Friday, January 27, 2012

{100th Day of School: T-Shirt Project}

The 100th Day of School!
One of my favorite days of the year as a teacher!
So much fun all day long, and ALL of it is learning!
My preschool class is just a 3-day/week class, so sadly we won't make it to 100 days this year.
As a result, I have to live vicariously through my sweet daughter, who will celebrate her 100th Day of First Grade today!
She really wanted to WEAR 100 things, so here's what we came up with.
We picked up a t-shirt at Hobby Lobby, along with a pack of safety pins.
I printed onto coardstock large numerals '1' and '0' from Word and cut them out.
I pulled out a strip of scrap denim from an old pair of jeans, and my Wonder Under. (Keeping old jeans is a lifesaver in the craft room! Never buy denim off the bolt again!)
I traced and ironed the numerals with the Wonder Under, and adhered them to the shirt. 
Then she counted out 100 safety pins and I stuck them on.
She LOVES how it turned out, which is my favorite part!
She can't wait to wear it tomorrow and I can't wait to take pics for my scrapbook. :)
What are your kids doing for the 100th Day of School?
Take lots of pics and have fun with it!
Take care,
I'm linking up to these parties:

For the Kids Friday 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{Burlap Hearts Revisited}

Thought I would re-post these cute little burlap hearts from last year. They look so sweet in a small bathroom dish, or with several in an apothecary or antique bowl on the kitchen table. Burlap goes with almost everything!

Here's how I made these:
I cut the burlap and some solid red cotton with my standby Nestie hearts (second from the largest I think). Then I stitched them together with red thread, leaving an opening. It actually took more stuffing than I thought, but still not much to fill them. You need a solid color fabric to go between so the stuffing doesn't fall through the burlap.

Then I finished stitching them up and voila! I love how they turned out.

I used scrap felt, as well as scraps from my Valentine Mail Pouches to make a few more to add to the mix.
So cute!
Take care!

Friday, January 20, 2012

{Note Card Gift Sets}

I promised to share more little packages of paper goodness and so I shall.
Another item I've stockpiled for staff birthday gifts are these sets of (4) blank cards/envelopes:
I made several sets with simple color combos, each one consisting of (2) stamped 'Thank You' cards and (2) stamped 'Thinking of You' cards. The inside of each card is blank so they are flexible and easy to write a quick note. 
I topped the cardstock base with an embossed layer, which is a really simple way to add an elegant touch and easy texture to any card. I use Cuttlebug embossing folders, but there are lots of options.  I punched the sentiment and scallop circle, and tied jute around the layer. Notice how I used a basic card sketch and just changed the color combinations? It's a really simple layout, but still lovely and great for mass producing. Anytime you can incorporate one element of the card using a punch or die, you go into major time-saving mode.
I added 4 envelopes to each group and packaged them in cello bags with jute ties. Teachers always need a 'Thank You' note at the ready, and 'Thinking of You' applies to everything from a friendly note to a sincere message to a friend in need. I'll be dropping these in the birthday bags next month and I hope they are well received. Each bag is filled with a little love!

Happy Creating!

Monday, January 16, 2012

{Lovely Bookmarks}

A shout-out to all the papercrafters out there! Although I just love {creating}, paper crafting is by far my favorite crafty passion. Scrapbooking, cardmaking, and miscellaneous 3D type projects/gifts really make my heart flutter. :)
The last several days I've been in a papercrafting frenzy, making projects right and left. In the preschool where I teach, we do a cool birthday idea for the teachers and staff. Instead of buying a traditional gift for each member of the staff, each month there is a birthday bag for each person who has a birthday that month. Everyone is supposed to add to the bag with an item that is only a $1-$2. At the end of the month we have a birthday lunch, and the birthday girls get a bag full of little goodies.
I love the idea, because it doesn't break the bank and often I feel like the little things are the most meaningful.
Instead of flying by the seat of my pants so-to-speak and waiting until the last day to add to the birthday bags, I've been stockpiling gifts for the remainder of the school year. I'll try to do a post for each project, so keep checking back for simple, papercrafting goodness!
Today I wanted to share these sweet bookmarks.
These measure 2" x 7", and the base is made from good ol' cereal boxes out of our recycling bin. :)
I adhered quality cardstock over the cardboard, then sanded the edges. I die cut and embossed the butterflies with a Sizzix Die, added a brad in the center, and some lovely ribbon at the top. On a couple of them I also distressed the edges with chocolate ink.
I adhered the butterflies with sticky strip for extra security. I packaged each one in a cello bag, and tied it with raffia. I will add one more tip and say that for bookmarks, I think you definitely need quality cardstock/papers. I use Stampin' Up cardstock for mine because it really is the best in my opinion. It's very heavy, which you need for bookmarks. Lower quality cardstock is fine for other projects, but bookmarks look better and last longer with heavy cardstock. Just a tip! :) It's frustrating to make something lovely and then realize that your paper is just too thin to stand the test of time. (I've been there and done that!)
 Perfect to add to the birthday bags!
These are really simple to make, and the original I made myself a few years ago still looks beautiful in each book I devour. :)
Any homemade gift says "thinking of you", don't you agree? 
Look for more easy paper goodness to follow. I've been busy!
Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have questions.
I'm linking up over at:
Friday Flair @ Whipperberry

