Cutting Class

If you have been paper crafting for a while you have probably made quite an investment in cutting tools. When starting out one might assume that a nice pair of scissors will do. But there are many different tools that have an array of features that make paper crafting easier, and often more fun! Some devices are made out of sturdy materials so they will last a long time but also makes them expensive. We hope to provide some insight on what to buy and when in order to avoid overspending on equipment you may not need…yet.

Beginner

At the beginning stage, there is a lot to learn about paper, ink, stamping techniques and adhesives used in projects. It is great to learn the basics of composition and design when starting out. Whether making a card, a banner or a paper flower arrangement, most of the learning curve is with the basic layout, color theory, and form. No matter the layout or project, you are probably going to need to cut the paper.

Drawing representing a basic paper trimmer.

Get a perfect edge of the perfect size (almost) each and every time! (User error does cause some heartaches.)

Besides a good pair of scissors, a basic paper trimmer and a few fun punches will be a great start. A trimmer allows accuracy in cutting measurements and straight clean lines. Once a few projects are made using a paper trimmer,  it is hard to go back. Many come with a slide style blade, but there also are guillotine styles. Another beginner essential is a paper punch. These heavy little devices offer basic shapes such as a circle, heart, star or a hexagon and can keep anyone busy for a long time. With a basic punch, the beginner can go crazy on creating paper garlands, adding dimension to a card design or making labels for other projects. 

They are kinda like the ole’ office supply hole punches on steroids.

$ – Paper trimmer $10-20. Do some research and go ahead and get a nice one. This device will be one of your most used tools no matter how long you’ve been playing with paper. Be sure to get one that offers replacement blades. Punches vary from $5-20 each. Beginning investment can range from $35 -$75.

Intermediate

Once the beginner has developed a strong foundation in layout and a working knowledge of materials then it is time to kick it up a notch with more complex designs. One way to do this is with a die cut machine. Die cuts come in basic shapes, basic words and alphabets, as well as more complex designs like flower sets, animal shapes, box templates, edge treatments, etc. The die and paper run through a die cut machine which may be manually cranked or electronic. It acts much like a punch creating perfect shapes. Die cuts can be much more delicate than punch shapes and you can find die cuts that do some really amazing tricks! Using die cuts can be quite joyful, but the price is significant. Once you are ready, invest in the machine and build your die cuts over time. As with punches, think about the variety of uses you will get out of each die when deciding on which ones to purchase.

Hand drawn image of a hand crank die cut machine.

You can get a workout while you create!

$$ – Die Cut Machine $50-$150. Again, do some research and get a nice one. One machine should last you for years. Wait for a sale or a coupon and pick one up. $15-30 for each die set. Your investment could easily reach $100-$200 quickly.

Advanced

Plotting and crafting meet at last! What takes someone from an intermediate to an advanced crafter is debatable. Since the digital machines are the most expensive, we reserve the price point for the advanced level with the confidence that anyone can make millions of great projects without spending at this level. While digital cutting machines are designed for easy use, we feel the advanced crafter will have the background and experience to get the most out of the flexibility and precision the plotter style machines offer.

Hand drawn image of a digital cutting machine.

It’s like having your very own crafty robot.

$$$ – Digital Die Cut Machine $200-400.

Whether you are just starting in paper crafting or have been crafting for years, we hope this review has helped provide guidance on purchasing tools that will match your needs. Of course, buy whatever devices you wish especially if you are on a Treat Yo Self mission! We recommend the above “levels” for the amount of use one can get before moving on to the next purchase!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Thinking of You Mixed Media Tag

by Renee Zarate

Thinking of You Tag by Renee Zarate using On Point Glue, Fireworks Craft Spray and Memento ink. pink, stencil, flowers, embellishments.
This project starts out as a simple manila tag and morphs into an ultra-feminine style textured tag that can be attached to a gift or be used as a card on its own. By layering one technique on top of another and using all kinds of product, this tag has a unique and highly textured appearance. Living a beautiful life can sometimes start with simply making tags and cards that we share with others.

Skill: Beginner

Time: 1 hour

Directions

Thinking of You Tag by Renee Zarate using On Point Glue, Fireworks Craft Spray and Memento ink. pink, stencil, flowers, embellishments.

Step 1

Take a manila shipping tag (6 ¼” by 3 ¼”) lay it on a craft mat. Place a stencil on top and lightly mist it with Lilac Posies Fireworks! Craft Spray. Set the tag aside and mist the same color onto your choice of paper or fabric flowers and a piece of ribbon. Dry with a heat tool.

Thinking of You Tag by Renee Zarate using On Point Glue, Fireworks Craft Spray and Memento ink. pink, stencil, flowers, embellishments.

