Mixed Media Paper Tree Ornaments Using Cricut
Join me in this fun project that blends artistic expression and holiday spirit, as I share the step-by-step process of crafting Mixed Media Paper Tree Ornaments. Discover how to harness the power of your Cricut machine to elevate your holiday decor, infusing it with a touch of maximalistic flair. First we'll create a paper tree base from die cut papers adhered using a dry collage technique with gel medium and a Cricut heat press. Then we'll pile on assorted embellishments embedded in multiple layers of triple thick acrylic varnish. Whether you're a seasoned crafter or a curious beginner, these mixed media paper tree ornaments are a perfect way to infuse your holiday season with DIY charm and creativity.
- Heavy weight patterned and solid scrapbook papers
- Light weight chipboard
- Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium
- Assorted embellishments like seed beads, yarn fibers or floss, sequins, glitter, stickers - use what you have on hand!
- Triple Thick Varnish
- Cricut EasyPress
- Parchment paper
- Metallic gold paint
Make the Tree Base
I'm using a dry, iron-on collage technique to adhere 2 layers of heavyweight scrapbook paper for the base of the ornament. To make the paper ready for pressing, you'll need to apply a thin coat of Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium to both sides of the paper. The dried paper can then be cut using your Cricut machine and ironed together using your EasyPress machine.
Each tree begins with 2 layers of coated paper - one with designs cut from it using your Cricut machine and one sheet that is uncut. The cut sheet will be ironed on top of the uncut sheet.
Apply a thin coat of Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium to one side of heavyweight 12x12 inch sheets of scrapbook paper. I like to use an old gift card to spread the medium in a thin coat, but you can also use a paint brush. Lay the wet paper out on plastic and allow to dry. Turn the paper over and apply a thin coat of Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium to the other side of the paper and allow to dry. Be sure the paper is completely dry before using it in your Cricut machine.
Create your own cut design or go directly to this project in Design Space. I have created some simple cutouts for a 12x12 inch sheet of paper. Make the project, reserving both the design and cut out shapes if you'd like to use the cutout pieces as additional embellishments. Remember that you'll need to leave one sheet of 12x12 inch coated paper uncut for every sheet that you run through your machine.
Layer the cut coated paper on top of the uncut coated paper. Place a piece of parchment paper on top. This is very important to protect your heat press machine or iron from the gel medium you applied to both sides of the paper.
Preheat your EasyPress machine to 250-270 degrees. Press using light pressure for about 30 seconds. Remove the parchment paper while hot.
After the papers have cooled, you can cut run the paper through your Cricut machine to cut the tree shapes. Put the ironed papers uncut side up on your cutting mat and tape lightly for best results. Cut the trees using the setting for light poster board or other very heavy paper setting appropriate to the depth of your ironed papers.
Now the really fun part! We're going to be embedding embellishments in at least 3 layers of triple thick varnish. I like to think of this as a "more is more" process and use multiple embellishments across the mutiple varnish layers built up on the ornament. This is great time to use leftover bits and pieces from other projects, including beads, threads, glitter, small buttons or bells, sequins, paper and stickers.
Paint the paper tree with a heavy application of triple thick varnish. I recommend starting by brushing the varnish around the edge of the paper. The varnish is quite viscous and will cling along the edge of the tree without running off the sides. Then fill in the center with additional varnish.
Immediately embed your favorite embellishment in the varnish. I sprinkled some seed beads into the varnish for my first layer, but most anything goes here.
Allow the varnish to dry at least overnight befor repeating the process twice more using additional embellishments of your choice.
Cut a tree shape from light chipboard (or your choice of material) and glue it to the back of the ornament using white glue. The chipboard will give the ornament some extra stability and cover up the "messiness" that is likely to have gotten on the back during the varnishing process.
Apply some shiny gold paint along the edges of the ornament if desired.
Use a sharp needle to poke a hole in the top of the tree or attach a bale or bead to the tree to thread a string for hanging.
Get ready to be amazed by the incredible things your Cricut machine can do with chipboard - yes, chipboard! Imagine creating a special ornament that's an absolute stunner for your beloved grandparents. From painting to adding vinyl details, this blog post walks you through the magic that happens when you blend technology and creativity. Grab your Cricut, Cricut Knife Blade, chipboard, paints, vinyl, and more – it's time for a crafting adventure that'll make your heart smile. Oh, and have you seen the 3D effect on that ornament? It's cuteness overload, trust me! Check out the project details and design in Design Space (link included).
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