Make a Slimline with a Standard Background Die

Slimline cards seem to have a new awakening in the crafting world, and companies are starting to make a few slimline dies that we can purchase. For those of us on a budget who might not have a slimline die yet, I wanted to share a way you could “stretch your supplies” and use a standard die instead.

I used those words deliberately. Today, I am showing you how to “stretch” a standard-size background die into a size that will allow you to create this Life is Beautiful Lemons card.

This card was originally created for the Craft Roulette challenge, but, unfortunately, I broke the rules again, so I was not able to submit it. After you watch the tutorial, you can read why I wasn’t able to participate in this week’s challenge.

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As you saw in the video, I was able to take the standard 4ΒΌ” x 5Β½” Stitched Lattice Background Die and use it to create a background for my slimline. This is easy to do when you know how to place your die onto the cutting plates.

When you create your first cut, make sure to stop before you get to the bottom of the die. In the first photo, you can see how the bottom portion of the die hasn’t gone through, yet. I simply moved my plates back towards me before it cut through and removed the die.

To create the bottom half of the slimline background, place the die so that the top portion is above the plates. This prevents any pressure on the die and prevents it from cutting through your paper. You can also use this process to create a border for a scrapbook page using a standard die as I did on my Parade Layout.

After I finished assembling the base of the card, I added a denim hexagon and some floral images that I shaded with SpectrumNoir Metallic markers. I wanted to create a metallic wash on the images, so I watered down the marker pigment on a paint palette and used a watercolor brush to shade the flowers with Silver Ingot and Red Garnet.

As I was shading the remaining portions of the images with watercolor paints, I realized that I had broken the rules. The parameters for this week’s challenge were: Slimline Card, Tasty Treat, Polka Dots, and Yellow+2. I had added a fourth color.

At this point, I decided to continue with the project because I wanted to make sure I finished this tutorial. After all, my goal was to show you how to “stretch” those standard-size background dies and share how I shaded the images with watered down metallic markers.

I could have attempted to make another card to submit for the Craft Roulette challenge, but life took over, and it just didn’t happen. Oh, well. Maybe next time I will try to follow the rules.


I hope that this project inspired you to use your metallic markers in a new way and a “stretch” those background dies into a few slimline cards. If you have any questions about this project or the supplies listed below, feel free to leave a comment.

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here is a list of some supplies I used today (View All My Supplies Here)

Organizing Cricut Items, Die Cutting, & Tools

Welcome back to my craft space! I hope you enjoyed last week’s tour of my Desk Space showing where I work as a Maker, create projects, and record videos and live classes. If you missed it, you can view it onΒ My Craft SpaceΒ page.

This week, I am showing you how I organize my Cricut tools & materials, my die-cutting and embossing folder items, and where I store the tools within my space. Each week, I will be sharing an area of my craft space and how I organize the items within it.

My original plan was to create a single video showing a general overview of my space, but I know that many of you are wanting organization ideas so I decided to break it down into several videos. After you watch this week’s tour, make sure to continue reading so that you can learn more about each of the areas cricut crafting area.

Learn More About the Items in my Craft Space

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Seven years ago, I joined CTMH as a Maker because of the Cricut items they offered. Creating with my Cricut machines and showing others how to use theirs is how I spend most of my days in my craft space, so it only made sense that my second video would be about my Cricut Crafting area.

The large solid piece of wood furniture shown above was a salvaged find. It was originally designed to be a changing table for a nursery, but, the minute I saw it, I knew that it would be the perfect addition to my craft space.

It has a place for my Cricut Maker, my Cricut tools & materials, my idea books, my die-cutting and embossing folder items, and so much more. There is even room on top to add a few decorations representing my personality.

One of my favorite pieces in this area is the Cricut Tool holder my husband created from a salvaged piece of barn wood, some small pipes, and hooks. Not only is it beautiful and functional, but it also fits my space perfectly.

In the video, I talk about how I keep “like items” together. When I began organizing my craft space, I wanted a functional space where everything had a place.

On this large shelf, I keep all the items I need for my Cricut and die-cutting machine. One drawer holds all my Cricut mats, EasyPress Mats, and some tools. The other drawer contains all my Cricut materials.

I also keep all my die-cutting items nearby. In the drawer below the machine, I have my cutting plates and mats. Embossing folders sit on a shelf above, and metal dies are organized in small albums on the top shelf. Everything I need to create with my Cricut or Sizzix are kept in one space. By keeping like-items together, I don’t have to search for a cutting plate or Cricut mat in the middle of a project.


