Yesterday I wasn’t sure that this tutorial was going to happen. I had fought a migraine all day, trying to push through and work through it. Then, at about 4 pm, the company that hosts my website called to let me know they had shut down my site. With my head pounding I couldn’t totally grasp what the issue was other than my site was down and would be down until I fixed the issue on my end. While I waited for them to restore the site, I tried to return to the project on my work table, a die cut shadowbox that says, “In all things… bee happy”. Ironic. On a day when I was struggling, there was my project reminding me to refocus on the good and be happy. Thankfully, after a few hours, they restored the site and by this morning the headache was gone. Hooray!
Now, on to the tutorial…
This little framed shadowbox is so easy to create with die cuts and mat board. It is as simple as stacking the pieces and adding some embellishments. This shadowbox has clear layers in it that are kind of hard to photograph, I hope that you will be able to get an idea of the extra depth those layers add.
Begin by cutting one Small Easel from mat board. You will need to use a crease pad when die cutting so that the score lines don’t cut through.
Die cut one piece of thin clear plastic (I used shrink plastic) using the Postage Frame Movers & Shapers die.
Die cut one piece of mat board using the Postage Frame Movers & Shapers die. You could use chipboard in place of mat board, but I prefer the mat board for its smooth cut edges.
Die cut nine pieces of mat board using the Postage Frame Movers & Shapers die with the large Sized Rectangles die inserted into the frame. Also die cut one piece of pattern paper for the front of the frame (not shown). You could use any of the Movers & Shapers dies with Sized Shape inserts to create a shadowbox frame. I chose the postage stamp because it’s edge felt similar to the shapes in the honeycomb stamp.
Place a honeycomb design stamp face up on your work surface. Ink the stamp with black Staz-on ink. Place the plastic on the stamp. Rub your fingers randomly over the plastic to transfer the impression. Using your fingers to transfer the design will help the stamped image to be a little less perfect and more random.
Stamp along the left and right sides of the plastic. Set the piece aside to air dry.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Squeezed Lemonade Distress Ink to the upper right corner of the solid postage stamp piece.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Wild Honey Distress Ink to the upper left corner of the solid postage stamp piece.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Spice Marmalade Distress Ink to the lower half of the solid postage stamp piece.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Rusty Hinge Distress Ink to the edges of the solid postage stamp piece. The next layer of the frame will cover about 1/4 inside the score line, so be sure to add the dark color at least 1/4″ beyond that score line.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Squeezed Lemonade Distress Ink to the entire solid postage stamp piece. Adding the yellow again will help intensify the previous yellow and will also blend the other colors together more.
Mist water onto your hand and flick it onto the surface of the solid postage stamp piece to create water specks in the ink.
Use a dry cloth to blot the water spots and dry with a heat tool.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges of the solid postage stamp piece. Remember to come in at least 1/4″ from the score line.
Use a heat tool to dry the ink.
Apply adhesive to the backs of three frames. Stack the three frames together to create one solid piece. (I ran my frames through my Xyron.)
Dispense some Vintage Photo Distress Stain onto your craft sheet. Use a paint brush to paint the stain onto the inside edge of the three assembled frames. Any adhesive on the edges will most likely resist the stain created a distressed effect. Paint could be used in place of stain. I chose stain to that it would soak into the matboard and not lay on top of it. Either will work with each giving a slightly different finished look.
Adhere the three assembled frames onto the solid stamp piece. You many find clipping them together will help them bond better.
Place adhesive on the backs of three more frames and adhere together as before. Again, use a paintbrush to apply stain to the inside edges of the assembled frames.
Place strips of 1/4″ adhesive tape around the opening on the back side of the three assembled frames.
Trim the postage edge off of the stamped plastic piece just inside the score line. Make sure the ink is dry first before handling. Even with it dry, I try to avoid touching the stamping as much as possible to avoid any chance of smearing.
Place the plastic piece on assembled frames, stamped side up.
Adhere the three assembled frames onto the previously assembled stack of frames. Place the stack so that the plastic layer is sandwiched between the two layers of frames.
Stamp a bee onto a small piece of plastic (again, I used shrink plastic) using Staz-on black ink. Set aside to air dry.
Stamp the bee again on a scrap of mat board using Jet Black Archival Ink.
Scribble Wild Honey and Black Soot Distress Ink Markers onto your craft sheet. Use a waterbrush to pick up the marker ink and color it onto the stamped image.
To add subtle sparkle, mist Sunflower and Pewter Perfect Pearls Mists onto your craft sheet. Use the waterbrush to pick up the mists and color them onto the stamped image.
Use a heat tool to dry the inks. Cut the bee’s body out. Use an ink blending tool with Black Soot Distress Ink or a Black Soot Distress Ink Marker to color the sides of the bee. The center part of the body is thin so be careful while handling it to not break it in half.
When the ink on the plastic is dry, cut the wings out. As before, consider the stamped side the backside of the piece. Leave a small strip of plastic on the tip of the right wing as shown.
Place a strip of 1/8″ adhesive tape on the back of the bee’s body. The tape will not only adhere the wings, but will also add some strength to the bee’s body.
Adhere the wing to the back of the bee’s body so that the wing with the clear strip is to the right of the bee’s body.
Place a strip of adhesive tape on the upper right edge of the assembled frames. Adhere the bee to the frame by placing the clear strip on the adhesive tape on the frame.
Adhere three more frames together. As before, paint the inside edges of the three frames with Vintage Photo Distress Stain. Adhere the three assembled frames on top of the previously assembled frames, sandwiching the bee in between the layers.
Paint the outer edges of the assembled frames with Vintage Photo Distress Stain. Coverage doesn’t need to be perfect. Leaving some white areas peeking through helps add some interest and “texture”.
Add a machine stitched border if desired around the pattern paper frame. Add stamping to the top right corner using Jet Black Archival Ink and alphabet stamps.
Adhere the pattern paper frame to the front of the assembled frames. Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges and corners.
Trim the top edge of the matboard easel so that it matches the height of the frame.
Adhere the easel to the back of the frame.
Die cut a small banner from pattern paper. Stamp the rest of the sentiment on the banner. Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges of the banner.
Finish the frame by adding embellishments and the banner to the outside of the frame. Use die cuts, metal embellishments, ribbon, etc to complete the design. If my embellishments look familiar, it is because you have seen them before! When I made the video tutorial for Simon Says Stamp, I made two identical cards. I didn’t need two so I decided to repurpose the embellishments from one card onto this one, replacing only the tag with the new stamped banner. I think this is a great way to re-use embellishments from other cards or projects. Rather than saving a handmade card from someone in a box, re-purpose the elements on a display piece as a way to think of the sender and their art.
Finally, use your finger to bend the bee gently forward to add a little tilt to his hover.
It is so hard to capture, but in person you see quite a bit of depth in the layers. Having space between the inked background and the hive pattern adds so much depth. I absolutely love the way the bee hovers above it all.
To see how I created the metal flowers, check out my tutorial and supply list on the Simon Says Stamp blog: http://www.simonsaysstampblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-happy-gram-from-tammy-tutterow.html.
This one will sit on my computer desk where I spend a lot of time to help me remember, even on tough days, to remember to “bee” happy through it all!