Browsing "Tutorials"
Sep 10, 2009 - Tips, Tutorials    No Comments

Mrs. “Fix-It”

IMG_2945.JPGI know you have experienced the same thing I have on this subject.  You buy an album and some additional filler pages.  When you get home and start adding the pages to the album you discover that the pages you bought are not the same size as the pages in the album (although you check the size).

As you can see the back pages are larger and to complicate the issue the holes in the smaller pages were not in the right place.


IMG_2944.JPGAlthough the holes are a little off it can cause a buckle or ripple in the pages and they will not lay flat.  The smaller pages in this case were causing a buckle in the spine of the album.

I decided I was going to try a technique and see if I could move the holes in the sleeves.



IMG_2947.JPGI measured out both sleeves and figured out where I wanted the new holes made.  I drew a little template on my self-healing cutting mat so I didn’t have to measure each time.

The large dot is where the hole needs to be punched and the long line is where the edge of the sleeve is align against it.  I made these markings at both ends so I could lay down the sleeve and see where both new holes needed to be.


IMG_2950.JPGUsing regular tape I pulled a long strip off and aligned it up with the edge that would be covered up in the album.  I placed tape on both the front side and the back side of the edge of the sleeve.  The tape will act as reinforcement for the new holes when they are punched.





IMG_2951.JPGOnce both sides have been taped you will need to cut the excess tape off of the edge so it will have a nice clean look.




IMG_2955.JPGThe tape is in place and cleaned-up and I laid the sleeve on the template and marked where the new holes needed to be punched.




IMG_2956.JPGThe new holes are cut just a little off from the original holes.  However, the tape should hold everything in it’s place and not allow the hole to tear.




IMG_2957.JPGOnce all the sleeves were loaded back into the album, they laid down in the spine very nicely and when the book is opened you do not see where the tape has been added or the holes have been changed.

The only thing that was really different was the front pages to the album were a little smaller; however, every page of the card stock was cut the same size so the consistancy was still in place.


To see what the finish product looks like be sure and visit back on Saturday, 9/12/09.  This is an ABC Baby or Family Album.

I don’t Have the Right Color

IMG_2960.JPGSo here I am needing just 4 photo corners to finish a project and I don’t have the right color.  I know that black goes with everything, but the rest of the pages were done with pastels of green, pink and lavender.





I decided I would paint these black photo corners a light green (Willow) and see if I couldn’t get them to look very close to the other photo corners.

It was going to take several coats to cover the black.  Be sure and stir the paint before you start to paint with it.  You want it to be slightly thick and creamy to be able to cover the item you are painting.  Also, since I was painting over paper I didn’t want the paint to be really wet.


IMG_2962.JPGAfter several coats the coverage was excellent. I used a small foam applicator to apply the coats.  To seal the paint I use Glossy Accents and let it dry.  I did the painting and the Glossy Accent on a craft mat, that way if anything spelled it would clean up easy.

Tip:  When using Acrylic paints you need to let the paint dry in between coats.  If you try to add another coat while the first coat is wet, the second coat will lift the first coat off of the item you are trying to pain.



IMG_2963.JPGWith the mat inside the corners, you would never know they were black to begin with and the Glossy Accent gives them a very professional looking finish.

Just click on the picture to get a closer look and don’t worry if you don’t have the right color, you can change it with paint, paper or alcohol inks.


Sep 3, 2009 - Tips, Tutorials    1 Comment

Cricut Mat – Make it tacky!

IMG_2921.JPGI’ve had my Cricut cutting mats for over a year and I’m just now experiencing them losing some of their tackiness to hold on to  the paper or card stock.

I decided to see if the Zip glue worked to make them tacky again.  I first scrapped off anything that might have been left behind from the last time I use the mat.

I then took a baby wipe and scrubbed the mat, and to my surprise the mat was dirty.  I don’t know why I didn’t expect it to be dirty but I didn’t expect to get black off of it!

I took it to the kitchen sink and used Dawn (the degreaser) and some warm water to finish the cleaning process.  I dried it off and proceeded to cover the cutting mat with the Zig glue.  I used the big chisel Zig glue so I could cover area more quickly. 

