DIY: Chevron Scrapbook

It took me a while to hop on the chevron-patterned bandwagon. It may be “so five minutes ago,” but I was waiting for hipsters to stop liking it.

While packing up my classroom for the summer, I found an old scrapbook. Like many scrapbooks, it had a hideous cover…

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but it wasn’t anything a little paint couldn’t fix. I went with chevron because it is a simple, timeless pattern, and I decided to use a palette I’ve recently become obsessed with: gray-white-yellow.

Step 1: Bury the ugliness under a couple of coats of acrylic paint!

ImageHide the hideousness! Obviously, use a color from your predetermined palette for this first coat… I was very apprehensive and I decided I didn’t like this purple after I measured and penciled the pattern.

Step 2: Start measuring!

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I have no idea how to explain how I managed this. If you’re going to attempt to create your own chevron pattern, I recommend this tutorial: http://makesmeblush.blogspot.com/2010/10/chevron-tutorial.html

Step 3: Masking tape is your friend!

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I used masking tape to create a “stencil” for the first stripes I was going to paint. Painter’s tape is supposed to be the ideal choice but it’s pricey, so if you’re using masking tape, press down well for crisp lines and peel away carefully. Wait for the first stripes to be completely dry before you lay down masking tape over them to paint the next color.

Make sure to apply at least two coats using a foam brush if you have one!

Step 4: Seal the deal!

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To keep your paint from chipping, apply two coats of matte varnish. Love that stuff. :)

Done and done!

The scrapbook cover is now hip!

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DIY: Library Card Book Plates

One day I hope to have a personal library to rival Belle’s (you know… the beauty from Beauty and the Beast). Walls covered in literature, stacks of novels and biographies. Ahh, just thinking of it makes my heart happy. As any book nerd knows, it is important to claim ownership of your beloved books. I was on the search for book plates (think name tags for books) to put on the inside cover of my books. I was unable to find a variety I was happy with (that didn’t cost an arm and a leg), so I dug through my bag of crafty tricks and came up with this little project.

I was so pleased with how these turned out, I made a bunch for some friends of mine as gifts. These are super easy to make and cost nearly nothing if you’ve already built your own craft supply arsenal as I have.

There are two ways to tackle this project. I went for the technology route and added my name using an image editing program. However, the low-tech method is just as easy!

Library Card Book Plates

Materials:

Blank library card template – You may use mine :) librarycardblank

(You can find many via Google, I found mine years ago and edited it for my liking.Unfortunately, I no longer know where the original was posted, but I have edited it quite a bit to make it my own. Please contact me if you recognize this as your own, I will gladly give credit)

Cardstock

Alphabet stamps/ink

Tacky Glue

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Print the template onto heavy cardstock – Use fun colors! White works, but why not go crazy with colors?! In Windows, you can print the image multiple times on one sheet. Here’s how I did it:

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Cut out each book plate. I have a paper cutter that cuts straight lines… I LOVE IT. Aside from my bone folder and X-acto knife, it’s my favorite craft tool.

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Using your alphabet stamps, simply stamp out the owner’s name in the space provided.

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Bundle up the finished product, and done! To secure these into your books, Tacky Glue works, as does double-sided tape.

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Alternatively, you can go for the high-tech method. Using your image editing software (I use Paintshop Pro), open the template and create a new text layer. Simply type in the owner’s name and print. Voila! Done-zo. The font I use is called Traveling Typewriter. Google it, it’s easy to find.

Write whatever you’d like in the space below the owner’s name. If these are for your books, keep track of who has borrowed them; record when you’ve read and reread the book; make mention of when and where you purchased the book. If these are for a gift, write a message to the person who will be receiving them. You can even give a book with one of these cute bookplates already affixed inside!

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The best part about this project is that you can make TONS of these cards quickly! If you have as many books as I do, that will be a life saver. Enjoy!

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Make Today: Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, Makers!

Regardless of your current marital status, I promise there are tons of people you love who need some appreciation today. Family, Friends, Pets, etc. There are also tons of different ways to express your appreciation for those wonderful folks! If you’re like me, you’ve been eyeing up printables and other DIY Valentine’s projects… Remember our printable mailbox from last year?

