Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Gift Holders

Hi everyone! Anna-Karin here with a Christmas tutorial. At this time of the year, we often need gift holders and I made two different ones, using Tim Holtz Pillow Box w/Labels die and Eileen Hull's Candy Jars die. They have a special surprise: an ornament that can be removed from the packaging and used; a star to hang in a tree and a dimensional Poinsettia magnet.

These work great for last minute gifts, filled with chocolates, small candy canes, or with small gifts such as jewellery. If you don't need the gift holders, you can just make the Poinsettia or the star ornaments.  

Let's start with the Candy Jar. Die cut the tall Candy Jar from cream mat board using your Big Shot or Vagabond machine.

After die cutting, I stamped a large Santa on one side and a sentiment and branch on the other, leaving space for the star. The rest of the surface was covered with a script stamp, holding it in my hand instead of mounting it on an acrylic block, for more random impressions. Remember to stamp the text in the right direction on the long strip, so that it isn't upside down.

Lightly colour the images using a craft nib and Distress Inks.

Ink the jars with Antique Linen, leaving the beard of Santa the colour of the mat board. Ink the edges with Gathered Twigs.

I painted the top of the lids with a thin layer of silver paint. The lid and base of the jar, and the sides of the inside piece were covered with a thin layer of Glossy Accents and sprinkled with dry Rock Candy glitter. Love that stuff, it gives such a great, but also subtle, glittery look, letting the text underneath show through. Leave to dry.

Use a strong adhesive to assemble (I used Ranger's Wonder Tape). The die both cuts and scores the mat board, making assembly very easy.

Here's the back of the jar, when the star is removed from the front, this side can be displayed instead.

Die cut two small stars with the Star Bright 3-D die from patterned paper and stamp with a music stamp.
Fold along all the score lines, until you get stars looking like this. I glued them together with Glossy Accents, it is easiest to press them flat again when you glue them together.

Coat the star with a thin layer of Glossy Accents and cover with dry Rock Candy glitter. Let dry and then do the other side. I pierced a hole at the top and put a jump ring through and tied with a piece of string.

The star looks lovely in a tree and the Rock Candy glitter picks up the lights of the tree really nice. You could make many and fill your tree with them, and make them in a colour that fits the rest of your ornaments. If you have a large tree, the larger sized star on the Star Bright die would also look great. Our tree is small, so the small star is a perfect size.

Hang the star around the lid of the jar, no need to attach it, which makes it easy for the recipient to just take it off and hang it in their tree.

Now to the pillow box. Here's the finished pillow box with the Poinsettia magnet ornament.  

die cutting
Tim Holtz new Pillow Box w/Labels die is perfect for gift packaging and makes such a cute little box. Since it is a Movers & Shapers die you can place small Movers & Shapers dies inside and easily cut out shaped windows. I decided to use a heart.

Die cut the Pillow Box from kraft cardstock. The die both cuts and scores the paper, you can clearly see the score lines on this photo.

I stamped a sentiment on the front and another at the back with Archival Jet Black. A Poinsettia flower was stamped at the back and a music background stamp here and there. Finally, snowflakes were white embossed on the box.

Ink the edges with Gathered Twigs and glue a piece of acetate behind the heart window. I die cut a small Cardinal bird from red Kraft-Core cardstock, sanded and inked it.

The bird needed somewhere to sit, so I die cut the tree from the Halloween Shadows die, trimmed it and used it as a branch. I tested a bunch of my metal embellishments to see if magnets would stick to them, and the word sticks from Tim Holtz worked great. Attach it with a brad, before assembling the box. Use a strong adhesive to assemble the box (I used Wonder Tape again).

Here's the finished box. It looks great on its own too.

And this is the back of the box.

I wanted the Poinsettia magnet to be durable and thought I would try something new to see if it worked (and it did!). Natural sticky-back canvas was glued to white modeling film with Multi Mmedium, since I wanted it to adhere very well. A glue stick will probably work just as well. The multi medium takes quite a while to dry on the modeling film. Die cut as many Poinsettia flowers as you need. I turned the top one around, so you can see the white modeling film at the back. Modeling film comes in clear and black too, so you can experiment and pick what you like the best.

