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Quick and Easy Holiday Paperclip Kids Project

Christmas Paper Clip Kids Project

Christmas Paper Clip Kids Project

Well school is out and the kids are home, so I thought that I would post a really easy Christmas Paperclip kids project that can be used to decorate their notebooks & planners, mark a page in their book, or for them to make as stocking stuffers.    The supplies for this one are fairly easy – you just need a set of stickers that are symmetrical in shape so you can align them when you stick them back to back.  I chose a pack of snow globe shaker stickers because the are easy to align and the shaker part makes them fun for the kids to shake.

Supplies:

  • Paperclips
  • Symmetrical Christmas Stickers (such as snow globes)
Supplies for Christmas Paperclip Project

Supplies for Christmas Paperclip Project

Step 1:

Remove the snow globe stickers from their packaging.

Step 2:

Place a sticker face down with the sticky side up. Carefully place the paperclip onto the adhesive.

Step 2: Holiday Paperclip Project

Step 2: Holiday Paperclip Project

Step 3:

To finish, place another snow globe sticker directly on top of that sticker. Please make sure to align the stickers before pressing them firmly together.

(If you are worried about the adhesive on your stickers holding, use a dot of a strong liquid glue like Glossy Accents in the area of the paperclip before pressing the second sticker on top.)

tep-3-holiday-paperclip-project

Step 3: Align and stick the stickers together.

Now you have a two sided snow globe shaker paperclip that can be used to decorate notebooks and planners!

Penguin Shaker planner clip

Penguin Shaker planner clip

This is a simple and fun project that the kids can do themselves! My kids are adding them to gift tags and Christmas cards (we deliver some personally instead of mailing them).

Penguin, Santa, and Snowman paperclip.

Christmas is a great time for crafting with kids…what are you and yours making this holiday season?

1

Test | Best Ink Pad for a Bullet Journal or Planner

2017 is coming fast – where did 2016 go? Like many people, the new year coming means I’ve been working on setting up a new planner. You’ll be reading about my new bullet journal blog planner soon, but before I could finish it I had a lot of stamping to do. So I decided to do a test to see what was the best ink pad for a bullet journal or planner!

[Some links in this article are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay a commission when product is purchased after clicking.]

black-ink-pads

In my search to find the best ink pad for my planner, I tested black inks in a wide range of types from Ranger and ColorBox:

Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black – Scrapbook.com, A Cherry On Top, Amazon.com

ColorBox Archival Dye Ink in Wicked Black – Scrapbook.com, Amazon.com

ColorBox Fluid Chalk in Blackbird – Amazon.com

Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Black Soot – Scrapbook.com, A Cherry On Top, Amazon.com

ColorBox Pigment in Black – Amazon.com

Since all of the tested inks were black, that eliminated differences in the stamping test results from different color tones.

I also decided to test my favorite watercolor palette, the Sakura Koi 24 color Field Sketch Set, since watercolors are another way to add color to a bullet journal and I’m doing some color coding of headers.

Sakura Watercolors

To test the inks to find the best ink pad for a bullet journal, I just turned the last page of my new blog planner into a sample page. My new planner is a Moleskine Hardcover Classic Extra Large Squared journal. I stamped the ink samples onto the page with the new Hero Arts Calendar Pieces stamp set that I’m using to create my blog planner’s calendar pages.

At the bottom of the ink test, I did a couple swatches of watercolor to see how it would perform on my journal’s paper. I also stamped the winning ink from the tests at the top of the page on one of the watercolor swatches to see how they would layer.

ink-pad-for-bullet-journal-test

From the front, all of the inks gave acceptable results. But what about the back? Bleed through to the reverse of the page is a big concern with stamping inks when you are using both sides of a text weight paper page.

ink-pad-for-bullet-journal-test-2

The results from the back of the page were much more definitive than from the front. The top ink on the page, Tim Holtz Distress, bled through the page much less than the other inks. When stamped on top of the watercolor at the bottom of the page, it was barely visible from the back of the page.

The page also stood up well to the light application of watercolor – from the reverse of the page you can see that some slight wrinkling is evident but not enough to make the paper unusable for writing on. The watercolor showed through the paper only as a slight shadow. Compared to the more definite markings of the stamped inks, this makes it a good option for color coding headings and other items.

Below, in actual use, the difference between the inks becomes very apparent. The month/year header is in a bright blue ColorBox pigment ink, which is my go to ink when I want nice juicy color. But on this paper, the bleed through is very distinct, making it not a good choice for this application.

