Archive for the ‘Paper Crafts’ Category
Each year, my husband and I throw a St. Patrick’s Day party. It is our big bash of the year and has become its own monster. Our guest list is nearing 200 this year (proof we have lived in one area too long and it is time for the Navy to ship us elsewhere!) and we are SUPER excited about it. We are hoping beyond hope that the weather holds well enough for us to use some of our outdoor space for the event. If not, there is going to be one wet, lonely bounce house in the middle of our backyard. :/
We have almost outgrown using our house for the party and it is very possible that next year we will have to hold it at an event space (o.m.g). This started as basically a big neighborhood party and now includes friends from all over the city as well as my husband’s office. Planning a party for over 100 people takes a lot of time and effort. There are a few things we were willing to relinquish control of this year – mainly the food. We decided it was worth it to have the event semi-catered, to take the stress of food prep off of us (now, if I had my DREAM kitchen I TOTALLY could have done it myself….are you reading honey???). I will still be making the desserts and veggie plates, etc., but we will have BBQ and sides from a local butcher. The healthy eating is totally being thrown out the window this weekend!
We had to move a great deal of furniture around to allow for extra standing room, and the kegerator is out on our back deck. The keg-er-what??? Kegarator. A refrigerator for a keg. Only my husband would know where to borrow one of those from!
When it comes to decorations, we tried to keep it minimal. 97 cent plastic table cloths from Wally World. Green bows to tie back the curtains. I even wrapped ribbon around the cupboards…I haven’t decided how much I like that. My two favorite decorations though, are my sign that says, in Gaelic, “St. Patrick’s Day Blessings Upon You,” and the clovers hung from the ceiling.
To make the sign I used a green sheet to cover a large 4×4 foot existing painting on our mantle. I stapled the sheet onto the backside of the canvas frame using a staple gun and I painted the saying on the front using white acrylic paint. It is simple, and I think I have hideous painting penmanship, but it definitely adds some Irish flavor to the room.
We found a tutorial for the clovers here at Hands On As We Grow and they were super easy to make. They were a GREAT project for my seven year old daughter to do almost completely on her own.
1. Cut strips of construction paper , lengthwise, into 1.5 inch strips.
2. Fold the paper in half.
3. Bend the non-fold edges over to create a heart out of the paper. Stable the two edges together.
4. This makes one heart. Repeat the process to make a total of three hearts.
5. Create a stem by putting two folds in the middle of one strip of paper.
6. Staple the non-folded edges on either side of one of the hearts. This is your middle heart.
7. Staple a heart on each side of the middle heart.
Now you have a great three leaf clover decoration! My daughter helped me make SEVENTY-FIVE of these to hang from our ceiling and she loved every second of it. Especially since her hearts looked better than mine!!! We used fishing line and white thumb tacks to hang the clovers.
Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I. Love. Black Friday.
Black Friday is way more exciting to me then a turkey that had to cook all day and is eaten up in 15 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the together time with the family and the yummy food that was cooked lovingly but I spend the majority of Thanksgiving looking through the ads and making my game plan strategy.
We use Black Friday to pick up gifts for Christmas as well as things we have been eyeing for ourselves for awhile but just didn’t want to spend the money. That being said, I Christmas shop for my family all year and I need somewhere to keep track of purchases and also to store coupons and receipts. Usually I just pick up a new notebook but last year I was admiring my friend’s shopping notebook that she made herself. I convinced her to help me and this morning we completed our project!
To make your own little Black Friday book, you will need the following:
- marbled composition notebook
- four pieces of cardstock
- stickers or paper to use for decorative elements
- glue stick
- two sandwich bags
‘Tis the season of hearts, chocolate, Cupid and his arrow, and Hallmark cards. As with many other holidays, my true love is/will still be out to sea on a gigantic air craft carrier while I am sitting at home TRYING very hard not to eat the candy our kids bring back from school. Have I mentioned before that my children do not eat candy? Yes, I know, surely there was a chromosome that was switched or left behind or broken in half or something when they were conceived. Whatever happened, our children do NOT have a sweet tooth. I finally just got rid of last year’s Halloween candy.
Anyways…Since Dad is out to sea, we have to prepare early to send him a care package in hopes that it will get there on time. The average arrival time during his deployment was 10 days. Then there was the package that took 5 months to get there. Sometimes it only takes a few days. Whatever the case, it is always better to be safe than sorry!
We kept this care package simple. I made some of his favorite homemade trail mix with a Valentine spin – basically a million different types of nuts, dried cranberries, and the Valentine m&m’s to give it a nice red and pink tone! I threw in a bag of Gobstopper Heartbreakers and also opened the bags of several mixed candy packages – Butterfingers, Hershey Kisses, BabyRuths, Nestle’s, Peanut Butter Cups, etc – to toss in loosely with everything else. Really, my husband won’t eat many of those items, but everyone in the offices shares their care packages with everyone else. A lot of people don’t ever get things sent to them at all, which I think is a terrible shame. I would send every person on that ship a care package for each holiday if I could.
For the actual Valentine part I made him a nice simple little card using small paper hearts to make a flower in the middle on the front of the card (forgot to take a picture before packing it up). The kids made their own special valentines though! A reminder: Dad is out on a aircraft carrier, an all metal aircraft carrier. I don’t know if anything on that ship is not made out of metal. This, of course, makes it very easy to send him things that are magnetic. Homemade magnetic picture Valentines to be exact!
Now, I don’t have a fancy dancy paper/vinyl/magnetic cutting machine like so many of you do, and I probably never will. So we had to do this the old fashioned way!
For the materials I used a 40% off coupon at my favorite craft store to buy a roll of magnet that has one peel off adhesive side (regularly $9.99 for I think a foot by two feet of magnet and make sure you don’t buy the kind that has one paper side), and at home I already had craft paper, stickers, and an x-acto knife.
First, take the magnet out of the packaging and lay it out flat weighted down by books for a day so it won’t curl up while you are working with it. To begin the project, I cut out two 6 x 6 inch pieces from the magnet and saved the rest for later. I then cut the same size out of my background paper (shown in the picture in a blue pattern).
I removed the adhesive from one of the pieces of magnet and, being careful to keep it smooth, stuck the blue paper onto the magnet. Using a symmetric heart I had cut earlier to use as a pattern, I placed the heart on top of the paper covered magnet and traced the outline with the x-acto knife. Now I had my magnetic heart base.
Since these were Valentine cards from the kids, I wanted them to decorate them as they pleased. Little K and D used stickers to decorate the border of their hearts, leaving the middles clear for a picture. After they were done, I used 3D mounting squares to place their pictures in the middle of their hearts.
So there we have a fantastic, inexpensive, little Valentine’s Day care package for Dad so he knows how much we love him and are thinking of him! Hopefully he will receive it in time and love his homemade magnets that he can stick anywhere on the ship!
Hello everyone! Well, as my sister already mentioned, I am also having a hard time posting my craft projects on here because, well, they are mostly for the people who read this blog on a regular basis! I decided to post the picture I made for our family Christmas card last year. Why can’t I post this year’s???? Hello! It’s a surprise! And they won’t be going in the mail for a little while longer, definitely not with enough time to help give anyone any ideas. So without further ado, here’s the picture and I’ll write a little tutorial below!
First of all, you need a good photo imaging program because, yes, this is just one photo, not several glued together. I have Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4).
To set up the photo taking process, we each wore Christmas colors and jeans. We had one Santa hat (yep, only need one) and one full size piece of blank white poster board.
I took pictures of each family member holding the poster board in front of them. Hints: Hold it as flat toward the camera as possible to make the image editing easier, and hold your fingers as close to the edge as possible or you will have to deal with that in editing as well. We knew our daughter would be the smallest photo so she would not need to hold the poster board (that of course helped a lot too since she is the youngest!). My husband and I did the “Brady Bunch” look down at the poster board while we were taking the pictures so it would appear we were looking at the kids. Since the kids grow so much every year I definitely wanted them both looking at the camera. We stood in front of a blank wall and also angled the poster board in opposite directions for each step down.
