I have been making a lot of junk journals lately and although I love making them I find something lacking in the repetative process. What is that something? Paper, paint and glue!!! I miss making a big mixed media mess. So I decided to make a master board with no end projects in mind but rather to let myself have some free play time.
First I just randomly glued papers to a large sheet of drawing paper. I also got out some tags to use up any leftover scraps. I even included some glittered tissue paper from wrapping Christmas gifts.
I chose a few colors of acrylic paint I thought would go well together’
I pretty much just scraped it here and there over the substrates with an old gift card.
The colors were too bright and garish for my taste so I toned them down with some white gesso. Then I splattered them with watered down paint for a fun effect.
I stamped over the painted with orange, black and white stencils.
When the master board was completely dry I added a few doodles with a fine tip black marker and a gold marker. I then used dies and punches to cut out all these mixed media elements that I will be able to use on upcoming projects.
Here are the finished tags I made using some of the pieces I cut from the master board and the matching tag bases.
I encourage you to make some master boards and have fun getting paint and glue all over your hands! You don’t have to think of how you will use them until a later date. As a matter of fact it would be great to have a stash of master boards on hand for when you get inspired to create with mixed media!
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I decided to make heart embellishments out of burlap. The process was really easy, but I think they came out really well. Here’s the simple process.
Cut some ordinary burlap into smallish pieces. The bigger ones in the picture above measure about 6″ square.
I painted the burlap for interest as well as to keep it from fraying when I cut it into smaller shapes.
I cut the fabric into heart shapes. Some were cut with a die and others I free-handed.
Here’s the fun part! I took out a lot of my Valentine’s Day stickers, bling and graphics. I also took out some sequins and plastic flowers.
Here’s the finished heart embellishments.
I will use these little embellishments on cards, tags or gift bag toppers. I hope this has inspired you to get out some of that plain old burlap you have lying around and make some fun embellishments!
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!
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!
I have been watching some videos by Marta from Maremi SmallArt on YouTube. She is one talented lady! She does amazing mixed media as well as paper projects like cards. One video in particular got my creative juices flowing. In this video, Marta made Shabby Chic vintage style cards. The link to the video is:
Instead of making cards, however, I was inspired to make some tags using her techniques.
First I cut some tag shapes out of cardboard. I just free-handed these.
Then I added a layer of texture using decoupage paper, drywall tape and old book pages stuck on with Gesso.
For my first tag I used my Prima Princess paper collection and embellishments.
For the second tag I used some specialty papers and some papers from the Market Street collection by My Mind’s Eye.
For the third tag I used paper from Tim Holtz and My Mind’s Eye, however, I forgot to take a picture of the papers used. Sorry!
Here are the three tags I made.
I love how they turned out. There is so much layering on each one so the dimension is quite thick.
If you find yourself in a rut or just need a little inspiration. Go to Marta’s YouTube channel, Maremi SmallArt. I know you will find some videos to jump-start your art mojo!
Thank you Marta for all of your videos, including the “Break a blank page” series!
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!