How to Make a Vintage Style Card

How to Make a Card in a Vintage Style

It’s no secret!  Anyone who knows my style is aware that I am in love with anything that is vintage.  I love antique stores and estate sales…not for furniture and things, but for old, odd bits and pieces, ancient yellowing letters and beat-up, crumbling books.  Those to me are treasures.

So, it isn’t a far stretch that the “vintage look” comes out in my creations.  There are several ways to achieve a vintage look in any piece of art!  You can use paint, inks, sand paper, found objects, old photos, lay paper out in the sun to fade, dye things with coffee or tea…and many more.

Today, I wanted to share with you a quick and easy vintage style card!  What makes this card to be considered “vintage”?   At first glace, one might say, “Well, duh, Theresa!  The photo!”  However, there is so much more that makes this a vintage style card.

Take a closer look.  Yes, the photo is definitely a vintage photo.  You can tell from the background of the photo and the subject.  The little girl, who is actually one of my ancestors, is wearing clothing from a different period and her hairstyle is also another indicator.  Do you see all the details?

The other elements that make this a vintage style card are:

  • the paper background choice.  Using browns and tans contribute to the feel.
  • the printed paper came from an old, crumbling book.  That paper is also torn, which adds to the feel that it’s older.
  • the face of the card is sprayed with Walnut Ink by Tsukineko.  Tsukineko Walnut Ink comes in granules that you can mix with water or in a liquid form.  It comes in colors, but by using the brown I can help make things look a little older.  You can also think out your walnut ink if you want a lighter color….but do that in a separate small spray bottle so that you don’t dilute your whole stash!
  • the alphabet ribbon has been rubbed with Vintage Photo  Ranger Distress Ink .
  • the buttons came from an old button box I found at an estate sale
  • the final little detail comes in the T-pin that is tucked in under the top right corner of the photo.  There is something about T-pins that just seem old fashioned to me.

I hope you are inspired to experiment with different ways to create a vintage piece of your own.  Share with us the techniques you use.  I know I’ll be waiting to hear!

Artfully yours….Theresa

How to Make a Decorative Wall Hanging feat. Sizzix!

How to Make a Decorative, Handmade Wall Hanging with Fabric, Paper and Sizzix Dies!

Today I am featuring a fun and colorful wall hanging that I created using a Sizzix die by Brenda Pinnick. Brenda, ever so generous, sent over a whole mess of pieces for this project cut from paper, HER fabric, felt and this really awesome material that is really similar to burlap but with a cooler texture. I LOVE TEXTURE! I chose to stick with the material and save the paper til later. Here’s what I got in my goody bag…

What was really interesting was that if you go to the Sizzix site you will see that this is intended to be an album. However, since Brenda sent the positives and negatives for this die and there was so much of it, I decided to do some layering and make a cool wall hanging for my studio.

The products you will need from Sizzix to use Brenda’s die are:
Paper, Mat Board or Fabric of your choosing
The other supplies used in this project:
Pellon 911FF – Featherweight Fusible Web (1 sided)
Steam-a-Seam 2 – 1/2″ two sided fusible web
Assorted Ribbon
Assorted Bazzill paper in coordinating colors
Low Temperature Glue Gun
Japanese Screw Punch
Before I ran my fabric through the Big Shot Pro, I ironed on the Pellon fusible web. It is a pretty good stabilizer and makes it easier to cut the fabric. These machines are so great, I was able to run multiple layers of fabric and paper through them. What a time saver!
Once the stabilizer was attached, I ran the fabric through the machine and made my squares. Like this:
Next, I layered my fabric squares along with the pieces from Brenda’s kit. I wanted each square to be different and just played until I found something that I liked. Like this:
Once I had 5 squared laid out the way I wanted them. I used the Steam-a-seam 2 between the layers and ironed them together so that they were adhered together.
Next, I laid the assembled squares out in an order that I liked.

One hole is already punched for you with this die, but I needed some extra holes to run my cord through. I punched an extra hole at the top and another at the bottom with myJapanese Screw Punch.

I ran my cord through, running it so that is mostly ran across the back of the square. I am not much for measuring (is that bad?). I am more of an “eye-baller”, which is what I did to space these out appropriately.

