Tag Archives: Paper crafting

Christmas crafts galore!

Oh, Christmas.  I don’t ever remember feeling this overwhelmed or as rushed to get things done leading up to Christmas.  Maybe it’s because I decided to take on a bigillion crafting projects this year, starting with our Christmas cards.  Adorable?  Yes, if I do say so myself.  Time consuming and tedious?  ZOMG yes.  Do you know that the bitch woman at the post office actually gave me a hard time about making cards that were not only — GASP — square in shape, but “lumpy” to boot?  She acted as if I was committing some cardinal sin against the US Postal Service by choosing to send such a card.  Funny, I don’t remember complaining when I shelled out the $0.88 a piece to mail them (ouch).  And last I checked, the government is always on the prowl for more money, so take my postage payment and shuttie. 

Unfortunately it doesn’t photograph well, but you get the idea of what sort of abomination I dared to send out at Christmastime.  Square!!!1!!1!

On a ligther note, let’s turn to my obsession with monograms.  I will admit that if I could have the letter P mowed into my front yard I would probably do it.  I just hope that other people are as delighted by seeing their initials on things, because this was one of the themes of my handmade Christmas gifts this year.

Exhibit A: ornaments adorned with a monogram and varying delightful embellishments.  Fun.

My Cricut, some vinyl and a little ribbon were all I needed for this project.  Oh, and clear glass ornaments.

Exhibit B: Personalized hand soap

This idea was passed along to me by a friend who had discovered an awesome blog called How Does She. . .  It’s chock full of fun and creative gift ideas for the holidays.  I loved the hand soap idea, but since I don’t have a need for gifts for teachers, I made them for friends using monograms and simple designs cut from vinyl.  I chose colors that would match their bathrooms.  I love how they turned out, and since I already had the vinyl, they cost me a whopping $1 each to make.  Check out the tutorial for easy instructions.

Heaven on a stick

And finally, I saved the most delicious project for last.  Thanks again to How Does She. . . I was inspired to try making Oreo cookie suckers for co-workers and friends.  I’m not much of a baker and don’t usually make treats for the holidays, but these were too cute to resist.

Check out their tutorial for step by step directions.  They take much better photos than I do and represent the cookies’ cuteness much better than I can.  I would like to add a few editorial comments, however.

  1. Oreos are apparently the most fragile cookies ever made.  My first batch was made with regular old Oreos and I broke several before it occurred to me to microwave the cookies before attempting to twist them apart.  8-10 seconds does the job.
  2. I would recommend using the choclate that is specifically made for melting and using for projects like these.  They melt perfectly in the microwave and were super easy to work with.  They’re always available at Michaels in various colors, but I got mine at the grocery store off of a holiday baking display.
  3. After dipping the lollipop stick in chocolate and gently pressing the two halves together, refrigerate the cookie pops before attempting to dip them in the chocolate.  A few times I tried to dip too soon and they fell apart on me.  Lesson learned.

I had a lot of fun once I figured out what I was doing and got the hang of it.  I dipped the regular Oreos in white chocolate and decorated them with crushed peppermint, sprinkles (or jimmies if you’re from Wisconsin) and crushed Oreos (an attempt to make use of my mistakes — see #1).

Then I dipped mint Oreos in milk chocolate and decorated them with crushed peppermint, chopped Andes mints (which you can buy pre-chopped at the grocery store) and sprinkles.  FYI: the Oreos with the mint filling came apart much easier than the regular Oreos.  They seem to have a softer filling.

I also loved their Oreo sucker holder which they again generously provide a tutorial for, but I just didn’t have the patience or time.  Instead, I bought some baskets on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics, shoved a foam block inside, popped in the suckers and made it all pretty with crinkle paper.  Not as cute as their sucker holder, but it serves the same purpose and it was really easy.

My next project will be themed gift bags that have become an annual tradition in Andy’s family.  The women in his family exchange gift bags filled with fun things, including store bought and handmade gifts and goodies.  They often have a theme — for example, last year, Andy’s Aunt Shelley’s gift bags has a sweets theme.  My favorite item in the bag was a “P” shaped ornament that looked like a cookie.  Our theme?  Holiday cocktails.  More on the gift bags soon. . .



ZOMG, cupcakes.

I’m a little obsessed with cupcakes.  I think they’re just about the cutest things to ever grace bakery shelves, and these days they can be found just about everywhere from wrapping paper to jewelry.  Yes, even Tiffany’s is in the spirit. 

So when it comes to throwing parties, I like cupcakes to take center stage.  I recently had a blast hosting a baby shower for my good friend Katie.  Katie decorated her nursery in yellow and lavendar gingham with butterflies.  Using that as my inspiration, I made lavendar gingham invitations, yellow and lavendar butterfly garland, and various other paper goodies.  The piece de resistance?  Giant cupcakes with yellow frosting and lavendar butterflies made from edible paper.  Seriously.  The butterflies were edible.  I was in love with these cupcakes.



Then fast forward to today, when I just finished what might just be my cutest project ever.  My adorable niece Morgen turns two this December, and what better theme for a 2 year-old’s birthday party than cupcakes?  We’ll be celebrating on Thanksgiving since the whole family will be together — a rare and special occasion.  Not only did I wrap her birthday gifts in my favorite cupcake paper, I made tags to match, complete with glitter.  Then I decided to try my hand at a party hat.  I’ve seen many DIY hats on paper crafting websites so I decided to make one decorated with what else — a cupcake.  And ZOMG is it cute.  Although Andy begged me not to, I made Steve model it for me.  It’s like he knew it was pink — he ran the other way when he saw it in my hand and you can just tell from the expression on his face that he’s pissed at me. 

Well, anyway, I’ll have to post pictures of Morgen wearing it at her party.  I’m hoping she’ll like it more than Steve does.  Until then — have a cupcake!  They’re not just cute, they’re delicious too!


Your magnetic photo frame questions answered

Hello!  Here are answers to some questions I have gotten about the magnetic photo frames.  If there are more questions ask away!

1.  What type of marbles do you use?
For the magnets, use the decorative marbles  or “gems” that craft stores sell in the floral section.  One side is flat so they are ideal for making magnets.  You can get them at Jo-Ann and Michaels.  Tip: make sure you use clear marbles — not the kind with the pearly sheen since it will make it hard to see the image below the marble.

2. What kind of magnets/what strength magnets are you using?
I finally found magnets that were strong enough at my local ACE hardware store.  FYI: I was not able to find them at Home Deopt.  They are small, round magnets.  I threw away the packaging so I do not have a brand name for you. 

3. Do you cover the whole piece of metal and how do you adhere the paper?  Did you use a roll paper or just single sheets of scrapbook paper?
Step one with the frames is to wrap them in solid color text weight paper — whatever color matches the patterned paper you use.  An 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper will not cover the frame completely but that’s fine — the objective is to cover the sharp edges.  Then I cut the patterned paper to size (usually from a 12 x 12 sheet of scrapbook paper) to cover the front and back.  Sometimes I use a solid color on the back.  Either way, I recommend text weight patterned paper — cardstock tends to be too heavy for the magnets.  I have tried different adhesives with the paper, but for the first layer but what seems to work the best is the glue I use for the marbles – E6000 craft glue.  To adhere the front and back panels I use double-sided tape since I am adhering paper to paper.  The double-sided tape keeps the surface smooth and free of the puckering that glue can sometimes cause.

Tip: If you are making a hanging frame, don’t forget to poke holes through the paper as you adhere the layers so you can keep track of where they are.  Putting the eyelets in later will be tricky otherwise!


DIY magnetic photo frames

Here’s a cute idea that is a change from your typical picture frame.  This was one of those ideas inspired from a cute little boutique with overpriced gifts.  I saw it and loved it.  Then I thought, I could totally make that.  

Here’s how to make your own for under $5 each (a lot less than what the boutique charges):

1. Find an ordinary piece of magnetic metal from a hardware store.  I chose this piece for reasons that will become obvious later.

2. Cover the piece of metal in attractive paper then poke holes an equal distance apart through the paper.  Tip: don’t use thick paper (i.e. card stock). 

3. Put eyelets through the holes and secure.

4. Thread ribbon through the holes and tie in a bow.  Or don’t.

5. Visit Not Martha for instructions on how to make cute marble magnets that complement your frame.  Tip: look for strong magnets. You will have the most luck at a hardware store.

6. Secure your favorite photo to the frame with the magnets and hang.


Admire your work.


Adventures in paper crafting

Yes, I am a big enough dork that I find papercrafting adventurous.

I was in Broadway Paper recently (a fab store if you have never been) when I became inspired.  I have a bunch crapload of chinese takeout containers that I ordered for my wedding and various gifting purposes.  They have been sitting idle in my pantry for some time now just sort of taking up space.  But thanks to some pretty new paper and ribbon, I transformed some of my takeout containers into eye-pleasing gift boxes.  Once again, paper crafting provided a good hour or two of fantastic homework avoidance.

I hope my advisor doesn’t find my blog.


Porn for paper freaks

The day a new Paper Source catalog arrives is my equivalent of “nudie magazine day.”  I like to find a private spot, get comfortable, maybe light some candles and DROOL.  My fellow papercrafting freak and friend Michelle will e-mail me as soon as she gets her copy.  “Did you get the spring catalog yet?  OMG.  I want to buy EVERYTHING!”

Paper Source has figured out that I am a complete paper and stamping junkie.  They know I am helpless against their e-mails.  Beautifully designed e-mails with the newest stamps provocatively posed on my computer screen.  What can I say?  This stuff floats my boat.

Everyone has their thing.  For me nothing relieves stress or gives me a sense of creative accomplishment quite like crafting.  Scrapbooking, card making, making jewelry, creating gifts. . .it just makes me happy.  And when I share what I make with others, it makes them happy. That makes me even happier.

I got some new stamps in the mail today, so of course I had to try them out.  I put some of the cards I made into one of my online albums.  Check them out if you are so inclined.  Making those cards provided at least an hour of delicious homework avoidance, which seems to be when I am most creative.