paper pops tutorial and my holiday wrapping is done!

Friday, December 23, 2011

My holiday packaging projects are done and I'm ready to start our holiday baking with the girls after they come home from school this afternoon. Yum!

I have one last tutorial to share with you - paper pops! I made a few of these to attach to larger gifts that I was wrapping. I also added paper pops to some tin wine containers that I purchased from Creative Bag.

1. gather your supplies: (scrapbook) paper cut into long strips and circles, bone folder, scoring board (optional but handy if you are going to make lots of these), circle paper punch (again optional - you can cut out paper circles), and glue (gel medium my adhesive of choice - hot glue or white glue will work too)
2. you will need two strips of paper for each paper pop {mine were 2" x 12" each but you can cut yours wider or thinner depending on the final size of paper pop you want to make} and you will need to score each strip of paper with your bone folder every 1/2" {or 1/4" for smaller pleats}
3. after scoring, fold each strip like an accordian
4. glue the two folded strips of paper together as shown and
5. glue again to form a circle
6. once the glue is completely dry, you will push down on the paper so that it flattens and creates the paper pop ... it's a little tricky at first and will not stay that way until you glue a circle to the front and back to keep the paper pop in place.
7. apply a generous amount of adhesive to the backs of your circles and position onto the paper pop
8. you can decorate the centre of the paper pop however you want!

Here you can see the difference between scoring your paper every 1/4" {on left} and 1/2" {on right} ... you will get less pleats with the 1/2" fold but it will be thicker. Either look is fine - it's really up to you.

Here's another picture of the tin wine container with a paper pop ... because the container is metal you can add a magnet to the paper pop it you want!

Here's a paper pop on a present ... this paper pop has a bottle cap embellishment from an earlier post/tutorial in the middle. I used pop dots to adhere the paper pop to the kraft paper.

I used natural kraft paper as the base for all of my larger wrapping projects and then added divine twine and handmade tags to dress them up!

I attached fake polariod pictures of who the gift is for to some of the pictures and attached them to the divine twine using small wood clothespins that I decorated with glitter tape. It's a simple look but it goes with the rest of my holiday packaging!

I hope that you are done your holiday shopping and ready to complete your holiday wrapping!

I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. Cheers!

holiday packaging details & my paper flower and decortated bottle cap tutorials

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My holiday wrapping continues! This time I wanted to share with you my little tin gift card holders.

Again, I purchased these plain metal containers at Creative Bag and I used the digital scrapbooking kit I purchased here to create the art to decorate them. I printed my designs as 4x6 photos at Costco but you could do this on your inkjet or laser printer. I've used patterned scrapbook papers to decorate these gift card holders as well. All you have to do is cut your paper into 3 3/8" x 2 1/4" rectangles and round the corners with a corner cropper. This same size will work for the outside and inside of the tin ... it's important to round the corners of the paper to fit the shape of the container.

I prefer to use a gel medium to adhere the papers to the tin. Golden (medium matte) gel medium works great and there are lots of other brands of gel medium available at most arts & craft stores. Modge podge will also work or if you don't like to use "glue" you can use two sided tape.

I decorated my tins with paper flowers, decorated bottle caps and of course, divine twine & buttons to match my other holiday wrapping projects. 

Here's a couple of quickie tutorials to show you how to make the paper flower and bottle cap embellishments:
1. gather your supplies: scrapbook paper, large circle punch (or you can cut a circle by hand), scissors, and a mini mister (or something to spray water)
2. punch a circle from the scrapbook paper - larger circles create larger flowers, smaller circles smaller flowers (the ones shown are 2 1/2" diameter). You will be cutting a spiral shape from the circle - if you do not want to do this by eye you can draw a shape similar to the one pictured to map out where to cut
3. cut your spiral out
4. I like to trim any edges that are not smooth as you can see in this photo
5. lightly mist your paper so that it is slightly moist - not wet - this will help you to manipulate the paper
6. from the centre of the paper, form a small cone shape and begin rolling the paper into the centre while the paper is still damp
7. continue to roll ... the tighter the roll the more layers you will make ... you can always go back and make it tighter if you feel the flower is too loose when you get to the end
8. you can also loosen the paper if it is too tight. Super easy right?! Let the paper dry before you use it as an embellishment in your projects. While it is drying ... go grab your paper punch and make some more! These are easy to make while the kids at swimming/skating/dance lessons.
Want to know how I attached the paper flowers to my tin gift card holders? My secret is to use a big blob of Golden gel medium ... but this time I use the heavy gel (matte). You can most likely get away with using the medium weight too but I like to make sure that my projects look good and stay together long after I have given them away.
9. & 10. use a wooden stick to apply a large dab of gel medium
11. place your flower on top of the gel medium and press it down into shape ... you can relax the paper and let it open a bit if you want at this point. The gel medium will dry clear so don't worry if you see a little bit of it at the base of the flowers.
12. I think that a grouping of 3 or more of these flowers is sweet. You can add rhinestones, small buttons or glitter to the centres of the flowers if you want. I often add small scraps of green ribbon or paper for leaves.
And now for the bottle caps ...
1. gather your supplies: paper (photo, scrapbooking paper, etc), 1" circle punch, bottle caps (recycle ones you have or use new ones without liners) and diamond glaze (I used Glossy Accents - available at most craft and scrapbooking stores).
2. first you have to cut a 1" circle from whatever paper you are using for the design in your bottle cap. I flip the punch over so I can see exactly what I am punching out.
3. pour a small dab of diamond glaze on the inside centre of your bottle cap to adhere the paper circle
4. press the paper down and leave it to dry for an hour ... you want the paper to be completely bonded to the bottle cap because if not, the paper will move during the next step and will not lay flat.
5. & 6.  once you know that the paper will not move we will apply a thin coat of diamond glaze to the top of the design to seal it and give it a glossy finish. Tip: DO NOT SHAKE your bottle of diamond glaze ... it will give you bubbles and you do not want bubbles. If the bottle is plugged, use a pin to poke the top and allow the glaze to run freely. Start by adding a generous blob of diamond glaze in the middle and then gently move it around to cover the entire surface. It will dry clear.

Allow your diamond glaze to dry for a few hours ... if you touch it too soon you will leave a finger mark. Once it is completely dry you can add a magnet to the back if you wish. I use E-6000 glue to attach the bottle caps to magnets, wood & metal.

Warning: if you are using these bottle caps as embellishments on gift card holders, do not add a magnet to the bottle cap. Sounds like a cute idea but the magnet will deactivate any electronic gift cards that you put inside and you don't want that to happen. I glued my bottle caps to the tin containers.

You can see more of my other wrapping projects over here ...
4 more sleeps till Christmas;)

Holiday wrapping inspiration ... with canvas bags

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Christmas wrapping continues! I bought these adorable cotton bags at Creative Bag and I added iron on transfers to personalize them for my great nephews this weekend. The boys are both under the age of 5 and I could see them using these bags after the holidays to hold toys and books.
You can buy iron on transfers at most craft stores. I like to purchase the blank iron on transfer sheets that I can print on my ink jet printer. The art that I created for my bags are from the same digital kits that I used to make my Christmas cards and tags. You can find the digital art here .

If you have never made or used iron on transfers before, I have two tips to pass along:
1. Read all of the instructions before you print on the transfer paper ... even if you have used iron on transfers in the past - not every transfer is the same - for example I had to print "mirror" image on mine so that the words would read properly after ironing.
2. Test a small transfer on a scrap piece of cotton fabric to get use to how long to iron and when to peel off the paper backing. This is important if you are doing transfers on tee shirts, bags or any other finished items.
Here's another close up of the bags ... you can see that I personalized each bag with the boy's names. I attached more of my Christmas tags to these bags using baker's twine and safety pins.

You can buy these cotton bags in different sizes which is great because I can see using these for lots of different things - party loot bags, wedding favors and custom packaging. I'm sure that you will see these in many of my projects in the new year!!

Christmas packages tied up with divine twine

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Christmas cards have been mailed out and I'm working on my Christmas packaging projects this week. This is a picture of the (80) cards I created this year.

I'm really in love with Divine Twine right now and knew that I had to use it as a detail in my handmade cards. I was quite happy that Creative Bag sells the larger (240 yard) rolls of twine because I am going to be using lots of it in my holiday wrapping projects.
Aren't these colours yummy? I decided to go with the blueberry colour because I knew that it would co-ordinate with the digital Christmas kit that I purchased earlier from Design House Digital. I would normally design my own graphics for our cards but this year I didn't have time and at $8 for the complete kit, it was just too good to pass up. The little owls were so cute and I adored all of the fun colours.
 Creative Bag also has these sweet little "bitty bags" that I thought were amazing. They are perfect for loot bags, class gifts, wedding favors ... and I'm sure that you will come up with more ideas. They come in a couple of sizes and lots of colours. I'm using the blue and white ones for some of my Christmas packaging projects this year ...
 Isn't this just the sweetest little paper gift bag! As you know I am not afraid to use paper on my sewing machine ... you may have noticed that I have machine and hand sewing on my Christmas cards again this year. I saw something similar to this on Pinterest and I could not resist doing it with the bitty bags for Christmas. No one is going to be peeking inside their Christmas presents without me knowing it this year!

Here's a closer detail of the top of the bag and my gift tags. I used plain manilla mailing tags as the base for my gift tag. The little owl tag was created in Photoshop using elements from my digital kit and then printed at Costco as a 4x6 photo. I try not to use my ink jet printer for projects like Christmas cards and gift items. The colours are so much nicer when they are printed, they last longer and they are actually cheaper to print this way. You can see that the divine twine has been wrapped around the tag and I used the same buttons that I had on my Christmas cards to hold the twine in place on the tag. The glitter tape is a decorative element but it also had a functional purpose - I used it hold the tag in place while I was sewing the bag closed on my sewing machine.

I am working on a few more Christmas wrapping projects this week that I'm going to share with you and I hope that you will pop back again to see what I am creating. I'm also posting my projects over on Creative Bag's blog so you can catch me there too.

bag headers for holiday gift giving

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Here's an easy little packaging project for the holidays that I hope you will try out. I love to create simple paper headers and attach them to clear plastic bags .. they are perfect for party loot bags and teacher/class gifts. In my examples, I used the lip-n-tape bags from Creative Bag because I like that you can reopen the bags if you need to and they come in lots of different sizes.

I created another freebie for you to use if you'd like to make some of these yourself. Again the art is for personal use - no commerical use. You can download it by clicking on the link under the photo. I designed the art so that you could personalize the header on the front and/or back using graphic software. I'll tell you more about adding a handwritten message on the back in a minute.
So let's get started! First you will need to print my download on your colour ink jet or laser printer on white heavy weight card stock. These are the tools that I used to create my bag header: paper cutter (if you don't have one you can use scissors), pencil, ruler, bone folder, scoring tool (optional) and a stapler.
The first step is to score the folded edge of each of the headers. You want to use a paper scoring tool if you have one or the pointed edge of a bone folder. The dotted lines indicate where you will need to fold. Line your ruler up along the dotted lines and gently score the paper. Once that is done, you are ready to cut out the headers on the paper cutter. The solid crop marks on the art indicate where to cut. Note: if you do not have a paper cutter, use a ruler and pencil to outline the headers and cut with scissors. Next you will fold the headers in half where you scored the paper. Go back ove the folded edge of the paper with the bone folder to create a clean flat edge.
I designed the header so that it could be adapted to fit a number of different bag sizes. You can trim the right side of the header to fit the width of the clear bag you are using if the header is too wide. As you can see, I used a pencil to mark how wide I needed my header to be for my clear bags ... I wanted the header to be slightly larger than the bag. Cut the header using the paper cutter and you are now ready to add the "goodies" to your clear bag.
I left space on the back of the header to add a handwritten message if you want. I would suggest doing this before stapling the header to the bag. Once you have added your goodies to the bag you will want to seal the bag. Then simply add the header to the top of the bag so that the clear bag is sandwiched in between the folded header. Then staple the header and bag together. I placed three staples on the header near the bottom edge - one along each bottom corner and another one in the bottom middle.
I often make these for friends in our neighborhood and attach them to their doors as a little surprise during the holidays. The kids love them at Halloween! You can see that I personalized the header with our family name. I also added a hole and ribbon so that I could easily tie them onto a door handle.
Just to give you another idea for these bag headers ... I've used them in previous years for non-food items like mini calendars (see above), packages of handmade cards and picture cds!

I hope that you are having a wonderful, creative day!!

holiday gift containers {part one}

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hello everyone! I've got some exciting news to share. I started working {part-time} at Creative Bag this fall and they recently asked me to be a guest blogger for them. I'm thrilled to be able to share my packaging and wedding themed projects on their blog and I hope that you will pop over and visit me there too! There will be project ideas, tutorials, lots of inspiration and the occasion {free} download! My first blog post should be up by the end of the week.  

So let's get started with one of my favourite ways to "wrap up" a gift using a clear tin pail ...
Creative Bag has a great selection of tin containers.  There are so many different shapes and sizes available that the hardest part is figuring out which one  to use. For this project, you will need a 3"x 4" clear tin pail - a gift card fits perfectly inside this size.  I used a patterned paper inside the pail to decorate the container and to hide the gift.

