Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Scrapbook Title HACK using vinyl!

Happy Wednesday friends! I wanted to share some crafty inspiration with you today but I'm typing this up as my toddler plays quietly by himself (whaaa? I know... don't... speak...or...move...at...all) so I will keep it brief.  As you may or may not know, I'm a *little* behind on my scrapbook.  Anyone else?  Now I'm not quite as far behind as my mom, who is still working on my elementary school pages but I haven't reached my goal of being caught up on my son's photos before the next baby comes...

...in 3 weeks.  Yea, it's not going to happen.   That being said, any free time lately has gone to scrapbooking (or working on our business) instead of other crafts.  I'll share some layout ideas with you later but HAD to share this little hack with you before I forgot!

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing through these links gives me a small commission at no extra charge to you.  Products I link are products I personally use.  Thank you for supporting my blog.



No, this isn't about coming up with something clever as your title but rather about what material you should be using for the titles on your scrapbook spreads!


There are a few options available when putting a title on your scrapbook page.

(1) Write it out by hand.
       Pros: easy, always available
      Cons: doesn't look as nice

(2) Use scrapbooking stickers.
      Pros: fairly easy, looks nicer than handwriting
     Cons: can get expensive, time consuming, limited to size/design of sticker

(3) Cut words out of paper with your cutting machine.
      Pros: Unlimited font styles, unlimited options for size/paper design, inexpensive.
     Cons: Very time consuming to glue down every letter



ooooooorrr.... 

(4) Cut words out of vinyl with your cutting machine.
      Pros: Unlimited font styles, unlimited options for size/color (as long as you have that color vinyl on hand of course) easy to apply, fast to do
      Cons: a little pricey (cost of vinyl & transfer paper) but not any more than scrapbooking sticker packs from the store.




I'm a big fan of option #4.  If you already have a cutting machine and vinyl at home, then this is a no-brainer.  If you don't but scrapbook a lot, it's something to consider having on hand (the 
Silhouette is awesome to have for scrapbooking and other crafting... not just for titles!)

My super crafty and amazing mother shared this idea with me (here's a guest post she did for me sharing how to make personalized necklaces from Shrinky Dinks!) and I'm so glad she did.  It has completely changed my scrapbooking game.  I have always hated hand written titles and it seems that the store bought stickers were never the right size or color that I needed (or I ran out of letters!) plus they were expensive.





Using my Silhouette allows me to design my title in any font I like and in any size or shape.  Using vinyl saves me time because applying individual pieces of paper took forever and resulted in SO. MUCH. GLUE. on my hands.  With vinyl I simply design it, cut it out, weed it and then use transfer paper to move the entire title to my scrapbook page at one time.  It's amazing.  I seriously can't get over how brilliant of an idea this was.






Don't stop at page titles, use this to create your own "stickers" for your spread!  No need to search the stores for a sticker or embellishment that sort-of works, simply design exactly what you want, in the size and color that you want!  I just wrote "Baby's First Christmas" but you could easily personalize it with your child's name (I'd like to see you do that sticker company! ha!)






Vinyl is also very thin so it lays nicely on your pages, creating a very crisp and smooth appearance.  If you are like me and have to include something lumpy bumpy on your pages, stick with the vinyl title and add a few small touches elsewhere to add dimension.  Here's what I did on this particular spread:







I just cut out a few trees (by hand) from the background paper and attached them to the top of some plain creme colored buttons.  It drew the different elements from the page together and added a few pops of dimension.  I also used a similar idea for creating a layered tree on the title page where I wrote the year details.  I like to use hot glue as a way to bind layers together and create dimension (other scrapbook adhesives will just stick them together flat) but there are other options available at the craft store- like those spongy little squares... what are those called again?





Whether you occasionally scrapbook or have years and years of spreads ahead of you- trust me- this idea is worth a try.  It's been a complete game changer for me and in many cases will be the way I title from this point on.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Map Inspired Home Decor

I have always had trouble buying gifts for people.  I really do want to give a gift that shows I put some thought into it and that I care- but most of the time it ends up just being a standard clothing/accessories that has something about it they like (like a sports team or pattern).  It's no surprise that I struggle with this though, being as "receiving/giving gifts" is 5 out of 5 on my Love Languages.  It just doesn't come naturally.

Crafting comes naturally.  I love creating with my mind and hands.  Some people aren't as receptive to "handmade gifts" as I am though so I tend to steer clear of them.  That all changed this Christmas.  As I was searching the stores and racking my brain to find the perfect gift for my mother-in-law (who we think has the #1 love language of gifts) this idea hit me.  It's sort of store bought but with a creative twist.  Easy, meaningful and perfect for anyone on your list (or yourself!) who loves to travel or has loved ones afar.


{Sorry for the poor lighting in the "after" photo.  I forgot to take one until it was being wrapped up!}


[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing through these links gives me a small commission at no extra charge to you.  Products I link are products I personally use.  Thank you for supporting my blog.



Here's how to make your own:

Step 1: Find some frames/shadow boxes that you like.

I found these at T.J.Maxx for around $5 a piece.  They had several sayings like "family always & forever" , "soul mates" , "best mom ever" and "best dad ever".  It didn't really matter what they said since I was painting over them but I did love the square shape and how they all coordinated together.  The round pieces also stuck up from the background which added dimension.



My MIL lives in Georgia now but her three children reside in Indiana, Florida and Pennsylvania.  I wanted to make something that captured all the places that her heart is scattered across the states.  Oh, and all three kids attended Purdue University so the black & gold colors were fitting!



Step 2: Paint the back or whatever spot you are going to re-decorate!



