Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Altered Glass Block Tutorial

Ok, this project does not include paper, but I think it's such a great idea, that I want to share it with you anyway.

This project is very close to my heart. I added a star for every beloved we lost over the last couple of years.


- 8" x 8" glass block with a hole in the bottom (I bought mine at the craft store, since they have already the hole in the bottom, but you also can use a glass block from the hardware store and drill a hole in it)
- adhesive vinyl (any color you want)
- vinyl transfer tape
- glass block stand
- light fixture for glass block
- decorations of your choice (for the top and the sides of the block)


Choose a design for your glass block.
Make sure that the size of your design is 1" smaller on each side as the block you will be using.

I used for this project my Silhouette (die cutting machine), for which I bought the phrase for just $3, which I was using, as a SVG file from the following website:

But you can of course use any other design/ phrase of your choice.

You also can use the Cricut for this project.

Cut a piece of vinyl slightly bigger than the size of your design. My artwork was 6.5" x 5.5", so I cut my vinyl to 7" x 7".

Lay the vinyl on your cutting mat (like you would do with paper or card stock).

Choose your cutting settings on your die cutting machine.
Please find below the settings, which I found were the best ones for this project.

With these settings you will be able to create a "Kiss Cut", which means your vinyl will be cut, but not the paper backing of the vinyl.

Blade: 2
Speed: 6
Thickness: 9

Blade: 3
Speed: 3
Pressure: 3

Load your cutting mat and start the cut.

This is the hardest part now, but don't be scared. Just find a comfortable position and take your time.

Unload the mat and slowly and carefully do the "weeding".

After cutting your vinyl you will end up with several positive and negative spaces on the sheet.  The term "weeding" means that you remove the negative spaces of vinyl off of its backing, leaving just the design you want to add to your block (or positive spaces) attached.

There are several types of tools that one can use for "weeding" vinyl. I prefer the Silhouette tools, but tweezers and exacto knives will work as well.  

I usually peel off first the easy parts and then do the fine tuning afterwards.

This is how your vinyl should look like, after you are done with the weeding process.

Now cut the vinyl transfer tape to a size slightly larger than your artwork, so that it will cover your image.

Then lay the transfer tape flat on your vinyl image and use your finger to rub the transfer tape tight onto the vinyl.

Slowly peel off the transfer tape from the paper backing of the vinyl. This time the vinyl image should stick to the transfer tape.

If part of your image will not immediately stick to the tape, simple go backwards until you reach the troubled spot, apply a bit more pressure with your finger on the tape/ vinyl and try again.

Clean your glass block surface with glass cleaner and then apply the transfer tape with the vinyl image facing down onto the block.

For this step, start in one corner of your block and slowly apply the rest of the tape, to avoid air bubbles.

Once the tape is on the block, use your fingers and rub the vinyl image onto the block.

Slowly remove the transfer tape from the block and make sure that the vinyl will stay on the block. If part of your image will still stick to the tape, go backwards until you reach the troubles spot and apply more pressure onto the vinyl until it sticks to the glass block.

Add additional vinyl decorations, following the same steps above.

Attach the light fixture to the stand.

Slide the block onto the stand.

Add additional decorations of your choice.

I used the hot glue gun and added some evergreen branches and a cardinal bird on to of the block. On the side of the block I added (again with the hot glue gun) some additional branches.

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There are so many more things you can do with the glass blocks. You can for example etch the glass, which will cause a stunning effect. I will share the instructions for this technique shortly.

Here is a new addition to my glass block collection. It's a 3 piece nativity set.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Explosion Box Tutorial (w/ Template)

Well Christmas is sneaking up on us sooner or later, so I have decided to get started with my Christmas projects for this year.

This weeks project features an "Explosion Box". 
This easy to make project is perfect as a special card for nearly any occasion (Birthday, Christmas, Thank you...).

I love to include LED tea-lights for the special "wow" effect. These tea-lights burn usually up to 120 hours, so I make sure that I start the light just before I give the box away, to ensure that the light is still on, when the box gets opened.


- cardstock 
- patterned paper
- tape runner
- glue dots
- embellishments 
- LED tea-light (optional)



Step 1:
Draw the box and the lid according to the template on card stock  Cut out both pieces and score the lines marked in green on the template.

Step 2:
Add a glue dot or any other kind of strong adhesive on the marked latches of the box template. Then fold the sides to form the lid.

In the image I have marked the area for the glue with a cross "X".

That's how the finished lid should look like.

Step 3:
Use decorative paper or plain card stock and cut out 5 squares, slightly smaller than the panels of the boxes. I chose 2.5" X 2.5" for my squares and I also added decorative corners.

Then use the adhesive and add one of the squares to each of the boxes inside panels.

This step will give your box more stability.

Step 4: 
Decorate the panels (inside and outside), the tea-light (if applicable) and the center of the box as you like.

I used poinsettia die cuts, which I layers to create a 3D effect.

For the tea-light I used the same die cut pieces, I just cut the pedals apart and glued the around the light center.

I glued the green leave to the center of the box, which will be the base for my tea-light.

I added one layered poinsettia flower to each of the outside walls of the box and the lid. Afterwards I added 1 yellow rhinestone to the center of each flower.

And that's my finished box:

And here are a few more explosion boxes I made:

Winter Wonderland Explosion Box:

The box of in the center of the Explosion Box has a LED tea-light inside. That's how the box looks in the dark, with the tea-light turned on.

 Birthday Explosion Box: