The What Will You Stamp? challenge Design Team decided that this week should be WWYS183 Blended Seasons. This special stamp set is only available during August, while stocks last, and we know it’s been a popular set. I immediately loved the large line-art images and have had lots of fun with them. I’ve made quite a few projects with this set but I think I may well have saved the best until last. For my Design Team project I decided to use the stamp set to create a holly wreath gift box.
SQUARE HOLLY WREATH
The observant among you may have noticed that the Blended Seasons Stamp Set doesn’t have a wreath image. In fact the holly image is anything but wreath like, its a straight line. But when I looked at the image I realised that one edge appeared longer than the other. Was it possible to create a ‘frame’ with the longer edge around the outside? There was only one way to find out!
I knew I’d need to use my Stamparatus to help me with this idea. I placed a 4″ x 4″ piece of Whisper White Card onto the platform and held it in place with a magnet. Then I placed the holly image towards the top in the centre and picked it up with the hinged plate. Finally I inked up the holly image with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and stamped onto the card.
I wasn’t exactly sure how everything would fit together so I decided to turn the card around completely and stamp on the opposite edge. Once I’d made sure the card was in exactly the same place on the platform, I inked the image and stamped again. So far, so good.
As I prepared to stamp the remaining two sides it occurred to me that there would be some overlap of the images. It might be a little late in the process but I was going to have to do some masking.
MASKING OVERLAPPING IMAGES
I took the Whisper White Card from the Stamparatus and replaced it with some Full-Adhesive Post-it® Notes. Unlike traditional Post-Its, these ones have adhesive over all but a narrow strip of the sheet and are great for creating masks. Once the Post-Its were in place I inked up my holly image and stamped. Now I could cut out the holly leaves and berries from each end of the image with Paper Snips.
Resetting my Whisper White Card on the Stamparatus, I had the holly images on the left and right and the mask pieces covering the top ends. Now I could ink up the image again and stamp. When the masks were removed, the new image would appear to be ‘behind’ the first lot of leaves and berries.
I turned the card once more to stamp the final side of my square holly wreath. With the card was in place I removed the masks and covered the other ends of the side images. I inked up the holly image one last time and stamped. Once I removed the masks, hey presto, one square holly wreath.
STAMPIN’ BLENDS NEW COLOURS
With the wreath complete, I was ready to begin colouring. Sadly Mr UPS has let me down and the new colours of Stampin’ Blends that I was going to use are still on a truck. Instead I would have to use Stampin’ Blends colours from the Stampin’ Up! 2018 Annual Catalogue.
The holly leaves came first, coloured a few at a time, starting with a complete layer of light Old Olive, then adding some dark Old Olive over parts of the leaves. Finally I went back over the leaves with light Old Olive. I wasn’t too worried about where the ‘light’ was coming from, but just made sure each leaf wasn’t a solid colour. My aim was to show that you don’t necessarily have to think too hard when colouring with Stampin’ Blends.
Next it was the turn of the holly berries. For this I started with a complete layer of light Calypso Coral. Then I added a sort of U shape with the light Cherry Cobbler. Finally I added a little dark Cherry Cobbler at the bottom of the ‘U’. The result was berries that looked quite rounded and realistic.
All that was left was the tear-drop shapes on stalks. I’m not sure what these are, but decided on a light, very subtle colouring for them. Each one was coloured with an Ivory Stampin’ Blends marker and then light Daffodil Delight. The result was a sort of creamy colour that really added something to the whole holly wreath arrangement.
I loved the square wreath and at this point thought it would make a great top for a gift box.
Using my Paper Trimmer I cut a piece of Thick Whisper White Card 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ then scored it on all four sides at 2-1/4″. This would be the top of my box and right in the centre of the card I wrote ‘top’ in pencil so I wouldn’t forget.
The bottom of the box needed to be a tiny bit smaller so the lid would fit snuggly. My Thick Whisper White piece was cut 8-7/16″ x 8-7/16″ and scored on all four sides at 2-1/4″. As I’d already labelled the top I didn’t need to worry about labelling this piece.
Then I folded along all the scored lines and sharpened the creases with a Bone Folder.
Now for a little cutting. Using Paper Snips I cut up the score line on the left as far as the horizontal line to create a square tab. I turned the card clockwise and cut up the left vertical score line to the horizontal one as before. I repeated this twice more so I had four square tabs. Now, from each of the square tabs I trimmed a little off each side at a slight angle from the outside edge in towards the horizontal line. This would ensure that when the box was assembled there would be no ugly edges. My square card pieces now looked a little like windmills, but that was fine.
PREPARING THE BOX PANELS
Before assembling the boxes I needed to prepare the decorative panels. I already had my holly wreath piece but it was a little large, so I trimmed it to 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″.
For the sides I chose a classic plaid pattern from the Under The Mistletoe 12″ x 12″ Designer Series Paper (DSP) pack. Then I cut four pieces, each 2″ x 3-3/4″.
