This file includes Circle and Oval Cutter, 12-inch Pattern Template, Scroll Border Pages, Crimper, Pens, Idea Books, ZigZag Ruler, etc. Calendar and ruled pages are in the Journaling file.
Circle Cutter Ideas
Ideas for a Circle Cutter Workshop are in the Shoptalks file.
1. Use the circle cutter to enhance the side, top, or bottom of your photo.
Cut along the subject for the rest. I've done this for a pair of deer licking each other. The circle was at the top on their heads and I followed the contour of a leg and back to finish the rest of the photo. The remaining corner was corner rounded. I've also done this for photos fishing on the boat using the boat rail or side to contour cut with my scissors.
2. Circle cut a photo, but also cut part of the side, top, or bottom with the personal trimmer to get rid of excess background you don't want in the circle. Line up the flat side of the circle along the side of the album page or a piece of colored paper.
3. (This idea expands on the one that is in the CropTalkä)--that ring around the subject one. I did one similar to that but using two photos. One of my sons jumping in the pool--fairly close up--boring background. The other was of the pool itself, very pretty but my son was too far away to make it a usable picture. Cropped the 1st photo with circle cutter. Threw out background. Moved Circle cutter blade just a little, cut a circle of water out of the pool, and threw out circle. Corner rounded edges, mounted it on page, mounted the circle photo of son jumping into pool in white space. You could mat it and have the paper showing between photos.
A friend did the same thing with a 1st birthday photo that had everyone facing the camera and looking great EXCEPT the birthday boy. So we took a better photo of him and inserted it in the other--making your photo look the way you meant it to when you took it.
It would work for all kinds of photos--like sunsets or mountains where the people are totally lost in the photo.
The other Circle cutter idea I liked was a whole series of pictures of someone windsurfing and getting closer. She cut progressively larger circles but also took a "bite" out of each one with the next size up circle so they were "puzzle cut" and each fit into the next. (Maureen)
Cutting mats using different templates: Say that I use the red blade on an inside circle . . . you might think you can't make a mat for it because in order to make a paper mat for it, you need to do a green blade for the photo and a red blade for the paper mat. Not so! Use the next size circle template . . . then go to the Blue blade (largest blade) and it will be a perfect mat for the other red bladed photo. This sounds confusing, but it's really easy. (Donna Porrazzo, CMC)
Oval Cutter Ideas
Try doing a page in heritage style, with oval black and white photos, paper double matted.
Black page with Easter type photos with jelly beans cut from bright paper.
I have just finished an Easter page where I cut all the photos into ovals; I then used the templates to draw more ovals on the page so I could journal.
How about oval flower petals on a page, like a daisy shape with a circle of paper in the middle with the title and a little stem of green?
I have been using the ovals to cut half oval shapes. The pictures end up looking like an arch shape with a flat bottom to them. I line up the template with the bottom half of the photo in the middle of the template. This is a great way to crop a photo where people are sitting or where the subject is larger at the bottom than at the top and where a normal oval would cut out things like hands, or other things. (Christine)
Oval and Circles CSS Template Ideas
Many people have a hard time lining up the sizing template with the cutting template. It is difficult to see the picture through the cutting template. What I did was cut small slits along the grey line at each spot on the template where the size of the template is printed (4 different spots). When you lay the sizing template over your picture, use the blue pencil and make a mark in the slits. When you remove the sizing template, you now have markings, which will help you place the cutting template more accurately. This helps tremendously when the cut is really close to the edge of the picture. (Barb)
Here is what I did with my oval cutter:
I marked the templates and the cutting patterns with a Sharpie Marker--numbering from smallest to largest (1, 2, 3, 4). That makes it really quick to pick out the corresponding cutting pattern after you decide on the template.
Next I cut the template into four pieces, rounding the edges and leaving as much space as possible around the outside lines. Then, instead of using an exacto knife and cutting the slits I punched holes in the center of each side of the template with a very small round hole punch. Now I can line up the template and make marks with the blue pencil or a stylus to guide the placement of the pattern. (Denny)
Tips and Tricks for the 12" Pattern Template!
(compiled by Diana in Iowa)
- Make sure you line up the cutting pattern AND the paper on the grids, and hold it firmly so it doesn't move. If you line up the paper the same way all the time, you can continue to reuse paper without wasting cuts.
