Calling all procrastinators! A freebie for you!

Let’s see a show of hands…who intended to, but has not made their Christmas cards yet? That many? Wow! Well don’t fear because I have 2 easy card designs that you can copy. Make them today and mail them tomorrow..well, tomorrow is Sunday, OK mail ‘um Monday.  The first card features the likeness of our favorite holiday Grinch:

DCF 1.0

I made an SVG die cut and printable sheet for the Grinch eyes, you can download it for free here. All you do is cut a sheet of green cardstock in half and fold (you get 2 cards this way) then glue on the eyes in the center of the card base. Draw on a smile, nose and angry eyebrows and glue a green feather on the forehead if you have one.  Your recipient is sure to get a chuckle when they open this card!

DCF 1.0

This next design is more traditional. Again, cut a sheet of red cardstock in half and fold in half to get 2 card bases. Then I used a rotary wavy cutter to cut 1.5″ strips of felt (I used a wave rather than a scallop blade so both sides of the cut would look the same and I would not waste felt…yeah, I know it is only .25 cents a sheet but still, why waste?) If you don’t have felt you can use paper, or cotton balls, whatever! Use a hot glue gun to attach it down the center of your card. Add a strip of black cardstock for a belt and a gold buckle. I used a large square punch to punch my gold paper then cut around it with scissors to make a buckle. I dressed it up with holly die cuts and a red sequin.

DCF 1.0

These cards are quick and inexpensive and fun to make with the kids. I hope you give them a try this year! BTW, use thick and tacky glue and not hot glue if the kids are helping! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Video Tutorial: DIY Honeycomb Paper!

Edit: I created a SVG and a SCUT2 file to cut the file folder to make the glue jig. You can download it here. You can download a .cut file here for use with Design Studio, use layer 1 if you have George cart or layer 2 if you have Plantain Schoolbook. You can use a 12″x12″ mat, just let the rest of the file folder hang off the edge or use the 12″x24″ mat. Line the fold up to the 10″ mark so the slits will start 1/2″ away from the fold. See the video for an explanation of the technique before cutting the jig. :)

I love the look of honeycomb pop-ups on cards and tags. What I don’t love is the price. I have seen the Inky Antics Honeypop paper in a few online shops and it is $6 for a 5″x7″ piece of honeycomb tissue and, while beautiful, it is just too expensive for tissue paper (for me anyway) so I decided to try to make my own…and I did! Here is my homemade version:

It is easy to make, albeit a bit time-consuming. It take about 20 minutes to make a pad of tissue paper but it is something I can do while I watch TV (better than polishing off a bag of chips, know what I’m sayin?) and it saves me a bundle, it costs me about .30 cents to make vs. $6 to buy. See the video to learn how:

Here are some close up pics of the projects in the video:

This is a close up of the large pom-pom made with coffee filters I sprayed with ink and let dry before gluing.

Try it, you’ll like it! There is something magical about seeing that honeycomb paper the first time! If you have any questions just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Kid’s Craft, a Freebie & a 40% Off Sale!

I was going to aim this craft to all of the teachers and moms out there but after I made it I have to say it was a ton of fun and I urge everyone to try it! I am teaching a craft program at the local library next week and I thought it would be fun to do Chinese New Year. I planned on the kids decorating “lucky money” envelopes, coloring dragon masks {for the preschoolers} and for the big kids we could make dragon puppets:

Wow, it was so fun to make the samples. The lucky money envelopes are freebies. I used the SVG in the kit to cut my envelopes from red paper but there is a printable version too if you do not have a die-cut machine. Also There is a full color printable with a Chinese dragon (2012 is the year of the dragon) on the back if you just want to print them and not have to decorate. BTW {shameless plug} Everything at Lindsay’s stamp Stuff is 40% off now through Sunday so after you snag that freebie be sure to have a look around at all of the new products I have added this month!

When I went looking for inspiration on making a dragon puppet I did an internet search and came across a cute template on the Martha Stewart website, well, there was no need to reinvent the wheel there!

Did you know you can cut PDF files with SCAL?

Oh yeah! I saved the PDF dragon template and imported into scal2 (click file-import-then pick the pdf file you want) and with a little tweaking (there is a rogue node on the dragon’s head, just drag it over to the node next to it and click union to make it one shape) I had a great file to cut! Note: I enlarged it and moved it around on my mat to make best use of space. I’d love to share the SVG but I don’t know if that would be cool with Martha.  :D You can check out her template and instructions here.

