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How to Create Fall-Themed Embellishments from Die Cuts
When I think of fall or autumn, I think of all of the naturally occurring events that transpire around me. The abundance of color, fresh crisp air, and memories of a long time ago fill my creative mind with overflowing ideas.
There is so much to be learned from observing the changing colors of leaves, brittle bark decaying on old trees, and squirrels chasing falling nuts as they run off to hide them for a cold winter feast.
I believe to create something from our imagination, we first have to find inspiration. I've compiled a list in the table below of some natural elements that remind me of autumn. These ideas can be transferred from our imaginations to paper to unwind our thoughts about fall.
Natural Reminders of Autumn.
Leaves changing colors.
Bare tree branches.
Tree bark decaying.
Leaf-covered walking paths.
Crunchy foot prints.
Bounty of nuts laying on the ground.
List of Sizzix Die Cuts.
Sizzix Originals Pumpkin
Sixxiz Sizzlits Pumpkin #4
Sizzix Sizzlits Kid in Pumpkin Costume
Sizzix Sizzlits Pumpkins, leaves & Vines Set
Sizzix Sizzlits Haloween Set #2
Sizzix Sizzlits Fall Set #3
Sizzix Sizzlits Frames & Phrases, Little Pumpkin Set
Sizzix Seasonal Collection 14 Dies
It's no wonder pumpkins are a popular choice among artists.
The story of Cinderella brings back fairy tale memories of a pumpkin coach riding off with the young woman who captured a prince's heart.
Peanuts featuring Charlie Brown was famous for the Great Pumpkin.
I can still remember sitting in middle school learning about When the Frost is on the Pumpkin by James Whitcomb Riley.
Pumpkins bring memories, not just imagination and color, to an artist's landscape.
Pumpkin die cut from Sizzix fall shape #3
Assembling die cut shapes with multiple pieces.
This pumpkin was created from orange and green cardstock. The shape was cut in two pieces. The pumpkin and the stem were cut as one at first from orange paper. Then after rolling out the shape again in green, the stem was adhered to the pumpkin. Assembling the pieces and adding glitter to the stem is the final touch before using this particular piece in a greeting cards or scrapbook layout.
Notice the difference a little glitter and decoration make on a die cut.
The second photo is of actual embellishments used to create a bulletin board design.
Die cut shapes and embellishments are great for classrooms. Children can also help create these with adult supervision. The die cuts themselves contain sharp edges under a rubber surface. It's important that children do not handle the die cuts directly to prevent accidental cuts.
Colors of fall.
Color is an overall important feature when creating die cuts for fall and autumn.
For example, when we think of spring, we often think of lilacs and the shades of purple.
When we think of autumn, we think of colorful foliage falling freely from trees such as hues of orange, red, green, and yellow. It's important to keep in mind that when you are creating an ambience of fall impression, you want to incorporate as many fall colors as possible for your creation to contain the feel of autumn.
If we were to present a card as a gift in the shades of pink and purple, the receiver most likely would not relate the card to the theme of fall.
When creating art, we must remember the human senses and appeal to those as much as possible.
Look around in this photo. Observe the changing colors of fall, the greenery still thriving, and other colors of nature.
Orchards and Farms.
Fall is a popular time of year to visit orchards and farms.
The air brings cooler weather and is usually more crisp feeling. There is more wind, darker skies, and shorter days.
Many people visit apple orchards during fall as well as some farms that are open to the public.
On one occasion at the beginning of fall, my family visited an alpaca farm. I created a scrapbook layout to display the photos of our family interacting with the alpacas. See the photo below. Let's discuss the colors and how they are important to the viewer's senses.
A fall trip to an alpaca farm years ago with my family.
The background I chose for the layout was in orange and yellow hues. The paper was preprinted with lamas. It was a perfect pairing for some really fun embellishments.
Notice how the layout contains an overall farm theme. But even better, the colors were adapted for this layout to enhance the colors of the alpaca farm logo. Irredescent circles were used to add dimension and color to the layout as well as ribbon.
Notice the ribbon how the stripes in hues of orange, blue and yellow match the circles that were strung through the ribbon.
How does the viewer feel when looking at this layout?
This experiment is designed to show that when looking at certain colors, it can change our perception or allow us to feel a certain way.
Once again, if this had been created in shades of lavender and pink, the layout may have been more appropriately paired with a spring outing.
Pumpkin vines growing in the garden.
Sizzix Die Cuts for Leaves and Vines.
Sizzix Sizzlits Seasonal Set
Sizzix Sizzlits Fall Set #3
Sizzix Sizzlits Pumpkins, leaves, and vines set
Ellison Design Extended Cuts Fall Leaves with Acorns
Sizzlits Decorative Strip Pumpkins & Vine
Leaves and vines.
