Archive of ‘Tutorials’ category

I’m dreaming of a handmade Christmas!

I have really basic sewing skills and these totes are perfect for me to be able to get a fabric fix (plus make a very useful gift now that Queensland have finally enforced the plastic bag ban).

Full credit to my friend Alicia for creating the perfect dimensions for this bag!

If you would like to make some this is my method….

Make yourself some templates to make the cutting stage quicker and more accurate.  As you can see my measurements are 50cm x 40 cm with a cut out of 6 cm square on the bottom corners.

With this template you will need two of the outer fabric and two of the liner.  I often use calico to line my bags.

This is the handle, you will need to cut two.  It measures 70cm x 10 cm.

Once cut you will need to iron the handles down the centre and then open back up and fold each side into the centre.

So iron in half down the length.

Then open back up and iron each side into the centre

then fold these onto each other by folding down the centre and iron flat.

You’ll then sew down each edge

The bag outer and liner both get sewn in a similar way.  I used a 1.5 cm seam allowance, I’ve sewn down either side and then the bottom, however on the liner I left it open between the two pins so I will be able to turn out the bag the right way when completed.  For the outer sew straight across that bottom edge.

Pinch the corners to pin up like shown and then sew them closed…

Turn the outer bag right way out and pin the handles in place.  I come in 9 cm from each side.


Now the outer bag with the handles pinned in place gets put inside the liner (which remains wrong side out)

Line up the top edges and pin and then sew (once again 1.5 seam allowance).

Using the hole you left in the bottom edge of the liner pull your bag through to right side out.

Pin the open edge of the bottom of the liner and sew closed on the edge of the right side (this will get pushed into the bottom of the bag and not really noticed.

Pin the top edge neatly and sew around the top edge at about 1 cm all around.

You are done!

Any questions please ask!

A tutorial! Sponge brayer on vellum with a stencil!

This card has been my most popular one on Pinterest and a tutorial was well overdue!

Here’s a slightly updated version of the card…

For this card I have used inks in colours Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie (you could also use Peekaboo Peach) and Flirty Flamingo.  I’ve cut a stencil with the Detailed Floral Thinlit and some Window Sheets.  My step by step tutorial explains it all in a lot more detail, I have a full product list and some other colour combinations are shown afterwards.  Enjoy!

Your Tutorial

Using the Precision Base Plate and your Big Shot cut your stencil using the thinlit of your choice (I think the Detailed Floral one is perfect for this technique).  To get the stencil how I wanted it I offset the two thinlits from each other, this reduced the space between the two of them.  I’ve used a piece of Window Sheet for my stencil, depending on the tension of your Big Shot you may even need a shim to get nice deep cuts in the window sheet as it is thicker and harder to cut than cardstock).

Once the stencil has been cut brush out the cut pieces with your roller brush.  Be sure that all the pieces have been removed.

Cut a piece of vellum approximately 13cm x 10 cm.  You will trim it down afterwards so it doesn’t have to be precise now. Lay the stencil over the top of the vellum.

Start with your lightest colour, in my case Daffodil Delight.  Ink up your Sponge Brayer and roll it over one end of the stencil.


  1. Make sure that you roll the brayer all the way through the ink pad, don’t just go back and forth as you will not ink up the brayer evenly.
  2. Don’t push too hard with the brayer as the edge of the handle will dig into your foam ink pad and damage the surface (sadly I did do this to one of mine, I was pressing too hard on an ink pad that needed reinking).
  3. Make sure your ink pad is well inked and use your refills to top them up if need be (a great tip is to buy the refills when you buy your pads, they can be used for so many other techniques, if you do buy our InColor range the refills are always the first thing to sell out once they go into retiring status).

Continue with your second colour (mine was Pumpkin Pie or a well inked Peekaboo Peach will work well too), overlap and blend the two colours slightly.  Remember that when working on vellum it may seem that you are not achieving a good depth of colour however once you place the Whisper White underneath it will pop more.  I used a different sponge brayer for each different colour.

You’ll see that this stencil has too much blank space in the top third, offsetting your thinlits when you cut your stencil will prevent this.

Finish with your final colour (Flirty Flamingo for me, I changed the sponge brayer again).  Do not remove the stencil.

Sponge Brayers come in a packet of four sponges and two handles so they’re fantastic value and have plenty of sponges to easily make this project.

The sponges can be washed under the tap, I add a little dishwashing liquid to mine and squeeze and rinse them under warm water until the water runs clear (the sponge may remain stained, this does not affect their use).  Remember these sponge brayers are a consumable product, they have not been designed to last forever.  In saying that these ones have been extensively used in my classes and they’re holding up beautifully.

The next step is to keep the stencil in place and use your Versamark pad directly on the vellum.  If you don’t want to do this you could put some Versamark reinker on the lid and pick it up with a sponge dauber and then dab it over the inked sections.  Work from light to dark.

Remove the stencil and dump some Clear Embossing Powder over the top, flick off the excess and heat set with your heat tool.  This helps set the ink and give the ink a beautifully glossy finish.  Be careful with the heat on the vellum, only heat the powder until it melts, no longer.

Add your sentiment on the bottom of your base card (I love the Thick Whisper White Cardstock that we now have for my card bases.  If you want it to have the same glossy appearance stamp your sentiment in Versamark before your colour, quickly add clear embossing powder and then heat set.

(The other option is to stamp your colour, clean your stamp and stamp over the top with versa mark then add powder and set (it can be harder to line up your stamps doing it this way)).

You’ll now want to assemble your card.  You will need to trim your vellum piece down.  Yours may be slightly different to mine depending on how you lined up your thinlints to make your stencil.  Trim around your image to get a nice solid image, for me it is pretty much always around 8.3cm x 11.2 cm.  You will need to cut a piece of Whisper White to exactly the same size.  (You may prefer to adhere your Vellum to your Whisper White and cut them both at the same time – I have a guillotine style trimmer that works well for this).  I suggest using Fast Fuse to adhere the two layers together, I find that it doesn’t show through.

You will need to cut a mat in a coordinating colour, I used Flirty Flamingo.  My mat is 8.6cm x  11.5cm (so I’ve only made my mat 0.3cm bigger, you could make yours bigger if you wanted).    The mat is mounted onto the card base with dimensionals.

I’ve added a Dragonfly cut in Whisper White and then a solid Dragon Fly cut in Vellum.  I’ve put some metallic thread behind the dragonfly and scattered some rhinestones.  More samples are featured after this product list.

Product List

Big Shot


Heat Tool


Additional Samples

I’ve made a few more cards with similar supplies and simply changed up the colour combinations.

This one uses Island Indigo, Bermuda Bay and Pool Party Inks, the coordinating cardstock is Island Indigo.

This card has been made with Melon Mambo and Cherry Cobbler Inks.  The coordinating cardstock is Cherry Cobbler as the mat and Melon Mambo (for the Butterfly thinlits).  I added some Wink of Stella over the butterfly for that shimmery sparkle.  I hand cut a sold vellum butterfly to adhere under the thinlit (and attached it with the fine tip glue pen).

This card is also Melon Mambo and Cherry Cobbler.

This card features blue hues in the colours of Night of Navy, Island Indigo and Marina Mist.  The coordinating cardstock is Island Indigo, the sentiment has been stamped with Night of Navy ink (plus versamark and clear embossing powder).  Some pearls have been added for some extra interest.

This following card is so much prettier in real life.  I’ve used Bermuda Bay and Pool Party.  The Butterfly is three layers of cardstock (Bermuda Bay, Vellum and Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper).  The cordinating cardstock is Bermuda Bay.

Finally another card hard to photograph well.  This Dragonfly was cut with our Stampin’ Up! Silver Foil.  The colours are Soft Sky and Pool Party, the coordinating cardstock is Pool Party.

