Archive for the ‘tutorials’ Category

In my quest to paint, sand, and alter nearly any surface I finally turned to my blue iphone case, one of the those hard plastic clam shell type cases in an ugly blue color. Okay the color wasn’t horrible but it certainly wasn’t as cute as the pink one that it replaced. *note

First I took a sanding block and gave the whole thing a light sanding to help the gesso stick better, then I covered it in gesso and let it dry.

Next, I decided to make a quirky house with a tree out of scraps of paper. I drew the shapes by hand, cut out and glued on using modge podge.

Once I had the scene set, I painted the background sky, and added paint to all of the paper pieces to soften them up a bit. After the paint dried I added clear glitter paint because everything is better with glitter! For the front of the clam shell I painted it bright fuchsia, added some of the book pages to it and glitter.

After everything dried, I sprayed a few coats of matte clear coat. I’ve been carrying it in my pocket and purse for over a month and I’m very happy with how it’s held up.
This makes me very happy 🙂


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So, my sweet little babies are turning 4 soon. And it just breaks my heart to see how fast the time has gone since they were my little 5 lb wonders! But the show goes on, I just had to a momma moment.
This year will be our first party with their friends from preschool and should be interesting! I’m hoping the weather is nice enough we can play outside!
So I asked (silly me) what we wanted for a party. My sweet girl wanted hello kitty, and my little guy wanted monster trucks. We are not having two parties, one party with all their classmates.
Thanks to my latest version of photoshop from my very sweet hubby, and google image searches I found a few images to “borrow”. The girls in the class will get hello kitty and the boys will get monster trucks. With twins, everything has come in twos, and I didn’t want their friends’ parents to feel like they had to get two gifts. Make sense?
I know I could buy nearly everything but as a creative momma I really couldn’t do it. I may change that attitude when I attempt to make a pinnata. (spelling on that word??)

First the invites:

Then the outside

Pretty simple huh? Here’s what I did:
-open PSE create a new canvas 3×5 in, added the text in separate boxes so I could move and resize individually
-add my borrowed images, used the eraser tool to clean up images.
-created my own cupcake background using the cupcake shape
-merge all layers or flatten image, and add to a new 8.5×11 in canvas. I fit three to a sheet
-print, trim down to 2 3/4 x 4 1/4 in
-cut cardstock 6 x 4 1/2 in, score at 3 in, adhere to card

Now the Cupcake favors! Again, I could buy something but this wasn’t too hard to do either!

-first I decided the size I wanted to punch each image. I have a 1 3/8 circle punch that I can layer with other punches
-Open a new canvas, 8.5×11 in. And went into the basic shape menu, selected a circle, the size I wanted, and copied a bunch of these on the screen to see how they fit.

-Next I copied my image and pasted it onto the document with the black circles. This way I could use the shape as a template to re-size the image.
-Once my shape is the right size, I deleted the black circles and duplicated the layer that had the shape so I kept my re-sizing. Then filled the page.
-Print and punch out with small circle punch and layer

I need to find flat toothpicks, but these seem to be holding up just fine. The design repeats on both sides to hold the toothpick.

Actually pretty easy. The rest of the decor is lots of colors of balloons and streamers. I might make some of these coffee filter flowers. Don’t they look fun?
But first I need to see about a hello kitty and monster truck wheel pinanta. I’ll post my results later!

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Traditional photo cubes are a fun way to display family photos outside of a picture frame. Here’s a new version I created as a Valentine/spring decoration. You start with 2 in wooden cube.

Wooden children’s building blocks would work and it would be fun to use the letters on the blocks for your project. But if you’d like a smooth surface you have a couple of different options. You can buy wood cubes at your local craft store for a 2-3$. But this can get a little expensive once you decide how many you need if spelling a word such as “love” or “family”. The second option is going to your local hardware/home improvement store and buying a 2 in log. These hardwood logs are under 10$ and come in varying lengths and cut your own 2 in cubes. Many stores will make the cuts for you for a small fee, this varies by store.

1) Cover the cubes with paper using either a liquid adhesive such as Tombow or Modge Podge. You can also use acrylic paint just keep it mind it may take 2-3 coats to get full coverage.
2) Determine the top of the cube, and make a hole in the top of the cube to hold your wire. I used an awl and hammer to make a hole that went 1/4th of the way through the top.
3) Take a 7 in piece of stiff wire, wrap one end three times around a pencil to make a swirl. You can also add other bends or loops along the wire just make sure you have a straight piece coming up from the bottom.
4) Place a drop of glue in the hole in your cube, then press the straight end of the wire into the hole. I used the same liquid adhesive as I used for the paper instead of wood glue because it wouldn’t swell much and would dry clear.

5) For the front of the cubes I used embossed chipboard letters with Chocolate Chip craft ink and embossing powder to spell “love”. These were adhered with the liquid Tombow and punched hearts were added.
6) Next create the photo frame layers using paper punches. Punch a hole in the top of the scallop, thread with thread, string, or ribbon. Hang these from the swirls.

You can also add pictures to the sides of the cubes as well.

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This is a great project because it’s an easy way to recycle a candy tin, fairly quick, uses scraps and other little bits, and is adaptable to just about any theme you’d like.

Supplies: Altoids tin (or similar)
10 photos, corner rounder, paper punches, card stock, patterned paper scraps, paper trimmer w/scoring blade
ribbon, stamps, Crystal Effects, liquid Tombow, stapler
Note: nearly any liquid glue will work for this such as Modge Podge which also works great to seal your project if you’d like!

