A New Look for Tin Teddy on Etsy

This week Etsy rolled out a  significant new look for seller’s shops.

Now my Tin Teddy shop on Etsy looks like this…



Previously it looked like this.


The biggest differences are that the product pictures are bigger (a good thing!) but reviews and polices are now on the front page (which seems unnecessary to me and distracts from the products).

Sellers have a choice of using the new, huge!, “cover pictures”, as I have done, using their old banners (which do no show at all on mobile devices) or having no cover or banner.

I am trying the cover picture for now on this shop.  My Antique Dog Prints vintage shop on Etsy still has the old small banner up.  I will wait a while to see how people respond to the changes before settling on one or the other for good.

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2016 – April Tag – A Tutorial for My Version

For this month’s Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2016 I thought I would take a break from the usual large tags I have made, and make a short, fat one instead.  I used the “Love From”  Tag Die Set from Tonic Studios.

In Tim’s example tag he uses his new Mosaic kit.  This is not yet available in the United Kingdom so I have attempted to create a similar effect using the supplies I have to hand.

I cut the main tag shape from 300gsm black card (it has a bit of a canvas texture on it) and used the oval die to cut white 300gsm stamping card.


Next I inked up the white card oval using Distress Inks.  I used Fossilized Amber all over the oval then blended Spiced Marmalade around the edges.  I wanted an irregular look.


I then ran the oval through my Big Shot machine inside the wood-grain embossing folder from Crafters Companion.  I love the effect this gives.


Using Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink, I darkened the raised parts of the wood grain.  I kept the blending tool vertical and dragged it width-ways over the oval.  In this picture I have done the right hand side only.


A added a bit more of the Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink around the edge of the oval and glued it to the black tag.  I made two little beads of Dovecraft 3d Pearl Effects in each corner and put this aside to dry.


I cut a butterfly from 300gsm Centura Pearl card using one of the shadow dies from the Paper Artist 3 Butterflies and Shadows die set by Hot off The Press.

ButterflyDieCut I coated the die cut butterfly with modelling paste then pressed a dryer sheet into it to give it some texture.  Here I have laid it on the black tag so you can see it clearly, it is not glued down.  I left this to dry for a couple of hours, to be sure.TexturePasteonButterfly

I cut a pile of tiny pieces from some scraps of coloured paper and began to stick them to the butterfly with Ranger Multi Medium Matte.  This was quite fiddly and took a while.  I coated all the pieces with the Multi Medium to ensure they were all glued down properly.  I then left it whilst I had a cup of tea,  to ensure it was all dry.

MosaicPiecesGoingOnMosaicedButterflyI coated each of the piece of paper on the butterfly with a thin layer of Ranger Glossy Accents.  I used a cocktail stick to push the Glossy Accents into the corners of the pieces.  Again I left it to dry thoroughly.  The 3d tiled effect looks far nicer in real life than in pictures,  honest.


I put some sticky foam behind the butterfly and fixed it to the tag.ButterflyAdded

Next I stamped the word “Love” in Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  This stamp is part of a set called Flutterby from Debbi Moore.StampedLove

I applied the Fossilized Amber Distress Ink all over the word, cut it out and added a little Spiced Marmalade around the edges.  I mounted it on a piece of white paper to give a tiny mount.  I coloured the word in with a Brushed Corduroy Distress Marker and added some little faux stitches with a white Uniball Gel Pen.  The word is more distinct in real life than it appears in the pictures.  I fixed the “Love” to the tag with sticky foam squares.


And finally a green ribbon to finish.

FinishedButterflyTag TTAprilTag




Hints and Tips When Knitting, Sewing or Crocheting Small Doll Clothes

I love making little clothes for my dolls.   Here are some hints and tips for knitting, sewing or crocheting petite clothing.

  • The dolls on the left are wearing clothes that fit them, but they are knitted in double knitting yarn (worsted weight), on standard 4mm needles. They were fast to knit but not really to scale- the stitches look far too big. The tiny doll on the right is wearing a sweater that is much nearer to the right scale. It was knitted in lace-weight yarn on 1.5mm needles.





