Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nautical Blueprints Caddy Tutorial

Hello everyone!! Today I have another fun tutorial to share, made for this month's Eileen Hull Art with Heart challenge, Summer Celebrations. I needed more storage for markers, paint brushes and leftover strips of papers and since I love to use my Sizzix dies to make practical items, I made a little caddy. 
Dies are so versatile and can be used for many different things. Don't be fooled by the packaging of a die, which will normally only show one way of using it. I used only one die to make this project, namely Eileen's Coupon/Mini Shopping Bag. This is a great example of a versatile die. I have made little bags with it too, you can find one of them in this tutorial - my son now uses it to store his coins and takes it along to the shop. I used Tim Holtz Nautical Blueprints stamps to give my caddy a summer feel.
For more storage ideas with Eileen's dies have a look at my Chest of Drawers, Home Caddy and Pen Holder.
Start by die cutting four shopping bags from cream mat board, or chipboard. This is an XL die, so you need the extended cutting pads. Remember that the XL dies fit perfectly through your Big Shot or Vagabond, they are just longer than the Bigz dies, not wider.

Assemble three of the bags.

Before assembling the fourth bag, cut it a little shorter, measuring the base of the other three stacked in front of each other. Mine was 10.1 cm (just under 4 inches).

Glue the three bags together and place them under a heavy book.

Glue the shorter bag under the other three, as you can see here, to create a horizontal compartment. Again, place under a heavy book.

Measure the back and the sides of the caddy, and cut mat board pieces to cover the joints and give you a flat surface to work on. Mine were: 10.1 x 15 cm (about 4 x 5.9 in), for the side pieces and 7.2 x 15 cm for the back (3.8 x 5.9 in). Measure yours first, since it might vary depending on the thickness of the material you use.

Coat all the sides with gesso.

Wrap tissue tape around all the edges. I painted the edges with multi medium first, to make sure the tape was firmly stuck down.

Paint with Antique Linen.

Paint with Tumbled Glass and Pumice Stone.

Stamp images and sentiments on tissue paper - or directly on your project. Since this is dimensional, it is hard to stamp on, and to make sure I didn't mess it up, I used the tissue paper technique instead. For more inspiration check out this and this project. I forgot to take a photo of the stamped tissue paper. Paint gloss multi-medium where the tissue will go, place the stamped tissue paper on top, smooth down with a top coat of multi medium. I covered the whole caddy with multi medium, on the inside too, to make it more durable.

Paint the images, using Distress Paints.

Stamp here and there with a crackle stamp. Hold the cling stamp in your hand instead of mounting it on an acrylic block, for a more random look. I also used a marker to bring back some of the lines on the stamped images that had been covered with paint.

For a sandy feeling, Distress Embossing Powder was perfect. Remember to shake the jar first. Apply embossing ink, sprinkle with powder, melt with a heat gun (taking care not to bubble the paint) and when cool, rub off the release crystals.

Dry brush Walnut Stain here and there, especially on the edges. Add a shadow to the images with the same paint, to make them look more dimensional.

Mix a little Walnut Stain and Pumice Stone into Wendy Vecchi's White Embossing Paste. Smear through a burlap stencil here and there.

Finally, splatter a little bit of Walnut Stain paint on the caddy.
I just love to see how a plain surface can be almost magically altered with paint, ink, stamps and stencils. The only embellishments I added are some Tim Holtz Idea-ology pieces, which were altered with paint. Now your caddy is ready to be filled. In the lower shelf you could add markers that should be stored flat, or maybe a favourite ink pad. The Archival Inks were a tiny bit too wide and didn't fit, otherwise my Jet Black ink would have been stored here.
The word band was attached with brads, to make sure it was stuck.

I painted a little bit on top of the embossing powder too, to make it blend in more with the background. It has a great sandy texture.
I really like the effect of the crackle stamped here and there. The brown shadows of the star fish makes it look more dimensional. 

The clock, gear and game spinner were all altered with Distress Paint. When dry, I sanded them slightly.

