Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece

Hello!  Welcome back for Cricut Design Space Star Round 3!  This month's challenge was to create projects for weddings and celebrations.  My team and I created projects around a woodland theme.  For my project, I created a rustic woodland party decor centerpiece that could be used for any woodland themed celebration.  This woodland house would look lovely at the head table at a wedding, or as a centerpiece at a Thanksgiving table.  No parties in your future?  Make a rustic woodland house as a piece of home decor.  

Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece

DIY Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece | 

 I used my Cricut Explore to die cut a variety of materials to create a house with lots of texture and dimension.  I die cut a lot of wood veneer and felt, but I also die cut chipboard to make the house base.  And I did it all with the same standard blade!  

DIY Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece |
This rustic woodland party decor centerpiece is all about the details, from the overlapping wood siding, to the stitched felt leaf roof, to the authentic pinecone swag over the door.  

DIY Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece moss garden |
Creating the garden around the house was my favorite part.  I placed reindeer moss around the stone path and filled the garden with a variety of decorative mosses and lichens. 

DIY Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece die cut fence |
A die cut birch wood veneer fence separates the moss garden from the stone path. 

DIY Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece |
The house, nor any of the other components, are permanently attached to the wood base allowing you to switch out the lights or rearrange any of the rocks or greenery.  

DIY Rustic Woodland Party Decor Centerpiece |
The fence wraps around the back of the garden and the back of the house is completely finished allowing the centerpiece to look beautiful from all angles. 

Rustic twig window casings on woodland house decor |
Each window is framed with twigs from my backyard.  

Die cut, stitched felt leaf roof on rustic woodland house decor |
The roof tiles are made from die cut and stitched felt leaves.  The Cricut Explore does a fantastic job of cutting materials like felt.  I added Heat N Bond stabilizer to the back of the felt so it would cut more evenly and not leave too much fuzz on my cutting mat. 

Die cut chimney with stone facade |
The stone chimney adds to the rustic charm of this woodland house. 

How to Erase Parts of a Cricut Cut File

Edit cut files in Cricut Design Space software |
The original house cut file I used from the Winter Woodland cartridge had three windows on each side and a round window above the door.  For my design, I wanted more simple, rustic windows on each side of the house.  To erase components of a cut file, select the entire file and click on the Contour button and click on the areas you do not want to cut.  The cut lines will turn light blue indicating that they will not be cut out.  

Edit cut files in Cricut Design Space software |
I created new windows by resizing and grouping four squares together.  I copied and pasted my new windows on to the original house cut file.  

Die cut cereal box chipboard with Cricut Explore |
Wanna know the best part of making this house?  I die cut all of the components out of Kleenex chipboard packaging!  No special chipboard required!  Start saving your cereal boxes.  Oh, and the next best thing I did was use a 12"X24" cutting mat.  It saved my project from having to be cut into several pieces.  

Add score lines to chipboard |
I had to improvise scoring lines a bit since they were not included in the file.  The file included notches, but since the chipboard was so thick, the folds were going to be wonky.  I created score lines by simply placing a ruler between the scoring notches and then scoring with my Cricut scoring tool by hand.  It was super easy and it worked perfectly.  

(NOTE: You can add a score line to your cut files, but I decided not to take the time to do it for this project. )

How to Create a Custom Shape in Cricut Design Space

One of the things I love doing in Cricut Design Space is manipulating basic shapes and combining them together to create custom shapes.  

Create custom shapes in Cricut Design Space |
I created a custom cut file for the wood siding by resizing a quadrilateral, copying and pasting it several times, and welding all of the shapes together. 

Die cut wood veneer with Cricut Explore |
I copied and pasted the finished siding cut file until it filled an entire 12"x12" sheet of wood veneer.  I used the Cardstock setting to cut the cherry wood veneer and it worked perfectly. The entire house took about 1 1/2 sheets of 12"x12" wood veneer.  

Adhere wood veneer with red tape adhesive |
Before I started adding the siding to the house, I added wood trim around the windows to  prevent any of the print from showing in the final project. 

Starting at the bottom of the house, I adhered the wood siding to the chipboard house, overlapping the shingles as I moved up the house.  I recommend using red tape adhesive (or other strong adhesive) when making 3D projects as it will help prevent the stiffer materials from popping off of the project. 

Trim excess wood veneer from house frame |
After I had adhered all of the siding to the house, I flipped the house over and trimmed the excess away with scissors and a craft knife. 

DIY Rustic Woodland Home Decor |
One of the things I love about wood veneer is that it can be stained.  Yay!  I stained some scrap wood veneer to create the dark shutters and front door.  

DIY Rustic Woodland Home Decor |
Pretty cool, huh?  I used more scraps for the front door and alternated the pieces to add some texture to the door.  