I love how the body is jointed so it wiggles and moves when you hold the sticks. I made a few changes in my puppet: I added crepe paper party streamers, they fly wonderfully when you are using the puppet and the pleated crepe paper adds more bulk without weight. I used skinny sticks because I had no chopsticks and I added glitter, sequins would be nice too I think;)

Here is a look at the  Lucky Money Envelopes Freebie:

In the preview you see the color version of the money envelope, for my project with the kids I am cutting them from red paper and they can stamp Chinese characters with gold pigment ink. The stamps I used are from About Art Accents. I heat embossed mine, I think I will let the kids try that too as long as I have an adult to man the heat gun :)

And be sure to snag lots of goodies at Lindsay’s stamp Stuff for 40% off! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

50% off at Lindsay’s, a freebie and new Christmas products!

Howdy folks, I know it is a bit too early to start thinking about Christmas…well, unless, that is, you are selling at craft fairs and in that case you need cute packaging ASAP! And today is the perfect time to grab your needed supplies because it is 50% off today at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff! I was asked by a crafty customer to come up with some printables for her to sell her movie gift kits at craft fairs so I came up with the Holiday Bazzar set. How cute would it be to wrap a few bags of microwaved popcorn, soda bottles and candies and package them in one of those large plastic popcorn boxes from the dollar store, you could throw in a DVD too for a super cute and inexpensive gift!

If you wanted to really spread some holiday cheer you could leave the baskets on a friends doorstep with a note saying “You’ve Been Elfed!”, the 5″x7″ notes in the kit would be perfect for that! You can also used the cards for invitations to a cookie swap and recipe cards!

If you want a cute gag gift for the folks in the office how about some reindeer poop? I found this funny poem online that you can print and slip in the bag:

I woke up with such a scare when I heard Santa call…
“Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
I ran to the lawn, and in the snowy white drifts,
those nasty reindeer had left “little gifts”.

I got an old shovel and started to scoop
Neat little piles of “reindeer poop.”
but to throw them away seemed such a waste,
So I saved them, thinking you might like a taste!

As I finished my task, which took quite a while,
Old Santa passed by and he sheepishly smiled.
And I heard him exclaim as he rose to the sky~~~
“Well, they’re not potty trained, but at least they can fly!”

 

For the kids you might like to send them to school with “Snowman Soup” for their teacher and classmates! I found a poem for this too:

Snowman Soup
Was told you’ve been real good this year.
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You’ll need to warm the spirit.
here’s a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It’s sure to do the trick!

Isn’t that cute! Both of the poems I found at The Organized Home.com.

Here is a look at the new printable kit and some other Christmas products you might enjoy, remember they are 50% off today only and two of the below products are freebies!

Holiday Bazzar Craft KitChristmas Follies Clips & CuttingPretty Packaging SVGFun Favors SVGWinter Wear SVG freebieNifty Gifties SVGGingerbread House SVGHoliday Sweets Party PrintablesVintage Christmas LabelsWee AlbumsHomemade Holidays Paper PackChic Calendar Scrapbook kitBox Bonanza!Envelope Bonanza!Recipe Cards & Folio SVG3-D Advent Calendar and Favor KitChristmas Cookies Freebie

It’s been a while since I had a freebie so here are 2 sheets of tags you can use for your holiday gifts and packaging:

click the preview to download;)

While you are on the topic of holidays Halloween is right around the corner. Check out these spooky sets also 50% off today:

Halloween Odds 'n Ends Digital Stamp FreebieMasquerade Mask SVGHalloween Favors SVGVintage Halloween LabelsStampunk SVG TemplatesBold Black & White PapersHalloween Doodles StampsClassic Fall Clips & Cutting

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How to make a custom die cut

Happy Friday folks! Are you doing any stamping this weekend? Well how you like to lean how to make custom die cuts to match your stamps using Sure Cuts a Lot software. I am going to show you 3 ways to make a custom mat, the first is very easy, the second is a bit more tricky and the third will require the use of a free program called inkscape. I used these techniques to cut the mats for the stamped images in this batch of 5 minute Christmas cards:

The mat I made for the stamped oval uses the first easy technique. To do this simply measure the hight and width of the stamped image and type those measurements into the properties box of scal. Then select appearance and chose a shadow of .5 to 1 and that will leave a nice border to your stamped art and smooth the edges of the design. I used an oval scallop from the free font 09 Kutups by Clever Someday.

