Project Tutorials

Project Tutorials

Are you looking for a unique idea for Thanksgiving or holiday greeting cards?  This colorful card celebrates simplicity, thankfulness, and home.

11-07-2021  “Thanksgiving Blessings”

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use multiple colors on a background for a detailed die.  You will also learn how to organize and mass-produce cards for friends and family

I love the new Sizzix-Tim Holtz Thinlits die (665558)!  It just makes my primitive heart sing!  I chose to use my favorite primitive colors to create a Thanksgiving card for my family and friends.


While it may look complicated, it really is not. It is, however, time-consuming.  You take it one piece at a time just like you would a jigsaw puzzle.  To begin with, select the color you want for the front of the card.  I chose light ivory. Then choose the color you want for the stars and the dots in the background.  I wanted gold stars.

Take the color card stock that you want in the background and run it through your die-cutting machine with the Sizzix die. It will cut the border around your background, as well as cut out the trees, houses, and birds.  Then lightly trace around the cut-out the background with a pencil and cut out. Glue the background to the back of the card front.

Next you will need to decide what colors you want for all the houses, trees, and birds.  I started with the birds. I wanted them black because black reminds me of the crows that come around this time of year.  Lay the die face down on the bottom cutting pad.  arrange scraps of paper over all the birds on the die.  Cover with the top pad and run through your machine.  Repeat the process, cutting out all of the houses and trees.  Taking a cue from Tim Holtz, I found a vintage muffin tin on eBay that I use to keep all the little pieces of a project together while I am working on it.  Organize all of your pieces in a tin, boxes, paper cups, or whatever you have on hand.

You can cut all the shapes out of colored card stock, or color them. I chose to use Distress Sprays. I cut out the pieces, arranged them in my  Tim Holtz “Splat Box” and then sprayed two coats of stain on them, drying them with my heat tool in between coats. (You can use a cardboard box or anything that has walls to keep the spray contained.  I used Distress Faded Jeans, Peacock Feathers, Aged Mahogany, Picked Raspberry, and Walnut Stain.

With the exception of the birds, I used a small Dauber ( and dabbed Distress Vintage Photo ink around the edges of all the pieces to give them a distressed look.

Then I started to glue.  The birds are very small.  I used a toothpick to dab glue into the holes and then carefully pressed the birds into the holes. You can use tweezers if they are difficult to pick up. You can also you a craft pick to slide them into place.

Because there were so many small pieces to glue, I used a spray adhesive for the rest.  I laid a piece of copy paper in my trash can, and carefully sprayed the adhesive (Aleenes Tacky Spray – Hobby Lobby); over the back of the pieces.  Only do a few at a time as the glue dried quickly. ( If you have respiratory issues, open a window or spray your pieces in the garage or outdoors.)

The sheet of copy paper will get sticky, so discard often and replace it with a fresh sheet of paper.  (This is not a spray I could use in my splat box.)  As soon as the project is done, I take the trash bag out of my can and outside.  it is not a fragrance that you want lingering in your work space! lol

Just do one color at a time.  I did multiple cards, which required a LOT of pieces.  I did all the birds for all the cards.  Then I did all of one color house for all the cards.  Then I did all the houses of another color for all the cards, and so forth.

When I was done inserting all the pieces into the cards, I used my dauber and Vintage Photo ink to distress the outer edges of my card. I pulled one of the house colors out – the burgundy – and used it as a layering background for the card. I love the look and texture that the edged kraft paper (12 x 12 Hobby Lobby) gives a card.  You can add as many background layers as you want before you attach your project to a card. Just remember that your card needs to fit as envelop and make sure you don’t get it too big.  My finished card size with all the backing layers was 5-1/4 x 7-1/4 which fit into a 5 x 7 envelop.  When you add layers to the back, also keep in mind that your postage will be more.  It took two stamps for each of my cards.

The sentiment I chose for my card came from this wonderful set by the Colorado Craft Company.  “So Very Thankful for You” suited the simple designs on the card.

