VALENTINE'S DAY CARDS

Valentine's Day is around the corner and I can't wait!  I know it's to celebrate your significant others, but I like it because I'm partial to pink, glitter, and chocolate.  

I know some people don't care for it because it reminds them that they are single, but when's the last time you sent your best friend a card to tell them that you love them? Or your mom?  Or that cute guy you see in the coffee shop daily?

Throw a crafting party, drink some wine, make some cards, and revel in your fabulousness.

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Gather some crafting things for your cards. You'll be surprised at how much you've probably accumulated over the years.  Printed scrap paper (I found this printed pack in the $2 bins at Michael's, same goes for the sticky rhinestone and pearls and the ribbon variety pack!), blank cards and envelopes, ribbon, stickers hole punches and anything else adorable and obnoxious.

Follow my embossing instructions from my previous post and integrate it into your customized cards.  

The secret to rubber cement is to glue both surfaces your sticking together!

The secret to rubber cement is to glue both surfaces your sticking together!

This guy is from my earlier embossing demo.

This guy is from my earlier embossing demo.

Glue away!  Be creative and combine different shapes and colors.  See some examples below.

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Don't forget to seal it with something cute and use an interesting pen on the front.  Anyone would be thrilled to receive any of these guys.

EMBOSS LIKE A BOSS!

You could really drop me off in a Paper Source and leave me in there for hours.  You would probably find me later, wandering the aisles with glitter and paper bits stuck to me, my basket full of useless pretty things. I just really love fancy cards, paper, gift wrap, and knick knacks.  Those fancy cards can sometimes cost an arm and a leg though, it's a little ridiculous.  I've seen some for up to $10 a pop!

For those of you who want to make them yourself, it's super fun and satisfying.  It's also completely customizable for birthdays, Christmas, and bar mitzvahs!  Make your own wedding invitations, just buy a custom stamp from  Etsy.  

This tutorial will show you how to emboss.  These will really make your cards look really professional and finished.  Embossing is a process creating either a raised or recessed relief into paper.  In this case, we are going to create a raised image.

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TOOLS:

  • Heat gun. Martha Stewart makes a quality product. Find here.
  • Embossing powder.  These come in plain, metallic, glitter. Possibilities are endless!
  • Stamps. I bought a case with the whole alphabet, but any image or pattern will work. 
  • Cardstock or paper
  • Soft clean brush
  • Embossing ink pad
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STEP 1: Press your stamp firmly into the ink pad.  Make sure that the ink is thick and even on your stamp. *QUICK TIP* If using alphabet stamps like me, tape them together to make a block so your letters are straight and even.

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STEP 3:  Give the paper a really good tap to remove excess powder.  VERY carefully you can brush away any excess powder lingering with your soft brush.

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STEP 2: Press your stamp firmly and evenly on the paper.  Sprinkle embossing powder over the ink.  You can pick up the paper and move it around to cover your surface. It's like sprinkling glitter on glue, remember?!

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STEP 4:  Move the heat gun over in small circles over your image about 5 inches from your paper.  You will notice immediately when it changes.  The embossing powder will plasticize and raise from the paper. Make sure it's been evenly melted and let cool for a few seconds.  CAUTION: Stop right when it all melts, if you leave the gun on your paper too long it will burn both the powder and paper.

Here is a close up of a fully embossed image.  The metallic reads clearer on camera than the red powder.

Here is a close up of a fully embossed image.  The metallic reads clearer on camera than the red powder.

GO CRAZY!  You can emboss any paper surface and experiment (I successfully did it on velvet ribbon!).  Use all your skills to make your own super fancy cards or invitations.

QUICK CANDLE MAKING

So much like soap making, candle making is a way to explore your creative side.  You can use the same essential oils and buy a pack of crayons to color your wax!  My crafting pal Alex and I went around the house and gathered tin cans, little jars, tiny bowls and essentially anything that was water tight.  Do a test first!  Fill your vessel with water, place on a paper towel and make sure there's no leaking.  We learned this the hard way.  

 

Materials

  • Wax (you can buy them in blocks, flakes, or even melt down old candles!)
  • wax melter (don't use your pots from your kitchen unless you're ready to only use them for candle making)
  • candle wicks
  • hot glue
  • tins, cups, jars, etc
  • essential oil
  • crayons
  • to-go chopsticks or skewers

Steps:

  1. Put a dab of hot glue onto the bottom of the disk connected to the wick.  Affix it to your vessel.
  2. Prep your wick and vessel by stabilizing with a pair of chopsticks.  This will keep your wax centered while it hardens.
  3. Melt wax in your melting canister. Stir every now and again until thoroughly melted. Add your crayons at this time to color your wax.  
  4. Once melted, take it of the heat and stir in your essential oils.  We found around 20 drops of oil in a large batch did the trick.
  5. Carefully poor the wax into your vessel.  
  6. Cool until your wax hardens.
  7. Trim your wick to a 1/4" before any burning and enjoy!

So cute and easy! We added citronella to the big guys so they could naturally deter bugs away.

BUBBLE STATIONARY

I have a lot of girlfriends who love stationary and pretty paper in general.  Revive the art of snail mail with these pretties, you won't believe how easy it is. These are great for birthday gifts, teacher gifts or just for your own personal stash.

Materials:

  • Blank stationary with envelopes
  • 1 tsp of dish soap
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 10-15 drops of food coloring
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • straw

Steps:

  1. Combine, water, dye and sugar in a low cup, then add your water.
  2. Place straw inside cup and blow out until bubbles have just started coming out the tops (it's like blowing bubbles in your milk when you were a kid!)
  3. Gently place your stationary on top of the bubbles, repeating until your surface is covered.  You can mix and match colors and do any combo you want. I just did the outside of my card so your writing inside wouldn't be obscured from bubbles.
  4. Let air dry.  They will inevitably get warped from the water so flatten them under some heavy books overnight.
  5. Wrap them up and gift them or send your love letters!

I wouldn't think twice if I saw these in a fancy paper shop.  I also used lavender dish soap so they even smelled great!

MONOGRAMMED PILLOWS

I first saw a tutorial on this in my Design Sponge book and I decided to make it even easier.  I simply cut the letters out of felt and used fabric glue to adhere them to the pillows.  I made my pillow cases but you can just as easily buy cheapie ones from Ikea or Target.

Materials:

  • An already made pillowcase or one that you made yourself
  • 2 pieces of contrasting felt (just by the sheets found at the craft store for like 34 cents!
  • Fabric glue

Steps:

  1. Find a font that you would like to use.  Enlarge it so that it will fit your pillow. Make a second one, slightly larger. 
  2. I freehanded mine so I made a pattern out of a paper shopping bag (recycling ya'll!).
  3. Pin the paper to the felt and carefully cut it out.  
  4. Cut a slightly larger letter for your contrasting "shadow."
  5. Glue the larger contrasting fabric down first.  Sandwich a piece of cardboard in between so the glue doesn't seep.  I glued mine before I sewed my pillowcases together.
  6. Then glue the smaller one on top, skewing it slightly in any direction you choose to create your shadow. 

Voila, you have a new, totally custom pillow!