Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Greeting Card Box Tutorial

I like to make greeting cards and I like to have them on hand for just the right occasion.  I, often, have "saved the day" by having a card available and I enjoy giving something that might mean more than a store bought card.  I have never had a very good system for my cards though.  Now I do!  I organized them so that I would have categories that made sense to me.  I also found out that I had big gaps in categories that I should have cards for but didn't.  So, it also helps to save money if I can make cards instead of pay outrageous store prices for them.
Everything that I used to make this project, I already had.  I didn't buy anything.  I had wanted to have a cute basket with no top, but after contemplating decided that I would save money and allow for "stacking" buy having a lidded box.  The box I used was my son's athletic shoe box, larger than a regular shoe box, it measures 13-1/2" x 10-1/4" x 5-1/2".  This size allows for all my cards and envelopes, as of today.  It is also big enough for my largest card, which is 5" x 7".
My box was a little beat up, but my plan was to cover it with black spray paint anyway!  I needed to reinforce the corners and fix up the tears, so I did that with duct tape!  Then I spray painted the whole box, except the inside, with flat black spray paint.  Now, the areas with the duct tape do have edges that can look a tiny bit different than the rest, but it really does work well overall.  I love, love, love spray paint and believe that a little spray paint can make most anything look good!
I pulled out all my cards and put them in piles to use for categories.  My cards created more categories than I thought they would. 
I measured the inside of the box and made dividers for the number of categories that I had.  My dividers are 9-1/2" x 4" and they are cut from regular white cardstock that I already had.  I made them shorter than the box because I knew that I would want my category labels to stick up.
I printed the category titles onto a simple piece of lightly decorated card stock with a nice simple font.  I cut these out, making sure to cut them all the same size.
My categories ended up being:
*Tags (for on gift packages)
*Birthday - Boy
*Birthday - Girl
*Birthday - Man
*Birthday - Woman
*Get Well
*Thank You
*To Alter (these are cards that need to be finished, old store greeting cards that I can use as backing, or cards that I just think need something done to them before they are truly useable)
*Any Occasion/General (these are great to keep on hand for a quick transformation into something more specific)
I added one little embellishment to each divider after I stapled the label on at an angle.  I used an epoxy flower on this one, but each of them has something different, sometimes correlating to the category title.
Now to start decorating the outside of the box!  I used chipboard letters that spell "cards" and a chipboard file frame.  I picked out some cute paper that I had been saving from an Archiver's exclusive design pack.  This is going on the front and side of the box.
I glue the chipboard onto the paper.  Make sure that anything which has a "right side" is glued right side down onto the paper.  I don't know that the glue type matters as long as it is a glue that is not going to make the paper buckle.  Then I cut out the chipboard; I'm sure that it could be done with a scissor but I used an exacto-knife with a cutting mat. 
I wanted my chipboard to have a nice blended look, so I used a similar colored ink pad and I dobbed (is that a word?) the ink pad with a sponge and wiped the edges of the chipboard a bit with the sponge.
Prima flowers can make everything look a little sweeter.  So, I chose a few flowers for their shape not their color, because I knew that I didn't have any the color I wanted.  I sprayed them with a Terra Cotta walnut ink.  I still didn't have the color I wanted.
I then sprayed them with some glimmer mist in black cherry.  That gave me the color that I was looking for! 
I used a white ink pad and stamped some butterflys and sayings on the box.  My stamping did not come out great because of the flexibility of the box!  I would recommend a block or something stable on the backside when working with something that is difficult to lay flat.  I didn't want to wreck my corners by forcing the areas that I wanted to stamp.  I actually think it gave it a bit of a whimsical look.  I also repaired some areas by adding bling!
The chipboard and flowers got glued to the box!  I added sparkly stones to the centers of the flowers.
The short side of the box got the chipboard file frame with paper added behind it and sticker letters, to again form the word "cards".  This way no matter which way I stack my box on a shelf, I will know that it is my card box.  I also added another bling stone to that frame.
On the top of the box, I added more flowers, bling, some epoxy stickers, and another piece of paper with more letter stickers.  Guess what they spell?  Yep, you guessed it, cards again!  I don't think it would be possible to not know what was in this box!
My projects always turn out quite a bit different than what I am imagining.  This one actually turned out a bit sweeter than I thought it would!  So, now the box is finished and I my cards are completely organized!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tutorial for greeting card box... up next...

I make greeting cards.  I wanted to get organized and know what I had on hand and what I needed.  I finally got this box finished and it turned out great.  I will share what I learned along the way with you as well as how to make it.  I used what I had and didn't buy anything for this project, so it is a real reuse project.  The tutorial is coming up next, stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Parfaits and Homemade Jam

Summer Parfait
This fun summer parfait is super fast to make!  Have you noticed yet that it is really important to me to be able to make some really cool things, but super fast!!

Blueberry Summer Parfait
Make a yellow cake mix as directed.
Cut into small square pieces.
Dip your glass into caramel sauce then into crushed graham crackers to coat the rim.
Layer the inside of the glass with multiple layers of the following:
The cake pieces
Prepared vanilla pudding
Whip topping spray
Sprinkle a little more of the crushed graham crackers on the top layer and add one more blueberry!

Canned Jam
Jams and jellies are so easy to make!  I don't know why I don't do it more often.  Here's a fun easy and yes, quick jam.  This recipe came from my stepsister's mother, Judy.  She's a very nice woman, and yes, it's a complicated family that I am a part of, but I love it and wouldn't have it any other way!  How many children of divorce say that?

Rhubarb Cherry Jam
6 cups rhubarb (cut up)
3-1/2 cups sugar
1 - 21 oz. can Cherry Pie Filling (chopped)
1 - 6 oz. Pkg. Cherry Jello
Mix rhubarb and sugar.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  
Boil 8 minutes.  Add cherry pie filling and boil 2 more minutes.
Turn off heat and add cherry jello and stir until disolved.
Put in jars and let it cool.
Seal with wax or can as normal.  (She sealed hers with wax and I canned mine).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Sewing Daily Deal

Here's another fun daily deal!  This one is for all my crafting and sewing friends!  Check this one out, Stitch Steals has a new bargain each day!

And remember, to see all of the daily deals that I have "collected" so far, scroll down to see the word cloud in the left column and click on daily deals!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Smart Are You?

How smart are you?  I've dared to think that I'm rather intelligent from time to time.  Then I found this website!  The "seekers" or submitters of challenges offer thousands of dollars if you can solve their problems.  Sounds great!!  Well, I couldn't dream of being a solver....  why, you ask?  I can't even understand the problem, much less come up with a solution!  So, if you are a smart scientific-type go and try to win! To check the innocentive website out, click here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Full Serenity Prayer - Prayer Journal Cover

I designed this prayer journal cover for my nephew Cody's first communion.  I also made a pinky-purpley version for my niece Amy's first communion.  I wanted to give them something that had a true feeling of the day and was something that they could use intimately in their "walk with God". 

So many people only know the beginning of the serenity prayer and the whole prayer is so beautiful.  Everyone should have a copy of it!

As a little how-to...  I just designed the cover with a graphic design program and then printed it on glossy photo paper.  I covered a composition notebook with cardstock, used fiber for a decoration and pasted the printed cover on the top.  The photo you see above is just the cover printout.