This year I’ve once more taken to making my own Valentines. A little more two-dimensional, but still pretty awesome. I was inspired by the easy to follow tutorial from the Jones Design Company blog and set to work creating my own fake calligraphy. This card was made using some kraft cardstock and a pen and ink set.

outside: “Romeo & Juliet…”

Even someone with the most atrocious penmanship (ahem, me.) can dress up their handwriting. A steady hand and patience is key, trust me.

inside: “Are a couple of punks compare to my Mom & Dad”

My parents got a good chuckle out of this one ;)

I know it’s been a little quiet on the misc*makers front lately – but that doesn’t mean we aren’t busy little bees. Keep your eyes peeled for more easy projects to tackle.

Enjoy :)

Make: Oven Baked Red Potatoes

Happy Valentines Day, makers!

If you’re like me, maybe you are planning to cook your loved one a nice dinner. If you are in need of a side dish, this recipe will complete your meal and add a little red to your plate! I found this recipe last year when I was making my boyfriend a dinner for Valentine’s Day. Cooks.com has an Oven Baked Red Potato Recipe that is to die for! It is amazing and it is so easy to make!

The ingredients are:

-1 tablespoon of butter (melted)

-1 tablespoon of olive oil

-2 cloves of garlic (minced)

-1/4 teaspoon of pepper

-3/4 teaspoon of basil

-3/4 teaspoon of oregano

-3/4 teaspoon of salt

-4 large unpeeled red potatoes

 

1)      Preheat the oven to 425.

2)      Mix all of the ingredients except the potatoes.

3)      Cut the potatoes into wedges. (Once the wedges are cut I usually cut them in half to make the pieces smaller.)

4)      Add the wedges to the bowl of ingredients, put a lid on and toss the mixture.

5)      Stand the potatoes on edge on a cookie sheet.

6)      Sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on the potatoes and put in the oven.

7)      Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

 

It is as simple as that! It is one of the best potato recipes I have made yet. Even if you are not making a Valentine’s dinner, it makes a great side dish for any meal you make.

 

If you make this, be sure to let us know what you thought about it. My question to you is,

What is your favorite side dish?


 

ReUse: Sweater into Mittens

It’s no secret that crafters love to reuse materials from everyday items to bring a creation to life. Repurposing outdated, torn, or just plain blah clothing into new, usable items is a great way to live a little greener and save a few dollars on supplies.

Recently, I saw a simple step-by-step on the Etsy blog, The Storque on how to use an old sweater to make new mittens. [LINK!]

(image from The Storque)

I have the pleasure of babysitting my niece after school on weekdays and she is the most crafty Kindergartener in the world. She loves to make things with Aunt Jessie and Aunt Jessie loves to chance to teach her something new.

Last week we decided it was time to do some sewing. Kay*, my niece, chose the decorations and helped with the tracing. Aunt Jessie did the cutting and sewing. I dug through my clothes and found a sweater that had been sitting unloved at the bottom of a pile. I wish I would have taken a before photo, but here are the results!

Her mittens – Buttons and lace were the decorations of the day!

My mittens!

 

You’ll be seeing more of this grey (gray?) sweater soon, makers! I was able to do a little more scavenging with the remaining material. So far, I’d say this sweater has already had a great second life!

 

We’d love to see your repurposing projects! Post in the comments section :)

Make: Pocket Full of Stars

What’s a better way to say “I Love You” than a pocket full of stars.  Called either lucky stars or love stars, these little creations are very easy to make with very few supplies needed. Be careful not to crush them! They say you’ll be quite “UN-lucky” with love if you do! (=P)

Here’s how to do it in ten easy steps.

Supplies Needed:

1) Paper Ribbon

(Found in many asian craft stores, usually in round rolls. Thin colorful paper strips or origami paper are good alternatives).

2) Scissors

3) CLEAR Empty Jar or Container (Be creative!)

Optional: Stickers, ribbons, jewels, etc.

(Anything to decorate the jar, but these are so pretty on their own too!)

Method

(Sorry, it’s the science major in me hahah).

1) Cut the ribbon into strips 5-6inches in length.  (However many is your choice).

2) Take one end of the ribbon, and holding the design part on the outside, make a loop just as you would when tying a knot – Be sure to leave a small tail on the left end! (See Picture)

3) Tighten the knot just enough that you create a nice pentagon shape.

4) Fold over the left short end and then tuck into the pentagon. (The crease you made when you folded the left end should creates one of the edges of the pentagon!)