I tied some little bows and with my hot glue gun, I glued them so that they sat just at the top of the square just covering the bottom hole. This served a couple of purposes. First, it kind of hid the hole. Second, because the glue covered part of the cord, it helped keep the square in place. For good measure, I flipped the squares over and ran a line of hot glue under the cording in the back as well.

I tied a knot in both ends of the cord so that it wouldn’t unravel and a simple loop in the top. While I loved the color scheme and the texture of the fabrics, it needed a little something more, so I took some card stock in shades that complimented the colors I was already using and began to cut some flowers with my Big Shot. I cut so many flowers, I’m set for spring!
I then took half my stash and glued and glittered them up just because…honestly…who couldn’t use a little sparkle? I assembled the flowers with double stick adhesive, but I glued the bottom layer to the fabric squares with hot glue.
Here are close ups of the squares. I really hope you enjoy!
Artfully yours….Theresa

How to Make a Textured Canvas

How to Make a Textured Canvas Using Gel Mediums and Acrylic Paints

I love texture!  One of my very favorite things to do when I have some free time to just play around in my studio is to create textured canvases!  Since this type of work takes time…as in drying time….I often make a whole bunch at once.  Then I set them aside to dry and move on to other projects.  Then, I set them aside once they are completely dry so that I have a stash of them to pull out as I please.  Making textured canvases also helps me when I find that I am in a little bit of a creative rut.  It happens to all of us creatives….like writer’s block for artists!  Sometimes I just can’t seem to get started, so I will pull out a blank canvas and just start smearing away.  This helps get my creative juices flowing!!

There is nothing more simple to do than to create texture on a canvas.  You need very few supplies:

  • blank canvas board or stretched canvas any size of your choosing
  • Golden Gel Mediums (or another brand you like) – there are many types so check the fine arts department of your craft store
  • Golden Heavy Bodied Acrylics (fluids work too!)
  • Good quality acrylic paint brushes
  • Painting spatulas in a variety of sizes
  • Paper plates or palette paper

You will start with a blank canvas like this one:


You will want to use your Gel Mediums and Painter’s Spatulas next.  What is Gel Medium?  Gel Medium is an acrylic binder.  It is just like paint without the pigment in it!  It comes in a wide variety of textures.  You can mix your acrylic paint into it or apply it on top (which is my favorite method!) Choose whatever textures you want.  I am fond of molding paste, pumice gels, fibre pastes and granular gels.


Instructions for a textured canvas:

Using your spatulas, start to smear the different gel mediums onto your canvas.  Don’t think about it too much…just go with the flow.  You don’t have to wait in between each application unless you are layering one gel over another. This is the first step in creating a textured canvas.

Once you are finished playing, just set aside your canvas to dry completely.  Depending on how thick you laid on the gels will determine drying time.  I usually leave mine overnight just to be safe.  If you are up for a marathon…grab some more canvas and make some more textured canvas.

After the canvas has completely dried, it’s time to apply paint!  Choose your favorite colors and squeeze some out onto your plate or palette.

Apply the paint over the canvas and Gel Mediums!

Often, I will apply one layer of paint, set it aside and then add more where I think it needs it.  I really like experimenting here.  When I have my canvas looking the way I want, I set it aside to dry.  Once that is done, I can add embellishments like photos, beads, buttons, quotes, etc.

That’s all there is to it!  Really simple to make a textured canvas and they look so cool!

Artfully yours….Theresa

How to Use Shipping Tags in Handmade Books

Some taggy inspiration…

Hello crafty friends!  Today I wanted to give you some inspiration on how to use tags in handmade books.  I happen to love making books…and I really like using tags a lot also.  Shipping tags make fantastic elements in handmade books, cards, scrapbook pages, altered art and much more.  They are so versatile.  You can dye them, stamp them, write on them, attach them to each other….you are really only limited by your imagination!

Here are some fun projects I have made using shipping tags.  I hope you enjoy!

Artfully yours….Theresa

Make a Garden Card

Garden Card

Spring has finally arrived here in New York.  We had a wonderfully, sunny and bright week here.  Color is exploding everywhere!  It’s the spring that inspired this beautiful Garden Card, which is just so simple to make.

