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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Personalising blank cards using photographs

So if you're anything like me, you probably have lots and lots of photographs. And, again, if you're anything like me, you'll have digital copies of these photographs (in addition to the originals which should have been attractively arranged in albums or scrapbooks after you printed them out :-).

Back to the digital photos...why not use them to bring joy to others, instead of leaving them sitting around on your hard drive or SD card, mostly forgotten?

OK so first, identify a couple of photographs which you'd like to share. They could be photos of kids, family members, friends or just blank scenic shots. They could be current or old. The beauty of a digital photo is it can be printed as many times as you like, so you're not actually "destroying" a precious old original photograph.

Get these photos printed or developed. The maximum size should be 4R, unless you have a really huge blank card to personalise, in which case you could go for a bigger size.

Next, grab some art paper, or if you already have a pack of blank notecards, you could use these.

Basically you'll be sticking the photograph onto the card. For a scalloped effect, I cut around the photo with craft scissors, but you can just stick the photo straight on, or embellish the frame with stickers or other materials if you like.    

To stick it on, I used cellophane tape on the back and across the whole card. If you had a laminator, you could probably do a more professional job of it - but for a less professional finish, cellophane tape or even clingwrap could be used.

On the inside of the card, you can write your message, and maybe include a note describing the photograph.

For this project, I used a photograph taken from a beach at dawn, several years ago.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Repurposing a Shoe Box into a Gift Box

Every time you buy a pair of shoes, you get a box. Most of the time, it’s a pretty well-made and hardy box.

The trouble is, once you start using the shoes, the boxes tend to either pile up in your shoe cupboard or, end up in the trash. Some people (myself include) might actually take the time to store their shoes back in the right boxes, but such folk are few and far between J. It’s easier to just leave the shoes out of the box after use.

So, what to do with all those boxes?  I thought about it for a while and hit on the idea of turning them into gift boxes.

Problem no. 1 was, what to do with all those ugly labels and logos all over the box. They needed to be covered somehow…not to worry, my trusty box of scrap paper and ribbon yielded the perfect solution.
Just cover the logos, labels and other markings with scrap paper, ribbon or anything else you’ve got on hand, to create a rather interesting and personalised gift box. 

I used cellophane tape strips over the whole project, to keep the papers from coming unstuck. Tried mod podge but it left a kind of whitish film around the design, so I ended up wiping it off and going with the cellophane tape. 

Jar and Tea Light Candle

Tried something a little different this time – instead of decorating an old jam jar, I just cleaned off the labels very carefully so as to leave no trace of the label, and dried the jar with a cloth. Then, I filled the ¾ quarters full of coarse salt, added a layer of cloves, and put the tea light on the top. The project was finished off with a bit of left over ribbon. I was quite happy with how it turned out – the whole thing took about 10 minutes! J

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Upcycling confectionary tins

There’s nothing like receiving chocolates, biscuits or cake in an actual tin… it just seems like such a treat doesn’t it! Yumm....a tin of full sweetness to be savoured, one bite at at time… but alas, all good things come to an end and sooner or later, you’ll be left with an empty tin.

Whatever you do, do NOT  throw that tin away! You could repurpose it into a gorgeous storage container or gift container. :-)

First, wash the tin out thoroughly and allow to dry fully.

Then, decide on the concept for your project. Will you use paint? Or paper? Or scrap fabric?

For the projects below (1 biscuit tin and 2 cake tins), I have used only scrap paper from my stock, and also a paper cutout which I made from a design I found in an old calendar.

I used folded cellophane tape stick the paper on to the tin, and then went over the whole design with strips of cellophane tape. One reason I use cellophane tape is that when you’re tired of the design in a couple of years, you can rip the cellophane tape right out, remove the designs, and start again with a fresh design! :-)

Upcycling paper bags

Whenever we buy stuff, we  usually get a free paper bag from the vendor. More often than not, these bags aren’t really re-used as they have the store logo on them, so after hanging on the back of a door for a while or cluttering up our cupboards, they end up getting tossed in the trash.

Meanwhile, whenever we need a paper gift bag to put gifts in, we go out and buy (yet another) paper bag.
To a recycled craft enthusiast like myself, that just seems like a project waiting to happen. So I settled on the idea of personalising paper bags from stores, and turning them into gift bags – thereby eliminating the need to throw all those paper bags away, and go out and get more paper bags when I needed them.

Decorating paper bags with scrap paper is really easy and, is a great way to use up paper, leftover wrapping paper  or old cards from your stock of scrap paper that are too large in size to fit onto a smaller project.

As an adhesive, I tend to use glue to stick the paper onto the bag. I then cover the whole design with cellophane tape to make sure it doesn’t peel off. Once done, try not to fold the bag, as the design might end up coming unstuck.   

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Glass painted Jars

Latest jar craft projects below...first jar sponged over with grey glass paint (I just use a small piece cut out from a normal kitchen sponge, though there are fancier "sponge-brushes" on the market). I then filled it with glass beads from a craft shop and added a tea light on the top of it. This just seemed like a better idea than filling the jar with candle wax and turning it into a candle, as eventually, the candle will burn so far down that it would be impossible to light it. A tea light on the other hand is easily replaceable.

The other two jars have been painted with glass paint and outlined using a black sharpie.

Comments or questions, email me at Follow me on Instagram @sjdacrafts.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Jar Crafts & Paper Crafts

Today's paper craft project had a green theme, while I decided on brown for the jar.

Both projects were created using scraps of paper, cardboard cut-outs and bits of leftover wrapping. For the balloon-shaped pieces on the jar, I used a craft puncher to punch them out of a torn (and therefore unusable) paper bag.

As with all my projects, none of the materials were bought from a craft shop. It's all stuff that would normally have been thrown away. :-)

Comments or questions, email me at Follow me on Instagram @sjdacrafts.