Make a Valentine box out of a cereal or cracker box to collect all the classroom Valentine’s Day cards. Try a sweet and sassy purse to carry home all the cool cards and tasty treats collected from classmates. This project feels a little old school to me and that makes me happy. I was a little disappointed last year when the teacher sent home the cards in a decorated paper sack.
MATERIALS for a Valentine box:
Recycled cereal boxes, two
Ellison Sizzix Machine and Dies: Layered Flowers, Layered Flowers #5
Pearl brads, nine
Felt: pink, red
DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Pink Chiffon, Carousel Pink, Baby Pink, Lamp Black
Foam alphabet stamps
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
BASIC SUPPLIES for a Valentine box:
scissors, ruler, paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)
Instructions for a Valentine box:
1. For purse shape, open cereal box on seams. Reposition cereal box (with printed side on inside). Glue seams. On covered work surface, paint purse Carousel Pink. Let dry.
2. For purse flap, cut top, bottom, and one long side of remaining cereal box. Use decorative-edge scissors to trim flap edges. Measure and mark 1/4″x4″ slit (for mailbox opening) on flap and top of purse.
3. For purse handles, trace 8″ circle on remaining piece of cereal box scrap. Trace 6″ circle on center of 8″ circle. Cut out center 6″ circle. Cut circle in half, creating two handles.
4. Paint flap and handles Lamp Black. Let dry.
5. Use alphabet stamps and inkpad to stamp name on bottom of purse.
6. Use machine and flowers die to cut flowers from pink and red felt. Cut additional flowers from cereal box scraps. Paint flowers Baby Pink and Pink Chiffon. Let dry.
7. Layer flowers together, alternating colors. Use hole punch to punch hole on center of flowers; insert pearl brad and bend ends on back.
8. Glue purse flap on top of box, lining up mail slit. Glue flowers along purse flap.
9. Use hole punch to punch two holes, centered, along top edges of purse and along handle ends. Insert pearl brad into handle holes and into purse holes; bend ends on inside.
Give a creative handmade gift to your loved one this Valentine’s day and try making an Amore altered Altoid tin.
“Amore” (Italian) translates to “love” in the English language. Remember the old song “when the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie that’s ‘Amore?’ The Italians celebrate love with no other and it was with this mind that I was inspired to create some super versatile tags that can be used to adorn anything from jewelry, home decor or as fun wedding or valentines favors, tucked inside this embellished altoid tin.
These tags also make gorgeous bag ties for favors perfect for Valentines Day Favors, Wedding Favors, Bridal Showers, etc. Just change the color of the ribbon to match your color scheme.
I have saved Altoids tins for several months ago but I was still surprised to clean out my recycled stash and discover I had 15 of these babies!! I must be eating them like crazy…
For the Amore altered Altoid tin, I knew that I wanted to paint the tin as I was aiming for a shabby, distressed look so I thought it would be easiest if I covered the tin with cardstock first and then painted it. So I took a pencil and make templates by tracing the tin twice (to cover the top and bottom).
I cut out the templates and used Zip Dry Paper Glue by Beacon Adhesives to glue the pieces to the tin.
I measured the sides of the tin and used a paper trimmer to cut strips about 1/4″ thinner than the real measurements.This ensures that the cardstock does not hang off the edges of the tin.
Adhere with strips around the tin with the paper glue and use rubber bands to hold in place while drying, although the glue will set up very fast.
Now its time to paint. I used Lamp Black Americana Acrylics by DecoArt to cover the tin on the outside. I also cut a 1″ x 3″ cardstock strip, scored it 1/2″ from each edge and painted it as well. Additionally, I painted a doll pin stand (stay posted for how I used this) and about eight wood heart tags. These tags can be purchased from several online sources. Just search for “unfinished wood heart tags.” I painted and scored cardstock strip
You may be asking yourself why I painted cardstock when I could have simply used black cardstock. I find that for items that will be handled often, adding paint and gesso layers makes them a lot more durable. You are going to love your Amore altered Altoid tin when it is finished.
After I had a front coat on the wood hearts, I used a candle to rub wax heavily across the surface.
Next, I painted the hearts, front and back, with two coats with Americana Acrylics in Antique White by DecoArt. I also dry brushed the box using this paint as well as the doll pin holder.
Note that the doll pin stand, or holder (purchased at any craft supply store in the unfinished wood supplies) has been glued to a stamped cardstock strip and a sparkly bead placed in the hole of the bead. I used Beacon’s Gem Tac to glue these components together.
I also added some tiny self adhesive stones for extra sparkle to the Amore altered Altoid tin.