DIY Rustic Woodland Home Decor |
After all of the cherry wood veneer siding was adhered to the house, I trimmed twigs from my backyard to create rustic window casings.  I used a miniature hacksaw to cut the twigs into smaller lengths and adhered them to the house with a bead of hot glue. 

Vellum windows |
Before I assembled the house, I adhered a piece of heavy vellum to the inside of each window.  

DIY Rustic Woodland Home Decor |
It's starting to look like a house! 

Die cut, stitched felt leaves |
The roof is made from alternating layers of die cut, stitched felt leaves.  Each leaf is adhered to the roof with a dab of hot glue. 

Stabilize the corners of a chipboard house with blocks |
Two of the corners in the woodland house didn't want to stay square so I hot glued a couple of blocks into the corners to help them keep their shape.  Smart, right? 

Create a chimney with a stone facade |
I created the stone chimney by adhering small, decorative stones to the outside of the chipboard with glue dots.  

Die cut wood veneer fence |
The garden fence is die cut from birch wood veneer.  I adhered two fence pieces together so both sides of the fence had a wood finish.  To add stability to the fence, I trimmed and glued toothpicks to the inside of the fence. 

DIY Rustic Woodland Home Decor |

I plan on using this rustic woodland party decor centerpiece as the focal point for my Thanksgiving table, and perhaps as a piece of pretty fall decor.  

Enter the Cricut-I Made It! Contest

Now it's your turn to share your Cricut creativity!  

It’s time your creativity pays off so you can really make it.  Cricut has just announced the second phase of the Cricut - I Made It! contest and this time they’re awarding one winner their own Make it Nowproject line to be sold in Cricut Design Space™!
To help create your line, Cricut will fly you to their headquarters in Salt Lake City to work side-by-side with their design team.  Then you and a guest will enjoy an all-expense paid stay at the Grand America Hotel – a luxury resort in Salt Lake City, home to the best skiing in the world.

The winner will be featured on and every time a Cricut user purchases your project, you’ll earn money.  Cha-ching! Cricut will even help with your publicity.

Cricut is upping the fame game even more…camera, lights, action….

Cricut has partnered with the The Design Network - a premier online design channel – to showcase the Cricut- I Made It! winner this fall. You’ll get a spotlight feature on a network dedicated to celebrating great designers and their creative star power.

Cricut’s judges, including DIY Diva Alison Deyette and two creative directors from Cricut, will pick 50 finalists from the best project entries based on creativity, use of materials and technique.  Who will pick the ultimate winner? You, the public, will vote online in October.

To enter the Cricut - I Made It! contest, all you need is a photo of an original project. You can upload up to five photos (which can be five individual projects or multiple photos of one project).

You have until September 30th to enter.  What are you waiting for? It’s time you Made It big! Head to to enter today.


Happy creating! 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Cricut Explore GIVEAWAY!

Hello friends and happy Monday!  Are y'all ready for another GIVEAWAY?  Keep scrolling down to see how you can win a new Cricut Explore!

Cricut Explore Contest Graphic
My super duper blogger pals from Cricut Design Space Star Team 10 and I are excited to be giving away a Cricut Explore to one of you lucky readers!  I have been using my Cricut Explore for a few weeks now and it's pretty awesome.  You can import and cut SVG files, create your own cut files, or choose from thousands that Cricut has to offer.  It is also capable of cutting fabric, felt, leather, wood veneer, and more.  Sweet!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Good luck!


PS My Craft Stash Giveaway is still open!  Click HERE to enter! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Craft Stash GIVEAWAY!

It's time for a Craft Stash GIVEAWAY!  Why?  Because giveaways!  And because you're awesome.  I couldn't do what I do without the support of my loyal readers.  Awww.  How's that for mushy?

Craft Stash GIVEAWAY!

Here's what's in it for you.....

Your box will include: 

  • MME Paper and accessories pack
  • GCD Studios Special Delivery Cardstock stickers, brads, and paperclips.  
  • Echo Park This & That 6x6 pad, chipboard stickers, and decorative brads
  • Petaloo flowers (4 packages)
  • Faber Castell mixed media sampler in red
  • SEI gold glitter dots and silver glitter dots
  • Verve clear stamp set
  • Bo Bunny clear stamp set
  • Stampendous rubber stamp and glitter pack
  • DCWV 6x6 paper pad
  • Unity rubber stamp

How do you win all of this goodness?  Simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below and you'll be entered.  The giveaway ends Thursday, September 11 at 11:59 pm MST.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A bunch of my blogger friends are hosting giveaways today, too!  Click on the links below and follow the trail to some great new blogs and some awesome goodies. 

Have fun and good luck!  


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Time to Vote! Top 10 Cricut Design Space Star Round 2

I have such fun news to share!  Remember my Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set from last week?  It was chosen by the folks at Cricut as one of the Top 10 projects from Cricut Design Space Star-Round 2.

