Tag Archives: rubber stamps

Make Gift Tags From Recycled Greeting Cards

Two ways of making gift tags from paper scraps and free downloadable files that I’ve prepared. Rubber stamp credits for left image: “Love” and tiny heart by CarolynHDesign, butterfly and notebook texture by 7Gypsies, “celebrate” by Making Memories. Right image: “You are loved”, flower and butterfly by Fiskars, decorative border by CarolynHDesign.

Here is another entry in a series of articles I’m working on about things you can make from old greeting cards and paper scraps. Tags are a useful thing to make and keep on hand for gift giving and gift presentation. Great presentation is one of the best parts of getting a gift – some thought and care makes a gift personal and special.

Instructions – Method 1

Gift Tags Set 1

Download and print out the template Gift Tags Set 1. Loosely cut out the tag shapes from the template and with the glue stick glue them down to the backs of parts of old greeting cards. Burnish well with a bone folder for a tight seal. To keep surfaces clean and to prevent ink and toner from getting onto surfaces, place the pieces you burnish between two pieces of clean scrap paper.

Trim around the outer edge of the tags to cut out. Now you have a tag with To: and From: printed on one side and a design or a plain color on the other, depending on what was on the recycled card.

After trimming. Some of the tags are interesting as they are. Most will need some more decoration.

Add strips of decorative paper to the sides of the the tags that need more decoration.

Give the edges of both sides of the tags a decorative treatment, with rubber stamps and/or paint markers.

Now they are done and you can write them out and tie them to the package with ribbon or twine.

Instructions – Method 2

Cut a bunch of tag shapes out of scrap cardstock and greeting card parts. If you think you will make a lot of tags, you might find it helpful to make yourself a set of templates for tracing tag shapes out of scrap chipboard or other thick paper scraps.

Here are tag templates I made for myself. Whenever I want to make tags, I trace around these onto scrap cardstock and old greeting cards. That gives me a supply of bases for adding embellishments.

Download and print out the To and From Labels onto nice paper.

Tear the To and From sections out, using a straight edge like a metal ruler as a guide.

Glue the To and From sections torn from the printed paper onto the backs of the tags.

Add decorative paper scraps around the To and From and trim with a scissors.

Decorate the other side of the tag if needed.

Stamping can be kind of time-consuming. A good shortcut to try when adding visual texture and interest is to stamp the edges of several tags at once by placing them next to each other on the work surface.
If either side of the tags looked too bare, I added rubber stamp markings where I thought they were needed.
Here are some tags with a Christmas theme.

Paper Art and Crafting Technique – Making Templates From Chipboard

Directly above is a faux postage stamp sheet collage I started almost a year ago. Here is how it began. I was sorting through some old papers and I found two computer printouts that another artist, nonlocal variable, had sent to me as mail art a long time ago. The printouts were of faux postage designs featuring computer manipulated photos of Ray Johnson – an artist who is considered by many to have been the founder of the modern mail art movement. Ray Johnson is the subject of a lot of mail art projects. I participated in one such project myself in the fall of 2019. I also featured some pictures of Ray Johnson in my #12daysoftomsbeard art project because when my husband Tom is clean shaven, he looks so much like Ray Johnson that when I was working on the mail art project, Tom thought at first glance that I was using pictures of him!

In the same stack of old papers, I found an advertising booklet that had black and white portraits similar in size to the Ray Johnson portraits in the old printouts. At least they were close enough in size to possibly be used together in a faux postage design. I took a faux postage base I made a long time ago and use a lot and started laying down the portrait pictures on it to get ideas.

I originally had the idea to put the smaller portraits inside silhouettes of the Ray Johnson images and alternate the two on the stamp sheets. I made templates from scrap chipboard to help me cut multiple silhouettes and negatives of silhouettes from colorful paper scraps to play around with. I ended up saving the smaller black and white portraits for a future project and I kept the Ray Johnson images for this set of stamp sheets.