Tin Teddy Clip Art Crossword

A bit of fun today.  In this little crossword all the answers are the names of set of Tin Teddy clip art.  Just click on the grid and type in the answers as you work them out.

See how fast you can solve it!

You can download a printable version if you prefer – Tin Teddy Clip Art Crossword to Print

[eclipse-crossword url=”http://www.tinteddy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/tinteddyclipartcrossword.html”]

Friday Freebie 150 – Sweet little witch

The Friday Freebie for this week is a blonde, sweet little witch.

She has nice simple outlines and so would be great for 3d decoupage on a greetings card or similar project.

These is a PNG file with a transparent backgrounds.

This will be the last regular Friday Freebie for a while.  I will soon have a permanent downloads page with freebies, plus will release new freebies regularly.

The Friday Freebies are free for at least one month, after this they are grouped into sets for sale in my Etsy shop.

Download Here – Tin Teddy Friday Freebie 150 Sweet Little Witch

To see the full range of Tin Teddy clip art, digital papers and more, visit my Tin Teddy Etsy shop.

Please do not give the images to your friends – give them a link to my blog and they can download a copy for themselves.



Friday Freebie 149 – Little Piggy

Here is a cute little pink piggy clip art image for this week’s Friday Freebie.

He would look adorable on a birthday card, or maybe a little Artist Trading Card.

These is a PNG file with a transparent backgrounds.

Follow the Tin Teddy blog to make sure you get your Tin Teddy Friday Freebie every alternate week.

There will be a new Friday Freebie on the 11th March.

The Friday Freebies are free for at least one month, after this they are grouped into sets for sale in my Etsy shop. Subscribe to the blog to ensure you get them all!

Download Here – Tin Teddy Friday Freebie 149 Little Piggy

To see the full range of Tin Teddy clip art, digital papers and more, visit my Tin Teddy Etsy shop.

Please do not give the images to your friends – give them a link to my blog and they can download a copy for themselves.



10 Tips for Using Your Silhouette Cutting Machine

1 Pesky Little Leftovers

The Silhouette machines are brilliant at cutting very intricate designs.  But removing all the teeny tiny bits of paper from the mat afterwards is a right pain.  I use the side of an old credit card to gently scrape the mat clean.  It can also be used to help lift off delicate cut-outs from the mat.

2 Clean that mat

It is not long before the cutting mat starts looking a bit sorry for itself.  Every time you cut, little bits of paper get left on the mat.  The build up of “paper fluff” make the mat less sticky and larger pieces can interfere with the cutting process of future projects.


Cover your mat in strips of masking tape (very cheap and it has lots of other uses in the craft room).  Lay the strips so they slightly overlap each other until the whole mat is covered.  Now place the mat on a very flat surface and rub hard all over it – using a bone folder, side of a credit card  or a brayer is ideal.  Then pull off the masking tape and you should see a lot of the “gunk” come off with it – leaving your mat cleaner, smoother and stickier.

Eventually you will need to replace the mat, but you can get a bit of extra life out of it by using sticky spray such as Stick & Spray from Crafter’s Companion.  Just spray a thin layer on, wait a few minutes and apply your card or paper.

3 Testing..1..2..3..4..

The Silhouette software has a handy test cut feature that is well worth checking out.  When TTSilhouetteTestCutcutting a new weight of card for the first time, or a new type of media, you may not be sure exactly what set up of blade height and speed is best.  Use the test cut to try out combos before starting to cut the main design.  This will not only help avoid wasting precious card etc but will also save you time as the test cut is small and fast.

You will see the test cut options when you select the material you are going to cut.

When trying to work out the best combo remember that a quick search online may give you suggestions from other crafters who have already tried to cut the media you want to.  And the Silhouette settings are a great place to start.  I use their setting for vinyl (I use Cricut vinyl), the setting for chipboard for cutting Kraft card and Centura Pearl 300gsm, and the basic “card” setting for 150gsm coloured card.

