Paper Bag Snowman

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Recycling brown paper bags has its advantages – especially when you create this sparkling snow friend!

Materials

  • Large brown paper bag
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Light Ivory, Charcoal, Dark Goldenrod, Tomato Spice
  • Fiberfill stuffing
  • Black craft wire, 36” length
  • Red/white plaid wire-edged ribbon (scarf), 1-1/4” wide, 15-1/2” length
  • Cedar sprigs, three
  • Twigs (arms), 2-1/2” long, two
  • Artificial red berry cluster
  • Raffia, three strands
  • Gold jingle bell, 13mm
  • Red buttons, 1/2”, three

Tools

  • Loew-Cornell American Painter Paintbrushes: Wash, Series 4550, 1/2”; Round, Series 4000, #3; Liner, Series 4350, #0; Deerfoot Stippler, 1/4” or 3/8”
  • Matte interior spray varnish
  • Glitter: Iridescent crystal glitter, DecoArt Glamour Dust Ultra-Fine Crystal Glitter
  • Black fine-tip marker
  • Paper adhesive

Basic Supplies

scissors, pencil

Directions

Size

11″ tall

Snowman

1. Print and cut out pattern. Cut snowman from bag as indicated. Adhere edges of snowman pieces together, leaving top 5” open.

2. Basecoat snowman Light Ivory. Transfer details. Paint nose Dark Goldenrod. Dot eyes and mouth Charcoal. Use deerfoot stippler to drybrush cheeks Tomato Spice. Use liner and Light Ivory to add highlight dots to eyes, cheeks, and nose. Use black fine-tip marker to draw eyebrows and outline nose. Apply varnish to snowman; sprinkle with glitters. Let dry.

3. Stuff bag with fiberfill. Use paintbrush handle to stuff bottom areas. Adhere arms inside body and remaining edges together. Wrap scarf around neck, crossing and adhering at center. Adhere cedar sprigs and berries to scarf and buttons to body.

4. For hanger, wrap wire around pencil to curl. Twist ends around arms to secure. Tie raffia bow at top of hanger. Adhere jingle bell to bow.

by Susan Cousineau

Organizing Stamps

It seems like every year one or more of my resolutions involve organization. This year is no exception, and I have a fairly long list of projects to tackle. However, unlike my other resolutions to exercise more and lose weight, I really look forward to digging in to different areas around my house and straightening things out. There is something about looking in a drawer or closet and seeing everything neatly in its place that makes me happy.

A little over a year ago, I decided to find a new system for organizing my growing stamp collection. I’ve tried many things in the past, from narrow shelves to hold wood-mounted stamps to binders full of clear stamps to stacks of CD cases, but nothing seemed to work as well as I envisioned.

After a few false starts, I have finally come up with a system that is working really well… I can find what I need quickly, and it is easy to put everything back when I am finished. The best part is that I am actually using my stamps more often, as I no longer dread having to spend 20 minutes searching through binders and boxes to find what I want. I use one system to store my cling and clear stamps and another for rubber stamps.

Cling and Clear Stamp Storage

I was intrigued by the idea of using a Clip-it-Up but thought I would see if I could find a less expensive option. After seeing some examples online, I decided to try making my own using a shoe rack that I found on clearance as the base.

It wasn’t too difficult to create this… the most time-consuming part was moving all of my stamp sets into the clear pockets.

Bolt cutters helped snip off the extra parts, and rubber tips were hot glued onto the cut ends. (You can find more details about how I made it by reading this post.)

I thought I had come up with a great solution… until I had been using it for a few days… and everything started to get a bit wobbly to the point where the whole thing almost toppled over. I tried re-tightening the poles, but I finally had to admit that it just wasn’t meant to hold so much weight. This might be a great solution for storing other types of supplies, but the stamps were simply too heavy.

I wound up taking off the two upper tiers and just using the base…considering I spent less than $15 on it, I still think it was a good solution.

One benefit from my experiment was that I learned that I really liked storing my stamps this way and having them so accessible. I decided to spend the extra money to buy an actual Clip-it-Up system and have been thrilled with the results. I have been using this system now for over a year and can report that the two-tier model has been holding up extremely well… no more wobbling!

It is so easy to flip through each set and see what I have. For stamps sets that came in clear packaging, I simply added a clip to the top. For other sets, I placed the stamps on pieces of transparency that I found at an office-supply store and cut to fit these clear pockets from Tim Holtz.

Wood-Mounted Stamp Storage

One of my most favorite storage pieces – and biggest splurge – is this set of drawers from First Choice Products. You wouldn’t believe how much they hold without taking up a lot of space. I store all sorts of things in the drawers – embellishments of all kinds, ribbon, stickers, and wood-mounted stamps.

