Sunday, September 12, 2010

Craft Bric-A-Brac

I love to craft.  Here’s a secret though…I am not artistic.  I cannot draw or cut a straight line.  I also have a hard time inventing ideas myself.  I’ve bought tools over the years to disguise my downfalls.  A hot glue gun, pre-cut easy peasy kits, even ribbon with stick um already on the back.  I also have things that seem silly…corner punches, rick rack scissors, forty kinds of ribbon.  I also have scads of gorgeous papers for any occasion.  The whole thing has become pretty ridiculous.  My husband, fortunately, indulges me in this hobby.  Mainly, I think, because it keeps my attention from using him as a project.  I will post projects I plan to undertake or have recently completed here from time to time.  And since my poor, poor camera has died, I will post links to similar projects, etc until I can go back to snapping lovely photos.

So for now, here are some items that have piqued (why is this word spelled this way?  Why can’t it just be PEEKED or PEAKED?  anyway…) my crafting curiosity:

1)  What can you do with a used toilet paper roll?  First guess, throw it away.  A close second would be, make a kid a telescope.  BUT, did you know that for the low, low cost of some contact paper or clear coat spray paint, you could have some fabulous pillow box style containers?  I have enlisted family and friends to save their empty rolls so I can make some of these beauties for class parties.  Below is a pic and a link to a great how to:

Pillow Box from TP Rolls...who knew?


By the way, to give credit where credit is due, the owner of this how-to has a wonderful blog called Skip to my Lou.  She has all kind of dandies like free downloads and gift ideas.  Check it out!

2) Hand sewn journals.  Seriously, this is about the simplest idea I’ve seen in a while.  You know how you have odds and ends of wrapping paper, scrapbook paper or cardstock after finishing a project?  Well, here is THE idea for it, mainly because it doesn’t matter what size you have left.  I have already done some of these for my kids and I was extremely happy with the results.  It only took a couple of hours to cut the paper (I didn’t have any scraps), fold and sew the books.  I also stamped the outsides and put decorative tape on the binding.  Below is a pic of one that looks really similar to what I did.


The woman that made these has some gorgeous pictures of the insides and other journals she has created at her blog, Dispatch from LA.  She has some more embellished version that I cannot wait to attempt.  Also, here are the instructions to sew the bindings, but I did not have an awl or special waxed thread.  So I used a heavy duty needle and doubled the cotton thread I did have.  I poked the needle through the pages using a template and then just went back through with my thread (and the same needle). 

3) Heat Embossing.  As in for cards or stationary.  I bought this Martha Stewart kit and the ridiculously expensive tool and had some pretty disastrous results. 

embossing kit

Luckily, I got both items at about half price but still thought I had spent too much money for the craptastic images I was left with on my paper.  They looked runny and splotchy.  So I googled my little heart out until I found this video review of the kit and realized it was the “special” stamp pad including in the kit.  I also found this step-by-step tutorial and realized that a little cornstarch would help get rid of the hanger-on embossing powder that was ruining my background.  So I now intend on buying a better stamp pad and using that baby sock idea to emboss some PERFECTION.  I can’t wait!

That’s all for now.  I’m giving myself a headache and it’s time for dinner anyway.  Please let me know if you have done any of the projects above and what tips you have.  I’d also love some new ideas.

A diva is someone who is a perfectionist, who does her best in her craft.
Patti LaBelle

1 comment:

  1. Check out my friend's etsy shop ( for some similar journals that she makes - may inspire you to go even farther (further?).

    Also, I'm totally with you on the crafty but not artistic thing.


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