To coordinate with the Stampin’ Blends colouring I chose Cherry Cobbler Card for the mat layer. One piece, 3-7/8″ x 3-7/8″ would be for the top, and four 2-1/8″ x 3-7/8″ for the sides. Then I fixed the DSP and holly wreath panel to the mats using Multipurpose Liquid Glue (Tombow).
The white box top was needed next as I wanted to attach the panels to the base before putting it together. Making sure I had the piece with ‘top’ written in the centre I added the panels to it with the more liquid glue.
Finally I used a 1″ Circle Punch to punch out a semi circle from two opposite sides. It seems a small detail, but one that would make opening the box a whole lot easier.
ASSEMBLING THE BOXES
With all the preparation done I could now assemble the boxes.
As this was essentially a simple tray box, each of the altered square corner tabs were attached to the inside of the rectangle to the right.
At this point I discovered that because this was a very deep box, the tabs on two of the sides were visible in the punched semicircles. No matter, I would wait a few minutes for the glue to dry thoroughly and then punch the excess using the punched area in the panels as a guide.
The Merry Christmas sentiment in the Blended Seasons Stamp Set is on one line, but that wasn’t what I wanted. That didn’t mean I couldn’t use it though.
I inked up the word ‘Christmas’ with Tuxedo Black ink and stamped it onto a piece of Whisper White Card. Then I cleaned the stamp and inked up the word ‘Merry’. Just to be safe, I covered the ‘Christmas’ part of the stamp rubber with sellotape, before stamping ‘Merry’ on the white card. I now had a two-line Merry Christmas, but more importantly it was more compact.
The star of this project was definitely the holly wreath and the sentiment needed to fit in the centre. So I trimmed the sentiment (with the words running diagonally) to 1-3/8″ x 1-3/8″. A Cherry Cobbler Card mat was cut to 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ and the sentiment attached with liquid glue. The layered sentiment was then added to the centre of the wreath with Stampin’ Dimensionals.
THE FINISH LINE IS IN SIGHT
Nearly there. With the two parts of the box assembled, and the top decorated with my holly wreath panel and sentiment, I put the two together. The lid slid easily over the base, but it’s snug enough to be secure.
Around the sides of the box I wrapped a length of 5/8″ Burlap Ribbon and fixed it in place with Tear & Tape Adhesive. Burlap ribbon isn’t very flexible so I thought making a bow would be a bit of a challenge. Imagine my delight when I tied a ‘bunny-ears’ bow and it looked amazing! A little more Tear & Tape Adhesive attached the bow to the ribbon wrap to hide the join, and I was done.
Of all the Blended Seasons projects I have made I have to say this is hands down my favourite. The square holly wreath, the altered sentiment, the plaid DSP and the burlap bow all combine beautifully. The panels on the sides and top add strength, and the box is a good size too, at 4″ x 4″ x 2-1/4″. In fact the more I look at it, the more I think I may have a hard time letting go of this box.
WHAT WILL YOU STAMP? CHALLENGE
As part of the What Will You Stamp? Design Team, I made this box as inspiration for WWYS183 – Blended Blooms. You’ll find projects from other members of the team over on the blog so do please check them out.
We’re hoping that if you already have this stamp set you’ll join the challenge this week. The rules are simple; create a new project using at least one image from the Blended Seasons Stamp Set. There’s no theme, sketch or colours requirement, it’s all about the stamp set. Once you have your project, upload a photo to our challenge gallery so we can see it.
Every week we randomly choose one person as our winner. They get bragging rights (of course) and a badge to display on their social media. Plus, they’ll be invited to be our Guest Designer two weeks later!
So what will you stamp?
BLENDED SEASONS – LAST CHANCE
As I mentioned, the Blended Seasons Stamp Set is only available in August, and only while stocks last. So if you haven’t already ordered it, there really isn’t any time to lose. As well as the stamp set, you might also be interested in the coordinating dies called Stitched Season Framelits. If you want both, make sure you order them using the single bundle code as you’ll save 10% this way.
Although I didn’t use them on today’s project, you’ll find links to the Blended Seasons bundles and the Watercolor Pencils Assortment 2 at the end of the product list. That way if you are interested, you can easily add them to your order for delivery anywhere in Canada. In addition if you buy the Blended Seasons bundle through me I’ll send you some project ideas via e-mail, as an additional thank you.
2018 HOLIDAY CATALOGUE SNEAK PEEK
Well I’d originally planned this holly wreath project to show you some new Stampin’ Blends colours from the 2018 Holiday Catalogue. Sadly I don’t have them yet, but I can at least tell you what’s coming – 6 new sets. There’s Basic Black, Blackberry Bliss, Cajun Craze, Mango Melody, Real Red and Shaded Spruce, each with a light and dark option (buy them together or separately).
So apologies for the limited sneak peek and the rather long blog post. I hope you made it to the end. I’ll be back tomorrow with a shorter post and a sneak peek you can actually look at. In the meantime, here’s the list of all the products I used to create today’s holly wreath gift box.
UPDATED 2020: Sadly the following products are retired and no longer available from Stampin’ Up!
- Under The Mistletoe Designer Series Paper
- Blended Seasons Stamp Set
- 5/8″ Burlap Ribbon
- 1″ Circle Punch