The Sunday and Monday headings on the top right of the page are in black ColorBox Fluid Chalk. Again, this is one of my favorite inks for when I want a nice matte finish look – but in this application it gives terrible bleed through.

The Tuesday and Wednesday headings in the upper left, along with the numbers on the calendar grid, are in black Distress ink. The difference in bleed through is quite apparent – a shadow versus the distinct, readable marks of the other two inks. The back side of this page is not perfect where those inks were stamped, but it is most definitely usable.

ink-pad-for-bullet-journal

So the clear winner of best ink pad for a bullet journal or planner appears to be Tim Holtz Distress ink based on my tests in my Moleskine journal. The Moleskine’s pages are quite thin compared to many planner calendars, so the ink should perform even better in many of today’s most popular planners.

The Tim Holtz Distress inks have another feature (besides low bleed through) that makes them perfect for use in journals and planners: portability. The entire Distress palette of inks is available in 1.25″ square Mini ink pads [available ACOT, Scrapbook.com, Amazon], a very practical size for using with most planner stamps. And they can be re-inked with Distress re-inkers!

Some other inks are available in mini pads, but the Distress Minis have a secret weapon that makes them extra portable.  The affordable Distress Mini tin case [available ACOT, Scrapbook.com, Amazon] is available that securely carries a dozen of the Distress Minis – enough to keep you supplied for almost any planner project.

tim-holtz-distress-mini-storage-tin

I’m assembling myself a custom color palette in my Mini Distress Ink Storage tin that will work for the color coding that I am planning for my planner. To do this, I’ve started by purchasing two of the Distress Mini four packs: Kit #1 and Kit #14. The other four colors (black, red, purple, and probably another green) will be filled in individually, since the Distress Mini Ink Pads are now available open stock. With all of those colors, I will have a full rainbow color palette, plus black, brown and gray, for versatile planning!

tim-holtz-distress-mini-colors

What ink do you use in your planner? What do you like about it?

8

Fall Half Pumpkin Craft for a Fun DIY Door Project

DIY Half Pumpkin Fall Outdoor Decoration Tutorial

My family loves fall! We look forward to decorating indoors and outdoors using the beautiful rich warm fall tones of pumpkins, falls leaves, scarecrows, and other harvest themed items. Since we live in southern California, we do not have the change of seasons that many other areas enjoy. We have to create our own fall season decorations and decorate to make it feel more like the traditional image of fall. Planning craft projects like this fall half pumpkin craft with the beautiful colors of leaves as they change from green to brown is always fun, but we have to purchase ours at the craft stores (there is a lack of trees in my area of the city) to decorate with.

Fall Flowers and Leaves

Each year we look forward to crafting in the fall as a family. We plan and work together to make easy pumpkin themed decorations for our home. Usually we shop at the dollar store to keep within our budget but when my local Michaels store put their half pumpkins on sale for 60% off, we realized we could have some fun crafting with those too. We picked up a few, and this is the project I created with mine.

Michaels Stores Half Pumpkins

Michaels Stores Half Pumpkins

**Disclaimer: Deco Foil sent me a sample of their foils and one of their adhesive pens to test out so I decided to use it in this project. My thanks to the folks at Deco Foil for their generosity in sending me these supplies to use. Some links below may be affiliate links that support the operation of this site by paying a commission when you make a purchase.

Materials Needed:

Deco Foil Adhesive Pens and Foils

Step 1:

Remove tags from the pumpkin and clean it off. Then, using the pencil, either freehand or use a stencil to write your greeting across the front of the pumpkin. (I like using a pencil because I can erase my work and do it over if I do not like it.)

Start by writing your message in pencil.

Start by writing your message in pencil.

Step 2:

Using the Déco Foil Adhesive Pen, trace over your lettering. Allow the adhesive to dry for 30 seconds to 60 seconds.

Step 3:

Apply the Déco Foil Transfer Sheet onto the adhesive. Using your fingers burnish the foil onto the adhesive. Press firmly to allow it to transfer. (Tip: You can see below what happened when I did not burnish it enough. To fix it, I just put another piece of the foil over it and burnished it again.)

Step 3 - using the foils

Step 4:

I like using glue dots with foils because they are an easy way to add accents to projects. To use them, just take the glue dots and adhere them to the pumpkin. You can create a pattern or place them wherever you like. If your glue dot doesn’t stick well, just remove it and try again with another one.

Step 5:

Apply the Déco Foil Transfer Sheet onto the adhesive. Press firmly and burnish it with your fingers to allow it to transfer fully. If you find any empty spots, just cover the dot with a different piece of the Déco Foil and burnish it gently onto the spot. Do not burnish the foil as hard as the first time because it may create a cracked effect on the dot (unless that is something you are trying to achieve).

