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Thursday
Jan052012

DIY New Year's Good Luck Card

Hi everyone and happy Thursday! It's five days into the new year. Are we feeling good? Is 2012 treating us all nicely? So far I'm pretty pumped about it but it might have to do with all the nice weather we're having in Southern California lately. It has been in the mid-80s the last few days, no joke. I feel bad for my friend in New York who has had highs of 26. If I could I would send over some of our heat to the East Coast, we could spare a few degrees.

Today I'm excited to share the first DIY project of 2012! Yipee! I wanted the project to revolve around the new year and since I had good luck symbols on my brain because of my recent Houzz ideabook, I decided to make a little good luck card that you could send out to friends and family. This card is pretty simple and not too labor intensive. Pigs are known as lucky symbols so I incorporated a little gold pig into this card as a fun surprise for the recipients.

Sidenote + update on my Nikon d40x camera (you probably don't care but I'm including it anyway): I mentioned a few days ago that my dSLR was experiencing some technical difficulties and it is now packaged up (wrapped in layer upon layer of bubble wrap) ready to go back to Nikon for servicing. Without it I feel a bit lost but obviously this is a step that needs to be taken if I ever want to use it again. These pictures were taken with my Mom's Canon point and shoot, a nice camera but clearly not quite the quality I'm used to. Thanks Mom for letting me borrow it. So please bare with me while my baby gets fixed.

Alright so back to the DIY. Here are the materials that I used:

* white cardstock * glassine bag (4.5 x 7.25) * gold paper clip * label maker (I found mine on Etsy) + black dymo tape * plastic pig * letter stamp (mine is this one) + stamp pad * scissors * glitter tape (it's this stuff but I got it at Michaels, called Recollections Glitter Tape) * confetti if desired * paper edge rounder punch * small manila tag * jute twine * gold acrylic paint + brush

1. Cut a piece of white cardstock down to size so it fits into the glassine bag.

2. Round the corners with a punch if so desired.

3. Cut a piece of the glitter tape and then notch the ends to get a banner effect.

4. Use the label maker to spell out 'happy new year' on black dymo tape.

5. Notch the ends of the dymo tape as well and then stick to the cardstock, layering over the glitter tape.

6. Spell out 'for good luck' with the custom letter stamp and stamp the message onto the small manila tag.

7. On the back side of the cardstock, fill out your New Year's message to loved ones.

8. Paint the plastic pig with gold acrylic paint. I recommend two coats. Allow dry time between each coat.

9 & 10. Use jute twine to tie the manila tag to the gold pig. Place the pig into the glassine bag along with the cardstock and confetti (if desired).

All packaged up, your good luck card should look something like this:

The confetti makes the package fun and more like a surprise treat for the recipients although I understand the annoyances of cleaning it up. But how can you resist it?!

So what do you think? Would you send out New Year's cards? With the hustle and bustle of the holidays it can be hard to get cards out during those busy months. I like the idea of New Year's cards because they're sort of different and unexpected but also easier on you because you can put them together once the craziness ends. 

I hope you all enjoyed my first DIY of 2012. It felt good to get crafty again and back into the routine. My DIYs got pretty sparse towards the end of the year. I am definitely looking forward to making up some crafty creations to share here and out in the rest of the blogosphere. 

Have a great day!

Thursday
Nov172011

Whisker Graphics November DIY

It's that time again!  Since it's the middle of November, the time has come for me to showcase another Whisker Graphics DIY.  I can't believe another month has gone by and this marks my fifth DIY.  Once again I couldn't resist using Divine Twine in my project.  I can never get enough of that stuff and find myself drawn to it every month (literally, I think I've used it every month).  My inspiration this month was friendship bracelets.  I have seen them pinning over on Pinterest and thought it would be fun to incorporate the multi-color Divine Twine.  

I opted for the airmail twine because it has three colors but any color(s) would work.  Since the twine is not a solid color, the pattern turns out all random but I kind of like it that way.  Random is good.  The technique is pretty easy and if you head over to my post on Whisker Graphics, I direct you to an easy-to-follow tutorial which teaches you the process with embroidery thread.  

