Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Designing on a Dime: Toilet Paper Tubes

Given the current global economic climate, I think most of us are on the lookout for quality but inexpensive gift giving ideas. Gift cards are an ideal gift but I want a unique gift card holder that shows that I took just a little bit of extra effort in presenting the gift card. Inspired by Julie Griffith's Toilet Paper Tube Album on Paper Jewels, I designed a Toilet Paper Tube Gift Card Holder.
With the amount of money we spend on toilet paper, why not get your full value for your money and use the leftover tube to make a special gift? This holder is quick, easy to mass produce, and economical. Simply flatten your toilet paper tube, then cut the long end down to 4" in length. This enables you to make 6 holder covers from one sheet of 12" x 12" paper and keeps the tube long enough to hold a gift card and mini card. (Each cover measures 4" x 6" and the designer paper strip is 3" x 6") You can create mini embellishments for the outside of the tube with sentiments for any occasion utilizing whatever paper scraps you may have on hand and the ribbon to tie the holder closed is actually inexpensive seam binding.

Here's a view of the holder with the mini card inserted

A view of the toilet paper tube on the interior. I found that Scor-Tape or SU! Sticky Strip are the best for adhering the paper to the toilet paper tube so that it remains securely fastened to the tube.

Another design, using a similar color scheme. The ribbon is vintage black seam binding, purchased from Mary Not Martha on Etsy. (Thanks to Suzi for the custom listing!)

I have been hard pressed to find masculine projects that I like so I came up with this gift card holder that could be used for Father's Day or a birthday. I love the fact that I could create both feminine and masculine gifts from the same pack of designer paper! I'm also working on some kid friendly holders using some of Jordan's robot paper and some fun teen-themed grunge paper from Basic Grey, which I'll post when those are finished. I hope this project inspires you to take a fresh look at your toilet paper tubes and create a unique and inexpensive gift.
Supplies: Toilet Paper Tubes (any brand...LOL), Close to my Heart retired Silhouette Designer Paper, Stampin' Up! Basic Black, Very Vanilla, and Kraft cardstock, Black Staz-On, Stampin' Up! Soft Suede and Basic Gray Classic Ink, Stampin' Up! Sanded, Well Scripted, and Oval All stamp sets, Scor-Tape, Stampin' Up! dimensionals, Close to my Heart paper flowers, Papertrey Ink twine and Vintage black buttons, Crop-A-Dile, MaryNotMartha vintage black seam binding, Martha Stewart champagne seam binding, Impress Rubber Stamps bolt brads, Stampin' Up! blender pen

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beautiful Card

As I mentioned in my last posting, we've had an unusual amount of extreme cold weather and snow this winter. We LOVE the snow and other than the shoveling getting tiresome after a bit, we enjoy the beauty of watching the snow fall and playing in it when the storm subsides. Last night we went for a walk and Jordan took great delight in throwing himself into the piles of snow built up beside each house from the neighbors shoveling. What does that have to do with this card, you ask? This past week I had a lovely group of ladies registered for my first Cards Only Club and it turned out to be a snow day so the classes were cancelled...boohoo! Since the ladies couldn't come to me, I thought I'd post one of the projects from the class so they could cry over what they missed (just kidding). CASE'd from a card on the Stampin' Up! demonstrators website, I tweaked this design in order to use product that I purchased in bulk some months ago and needed to use up before they collected any more dust. Have I mentioned that I have a tendency to hoard supplies? Definitely need to break that habit so my pocketbook will stop crying! I had some retired Stampin' Up! Baja Breeze cardstock that I finally decided to part with rather reluctantly but this group of ladies would have appreciated my sacrifice since it has been one of my favorite In Color releases to date. This design is very simple and perfect for a quick but pretty card that can easily be mass produced with different sentiments.
As Emeril Lagasse would say, I decided to "kick it up a notch" by adding a row of glitter at the base of some cards using a line of Scor-tape, as well as running the butterfly through my Xyron sticker maker to add a layer of adhesive and sprinkle lovely glitter over the surface. You can never have too much bling!

