I love good chipboard. Â Especially the kind that is laser die cut, with intricate details…the pieces are lightweight yet can add so much dimension to a project. Â And there’s just SO much you can do with chipboard…so many ways to color it, embellish it, use it. Â But it seems like so many of the really cool, laser-die-cut chipboard companies are located outside of the U.S, making it more difficult for the average consumer here to get their hands on the product. Â I saw a project once with some awesome Dusty Attic chipboard – but they are in Australia, and, well…not many stores here carry their products. Â So I was excited when we came across these Twiddleybitz Chipboard Die Cuts at Winter CHA! Â Now, they too are made in Australia (what’s with Australia making all the cool chipboard?), but they are being imported by a Canadian distributer, Select Imports,…making them a bit more accessible for those of us here in North America. Â And there are SO MANY AWESOME looking pieces – you just MUST go to the website to see what I mean! Â They also have a Ning site here, where they have a design team, challenges, videos, tutorials and more.
I wanted to start off with the small shadow box. Â I experienced a bit of a setback right from the start, so I need to give you an advisement. Â Do NOT let your pieces get wet! Â I had the pieces to my shadow box all laid out on my desk, and I had been working on something else. Â One of my kids had gotten on my stool, one thing led to another…and next thing I knew, a small cup of water had been spilled on my work surface. Â I quickly grabbed as much as I could to get everything to safety, but one piece from the shadow box got wet – and it immediately began to buckle and come apart at the edge. Â I hit it with my heat gun in an attempt to stop the wetness from traveling any further into the piece, but it didn’t stop it from coming apart. Â This is what it looked like about 5 minutes later.
Fortunately, I was able to salvage the piece using Matte Accents from Ranger, and so far, it seems to be holding just fine.
The small shadow box comes with 7 pieces and absolutely no instructions. Â For men, I suppose this is a fantastic thing. Â For me, not so much. Â I happen to like instructions. Â But it wasn’t too hard to figure out the puzzle. Â (That said, on a larger 3-d project, it might be a bit more difficult without instructions….) Â I started off by covering one side of each piece in paper (I used Beacon Fast Finish Decoupage) and the other side, I painted using Adirondack Paint Dabbers by Ranger.
Then I began assembling the pieces. Â Since there were no instructions, there also was no recommendation as to what glue/adhesive to use. Â I decided that since the Matte Accents had worked well to re-adhere the layers that had come apart after the water incident, I would stick to that. Â I was generous with it, and was thankful it dried quickly – my arthritic hands did not Â appreciate having to hold the box parts together waiting for the glue to dry!
After decorating the inside and the front, (and giving the outside a good coat of decoupage medium to protect it from dirty/wet little girl hands), I think this little fairy box (I used Graphic 45 Once Upon a Springtime papers) will make the perfect birthday gift for my 5-year old niece who adores fairies! Â It’s hard to see how much Stickles I added to glitter the fairies up, but they are very glittery and beautiful!
Once I finished the shadow box, I wanted to see how the chipboard would react to some other applications. Â I now knew that it took acrylic paint and decoupage medium just fine. Â First, I tried Distress Stain. Â I actually didn’t think it would do well, thinking the wetness of the stain would cause the chipboard to buckle – but I was wrong! Â The chipboard took the Distress Stain very well.
Next, I tried Adirondack Alcohol Inks. Â I used a mixture of Denim and the Copper Metallic Mixative, along with a bit of Blending Solution, since this was a porous surface and it wouldn’t blend well without the solution. Â Again, the chipboard took the inks very well, with no sign of buckling or weakness. Â I actually loved the look of these two colors together!
Next, I sprayed the chipboard with Turquoise Glimmer Mist. Â Again, I wondered if the liquid would cause the chipboard to buckle – but it did not. Â The chipboard did fine, and came out with a beautiful shimmer!
Finally, I wanted to see if I could sew through the chipboard. Â I stamped on the Distress Stained chipboard with Archival Ink, and then layered it with a paper doily and a piece of vintage dictionary page. Â I ran the layered piece through my sewing machine with just a regular needle, using a combination of straight and zig-zag stitches, and my machine had no problem whatsoever sewing through the chipboard. Â Likewise, the chipboard show no sign of tearing, buckling, or pulling apart where it was sewn. Â Now I have a great layered piece all ready to put into an art journal, on a mixed media piece, or onto a scrapbook page!
Last thing, I just wanted to show you a couple of the other pieces I have – just because they are SO cute!
How awesome are those?! Â I can’t wait to do something with them!
Have you tried Twiddleybitz chipboard or other laser die-cut chipboard? Â What do you think about them?
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