Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to Make a Baby Bouquet

For my niece's baby shower, I made this adorable baby bouquet. The "flowers" are baby bibs rolled to look like flower buds! It's a nice alternative to the diaper cake. When I first saw photos of these, I knew I wanted to make one. There are several online stores that sell a completed version; just search on google for baby bouquets. Making your own isn't too hard either. Here are the steps:




STEP 1: Choose your materials




1. a container
2. small baby items like socks, bibs, washclothes, or onesies
3. silk flowers
4. a rattle or teether for embellishment
5. rubber bands
6. tissue paper





STEP 2: build the base



I bought a bath set with a hooded towel and washcloth. I folded the towel and placed it in the bottom of the container.















STEP 3: roll your flower buds




You want to use some small item to roll your flowers. The bigger the item, the harder this is to do. I used 7 terry cloth bibs to make the flowers. Fold a bib in half.




STEP 4:



Fold in half again.















STEP 5:





Begin rolling the bib to make the flower bud. It doesn't have to be exactly perfect - real flowers aren't perfect either.













STEP 6:



Secure the bottom of the rolled bib with a rubber band.























This is what it should look like when done.
























STEP 7: Placement of flowers







Place all of the flowers in your container.


















STEP 8: Finishing touches




To finish your bouquet, add in silk flowers, the tissue paper, and I added 2 teethers as well.

The tag lists all the baby items in the bouquet. I printed the list out on cardstock and ran it through my cuttlebug using a scalloped circle die.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Glitter Bird Card Kit from Martha Stewart

I found these card kits by Martha Stewart at Walmart. From the package photo I wasn't all that impressed with it. I thought the cards looked a little boring, but the kit was marked down to $2. I figured that the cards and envelopes alone were worth that price. So I bought 2 kits. Each kit included 4 cards, 4 envelopes, 5 small bottles of glitter, and bird cutouts. The finished product is much prettier than the package leads you to believe. In one evening, my friend and I created 4 cards each. We used the glitter provided, but used our own color design on the birds, even mixing some the glitter colors together for a different effect. We also added patterened paper behind the birds to jazz them up a bit. Other than having glitter go EVERYWHERE, this was a fun project. I think our finished cards are quite lovely.




Robyn's Cards












Erin's Cards

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Paper Bag Puppets

In looking for "boy" craft projects for my nephew (which is not easy by the way), I found these puppet kits at Walmart, on clearance for $1.00 each! Got to love that. All the pieces came already cut and ready to assemble. My nephew is three. I thought for $1.00 I would try it and figured he would rip them to shreds. But he didn't. He needed help with gluing a few of the pieces, but overall did a pretty good job and he actually played with them instead of tearing them up! A great afternoon project.

I did find a couple of websites that give instructions on how to put together your own paper bag puppets. Give them a look.


Martha Stewart paper bag animals


Enchanted Learning paper bag puppets


ABC Teach puppets

Monday, October 5, 2009

Puzzle Maker

I just purchased this nifty little gadget. You can take any photo and turn it into a puzzle! You adhere a photo to a foam backing. Then punch out each piece. I was pleased with the ease of which this worked. I originally thought it would be cool to make puzzles for my 3-year old nephew. But he was more fascinated with the actual punch then the finished product! Another idea is to make party invitations into puzzles and mail them disassembled. The recepient would have to put the puzzle together to read the message. The puzzle punch is made by Ecstasy Crafts.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rose petal votive candle holder



This is a cute little rose petal candle holder you can make out of felt rose petals. Here is what you do:

Materials needed:
Felt rose petals (or silk ones would be just as good)
Glass votive holders
Hot glue gun / glue sticks
General purpose craft glue

Instructions:
1. Start by gluing individual rose petals to the botton of the glass votive in a circular pattern.
2. Keep adding petals until you reach the desired width. This creates a base to work from.
3. Then add petals in a circular pattern on top of the base, working your way up the glass holder. Hot glue the petals to each other - not to the glass. Be careful not to glue the petals too close to the top. You don't want them to catch on fire when the candle is lit!
4. Once you have glued all the petals, carefully peel the entire rose petal holder off the bottom of the glass holder. Using a general purpose craft glue, place a generous amount in the bottom on the rose petal holder and place it back on the bottom of the glass holder. The reason for this is that once you light the candle, the hot glue will not hold the petals to the glass due to the heat of the flame.
5. Place your choice of any votive candle inside and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Introduction to Digital Scrapbooking

Have you thought you would like to try Digital Scrapbooking, but think it’s too complicated or too expensive? Getting started is not as intimidating as you may think.

When you create a digital scrapbooking layout or image, you do it in much the same way that you would with traditional scrapbooking, in that you layer papers and elements on top of one another. Each paper, photo, or embellishment exists on its own layer in your document, and you can reposition them at your discretion.

It’s easy to get started and you don’t have to invest any money. You can download a free image and photo editing software at www.paint.net. It features an intuitive user interface with support for layers and special effects, along with a wide variety of useful photo editing tools. Don’t worry if your not very computer savvy, they have tutorials to guide you. Did I mention that the best part is it’s FREE?

There are many sites that also offer free digital kits and ready-made pages to download. Take a look at www.digifree.blogspot.com/ or www.digiscrapdepot.com/freebies.

You can choose to print your finished pages, post them to a website for family and friends to see, display in a digital frame or use them as screensavers. Digital scrapbooking is especially useful if you want to create the same album for several people as gifts. You create the first album, save it, and then print as many as you need.

Even if you don’t want to create an entire layout digitally, you can use the papers and elements separately and print them out to add to your traditional paper scrapbooking.

Here are a couple of my layouts using free quick page templates. Using quick pages takes very little time.


Follow these steps:
1) Choose your template to download
2) Open the template in an image software program such as the free program I mentioned or Adobe Photoshop.
3) Enlarge image to 12x12.
4) Insert photo of your choice and place/layer behind the template.
5) Save file under a new name.
6) Post, email, or print.

Another fun alternative are scrapbook services such as Smilebox. They have hundreds of professional designed page layouts for you to choose from. You can sign up for free and then simply drag & drop your photos or videos into a design. You also have the option of adding music, captions, and embellishments. Email your creation or post it to Facebook, MySpace, or blog for free!

Try these free scrapbooking alternatives and see if digital scrapbooking is for you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beans, Beans, Beans!

I haven't had much time for crafting lately. I've been neck high in canning beans! It's sort of a tradition at this time of year for our family. I'm the official bean snapper and my mom cans as much as possible. Canning food is becoming popular again as food prices have increased.

Canning is economical. The same equipment—including canning jars—can be used year after year. Only lids must be purchased new each canning season.


Canning lets you savor favorite foods all year, including out-of-season and homegrown, organic goodies.

It beats freezing: stored canned goods don’t spoil when the power goes off. Most frozen foods claim a one-year life expectancy. But with only slight decline in looks and flavor, canned items can last for two to three years or more.

If you want to give canning a try, check out the following websites:

http://foodsafety.psu.edu/canningguide.html

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/

http://www.freshpreserving.com/ -- there are videos on this site too.