Category Archives: Paper Crafts

Make letter charms from paper collages

Letter charms made by making a paper collage then adding letter stickers and jewelry parts.
Letter charms made by making a paper collage then adding letter stickers and jewelry parts.

I love to make mixed media charms and beads to use in jewelry making. Recently I participated in a charm swap and made some initial necklaces for friends at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts where I am a teacher. Learn how to make these charms by reading my tutorial on the Canvas Corp Products blog!

Read More:
Combine Collage and Letter Stickers to Make Initial Letter Charms

My Entry For the Canvas Corp Brands 12 x 12 Envelope Challenge

As I member of the Canvas Corp Brands Creative Crew I was invited to enter a challenge using one of their 12 x 12 kraft paper envelopes. They wanted to see how many creative ways we could transform the envelope.

The C stands for Carolyn and the T stands for Tom, my fiance.
The C stands for Carolyn and the T stands for Tom, my fiance.

As you can see I didn’t transform mine very much because I wanted to use it as an envelope to carry around papers that I’m using in wedding planning. We are having a picnic reception by a lake and I’m making some nautical themed decor. When I’m done using this as an envelope I plan to use it as a background in a shadow box for wedding memorabilia.

I cut through the front of the envelope with an X-acto knife and sponged rubber stamping ink around the cutouts for emphasis. I put decorative paper behind the letters and clear transparency sheets in front of them to protect the cut work and add an interesting effect. The nautical themed papers are from the 7gypsies and Canvas Corp brands and I mixed in some papers from other companies plus some Tim Holtz Design Tape and metal brads.

See more examples:
IT IS ALL ABOUT THE 12×12 KRAFT ENVELOPE – A CREW CHALLENGE

Making Signage From Letter Stencils: Part 1

As a member of the “gig economy” I do contract and part-time consulting, marketing and customer service work for various clients. Two retailers I work with recently had need of some in-store signage. One is a hardware store and one is a craft supply store and they both sell stencils. I’ve been experimenting with letter stencils to make signage that gets the message across and at the same time demonstrates how to use some of the products that the stores sell.

JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in Maplewood, MO has a teaching department of which I am a member. The education coordinator asked each teacher to make a sign or two for the classroom samples display to highlight the categories of classes we teach. I was assigned “Kid’s Crafts” and “Jewelry”. I was given two blank pieces of foamcore already cut to size and access to the classroom supply cabinet. Fun!

I like the look of cut-out letters layered over a background. To help me visualize how to arrange the letters on the foamcore board, I cut out some pieces of scrap chipboard and used a letter stencil to trace the outline of each letter in position. Then I decided what colors to use in the actual sign. Since it’s spelling out “Kid’s Crafts” that’s a good excuse to use some really bright colors!

Planning the placement and colors of cutout letters on a sign

I traced the letters again onto the colorful cardstock pieces I selected then cut the letters out with an X-acto knife. I’ll save the cutout letters in case another suitable project comes up.
Cut out letters

Next I selected papers to use as backgrounds for each letter. I marked the foamcore as a rough guide to where I would place the background for each letter.

Selecting backgrounds for the cutout letters

A little black and white in a design is a great way to add visual interest. Some of the background papers already have some white in the pattern. To get some black in the design, I outlined each cut letter with a black Sharpie marker and drew some faux sewing stitch lines to help convey the hand crafts theme. The black outline also covered up my pen lines from when I traced the letters. Black Sharpie markers are such an essential part of my tool kit (like glue sticks) that I buy them wholesale because I go through so many!

Adding details with a black Sharpie marker

In order to read well from a distance, I thought some of the letters needed an improvement in the contrast. I added high contrast solid paper behind the letters that needed to pop a bit more. Then I added a strip of black and white paper tape (also known as design tape and washi tape) to the top and bottom edges for a more finished look.

Assembled sign with paper tape

The final finishing touch was to glue on a few colorful buttons here and there. I used a similar design idea to make my sign for Jewelry. That was fun to make because it gave me a chance to use some “shiny” supplies that are appealing but hard to find a use for that is tasteful and appropriate – metallic papers, silver ribbon, glitter papers and plastic jewels! I outlined the letters in the Jewelry sign with a metallic gold Sharpie paint marker that looks good with the jewel-toned papers and theme. The paint marker also has good enough coverage to conceal my pen lines.

