Gift Card Ideas for the Ladies

Welcome to the Crafts ‘n things Blog. Before we get started with the project today, it is time to announce the winners of the two $25 Inspired by Stamping Gift Cards!

The two winners as selected by Random.org are Emerald Perez and Barbara MacAskill! Thank you to everyone for all your kind comments. Emerald and Barbara, please contact Joanna (joanna@inspiredbystampin.com) to claim your prize!

As we get closer to May and June, many of us are sure to need gifts for the ladies in our lives. We may need a Mother’s Day gift, a wedding shower gift, or a graduation gift.

I made a card with a removable bookmark tag, but you can also add a gift card! The recipient can remove the gift card from the tag and still use the bookmark!

Tuck the bookmark and gift card into a decorated library card pocket.

Use stamped sentiments in a reading theme and attach a gift card to a local book store to the book mark. If you  have a friend or sister who loves tea or coffee, use tea-themed stamps and tuck a gift card to a local tea or coffee shop into the pocket.

Here is a look at the inside of the card where I stamped a reading-themed sentiment.

Supply List

  • Cardstock: American Crafts Coffee, Neenah Natural White
  • Designer paper: Graphic 45 A Ladies’ Diary Collection 8″x8″ Paper: Garden Stroll, Moment in Time, Fashion Plates, Ageless Beauty
  • Simple Stories Odds and Ends Memorabilia Pocket
  • Prima Fairy Belle Collection Flowers
  • My Favorite Things Well Read Stamp Set
  • Clearsnap ColorBox Graphic 45 Decades Dark Cashmere Antiquing Ink Pad
  • Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die-Cutting System
  • My Favorite Things Die-namics Fishtail Flag Stax Die 
  • Really Reasonable Ribbon Champagne Chevron Striped Twill
  • Large manila shipping tag
  • Bow Easy Bow-Making Tool
  • Adhesive: Beacon Adhesives Fabri-tac Permanent Adhesive, 3M Scotch Brand ATG Tape Runner, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Foam Tape

Gloria Stengel from Scraps of Life (www.gloriascraps.blogspot.com)

Recycled Plastic Bag Tote

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Celebrate Earth Day! Instead of throwing out those old plastic grocery bags cluttering up your closet, “go green” and recycle them into a sturdy and handy tote. Mother Earth will appreciate your efforts.

Materials

  • Recycled plastic shopping bags: blue, white, grey

Tools

  • Size Q (or 19) crochet hook

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler

Directions

STEP 1

To make “yarn”, cut handles from plastic grocery bag. Cut 3”-wide strip from bag. Continue cutting around bag creating one long strip. Repeat process to create multiple plastic strips.

STEP 2

Measure 4” from end on blue strip. Make loop on hook. Chain 16. Single crochet in second chain from hook. Make a single crochet in each of remaining chains (15 single crochets total). At end of plastic strip, overlap 6” at end of first strip with beginning 6” of second strip; crochet two together. At end of row, knot end of first plastic strip with beginning of second strip before chaining one to start next row.

STEP 3

Chain one. Turn crocheted piece. Single crochet in each single crochet already worked.

STEP 4

To change color, cut blue strip 4” from last single crochet. Tie white and blue strips into knot at end of last single crochet.

STEP 5

Repeat process to single crochet two rows with white strips.

STEP 6

Continue chaining one and working single crochets, alternating two rows of blue and two rows of white strips for 34 rows.

STEP 7

To end, cut blue strip 4” from last single crochet. Pull strip through loop on hook.

STEP 8

Fold crocheted rectangle in half so loose ends are at sides. Tuck loose ends inside. Using grey strips, single crochet sides of rectangle together forming rectangle shape.

STEP 9

For handle, attach grey strip to top of rectangle on one side. Chain 30. Attach chain to opposite side of rectangle. Make single crochet in each chain on handle.

Go Green!

  • Many grocery stores and retail shops provide the opportunity to recycle your plastic bags! Make the effort to bring a bunch back each time you go to the store. This helps keep bags out of landfills and cuts down on the energy used to make new bags!

by Mary Ayres

Dog and Cat Pots

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Not only is this the cat’s meow, but it’s perfectly fine that this project has gone to the dogs. Create the perfect treat container to reflect your special pet’s personality.