When I make chipboard templates for a collage or other project, I keep them in folders named after the project they were made for so if I want to I can use them over and over for related art projects. If I’m really turned on by the designs, I am likely to use the templates many times. I also made a bunch of rectangle templates to go with my faux postage stamp background, using tracing paper as an aid to finding which piece goes where on the collage. I numbered the chipboard pieces and their position on the tracing paper to help me get organized the next time I use the templates.

I arranged the different colored small rectangles on my collage sheets where I wanted them. I glued on the Ray Johnson images, some miscellaneous found images, and used black permanent Sharpie markers and stencils to draw on some bold designs in black marker. I printed out postage stamp related words, phrases and images with black permanent stamping ink onto white blank sticker paper, cut them out and stuck them on my collages to make them look even more like sheets of imaginary stamps.

I thought they needed more texture to look finished so I used freehand drawing plus stencils again to apply marks with paint markers and colored pencils. The final marks I applied were a bit of colored pencil outlining the white sticker pieces to make them look more integrated with the whole.

Here are the commercial stencils I used in the project. They were designed by the Crafter’s Workshop company:

Mini Patterns

Mini Shape Landscape

Mini X Trail

Mini Rows of Lines

I probably will display the resulting “stamp” sheets as framed collages some time in the future. I’ve scanned them into the computer where they will be reduced to a smaller size so that they look more like real postage stamps. Then I’ll print out and distribute the finished stamp sheets to some other mail artists. Many mail artists collect faux postage as art or use the resulting stamps as part of another piece of mail artwork.

Using paint as a background for journaling pages

I recently made some abstract painted backgrounds for a class I’m going to be teaching at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts. I will be demonstrating how to make mixed media pages for journaling with acrylic paint, watercolor paint, assorted markers and Fiskars gel pens. I embellished my sample pages further with decorative scrapbooking paper, stickers, paper tape and rubber stamps. The binding rings I used in these samples are by 7gypsies.

On the left is one of the pages I painted with acrylic paint using a water wash technique. Besides some painted paper scraps, on the right I also used some scrapbooking paper, decorative paper tape, and a word from the rubber stamp set “B Journal Stamps” by Teresa Collins.

I emphasized a paint splotch with a die-cut circle embellished with gel pen doodling. On the right side page I used a couple of Heidi Swap stickers over some doodled circles and small die-cut circles. The paper patterns and colors in the paper pad The Everyday Essentials Stack by DCWV blend really well with the painted backgrounds so I used a lot of designs from that stack in this project.

Product used on these pages: markers, gel pens, Heidi Swapp stickers, punched out paper shapes, Everyday Essentials paper, Mrs. Sparkle & Co. planner stamps.

Product used on these pages: translucent vellum scrapbooking paper with gold designs, Heidi Swapp Stickers, B Journal Stamps, markers and Everyday Essentials paper.

Product used on these pages: markers, B Journal Stamps, paper tape.

Product used on these pages: Everyday Essentials paper, B Journal Stamps, paper tape, punched out paper circles, markers.

Product used on these pages: Mrs. Sparkle & Co. planner stamps, paper tape, Heidi Swapp Sticker, a sheet from the stack Heidi Swapp Memory Planner Journaling Pages, punched out card stock circles.

Product used on these pages: B Journal Stamps, Everyday Essentials paper, markers, Heidi Swapp sticker, a cut up Heidi Swapp journaling page, punched out circles.

Product used on these pages: Punched out circles, a cut down Heidi Swapp journaling page and sticker, B Journal Stamps, Mrs. Sparkle & Co. planner stamps, metallic paper tape, markers, Everyday Essentials paper.

Product used on these pages: Everyday Essentials paper, gel pens, markers, translucent vellum paper with metallic designs, Mrs. Sparkle & Co. planner stamps, punched out circles, B Journal Stamps, paper tape Heidi Swapp stickers..

I hope these samples inspire you to take a class with JoAnn or experiment with mixed media journal and planner pages on your own!

See these Pinterest Boards for more ideas:

Planners, Journals, Albums, Scrapbooks and Handmade Books

Art Journaling

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.

