Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Red Hot Caardvarks Challenge (gift box/card set templates & tutorial)

I'll have another post today for the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog,
so please stop by if you have the time & the inclination... :o)

Can you guess the theme for this Caardvarks challenge?

Yup, it's red hot, red hearts...

<span class=

This is a gift box set (with cards & envelopes.) It fits standard A2 cards:
the finished box measures 4-3/4 inches by 5-7/8" and 1-1/8 inches deep,
but please feel free to make it larger/smaller if you want.

When you open the box, there are dangling glittery clouds:

<span class=

...and here's a closer view of the box top:

<span class=

This was so fun to make. Don't you just love Valentine's Day crafting?
All that cutting & pasting of hearts... :o)

1...Caardvarks Challenge with Lil Lambs Boutique to make this gift box (card set)
3...Cheap tricks: DIY hybrid elements & layout pointer stuff...ledger cloud freebie (and ledger paper.)
5...templates (the box & matching envelopes)


I just can't wait for you to see all the gorgeousness the Caardvarks
team has made for this challenge:

(and to see the gorgeousness that you make,
if you can play along with the challenge!)

It's sponsored by...


...make this card/gift box:

  • Balloon stamp from Little Paper Shop stamp set {I Heart}
  • box bottom: ledger paper freebie printed on...Strathmore 100lb Bristol Vellum (double-sided & box template
  • box top: light turquoise cardstock & My Mind's Eye Bohemia Bliss "Friends" Brocade/Red & sand paper
  • Printer, Scoring tool, scissors/paper cutter; scallop edge punch
  • Nestabilities label, paper piercer, needle, thread (blue & red) & red seed beads
  • Provo Craft Koi embossing folder
  • Double-sided tape, Tombow Monomulti
  • Versamark, heat'n'stick powder, glitter;
  • White acrylic paint & pale blue copic marker
  • Clear button with patterned paper & glitter glued on, Organza ribbon

Step 1) Make the BOX BOTTOM:

1 A) Print ledger paper pattern on both sides of cardstock.
1 B) Print the box bottom template on one of those sides.
1 C) Cut it out, score it, crease the folds
1 D) Trim if need be to even out, & assemble the box bottom.

Step 2) Make the BOX TOP:

2 A) Print the lid, score it & cut it (and scallop it if you like)
2 B) Cut a window in the lid (I used a Nestabilities Label
2 C) Pierce and bead around the window.
2 D) Add marker distressing inside stitches to make a faux frame, if you like.

Step 3) Create the image for the box Top: Cut a piece of patterned paper to measure 4 3-4 inches by 5 1-8 inches. Sand it to expose the white core.

Step 4) Pierce around the edge & stitch some beads on (alternating bead with thread stitch...)

Step 5) Make hanging clouds for inside-

5 A) Print ledger clouds white cardstock
5 B) Cover over clouds with versamark
5 C) Sprinkle on heat'n'stick powder
5 D) Heat gun it gently to melt the powder (don't overheat) :o)
5 E) Cover the Heat'n'Stick with glitter
5 F) Melt gently with a heat gun again (that sets it)

...This might seem like a waste of powder & glitter, but rest assured that cheap-o me is saving the scraps to punch flowers out of for the next Caardvarks challenge. ;o)...

Step 6) Cut the glittered clouds out.

Step 7) To hang cloud from the lid, put them on string:

7 A) Put adhesive on the back of each pair of clouds
7 B) Thread a needle (I used embroidery floss)
7 C) stick the end of the thread on the sticky cloud--leaving some hanging

7 D) Stick the needle through the top of the box (making sure you punch the hole so that it hangs the cloud where you want it to be positioned. Repeat for each cloud.

Step 8) Add two little red hearts sandwiched on the bottom of each thread, so they hang down from the clouds. (When the recipient of this box opens it up, there will be dangling fun waiting as a surprise!) ;O)

Step 9) Cover the knots in the box top with the prepared patterned paper (the other side of your patterned paper will show through the window inside the lid-so fun since you get both double sides of paper.

Step 10) Make the circle/sun:

10 A) Print ledger paper on cardstock & cut a circle out. (This one is 3 3-8")
10 B) Emboss it in a Cuttlebug folder.
10 C) Use a scrap of paper to apply acrylic paint roughly.

10 D) Pierce around the outside edge of the circle

10 E) Stitch around the circle

10 F) Add some shading with Copic or other markers/ink (the acrylic paint will resist) Please Note-paint will come off on Copic markers. I reserve the broad chisel end of my Copics for messy fun-but you could paint refill on or use something else. :o)

Step 11) Make the heart balloon embellishment: Stamp the balloon from the LPS set {I Heart} cut the basket & heart out & adhere strings between them

Here's the messy backside of that balloon:

Just two strings of thread, but it was so fun to do. (What can I say, I like cheap thrills, heehee.)

Step 12) Adhere the circle & the balloon to the box top

Step 13) Make more glittered ledger clouds for the card box top and cut them out

Step 14) Adhere the clouds to the box top (I used Tombow Monomulti & foam dimensionals)

Step 15) Glue seed beads to the balloon

and there you have it...

