Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Focus: Dimensional Flowers

Many companies are coming out with dies or punches to help us create dimensional flowers.  I have purchased a number of them but then have never used them because they seem to have a fairly steep learning curve.  But I do enjoy the results, are my cards along with usage tips for four different brands:
  1. Stampin' Up's Build a Blossom stamps and punch (I don't actually own this yet but I love playing with my stamping friend's product!)
  2. Sizzix/Tim Holtz Paper Rosette die
  3. My Favorite Things Die-namics Rolled Roses die (I have the bigger rose, but they have since come out with a die that cuts two smaller roses!)
  4. PaperTrey Ink's Bloom Builders (I have set #2)
Stampin' Up Build a Blossom:

To get the dimensionality of this flower, I found that this tool kit from McGill was a worthwhile purchase.  McGill does have an entire series of punches used to make dimensional flowers.  You can see some gorgeous samples at their website.  The problem that I have with their flowers is that most of them require multiple punches - large, expensive punches.  And, there isn't a coordinating stamp set, so in this case I really like the Stampin' Up product.

You use these tools and the soft pad to rub the petal in a circular motion.  Obviously you cannot see the "motion" part of this - but you can see how my petal is starting to bend.  I am rubbing on the back of the petal so that it bends back toward my card.  It also looks fantastic if you rub on the front of the card.

I used dimensional glue dots to put my flower together.  First I layered the five large petals, then I plopped another glue dot on top of them and layered the smaller petals.  FYI: I left the glue dot on the paper backing until I had the petals on and arranged the way that I wanted them.  Then it was easy to peel it off the backing and plop it on the card in the perfect position. 

MY FINAL REVIEW:  Gorgeous results - but a lot of work!  Stamp, punch, shape every single petal! Definitely doesn't work often for me as we simply do not have time to put together cards like this at our church cardmaking group.  But..I definitely would like to do it for own special occasion cards.
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Build a Blossom and Tiny Tags
  • Inks: Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz, Poppy Parade, Daffodil
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Build a Blossom Punch, Tiny Tag Punch, Polka Dot embossing folder, Daffodil 5/8" grosgrain and black/white gingham

Sizzix/Tim Holtz Paper Rosette die

Here's the die:
Here's the card:

I have a love/hate relationship with this die.  I love the look of these accordion pleated flowers, but with all the steps that I have to take to deal with the "flaws" in the die, it would probably be easier to crease and pleat my flowers manually!

Problem #1: I think it's just too darn big for your average card

Problem #2: The perforations are too big or too deep and the paper often falls apart when you are forming the flower.  After a quick search on the internet, it appears a lot of people have this problem. Some suggested adding a piece of cardstock between the die and the paper that you are cutting, but it didn't work for me at all.

Problem #3: The white core of the paper shows through the perforations.  You can kind of see it in the above picture.  I simply take a coordinating marker and color over top of the perforations.

Here's the process that I go through to make this thing work for me.  First, die cut your chosen paper.

I cut a small strip from the straight edge.  This makes
my rosette a little smaller and gives me an extra
piece of paper to add stability (as follows).

Apply adhesive to your extra piece. If you are
really careful, you can use a tape runner but it
could pull your perforations apart.  Spray
adhesive would be the best choice.

Apply the taped piece to the bag of your
rosette strip, lining up the perforations so
you can still accordion pleat it.

Accordion pleat the whole thing
then apply adhesive to the final
flat side.

Adhere the two ends together.

Add a big glob of glue to a scratch piece of paper
cut smaller than the rosette.  This particular piece
is cut from the same die, but I am not going to
use this paper for the center, so I just globbed the glue.

Sit your rosette around the glue.  (I just realized
that I took this picture with the rosette upside
down - the scalloped edges should be down)

Start pushing on the center of the rosette.

When it is flat, hold briefly while the glue sets.

FYI: I have noticed that Sizzix has a new product that is three dies that make different smaller rosettes. 

MY FINAL REVIEW:  Too many flaws in my die to be worthwhile. 

  • Stamps: Our Daily Bread Lift Up Your Hands
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Rose Red, Sweet Always dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Embossing Folder, gems (colored with copics to match the paper), misc ribbon to match Soft Suede

My Favorite Things Die-Namics Rolled Rose 

Here's the die:

Here's the card:

This die is actually quite easy to use.  It takes some "fussing" but nothing hard.  Here's my process.  Start with cutting your flower.  (For some reason, they leave a small part of your flower connected to the cardstock - just snip it off)

Start rolling up your flower from the
outside edge.  A quilling tool is
highly recommended - I don't have one
so simply used the handle of a paintbrush.

When you get to the end, you will have this small
flap.  This will be the based of your flower as you
will soon see.

You can sit the flower down now to
fuss with it a little.  I loosened mine
up a little bit and I unrolled the outer
petals just a titch so that the big
scallops looked more even.

Add a pop up glue dot to the base.  A hot glue gun is
also recommended - I just find those so messy!

