Tissue Paper Valentine's Day Sun Catchers
A couple of years ago I made a heart shaped bowl covered in heart shaped tissue paper. During this project, I learned how to punch tissue paper with a paper punch. So, for Valentine's Day, I decided to pull out the old paper punch and tissue paper yet again for another project.
I folded up my tissue paper into several layers (If it's not punching, adjust your layers. A couple of layers of paper is usually not enough, but if it's too thick, you may have a hard time punching through it.) and punched a pile of hearts. I also cut two pieces of clear contact paper (clear sticky vinyl shelf liner) that were roughly the same size.
I peeled the paper backing off of one of my pieces of clear contact paper and laid it on the table sticky side up.
Then I began setting my hearts on the sticky paper. I intentionally laid them on haphazardly in all directions and sometimes overlapping to avoid any clear patterns.
I continued to stick my hearts on the sticky paper until it was almost entirely covered. There were small gaps here and there and I figured that was ok since it was covered with the hearts in all directions.
Then I peeled the paper off the back of the other sheet of contact paper.
Then I applied it (sticky side down) to the sheet on the table. The two sheets of contact paper create a sandwich with the tissue paper securely stuck in the middle.
At this point you can simply use a scissors to cut out some heart shapes (perhaps make a template first--either from heart shapes found online or one cut out of paper to trace onto the contact paper). But, because I like to make things more complicated and because it's been a while since I have used my embossing machine, I decided to see if I could use some heart-shaped dies to cut the contact paper. I had to cut my piece of contact paper in half to fit the machine.
I have an old Cuttlebug (which are now no longer being made--but the Big Shot and the Evolution do the same thing and can use the same dies). The plate order for die cutting on the Cuttlebug should be A spacer, B plate, dies facing up, material you're cutting, then the C plate. But I flipped it so I could see where the dies were at on my material and went with A spacer, C plate, material I'm cutting, dies facing down, and the B plate. You may get a better cut using the recommended orientation. I did have to add a piece of chipboard to my stack of plates so that it was pressing enough to get a cut, and even then it stayed attached in a few spots, but it applied a good impression of the die that made it easy to cut any attached parts with a scissors. I ran the two halves of my contact paper through the machine and cut out my hearts.
After I had my hearts cut out, I trimmed off any excess that didn't cut clearly and used a hole punch at the top of the hearts to turn them into sun catchers.
I hung my sun catchers up with little hooked suction cups. You could string them up with pretty ribbon or fishing line, too. These were really easy and fun to make. The tissue paper part of the project turned out great, and I'm glad I went with the haphazard anti-pattern. I also look forward to trying out other projects with contact paper in the Cuttlebug to fine tune the cutting. It worked pretty well, but just needed a bit of tweaking.