I’m writing this post so that I will feel accountable for my next sentence. I am NOT going to BUY any new craft supplies in 2017 unless they fit the two specific criteria I have laid out here. First, I am ALLOWED to buy the NECESSITIES if I run out. By necessities, I mean things like paint, glue, artist pens and pencils, gesso, etc… Second, I CAN BUY art supplies if I find them ridiculously CHEAP at thrift shops, yard sales or flea markets. That’s it! I am not going to go to Tuesday Morning, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or any other store just to browse and see what they have. Browsing usually ends up costing me a lot of money!
So why am I making this bold statement? When I was crafting for Christmas, I found I had so many Christmas items in my stash that I didn’t need to go out any buy anything. I made lots of December Dailies, cards, tags and embellishments without purchasing a thing. The amazing thing is, I still don’t need to buy anything for next year either. I have so many supplies I’m drowning in them. Ditto for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer, Fall and you get the idea.
Now here’s where it hurts. I’m going to expose my shame and show you all the stuff I have to craft and make mixed media with. Ready?
Sadly, this is not all. There are some drawers in my studio and other places all over the house that have craft supplies in them. Now you can see why I don’t need to go shopping anytime soon. Everything I have I liked enough to purchase or save, so now it’s time to use it all up. I’m excited about the thought of actually having room to breathe in my studio.
Okay, so it’s confession time. I already did buy something this year. This is what I bought.
My justification is that they were cheap (only $1.00 each) and….
They are filled with pages and pages of these beautiful nature graphics! I can use these for so many projects.
So there you have it. I feel better after this photographic confession and goal for 2017. Hopefully you will be seeing a lot of posts showing the stuff I have been making.
If you feel like you’re suffocating in your supplies, or you want to save some money, craft from your stash and have fun with the supplies you already have on hand. Good Luck!
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!
As mentioned in my last post, I am trying to use up my paper scraps from crafting instead of letting them go to waste. I promised two more projects that will help you bust your scrap box, basket or suitcase! The first project I’m going to share is Christmas embellishments.
The inspiration for making these scrap embellishments came from this video:
First, I cut some scraps into interesting shapes, both by hand and with dies.
Then I made some ornament shapes just using a round die and gluing a topper on each.
Next I just played and played with all my little goodies and came up with these cute embellishments.
Here are some close-ups:
Please note that you are not going to get rid of lots of scrap paper, as these embellies are so small, but you will use up the smaller pieces. The bonus is that you will have a stash of Christmas embellishments for cards, tags and other projects for 2017 already done!
This was a super fun and relaxing project. After Christmas I plan on making loads more and for once, getting ahead of the Christmas rush!
All paper crafters face mountains of paper scraps at one time or another. And most crafters, myself included, have trouble throwing any of them away. My basket of paper scraps has grown totally out of control so I spent several hours on YouTube watching what other crafters do with their paper scraps. I’ll show you two projects I found and tried.
First, I made a load of Christmas tags using pieces of scrap paper and simple embellishments. I didn’t want to get too fancy here because I know these tags will just end up in the trash after the gifts are opened.
Then I made a pile of strips from my paper scraps. The strips are all different widths and lengths.
I glued the strips to a piece of cardstock cut to the size of a card front. I varied the layout of the strips for interest.
I trimmed the strips even with the cardstock piece and then adhered it to a plain card. I made some simple embellishments and attached them also.
I hope you like these two simple projects for using up scrap papers. These are both Christmas themed because I have been crafting with Christmas papers, however, you can use any scraps you have and make these projects all year round.
Stay tuned as I have two more scrap projects using Christmas papers coming soon!
Every once in a while I get the urge to make a project just using the junk that is
cluttering up on my desk. I decided to make an ATC sized magnet so I could reuse the magnet strip off list pad I had just finished up. I always have varying sizes of cardboard on my desk so that was a no-brainer for the substrate.
I opened a new bottle of gesso and an obscene amount poured out onto my little ATC. I was actually able to gesso 2 – 8 x 10 canvas boards, 2 – 5 x 5 stretched canvases, 1 – 6 x 8 canvas board and my ATC with that huge puddle!
Next, I painted on some cream and brown acrylic paints to give it a vintage feel.
This very blurry picture shows some eggs I cut from some scrapbook paper. I inked the edges with distress ink before decoupaging them onto the card.
Here is the “finished ATC”. It’s really simple, but it gives me that old field guide feeling.
I painted the back of the card the same color blue I spattered on the eggs and attached the magnet strip from the used up note pad.
I like how the ATC magnet came out, but I just needed to add one more touch to make me love it.
Yep, you guessed it. I added glitter to the butterfly’s wings. NOW it’s done and I do love it! I hope you like it too and that it inspires you to make your own little work of art with things that are already on your desk!
A few weeks ago I wrote about the craft items available at Target’s Dollar Spot. The gist of the post was that some of the items crafters are buying there, they could easily make themselves. I purchased three different packs of Valentine’s Day tags and then duplicated them myself.
I would never use the three packages of very uninspired tags left the way they were. I decided they needed some altering to take them up a level.
Altering these tags took only minutes and cost me nothing. I think they are much more fun and worthy of giving than the way they originally started.
If you like to craft and have purchased items that are a little less unique than you like, take a few minutes to “make them your own”. Break out your die-cuts, stamps, stickers and washi tape and get “crafty”!
It seems that the latest craze at Target has become its “dollar spot”. This is where you can find all kinds of items for $1.00, $3.00 and now $5.00. Mostly these are impulse type items. Crafters, have begun to scour the “dollar spot” for items like washi tape, colored paper clips, baker’s twine and other craft supplies.
There are many items at the “dollar spot” that some crafters buy but could very easily make themselves. I refuse to buy items that I can duplicate at home with just a little effort. It nearly killed me to cough up the $3.00 for these hum-drum store-bought tags, but I had to do it to prove my point.
Here are some of the items I’m talking about. In this case they are all packages of Valentine’s Day tags.
I just picked some pretty cardstock, ran it through my die-cutting machine and added coordinating baker’s twine. It took no time at all and I was able to use up some of my paper scraps.
Again, I just cut two sets of tags. One set is made from colored cardstock and the other from kraft cardstock. I ran the kraft cardstock through my die-cutting machine and then joined the two with coordinating baker’s twine. I didn’t have an arrow punch so I used some other fun dies I had. The little hearts were made using a paper punch.
I cut the burlap and cardstock hearts on my die-cutting machine. I added natural twine because it coordinated with the burlap. The Target tags have hideous stiff brown plastic ties.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a die-cutting machine to make tags. They are very easy to cut free hand.
Cut a rectangular piece of cardstock. Mark and cut off a small piece on each corner.
Next punch a hole in the center. Add some baker’s twine, ribbon or string and you’ve got a handmade tag you can be proud of!
I am a crafter and I enjoy taking the time and effort to make things uniquely my own. When I give something I made to friends or fellow crafters I don’t want them to think, “Oh, I saw that at Target.”
I had fun duplicating these items, however, I think they still leave a lot to be desired. Stay tuned for my next post to see how I made improvements to these tags!