Today I want to share some holiday cards that I made using Sizzix/Tim Holtz Bigz dies. The Bigz dies are easy to use and make such cute shapes, etc. They are perfect for many decorating needs, including holiday greetings. I’ve made cards to show you using the Toy Soldier, Packages and Bows, and Tattered Poinsettia dies.
One of the first things to do is to cut the shapes and colors needed from the Bigz die. If you’ve used the Bigz dies before, you know that everything is together on the same “block”. When I get a new die, I usually begin with a 5.5” x 6” scrap of paper, and cut one of everything on the die. This helps me to understand where the various pieces are on the die, as well as any special information (such as whether there are important scoring lines, etc.). From there it is generally easy to figure out the colors/sizes of cardstock needed to make your finished project.
For the Tattered Poinsettia die, there are 4 shapes on the die – the center piece and 3 sets of petals/leaves that make up the flower shape. If you make the poinsettia as suggested on the packaging, then you’ll just cut each of these pieces out of the same “music” themed cardstock, and then add color with ink. I generally like a fuller look for my poinsettia, so I cut an extra set of the largest petals/leaves in green (or to color green) to represent the leaves. This is easily done by cutting an additional piece of cardstock 3” x 3” and cutting it from the top of the appropriate area of the die.
For the Toy Soldier and Packages and Bows dies, there are a number of smaller pieces and you need to first determine what color you want each piece to be. Of course you could simply cut 5.5” x 6” pieces of cardstock in each of the colors that you need and cut one of everything, but that will waste a lot of cardstock. I find it fairly easy to just measure each piece, and cut a corresponding scrap in the right color. It is fairly easy to just lay each of the smaller pieces of cardstock on the die in the correct position and cut. This way you can cut multiple colors and even multiple layers in the same pass. Keep in mind that the Bigz dies are designed to cut through even heavier materials like felt and chipboard, etc. so a couple of layers of cardstock will generally be no problem. Please see this short video for a better description of my “cutting” process with Bigz dies.
To finish the Toy Soldier card, I assembled all of the pieces using a combination of Scor-Tape by Scor-Pal and Scotch Tacky Quick Dry glue. In addition to the pieces on the die, I needed a small piece (1″x1″ or smaller) of gold cardstock to place under the cutouts in his jacket. This gives the feel of buttons, trim for the uniform, etc. Once the soldier was assembled, I sponged the edges with a Darice craft marshmallow and Memento Espresso Truffle ink. This adds a little definition to the figure, and also distresses it a little. I also trimmed and/or inked any white/ivory edges that were peeking out from underneath the layers. Consistent with the vintage feel of the toy soldier, I also inked the edges of my cardstock layers using Memento Espresso Truffle. I used the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Label Letters to add the “Happy Holidays” sentiment. The Toy Soldier is darling on a card, and he is also very cute in a banner string (paired with a dimensional star, perhaps). He also makes a great decoration for a pre-made holiday stocking for a little boy.
For the Packages and Bows card, I cut each of the packages out of kraft paper. This die adds score lines when it cuts so you can add the appropriate dimension to the packages, so I put the cardstock right side down on the die. I used a Copic Multiliner pen to draw in the lines and dimension on each package, and used a Darice craft marshmallow and Memento Espresso Truffle ink to distress it. I assembled the two card layers using Scor-Tape, and placed each package on them. The bows were tied from a cute red/white twine that I found one day while doing some holiday shopping (not in the scrapbooking department). I wanted to use a sentiment that I didn’t have a stamp for, so I just typed it on my computer. It took only a few tries to get the right layout, etc. to fit the space on the card. Each of these packages is separate and is complete in itself, so you could also make cute cards/decorations using less boxes in other configurations.
I love the Tattered Poinsettia die (okay I just love dies period — especially flower dies). There were just so many possibilities with this one that I had to show you three different variations. Regardless, all are assembled the same. It is really just about stacking and staggering the layers until you’re happy with the flower. The bottom layer is the leaves, and then the other layers are just put on in order of size. I just use a small piece of Scor-Tape in the center to assemble the flower so that I can go back and add some dimension to it. Once the poinsettia was stacked and taped, I went back and added 3-4 pieces of low dimensional adhesive to add some lift between the layers (I alternated between placement at the first or second layer). I also trimmed off a couple of the leaves from the back. Then I pulled the individual petals through my fingers to curl them slightly and add dimension. It is so easy to create a beautiful poinsettia with this die!
For my first poinsettia card, I cut all of the pieces from an ivory cardstock with lettering on it. (I wanted to make a flower similar to the one shown on the die packaging.) I sponged one of the large leaves/petals with Memento Pistachio ink. I sponged the center piece with Memento cantaloupe ink. The rest of the pieces were sponged with Memento Rhubarb Stalk ink. Then I sponged the edges of each piece with a little Memento Rich Cocoa ink to add a vintage texture. I added the same ink to my cardstock layers. The upper layer is an almost-solid red paper that I embossed with the Sizzix Nordic Flowers embossing folder. Actually I over-embossed it by adding an extra shim or two so that some of the white core of the paper would show through and add to the vintage feel of the card. I finished by adding 3 dark yellow rhinestones to the center of the flower, and attaching the “with love at Christmas” sentiment.
The second poinsettia card uses a lightly patterned paper — actually it says “Season’s Greetings” in a slightly lighter red color. I sponged each of the petal pieces with Memento Rhubarb Stalk ink. The leaf layer is a plain green cardstock that I sponged with a little Memento Olive Grove ink. I sponged the center with a little Rich Cocoa ink to add some dimension to it. I used the Sizzix Nordic Flowers embossing folder to add some dimension to the base layer of the card. Otherwise, the assembly is the same as described above.
The third poinsettia card is probably the most traditional of the three. I used a green cardstock for the leaves, red for the petals and gold for the center. I used Memento Espresso Truffle ink to sponge the edges of each of the poinsettia pieces, and each cardstock layer. The flower and card were assembled in the same manner as described above.
Of course the poinsettia die has a lot of potential too for use as a holiday decoration. The poinsettia is a perfect size to use as a bow-substitute for a special holiday package, or it could be used to decorate a pre-made holiday stocking for her. I know that you’ll find many other uses for this die.
Sizzix Bigz Dies – Toy Soldier, Tattered Poinsettia and Packages and Bows
Assorted cardstock – I used mostly scraps from my stash, except for the card layers which were from two 6×6 paper stacks — “25th and Pine” by Basic Grey and “Noel” by American Crafts.
Die cutting machine – I used my Sizzix Big Kick
Adhesives – I used Scor-Tape by Scor-Pal, Scotch Tacky Quick Dry Glue and Darice low dimensional adhesive
Assorted embellishments including red/white twine, rhinestones, etc.
Copic Multiliner pen (or other fine line black pen)
Embossing folder – I used “Nordic Flowers” from the Sizzix/Basic Grey “Gingerbread Man & Nordic Flowers Set”
Sentiments – “With love at Christmas” is from a Hampton Art/Hot Fudge Studio set; “brown paper packages . . . ” is one I typed on my computer and printed out; “Happy Holidays” uses Tim Holtz Idea-ology Label Letters.
Ink – I used Memento Rhubarb Stalk, Espresso Truffle, Rich Cocoa, Cantaloupe, Pistachio and Olive Grove
Thanks and Happy Scrappin’!