Finished signs for the Jewelry and Kid's Crafts classroom display signs.

These signs were fun to make and also stretched me creatively because I used a few materials and colors that I don’t design with very often. That’s good exercise for any designer!

Introduction to Letterboxing

Letterboxing logbook and samples of personal stamps
Letterboxing logbook and samples of hand carved personal stamps.

I recently taught a two-part class to help people get started in the hobby of Letterboxing which combines outdoor exploration and creative expression. Two of the items you need to participate are a rubber stamp and a logbook. In part one, we hand carved a personal stamp and in part two we made a personal logbook. I wrote a tutorial for each class and they are now published on the Schnarr’s Hardware blog. If you want to try letterboxing or just learn to carve a rubber stamp and make a simple handmade book, here are links to my tutorials.

Read more on the Schnarr’s Hardware blog:

/Introduction to Letterboxing – Part I – Carving a Personal Stamp

Introduction to Letterboxing – Part II – Making a Personal Logbook

Mixing Brands in Vintage Inspired Handmade Journals

My paper crafting and mixed media supply stash is substantial. Recently when I wanted to make some vintage inspired handmade journals as gifts I was faced with a pretty overwhelming number of options. Sometimes if you have too many supplies you can feel overwhelmed and a little inhibited. To get my creativity revved up I decided to see what I could come up with if I limited myself to three brands only – Canvas Corp Brands, Tim Holtz and DCWV. Those three brands still give you a huge number of options don’t they – not much of a limitation! I narrowed the possibilities a little further by setting out items from this list in my studio:

  • 7gypsies Gypsy Paper Pack Collection – American Vintage
  • Architextures™ 12×12 Papers – Collection I
  • Canvas Corp Black & Kraft Postcard Paper
  • 7gypsies Gypsy Moments Cards: Are We There Yet?
  • 7gypsies Gypsy Paper Pack Collection – Gypsy Seamstress
  • Architextures™ 12×12 Papers – Collection 2
  • Canvas Corp Nautical: Black and Ivory Compass Paper
  • Architextures™ Parchment Rub-On – Build
  • Canvas Corp The Watering Can: Seed Packets on Ivory Paper
  • 7gypsies binding rings
  • 7gypsies ephemera (discontinued)
  • 7gypsies papers (discontinued)
  • 7gypsies paper tape (discontinued)
  • DCWV Everyday Essentials Stack
  • DCWV Heirloom Stack
  • Tim Holtz design tape
  • Tim Holtz papers
  • Tim Holz ephemera
  • Tim Holtz mini brads
  • Ok I cheated a little bit – in the second journal I needed some patterned translucent paper so I slipped in some Vellum Swirls paper by Paper Pizazz.
  • Yes, that is still a lot of product to choose from, but it’s at least a somewhat more manageable subset of my stash! These slide shows feature 8.5 x 5.5 inch pages in pairs, starting with the front and back covers.

    Vintage Look Journal #1

    Vintage Look Journal #2

    I Have Planted My First Letterboxes!

    My first two letterbox plants!
    My first two letterbox plants!

    I’ve been involved in the letterboxing hobby since 2010 but I just now got around to planting my first letterboxes. Each box contains a logbook for visitors to stamp in and a hand-carved stamp for finders to stamp into their own personal logbooks. If you want to try to find either of these boxes, go to the web site www.atlasquest.com for clues. If you want to see the stamps in these boxes, you have to find them! It’s against the “rules” for me to show you online!

    Screenshot of www.atlasquest.com
    Screenshot of www.atlasquest.com

    If letterboxing looks like an activity you would enjoy, I can teach you how to carve a custom rubber stamp, make a logbook, get clues and look for boxes. I hope you can join me at Schnarr’s Hardware on March 22 and 29, 2018 where I will be teaching:
    Introduction to Letterboxing

    Introduction to Scrapbooking

    Do you want to start scrapbooking? First here are some guidelines to help you narrow down your choices of formats and tools.

