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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cricut Tuesdays with Michelle

Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome to another addition of Cricut Tuesdays with me! Now you know me by now, I love using my Cricut! However this week I kind of gave my “E” bug a slight break and only used my machine twice. Can you guess which project? Read on below to get the answer.

Okay now, let’s get started…

In my last post I had mentioned how you can use metal as a scrapbooking medium on your next projects. Why metal?

  • It is easier to cut and manipulate than you think.
  • It is easy to dry emboss with.
  • You can stamp onto metal using Staz-On inks (which is solvent based = works best on porous surfaces) in a variety of colors, check them out here.
  • You can use alcohol inks to jazz up the sliver coolness of metal with color.
  • You may have plenty of metal already sitting in your recycling bin such as pop cans.

    Before you gather up all your metal, here are a few tips to keep in mind…
  1. 1. Pop cans will actually work best as a scrapbooking medium because it is the most pliable to work with.
  2. Ensure all your cans are rinsed thoroughly and dried out completely to avoid any extra splatters when cutting.
  3. Choose a pair of scissors that can cut easily through metal such a kitchen scissors or a pair you do not mind using against a tougher material vs. paper or ribbon.
  4. You will need to use an extremely sticky or extra hold type of adhesive to glue down this medium onto paper.
  5. This is a great opportunity to use up your ribbon stash as the seams of metal will require covering up. This will avoid any crooked lines shown plus it is safer (i.e. no sharp edges) when your card handled by the recipient.
  6. When cutting open your cans start by poking a hole with your scissors near the top of the can (I am referring to the top of the can as its opening – where you drink or pour out from).

  • Next you will cut around the top following the top edge of the can. Do not worry if you find you are having ‘strays’ of metal; it will be trimmed off later.
  • Once that is completed, cut along the side of the can towards the bottom.
  • When you reached the bottom of the can, cut around the can following its bottom edge.
  • Discard the top and bottom pieces.
  • Trim off any stray edges along the sides of the metal.
  • You will also notice that the metal is still ‘curly’. That is okay.
  • To straighten your metal piece, take the whole piece and handle it on both sides holding it length wise.
  • You will then run the body of the metal against a hard edge such as your craft table. Do Not Use any hard edges you would not want scratches on because it might happen. You may want to repeat this a few times.
If you still find your metal piece requires additional flattening; lay some heavy objects such as books on top and leave overnight.

Here are some examples of cards I made using pop can metal. Both of these cards are for actual birthdays in my family. You can see from this photo I simply chose to leave the metal in its natural state. In doing so I was able to achieve a dry embossed look that added texture and more shine. Plus the sliver color of the metal truly played up the masculine feel I was going for!

In my next card (created especially for my Mom), I chose to use alcohol inks to jazz up the metal with color. Alcohol inks work amazingly well with this medium as it absorbs the color quickly, drying time is minimal and if you do not use too much color from the start; you may not need to use any blending solution (I had used none on this piece of metal for this card here). Now you may not notice but I did dry emboss this as well (I apologize if it does not show up well in the photo).

This is something you can do to add more interest and layers onto your piece and therefore your overall project.

On a side note I would like to explain how I created these butterfly embellishments. Now before I go into detail, I must apologize as my photos do not showcase the glossiness of these pretty butterflies. What you will need are…
  • Butterfly shapes either die cut or punched. I chose to use a butterfly punch.
  • UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel)
  • Scrap cardstock
  • Heat Gun
  • Embossing Pad such as the Inkessentials Watermark Resist Ink Pad found here.
  • Patterned paper of your choice. For my card, I used the K & Company Paper Stack, Que Sera Sera which can also be found here.

Now how to create these embellishments…
  1. Cut scrap cardstock into skinny strips. Then fold each end using an accordian fold into small squares/rectangles (depending on how wide your strip is). *Ensure each cardstock strip is no wider than your butterfly shape. This will make is easier to remove when completed.
  2. Take your butterfly shapes and adhere repositionable adhesive on the back/reverse side. Do not cover the entire area, just enough to adhere the shape onto the cardstock strip.
  3. Then pick up your butterfly shapes (best with your fingers) and ink up each shape in the watermark ink pad. You will need to get a good amount of ink onto the shape.
  4. Place each butterfly onto the cardstock strip end where the accordian fold is.
  5. Pour UTEE and emboss as usual. Tap off excess on the cardstock strip. Do not touch or flick off excess on the butterfly shape itself.
  6. (optional) You can add layers of UTEE for a thicker glossier look by applying more UTEE while it is still hot OR you can leave it as is with 1 layer for a cracked, distressed look. *You may find when you are embossing that specks of powder fly off; this is completely normal.
  7. Leave to cool and dry. Repeat with remaining butterflies.
  8. Adhere butterfly embellishments onto your project as desired.
Once you have completed your last butterfly, the 1st butterfly will be ready to remove off the cardstock. It will not be hot to touch.

Try other shapes or even die cut letters or phrases for an alternative look.

So can you tell where I used my Cricut??? If you guessed, the square card and envelope; you are correct! I used the Beyond Birthdays cartridge for both pieces.

The best part of using metal materials is when you tell people about it. They will not believe you!

I hope you have a lot of fun using pop can metal in your projects as much as I did. I even started to build my pop can metal sheet stash J I bet you will too.

Next week I will be showcasing another Christmas card a la the style I created a couple of weeks ago. This will be a quick and easy card to recreate in less time while producing more cards as one shape was only used. I can’t wait to show you!

Until then next Tuesday, Happy Crafting!



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