Use this wonderful die for your holiday projects and cards, and make sure you keep one for yourself!


10-15-2021   “Day of the Dead”

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use two vignette boxes glued together, how to use grit paste to make and color “stucco” for projects, how to make 3-D projects, how to create your own features when there are no dues or patterns available, and how to attach lighting to a project or assemblage.


Tim Holtz’s musical spirits invite you to help them celebrate the Day of the Dead!

This Sante Fe-style house was inspired by the Disney movie.  My family lived in Albuquerque for 14 years and remember well the adobe architecture and the colorful (and loud) celebrations.

As I open the door, I invite you into my adobe home, to see the altar the family has created to honor the loved ones that have left them for the spirit world.   The family’s altar in the movie was adorned with photos, skulls, food, bottles, and bouquets of colorful flowers, so I tried to replicate that as much as possible. I researched it and discovered that candles are very important. Each departed soul is represented with a candle, and an extra candle is lit for the forgotten soul.  I also learned dogs are important in this celebration because some believe dogs were a guide to accompany a soul to their final resting place in the afterlife.  I recently discovered candles are also a symbol of fire and a light that guides the spirits back to visit the land of the living on the Day of the Dead.

Tim Holtz’s fabulous senora skeleton is dancing and singing.  As you peer into the window behind her, you can see well-worn wallpaper behind the table, covered with mama’s favorite tablecloth (Tim’s fabric over the two smallest vignette boxes glued together).  The interior walls of the house are traditional stucco and the floor is wood.  There are windows on each side of the house (inside and out).  A “spirit dog” is perched on top of the house.

This musical spirit is tuning his guitar that has become a little rusty since his visit back to the land of the living a year ago.

A spirit dog plays an important role in the movie and the celebration. I used one of Tims’s adorable dogs from his stamp and die set, colored with Copic markers and decorated with a white Uni-Ball pen. Idea-ology wings added the finishing touch.

If you are curious to know how I actually assembled this project, here we go!

I began my celebration with a Tim Holtz  4-3/4 x 9-inch vignette box.  I needed a “house” that was deep enough to accommodate the two smaller vignetter boxes I was using for the alter table.  The vignette box was only 1/2 inch deep and wouldn’t work.   After pondering this for quite a while I did the unthinkable and dismantled the vignette box and took the bottom out, leaving just the frame.  Yes, it can be done. As you can see by the photo above, the bottom is held into place with little metal pins.  I used an Exacto blade and then the tip of an awl, to prise the frame away from the bottom.  Two of the side panels did fall apart, but I just glued them back together with a little hot glue.  Then I glued the frame of the bottomless vignette box to another vignette box of the same size.  Tada!

Now that I know it can be done, I suspect I will be using this idea frequently!

To create an adobe house, I had to “make” stucco for the walls.  I used an entire jar of Ranger’s Distress Grit paste, smeared onto the surface of the vignette box with my finger.  After I allowed it to dry 24 hours, I painted the exterior with Tea Dye Distress Paint.

I wanted to add Tiny Lights behind the back wall (covered with wallpaper) and also to light the candles on the altar table.  I used one strand of lights for both.  When I hide lights behind a wall, I create a raised base to support the back wall.  I do this by cutting strips of balsa wood and hot gluing them to all four sides of the box.  Balsa wood is so soft that you can cut it with scissors.  And it’s sturdy enough to support even thin paper like copy paper or vellum.

Once I have the Balsa wood in place, I turn the box over and drill a hole in the back (drilling from the backside to the interior).  I find the center of the back, and then measure up just above the balsa wood and mark it with a pencil.  I use a power drill because that’s what we have with our tools. I use a 1/4 size drill bit.  (Do not drill on a table surface.  Use a work table in the garage or the garage floor to brace your box for drilling.)  This size hole will allow you to push the entire cord for the Tiny Lights through the hole to hide in the box.  Some makers leave the thickest part of the cord on the outside back of the box or project.  I think it’s part personal preference and what works the best for the project.

