Use Umbrella Crafts Dies To Create A Custom Bible Bookmark
Hey Everyone! I’ve got a fun post to share with you today which has a neat little God story that I’ll tell you about in a bit. I want to show you how to create a custom bookmark for your Bible, with Umbrella Crafts dies. If you’ve not seen dies, or don’t know how to use them, stick around. You don’t need them but they’re a lot of fun!
As a quick side note before I share about this post… Just to let you know, at the time of publishing this blog post, I’ve got a (3 winner) SUPER fun Journaling Bible Bundle Giveaway which happens to include the bookmark I’m showing you today. So, you can learn how I made it and then could win it! I’ll remind you at the end to go enter the giveaway, so you can just enjoy this post and do it at the end! Everyone loves cool free stuff. Even more, Bible journaling stuff. Right?!
Now, as you may know, I have a neat relationship with the sweet folks at Scrapbook.com. I had the honor of being hired by them to teach a totally free, online beginners class for Bible art journaling. The class is called Inspired Faith and you should definitely take advantage of it, if you haven’t yet. It’s free! 🙂 I think it turned out great and the nearly 5,000 current students seem to be saying the same. If you’ve taken the class already or are currently, others reading this post would probably LOVE to hear from you in the comments below, about how being in the class has been for you! Here is a link to learn more and sign up free, for Inspired Faith…
Umbrella Crafts wafer thin metal dies
Anyway… Recently, Erin at Scrapbook.com asked me if I would be open to doing an unbiased review and/or tutorial on a particular Umbrella Crafts product. I was happy to do so. I trust Umbrella Crafts products and I’ve used this exact type of product many times with great success. So, while I don’t often agree to create content publicly, without first seeing and experiencing the product I’ll use, it was a SUPER easy decision for those reasons and… a neat little God reason too. To be clear, despite being asked to share something about these dies, my opinion is my own entirely and I am so happy to share what I’ve done with it.
Let me show you the product, so you know what I’m talking about. It’s the Umbrella Crafts Nested Dies. They sent me the Complete Nested Variety Kit, which has all of their 7 shapes at a total of 39 dies nested into those shapes, at various sizes.
Personally, I love products like these that are basic support tools, which allow you to do the creating while they serve your vision… rather than something someone else designed, that I then have to work in to my own ideas. Designs from others are fabulous when you’re needing a “prompt” to get going, but these serve SO many different projects that you really get your money out of them, far before they wear out, or before you lose interest in them. And, if you take care of them, they will last you for years to come.
Essentially, dies provide a fancy, but super easy way to cut nifty shapes. With wafer thin dies like these ones, there is a tiny raised edge on one side of the die, which will cut through paper and other similar thicknesses (or even thicker with other die types).
In its simplest form, you just set your die down with the raised edge facing your paper and sandwich them between plastic plates, before rolling it all through a die cut machine. It will apply pressure to the paper at just the right amount and when it rolls out the other side, you’ll be left with a beautiful cut shape that matches the shape of your die. And… there are dies in just about every shape you can imagine!
Here is a video about the nested dies from Umbrella Crafts, with Rebecca from Scrapbook.com. I worked with her to develop the Inspired Faith online class. She can give you a quick up-close look at the dies and also how they work in a die cutting machine and I’m going to show you how to use these to make a fun little bookmark for your Bible!
Don’t worry, if you don’t have a die cutting machine, you can just use a ruler and scissors to make and cut your own shapes, before putting them together like I’m showing you in this project.
Neat little God story
Until now, I’ve had very a very fun collection of dies, but honestly very few practical ones. About a month and a half ago, I mentioned to myself how I needed a good set of practical nested dies. You know, we all have those conversations with ourselves about the supplies we’d love to have, or that would help us practically. I imagined a set in my mind that was pretty near identical to this Umbrella Crafts nested dies set.
I noted to myself that I would love to not have to pay for them. I felt surprized at myself for wanting them free, since that isn’t my normal frame of mind and it all was a split second moment in my head that quickly got pushed to the back of my mind. Fast forward no more than 1 week from that thought and I get an email from Erin at Scrapbook.com, asking if I would like to have a full nested die set, in return for sharing something with you about them.