- If only using one blade, use the red blade as it cuts closest to the pattern edge.
- For two identical 1/8" strips (curvy, swell, or straight)--Line up paper and pattern on grid, then cut with the blue blade first. Do not move anything and cut with the green blade next, then cut with the red blade. You have two curved strips that you can use several ways, plus the strip with curve on one side and straight edge on the other. All three can be used for one page, or any one or two of them.
- If you are going to be using more than one blade, always use the one farthest away from the pattern first.
- For thicker strips, move the pattern template down the mat, but be sure to line up the lines on the template with those on the mat to be sure they are even across the mat.
- If you want the border to go from fat to narrow, angle the paper, not the pattern.
- For patterned paper--Start the cut ON the paper. You can go backwards to the end if you need to. I found that if I started on the edge, it usually tore.
This is not a problem for the solid paper.
- When using the wavy pattern to make ribbon or other off-set designs, make your first cut on the full length of the paper, then slice off 1/2 to 1
inch before you can slide it down (or off set it) to make the next cut.
- To make an opposite cut, turn the template around the opposite direction, and rotate the mat to a workable position.
- When done cutting remove the strip of paper before moving the template. This way if any part of the pattern has not been cut completely through you can re-cut the section in the same spot.
- Use a flat and sturdy surface when using any pieces of the Custom Cutting System--otherwise warping may cause uneven and inexact cuts.
- Keep pressure light and even throughout the entire cut--whether it be a circle or oval, or while using the 12 inch pattern. If you are pressing too hard the edges of the paper or pictures will curl up.
- leaves (fold lengthwise and run through the crimper on a slant)
- wrecked car (die-cut or photo)
- ocean waves
- French fries or potato chips
- dill pickles
- bird wings
- butterfly body
- hay bales
- cactus die-cut
- rope (cut two 1/4" strips using the wavy ruler, intertwine strips, then crimp)
- Use with a borderline and make your own "Design lines".
- Some great pages can be made using only photos and pens. Use creative lettering and create decorative borders with your pens.
- Trace pictures from a storybook or coloring book to make decorations on a page instead of using stickers.
- Use doodling and squiggles with your pen instead of stickers or to add a touch of extra to stickers.
- Decorative borders can include: writing the name of the people in the photos repeatedly around the photos. You can also write what is the occasion or the story around the photos. Draw a stitch mark or dots around the photos.
- Instead of matting with paper, draw a border around the picture with a calligraphy pen, or doodle a border with pens.
- A Memory Mate Tip...Slide extra pens, pencils, scissors, erasers, etc. under the pieces of elastic stretched between the scissors loops. (I know the new Memory Mate bag has been redesigned but many people out there have the old one with the elastic).
(P. K. and D.L. W.)
- Outline the white stickers so they can be seen (like the bunny, lily or church).
- Draw a jagged cloud-type shape, color it yellow, and write WOW! inside. Or for those golfing pictures, FORE!
- Enhance camping stickers by outlining campfire and creating a beam for the flashlight.
- Draw a sunflower and color the petals yellow and the center brown with plaid lines.
- Draw black lines and highlight with yellow and orange pens for 4th of July sparklers.
- Lay the pen flat on its side (which makes a nice teardrop shape) Turn your page and imprint several times -you'll have a flower! Now just add a center using a darker pen.
- Combine with other pens--for Fall borders use orange or brown with yellow: for Easter use pink and purple with yellow. Try a Borderline to create two parallel borders and full the center with yellow.
- Draw a popcorn box with the black pen, add stripes with the red calli pen, then make popcorn by drawing a cluster of three solid yellow circles and outlining loosely in black.
- Draw a sign with jagged edges (to make it look wooden) then fill in with yellow and write your page title.
- Fill in the windows of the die-cut church, schoolhouse, cathedral window, etc so it looks like the lights are on!
- Highlight the candles on the die-cut birthday cake or highlight your candle stickers to really make them shine
- Highlight the black ABC sticker letters by outlining in yellow (or just highlight one side of each letter)
- Write a bold title in yellow then create a shadow effect by lining the tops and left sides of each letter in a different color.
- Draw yellow strings to match the yellow balloon stickers.
- Paint 1/2" border along the bottom of the page and put the autumn border stickers about 3/8" from bottom.
- Paint a 1/4 inch border along all four edges of your page for a fun, bright look.
