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How to Create Fall-Themed Embellishments from Die Cuts

Updated on October 12, 2013
Pumpkin and leaf shapes adhered to embossed background.
Pumpkin and leaf shapes adhered to embossed background. | Source

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.
Falling leaves.
Bare tree branches.
Tree bark decaying.
Crisp air.
Cool breezes.
Wind.
Pumpkins.
Apples.
Gourds.
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
These are a few Sizzix die cuts I own with pumpkin shapes.

Pumpkins.

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.



A few Sizzix die cuts in pumpkin shapes.
A few Sizzix die cuts in pumpkin shapes. | Source

Pumpkin die cut from Sizzix fall shape #3

Source

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.


Fall Colors.
Red
Orange
Green
Yellow
Blue
Brown

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.

The woods near my home.
The woods near my home. | Source
Die cut apples used for a school project.
Die cut apples used for a school project. | Source

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.

Source

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.

Source
Source
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
These are just a few of the die cuts I use in fall themes.

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.

A sampling of Sizzix die cuts for leaves and vines.
A sampling of Sizzix die cuts for leaves and vines. | Source

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.

  1. Choose your die cuts. I am going to make a pumpkin shape with leaves and vines.
  2. Choose your cardstock. I am going to use an orange cardstock for the pumpkin shapes and green for the leaves and vines.
  3. Measure your dies and cut the cardstock down to size with a paper trimmer.
  4. Make sure your paper does not extend past the plastic cutting plate.
  5. Roll one sheet of cardstock at a time through your Sizzix Sidekick machine.
  6. Set your cut shapes aside.

Next, we're going to apply the shape to a greeting card.

  1. Pick the cardstock for the base of your card.
  2. 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.
  3. Use wax paper to protect your work surface and for easier clean-up.
  4. To add a background to the blank card base, I decided to create a template from the cut out pumpkin shape.
  5. Using a cosmetic wedge, I sponged chalk covering the template in orange for the pumpkin, and I also added green to cover the stem.
  6. 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.
  7. Next, decorate the pumpkins with glitter.
  8. I also added a face to a pumpkin with a punch.
  9. I applied wet adhesive to the pumpkins, vines and leaves.
  10. Decorate with as many leaf die cuts in assorted colors as you wish.
  11. You can also use an embossed background for die cut shapes.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pumpkins, leaves, and vine die cut shapes.Sizzix Sidekick, die cuts, paper.Trim paper to fit on plastic plates before rolling die cut shape through Sidekick.Roll out shape.This is how the shapes will look after being rolled through the Sidekick.Make a greeting card from a cardstock base.  Cut 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock in half and fold.Use paper scrap as template for chalking image on to base of card.Chalked image from template.  If chalk smudges, simply erase smudged area.Use a punch to make a Halloween face on the die cut shape.Apply glitter to the stem to turn it green.
Pumpkins, leaves, and vine die cut shapes.
Pumpkins, leaves, and vine die cut shapes. | Source
Sizzix Sidekick, die cuts, paper.
Sizzix Sidekick, die cuts, paper. | Source
Trim paper to fit on plastic plates before rolling die cut shape through Sidekick.
Trim paper to fit on plastic plates before rolling die cut shape through Sidekick. | Source
Roll out shape.
Roll out shape. | Source
This is how the shapes will look after being rolled through the Sidekick.
This is how the shapes will look after being rolled through the Sidekick. | Source
Make a greeting card from a cardstock base.  Cut 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock in half and fold.
Make a greeting card from a cardstock base. Cut 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock in half and fold. | Source
Use paper scrap as template for chalking image on to base of card.
Use paper scrap as template for chalking image on to base of card. | Source
Chalked image from template.  If chalk smudges, simply erase smudged area.
Chalked image from template. If chalk smudges, simply erase smudged area. | Source
Use a punch to make a Halloween face on the die cut shape.
Use a punch to make a Halloween face on the die cut shape. | Source
Apply glitter to the stem to turn it green.
Apply glitter to the stem to turn it green. | Source

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:

  1. Take a walk on a woodland's trail and observe the natural change of the trees.
  2. Take a weekend road trip and drive around locally. Visit a farm or an apple orchard.
  3. Taste some sweet apple cider.
  4. Go to a pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin.
  5. Carve a pumpkin.
  6. Make pumpkin stew (see recipe below).
  7. Get a blanket, a good book, and curl up next to a favorite apple spiced tea.
  8. Drink pumpkin spiced coffee and have a side of pumpkin flavored pastry.
  9. Take a train ride through New Hampshire or Vermont.
  10. 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.