Lots of options for altering the tin. Spray paint the entire album in desired color. Make sure to do this in a well ventilated area and follow the safety instructions on the can. (end disclaimer). For other projects I’ve covered the tin in gesso, let dry completely, paint with acrylic paints, then seal coat either with a spray clear coat or a gel medium.
On this project I covered parts of the tin in patterned paper (pp), adhered with liquid Tombow. To keep it easy I only covered the large rectangular areas with paper and left the original tin colors.

For the tin:
1) For the top, cut a 3 x 2.5 piece of pp, round the corners adhere with liquid Tomobow, repeat for the back of the tin.
2) Embellish with buttons, flowers, or punched shapes
3) For the inside of the tin, cut a 2.25 x 3.5 in piece of pp, round the corners adhere with liquid Tomobow, repeat for the back of the tin. Add a photo to the front inside of the tin if desired.

For the mini album
1) Use a sheet of 12×12 card stock for the base of your album.
Cut a 3 inch wide strip, then score every 2 inches along the strip. Accordion fold along the score lines using a bone folder or pen lid to press the folds.
2) use a corner rounder on all the square edges of the book, this helps it fit into the tin better and looks cute!
3) Stamp with the same color ink hearts on the front and back of the folded book and along the edges of both sides of the book unfolded.
4) Trim down photos into squares(1.5 in) or rectangles (1.5 x 2 in) focusing on faces. Round the corners. Arrange photos in the order you’d like then adhere to the center of each page.
5) Add a small title/journaling for each page as desired.

6) Cut a 5 in piece of ribbon, wrap around mini book for size, staple ribbon together. Add a button or punched shape on top of staple using liquid Tombow. On my project I covered a punched heart in Crystal Effects (a clear drying glue) to make my own “epoxy” type embellishment.

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One of the plastic butterflies fell off of my little girl’s barrette so I thought I’d use my felt flowers and a button to fix it. This is probably not a new idea, but it was fun and my little girl thought I was a hero for fixing her barrette!

From 2009 cards

I layered the flowers and button on top of the barrette. There was a hole where the butterfly had been so I used it to sew the flowers to the barrette. I think in the future I might sew first then use a strong adhesive like E6000 to attach it to the barrette. I’m also thinking of sewing a bunch of flowers and ribbons to some plain jeans to make them more interesting for a girly-girl!

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When I first started making cards, I had no idea about sizes. I made up a design, created the card and then I tried to find an envelope to fit my custom card. Sometimes I would make an envelope from templates I found in magazines. This took too long so many times I would skip the envelope and just give the card naked. So I got smart and started to save odd sized envelopes and making cards to fit the various sizes of envelope I had on hand.
Then I found out that if you stick to the standard size (4.25″ x 5.5″ for a finished card) you could buy A-2 envelopes in bulk that fit the card! How genius!

Part of my crafting “philosophy” is to make the most of what you have, or get the most of your card stock. This is due in part to being a hoarder and to the idea that one day you might not be able to buy card stock so you should conserve right? Since the majority of my scrapping is done as 12×12 I usually only buy 12×12 card stock. But when I started getting serious about making my “standard cards” I was cutting down my big sheets of paper and feeling like I was making a lot of cuts and wasting card stock. One day I mentioned this issue to my super crafting friend, Lori aka “Stamper Lori”, aka “Card Queen”. And she explained why we still need letter sized card stock (8.5″ x 11″).

If you pay attention to your cuts you can cut a letter sized sheet in half, landscape or long ways. Or cut the 11″ length of paper at 5.5″. Then you can score these two long pieces in half or at the 4.25″ mark!
How smart is this? One cut, two folds = two standard sized cards!

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The best made things are happy accidents. Or the best laid plans are those that aren’t made. These are my own versions of some of the many inspirational quotes floating around. I’ve been playing with embossing some of my favorite images and trying different inks. I hadn’t embossed in a long time so I looked around the web for directions.

There are some very good, very detailed instructions. As with most things, I came up with my own version. Feel free to do your own google search or use mine.

Here goes:
What you need: “juicey” ink-something stickier than regular ink, such as Staz On, Stampin Up craft pads, or Versa mark. Plus you need embossing powder, and a stamp. You will also want something to shake your extra powder onto like a plastic container, paper plate, or powder pal. This way you can dump the extra back into your container. Oh, and a heat gun. I’ve tried other things in the past and I really recommend you use a craft heat gun, trust me I speak from experience.

1) Stamp image with ink
2) Sprinkle powder, shake excess off
3) Heat image with heat gun, holding a few inches away.

Here are examples of three different inks I used for embossing. Tempting Turquoise Craft Pad, Versa Mark, and black Staz-On.

The craft pads are nice because they come in a variety of colors giving you lots of choices. The downside is that some of the craft pads are excessively juicy and can give you a smudged image. Versa Mark gives a nice tone on tone effect, looks best on dark card stock. You can use the Versa Mark pad without embossing to get a watermark effect.

The Staz-On ink pad allows you to stamp on glass, plastic, and other hard surfaces. I like the smell too. The downside is that these come in a small amount of colors.

Ta Dah! Now that you’ve got the basic process start embossing! It gets really addicting really fast! Start experimenting with different papers, fabrics, and other things.

Warning: Do not emboss living creatures (ex. your spouse, kids, or pets)

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