The 1” drawers are the perfect size for all but the very thickest of my stamps… I use the 2” drawers for those. A label maker is one of my favorite tools for organizing.

One of the best things about these drawers is that they can be pulled out and moved to your work area and then easily put back when you are finished.

Although nowadays I find myself using clear stamps much more frequently, I think of wood-mounted stamps as mini works of art and use them to decorate my studio. I found these vintage wooden crates at an antique store for about $10 each and use them as shelves to store some of my favorite images and ink pads.

The size of the opening is perfect to highlight some of my smaller stamps that might otherwise be overlooked in a drawer. If you have been stamping for any length of time, I bet you recognize some of these… I remember a time when that dragonfly from Magenta was on almost every single card I made.

I also remember when this quote was part of the background of almost every card I created. Having these stamps on display is kind of like visiting with old friends.

Hope this has given you a few ideas you might be able to use in your own craft space.

Until next time – Happy Organizing!

Alice Golden from Golden Moments (www.alicegolden.com)

Winter Sparkle and Adhesive Giveaway Winner

Nothing adds excitement to a project like a little shimmer and shine! In my January 9 blog post Winter Sparkle and Adhesive Giveaway, I announced that Therm O Web had donated a fabulous assortment of adhesives for one lucky reader to win. To be entered in the drawing, each entrant only had to leave a comment on my post by Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Well, it’s time to announce the lucky winner…

The winner, as selected by Random.org, is: Kathy/NorthCarolina. 

Kathy, I will be contacting you by email for your mailing address. Your kind comments are very much appreciated.

Alice Golden from Golden Moments (www.alicegolden.com)

Cardinal “Guest” Towel

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Bright and cheery, the flaming red feathers of a cardinal are breathtaking on a fresh blanket of winter snow. Stitch this beautiful cardinal towel to brighten your guests’ day and show them they are truly special.

Materials

  • White hand towel with 14-count Aida band
  • DMC 6-Strand Embroidery Floss

Tools

  • Embroidery Needle

Stitch Type

  • Backstitch: 1 strand
  • Cross-stitch: 2 strands
  • French Knots: 1 strand (wrapped two times)

Basic Supplies

scissors

Directions

size / stitch Count

Approximate finished size: 11-1/4”x2-1/2”; stitch count: 158 w x 35 h

Towel

1. Print cross-stitch chart and key. (Note: The blue words “chart” and “key” are links. To access these, select the link, then download and print items.)

2. Stitch design centered on band.

3. Backstitch bird’s eye using 1 strand DMC 310 Black. Backstitch all other using DMC 801 Coffee Brown, Dk.

4. Stitch French Knot using 1 strand DMC 747 Sky Blue, Vy. Lt., wrapped two times.

by Pamela Kellogg

Raised Leaf Panel Wall Décor

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

An object of art made from an old window frame and STYROFOAM? Amaze yourself at how easy this technique is – design a variety perfect for each season!

Materials

  • Six-pane wooden window frame, 29-1/2”x30-1/2″
  • Dow STRYOFOAM Brand Foam Sheets, 1” thick, 12”x36”, four
  • Krylon: Make It Stone! Decorative Paint, Travertine Tan; Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint, Khaki; Primer

Tools

  • Floracraft Styro Cutter
  • Wood putty and putty knife
  • Adhesives: 3M Spray Adhesive for Dow STYROFOAM Brand Foam, duct tape

Basic Supplies

sandpaper, soft cloth, ruler, pencil

Directions

(Note: When using spray paints, work in well-ventilated area.)

1. Remove glass window panes; sand frame. Wipe clean with soft cloth. Fill uneven areas of frame with wood putty. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to apply primer.

2. Measure window openings; cut six foam rectangles to fit openings. Print and cut out patterns. Transfer patterns to remaining foam sheets; use foam cutter to cut out.

3. Spray frame with three coats of Khaki; let dry. Adhere leaves to foam rectangles. Spray leaf panels with two coats of Travertine Tan; let dry.

4. Tape backside of leaf panels to window pane openings.

by Tucker Yeaworth for The Dow Chemical Co. and Krylon

Big Wishes

We have a few January birthdays to celebrate and I am always in need of birthday cards for this time of the year. I took a look at my Christmas stamps to see what could be used for a wintery birthday card.  This sweet holiday fairy is perfect for a girl card.

1. Stamp image onto white cardstock using Memento Tuxedo Black dye ink.

2. Color image using Copic markers. Start with lightest color and leave a slight gap before lines. Add layers of shading using the next two shades of the color and blend with the lightest pen.

