Thursday, 1 June 2017

My Lil' Girl project - Wall plaque

Hello everyone here we are again with another tutorial for a project using the My Lil' Girl digi art kit.

Hello everyone here we are again with another tutorial for a project using the My Lil' Girl digi art kit. This beautiful kit is actually a collaboration between Jodi - Throwing Some Scraps Around (TSSA) and Dana - Made By Keuntje (MBK) and is available from either of their Etsy shops

This time I will be making a wall plaque to match the new baby card that I produced last time from this lovely versatile kit.

You will need
Pre Cut MDF Plaque
Prepared printed sheets of backing papers.
Prepared printed elements sheets with two copies of the 'First Steps' word art with 'organza' frame.
Strong Tape
Repositional Glue
Extra Tacky Glue
Ruler & Cutting Blade
Ball tool & Foam Mat
Score Tool
Sharp paper scissors
Pink Ribbon
Corner Rounder punch

I used an MDF pre cut plaque with a frame element that was purchased for £1 from a local independent craft store (can I take this opportunity to ask you to please use these local hero's if you have them) and background papers and elements sheets produced from the kit. A tip here regarding your choice of backing papers - if you are at all anxious about measuring or cutting please avoid stripes (including rows or repeat patterns ie spots) and checks on this type of project as even the slightest skew or mis alignment will really stick out in this case go for a plain background or a random pattern.

I wont give measurements specific to my plaque as yours may not be the same size etc but rather size comparisons as you will see.  So measure your plaque and cut a piece of your chosen backing paper that measures 4cm bigger ie: 15cm x 15cm plaque = 19cm x 19cm paper. Using a soft pencil (this will mark your paper less and be easier to erase later) lay a straight edge from corner to corner and mark a small line - not a dot - roughly half way along.  Repeat with the other two opposite corners so you now have a cross that shows the centre point and extends towards the two opposite corners.  Taking your plaque measure corner to corner across the inner section - do this both ways just to check that it has been cut squarely! Work out the half way measurement had measure and mark from the centre of your backing paper out towards each corner when you join these marks you will have an inner square that should exactly match the inner square on your plaque and an outer frame both of which should both look exactly square with your backing paper design.  Use a cutting blade and ruler to cut corner to corner across the inner square and a scoring tool to gently score around the four sides. 

Run some repositional glue along the inner edge of the frame section and the outer edge of the inner square.  As your plaque is made from MDF it does tend to soak up the glue a little so you don't have the same maneuverability which can make this step a little tricky but don't panic (or you will probably fumble and rip or crease your paper!) just gently but firmly lay your paper centrally over the inner square and press it into place using either your finger or a rounded scorer or lolly stick to smooth it down. Your cut cross will open up slightly to allow the paper to fit snugly into place.  Once the glue has stuck firmly put a small piece of double sided tape on the underside of the points to hold them down.

Turn the plaque over and easing the excess paper over use strong tape to stick it down neatly on the back trimming the corners neatly - on this project the corners wont be visible so as long as they are tidy it does not really matter what method for creating them you use, I snipped in from the corner of the paper diagonally to the corner of the plaque and neatly folded them in. Looking back at the front gently erase any pencil marks (please get into the habit of doing this every time even if you are certain that they won't show).

Take your piece of ribbon - I measured it by eye but roughly twice the length of your plaque - and fold it in half, this will ensure that you don't get any twists in the ribbon, use extra tacky glue to stick it roughly one quarter of the way down the plaque use the design on the paper to line it up level or if you have nothing to line up with measure it. Remember you are making a gift or a piece of home decor don't get too hung up on numbers as long as it looks how you want it to look.

Cut a second piece of backing paper this time measuring 2cm larger than your plaque and gently score 1cm in down all four sides.  At each corner you will now have a small square marked out ready to snip out in order to make sure the corners are neat.  I always cut slightly outside of the score lines as this means you get not overlap and therefore bulk to deal with at the corner.

Fold the edge onto the back and use double sided tape to stick it down.  This has now formed your backing panel which will hide all your workings - if you wanted to omit this stage you could do but especially if you are giving this as a gift I think it is well worth the minimal effort involved in making it. Again use strong double sided tape to stick it in place on the back of the plaque.

Take your elements sheet and cut out the two copies of the word art.  When you are preparing these sheets to print you should ensure that the inner panel with the actual words on measures the same as the inner panel on your plaque. Take your first copy and using your blade and ruler cut the word panel exactly out of the centre and use the corner rounder punch to neaten the corners. Use your sharp paper scissors to cut out the 'organza' frame - try and use sweeping scissor moves turning the paper not the scissors rather than snipping as this will give you a more natural edge. 

Now take your second copy and again remove the word panel but this time leave a small - 2mm - lip on the inner edge of the 'organza'.  If you look carefully on the frame you will see where there is an inner and outer layer of 'organza' and this time cut on the inner line don't panic if you don't hit the lines exactly you won't notice once it is layered up. Use your ball tool and foam mat or your fingers, which ever you feel most comfortable with, 
to gently create the up and down ruffles in the frames.

Take the wider frame and run double sided tape around the back inner edge and carefully stick it onto plaque. Take the narrower frame and this time run your tape around the inner edge but remember to leave the 2mm lip free. Carefully stick the 2nd layer down square over the 1st layer. 
At this point in doing my project for you I noticed that I had actually stuck the top layer down and produced a crease - PANIC!! No there are lots of lovely flower elements in this kit that are just what I needed.  I printed and cut out three flowers (always try to use flowers in odd numbers as it just looks better) and two leaves.

Again I used the ball tool and mat to add texture and form to these and positioned them on the frame over the crease.  In this instance I chose not to add any glitter or pearls etc to the flowers as it is intended to go in a babies room and at a later time I wouldn't want any thing on there that could cause a choking hazard.
Finally take the prepared word art panel and gently ease it into the frame. It is important not to stick the panel down at this point although you could use one small sticky pad if you feel that this is necessary.
There you are a wall plaque that matches your welcome card and because the word art isn't stuck down at a later date it can be gently eased out of the frame and used as a template to be replaced with a photograph of those precious first steps.


If you have any questions or comments (good or bad) or suggestions please feel free to ask or post them and I will respond as soon as I can.

bye for now Karen xx

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