Most people who are in the arts and crafts or planner worlds know what a traveler’s notebook is. There are tons of videos and blog posts about how to set up your TN (traveler’s notebook). And what you use them for is only limited by your imagination. I have watched many YouTube videos showing pretty TNs filled with TN inserts and paraphernalia all which add up to the cost of a new car! I’m not kidding, the bare bones TNs, without inserts, sell from $30.00-$70.00. Yeah, I’m so not cool with that.
So I decided to make my own TN. Basically all they are is a piece of leather or vinyl and some elastic cord. So how hard could it be to make my own? Not hard at all. I used two pieces of sample vinyl wallpapers from one of those huge sample books. First I glued them backsides together so I have a pretty cover and inside. Then I followed a video detailing how to attach the elastic pieces.
This is what my bare bones TN looks like.
Okay, I know it doesn’t look great yet, but that is because I haven’t worked on any of the pages inside.
I am using my TN as a prayer and Scripture book. But if that’s not your thing, you can use them as day planners, art journals, junk journals, glue books, etc…
Here are some of the pages I’ve made for my journal. As my prayers are private, I photographed these pages before I wrote my prayers on them.
Traveler’s notebooks, however you deem to use them, are a great way to use your creativity as well as use your stash!
If you don’t already have a TN, check out some videos about them. I bet you’ll get hooked just like I did!
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!!!
Okay, here is the last project I have for now that deals with using up your scraps of paper. This project is great for using long thin pieces of scrap paper, not tiny fragments. But the best part of this project is that you can use up some of your ugly papers!
My inspiration for this project came from this video:
First I selected my paper scraps, some ugly and some nice. The only requirement is that they be of the same thickness. You’ll want to cut your ugly papers into strips about 2 or 2 1/2 inches wide.
Here are my ugly strips.
Then you want to cut your nice strips into widths of varying widths also.
Here are my nice strips.
Now you will add any cheap glue to an ugly strip, making sure you’ve got good coverage.
Next, start laying your nice strips at a slight angle over the ugly strip.
Be sure your nice strips are covering the ugly strip and that they are lined up tightly against each other without any gaps.
Keep going until you have finish covering the entire length of your ugly strip.
This is what the back looks like.
Now trim off all the excess paper around the ugly strip. Most of these trimmed pieces will still be long enough to use again.
Cut the strips into lengths you like. I pretty much just cut each one in half, although I did to a little extra trimming off the top or bottom to achieve the look I wanted.
Cut the top corners off, punch a hole and insert cord or baker’s twine. Now you have unique tags!
They can even be topped off with the scrap embellishments you made from the directions in my last blog post.
I think these tags are such a great idea and each one will turn out differently. Again, you can make these crafts with any paper and any theme based on what scraps you want to use up.
I hope you will try these scrap projects I have posted lately. Not only are they using up scrap papers and saving you money, but they are so much fun.
When I come across other ingenious ways of using up scrap papers, I promise to share them with you!
In my last post I up-cycled some manila file folders. I cut out shapes from a magazine and used them as masks on my mixed media background.
I really like how they turned out, but the magazine paper was very thin so the masks wouldn’t last very long before they just turned to mush.
I came up with an idea of how to make my own masks that will last for a long time.
I used some clear contact paper that I had picked up at a thrift shop eons ago. At the time I didn’t have any use for it but thought it might come in handy sooner or later.
I sandwiched each picture between two pieces of contact paper and then cut them out leaving about a 1/4″ border. You must leave a border so that the contact paper can stick to itself and seal in the cutout.
These are the masks I made using magazine pictures.
And here are some I made using pictures from old pattern sleeves.
I had this background already done in my art journal so I just rubbed around this mask with some black archival ink using a make-up sponge. Obviously the page isn’t finished, but she makes a great focal point.
This piece is in my faith art journal using the Scripture Psalm 91:4.
I love making these masks and I am thinking of finding some pictures of animals and objects to add to my diy mask collection!
If you have some old contact paper, or laminating sheets lying around, try making some of your own masks to add something different to your mixed media projects!
It has been 17 years since I opened Mossy Cottage. I decided to specialize in vintage linens and costume jewelry with other items to “fill in”. I have been known as the “linen lady” in Fredericksburg for years. As I watched my sales decline over the last couple years I realized that the younger women today do not care about setting a nice table with linens. Most don’t even know how to cook a meal without using prepared foods or eat out for most of their meals. And although I am a staunch user of vintage linens I decided to make a change at Mossy Cottage.
I had a huge sale on the linens and sold most of them off. Then I refilled the booth with vintage and retro kitchenware, office supplies and industrial items, sewing and crafting items, clothing accessories and flower and garden items. Happily my sales have started to improve and I even get men into my booth now!
Here are a couple pictures of the new and improved Mossy Cottage!
DIY wedding and party items.
Vintage office supplies and industrial items.
Retro kitchenware and kitsch.
Vintage sewing and crafting items.
Vintage purses, gloves and some small linens.
Kitschy planters and garden items.
I’m excited about this change after 17 years and really enjoy my new merchandise (and hunting for it)! But one thing that will not change is my own love of vintage linens!
As of this past Thursday evening I had 151 pins on my Pinterest board called “Make”. I know most of you have a board like this. It’s the one with all the wonderful crafts and DIY projects you are planning to make in all your spare time (insert laughter here). The key word here is planning because that’s how far any of us get.
Well this week I decided I am actually going to make ONE item off my “Make” board. So I looked at all the crafty goodness and I oohed and aahed at the possibilities. Then I came to my senses and chose the following criteria for the project.
First, it must not require supplies most people don’t have lying around, like a mile high stack of pallets, 115 vintage hankies or 55 yards of antique french lace.
Second, it must not require tools most people don’t own, like a blow torch, kiln or tower crane.
Third, it should not require skills the average Joe doesn’t possess, like glass blowing, tatting or scrimshaw.
And Lastly, it cannot take three days to make!
Well, those criteria really put a dent in my list. But there is one little project we probably can all make without using too many “sentence enhancers” and here it is.
This cutie little pin came from the flickr link above, according to Pinterest.
Now it’s our turn to make one. First we need to pick some ribbons to use. Simple, right?
Yeah, I know that’s obscene, and the bad part is that this is only SOME of the ribbon I have!
Cut a length of ribbon and fold it in half over the non-moving arm of the pin. It is important that you don’t use the side of the pin you need to open and close to attach it to your clothing. Sew the ribbon right under the pin arm. You can use a sewing machine like I did (with zipper foot), hand sew it or I guess even use glue!
Cut the end of the ribbon to the desired length and angle.
Next we’re going to pick a piece of lace to layer over the ribbon. Simple, right?
This is just ONE box of lace and ribbon scraps I have. I won’t even show you the rolls of lace!!
Now I’ve just snipped some lace and put it in place.
Find a button, flower, fabric yo-yo or some other kind of embellishment to sew or glue on top.
Here are some sample pins I made.
Now I know this is not high fashion jewelry, however, it is easy to make and uses stuff we probably all have on hand. You can customize them any way you want. These little pins would be great to make for fund raisers, as a VBS craft, for a make-it-and-take-it at a party, or to show your support for a cause.
If you would excuse me now, a whole drawer full of ribbon is calling me to make it into pins!