Step 2

Stamp the “Thinking of You” phrase on a piece of deli or tissue paper using StazOn Jet Black ink. Cut or tear around the phrase to fit on the tag. Cut a small strip of paper matching the project colors and glue across the middle of the tag. Use a palette knife to adhere the phrase on tissue paper above the decorative paper using Creative Medium Original.

Thinking of You Tag by Renee Zarate using On Point Glue, Fireworks Craft Spray and Memento ink. pink, stencil, flowers, embellishments.

Step 3

Creative Medium can be used to secure the colored flowers on the left-hand side of the tag. The chain at the bottom can be attached to the gel medium by tucking the ends of the chain under the flowers. Tuck the leaves around the flowers in the same fashion. Use the gel medium to attach a metal butterfly onto one of the flowers.

Thinking of You Tag by Renee Zarate using On Point Glue, Fireworks Craft Spray and Memento ink. pink, stencil, flowers, embellishments.

Step 4

Use a glue stick to apply small amounts of glue randomly around the tag, apply gold foil. Use On Point Glue to add additional texture and interest to the flowers. Apply a small amount of On Point Glue to the tips of the flowers and leaves. Sprinkle glitter and glass beads onto the flowers and the butterfly. Tap off the excess.

Thinking of You Tag by Renee Zarate using On Point Glue, Fireworks Craft Spray and Memento ink. pink, stencil, flowers, embellishments.

Step 5

Attach a bow that has been inked to match the project to the top of the tag. Add crystal chain to the bow and adhere three self-adhesive crystal dots to the right side. Finish the highly textured effect with a thin line of Bronze irRESISTible Pico Embellisher to the top and the bottom of the decorative paper panel. Allow to dry.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Inkadinkado – sentiment stamp
  • Prima – stencil, flowers, leaves, self-adhesive crystal dots
  • Gold foil
  • Crystal chain
  • Butterfly embellishment
  • Metal chain
  • Gold glitter
  • Glass beads
  • Paper
  • Heat tool
  • Paper trimmer
  • Glue stick
  • Manila shipping tag
  • Palette knife

Save

The Secret Ingredient is Love

by Jowilna Nolte

Jowilna Nolte makes The Secret Ingredient is Love Tag using StazOn ink. orange, blue, brown, texture, stencil, mixed media, shimmer.

The best and most beautiful things are felt with the heart and cannot be seen – a favorite saying of mine and also the inspiration behind my themed tag this month. I used inks and paste to create a shimmering background for this beautiful tag.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 30 Minutes + dry time

Directions

Jowilna Nolte makes The Secret Ingredient is Love Tag using StazOn ink. orange, blue, brown, texture, stencil, mixed media, shimmer.

Step 1

Add some texture to a tag using a stencil and texture paste. Once the paste is dry, use a brayer and roll Delicata Golden Glitz onto the tag randomly and leave to dry.

Jowilna Nolte makes The Secret Ingredient is Love Tag using StazOn ink. orange, blue, brown, texture, stencil, mixed media, shimmer.

Step 2

Start by inking some Blue Hawaii StazOn ink onto the tag over the gold texture background. Add color in 2 or more areas using a jumbo dauber.

Jowilna Nolte makes The Secret Ingredient is Love Tag using StazOn ink. orange, blue, brown, texture, stencil, mixed media, shimmer.

Step 3

Use a clean jumbo dauber and ink your tag using Orange Zest StazOn ink in the open areas, overlap the ink onto the blue inked areas too, so the colors blend seamlessly into each other.

Jowilna Nolte makes The Secret Ingredient is Love Tag using StazOn ink. orange, blue, brown, texture, stencil, mixed media, shimmer.

Step 4

Now add some brown Ganache StazOn ink around the edges of the tag using another jumbo dauber.

Jowilna Nolte makes The Secret Ingredient is Love Tag using StazOn ink. orange, blue, brown, texture, stencil, mixed media, shimmer.

Step 5

Mist the inked tag using Gold Shimmer Spritz and leave to dry. The shimmer gives the StazOn inks a beautiful look. Finish by adding the sentiment and any additional embellishments with foam tape. I choose to staple the sentiment and add three hearts with gold thread in the back.

Jowilna Nolte makes The Secret Ingredient is Love Tag using StazOn ink. orange, blue, brown, texture, stencil, mixed media, shimmer.

Tip: To clean the StazOn ink on my craft mat I use StazOn stamp cleaner and then wipe it clean, otherwise, the ink will permanently stain your mat.