The pattern paper is actually something that I created to fit the 3"x4" pail and to share with you.  You can download my pdf file by simply clicking on the link under the picture.  Please note that the art is for personal use only and cannot be used for commercial use. 
You can personalize the my pdf file with your own message in any graphic design software.  I've included a second version to download with the words "love, joy and peace" for those of you that would like a generic holiday message. 
Here's what you will need for this project: a 3"x4" clear tin pail, assorted ribbons, some clear rhinestone stickers, scissors, single hole punch, scotch tape, two-sided tape, a piece of twine and of course, my download.  The first thing you need to do is print the pdf file on a colour inkjet or laser printer on a heavy white cardstock.
The next step is to cut out the rectangular band and two circles. You will not need the square tag for this project but hang onto it for another day.  Cutting Tip: I like to use a paper cutter to cut straight edges but if you don't have one, scissors work fine too.
The easiest way to insert the paper band into the pail is to roll it first and let it open up inside the container.  You can gently twirl the paper around until the design is positioned where you want.  I like things to stay in place so at this point I added a tiny piece of tape to the inside of the paper band.
Now we will add the paper circle with the bird design to the tin top.  Here's where you can get a little creative by adding a couple of small clear rhinestones to the design.   The next step is to add a few pieces of two-sided tape to the back of the paper circle, peel the adhesive tabs off the tape and position the paper in the centre of the tin top.
I like to tie lots of assorted ribbons to the pail handle. I select my ribbon colours based on the colours in the papers and the metal colour of the tin (in this case: red, white, brown and silver) and I always mix ribbon textures (organza, satin, gross grain).  Cut the ribbons so that they are about 6 to 7 inches long. You will also need a 9" piece of twine.
You may have noticed a small washer attached to the handle of your pail. I hope that you didn't cut it off and forget where you put it. That little washer is used to open the lid of your pail if you haven't already figured that out.  We will attach it to the handle of the pail first so that it will hang the down the lowest - it should be long enough to easily reach the lid when attached.
Now the fun begins, simply tie the ribbons to the handle - there is no right or wrong way to do this so just start tying! I don't find that it is necessary to knot the ribbons - I just tie once!
Once you have all of the ribbons on the handle, group them together on one side. This will help the handle to stand up.  At this point you should trim the ends of all of the ribbons .. angle, straight ... whatever you like.
The last thing that you will want to do is add the plain red circle tag. You will have to add a hole with a hole punch and finish with a thin ribbon for hanging. It is best to write on the tag before you tie the tag onto the handle.  I will often make a bunch of these containers and leave the tag inside until I am ready to add the gift.
Here's another picture of this project using the second download with the "love, joy and peace" message.  Just remember you can add your own message to the plain design ... for example: "happy holidays from the {your} family" ... using your favourite graphic software program.

 I love these containers because nobody throws them out ... they are either re-gifted or reused as storage containers.
And here's one more picture of this project using scrapbooking or wrapping papers instead of my download. You can add lots of other elements to decorate the container such burlap ribbon and snowflakes (all available at Creative Bag). I'll do another post in a couple of days showing you how to decorate these clear tin containers with patterned papers so that you can recreate this project  anytime of the year ... think birthday parties, wedding favors, teacher's gifts!
I hope that you will check back here for more holiday inspiration in the next few weeks.  And if you get a chance to pop over to Creative Bag  ... come back here and leave me a comment. I'd love to hear your comments.
 I am working with Creative Bag's Wedding division (I'm smiling right now) and I am so excited about some of the new product lines that we will have in stock over the next few months. Check out my wedding board on pinterest  and you'll see how much I am in love with all things wedding right now!!
I hope you have a happy {creative} day!

Tee shirt scarf tutorial

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Here's an easy upcycling project that will turn your favourite tee shirt into your new favourite scarf!

Here's how to make a fringed scarf:
1. All you need for this project is a tee shirt and a pair of scissors. But if you are a bit of a perfectionist (like me) ... you may also want to use a disappearing ink fabric marker and a ruler.

2. Start by cutting straight across both layers of the tee shirt just under the arms. *You can see that I drew a straight line with my fabric marker before I started cutting.
3. Now you are ready to start cutting the fringes. Turn the tee shirt around so that you do not cut the finished edge of your tee shirt. Start your fringes about 1" from a side seam. You will create your fringes by cutting straight up the front of the tee shirt to about halfway. *Again, I used my ruler and fabric marker to draw a line half way up the fabric so that my fringes would all be the same length.
You can make the fringes as wide as you would like - just keep in mind that the fabric will curl at the sides.
4. Continue cutting all the way around the tee shirt. Take your time so that your fringes are all similar in size and length.

5. Now you are ready to wear your tee shirt fringed scarf!

I'm going to make some more of these with my teenage daughters so that I can keep this one for myself. I think that this would make a great project for a girl's crafting party.