4 Store that combo

When I first got my Silhouette I was a little worried about how I would know the best blade height/speed combos for different types of media.   I have found that I actually only need to use a few combos for all the different types of card, vinyl etc that I use.  When I am sure of the right combo I write it in my planner for future reference (see the tip above for how to find the perfect combos).  If the media is stored in a box or packet then I also write the Silhouette cutting combo on that too.TTPortraitControls

5 A clean blade is a happy blade

Paper dust from the cutting process can easily get caught around the tiny blade.  This will dull it and your cutting may start to look a little raggedy.  I remove the blade holder and blow hard over the tip of the blade (mind your lips, don’t get too close) after every cutting session.  After cutting very dusty media like Kraft card I unscrew the little end of the blade holder so the blade is exposed, then blow again.  This is worth doing every now and then.  Eventually your blade will dull and no amount of blowing will be able to solve that and it is time for a new blade.

Some people keep their old blades for use when cutting more forgiving media.  A duller blade may well cut thick card beautifully but chew up thin paper in a very alarming manner.

6 Pick a pen.. any pen…

The official Silhouette sketch pens come in a nice range of colours, including metallics.  But TTPortraitPensyour Silhouette machine can use a wide range of pens if you get an adaptor for it.  Using the adaptor is not quite as simple as one might assume and the instructions that come with it are not very clear.  There are video and other tutorials online (just search) and once you get the hang of it you will have opened up your options for crafty sketching.  I have had a lot of luck with simple ball points which draw like the Silhouette sketch pens do.  Sharpies work well but as they draw quite a thick line the sketch being drawn must not be too intricate.  Gel pens also work well and the metallic or light colours look amazing on dark card – but you do need to use a newer “juicy” pen.

7 More bang for your buck

The Silhouette Store is a fantastic resource for cutting designs of all types.  Whilst the designs are cheap anyway, you can save even more money if you have a subscription.  You don’t have to have a continual one, you can just join for a month at a time.  So, for example, if you wanted quite a lot of designs for doing your Christmas cards and decor, you may well find it much cheaper to buy a subscription for a month then buy the designs with this.  You can get different levels of subscriptions depending on how many designs you are going to want to buy at a time.

There is a free design to collect ever week, and lots of sales to snap up even more bargains.


Another way to save some cash is to consider carefully which designs you buy.  I have bought quite a few cutting files for novelty greetings card such as tri-fold cards or pop-up cards.  Sometimes the designer of the card sells it in a few variations.  This might include the card on its own, in a new baby version, a birthday version and perhaps a wedding version.  As they are all the same price it makes financial sense to not buy the basic card but to get one of the other versions as this will include extra elements along with the card part that I want.  I would choose whichever version had additional elements that I thought I could use in some way.

An additional example would be when a designer sells a paper-pieced character as a stand-alone file, but the character is also included in another of their products as the topper on a card, or a box.  Again it makes sense to buy the card or box version as not only will you get the character you want but extra elements too.

8 – Even more bang… even less bucks!

It is very easy to create your own designs using the Silhouette Studio software.  There are loads of online tutorials and it is pretty intuitive to use.

Many types of crafters love to use stacking dies – metal dies that cut different sizes of basic shapes that you can then layer up to make mats, frame and borders.  These are great to create on your Silhouette as one can resize things so easily.  You don’t need to spend a penny to have sets of squares, rectangles, circles and other basic shapes – in an infinite range of sizes!

Creating word art is also very simple with the Studio software.  Just type the word you want then adjust the spacing so the letters overlap a bit.  Bingo, word art!  You can also tweak things to ensure everything looks just how you want.

Remember you can use all the fonts on your computer  – including WingDings!  Plus there are many thousands of free, funky fonts available online.

