Glitter Star Wreath

A Fourth of July Decoration gets 3-D from digital and traditional techniques

Fourth of July Decorating is one of my favorites.

I’m not really that patriotic a person, it’s just that my birthday is a few days after the fourth, and I like to think the entire month is mine to celebrate.

Lately on the craft blogs and Pinterest, wreaths with big stars are popping up, some made out of tin, or wood. This one, made of paper, really caught my eye.

Of course I wanted to change it up a bit.

Instead of a vintage look, I went with a glitter version (not real glitter, that’s too messy), and took cues from the original craft post on how to make the paper stars really look more three-dimensional. Instead of using stamping ink, though, I did the whole thing digitally.

In Adobe Illustrator

In Illustrator, I drew up a star, and then resized it several times so I’d have some variety for my wreath. Using the pen tool, I drew straight lines from the center of each point to the opposite side. I changed the stroke to a brush effect, and then changed the opacity to 40% so that whatever I placed underneath it would show through a bit. These lines are going to create  a shaded effect on the ridges of the stars when they are folded.

Stars with shading for a glitter star wreath

I like to work in Illustrator because I’ve used it for many years, but you can accomplish this same look in whatever design program you are comfortable with.

DeviantArt designer harperfinch has a great assortment of free background digital files that are great for projects like this. I found files for red, white and blue glitter backgrounds.

glitter background for a glitter star wreath

Because I’m going to do this as a Silhouette Studio Print and Cut project, I placed the glitter backgrounds in on separate layers in my Illustrator document, and then exported the star shapes as DXF files, and the shading and glitter layers and PNG files.

I also set up a polygon to be cut as my wreath background shape. Most of it isn’t going to be visible, but I thought the extra corners on the polygon would give me more surface to glue the stars to in the end. I exported that file as a DXF file as well, because the standard version of Silhouette Studio cannot work with an Illustrator file, but it can open the DXF format.

In Silhouette Studio

In Silhouette Studio I set up a document that is 8.5 x 11 and turned the registration marks on. I then brought in my cut file and my image file for the white glitter version, and centered them to each other.

There are three small white squares added in to block off the digital glitter background where the registration marks are – you cannot have any printing in those shaded areas or the laser detection for print and cut will fail.

print and cut file for a glitter star wreath

I saved the file because I’m going to need it later for cutting. I then sent the file to my printer, and printed two sheets.

Two more versions of this file are needed, one each for the red and blue versions. I printed two sheets of each of those as well.

To finish the print and cut, I placed a sheet of the stars on my cutting mat, making sure to have the little square in the upper left corner, matching the screen. After changing the cut settings for the card stock I had printed on, I sent the file to print.

stars for a glitter star wreath

After all the sheets were cut and weeded, I set up and cut three pieces for my wreath form. I didn’t have any stock that was thick enough, so by cutting three and gluing them together, I made my own special cardstock.

frame shape for a glitter star wreath

Final Assembly

score stars for a glitter star wreath

Using a ruler and a scoring tool, I scored the back side of the stars from the center of each point to the opposite side.

folded and scored star for glitter star wreath

And then I folded the star along each of the lines, and pinched them into the final star shape. The shading effect is subtle, but it really helps the paper look much more sturdy than it really is.

I arranged the stars approximately how I wanted them to look on the form, and then hot glued them into place. Because the stars aren’t flat, it’s a little tricky getting them glued on. Use lots of glue only on the spots that actually touch the form or each other. And be careful to not get burned squishing them into place.

 

 

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Patriotic Paper Wreath

Perfect for Summer Holidays!

There are three holidays in the summer that cry out for patriotic decorations – Memorial Day, Flag Day and Fourth of July.

For this wreath, I used what I learned making the mini Happy Day spring wreath. By changing the shape of the “stems” and adding some correctly colored circles for berries, I created a fun door decoration I can use whenever it’s called for.

In Adobe Illustrator

I searched the web for images of berry laden stems, and then simplified them into two versions, a tall one and a short one. I also created an additional circle that was just a little larger than the ones on the branches so I could add the red, white and blue berries on later.

Branches drawn for a patriotic wreath

 

I exported the file as a DXF, since the basic version of Silhouette Studio can’t work with an AI, EPS or SVG file, but it can use the DXF format.

In Silhouette Studio

I set up my Design Page settings for 9 x 11 to match the paper I had selected.

Branches to cut for a patriotic wreath

I duplicated and moved the branches around until I could fit as many as possible on a sheet. I sent the file to cut, weeded it and repeated until I felt like I had more than enough pieces to fill out my shape. This does not have to be an exact science – if you guess wrong you just go back and cut more.

Berries to cut for patriotic wreath

I then duplicated and aligned the circle that becomes the berry, and cut a sheet each of them on white, red and blue paper.