The first thing that falls in to my mind when I think of autumn are the colorful trees that light up the landscape like fireworks on display in their amazing change from green to brilliant colors in shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown.
Most often, teachers use this season as an opportunity to teach science to students. Children often create presentations out of leaves to display the vibrant colors of fall. Some art instructors use leaves to create an embossed look on a piece of art from using the course veins that run through leaves as an imprint rubbed through with paper and pencil.
Not only do leaves make a lasting impression in my mind, but vines do as well.
Think about the pumpkin vines growing wildly around the orchard you visit to pick apples.
How to create a die cut using Sizzix.
This article is mostly about creating die cuts. There are many machines on the market today for creating wonderful designs and personalizing them for your craft projects. I am using the Sizzix Sidekick machine to create the die cut for this project, but any die cut machine will do.
For this project, you will need a pumpkin die cut shape. The one shown here is Sizzix Sizzlits Pumpkins, Leaves & Vines set. The set comes with three dies.
- Choose your die cuts. I am going to make a pumpkin shape with leaves and vines.
- Choose your cardstock. I am going to use an orange cardstock for the pumpkin shapes and green for the leaves and vines.
- Measure your dies and cut the cardstock down to size with a paper trimmer.
- Make sure your paper does not extend past the plastic cutting plate.
- Roll one sheet of cardstock at a time through your Sizzix Sidekick machine.
- Set your cut shapes aside.
Next, we're going to apply the shape to a greeting card.
- Pick the cardstock for the base of your card.
- For this project, I picked an ivory cardstock. I created a card by folding the cardstock in half and cutting it down the middle with the paper trimmer.
- Use wax paper to protect your work surface and for easier clean-up.
- To add a background to the blank card base, I decided to create a template from the cut out pumpkin shape.
- Using a cosmetic wedge, I sponged chalk covering the template in orange for the pumpkin, and I also added green to cover the stem.
- The good thing about scrapbook chalk is that it erases in the event it smudges while you are working. But is a permanent coloring to the cardstock which won't wipe off once it is applied.
- Next, decorate the pumpkins with glitter.
- I also added a face to a pumpkin with a punch.
- I applied wet adhesive to the pumpkins, vines and leaves.
- Decorate with as many leaf die cuts in assorted colors as you wish.
- You can also use an embossed background for die cut shapes.
Inspiration for fall designs.
It doesn't take much to look around in late September or middle of October and see nature taking its course gradually around the trees. Leaves fall and cover the ground below. Paths used for walking are covered in acorns and other tree nuts.
Commonly, people think of apple picking and apple pie this time of year as well.
Inspiration for fall themes come from imagination. I find that doing these things helps bring motivation to create new designs.
Here are some ways to energize those creative juices once again:
- Take a walk on a woodland's trail and observe the natural change of the trees.
- Take a weekend road trip and drive around locally. Visit a farm or an apple orchard.
- Taste some sweet apple cider.
- Go to a pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin.
- Carve a pumpkin.
- Make pumpkin stew (see recipe below).
- Get a blanket, a good book, and curl up next to a favorite apple spiced tea.
- Drink pumpkin spiced coffee and have a side of pumpkin flavored pastry.
- Take a train ride through New Hampshire or Vermont.
- Visit a covered bridge.
These are all suggestions based on things I have done over the years to find peace and inner creativity.
It's not uncommon for someone to experience a creative block.
These exercises will surely start your creative gears moving once again.
Small sugar pumpkins are best for pumpkin stew.
Recipe for pumpkin stew.
See bottom of article for recipe for pumpkin stew.
You may substitute ground turkey instead of beef and freshly sliced mushrooms instead of canned.
Serve with fresh buttered bread.
Have you ever tried pumpkin stew?
Pumpkin Stew for four people.
Ingredients for pumpkin stew.
- 4 small round sugar pumpkins, cap cut off with clean edges, and seeded.
- Set seeds aside in a bowl for cleaning and roasting.
- 1 pound of ground beef.
- 1 family size can of green peas.
- 1 family size can sliced mushrooms.
- 1 regular size can beef broth.
Instructions for cooking pumpkin stew in a pumpkin.
- Brown ground beef in a skillet. Drain grease.
- In a bowl, mix together drained peas, mushrooms, and beef.
- Add seasonings to taste such as oregano, salt, and black pepper.
- After cleaning pumpkins, add beef mixture to each pumpkin. Then add broth, approximately half-way filled.
- Place cap on pumpkins.
- Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
- Serve each pumpkin in a bowl in case they leak.
- The pumpkin inside is also edible and delicious.
I hope you enjoyed this article and it leaves you feeling as refreshed as crisp autumn air. Creating fall embellishments is a fun way to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
Autumn only comes around one time a year. I hope you have many happy memories of tradition, culture and routine for years to come.
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