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March 13, 2013

Start with a fresh new pair of plain light-colored espadrilles as the canvas for a wearable art!

  • Doodle the design on one shoe with a pencil.
  • Mirror the design on the other shoe.
  • Then use a selection of colored permanent markers to color in the design.

The fun part is adding stitches, beads, and sequins to fill in the design. Use a narrow needle and wax your thread for best results. Feel free to use pliers to help pull the needle through the thick canvas. Before you know it, you’ll have a pair of beautiful shoes!

For more Amy Powers goodness check out Amy's blog and magazine for fabulous spring ideas!

Posted by Amy Powers  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)


February 20, 2013

I've wanted to make my own stamps for quite some time. There are all sorts of ways to make them. Some require special materials and tools that can be a little pricey and take some practice to get right. So to begin with I decided to try something cheap and seemingly easy - Adhesive Craft Foam stamps made from foam sheets like these.

City skyline foam stamp DIY

You will need:

  1. a sheet of ADHESIVE craft foam
  2. an idea for your image, shape, etc. (a notebook to jot down ideas or sketches)
  3. a pencil
  4. graph or grid paper (optional) to sketch your design or make a template
  5. scissors - smaller, very sharp scissors are best for small details. You could also try using a craft knife in which case you would need a self-healing cutting mat. 
  6. clear stiff packaging or a clear acrylic frame

Adhesive Craft Foam 2

I made all of fifteen stamps shown in this post from this one piece of craft foam and I still have plenty of foam left over for more. This sheet cost me .79 cents at Michaels.

As you can see, for most of the stamps, I drew the image I wanted directly onto the craft foam with a sharp pencil. If you make a mistake, it erases easily and any residue will not affect your stamp.
Stamp inspiration notebook

For some of my ideas, I sketched them in a notebook first or wrote down possible ideas in list form.
Cutting Craft Foam into stamp

Once I was happy with my design, I cut them out with large scissors and then went back for "fussy cutting" with a pair of smaller scissors. I do not recommend the scissors you see in this photo. They are not very sharp but they did an adequate job. My favorite scissors are still in storage so I don't have access to them now. I suspect scissors like them would work much better. Or I want to try out a craft knife on a self healing mat and see how that works out.
Simple shapes for DIY stamps camera

Designs with simple shapes seem to work very well. I saw this camera on the side of a coffee mug and drew it on grid paper (Project Life grid card). Then with a few cuts at the corner of the craft foam, cut these rectangles out. As you can see, I drew on the details and then cut them out with my tiny scissors. DIY camera stamp and image
For the circle in the center of the camera, I really only cut through the top half of the craft foam which made for some nice detailing.

DIY Coffee Cup To-Go Stamp
You can see on this To-go Coffee Cup, I just barely etched a line between the cup and the lid, but surprisingly this is all it took to add the little bit of detail.

Coffee Cup Stamp Project Life Journal Card
Although I didn't do a very good job of an even impression with this stamp, you can see that hint of a line which is all it needs to look a little more realistic. 

Template for craft foam stamp starburst

Here is a template I used for the starburst image. I used a project life grid card and sketched out my lines, for a couple of them I used a ruler so they would be straight.
Tracing starbust stamp template

I cut out the necessary rays, using part of the label from the craft foam to make sure the pieces didn't fall away (since all the cuts join at the center of the starburst).
Craft foam template

I traced around the template on to the craft foam.

Using acrylic frame to make stamps

I adhere each foam shape to something clear and stiff to make a stamp. For this sunburst, I taped the template to the back side of my plastic and stuck the foam pieces over the template on the other side, so they would fit together perfectly (or as perfect as possible).

Ninja face DIY stamp

For this stamp, I had some leftover packaging - basically a clear plastic box, so I stuck my shape to that. The clear box is a little flimsy for my needs though it works adequately.
Using repurposed clear box for stamp base

Here's a picture of it in action. 
Craft foam stamps on acrylic frameFor the rest of my stamps, I wanted something stiffer than the clear packaging, so I bought myself a 4x6 clear acrylic table frame. I think it was around $2.50 and I had a 40% off coupon! I ended up breaking off the back piece (that folds over) as well as the small piece on the bottom (it is turned side-ways in this photo), so I could use the three pieces independently. I also bought a clear acrylic box frame (comes apart in two pieces with 3 sides each that can be broken apart). I love using something clear so that I can see exactly where I am placing my stamp.

I hope that is clear. 

To review:

1) Transfer your design on to a sheet of adhesive craft foam. Start in the corner or close to the edge to save the rest of your foam for other stamp designs.

-you can do this by tracing a template cut from cardstock or by drawing directly on your craft foam

2) Cut out your design using sharp "fussy cutting" scissors or a craft knife and self-healing cutting mat

3) Adhere your foam shape onto something clear, plastic & stiff (up-cycled packaging or an old clear acrylic frame you don't need any more).


Go HERE if you'd like to see all of the stamps I made last week.

Go HERE and HERE if you'd like to see them in use in my Project Life layouts of the past two weeks.

I hope to be making more things with my homemade stamps and when I do, I'll be sure to post at my blog. I'm thinking more Project Life journaling cards and title cards, patterned paper, a card -- any other ideas? I might have to pull out my art journal and experiment.

Please let me know in the comments here or via email (link on my blog) if you have any questions about how I made them! And if you make your own stamps, please come visit me at my blog, Nihao, Cupcake!, and leave me a link so I can come see what you made.

Posted by Xnomads  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)


February 11, 2013

Hello friends! I have something so exciting to show you. It’s one of those projects that had me squealing with delight as it was coming together and showing it to anyone who would look. Mail lady included. So now I am going to show you...and I just know you, too, are going to love this idea.

For Christmas this year I got an iPad. Yay! I bought a cover for it  and even a handy thing that clips on the back so that I can hold it easily in one hand. But what I found that I really needed was a bag with a handle for it. Otherwise it was being tossed in my purse with all the junk that resides there (used tissues, lipstick that has somehow lost its top, a sharpie that has also lost its top, a granola bar that is on the verge of exploding from its package and can no longer honestly be referred to as a “bar”, etc)

I searched high and low for a suitable bag but couldn’t really find one that I liked.and was in my price range. So, like any good crafter would, I set about making one myself. As someone who doesn't’t really sew, this might be a huge undertaking. Fortunately, in a flash of pure genius, I dreamed up the perfect way to make one with just the least bit of sewing...using a placemat! (that’s the part where you go “ooooooo”!)

The construction is super simple...you just fold the placemat up 8” from the bottom, leaving a 3” flap at the top. Use an iron to press these folds.

If you are just making a laptop sleeve (without a handle), you can just sew up the two sides. Could not’t be easier! Add a button and a loop of elastic in the middle of the flap for the closure (Velcro or snaps would work great, too!).

There are a few options for handles. For this one, I used store bought handles attached with a loop of sturdy ribbon (like grosgrain, velvet or twill).

I pinned the loop into place so that half of the ribbon width was in the side seam and the other was in the flap. I sewed into place using a zig-zag stitch.

A small detail that adds a bit of sweet charm to this bag is a little ribbon (or lace, in this case) tag on the side...

Simply pin the loop and sew into place. How cute is that? I also wanted to include a pocket, mostly for my stylus. (I am currently hooked on Draw Something, which I play with my adorable sister nightly! The stylus is my secret weapon.)

I used a muslin bag (with removed drawstring) to make a quick and easy inside pocket. I hand stitched the front flap down and then stitched the top flap to the inside of the bag.

I made 4 of these in no time at all...and I can’t wait to make more. Here are some details of the other bags...

This one is my favorite! I love that the placemat is reversible...that adds a dash of special to this bag. And the trim is adorable. For the handle, I sewed a tube from a strip of fabric and then pressed it so the seam was in the middle. I then sewed this beautiful vintage lace down the length of the strap. I inserted a vintage buckle for a cute detail.

Speaking of details, isn’t this ribbon loop sweet?

I sewed the pocket for this one on the outside...it was too wonderful to hide! I used an old lace collar that I had, perfect!

I added a decorative trim across the flaps of these.

A repurposed velvet belt makes the handle for this one...

I’ve been saving this special button for years...

Now go have fun making one (or four!) yourself. All of the placemats I used are from World Market (Cost Plus). Home Goods is another great source.

Don’t have an iPad? This bag is also perfect for other tablets or readers...and for all you diehards, a good old fashioned planner!

Learn all About my self-paced class, Happy Go Lucky Stitchalong. 

The project is set up as a grid-style sampler. You won't believe how much fun these samplers are to make. Each square in your sampler will represent something that makes you happy. And because what makes me happy isn't necessarily what makes you happy, each of us will have a different piece of art when we're done...one that will make you happy just by looking at it. Does it get any better than that?

Watch the video below to learn how to make your happy list and to see mine.
Speaking of videos, in the class their is a video for each of the 25 squares to show you how I stitched mine and to share tips and tricks. 
We all had so much fun making our samplers. Below are some of the student's creations.


Posted by Amy Powers  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)


February 06, 2013

Back with more embellishing tips from Danielle Flanders, author of The Embellishing Handbook. Below find ways to use confetti as your next embellishment.

Sprinkle the confetti at an angle almost as if it was blown by the wind.


The sprinkled confetti on this card included punched tiny hearts. 


This confetti is made up of paper and assorted brads. Definitely a stash busting embellishment to try on your next project.



For more embellishing read Danielle's Embellishing Handbook eBook to immerse yourself in her style and learn her top five strategies for HOW to embellish more effectively:

  • vary scale
  • use repetition
  • choose odd numbers
  • create accent clusters
  • combine patterns

See inside the eBook and read more about it here!

Embellishing blog post archives

Embellish with Twine

Embellish with Banners

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


January 23, 2013

Back with more embellishing tips and ideas from Danielle Flanders, author of The Embellishing Handbook eBook. Try you hand with embellishment banners on your next card or project, ideas below!

Thread trim through three small punched shapes anchoring banner trim to sides of card. Think how many of these you could make with your scraps!

Adorned with coordinated patterned paper this banner is made up of three different shapes. Both sides are adorned with wooden spools 


This banner is made up of different shapes that have been stamped and embellished. The banner is held into place by stamped labels folded in half. 

 Which banner do you want to try out on your next project?


For more embellishing read Danielle's Embellishing Handbook eBook to immerse yourself in her style and learn her top five strategies for HOW to embellish more effectively:

  • vary scale
  • use repetition
  • choose odd numbers
  • create accent clusters
  • combine patterns

See inside the eBook and read more about it here!


Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)


December 13, 2012

Hi there! I'm Heather from All Things Vo and I'm back to share another idea for using those scrapbooking goodies to use in everyday celebrations.

Today I'm sharing a fun little holiday project that would make a thoughtful hostess gift, a party favor, a Secret Santa gift, or just a thoughtful little token to give a friend, neighbor, or coworker as a last minute gift.

The last couple of years, I've hosted a casual brunch with some friends to kick off the holiday season. I like to make them handmade holiday gift tags as a party favor. This year, I went a step further and packaged them up in a cute little favor tin. I love receiving gifts that make my life easier, so this one is perfect. Not only can the recipient share these tags with their loved ones this holiday, but the decorated tin makes a charming gift card holder for them to reuse.

Using my tag punch, I cut an assortment of papers into simple gift tags. I am madly in love with my tag punch. It may be a serious problem - it is definitely the most used punch in my stash. TIP: If you don't have a tag punch (and I highly recommend you consider getting one!), you can use a paper trimmer to make a simple mailing tag shape or decorate some plain mailing tags you can find at the office supply store.

I'm in love with the look of white print on kraft paper, so I used some red and kraft patterned papers for this project. I also used my punch on some doilies I'd picked up from the grocery store. TIP: If you are going to use doilies, make sure to stack 4-5 together before you use your punch. This gives them some thickness for your punch to go cleanly through.

I find that stamping and using punches or die cuts are perfect for mass produced projects like these. I have a bunch of cute holiday stamps that I had fun experimenting with on this project. Heat embossing made the white messages pop on the kraft paper just like I wanted! And using some simple scalloped circles and stars punched from contrasting paper, I added some pop to the doily tags. Make sure to leave some room on the non-printed side of the tag for the gift giver to fill in the recipient's name.

Of course you don't need to give all of them as gifts. I was so excited by how the doily punching worked, I made myself a cute little tag with a photo of my son to use on a page!

I used some washi tape to decorate the tops and sides of the favor tins I was using. I did notice the tape start to curl at the ends, so I added a little adhesive to the ends to make sure it stayed put. Then I adorned the top with two punched images, including a stamped holiday message.

After adding some baker's twine to my tags, I placed 8-10 different tags in each tin. Then my gifts were all set.

I'm always on the lookout for fun and easy little holiday gifts I can mass produce. This makes it easier to make a larger batch that you can have on hand when something comes up last minute. This is also a great way to use up those beautiful holiday supplies that you may have gone a bit overboard in buying this year (yep, I am GUILTY) or scraps from holiday card-making.

Hope you enjoyed today's project! Wishing you and yours have a joyous holiday season! Enjoy!


Hop on over to my blog, I am hosting a GIVEAWAY for a spot in the upcoming workshop, Home Blessings! 

To see the rest of my party posts click on the links below




Posted by HVo  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


December 05, 2012

This is a guest post from Jennifer S. Wilson, a 2012 Ella Friend. She helps you focus on what matters most in memory keeping at Simple Scrapper.

Over the holiday weekend I asked my mom to assist me with an incredibly exciting task - sorting sequins by color. I had a specific project in mind, but needed two different multicolor packages to make it work.

We were left with a pile of blue and silver sequins. Knowing that Hanukkah begins December 8th this year, I set out on a mission to create a card for my best friend with these sequins as the star.

How to Make this Card

I cropped the top three inches off a 5.5x8.5 page protector from We R Memory Keepers, knowing I would use the remaining 5.5x5.5 for another project. This left me with a 5.5x3 open pocket of plastic. I used washi tape to seal one edge, added the sequins, and then taped the other edge closed.