Final Assembly

I used my standard trick of cutting a circle out of a cereal box using a bowl for a guide, and just like in the other wreath project, I began in the upper left corner and used tacky glue to adhere the stems down, working to cover the cereal box and keeping the wreath really natural looking. This means you don’t want to overlap the stems too perfectly – some should stick out a little bit higher or lower than others.

Weeded parts for a patriotic wreath

It turns out I had way more than enough stems cut, so I decided to go ahead and glue them on the back of the wreath. The back of the wreath won’t ever be seen, but by doing this, I added a little more dimension to the piece.

Assembled patriotic wreath

 

I let this stage of the project dry for a while so that it wouldn’t fall apart as I glued on the berries.

I eyeballed the wreath into thirds and began gluing on the circles of red, white and blue. At some point I realized I didn’t have enough of two of the colors and went back and cut additional circles to finish.

Once complete, this hangs on the nail on my front door.

I was featured at the MyBusyBeehives.com linkup party

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Mother’s Day Pin

I’m not sure if it’s good if your daughter is a craft blogger or not. On the one hand, it’s super easy to get me a gift (who else would put paper and glue on their Amazon wish list?).

But it may ruin the surprise of some holidays.

Hopefully she’s too busy this weekend to see this post 🙂 .

The co-worker who received my birthday badge really seemed to like it, and I’ve had a lot of feedback from others with kids who thought they’d like one for their special day.

It seemed like a natural shift to make a special pin for Mom for Mother’s Day. Continue reading “Mother’s Day Pin”

Olive You – A Valentine’s Card

A Silhouette Studio Print and Cut project

Two things you need to know about me:

  1. I love a good pun
  2. I really don’t like olives

Sometimes I let the olive part slide – small black olive slices are fine on a pizza. If there are chunks in a salad but they can hide in the lettuce, OK. Also, my olive ban does not extend to olive oil (it’s a texture thing, not a taste issue).

For Valentine’s Day, I put together a punny card featuring the Olive.

Use a double sided Print & Cut technique from Silhouette studio to make an Olive You card

 

How SuzerSpace created this

Conversation Hearts Garland

A Silhouette Studio Print and Cut Project

When I first got my Silhouette Cameo, I thought it only cut, uh, silhouettes. Turns out it does a technique called Print and Cut which lets it do so much more.

The concept of Print and Cut is easy – you set up your artwork that you want to print, add lines to show what you want to cut, and then turn on these magic registration marks so that the Silhouette cutter can take the instructions from the Silhouette Studio software.

The only hard part of the project is taking a decent photo of the garland hanging in my back window. The window faces north, so it’s a pick your photographic poison of too much back light or a weird view of the neighbor’s yard. I promise it looks better in person!

Conversation Hearts Garland hanging in the window

 

How SuzerSpace created this

Heart Paper Chain Door Decoration

These cute heart paper chains have been popping up all over Pinterest, and once I saw the basic technique, I knew I was going to make some.

These heart paper chains have been popping up everywhere. Making them into a door decoration is easy

Conveniently, I also needed a new decoration for my front door. It’s January 23rd, so it’s really time for the Christmas decorations to come down, right?

(Like my “hello” sticker on my front door? I cut that out of contact paper by hand before I owned a Silhouette.)

How SuzerSpace created this

Send Hugs and Kisses to your Valentine

There are a lot of theories on how the “xoxo” became known for hugs and kisses. I think it’s neat that the convention has stood the test of time.

This card uses them in a bold graphic style to send a hug and kiss through the mail. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

With the cheerful flower cut out card, it was really tricky to get the colored panel on centered. Worst of all, that was one of the final steps in making the card, so you could ruin all your work right at the last second. This card takes the difficultly level down a notch in assembly by providing an extra panel for folding in.

How SuzerSpace created this

2017 Glasses

A great prop for New Year’s Eve photos

As mentioned elsewhere, we don’t go out for New Year’s Eve. Technically, we really don’t go out at all. Or have anyone in. It sounds crabby to say we don’t like people, but it’s true.

My ever patient husband indulges my imagination over-drive by letting me decorate for holidays as if Brad and Angelina are coming over. Wait. They wouldn’t be coming over together anymore.

Anyway…

For 2017, I decided I wanted some photo props for our big night. Number one on my list was a banner. Number 2? Glasses.

Continue reading “2017 Glasses”

2017 Banner

Ring in the New Year with a custom message banner

I have a great big picture window on the back of my house. For years, at Christmas, I hung pre-made plastic holiday garland across it, and it looked good. Over the years, more and more of that plastic began to crumble, and this year, it didn’t make the cut for holiday decorating.

Instead, I used my new Silhouette machine and cut a holiday banner.

Continue reading “2017 Banner”