Materials

  • Terra cotta pots: 2”, 3”
  • Polymer clay: dark brown, brown, grey, white, pale pink

Tools

  • Acrylic paint: dark orange, grey
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue gun and glue sticks

Basic Supplies

toothpick, baking dish, oven

Directions

 

General

(Note: Adult supervision is needed when using a glue gun and oven.)

1. Preheat oven to 275° F. (Note: When assembling clay pieces, be sure all pieces are pressed and stuck together.)

Dog

1. Paint dark orange on outside and inside top half of 3” pot. Let dry.

2. To make body pieces, use photo as guide. For head, roll brown clay into 1”x1-1/4” oval. See Figure 1. To shape head, use thumb and first finger to slightly squeeze one end of oval. For ears, roll two 1”-long teardrop shapes from brown. For nose, roll dark brown clay into 1/4”x3/8” oval; press nose onto front of head. Press ears onto sides of head. For eyes, use toothpick to poke two small holes into head above nose. For muzzle, use toothpick to mark slit below nose. For feet, roll four 5/8”-wide balls from brown; flatten one end of each ball for bottom of feet. Place bottom of feet on work surface, spacing feet so bottom of pot rests on top of each foot; press bottom of pot onto feet. Use toothpick to cut toe slits into each foot as shown. Remove pot. For tail, roll brown 1-1/8”-long tube. Bend tail as desired.

3. Place clay pieces on baking dish. Bake 1/2 hour. Remove from oven. Let cool.

4. Adhere back of head onto one side of rim. Adhere tail on back top of rim. Adhere feet onto bottom of pot.

Cat

1. Adhere back of head onto one side of rim. Adhere tail on back top of rim. Adhere feet onto bottom of pot.

2. To make body pieces, use photo as guide. For head, roll ball approximately 1” wide from grey clay. See Figure 2. Shape ball so head comes to slight point. See Figure 3. For muzzle, roll two 1/4” balls from white clay and slightly flatten. For bottom lip, roll tiny white oval. For nose, roll tiny pink ball. Press muzzle, bottom lip, and nose onto front of head. For ears, form two 1/4” triangles from grey. Press tiny ball of pink onto front of each ear. Press ears onto top of head. For eyes, use toothpick to poke two holes into head above nose. For feet, press white and grey clays together; roll four 1/2” balls; flatten one end of each ball for bottom of feet. Place bottom of feet on work surface, spacing feet so bottom of pot rests on top of each foot; press bottom of pot onto feet. Use toothpick to cut toe slits into each foot as shown. Remove pot. For tail, roll grey 1/8”x3/4”-long tube; flatten one end. Bend down tail.

3. Place clay pieces on baking dish. Bake 1/2 hour. Remove from oven. Let cool.

4. Adhere back of head onto one side of rim. Adhere tail on back top of rim. Adhere feet onto bottom of pot.

by Billie Ciancio

T-Shirt Pillow

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Rescue a favorite old t-shirt from the garage sale stack, then cleverly restyle it into a custom lounge pillow for your kid’s room.

 

Materials

  • T-shirt
  • Pillow insert, 14”x18”

Tools

  • Sewing machine and coordinating thread
  • Air-soluble fabric marker
  • Hook-and-loop tape (optional)
  • Beacon Adhesives Liquid Thread (optional)

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler or yardstick, straight pins

Directions

STEP 1

Place shirt flat on table, right side up. Use scissors to split side seams and to remove sleeves along seams. Cut across top of shirt just below neck, separating it into front and back sections.

STEP 2

Decide which way you want your artwork oriented, horizontally or vertically. Use fabric marker to draw a 19-1⁄4”x14-1⁄4” rectangle on front of shirt, encompassing artwork; cut for pillowcase front.

STEP 3

Draw 20”x15” rectangle on back section of shirt; cut for pillowcase back. Cut rectangle in half, creating two 15”x10” pieces.

STEP 4

Place pillowcase front on table, right side up. Place two pillowcase back sections on top of front section, right side down, lining up outside edges and overlapping edges at center. Pin fabric to secure.

STEP 5

Sew, or glue, layers together 5⁄8” from outside edge of rectangles. If necessary, let glue dry. Turn pillowcase inside out through center opening. Insert pillow. If desired, sew or glue small piece of hook-and-loop tape to opening to help keep it closed; follow package directions.

Tips

  • Sew a bunch of t-shirt designs together to make a comforter cover.
  • Use size L or XL t-shirts with center artwork for best results.

by Aimee Dolby

Upscale Your Dollar Store Finds

If you’re like me, the clearance aisle and the dollar aisle at any department or craft store is like being let loose in a candy store. I always manage to find something that takes my fancy and that I believe I can “do something with.” It’s typically a piece that I describe as having “good bones” – meaning it is smartly designed, robust, and useful but typically in need of a special “something extra.”

This frame is just that. It is a well-made plastic frame that takes three 2″x2″ photos. It stands up well and it has a certain charm – but that soccer ball at one end just didn’t do it for me. I don’t have kids who play soccer and I’m not a soccer player anymore – though I did play in school – so this frame needed a touch of magic to make it mine.

The photos are easy – whenever I do a photo project I always end up with lots more photos printed than I will actually use so I keep a stash of photos in my craft cabinet. These small images of my cat Molly are leftovers from recent projects so I chose three that would look good together – they have similar color schemes and they are varied in zoom – I find a mix of close-ups and longer shots usually works well in multi-photo frames like this.

Next up was some text to break up the very black area of the frame. I didn’t know if rub-ons would work on plastic but there are lots of things I don’t know will work until I try them. Turns out that rub-ons work really well!

Finally it was time to deal with the soccer ball – I wanted something big enough to cover it and to make the frame work- the answer was a huge fabric flower. I pulled it apart to remove the bit that pokes through all the pieces which is used to connect it to the flower stalk. I did this because I needed a relatively flat back to glue to the frame. Of course as soon as you pull a fabric flower apart like this, it is now in lots of pieces! I used Fabri-Tac  glue to glue the flower back together. Fabri-Tac is thick and grabs fast so it is ideal for gluing flowers.

Once the glue was set, I used E6000 to glue the plastic back on the flower to the frame – although Fabri-Tac would have done just as well.

So, an inexpensive frame now has place of pride in my home and I have a couple more of these frames ready for re-purposing when I’m in need of a fast, unique gift.

So now, what have you found recently that was inexpensive but had “good bones?” What did you do to make it your own?

  by Helen Bradley (www.craftinggoodness.com)

Mini-Light Lanterns

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Slip these little lantern covers over ordinary mini-lights – they’re quick-to-make, inexpensive, and can be customized to fit any occasion!

Materials

  • Mini-light strand
  • Pastel vellum, assorted colors

Tools

  • Hot glue gun and sticks

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler

Directions

STEP 1

Cut 2-1/2”x4” rectangle from paper for each light bulb. Fold in half to measure 1-1/4”x4”. Cut evenly spaced slits, 1/4” to 1/2” apart, along folded edge, stopping 1/8” from open edge (See Fig. 1).

STEP 2

Open rectangle. Use hot glue gun to glue short edges together, forming cylinder.

STEP 3

Cut small strip for handle. Adhere one handle end inside upper lantern edge. Position lantern over light bulb and adhere remaining handle in place.

Other Options

  • Try ultra-thin metal sheets for more durable outdoor lanterns.
  • Seasonal options might include: alternating red and green lanterns; orange pumpkins with green handles and black triangle eyes; red, white, and blue lanterns with streaming ribbons. Get creative!

by Rebecca Ortinau

Spring Welcome Mat

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

What better way to greet guests than with a smile? This easy-to-paint, smiling flower welcome mat is a great way to add a touch of spring to your outdoor décor.

Materials

  • Green doormat, 18”x24”
  • DecoArt Patio Paints: Cloud White, Sprout Green, Petunia Purple, Wrought Iron Black, Citrus Green, Fuchsia, Pansy Purple

Tools

  • Round scrubber paintbrushes: sizes #0, #4, #6, #14
  • Poster board, 18”x24”

Basic Supplies

scissors

Directions

STEP 1

For stencil, print and cut out patterns. (Note: The blue word “patterns” is a link. To access these patterns, select the link, then download and print patterns.) Fold poster board in half. Trace patterns onto poster board; cut out.

STEP 2

For flower, center stencil on mat, aligning bottom edges. Use #6 to stencil petal edges Petunia Purple. Use circular scrubbing motion to force paint into grooves in mat. Remove template. Use #14 to fill in petals with Petunia Purple. While still wet, use #14 to paint Cloud White along petal edges and Pansy Purple along flower head edges. Use #6 to paint flower head Fuchsia. While still wet, use #6 to paint flower head edges Cloud White.