After you size the shape try cutting it, then stamping you image on the die cut. If it fits perfectly great! If not tweak it a bit and try again. When it is perfect you want to save this as an SVG so you can use it again and again without having to test it. Simply click “file” and “Export” then type the name of the new file, I recommend including the stamp name so you will know what stamp it goes with such as Notably_ornate_scallop.svg because it matches the oval from the Notably Ornate Stampin’ Up set. ***You will use this step after any of these methods to save your die-cut to size & scale.

So basically that technique would be acceptable for any label/frame stamp you have, all you need to do is alter the width and height of your shape. You can even do it in Cricut design studio or gypsy as long as you have the cart to cut it out. I am so glad I got SCAL to use with my Cricut before it went off the market!

For your next trick we will do a simple image trace in scal2 (or scal3), you can also do this in inkscape, see my tutorial here. So first you need to find (or stamp and scan) the image you want to make a mat for. I went online to find images from the stamp set I wanted to create die cuts for. I love this stamp set (The Maison Frame set from Inkadinkado) and I have had it and used it a lot for years! I right-clicked on a picture of the stamp set that I found online then clicked “save as” to save it to my computer. Then I opened my SCAL program and I clicked the button that looks like a tree in scal and chose the file I just saved:

when you click OK the converted images will show up on your mat, now you need to get rid of everything except for the outlines that you want. You simply select the shape and go into the object menu and choose break apart, then click on the lines you do not want and hit delete.

You will be left with outline shapes that are clean and good to cut.

Copy one of the designs and past it into a new page. Measure your stamp and type measurements into the properties box. Then you can add shadows if desired and test your cut. When it is perfect export the SVG as explained in the first example. Repeat for each shape.

Sometime you end up with a stamp that has broken or sketchy lines for a border so you cannot simply trace it. In that case you need to create a file from scratch Like I did for the die cut I used on the journal block on these cards. The Journal block is also from the Notably Ornate set from Stampin Up:

Having a bit of a border allows a bit of “wiggle room” when stamping so it looks great even if you stamp a bit crooked ;)

One of the frames from the maison frames set was good for this technique. It is a bit more advanced but one you do it you will find it quick and easy. You will need to use the free (and AWESOME!) program inkscape for this. Did you know that you can cut directly from inkscape with a Silhouette die cutting machine? Anyway you need to open the jpg that you saved earlier but this time we are going to draw our design over the calligraphy looking frame. Select the pen tool (see photo) and click on the top point of the frame, then click on each indent as shown (note: since we have a symmetrical design we are just going to do one corner and copy & past the other 3) then click in the middle of the frame and close the path by clicking on the node where you began. It it like making a child’s dot-to-dot game.

Now copy that shape and paste it, flip the second shape and line them up to make the top of the frame:

Drag a box around both of the shapes and copy and past and flip it to make the bottom:

Save this file and import it into SCAL as you would any SVG. Size it and add a shadow and test cut as above before exporting it as a final file. I like to cut sheets of the frames at a time and store them with the stamp set for quick and easy crafting! Here is a look at the frames we made today:

Please excuse my beat up Cricut mat, I’ve been on a Provocraft boycott since they sued SCAL and my mats are totally scuzzy BUT I just found out that Sizzix Eclips mats and blades will work in my Cricut Expression so I just ordered a bunch, they are cheaper too and they say the blades will last longer which is great because I just replaced a cricut blade last week and it is already dull! I’ll let you know how the Eclips mats and blades work. I’m thinking when my Cricut machine breaks I will get a Sizzix Eclips or a Silhouette because they both endorse SCAL software so I know they won’t leave the customers high and dry. I’ll probably get an Eclips because the mats and blades are cheaper.

So I fretted a bit about sharing these mat files I think I am OK to do so since they are just basic outlines and the stamp companies do not offer die cut shapes (plus they will probably sell more copies of their stamp sets LOL!) but if anyone form Stampin Up or EK Success has any problem with this I will remove them ASAP :)

Here are the 2 files that coordinate with the Notably Ornate Stampin Up set:

Journaling mat

Oval Note (thanks to Kay from Clever Someday for letting my use the 09KutUps font!)

