True to my fascination with everything avian, my Christmas tree contains everybird birds and inspired by birds. The idea came when I was out walking my dog and noticed the vast abundance of Georgia pinecones littering the ground. What could I do with these? If I used them inside, how was I to extract the little creatures living inside them?
I absolutely adore this "beautiful bird" applique die cut created for Sizzix by Brenda Pinnick. In my next three (errrr- long overdue) blog posts I am going to show you how to create three different ornaments with this die cut using unconventional materials to create stunning tree, mantel or package decorations.
This version all starts with simple to find, good old foam board. Foam board can intimade many of us because it usually requires using a craft knife to cut and that can take some practice. The best advice I can give you when cutting foam board (I prefer Elmer's because it comes in a variety of thicknesses, is high quality and can be purchased with grids on one side) is to utilize the "three cut rule." That is, trace your shape, use one pass of your X Acto knife to score exactly (or as close as you can) on the traced line, make a deeper second pass and finally score deeper to cut completely through. Don't try and cut all the way through with one cut, this doesn't yield smooth edged results.
As shown in the photo above, cut the foam board down to managable pieces. Cut some to match the size of the bird image on the die and some to use for the wings.
The good news is that, if you elect to use the shape of wing I did, you only need to trace a large teardrop shape onto the foam board and cut them out with the X ACTO knife. Have handy a sanding block or nail file to smooth any jagged edges.
The easier part of this project involves using the Sizzix BigShot pro to cut the bird shapes from the foam board. The BigShot Pro is a heavy duty die cut machine that cuts thick materials such as foam board.
It makes cutting these foam board bird shapes so easy!
Now its time to cover the shapes with the real wood veneer available from creative imaginations. The Real Wood Veneer product comes in 12" x 24" Real Wood Thin Cherry. It is ideal for cardmaking,mixed media, veneering, paper crafting, custom embellishments, and wood modeling.
It is compatible with most cutting dies.
You will need to use the wing template and an ink pen to trace the shape and an die cut machine to cut the real wood. For this smaller duty project, I went back to my lighter duty Big Shot machine and found that I could cut four sheets at once.
Once the sheets are cut, you can glue them to the foam core shapes to cover.
These ornaments are the perfect addition to any nature themed tree and can be make fairly quickly and easily in multiples. If you find your self lacking the time and materials to make these, visit my etsy shop for a great deal on these.
I hope I inspired you to try and make your own ornaments from simple foam board. What other dies do you own you could use to create special creations? Don't forget to check back here to see more ununual ideas using this wonderful die.
Live Life Creatively,