Use glue dots with the foil to add accents to your projects.

Step 6:

Using a glue gun, adhere the leaves and flowers to the top of the pumpkin. Once you are happy with the arrangement, hang up the fall half pumpkin craft.

 How do you decorate for the fall? Do you go scary Halloween or more autumn seasonal?

Leave a comment below and let us know!

How to Make a DIY Charm for Your Midori Traveler’s Notebook

Easy DIY Planner Charms for Midori Traveler's Notebook

Here is an easy DIY charm tutorial! I’ll show you how to make charms yourself and how to change out charms for your Midori Traveler’s Notebook and other traveler’s notebooks. This easy how-to project just requires a few supplies and tools to make a personalized planner charm. These can also be used for your planners, if you substitute the twisted ring for a lobster clasp.

DIY How To Make Personalized Charm for Midori Travelers Notebook

I love to change out my charms on my traveler’s notebooks, so I thought I would share a short tutorial on how to make one for yourself. You don’t need a lot of supplies for this project, but you will need some basic jewelry making tools.

For those who are unfamiliar with what a Travelers Notebook is, here is a brief explanation. When most people say “traveler’s notebooks” they are referring to ones like the Midori Traveler’s Notebooks, which were created for the user to have on hand for drawing, sketching, water coloring, taking notes, making lists, and so much more.

The fun thing about a traveler’s notebook (or fauxdori) is that you can personalize it to meet your own needs. You can also decorate the traveler’s notebook to suit your own taste. I have a great love of stickers, so the pages in my traveler’s notebooks inserts tend to get really decorated with them. I also like having specific charms to reflect my personality, thus this tutorial was created with that in mind. I used a 20mm twisted ring instead of lobster claw because one of my charms is rather heavy and I wanted to secure it to my traveler’s notebook.

DIY Planner Charms Tutorial

Tools Needed:

2 – Pliers (preferably long nose but I use whichever ones I can find)

Supplies Needed:

3 – Charms (or more if you like)

3 – Jump Rings (8mm)

1 – Twisted Ring (20mm)

Step 1:

If your charms come with a jump ring that is smaller than 8mm, use the pliers to remove the jump ring and replace it with an 8mm jump ring. You can do this by grabbing the jump ring with jewelry pliers on each slide of the split in the jump ring.

Step 1 - DIY Planner Charms Tutorial

Then gently using the pliers to twist one of the sides toward you to open the jump rings. You only need to open it wide enough to add your charm and to attach it to the 20 mm ring.

Step 1 - DIY Planner Charms Tutorial

Step 1 – DIY Planner Charms Tutorial

Step 2:

Attach each charm to the twisted ring and then using the pliers gently close the jump ring by twisting it back.

Step 2 Thread all the Charms onto the 20mm Twisted Ring

Step 2 Thread all the Charms onto the 20mm Twisted Ring

Step 3:

To finish, attach the charms to the traveler’s notebook. I did this by undoing the knot in the elastic so I could remove it from my Midori Traveler’s Notebook.

Step Three - Undo Knot and Remove Elastic

Step Three – Undo Knot and Remove Elastic

Once you have removed the elastic, gently thread the charms onto the elastic. Then take the ends of the piece of elastic, and push them back through the hole and tie a new knot (make sure it is snug enough to keep your notebook closed but not so tight it will leave an indention on your leather).

Easy DIY Planner Charms for Midori Traveler's Notebook

Step 3 Thread the elastic through the ring.

This is a pretty simple process and an easy way to personalize your Midori Traveler’s Notebook. These also make fun gifts for your planner friends (use the lobster claw instead of the twisted ring for planners) and other traveler’s notebook users you may want to send some happy mail fun to.

We would love to know what type of items you use to personalize your travelers notebooks and planners. Leave a comment below to share your favorites!

 

Leather DIY Traveler’s Notebook Project for Bullet Journaling

Leather DIY Travelers Notebook

Traveler’s notebooks have gained a lot of popularity lately, because they are so versatile and can be used for bullet journaling, personal planning, art journaling, and so much more. They come in a variety of sizes, and for those who enjoy making their own journals, it is easy to make a DIY traveler’s notebook from a variety of materials.

For those who are not familiar with traveler’s notebooks, they are leather covers with elastic bands that hold one or more journals inside them. The journals may be purchased in a vast selection of papers that include watercolor papers, multi-media papers, grid papers, Tome River Papers and Moleskin Cahiers. The purpose of the traveler’s notebook depends entirely on the user. I use mine for bullet journaling, so I find one with lined paper works really well for me.