Additional Product List

Bitty Banners Big Shot Die Framelits

Bitty Banners Big Shot Die Framelits


Big Shot Basics!

How much do you love your Big Shot?  I adore mine, well actually I have two 🙂  I would have thought that I was quite competent at using them but it seems I wasn’t!

So let’s go back to basics….the Bigz dies are simply a die between two cutting plates.  I can do that!


Embossing folders are usually done between two cutting pads and the platform (if you have this new one pictured you don’t add the thin extra layer, if you have the older style you emboss on tab 1).  When running your embossing folders through the Big Shot send the folder through spine first, it will help your folders last longer.



New Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folders (like Cable Knit in the 2016 Holiday Catalogue) need a different sandwich, you use the platform (no additional layer) and only one cutting mat.   You also can spritz your paper with water prior to embossing to enable more give in your paper.  This youtube video explains it the best…

Still with me?  Now it starts getting a little more specific.  Do you know the difference between a Thinlit and a Framelit?  I did, but what I really didn’t understand is their different needs when being cut.

This is a Framelit, note the “frame” like structure, it is just cutting out the outside edge and can be easily pushed out the centre.  We often use this style when stamping and then cutting out our images.


Because we are often positioning these dies quite specifically around stamping it is useful to have a magnetic platform so that the die stays put while going through the Big Shot, therefore it would be appropriate to use a Magnetic Platform, a cutting mat, your paper, your die (cutting edge down) and another cutting mat.


If you don’t have a Magnetic Platform you would use your Multi-purpose platform (with the extra layer, or Tab 2 if you have the older style), a cutting mat, your paper, your framelit (you may find a post-it note helpful to keep your die in place and then another cutting mat.


Hang in there, we are nearly done….

So a Thinlit, what’s that? Think about your gorgeous highly intricate dies.  If they have been a pain to get a perfect cut in the past then they are more than likely a thinlit.  We now have the Precision Cutting Mat, your answer to getting the pressure right through your Big Shot with these dies.  However do not use the Precision Mat with the Magnetic Platform and do not use framelits with Precision Cutting Mat (they are not strong enough for the pressure and they will warp).

Here is an example of a thinlit….


Note the highly detailed cutting surface of these dies, remember that after you cut them there are small holes on the back that you can lightly press into with a blunt paper piercer to encourage your paper out once cut.  I highly encourage the use of the die cut brush and foam mat with these dies as they will help get all the paper out quickly and easily.


So remember to cut a thinlit you will need the platform, the extra layer that comes with the platform (or tab2 if you have the older style), the precision base plate (black side up), your paper, your thinlit (cutting side down towards the paper) and ONE cutting mat on the top.


This video is awesome and will make it all clearer…

So in summary….

  • don’t use the Magnetic Platform with the Precision Base Plate
  • don’t use framelits or really small dies with with the Precision Base Plate
  • Only use one cutting mat when using the precision base plate and flip your cutting mat after every cut, change the position of the thinlit on the cutting mat each time you cut (don’t keep cutting from the centre position.
  • If the die is not a square or circle feed it into the Big Shot lengthwise for the best distribution of pressure.

Thanks for staying all the way to the end.  My class participants will know of my frustration (and trashing of my cutting mats) prior to getting all the facts.  Here’s another video highlighting the difference you can make to your cutting mats based on your thinlit positioning.  Hope this all helps you as much as it has helped me!

Selected stamping…the easy way!

Check out this card {{here….}}

I didn’t want the heart on the card, so the easiest way to avoid stamping it up is to start with a  lovely clean stamp and some sticky tape…


The tape covers that part that you don’t wish to stamp.

Ink up your stamp


Remove the tape (thereby removing the ink from the part of the stamp you don’t wish to use).

Stamp your image onto your cardstock.




Hope that’s helpful.

Happy Stampin’

Cleaning your stampin’ scrub!

Check out this video for a tutorial by Liz Collett on how to clean the Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Scrub.

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