Now back to the hearts and this is the fun part. Use a sanding block to sand the waxed surface lightly to show a distressed finish. Areas where the wax was applied will “peel” away easily. Use a script stamp and chalk ink to stamp the surface of the hearts for a very subtle stamped background. Use alphabet stamps or stickers to spell out “Amore.”
Make another template for the tin by tracing the tin bottom to the wrong side of patterned papers of your choice. I used some simple black with white dots. Glue the divider strip slightly off-center in the tin, adhering the scored sides to the tin to keep in place. This will keep your tags and ribbon hangers tidy inside the embellished altoid tin.
I embellished this recycled tin can with one of the tags and some washi tape for a pretty art supplies organizer.
These tags also make gorgeous bag ties for favors perfect for Valentines Day Favors, Wedding Favors, Bridal Showers, etc. Just change the color of the ribbon to match your color scheme.
My brain has been on overdrive thinking all of all the art kits I can create with these tins.
Coastal Christmas decorations do not have to be expensive or cost a lot of money. Let me show you how to use found objects, polymer clay and neutral colors to create simple decorations for your home.
This picture is of a starfish that I made. We found the starfish on vacation and I made a mold of it before we broke it. I knew on of the kids would eventually drop it or it would lose an arm in some fashion. After I made the mold I made 7 starfish. I am not sure why 7, when I only needed one as the topper. So I also made a wreath and a few ornaments.
To compliment the color and the theme for the Coast Christmas I am using jute. I like jute for its rustic appeal and worn look. Not to mention it is an inexpensive material.
Seaside Christmas or Coastal Christmas is my home decor this coming holiday season. I share a sneak peak with you last month of the starfish topper. Below are the companion piece and the real piece the topper is on. I started on it back in June and I am finished with the main pieces. My tree is on our second floor of the house so these will go on the first floor. To make the starfish I used a one pound block of Sculpey Premo. The starfish I used to make the original mold was a vacation find.
I made a wreath with a Styrofoam ring, burlap and buttons from Buttons Galore and More and some jute.
I have a Coastal Christmas starfish garland in the making and I will share that later on. It goes across my mantel. The next piece I made is a topiary using all the same materials. I chose burlap and juts since they are very rustic feeling. There is something cozy about weathered and worn items.
For best results, condition all clay by running it through the clay dedicated pasta machine several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
Pinch of a Large piece of Mold Maker and roll into a ball. Flatten ball creating a piece of large Mold Maker enough to accept starfish.
3. Dust starfish with cornstarch. Press starfish into mold and then remove. Bake the mold according to the directions above. Allow the piece to cool before handling.
4. Condition the White clay according to the directions above. Dust the mold with cornstarch. Press the conditioned clay into the mold and remove. Trim off any excess clay with craft knife. Dust the mold and repeat again to make an additional piece. Repeat process to create as many starfish as you’d like. Bake according to directions above.
DIY selvage edge gift tags for the holidays are fast fun and easy to make in bulk. Each tag takes less than 15 minutes, so you could easily make one in that short amount of time. But if you have a spare hour you can make a whole bunch more. Shipping tags can be found at the office supply store in bulk so it is pretty in expensive too. I like to keep my gift closet stocked with gifts and wrapping papers and gift tags because you never know when you are going to need something last-minute.
For years I have saved my fabric scraps, at least those that are 3″ squares and larger. But lately, I’ve found myself cutting the selvage off my fabrics and saving them as well. I have been very inspired by all the clever fabric selvage projects I have noticed. So I decided to create these gift tags made with fabric selvage.
I plan to use my selvage edge gift tags for special occasions such as birthdays, hostess gifts, wedding gifts, etc. But I couldn’t resist adding in some holiday themed motifs such as this simple Christmas tree.
After deciding on a pink and orange color palette for this project, I tore some fabric scraps into strips, roughly 1 1/2″ wide. Some of the strips I sewed knife pleats in using a sewing machine and black thread.
I also added a sewn black straight stitch to the border to frame each design out. Sew any design or pattern you want and don’t worry about neatness. This is a freestyle sewing technique and there is no right or wrong way.
Adding bits of layered tulle add to the gift tags, as does some strips of bling here and there.
The gift tags can be used for special occasions such as birthdays, hostess gifts, wedding gifts, etc. To make a wedding cake simply mimic the Christmas tree tag and leave off the trunk of the tree.
The orange and pink colors made these especially feminine. These might be good even for a baby girl gift. Changing the colors selvage edge gift tags to a turquoise and lime green and choosing different fabric scraps, such as polka dots and stripes would result in tags that would be good for a little boys birthday gift or to welcome a baby boy.
But no matter what colors and patterns you use, pairing fabric scraps and selvage with painted and sewn paper results in a project that is fun, easy and somewhat addictive!