I hot glued the battery pack to the back of the vignette box.


Tim Holtz has warned many times not to ever let the hot glue touch the light bulb because it will kill the entire strand of lights. (Hot glue actually works well to hold the wire in place.)  I might have accidentally done that, so do exercise caution when you glue.  Tape the thickest part of the cord to the box so it can’t move around.  Then carefully,  use your fingers to hold the lights as you glue IN BETWEEN the bulbs all the way around the box, one or two inches at a time.  I glued the lights around the edges and then left the rest of the light strand free to light my candles.


Next, I stamped a design on a sheet of copy paper using Stamper’s Anonymous/Tim Holtz’s Tapestry (CM414) stamp and a Distress Worn Lipstick stamp pad.  (I used copy paper rather than car stock so that the lights would show through.)  I cut the “wallpaper” to fit the back of the vignette box.  I used a three-hole punch to poke a hole in the bottom middle of the paper to allow me to bring the lights into the house.  You can’t see where they came into the house because it is hidden behind the table.  Then I used hot glue to glue the wallpaper over the Balsa wood strips.

I cut a tablecloth from Tim Holtz’s Eclectic Elements red fabric I wrapped it around the sides of the table and glued it with a hot glue gun.  I glued a paper doily over the center of the table as a foundation for an embellishment.  I cut just the skirt from Tim’s skeleton and glued it over the doily for embellishment.

Now came the really hard part.  I hand-made candles using the demo Tim did last Halloween (refer to his Halloween 2020 tutorial) so they would fit the table. I had to stick the lights up into the candles and glue them to the top of the table one at a time.  Thankfully, I had just enough bulbs in the strand to do all the candles  I worked from one side to the other very slowly.  When the candles were glued to the top of the table, then I centered the table in the middle of the floor and glued it down.

This is just the beginning of the embellishments that I did.  I added a few more before I put the front on the house.  I used Distress sprays in Carved Pumpkin, Squeezed Lemon, and Candied Apple to die the Idea-ology flowers.  When they were dry, I glued them into place on each side of the table.  Several of Tim’s paper dolls have now been “de-headed” to provide a photo for the family ancestors.  I made frames for the family photos using the Thinlit’s square shapes die (664438) and acetate. I did cut a small crack in the “glass” to make them appear well-worn.

Every house needs windows.  I cut windows using Tim’s Alterations beach hut die.  Turquoise is a popular color in homes in the Southwest.  I used turquoise acrylic craft paint on the windows.  On the inside windows, I colored a sky blue background on a scrap of white card stock.  On the outside windows, I colored a yellow scrap of cardstock for the indoor lighted window.

For the trim on my adobe home, I cut a beam from Balsa wood and painted it with Distress Ground Espresso paint, then hot glue it between the ceiling and the top of the back wall.

The finished table includes apples (died dried berried), Idea-ology bottles, and wood beads strung across the front of the table.


Because I wanted my house to look like the street scene from the movie, the house had to have an actual front.  I cut the front panel using heavyweight card stock.  I cut two doors freehand and ran them through the 3-D Wood Texture Fades Emboss folder.  I painted them with Ground Espresso Distress paint.  I inserted a strip of heavy cardstock between the two doors to use as a hinge so the door would open and close.

I cut two front panels to use for the front of the house out of heavy-weight card stock. I needed to reinforce the panel so that it would be strong enough for stucco and to hold the door.  I made windows using  Tim’s Alterations window die (658780) and glued acetate to the back for the glass panes. I embossed the windows with the wood Emboss Folder as well.  The outside of the frames was painted with Espresso paint.  You can see that the inside of the panels was pretty rough-looking.  Before I glued the two front panels together I inserted the door “hinge” on one side.  Then I painted the interior and applied “stucco” to the outside just as I had done on the outside walls. I cut traditional pole trim from a Hobby Lobby wood dowel and painted it with Espresso paint.  I put hot glue on the tip of each “wood” pole pressed them into the stucco while it was still wet, spacing them evenly across the top of the front wall.