- Fill in the squares of your film-frame die-cuts.
- Draw a "flash" coming from the camera die-cut.
- Use quick, straight strokes along with the brown pen to make hay for pumpkin patch or hayride photos.
- Make a rope. Draw a wavy line to connect the cowboy hat and boot die-cuts. Then outline the "rope" with the brown micron pen using small scalloping strokes, and then draw lines across the rope to connect the scallops.
- Make the sun die-cut really light up, or make rays going from the top of the church die-cut.
- Color in the face of the pumpkin die-cut and the candle is lit!
- Draw crisscrossed logs and make flames with the yellow and orange pens.
- Draw a baby chick for Easter or yellow duck for the bathtub.
Gold or Silver Pens
Start with a simple die-cut outline shape or stencil pattern, then trace the outline of the shape and fill in with either a gold or silver pen. Let dry completely! (Be sure it's dry before proceeding or the base color will clump!) Then go over the outline and fill in with a lighter, shade such as pink, when dried it simply sparkles!! I do recommend testing the base and top colors first on a separate piece of paper because the end color range is very different when using a gold versus silver base color. I love using the silver and green overlay to make ivy, especially on black paper. The color adds elegance.
(condensed from an idea by Donna B.)
- Visually separate a page design into components. Then use only some of them, maybe just one on each page.
- Use your regular scissors as little as possible, instead use a trimmer, circle cutter, "ShortCutsä" and die-cuts.
- Reduce the number and type of stickers or die-cuts.
- Use fine tip pens for decorating and writing, and bold point pens for captions and titles.
- If a page has a border design, consider doing the border (or simpler version of it) on just the four corners or two opposite comers. Usually a corner border should extend about 1/3 of the way out from the corner
- Decorate just the corners of your page or just the outside vertical edges of a two page spread. It means less decorating but ties your two pages together.
- Use the "gourmet version" for the first page of an event and the
"low-fat version" on the following pages, keeping the same theme throughout the event.
This was a limited edition item but there are zigzag rulers available from other places.
- Use two strips (1 1/2") form the ShortCuts in coordinating color. Use the borderline and mark the strip; cut out the little triangles with scissors. Intertwine the two strips like weaving. The first point will be on top and the next point will be under and the next on top and etc. The two strips will be sandwiched together to make a full length strip that is a solid.
Decorate with stickers. The gold and brown look really good with the leaf stickers. For a two-page layout us the little triangles you cut out on the corner of the other page. Make a square box in the corner alternating colors. (Judy)
A different idea is to cut a zigzag 1/4-inch wide strip out of two colors and wind them around each other.
- In my son's Cub Scout Book, I drew a curving line across the top of the page and used the zigzag ruler to cut out little paper banners to hang from the line. I put a sticker letter on each banner! (Donna d)
- When cutting, make all of the snips in the same direction going just past your pencil mark. Then make the rest of the cuts in the other direction.
By going just past your marking, you'll make sure both "snips" meet up and you won't have to tear the triangles out or re-cut.
- I used it to make a picket fence at the bottom of the page in brown pen. Moved the zigzag to the left at the top for a two dimensional effect and filled that area in. Made knots and lines on them (all with brown pen). Added sunflower and bee stickers and freehanded grass out of green paper. (me2)
I use the scroll border pages as title pages in my albums. On one I placed a child's plate in the center of the page and drew a black line around it (You might try the largest oval in the new CCS). Then I placed heritage ivy stickers and flowers around the circle and drew black dots and squiggly lines between the stickers.
Inside the circle is the title--Jane Doe's heritage album, or The Doe Family Album, etc. I've had customers use the heritage abc blocks instead of the heritage flowers around the ivy for baby books. I also did this on black pages with the gold and silver pens and used the antique white ABC sticker letters.
Take one each of the blue, green and mahogany album and mix up the binding covers to get an album that goes with the school pages. This was for someone who had three children but you could do it with two colors also.
With the new black album, some folks might be able to do school colors (black and silver!). Michelle U.
Photos you want in your album but don't want everyone to see
I sometimes put photo sleeves ON the page protector. I use page protectors on every page, but when I use a photo sleeve under it it's hard to pull out to look at. So I put a not-so-important-but-can't-toss photo UNDER the item in the photo sleeve.
I do this a lot now, and it's a nice surprise for the kids to see what photo I HID under the photo sleeve!