If I remember correctly, we took around 500 pictures between the four of us. I wanted to get our poses just right because I knew very little would be happening in the editing process. Also, I knew there was no way I would get the family to agree to do it a second time if necessary!!!
The editing was actually the easy part. However, here you do have to know a little about Photoshop to be able to do it. I chose my favorite picture of each person and did the basic editing to get the colors to pop, etc. To begin making one picture, I started with the youngest first. I made her picture a smart object so it could be easily copied and pasted onto my son’s picture. I used the free transform (under “edit”) to size her picture down and to skew it to make it fit exactly in the shape of his poster board. The white frame around each picture is the actual piece of poster board. I thought it looked a lot cuter with all of us framed. The less flat you held your poster board during the actual photo taking process, the more you will have to skew it to fit inside the next person’s poster board, thus, the less of a rectangle the inserted pictures will be. Also, if you didn’t angle the board in the right direction to make it flip flop for each person, you can simply “flip” the image before putting it “on” the poster board.
I did this same process with the picture I just created of my son “holding” my daughter, and I imposed them onto the piece of poster board I was holding in my picture…etc, etc, until we were all in one picture. I did a few more slight color fixings so it would look as close to one photo as possible, and Ta Da! A super fun Christmas card!
We got SO many compliments, but the best part was it was also SUPER FUN to make! This years was a lot of fun too and hopefully I will remember to post it after we send it in the mail!
Oh. My. Gosh. I have had WAY too much fun crafting this evening! Just call me Martha! Why? Well, in the next couple of days I will be making cupcakes for a friend of mine. We are having a Girls’ Night Out to celebrate her 7thwedding anniversary. A fellow military wife, J suffers what we must deal with on a regular basis. Her hubby is out on the ship with mine and is not here to celebrate their anniversary together. Not only that, but she is VERY preggo and will be giving birth before her husband returns home.
Needless to say, I wanted to do my own little part to make this a special day for her even though she is celebrating it sans husband! After talking to her about making a cake, the hamster wheel in my head started turning and I decided I wanted to have a little more fun with it. I changed my mind from a cake to cupcakes and decided to go the full mile when it came to making them super cute. So tonight is the first post related to the anniversary cupcakes.
Okay, enough of the background…what did I do tonight, you’re asking? I made homemade cupcake liners, or wrappers, or whatever you would like to call them. I have seen the super cute wrappers in the store but just haven’t been able to bring myself to spend the money on them and really, none of them have been EXACTLY what I wanted. So I decided to take on the task of creating them myself. I did a little research online and found a few other ladies who have tried the same thing. Why reinvent the wheel?! This template that I found on Skip To My Lou is the one I used to begin my own. However, I extended the top of mine another centimeter or so because I wanted the wrappers that extended above the top of the cupcake. I also inserted a tab so I would not have to have tape on the outside of my wrapper. With the tab, I was able to put the tape inside. I also did not print the wrappers directly onto the colored paper. There are only two templates on the given paper. I cut one out and traced it four times on larger paper. This, of course, was a little bit of an added pain (multiply by 24), but saved paper and came out the way I wanted it to look.
***important suggestion – use paper that is colored on BOTH sides. It does not look nearly as nice when you have white paper on the inside. Even if you are cutting the paper to normal size, the white will still most likely be seen.
After tracing the templates onto the paper I used an exacto knife to cut them out. This requires a steady hand, but it is important to know it does not have to be perfect. It is going to be wrapped around a cupcake for goodness sakes! The last thing people will be checking is if it is 100% symmetrical! The first couple were definitely rough around the edges, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly and started to breeze through the cutting process. Since the only two sided paper I had was plain, I decided I would use my stamping materials to embellish the paper. SO FUN! Put some paper down (or you can stamp prior to cutting) under the cutouts and make sure the stamp overlaps the borders of the paper and especially both ends where the tab and insert are. This helps hide the imperfections of the cutting job!
Insert the tabs, tape the inside and voila! Homemade cupcake wraps!