arts and crafts · Christmas · Crafting How To's · Etsy

Christmas House Garland

As frequently happens to me (and to you too, no doubt) I went into Hobby Lobby to pick up a specific item and as I blew through the die cutting isle something caught my eye.

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I love house shapes and this tiny thinlet-style die is just SO CUTE, so of course, I had to add that to my cart. I don’t consider this an impulse buy – it’s more like an obsession.

There’s not much information on the packaging but when I finally found it online it was listed as Momenta – Die Cutting Template – Mini House, by Spellbinders, I believe.

This die is tiny, only 4½” x 4″ and when assembled the house is not quite 1½” tall and 1¼” wide.  I’m mean, it’s tiny!

I had gone into Hobby Lobby for supplies for a Christmas Garland I’m making featuring Tim Holtz Ice Skate die cuts and when I saw this little house I knew just what I was going to make with it, this is going to be my year of Christmas Garlands.

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I thought of a number of color ways to work with this die but since it’s so tiny I decided on paper that was really flashy – glitter cardstock!  A 4½” x 4½” piece works fine.

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I use a Vagabond (love it) but whatever die cutting machine you use, if you haven’t invested in the magnetic platform yet now would be a good time.  These lightweight thinlet dies are so much easier to control with this platform and if you need to run the project through more than once, like I did on this one, then it’s the only way to keep the die and paper from shifting on you and winding up with a ruined cut.

Why a double run?  The glitter paper is pretty thick and these thin dies aren’t really made to cut much more than regular cardstock, running it through one way and then backing back through ensures a complete cut through all those tiny windows, etc.

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Step by Step:  place the paper glittery side down over the die, complete the ‘sandwich’ with the top cutting pad, roll through and then back out.  See how all the little details have cut through well? Yeah!

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At this point the die cut is still in the die, flip it over so you’re looking at the metal die side.  See all the small holes out towards the ends?  These are not ‘cut’ when you run them through the machine.  These are for marking your die cut IF you intend to hang them from something, and since I do, I chose the holes on each peak end.  I marked them with a fine tip Sharpie…

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…and then removed the paper from the die and punched holes on my marks with a 1/16th hole punch.

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Then using a pick I removed all the little tiny cutouts.

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You can see (barely) that there are perforated lines on each section of the backside of the die cut.  Go through and bend all of these to the inside.

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Choosing the right adhesive is always a bit of a challenge.  I frequently glue with Aleen’s white glue, but I don’t like using it with glitter paper.  The Tombow held initially, but later started to pull apart.  So, I used my fine tip glue gun – success.

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Do the walls first and then the roof sections.  This pic gives you an idea of just how small these little houses are.  The roofing is next.  You may have noticed I did not cut any paper with the little tiny roofing tile die.  I mean really, the picture shows 7 cuts per side – that would take FOREVER to cut those many roof tiles, forget it.

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I found a piece of holographic paper in my stash whose pattern was suggestive of roofing tiles to me.  I cut two pieces of 1″ wide by 3/4″ deep of this paper and with detail scissors, fussy cut one edge to resemble the scalloped edge of a gingerbread roof.  I only have one piece of this paper, plenty for this project but I have no idea where I got it from and there’s no maker information on the back so once it’s gone I’ll be looking into other possibilities.  One idea, using decorative scissors in a scallop shape (or) I also have a rotary paper cutter that I can insert a scallop blade into – this way I can cut any kind of paper into a scallop edge and zip right through 7 layers of tiles in minutes.  Way better option than that one little die (ugghhhh).

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Doesn’t that paper make cool roofs? And can you see the scallop edge I cut matching the pattern in the paper?  Love how those turned out.

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So, what do you think, pretty cute, huh?

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For this pic (above) I just put a little pen flash light off to the side and BLING, we have sparkle.

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I made 14 of these little cuties because that’s how many different colored sheets of glitter paper I had.  I spent an entire afternoon playing with these.  I didn’t get a darned thing done on the project that I originally went into Hobby Lobby to gets supplies for, but I don’t regret the time spent at all.

Next step: Do I pair these with other Christmas icons like icicles, jingle bells or snowflakes and what’s going to work best – string, ribbon or wire?

Break time while I ponder and catch up on some work in my Etsy shop.

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I ended up being a purist.  I strung these little houses on Baker’s Twine that was white with a silver twist.  I did try them on a glass bead garland, I added snowflakes, ribbons, icicles and tried bells.  And while I liked all the variations I kept coming back to the simple twine.

As I will be listing these in my Etsy shop, Old Raven, I decided that keeping it basic was the best idea.  As they are now, the houses can be easily slid up and down the twine for a closer or more spaced grouping.  If someone wants extras on their garland it will be a simple matter to hang what ever additional goodies they might want right onto the twine.

Hope you join me and ‘craft on’.

 

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