Cricut

Cricut Access Challenge: Quilled Flowers

Cut spirals ready to be quilled
Cut spirals ready to be quilled

Three years ago I posted about how to quill flowers using your Cricut. To this day, that post remains my most popular one, even though the process of making quilled flowers has not changed.

I’m not sure why flower quilling is so popular with Cricut devotees. Maybe because they are so simple to make with your Cricut.  Maybe because–with all the free shapes and paper colors–the possibilities are pretty much endless.  Maybe because they appear so intricate even though they are not.

Whatever the reason, quilled flowers remain extremely popular with the Cricut set, so I thought I would revitalize my most popular post in my current Cricut Access Challenge.

Cricut has an entire image set devoted to quilled flowers.  It’s called Flower Shoppe and it’s free to all Cricut Access subscribers, too!

For today, we are going to focus on these spiral shapes, which have all sorts of fun edges. I’ve chosen the scalloped edge ones and put them on my canvas, which are available in my project file below, but feel free to check out the full set of images by searching for the Flower Shoppe cartridge in Cartridge Search.

Once I pulled the spiral shape to my mat, I make sure they are the size I want. I like to make my quilled flowers on the small size so that they work with my quilling tool, but you can experiment with the size to suit your taste.

In this example the shapes are about 3 inches in size, which allows me to fit 9 shapes on one mat.

Full mat of cut spirals
Full mat of cut spirals

Once quilled, these three inch spirals will shrink to about an inch wide, so keep that proportion in mind.

When the cut is complete, carefully remove the excess paper from your mat.

Caution! You may become mesmerized when you remove the excess paper from the mat.

Isn’t that so interesting to watch?

After removing the excess paper, carefully remove the spirals from your mat. These are a bit fragile, so do use caution. I recommend bending your mat to help remove each spiral. Cricut mats are very bendy, so don’t be afraid to do that to ensure none of your cuts get ripped.

Removing the excess paper after cutting
Removing the excess paper after cutting

Once removed, you should have a pile of spirals that are now ready to be spun.

 

The quilling part requires a little tool you can get at any craft store and it looks like this. It’s basically a pen with a little tip that has a slit in it.

Quilling Tools
Quilling Tools

If you can’t find a quilling tool, you can use tweezers or even a dowel. Someone even told me they use a motorized drill to quill theirs!

However way you choose, start with the outside edge of the spiral and twirl the spiral upon itself. This does require practice and patience. Go easy with yourself!  (Please pardon my ugly, un-manicured fingers!)

Once you get to the middle of the spiral, carefully remove the wound flower from the tool while holding the outside edge. You’ll notice that the inside end of the spiral has a little circle. This is for your glue.

Drop some glue on that circle and rest it on the edge of the quilled flower.

Completed Quilled Flower
Completed Quilled Flower

Note: you can decide to allow your flower to unwind a lot or a little depending on your taste. I let mine unwind a little bit before doing the glue.

Hold the rolled flower to the circle base for a minute until it fully adheres together.

White all purpose glue works just fine for this job, but if you’re brave you can also use a glue gun. I’m not brave, so I avoid the glue gun whenever possible.

Here’s what a completed quilled flower looks like!

Note that–depending on your project–you may need to make dozens of these little beauties. I recommend cutting out more than you think you’ll need and relaxing in an easy chair to do the rolling.

Your completed flowers can be used for a myriad of projects. I’ve seen some really gorgeous shadow boxes filled with these flowers and decorated with vinyl on the glass. Stunning!

What will you use your completed quilled flowers for? Let me know in the comments or on my official Facebook page.

Here’s the Pinterest pin for this project: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/273030796146070341/

Also, here’s a collection of pins showing all the different ways you can use these adorable flowers: Pinterest quilled flower projects

And, of course, here’s the Cricut Design Space file in Cricut Community: https://design.cricut.com/#/design/126277696

 

I do hope you will try making these delightful little rolled flowers. They are so cute and you will definitely feel a sense of accomplishment once you complete one!

Now…go forth and Cricut, my friends!

Best always!!!

Miss Rita

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on one of my links and buy something I will receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you for using my links as this is how I support myself and keep MO in pickles and Ted E. Bear in chew toys–they both are insatiable!

But seriously….I do so appreciate your continued support!

Here is my affiliate link:  https://www.shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=327204&m=51766&u=1089398

Remember if your order exceeds $50 and you use my code MISSRITA1 and link, you will receive an extra 10% off and free shipping on most items!  My code will *not* work for Access Subscriptions or machines (anything that plugs in).

 

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Cricut

Digital Mystery Box Contents

I know…it’s a Mystery Box…aren’t the contents suppose to be a mystery?

