Category Archives: Paper Crafts

Make a Storage Box Out of Recycled Mat Board

 

storage box out of recycled mat board

When matting artwork, it’s common to have a lot of mat board scraps left over. I had a number of scraps that were large enough to make small open top storage boxes. If you would like to make one similar, here is how I did it.

You will need:
5 square mat board pieces of equal size
An assortment of collage papers
An assortment of tools for decorating paper – I used stencils, rubber stamps, paint, printmaking ink, markers and colored pencils
Yes Paste
Clean scrap paper
Bone folder or Squeegee multipurpose tool
Old credit card or your favorite glue-spreading tool
Acrylic medium
Paint brush
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Metal Box Corners – they come in a package of 8 and you’ll need 4 corners per box
Pencil
Awl
Chunk of old wood
Metal corner braces
Old belts or strips of leather or faux leather
Metal brads

First take your five mat board pieces and decorate both sides with collage papers combined with the paper embellishing techniques of your choice. Use water resistant inks because you’ll be applying acrylic medium over your collages later. Yes Paste is my favorite glue for sticking down large pieces of paper that have to look flat and free of wrinkles. I apply the glue with a credit card to get a nice thin layer then after laying down the paper piece I’m gluing I put a clean piece of scrap paper on top and burnish with a bone folder or Squeegee tool to get a tight, flat seal.

While working on this project at Perennial, another member asked me where I get my paper ephemera. The short answer to that question is that I’ve been collecting papers since the year I first got turned on to making collages – 1985! A more involved answer is to suggest some of the following sources of interesting papers:

  • Old magazines and catalogs.
  • Is someone you know doing some major cleaning? Offer to help in exchange for keeping interesting papers. This is a good way to get old graphic design samples, newspapers, books, maps, photos, negatives, stamps, envelopes, tickets – all kinds of neat stuff.
  • Purchase some reproduction ephemera from a craft supplier.
  • Save your art and paper craft “failures” and experiments. Whenever you have extra paint or ink, add a little more embellishment to your scraps until you get something you like. Toward the end of this article are examples of some great results I got using this method – Fun With Stencils.
  • Check thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, flea markets, etc.
  • Shop a teachers resource recycling center like Leftovers, etc.
  • Make your own with any paper technique that you like, or a combination of techniques, such as rubber stamping, stenciling, painting, printing, making paste paper, rubbings, handmade paper, computer printouts, cyanotypes or drawing.
  • Use the decorative paper pads commonly sold for scrapbooking. There are designs for every taste and decorating style.

When you are satisfied with your designs, brush both sides of your mat board pieces with acrylic medium for durability and let dry.

Next start assembling your box from the bottom up, using the box corner hardware and the metal brads included in the package. Use a pencil to mark where the holes go and punch out the holes with an awl. An old chunk of wood is handy for protecting your work surface from the awl point. Be carful with the awl and aim it away from yourself while pressing down and through. Push brads through holes and spread the tines from the inside of the box to assemble the four bottom corners.

At this point the top four corners are loose and flapping so you’ll need something to stabilize them and keep your box shaped like a cube. At Perennial I rummaged through the spare hardware bins and found a couple of metal corner braces which worked wonderfully when attached with brass brads. There were only two available so I looked for something else for the other corners. You can buy metal corner braces at a hardware store and use them on all four top corners if you like.

Storage box with pieces of old belts on the corners
Storage box with pieces of old belts attached to some of the corners with metal brads

At Perennial there is a box of old belts and belts have holes! Idea! I selected some to cut down and use on the other corners. Attached with brads, they work well with the “grunge” look of my boxes. If you lack old belts, you can use a variety of materials that can be cut into strips and have holes poked in it – plastic from old lids, scraps of faux leather, scraps of real leather, thin metal – what do you have lying around that you want to try?

