Tagged: scrapbook paper

A Little Up-cycled Project

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.


Mixed Media Altered File Folders

Last week I watched a video on YouTube about altering file folders. I know I’ve done it before a long time ago but the video gave me a desire to make some again. I decided to try using up some scrap papers in the process as my stash is getting out of hand.

First I just covered the two file folders with strips of scrap paper cut in various widths and lengths.


Then I scraped on some white paint with a palette knife to mute the colors.


I stamped doily patterns on both folders using different colors.


I chose three colors of paint for each folder and randomly added them also using a palette knife.


Next I put on the focal points by using masks I made.

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Finally I added some embellishments, stamped some script and did some finishing outlining with my Pitt Big Brush Markers.





These two folders have already been put to good use holding images I have cut out of magazines that I will use in other mixed media projects.

If you have some ordinary manila file folders hanging around, give altering them a try. You’ll end up with some happy storage for your office or craft room papers!

Better Than Target’s Dollar Spot

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.

Printed Card Stock Tags With Baker's Twine.

Target’s Printed Card Stock Tags With Baker’s Twine.


My printed cardstock tags on the right.

My Printed Cardstock Tags On The Right.

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.

Target's layer tags with baker's twine.

Target’s Two Layered Tags With Baker’s Twine.


Two layered cardstock tags with mine on the right.

My Two Layered Tags On The Right.

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. 

Target's Two Layer Burlap And Cardstock Tags

Target’s Two Layer Burlap And Cardstock Tags


My Two Layered Burlap And Cardstock Tags On The Right.

My Two Layered Burlap And Cardstock Tags On The Right.

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!

Another YouTube Challenge – Flipbooks

It’s been since September that I last entered a YouTube crafting challenge. With the holidays and my vintage and craft shows I was just too busy to enter any others. Well now that the dust has settled, I’m ready to enter some more challenges. This one comes from craftyirina on YouTube and it requires participants to make a three page flip book. I had never even heard of a flipbook until Irina explained them. The complete video about her challenge, the prizes and how to make flip books can be found here:

I decided to dig into my hoard vault and use the Prima Marketing “Princess” papers and embellishments I had won from another challenge.

Whole kit of Prima Marketing's "Princess" papers and embellishments

Whole kit of Prima Marketing’s “Princess” papers and embellishments

I love these papers so much but this is where my dilemma began.

Three double sided pieces of 6" x 6" papers

Three double-sided pieces of 6″ x 6″ papers

Flip books work well if the three pages are joined using washi tape because it is flexible enough for the pages to fold up. Unfortunately, none of my washi tapes came close the matching the papers. So I had to make my own with masking tape and a script stamp.

Pieces of masking tape on wax paper ready for stamping.

Pieces of masking tape on wax paper ready for stamping.

Stamped masking tape ready for using

Stamped masking tape ready for using

I’m not going to bore you with step by step photographs of the making of this flipbook, but here are pictures of the finished project.

Front cover of flipbook. I actually tied stained seam binding around the book to keep it closed but forgot to take a picture

Front cover of flipbook. I actually tied stained seam binding around the book to keep it closed but forgot to take a picture

The first page on the inside has a pocket with tags inside

The first page on the inside has a pocket with tags inside

This is the second page you see when opening the book

This is the second page you see when opening the book

The second page has the information tag Irina required which flips open to the left

This page has the information tag Irina required which flips open to the left

This is the last page that has a little bag filled with tags and various types of paper clips

This is the last page that has a little bag filled with tags and various types of paper clips

At some point Irina will probably do a video showing my flip book. I will write a quick post and include the URL to the video when she does. In the meantime, go to craftyirina’s YouTube challenge video and see if this is something you are interested in entering.

I have never made a flipbook before, but this was such a fun project I will definitely be making more. This week I will mail my book to Irina. Wish me luck!


This Years Sort-Of-Hand-Made Christmas Cards

Christmas comes on December 25th every year. So why am I always so late in getting my Christmas cards made and mailed every year? I had two weeks between my two winter shows to decorate the house and make my cards. So what went wrong?

This years excuse had to do with the fact that I made way too few Junk Journals and December Dailies for my shows. You see, I had made them thinking I would mainly sell them at the Expo show. I decided to bring them to the Vintage Home Market first figuring I might sell one or two. That’s where my plan started going wrong. I sold almost all of them at the first show. Now my two weeks for home decorating and card making were absolutely used up making more junk journals and December Dailies. So the cards and decorating had to wait until after the Expo show.

Last year I made elaborate cards, each one very different from the others. Some even had machine stitching on them and of course they went out late because they took so long to make. So this year I decided to scale back on my card making ambitions.

Here are the basic supplies I used.

Card making supplies.

Card making supplies.

I used some colorful striped boxed cards, a package of journaling cards and some stickers all from Hobby Lobby. I also used some K & Company bird embellishments, baker’s twine from Target and some glittered stocking table scatter from The Dollar Tree. Each card also has some Christmas themed background paper pieces that were left over from other projects. I also used some glittered snowflakes and a few other embellishments I had lying around.

Here are the cards I came up with.ccards4 ccards3 ccards2 ccards1

So even though these cards aren’t as fancy as last year’s cards, I like them just as much and they were way more fun to make! So to my friends and family who usually get cards from me, yours is on its way to you. And keeping with my Christmas tradition, it will be late again this year!

Sayonara Little Books

I have been working a lot lately on making junk journals and December Daily journals to sell at shows this fall. As a change of pace, however, I was given a commission to make eight decorated mini composition books by a young lady who is moving to Japan as an English teacher. She wanted the little books as small token gifts to give some of the people she will be working with.

