Category: Tutorials

Getting My 2018 December Daily Ready

This is my sixth year keeping a December Daily. I have written posts about some of my previous December Dailies in the past but this is a new Christmas to document and I’m as excited as ever. Here are just a few quick pictures of my set-up. 

Decorating the cover

I usually use old book covers for my December Dailies. The cute snowman image is a piece of a Christmas napkin I decoupaged to the front cover. If you want to decoupage a light-colored napkin, tissue paper or thin paper on a dark background you may want to paint a layer of white underneath. If I hadn’t painted white underneath this napkin I would have ended up with a light green snowman. I just painted a section white and dabbed the edges to soften them and somehow it just looks like snow around the snowman. Of course I added chunky glitter to make my snowman glittery!

Select assorted papers

I selected about forty assorted pieces of paper for the pages. Not all are scrapbook paper however, some are vintage Christmas cards, envelopes, Christmas book pages, Christmas carol pages, old advertisements, etc.. I like to document my entire December and not just through Christmas day. I’ve made sure I have enough “pages” to have at least one a day. Sometimes I may use two pages for one day if a lot was going on and some days I may only use one side of a page. If I don’t have enough pages I can always add more and if I have too many I can take some out.

Arrange papers

After I’ve picked the papers I want to use, I spread them all out on the dining room table and then put them together in an order that is pleasing to me. When arranging the pages I consider color, size and type (such as book page or Christmas card) so I don’t have two of the same type near each other. I make sure my nativity pages are approximately around the 24th of December. I can always fine tune the location of pages as I go along. 

Add a place to stash goodies

I like to attach a small decorative paper bag to the inside of the back cover. That gives me a place to stash embellishments I want to use in the journal. When my journal is completed the bag gives me a place to put items I want to keep that didn’t make it onto a page.

Add binding of some type

I use O rings to keep my journal together. They allow me to make my journals good and chunky and give me the freedom to add or take out pages as needed. Sometimes I will remove a page to work on it if I’m going to use wet mediums like paint or spray ink.

So now that I’ve shown you my “naked” December Daily, I hope to post throughout the month and give you ideas and hacks for ways to embellish your own journal. Just keep in mind the rules for keeping a December Daily:

  1. There are NO rules
  2. Don’t stress if you can’t do it everyday. Maybe just keep track of the highlights
  3. There is no right or wrong way to keep a December Daily
  4. Don’t compare your journal with anyone else’s journal
  5. HAVE FUN!!!
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Burlap Heart Embellishments

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I decided to make heart embellishments out of burlap. The process was really easy, but I think they came out really well. Here’s the simple process.

Cut some ordinary burlap into smallish pieces. The bigger ones in the picture above measure about 6″ square.

I painted the burlap for interest as well as to keep it from fraying when I cut it into smaller shapes.

I cut the fabric into heart shapes. Some were cut with a die and others I free-handed.

Here’s the fun part! I took out a lot of my Valentine’s Day stickers, bling and graphics. I also took out some sequins and plastic flowers.

Here’s the finished heart embellishments.

I will use these little embellishments on cards, tags or gift bag toppers. I hope this has inspired you to get out some of that plain old burlap you have lying around and make some fun embellishments!

My Mini Mixed Media Morsel Tiles

I am very busy working on our house as well as making items for the Spring Vintage Home Market. This allows very little time for me to make larger mixed media projects. I decided to follow along with the projects Cat Hand teaches in her Mixed Media Morsels Dessert videos on YouTube. They are smaller projects that are completed fairly quickly. And if you haven’t seen any of Cat Hand’s videos, you need to check her out. She is an amazingly creative lady.

She has only posted one video in this series so far. Here is the link:

Here are photos of my projects using her steps. 

I used Tim Holtz grunge board pieces for my substrate as I did not have any wood pieces. I wanted my backgrounds fairly neutral so for most of the tiles I used vintage book papers and sheet music. For two of the tiles I used colored scrapbook papers.

I simply decoupaged the pieces of paper randomly onto the tiles.

I stamped some small images onto white tissue paper.

Then I decoupaged the tissue paper to the tiles. The white tissue paper almost disappears when it’s been decoupaged down.