The folks at Cricut are encouraging us to show off projects we make with the contents, so I thought I would share mine.  If you are interested in buying this Mystery Box, there is still time to buy it…but I’m guessing not much time, so trot on over here to buy it: My link to the Digital Mystery Box

This is a DIGITAL Mystery Box, so that means there’s no waiting for your box to arrive. It shows up in your Design Space right away!

You get lots and lots of great content with this digital MB.  Two groups of projects stand out to me right away.

The first is the always beautiful projects from Leo and friends over at Dreaming Tree.  One of the projects is this  beautiful tray with potted hydrangeas!  Now everyone knows that hydrangeas are one of my favorites, so I gladly forked over the $7 for the file from Dreaming Tree last year.  Now you can save that money and  get it and quite a few others with this purchase!  Isn’t it beautiful?

Completed tray with three hydrangea pots
Look how beautiful this is!
Pink Hydrangea Closeup
Closeup of the pink vase of hydrangeas

 

And the second set of projects is all mandalas!!!  I think there are five different mandalas that can be cut in vinyl or even iron-on.  Plus there are projects that can be colored with pencils.  Who doesn’t love coloring?

Here’s my half weeded mandalas I did in silver vinyl.  Lots of weeding here if you like that!  I’m about to cut one for my niece in the new Cricut SportFlex material for her yoga jacket in a blue metallic!  Oooh!

 

 

One final thing.  If you are a Cricut Access subscriber, you will automatically get HALF off this digital Mystery Box…making it only $15 for all these fabulous projects!

 

Cricut

Paper Peonies with Your Cricut, Part Two

This is Part Two of my post on making Paper Peonies with your Cricut.  My first post focused on a beautiful paper peony created by Dreaming Tree, which can be found here: Paper Peonies With Your Cricut

Paper Peony
Gorgeous paper peony from the Cricut cartridge called 3D Floral Decor

Although I much prefer the Dreaming Tree paper peony, I want to show you how to create the Cricut Access version of a stemmed peony.  To be honest, I want to show you how to create the Cricut peony, not because it’s prettier or better but actually because it is harder to create.  Why make it harder for you?  Well, so then you learn how to do things!

The Cricut Access peony requires you to manipulate the file quite a bit to achieve a true, peony-sized flower.  Learning to manipulate and change pre-designed files will help you understand how Design Space works AND will help you create the exact file you want.  And that’s what being a Cricuteer is all about, isn’t it?

Okay…let’s get started!

The Cricut peony is from the cartridge called 3D Floral Home Decor, which is free for Access members or–if you are not an Access member–is purchasable as a set or for the individual files.  The 3D Floral Home Decor image set (cartridge) has so many beautiful flowers for all the seasons and I would definitely recommend getting your hands on it if you like making paper flowers.

My issue with the peony file is that the flower is too small for me, but–because of the way it is grouped–the size cannot be changed easily.   After playing with it a while, I have come up with a solution that involves using your contouring feature.

The first steps are (as always) open Design Space and choose New Project.

Go to Insert Image and, at the top, change your view to Cartridges. Once you are in the cartridge mode, scroll down (or search) for the 3D Floral Decor cartridge and open it up. Now choose the peony image and add it to your project.

Here’s a picture to show you how to do this:

Searching by Cartridge Name
When inserting an image, change your view to Cartridges and look for 3D Floral Home Decor

 

Peony File
While in the 3D Floral Home Decor image set, find and insert the Peony file shown

 

Once you’ve got your image in Design Space, you can see it imports in one piece. Unfortunately when you Ungroup the file, you are only able to isolate the stamens and leaves.  You cannot easily isolate each piece of the flower petals.  This is problematic because I want to make my flower bigger and doing so I would have to cut on a 12″ x 24″ mat using larger paper and, well, some of us don’t have larger mats and/or larger paper.

Peony File in Design Space
The peony file imports all pieces of the flower together

I managed a work around this problem by duplicating the flower portion and isolating each petal layer. There are five petal layers, so I duplicate the flower petal group five times.

Duplicating the flower petal layers
First duplicate the flower petal layers

Next, you are going to isolate each petal layer, one at a time.  You achieve this by selecting each of your petal layers and remove all but one of the petal layers using the Contour feature.  For each petal layer, you are going to remove a different petal layer, so that when you are finished contouring all five layers, you will end up with five separated layers.  I realize this might be a bit confusing, so I am going to give you some pictures to show you what I mean.

Hiding layers by Contouring
Select each flower piece and hit Contour. Turn off all but one portion of the piece.
After contouring one of the duplicates
Once you isolate each petal piece and contour it out, you end up with each petal layer being separate pieces instead of being grouped together
Contouring the second layer
Perform this “Hide Contour” step for each of the petal layers as shown here with the second layer

 

When you are finished contouring all the layers, you will have isolated each of the petal layers, so that you have five separate petal layers.  Doing this will allow you to resize the flower and even change the color of the petals.

Isn’t that cool?

