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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?

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?

DIY Thanksgiving Place Setting Tutorial

We are continuing the dollar store holiday craft ideas this year with this quick and easy Thanksgiving place setting craft project! Our Thanksgiving place card holder project is easy to make and only requires a small amount of materials.
DIY Thanksgiving Place Setting Tutorial

Supplies purchased at dollar store:

  • 2 -Pumpkin décor pieces                 1.00
  • 2 scarecrows on a stick                     1.00
  • Bag of decorative die cut leaves      1.00
  • Stem of fall flowers and leaves        1.00
  • Mini chalkboard                                1.00

Supplies on hand:

  • Glue gun or A6000 glue
  • Scissors

DIY Thanksgiving Place Setting Tutorial

Step 1:

Cut the scarecrow stick down to 3 to 5 inches. The height you need will depend on the flowers you find at your local dollar store.

Step 2:

Remove the flowers and leaves from the stem.

step-3-diy-place-card-or-setting-tutorial

Step 3:

Using a glue gun or A6000 glue, adhere the flowers to the pumpkin. Make sure to leave a spot to add the chalkboard!

Step 4:

To finish, all you need to do is adhere the chalkboard to the pumpkins.

step-4-add-the-chalkboard

Tip:  If your pumpkin or squash does not stay up well on a flat surface, just glue a piece of wood to it. Below is a picture of one with wood, and one without the piece of wood on it. You can’t even see the little piece of wood I put on it, unless you tip it over a bit.

DIY Thanksgiving Place Setting Tutorial

I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy dollar store project to make a Thanksgiving place setting! Let us know what fun projects you have created from your dollar store finds by leaving a comment below!

Easy Thanksgiving Layout with Falling Leaves

We all get nostalgic this time of year…so what better time of year to pull out some old photos and get them in your albums? For this easy Thanksgiving layout, I pulled out some 25 year old photos from the first Thanksgiving after my husband and I were engaged.

[Disclosure: Some product used in today’s layout was provided by Photo Play Paper at my request for this project, and I am the social media manager for Buttons Galore. Links in the supply list are courtesy links to partners or affiliate links that earn the site a small commission when a purchase is made after a reader clicks.]

Thanksgiving layout

Supplies:

[ACOT=acherryontop.com, Sb.com=scrapbook.com, BGM=buttonsgaloreandmore.com]

This easy Thanksgiving layout is created using a basic color blocked background and a few embellishments, most of which are from the Photo Play Paper “Falling Leaves” collection.

I used the bright orange block of pattern paper as an “anchor” on which to hang most of the other elements. Most of the rest of the layout is green and brown, so the paper adds a splash of traditional fall color to the layout, and it also provides some warmth that highlights the turkey in the bottom photo.

After I layered the patterned papers, then I next moved to adding on the photos. After that, I added the embellishments one at a time, working with the largest elements first.

Thanksgiving Layout title

The “gratitude changes everything” tag was created by cutting the tag out of patterned paper using a Sizzix die. The gratitude sentiment is a cut out from a sheet of 3″ x 4″ journal cards that are in collection. The card had to be trimmed down a bit to fit on the tag with a nice border on the sides.

Thanksgiving Layout Journaling

The “Happy Thanksgiving Day” element is a cardstock sticker that I adhered with foam dot adhesive to stand a bit off of the surface of the layout. This sticker forms a visual triangle with the leaf sticker at the top and the “autumn joy” label on the left side.

I had a lot of space left at the bottom to put my journaling in and the layout was in danger of feeling unbalanced. So to add my journaling, I used my computer to type up my journaling with large spacing between the lines. Then I trimmed it into strips, adding the date at the end in stickers to emphasize it and add a pop of the rusty orange.

Simple layouts like this easy Thanksgiving layout are a fast way to get those old pictures in albums. These weren’t the only pictures I had from this Thanksgiving. To see the layout I did with the rest of them with this same Photo Play Paper “Falling Leaves” collection, visit Scrapbook Update!

DIY Halloween Pumpkin Diorama Tutorial

DIY Halloween Pumpkin Diorama

I work on Dioramas at my local Renaissance Faire and thought it would be fun to create an easy DIY Halloween Pumpkin Diorama inside one of the Michaels Halloween Diorama Craft Pumpkins.  I used supplies from Michaels and the dollar store to make this project more budget friendly. (Bonus – it’s clearance time for the Halloween supplies at the craft stores right now – great for making last minute projects!)

Disclaimer: Plaid sent me a sample of their paints and some Mod Podge to test out so I decided to use it in this project. Thank you to the folks at Plaid for their generosity in sending me these supplies to use in my Halloween decorations.

