Tips and Techniques
Please select a topic:
Embossing - Dry
Embossing - Heat
Envelopes and Pockets
Ink and Stamp Pads
Letter, Words and Quotes
Newspapers and Souveniers
Storage - General
Storage - Dies
Storage - Embellishments
Storage - Fibers
Storage - Ink Pads
Storage - Markers
Storage - Paper
Storage - Photos
Storage - Ribbons
Storage - Rubber Stamps
Storage - Stencils
Weaving With Paper
Wire Designs and Letters
- The blender pen is a dual tip marker that is filled with clear blending fluid.
- The tip of the pen can be cleaned by simply scribbling ink color (from the last use) onto a scrap paper until it flows clear. Even though the tip appears stained, future performance will not be affected.
- Stamp an image by coloring the rubber die of the stamp with water based markers. Pull color from the outline to the center areas by stroking with the blender pen.
- Use a blender pen to apply marker ink which has been scribbled onto a plastic plate, blending the colors just as you would blend watercolor paints with a brush.
- Use a blender pen to soften the stroke marks left behind when you have colored an area with markers.
- Use a blender pen for blending watercolor pencil colors, eliminating the need for water and a paintbrush. The colors intensify and blend smoothly, and the paper does not buckle from being over-moistened.
- Blend and moisten chalk colors with the blender pen to intensify colors and work the chalk into the surface of the paper. It will not need spray fixative to remain in place.
- A shank remover tool works better than wire clippers to remove button shanks.
- Never throw out old clothing without first removing the buttons.Recycle and use the clothing where possible for rags.
- Hand sew your buttons on, don't always just glue them on.
- Use wire to sew your buttons on for a more masculine look.
- Use buttons from your children's outgrown clothing to personalize your layout
- Use a button as the center of a flower
- Buttons work as eyes on bugs, teddy bears, etc.
- Sew a button on using hemp, jute, or yarn for a different look.
- Use buttons to decorate Shaker Boxes, Tags and Slide Mounts.
- You can apply chalk with Q-tips or pompom balls
- You can blend and moisten chalk colors with a blender pen to intensify colors and work the chalk into the surface of the paper. It will not need spray fixative to remain in place.
- You can set the chalk by placing a white paper over the chalked area; and holding it very steady, rub your finger back and forth over the chalked area. This will transfer the extra chalk to the white paper.
- You can set chalk by using a fixative spray.
- The Stencil Collection also makes a chalk that contains fixative, so there is no need to use any other fixative.
- Where you have a white edge from tearing, you can color the edge with a darker/lighter shade of chalk for a different effect.
- Use chalk to highlight and define shadows on paper piecing projects.
EMBOSSING - DRY
- Light box or light source
- Stylus (embossing tool)
- Decide whether your design will be embossed (ridges stand out) or debossed (ridges stand in).
- Place your template on your light source. You may want to affix the template to the light source with painter's tape (blue) or removable adhesive dots or tape.
- Place your cardstock over the template. You may want to affix the cardstock to the light source with removable adhesive stickers. If this is a card, make sure your paper is positioned properly for embossing or debossing.
- Using the stylus, press the paper into the ridges of the template (or into the cut out openings). Some people find it easier to use wax paper on top of the cardstock to make the stylus move more easily.
- Once you have embossed a design, you can take extra-fine sandpaper and run it over the raised parts to give a different effect.
- You can use chalks, watercolors, or ink to color the embossed area.
- You can use chalks alongside the embossed area to make a shadow effect.
- You can emboss even on vellum.
EMBOSSING - HEAT
- Rubber Stamps
- Embossing Ink
- Pigment Inks work well
- Do not use cahlk ink
- Embossing Powder
- Heat Gun
- Always emboss on a nonflammable, nonconductive surface like a wooden or glass table top.
- Bazzil makes a Splat Mat that is heat resistant up to 500 degrees and is the perfect way to protect your worksurface for any project.>/li>
- Ink your stamp thoroughly, by tapping the pad onto your stamp.
- Press your stamp firmly straight down onto your cardstock without wiggling or twisting...
- Sprinkle embossing powder over the entire image.
- Shake off excess embossing powder onto a sheet of paper or tray. Funnel the paper to put the excess powder back in the container.
- Turn on your heat gun and let it warm for a minute. Hold your heat gun about 2 inches from your paper and keep it moving across the image until all the embossing powder has melted. .
- Always be aware of where the heat gun is pointing, they are very hot and will quickly burn you, melt your carpet and upholstery, and damage other household items. Remember, heat guns are used to strip wallpaper off the wall!
- Keep the heat gun moving across your paper as you emboss. Many papers, particularly vellums, scorch quickly.