Here are the 4 files that match the Inkadinkado Maison Frames set (I’m not crazy about the way the bracket-square one came out but there is a very close shape in the 09Kutups font you can use in place of it)

Maison Frame 1

Maison Frame 2

Maison Frame 3

Maison Frame4

So there you have it! You can create custom dies cuts for all of your stamps, neat huh? Thanks for sticking with this extremely long post and til next time happy crafting!

Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff Design Team Projects & new STAMPS!

It  has been a treat to open my email this week, so many gorgeous projects from my design team, have a look and you will see what I mean. The ladies really outdid themselves this week using products from Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff. Two of the sets used are freebies too!  But first I want to show you a brand new set of digital Stamps called Halloween doodles:

It’s been a while since I designed some new stamps, it was fun to get the old sketchpad out!

Design Team Projects!

First up is Tracey with a gorgeous tag made with Sewing Bits SVG, Sew Much Fun stamps and the Shipping tag freebie:

Here is a cheerful card by Cindi using the Fancy Flower set:

I love the funny card from Micki using the Crafty Tools and Puns set…do you feel lucky punk?

I-have-a-gun

Karin’s card this week uses a freebie you can snag on this post that coordinated with the Coffee Talk digistamp set:

Make sure you stop by Karin’s blog because the made the most beautiful party favors, check out this 3-D cake!

Jennifer made a sweet tag using the chickadee digital stamp:

Diane has been busy with the card crafting, she has two cards to share today! This one used the Sewing Bits SVG on this card:

And I LOVE the punch of graphic goodness of this card using Mod Summer Papers and this eye chart freebie also by Diane:

Here is a look at the Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff sets the designer’s used today:

Sewing Bits SVGSew Much Fun StampsShipping Tag SVG FreebieFancy Flowers Digital StampsCrafty Tools & Puns StampsCoffee Talk Digital Stamp SetCake Box Favors SVGChickadee Digital StampMod Summer Papers

You can find out more about the projects featured here today by visiting the designers blogs (you might as well make a pot of coffee, relax and plan to spend some time because these girls have brilliant projects all throughout their sites, just to warn you). thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Some crafty FREEBIES you might like…

Happy Saturday! I’m just getting up at 9am on a Saturday (thanks kids for arguing quietly this morning:) and was checking my email to find a few places offering some cool freebies today, check them out:

Sew True is offering free shipping now through the 17th with the coupon code:   11H51F   I love their Hug Snug seam binding. You can use the seam binding for making vintage crinkle ribbon (video tutorial here) or stamping on it (video tutorial here).  They have lots of other goodies too like blank buttons you can cover with fabric and loads of sewing supplies!

ScrapGirls has a new mega kit to download free here, check it out:

1 Scrap Girls A Narrative Collection

And Lettering Delights has the American Pride Mega Bundle set of 14 fonts, svg, graphic sets and doodlebats (a $50 value) for free! You will want it:) I couldn’t get a screen-shot of everything but trust me its a good one, I love the Scap States font-who needs the 50 states cricut cartridge now!?!

Well, I have a birthday party to get to happy freebie downloading and til next time happy crafting!

Be the “Light” of the party!

When I came up with my new Party Lantern set I knew that I was going to have fun with it. The thing I love about it is that it’s quick to make and so fun and there is very little waste. I can cut 2 lanterns from one sheet of 12×12 cardstock using my Cricut machine and SCAL software:

 

But then I can take the leftovers and make invitations, cupcake toppers and place cards!

So, do you want to know how to make these? Well it is so simple, you get all the directions and scoring guides on the printable templates in the kit and you can cut the templates out with your die-cut machine too. Here are some step by step photos to help you out:

Gather Your Supplies-You Will Need:

Here are the kits I used on this set. I die cut the lantern templates with my Cricut and SCAL software but you can use MTC or fairy cut if you prefer. There is a plain lantern in there too so if you want to put your own custom shape in it you can (like maybe a monogram letter or a heart or whatever.)

Party Lantern SVG

I printed the diamond pattern from this kit, I was able to fill the windows on 3 lanterns with the paper I printed on one 8.5″x11″ sheet of vellum. I get plain white vellum in a 50 sheet pack at JoAnns (The Paper Co. brand) for about $10.

Up, Up & Away Papers

And for fun I cut a cupcake wrapper from this free set, YAY, freeeeee!