    1. To begin, make a decision about what format you want to work in.

    • What size blank pages do you want to use? 12 x 12, 8.5 x 11, 6 x 6 or something else? Take into account the size of your photos.
    • Do you like pocket scrapbooking, traditional scrapbooking, or a combination? Pocket scrapbooking is when you put your photos, journaling cards and other embellishments into clear plastic pocket pages.
    • Is it important to be able to add and subtract pages? If so, choose or make an album cover that allows you to remove and add pages.
    • Is it easy to get refills on blank pages and pocket pages? You can get a lot of beautiful supplies for your scrapbook online, but it will be a lot more convenient if you can refill your basic supplies at a store where you already shop a lot.

    2. Choose a cutting system for papers and photos.

    • A self-healing cutting mat, craft knife and metal ruler are basic to have for just about any type of paper crafts and will get used a lot in scrapbooking.
    • A guillotine-style cutter, preferably at least 12 x 12″ in size, is extremely convenient and easy to use. Mine is heavy but I often make the effort to drag it around when working on location because I use it so much. They make smaller sizes but if you have the budget and the space for it a 12 x 12″ cutter is very useful because much scrapbook paper is sold in the 12 x 12″ format.
    • A trimmer is great to have when you don’t want to deal with the size and weight of a tabletop guillotine-style paper cutter. You won’t be able to work quite as fast as with the guillotine-style cutter, but you can get the job done. They also come with a scoring blade so you can use it as a scoring tool also which is useful if you make a lot of stuff with folds such as pockets, boxes or greeting cards.

    3. Select what adhesives you’d like to use for attaching photos and papers to the scrapbook page. I recommend having all of these in your arsenal when you start out because all are useful in certain situations and you will develop your own methods and preferences as you learn.

    • Photo adhesive squares – easy to use and essential and one of the most economical choices.
    • Glue stick – great for small embellishments that don’t have their own adhesive, also economical.
    • Tape runner – very convenient if you can find one that doesn’t jam constantly – I’m still looking!
    • Rolls of glue dots or glue lines – extremely convenient and useful, not the most economical choice but sometimes nothing else is right.
    • Double-sided tape – I use it a lot for making pockets and other situations where you need a flat, strong bond.
    • Glue pen – Good for extremely small paper items. I use one of these more in collage work than in scrapbooking but if you ever need to glue something tiny glue pens are a great way to apply a small amount of glue neatly.

    Other basic tools and supplies you will need to start scrapbooking:
    Scissors
    Ruler
    Scrap paper
    Bone folder
    Pencil
    Eraser
    Pencil sharpener
    Marker for writing captions
    Selection of solid color cardstock
    Selection of decorative patterned papers

    How to start your scrapbook

    1. Lay out a few blank pages on your work surface that are the same size as the finished pages you want to make. This is to help you visualize what your future pages will look like.

    2. Go through your photos and decide what order they should go in. Decide if they need cropping or trimming.

    3. Place your photos and any embellishments or memorabilia you want to use on two or three blank pages at a time. This is to get ideas for page layouts.

    4. When you plan your layout, don’t forget to leave space for captions or journaling.

    5. Make or prepare what you want to add on your page. For example, you might want to make a pocket to hold something special or make a frame for a photo out of colored paper. Take a blank page and start building your page from the “bottom up”. Use whatever adhesive is appropriate for each part. For example, photo squares are good for most photos and glue sticks or a tape runner work well for attaching a large piece of paper.

    6. If it helps in positioning things, you can make indicator lines on the paper with pencil then erase them later when you’re done with your page.

    Going to the next level

    If you get more serious about the hobby, these paper crafting supplies are really fun to use on scrapbook pages and give you a lot more creative options:
    Stickers
    Stencils
    Rubber stamps and rubber stamp ink pads
    Markers and colored pencils for coloring and drawing
    Die cuts and embellishments
    Paper punches
    Decorative paper tape (also called Washi tape or design tape)
    Journaling cards
    Rub-ons
    Decorative paper edging scissors
    Wet media such as paints and mists
    A paper cutting system that allows you to cut shapes – this can be some kind of template and blade system or a computer driven cutting system such as a Cricut.

    Paper crafting supplies are a bit of an investment in the beginning but keep in mind you can get a lot of use out of them by making other paper items such as journals, planners, calendars, handmade books, cards, holiday and party decorations, gift packaging and more.