(clickable Blogger pics--for a larger view)


DIY hybrid crafty bits &
a layout trick

Cheap trick# 1: To make your own DIY hybrid crafting elements- draw a shape you like on some kind of pattern cut it out & adhere it to white paper. Scan it to print (or use digitally) later. Works great to make vintage elements much more acid free (just print on acid free cardstock. From my research the majority of printer ink is acid free or very close to it.)

Cheap trick# 2: Layout reference photos: Once you get your bits laid out, shoot a quick reference photo of the way you have it laid out. That way you can take it apart to work on things, but be able to refer back to the photo later...when you're done embellishing the bits (or working on the background) and you want to put your finished project together.


Click the photos to go download the PDF files
(for other formats, please click the links)

ledger clouds:

(these are mirrored for double-sided clouds)

Download ledger clouds PDF
Download ledger clouds JPG
Download ledger clouds PNG

more ledger clouds:

Download more ledger clouds PDF
Download more ledger clouds JPG
Download more ledger clouds PNG

blue ledger paper:

(clicking this photo will take you to the PDF link
the others are linked here):

Download blue ledger paper PNG
Download blue ledger paper JPG
Download blue ledger paper PDF


(Please consider printing the PDFs to get correct sizing.
Adobe for free here.)

matching envelopes templates:

tall standard envelope template
(with ledger cloud):

matching envelope liner:

Whew, that's a whole lotta downloads to link! LOL.

Thanks ever so much for stopping in!

(click to visit the blog from an email or reader) subscribe: Feedburner or Feedblitz

P.S. If you'd like the PDF of this
post, it's linked here.

I'm testing out PDFs for my posts. I'd really appreciate any feedback on them. :o)
I'll try & add them to each tutorial shortly after I post each tutorial to the blog,
so if you'd like them, please click the icon to visit the blog from a reader or an email.

(Legalese: The PDFs linked here--and all of their content--are copyright M McCarthy 2010
They are intended for personal use only, and not intended for classes, publication, nor for any kind of profit. Thanks!)


Barbara said...

Mel!!! it`s lovely like usual.Regards - Barbara :*

Dawn said...

omgoodness!! love,love,love it!! what an awesome boxed set (yeah, as usual!!) and you used that koi folder again...I can see I'm gonna have to get it!!!

Katy said...

You know what I love about you OTHER THAN your AWESOME artwork...all the time you take in creating step-by-step instructions...FREE templates and now a pdf version of your post for easy printing!!! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea and hope you keep at it!! I have a stack of stuff of yours I want to try but haven't gotten around to it...even have a folder on my computer labeled "Mel Stampz"

June Houck said...

Your red heart project IS red hot :)

mekei said...

gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. thanks so much for the ledger paper. i love it. really love ledger paper.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this Freebie. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Hands Cricut Freebies Search List, under the Elements post on Jan. 20, 2010. Thanks again.

Erin said...

Mel! You've done it again. How do you do this every day! AMAZING.

Deb Neerman said...

Gorgeous project, Mel-a-Licious!!

Jana Eubank said...

This is absolutely ADORABLE!!! Love those ledger clouds!!! Thanks so much for sharing! I can't wait to use them. :)

Barb said...

So adorable! Another fantastic project (as usual!)... and thanks for the tutorial :)

Suzi said...

Just love the heart balloon soaring over the ledger clouds! TFS!

Kim Etherington said...

I love the different take on Vday. Not all pink, red and hearts. Very pretty. A nice romantic balloon ride up in the clouds. :o)

Allison Rankin said...

Super sweet! Love the scene with the clouds and balloon!

Dotty Jo said...

Mel, what can I say but 'wow'! Fabulous projects and amazing freebies - you blow my mind! Jo x

Noreen said...

A beautiful gift box idea! And you did your usual great job with it. Thanks for sharing.

Limarea said...

Very nice, thanks so much :)

Gabriele said...

I just got up as I cannot sleep (it`s 11 pm here)... and thought: ok, turn the computer on and look onto something you really like... *gg* And... what shall I say? I found again soo many things on your blog I really love... thanks again (like so often before) for sharing your ideas and special thanks for giving the ledger clouds and the templates!
Hugs from Germany,

so.Creative said...

That's so beautiful, gorgeous and lovely!!!! Like usual! I do LOVE your job!!!! Thanks for all your tutorials and tips!!

Sue from Oregon said...

love those glittery ledger clouds with the hangin' much fun!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for freebies. Link on your post was added to Lori's freebie list

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the CraftCrave Blog Printable Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: [21 Jan 07:50am GMT]).

Amy Heller said...

OMG - this is so gorgeous and looks like you spent FOREVER on it! Tres fab!!!

AVA said...

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. Such a beautiful project!

Steph Zerbe said...

You are one seriously awesome and creative crafter girl! Love the step by step photos and tutorial and freebies! You don't skip a beat do you!

Unknown said...

o my good it's spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!