With a few supplies in colors that you find inspiring, you can create this colorful Garden Card.  You will need, scrapbook paper in a color of your choice, white paper, dye based makers, floral block stamps, a favorite quote, a paper trimmer, double stick tape and any other embellishments that you find festive.

I happen to love dragonflies and was inspired by the purple dragonfly element when selecting my color scheme.  I cut the purple scrapbook paper to A-2 size, which mean cut your paper 5.5 x 8.5 and fold it in half.  I then cut two pieces of white paper.  The background is cut 3.75 x 5 and the front panel is cut 2 x 3.  I cut a mat for the front panel in purple that measures 2.25 x 3.25.

Next, I took my stamp and, using a direct to stamp technique, I added the colored in the flower and then stamped randomly and several times without re-inking.  This is how you get those variations of lights and darks.  It adds depth to the image.  I repeated this process with my other stamps until I was happy with the coverage of my papers.

Once that was done, I assembled the elements.  I attached the larger stamped background paper to the main card with double stick tape.  Then I placed the purple mat where I wanted it and layered the smaller stamped paper on top.  I did pay close attention to the quote stamp’s size.  I was careful to place the paper so that I could fit the quote.  Now, I used a stamp, but a quote printed out onto some vellum would look just as pretty!  Finally I added my element.

So simple…and you can really brighten someone’s day by sending them this colorful and festive Garden Card.  We’d all love to hear about all the variations of this card that you are making.  Hope you’ve been inspired!

Artfully yours…..Theresa

Make a Scrapbook Page – Spring Flowers

Make Floral Layouts -  Love ya like a sistah
Make Floral Layouts - Love ya like a sistah

Spring Scrapbook Page Ideas

When it comes to scrapbooking, I am a minimalist.  I like clean layouts and not too much clutter.  Sometimes a photo inspires me, as in the example above, but sometimes the strangest things will be the source.

This is a really fun and easy scrapbook layout using handmade background paper, glittery die cut flowers and some cute gems.  I wanted to bring out the colors in the photo, so I decided to make my own handmade background paper.  You can find out how to create your own background papers by checking out our post Make Background Papers.  I may or may not have mentioned in the past something about a paper fettish I have….so I wasn’t worried at all about finding the right shade of solid colors to enhance the Polka Dot background paper.

Making your own background paper is easy and you can then use it however you want.  Not only is the background handmade, but I also used some under the journaling.  I printed my journaling on vellum and attached it with brads.

I think my favorite part of this layout is the glittery flower border I created at the side.  For this, I took 12×12 scrapbook paper and attached it to Sizzix adhesive paper.  I ran that through my Sizzix Big Shot with the Bigz Die Cut Build a Flower #3.  This made one side of the flower sticky once I peeled the paper back.  Then I dipped those flowers in ultra fine glitter.  To get this border effect, I arranged the first layer of flowers how I wanted them before adhering them with double stick tape.  For dimension, I used foam tape to attach the send flower layer on top of some of the first.  I also added a little bling…I mean, serioiusly, can you ever have enough?

What inspires your layouts?  We’d like to know!

Artfully yours,



For additional scrapbook ideas visit:

Keri Lee Sereika

Make Background Papers

Fresh Picked Scrapbook page



Very Vellum Cards

Very Vellum Cards

One of my very favorite types of paper to work with is vellum.  I use it quite a lot actually.  I love the properties of it.  I love how it’s translucence can soften an image or picture.  I love the effect it has when used as an overlay.  I like that you find it in different levels of translucency, in different colors and even with patterns on it.   I particularly enjoy finding interesting ways to adhere it…although now-a-days the vellum tape available is fantastic!

Each of the handmade cards above has a vellum element incorporated.  On each card, the vellum is attached by a different means.  If you look closely, you can see how each piece of vellum is attached.  Do you use vellum often?  If not, have you been inspired to use it in the future?  Leave a comment.  Let us know!

Artfully yours,


Make Background Papers


As a paper artist, there are many times that I get very frustrated because I just cannot find the perfect coordinating paper for a card or layout in my stash.  Let me tell ya….it is quite an extensive stash too!  To deal with this issue, I keep a lot of white and solid colored cardstock in my studio so that I can make my own handmade background papers.  Here are a few samples that demonstrate some quick and easy techniques with product that you probably already own.