Did you make friendship bracelets as a kid?  I don't remember making these but I remember making lanyards with that plastic string.  Stuff like this.  It was all the rage in elementary school.  I remember so desperately wanting to make really intricate ones.  I had a few friends who were really good at it.  It wasn't my thing and I could only complete the most basic designs.  I may have been creative but the plastic lanyards eluded me.  I wish adult me could go back and show kid me these bracelets because they seem easier and oh so much cuter.  

See my November project here and don't forget to check out the other great ideas from my fellow Whisker Graphics contributors.  With the holidays coming up, you can never have too much design and craft inspiration.  Happy Thursday!

Thursday
Oct202011

Whisker Graphics October DIY + A Giveaway

It's the middle of October and that means I get to share my October Whisker Graphics DIY with you today.  Plus I get to announce another giveaway!  Yep, that's right, another giveaway especially for my readers.  October is sure turning into one fun month here on the blog.  But first, lets take a look at the project I came up with and get creative.

I am a big fan of the Bitty Bags and Little Bitty Bags that Whisker Graphics offers.  The prints are really fun and perfect for party favors.  And for those of us who like to keep it simple, there is a whole new line of plain kraft and glassine bags.  Basically Whisker Graphics has created packaging heaven!  I knew I wanted to highlight the Bitty Bags in my project this month but I had already done a treat bag DIY.  I wanted to do something different and rethink how to use a typical bag.  I have seen people make cards out of paper lunch sacks before and so I worked that idea into making a mini notebook from this red polka dot bag.

I am a collector of little notebooks and have a stash of them in my desk.  I carry them around constantly and find them useful to jot down inspirations and ideas when I come up with something on the go.  This DIY would be perfect for just that, an easy way to make your own little book of inspiration.  Or if you have kids, have it as a doodle pad for when they get bored.  This is an easy and inexpensive little option for those of you who can't get enough paper goods like me.

Another great thing about using the Bitty Bags as notebook covers, you get a built in little pocket where you can stash pictures or pens or paper keepsakes.  Moleskine notebooks have pockets built in and I absolutely love that feature.  It was a happy accident that my version turned out to have them as well.  

If you want to see more pictures and the supplies I used to make this project, head over to the Whisker Graphics blog.

And now that we've had our daily dose of crafty, we can get to the giveaway!  Whisker Graphics is offering a $15 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers.  This is good for anything in their shop, Divine Twine, Bitty Bags, stickers, calendars, etc.  The hard part will be deciding what to buy but I think you guys are up to the challenge.

Enter the giveaway by following Whisker Graphics on their blog or by liking them on Facebook.  After following them, let me know by leaving a comment on this post.  You can enter the giveaway starting today (10/20) and ending next Wednesday (10/26).  I will pick a winner Thursday morning and announce it that day.  I'll then get in touch with the winner through email so be sure to leave me an email where I can reach you.  Good luck everyone!

Wednesday
Oct192011

DIY Stitched Fabric Tags

A late post today but better late than never, right?  I'm feeling a bit under the weather and am curled up in bed hoping that the extra rest will do my body good.  I hate feeling sick and having no energy but the good thing is that blogging doesn't take too much out of me so I think I can manage.  A few weeks ago a blog reader asked about some stitched fabric tags that I featured and wondered if I could share how to make them.  I am always willing to share my crafty methods with readers and I told her that I would turn it into a blog post so that everyone could reap the benefits.  So today I'm going to show you how to make fabric tags like this...

I recently made these tags for a bride who used them for wedding favors.  She gifted her guests home-made vanilla extract (yum!) in mason jars and the tags were a cute, rustic way to label the favors with the couple's names.  So clever and such a treat for the guests.  These tags are pretty easy to make and here are the steps I took to make them...

Step One >> Use a manila shipping tag as a size guide and trace onto your desired fabric.  I used a floral print I found at Joann's.  

Step Two >> Cut out what you traced onto the fabric either using a rotary cutter (like I did above) or some scissors.  

Step Three >> This is what your fabric will look like cut out.  I don't worry about fraying fabric edges because it gives it more of that rustic look.  But if you want clean edges, you could always put a fray-stop solution on the edges after cutting.

Step Four >> Cut out a piece of plain fabric (with no print), sized a bit smaller than your original shape.  Muslin works great for this because it's cheap and has that natural, vintage color.  I actually used natural drill fabric which has the same color as muslin but is thicker and has more texture.  Anything that you like the look of can work!