Separate petal layers
Now all your petal layers are separated and ready to be resized or to have their layers re-colored

You may think this is a LOT of work for one flower file, but I adore peonies and I don’t mind the extra work to achieve the perfectly sized peony flower!

To get the flowers the size I want them, I then stack up each layer (don’t forget the stamen pieces and leaves!) and group them. By grouping them in a stack, you can manipulate the size of the flower with all the pieces getting resized in the proper proportion.

Stacking all the flower pieces
Stack all the flower pieces together. Don’t forget the stamen and leaves so they keep the proportions!

 

Enlarging the stacked flower layers
Now you can enlarge the peony to be whatever size you’d like!

 

Plus, you can also change the colors of certain layers!  Here I have changed the innermost petal layers to a lighter pink, which imitates the way most peony blossoms look in real life.  You can do this for all the layers or just a few.  Remember you pick the color of material, so changing them in Design Space just signals to your Cricut machine that it must cut each color separately.  No need to fuss to try to find the “perfect color” for your file.

Changing colors of flower layers
You can also manipulate the color. Here I changed the inner most petal layers to a lighter pink to create a more realistic finished flower.

 

You are now ready to cut and assemble your peony!

I am not going to go through the assembly of this flower as it is much the same method I have already described here: Paper Peonies With Your Cricut

Completed assembled peony on a stem
Completed assembled peony on a stem

 

One last note, I used the We R Memory Keepers “Flower Stem Kit”, which I originally purchased at Michael’s.  My local Michael’s no longer stocks this kit, but you can buy them at  Scrapbook.com here: Scrapbook.com Flower Stem KitFlower Stem Kit

We R Memory Keepers Flower Stem Kit

 

I do hope you will try making one of these paper peony flowers!  Not only are they beautiful, but they will hopefully teach you some new tricks for Design Space.

I am a Cricut Affiliate, so if you don’t already have the 3D Floral Home Decor cartridge or an Access subscription, you can purchase them using my link: My link to Cricut sale page

If you use my link, I could receive a small commission (depending on what you purchase) that helps to support my efforts here.  Also, using my link AND the code CRICUTNEWBIES1 in checkout will give you free shipping and 10% off some purchases (does not include machines or Access subscription).  Thank you for your support!

 

Cricut

Paper Peonies With Your Cricut

Paper Peony
Paper Peony from Dreaming Tree

It’s no secret that peonies are one of my favorite flowers.

I have an entire section of my yard dedicated to my peony garden, which I’ve been cultivating for almost 20 years now.  All of my peonies came from one vintage peony shrub, which is the reason why I love peonies so much…they multiply beautifully!  And, IMHO, there is no such thing as TOO many peonies!

Every spring I watch them grow and bud.  I even take little side bets on when they are finally going to bloom.  And when they bloom?  Watch out!  It seems they all wait to bloom at once and then BOOM!  It’s Heaven on Earth in my garden for two weeks!

Waiting for my real peonies to bloom in May can be pretty tiresome!  Sometimes I just can’t wait to revel in their exquisite beauty.  I’m impatient, I know.

To help me get through until flowering time, I’ve done the next best thing, IMHO: I’ve replicated them using my trusty Cricut Explore!

I’ve actually done two different versions of paper peonies.  I am going to show you one today and the other tomorrow.

Today’s peony–which is featured at the top of this post–comes from a company called Dreaming Tree.  What’s nice about this peony is is that is absolutely HUGE!

Peony Gift Box SVG
Peony Gift Box SVG from Dreaming Tree/3D SVG

Since the file is for personal use only and does cost a few dollars, I can’t share it with you.  But I will do the next best thing and point you in the direction of it, so here you go: 3D SVG/Dreaming Tree Peony Gift Box

And here is what the completed box looks like!

Completed Peony Blossom
Completed Peony Blossom

The thing I really like about the Dreaming Tree Peony Box is how BIG the peony flower is!  It’s deliciously giant and really steals the show.  But if you buy the file, you will see it comes with a gorgeous and functional gift box, too.  The completed project makes a wonderful project for a shut in or someone in the hospital, because it can be used AND admired.

Note: Because we are talking about peonies today, I am just focus on the flower on top of the box.  But if you want to complete the entire project, be sure to watch Leo’s helpful assembly video!

For the actual peony flower, you will be cutting out five flower flower layers in two different colors, three leaves and the stamen. Before you cut, be sure you attach the dashed score lines to the petals and leaves, because you need them for guides.

Completed cuts for paper peony
Cut out all the flower petal elements, the leaves and the stamen

 

Once cut, you have to bend each petal at the score lines and then–using a pencil–“train” the petals so they curl upwards. For me the pencil works well, but use what you have. Curl the petals well, because they are difficult to curl once layered.