- Emboss words, phrases or sayings
- Stamp images onto cardstock scraps and then emboss them and tear around them to make great embellishments.
- Wipe your tidy tray with dryer sheets to keep your embossing powders from sticking to the tray
ENVELOPES & POCKETS
- Undo any envelope you have and use it for a pattern.
- You can make your envelope from cardstock, patterned paper or vellum.
- You can make the envelope any size you want.
- Use it to hold journaling you don't want everyone to read.
- Use it to hold tags after removing the open flap.
- For vellum envelopes, you can put other embellishments inside (ex leaves, coins, keepsakes, locks of hair etc.)
- You can use an envelope to hold special documents like report cards, ticket stubs, or your child's artwork.
- Envelopes are a great embellishment for a travel page.
- An envelope that holds wishes for your baby is a nice idea and a great keepsake.
Tools needed to set eyelets
- Hole Punch
- Eyelet Setter
- Mat or Pounding Board (old piece of wood). DO NOT pound on furniture, kitchen flooring, or wood floors, you will ruin whatever is below the eyelet.
- An all-in-one eyelet setter
- Mat (see above cautions)
How to set the eyelet (practice is recommended before setting an eyelet for first time users)
- Place the item (card stock, journal box, slide mount, etc.) right-side up on your mat.
- Using the hole punch, make a hole in the desired location to hold the eyelet. If you have a manual hole punch, hold the hole punch straight up and down and hit it a couple of times with your hammer.
- Gently push your eyelet through, from the front of the item, so that it sticks out the back.
- Flip the item over, so you are now looking at the back of it, and place it on your mat.
- Hold the eyelet setter straight up and down, over the tube end of the eyelet and tap it with your hammer a couple of times, so the edges curl under.
- Remove the setter and tap a couple more times on the back of the eyelet to be sure to set the rough edges.
- Attach vellum to your card stock
- Attach multi-layers of paper/cardstock to your layout
- Attach yarn/fibers to your layout
- Run wire, ribbon, or yarn through the eyelets to hang photos, charms, or tags from
- Weave yarn in and out of a series of eyelets for a decorative effect
How to attach fibers
- Adhesive Glue Dots are by far are the best adhesive to attach fibers. They come in several sizes and are permanent.
- Mono Liquid Glue is a great adhesive for creating a thin line to attach fibers.
- Eyelets are a great tool to use for attaching fibers. You can string your fiber through the eyelets and attach the fiber to the back with a small amount of glue or glue dots.
- Brads and snaps are great for holding fibers on the page
- Sew your fibers onto your page using a large-eye needle. It is much easier to use a hole punch to create the holes first and then thread the fibers through with the needle. An X stitch holding together two different papers looks great.
- If your yarn is crimped from being wrapped around a cardboard, you may be able to iron it. Do a test section first. Place the yarn between 2 sheets of waxed paper and iron on a low setting. If the test is successful, continue for the entire length of yarn. Be aware, if there are sections that contain unusual elements or glittery fibers, and also test those spots.
- Glue the fibers down to the page, creating a free flow design or letters. Use tweezers, otherwise the yarn will be stuck to your fingers..
- Use fibers to hang items on your layout. Hang journal boxes, photos, tags, etc.
- Frame a photo by sewing fibers around it.
- String beads onto your fibers and attach to your layout.
- String fibers through eyelets to create a "shoelace" look, attaching two sections of cardstock together.
- Combine many types and sizes of fibers and braid them to create a 3- dimensional border.
- Run fibers down the side or across the top and bottom of a page for a quick and easy border.
- Leave one side of your photo mat wider, then attach eyelash type yarn to the back of the mat, leaving the fringe visitble.
- Attach the eyelash underneath your photo mat, or underneath your photo, for a fringe down 1 side, or all sides.
- If you have something that you haven't used in a year or more, swap them with a friend.
- Begin multi-tasking. Take and make your phone calls in the same room as your scrapping. Then while you are on the phone, you can make punchies, or crop.
- Make dates with your friends to scrapbook every few weeks. You can visit and make a party of it, while getting your scrapping done.
- Cookie Cutters can be used as templates.
- Plates/Cups/Glasses/Bowls can be used to make any size circle you will ever need.
- Use tweezers to handle stickers. This will allow for great alignment and keep fingerprints off clear stickers.
- Never use Elmer's glue, scotch tape, or masking tape in a scrapbook. These things are not acid free or archival safe.
- Most glue sticks lose their stick after a few years. So, unless it specifically states that it is for scrapbooking, don't use it.
- Never judge your own layouts against other's layouts. This is YOUR album, and the only person you have to please is yourself.