When everything was dry, I attached doorknobs to the inside and outside of the door (Idea-ology hardware heads).  I created a hanging ristra of red chilies and hung it on the inside of the door. (A stamp from my collection.)

No Southwest home is complete without cactus.  I used Tim’s Cactus Thinlits die (665365) and Distress stains Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn for one side of the house. (Dip and dry method of coloring.)   I used colored card stock for the cactus on the other side of the house.

I needed a base on which to park my house and to create a sidewalk.  I used the large Idea-ology vignette box as the base.  Using a crackle pattern stencil and molding paste, I created a stone wall around the sides of the base.  I left some of the cracks.  The house on the street in the movie was off of a brick sidewalk.  I used heavy cardstock and Tim’s 3-D Texture Fade Brick Emboss folder to make the bricks for the sidewalk and colored them with Seedless Grapes and Aged Mahogany Distress Spray.

I cut a larger wood dowel and painted it with Distress Espresso paint to use as a side rail for the sidewalk.  I glued a strong of the Halloween purple Tiny lights around the outside of the house and around the windows.  I glued the battery box to the back of the vignette box.

Festive flags are traditional in Mexican-Latinx celebrations.  I cut the flags from printed paper and arranged them along the front bottom of the base for a little extra embellishment. (Prima paper: Solecito Collection: Papel Pecado.)


Mother’s Day Keepsake Box

In this tutorial, you will learn how to cover and decorate an unfinished wood craft box.

Here is a unique handmade papercraft Keep Sake Box project for Mother’s Day.  Fill it with Mom’s favorite candy, her favorite cologne, or photos of your family.  Be creative! After Mother’s Day, she will have a lovely box she can use to store her own keepsakes or treasures.

Here is what you will need:

a wood box with a lid or a paper mache box from your local craft store

medium to heavyweight patterned card stock in your mom’s favorite colors

packaged flowers in coordinating colors (Prima, 49 Market, or Paper Studio by Hobby Lobby)

square of felt to line the bottom of the box

double-sided tape (I prefer brand that comes in various widths)

white gesso

a bottle of glue and a hot glue gun

white acrylic craft paint from your local craft store – choose a white or off white that coordinates with the background of your paper (I used Folkart)

flat paintbrush to apply gesso and paint; a small brush or cotton swabs to paint the inside corners

a mini screwdriver to remove hardware; a craft pick for poking holes

ruler, pencil

waxed paper to cover your work surface; baby wipes to keep your hands clean

First step. Remove the hinge and clasp from the front of the box and store a container.

Check the box for obvious cracks.  Fill in with spackle or a molding paste.

Why paint the box if you are covering it with paper? One, to seal the wood. Two, and this is personal preference, I like painted edges to show around the paper because it adds a nice contrast.

To prime the wood before you paint, cover the entire box inside and out with a coat of white gesso.

When you apply, follow the grain of the wood.

When the gesso dries, cover the entire box inside and out with the acrylic craft paint. I use cotton swabs or a fine-tip paint brush to get into the inside corners.

I chose a new floral pattern card stock from 49 Market called Vintage Artistry Radiate, and the coordinating flowers that go with it. Scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby is not heavy enough for this project. Check out your local scrapbook specialty shop or look online.  Get at least two sheets of paper printed on both sides, so that you have one print for the outside and one for the inside.  This will be based of course, on the size of your box.  Better to have more paper than you need than not enough.

I do not recommend using glue for this type of project.  It can leave wrinkles in your paper and look very unprofessional.  Double-sided tape is ideal. I used’s tape in two sizes. You can see in the photo of one of my pieces of paper that I used two-inch-wide tape on the outside edges and two 1/8 inch- wide tape in the middle.  When you get ready to attach the paper to your box, simply peel off the backing on the tape.