So many items in one little space! Before you go, I do need your opinion on something. For years, I have been debating if I should stain this piece of furniture or paint it a distressed black. I think it would update the piece, but it would also be A LOT of work. Let me know what you think I should do.

I hope that you enjoyed this week’s Craft Space tour and that it gave you a few ideas for organizing your own space. Next week, I will be sharing my paper and cardstock organization with you. If you have any questions about the items I have in my space, feel free to comment below.

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Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. By clicking on those links and making a purchase, you are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.


here is a list of some supplies I used today (View All My Supplies Here)

The Things I Learned Creating an Ugly Card

Sometimes, you have a brain full of muck, no inspiration to create, and you have a deadline for a project that just isn’t coming together. This has happened to me more times than I can count. I can choose to walk away and drink some coffee on the patio, hoping to find inspiration, or just throw a bunch of stuff onto a card base and see what happens. You can learn quite a bit when you just start tossing stuff down onto a project.

Today, I am going to share what I discovered while creating this ugly blue card and how I adjusted some of the elements to make something so much better. Now you might be saying to yourself “there is no such thing as an ugly card”, but, when I posted this on my social media feed, I had quite a few people telling me that this bright blue butterfly card needed to be tossed into the trash.

I won’t argue with them. This card is not my typical design, but, haphazardly grabbing random items allowed me to discover some design elements I wanted to replicate. Here is what I learned.


Backgrounds Set the Mood

On the first card, the background consists of a bright distress oxide combination of blue diamonds with splatters of Peacock shimmer. I do like the look of this, but it doesn’t quite fit the theme of the card. This bright background stands out above everything else causing you to miss out on other elements in the design.

On the second card, I chose a muted french vanilla background with texture paste, distress oxide ink, toffee splatter, and some torn paper. This simple background complements the other elements on the card and the beautiful texture doesn’t compete with the other objects.


Lines Are Important

When you are planning a project, you need to pay attention to the horizontal, vertical, and arching lines you create. They formulate balance and movement. On the first card, I have quite a few harsh vertical lines. I attempted to create some curves with the vellum wreaths in the background, but they don’t stand out enough to help with the flow and they are contrasting with the curve of the flower and the curve of the butterfly.

In an attempt to balance out some of the rose gold, I laid down diamond stickers with more harsh lines and they became a non-linked element that just distracts your eye from the rest of the mess.

When planning my second card, I scaled down the vertical lines with a simple wrapping of gold thread, created an arching flow with the placement of objects and thread circles, and added a horizontal element to ground the card. The flow of the design walks your eye gracefully from the top, through the garden to the loving sentiment.


Big & Bold Isn’t Always Best

Sometimes an object you choose might just be a wee too big and bold for your design and you might be better off finding a more useful way to use it.

On this card, I really wanted to use that beautiful layered butterfly thin cut, but it is a bit too large for a slimline card. I tried to make it fit by adding some other large elements around it, but I should have scaled it down some. Creating it from peacock or black cardstock may have helped it to stand on it’s own or I could have just nixed the butterfly and stuck with the simple flower sticker. With those changes, the card might have come together.

I did like how the vellum looked behind the layers, so I chose to replicate this on my second card. I added the third layer to the image, adhered it together without foam tape, and shaved a little bit off the edge. Not only does this scale down the image, but it also helps to create an illusion of design continuation.

Behind the butterfly die cut, I added some rose gold sprig stickers and wooden leaves to create the illusion of floating in a garden. The stickers were backed in white, so I used some of the distress oxide ink to shade the edges to match the background on the card.


From the ugly mess to a delicate balance, I was able to learn so much.

It’s a bit like life. This past month, my head was full of rude comments sent to me, retreat from private messages telling me that I wasn’t made of the “right ctmh material”, and the battle of fighting my insecure brain monsters. The enemy was working overtime and my brain became as unsettled, unbalanced, and ugly as that bright blue mess.

Like me, I am sure that you also struggle with the mess, the muck, and the ugliness, but I encourage you to do what I did. Throw it all out on the table – reveal the ugliness – learn from it and make something beautiful.

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Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. By clicking on those links and making a purchase, you are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.


here is a list of some supplies I used today (View All My Supplies Here)