INK & STAMP PADS
- Acid free
- Fast drying
- Fade Resistant
- Sometimes waterproof
- Stamps on vellum
- Rangers Archival Ink needs to be heat set for best results
- Water based
- Quick drying (not good for heat embossing)
- Not colorfast and will fade over time
- May bleed on fuzzy papers
- Available in the standard office type attached fold back lid
- Stamp an image using a water based dye pad. Use the blender pen to lightly stroke the outline color into the middle. This will result in an image with several tones of the same color. Ex. a deep blue image with lighter, "watered down" blue inside.
- Most dye ink pads should be stored upside down to keep the ink near the surface.
- Acid free
- Glycerin based
- Slow drying
- Generally clear or slightly tinted
- Waterproof when embossed
- Water based or solvent based
- Fast drying
- Does not run, bleed or fade
- Permanent on your clothing, also.
- Can be used on heavy, textured and glossy paper, ceramics, glass, plastic
- Note, if using the solvent based version, clean your stamps immediately using a solvent cleaner. (unless you have clear stamps - see Stamps below.
- Acid free
- Fade resistant
- Permanent (even on your clothes)
- Waterproof if embossed
- Slooooooow drying (24 hours if not heat embossed)
- Thick and opaque
- Found in a raised foam pad
- Re-inkers are available, you can re-ink the pad many times before the foam surfaces deteriorate
StayzOn or Solvent Ink
- Made for non-porous surfaces
- Use it on: Micro Glaze, glass, metal, shrink plastic, cellophane, aluminum foil, leather and acrylic.
- It doesn't clean easily off your stamp with standard stamp cleaners.
- Purchase the special cleaner for solvent inks.(Do not use on clear stamps.)
- Use it on shiny scrapbook papers.
- WalMart pictures are solvent ink. Solvent always removes solvent - so you could buff w/Micros Glaze (a solvent base) on your photo to remove folks from the pic.
- Available as a pen or pad
- Dries medium fast (can be used for heat embossing)
- Cannot be used on vellum unless it is heat embossed
- Creates a watermark (excellent for making backgrounds)
- Walnut Ink Crystals
Make your own ink
- Use 1/2 cup warm water in a container
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of crystals into the water.
- The more crystals you add, the darker your ink will be.
- You may want to mix several shades from light to dark to have on hand.
- Once you have made your ink, store it in a covered container for future use.
- Let your ink layer dry before adding more ink.
- Use the ink to brush along the edges of tags, tiles, journal boxes etc., to give the item an antique feel.
- Using a wide paintbrush, cover the entire page with walnut ink for a washed look.
- For a speckled look, paint the entire item with walnut ink and let it totally dry. Using a water bottle, spritz the page.
- Using a glue stick, make words or a design on your paper, then brush with walnut ink.
- Place a removable label or sticker on your page and then brush with walnut ink, remove the sticker/label when the ink is dry for a defined shape. Or remove it while the ink is still damp for a less defined shape.
- Brush on walnut ink and then drop salt crystals onto the wet ink--interesting effect.
LETTERS, WORDS & QUOTES
- You can use a fat letter stencil to trace the letters onto cardstock or patterned paper and cut them out with a fine tip pair of scissors.
- Type up whole titles, words, or journaling in a font you like . Then cut or tear it from the cardstock and adhere to your layout.
- For typing and then printing titles for a 12 x 12 album, use the landscape print setting.
- Trace stencil letters onto cardstock/paper then cut a square around the letters, then cut the letters out. You now have 2 alphabet sets, the one of letters and the one with the holes where the letters were. This idea even works with the alphabet stickers. Once you have used the alphabet, you will be left with the sticky holes. You can use circles, squares, triangles, rectangles or any shape you can fit around the letters.
- Use different styles or fonts for letters in the same word to spice up your page.
- In your journaling, make the first letter a decorative alphabet sticker. This is very reminiscent of the old fashioned Bibles (especially if itís highly decorative).
- Donít forget you can wrinkle, sand, add walnut ink, and chalks to letters, words, quotes, poems, and journaling.
NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER SOUVENIRS
- Newspaper is very acidic and should never be put "as is" into a scrapbook.
- Test the acidity level of all paper products (ticket stubs, programs, etc.) with an acid tester pen.
- Spray paper mementos (including newspapers) with Archival Mist Spray. OR
- You can make your own solution:
- Take 1 quart of Club Soda
- Add one or two Milk of Magnesia Tablets
- Soak the newspaper for 30 minutes. You can use a cookie sheet and do many at once.
- Dry between toweling.
- When dry, place in sheet protectors to prevent curling.