Materials Needed:

  • Harvest Market – Craft Pumpkins (Michaels Craft Stores) in black or white
  • Battery Powered Flameless Tea Light Candle (Dollar Store)
  • Black Crow (Michaels)
  • Day of the Dead Bobbles (Dollar Store)
  • Wood Grave Markers
  • Fabric Leaves and flowers (dollar store)
  • Mini pumpkins (dollar store or Michaels)
  • Glittered pumpkins (dollar store )

Supplies Needed:

  • Folk Art Home Décor Chalk Paint in Rich Black
  • Folk Art Metallic Copper Acrylic Paint
  • Copper Glitter
  • Mod Podge or White glue (that dries clear)
  • Paint Brush
  • 1 “ Sponge Brush
  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Dots

Step 1:

Remove tags from the pumpkin and dust any particles off. Clean out the interior with moist cloth to remove any oils.

Halloween Pumpkin Diorama Blank

Halloween Pumpkin Diorama Blank

Step 2:

Using the Folk Art Metallic Copper Acrylic Paint, paint the interior of the pumpkin and then set it aside to dry.

Step 3:

Once the paint has dried, use the sponge brush to coat the interior of the pumpkin with the Mod Podge or white glue (that dries clear). Before it dries, coat it with copper colored glitter.

Step 4 (Optional):

If you cannot find a black pumpkin at Michaels, then use the black chalk paint to paint the outside of the pumpkin black. Set it aside to allow it to dry.

Step 5:

Paint the grave marker black with the chalk paint. Once it has dried, write a saying or draw a picture on it with some chalk.

Grave Markers - Step 5

Grave Markers – Step 5

Step 6:

Using a glue gun, adhere the leaves and crow to the top of the outside of the pumpkin.

Step 7:

Using the Glue Dots, adhere the bobbles and the grave markers to the interior of the pumpkin.

Step 8:

Turn the tea lights on and add to the pumpkin. Then fill in the empty space with the mini pumpkins.

Step 9 (Optional):

If you can’t find glittered mini pumpkins, just coat some mini pumpkins with Mod Podge or white glue and coat with some glitter. Allow to dry before using.

Step 10:

Finish the project by adding some glittered pumpkins to the interior of the diorama.

Interior of the Pumpkin Diorama

Interior of the Pumpkin Diorama

It’s not too late to decorate your porch for Halloween…this quick and easy Halloween diorama will make a great weekend project!

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!

Decorate Up a Halloween Pumpkin for Fall!

Fall is coming fast! That means it’s time to start thinking about falling leaves, and all things pumpkin spice. Since we don’t get too many traditional signs of fall outside here in Florida, I decided to bring some inside by decorating myself a Halloween pumpkin with some fall leaves and a bit of embellishment “pumpkin spice”.

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission to this site when a purchase is made, but it will not affect the price you pay. Some products were provided to me as part of my professional relationships with Cricut and Buttons Galore, but this project is not a sponsored post.]

Halloween Pumpkin

Supplies:

This project will work on a real or plastic halloween pumpkin. I chose a plastic pumpkin so that I can use it the entire Halloween and Thanksgiving season this year and reuse it in future years.

To start my fall pumpkin, I opened Cricut Design Space on my iPad. I could have done this on my computer of course but I just love the Cricut Design Space interface on the iPad so I use it most of the time.

I selected a cut file called “Happy Fall” by JGoode Designs (the fabulous Jen Goode). The design comes with a leaf in it, which I hid since I was going to add my own silk ones. I sized the design at about 4″ wide to fit my pumpkin, but the size that will work for you will depend on the size of your pumpkin.

Cricut Design Space iPad Screen CaptureI chose a gold shade that worked with my leaves from the Cricut Metallic Vinyl Sampler and cut my design from the vinyl. Using transfer tape, I pressed the design into place on the pumpkin. It’s hard to get it pushed entirely down into place on a surface like the pumpkin. I found the scraper from my Cricut Explore tool set helped a lot. The vinyl has some “give” in it, and the scraper helped smooth and push it down into all of the crevices so it is adhered perfectly.

Next, I started adhering the leaves with my hot glue gun. I started with the ones on each end, and then filled in the two in the middle. I layered as I went, tucking them underneath each other where necessary.

Halloween Pumpkin close-upThe final step was to add on the embellishments from the 28 Lilac Lane “toasted graham” bottle to add a bit of bling to my pumpkin! I started with the large buttons. I chose brown because it gives the impression of acorns or fall nuts. It also reminds me of spices – like pumpkin spice! Then on the button closest to the title, I added a bit extra pop with small beads, a pearl, and a sequin.

Halloween Pumpkin decorated with vinyl and leaves | by Nancy Nally for CraftCritique.com

This quick and easy project only took me a few minutes, and used practically no tools besides my Cricut machine. I look forward to enjoying this halloween pumpkin as part of our autumn home decor for years to come!