Pumpkins growing outside of my fenced garden.  This year we had a lot of vines.
Pumpkins growing outside of my fenced garden. This year we had a lot of vines. | Source

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?

See results

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.

  1. Brown ground beef in a skillet. Drain grease.
  2. In a bowl, mix together drained peas, mushrooms, and beef.
  3. Add seasonings to taste such as oregano, salt, and black pepper.
  4. After cleaning pumpkins, add beef mixture to each pumpkin. Then add broth, approximately half-way filled.
  5. Place cap on pumpkins.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
  7. Serve each pumpkin in a bowl in case they leak.
  8. The pumpkin inside is also edible and delicious.

Conclusion.

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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    • profile image

      Marija 2 years ago

      This is getting to be too scary.Papers used on my rnceet post (notebook) is that exact sheet of paper. I also bought from Dunelm Mills.To take it a step further. That CI frame, I have it lying on out drying as it is a work in progress with paints. Were we separated at birth ROFL.A beautiful piece of art. A real sense of fragile beauty to it. The pretty edging frames it so beautifully.WishesLynne

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much WiccanSage. Die cuts are so versatile. I love the array of machines they have out now. I totally want the Spellbinders system. But it's too much. I already have two other systems.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      These are awesome; I love layering die cuts, they can look so cool. Love the images here, thanks for the great ideas!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much teaches for your kind and encouraging comments.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I love the theme and how you posted all the craft ideas. The colors of fall are so beautiful, as you mentioned. I would love some of that pumpkin stew! Great job and well done.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you Ologsinquito! It's funny, I do most of my work for others. But I do love to do interior design. I'm always organizing! LOL

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      You are very fortunate to have the gift of being able to make crafts. Your house must be nicely decorated.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much moronkee! Nice to see you stopping by.

    • moronkee profile image

      Moronke Oluwatoyin 3 years ago

      I'll give your article an A+. The pictures stimulated my imagination. I'll try this out with my sttudents

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you Jaya!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much vibesites for your kind comments.

    • Jaya Sanghita profile image

      Sanghita Chatterjee 3 years ago from Kolkata

      Beautiful!

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 3 years ago from United States

      My favorite time of the year. I love your craft! You have a lot of awesome ideas there. Thanks for sharing. Will go to decorate with these on Halloween. :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi raguett! Thank you for stopping by!

    • raguett profile image

      raguett 3 years ago

      Interesting thanks

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Eiddwen, Thank you so much! I'm quite honored.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Linda! I know, it's different. The first time I had heard about it, I probably wasn't too crazy about the idea of eating it. But the pumpkin tastes like squash after it's made this way. I love how the flavors come together. Thank you so much for commenting.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi randomcreative! I've done a few bulletin boards. There was a very small scrapbook store in my area that was closing. I asked the lady if I could buy all of her die cut machines. She had ones that were originally used in schools. They were card-size die cuts for making die cut teddy bears and stuff like that. She never called me and closed before I got back there. I know teachers really appreciate it when I give them die cuts for their classrooms.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Mel! Thanks so much!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Brave! LOL, pumpkin stew is the number one thing that reminds me of fall. We plant pumpkins and that's the one thing this time of year that gets me in the autumn mood. Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi wetnose. The first time I had heard about sugar pumpkins was from a pumpkin pie recipe. But I'm not much of a pie baker. I do like apple and pumpkin though. Thank you so much for commenting!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Flourish! It's quite addicting. Every time I write one of these Hubs, I start another project. LOL

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Joe! I always consider it the highest of compliments when you stop by and share your wonderful words. We used to have a carnival that would come by annually. It was so much fun when I was growing up. Thank you for reminding me of some great memories.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant hub and voted up plus shared onto my FB page A Brand New Dawn.

