Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

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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Last summer my Grandma Florence moved out of her house into a mobile home on my parents’ property. She was 89 and lived on her farm which is pretty isolated and my parents were worried about her being by herself. I went and helped her pack some of her things up for the big move. She only moved about 2 miles but she’s a horrible pack rat (a trait I inherited), she never got rid of anything, and she had stuff packed into every nook and cranny. She had an old cabinet packed full of old photos and scrapbooks. She knows that I am really into old photos and preserving the past so she gave them all to me. I was thrilled until I saw her start stuffing a large diaper box with photos! Yikes! I took over and tried to gently pack these pictures into the box. Since then these have all been in my garage in my large scrap booking tote and I’ve yet to figure out what to do with them. I started just putting the loose pictures into general categories including one for mystery pictures.

Then I got to my grandma’s scrapbook.

It’s one of those with the construction paper pages and string binding with photos glued to both sides of the paper. There are sections of my dad, his brother and cousin and other family members.

The largest section is photos from when Grandma was in the military and overseas during WWII. These are just priceless. Photos of her fresh off the farm and completing basic training in Daytona Beach, FL. Then there are the photos from when she was stationed at Oxford, England and Paris, France. Unfortunately my Grandma is not interested in talking about the past or reminiscing, she’s actually much more interested in history and politics right now.

But I have this terrific scrapbook that she cared enough to put together years ago and it has most of the pictures labeled in some fashion.
I’ve tried a couple of different ways to remove photos and none really work. Whatever glue was used, really stays stuck. I didn’t try that stuff called “un-do” or whatever the name is. I was hesitant to put any liquid on one side of the paper where it could leak onto the photos on the back side.This is where inspiration struck and I thought why not just put the entire pages in new sheet protectors and make a new album? This was a really smart idea on my part, except the pages are much bigger than 12×12. I tried to trim down the pages but just couldn’t get them down smaller.

Then I remembered that Martha Stewart Crafts had these gigantic albums for sale at Michael’s. I didn’t realize how much bigger an 18×18 album was until I picked it up, these things are enormous! And expensive, $79. Ouch! But then I discovered I could use my 40% off coupon on the album which made the price much more reasonable. I picked up extra sheet protectors which had double pockets instead of one pocket for pages.

When I got the album home and ripped off the wrapping I found that the pages in the album were not sheet protector types like the ones I bought but were paper pages with a thin top page (like tissue paper). This threw me off because I wanted to be able to slide the pages right into the pockets. What I did instead was use the clear sheet protectors for the pages that had photos on both sides of the paper, then used photo corners to attach the original pages that had pics on only one side onto the paper pages of the new album. I kept the album in the same order that the original scrapbook was in and just mixed in the clear pages with the paper pages as I went. The orginal album is not 18×18, and the pages in the sleeves slide around a bit so I need to come up with a way to keep them from sliding out.

I still have many old photos that are loose and not identified, I’m thinking that I will add those to the remaining paper pages of the new album and try to have most of these old pictures together.

As for my regular scrap booking, I don’t see myself converting to this bigger size album I just don’t think I could store many of these giant albums or fill that big of space.

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For Father’s Day I decided to make a mini album of my favorite pics of my hubby with the kiddies. I had this great red album from Stampin Up! that seemed just right.
This is my 3rd 6×6 album I’ve made. First I really love the size, so easy so quick. And then I love how nice they look when they are on a shelf together. You have to know I love mini books, love coming up with new ways to make and bind. But the one thing I sometimes wish is the ability to expand a book with out lots of hassel. Which is why I love using these ring albums. I’ve done books for each of our little family before, but I could see making one of these for each of us as a favorite shots album that could be expanded.

daddy album

When ever I make a mini book or album I come up with the theme and gather the photos around the theme. Next I decide what paper I want to use or if I want to just do card stock. Then I put the pics in order I want them to appear. This can be chronological or in the order of the story I want to tell. Finally I come up with a basic plan. Lately I’ve really been into using my 4×6 photos without cropping. My basic formula is a simple blocking idea. Here’s my rough sketch.

Nothing real fancy but a very clean design that I seem to use different variations on. It’s also real easy to flip the sketch for a 6×4 photo. I’ve seen more intricate, neater sketches but when I’m making an album or mini book it makes the whole process go much faster when I use this basic sketch. The other thing I like about this sketch is that you can switch out the flower for other embellies or a cluster of flowers, die cuts, or punches.


Something else I’ve started to do is make the photos pockets for journalling tags. I like to write a lot, but I don’t always like to see all of the writing on the page. When making a photo pocket I don’t put adhesive on the top of the photo, then I just slide my tag behind the pic. Again, super easy and quick.

A sidebar, I love to create all kinds of stuff. I love to play with paper and find new ways to do things. However, with two year old twins I have to be smart about my time which is why I come up with quick sketches that I can use over and over again. The other time saving tip I’ve really fell in love with is making kits out of my stuff. You can read that post here.

And now, I’m off to the gym with the kiddies to sweat off some pounds.

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