Rainbow Floral Paper

This colorful sample was inspired by the negative of a Sizzix die cut.  Using the die cut as a template, Tsukineko Chalk Inks and stipple brushes, I created this rainbow floral pattern.  I began at one corner of a piece of white paper.  Each time I moved the template, I switched colors.  I accomplished this using a stipple brush.  The rest of the white space I stippled on a light coating of a complimentary color.

Polka Dot Background Paper

This polka dot paper was created using Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks, The Crafter’s Workshop stencils and stipple brushes.  This was so simple to make.  I used white paper as my background, but you can easily switch that out with another pale colored paper.  I placed the stencil over the paper and stippled in my first color.  I then moved the stencil so that it slightly overlapped the first color and stippled in my second color.  Then I repeated that with the third color.  Quick, easy and fun!

Printed Background Paper

This faux printed background paper was a little trickier to make, but load of fun!  I actually used rubber stamps to create this background.  There are SEVEN separate stamps used in this background.  I started with plain white paper and Stazon Permanent Ink in Timber Brown by Tsukineko.  It is really super important to use permanent ink because you don’t want anything to smear or run once you being to colorize it.  Starting with the largest stamp, I began to collage the paper’s surface.  I worked to the smallest.  Once I had a pattern that I really liked, I filled in any wide gaps with the gingham style stamp.  Finally, I used a textured stamp to randomly stamp all over the entire collage.  Finally, with my stipple brushes and Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks, I added color over the entire collage…beginning with the lightest and working to the darkest, which I kept closest to the edges of the paper.

Monochromatic Background Paper

This is probably the easiest effect to accomplish when creating your own background papers.  It is quick in that it takes very little time to get done, but a little longer because you have to take drying time into account.  This background paper is monochromatic.  Monochromatic means, in it’s simplest of definitions, one color family.  For example, the sample above is a sort of study in pink.  I’ve used pink cardstock and acrylic paint in another shade of pink.  To keep with this monochromatic theme, I could have added another size heart in yet another shade of pink!

Achieving this background is simple.  You will need a solid colored cardstock of your choice, an acrylic paint color that is in the same family as your cardstock…perhaps a few shades lighter or darker than your paper…and foam stamps.  In the example above, I used pink paper, a heart shaped foam stamp and pink acrylic paint.  All I did was stamp the image in a pattern.  Really simple and way cute!

Hope you enjoyed these examples and that you are inspired to go and create your own background papers.  Keep us posted with your progress!!

Artfully yours…..Theresa 🙂




Scrapbook Page Layout – “Egg”stremely Easter

Hi crafty people!  I hope that everyone is enjoying our “Egg”stravaganza this week.  Spring is officially here, although you wouldn’t know it from the snowy weather we are having here in the northeast.  I am really eggcited to share this scrapbook layout with you today just because it makes me feel all warm and springy.

In this scrapbook layout we have eggs galore!  The egg scrapbook paper is just so much fun!  I love the pastel colored eggs against the craft background.  I found this at AC Moore, but there was no manufacturer label on it!

The egg and flower stickers are made out of felt.  They are dimensional and add a lot of texture to the page.  Those are Jolie’s stickers by EK Success.
Hope you are being inspired to make your own eggy designs!
Artfully yours,

Iwo Jima Mixed Media Collage

My dad is a history buff…especially when it comes to anything war or plane related!  He is a Navy Veteran who was stationed on the aircraft carrier Enterprise (he was an airplane mechanic)!  My dad is also very crafty.  He can do anything…and I mean that.  Not only can he fix anything in your house or on your car…but he makes furniture…and these really awesome handmade pens.  So, I especially like to make handmade things for him.  He appreciates that.

A couple of years ago I made the above collage in beeswax for him as a birthday gift.  The focal point of this piece is the image of the flag raising at Iwo Jima. It is a toner transfer directly onto the beeswax.  I don’t remember where I got that quote, but it was quite befitting!   That is a packing tape transfer that was then embedded into the wax. My favorite part of this collage is the war ration stamps in the top right corner. I have a whole bunch of those that I won in an auction on eBay.

I had it framed in a black, simple molding…no glass!  It hangs in his bedroom above his dresser.  I know it is one of his very favorite gifts.  What types of handmade gifts do you like to give?

Artfully yours,