It took several rounds of gold paint to cover up the black wording, but luckily acrylic paint dries pretty fast.  Just keep doing it until the original design is covered up.



Step 3: Create & apply your vinyl design.



Using your Silhouette or other cutting machine, create vinyl pieces in the shapes of your choosing.  I wanted basic shapes of Indiana, Florida and Pennsylvania.  Tip:  Make sure you measure your shapes to fit inside the space in every direction. I measured side to side and up and down but forgot about making it fit diagonally!  Oops.  I had to re-cut my states!





Position the vinyl where you want it and remove the transfer tape.  Press down the vinyl so it sticks well.



Step 4: Draw hearts in the states using a metallic pen or marker.

You can do this with vinyl or by hand, I just thought it was faster by hand!  Add hearts in the locations where loved ones live, in the state capitol, or in between multiple locations.




That's it!

I love how easy this project was and how personalized you can make it.  I chose to keep the fourth shadow box as it was- saying "Family Always & Forever" but you can make it as small or big as you need.  What a perfect gift this would make for anyone with family out of state or for those who have moved from state to state themselves.

Love this?  Check out my most popular post for another map-inspired DIY!



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hand Print Tree Skirt {A Christmas Tradition}

Did everyone have a good Christmas/holiday? Five celebrations later, we are finally settling back into a routine and figuring out where in the world we can fit all of my son's toys (spoiled much?)  This post will be brief but I need to share it with you before you start packing away the Christmas decorations.

It's fast and easy to do and it's a great way to preserve this moment in time for just a little longer...



For years we've had this generic tree skirt.  I've considered making a new one (I love those burlap and red fabric ones that are ruffled!) but as are many of my craft project plans- it gets pushed aside for more pressing projects.  This year it hit me what we should do... and it's way better than any ruffled tree skirt.

Starting this year, I'm adding my children's hand prints all around the tree skirt.  Think how amazing this will be in 18 years when I can look down and compare my almost-adult child's hand print to his sweet toddler one.  I only wish I had started this on my son's 1st Christmas.  Oh well... you live you learn.  That will be one thing that baby #2 will have from the start.


Materials:
- A basic solid color tree skirt
- White (or green or whatever color you want) Acrylic Paint
- 3D Fabric Paint






Step 1:
Paint your kid's hand.  I found that my son was much more willing to participate when I let him paint it himself and I just filled in any missing spots.




it also made him really happy so that's always good...






Step 2:
Press child's hand onto the tree skirt (or let them do it if they are old enough not to finger paint the entire thing!)






Step 3:
Using 3D paint, write your child's name and age around the hand print.






Step 4:
Set aside and allow time to dry.  In the meantime, let your child go nuts with the paint.  I consider this a reward for playing along with mommy's craft project plans.





Start this project now before you pack away that tree skirt for another year.  After all... they grow so fast, don't let that little hand print slip away!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Put Your Kid's Drawings on an Ornament! [Guest Post]

I have occasionally had guests posts on this blog and enjoy them very much because it helps me to offer you- the readers- a wider range of craft knowledge than I possess myself.  However, I have never, let me repeat: never before reached out to a fellow crafter to guest post without them previously reaching out to me.  That is- until now.  

This DIY project was posted in a facebook group that I am a part of.  I immediately fell in love with the idea and asked Araceli to please share her tutorial with you all.  I think these ornaments are so lovely and such a meaningful personalized gift for anyone on your list (and hello... yourself!)  I also love how versatile they are (she made glitter ones, solid colored ones and even one with plastic confetti pieces in the bottom!)



[Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing items through the links gives me a small commission with no extra charge to you.  Links will take you to the described items to make projects easier for you to complete! Thank you for supporting my blog.]


Now onto this amazing little DIY...
I would first like to say that this is my first blog experience, thank you very much Kelsie.
I just got a Silhouette Cameo this past April and have since learned so much from Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook groups.  I came across a great video on YouTube by Zindee How to make glitter ornaments and decided to give it a try. (Check out the original video here)




A trip to Michael’s and Walmart, my silhouette cameo and vinyl and I was ready to get started. The supplies I used:

- Plastic Ornaments from Michael’s (link is to "disk" shape.  Can also use round.)
- Extra Fine Glitter
- Craft Smart Paint
- Minwax Polycrylic,
- Silhouette Cameo
- Oracal 651 Vinyl

Oh and of course a drawing with a sharpie from my boys, niece and nephews on a white paper. I couldn’t decide what to put on each ornament and then I remembered that I once traced a name and added it to a t-shirt. So hey, it should work for an ornament too, right? I was a little scared that I would not be able to get a good trace from the sharpie drawings, but they came out pretty good I must say.






First I set out my ornament with a cup and followed the instructions on the YouTube video and let them dry overnight. The painted ones don’t need anything else inside, just the paint. I followed the same technique of pouring and swirling the paint inside. The paint took longer to dry.





A few days later, I completed the second step. I scanned my drawings onto my computer, opened my Silhouette software and traced my images. Once my images where traced, I sized them about 2.5 x 2.5 inches to fit on the ornaments. I cut my images, cleaned the outside of the ornament to make sure I had a clean surface and transferred the vinyl.







I did all this while my kids slept. It was a nice surprise for them to see their work on our Christmas tree. I can’t wait to gift my niece and nephews with theirs as they haven’t seen what I did with their Christmas drawings. 




Aren't those amazing?
I absolutely LOVE how simple yet stunning this personalized ornament craft can be!  I have to admit... I'm a little sad that my son is still too young to write his own letters- although he does love to draw "zigzags" so hey... that's a design right?!  Thank you SO SO much Araceli for sharing your crafts with us and for guest posting today.  I can't wait to see what beautiful projects you come up with in the future.