Hello from poki! I’m here with a project I would have never attempted to do until I had my eye surgeries last Fall which have restored my vision to almost PERFECT! I had worn glasses – really thick glasses! – since 1958, so many projects that I might want to do, were just left undone because I didn’t have the visual acuity to do them … but now, look out!
My first technique I’ve been wanting to try is called “fussy-cutting,” which means you cut out pieces of an image, and in my case, stack them to get a 3-D effect! This was very popular in Victorian times, and I’ve seen some beautiful art projects while doing research for this post. (Just google “fussy cutting paper,” if you want to see some!)
For my glass coaster project I selected four kits from Alexis Design Studio to represent the four seasons of the year:
Winter – AND SNOW IT BEGINS
Spring – SUGAR PLUM
Summer – A TIMELESS ROMANCE
Autumn – DECADENCE
- glass pillar candle plates 4″ with indention
- round chipboard coasters
- HP Premium brochure paper
- Adhesives: glue stick, foam tape, clear drying strong adhesive (I used E-6000)
- thin cork paper
- fine grit paper sanding block
- Copic markers (or any markers) in colors to match your backgrounds
My work process: The one thing each of these kits has in common is amazing flowers and foliage, so I decided to create flower clusters for each season. Because my finished glass coaster had a 4″ outer diameter, with a 3″ indention, I created both of those circles in my template for creating the artwork. I wanted to make sure that my flower cluster remained within the 3″ circle so that I could fussy cut the cluster, and layer it to get the 3-D look I was attempting to create!
When the art pieces were complete, I saved them 3 ways: a layered file (*.psd since I work in PSE 10), a full circle *.png and a cluster only *.png.
Once the printouts were completed, I was on to the process of cutting. I gathered a few tips while doing research that I want to pass along, relevant to getting the cutting done! These will help make your cutting experience easier.
1. Use Micro-tip scissors, and a sharp Exacto knife to cut
2. When cutting, move the paper not the scissors to achieve finer, smoother cuts!
3. When cutting with scissors, place your paper near the fulcrum (where the blades cross) instead of at the tip. This will make it easier to move the paper, and will result in a much neater clean-cut edge!
4. If you need to cut out interior areas (like in a silouette image) use an Exacto knife, with a sharp new blade, and always pull the blade toward you for better control.
5. Do a preliminary cut around your intended object to remove access paper, and make it easier to hold and move the paper. Make long slow cuts rather than quick snips to create smooth, clean cut edges.
6. And one digital tip … I discovered that my exterior shadows on the clusters made it a little harder to see where to cut. I recommend that you add interior shadows to the cluster, then save the cluster *.png files without external shadows. After you have those *.png files saved, then you can go back to the full circle and add external shadows to the cluster so that they appear on the bottom circle layer.
With my art work printed and cut, I was ready to stack. I used chipboard coasters (like the ones used in restaurants) as the base for my artwork. I colored the edges of the coasters with my Copic markers to match the color of the background circle, then adhered the art circle in place, trimmed as needed, and used a fine paper sanding block to clean up edges. The back side of the coaster was covered with a thin cork paper (although I really don’t intend to ever use these as drink coaster … just artwork!) Here are my four art pieces completed (photo taken just prior to glueing the glass into place!)
Now I have an art piece to add to my entry table representing each season of the year!
My completed projects on the entry table
Other Articles by poki04:
- "Family and Friends" mini pocket book - September 29th, 2014
- It's SPRING and almost Easter! - April 18th, 2014
- It's almost BIRTHDAY TIME in my family! - February 21st, 2014
- Christmas Card keeper - December 2013 - December 20th, 2013
- Altered Canvas: Seek-N-Find Puzzle - November 29th, 2013