- They will be ready for your scrapbook the next day.
- Test the newspaper, with the acid tester pen, both before and after, and prove to yourself that this recipe works. I have not tried this recipe on other types of paper souvenirs.
- You canít take photos without a camera; keep it handy.
- You canít take photos with a dead battery; always carry a spare.
- Never cut Polaroid pictures; there are chemicals inside.
- Open glasses and cups donít mix well with photos.
- Sheet protectors keep all those little (or big) sticky fingerprints off the photos.
- Do not use any pencil or pen on the back of a photo unless it clearly states "photo safe". Write on an archival (acid free/lignin free) label and put the label on the back of the photo. The label should include the names, dates, and locations (unless the location is obvious-Statue of Liberty). If the photo is going in your scrapbook, the information can be journaled with the picture or on a sheet at the back of the album. Remember, your great-grandchildren will want to know who these folks were.
- Cut adhesive square tabs in half diagonally. That way, they fit perfectly in the corners of your mats and photos.
- You can remove older photos from a magnetic album by:
- Heating the photos with a hair dryer to release the sticky stuff.
- Sliding waxed dental floss behind the picture in a see-saw motion.
- Using Un-Do which will release the sticky stuff without damaging your photos.
How to Care for your punches
- When you start to notice your punch is no longer cutting cleanly:
- Punch through wax paper 6 - 10 times. If that doesnít work....
- Punch through tin foil 6 - 10 times. If that doesnít work.....
- Punch through fine sandpaper 6 - 10 times.
- If even that fails, itís time for a new punch.
How to care for you scissors
- Never use paper scissors on anything else (no hair cutting, chicken cutting, or fabric cutting.
- If you have a knife sharpener that also does scissors, use that to keep your scissors sharp. Otherwise you can take them in to get sharpened (if you are lucky enough to have a shop that will do that near you).
- Try the tip above and cut through tin foil or fine sand paper.
- Use an adhesive remover to clean gummed up scissors
Supplies needed to make Shaker Boxes
How to make the Shaker Box
- 1 sheet of card stock
- 1 clear page protector
- Double-sided foam tape
- Things to fill the box
Ideas for Shaker Box shapes
- Decide what shape your Shaker will be. (Beginners might want to start with a simple square.)
- Make 2 identical shapes from cardstock, one for the top and one for the bottom.
∑ If you want the sides of your shaker covered, make the top piece 1/8" larger than the bottom piece.
- Cut out the center shape from one piece of the cut cardstock making sure to leave enough width between the outer and inner edges to hide the foam tape.
- Cut the clear paper protector large enough to cover the open hole. Make sure the size does not extend beyond the edges of your entire shape.
OPTION: Use the corner of a plastic protector, cut your shape out, leaving enough room to adhere the pocket onto the front and back of the box. Fill this pocket with your items and tape the 2 open edges together to seal the pocket. Then use this pocket between the front and back pieces of your Shaker Box.
- Using permanent tabs, tape runner etc., attach the cut clear sheet to the back of
your top piece, making sure the entire cutout section is covered by the clear plastic sheet.
- Cut strips of foam tape to cover the entire outer rim of your top piece. Make sure your foam meets tightly in the corners. (You donít want things leaking out.) Leave a narrow strip between the inner edge and the foam tape, so that you donít see the foam when you look at your shaker from the top. Attach the foam tape to the back of the top (front cut out piece) of your Shaker.
- Place your Shaker top face down in front of you and fill the area on top of the clear film with the items of your choice. If your tape does not have a peel off backing, be sure your items donít stick to the tape. See below for ideas on fill.
- Remove the peel off paper backing from your foam tape and carefully align the bottom (back) of the Shaker over the top (front) of the shaker. When you feel they are aligned properly, firmly press the back onto the foam tape. The top and bottom of the Shaker should now be firmly adhered together, with your fill showing through the clear film of the front. You should be able to shake it, without anything falling out. If you notice that your alignment job wasnít quite right, with a sharp knife cut away any overhangs.
Note:If you made your top piece larger than the bottom, use a scoring tool or the rounded edge of a knife to score the edges and fold down the top sides. Now your box is completely enclosed
- Now, decorate the front of your box in any way you choose.
Ideas for Fill
- You can use 2 halves of a Slide Mount to make a small Shaker Box.
- You can use templates for the shapes.
- Trace shapes from a childrenís coloring book.
- Geometric shapes -- squares, circles, rectangles, triangles etc.