Do you create with fabric selvage? I would love to see what you’ve made!
If you would like to see other bloggers create in 15 minutes sheck out this great group of craft bloggers.
Scrap fabric strip pumpkins make me want to sing our Happy Fall Y’all! Don’t you just love this amazing season? I’m a sweater and pumpkin spice kinda gal. I love all things pumpkin. To celebrate Autumn, I am going to show you how I made these simple patchwork pumpkins to help usher in Fall and kick off the upcoming holiday season. Making decorations is one of my favorite things to do.
When working with scrap fabric and trying to cut a straight line, I have found that working with rulers and a rotary cutter works best for me. I have tried to draw a straight line and cut on it but I am not very good at that. I used a rotary cutter to cut my fabric into jelly roll sized strips (2 1/2″). (If you want to purchase jelly rolls of fabric they are pre-cut strips that would also work.) They are about 14″ in length and then I placed two of them right sides together and sewed one long edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
I continued until I had one piece that measured about 14″ x 12.” I doubled the fabric over and used
a rotary cutter to cut a round shape from the doubled over for the pumpkin front and back.
I cut a pumpkin stem from the black wool felt and pinned it to the inside of the pieces before I started sewing them together. I sewed the pieces together, leaving the edges raw but left a 4″ opening at the bottom for stuffing the fabric strip pumpkins.
I sewed the bottom together but left a 1/2″ opening for the insertion of the dowel. The wood pieces were painted black and embellished with gem stone rows. A glue gun and glue sticks are used to join the pieces together and to keep the dowel in place inside the scrap fabric strip pumpkins. You might also call these stuffed patchwork pumpkins.
I used alphabet stamps to stamp seasonal sentiments on the wood tags, which were painted orange. I also added some sparkly embellishments and tulle scraps.
Leaf Imprint Trinket Dish is a perfect way to bring botanical accents into your home for fall. Do It Yourself Home Decor & Gift idea that you can make in an hour or two. Use our free tutorial to make polymer clay jewelry dishes to give as gifts. I promise they are really easy to make and Keri Lee show you how in 10 simple steps. Affiliate links below.
Make painted dryer vent pumpkins for your home. You can use the painted dryer vent pumpkins September through November because they are perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Not only can you use them for several months they are affordable to make.
Mixed media bird Christmas ornaments are a painted and stamped version of this bird Christmas ornament. Yes, I really like birds and I really like Christmas and it is never to early to start on your gifts or decorations. To make the projects, I like to buy fancy embellishments when I catch them on sale at the craft stores. When the mood strikes I want to be ready with all the supplies and avoid a trip to the craft store.
Supplies for mixed media bird Christmas ornaments:
The links below contain affiliate links to Amazon where a small commision is earned.
By using the die cut machine with the foam core, you get nice, even smooth edges. No need to sand. The die cut comes with a wing shape, but I am partial to teardrop. So I elected to trace 3″ teardrop onto foam core and cut out with an X-acto knife. You will need to sand the edges with a nail file (emery board) or a smaller paper sander made especially for paper crafting projects.
For the paints, I chose Lamp Black, Snow White and Antique White by DecoArt. I painted the wing shape one coat of black since I knew I would be covering with one or two shades of white to create a distressed effect on the Mixed media bird christmas ornaments.
I also painted the back of each foam core bird shape ornament black. Once the wing is dry to the touch, use a candle stick to randomly rub the surface.
Paint the wing two coats of white and then sand gently to remove areas where the candle wax was applied.
Paint the front of the foam core bird shape Antique White. Use an ornate foam stamp and the white acrylic paint to stamp the surface randomly.
For a layered stamp look, I used StazOn ink in black and a script stamps to completely cover the bird.
I painted the beak black and added a small black dot for the eye. I slightly inked the edges of the bird to give it an aged look. Add a floral embellishment, stamp a sentiment on the wing, glue pieces together and your die cut painted and stamped bird ornament is complete!
I bears mention that I hand dyed muslin using Rit Dye in Apple Green and purchased the silk flowers
Just think of how many wonderful, lightweight but sturdy birds you can get from one sheet of foam board!
Although I used my Sizzix BigShot pro machine, I tried cutting the foam core with my smaller, standard BigShot and it worked too for the Mixed media bird christmas ornaments.
A Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial for you. Fir balsam is one of my favorite holiday scents. This mixed media project is not complicated when you break it down into easy to manage steps. It is also easier to make multiples at the same time. The Balsam Sachet are great as ornaments, package topper or small thank you gifts. You could also use the balsam in a draft dodger.
Today, I am showing you detailed instructional photographs for making these sweet Balsam Sachet ornaments. (I order my supplies from Amazon and if you order from my links I will make a small commission.) To make them smell so great, you will need Fragrant Dried Balsam Tips.
