Introducing

Tips and Project Ideas for the Build a Birdhouse Crafting Dies

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Five Fresh Peony Project Ideas

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, peony flowers are outrageously beautiful and will take your breath away. Today, I am sharing some cards featuring the Fresh Peonies stamp set and dies. I hope these projects will take your breath away and inspire you to make some flower cards and tags!


The Fresh Peonies Ideas and Inspiration Video!

I know some of you like to watch videos to see the projects and hear tips. Other people would rather read about them. So you get to choose! The video includes the same projects and tips included in the rest of this post.


Keep Things Simple - Don't Add Color!

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When we were designing this stamp set, I never imagined the peony flowers without any color. But check out this card by Dana Kirby. It is simple and oh so stunning! So, if you are short on time, just let the flower image and sentiment be the stars on your card!

Want to learn more about how Dana made this card. Here's a link to her blog post!


Use Colored Pencils and the No Line Coloring Technique

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Wow... I can honestly say this card took my breath away! Dana Joy used a light-colored ink to stamp the peony flower image. Then she used pencils to add color to her peonies and leaves, and created this gorgeous card!

If you would like to get the exact pencil colors that Dana used, hop on over to her blog post!


Frame Your Sentiment with Peonies

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I can't seem to find very many words to accurately describe how much I like this card by Emily Leiphart. She used Distress Ink to color two peony images, and then die cut them out. She stamped her sentiment, and used the Essential Stitched Labels dies to cut it out. But here is where Emily got super creative. Look at her card front. She used that same label die to emboss shapes and texture into the background of her card. I think that is so AWESOME!

Want more information? Check out Emily's blog post!


Make a Trendy Coral Colored Peony

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Often peonies are white, pink, or red. But they also come in shades of coral, purple and bright yellow. One of the trendy colors this year is called living coral. So I was so glad to see this beautiful peony card by Yasmin Diaz. In addition to using copic markers to make the lovely coral peony, Yasmin die cut out the word Friend (which is included in the set of Fresh Peonies Crafting Die) to help finish her card.


Stamp a Patterned Peony Background

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Last month I participated in a challenge where I colored a stamped image every day. I used several different kinds of pencils, crayons, and markers to make peonies in nearly every color in the rainbow. To make this card I stamped the peony image all over a 4 x 5.5 inch piece of cardstock. Then I used yellow, orange, and red makers to color in the flowers. (I used Zig Clean Color light pink, orange, and carmine red along with a water pen.) Although it took me awhile to color all those peonies, I really enjoyed doing it. I think that coloring stamped images is relaxing!


I hope you enjoyed seeing all the different ways you can color your stamped peonies. If you are a member of the Greenhouse Society auto-ship program, we'll be shipping the Fresh Peonies to you soon. I hope these projects inspire you to get out your new stamps and make something! If you aren't an auto-ship member, you can pre-order your peonies now.

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