- Heart (great for Valentineís Day, filled with heart punchies and glitter)
- Mitten (great with snow punchies and sequins inside)
- Sand Castle (with sand and tiny sea shells)
- Picnic Basket
- Ball gown
- Christmas Tree
- Glass pieces
- Tiny buttons
- Sea shells
Ink Jet Shrink Film
- Ink Jet Shrink Film
- Xacto knife
- An image you want to use
- Size your image(s) 50% larger than you would like the final piece.
- Set your printer to normal output and change the color intensity to just over the minimum (colors will intensify while shrinking)
- Place the Ink Jet Shrink Film face down onto the feeder of your printer (face up for back feeding printers) and print.
- Let the sheet dry for about 5 to 10 minutes before handling.
- Cut your images out with a pair of fine tip scissors. Use an xacto knife or hole punch as well. You must do all cutting BEFORE you shrink!
- Use a conventional oven. DO NOT USE A MICROWAVE. Pre-heat the oven to 300-350 F.
- Place the cut outs onto a clean piece of cardboard or an old non-stick baking sheet.
- Bake for only 1- 2 minutes.
- Shrink Film will go through 2 stages while baking, first it will curl and then it will flatten out.
- Let the items cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan
- You can print on both sides of the shrinky film.
- You can also draw or write directly onto the sheets using markers.
- Use an old or covered spatula to flatten the piece immediately after removing from the oven if still curled.
- Cut the slide mount apart carefully at the crease. That way you have 2 small frames.
- Frame small photos
- Frame coordinating patterned paper
- Frame small embellishments
- Frame words you have written on a background piece of white/coordinating paper
- Use 3 slide mounts in a row to create a film strip look.
- Add a decorative paper facing to the mount by adhering a piece of patterned paper/cardstock (bigger than the mount) to the slide mount. Using a sharp cutter, trace around the slide mount for a perfect match.
- Create a small shaker by using 2 sides of a slide mount with foam tape between them.
- Decorate the front of the slide mount with stickers, buttons, tiny shells, punchies etc.
- Color the slide mount using chalks, heat embossing, colored pencils etc.
- Write words or sayings around the top of the slide mount that relate to the theme of the page.
- Stamp on the slide mounts
The Difference Between Rubber and Clear Polymer Stamps:
Getting Good Results
- Rubber stamps have the best image quality and last the longest
- Initial conditioning - polymer stamps need to be roughed up so the ink sticks (otherwise the material tends to repel ink and it will pool), use a standard pink eraser to scuff the surface
- Initial conditioning - rubber stamps only need to be wiped down with a baby wipe. You can also just moisten your finger and wipe it over the stamp. You can feel the bits of residue and just wipe them away.
- Never use sandpaper, erasers or anything else to "condition" your new rubber stamp, you will damage your rubber stamp.
- Rubber stamps can last a lifetime, if cared for properly.
- Clear stamps will not last as long; they are prone to either get gooey or harden as time goes on. This problem is exacerbated by sunlight, indoor lighting, and oil based products.
- Clear stamps are less expensive and take less room to store
- Rubber stamps are normally mounted on wood blocks, are more expensive, and take more room to store
- Clear stamps are easier to position since you can see through them for proper alignment on your project
- Rubber stamps are more difficult to position. Positioner tools are sold that can help with getting your stamped images straight and positioned properly.
- Clear stamps can be torn when removing them from the acrylic block
- Store clear stamps away from all light, ex. shoe box.
- Solvent based inks need a special cleaner to remove them from the stamp
- Clean your polymer stamps with baby wipes, mild soap and water, or alcohol, never with a solvent remover cleaner.
Unmounting your rubber stamps
- To ink your stamp hold the stamp in one hand and the ink pade in the other hand then lightly tap, tap, tap your stamp into the ink pad. You should see ink covering all the ridges in the stamp; you should NEVER see any ink down in the crevices of the stamp or on the sides.
- Another key to getting a great image is to press your stamp STRAIGHT down and then to pull it STRAIGHT up. Most smearing happens during the lifting up process. It does take some practice.
- Some inks will "feather" and make your stamped impression look like you've pressed too hard. This will also happen if your paper isn't smooth. If you are aiming for a crisp impression, the smoother the cardstock - the better!
- Apply even pressure during stamping.
Summary of Cautions
- Place your mounted rubber stamp in the microwave, wood side down, for 5 seconds.
- It's a tad hot, so carefully peel the rubber stamp from the wood backing.
- If it does not peel off, put it back in the micro for a few more seconds.
- The stamp should remain sticky enough to use with an acrylic block for quite a while.
- When the sticky is gone, buy EZMount or comparable product. You can also use removeable double sided sticky tape.
- Do not use MicroGlaze (a resist product) on any rubber or acrylic stamps, it will damage your stamp.
