Hi everyone. This is Bev. I have been having a lot of fun playing with the Build a Birdhouse crafting dies and I have so many tips I want to share with you for using them. You can watch the video, or keep reading to make sure you see all the project ideas and see all the tips too!
Tip 1: Don't Cut Apart Your Dies!
Now my first tip may seem a little odd. I recommend that you leave these dies connected. In other words, don’t nip apart the connectors between each of these dies. Here is why. First, some of these dies are small and easy to lose. Second, these birdhouse pieces are designed to be mixed and matched in a bunch of different colors. Since none of these dies are nested just leave the dies connected and make lots of die cut roofs, perches, and birdhouses. And don't forget that in addition to cardstock and patterned paper, these dies will cut out felt, thin chipboard, cork, thin wood paper, fabric, and more. Those unusual materials make great birdhouse parts!
Tip 2: Keep All the Extra Die-Cut Birdhouse Pieces!
My next tip is don’t throw away the extra birdhouse pieces. Instead keep them together for future projects. Here at the Technique Tuesday offices, we keep the dies in a plain envelope and we keep all those pieces in that same envelope with the dies. Having all these extra birdhouse pieces in one place makes it easy to create a quick card, gift tag or scrapbook layout later.
Tip 3: Use a Glue Pen or Fine Tip Adhesive Applicator!
Once you’ve picked out the pieces you are going to use for a specific project, you need to adhere them together. If you are working with paper, I recommend using a glue pen to adhere small, die-cut pieces together. I prefer this Quickie Glue Pen. A high-quality glue pen lets you add a small amount of glue right where you need it and dries clear too.
If you are working with more porous materials, like felt or chipboard, you’ll need a stronger adhesive and more of it. For these porous materials, I prefer this On Point Glue. Now the first thing I like about the On Point Glue is that it has a very fine tip that lets me get the glue where I want it to be. It also has a little pieces of metal, really a pin, inside the lid that slides down into the tip to keep it from clogging. And the adhesive is pretty strong so it will keep these heavier materials together better.
Tip 4: Make the Entrances Look Dark and Shadowy!
Once you have those pieces adhered, you need to decide what to do about the hole in the front of the birdhouse. Now, one option is to leave the hole open. But I wanted it to look dark and shadowed, so here’s how I do that. I cut out a piece of black or dark shadow colored cardstock. Then I adhere it to the back of the birdhouse. Not only does this provide the shadow color, the dark piece is actually behind the birdhouse so it adds just a bit of dimensional interest too.
Tip 5: Cut Down Your Birdhouses!
Another tip is that these die-cut birdhouses are designed to be cut down. We made them this way so that you could adjust the size to fit better on your specific project. Plus being able to make different sized birdhouses lets you make more visually interesting projects. To make different-sized birdhouses, just trim off the bottom of the one-hole or three-hole birdhouse die cuts. Then add roofs or perches!
Tip 6: Cut Out Some White Pieces and Add Patterns!
My final tip is to also consider die-cutting out some birdhouse pieces from white cardstock or watercolor paper. You can use a fine tip pen to add a wood grain pattern or some other pattern to your birdhouses. Or use your favorite coloring medium to add shadows and highlights. For example, Tam used Copic markers to make it look like there are red shingles or corrugated steel on the roof of this die-cut birdhouse accent.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and projects featuring the Build a Birdhouse dies. And I hope you are inspired to go make some cards, gift tags, or accents for your scrapbook pages using some of your own die-cut birdhouses.
PS: The Build a Birdhouse dies are part of our Fresh Cut Studio Collection of Crafting Dies which are all less than $10. And if you become a member of the Fresh Cut Studio auto-ship program, you'll pay even less!