Saturday, October 13, 2018

Solstice Sledding by Betsy Skagen

Chubby-cheeked sledders in a glistening snow-covered countryside is my nod to the December 21 Winter's Solstice. Learn how to craft this miniature vintage holiday scene by following the step-by-step tutorial.


I was inspired to make this project after devising a new way to make miniature icicles. I know I will craft many more icicles with this technique in the future. To make your own icicles, cut some clear packaging (I used packaging from a Sizzix die) into small sheets of plastic.

Drop clear embossing ink (the kind that is used to re-ink embossing pads) near the top edge of the plastic.
Repeatedly tap the plastic onto a hard surface to encourage the ink to drip downward. You can see my progress with a couple stubborn drips in the picture below.
Cover the drips with clear embossing powder and activate with a heat gun. Don't worry if the heat causes the plastic to bend or the drips to bubble--this will add texture. After it cools, dab the icicles with an embossing stamp pad. Add a dusting of sprinkle silver embossing powder and again activate with a heat gun. Let this sit for awhile to completely harden then cut out each individual drip. Voila--icicles!!
Set aside the icicles to harden. Remove the base of a small bottle brush tree. Lightly brush Icicle Stickles over the tree and also set this aside to dry.

Next assemble the Mini House Shadowbox using a strong adhesive. I have to say I adore these mini houses--I use them all the time in a gazillion different types of mixed media and craft projects.

Leave the roof unattached for now. Cover all the pieces of the house with gesso.

Next paint the body of the house with a light blue matte acrylic and the roof with white acrylic.
Use a strong adhesive to attach the clock key and four small feet pieces (I believe the technical name is found-hardware-thingy-ma-bobs).

Cut out the image of the babies on the sled from Paper Calliope's Christmas Children #1, leaving a little extra cardstock tab on the bottom. Set aside.

Trim the bottle brush tree so that the back side is flat.
Use a small knife to spread Deco Art Snow-Tex on the base of the house. Sprinkle with Diamond Dust.
Add a strong adhesive to the bottom of the tree and the legs of the deer and insert them into the snow.
Place some blue bling on the interior back of the box.
Before the snow dries, add a strong adhesive to the bottom tab of the sledding babies and also insert them into the snow.

Adhere the roof to the house and then adhere the icicles to the roof.
Next give your metal objects--including the clock key, a metal star and feet pieces--a wash of white paint diluted with water.
Add Snow-Tex and Diamond Dust to the roof of your house. Also add the Snow-Tex and Diamond Dust to the top of the metal star. Once the snow dries, adhere the star to the top of the house.

 After the snow dries, snip the icicles so that the ends are less rounded.

Finish your miniature winter scene by adding brown ink to the edge of a 21 bingo token. Glue bits of pine pipe cleaner, the bingo token and tiny blue beads onto the bottom edge of the house. To protect your Solstice art, lightly spray it with matte enamel.  
Hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and if you live in a colder climate get outside and enjoy the fall colors before everything turns to white! -Betsy

Great Stuff

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Mini House Shadowbox 3
Paper Calliope Christmas Children #1
Clear plastic packaging
Embossing Ink
Embossing powder in clear and silver
White and light blue acrylic paint
Blue bling
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Metal Stars
Tim Holtz Clock keys
Small metal hardware for feet (from personal stash)
Deco Art Snow-Tex
Diamond Dust
Pine stems pipe cleaner
Matte enamel
Miniature blue beads (from personal stash)
Bingo marker (from personal stash)
Tiny pinecone (from personal stash)


  1. So cute - I love it. I will have to try making the icicles.

    1. Thank you Rhonda. I think you're will be very happy with the results.

  2. This is fantastic! I love the DIY icicles. They are so realistic and look like a cinch to make. Fabulous idea. TFS