Push down on each petal to it embeds in the glue dot.

If you want, you can use a tweezer to fold down
some of the outer petals.

I would see the glue dot in the center of
my flower so I sprinkled in some microbeads.
I learned a lot from this video tutorial.  She does a rose with grunge paper, embossing and shimmer spray that is absolutely spectacular!

MY FINAL REVIEW: This die is easier to use than I had expected and I like the final result.  I do very little "dimensional" work in my papercrafting because I can be all thumbs.  But this flower came together very easily.  On the other hand, I'm not quite certain what you would do with this card - it definitely can't be mailed!!
  • Stamps: CCDesigns Sympathy Sentiments (at All That Scraps)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Early Espresso
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Bashful Blue, So Saffron, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron dsp 
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Tim Holtz flourish die, unknown leaf punch
  • Challenges: technostamper sketch challenge and the color throwdown.
          NOTE: Technostamper has consistently nice sketches and
            now has a fun process in which we can all be in a blog hop -
            see all the details at the very bottom of my post!

PaperTrey Ink Bloom Builders

Here are the dies (it comes with three sizes):

Here is my card. (I wish that I had added another flower underneath this one to make it fuller, but it's all glued together and just too late!  If you put together two of the sizes, the flowers nest into each other perfectly.)

And here is how I did it.  First, die cut your flower.

Lightly crease each petal for dimension.

Thread floss through the holes.  Be sure to start going
down into the hole.  We will be pulling the floss
tight and you want the petal to fold appropriately.

Here's the piece all "strung out"!

Start pulling the floss together.  It's easiest if your petals
are pointing downwards and you want the backside
of the paper to the outside.

Tighten it up and tie a knot.

Flatten it out.  You can fold each of the tabs down
so that you can adhere it to your card.
There are lots of things you can do at this point.  You can leave the floss, pull it up to the front of the flower and tie on a button!!  You could make another flower - then the tabs on this one would nest right into the second flower.  Instructions for all of these can be found here (scroll down a ways to find them).

MY FINAL REVIEW: LOVE this one.  My favorite of the batch.  Very easy to do.  Dimension without a lot of bulk.  I would highly recommend it!

FYI: Although I have picked the die as my favorite, I am not thrilled with the card that I made to showcase it.  Check out this later post for a much nicer card.

  • Stamps: PaperTrey Ink Healing Touch Sentiments, Fancy Flourishes
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Perfect Plum
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Basic Gray, Perfect Plum dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Basic Gray Taffeta, gems, circle punches
  • Challenges: SplitCoast Stampers Friday Free For All: Almost Monochromatic and Sketch Frenzy Friday



There are so many other options out there.  I would love to hear from any of you that have found the perfect die!!


Fun Stuff from Techno Stamper: Mary Jo has consistently nice sketches and now she has added the ability for us to easily blog hop through everybody else's card based on the sketch.  I love looking at everybody's card to compare what I did to what they did and get lots and lots of ideas.  It's a fantastic way to learn - and to enjoy learning.  So, apparently, if I just cut and paste code from her site, everybody who links cards to her site will also appear on mine!

As a reminder, here's the sketch:

And here's what the participants have done with it: (You can click on the thumbnail to get to their blogs or galleries for details)


  1. Kim, thank you so much for your review of these flower-making tools, and for the stepped-out photos. This helps so much!

    Your cards are all beautiful! I especially love the third one with the rolled rose. I love how you layered the cardstock panels before embossing, then added a tone-on-tone flourish.

  2. WOW!!! All these are beautiful and the tutorials are super! I have the Stampin' Up! punch and stamp set. It was nice to see how you achieved the "look". Thanks! And thanks for playing the challenge at Sketch Frenzy Friday!

  3. How fun! Thanks so much for this great post. I do not own any of those and have looked at quite a few of them. So now I have something to go on. Great job with that. Great jov with my sketch too! I am so glad you got to play along again this week. Glad you added the code too. Thanks so much!

  4. What great tutorials on making flowers! I'll bookmark this page! Thanks so much for joining us at the Color Throwdown this week!

  5. What a great review of some of the newer dies on the market. I definitely appreciate your rosette makes me appreciate the cut file rosettes that I've created. I score myself, but NOT having perforations that show the white cs or tear the cs makes it seem like scoring my own is actually QUICKER in the long run. Oh, and the ability to resize my rosettes is invaaluable. SO, thank you for unknowingly reminding me why I love a good cutting machine :]

    Thank you also for playing along with the Color Throwdown this week! Your card is just darling ♥

  6. Great take on our Sketch Frenzy Friday challenge. Thanks for joining us!


  7. I had a sizzix die the was cutting through the score lines, sizzix told me to turn the die upside down and put a crease pad on top instead of a cutting mat. Since the strips don't have a crease pad I would contact sizzix and ask them to replace the die. I have had to have replace several. Good luck!

  8. Wonderful cards and great tutorials. You are quite the demonstrator!


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