered a gem to the center of each snowflake; one on each side then used metallic thread to hang. It's better to use ornament hangers if you want to hang them on branches. Poke a hole first with the tapestry needle.  Mine hang from the light fixture over the table and dance merrily whenever the heat, or air conditioning comes on. (I live in Texas, so we use either one and sometimes both on any given day... )

Don't they look pretty!  Thinking raindrop shapes would look amazing hanging from helium balloons (clouds) for a baby shower too......   aaaaah the possibilities.....

Enjoy!  Merry Christmas y'all.....

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Monday, December 18, 2017

Etched Christmas Lantern

I love pretty much anything that has to do with lights, especially around Christmas.  Lanterns are pretty trendy right now, so I decided to breathe some new life into an old lantern that had been on the patio for a few years and give it some holiday pizazz!

Here's what I used and what I did:
  • etchall® etching crème
  • etchall® etchmask™ and transfer paper
  • Pik tool and squeegee
  • LED candle (I used a tree shaped one that changes color)
  • Ribbon
  • Christmas piks to embellish
1.  Remove the glass pieces from the lantern, wash thoroughly then dry.  Clean the lantern with a damp cloth.
2.  I love to etch on both sides of a piece of glass for a dimensional look, so I uploaded the following designs into Cricut Design Space.  These are my personal designs, but you may use them for personal projects.  PNGs are available on my blog under Images for Personal Use.  



3.  Load etchmask onto a cutting mat then cut the designs. (I needed 2 sheets of etchmask for these designs.) You will need 4 sets of birch trees and one each of the additional designs.  Turn the trees 90˚ to maximize each piece of etchmask.  The glass pieces in my lantern measured 4" x 7", so the trees needed to be 7" tall.  You will need to measure the size of the pieces of glass and size the designs accordingly for your project.  The additional designs need to be sized relative to the size of the trees.

4.  Weed the designs while still on the mat.

 5.  To determine the size to cut your "trees" stencil, place a piece of glass on top then cut out around the edge of the glass.

6.  You can use the "trees" stencil as is, or cut the stencil to etch 2 trees on one side of the glass and the third on the other.  Cut a piece of transfer paper the same size as the piece of glass, remove the backing paper then place on top of the stencil.

7.   Use the squeegee to burnish the transfer paper firmly onto the stencil. I also use my finger to rub firmly around the edge of the design.  Remove the stencil from the mat.  

8.  Slowly peel the backing from the etchmask. Do not discard, you can use this to protect uncovered areas of the glass while etching designs.  Position the stencil on the glass then use the squeegee to smooth firmly in place. You can etch each piece of glass individually, or lay the pieces of glass side by side on a mat then etch one side of all four at one time.    

9.  Make sure that any part of the glass not to be etched is completely covered.  Use scrap pieces of etchmask, painters tape, etc. to avoid accidental etching in unwanted areas.

10.  Cover the design(s) with crème.  Leave for 15 minutes then scrape the crème back into the container.  Don't forget, etchall crème is reusable.  Rinse away any remaining residue.  DO NOT rinse over a porcelain sink. Etching crème will remove the glaze from many types of surfaces it comes into contact with.  If you haven't used this product before, please read all the directions on the container and previous posts on this blog (search "etching").  You can also find video tutorials at www.etchall.com

11.  Rinse away any remaining residue then remove the stencil. Buff the glass dry with a soft cloth.

12.  Make sure your work surface is completely clean then place each piece of glass, etched side down on to the mat.  Position the remaining stencils on the back of each piece, cover any open areas then etch the designs on the back of the glass in the same way.

13.  Replace the glass pieces in the lantern.

14.  Decorate the top with Christmas piks, ribbons, etc then place your LED candle inside to finish.

May an etched lantern make your home extra merry and bright this Christmas.....  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Subway Tile for Home Dec

Not just for a kitchen or bathroom, single subway tiles can be used to create unique Home Dec items for your own home, or to give as a gift...

You will need the following supplies:
  • etchall® etching crème
  • etchall® etchmask and transfer sheets
  • etchall® pik tool and squeegee
  • 3" x 6" white subway tile
  • Rub'n Buff
  • 5" x 7" Frame
  • 6" x 8" scrap of burlap
  • White glue

1.  Cut the word "Believe" in a script font from etchmask using an electronic die cutting machine.  Size to fit inside a 3" x 6" rectangle. Tip: I placed "Believe" inside a 3" x 6" cutting line, so the finished stencil would fit the tile with the word centered.  Option: Multi-purpose stencils can be applied to the tile with etchall Reposition/Reuse Stencil Spray.

2.  Weed the design and outline from the etchmask while still on the mat.  Cover with a 3" x 6" piece of transfer paper then lift the stencil from the mat.

