Tuesday 13 January 2015

Pillow Box Owl Step-by-Step Tutorial

This is a step-by-step photo tutorial for how to create a cute pillow box owl using the Tonic Studio Dies.  At the bottom of this blogpost, you will find a downloadable PDF of these instructions.
Step 1 - Die Cut your Cardstock
First of all, you will need the following dies (all by Tonic Studios, shown in picture above left)
  1. smallest layering circle die
  2. smallest layering scallop circle die
  3. second smallest layering circle die
  4. smallest love arches die (the heart)
  5. pillow box die
You will also need the following pieces of card stock:
  1. Brown textured cardstock cut to 9.5cm x 20.5cm, 2 pieces of 3.5cm x 8cm and 2 pieces cut to 3.5cm x 3.5cm
  2. Black textured cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 3cm x 3cm
  3. White textured cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 4cm x 4cm
  4. Watch the Birdy double-sided patterned cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 3cm x 20.3cm
Cut out the following (shown in picture above right)
    A. The complete pillow box die from brown card 
    B. 2 sets of the central eclipse shape from brown card
    C. 2 sets of hearts from brown card
    D. 2 sets of second smallest layering circle die from white card
    E. 2 sets of smallest layering circle die from black card
    F. 6 sets of smallest layering circle from one side of patterned card and 6 sets of smallest              layering scallop circle from other side of patterned card

Step 2 - Trim the Wings, Score the Beak and Shape the "Feathers"

You may be wondering why I made you die-cut two pieces of brown card from the central eclipse section of the pillow box die.  You are going to use these pieces to make the owl wings! Using a pair of scissors, carefully snip around the perforated edge of the eclipse to reveal a perfect wing shape.  For a really professional finish, lightly rub a piece of fine sandpaper around the edge to remove any nibs left behind after trimming.

You are also going to convert one of the brown cardstock hearts into the owl's beak.  To do this, score a T-shape on the back of the heart, running vertically from centre top-to-bottom and then across the heart to form a "T".  Fold the heart along your score lines.

Finally, in terms of preparation:
  • Fold and shape the pillow box die cut, but do not stick together
  • Stick the smaller black circles slightly offset onto the white circles and add the googly eyes
  • Curl the patterned scallop circles by running them over a boning tool
  • Cut 2 of the patterned circles in half, then curl all of the patterned circles with the boning tool

Step 3 - Assemble the Owl

Starting at the bottom of the front of the pillow box shape, apply a small blob of glue to the back of the point of the un-scored heart, and stick this to the middle bottom of the pillow box die cut (as shown above left).  These are the owl's "feet" and help ensure you can stand your owl upright once assembled. Adhere the top edge only of three of the small scalloped patterned circles in a row along the bottom of the front of the pillow box shape (as shown above left).  For even spacing, I find it easiest to place the middle circle first, and then add the other two on either side.  

Next, again working from the middle out, apply the next row, this time with plain-edge circles, and offsetting them from the row below.  This means that you will need two of the half circles, one at each end, to complete the row (as shown above middle).

Repeat another layer of scallop circles.

For the final row, adhere the two full circles into place.  Then glue the beak into place as shown (above left photo).  Finally, glue the wings into place and add the final two half circles to finish the final row of "feathers" (above right photo).
Next, apply glue to the bottom half of the back of the eyes and stick into place.  Set the owl aside for 5-10 mins for the glue to dry and firm up.  Finally, glue the sides of the pillow box together and tuck down the top flaps.  Once dry, stand your owl up and admire your handiwork! 
Please do let me know if this tutorial has been useful, or if you need any clarification on my description or any of the steps.

Here's a PDF version of this Pillow Box Owl Tutorial

Enjoy your dies and happy crafting!

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  1. Happy New Year. Love it! Its so different. I didn't realise that Tonic has a pillow box die. Unfortunately I have a few Tonic dies but none of these. Will have to add them to my wish list.

  2. Hiya Dips, a fantastic tutorial, looks like you've put a lot of time and care into this project. I don't have any tonic dies but I love how you've used these.

  3. He's brilliant, thanks for sharing!

  4. This owl looks brilliant and thanks for sharing the instructions :D Thanks for joining in my Creative Friday Link Party :D

  5. This is such a clever project with great instructions. I cannot wait to get my hands on the pillow box die and the square dies (I am already 'stalking' the Crafty Devils website again LOL).
    Heike xx

  6. This is one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. I absolutely love owls. I don't have the tonic die but I think I have a pillow box template somewhere. Looking forward to a play sometime soon. Thanks for the tutorial, you must have put a lot of time into that x

  7. Great use of your dies, I do love owls xxx
    Hoppin on over from Do Crafts x

  8. just hopping from DC...wowee! this is amazng! I have a cousin who adores owls..think I will have to try this one fore her! thanks :) x vic x

  9. I love this owl, thanks so much for sharing it with us

  10. great tutorial for a fab owl
    Linda x

  11. Fantastic tutorial, thank you for taking the time to post and what a wonderful little owl, its gorgeous x

  12. Fabulous owl,love the P.paper and great tutorial
    Carol x


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