CAUTION: This tape is fabulous, but it is permanent the second it attaches to the surface of your project for life.  You must hold the paper close to the box but not actually attach it until you have it centered just exactly where you want it. Then lay it down and smooth out with your hand.

I like to cut the paper so that there will be about a quarter-inch border of paint around the edge of the box.  This box had a decorative ridge just inside the edge of the box, so that I cut the paper to fit inside the ridge.  The paper on the sides of the box was cut to leave the 1/4 border of paint.

You will need to mark the holes where the hinge and clasp were. You can see where I used the top holes to mark the bottom holes for the clasp.  I made a light pencil mark on the paper, and then poked a hole in the paper with a craft pick.

The paper on the back was cut just below the hinges and above the legs of the box.

I opted to cover just the inside cover of the box and leave the sides painted.

This is the box when all the paper is applied.

Open the package of flowers. You can leave them as is, or you can add some sparkle with clear glitter.One of my favorite clear glitters is Papericious Rajini Chawla’s Chrystal Clear from Heartfelt Creations.

To apply: cut the top off of a sponge (the real kind that you find in stores like Hobby Lobby).  Do not use the tip of the glue bottle to apply the glue as it will leave blobs of glue, and then blobs of glitter.

Apply glue to the tip of the sponge.  Then dab the glue on flowers randomly. Place the box on a sheet of copy paper. Apply the clear glitter and then hold the box up to allow the excess glue to fall off.  Fold the sheet of paper in half and pour the excess glitter back into the jar.

Arrange the flowers on top of the box until you have a pleasing and balanced layout.  Then glue them to the box lid using the hot glue gun.   Hot glue tends to leave little stringy strands around your project. Always check and pull off glue strands.

Cut the square of felt to exactly fit the bottom of the box.  Use double-sided tape to attach. (Glue shows through the felt.)

Fill your box with treats of your choice.

I hope you enjoyed this project.  Now that you have the basic idea, you can cover paper mache boxes and paper mache albums in the same manner.  I will do a tutorial on covering paper albums in the near future so stay tuned!

For all you moms – here’s wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day!


Spring is in the Air

Do you like quick and easy seasonal papercraft projects? Here is a fun spring idea that incorporates both paper and natural elements that can be recycled for future projects.

Henry Van Dyke once said, “The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”  Nothing is more true in Colorado this time of year. These photos were taken on the first day of spring.  The next day, we had ten inches of snow on the ground.


In this tutorial, you will learn how to quickly grab items from around your house and create a table display.

This project began with a galvanized tin tray I found on sale at Hobby Lobby.  I wanted one that I could recycle and use throughout the year.  Miss Bunny came from the garden shop at Home Depot. She was so adorable that I built the centerpiece around her.My favorite nursery has “Fairy  Flowers” this time of year. They are perfect for indoor gardens and displays because they don’t grow more than 6-8 inches tall and are easy to maintain.  Each plant comes with a tag describing the plant.  This plant is called Ruby’s Burgundy Shamrock. Legend has it that each of the three leaves represents faith, hope, and love.  What a great thought to begin the new season.

I found the perfect size pots at Home Depot. I spread gesso around the rim of the pot with my finger to give them an outdoor weathered look. It took 2-3 coats.  I prefer gesso to paint as it looks more natural.  Paint looks artificial like – well, paint. I also spread a little gesso in spots around the pot.  To dress up the pot I strung an Idea-ology tag on jute and let it hang down in front. I secured it with hot glue in several spots.

This is a baby fern. Plants will grow into whatever pot you put them in so to keep this little guy small, I will leave him in this pot.  As I did with the Shamrock plant, I spread gesso around the rim and spots on the other pots.  I die-cut a butterfly and used shimmer sprays to color the wings.  I glued the butterfly to a two-ply 26-gauge floral wire to use as a pick.