Jowilna Nolte makes The Secret Ingredient is Love Tag using StazOn ink. orange, blue, brown, texture, stencil, mixed media, shimmer.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Stencil
  • TCW – texture paste
  • Tag
  • Dina Wakeley – stamp
  • Gold thread
  • Stapler
  • Foam tape
  • Adhesive

Be Fabulous Today with On Point Glue

Fine details can sometimes make a big difference in a project. Imagine artists use On Point Glue (a new product release for March 2017) to give those fabulous finishing touches to their work. Jessica Litman creates mini paper flowers on a clothespin for a planner. With a different approach, Martha Lucia Gomez adds embellishments to a card created with stencils and Fireworks! craft spray. Check out the directions on each project below! Want to find out more about this fabulous new product? See more here. It will be available in our Shop in March.

Jessica Litman creates mini paper flowers on a clothespin for a planner.

Flowery Clothespin Paper Clip by Jessica Litman

This clothespin paper clip can add a bit of DIY cuteness to a planner, gift, or workspace for any time of the year or any occasion. Jessica uses both Tear It Tape and On Point Glue, but for the fine detail paper quilling On Point Glue works the best.

Directions

Use tear it tape for almost any project. Double sided Tear It! Tape is great for heavier projects.
Step 1

Cut a piece of cardstock to the size of the large clothespin and attach the paper to the clothespin using Tear It! tape.

Jessica Litman creates mini paper flowers on a clothespin for a planner. On Point Glue.
Step 2

Cut a thin, long piece of pink cardstock. Roll pink cardstock into a circle. Let circle open a little. Using On Point Glue, adhere the end of the circle to itself. Hold for approximately 20 seconds before setting down.

On Point Glue is great for small intricate projects.

Step 3

Put a circle of On Point Glue onto the clothespin. Press pink circle onto the glue. Cut two thin pieces of green cardstock. Roll each green cardstock into an oval. Adhere the end of the oval to itself. Hold for approximately 20 seconds. Attach green ovals (or flower leaves) near the pink circle onto the clothespin. Cut another piece of thin, long pink cardstock to start a second flower and repeat previous steps. Attach second flower to the bottom of the large clothespin using On Point Glue and let dry! Enjoy a new handcrafted pin!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Large Clothespins
  • Cardstock – purple, pink, green
  • Paper cutter
  • Scissors

 


Martha Lucia Gomez creates a card with Fireworks and On Point Glue. yellow, black, pink, gold.

Fabulous Shades of Fireworks by Martha Lucia Gomez

Stencils are one of my favorite items in my craft supplies and they’re the best tools with inks and sprays. In this project, I combined these elements to create a dimensional background and to keep the shimmer only Fireworks can offer. This fun technique can be used with any kind of stencils for cards or journals.

Directions

Fabulous Shades Of Fireworks by Martha Lucia Gomez. black, yellow, shimmer, ink, spray.

Step 1

Take a piece of cardstock and secure your stencil. Spray paper with Dandelion Fireworks and Tuxedo Black Fireworks. Keep in mind that the effect obtained with the sprays is unpredictable, but you can obtain less intensity of the color when you apply the spray from afar and more color when you apply it closer to the paper.

2017_feb_mlg_fabulouscard_step_3

Step 2

Remove your stencil and clean it with water. Place stencil again over the paper with a little adjustment of the original image and select the color of ink that you want to apply. Apply the ink on the free areas. I chose the pink from the Kaleidacolor Baby Powder and I applied the ink with a brush.

Fabulous Shades Of Fireworks by Martha Lucia Gomez. stencil, pink, gold, black, swirls, shimmer.

Step 3

Remove the stencil and clean with soap and warm water. Add another layer of color. Combine colors of ink or use only one.

Fabulous Shades Of Fireworks by Martha Lucia Gomez. On Point Glue is a great fine point glue for embellishments.

Step 4

Paste the decorated layer over the card base using Tear It! tape. Cut a sentiment using gold paper and apply the embellishments with On Point Glue.

Fabulous Shades Of Fireworks by Martha Lucia Gomez. With the On Point Glue, you can control the amount of glue for intricate projects and delicate details as die cuts and rhinestones like I did on greeting card.

Step 5

Finally add the black stripe to the side as an accent. One of the features of On Point Glue is it also works great for larger or heavier pieces.

Fabulous Shades Of Fireworks by Martha Lucia Gomez. pink, black, gold, fabulous, shimmer effect.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Cardstock
  • Gold paper
  • Hero Arts – Swirl Stencil
  • The Ton – Fabulous Die Cut
  • Black rhinestones

Save

Save

Tag! You’re It!

Happy Valentine’s Day! We have been throwing tons of inspiration your way on traditional Valentine’s Day cards this past week. Today we thought we’d change it up and focus on projects that you can use before, during and after today’s holiday! They also happen to all be tags! Jessica Litman makes a fun tag to attach to a bottle of wine. Alison Heikkila does some routine stamp organization—perfect habit for post holiday craft space organization. And Kyriakos Pachadiroglou goes all-in on our color of the month with a mixed media style tag.

Jessica Litman makes a wine bottle tag for Valentine's Day.