STEP 3

Use #14 to paint cheeks and nose Pansy Purple and to add Cloud White highlights. Use #0 to paint eyes, smile, and border Wrought Iron Black.

STEP 4

For border, position leaf stencil as desired. Use #4 to stencil edges Citrus Green. Paint leaves Sprout Green and veins Wrought Iron Black. Add Fuchsia and Petunia Purple mini-flowers and dots around border as desired.

by Annie Lang

Ruby Rock-It Carnival Queen Giveaway

Recently, I was given the opportunity to try out some products from an Australian company called Ruby Rock-It. In addition to papers and stickers, they have a fantastic variety of embellishments – all sorts of paper and fabric die cuts, pockets, printed cards and stitched paper garlands – that made it hard to decide which to try first.

Ruby Rock-It is sponsoring a giveaway where one lucky Crafts ‘n things blog reader can win their new Carnival Queen line. I think you will love all of the fun images that are incorporated into these products as much as I do.

Who doesn’t love a carnival or fair? Between all the rides, games, and interesting exhibits, not to mention the seemingly endless variety of tempting things to eat, there is usually something to make everyone happy. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite thing to do, see, or eat at a carnival by Monday, May 6, 2013. Winners will be announced here on May 7th.

My favorite carnival treat would have to be cotton candy. (We were at a festival in Maine last summer where I tried a version made from maple sugar and it was completely addictive).

I thought it would be fun to use this line to create a party set. These products could easily be adapted to all sorts of parties or showers, and they are versatile enough to be used on baby- or girl-themed projects too. (If you are looking for a similar line with bolder colors, check out the Ruby Rock-It Carnival King collection.)

The embellished picks come in several different varieties and I used them as-is to decorate cupcakes – doesn’t get much easier than that. They would also be adorable on the front of a card or gift bag.

Every single piece in the collection has wonderful detail. The ticket stubs in the background are included in the die-cut pack.

The popcorn bags were really easy to create using double-sided scrapbook papers and a box template. The hardest part was deciding which embellishments to add.

An easy party favor is a cellophane bag filled with candy or other treats and topped with paper. Staple the bag closed, apply double-sided tape to the paper and fold in half over the bag. I used foam adhesive under the die-cut embellishments to add more dimension.

This is a recycled tin that was covered with paper and decorated to become fun gift packaging.

It really doesn’t take long to add a few special touches that can have a big impact on your celebration. Let us know if you give some of these ideas a try.

Supplies

Happy Crafting!

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

Disclaimer: Please be assured that no cupcakes were wasted in the creation of this blog post.

 

So Delightful Card

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Make this whimsical card with Ranger Archival Inks and Claudine Hellmuth Studio Stamps. The permanent nature of Archival Inks allows you to layer stampings and get clear and crisp images.

Materials

  • Ranger Inkssentials Gloss Paper, 8-1/2”x11”
  • Core’dinations Tim Holtz & Ranger Distress Collection Broken China Cardstock
  • Clear vellum

Tools

  • Ranger Archival Ink Pads: Sap Green, Coffee, Jet Black, Chrome Yellow, Venetian Orange, French Ultramarine
  • Stamps: Ranger Claudine Hellmuth Studio Creative Layers Nature Stamp Sets, Clear and Foam; Stampers Anonymous Claudine Hellmuth Studio Clear Stamps Words & Frames 2 and Spring Garden Stamp Sets
  • Ranger Inkssentials Tools: Paper Creaser, Heat it Craft Tool
  • Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Acrylic Grid Blocks
  • Self-healing craft mat
  • Ranger Inkssentials Adhesives: Popit Shapes, Collage Glue Stick

Basic Supplies

paper trimmer, scissors, ruler, pencil

Directions

STEP 1

Cut Broken China cardstock to 8-1/2”x5-1/2”. Place cardstock on self-healing mat, score down center using paper creaser and ruler, and fold to create 4-1/4”x5-1/2” card base. Set aside.

STEP 2

Stamp Sap Green foam treetop onto vellum; heat set with Heat it Craft Tool until ink is dry. Stamp Jet Black clear treetop over foam-stamped image; heat set until dry. Cut out treetop with scissors and set aside.