I totes need your votes!  

Fuzzy Alpaca Yarns
Image source
This is where I tilt my head and bat my eyelashes at you.  Your votes will help me win a place as a finalist in the search for the next Cricut Design Space Star!  Visit the Cricut Design Space Star page HERE to vote for your favorite Round 2-Top 10 project.  You can vote once per 24 hour period starting today.  The last day to vote is Monday, September 1.  And don't forget to share and tell your friends!

The other projects are pretty amazing, too.  I can't wait to try my hand at cutting some different materials.

Many thanks for your votes and support!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set

Hipsters rejoice!  Foxes and cats are SO last year.  Alpacas are now joining the ranks of most celebrated hipster mascots.   Alpacas are funny.  Their fuzzy, pouty lips and crazy hair make them look completely ridiculous and adorable at the same time.  When I saw this alpaca as I was browsing through the Cricut image library, I fell in love and knew I had to use him on a project.  With back to school time approaching, I thought I'd make a silly, eco-friendly alpaca lunch box set for my kids to fight over take to school.  

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set |

The hipster dork factor with this lunch box set is high.  Everything is reusable and eco-friendly (and DIY), which increases its hipster clout.  The retro metal lunch box is just the cherry on top.  Although not hipsters, my kids, ages 8 and 10, still don't mind taking a lunch box to school.  However, unlike a hipster, they wouldn't be caught dead taking a Transformers or Dora lunch box to school anymore. Rather than search high and low for the perfect non-dorky lunch boxes, I bought plain metal lunch boxes and used my Cricut Explore to create custom vinyl decals.  

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set

DIY Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set |
I kept the color palette simple and chose colors that would compliment the metal.  I die cut black, white, and yellow vinyl with my Cricut and applied them to the lunch box and thermos.  

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set |
When the alpaca lunch box is opened up, there are all sorts of other reusable, eco-friendly goodies inside--a thermos, cloth napkin, and a reusable lunch bag.  

DIY Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set |
The alpaca thermos is my favorite.  That little yellow alpaca makes me so happy!

Eco-Friendly Resuable Alpaca Sandwich Bag and Cloth Napkin |
I sewed a simple cloth napkin and reusable sandwich bag and applied die cut iron-on transfers that coordinated with the lunch box and thermos.  Check out this blog post for a tutorial on how to make reusable vinyl lined sandwich bags.  I am hopeful that they will help reduce the number of plastic bags and napkins my kids use this year.  

Eco-Friendly Reusable Alpaca Sandwich Bag |
Die cutting the Cricut iron-on transfer material was super easy.  The Cricut iron-on material cut perfectly the first time and was easy to apply to the fabric.  The more alpacas the merrier!  

How To Apply Adhesive Vinyl

Die cutting adhesive vinyl with Cricut Explore |
Die cutting adhesive vinyl with the Cricut Explore is a piece of cake.  Simply set the dial to the vinyl setting and follow the instructions on the screen.  The machine takes care of the rest for you. 

How to apply adhesive vinyl |
The first thing you need to do after your image is die cut is to weed out the parts of the image that you don't want to transfer to your project.  Use a sharp object, such as a weeding tool, to gently remove the parts of the image you don't want.  This alpaca had an itty bitty face and the weeding tool removed it without a problem.  

How to apply adhesive vinyl |
After your image is weeded, cut a piece of transfer paper about the same size as the backing on your vinyl transfer.  Peel the backing from the transfer tape and apply to your image.  

How to apply adhesive vinyl |
Using a scraping tool, apply firm, even pressure over the entire vinyl transfer.  This ensures that your entire image will lift from the backing when you peel off the transfer paper. 

How to apply adhesive vinyl |
After you have applied the transfer paper to the vinyl, gently peel the transfer paper and vinyl off of the vinyl backing.  

How to apply adhesive vinyl |
Place your vinyl transfer on your project and apply firm, even pressure with the scraping tool to transfer the vinyl to your project.  

How to apply adhesive vinyl |
Next, slowly and gently peel the transfer paper off of your project.  If any of the vinyl starts to lift, apply pressure over the transfer paper again.

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box |
Repeat this process with all of your vinyl pieces until your project is complete. 

DIY Eco-Friendly Alpaca Thermos |
Apply vinyl to curved surfaces using the same technique.  I had no problem adhering the yellow alpaca to the thermos.  

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set |
A big thanks to the folks at Cricut for generously giving me a new Cricut Explore with which to make these fun goodies.  For more information on the new Cricut Explore, visit their website HERE.  

Happy lunching!


I am linking up to this week's Tatertots & Jello linky party.  

If you like this project, you may also like these: 

Hipster Cat Card |

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial |