Tuesday, December 9, 2014

how to make collaged and layered doily trees

just in case you haven't seen the post right above this one, my card for the "favorite technique" challenge at shopping our stash features a fun little diecut christmas tree made by inking and layering doily scraps. these are super easy to make, but there are a few little tricks that i'd love to show you!

grab your stuff:
you'll need doilies or doily scraps, neutral paper to use as a base, a gluestick, scissors and ink. you'll also need a christmas tree die and mechanical diecut machine (such as cuttlebug) OR the ability to hand-draw and fussy cut a tree from the finished doily collage. if you're using a die (mine is sizzix christmas tree #2 which, for the record, might be my all-time favorite) it's a great idea to save the "frame" part from a previous cut... we'll be using this to help us build the prettiest layers!

start layering bits of doily
the best adhesive to use for this is gluestick (mine is the kind that goes on purple and dries clear, just so you can see it in the pics.) use a gentle dabbing motion rather than pulling the stick along, because those little lacy bits really want to tear. on the plus side, we are actually gluing this on in bits, so any torn parts will likely still be usable! :) if you're using one color of doily as i've done here, the cool collaged layers just will not show without a little ink on the edges, so you may want to apply some as you go. it will take about half of a 6" doily to fill in the space of my 4.5" tree, but i like LOTS of layers!

keep layering
to get a random "swagged" look like my tree, you need to offset the layers a bit. i like to place the first piece almost horizontal at the bottom of the tree, then lean the next piece towards the right, and the following one to the left. now you see why we wanted that frame from a previous diecut of the same tree... it's how we can see where the layers are going to fall and know when we've got enough on there. (you CAN add layers after the tree is cut, but hand-trimming the overhang is kind of a drag!)

diecut the tree
contrary to what this photo suggests, i like to place the doily side face down against the die, i think it gives a smoother cut. if dies tend to shift a bit in your machine, a tiny piece of scotch tape placed at the edge will hold your collaged paper securely in place.

ink the outer edges
...et voila! you have one lovely little collaged doily tree to use on a card, tag, or holiday journal page! add flowers, pearls, bling or glitter to make your tree even more festive. for a funkier look, alternate layers of text paper or glitter paper with the doily layers, or machine stitch back and forth along the layers before diecutting. or... add your own amazing touches to make something uniquely yours!


  1. How clever! Thanks for this tut!

  2. Awesome collage card, never tried one but your instructions were so clear and easy to follow it might happen. I love all the different elements on this and a fabulous take on the sketch.

  3. So cool, and looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

  4. Holy textured fabulousness, Batman! I love the way that swag looks in the tree and all the delicate laciness behind the music notes.


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