STEP 3

Stamp French Ultramarine foam treetop onto matte side of gloss paper scrap. Stamp Jet Black bird from Spring Garden stamp set in treetop. Detail cut bird and set aside.

STEP 4

Stamp Jet Black tree trunk outline on matte side of another piece of gloss paper. Detail cut bottom 2” of trunk to use as mask. Set aside.

STEP 5

Cut 3-1/4”x5” gloss paper panel. On matte side of panel, stamp Coffee foam tree trunk on left side. Stamp Jet Black outline tree over foam-stamped image. Stamp Sap Green foam treetop over tree trunk image.

STEP 6

Stamp Chrome Yellow foam sun in upper right corner of panel; stamp Venetian Orange outline sun over foam-stamped image.

STEP 7

Place mask from Step 4 over base of tree trunk on gloss paper panel. Ink foam treetop stamp Sap Green. Holding mask in place, randomly stamp portions of treetop multiple times along bottom to create grass. Re-ink stamp between stampings. Remove mask.

STEP 8

Stamp Jet Black “so delightful” sentiment from Words & Frames 2 set on bottom right of panel.

STEP 9

Using glue stick, adhere vellum treetop from Step 2 over stamped treetop on gloss paper panel. Adhere panel to card base with glue stick. Use Pop It Shape to adhere bird from Step 3 in tree as shown.

Tip

  • Pre-stamp and cut all of the various pieces first and your card will come together quickly.

By Patti Behan for Ranger Industries (http://www.rangerink.com/)

Filigree Delight Card

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Cards created to encourage or thank a cherished friend should be extra special. Nestabilities Card Creator Dies from Spellbinders make it easy to get stunning looks like this!

Materials

  • Neenah Classic Crest Natural White 80 lb. Cardstock
  • Papers: Pink Paislee London Market 6”x6” Paper Pad, Die Cuts with a View The Garden Tea Party Paper Stack, Colorbök Gold Foil Paper
  • Maya Road Trinket Pin
  • Clear earring back
  • Michaels Bead Landing Floral Filigree
  • Michaels Recollections Signature Pearl Stickers
  • May Arts Silk Ribbon SK19, 1-1/4” wide, 1-1/4 yds.
  • White lace trim, 2-1/2” wide, 1/6 yd.

Tools

  • Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die-Cutting System and Nestabilities Card Creator A2 Filigree Delight Die S5-177
  • JustRite Papercraft Good Friends Labels Twenty-Nine Stamp Set CR-04345
  • Our Daily Bread Designs Becca’s Peg Bow Maker
  • Tsukineko VersaFine Onyx Black Ink Pad
  • Michaels Recollections Detail Clear Embossing Powder
  • Adhesives: Tombow Stamp Runner Adhesive, 3M Scotch Brand Foam Tape

Basic Supplies

paper trimmer, scissors, ruler, pencil, heat tool, scoring board, wax paper

Directions

1. Cut two 5-1/2”x8-1/2” panels from Natural White cardstock. Score and fold one panel 1” from one short end. Adhere second cardstock panel to front of flap. Trim finished card base to 5-1/4”x6-3/8”.

2. Cut 5-1/8”x6-1/4” panels from Natural White cardstock and peach polka-dot paper. Adhere panels together. (Note: This helps to reinforce card front to support weight of trinket pin.)

3. Wrap lace and ribbon around layered panel as shown, adhering ends at back. Adhere panel to card base using foam tape.

4. Cut 4-3/8”x5-1/2” Pink Paislee floral/text paper panel and 4-1/2”x5-5/8” gold paper panel. Adhere panels together.

5. Stamp Onyx Black sentiment at center upper half of floral/text panel; heat emboss with clear powder.

6. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to tie multi-loop bow around layered panel; adhere panel to card using foam tape.

7. Die cut/emboss Filigree Delight A2 template from gold paper, using wax paper for ease of removal. Adhere filigree panel to card using tiny pieces of foam tape.

8. Adhere pearls to corners and midpoints of filigree panel. Insert trinket pin through center of bow; place earring back on tip of pin. Adhere filigree piece to bow.

Tip

  • To create oversized, top-fold cards, create a “hinge” by cutting the back piece slightly longer and scoring it to create a flap. Adhere front panel to flap.

by Becca Feeken for Spellbinders (www.spellbinderscreativearts.com)