3. Add additional shading to image using gold watercolor pencil. Add highlights with white gel pen. Add a touch of Stickles glitter glue to the berries; let dry.

4. Cut image out using detail scissors.

5. Cut white cardstock panel slightly larger than image; mat on blue cardstock. Adhere image with foam dots as shown.

6. Make blue top-fold card. Cut and layer white cardstock and blue/white paper onto card front. Adhere image panel to card.

7. Stamp sentiment using black ink on white cardstock; matte on blue cardstock. Adhere to card as shown.

8. Punch series of snowflakes from white cardstock. Adhere to card along right side of cardstock panel.

Products:

  • Penny Black Stamps: Wish Big, Fairy Holly
  • My Mind’s Eye Patterned Paper
  • Signo Uni-Ball White Gel Pen
  • .too Marker Corp. Copic Markers: E00, E02, E21, E33, E35, B00, B02, B05,Y28, Y00, Y11, YG03, YG05, YG07
  • STAEDTLER Karat Aquarell Watercolor Pencils
  • Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black Ink Pad
  • Cardstock: white, blue
  • Detail scissors
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Snowflake Border Punch

I hope this inspires you to look at your holiday stamps in a different way!

Suzanne Czosek from Suzz’s Stamping Spot (www.suzzstampingspot.blogspot.com)

Snowman Doormat

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

While adding charm to your outdoor winter décor, this easy-to-paint snowman will greet your guests with a great big smile!

Materials

  • Black doormat, 18”x24”
  • DecoArt Patio Paints Outdoor Acrylic Paints: Hydrangea Blue, Petunia Purple, Fuchsia, Cloud White, Wrought Iron Black

Tools

  • Round scrubber paintbrushes: sizes #0, #4, #6
  • Posterboard, 18”x24”

Basic Supplies

scissors

Closeup

Directions

STEP 1

For stencil, print and cut out pattern. Fold poster board in half. Trace patterns onto poster board; cut out.

STEP 2

For snowman, center stencil on mat, aligning bottom edges. Use #6 to stencil snowman edges using Hydrangea Blue. Use circular scrubbing motion to force paint into grooves in mat. Remove template.

STEP 3

Cut out hat cuff section of template. Fit inside snowman outline. Use #4 to stencil upper and lower edges Wrought Iron Black. Paint hat sections Hydrangea Blue. While still wet, highlight Cloud White. Paint pom-pom Petunia Purple; highlight Cloud White. Paint nose and cheeks Fuchsia. Use #0 to paint eyes and smile Wrought Iron Black.

STEP 4

For border, position snowflake stencil as desired. Use #4 to stencil edges Hydrangea Blue. Use #4 and #6 to paint snowflakes Cloud White. Paint Fuchsia and Petunia Purple dots around snowflakes and hat as desired.

by Annie Lang

Cigar Box Purse

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

If you have an old cigar box that’s just collecting dust, why not turn it into a stylish and unique accessory?

Materials

  • Wooden cigar box, 6-1⁄2” square
  • Wood veneer (iron-on or glue-on), 3”x6”
  • Fabric of choice, 3⁄8 yard
  • Dover Publications Treasury of Historic Pattern and Design, ISBN: 048626274X
  • Buttons: ornate, three; black, two
  • Assorted beads, approximately 1⁄2”, 20
  • Black wire, 20-gauge, 16” length

Tools

  • Walnut Hollow Creative Versa-Tool
  • Delta Ceramcoat Instant Age Varnish
  • Adhesives: Therm O Web PeelnStick Double-Sided Adhesive Sheets, Beacon Adhesives Gem Tac Permanent Adhesive
  • Drill and drill bits

Basic Supplies

scissors, iron and pressing surface, paintbrush, tape

Directions

STEP 1

Iron or glue veneer to box front. Tape laser image face down on front. (Note: For image, designer laser copied design on page 117 from Treasury of Historic Pattern and Design.) Follow Versa-Tool manufacturer’s instructions to transfer image and stamp box. Stamp veneer in same way. Apply varnish to lid. Glue ornate buttons to box front.

STEP 2

For handle, drill holes on each side of latch. Insert wire through hole and beads onto wire; twist black buttons onto wire ends inside to secure.

STEP 3

For lining, cut 6-1⁄2” squares from cardboard and fabric. Use double-sided adhesive sheet to attach fabric to cardboard, and cardboard to inside of box.

by Rebekah Meier

Lace Patchwork Sweater

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Short bursts of colorful spray paint over a real-lace “stencil” – that’s the secret to transforming an ordinary sweater into a lace-print work of art!