    Here are some online resources that I have written or found to help with scrapbooking and other paper crafts:

    Scrapbooking Page Layout Sketches
    https://www.pinterest.com/chasenfratz/scrapbooking-page-sketches/

    Scrapbooking with Memorabilia
    http://www.chasenfratz.com/wp/resources-for-crafters/scrapbooking-with-memorabilia/

    Scrapbooking with Small Format Photos
    http://www.chasenfratz.com/wp/scrapbooking-with-small-format-photos/

    Mixing Different Paper Crafting Brands Together
    http://www.chasenfratz.com/wp/mixing-different-paper-crafting-brands-together/

    Planners, Journals, Albums, Scrapbooks and Handmade Books
    https://www.pinterest.com/chasenfratz/planners-journals-albums-scrapbooks-and-handmade-b/

    Art Journaling
    https://www.pinterest.com/chasenfratz/art-journaling/

    Examples of Pocket Scrapbooking
    https://www.pinterest.com/campfirechic/project-life-scrapbooking-inspiration/

    Scrap Gals Community
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/scrapgals/

    Scrap Gals Podcast
    http://www.thescrapgals.com/

    My teaching, demo and event schedule
    http://www.chasenfratz.com/wp/about/classes-and-events/

    Decorate a Bookmark With Paper, Fabric and Buttons

    Bookmark made from paper, fabric and buttonsMy bookmark tutorial has been posted on the Canvas Corp Brands Blog. I included a free downloadable PDF template with my tutorial. Enjoy!

    Read more:
    EMBELLISH A BOOKMARK BY HAND-SEWING FABRIC

    My Entry for the Canvas Corp Brands January Challenge

    I’m still new to the Canvas Corp Brands Creative Crew so I didn’t handle the entry process for the January challenge quite right and it’s not on their web page. But that’s ok, I’ll just put my entry here on my blog. The challenge was to make a project based on the prompt “Be Lazy” or “Be Lacy”. I decided to do a couple of scrapbook pages about kayaking for my contribution. Kayaking is often strenuous but there are opportunities for lazy moments when you float around on a lake eating a picnic lunch or let yourself drift downstream for awhile on a river. Almost every time I go floating I take a “foot selfie” to remind myself of how chilled out and relaxed I am on water. It makes the effort of transporting the kayak well worth it!

    2 page scrapbook layout of kayaking outings from last summer.
    Simple two-page scrapbook layout of kayaking outings from last summer. My fiance Tom is featured on the left hand page, my friend Jodie on the right.

    I do some of my scrapbooking in a memory planner. The pages shown here are 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches to fit within the memory planner format I’m currently using. I have a current planner that I carry around with me, and after the pages get used I transfer them to an “archive” volume. I periodically go back and scrapbook photo pages into the “archive” volume as I get time if I didn’t complete them while the pages were current. I use 7gypsies binding rings to assemble the archive volumes because it’s easy to open and close them and add pages as I get them done.

    The papers I used in this project include some selections from the 7gypsies Architextures collection and the Canvas Corp Natural Nautical collection. I enhanced the papers with some Tim Holtz design tape, a couple of brads and a couple of sequins.

    Here is where you can see the other challenge entries:
    JANUARY CHALLENGE “BE LAZY”

    Make St. Patrick’s Day Cards

    St. Patrick's Day Cards
    Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! Wish good luck and celebrate spring by making St. Patrick’s Day Cards!

    Supplies and Materials
    Cardstock and a variety of decorative papers in shades of green
    Downloadable templates “St. Patrick’s Day Card 1” and “St. Patrick’s Day Card 2”
    Scoring tool
    Tracing paper
    Chipboard (can be scrap – for making templates)
    Flower punch
    Small circle punch
    Paper flower embellishments
    Eyelets
    Eyelet setter
    Metal ruler
    Craft knife and blades (X-Acto or something similar)
    Cutting mat
    Pencil
    Eraser
    Rubber stamps (St. Patrick’s Day, appropriate greeting, Celtic designs, spirals)
    Stamping ink pads and re-inkers in the following colors: dark brown, shades of green
    Acrylic stamp mounting blocks
    Double-sided tape
    Paper cutter
    Awl or needle tool
    Small hole punch
    Scissors
    Decorative scissors
    Glue stick
    Masking tape
    Hammer
    Decorative brads
    Optional – buttons, white craft glue such as Turbo Tacky Glue, needle, thread

    The first part of the process for the pair of cards is to stamp out St. Patrick’s Day and Celtic motifs onto small pieces of scrap paper. Use stamping inks in various shades of green and dark brown. Mix in some neutrals if you want. You can make the backgrounds more interesting with the use of background stamps or techniques such as brayering.