I was honestly taken a-back by it. I had not asked God for them. I’d told myself that I wanted them free. And here we are in the midst of the Heaven Is Calling, Bible Art Journaling Challenge series (free by the way), where we are focusing on connecting with a good God. I kinda think God just wanted to prove how cool He is. 😉
God just LOVES to lavish us with the unnecessary, to prove how much He loves us. He LOVES to shower us with His goodness and He LOVES to romance us with gifts we wouldn’t even feel comfortable asking for. He’s just good. Real good. And in silly ways… like with dies. Ha ha
I’ve learned over the years that the more I believe in God’s goodness and His utter care for me personally, the more He showers me with it. If you want more of God’s goodness in your life, I’d encourage you to invite Him to show you His goodness and then make a mental and heart choice to look for it around you in the small ways that eventually grow in size.
Some might call this a coincidence but honestly, I call it a kiss from heaven to shower me with a bit of His pure goodness. And so, I felt rather responsible to say yes to the offer, knowing I’d desired it and it was His romantic gesture. 🙂 The moral of this story I suppose could be that if you are busy, be careful what you desire for, or God may just lavish you with it awesomely. Ha! 😉
I am super excited to share this fun little bookmark project with you! I hope you’ll make a bookmark for your own Bible if you feel inspired by the ideas I share here. So, let’s get started!
How to make a Bible bookmark with Umbrella Crafts dies
When I am deciding on creative ideas, sometimes I start by thinking about a scripture and how I then might capture it’s message creatively. Other times I have an art supply I want to use and wonder how to make it express a Biblical idea. There are a few ways I do this whole “get inspired” thing, and this time, I had these fun Umbrella Crafts nested dies to start with.
I nearly went for a floral theme… perhaps about the fragrance of Christ, or something like that. I could have used the circles as a sun and the scalloped circles behind them as the rays of light. So many options with this nested dies kit. After some consideration, I picked a rectangle that would make a good mini bookmark size, and the 2 smallest plain hearts, to accent things with a love theme. Nice and simple but sweet.
I got my Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine out and replaced the regular platform, with the magnetic platform, (that thing that says “Sizzix”). I didn’t need to, but it works great with keeping these little dies in place. My teal Big Shot was recently discontinued and a new white/grey one came out instead. It is the very identical machine with a new plastic casing. If you buy the new one, you should be able to get the same results I do with my Big Shot. Since, it is essentially the same machine with a different cover.
I chose some light blue Simon Says Stamp cardstock paper for my bookmark base.
Just like you’ll have seen in that video above, I placed my clear plastic “plate” down, then my paper and then my dies down on top with the raised edge facing the paper I wanted to cut. I finished off what we call a “sandwich”, by adding another clear plate to the top, and just started rolling that sandwich through the Big Shot.
When it’s gone through the other side, it rather impressively spits out perfect little shapes for you.
Buying a die cutting machine was a bit of an investment but, I had my family pitch in together for Christmas (while on a great sale!) a few years ago and then started buying dies one set at a time over the months that followed. The machine appears to be on a similar sale right now with the Summer start!
I don’t share a ton about die cutting on my blog, but I love to show you when I can, how to use your dies for neat projects in your Bible. Creating bookmarks with dies is a fantastic idea and so are little tip-in’s.
I did A LOT of research when I was searching for the best die cutting machine to purchase. Out of everything on the market, the Big Shot is the only one which will literally take every type of die from any company. So, it really is the only die cut machine you ever need, unless you want a bigger cut space and then you can get the Big Shot Plus, which I hear is great for dies that cut bigger fabric quilting shapes.
Since I’ve bought my Big Shot, it is now in a newer white/grey design which I love more! But honestly, it’s the same machine so I’m sticking with what I’ve got despite the fact mine was recently discontinued. I’ll link the supplies for you and share the new white/grey Big Shot machine which is in stock.
I did this project while sitting under evening light (sorry for the photo quality!) and just enjoyed watching YouTube while making this. Let’s be honest, you are not the only one who likes to watch YouTube art tutorial videos. 😉
Anyway, after I got finished very gently rolling my paper through my Big Shot to get these shapes, I needed to get them decorated.
I decided to use Archival Ink because although Distress Ink blends well, it reacts with water and I wanted this bookmark to be a little more robust than water based inks are. Once you use a blending foam with Archival Ink, that color is stuck and it needs to be dedicated to that color, but will last for quite a long time. Mine sure have.
I grabbed a mini patterned stencil and used a different color of blue (than the cardstock paper) to accent with.
I then just held everything firmly down with my fingers and rubbed on the color before lifting off the stencil to reveal the pattern!