Materials

  • White or ivory fine-gauge sweater
  • Flat lace, wide width, one yard
  • Tulip Fabric Spray Paint, three coordinating colors

Tools

  • Cardboard or shirt board

Basic Supplies

scissors, masking tape, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions

STEP 1

Wash and dry sweater without fabric softener. Place on work surface; insert cardboard or shirt board.

STEP 2

Cut lace into different-size pieces. Arrange lace on sweater front as desired. Protect areas not to be painted with masking tape.

STEP 3

Lightly spray one area of sweater with first paint color. Repeat with second paint color, then the third paint color. Repeat until all areas of sweater have been covered. (Note: Allow colors to overlap and blend.)

STEP 4

Remove lace; lay sweater flat to dry. Arrange lace and spray back of sweater in same way as front.

Other Options

  • Make a “lace patchwork” tote bag in same way.
  • Try technique with non-fabric spray paint on note cards or paper.

by Kirsten Peters McGrath for Duncan Enterprises (www.ilovetocreate.com)

Handmade Snowflake Polymer Clay Pendant

Sparkling Swarovski Elements, shimmering Sculpey Premo! Accents pendant, and shining Beadalon silver-toned chains combine to create an idyllically icy and frosty necklace sure to impress.

Whether you are a polymer clay pro, or you have never worked with it but find the medium interesting, this technique is fun and the project is beautiful once completed. So if you find the Winter Blues are getting you down, try giving them a reason to make you shine!!! This is a great time of year to start learning a new craft and or new crafting technique.

materials

  • Beadalon Round Twist Light Solid Ring
  • Beadalon Non-Tarnish Silver Artistic Wire, 18-gauge
  • Beadalon silver findings: chain, lobster clasp, head pins; silver triangular connectors, two
  • Swarovski Elements Crystal Bicones & Pearls, in assorted sizes and colors (approx. 12)
  • Polyform Sculpey Pearl Premo! Accents Clay

tools

  • Impression Obsession Winter Seals
  • PolyformSculpey: Clay Conditioning Machine, Premo! Sculepy Round Crinkle Cutter, Translucent Liquid Sculpey, Glossy Glaze
  • Ranger Ink Adirondack Denim Alcohol Ink
  • Hand drill and small drill bit
  • Beadalon: Wire Snips, Round-Nose Pliers, Chain-Nose Pliers
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven

directions

Pendant

1 Use clay conditioning machine to condition Pearl clay. Roll through to #1 thickness.

2 Place conditioned clay on parchment-lined baking sheet. Stamp image of snowflake on clay. Center Round Crinkle Cutter around image; press down firmly to cut clay.

Bake stamped disc according to manufacturer’s instructions in oven. While disc cools, mix dime-sized amount of Liquid Sculpey with one drop of Denim alcohol ink. Mix thoroughly.

4 Once clay is cool, apply tinted mixture to top surface of stamped disc making sure to fill in crevices fully, coating top surface with thin layer of mixture. Bake again following manufacturer’s instructions.

5 Once clay is cool, sand top surface to remove excess tint and highlight stamped image. Use small drill bit to drill tiny hole in top edge of pendant. Seal pendant with Glossy Glaze. Set aside to dry.

Necklace

1 Use chain-nose pliers to create three lengths of chain 3” long. Remove one link from one, and two links from another, to create two chain pieces slightly shorter than first. Use pliers to open one link on each end; place through loop on top loop on triangular connectors. Repeat for second set of chain ends. Cut two lengths of chain 7” long and attach to single top loops on triangular connectors.

2 On end of one chain, attach lobster clasp. Open end link of second chain; attach twist solid ring and close link.

3 Pass one 4mm bicone crystal onto head pin followed by one 8mm bicone crystal. Use chain-nose pliers to bend at end. Use wire snips to snip head pin to about 3/8”. Use round-nose pliers to create loop at top of head pin. Use chain-nose pliers to twist open loop; attach to chain and twist to close.

4 Repeat Step 3 using assorted sizes and colors of crystals and pearls as shown. Attach to chain as shown.

5 Use Silver Artistic Wire and dowel to create two jump rings. Use same wire and round-nose pliers to create “S” ring as shown. Use chain-nose pliers to twist open each jump ring. Thread one jump ring through pendant and bottom of “S” ring; twist closed. Thread second jump ring through center of bottom chain and top of “S” ring; twist closed.

 Tip

  • Try using various colors of ink and different types of stamp images when creating pendant for a wonderful variety suited to any style and taste.

by Keri Lee Sereika (www.pinklemonade.typepad.com)