Friday, December 19, 2008

paper ball ornaments

How cute is this ornament?! I can't get over that I actually made these! And it was pretty easy! Every once in a while I try to be crafty, but until now none of my projects have ever turned out the way I expect them to. A few days ago I came across directions for making paper ball ornaments on DesignSponge, and I just love how they turned out!
If you head over to Design Sponge for the directions, I just have few tips of my own to add...
  • I used 12" x 12" scrapbooking paper from Archivers, and I think something a little thinner would have worked better. But you'll definitely want paper that has a design on both the front and back.
  • While I was at Archivers I used their 3" and 4" circle punches to cut out the circles - much easier than cutting out each circle with scissors! And I really like both of those sizes.
  • I tried using mini glue dots, but because of the thickness of the paper, they didn't hold the paper together. So I bought 1/2" glue dots, and those worked perfectly.
  • Before stapling the circles together I folded a ribbon in half and placed it on top of the crease, stapling it along with the circles in the middle and at the top.
It's probably hard to tell from these pictures, but the above ornament is made with 3" circles, the rest are made with 4" circles.

This last one is my son's favorite, made with the dinosaur paper he picked out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

handmade goodness

I've been meaning for a while now to post about some of the Christmas gifts I found on Etsy... I had so much fun shopping for handmade gifts this year!
I'm not sure if I'll be able to part with this cuckoo clock and a pink one just like it... probably the orange one will end up in my office and the pink one in my daughter's bedroom.
These felt cookies from nanaCompany for my daughter, Emma. She's going to love them!
I fell in love with this skirt and was so bummed out that it was too small for Emma, but it made a great birthday present for my friend's daughter who just turned two last week.
A superhero gift set personalized with the letter "R" for my nephew, Ryan. If he's anything like my son, I have a feeling this will get a lot of use!
A couple of Monster Kittys... I haven't decided yet who these will go to, but I'm sure I'll have no problem finding loving homes for them!
Emma's been doing a lot of this lately, hugging my legs, and generally being a lot cuddlier than she was as a baby... I'm loving every minute of it! I just had to get this print from L.J. Ink for myself, and one for my friend who this reminds me of as well.
A personalized long-sleeved onesie for my nephew, Shane. I love how clean and simple they are (surprise, surprise!), and it turns out this Etsy seller lives just down the road from me!

Friday, December 5, 2008

a tutorial: making notepads

Over the past year I've gotten a lot of requests for personalized notepads, which I always thought I'd need to have done at a print shop, so I never offered them. But a few weeks ago I learned from the very kind and generous Kelli at The Hootie Coo Card Company that I could make them myself (easily!) so I began offering them on my website.

They've been selling pretty well, and today I thought I'd photograph the process and put together a little tutorial. So here's what I do...

First I cut an 8.5" x 11" chipboard sheet into fourths for the backs of the notepads (my notepads measure 4.25" x 5.5").
Then I print the design 4-per-page on 24-lb 8.5" x 11" paper and cut those into fourths.Next I stack 40 sheets of paper on top of each chipboard sheet and top each notepad with a blank page (so the top page doesn't get messed up).
I had considered buying a padding press like this one, but I decided to just use some heavy books or something similar to weigh the pads down until I see how well these sell.
Next I just brush on a couple of coats of padding compound, letting it dry completely in between coats.
Once the final coat is dry I gently peel apart the notepads and peel off the blank top sheet...
add a Sarah & Abraham sticker to the back...
and package them in a clear plastic sleeve... easy-peasy!