Mixing Different Paper Crafting Brands Together

Paper crafting supplies include things you use in scrapbooking, rubber stamping, journaling, card making, planners and more. Paper craft companies make coordinated lines of products that are designed to look great together. Recently I made samples for a promotion at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in which I used only products sold in their store. Within that criteria I did a little mixing of brands. I’m continuing to work on the journal prototype because I’m still having major fun with it. I’m developing some templates to help combine the Heidi Swapp journaling products I was demonstrating with making a custom planner. I’m bringing in more product that I already own from other brands. It’s challenging to get the different product lines to harmonize together but it’s satisfying and fun too. I’m getting some results that please me, anyway!

Heidi Swapp journaling pages and stickers.
In the center are some Heidi Swapp journaling pages and stickers. I picked out product from my stash that I thought might blend well. The Heidi Swap product line is pretty easy to blend because it includes both geometric and floral motifs. My layouts can go in either a traditional or modern direction – or I can attempt to blend the two as the Heidi Swapp designers have done. I looked for similarities in colors, shapes and patterns.
Samples of Journaling Page Layouts
Brands I mixed on these pages include Heidi Swapp, Tim Holtz, Project Life, Fiskars and DCWV. On the right side I made a pocket out of kraft card stock and a cut-down Project Life card, embellished with vellum paper, stickers and paper tape.
Journaling Page Layout Samples
Heidi Swapp journaling pages with Tim Holtz paper tape and miscellaneous papers cut with a hexagon punch by Creative Memories. Making some of the hexagons blank gives the design breathing room and also space for small stamps, stickers or writing later. The black binding rings are by 7gypsies.
Journaling Page Layout Samples
Again using Heidi Swapp journaling pages as a base, I found some harmony between a Project Life card and some Tim Holtz paper and paper tape. I want to go on a road trip now so I can write on these pages and add some photos!

Get Hands-On with Journaling

I hope you can join me for a demo this Saturday, March 18 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in Maplewood, Missouri. Try your hand at writing, lettering and embellishing a journal page. We’ll supply you with background paper, a rubber date stamp, stickers and 48 colors of gel pens for you to try out!

A hands-on opportunity to try out some fun products at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts
A hands-on opportunity to try out some fun products at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts

The samples I made will be on display and I’ll be demonstrating in the store while helping you out with your own designs. Take home a personalized page that you can put in a journal, a planner, a memory planner or a scrapbook.

The samples I created using paper, stickers and a rubber stamp by Heidi Swapp, accented with other products sold at JoAnn.
My samples showing journaling techniques with products by Heidi Swapp, accented with other products sold at JoAnn.

If you can’t make the demo in person, go to the JoAnn Facebook page on March 21 at 7:00 pm ET for a live presentation hosted by creativebug.

My New Planner Layout

Awhile ago I wrote about making a planner out of a sketchbook. This helps me keep track of my work because I can take notes and make sketches in the same book that is my planner. I try not to go anywhere without it! I have designed and purchased some rubber stamps to help me incorporate planner pages into my sketchbook.

Over the last several months I have been battling severe depression as the result of an abusive relationship. An ex-boyfriend gradually used emotional abuse techniques to persuade me to think there was something wrong with almost every part of what made me myself – my work, my hobbies, my goals in life, my family, my friends, my financial acuity, my physical appearance, my lifestyle, even how I packed for camping trips. Over time I internalized these criticisms and came to believe I wasn’t worth anything.

I’ve been fighting hard and using lots different tools to combat the depression. One reliable mood-lifter for me has been the acronym G.R.A.P.E.S. Here is what each letter stands for.

  • Being Gentle with yourself
  • Relaxation
  • Achievement
  • Pleasure
  • Exercise
  • Social

I read on a depression support web site that you should try to incorporate at least one activity each day that fits into each of the six letters in G.R.A.P.E.S. I’ve come a long way since I counted making it through a day of work in the Achievement category, but that’s how it was for quite awhile.

I’m doing much better now and surrounding myself with people who support me and seem to think I’m ok the way I am. I want to keep maintaining my progress so I have redesigned my planner page to remind me to schedule activities covered by G.R.A.P.E.S. I also included a line to check them off to track my progress.

Planner page with rubber stamps and letter stickers

On the page shown, the left column is for items that should be done some time during the week. The right column is for appointments and scheduling. I used letter stickers to spell “G.R.A.P.E.S.” at the top. The number stamps and ruled line stamp are by 7gypsies and the month of the year and day of the week stamps are by my own Carolyn’s Stamp Store.