Thursday, January 12, 2012

{'All About Me' Booklets for Dolls}

Santa added a second American Girl doll to our home this year and the fun hasn't stopped. Dare I say that Mom likes all this doll stuff as much as the kiddo does? I hate to admit it, but I get a little pulled in to the tiny realism! My kiddo was wishing out loud for little booklets for each doll to write down their favorite things. Alas, she was writing on PLAIN scrap paper that had no flair at all. What???! So I went to my own scraps (the scraps with flair) and came up with these.
I made these exactly like my Scrappy Quote Chipboard Book , I just changed the size. Again, I used cereal boxes as my chipboard, and adhered scrapbook paper to both sides of that to make the front and back covers.
I created the pages in Word, and printed them on white cardstock.
One likes horses and one is from Hawaii. :)
 I punched the holes with my Crop-a-Dile and bound the books with hemp cord.
These are 5x7 for the overall measurements and my kiddo {loves} them! She wants me to make one for her, but since she's a living, breathing-not-plastic-and-stuffing person, I think she should have the store bought version. :)
If you'd like to make some of these for the 18" dolls in your life, you can download the pages I made here:
I also added one blank page at the end just for drawing or miscellaneous.
Have fun playing!
I'm linking up to these parties:


Sunday, January 8, 2012

{DIY Lunchbox Notes}

School started on Wednesday (back to the old grind for all of us!) and as I was thinking about lunches for the week, I realized that my little basket of lunchbox notes was finally about empty. Time to restock! I have several versions of lunchbox notes saved on my computer...really cute, very easy to print and cut out, very convenient. Then I remembered that I'm low on printer ink. Ugh...don't want to a)go out and get more at this point or b)spend more $$ on it unless I have to. I have to print lots and lots, but lunchbox notes is NOT one of them! :)
So I stepped into my craft room and said to myself...."Woman, you have LOADS of unused paper lying around...masses of stamps and stickers...WHY do you need printer ink?"
Now of course I can write a quick note on scrap paper, and without a doubt, the love is still there. Some of my favorite love notes from my sweet husband have been on a napkin. You've got those, right? BUT...since I'm a crafty lady and my daughter likes cute stuff...I had to go a little further, while still keeping in mind that the reality is that these will get PB&J on them and will go in the trash. (Meaning, I'm not making little masterpieces either!)

You know all that 12x12 white paper that they stick in scrapbook sleeves?
Do you keep yours? I always just stick it in this organizer. My kiddo uses it for art projects at times, and I use it for stamping scraps as well. It's perfectly good white paper and I have tons of it.
So I grabbed a few sheets of it, a couple of journaling stamps, ink, and a stamp set I have from Stampin' Up with cute sayings and little critters.
I started stamping, trying to space them on the page to allow for cutting out and leaving a small blank side for my handwritten note.
Then I cut them out and added them to my little note basket that is hidden in the kitchen cabinet. She knows I write them, she just doesn't know where I keep them. :)
It's a little silly, but it's gratifying to create with scrap paper, whatever craft medium you can scrounge up, and save money at the same time. Will I still need to buy printer ink? Yep! But I'll only be using it to print what I really NEED to print. And...handmade lunchbox notes is just a {little} extra love, isn't it?
Have a good week!

I'm linking up over at these fun parties:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

{A Little Inspiration}

The New Year is upon us! Where did the time go? I'm not one for making resolutions, but I do like to have inspiration around. I'm a lover of quotes, and I tend to collect them. Anybody else do the same thing? I actually started saving them on my computer a few years ago, and whenever I find a new one that inspires me I just add it on. I like to go back to it occasionally, and when I do I always find at least one that is a good reminder or food-for-thought for that particular day. the New Year approaches...I thought maybe I could collect these wonderful bits of wisdom into one little custom book just for me. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out, and it was so simple to put together. You can make this mostly with things you probably already have lying around.
Here's what you need:
scrapbook paper
paper cutter
adhesive/glue stick
hemp cord, jute, twine, ribbon-your choice for the binding
cereal boxes from your recycling bin
scrap ribbon or buttons for embellishments (as you see fit!)

I started by using my trusty 'quotes' file from my computer. I tweaked my fonts a little bit, then oriented them a little differently into a Word document. I printed them on cardstock, cut them out, and distressed the edges with brown ink.
Next, I cut my cereal boxes down to pages that are 5x7. I then went through my scrapbook paper and cut several pages to 5x7 as well. Since this isn't a keepsake project with photos, I simply used glue stick to adhere the 5x7 scrapbook paper to the 5x7 cereal box pages. I used a small sanding block to smooth out all 4 edges of each page. This distresses the edges a little bit and also makes it look very even and neat. (You can use a nail file for this as well.) Here are the finished pages:
 The next step is optional, but since I have an addiction to distressing, I also inked all the edges of each page to give it an antiqued look.
Once you have your pages the way you want them, just start adding your quote blocks any way you like. I also glued these down with glue stick instead of adhesive. 
When I rearranged my quotes in Word, I tried to make them various sizes to add interest to my pages.
Next, I used my crop-a-dile to punch 2 holes along the left side of each page for binding with the jute twine later.
 I used scrap pieces of ribbon and buttons for a few extra embellishments. It's a good idea to punch holes before adding embellishments. Don't ask me how I know this. ;)
I used jute twine to bind my book. I love jute because it looks rustic and is sturdy. Get your pages in order, lace the holes, and knot. The pages turn really easily and I can lay it flat.
I printed out a title on cardstock as well, and then adhered it to the front. It now has a happy place directly in front of me at my craft table. :)

I can see making a smaller version of this for a purse or school bag, can't you? Like a little pocket full of thoughts to ponder.
I'd love to hear what you think!
Have a great week!
I'm linking up over at: