Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tin Dresden Flower


I FINALLY get to post about my tin flower!!!!  This has been something I have wanted to make for almost a year now, ever since I saw fellow demonstrator (and now Facebook friend) Laura Barkman post a picture of HER tin flower on her page.



Favorite.  Project.  EVER!

Let's see it again!

Let's squeal and jump and clap again!

Isn't it super fantastic amazing????

SUCH a long process to get this little beauty on my fence.  MAN!

Ok - so backstory (you know how I like my backstories ….)

Last July I saw this beautiful flower posted on Laura's FB wall …
I totally FREAKED, I loved it so much! I messaged her for details on how she made it.  In a nut shell she made it with tin flashing and our (retired) Dresden Big Shot Die.  Naturally - one of the very few dies I DIDN'T own …. and the search for a Dresden Die began!

Now before I go any further I want to give full (and long) credit where credit is due.  

I CASED the project from Laura Williams Barkman in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (
Laura CASED the project tom Connie Collins in Nashville, Tennessee, USA (
Connie got the inspiration from Diana Gibbs in Arizona (but is a Canadian gal!) (
Diana got her inspiration from Linda Barnes in Garland Texas, USA (

I LOVE how we all inspire each other … and how we (rightfully!) give credit where credit is due.  Good, common courtesy!

Right - back to my story.  I searched high and low for a Dresden die locally - Kijiji, ebay, Craig's list, garage sales, Facebook … I DID find some on ebay alas they were all located in the USA.  Yes, they were generally n the $25 price range but when you factor in the icky dollar exchange rate, the $25'ish in shipping and the possibly $20+ customs fee when it got here the price would be closer to $85!  Ya no.  Wasn't gunna pay that no matter HOW badly I wanted it.  The search continued.  Every month or so I'd search again … with the same results.  Of course the whole thing made me a) more determined and b) more want-y … wanty?  Sure!  New verb.  I wanted it really, really badly … wanty!  (My blog - I get to make up words if I wanty to *lol*  I crack me up … but I digress …)

Lets fast forward 9 months … it was now April, 2016.  I was doing my monthly Dresden Die search and was (once again) wondering why shipping within the States was only $5 but a little further north and it's $25 … plus duty.  Oh …. if only I knew someone in the states … who was coming to Canada … if THAT were the case I could ship it to them and they could bring it to me for free.  Oh …. if only … wait a minute!  I DID have a friend in the States … and she WAS coming to Canada in just a few weeks!  ** insert clouds parting, sun shining down and angels singing "ahhhhhhhhhhh" here **.  Yes! My prayers had been answered!  My Mom's BFF from when she was in HIGH SCHOOL loves in Texas … and was coming up to Winnipeg (where her and Mom are from) for a birthday … and my Mom was going to meet her there.  I contacted her and "absolutely!" she was HAPPY or me to order the die, ship to her, she would bring it Winnipeg, give it to Mom and Mom would bring back to me, here in Edmonton.  The BEST best part?  It only cost me $17 Canadian.  I was absolutely TICKLED and SOOOOO excited!

I got my die mid May.  I researched Connie's tutorial on how to make them, picked up all the necessary supplies and here we are today - June 12, 2016 and my tin flower is hanging on my fence.  One down, four to go!

Like my story so far?  How can you not?  It's like your sitting here talking with me, right?  hee hee - ya, I know … I gotta get out more!

OK - so let's get down to the nuts and bolts of this bad boy.  I'll first give you the link to Connie's tutorial that I used.  Access that here.  Thank you Connie for your details and info - they were bang on!

Now - Here is MY tutorial, tips, tricks and "what-I-did"s …

First up - supplies

I had Craig pick me up a roll of tin flashing from Home Depot.  If memory serves it was about $15 for the roll, which was 10" wide x 12" long.  I have picked up a second roll - this one is 10" x 18" for $20.  I wanted to try this size as the piece I need to cut are 6" x 9" … might get more with this size.  From the original roll I had all the pieces I needed to make TWO complete flowers (despite cutting the wrong size pieces for the second one and wasting some tin.  Argh!  Oh - you find the tin flashing in the roofing aisle (aisle 21in my hood!)

To CUT the tin I started off just using my (retired) Craft and Rubber Scissors.  They worked ok. Not gunna lie, I was slightly terrified I was going to slice my hand open on the tin.  Didn't happen though!

Just a note on the tin - it is only about as thick as a tin can but, yes, it can be very sharp when you are cutting it so be careful!

After cutting 12 pieces of 9" x 6" tin for my petals I asked Craig if he had any tin snips.  He did.  That made cutting a bit easier so that is what I will use from now on.