Lots of Activities at the Maplewood, MO JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts Store

I’ve been having lots of fun and keeping busy since I joined the teaching team at the JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts store in the Deer Creek Shopping Center in Maplewood, MO. Last weekend we were having a rubber stamping and paper sale, so I came in to demonstrate how to make greeting cards with rubber stamps. On my demo table I also showed some products that are good for card-making and in the shadow box are samples of upcoming classes that I will be teaching. My upcoming classes include Kid’s Hand Sewn Initial Letter, Kid’s Beaded Wish Bracelets, Make an Art Journal, Easy Button Bracelet and Kid’s Hand Sewn Bee Art. Go to my Classes and Events page for my schedule of classes and demos.

Rubber stamps, making parts for greeting cards, paper crafting products and upcoming classes.
Rubber stamps, making parts for greeting cards, paper crafting products and upcoming classes.

My own sewing skills can always use improving, so I took the Comfy Pants class from instructor Miss Kate. I had a great time and made my first ever handmade clothing item (unless you count the Barbie doll clothes I made when I was young). I did a lot of sewing when I was a kid but I was afraid to use a sewing machine and did not learn how until I was around 40 years old. I have done some sewing on a machine but I sewed simple things made from my own patterns such as table runners, scarves, fabric pouches, laundry bags, pillows and the like. Making clothing from a commercial pattern was something I had never done before and I’m thrilled to learn how to take my sewing to the next level! Kate knows a ton of things about making high-end clothing or simple clothing like my new Route 66 themed pajama pants!

My pants on the left, and on the right Miss Kate examines my stitching to make sure it's ok.
My pants on the left, and on the right Miss Kate examines my stitching to make sure it’s ok.

I hope you can join myself, Miss Kate and the other teachers at our Open House this weekend!

Teacher Open House
Date: February 11 and 12, 2017
Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
3200 Laclede Station Rd.
St. Louis, MO, 63143
Join myself and other members of the teaching team at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts for an open house! See what projects we’re working on and find out about upcoming classes.

Make Four Different Valentine Cards

I have four free templates you can download to make these card designs!

Tool and Supply List:

Cardstock
Clean scrap paper
Bone folder
Metal ruler
Craft knife (X-Acto or something similar)
Palette (could be a real ink palette or plastic lid, piece of freezer paper, etc.)
Cutting mat
Pencil
Eraser
Rubber stamps (Valentine themed, postal themed, alphabet stamps)
Stamping ink pads and re-inkers in the following colors: Black, dark brown, rust brown, red, lt. ochre, hot pink, lt. gray, lt. tan
Acrylic stamp mounting blocks
Scoring tool
Double-sided tape
Paper cutter
Heart shaped punches
Alphabet stencil (optional)
Markers (optional)
Colored pencils (optional)
Standard hole punch
Scissors
Decorative scissors with postage stamp perforation pattern or deckle edge pattern
Glue stick
Masking tape
Unused white plastic eraser with flat sides (like Magic Rub)
Small heart cookie cutter (for Card 4) or heart punch or stencil

vcard_4_web

Card 1 – Faux Postage Valentine

    • Download template “Faux Postage Valentine” and print out on cardstock if you are able, otherwise print on text-weight paper.http://www.carolynsstampstore.com/catalog/members/valentines_2016_1.pdf
    • Cut out the two viewfinders and if you printed out the template on text-weight paper laminate to scrap cardstock or chipboard with a glue stick for durability. Cut out the two centers and keep for tracing.
    • stamped_strips_webStamp background stamps in a variety of light to medium colors on light colored papers. For my samples I used inks in the neutral range on pastel and neutral papers.
    • Use the viewfinder labeled “Viewfinder for inner piece” and trace in pencil on the backs of your stamped pieces a number of rectangles for the inner pieces. Make more than you need in case you make any stamping mistakes and need extras. Cut out pieces.


inner_pieces_web

    • Choose ink colors for the edges of the inner pieces. Squirt a little ink onto a palette and use your flat-sided eraser to apply to all the edges. A color of medium intensity or darkness is a good choice.
    • Next we will be adding the letters L, O, V, and E to these pieces. An easy way is to stamp the letters with alphabet stamps in black.
    • A variation is to stamp a plain heart stamp in red and pink in the pieces first then stamp a smaller alphabet set in black. Make sure the heart ink is dry first before stamping the letters or the ink may blur (see below).


vcard_1_web

    • Another option if you want to use a smaller stamp set is to stamp hearts in brown then glue on heart shaped punch-outs that have been stamped with letters in black (see below).

vcard_2_web

    • If you have an alphabet stencil in the right size range you could also add the letters by tracing with marker and coloring in with marker and colored pencil. Markers can make some rubber stamp inks smear so test first before coloring (see below).

vcard_3_web

  • Next select some patterned papers that would make good edges for your lettered pieces. This is a good way to use up some scraps if you have them in harmonious colors. Use the viewfinder labeled “Viewfinder for edge piece” and trace in the window in pencil on the backs of your patterned papers. cut out an assortment of rectangles with patterned scissors – stamp perforation and deckle edge patterns are particularly effective for simulating the look of a postage stamp. See what inner pieces look best on which outer pieces and glue down when you’ve made your choices.
  • Arrange your letter pieces on a piece of scrap paper and stamp some accents with small stamps that reinforce the postal and Valentine themes.
  • Choose a piece of cardstock that would make a good ground for your card and cut it into an 8″ x 5.25″ piece. Score it down the middle and fold in half. Flatten well with bone folder.
  • Choose a background stamp that is about 3″ wide and stamp it on the front of the card at an angle according to the sketch. If you don’t have a suitable background stamp you can glue on a piece of decorative paper instead.
  • Cut a 1″ wide strip of light colored paper with decorative scissors and glue it across the card front according to the sketch. Trim off the edges.
  • Glue down letter pieces on front of card as indicated on sketch.
  • Stamp a faux postmark in a dark color at the upper right, or a different stamp that fits the theme if you don’t have a postmark stamp.
  • If you like, stamp a credit stamp on the back of the card.

Card 2 – Valentine With Three Postal Collages

trimmed_card2_web

  • Download and print out template.
    http://www.carolynsstampstore.com/catalog/members/valentines_2016_2.pdf
  • Cut out and make viewfinders as you did for the first card.
  • tag_bg_webTake half of an 8.5 x 11 piece of cardstock and stamp all over in a light neutral color with stamp that fits a Valentine or postal theme.
  • Glue down four real Love themed postage stamps. If you don’t have any real stamps you can make some Valentine Faux Postage or use Valentine themed stickers. Some faux postage is here: http://www.chasenfratz.com/wp/valentine-faux-postage/
  • Punch eight small hearts out of variety of paper scraps in harmonious colors and glue down.
  • tag_collage_bg_webStamp a variety of postal and Valentine themed stamps in a medium color such as rust brown. This type of collage can be used in a variety of projects so while you have all the parts out you might want to make several collages.
  • Use viewfinder to choose and cut three pieces (1.25 x 1.5 in) out of your collage.
  • Glue these onto three pieces of paper (1.5 x 1.75) cut out with decorative scissors.
  • Stamp edges in a dark color with the flat sided eraser.
  • Highlight with postal themed stamps in a dark color.
  • Choose a piece of cardstock that would make a good ground for your card and cut it into an 8″ x 5.25″ piece. Score it down the middle and fold in half. Flatten well with bone folder.
  • Glue a 5.5 in x 2.25 in piece of decorative paper across the front of the card.
  • Stamp a border accent stamp above and below the paper strip. You could also use a sticker or a rub-on.
  • Glue your collages down.
  • Stamp credit stamp on the back if you want to.

Card 3 – Valentine Tag Card

Valentine Card by Carolyn Hasenfratz

  • Download and print out template.
    http://www.carolynsstampstore.com/catalog/members/valentines_2016_3.pdf
  • Cut out tag and envelope templates.
  • Trace tag onto back of collage and cut out tag piece. Punch a hole where indicated.
  • threetags_webStamp edges of tag with dark colored ink with a flat eraser on both front and back of tag.
  • Stamp around hole in a dark color with small heart stamp or a circle stamp if you have one.

  • iloveyou_tag_webStamp a light colored heart on the back of the tag followed by a sentiment in a dark color.
  • Tie a piece of string or ribbon onto tag.
  • Choose a piece of cardstock that would make a good ground for your card and cut it into an 8″ x 5.25″ piece. Score it down the middle and fold in half. Flatten well with bone folder.
  • Cut a 1″ strip of decorative paper and glue it down the left side according to sketch. On this strip or any of the other paper strips you can use decorative scissors if you want to.
  • Cut out a wider strip of contrasting paper and glue it down at an angle across the top of the card.
  • Cut out another 1″ wide strip in a light color and stamp a sentiment on it. When ink is dry, glue in the middle of the wider angled strip.
  • Use pocket template to trace on decorative paper and cut out. Trim if needed and burnish glued pieces well.
  • Fold down flaps on pocket.
  • Trace the small heart cookie cutter with pencil (or use a punch or a stencil) and cut a small heart shape out of the front of the pocket.
  • Put double-sided tape onto flaps, trim if needed. Press pocket down on the front of the card. Burnish with bone folder with a piece of clean scrap paper between.
  • Stamp the back of the card with a credit stamp if you want to.
  • Slide tag into pocket.

Card 4 – Collaged Heart Card

vertical_card_4

  • Download and print out template.
    http://www.carolynsstampstore.com/catalog/members/valentines_2016_4.pdf
  • Cut out the two hearts on page 2 to use as templates.
  • Make a collage of Valentine themed paper scraps on cardstock.
  • Cut a heart shaped piece out of your collage using the inner smaller heart on the template as a guide.
  • Choose a piece of cardstock that would make a good ground for your card and cut it into an 8″ x 5.25″ piece. Score it down the middle and fold in half. Flatten well with bone folder.
  • Choose a piece of decorative paper that contrasts well with your collage and the background of your card. Trace around the larger heart and cut out.
  • Glue the smaller heart onto the larger heart and glue all to the front of the card.
  • Trim card and stamp the back of the card with a credit stamp if you want to.

My Handmade Greeting Cards are Available at Schnarr’s in Ladue

Carolyn's cards on the rack at Schnarr's Ladue
Carolyn’s cards on the rack at Schnarr’s Ladue

The Schnarr’s Hardware store at 9800 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63124 has a very active shipping department that does UPS shipping and sells a selection of shipping supplies. Greeting cards are also offered and I have some of my own cards on the rack there for sale now. They are all handmade and blank inside. The current selections include cards for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, as well as Birthday, Thank You, and multiple occasion cards. I decorated the cards with a variety of paper craft techniques including collage, stenciling and rubber stamping.

Some of my cards are also available with other handcrafts in my online store in the Handmade by Carolyn section.

Introduction to Letterboxing

Letterboxing logbook and stamp
Letterboxing logbook and stamp

What is Letterboxing? It’s a fun outdoor hobby that is kind of like a lower-tech version of Geocaching. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly accessible places (like parks) and distribute clues to finding the box in printed catalogs, on one of several web sites, or by word of mouth. Individual letterboxes contain a notebook and a rubber stamp, preferably hand carved or custom made. Finders make an imprint of the letterbox’s stamp in their personal notebook, and leave an impression of their personal signature stamp on the letterbox’s “visitors’ book” or “logbook” — as proof of having found the box and letting other letterboxers know who has visited. Many letterboxers keep careful track of their “find count”. Letterboxing is a creative way to enjoy the outdoors!

In this class you’ll get introduced to the basics of the hobby and learn to make two of the items that participants use – a hand-carved rubber stamp and a handmade log book. The skills you will learn while making these items can be used in a lot of other craft pursuits, such as art journaling, card making, scrapbooking, printmaking and much more.

Each class attendee will receive a printout with a written tutorial for that class so if you forget anything we learned you can refer back to it later. All materials are included in the class price.