9 Fake what the cool guy’s are doing

It is a growing trend for stamp companies to offer matching dies to make it easy to cut out their stamp sets.  These are great and do indeed save on fiddly cutting out.  But they are pretty expensive, especially here in the UK.  And if it is a set of stamps that you may not use very often then having to buy dies as well as the stamps themselves can not always be an option.

But your trusty Silhouette can easily enable you to fake this die cut effect for those intricate stamps.

Just stamp the images onto plain paper with black ink.  Then scan them into your computer and load into Silhouette Studio.  Now give them a cutting outline, with a small offset – my tutorial for cutting out clip art images explains how to do this.  There are also many other tutorials online.

10 Keep clean, keep cutting out

Dust and dirt getting into your Silhouette can prevent clean cuts.  If you are not going to be using your machine for a few days then popping a cover over it, or putting it in a box, will ensure it is clean and fresh for the next session. You can buy ready made covers, or could make your own… you could even just drape a piece of cotton cloth over it!

Lindsay Weirich, the Frugal Crafter, has just done a great tutorial for a DIY dust cover on her popular YouTube channel.  Check it out here – DIY Dust Cover for Die Cut Machines and More

Friday Freebie 148 – Golden Buddha statue

This weeks’s Friday Freebie clip art image is a statue of a golden Buddha.

I hope he comes in useful for your crafting projects.  I have just used him on a scrapbook page 🙂

These is a PNG file with a transparent backgrounds.

Follow the Tin Teddy blog to make sure you get your Tin Teddy Friday Freebie every alternate week.

There will be a new Friday Freebie on the 26th February.

The Friday Freebies are free for at least one month, after this they are grouped into sets for sale in my Etsy shop. Subscribe to the blog to ensure you get them all!

Download Here – Tin Teddy Friday Freebie 148 Golden Buddha statue

To see the full range of Tin Teddy clip art, digital papers and more, visit my Tin Teddy Etsy shop.

Please do not give the images to your friends – give them a link to my blog and they can download a copy for themselves.



January Tag – Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2016

FinishedRobotTagYay, Tim Holtz is doing his famous Tags of the year blog posts in 2016.  So here is my version of the January tag.

First I used my trusty Tim Holtz Tag & Bookplates die to cut a large tag from an old birthday card (I used this die to cut all the tags for last year too).  As I am going to cover the card I thought I may as well recycle some scrap.

I laid two strips of sticky backed aluminium foil on the tag and rubbed them over with a brayer so they were very flat.  I tucked the excess over to the back of the tag and gave that a quick brayer too.


Then I ran the tag through my Big Shot die cutter, inside the Chevron embossing folder by Darice.  I used the number 2 option on the Big Shot platform. I always use this for embossing folders even though the platform recommends using option 1.

I took a Jet Black StazOn ink pad and rubbed it over the tag.  As long as you keep it reasonably flat against the tag, only the raised parts will pick up the ink.


I cut a rectangle of a patterned paper from the Home Grown stack by Hot Off The Press.  I used Tuxedo Black Memento ink to ink up the edges of this panel.


Then I added a black star shaped paper clip to one edge and four “antique brass” coloured split pins to the corners of the panel.  I then glued the panel to the tag.  I used my Crop-a-dile Big Bite to add a dark blue rivet to the tag hole (to match the colour of the robot)


Next I used one of the Tin Teddy Sexy Robot Lady clip art images and resized it so it would fit nicely on my tag.  I selected around the robot, inverted my selection, and enlarged it by 30 pixels. I  then created another layer, below the robot, and filled the selection with black.  I made a simple “ROBOT” label whilst I was at it, and printed them out onto photographic paper.

I cut out the robot lady, leaving a small black border (which is why I backed her with black before printing).  I ran the side of a black Sharpie pen around the edge of the cut out, to remove the white edge and give a neat finish.  I did the same for the ROBOT label.


I added the robot lady and the ROBOT label to the tag.


I found a shiny star shaped brad that fitted inside the paperclip beautifully, so added that to the tag.

Finally, I tied some glittery silver ribbon and a couple of strands of black rattail cord to the tag to finish.