Thursday, May 29, 2014

Space Rocket Tutorial

Hello and very welcome to another fun tutorial! I built something again, using my Sizzix dies and embossing folders, a pretty cool rocket. It is sort of a follow up on the Medieval Castle I built last month, another piece of fun home d├ęcor. I love using my dies for things they were not intended for.
I was pretty happy with how the rocket turned out, after having tried quite a few different combinations of dies. This was built from just dies, embossing folders, mat board, foil tape, paint and a few embellishments. It is 11.5 in high and about 5 in wide. The idea was originally my son's, we were reading a book where there was a small paper rocket on a picture and he asked me if I could make a rocket. That was a fun challenge of course! We are busy building a second one, which he will paint instead and can play with; there won't be any metal or small parts. This one is meant as an ornament, since some of the metallic edges might be sharp and it contains small parts. Don't make it as a toy for a small child.

You could use some kind of canister as the body of the rocket, but I wanted to use my Eileen Hull 3-D Blocks/Cubes. The rectangular shape also made it easier to do what I was planning with the window. Die cut six pieces of the largest block on the die, which is enough to make three blocks. I used mat board, you can also use chipboard.

The rocket needed a window of course and I die cut it with the smallest Tim Holtz Sized Circles, using masking tape to hold it in place. If you want to you can make more than one window.

I was thinking of using acetate for the window, but wanted something looking more dimensional and like the real thing. The answer was a piece of plastic packaging, formerly housing Tim Holtz Idea-ology Sprocket Gears. I knew I was saving it for a reason! I attached it with mini staples, to make sure it wouldn't fall into the rocket if someone pressed on it.

The inside of the room where the window is was painted silver.

I like to add life and often photos to my projects and the rocket needed an astronaut to fly it. I thought this photo from a few years back of my son sitting in a basket worked well. I cut him out.

Behind the photo, I placed a piece of foam, for dimension. You can also use cork. This is the foam that comes with Sizzix embossing folders, just cut a little smaller. Since he is weightless, I wanted it to look like he was floating.

Assemble the three blocks with strong adhesive and glue them together. I didn't want the window right at the top, so I placed that block in the middle.

First I wasn't sure how to do the fins of the rocket, but after searching for a good shape among my dies, I picked Tim Holtz Sized Arches - the largest of the three. Die cut twice from mat board and cut both in half.

Fold two pieces of cardstock and glue to each side of the fins, forming flaps. Later I cut the fins a little shorter, so that it wouldn't go over the window.

I wanted the rocket to be metallic and embossing foil tape is a favourite technique of mine. For the fins I used the Diamond Plate embossing folder. Adhere to the fin, and trim off the excess. Repeat on all sides. This also covers up the flaps.

For the body of the rocket, I used the Riveted Metal folder.

Die cut the window from a piece of embossed foil tape.

Carefully position the hole over the window and press down the rest of the tape, a little at a time. Don't worry if it wrinkles a bit.

Before continuing with the rest of the rocket, I glued the fins to the body, so that I could cover up those flaps with the foil tape. Cover the whole rocket with tape.

Now, what to do with the roof? After trying a few different dies, I thought that the roof for Susan's Garden Rounded Birdhouse worked the best. Die cut three times from chipboard. If you use the same size blocks as I did, you need to cut off one of the sections, along the score-line.
Cut three pieces of cardstock to attach the roof sections together.

For the roof, I used a Starry Night folder. You could also repeat the Diamond Plate (actually I did that first and then changed my mind and made a new roof).  

Paint the rocket body with Tumbled Glass and Evergreen Bough, working one section at a time. Before the paint dries, wipe almost all of it off with a cloth.

Paint the rocket and fins with Black Soot, one side at a time. Wipe most of the paint off with a cloth, before it dries.

Repeat on all the sides of the rocket, the roof and the little roof cap. Leave as much as the paint as you like. 

Before gluing the roof to the rocket, I attached some Idea-ology gears and numbers, using brads. This was a really hard project to photograph, with all the shiny parts.

Glue the cap on top of the roof. The gears were roughened up with paint before adhering to the roof.
Ready for take-off! It is pretty dark inside the window, but it should be dark in space and it is fun to use a flash light to see the little astronaut.
I printed a sentiment and cut into word strips. I also used a Word Band, with black paint rubbed into the word. Mirrored stars also seemed to fit well.
I was planning to place the arrow horizontally, but for Anton it was self-evident that it had to point up, since that was where the rocket would fly.

The texture of the embossed tape is really cool. He got such a surprise when the rocket had magically overnight turned from white mat board to metallic.  

You can use the same embossing folder all over, but I liked the variety.
From the back. You can add more windows and embellishments if you want to. For another construction project, check out my Grungy Tall Houses Tutorial

The happy recipient, who also made sure that the rocket was painted underneath. He is looking forward to painting and stamping his own rocket (there will be no metal on that one), and also wants pretend fire to come out from it, let's see how we can figure that out.
Thank you for looking at this long post!
Happy crafting!!
Surfaces: Sizzix Little Sizzles Mat Board; Ranger Foil Tape Sheets
Paint: Distress Paint: Black Soot, Tumbled Glass, Evergreen Bough
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Sprocket Gears, Number Brads, Mirrored Stars, Long Fasteners, Adornment Arrows, Mini Fasteners, Observations Word Bands, Mini Gears


  1. Wow,your little boy must be so happy he has such a creative mum : )


  2. This is crazy awesome! I love what you've made here. If my boys were smaller I'd be running to my craft room!

  3. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, Anna-Karin you are the queen of the die cut, you put me to shame with your constructions, I love them all. This is beyond inspired I love it. Tracy x

  4. OMG you are a total GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. this is so stunning ..... amazing work. i love it xxx

  6. that is absolutely fabulous!!

  7. Wow! Gosh you're clever... love this rocket!!

  8. this is awesome Anna Karin, just stunning. Would never have come up with this in a million years. So very clever.

  9. Fabulous!
    Oh my! I love this so much!
    Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!

  10. What an imagination you have! Your rocket is fabulous! Your son must think you can do anything. He looks so pleased.

  11. I know that I commented previously, but I showed this to my husband, who happens to be an aerospace engineer, and he thought that this was the coolest project ever. I'm sure he'll be showing this to his NASA friends now too. :)

  12. Honestly! You amaze me with your creativity, Anna-Karin... this is fantastic!

  13. My 2 boys are grown but they would still love this! It is too cool! Clever lady you are!!

  14. Truly amazing Anna-Karin, and soooo much patience to work it all out. I love it. You are amazing.

  15. I thought your castle was fabulous but this is totally a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! I love 3D projects and you have taken 3D to the next level with this stunner. I love how your creative mind works and I adore the rocket - just wonderful! Anne x

  16. That is just the cutest project to make for a little boy. You will have to share his too, please when he gets it done.
    Such a clever way to display a cute photo of your adorable little guy. It has such a Wallace and Gromit sort of look to it. You could be doing props for children's books and movies with all your imaginative ideas!
    Thanks for sharing your creative talents and the excellent tutorial as well. :)

  17. As I said before

    3...2..1..Blast off AMAZING!

  18. Super, super, super! Awesome project!

  19. Wow!!! Super awesome project and thank you for sharing the process!!
    Love it!! ox


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Happy Crafting!