3.  Remove the waxy backing from the stencil then with the edges of the stencil aligned with the edge of the tile, adhere the stencil.  Use the squeegee to flatten securely then remove the transfer paper.

4.  Cover the design with creme.  Leave for 15 minutes then scrape the crème back into the container.  Rinse away any remaining residue.  DO NOT rinse over a porcelain sink. Etching creme will remove many types of glaze it comes into contact with.  If you haven't used etching creme before, please read all the directions on the container and previous posts on this blog.  You can also find video tutorials at www.etchall.com

5.  Remove the stencil then buff the tile dry with a soft cloth.  Look carefully and you can see how the glaze has been removed, but the design can be enhanced with Rub'n Buff.

6.  Squeeze a small amount of Rub'n Buff onto a soft cloth then rub onto the etched design.  The color will adhere to the etched areas, but will rub off the unetched surface of the tile.  Work quickly to remove the excess from around the letters.  Use two or three coats as needed to deepen the color.

7.  Decorate with the tile as is, or place in a frame.

8.   Remove the glass and backing from the frame.   Cover the backing with a piece of burlap then push back into the frame.  The glass is no longer needed.  Glue the tile to the front of the frame.


Subway tiles are inexpensive and readily available at local home improvement stores.  They are so easy to personalize, especially if you have the ability to cut your own stencils with an electronic shape cutting machine.  They are easy to make,  economical and perfect for a housewarming gift for friends and family......  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Friday, December 8, 2017

Sprinkle Cupcakes for the Christmas Tree

“While visions of sugar plums” and cupcakes “danced in their heads”…

Here's a quick'n EZ project for last minute decorations. A box or basket of these would also make a sweet hostess gift!
You'll need:

  1. Cover the top half of the ball with tacky glue, then add the white sprinkles. 
  2. Glue the ball into a petit four cupcake paper. Use a low-temp glue gun to adhere a red pony bead at the top. 
  3. Attach the jump ring to the pony bead then add a decorative ornament hanger. 
Now sit back and enjoy those cupcakes!  Each one has zero calories so you can make as many as you like!

Enjoy!  Y'all come back now.........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Make it Merry and Bright!

You may remember that I received a selection of Rinea®, double-sided foil paper a little over a year ago.  I used to craft with this exact, same product when I lived in Germany almost 50 yeas ago and loved it!  I used it for all kinds of decorations throughout the year and this year I thought I'd share some original German designs.  

This snowflake star is SO easy to make.  All you need is:
  • Rinea® Double-sided Foil Paper - red/gold, green/gold & silver/gold
  • Extra strength stick glue
  • Paper trimmer, or a craft knife and ruler
  • Small Flower punch
  • 1/4" Adhesive acrylic jewel

1.  Cut eight, 1/2" wide strips from the 6" end of the green/gold glossy foil and two, 1" x 1" squares.

2.  Fold each square in half. Unfold then fold in half again in the opposite direction, or use an embossing tool to divide the square into 4.  Do not cut.  The lines are for placement.

3.  Fold each of the green strips in half, then unfold.  Using the fold lines as a guide, align the center of the strip with the center of the square. The edge of the strip should be even with the edge of the square. Glue two strips across the gold square.

4.  Flip over, then with gold facing up, glue two additional strips across the back of the square at right angles to the first two as shown.

5.  One side will be gold and the other side green.

6.  Take the ends of 2 adjacent strips and pull them toward each other.  Overlap so the corner edges are even, then glue together. 

7.  Repeat on all four corners and it will look like this.

8.  Create a second piece, then glue one on top of the other to make the basic shape. 


The corner points can be facing up or down.  This is the same star, but each one looks a little different depending on which side is facing up.

9.  Now you know how to make the basic star/snowflake shape, let's make a smaller star with the red/gold foil.  This star is made in exactly the same way, except you will use 1/4' x 4" strips.  Create two, then glue together at the center. 

10.  With the gold center facing up, glue this smaller star to the center of the larger star.


There are two different looks, depending on which side of the large star the small one is glued to and whether the gold center with red points faces up, as shown, or down. 

11.  For a little extra bling I glued a small, silver punched flower at the center.

12.  For a little extra pizzaz, I created another star shape with the silver/gold glossy foil, using 6 x 1/2" strips, then glued it to the back using dimensional foam stickers.


 13.  Paper foil is very easy to work with and the "points" can be moved up or down as needed, or even flattened . Of course I had to add an acrylic jewel to the center to finish.  I think it will look fabulous on a Christmas gift with, or without a bow!


This is a fun, and easy project for all ages!  Enjoy!   Y'all come back now for more ideas with "Bastelfolie"......    and, in case you missed them, the projects I created last year are here: https://juliemcguffee.blogspot.com/2016/11/paper-foil-blog-hop.html

Yours truly,
Julie  :)