You will have time for lunch and there are lots of good places to eat or pick up food in downtown Maplewood.

NEW! At each class, there will be at least one door prize randomly awarded to an attendee – probably a craft supply item of some type that relates to the theme of the class. Past prizes have included a necklace kit, a polymer clay frame kit and a craft stencil. That’s my way of saying thank you for coming!

What to bring
It’s not necessary to bring anything but it’s a good idea to wear old clothes in case you get any ink on you. You can bring or buy snacks or lunch. We have a refrigerator for storing food.

What will be provided
I will provide rubber carving material, carving tools to borrow, rubber stamping ink pads to borrow, paper and cardstock to make your logbook and all other materials needed to complete the project during class. Extra supplies will be available to purchase if you want to do more work on your own.

Introduction to Letterboxing
Date: July 16, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Studio:art, 7403 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO
More information and registration: Class Signup

Image Transfers on Wood Jewelry

Image Transfers on Wood Jewelry
Image Transfers on Wood Jewelry

Class Info
Make amazing lightweight pendants by transferring found images onto wood. You will be supplied with the materials to make four pendants and two necklaces (one chain and one cord) for wearing your interchangeable pendants. You will learn the basics of transferring images with gel medium and attaching a clasp to a cord necklace.

Each class attendee will receive a printout with a written tutorial for that class so if you forget anything we learned you can refer back to it later. Jewelry tools will be available to borrow during the class and some tools and supplies will be available to purchase if you want to continue working on your own.

The class time is kind of long but the pace won’t be hectic – there will be breaks while we wait for things to dry. You will have time for lunch and there are lots of good places to eat or pick up food in downtown Maplewood.

NEW! At each class, there will be at least one door prize randomly awarded to an attendee – probably a craft supply item of some type that relates to the theme of the class. Past prizes have included a necklace kit, a polymer clay frame kit and a craft stencil. That’s my way of saying thank you for coming!

What to bring
It’s not necessary to bring anything but it’s a good idea to wear old clothes in case there is a paint mishap. You can bring or buy snacks or lunch. We have a refrigerator for storing food.

What will be provided
I will provide wood pendant blanks, paint, gel medium, images, findings and parts for four pendants and two necklaces, tools to borrow during class.

Image Transfers on Wood Jewelry
Date: July 2, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Studio:art, 7403 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO
More information and registration: Class Signup

Make a Seed Packet Bouquet

A bouquet of seed packets

Here is a way to give a bouquet of flowers that is a little different from the usual! Mount seed packets on skewers in a vase for a festive gift. Such arrangements can also be used for table centerpieces or party favors.

Tools and Materials

Packets of seeds, either purchased or handmade

Seed packet holder templates
Laminating sheets (optional)
Scissors
Cardstock
Cutting mat
X-acto or craft knife
Metal ruler
Pencil
Double-sided tape
Small hole punch
Wood skewers (available in grocery stores)
Decorative paper flowers
Needle tool or awl
Decorative flower-shaped brads

1. Download the template Seed Packet Holders. It includes two holder templates. Cut out and if you like, laminate for durability.

2. Use the template that is the correct size for your seed packet and cut out a piece of card stock of a color that is harmonious with your seed packet. Fold it in half.

3. Lay the holder piece flat on your cutting mat and place the template over it. Cut four diagonal slits through both your template and the front of the seed packet holder. When you use the template again, if you like you can draw lines through it with a pencil to indicate where to cut on the front of the holder.

4. Push a wooden skewer through the back of the holder so that the blunt end of the skewer ends up inside the holder butted up against the fold. Tape in place.

5. Slip your seed packet into the front of the holder and poke a hole with a needle tool or awl in the holder piece at each corner of the seed packet.

6. Take four small paper flowers in colors that go well with your seed packet and position them inside four larger paper flowers. Poke a decorative brad through each flower to make a flower center. Push the brads through the holes in each corner and fold brads over on the back. If you can use the brad tines to help hold the seed packet in place as you spread them that is a bonus.

7. Put double sided tape along the sides and bottom inside your holder. Fold the front down and press halves together.

8. Arrange your packets in a vase. You’re done!