A Road Trip Journal for Dad – Part 2

For this past Father’s Day I made my Dad a blank 6 x 6 journal for a trip we took to Toronto and New York City. Dad wrote notes about our activities in the journal during the trip and we are slowly filling the book in with photos. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite layouts as we go.

Because the pages are 6 x 6 inches, I’m using a smaller than normal photo format. Using Photoshop, I am making 4 x 6 inch photo montages that I am having printed at a local drug store. I cut the prints apart and end up with images that are small enough to fit several on a 6 x 6 page. We took a LOT of photos and I’m adding a lot of embellishments, so this book will probably eventually turn into several books.

Two page spread of 6 x 6 scrapbook pages that use discarded photo negatives as a decorative accent.
Two-page spread of 6 x 6 scrapbook pages that use discarded photo negatives as a decorative accent.

A client of mine threw out a bunch of old photos and negatives, so I saved some of the interesting ones to use in mixed-media artwork. The tiny negatives shown above have nothing to do with the subject matter of these two pages shown here but they are so small you can’t tell and I was intrigued by them as a design element. I decided to include some on these pages attached by tiny brads.

To unify the look of the pages, I downloaded some free digistamps and altered them into a frame graphic which fit my printed photos. I had the frames printed out on clear transparency film and layered the film over my photos with more of the brads. The “Beautiful” stamp and the decorative papers I used are from 7gypsies and the other rubber stamps are from my own Carolyn’s Stamp Store collection.

Links to some of the products I used:

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Mini Fasteners

Months of the Year Rubber Stamps

Photo Caption Word Stamps for Road Trips

Year Numbers Stamps 2

Using My Sketchbook as a Planner

Last night I listened to a really fun and informative podcast by The Scrap Gals on the topic of Memory Planners – using a  planner to help stay organized and also save as a scrapbook-like keepsake with photos, decorative papers and all kinds of other fun things that we associate with scrapbooking. I’ve saved old planners or calendars on occasion because the records in them really bring back vivid memories. Memory planners are a really great idea but I don’t anticipate having the kind of time to exploit the idea to the fullest.

One idea on the podcast that really had me intrigued was the idea of combining an art journal with a planner. This got me thinking. I have kept sketchbooks since 1985 and I’ve saved all of them. They have a lot of thumbnail sketches and notes about future projects in them, and occasionally other things that get in there because it’s the handiest blank paper around – supply lists, to-do lists, hours that I’ve worked for various clients to be transferred to electronic records later, web site notes, class notes, things like that.

A sketchbook could incorporate aspects of a planner. I have rubber stamps in my Carolyn’s Stamp Store collection with months, years, and days of the week – designed for memory crafts, but adaptable for making a planner too. I also have several sets of letter and number rubber stamps and stencils from other companies, some are even vintage. Along with my rubber stamps, I got out a pencil and ruler and started playing around with page layouts.

First page layout experiment - two weeks per page
First page layout experiment – two weeks per page

I used the wall calendar that I keep in my office as a reference and filled in the first two weeks. On this first attempt I tried to include 14 days per 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook page.  Some good things were happening, but I decided that I needed more room for each day. As a result I came up with this second layout:

One week per page with To Do list on the side
One week per page with To Do list on the side

This is the layout I’m going to stick with for awhile.  The month, day and year stamps are from my own Carolyn’s Stamp Store. The large numbers are from ‘Lil Davis Designs and the pointing hand and ruled lines stamp are from 7gypsies. A page like this is quick to throw together. My stamping got a little sloppy there on the numbers but this is pretty much for my eyes only so it’s not a big deal. My plan is to add a new week as needed wherever the next blank page happens to fall in my sketchbook. I’ll write in things like work schedules and appointments and also make a brief note about what I did that day. I went through my rubber stamp collection and picked out ones I thought suitable for journaling and put them all together in a bin with the inks I used on this page so they’ll be handy when I need them.

I’m looking forward to this new way of getting organized and recording my activities. When this sketchbook is full, I may switch to a 3-ring binder and put 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of drawing paper in it, with the flexibility of adding additional pages wherever I want of any kind of paper or cardstock if I want to expand the memory aspect of the planner/sketchbook combo.