The adhesive must be completely dry before this step, or else it will seep up through the canvas. The Textured Poinsettia Pattern embossing folder coordinates with the Tattered Poinsettia die, I just love that. Move the flowers around until you get the right fit in the folder and emboss. Now you have lovely textured flowers.

Ink the flowers with an ink blending tool, using a pretty light hand to avoid getting ink into the debossed parts. Ink the large one with Peeled Paint since it will become our leaves and the rest with shades of red. I inked the centre with Scattered Straw.

I wanted to tone down the white modeling film a bit and inked it with Latte alcohol ink. It is better to do this before shaping the flowers. You can see the alcohol ink on the flower that is turned upside down. Heat one flower at a time with a heat gun and shape the petals. Be careful not to burn yourself. On the bigger flowers it is easiest to do one side at a time since the modeling film cools down quickly. Once cool, it keeps the shape perfectly. If you are not happy with a flower, just reheat and reshape. The embossed texture does disappear to some extent on the film when you heat it, but it remained on the canvas, and even it if wouldn't, you would still have the texture created by the inking.

Layer the flowers together and pierce a hole through all of them. Attach with a brad.
Glue a magnet to the back with hot glue. I searched through my stash to find the larger magnets that I know are hiding somewhere, but I couldn't find them, so instead I used a smaller magnet, which is not quite strong enough. I'll replace it as soon as I can locate the missing magnets.

After attaching the magnet, you might have to reheat and reshape some of the green leaves, otherwise they might push the Poinsettia ornament away from the surface the magnet will be placed on.

I smeared just a little bit of Rock Candy Distress Stickles here and there. Don't use too much, unless you want your ink colours to blend.

Thank you for looking at my tutorial! I hope you will have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful year 2013!

Happy Crafting!


die cutting supplies

Surfaces: Ranger Claudine Hellmuth natural sticky-back canvas; Wendy Vecchi Stamper's Anonymous Whiteout Clearly for Art modeling film; Tim Holtz Idea-ology Holidays Past Seasonal paper stash; Tim Holtz Core'dinations kraft core cardstock; Bazzill kraft cardstock; acetate
Stamps: Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz: Letter to Santa, Holiday Wishes, Mini Holidays, Mini Holidays 4, Classics #9, Classics #10
Ink: Ranger Archival Ink- Jet Black; Tim Holtz Distress Ink- Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Barn Door, Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany, Gathered Twigs
Alcohol ink: Ranger Adirondack- Latte
Paint: Ranger Adirondack Paint Dabber- Silver
Glitter: Tim Holtz Distress Stickles- Rock Candy; Distress Stickles Dry Glitter- Rock Candy
Embossing powder: Ranger- Seafoam White
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word Sticks, Jump Rings, Brads
Adhesive: Ranger Glossy Accents, Wonder Tape, Claudine Hellmuth matte multi medium; hot glue gun
Other: twine; magnet

Ready for more ideas for dressing up your gift packaging with die cutting?  Check out the Gift Packaging Project Gallery at for more unique ideas!
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  1. There are so many incredible ideas here, I don't know where to start! I love the way you combine dies and stamping, Anna-Karin - this project is amazing!

  2. Love these! Great idea. Thanks for sharing the detailed instructions.

  3. These are both so lovely! I really like the heart "window" you cut behind the cardinal...really makes it stand out. And your poinsettia is gorgeous.

  4. Everything about these projects knocks my socks off, Anna-Karin! Beautiful work, as always!

  5. Anna- Karin, just in from a long day and what a beautiful sight to see! These projects are outstanding. I bought some gift cards today and think I will present them in the Christmas version of the candy jar! Thanks so much- what a great tutorial!

  6. Oh MY! These were absolutely to die for. You can be assured that I'm going to purchase the dies and other items needed and make these for Christmas next year. Heck! Even a birthday would be super too!

    Just beautiful work!

  7. They are both fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. WOW! thank you for sharing - wonderful!
    Sandra ltb

  9. I think these projects are adorable, and I do believe I already know what I will be making for my coworkers for Christmas next year! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and inspiration!

  10. Lovely post!! What were dimensions of the pillow box.


  11. Lovely post!! What were dimensions of the pillow box.


  12. I didn't see this in time for last Christmas, but I hope to get a head start for the next! These are beautiful Anna-Karin! I found them through pinterest. I have the pillow box die that I haven't used yet. Now I can't wait to get it out!


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