I considered various card design options, including more standard sizes. Instead I trimmed a piece of patterned paper (from Echo Park For the Record) to the exact dimensions of my new sequin pocket. I used my Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher to secure the backing paper to the pocket.

This whole piece was then adhered to a custom card base, trimmed from gray cardstock. To create this foundation, I simply cropped the cardstock to 5.5x6 and then folded in half to create a long 5.5x3 rectangle.

My sentiment on the inside was stamped using the Studio Calico Stepping Stone alphabet on a piece of scrap paper. I rounded three of the four corners to mimic the look of a speech bubble. I signed my name and added a wood veneer heart, also from Studio Calico.

I'm not a regular card maker, but the popular confetti pockets had me itching to try something new. This handmade card is perfect for that friend who appreciates a little sparkle.

Posted by Wendy Smedley  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)


November 29, 2012

Time to put it all together!! If you are catching up, make sure to read step 1 and step 2 to see how you can make your own family catalog. 

Now you should have your photos and completed bio cards all ready to insert into your album. 

Gather everything and stack in in the order you want it to go into the book. I worked on addiing the photos and cards with the pages bound, but you can take them out. I kept the pages simple and varied the placement of the bio card just have fun with it! 


I honestly didn't embellish the pages much. I used washi tape on a lot of the pages (around the bio cards, along the edges, ect) to accent the cards and the different papers. I also used the sewing machine on a few pages to add some stitching along the edges.

The tabs are actually the top of a manilla file folder cut off and colored with a marker. I then just stapled them onto the page that each particular "family" started on. I don't have actual divider pages.

To read the more, head over to Just Dawnelle for all the juicy details.



Dawnelle is considered many things, mother and wife are at the top of the list. But you must not forget lover of sharpies, chief nose wiper, avid obsessor of texture and paper, bohemian lover, interior designer, laundress, and the best book reader ever.

She writes over on Just Dawnelle about the things she thinks, feels, loves, believes, does and obsesses over.


Posted by Dawnelle  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)


November 28, 2012

Welcome back to day 2 of my tutorial for a family catalog.

(click here to read the first post about the Family Catalog project)

When I started this project our family was planning a move  that will take us far from our family and that breaks my heart! I hate the thought of my baby not knowing them, not recognizing their faces, not knowing anything about them.  So... I came up with a solution!! Make a Family Catalog!

Gather 4" x 6" pictures of each member of your family including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Narrow the photos down to one per relative. This is where the length of your project will differ from mine depending on how many relatives you have and include in your catalog. 

Next I designed a small bio card for each person with their picture and assembled it all together into the paper book. Fill out a little bio card  about each person: birthday, hair color, eye color, favorite ice cream and color are the topics I selected. You could vary the topics as much as you want.

Time to organize your photos and cards, I put mine into families with the parents first and then the children in age order. So I started with my husband and I and then our two children. Then moved onto my parents, my brothers and sisters, and then my grandparents. Then my husbands family...ect...

Wouldn't this make the most adorable little gift??

I made some downloads for you!! I have included three fill in the blank cards for you to download and use. Click on the links below to download.


(these links will take you to Scribd.com where you will be able to save to your desktop

Family Catalog bio card Fill in the blank 1 Fill in by Hand option 2 Fill in by Hand option 3

 Come back tomorrow for the last installment in the Family Catalog tutorial.

Dawnelle is considered many things, mother and wife are at the top of the list. But you must not forget lover of sharpies, chief nose wiper, avid obsessor of texture and paper, bohemian lover, interior designer, laundress, and the best book reader ever. 


Posted by Dawnelle  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)


November 27, 2012

I have a serious problem. I am completely and undeniably obsessed with paper. I love looking at it, using it, and collecting it. My favorite though is mixing the patterns and colors of scrapbook paper in unexpected ways.

You even get to see my whole paper pickin' process... with my mess and everything! Choosing paper to go together is a lot like choosing fabric... I had to look at the paper laying there together on the table for a few days before I made a decision. Each time I would walk by I would switch a paper out or move them around or grab a different pattern or color to add.

 After you have your paper combinations together, it is time to cut and punch! My project is sized 4” x 6” and for the binding I choose to go with binder rings. I punched the holes 2 inches apart. So there is a hole 2 inches from the top and 2 inches from the bottom.

Then stack your papers in the order you want and you can even bind them all together like I did, can't wait to show you the next step tomorrow!

Dawnelle is considered many things, mother and wife are at the top of the list. But you must not forget lover of sharpies, chief nose wiper, avid obsessor of texture and paper, bohemian lover, interior designer, laundress, and the best book reader ever.


Posted by Dawnelle  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)


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