I started by running the Zig pen around the outer edge of the mat, paying close attention to where the glue was originally on the mat.  Once that was complete I started going up and down across the grid in the same direction, putting a thin layer of glue down on the mat.  Once I had finished that I held the mat up so I could look across it and see if there were any places I missed.  If I found any I ran the glue back across only those areas I missed.

At this point I haven’t tried the mats.  I’m letting them dry so the glue will act as a repositionable glue rather than a permanent glue.  I plan on using them tonight so I’ll let you know how this process worked out.  I also understand you can us spray adhesive but I haven’t tried that yet and it seemed to be messier than just running a glue pen across the mat.  However; if you have used that method or another method, let me know.  I would like to know how you make your tack-less mats tacky again.

Sep 2, 2009 - Craft Projects, Tips, Tutorials    2 Comments

Pop Dots – Economy Style

IMG_2899.JPGFirst, let me say this is not my idea and unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the person or website I was on that showed how to do this.  I was so excited to try this because I’m always in need of Pop Dots.

Fun foam comes in an array of colors and for this project you need to get the one with a sticky back.  M’s was running a sale on this and I got 30 sheets that are 6″ x 9″ for $2.99. 

It was on sale down from $7.99  to $4.99.  I had a 40% coupon that I was using for another item but the young girl put the coupon against the sale item.  I told her I thought it was incorrect but she insisted that it was automatic.  Unfortunately, for me she was wrong.  She had manually put the 40% off coupon against the $4.99 sale item instead of the $6.99 item. 

IMG_2901.JPGI cut the 6″ x 9″ fun foam down so it would be able to run through the Xyron.  I placed the side with the protective sheet side up so the adhesive from the Xyron will be laid on the opposite side.  The side that does not have the sticky back.





I pressed down the adhesive to be sure it is distributed over the fun foam.

I couldn’t wait to see if I could use my hole punch to make a pop dot and sure enough it was effortless to punch right through the protective adhesive sheets and the fun foam.



IMG_2903.JPGI trimmed off the excess Xyron adhesive sheet (which by the way I save to use on other items)  and you can see there is a protective sheet on both the front and back of the purple fun foam.




IMG_2904.JPGYou can use a hole punch or you can cut a strip or what ever shape you need from this fun foam to use as pop dots or add dimension.  If you need squares use a square punch, or a heart or just free hand it.

The other nice thing about these pop dots are they are various colors to match your project, not just white. 

I get a very small sheet of pop dots for $2.99 and usually one size. If there are multiple sizes one of the sizes is not large enough to use.  This fun foam gives me 30 pieces, 6″ x 9″ in multiple colors for the same price ($2.99).  The fun foam is the same thickness as the pop dots you buy, I have had the same cartridge of Xyron adhesive for years so I was excited to use an old supply that has just been sitting dormant. 

I will not put Xyron adhesive on all the fun foam at once, instead I’ll see what colors I need and do smaller pieces as I need them.  This will keep the use of the Xyron adhesive to a minimum and not wasted on colors I might never use.  I also have the little “X” Xyron and it doesn’t seem to waste as much adhesive when you send items through it.  In other words, just think before you Xyron 30 sheets of fun foam all at once….that can be expensive.

I’m wondering would you call these “Designer” pop dots, because they come in colors?  Whatever you call them, I’ll not be buying Pop Dots for a long time!

Jul 30, 2009 - Tutorials    1 Comment

Remember the 1/8″ Ribbon….

IMG_2758.JPGI wanted to follow-up with the experiment I was doing with the 1/8″ chiffon ribbon I got on sale at HL the other day.  Check out the post below this one for more information on that thought.

Years ago (and I mean years ago), I was into oil and acrylic painting.  This was back when the decorating theme of choice was “Country”.  One of the projects I did was a painted  wood piece that looked like little girls in pinafores holding hands. It had pegs in it to hold things like a necklace, ribbons or belts.  The little girls heads were round and you used yarn to make their hair.  The technique to make their hair worked so well for their ringlets, I thought I would test it out on this ribbon to see if it would work.  By the way, I liked this piece so much, I still have it.  Some of the pegs are missing but those ringlets are still holding firm in their little pigtales.

IMG_2771.JPGYou can use bamboo skewers or a pencil or anything that is a cynlinder shape.  When I orignally did this technique we used metal knitting needles.  The size of the object you are using will depend on how tight or loose the ribbon will curl.  You can also wrap the ribbon more than one time over itself.  If you do this, remember the ribbon on the bottom will be tighter than the ribbon on top.

I just wound the ribbon on the object and clamped it down with a binder clip to hold it in place.  I then placed it on a wire rack (or a cookie sheet will work too) and let it bake in the oven for 45 minutes on 250 degrees.  Now, if you are using a pencil you may want to remove the eraser (it may melt in the oven and who wants to clean up that mess).  You also do not want to stick this in the oven and then leave the house.  This is a low temperature but like everything you do with fire/electricity, you need to use common sense and stay around to be sure something doesn’t happen.  Once the 45 minutes is over, take them out of the oven and let them cool down.  This is an important step, the cool down is what makes the ribbon hold the curl and it also makes it a lot easier to handle.

I also discovered that if you left the ribbon wound around the item overnight (no heat required) it curled the ribbon also.  However, a word of warning about not baking the ribbon, the humidity will cause the ribbon to relax and without the heat and cool down process the ribbon curls are not as tight making for larger spirals.  This leads me to think that the ribbon over time will just relax completely.

IMG_2773.JPGThere you have it, beautiful little ribbon ringlets to use in making bows or decorating cards or layouts. 

To see how these look on a card, be sure and catch my post tomorrow,  Friday, July 31st for the Paper Cutz challenge.  I think I’ll be incorporating these in more of my designs.  Hmmm, maybe this will be my signature look.


Jun 16, 2009 - Cards, Tips, Tutorials    1 Comment

Father’s Day Card

Recently on the Cricut MB, a contributor by the name of Nilda showed us how to use chipboard elements as embossing elements for the CuddleBug (CB).  Check out her sight and videos at  She is one talented lady!

Embossed Mat

Here is what the embossing looks like after it has been run through the CB.

I cut the owl and the flourishes out of chipboard using the Storybook cartridge (SB) and I cut the word “Dad” out of card stock using the Plantain cartridge (PLN).

I use recycle cereal boxes, frozen dinner boxes, and cracker boxes for chipboard.



I made sure I used my stickiest mat, and then I also taped down the top and side to ensure that the chipboard does not move around.  I also used a deep cut blade and placed it on #6.

Tip:  Some chipboard (i.e., boxes from file folders, some frozen dinner boxes) have a plastic coating on them so you may want to make an extra pass with the cutting.

The mutliple cuts, pressue and speeds will very according to your machine.  My machine used this combination:  Multiple Cuts = 5 times (4 +1); Speed = low; Pressure= High

Chipboard Element

When choosing your element to cut out of chipboard, be sure and choose an element that does not have fine detail.  The element will cut cleaner and emboss clearer if the detail is large.  It also makes it easy to clean up the chipboard after it is cut if the details are not fine.

This is the owl and the flourishes that was cut with the recycled staple box.


Tools Used

I used a small blade craft knife, the pick instrument from the Cricut accessory tools, and a small file to clean and remove the cut areas that didn’t easily come out when I removed the elements from the mat.




Cleaned Up

Here it is with all of it’s detailed elements punched out, sanded and trimmed.

The cleaner the chipboard element the cleaner it will emboss.  So take a little extra time to get it just the way you want it.




Sandwich Plates for CB

I’m making a 6″ x 4″ card so I cut a mat @ 5-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.

The sandwich for the embossing is as follows:

A plate; B-plate; Embossing Pad (tan pad); card stock mat; chipboard element using for embossing; 2 shims (made from cereal boxes); second B plate.


Tip:  The Embossing pad is from Spellbinders; however, you can go to your local home center and get a similar item in the plumbing department.  I believe they come in a red color and have to be cut down but the price is a lot cheaper.

Be sure and pay attention to how and where you are placing your chipboard elements that you are using to emboss. When you emboss, the results will produce an embossed side and a debossed side.  If you are wanting to use the emboss side, be sure and place the chipboard element as though you are looking at the card or mat from the reverse side.  If you want the embossed element on the left side you would place it on the right side at this point.

Finished Card

I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m in to all the details and insist that my cards are full of detail.

I chalked the Owl and flourishes and added some eyes.  I inked and doodled on “Dad” and the photo corners.  Added a little ribbon and a tag that says “Happy Father’s day” and of course buttons.




Carried the theme on the inside of the card.  The Owl is the $1 stamp I found at JoAnn’s and I used the MCPT to get it a little umph!

I did discover that I could use the photo punch and punch the corners on the folded card to get the photo corners at the top.  So I folded the card, stuck the corner into the punch and it cut through both layers…..that rocks!


Nilda is going to put a “How To Video” on how to do this technique so be sure and check her blog out over the next week or so. 

Tip:  If you don’t have a Cricut, you can still use this technique by just using purchase chipboard and using that as an embossing element.  I’m also sure this will work with other dye cutting machines other than the CB.  Just play around with the different plates until you find the sandwich mix that works.  My CB is still new so it would not take the “C” plate like Nilda’s, but I just kept switching things out and around until I got the mix that worked.

Thanks for looking and don’t forget to get a closer look just click on the picture.  Thanks for stopping by and be sure and leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.

Jun 5, 2009 - Organization, Tips, Tutorials    2 Comments

Acrylic Stamps – Storage Solution

I realize there is a lot of ways to store your acrylic stamps and you have probably gone through several of them.  There is the clip-it-up method, there is keeping them in binders using protective sheets, Jim Holtz has a system and I’ve seen several others.

My problem is I forget what I have if I don’t see them and the clip-it-up method was a little more expensive than what I wanted to get into.  So I saw this storage used with some Bo-Bunny acrylic stamps and I’ve also seen DVD cases used.  This is fairly inexpensive, depending on how much recycled items you have.

Items Used: 

Standard Jewel Cases (pk of 10 for $3.99 – Office Depot)

Cardstock – Your choice of color

Acetate – You can get this at your craft store or Office Center – I used recycled acetate from packaging and sheets that covered the acrylic stamps.

Staz-On Ink – Black

Large acrylic stamp block


 Let’s begin….

This system uses a “standard” jewel case.  This is important because the slim jewel cases do not have a removable center that holds the disk and it does not have enough depth to allow the case to close when you put the stamps inside.  It usually takes two standard jewel cases to hold a sleeve of stamps. 

Tip:  If you buy Music CD’s they can be recycled to use in this system.

Standard Jewel CaseCenter removed from Jewel Case

Pop the center out and you are left with the front and back of the standard jewel case.

Since my craft studio is in black/white/yellow, I chose a light yellow card stock to use as my cover for the cases.  The cover does a couple of things.  The top of the cover is where I write the information about the mfg and the stamps and there is a 1/4″ lip on the cover that labels what is in the case.  I used categories  (i.e. flourishes, floral, words, medallions, etc) so I put like things together.  This helps narrow down the packages and it puts the various styles and types together.  To me this is a time saver.  I don’t have to dig through everything trying to find that one stamp I know I purchased but can’t seem to remember what set of stamps it came with.

I used a Cricut E. and the George cart. to cut the top cover sheet and the bottom acetate.  The top measurements are 4.625″ H x 5.6888″W and the bottom is set at 4.935″H and 4.75″W.  I cut the top cover out of cardstock and the bottom sheet out of acetate.

Bottom TemplateCut several bottoms (see measurements above) out of acetate.  Mark one to use as a template and place it in the bottom of the jewel case and arrange the stamps to fill the template.  Be sure and keep the stamps off the small lips in the jewel case that holds the template in place.  This enables you to slide the bottom acetate out and in easily.

Tip:  I marked the template so I knew which one I was using for a template so I would not get it mixed up with the acetate bottoms I was stamping. That way only one acetate bottom was getting ink smudges on it.

Stamps arranged on TemplateOnce the stamps are arranged (cut side up), ink the stamps with Staz-on Ink then place another acetate bottom on top of the inked stamps.  Make sure you have the bottom turned correctly to match the widths and the heights correctly. 

Ink/acetate bottom/acrylic block

Using the acrylic block press down to transfer the image to the acetate bottom. 