- Use foam stamps with MicroGlaze, that way you won't mind pitching them when they become unusable.
- Never use solvent based inks (ex.StayzOn) or the newer combo inks (ex.Brilliance) on clear stamps, it will damage your stamps over time.
- Never use solvent based cleaners on clear stamps.
- Never use sandpaper, erasers or other tools on rubber stamps.
If you are using the cardboard (office supply type) stencils, spray them with archival mist, OR donít let the stencil touch your photos. If you use plastic stencils, you donít have this concern.
- You can stencil with it using chalk, watercolor pencils, acrylic paint, dye ink, pigment ink, or metallic rub-ons to fill in the letters or shapes. Apply paints and inks, brushing from the outside toward the inside of the stencil shape to keep paints from seeping under the stencil.
- Trace letter stencils onto different cardstock or patterned paper to make your own cut-out letters.
- Cut up your alphabet stencil. Cut a square around the letter, making it into a block. Then put colored or patterned paper or photos behind the letters. (Faces look great peeking out from a D or P)
- Ink your stencil shape. Brush, sponge or dab the ink onto your plastic stencils, then press onto your paper. Be sure to clean your stencil immediately.
- Many stencils can be used for dry embossing.
STORAGE - GENERAL
- If you have enough room you can hang a pegboard on the wall. . You can then attach scissors, crimpers, rulers, stencils and more, all within easy sight and reach. In addition, there are trays and bins available for pegboards.
- Keep a notebook with you at all times, to record all those great scrapping ideas and tips that you pick up from magazines, web sites, etc. Store these ideas in a binder (maybe even the one with your magazine articles).
- Organize your work area to match your personality and style. If your style is alphabetically, organize your things alphabetically. If your style is by category, organize your supplies by category. If color is your thing, organize your supplies by color. Whatever system you use, make sure you are very happy with it.
- Scrapbooking magazines take up a lot of room.
- Use eave troughs mounted to the wall to store rolls of ribbon
- Use a curtain rod mounted to the wall to store punches with handles
- Unmounted and acrylic stamps can be stored in empty CD cases or flat tins
- Cup hooks on the underside of shelves mounted to the wall can hold a number of tools or packages of things.
- Go through your magazines, find the articles or layouts you wish to keep, carefully tear them out of the magazine and organize them into a binder by category.
- Or keep the magazines in magazine holders or boxes. If you do this, you need to keep a list of the title/issue of the magazine, and articles that interest you. . You can even use your computer and create the list in a word processing file and use the Find feature to quickly locate the article you want.
STORAGE - DIES
- Store your metal dies in empty CD cases that have been lined with magnetic sheets cut to size. One of the best sources I have found for the magnetic sheetsis the hardware store, as vent or register covers. Cut it to the size of the CD case and use any double sided sticky tape to adhere it to the CD case. Your dies will stay in place. This is especially handy if you have any of the Nestibility type dies.
- For metal dies that are bigger than a CD case, any type box/container will work following the above insturctions.
- For non-matel dies use a photo album or portable CD case that has pages with pockets. You can insert your dies in the pockets.
STORAGE - EMBELLISHMENTS
Start at the dollar store and work your way up if you canít find it at the dollar store.
- If you have an accessible shelf, you can use clean, empty baby food jars. Just use a nail or screw through the lid to mount it under a shelf. You can then screw the jar off and on for storage that is out of the way. (Ask a mother with a baby/toddler to save her jars for you if you donít have any of your own.)
- Stacking pill containers make wonderful eyelet/brad containers and you can get them clear or in colors.
- The sewing area has notions containers that will work well for small things.
- The kitchen aisle will yield up cutting boards (for pounding mats) and utensil holders (for pen storage-point downward to keep the ink flowing), not to mention all those great food storage containers and zip lock baggies.
- Fishing Tackle boxes work great for different size embellishments and there are many different styles with various size compartments.
- The hardware aisle has many types of storage units for small nails/tools. Everything from bin types to small drawer types to canisters that hang on a rack. Many of these can be mounted to the wall, or a backboard for saving space.
- Tiny things can be stored in film canisters, Pringleís Chips or Crystal Lite tall canisters. Attach one of the items to the front or top of the canister, so you can tell what is inside.
STORAGE - FIBERS
- Always label your fiber with the name, item number, or where you got it. That way, if you want more youíll know where to go and what it is called.
- Roll the fibers around 3 fingers to make a small neat roll. Place the roll in a snack size baggie. Punch a hole in the corner of the baggie and put all the baggies, by color, on a large ring holder.
- Arrange the plastic baggies in a shoe box by color.
- Buy album pocket pages and slip each yarn into itís own pocket. Put all one color on a page. Store the pages in a ring binder.
- If you buy fibers already on a card, merely store the cards in a card file box, or shoe box.
- Wrap your fibers around embroidery floss cards and store them in a box, or organizer.
STORAGE - INK PADS
- Some of the old cassette holders work well for storing your ink pads. (You can often find these at yard sales.)
- Store inkpads that can be re-inked upside down, so the ink stays near the surface.
- Putting the ink pad in a ziplock baggie helps prevent it from drying out.
STORAGE - MARKERS
- Store your double tipped markers horizontally, so the ink will remain evenly distributed and make it less likely that one end will dry up first.
- Store your single end markers with the point down so the ink is readily available.
STORAGE - PAPER
- Be sure not to store acid free paper with other types of paper.
- Make sure whatever container you get is archival quality.
- There are plastic boxes, envelopes and hanging folders for you to choose from.
- If you use an 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbook, you can use the archival protector sleeves in a 3 ring binder or any archival product that stores that size.
- If you use a 12 x 12 scrapbook, you will probably need to order paper storage containers from a scrapbook supply store. I just donít see much in the 12 x 12 at the local office supply store.
- Get a portable system so that you can protect your paper when you travel to crops.
STORAGE - PHOTOS
- Never store your photos in anything that is not archival quality.
- There are photo albums, photo storage boxes, and archival protector sleeves to keep your photos safe.
- The easiest method I have found is to buy archival quality photo shoe boxes. They hold tons of photos and will keep them safe. If you develop your film, or print pictures, you can just pop them into the box and they will automatically be in order. This makes the job of sorting through them for scrapbooking easier. The photos you donít use can stay in the box. And the boxes come with indexes to note the event, the date, or whatever you want.
STORAGE - RIBBONS
- Get a pair of curtain rod holders that hold the round dowel type rod. Buy a dowel (round wood) the length you need. Mount your rod holders so the dowel extends about 1" beyond the dowel on each side and then slip your rolls of ribbon onto the dowel.
- For lengths of ribbon, not on a roll, use an empty toilet paper or paper towel cardboard center. Wrap your ribbon around it and trim the cardboard to fit. Now you can slide it on your dowel or place them in a drawer and they wonít get wrinkled.
- If your loose ribbon lengths do get wrinkled, you may be able to iron them. Test your ribbon first. On a low setting, using a scrap piece of materiel over and under the ribbon (to protect your iron and ironing board), iron it. If the test is successful, go ahead and iron the length of ribbon.
- Wrap your ribbons around embroidery floss cards and store them in a box, or organizer.
- Wrap your ribbons around old wooden clothespins and store in a big glass fish bowl - makes a pretty display.
- At the office supply store you can find hinges that hold together large folders. They look like one long metal piece with both ends folding over toward the middle. Wish I could think of the name of this product. Wrap
the ribbons around it and fold over the ends to hold everything in place
- Mount an eave trough on the wall and put your ribbon rolls in it
STORAGE - RUBBER STAMPS
- Store rubber stamps in a shallow container or organizer.
- Donít stack stamps. They should be stored in a single layer, so that you can always see the top of the stamp showing the design.
- Store unmounted rubber stamps or clear acrylic stamps in empty CD cases. Remember to stamp the image on cardstock first, so you know what is in the case.
- To unmount your rubber stamps, heat in the microwave for about 5 seconds. The wood block gets hot quickly, so being careful, take the stamp and peel the rubber stamp off the wood. (the back will remain sticky
for a good long while and can be stuck into the CD cases. When the sticky is gone, use EZ Mount so you once again have the surface that will stick to the acrylic blocks.
STORAGE - STENCILS
- Put your stencils/templates into sheet protectors. Then file them into a 3-ring binder, and use divider tabs such as Birthday, Christmas, Baby to separate the different types of stencils you have. That way you wonít have to flip through every page in the binder to find a particular stencil.
- By the way, you can store two templates in one sheet protector with a piece of paper in between each--white or colored depending on the color of your template. This will make it easier to see the designs and prevent them from catching onto each other.
- You can adhere anything to a tag!
- Be sure and fill the hole at the top with yarn, ribbon, hemp, jute, corn husk, wire, or braids.
- Adorn your tag with page pebbles or colored glass bits.
- Cut five tags from different colorful papers. Tie them all together with yarn, or some other fiber, and you have a mini album on your page, where you can put small photos.
- Create a pocket on your tag and stuff with baseball or theater ticket stubs. You can make it a vellum pocket and stuff it with new or old photos.
- Collage a tag by gathering your eyelets, brads, fibers, paper scraps, and other embellishments and create a true work of art.