5) Flip the pentagon over so that the long end of the strip is face down and to the left of the pentagon. Then, fold the long end over the pentagon. (Use the edges as a guide. The folds should be diagonal to maintain the pentagon shape).

6) Following the shape of the pentagon, continue to fold the tail over each edge. The end result should be the pentagon with a now short tail.

7) Tuck in the short tail. NOTE: If the short tail only goes halfway or less across the pentagon, go back one step so that the tail is slightly longer. Measure across the pentagon, fold in the excess edge, and then tuck in.

8) Using your thumb and index, pinch any two adjacent edges together to start forming the points of the star. Then, pinch in all corners.

 

9) Fill stars into jar and decorate jar if desired!

10) Give to someone you love with a hug or a kiss! <3

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Any questions, feel free to ask.

I would love to see pictures of your creations. Please send them my way!

Cheers Misc. Makers!

 

Make: Valentine’s Day Mailbox

Love is in the air, my fellow makers! Valentine’s Day is coming fast and today we have for you a neat little printable/tutorial/how to! What’s cuter on Valentine’s Day than a little bitty mailbox, all dolled-up and ready to stuff with lace hearts and chocolate? Here we go!

First, you’ll need to gather your supplies.

* Pick your favorite hole punch. I have a star :)

* Tacky Glue or some similar fast-drying craft glue

* Your most trusted pair of scissors

* A bone folder. If you don’t have one of these – GET ONE. For anyone who enjoys paper crafts, a bone folder will most definitely be the best investment you’ve ever made. Life + Bone Folder = Better.

* A ruler or another straight edge. I don’t need to take a picture of that, right? Right?! K.

* One plain sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 inch cardstock

* One patterned sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock – I chose a sheet of scrapbook paper and then cut it to size.

* You’ll also need this template I’ve put together – ValentinesMailbox– Be sure not to adjust any of the sizing. You’ll want this to print at 100%. You’ll be printing this on the REVERSE side of your cardstock.

Now that we have all of our tools in order, let’s begin.

Before you cut out any of your template pieces, take your bone folder and your straight edge and score lines where the template tells you do. Scoring before cutting out the pieces is just a little way to make your life easier.

Next, go ahead and cut out all of your template pieces. For this template, just cut out anything that’s pink. You’ll have FIVE pieces. The mailbox door, back, base, outer shell, and flag. Fold along all of your pre-scored lines.

Take note that since we’ve printed this on the REVERSE side of your cardstock, you’ll be folding IN. You want all pink template pieces to be inside the mailbox.

Grab your hole punch and, well, punch! The little dot on the mailbox door is a perfect place to cut out a cute little shape.

Let’s start gluing. The mailbox door and back need to be glued to the base. Remember to keep all of your pink template pieces together. The lines you scored earlier provide you with little tabs for attaching everything. I’ve glued the door and back on top of the base – this way, the bottom will be nice and flat when you’re finished.

Now here’s where it gets a little tricky. Take the outer skin and make sure all of your tabs are folded in. Have the five little tabs facing the BACK of the mailbox. Glue one of the long bottom tabs to the base of the mailbox. Again, you’ll want to glue the tab on top of the base so your bottom stays flat.

Wait a little bit for your glue to dry before moving on to the next step. Once that first bottom tab is secure, bring the outer shell around so that you have, well, a mailbox. Carefully line up the bottom tab on the opposite side and glue it down. Take it slow and be sure to line up all of your edges.

Woo! We’re almost done! Remember those little tabs on the back? Add a little dab of glue to each and CAREFULLY attach them to the back of the mailbox. This will be a little tricky. I suggest gluing the two bottom tabs first, the two middle tabs next, and the top center tab last.

If all goes according to plan, you should now have a little mailbox sitting in front of you and an accomplished feeling in your heart. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to trim the back and door a little bit to make everything perfect. I’m sure there’s a scientific, mathematical way to formulate these template pieces so that everything lines up perfectly, but I haven’t found it. This template came together through trial and a lot of error. So yeah, the back and door need a tiny bit of trimming.

Lastly, attach your little mailbox flag and… TA DA!! Your Valentine’s Day Mailbox is all ready and set to decorate ’til your heart’s content!

With a little bit of patterned tape, some stamps and a few buttons, here is my completed mailbox. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial, and PLEASE – if you make one of these mailboxes, we’d love to see it!

Happy Valentine’s Day, makers!

Enjoy!

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