It’s important to note that Leo from Dreaming Tree also inks his flower petals, which is a very nice touch.  I myself don’t “do” ink, because I make a dramatic mess of it, but if you are better with the ink than I am, I say “go for it”!  But inking or not, I like that this file allows you to cut the flower layers in two different colors so you don’t have to ink if you don’t want to.

Once curled to your desire, layer each petal piece in order of size, attaching them with glue.

Gluing each flower petal layer askew
Gluing each flower petal layer askew

 

I like to glue each layer off center, so it creates an illusion of fullness to the flowers, as shown here in the picture:

Completed peony flower awaiting stamen
Completed peony flower awaiting stamen

After layering and gluing each petal piece, roll the stamen tightly–you can use a quilling tool for this–and glue the outside end so it stays tight.  When the stamen is secure, put glue on the bottom of it and place it inside the blossom.  Depending on the glue you choose, you may need to hold it for a bit while it catches hold.

Paper Peony
Paper Peony from Dreaming Tree

 

There are four leaf pieces.  The three fronds should be bent and then glued together to form a Y shape.  When secured, glue it to the bottom of your blossom.  Then follow up with the smaller piece.  If you are using the peony without the box, the small three petal leaf makes a nice finishing touch, but I don’t find it necessary if you are going to place the finished flower on the box.

Leaves for paper peony
Gluing and shaping the leaves for the peony

 

And here is the finished peony blossom!  Isn’t it beautiful?

 

Another view of the peony blossom–with some of the gift box showing.

If you didn’t want to make the box, the holes in the flower layers and the hole in the bottom leaf are big enough to hold a stem.

If you try this pattern, can you let Leo and the team over at Dreaming Tree know you found out about it from me, please?  I think he would be pleased to know.

Thanks for stopping by today and look for the second post, when I show you how to make a stemmed peony from a Cricut file.

Happy Cricut-ing!

Cricut

Paper Cherry Blossoms with Your Cricut

Cherry Blossom Wreath
So what if Cherry Blossoms aren’t normally seen on wreaths! That’s the beauty of paper flower making!

February is usually the snowiest month here in New England, which generally leaves me praying for the first signs of Spring with every new day.  I’ve long given up hope on the Groundhog’s promise of an early Spring. Instead I just hold on to the notion that “Hope Springs Eternal” and jazz up my home with all the Spring flowers I can think of.  One of the first ones for me is the cheery Cherry Blossom.

Cherry Blossoms are easy to make and will quickly liven up your home with tiny shocks of pink from the palest blush to the brightest hot pinks.  And because we are not Mother Nature, we are only confined to the limits of our imagination!  How about some purple cherry blossoms?  Or maybe some patterned paper ones?  Whatever you decide, a paper cherry blossom can adorn a quick note card, a wreath (why not?) or even a bare branch from your garden.

Paper Cherry Blossom
Paper Cherry Blossom adorning a notecard

 

My cherry blossom pattern comes from a FREE design in Design Space entitled “Cherry Blossom Tree”.  Find it quick by searching for “cherry blossom” in the Images section.  Here’s a photo to help guide you:

Search results for
Design Space Search Results for “Cherry Blossom” produces over 200 images. The image we are using is the first one.

 

I happen to like my cherry blossoms full, so the first thing I do is Ungroup the file and Duplicate the flower portion so that each of my blossoms has two petal layers. To be honest, sometimes I will duplicate the yellow stamen, because it is so intricate and I have a tendency of ripping them when I remove them from my mat, but that’s up to you.

Duplicating the Petals
Duplicating the petal piece will create fullness in your blossom

 

For variety, I like to use a few different colors and sizes for a bigger cherry blossom project. This is easy to achieve by grouping your blossom again and duplicating the file. After duplicating the file you can manipulate the size and petal leaves. Try blush, white or mauve colors and you’ll then have four different blossoms to work with.

Varying the size the color of blossoms
Creating multiple blossoms in slightly different colors and sizes

 

After cutting and removing all your cuts from the cutting mat, head over to your work area with the cuttings, a shaping tool, some glue and foam dots and some different sized pearl buttons. Using your shaping tool, you want to carefully crease each petal to give it some shape. The leaves also will be creased this way. The stamens can be carefully bent to give them more texture, too. Once you’ve completed all the shaping, all that is left is assembly.

 

To give the blossoms more fullness, I like to use foam dots between the two petal layers and also adhere them together slightly askew.  After adhering the petal layer, use white glue to place the stamen inside the blossom. When dry, place an appropriately sized pearl inside. Depending on your pearls, you may want to glue these.

 

And finally, flip your blossom over and affix the leaf to the back. Allow the glue to dry before flipping them back over.img_7606

 

And viola! Your blossoms are now ready to adorn any project.

img_7608

I hope you try to make these super simple Cherry Blossoms.  Hurry back for more paper projects including future projects for making Paper Peonies, Hydrangeas and Daffodils!