Working with die cuts

Do you ever look at your die cuts and just think they are a little bit blah? I used to do that, but I’ve come across a few solutions to give a plain die cut the extra edge. How about an easter egg shape? Yep, looks like an egg lol. What’s a pastel egg going to do for your card? It’s ok, but for an extra wow, consider embossing the paper with a machine or a brass stencil. Another favorite of mine is to use Stickles and make a design. Also try using a butterfly sticker, get the sticky off the back with powder. Then fold it in half so the wings are up & attach it’s body with a Zot.

Another option is to add bling jewels or bows. Basically, any type of dimension, whether it be slight dimension from embossing or more dimension with a more 3-D approach will make that plain die cut sizzle! So no more excuses, take your die cuts to the next level!

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A little bit of kid creativity!

I just love seeing how excited my kids get when I tell them we have a craft to make. They had great fun last Friday making Valentines for Grandma & Grandpa. I cut hearts our of red cardstock and gave them Prima flowers, buttons, glitter glue, pom poms & tiny satin hearts to glue on. They had a blast and were so very proud of what they made. My son had a great time making great globs of glitter glue everywhere! It always amuses me how much more dainty girls like to make things.

Sewing on Scrapbook Pages

If you’re like me, your poor sewing machine hasn’t seen the light of day for a long time. Well, it might be time to take it out of the closet and let it get a breath of fresh air! My sewing machine is probably 25 years old now, but it has really nice stitch patterns on it that can really enhance a scrapbook page. Even straight stitch and zig zag can work wonders, and it also helps hold your mats and paper layers together.

What I do first is cut my photo mats ( I like to layer at least two papers for each mat), then I use a cheap acid-free glue stick and paste the layers together just to hold in place.  Then I sew around the edges with a straight stitch. It looks really great to use a contrasting thread ~ for example, use black thread on pink paper, and so on. If your page really needs a kicker to spice it up, try using a feather stitch or another fancy stitch to sew the whole way around your page, making a very fancy border.  Don’t be afraid to experiment! I got really tired of sewing clothes, but sewing paper is awesome, and much easier 🙂

Stained stamps?

What happens if you are busy stamping and you get interrupted and don’t clean your stamps right away? If you have little kids in the house like I do, it happens. Another thing is, if you stamp with inks such as StazOn, they tend to stain rubber stamps especially.

One easy trick is to keep a baby wipe handy so that when you are done with a stamp, you can just lay the inked surface on the wipe to keep it moist. This will help with easier cleaning later when you are finished working.

Sometimes stamps will not look clean no matter what you do. An easy way to see if your stamp is clean for your next project is to huff on it and then stamp onto a piece of  white paper. If no ink comes off, then your stamp is all ready to go. If not, be sure to use a stamp cleaner or simply wash with dish-washing detergent till the residue comes off.  No matter what, always try to get your stamps cleaned as quickly as possible and you will have long-lasting stamps for all those fabulous projects!

Make your own scrapbook backgrounds

If you’re like me, you have something in mind for a scrapbook page, but when you look through your paper, you can’t find anything that looks right. Well, you can actually make your own beautiful matching backgrounds with a few simple tips.

Distress Inks are one of the easiest solutions. You can dab the inks onto your papers. They dry fast, so you can add other layers of colors as you go to create the color combination you want. Ranger Distress ink is water soluble, so you can spray or sponge on water to make the inks run for an interesting pattern. Find more interesting ideas in this article: Scrapbooking Essentials – How to Create Beautiful Backgrounds For Your Scrapbook Pages

Adding a special touch with vellum

Have you ever made a card or scrapbook page and when you lay everything out, it just doesn’t look right? You keep looking through your decorative papers and you still can’t find anything to complete your project. Well here’s a nifty idea to try. Simply print off song lyrics, essays or a poem onto vellum using a neutral color and a fancy font to enhance the words. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with your project, just use it as any other decorative paper. Remember, with vellum, you have to use a vellum adhesive, brads or eyelets to attach to your project.