    Once you have a quantity of stamped pieces finished and the ink is dry, gather them together with some scraps of paper in various shades of green. Make a collage by gluing these scraps down with a glue stick onto a 1/2 sheet of white cardstock. You can create interest by cutting the scraps into smaller pieces by tearing while using a ruler as a straight edge or by cutting apart with decorative scissors. Burnish your collage periodically with a bone folder under a piece of clean scrap paper so the glue has a nice tight seal. Set aside for now and let the glue dry.

    Collage made with scrap paper and paper pieces that I stamped with rubber stamps.
    Collage made with scrap paper and paper pieces that I stamped with rubber stamps.

    Directions for St. Patrick’s Day Card #1

    St. Patrick's Day Greeting Card

    1. Download and print out the template “St. Patrick’s Day Card #1”.

    2. Cut a 8.5 x 5.5″ size piece of card stock to use as the background of your card. Score it  and fold it in half.

    2. Trace the shamrock from the template onto the back of dark green decorative paper. Cut out the shamrock with scissors. If you want to make several cards, you can trace the shamrock onto chipboard and cut it out to use multiple times for tracing.

    3. Trace the half-leaf shape onto chipboard and cut out. Trace onto four different pieces of decorative paper in different shades of green. Instead of pre-made decorative paper you can use some parts of your collage if you want (if you do this be sure to leave at least a 3 7/8″ x 5 1/8″ sized piece intact to use on card #2). Glue the half petals in place as shown on the card sketch in the PDF file.

    4. Cut out a narrow strip (3/4″ wide) of light colored paper and stamp or glue a sentiment onto it. Glue this onto a slightly wider (1″ wide) paper strip. Glue to front of card and trim.

    5. Glue the shamrock down in place on the front of the card.

    6. Punch out a flower shape with a punch and glue down in center of shamrock.

    7. Punch out a small circle and glue in place on the strip near the bottom of the card.

    8. Punch two holes for eyelets in the center of where the two flower embellishments will go. You can use a small hole punch or a needle tool or awl to start the hole. If the hole is not large enough to accept the eyelet you can enlarge the hole with paintbrush handle or other handy tool.

    9. Push the eyelets through the holes and set with the eyelet setter.

    Variation – use buttons as embellishments instead of the paper flowers. Attach by gluing with white craft glue then further secure by sewing.

    Directions for St. Patrick’s Day Card #2

    St. Patrick's Day Greeting Card

    1. Download and print out the template “St. Patrick’s Day Card #2”.

    2. Cut a 8.5 x 5.5″ size piece of card stock to use as the background of your card, score it, and fold it in half.

    3. Cut out a 3.75 x 5″ size piece of dark green cardstock.

    4. Trace the shamrock from the template onto the back of the dark green cardstock. Cut out the shamrock with a craft knife. If you cut carefully, you can use the cutout to make another card. If you want to make several cards, you can save your first cutout and use it multiple times for tracing.

    5. Get your collage out and cut a 3 7/8″ x 5 1/8″ size piece out of it. Position your dark green cutout piece over it and place those on top of your folded cardstock card base. Make sure the three layers line up correctly. If you decide you want a sentiment or other embellishment in the lower left area where there is some space, now would be a good time to add it.

    6. Using the printed out template as a guide, poke holes in all three layers with an awl or needle tool.

    7. Push decorative brads through the holes and spread prongs on the back side. You’re done!

    Some of the rubber stamps and papers I used in this project are by 7gypsies by Canvas Corp Brands and Inkadinkado. The “Good Luck” stamp is by Carolyn Hasenfratz Design and the celtic and spiral stamps are hand carved by me.

    If you would like to make envelopes for these cards here is a template that will fit:
    http://www.limegreennews.com/documents/templates/envelope_template_rectangular.pdf

    Extra tip: If you have heart punches or stencils, you can make a three or four leaf clovers for yet more cards from three or four heart shapes!

    See my Pinterest site and past lesson plans for ideas and craft projects.
    https://www.pinterest.com/chasenfratz/
    http://www.limegreennews.com/lessons.html