Cupcake SVG Freebie

This set qualifies for the following challenges: ABC Challenge -  U is for Underneath(we see the underside of the lanterns in the tutorial), Crafty Creations, Digistamps 4 Joy , Penny’s Paper-Crafty andSisterhood of Crafters  - Let it Shine (the lanterns shine al right;)

 

BTW, how do you like the blue backdrop? I just repainted my kitchen yesterday a fabulous bright blue…I’m thinking that’s a good enough reason to have a party, don’t you?

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

5 Photos you should take this Easter!

My favorite holiday to scrapbook is Easter. I love the frilly Easter dresses, brightly colored plastic eggs, fresh flowers popping up out of the ground and pretty pastel candy! this feast of springtime color is perfect to capture in photos. Before you head out (or host) this years Easter Celebration here are some photo tips for you!

Tip 1: Don’t Pose…Compose!

When photographing kids capture them being kids, chasing after eggs, playing and having fun. Check out this photo I tool last Easter of my nephew. My sister set him in frount of her flower garden and let him play and I got a great natural shot!

Don’t forget the candid action shots too:

Of course when you do have the family together and all dressed up it is a great time to…

Tip 2: Get a semi-posed family photo!

Tip 3: Do some still life photography:

Notice the photo of the baskets of eggs only, this after the hunt photo make a perfect embellishment for the page. Also consider taking photos close up in macro mode of jelly beans, easter grass and other candies for nearly free scrapbook embellishments and they will be authentic too!

Tip 4: OK this is a scrapbook tip-try kraft colored paper for your scrapbook pages, it looks great with pastel springtime shades (see above photos) a swipe of pastel paint adds a nice touch too and best of all you keep the focus on the photos!

Tip: 5-Photo the Pre-Easter Events.

This year I bout a Spin-an-Egg (Target/ $5) and we used that to color our eggs, what fun, get a photo of the pretty colored eggs:

Note: If I had to do it over I would have taken the photo outside with no flash :D Sometime your photos are not perfect but you should still scrap them, that’s what is important. You kids will not care that the lighting isn’t perfect, they will be glad to have the memories. Here I took a bunch of egg dying shots and used a egg-shaped puzzle template to make this page. Also I saved the egg-dipper and used it as an embellishment!

Here are some of the digital products from Lindsay’s stamp Stuff I used in the above pages and some other springtime goodies:

Basket BonanzaUp, Up & Away PapersUp, Up & AwayPosies & Plant Pics SVGEgg Basket TemplateCute Easter Digital StampsBirds & Branches StampsFancy Flowers Digital Stamps

And some freebies for you!

Basket FreebieVintage Journal FreebieEaster Sentiment Freebie

These projects qualify for the following chhallenges: Amber’s Crafts and Stuff, Creative Belli, Creative Card Crew, Creative Craft World & Papercraft Star (recycled egg-dipper on last page), For Fun Challenges, Paper Pretties, Sisterhood of Crafters, and Going Grey With Scrap-Creations (digistamps)

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Photocopy Transfer Tutorial and a Freebie!

Well, hello there folks! I have been playing in my studio and wanted to share a quick and easy project I made. First I printed out some digital stamps from the Fancy Flower set from Lindsay’s stamp Stuff, then I had a photocopy made so I could transfer them on to tiles. Wouldn’t thse make a cute Mother’s Day gift?

I colored the tiles with my new ProMarkers, it was so easy! Here is a video showing you how to do it:

Here are close-ups of my favorites:

EDITED TO ADD: the background on this tile was done by coloring it with a blue marker, then dabbin the same marker randomly on top. If you marker is not juicy enough you can use a q-tip to drop denatured (or rubbing) alcohol on top for the same effect. Just play around until you like the look!

And here is a peek at the Fancy Flowers digital Stamp Set I used:

Fancy Flowers Digital Stamps

With easter on its way I thought you might want a handy little basket to make so for this weeks freebie I give you a basket and notecard, click the pic to download.

Basket Freebie

It coordinates with my new Basket Bonanza set, 6 baskets in all including a covered picnic basket (that is my favorite!)

Basket Bonanza

And the Egg Basket Templates:

Egg Basket Template

Today’s project qualifies for the following challenges: Amber’s Crafts and Stuff, Clear It Out!, Top Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Throwdown, Paper Playtime, Stamp with Fun, Stamps R Us, Aly’s Sunday Challenge, Crafty Pad, Creative Inspirations, Make it colorful, and Wee memories.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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