Step Five >> Stitch the two pieces of fabric together.  I used a sewing machine but if you don't have one, you could also stitch by hand (it will take a bit longer).  I just did one stitch along the top but you could add one along the bottom if you wanted.

Step Six >> Punch a 1/8" hole into the fabric using a hole punch.  I used a Crop-A-Dile eyelet setter which also has a hole punch built in.  A regular hole punch will do the job also.

Step Seven >> Using a Crop-A-Dile or other eyelet setter, set an eyelet in the hole you punched through the fabric.  The eyelet isn't completely necessary but I think it gives the tag a more finished look.  It also prevents fraying around the hole.

Step Eight >> Stamp your message onto the plain fabric.  This stamp set would be a great choice.  

Step Nine >> Before hanging or displaying the tag, I would back it with a paper manila tag (don't attach them, just string them together).  The paper tag adds stability to the fabric and also provides you with a surface to write a quick message or personal note.  

And there you have it!  A quick fabric tag all ready to be used for mason jar labels or even for packaging like I did here...

With the holidays approaching this is a great, handmade solution to store-bought tags.  And it really jazzes up a kraft paper bag, like what I did above, perfect for any occasion.  

I hope you enjoyed this DIY today!  Maybe make a bunch at one time and then you'll be set for months.  Or gift a bundle of them to a friend to use for her own packaging.  And like I did originally with the tags, use them for a sweet detail for wedding favors or even as an escort card alternative.

Happy Wednesday!  Now back to bed for me.

Friday
Sep232011

Font Love, Vol. XXII + Type Artwork DIY

Today is a special Font Friday because not only am I showcasing a fabulous {and free!} font but also showing you how to make your own type artwork with Photoshop.  I am constantly finding and pinning inspirational quotes over on Pinterest but sometimes you just need to get that inspiration out of your computer and into your life.  Today I will be showing you how to make this...

Pretty neat huh?!  It's actually really easy (even for a Photoshop newbie) and you can customize it with whichever quote and background image you like.  So let's begin!

Step One: Start a new project in Photoshop and size it to 8.5x11.  Write out your quote, centering and spacing it the way you want.  I used a free font from DaFont called Hauracherell (originally spotted over on Hank & Hunt a few weeks ago).  Bold fonts tend to work well for this kind of project but you have the creative freedom to pick any cool font.  Also, find an image that you like.  It can be a picture of anything really.  I just love the colors in this flower.

Step Two: Move your picture into the document with the quote, placing the image layer below the text layer.  Position it however you like.

Step Three: First, make sure you are on the text layer.  Then select the magic wand tool on the left.  Finally, click the magic wand somewhere to the side of the text.  Everything but the text should get selected.

Step Four: When everything is still selected, move to your image layer and then hit delete.  This should erase all of the image except the part directly below the text.  

Step Five: Finally deselect everything (right click, 'deselect') and then delete your text layer.  What you're left with is the pretty letters.

Step Six: Print out your artwork and hang it on your walls or prop it up on shelves.  Now you can glance at your inspirational quote whenever you walk by.  This is an easy way to spruce up some blank walls and give them a bit more life.  Add other items to your wall to make a whole inspirational collage full of special knick-knacks.  

Fonts aren't only for viewing on the computer anymore.  Bring them to life and really enjoy them.  If you love this artwork I created here today or you don't have Photoshop to make your own, you can save this copy and print it out for yourself.

Visit my other font friends on their fabulous blogs for more great picks...

Alexandra ♥  The Aerialist Press 

Alison ♥ Alison Owen Design

Jen ♥ Blush Printables

Sofia ♥ Brancoprata

Steph ♥ Bubblerock

Vicki + Barb ♥ Curly Willow DIY

Catherine ♥ Design Editor

Chelsey ♥ Fourth & Folded

Laurel ♥ Go Against the Grain

Jenny ♥ Hank & Hunt

Allie ♥ Honey Bee Invites

Alison ♥ The Knotty Bride

Jenna + Elizabeth ♥ Little Bit Heart

Lauren ♥ Palm Papers

Kerry ♥ Super Swoon

Wendy ♥ WesWen Design

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!