I used some of my favourite quote stamps on this caddy, so that I can see them every day. Little notes or other types of papers can be temporary held in place with the hinge clip.
Starfish aren't blue in real life, but no need to always stick to the true colours of things. Use other stamps and colours for a completely different look.
On the other side, you'll find the shell blueprint. Did you notice that you can't spot the tissue paper at all? Pretty cool. 
I used a swivel clasp as another little storage idea, for embellishments as I did here with gears and a mini hanger, or maybe for tiny little tags. 
It is a little tricky getting the jump ring onto the hitch fastener since it just fits. I used two pliers.
The back of the caddy. I like that I can move the caddy around on my desk, to see different sides, so it doubles as storage and home d├ęcor.
Here and there you can see the tissue tape through the layers of paint and ink and it also helped to cover up all the joints.  

Some more Idea-ology embellishments are hanging here waiting to be used on another project.

Here you can see the three compartments from the top. If you need a large caddy, you can easily add more compartments.  

Without anything inside, the caddy looks like this. Here you can also see the tissue tape at the top of each storage compartment.
Thank you for looking at this tutorial! I hope it inspired you to try to make some functional storage items with your dies. Remember to join us in the challenge, there is a great prize to be won.
Happy crafting!!
Stamps: Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz: Nautical Blueprints, Merchantile, Cracks and Specks, Going Somewhere, Stuff to Say
Ink: Ranger Archival Ink Jet Black; Ranger Emboss-It Dabber
Paint: Distress Paint: Antique Linen, Pumice Stone, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Peacock Feathers, Walnut Stain
Embossing powder: Distress Embossing Powder: Antique Linen
Stencil: Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous: Burlap
Medium: Ranger Gloss Multi-Medium; Ranger Dina Wakley White Gesso; Wendy Vecchi Stampers Anonymous: White Embossing Paste
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Game Spinners, Observations Word Bands, Symphony Tissue Tape, Sprocket Gears, Long Fasteners, Hitch Fasteners, Hinge Clips, Swivel Clasps, Timepieces


  1. Fantastic Anna-Karin , I love your design and colours along with the touch of texture. Tracy x

  2. Fabulous project Anna-Karin, I love this one!

  3. This is not just a fantastic project AK but also an amazing and inspiring tutorial! Thanks for the inspiration :)


  4. This is such a fantastic way to use the bag die Anna Karin, I love the aged look your caddy now has, the colours are fabulous and really suit the blueprint stamps so well! Your tutorial is excellent too, you nver fail to impress! Anne x

  5. I am drooling, that is such a gorgeous make. Elizabeth x

  6. Totally awesome - don't have the die but you've given me an idea!! Shall have fun experimenting this week!

  7. Incredible Anna-Karin. I'd love to spend a day inside your imagination as it must be one of the most inspiring places to be ever! LOVE the way you add that painted/textured feel and add clean yet grungy stamping. Jenny x

  8. I love this so much,you are a genius!


  9. this is awesome - the tutorial is fabulous - so very clever - I love it xx

  10. What a transformation. Clever project. The layers and textures are amazing. Thanks for the reminder on stamping on tissue. Thanks.

  11. Anna-Karin, Thank you for tutorial. As of yet I have been unsuccessful at using that crackle stamp. I think you used it perfectly - total genius using it only in small random bits. Thanks for the great tip!

  12. Anna-Karin your creativity know no bounds and never fails to amaze me. I don't know how you even think up these things but I am so glad that you do. This is a true work of art and something that anyone would love to have on their craft table. I love this.

  13. Supersnyggt!

  14. Love the project, just fabulous!

  15. Anna-Karin you are so very good at everything you do! This project is perfect in every way! Great tutorial, beautiful and it even serves a purpose! Thanks for creating with my dies!

  16. Oh my goodness this is awesome, I love, love, love it!!

  17. Wonderful project. Great decoration. Beautiful Colors.
    Thanks for your explanation and for sharing Anneke.

  18. I really love this project AK and you have explained the steps so well, I am definitley inspired to have a go - Thank you for sharing. Mo x

  19. Your art just gets better and better! LOVE all of this. :)

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  21. What a spectacular project! Holy cow! Every inch of it is just incredible! Thanks so much for the tutorial! :)

  22. awesomeness!!!! I had missed seeing this project. I love it!


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