Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Fancy Pants Holiday Layout Tutorial

I've been busy working on some CHA projects, but I would share a layout and tutorial that was featured at Craft Warehouse's blog last year.  Make sure to check them out!  They have loads of fun tutorials and creative crafting ideas!  :)

 I was asked to create a layout based on this sketch designed by Jennifer Evans.

...And here was my take on Jennifer's sketch. I love how you can use sketches as a jumping off point for your creativity. I tried to stay true to the most basic bones of the sketch, yet I still altered it in several places to fit my style and the product I wanted to play with...
For this layout, I was given supplies from Fancy Pants Holiday "Saint Nick" collection, Petaloo Flowers and some red tinsel fiber. Each of these papers are double sided and I was most drawn to the red, silver and ivory color scheme with accents of green for my layout so I looked for ways to pull from those colors when selecting my exact papers and embellishments.

I also added a few basic supplies of my own such as Red Bazzill cardstock, Making Memories black glitter alpha stickers, American Crafts metallic Glitter brads and embroidery floss. I also utilized the following tools: Spellbinders Circle, Scalloped Circle and Leaf dies, Paper piercer, embroidery needle and a foam stamp pad (which doubled as a safe surface for piercing with my paper piercer). I love this thing and best of all it's cheap! :)
So rather than showing you a step-by-step tutorial on how I created my entire page I thought I would share one of my other passions with you: Stitching! I love all kinds of stitching whether it be by sewing machine or by hand so today I thought I would share some fun ways to stretch your supplies and use things you have on hand to add hand-stitching to your layouts. After setting aside the bracket shaped border, I started by cutting out the leaves from the backside of the paper with all the borders on it.
Then, using my Ranger foam applicator and some Tim Holtz Distress Ink I inked around each leaf to add a little depth and help the leaves stand out against my page background.

Next, I used my paper piercer and foam mat and just freehanded about 6 holes in a straight line down the center of each leaf. These holes give the foundation in which to hand stitch later.

Embroidery floss comes with 6 strands of thread wound together and I wanted to only use the thickness of 3 of the strands for my stitching so I just pulled them apart and divided the floss in half.

After that, it's sort of like those needlepoint cards from when you were a kid. I used a back stitch, but it honestly doesn't matter how you do it because as long as it looks good on the front, that's all that matters. :)
I think it adds such a nice little finished detailed to leaves, don't you?

Another one of my favorite ideas with stitching that I don't use nearly enough is stitching my title. Using the free Microsoft font "Script MT Bold" I printed the second part of my title out onto printer paper. I did it in a couple different sizes as I wasn't certain which size would work best for my project.

Then I set to work punching holes by just following the outside outline of the font...

Then came the fun part of stitching. I found it helpful to keep the printer version with the holes nearby so I could refer to it anytime I got confused about where to stitch next (which can easily happen when you have all those tiny holes sitting right next to each other).

 Another fun way to stretch your supplies is to use shapes you already have on hand as a stitching template. In this case I used one of the larger heart stickers from the collection to pierce around, but punches and diecuts also work great for this technique too.

I love how you can easily give your layout a cohesive look with this technique by matching your title font to your journaling font! It so fun to create your own accents too when the stickers aren't just right color or look you are going for.

Lastly, I thought I would share another one of my favorite go-to techniques that I used on this layout--Printing on premade stickers and journaling spots.

I start by printing my journaling or sentiment on a piece of printer paper. Then holding it up to the light (whether it be the nearby desk lamp or my window) and I tried to center my sticker tag over the pre-printer journaling--Sometimes this is actually easier by looking through the back of the printer paper and seeing the outline of your tag shape as was the case with this one. Then I just ran my paper through the printer a second time (using the specialty paper selection so that it wouldn't smear too badly on the glossy coated surface). Then after allowing it to dry completely, I just pealed it off and placed it directly onto my layout. So easy and yet it gives your projects such a polished look.

When using a cardstock cutout that doesn't come with adhesive already, temporary adhesive or photo splits work perfectly for this technique too. And here's an up close shot of the finished tag on the layout...

And, just in case you've completely forgotten what the finished layout looked like after all these photos, here it is again.
Phew!  I think that sets a record for my longest post ever.  Thanks for stopping by.  :)


  1. Gorgeous page! So festive! And your stitching is magnificent! :)

  2. Such beautiful details Mendi the stitching adds a wonderful personal touch especially the lettering, it turned out perfect.

  3. Still haven't tried this Mendi...but that stitched word is such an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing again.


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