Happy Valentine's Day readers! Below are some samples of my latest play dates in the craft cave.
Paper straws hit the crafting scene in a big way last year. You can find them in every color of the rainbow and just about every pattern too. I got mine in boxes of 50-100 from Amazon. Here I used some blue striped straws to create the valentines in the first pic. Playing with how you lay down the straws results in different patterns emerging in the finished piece. The trick is to realize that the manufacturer applies the stripes to the straw in one of two ways. Some get applied wrapping left to right down the straw, and others have the stripe applied right to left. You'll realize this if you try to make the rick-rack pattern in the card on the right. This one needs to alternate between left to right and right to left. The boxes I bought on AZ had a mixture, so I got more versatility. Its a crap shoot when you buy them, so work with what you have.
This is a simple process that can work for any shape you can fill with the straws. Think ornaments at Christmas or stars for 4th of July, shamrocks for St Pat's day sound fun too!
My card uses a 4-inch square with the heart die cut from the center. The backing for this piece is a 3.5-inch square of scrap. Lay down some tape runner strips onto the front of the backing. Trim your straws and lay them down onto the tape runner. It won't stick well, but it will stick enough so you can play with the pattern. Once you like the pattern, use a bead of hot glue to anchor the two end straws to the backing. Center the die cut over your pattern of straws and use the hot glue again to stick that down over your straws. Then it's a simple matter of sticking the whole piece to the front of the card and embellish with whatever sentiment works for you.
Using paper straws in your cards adds quite a bit of dimension. Most straws are 1/4-inch in diameter. You'll have to accommodate for that in your envelope and expect to pay the extra postage because they are too wide for standard rates. Still, they are fun and easy and look pretty cool.
This next card, I'm sorry, but if you put a funny hat on a cute animal, I'm just plain IN. 'Smitten' the cat was created just because I couldn't just not do it. Here all I have to say is don't be afraid to go off the edges of your cards. The heart on the left is bigger than the card. But as you can see, that never stops me! The stripe over the card is raised up with some pop dots to add some dimension. The little heart is punched using a Fiskar's Squeeze punch.
I don't have a ton of completed Valentines and it's already the 11th! I can see where these might have to stay in the 'shoe box of happiness' until next year. I'm so behind!
Love to you all this Valentine's Day!