So, as I said, I cut 12 pieces 9" x 6", which is the size of the Dresden Die.  You get two petals per - so once I ran them all through the Big shot I had 24 petals.  12 large and 12 smaller.  This is what the Dresden Die looks like, if you aren't familiar with it …

Once I cut my pieces I ran each one through the Big Shot with 12 different embossing folders.  I think all but two were retired.  I was shocked how well and easily the tin embossed!  It really was no different than embossing paper.  No, the large petals don't fit 100% in the folder but that's ok - you glue them at the bottom of each petal and the large petals are covered by the smaller petals so no one will see the un-embossed portion.  Here are my pieces ...
I headed to "the *M* place, 50% off coupon in hand, and bought myself a can of Krylon spray paint.  It is good for a wide variety of materials (metal included) and for outdoor.  They are (I think) $12.99 a can … but of course with coupon is $7.  I'm going to check out paints at Home Depot next trip out.  I've exhausted all the colours I like at Michaels and Craig checked - Home Depot has a few outdoor brands that will work so I want to check the colours they have.  So far (from Michaels) I have the red, yellow and orange seen here and I bought a Tempting Turquoise-type colour.  I love the red - it's close to Cherry Cobbler.  Love the yellow - Like the old Yo-yo Yellow but kinda hate the orange.  It LOOKED really bright in the store but it really is a Pumpkin Pie.  I LIKE Pumpkin Pie but I wanted really vivid, bright colours and the orange is too "muddy" for my liking.
I liked the coverage of the red.  It took two coats … here for the odd piece I missed. The yellow took three or more coats.  I really don't like how that one went on.  It took much longer and, to get the coverage I wanted, I had to hold the can much closer to the petal … and then it was too close and the pain pooled on some.  Definitely a higher-maintenance colour!

Once the pieces were dry (I let them sit in the kitchen overnight) I needed to glue them all together.  This step I was dreading.

I started by laying them out with the spacing I wanted.  I then traced the pieces to form a template (anticipating I will be making dozens more of these!)
I then added my glue.  Per Connie and Laura's recommendation I used an industrial strength glue I got at Michael's - E6000.  Again, with a coupon in hand (this is partially why it takes 3 weeks to make one of these flowers … you need to gather three or four coupons and make the trek to Michales as many times *lol).  This glue is NOT cheap!  I bought the largest bottle they had.  It's $18.99 before the coupon.  Here it is ..

Once my petals were arranged as I wanted them I ran a bead of glue all around the bottom of the petals … see the glossy circular glue-ring?)  …

Then I attached a Scalloped Circle.  Oh!  Guess I forgo to mention the scalloped Circle.  Yes - back when I was cutting out the petals I also cut out three scalloped circles (using the retired Scallop Circle Die) …

… and I cut one 3 1/2" circle using the (retired) 3 1/2" circle die (Can't find a picture - is the same as above … but not scalloped … and 3 1/2" big *lol* - there I go cracking myself up again …)

So …. I attached the scalloped circle piece to the glued petals ...
… and added a "weight" to it while it dried.  Now - in my defence - I don't typically keep bottles of booze in my craft room (chocolate, yes - booze, no) … I was assembling this on my husband's bar … and of course the only heavy weights I had nearby were the full bottles of liquor *lol*.  Use what y'uv got, right???

I wanted to ensure a REALLY good seal … so ….
I let the glue set for 2 days.  Yes, you need it.  The glue is still tacky and a wee bit soft if you don't do it 2-3 days.

Next up I added a generous amount of glue for the top, smaller petals ...
… and assembled ...
I didn't bother to wait 2 days for it to dry … I just added the second scalloped circle to the top.  I used LOTS of glue ...
… attached ….
Added glue to the 3 1/2" circle … 9notice I didn't glue too close to the edge as I didn't want the gel seeping out ...
… and added LOTS of weights …. (*lol*)
I DID have to wait 3 days (72 hours)for the glue to completely dry and harden.

Naturally I neglected to take pictures of the next step … but not really needed.  When I picked up the finished project I wanted to make sure those large back petals were REALLY secure.  If you recall from the first picture, just the lower tips of each petal were glued to the scalloped circle …
I wanted something sturdier … so I added the third scalloped circle to the BACK of the project (if you pulled up Connie's tutorial you'll not she only cut two scalloped circles - I recommend the three).  I also added three pop tabs for hanging …
(eek!  Outdoor 8:00 pm lighting!)

Craig threaded some wire through the two lower pop tabs (yes, just take the off your empty pop/beer cans).  I added three tabs as I wasn't sure the best way to hang them - At first I thought just one tab, in the middle, to be hung by one nail … but later thought it would be better to spread out the weight of the finished flower amongst two tabs and a wire … and that's what we went with in the end.

So there you have it.  10 months + 2 weeks and $50 later I have my flower.  

Next up … a yellow one … and a blue one … and two more yet-to-be-determined-colours … and then I will have 5 on my fence making my yard even more colourful than it already is (thanks to my husband with a very green thumb!)  Tin flowers are my contribution … maybe these ones I won't kill *lol*

Phew!   That was a looooooooong post.  Time to snuggle with the girls over a show before bedtime.  Pop in again soon - have a stampy week!




  1. Thanks for the great info. Your flower is wonderful and your post delightful. I like your conversational style.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Beth - I hope you found it helpful! (and congratulations on making it to the end of my longest post EVER! *lol*)
      What a lovely compliment - I'm so glad you like my style. I've been told I can hold a conversation in an empty room - guess this proves it *lol*
      Have yourself a stampy day - and let me know if you make the project - I'd love to see your version!