Sunday, July 29, 2018

Tutorial: Birds of Paradise In Geometric Holder

Recently, I took my three-year-old to a Moana theme party. There were Tiki posters, fruit punches and other tropical touches and of course, music, to make the luau come alive. The girls danced in grass skirts and the boys ran around in their leis. Everyone was having a good time and it reminded me of the time we were in Hawaii at a real luau complete with PiƱa coladas with tiny umbrellas, the time long before the aforementioned three-year-old was even born! I remembered our secluded resort bungalow that had a pool edged by bushes of birds of paradise and fresh floral arrangements that adorned the lacquered bamboo side tables. There's no way I could match that kind of pro floral arrangement skills, but I could make something simple to remind me of the magical time we had there. So, I pulled out my Bird of Paradise and Geometric Holder dies and set out to create my own little floral centerpiece!

Let's start by looking at the supplies. 
Sizzix Framelits Die Set 6PK - Bird of Paradise, 2-D and 3-D

Sizzix Bigz L Die - Geometric Holder, Tall 3-D  
Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (White and Gray)

Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard, 1 Pair (Purple w/Silver Glitter)

Sizzix Accessory - Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies 
Sizzix Accessory - Multipurpose Platform, Standard (optional)
Other: Watercolor paper, Gelatos colors, Paint brush, Bone Folder, Adhesive, clips, glass pebbles, water cup with water

Now, let me walk you through the steps.

I am using watercolor paper for die-cutting because I plan on using paints to color my pieces. But you can get stunning results with your favorite patterned papers too.

To die-cut the pieces for the Geometric holder, create the following Sizzix Sandwich: 
On the Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pad, Standard, place the Sizzix Bigz L Die - Geometric Holder, Tall 3-D  blade-side up. Lay watercolor paper cut to fit through the Sizzix Big Shot Machine on the die and cover with the other Standard Cutting Pad. Start turning the handle of your Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (White and Gray). The rollers in the Big Shot machine will propel the entire sandwich through the machine and you’ll have your die-cut pieces ready. 

You'll need four of the biggest pieces for the side panels, one square piece for the bottom and the triangular pieces are for decorative layering which I skipped. 

NOTE: Now, as tempting as it is to cut all four of the side panel pieces together and you CAN do that with the Sizzix Bigz dies, I suggest that you cut one side panel piece at a time. Why so? Well, there are not only cut lines in these pieces, there are scores lines for folding as well. And in my experience, when you stack your papers for quick die-cutting, the extra pressure that it puts to cut through the layers, might cut through some of those score lines, thus detaching the scored foldable tabs, making it difficult, even impossible, to attach the pieces together. So, take your time with this and the rest of the process will go much smoother. 

To die-cut the parts for the Bird of Paradise flowers, create the following Sizzix Sandwich:

  • Place the other Standard Cutting Pad on top and start turning the handle of your Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (White & Gray). The rollers in the Big Shot machine will propel the entire sandwich through the machine and you’ll have your die-cut pieces ready.
You'll notice that there are some bigger and smaller stems and petals in the mix. The smaller die-cuts are designed for the two-dimensional flowers and the larger pieces for the three-dimensional flowers. But I ended up creating three-dimensional flowers using all the pieces, big and small.

Fold the pieces of the Geometric Holder, Tall 3-D following the score lines.

Start attaching the side panel pieces to the base square with adhesive as shown. Remember, the small tabs go at the bottom and the bigger ones will go at the top.

Apply adhesive to the side tabs of one panel and attach it to the next panel and continue to do so till the entire Geometric Holder, Tall 3-D is assembled. Fold back the top tabs in and secure with adhesive. Set it aside for now.

I have to say I was a little worried that my Geometric Holder, Tall 3-D may not look right, but it was so easy the way it came together almost magically!

Follow the score lines on the large stems and fold them.  
Fold the leaves and petals in halves vertically as shown. I used a bone folder to create clean edges for the leaves and petals. 

Color the stems and the biggest leaves green. I used Gelatos colors and blended them with water using a paint brush. Use your favorite coloring medium for this step.

Rub Gelatos colors generously on craft mat and spritz water to dilute the pigments. Paint the Geometric Holder, Tall 3-D with clean water to moisten the surface and then drop in diluted Gelatos colors for a watercolored effect. Color some of the petals with the same colors.

Color the remaining petals with Gelatos colors.

Apply adhesive to the base of the petals (the pointed tip is the top and the flat end is the base) and stagger them as shown. Hold the petals and stem together with a clip while the adhesive sets. 

Now, if you recall that I cut the smaller stems for the 2D flowers, I colored those too with the same shade of green. I wanted my Birds of Paradise to have slightly different heights when I put them in the
Geometric Holder, Tall 3-D. I attached the smaller stems to the bigger stems at different height points with adhesive to create the height difference. 

Place the Geometric Holder, Tall 3-D where you want to display it and fill with some light weight pebbles or other kind of filler and stick the floral stems in. The pebbles or fillers will hold the stems in place and not let them flop around in the vase. 

I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial! Try out these dies, they are very well-designed making it very easy to put together a decor piece in no time at all!

Note: I am a project designer for Sizzix. Sizzix provided me with the above dies to create the above project. If you click the links to buy these dies, I will earn an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. Use the code SZB2015 at checkout. You get 15% off and I get an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. It's win-win! 

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