I got these really cool journals (Millie Marotta’s Tropical World Journals) that feature a really fun cover with designs for coloring from Michaels. The insides of the journals feature 64 lined pages.

Millie Marotta's Tropical World Journals

Millie Marotta’s Tropical World Journals

I have a fun collection of traveler’s journals but none of them seem to fit this odd sized set of journals. Since I purchased quite a lot of them (they were on sale and super cute), I decided this would be a great “make it yourself” BUJO traveler’s notebook project. So this DIY traveler’s notebook has been created to fit these odd sized bullet journals.

My leather was purchased very affordably in a grab bag at a chain craft store. With a 40% off coupon it cost me less than $10.

BUJO DIY Travelers Notebook Project Supplies

BUJO DIY Traveler’s Notebook Project Supplies

Supplies needed to make a very simple DIY traveler’s notebook:

  • leather (large enough to cover the journals)
  • Journals
  • Charms or buttons (to use as accents)
  • 2mm elastic cording (color of your choice)

Tools Used for This Project:

  • Steel Leather Hole Punch (size appropriate to the elastic cording)
  • Cutting Mat
  • Scissors;
  • Pencil or marker;

Step 1:

Lay the piece of leather right side down on the cutting mat and measure the piece to fit two journals. Depending on the capacity and size of the journals you are going to use in this leather travelers notebook project, you will need to measure your journals and then cut the leather with a few added inches so it will be a bit wider to compensate for the extra width of these journals.

Leather DIY Travelers Notebook Project - Step 1

DIY Leather BUJO Traveler’s Notebook Project – Step 1

Step 2:

Find the center of the leather and mark where you want the top and bottom holes to be. I made mine slightly off set because I find that it seems to work better for me. Then using the leather punch, punch out the four holes (you can make more holes if you decided you want more than two elastics inside of the travelers notebook).

eather Travelers Journal - Step 2

Leather DIY Traveler’s Journal – Step 2

Step 3:

Then find the center of the spine and mark one hole. Using the leather punch, punch out the hole.

Step 4:

Take the elastic and measure three times the length of the spine of the leather piece. Cut it and begin to thread it through the top two holes and then down through the bottom holes. The two ends should meet at the center of the interior of the leather piece where you can tie a knot. Don’t worry; once you load the journals, you won’t really see the knot.

Leather Travelers Notebook - Step 4

Leather DIY Traveler’s Notebook – Step 4

Step 5:

Since this is fairly thin leather, I decided it needed a small piece of leather for the elastic tie to give the book a little more structure. To make this, just take a left over piece of leather and cut a 2” by 1” piece of the leather. Using the leather punch, punch out a hole at each end.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 6

Take another piece of elastic and measure the width of the folded piece of leather (or use the journal for sizing). The piece of elastic should be one and a half times the width of the journal.

Step 7

Using the piece of elastic, load the piece of leather you cut in step 6 onto the elastic, then add some buttons or charms. Thread both ends into the center hole of the spine of the travelers notebook, and then tie a knot. I found that I needed to tie a double knot to keep the elastic from slipping through the hole.

DIY Leather Journal Project - Steps 4and 7

DIY Traveler’s Notebook Project – Steps 4 and 7

Step 8:

To finish the journal, just open the journal up to the center of the journal and slipping it through the elastic. If you like the look of rounded corners, you can use a nickel to trace a rounded corner (or a corner punch) to cut it out.

Step 8

Step 8

I like how rustic this project looks with all of its imperfections. My DIY leather traveler’s notebook project piece will work well for my current needs. Later on, I may add some metal eyelets to the holes to strengthen them.

Leather DIY Travelers Notebook Project

Leather DIY Travelers Notebook Project

One final tip: Depending on the quality and thickness of your leather, you may need to reinforce the piece of leather if it is too thin. My piece seemed to fit just fine but after a lot of use, I may have to reinforce it with fabric to strengthen it.

If you have made your own DIY traveler’s notebook, we would love to know what materials you used. Tell us in the comments below!

Father’s Day Gift Wrap with Graphic 45

Looking for a quick last minute way to wrap dad’s Father’s Day gift that will make you look like a pro? We’ve got the answer for your Father’s Day gift wrap dilemma!

(Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission that supports Craft Critique if you make a purchase after clicking on the link. Graphic 45 and Buttons Galore provided product to Craft Critique that was used in this post. Nally Studios, the owner of Craft Critique, manages social media for Buttons Galore.)