I borrowed two small clay pots from another spring display.  I was thrilled that one of them was actually chipped because it added character to the display. I used a Sizzix-Tim Holtz flower die for the three paper flowers in the center pot. I dabbed a little Tea Dye Distress ink around the edges with a cotton swab and filled the centers of the flowers with brown Prills over white glue.  I filled the pot with potting soil and added green moss for color.

I painted the resin eggs with Tim Holtz Distress paint in Robbin’s Egg Blue, Kitsch Flamingo, and Lucky Clover. Using a blending tool, a added a layer of Vintage Photo Distress Ink to give the eggs a little bit of a vintage look.  The final touches included adding Spanish Moss to the tray and tearing a scrap of pink cotton fabric to make a bow around Miss Bunny’s neck.

When spring is over, the plants and Miss bunny will go back to my indoor garden.  The paper flowers will be used in another project. The Spanish Moss will go back in the bag.  The two small pots will go back to their original display and be stored along with the eggs until next spring.  The very cool tin tray will be recycled and used in summer, fall, and winter projects later this year.

When you craft, remember that nothing has to be permanent.  DIY projects can be recycled so that you get the most out of your money and ideas.   Take photos of your projects so you can duplicate them when you want to.  Happy spring!

Creativity Takes Courage

March 1, 2021


Today is the official launch of Crafts Happen: Where Life and Creativity Meet!

In celebration of National Craft Month, I am sharing a papercraft project I recently made. I was inspired by a quote from French artist, Henri Mattise, who said, “Creativity takes courage.” As lions are a symbol of courage, who better to feature in my first blog tutorial, than Tim Holtz’s delightful new star, Harrison the lion.  Just look at his big personality!

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make one of Tim Holtz’s adorable animal characters and a background for a card.

Project Instructions

This 6 x 8-inch project is suitable for a greeting card or to frame for yourself or someone else. We could all use a reminder to “Be Brave” in our creative adventures, as well as our daily lives.   This is a good project for someone new to Sizzix’s colorized critter dies, or for a crafter who would like to learn how to use Tim Holtz’s “distress” technique in card making.

To create the jungle background you will need:

white, heavyweight cardstock, 110-pound; cut to 5 x 7 inches (I used Hobby Lobby Heavy Weight 110-pound paper for this project)

Distress Ink pads: Peeled Paint, Mowed Lawn, Rustic Wilderness

spray bottle, Heat-It Craft Tool for drying, Ranger blending tool

To do the “distress” technique on the background:

Smoosh Peeled Paint ink, facedown on your craft mat or work surface in several close spots. Spritz with a little water. You will see droplets of color on your mat.


It is better to use a vinyl surface as opposed to a glass surface for this technique.  Glass can leave your paper looking “muddy” and over inked. Gently dip your paper in the color, moving the paper around to cover all areas. Stop and dry with your heat tool in between each dip. Repeat the process, adding just a little color at a time.  Do not drag the paper through the color.  If you run out of color, smoosh more ink onto your craft mat and spritz with water.

I like to edge my backgrounds with a darker color to add a little definition. Press a blending tool into Mowed Lawn ink. With your background laying flat, begin off the mat and color your way into the edge of the paper. You just want a barely noticeable border on all four sides. If you prefer, you can pick up the cardstock and hold it with one hand, while brushing the ink around the edges with the blending tool in the other hand.  Do what is the easiest for you.

To create the foliage for the jungle you will need:

Solid cardstock in various shades of green, OR white cardstock to color yourself

Sizzix Tim Holts Alterations “Garden Greens” die set (659436)

Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlets “Leaves” die (661206)

Magnolia Doohickeys “Grace Lace” grass die (BD11) or another grass die

Distress ink pads: Bundled Sage, Mowed Lawn, Rustic Wilderness, Twisted Citron, Tea Dye

die-cutting machine (Big Shot or Vagabond)

scissors, craft pick, die-cutting machine, spray bottle

Select the dies that you want to use.  Select a variety of shapes and sizes. (Tip: To create balance in a project, use odd numbers of objects rather than even numbers.)  Color each leaf branch using the distress technique. To make your foliage more realistic, use different shades of green ink for each branch type. When your branches are dry, run them through your die machine to cut.