She asked me to make them slightly grungy but with an American tone. I used some scrap-book papers from Momenta and Tim Holtz and embellishments from Tim Holtz. I also added some fun vintage graphics I had in my stash.

Here are the eight little books I came up with.




I think they turned out really cute and I hope her Japanese co-workers do too!

The Rebirth Of Some Forlorn Books

With Kindles, computers, tablets, IPhones, etc., good old paper books are getting the big heave-ho in many homes. Thrift shops are becoming so flooded with books that many are starting to give them away for free while others charge only 25-50 cents a piece. I for one still love to read actual paper books and it breaks my heart to see them devalued in society today.

As many of you know, I am an avid thrift shop junkie and yes, I always look at the books. And even though I am not interested in reading most of what I find, there are other criteria that will get them into my shopping basket. Do they have nice and interesting hard covers? Do they have fun vintage graphics? Are they vintage children’s books, especially Little Golden Books? Are they old accounting ledgers or logs of some sort?

Here are some (and I emphasize some) of the books I have purchased recently. Notice they don’t fit on the bookshelf so they are piled up on the floor!

A shameful hoard of old books.

A shameful hoard of old books.

So what do I do with all these old books? First of all, I deconstruct them and separate the pages from the covers. Then I pull out all kinds of other vintage ephemera I have such as flash cards, stationary, envelopes, playing cards, graph paper, scrapbook papers and the list goes on.

Deconstructed book covers with a stack of mixed ephemera.

Deconstructed book covers with a stack of mixed ephemera.

Next I sort the papers and ephemera into equal piles according to the number of book covers I have. 

Sorting paper and ephemera into piles, each with a book cover.

Sorting paper and ephemera into piles, each with a book cover.

 Lastly  I bind the books together to make sweet vintage junk journals. Usually I bind them with binder rings so there is lots of room for the new owner to add their own treasures. I tie some ribbon on the book rings and each is given a charm to dangle from the top ring.

Eight finished junk journals made from old Golden Book covers.

Eight finished junk journals made from old Golden Book covers.

These junk journals function just as the others I have made. You can glue, staple, tape and clip your ticket stubs, cute packaging tags, greeting cards and all sorts of other collected ephemera onto the pages. This is a really fun way to keep and display all those little bits of paper and ephemera that you have collected and don’t know what to do with.

These journals will be packed up for some shows Mossy Cottage will be selling at this coming fall. I have many more books to give a new life to and plan of rescuing as many as I can in the months to come!

Learning From Mistakes

Being a perfectionist and creating art just don’t go well together. I am a very particular person and like things neat and tidy. Mixed media art is anything but neat and tidy. Last night I was playing around with this piece. At some point I decided it needed some black stamping on it. Okay, so no it really didn’t. The stamped areas were uneven and looked terrible. I was so upset that I had ruined my pastel chalk background. Then the light bulb turned on and I decided to cover up the black stamped patterns with circles cut out of scrapbook paper. Wow! I love that the six scrapbook paper circles added a much-needed punch of color to this piece. Instead of adding a focal point graphic I just want to remind myself that mistakes are okay as long as I learn from them!


So what lesson did  I learn? Don’t give up on your artwork after making a mistake, just figure out a way to redeem it!

I Won!!!

I am one of those unfortunate people who rarely ever wins anything. But my luck seems to be changing. I recently won a $25.00 Etsy gift card from a site that promotes Etsy sellers. The other prize I just won came from the Boston Home card challenge held by Beth Schrottman from the YouTube channel Bethsscrapbookroom.

If you look back through several posts of mine you will see one called, “Crafting With A Cause – Part 3”. This post explains the challenge and shows the cards made for it. Please note that I did not win based on my cards, it was a raffle type drawing for the prizes. Every person who entered the challenge had a chance at winning. 

Beth is very generous and had several winners but I won FIRST PRIZE! She gave me a choice of two prizes and here is what I chose. It is a kit full of paper and embellishments from Prima’s Princess collection.

Here is what Beth generously sent me:

This paper is so beautiful I’m sure I will hoard use it well. I’m so thankful to Beth not only for the wonderful prizes she gives, but that she sponsors challenges every month to make a difference in other people’s lives.

I hope you consider looking on YouTube and finding a challenge “to craft with a cause”. It could be a real win-win situation!

Junk Journal Swap Part 1

Just for fun my friend Camilla and I decided to do some arts and crafts swaps with each other. Our first swap consisted of mini Christmas albums. You can see my posts from December 12 & 29, 2013 to see those.

This time we opted for something a little more fun and relaxed so we decided to exchange junk journals. The rules we had to follow were simple. First, they had to be at least 1″ thick and second, we were not allowed to buy anything new to use in the journals. The idea made us use up stuff we already owned and to collect other junk papers as fillers. It’s amazing how every piece of paper takes on a new life when you are making junk journals. You turn every box, bag, envelope and scrap of paper over and over in your hands wondering how to incorporate it into your journal. 

I changed my mind a ridiculous amount of times as to the theme for Camilla’s journal. The more I looked at Pinterest and YouTube the more overwhelmed with themes I came. Finally I decided on an “elegant” junk journal. I called it “A Ladies Junque”.  I actually made it so thick I think Camilla will have to take some pages out as she adds her stuff!  To spare you from having to look at every page, I only photographed a couple random pages. Enjoy!

I hope Camilla enjoys this album and has lots of fun filling it up. I will show you the journal she gave me, probably as my next post. If you would like to get yourself a junk journal to fill (here comes the shameless advertisement) I have several in my Etsy shop right now. The address is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MossyCottage. I also can make themed junk journals on request.