Masculine Gift Wrap

Supplies:

Gift wrap is so often seen as a feminine thing – frilly and fancy. How do you approach wrapping a gift for a man without making it look, well, plain? Vintage is a great way to go!

I started with Graphic 45’s rolled DIY Craft Paper to wrap my box. This particular design has a text based print on one side and butterflies on the other, making it versatile for any occasion of gift wrapping. Once the box was wrapped, it needed some embellishment.

A bow might be too frilly for Dad, but rosettes are another story! I created this one by cutting strips of paper and gluing them on top of each other, alternating over and under to create depth. (Make sure they are glued very securely with something like a glue gun so the rosette stays together.) Finish it off by cutting a scalloped circle and gluing it on top, and topping with a button with the shank removed.

The best part about this rosette is that it can be adjusted to any size package! I use 3/4″ wide by 7″ long strips to create this one, but a smaller or larger rosette could easily be created by simply adjusting the size of the strips used.

Finally, for the tag, use one of the ATC-sized Alphabet Banners. This one says “D” (for Dad, of course!) and the stencil cut-out is backed with a paper from the 8×8 paper pad. Glue some embellishments to the tag, and use twine to attach it to the top of the package!

This design could also easily be adjusted to package wedding party gifts (with black and touches of the Bride’s colors), or used for birthday wrap. Whatever the occasion…masculine doesn’t have to mean plain!

Tie Dye Summer Fun for Kids (and Grown-Ups too!)

Welcome to the Summer Fun blog hop on Craft Critique!

Today I’ve got a fun project that will not only keep bored kids busy – it will create something practical they can use and enjoy all summer long. I’m talking, of course, about that never-goes-out-of-style tie dye!

[Disclosure: Some product used in this article was supplied to Craft Critique by Tulip for editorial review purposes but opinions are entirely those of the author. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission to support Craft Critique if you make a purchase after clicking. You pay the same price but our site’s commission helps support our continued operation. Thanks for supporting our site!]

Summer Fun Tie Dye

For these shirts (due to a craft fail on my part), I actually ended up working with two different tie dye kits from Tulip:  Tulip One Step Mini Tie Dye Kit (Princess) and Tulip One Step Mini Tie Dye Kit (Pixie). They are different color versions of the same product, Tulip’s One Step Mini Tie Dye.

I used basic white t-shirts purchased from Walmart and the local craft store for this tie dye project. It’s important to get 100% cotton shirts if possible and to also wash them before dying them (let’s not talk about how I know that…).

The Tulip dye packages come with instructions for creating various kinds of dye designs on an item. My daughter chose a simple striped design for her shirt, and I decided to experiment with a more complex swirl design. The great thing about tie dye is that there really are no mistakes! Anything you do just adds to the character of the design.

tied up tshirts

The striped t-shirt for my daughter was dyed dry (and it hadn’t been washed on top of that). It used loads of dye – almost two whole of the mini bottles for a medium sized t-shirt.

Tie Dye Shirt in process

The upside of this was that the color on the shirt is intense, especially on the purple. And using the dry method meant I controlled exactly where the dye went.

Striped Tie Dye Shirt

For the swirl shirt, I used the wet method (wetting the shirt before applying the dye) and the shirt had been pre-washed. It used much less dye as the dye traveled a lot through the shirt instead of staying exactly where it was applied. The color was still quite intense but there wasn’t the same white borders between the colors since the dye traveled into the banded area.

Swirl Tie Dye Shirt in process

The result with the swirl design was much more white area than with the stripe, because of the the way the shirt is bunched up to achieve the swirl design.

Swirl Tie Dye Shirt

I recommend completing tie dye projects outside to minimize messes. I cut open trash bags to use as a protective cover for my porch table, and then used the bags to roll the shirts up in while the dye had to set (6-8 hours) before being rinsed. Very efficient!

In all this is a quick and easy (and affordable) project that is practical too. Tie dye is a fun way to work with groups of kids to make t-shirts that then make the kids easily identifiable when you take them out as a group (such as for a summer camp) if you give them a limited set of colors to work with like school colors.

Looking for more summer fun? Check out the links below!

Summer Fun #1 Cotton Candy Cookies - tie dye shirts - fruit juice lego jello - Splatter shirts - Beach Bag - From Nap-Time Creations

Fruit Juice Jello Lego Snacks – Nap-Time Creations

Zipper Beach Bags – Sew What Alicia

Splatter Shirts – Andrea’s Notebook on Nap-Time Creations

Cotton Candy Cookies – Sweet Jenny Belle Bakery