If you would like to duplicate my foliage, cut five light green fern branches, and three darker green branches.  Use the Tea Dye ink for two sticks. I die-cut the grass out of solid green card stock rather than distress coloring.

I distress-colored and cut one large leaf branch from the Sizzix Alterations set (659436).

To make the grove of birch trees you will need:

white card stock, craft pick, die-cutting machine, scissors, spray bottle

Sizzix Thinlet “Birch Trees” die

Distress ink pads: Rusty Hinge, Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo

Die-cut the grove of trees out of white card stock. Color using the distress technique. Leave some areas of the trees white for contrast.

When the trees are dry, cut 3-4 trees out of the grove, leaving them attached at the top and bottom. Store the leftover trees in your die packet for a future project. Using Dark Walnut ink, edge the trees for definition.

To make Harrison you will need:

Sizzix Tim Holtz Harrison die (665218)

scraps of paper in 5 shades of brown ranging from dark to light

tiny scraps of paper in black, white, and pale pink for facial features

die-cutting machine, craft pick, scissors, glue

Aside from the incredible detail on Sizzix’s critter dies, there is a total genius in the way they label the die pieces.  If you are new to colorized dies, it is much easier than you might think. Each piece is labeled with a color and a number.  Arrange the die pieces on your mat with the colors and numbers showing: brown 1, brown 2, brown 3, etc.

When you select the colors for Harrison, you will use dark colors on the bottom layers and light colors on the top layers for highlights. Try to select shades of brown that look well together. Refer to the photo on the die package for reference.

After all the pieces of Harrison have been die-cut, then glue them together.  Refer to the photo on the die package for reference.

To assemble the project you will need:

Harrison, all the foliage pieces, pop dots, and glue

Spread glue on the stems only of the leaf branches as you apply them to the picture. This will allow you to shape leaves with your fingers, make them look more realistic, and add a little dimension to the background. I started with the largest branch on the right and one dark green branch on the top left.

Then I added more foliage to the left, and the birch trees on the right.

I arranged the fern palms in the center of the picture so they would be behind Harrison.  I glued the brown stick in front of the birch trees. Finally, I glued to grass to the bottom of the picture over the foliage and trees.

Now it’s time to attach the star of the project.  Attach pop dots to the back of Harrison to make him stand out.

Now we have Harrison confidently posed in his jungle setting. I always glue cardstock to the back of a project to create a border. I used a solid green to coordinate with the jungle.

To create a paper frame and embellishments you will need:

A brownish paper, preferably with interesting texture

embellishments for the four corners (Ideology, buttons, or whatever you have on hand)

Glue your project to the background paper, and trim leaving a 1/2 inch border on all four sides. Glue whatever embellishments you have to the four corners. I used metal screws from Tim Holtz’s Ideaology collection.

To make the lettering you will need:

Sizzix Tim Holtz ABC die set (664406)

a small scrap of brown card stock

Die-cut the letters for “Be Brave”.  Center them under Harrison on the paper border and glue.

Last Minute Adjustment

It happens now and then, that after I complete a project and let it sit for a bit, I see a need to add something else. In this case, I felt there was a lot of foliage on the right side of the picture, but not as much on the left, which left it somewhat unbalanced. It was an easy fix.

I pulled out Tim Holtz’s Snarky Cat Christmas Stamp set. I stamped a little Snarky bird on white card stock, colored him with red, brown, and peach markers, and cut him out (cutting off the stem in his bill). I added a pop dot to the back of the bird and mounted him on a branch close to Harrison. I also colored and die-cut one more brown stick and glued it on the left side. Now I had balance and a little color pop to break up all the green in the background.

And there you have Harrison the lion and his reminder to “Be Brave” in all of life’s adventures.


Thanks for stopping by!  Hope to see you again soon!