      Eddy.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      You have a lot of great ideas and tips in this hub. I will definitely have to try the pumpkin stew. I eat pumpkin in bread, cakes, and other desserts but never stew.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      It's great to know that there are so many fall die-cuts available! I had no idea that there was such a range for so many products. Thanks for the great overview of options and detailed instructions for specific machines. This is a great resource for teachers, parents, and crafters.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I love autumn, and I have never met a piece of pumpkin pie I didn't like. I'll have to show these ideas to Mrs. MC. She loves decorating for the fall season. Great job!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Crafty, throwing a recipe for pumpkin stew is very clever, especially for those of us who don't do crafty things. I do cook, however. I've never heard of Pumpkin Stew. How clever to serve it in an edible bowl! Well, mostly edible anyway.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

      Superb hub on the creativity with Fall, a most favorite season, and a recipe to try. And I thought a pumpkin was a pumpkin. I never heard of sugar pumpkins.

      Thanks for your hard work.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      You certainly are crafty! Awesome Fall hub with excellent instructions and photos, and I love that you included the recipe, too. This makes me want to get out my scrapbooking supplies!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Reading this hub and enjoying the creative play that nature inspired leaves me with the same good feelings that I had as a child going to a carnival on a weekend evening.

      I ALWAYS learn something new when I read your hubs, Brandi, and I understand all the more why CraftytotheCore is a great pen name for you. Case in point: the Pumpkin Stew in a Pumpkin recipe! Wow, I gotta try this sometime. I know my wife would be impressed...hopefully, after eating it as well.

      The paper crafts took me back to my kindergarten days. That, by the way, is a compliment to you. I do my best writing whenever I first regress to a younger age. : )

      Aloha, my dear friend, and have an enjoyable weekend!

      ~Joe

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for commenting Moonlake! I just love pumpkin stew. Someone taught me how to make it before I ever had children, and now it's a family tradition.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Faith! I have the same problem. I don't get many notifications about Hubs. I'm always late to a good party. LOL

      We had a festival in town here today. I just love this time of year with all of the apple cider, apple picking, and apple pie.

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      Love your hub very interesting. The recipe sounds great. I should try that. Voted up.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      You are certainly crafty to the core and I love the inclusion of your wonderful recipe for pumpkin stew. I love anything pumpkin! This hub puts me in the mood for all of the autumn festivities coming up so fast!

      Fall is such a beautiful time of year I always enjoy so much. I do love visiting orchards and farms. Your crafts presented here look of such high quality and beautiful for this time of year.

      Thank you for sharing your creativity here. I seems I have not been getting any notices when you publish hubs? Better make sure I am following you dear one! I will have to do some catching up on your great hubs.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Hi Billy! Thank you for stopping by. I try to incorporate other stuff in my craft Hubs because I know not everyone is drawn in simply by art work. LOL

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Rayne! LOL, I know it probably doesn't sound so appetizing. But it is really good. I happen to like squash in general though. Every year I get so excited when autumn comes around. My grandmother used to make chili and I knew it was the kick off of the season. Now that I have my own children, we grow our own pumpkins and use them to make a delicious stew. It really gets my creative juices flowing. Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whenever I read a hub like this, one about something I obviously won't be doing :) I concentrate on the writing style instead of the topic. The introduction is great....the writing style very friendly and the instructions very easy to understand. In other words, great job, Brandi!

    • profile image

      Rayne123 3 years ago

      This is great, I love the colors of fall.

      My fav time of year now.

      It seems that you have a blue tree in your back yard or the woods near your place. Blue is serenity.

      Pumpkin stew, never heard of it, sounds not so good, but I bet its delicious

      Great ideas

      Laurie

    • CraftytotheCore profile image
      Author

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Thank you so much DDE! I've worked on this one for 3 days. I had such a busy week. Glad to finally get it published.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      How to Create Fall-Themed Embellishments from Die Cuts, awesome hub and so much to do here creatively, an interesting and informative hub for the lovely Autumn voted up, and useful. I always look forward to read another hub from you thanks for all your input towards my hubs