Happy Earth Day! This is a special day to me, because it was Earth Day 8 years ago that I heard my (now) husband laugh while I was out with one of my girlfriends. He has a laugh you can recognize instantly… distinctive and also kind of infectious, haha. But one thing I can say about it is that it brought us together, we re-connected (we had met years earlier at our jobs, but had both since moved on), we started dating, and now Earth Day is kind of an anniversary for us. Not only is it a special day for my husband and me, but it’s also a special day for awareness about being good to the planet, which hits home to me in a big way. I love repurposed crafts (in fact, I wrote a whole book of repurposed projects that’s available right now for pre-order on Amazon) and so many of my projects are inspired by nature. Like today’s mini art piece: a stamped copper tree.
Instead of a card, I decided to make something that can go on display all the time. It’s better than a card! And I’m getting a bit long-winded already today (haha… it happens when I get talking about things that are dear to my heart) so let’s get to the tutorial here. I do have some links to share where you can find the products I used (in case you get obsessed, like I did, about die-cutting metal sheeting). They’re affiliate links, which means if you decide to make a purchase, it helps benefit my blog at no extra cost to you (and thank you, by the way).
For today’s project, I used:
- Sizzix Big Shot and extended platform, and standard cutting pads
- Sizzix doodlebug designs Bigz Tree
- Sizzix doodlebug deisgns Framelits Tag Set
- Sizzix Decorative Strip Die Loopy Scallops
- ArtEmboss Copper Sheeting (medium weight)
- ArtEmboss Pewter Sheeting (medium weight)
- 5×7 Photo Frame
- Tim Holtz Nostalgic Collection teal card stock
- Core’dinations light green crosshatch patterned card stock
- Stamping hammer and bench block
- ImpressArt Lollipop alpha stamp set
- ImpressArt Lollipop number set
- Sharpie and Polish Pads
- Glue Dots
That list may look a bit long, but if you already have your Sizzix Big Shot, then you just want to grab this gorgeous brand new tree Bigz die (and if you don’t? I’ve got a special Sizzix coupon code for you! Use code SZB2015 at checkout on the SIzzix site and get 15% off your entire order, just for being a Happy Hour Projects reader!)
The ArtEmboss sheeting was a bit thin (even the medium weight) for stamping, but it was totally perfect for die-cutting. Just create your Sizzix sandwich by cutting the sheeting with scissors and placing the scraps over whatever portion of the die you want to die-cut. Place the die between the cutting pads, and roll it through your Big Shot. Instant metal die cuts! Do be careful of the edges, though – they can get sharp.
You can stamp the metal die cuts, and I decided to. Just like carving in a tree trunk, I added our initials and the date we met. If you’re new to stamping, I have a great beginner’s metal stamping tutorial for you to check out. I’m not going to get into a lot of detail on it, since it is an optional step – but I stamped, and then darkened my impressions with a Sharpie, and polished the impressions clean with a polish pad.
I also stamped a few of the leaves, and adhered them all to my 5 x 7 card stock with some glue dots. Typically I’d recommend a better bonding glue for metal, but because this sheeting is so lightweight, glue dots will hold it fine – and also, this will be protected behind glass, so it has less chance to come loose. Finally I added the loopy scallops to the bottom (like grass) to finish off my art panel.
I did tie a little tag onto the frame to give my husband this morning as a gift. This little art panel is much more permanent than a card (although you could always make it a card, and then frame it afterward, if you wish). But given my love for trees, and the fact that this date is an important one to us, this was a perfect little impromptu gift!
I’d also love to try using this die with empty soda cans for a totally recycled piece! I just wanted to make this one special for a special occasion.
Are you making any recycled projects today? You can search Earth Day projects right here if you need inspiration!