I got my package very early this year and since I am keeping the leftover stash in my desk drawer, I can tell you the balsam still smells heavenly. It’s never too early to get started crafting for the holidays. Follow along as I walk you through the Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial project.
Supplies needed Christmas Balsam Sachet:
I recommend working “assembly style” and making more than one sachet at a time once you get the hang of it.
Step 1– Use a 6″ cardstock square as a template to trace and cut out two pieces of burlap for the Balsam Sachet.
Step 2– Cut a 9 x 12 fusible webbing sheet in half. I like to use Stick Fusible Webbing. Fuse the sheet halves to red ticking and muslin, making sure fabrics are wrinkle free. Remember to turn off your steam function on your iron when fusing. Always leave a slight border around the fabrics to make sure the fusible webbing does not stick to your ironing board.
Step 3- Now comes the fabric stamping part. Choose stamps you wish to use and use pigment ink to stamp on the fused muslin. You can also use a specially formulated ink for fabric. Pigment ink, heat set with the iron on a low setting works just as well.
Stamp the burlap with a background image of your choice that will show up well such a florals or swirls. Burlap does not show the stamped images as well as the muslin, so the images need to be bold. Step 4- Now cut out the stamped muslin motifs, leaving an 1/4 around the edges for stitching. Cut a fused red ticking piece, approx 1/4- 3/8 larger than the stamped motif.
Step 5- Center the pieces on the stamped burlap square that will be the front piece of the Balsam Sachet and fuse with an iron. (if your pieces seem uneven, don’t fret, I find that uneven edges only add to the country charm!) Step 6- Get out your sewing machine. Straight stitch the edges of the ticking and muslin border with a dark-colored thread for contrast. if you don’t want contrast, use a light color to match the muslin.
Now is a good time to create your dryer sheet sachet. You will need one used dryer sheet cut to two pieces of 3 1/2″ squares. After you straight stitch the muslin and ticking edges, straight stitch three sides of the dryer sheet together.
Step 7- Fill the sachet with a small hand full of balsam. Straight stitch the top opening closed to secure. (Note- if you are not comfortable machine stitching with the balsam inside the sachet, hand stitch. When machine stitching, make sure you do not overstuff the sachet. You don’t want to end up with balsam inside your machine parts!)
Step 8- Place the two burlap squares together. Machine stitch together about 1/2 from the edges (seam allowance.) Start at the bottom left edges and stitch left, top and right side together but leave the bottom open for turning and stuffing. Steam the seams open on all four sides.
Step 9- Turn the right sides out. If needed, use a blunt object to push out corners. From the bottom opening, stuff the sachet with the balsam sachet and a small amount (golf ball sized) of polyfil stuffing. If you are using a brad to embellish as I did, go ahead and insert the brad while the bottom is opening to make it easier. As an option, you can sew on a button embellishment later. Whipstich the bottom opening closed.
Step 10- Finally, insert a piece of wire for the hangar, inserting the ends into the Balsam Sachet at the top and bending to make secure. Tie on a bit of tulle and an embellishment and you are finished!
Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments are an easy sew project that is great for beginners and pros alike because you can add all the details you want. Each handmade piece will be unique and reflect the skill and style of the maker.
My tree is up, adorned with lights and ornaments. After the Christmas table celebration, I often find myself more in the Christmas spirit than ever and itching to create something that captures that feeling with my hands. So this year I decided to make these beaded and sewn Christmas ornaments to give away as gifts for next year.
Instructions for Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments:
I started out selecting fabrics and wool felt for my project. The fabric is from Fabric.com and the wool felt is from National Nonwovens.
To create my beaded and sewn Christmas ornaments, I started out by cutting two 3″ squares for each ornament (front and back) and some simple motifs a snowman, a stocking and a tree. I ironed a 1/4″ seam allowance on all four sides of the fabric, which was cut into a 3″ square.
I used three strands of black embroidery floss and a blanket stitch to sew the fabric to the wool felt.
Then I blanket stitched the stocking on, leaving the top open so that I could stuff it with goodies! I used a blanket stitch for this as well, but sewed 6/0 red pebble beads to the stocking before attaching it to the squares. Then I cut the borders of both felt squares with scalloped edged scissors and sewed beads to the borders.
I left the top open so I could stuff it with poly-fil fiber. I added a jute hanger with a little glue to the top.
Creating these fun sewn and beaded ornaments over the Christmas holidays will keep my hand busy while we watch “A Christmas Story” for 24 hours! I will be happy thinking that I am getting a good start for Christmas 2014.
What will you be creating this Christmas once the packages are opened and dinner is served?