Heart of Gold Wine Bottle Hostess Gift Tag by Jessica Litman

I always love making homemade gifts. I feel it shows the person I thought about what I gave them and put effort into making it. So I always like to keep hostess gift thank you cards and labels on hand. For this project, I designed the label to fit on a bottle of wine. I used a cardstock, a stencil and several Fireworks! colors to create a layered background and adhered to the tag. Then I added two additional stamped images and adhered with glue dots. Finish by attaching a ribbon, tie on hostess gift and you are ready to party!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Tag
  • Deep Red Cling Stamps – Grunge Tags
  • Thank You Stamp
  • Wine Stamp
  • White cardstock
  • Adhesive
  • Ribbon
  • Scissor
  • Paper Cutter

Alison Heikkila creates organizing tags for her stamp collection. Fireworks craft spray. yellow, blue, purple.

Stufftainer Tags by Alison Heikkila

I have a lot of stamps. I use a few different ways to organize them depending on the brand, size, and how often I need to access them. It’s kind of tough to see which stamp is in each container without pulling several out. So, I decided to make tags to label them.

stufftainer-tags-final

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Stampendous – Stufftainers
  • Assorted Stamps – Andy Skinner, Nathalie Kalback, Laurel Burch, and Fran.
  • Tag Die Cut
  • Watercolor paper
  • Calligraphy pens
  • Twine

Kyriakos creates pink Valentine's card tags that could go well with any gift! Rose Color of the Month.
Distressed Pink Mixed Media Tags by Kyriakos Pachadiroglou

Sharing some love with pink tags that sparkle with a nice mix of Fireworks and Creative Medium. Tags are distressed with VersaColor and then two mixtures cover parts of them. The first is Fireworks! and Creative Medium and the second using Imagine’s White Embossing Powder. All is heat set before placing embellishments. Enjoy for Valentine’s Day or any time of the year!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Paper flowers
  • Metallic charms
  • Leaves ribbon – pink
  • Paper tags
  • Crafty individuals – CI-258 stamp
  • Hot glue gun
  • Heat tool

Save

Save

Save

Save

Welcome Little Ones with Radiant Neon Wintergreen Tag

by Roni Johnson

Imagine Artist Roni Johnson layers Radiant Neon Green and Blue to create Neon Wintergreen for this cute Welcome Baby tag.

Create a fun tag to welcome in that little one with die cut embellishments and layers of Radiant Neon inks. Customize any project by creating a brand new color of ink by layering (not blending) Radiant Neon Electric Blue and Electric Green inks as I did on this darling little mixed media tag.

Directions

Imagine Artist Roni Johnson layers Radiant Neon Green and Blue to create Neon Wintergreen for this cute Welcome Baby tag. Mixing inks with a sponge dauber.

Here is a swatch card to illustrate how the color is created. A color that I like to call Electric Wintergreen.

Imagine Artist Roni Johnson layers Radiant Neon Green and Blue to create Neon Wintergreen for this cute Welcome Baby tag. Gift tag.

Step 1

Sponge Electric Green ink over the entire tag. Let the ink dry completely before step 2.

Step 2

Sponge Electric Blue ink over the Electric Green creating an entirely new color…wintergreen! Let dry.

Imagine Artist Roni Johnson layers Radiant Neon Green and Blue to create Neon Wintergreen for this cute Welcome Baby tag. Creative Medium.

Step 3

Position stencil over the tag and temporarily secure.

Step 4

Spread Green Creative Medium over the stencil with a palette knife.

Imagine Artist Roni Johnson layers Radiant Neon Green and Blue to create Neon Wintergreen for this cute Welcome Baby tag. Creative Medium helps create texture.

Step 5

Carefully remove the stencil and clean.

Step 6

Once the initial layer of Creative Medium has dried, reposition the stencil on the bottom half of the tag and apply Creative Medium to this portion of the tag.

Imagine Artist Roni Johnson layers Radiant Neon Green and Blue to create Neon Wintergreen for this cute Welcome Baby tag. Welcome letters and baby script letters. Safety pin.

Step 7

Die-cut desired pieces from white cardstock.

Imagine Artist Roni Johnson layers Radiant Neon Green and Blue to create Neon Wintergreen for this cute Welcome Baby tag. Die cut of a onesie.

Step 8

Custom color each die-cut as desired. Apply Shimmer Pico Embellisher to heart, “baby” and “welcome” for additional depth and dimension.

Imagine Artist Roni Johnson layers Radiant Neon Green and Blue to create Neon Wintergreen for this cute Welcome Baby tag.

Step 10

Adhere the die-cuts and additional embellishments to the tag as desired.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • White Cardstock
  • Tag
  • Polka dot stencil
  • My Favorite Things – die cuts
  • Ribbon
  • Lace
  • Adhesive

Save