Here's a closer look at the glittered butterfly. Isn't it pretty?! The sticker maker adds a nice even layer of adhesive and once you add the glitter, it holds it without tons of glitter falling off nor do you have to wait for it to dry which is an added bonus. Not a bad project for a snow day!
Supplies: SU! Great Friend stamp set, Technique Tuesday Ali Edwards Limited Edition Beautiful stamp set, SU! Baja Breeze, Basic Gray, and Whisper White Cardstock, SU! Cameo Coral and Basic Gray classic ink, SU! Walk in the Park Designer paper, Versamark, Dimensionals, We R Memory Keepers Chomper, Xyron sticker maker, Martha Steward Fine Glitter, SU! white hardware grommet, Scor-tape, Scor-pal

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Crafts and Snow

Happy almost Valentine's Day! Today's post is a long one, which means you might want to prepare yourself with your favorite beverage before plowing ahead. I've been a busy bee lately, crafting up a storm for Valentine's Day, classes, and volunteer gifts as well as offering a free class to 28 ladies at our annual Europe-Wide Ladies Retreat held last week. Thank goodness for friends who willingly stay up until 2 a.m. to cut cardstock and put course materials together or I would never have made it through (overflowing gratitude to Marilyn and Tasha) The unfortunate reality: I didn't take a single picture of the class or the projects I demonstrated! Sigh....these things happen but I could have kicked myself for not bringing my camera along. Back to the post at hand: the project shown above is from a box template available free on Lauren Meader's new business website and one which I made as a gift for my technique club attendees in January. I revamped the design for Valentine's Day and made 14 of these beauties for the wonderful ladies who volunteer with me at the high school student store.
The box template is the size and shape of a crayon box, perfect for dropping in Russell Stover's chocolate marshmallow hearts, or other yummy treats. The designer paper with the paper flower attached is actually a belly band that slides right off. I'm loving the new Stampin' Up! designer papers and embellishments in our current mini catalog!

Same paper set, now made into a card. I case'd this design from someone on Splitcoaststampers and I'm sorry to admit that I couldn't find the designer to give them credit. Whoever you are, thank you for a simple yet classy card design! I've really got to work on the lighting when I take my photos but sometimes it's better to take a bad picture and have something to post than no picture at all.

Jordan wanted to do goodie bags for his class for Valentine's Day but he wanted to do something unique. None of the suggestions I made seemed to appeal to him until we happened upon a project by Debbie Olson on Nichole Heady's blog that featured an airplane treat made out of a pack of gum and a matching tag. Several years ago we learned how to make candy airplanes at a Family Readiness Group meeting with Joe's unit and Jordan thought that would be the perfect "unique" treat for his class. I printed the font for the tag on Print Shop using a free Creating Keepsakes font called CK Alis Handwriting, then stamped and colored the airplane with Jordan's help. The airplane is from the retired Stampin' Up! set called Toy Box. The heart is punched from the Stampin' Up! Heart to Heart punch and leftover red cardstock scraps. I'm determined to work my way through my scraps!

Here's a close-up: Joe and Jordan ended up coloring in the airplanes for me so I could finish tying all the bags off with curling ribbon. I forgot to make room on the tag for a hole to put the ribbon through so I just attached the tag to the bag with mini Glue Dots.

A close-up of the airplane, made of one roll of Mentos, two unwrapped Lifesavers for wheels, a pack of Bubble Yum, and a rubber band to hold it all in place. We had a serious discussion on whether or not to cover the gum and mints with Valentine's Day paper but Jordan felt it would be too "girlie" and that some of the kids in his class might be "grossed out" by all the hearts and love if we got carried away. I guess girls still have cooties in the fourth grade :) The propeller was attached by pushing a paper piercer into the front of the mints to create a small hole and inserting a silver brad in to hold it. The propeller is also made from leftover red cardstock scraps and the Stampin' Up! Word Window punch. You can design a smaller version of the plane with small Doublemint or Juicy Fruit gum packs and long Tootsie Rolls for the body. Jordan will have to give these to his classmates next week since today ended up being a Snow Day and there's no school! I'm sure his classmates will enjoy them, even if they're received late.

Speaking of snow, we've had an unseasonable amount of snow this year, extremely unusual for the area of Germany we live in. You can see here that Jordan is enjoying the snow quite a bit!

"The Boys" decided to go outside and build snowmice instead of snowmen: they both play MouseHunt on Facebook and thought it would be cool to make a snowmouse representative of the mice on the game. Joe is the supposed grown-up on the right...hee, hee!
Thanks for hanging in there to the very end! I've got more projects and miscellaneous stuff to post but will spare you for the time being. Until next time....

Number of cows visiting my pasture...


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