11 March 2013

DIY: Book Page Banner & Decorations

Here's a super easy DIY banner for any occasion...a book page banner that can be printed on your home printer. So quick and easy.

I used an old copy of Benji that I got at a thrift store for a nickel. It really doesn't matter what the book is, as long as you approve of the subject matter in case someone did to decide to read it.

I looked at what sizes my printer would print out and determined that a 4x6 size would work best. So I used my big paper cutter to chop of the spine and trim the edges of the pages so that there was even space on each side. You can use a ruler and x-acto knife to achieve the same thing. Book pages are thin and really easy to cut through.

Choose a font, print one letter on each page. I did this in Photoshop. If you have a Cricut, you could cut letters out and glue them onto the book pages. Which is the route I almost took, but I wanted the type to show through. Like in this photo below. It just has so much character.

I stacked all the printed pages and cut the bottoms at the same time. I made a template with an extra book page, laid it on top of the stack, used a metal ruler and x-acto, and cut the inverted V out of the bottom. And it worked great. Again, the book pages are so thin, that it's really easy to cut through a stack at once. The key with the x-acto is light pressure and several strokes. Don't try to cut through all of them at once. Cut the same line 4 or 5 times, and you'll find you get a nice clean cut.

So I just went for easy, all around. I folded the pages down at the top, folding them to the back, about an inch. Then I slipped the yarn under the fold. I had some paper tape on hand and was out of regular old scotch tape, so I went with that. Doesn't matter, no one sees the tape. I taped the fold down, with the yarn still under. And just repeated the process until they were all strung up.

The nice thing is that this banner is very lightweight. Book pages are just so thin! I know I keep saying that! I used the paper tape and hung the banner on the wall in the kitchen, since we spend a lot of time in there, cooking and eating!

I used wooden skewers, some double stick tape, and pages printed with Will's age to add to the flowers on the table. Super easy. I planned to make other decorations with the book pages...but kind of ran out of time.

What else could you make? I'd love to hear your ideas...

28 February 2013

Step by Step: Lock & Key Necklace

I couldn't think of a better name to call this necklace. It's a lock and key. But it doesn't have to be. It could be any two charms and work the same way as long as one is slightly larger. But, alas, my pregnant brain keeps the words from coming to me...so, it's just called a lock and key necklace.

But this isn't just any lock and key. It's a special one. My brother, Jesse, studied abroad in Poland for several months and he must have missed me something awful because he went to some form of a Polish flea market maybe in search of a Polish girl that might make him feel like he'd found his scavenging, flea market loving sister. (Really, I think he just went to a flea market with friends) But he did stumble upon this amazing little lock and key...and he bought it for little ole me!

Lock (or larger charm), Key (or smaller charm), small links, medium links, 1 large link, clasp, chain

The whole necklace is put together by opening and closing links (or jump rings as they are called). Two pairs of pliers will do the trick. By holding each side of the link and turning one hand towards you and one hand away from you (similar to the way you would wring a towel, go ahead, try that motion out), the link opens. And it closes by doing the same motion, just going back the way you came.

Well, the fact that my twenty-something year old brother bought me a present in Poland makes it special. And this is what makes it unique...when you put the key in and turn it, it unlocks like normal. But a little door on the front of the lock pops out and it's made to keep a little message locked inside!  Amazing, right?

I slipped two links on the lock. And then two more on the links. And then two more on those links. See the next photos to understand what I'm talking about...

Two links on the lock. Then two links through those two links. Then two more links through those two. While the last links are each open, slip your chain onto them. One chain to one link. This keeps you from doing that annoying motion of pulling the clasp back to the back when you're wearing it. (You can thank me later!) Measure and trim your chain depending on how long you want the necklace. I typically like a 28 inch necklace, so I cut each side to 14 inches.

Go for the same thing here. Two links on the key, then two more on those. While those last two are open, slip them through the links that attach to the chain. See the larger photo at the end for a closer look.

One link to connect the clasp to the chain, one link to connect the larger link to the chain.

Try your necklace on, look in the mirror, give yourself a high five. You did it. A simple, unique necklace. Perfect to keep & wear all the time. Or perfect to give as a gift. As for me, I'm keeping this one. It's too special to give away. I need a message to keep in the lock though!

Notes: the chain and links I used came from Joann, the clasp from Etsy a long time ago (but you can find those at Joann, too), and the fabric in the background can be found here on Etsy.

29 November 2012

Christmas has arrived!

I am the only girl that works in our church office full time, so with at least 10 guys in the office, I figured I needed to take it upon myself to spread some Christmas cheer around the place! (A couple of the guys LOVE Christmas, too...but let's face it...the place needed a woman's touch!)

I am so thrilled with the finished product! It's just so homey and cute! 

Here's what the project entailed: handmade mini stockings, custom art prints, patterned paper bunting, store bought glittery snowflakes, random frames from home, and the perfect little Christmas tree!

It was super easy, cheap, and definitely worth it! The guys in the office were all pretty excited to have some holiday cheer around, some more excited than others.

Here are the holiday prints I designed for you to download and use for your own holiday projects! (The middle print on the mantle is not one I designed, so it's not included. You can find it here though)

And while you are here, hop on over to my etsy shop which is closing this year...so I have marked everything down! All items are 75% off their original price and your entire purchase ships for just $1.50 - it's a great way to grab a bunch of stocking stuffers for the special people in your life!

16 October 2012

Closing My Shop

After four and a half years of creating stationery and other handmade items, I am closing my shop. This is not really a sad thing, but a healthy and exciting new chapter.

As Will and I are preparing to have a baby, I have decided that working a full time job + running my creative business on the side is just too much. I have loved every moment of designing stationery, making jewelry, and helping clients achieve the perfect look for their wedding suites. God has blessed me so much through my creative ventures, and I look back with all smiles and warm fuzzies.

As I begin the process of closing my shop, lots of my supplies and remaining inventory will be on sale in my etsy shop. I have lots of elastic headbands/hair ties, jewelry, jewelry supplies, vintage keys, art prints, etc. that will be added to my shop in the coming days and weeks.

I will continue blogging here about all my crafts and creative projects, because while my shop is closing, my creative passion must be channeled somewhere.

Thanks for all the love over the years.

08 October 2012

LOVE: My Own Handwriting Font

Ok, so there it is. In all its glory. It was a pretty darn good first attempt, if I say so myself. And then let's talk about the obvious...I haven't posted in a really long time. I have a lot stirring in my brain. And I want to craft like crazy. But I haven't had the time.

Because in the last couple months...one of my best friends got married, my brother got engaged, Will and I found out that we're having a BABY, and I've been working like crazy!

But I have some fall crafts that I'm about to post. So stay tuned, people.