Tutorial: Make a planner for the new year

If the raw potential of a new year makes you feel like planning, then you might want to make this mini album to use as a way of organizing yourself.

All the products I used to create this came from the Back Porch Memories January kit (thank you to BPM for allowing me to be a part of their design team for the next three months!). The patterned papers are from BoBunny’s “Souvenir” collection.

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Here’s a view of the inside of the accordion album with pockets on every other page.

You will need:
3 pieces of 12×12 cardstock
1 piece of 12×6 patterned paper
12 4×3 pieces of patterned paper for the pockets

Tutorial

  1. Score the three pieces of cardstock at 4 inches and 8 inches. Then cut each down into two 12×6 pieces. You will have six scored 12×6 pieces.
  2. Accordion fold the scored pieces and glue them together by overlapping the end flap of each. This will create an album with 12 two-page spreads.
  3. Put a thin line of glue around three sides of each 4×3 pocket and adhere them to every other panel, including the back side of the accordion. When you’ve completed this step, on each of the two-page spreads you will have a blank left panel and a pocket on the right panel.
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    Put a thin line of glue around the sides and bottom of each pocket.

  5. Make the cover by scoring the 12×6 piece of patterned paper at 3.5 inches, 4.5 inches, 8.5 inches and 9.5 inches. Adhere one end of your accordion to the inside center of the cover.
  6. Now decorate your cover and either tie a length of ribbon around the whole thing to close it or attach two buttons and wrap with twine, as I did.
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My planner’s cover, decorated and secured with a button-and-string closure.

On the left panel of each spread you can make notes or adhere photos or a calendar. And the pocket panel can be used to stash memorabilia, more photos, etc. I think I’m going to use my album to plan layouts and blog posts! I hope your planner assists you in organizing your new year, too.

Wine bottle tag tutorial

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We have some Christmas parties to attend this weekend, so I thought I would try my hand at making some wine tags to adorn the bottles we took along. Here’s a tutorial based on what I learned while creating mine.

Tutorial

  1. Cut base paper (I used cardstock, but it would look quite nice with patterned paper as well) to 3 x 10 inches.
  2. Score base paper at 3 inches.
  3. Cut patterned paper to 2.75 x 9.75 inches.
  4. Don’t score the patterned paper yet; you want to wait until it’s lined up properly on the base paper so you know exactly where it needs to be folded. But I do recommend scoring a second time so that your project folds crisply. I’ll tell you when.
  5. Notch the bottom of the patterned paper into a banner shape.
  6. Lay the patterned paper on the base paper and cut the matching notch into the base paper.
  7. Flip the base paper over and find the center of the 3-inch section by lightly drawing an X from corner to corner. This will ensure that you punch your bottle neck opening in the right spot.
  8. At this point, because I use adhesive that isn’t hard to pull up, I adhered the two papers together so that I could punch them at the same time. Then I used a 1.25-inch circle punch to create the bottle neck opening.
  9. Carefully pull up the patterned paper from the base paper and line up a 1.5-inch circle punch around the original hole to create the double ring effect. Glue the two papers back together.
  10. Now put the project back on your scoring board and score again at 3 inches.
  11. Have fun embellishing your wine tags!
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Closeup shot of the left tag

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Closeup shot of the right tag

Product/technique notes

I created both of these tags using past years’ My Mind’s Eye Christmas collections—”Festive” on the left tag and “Be Merry” on the right one. I loved how they turned out! And I’m entering them in the MME December challenge to make small gifts/stocking stuffers.

Using patterned paper strips to create a colorful silhouetted wall hanging

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Once I had completed layouts with all the patterned paper in this month’s Back Porch Memories kit, I used the scraps to create something pretty for our home. Here’s how I turned my offcuts into a colorful seasonal wall hanging.


The tutorial

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My final project will be 8×8 inches, so I started by cutting down a sheet of cardstock to that size. This will be the base for my design. Then gather all the patterned paper remnants together.

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Cut 3-4 ¼-inch strips from each.

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Apply your adhesive of choice (I used a tape runner) liberally to the base. Begin laying down strips on the diagonal, butting each snugly against the last so there’s no cardstock showing through.

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Fill the whole base with strips. Cut off the excess.

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Cut out your chosen overlay design from black cardstock, either with a digital die cutter or by hand. For my project I chose a fall-themed design from the Silhouette store, sized it to 7.25 inches and centered it within an 8-inch square before cutting. I suggest the design you choose should both work well as a silhouette and fill a good bit of your square. That way lots of the patterned paper can show through.

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Adhere the silhouette to the patterned paper (I used repositionable adhesive so I can change out the design later). If there are any inner pieces to the design, as there were in mine (under the maple leaf, down the centers of the side leaves and on the acorn), adhere those as well so that the design “makes sense” to the eye.

What I think is so great about this project is that it allows you to use scraps of paper that you love in a completely new way, but it doesn’t use very much of it so you still have lots left for making cards, mini albums or cards for your pocket scrapbooks—however you usually put your scraps to work.

I can also see myself using this as a go-to seasonal home decoration. I can either cut out a different silhouette design and lay it over these same strips or use scraps from another kit to create a new background as well!

Silhouette tutorial: How to add crochet to the edge of page elements

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To add the lovely crocheted detail around the circles on this page about our 17th anniversary, I turned to my Sihouette Cameo.

I wanted to create a really special look for this photo of us on our 17th anniversary, so I decided to crochet around the edges of all the circles. Crazy, I know! But it’s really not that hard, and I just love the soft, feminine look. I thought a tutorial would be helpful to any of you who want to try this on your own layout.

The tutorial

For me, it almost always starts with a sketch. In this case I chose to use this circle-filled Paper Camellia sketch. If you want to base the shapes you will crochet upon a sketch then you need to start by placing the sketch image in the Silhouette design software:

Step 1: Open sketch in software

Step 1: Go to File :: Open :: Folder holding your sketch :: Open sketch. Size the image to fit the 12×12 Cameo mat in the Silhouette software.

Start drawing the shape(s) to be crocheted:

Step 2: Draw the shape

Step 2: Use the ellipse tool to draw a circle and adjust it to match the size of the circle on the sketch.

Copy/paste the first shape and reduce it:

Step 3: Make a second smaller shape

Step 3: Select the circle and CTRL + C to copy then CTRL + F to paste on top of the first circle. Use the scale tool to reduce the top circle by 0.25 inches.

Turn to the rhinestone tool to create holes around the edge of the shape:

Step 4: Use the rhinestone tool

Step 4: Step 4: Rhinestone tool settings: Rhinestone Effect = Edge; Rhinestone Size = 6ss; Rhinestone Spacing = 0.112

Cut out the shape(s) and crochet!

Step 5: Cut and crochet

Step 5: Follow these steps for each of the shapes you want to crochet around. Cut on your paper of choice and crochet using crochet thread and a size 7/1.65 mm hook.

Product/technique notes

The patterned paper I used is from Crate Paper’s “Close Knit” 6×6 paper pad. I also used my Silhouette to design and cut my title.

I really hope you will try this technique on a page of your own (and that it’s fun for you)! If you do, will you leave a comment with a link to your page because I would LOVE to see it.

One is silver, the other is gold

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Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.

I thought I had just about finished this layout with a photo of me and my baby brother in front of this cool gold artifact wall in downtown Austin. Matt and I had just picked up Phil from the airport for his week-long visit from Durham, NC, and whisked him to Torchy’s Tacos for lunch. As we were leaving we stood for a few minutes marveling at the work that went into making this artist’s vision a reality and then decided to snap a photo in front of it.

It was when I sat staring at my almost-finished project that I realized what it needed—a gold artifact border! Burning with the desire to see this happen, I pulled out a slew of old rubber stamps and started stamping in gold pigment ink. Yes, it was time-consuming, but it was also lots of fun. I just don’t stamp on my pages often enough, so this felt great.

Once my border was finished I started rethinking my plan for a title. It had been my intention to go with something about keeping Austin weird. But focusing on the gold motif made me think of that little children’s song, “Make new friends.” Remember it? Well, I went looking for the words to it and decided it was just perfect for a layout about my bro because he’s my oldest and goldest friend.

Make new friends
Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.
A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend.
A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We’ve been friends,
from the very start.
You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.
Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.
You help me,
and I’ll help you.
And together
we will see it through.
The sky is blue,
The Earth is green.
I can help
to keep it clean.
Across the land,
Across the sea.
Friends forever
we will always be.

Product/technique notes

I had such a good time creating this layout. I followed the sketch below from Creative Scrappers and used patterned papers from Crate Paper’s “Snow Days” 6×6 pad. Then, because I really loved that crazy artistic wall of gold artifacts in the photo, I pulled out a ton of old rubber stamps and created a border of gold icons around the whole page. I also pulled out my gold lame Heidi Swapp Color Shine and created the ampersand in the title block and the Christmas tree in the bottom left.

Creative Scrappers sketch #259

Technique1

You can see where I pencilled in a border on my kraft background paper as a guide. Then in the interest of time, I decided only to use rubber stamps because cleaning and putting away clear stamps would take a lot more effort. I gathered a group of larger images from my collection and stamped those first.

Technique2

After stamping with the large rubber stamps, I filled in around them with smaller ones.