Everything looks better when it looks framed. So, I grabbed a grey Archival Ink. The trick is to always tap your blending foam onto your ink pad, then off onto a scrap paper, before dragging from off the heart in sweeping circular motions. If that doesn’t make sense, search my blog for “Distress Ink” and watch how I use the blending tool in those videos you find. It is super, SUPER easy and fun!
I did the same thing with all three pieces so everything would look like it belonged together. You can see some darker spots here and there on the rectangle where I pressed a little firmer to get more ink as I was dragging the blending tool across the cardstock paper. It’s good to practice the idea until you get comfortable with how to do it and then go for it! I’m okay with things not looking perfect. It just proved a machine didn’t make it and adds my personal touch to things.
I arranged my hearts in a general area I wanted them and then picked a saying from some Illustrated Faith stickers that said something about love. This is so easy you guys. Anyone can do this and the results are super fun.
As you may have noticed, the sticker was too wide for my bookmark, so I cut some of the words apart and then cut the edges off so it would all look like it was meant to be that way in the first place. It can be our secret. 😉
After I already had the stickers cut and in my hands, I realized I wanted some washi tape at the top as my sort of “tassel”. So, I just did everything with stickers in place and sort of one-handed. I just got some heart washi tape to back up my theme, and tore a piece long enough to go up halfway, up another half inch as a top, and then be folded down over the back.
Once the front part of the washi tape was laid down, I placed the stickers down on top, centered over the washi tape.
I used my Umbrella Crafts tape runner (permanent tape), to cover the back of the hearts and then placed then both either side of the bottom with a tiny bit of each side hanging off the edge.
For some reason, things look more “as they should”, when we let some of our creativity disappear off the edge. Our human eye likes to wonder what we’re missing and it all feels a bit more balanced when we let our objects hang on to an edge somewhere, rather than be hanging out randomly without a visible explanation as to how they should be there. So, I tend to either hang my stuff a little off the edge, or give it an actually “hanger” or some sort of creative reason to be “hanging out in the middle of nowhere”. People often ask me for creative tips that I use and that is a great one which has served me well. So, that is why my hearts are hanging a little off the bookmark. Too much and you’ll lose that they are a heart, but a little missing is good enough.
Anyway, you can see in this photo about how much washi tape I used and how I folded it over on itself.
I cut the edges of the heart off flush with the bookmark edges, and touched up the fresh cut edges, with my grey Archival Ink, so it would all be finished evenly. Then, I used a blue Micron 05 to run a very sketchy and uneven line around the hearts and bookmark edges. When I went around the stickers, the washi tape wanted to resist the Micron ink. So, I let it dry about 15 minutes and then went over that same area again to improve its ability to show up like it does on the rest of the cardstock.
As long as you are patient with Micron ink on washi tape (or leave it off), the rest of this project takes nearly no time and is entirely kid friendly. A great project with your kids! And a great way to chat with them about a Biblical theme during the project.
Isn’t that easy?! And so fun.
In my honest opinion, these Umbrella Crafts nested dies are going to serve me well for years to come. I see they are on a fantastic deal at Scrapbook.com at the time of writing this post. They are the only retailers of this set and they do ship worldwide. You can find similar types of dies elsewhere but I am happy to recommend these after getting some first use out of them. They seem robust, a great size for various projects and generally, I’ve yet to see a product from Umbrella Crafts that isn’t fantastic quality. Here are links to all the products I used in this Bible bookmark project.
Do you make bookmarks for your Bible? Are you thinking of giving this a try? I’d love to hear what sort of themes and ideas you’ve got! I bet making one with a cheat sheet of Bible books would be super neat too! Let’s share bookmark ideas in the comments below!
You are loved x
PS. Don’t forget to go enter the giveaway that is currently running! At the time of this post being published, there are 7 days left! You could win a Journaling Bible Bundle, PLUS qualify for a free printable!
*Bible photographed is the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
*Links take you to my affiliate partners, Dayspring (DS), Scrapbook.com (SB), Amazon (AZ), Simon Says Stamp (SSS), and United Kingdom Suppliers (UK). And, occasionally to other shops when I am not an affiliate of whomever sells the product I am linking to. When you find deals which I’ve recommended through my affiliate partners, I get supported. This has no effect on you and makes a real difference for me. You may view my affiliate and product disclosure for more info on how this works. Thank you, I so appreciate your support, which helps me support your creative journey with God!