Next I added color using my Faber-Castell Pitt pens. 

I edged the tiles with black to make the colors pop. Finally I added words and a little bling to each tile. Here are some closer pictures of the tiles.

If you are looking for something fun and creative to do this year, why don’t you try making some mixed media morsels. Cat Hand explains and demonstrates every step of her projects making them perfect for mixed media beginners and pros alike!

Easy D.I.Y. Shaker For Journals

If you read my last blog post, you would see that I am doing another December Daily this year. I love December Dailies because Christmas packaging, stickers and ephemera are just so darn cute. As I am just a big kid during the Christmas season, I also like to make shakers for my journals. There is something so fun about making the sequins and beads move around. Most of the time I just use the cellophane wrappers from things I buy but this year I had a different idea. 

I found a bunch of these in my junk journal closet (yes, I really have a closet full of junk journal supplies!)

These are the plain white sleeves you use when you make your own CDs. There is cellophane covering the circle cut out. I stamped mine to make them extra festive.

 

This is the marked up cover of an old Rudolph kids book. I didn’t feel bad cutting up this particular book because it wasn’t in very good shape.

I glued on some sequins in different sizes to give the picture some dimension. Then I put the picture into the CD sleeve.

I got out a few of my packages of sequins and seed beads (and yes, I have many more than this!), and poured them into the CD envelope.

I sealed the sleeve with glue and viola, a cute Christmas shaker to add to my December Daily. I will probably just put it in with a paper clip so I can take it out and play with it when I want.

These can be made for any holiday and can also be used in junk journals. If you don’t have any CD sleeves, just take a look at your crafting stash and see what else you may have to turn into a shaker. Go ahead, your never too old to let your inner child out, especially at Christmas!

Fun DIY Stickers

Okay, I know this is probably not a new idea, but this is the first time I actually tried making my own stickers. You can use any pre-made sticker blanks, varying the sizes and shapes to fit your projects. I used these round printable ones I got from The Dollar Tree.

I watched some videos on YouTube for inspiration. I used paints, sprays, stamps and ink, scraps of decorative papers, sequins and even tiny alphabet and word stickers to decorate the sticker blanks.

Here are some of the stickers I made.

Stickers, in general, are really inexpensive to buy. As an artist, I like to create as much of my own projects from scratch as I can, instead of relying on store-bought items. If you want specialty stickers, like inspirational ones, they are really quite expensive. Making your own allows you to customize them to fit every project perfectly while being unique and inexpensive!

P.S. Here are some laminated mixed media bookmarks I also made.

99 Cent Art

Last year when I was still permitting myself to buy art supplies, I ran across this little mixed media kit at Tuesday Morning. As you can see, the kit only cost me 99 cents.

I came across the kit again as I was tidying up my craft room and decided it was time to do something with it.

Here are the contents of the kit.

Because the pieces are so small, they lent themselves well to making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Here are the ATCs I made.

Besides the cardboard used for the 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ bases, the only other items I used from my stash were rhinestones, brads, a few pieces of washi tape and of course, glitter glue! I hated the color of the bright green corrugated cardboard so I flipped it over and used the backside. 

Challenging myself to use up some of my stash is always so much fun. These little ATCs took me no time at all and I used most of the elements in the kit. Why don’t you pull out 15-20 pieces of bits and bobs from your own stash and make your own kits to use and give away to your artsy friends. It’s a good way to use up older supplies and is guaranteed to spark some creative genius!!!

 

After The Party Up-Cycle Tags

The  Christmas holiday season is over and all the goodies are gone, including the 3 batches of Chex mix I made. So it’s time to say goodbye to the empty cereal boxes.

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Some went the way of the recycling bin and others… well, they went the way of my craft room.

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I cut a box into tag shaped pieces.

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Then I covered one side with printed paper and the other side with plain white card stock.

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I layered on pieces of different papers and sandwiched trims, pieces of paper doilies and snippets of tulle between the layers.

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Here are the finished tags.

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I didn’t buy anything for this project. I only used supplies from my stash. I think they turned out pretty well considering they started as waste.

I hope this inspires you to look in your recycling bin, pull something out, and use items in your stash to create something pretty and new!