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!
I have already started making junk journals and such for the upcoming Christmas season. Although I really don’t need a lot of ephemera to make new journals, I did want to beef up my stash a little bit. So I picked up some really cool stuff in the last couple of weeks and wanted to share it with you. So without any further ado, here’s the stuff I hauled.
Cool old books and magazines. The pictures in these books are fantastic!
More vintage books with great graphics.
This book is not that old but…
the inside is chock full of vintage street signs. These will also be great to use in my mixed media projects or as embellishments in my journals!
Two more vintage cookbooks, but check out the insides of these…
great pages for journaling. The top one gets extra points because it’s a binder!
Vintage wrapping papers and tissue papers, because the one huge box I already have is apparently not enough! Again, these can be used in junk journals or in mixed media.
Vintage kitchen labels, a note pad and vintage sewing supplies. These are great additions to junk journals.
A box crammed full of vintage matchbooks. The matches have already been taken out so these will make great tags and embellishments for my journals. This photo doesn’t show the quantity too well but there are at least 250-300 old matchbooks here!
And lastly, a yummy box of old ephemera. There are all kinds of receipts in this lot. Also included were some cards of vintage rickrack and some old pens, some of which are fountain pens.
So all in all, I feel well stocked for a while and am ready to get on with making the journals. If I remember, I’ll show you some of the finished ones.
It gives me a great feeling to know I can reuse these old treasures to make journals and mixed media projects people will enjoy. Recycling is always a win-win situation!
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.
Some went the way of the recycling bin and others… well, they went the way of my craft room.
I cut a box into tag shaped pieces.
Then I covered one side with printed paper and the other side with plain white card stock.
I layered on pieces of different papers and sandwiched trims, pieces of paper doilies and snippets of tulle between the layers.
Here are the finished tags.
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!
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!
I purchased this ugly metal match box holder a couple of weeks ago because I thought the shape was really nice. The flower cart picture on the front, not so much.
The bottom needed help too!
I decoupaged some scrapbook paper on the front and the bottom.
I attached an old piece of broken jewelry on the front to add some bling. Now it is worthy to sit on a desk and hold pens, pencils and “old lady eyes”.
It can also hang on a wall. There are many things (including a match box) that you can corral in this up-cycled holder!
It was a quick and easy re-do that saved this vintage piece from going to the junk yard! It is now available at Moss Cottage Vintage in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
As my last post showed, I have been very busy making items for two upcoming shows. Here is just a quick little post showing some more things I have made. Enjoy!
As you can see, at least 90% of everything Moss Cottage Vintage makes is made with recycled elements. It is good for the environment and let’s me create one-of-a-kind items my customers can cherish!