Tagged: ribbon

It Pays to Renovate



This house is a diamond in the rough. It sits right next door to our church and went up for sale last year. The congregation decided to buy the house and use it for a multi-purpose mentoring, teaching, coffee sipping, and Pastor’s new office type of building. In the fall a group of us started scraping the paint on the outside. Then it got cold. Real cold. So enough of the outside work, we moved to the inside.

After a couple of days working on the house, most of the downstairs wall board came down (don’t worry, that was planned). This past weekend a huge skiff was brought on sight and I was there to help get the broken wallboard out of the house and into the skiff.  I noticed as I was hauling chunks of wallboard out  that there was beautiful vintage wallpaper still attached to the pieces. I rummaged around the piles and found several pieces of loose wallpaper among the rubble. PAYDAY! Look what I came home with.



To some of you, I know it looks like garbage. But my vintage-loving kindred spirits understand my delight. I know some of you are asking, “What can you do with it?”. So, I will show you.



I took an old cigar box and painted and distressed all the edges.


Then I cut out pieces of one of the wallpapers to fit the sides of the box.



I inked up the edges of the papers to add a really distressed feel.



I adhered the paper to the box really well.



I added some embellishments and viola, a beautiful trinket box.



Here’s an up close look at the top.



See the key dangling from the ribbon?

I love the way this box turned out. Not bad for a cheap cigar box and some free vintage wallpaper. So the next time someone asks you to help them renovate, say, “Yes”, as fast as you can. You never know what those old houses have to offer!




Scrap Happy

There are some things you can never have enough of, like chocolate, love and money. Then there are those things that seem to multiply much to our dismay, like bills, trash and leftover craft supplies.Usually I can deal with a few extra scraps from paper projects but over time they have really gotten out of hand.

Too Many Scraps!!!

Too Many Scraps!!!


I have two boxes of small pieces of scrap booking papers, maps, wrapping papers, old book pages, advertisements and who knows what else. My name is Helen Hauser and I’m a paper hoarder. There, I publicly admitted it. I feel so much better. But what to do with them all? No, throwing them out is NOT an option.  Since I have really been getting into journal and album making lately, I decided to make an itty bitty junk journal for a very special young lady.

Selection of like colored papers.

Selection of like colored papers.


First I got a cup of tea. Then I selected scraps of paper that had similar colors. Oh look, they all have pink. How did that happen? I also picked out some embellishments for the journal. Don’t worry if you don’t use everything you picked out because we can always find another project later (and it will give me some more blog fodder).

Randomly fold and stack papers.

Randomly fold and stack papers.


I picked one of the larger pieces to be the cover and then I randomly folded and layered the other pieces. Not all of the pieces were folded exactly in half either which gives you a more interesting journal. I folded an old coin envelope in half and added it. Unfortunately since it’s the end of the month I didn’t have any cash to put in it!


Old Monopoly card glued to a folded piece of paper.

I even glued a folded piece of paper to an old Monopoly card so it could become a page.


Using an awl to make holes in the spine.


I clipped all the inner pages together and then made three holes in the spine with an awl. I really wanted to use a power drill, but this journal is just too small for that much fun. Then I laid the outer cover, which is a bit larger, over the bundled pages and made holes in the cover to match.

The sewed up spine with a little blue flower charm.

The sewed up spine with a little blue flower charm.

I sewed up the spine with pink embroidery floss and a large needle. I just went in one hole and came out the next and when I got to the end I sewed back down sewing in the opposite direction. When I got to the end (which is also the beginning) I tied it off and added a little blue flower charm. I know that probably doesn’t sound like it makes any sense so just sew it up any way you want. If you want to cheat, you could even staple it together!


Ribbon glued on for closure.


Next, I glued some seam binding ribbon around the spine which will be tied in a bow to close the journal. You could use any ribbon or string you happen to have on hand.


A paper layer to cover ribbon and make cover sturdier.


I decided to add a layer of paper over the ribbon to make it sturdier and to hide the ribbon, but if you wanted, you could just let the ribbon show.

Decorated Journal Cover

Decorated Journal Cover


I decorated the cover with words, pictures and embellishments I had on hand.mini1


I embellished the pages with stamps, ephemera, lace snippets, words and cancelled postage stamps.


Inside cover of back page.

Inside cover of back page.



I think this little book turned out really cute. And to think this was all scraps and stuff I already had in my stash. It didn’t take that long to make, and once I figured out a system I should be able to speed up the process for the next ones I make.

My only regret is that this cute little journal did not make any visual dent in my stash. I will have to make journals for everyone I know, and even some people I don’t know, in order to use up my scraps. I think I’m going to need another cup of tea!!!

I’m Actually Going to Make It!

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!

rp1Okay, now we can really get started.

rp2Cut 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!