- On Mulberry Paper, use a damp Q-Tip to draw where you want the tear to be. Then gently pull the two sides apart. It will follow the water trail you made. You can also help guide the tear down the water trail with your fingernail.
- Where you have a white edge from tearing, you can color the edge with a darker or lighter shade of pen or chalk for a different effect.
WATERCOLOR PENCILS and WATERCOLOR CRAYONS
How to Use
- Use them without water exactly as you would colored pencils.
- Color titles
- Shade diecuts and punched pieces
- Use them with water (cup of water and small paintbrush) or a blending pen (a dual tip marker filled with a clear blending fluid)
- It is best to use acid free Watercolor Paper
- The pencils can be used on heavier weight cardstock
- Always test colors and blended colors on a separate paper (you may be surprised how some of the colors look when mixed)
- Use the dry pencil to color an area and then wet a small brush with water (drain excess water on edge of water cup) and brush over the area you have colored.
- Use on a stamp for a soft look
- Use on vellum (test on both sides of the vellum for different looks)
- For bright, bold color, press a wet paint brush onto the tip of your pencil and then use.
- For a thick, opaque look, dip the watercolor pencil tip directly into water and apply wet.
- For a gradual color hue change, color 1/2 of the intended colored section. Then using a wet paint brush, draw the color down into the second half.
- You can make watercolor paint by coloring an inch square on watercolor paper and taking a wet brush and swirling it around in the colored area. You can then paint on wet paper (not too wet) with a small brush.
- You should spray your watercolor work with a fixative spray to set your work.
- When wetting the paper to apply the watercolor "paint" you can go outside of the confines of the desired work area. This allows you to soak up any excess paint that seeps outside on the lines, with a dry paint brush.
- Do not touch the watercolor "paint" before it dries. It will leave finger prints.
WEAVING WITH PAPER
Ideas for weaving
- Decide on the color of the cardstock you will use as a base.
- Decide whether you will weave with different cardstock, yarn, raffia, jute, etc.
- If you are using paper, decide how wide you want the strips to be.
- On the back of the cardstock that will be your base, using your ruler and a pencil, measure and mark the paper making an even number of lines.
- Use a ruler lined up with your pencil marks, and, using a sharp knife, cut the slits in your paper, where you will weave in and out. Make sure to leave a 1/2" border. (Without the ruler keeping your cuts straight, you will end up with wavy lines, which can be interesting, too.)
- Choose the paper you want to weave with. (you can also use corn husk, twine or fibers to weave in)
- Cut strips that are a little longer than your base cardstock.
- Starting at either edge of your cardstock, slide one of these strips from the back, through the first slit, over the cardstock, through the next slit, under the cardstock, through the next slit, and so on, over and under, till you get to the other edge of the paper.
- With the second weave, follow the same process, but this time push the strip through the first slit so that it goes under the paper, then over, then under, etc., until you reach the other side. The final weave should look similar to a checkerboard.
- Continue this process until you run out of paper.
You can weave with:
- Vary your weave by using 2 different patterned papers in your weave OR creating the weave in the middle of a page and not necessarily on the edge
- Use a weave on a tag or embellishment.
- Create you own photo corners or mats for your photos from woven papers.
- Create a partial weave as an accent (leave the ends loose).
- wide or narrow ribbon
- patterned paper
WIRE DESIGNS AND LETTERS
- 24 gauge Wire
- Wire Cutters
- Wire Jig OR a wood board and nails & hammer
- Needle & thread or glue
- Optional beads
- Draw you design on paper.
- Place the drawing on a small block of wood
- Pound small nails (picture or paneling nails with tiny heads) into the wood on the lines of your drawing (everywhere there is a bend or curve) just enough for the nails to stay in while you work.
- Take your wire and wrap it around, and between the wires, following the outline of your drawing.
- Slip the wire creation off of the nails, or remove the nails if you canít slip it off.
- If you are making block letters, some letters will be easier to assemble on your layout in pieces. Ex H, T, X Simply glue the pieces or use one stitch over each end of each piece.
- To add beads to your creation, slip them on the wire as you wrap it around the nails. Once it is wrapped, it is usually too late to add them.
- If beads will be your first or last item on the wire, be sure and add a swirl or hook shape to the end to hold the beads on.
- To attach the wire letters to your layout, use a needle and thread to sew the letters on. Or use invisible glue dots or glue that dries clear.
- You can use stitches or a dot of invisible glue to hold your beads at a specific spot on the wire in your layout.
- Place your wire creation under a heavy book to flatten them out.
- You can hammer your wire flat for an interesting effect.
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