Togetherness, inspiration and creativity

Crafty Beggars Are Launching a New Range of Dies!

Crafty Beggars Are Launching a New Range of Dies!

After the excitement of the Crafty Beggars‘ first range of Christmas dies, they’re back with another helping. This time the duo has opted for a cottage theme — launching at 12pm on Saturday 9th December 2017. ‘Crafty Cottage’ is a comprehensive pack of dies featuring all the components needed to create the original Crafty Cottage. In addition, the kit comes with a selection of doors and windows, flowers, leaves, bunting, a window box, a chimney, brickwork, hearts, an engagement ring, and a pair of wedding rings. Also included is the alphabet in both upper and lowercase!

To accompany this master set, there will be a set of further dies that are embellishments for each of the four seasons and gift tags in varying sizes, which can be mounted together or used on their own.

All this combined gives an almost limitless choice when it comes to a crafting project. For instance, the ‘Cottage‘ can be a wedding keepsake box, a tooth fairy box, a dog kennel, a beach hut, a haunted house, a winter lodge, an Easter egg store, advent calendar bunting… and even a garden shed!

They can be lit from within using a battery operated tea light candle and can be used as a personalised gift box. You could go to town and create an eye-catching ornament by building a village scene!

Julie: “I think what is so appealing about the Crafty Cottage collection is that they are easy to make, versatile, and incredibly effective. Plus, they have so many different uses. You can let your imagination run riot!”

Wendy: “It’s easy to be creative with this range of dies — there are so many embellishments for each of the four seasons that I found myself spoilt for choice! I’ve made loads of samples and I STILL haven’t used all the dies!”

Cost-Effective Gift Tags All Year ‘Round

Julie: “I have been focussing on our lovely set of six different sized gift tags, and of course all the different die embellishments can be used to decorate them too. (That goes for every season — not just Christmas!) I love wrapping presents and have a big store of greeting cards, paper and ribbons, but the one area I’m a bit stingy about is gift tags. I always find them disproportionately expensive! So being able to make my own is a real blessing, and I very much enjoy personalising them. I’m also planning to add little ‘To’ and ‘From’ photos which should make them extra special.”

“The Hop Inn” Magical Box of Bunnies

Wendy: “I am passionate about animals so, of course, our Spring Embellishments collection had to include a cute bunny rabbit! I like to feature our Crafty Cottages in 3D scenes set in used gift boxes and it’s always fun working out what the Crafty Cottage can actually be. In this case, it’s a two-storey tavern called The Hop Inn — a hospitable establishment keen to attract the local clientele of rabbits. So much so that they serve carrots all day! This ornament has a purpose too… it’s fitted with five LED lights that are perfect for creating a warm glow in any room. (And to light the way for those rabbits who haven’t eaten enough carrots, of course…)”

Materials You’ll Need:

Step 1:

Find a box or box lid suitable for your project. I tend to use old gift boxes as these are usually attractive to start with!

Step 2:

Spend some time getting your colour scheme together. Collect all the materials you want to use — like cardstock, paper, and embellishments — and go for the colours and designs that either tone or contrast to maximum effect.

Step 3:

Tear your chosen papers to create the background. Using a few staggered layers gives the scene some depth and texture. Glue into place on the back of the box and the two side panels, but leave the torn top edge free from the sticky stuff! This will ensure that you can slot some bunnies and foliage in later. And, not glueing them down fully adds to that 3D effect.

Step 4:

Cut out and stick down a suitable piece of paper to make the ground for your main components to sit on.

Step 5:

Use a ruler and pencil to measure out where the holes need to be for your LED lights to poke through. Once you’ve got the spacing and positioning correct, lay the box on its back on a piece of carpet (with the open box facing you). Take a smallish Phillips head screwdriver and pierce the box in the places you’ve just marked. Turn the box over and, from the back of it, push each LED light through the holes. Tape the battery pack onto the back of the box so it’s not left hanging loose.

Step 6:

Now make the central feature – the building! I did a ‘double’ one to get the extra height. When you’ve cut out the dies for the building, don’t forget to now put the flat shapes through the machine again with the window and door dies. It’s easy to get carried away and start glueing too soon!

Step 7:

For my two written signs — “The Hop Inn” and “Carrots Served All Day” — I turned to my trusty PC and printer. However, you can make these by hand if you prefer the look of your own handwriting! To fix “The Hop Inn” sign in place, I used one of the dies included in the set. It looks great in black — like wrought iron. I also used the computer’s Clip Art to print out several carrots for the blackboard sign and for scattering on the ground. Clip Art is great as it’s free to use and free from any copyright issues.

Step 8:

When your building is complete, stick the base of it to the box — not dead in the middle of the scene, but slightly off centre. It’s more aesthetically pleasing that way, trust me!

Step 9:

Now for the bunnies. Cut out several in a variety of different colours. I gave three of my bunnies old cotton reels to sit on, decorated with some striped string. Glue a matchstick or a thin piece of card to the back of the bunny and use this to slot into the hole in the cotton reel. No old cotton reels? Try a wine cork instead!

Step 10:

Take the foliage die and cut several branches in different shades.

Step 11:

Spend some time positioning your bunnies and branches in the scene — both on the back wall and in the foreground. The branches are great for softening edges around the bunnies and adding to the overall 3D effect of the project. Once you’re happy with the positioning of the bunnies and branches, glue them all into place.

Step 12:

Now is the moment to flick the switch on those lights and take in the magic of the scene you’ve just created… a perfect ornament for a kid’s room or your own bedroom. Sorry, but that’s all I have time for… I promised Bert the Bunny I’d meet him at The Hop Inn for a carrot cocktail!

Find the Complete Crafty Beggars Collection Here!

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