Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nutcracker Gift Bag

Every year we leave a gift bag filled with cookies in the mailbox for our letter carrier, Bryan. Bryan provides great service, he delivers our mail in winter weather even when UPS and Fed Ex won't attempt to make deliveries. In addition to the cookies, I like to make a card and a gift bag to show Bryan how much we appreciate having him as our letter carrier.

Cricut recently released the Holly and Ivy cartridge. One of the images on the cartridge was the Nutcracker, and of course I just had to have it.  The cartridge contains a lot of other nice images, bells, wreaths, Santa, etc. but the Nutcracker was definitely the selling point for me. The order containing my cartridge spent the last 4 days sitting in someplace in Maryland that I had never heard of and I was holding my breath that it would arrive before December 24, otherwise I couldn't use the Nutcracker for my gift bags.

Finally the cartridge arrived yesterday and I immediately started cutting the images for my gift bags. The Nutcracker is fairly detailed but there are none of the clothing or hair cut outs that I am used to with Cricut cartridges. While I really liked the image cut out of black card stock, it just looked blah on a gift bag and not very festive. I wanted to add color to the Nutcracker but wasn't sure how I was going to do that. I cut the image again in the solid option on white card stock and glued the black outlined image over it. I grabbed my Prisma Color pencils and my Copic markers and started coloring in the Nutcracker. I added a few embellishments and the result was dramatically different from the original.

Original Nutcracker from Holly and Ivy cartridge.
Embellished Nutcracker
Finished Gift Bag.
Cookies wrapped for giving.

Directions for Nutcracker Gift Bag:

Medium size gift bags- available at Michaels, JoAnn, Hobby Lobby or Walmart
White and black card stock
Cricut Holly and Ivy cartridge-this cartridge does not come with a key board overlay and uses the universal overlay available at Michaels. I didn't know this until the cartridge arrived. I was able to use the cartridge by substituting an overlay from another cartridge. The Holly and Ivy booklet shows the position of the keys for the image in a key board diagram for each image. I then pressed the corresponding keys on my the substitute overlay.
Colored pencils, markers or watercolors for coloring the image
Red ribbon
Recollections self adhesive gold beads and small blue crystals
Red plaid tissue paper
Blue brads-4
Cuttlebug Snowflake embossing folder
Embossing machine
Ranger Tim Holtz Tea Dye distress ink and foam applicator
Platinum Stickles glitter glue

1.  Using the Cricut Holly and Ivy cartridge cut the Nutcracker out of black card stock (at 5 1/2 inches). Cut the solid Nutcracker out of white card stock. Glue the black image over the white solid image.

2.  Color the Nutcracker's face and hands with peach color, colored pencils and accent his cheeks with light pink. Burnish over the face and hands with the white colored pencil until the face has a slight sheen.  Color the jacket and the crown with a red marker and color the pants with a dark yellow marker.  Add the gold beads to embellish to the jacket and the crown.  Add the small blue crystals to the eyes. Accent the shoulders, top of the boots and the sleeves with the platinum Stickles and set aside to dry.

3.  Cut a piece of white card stock large enough to fit the Snowflake embossing folder and emboss the image. Lightly apply the tea dye distress ink over the snowflakes to highlight them.

4.  Attach a blue brad in each corner of the embossed card stock. Glue the embossed card stock to the front of the gift bag.

5.  Glue the Nutcracker to the embossed card stock.

6.  Tie the red ribbon around on of the gift bag handles and make a bow.   Fold the plaid tissue paper to make a triangle and place in the gift bag, add the gift and add another piece of folded tissue paper.