Remove the stamped acetate and let it dry.  Once it is dry turn the stamp side over and slide it into the bottom of the standard jewel case.  This will mean the stamped image is against the jewel case.  This will turn the images correctly and you can place your stamps in the designated places.

Jewel Case/stamped acetate bottom/acrylic stamps

The acetate bottom being stamped with the predetermined places will help you keep your stamps in the right jewel cases and give you a road map as to how they go back in the case.

From here cut the top cover to go in the lid of the standard jewel case.

Labeled Top Cover

I ran the covers through my printer giving them  the general categories (i.e., floral, floruishes, words medallions). 

You can get as detailed as you want but I just hand wrote the information on the top just in case I needed it later.



1/4" from the bottomUsing the Scor-Pal I ran a fold at the 4-1/4″ mark, placing the edge of my cardstock on 4″ and the next line over is the 1/4″. 

1/4" fold to create label

Using a ruler to make the crease sharp creates the label for the standard jewel case.  Yes, you are correct the label is upside down at this point; however, when you slide it into the top of the jewel case and turn it over it is right side up.





Stamps in Jewel Case on top of stamp acetate bottom

Here the acrylic stamps are lined up on the stamped acetate bottom inside the jewel case in their designated area.

Cover slide into the top of the Jewel Case

Slide the top cover in the top of the standard jewel case, making sure the folded label is in the middle of the jewel case.  This enables the label to show when the standard jewel case is closed.

Finished Acrylic Stamp Storage

Here it is!  Now I got a little carried away and inked the edges of the labels so they would have a little dimension to them.



What I love about this system:

1. They are neatly stored, like items are together (words, Christmas, florals, etc).

2. I can pull out a category and just turn it over and look at what is stored in that jewel case.  If that is not what I’m looking for slide it right back in it’s slot. 

3. If it is what I’m looking for; open it, use it, easily put it back in the jewel case exactly replacing it where the stamped image is marked.

4.  It sits on top of my jetmax cubes at arms reach and a reminder that they are available.

5.  It’s compact and all the same size.

6.  It can be added to, changed or reduced easily.

7.  The various mfg’s information is written on the cover and easily accessed.

Thanks for taking the time to read through and be sure and let me know if you discover a step you would like to know more about or information on.  The clear CD case is from the Container Store and cost about $6.99.  I like using the clear items because it keeps the room feeling light and airy.

I apologize for the placement of some of the pictures and text.  I tried repeatedly to get them straightened out but at last the system was being rebellious.

Be sure and leave me a note, let me know what you think,  I love hearing from you. 

Capadia Designs #5 – Welding in a Frame

Walking in the Flowers

Here she is walking amongst the flower garden that my #1 Daughter made in her breakfast nook area for Rylan’s birthday.

Trying to get a “just right” picture was more than difficult and this was as close as I could get.  Still she was the guest of honor and enjoyed her day to the fullest.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the latest on Capadia Designs Video #5 on Welding in a Frame is excellent.  Here is the link  I learn so much from her and if you have DS this will help you a great deal.

I know I was surprised that I found some time to post too, since I’m on a mini-vacation but I can’t seem to stay away.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure and leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.

May 22, 2009 - Cards, Tips, Tutorials, Uncategorized    No Comments

3-D Sunflower Part 3 of 3

So here we are with the outside completed.  If your petals are sticking out and up more than you want,  justSide view add a few glue dots to hold the petals down and in place.

The second olive green mat with the oval is for the inside of the card.  You’ll need to cut it down to 4.75″.  Using the Cuttlebug and the Happy Birthday folder emboss the mat and set it aside after the edges have been inked.

Tip:  This mat will be bigger than the A2 folder.  I matched the A2 folder to the side that didn’t get embossed and held it in place with repositionable tape, ran just that side through the CB.  I should have taken a picture of that step but didn’t think about it at the time.  Just be very observant on where the A2 folder ends on the mat and line it up when you go to emboss the rest of the mat.

Inside Mat - Embossed

Here is the inside mat after it has been embossed. 

There is a website called  This website is free and it lets you create “Beautiful Word Clouds”.  If you want a word to show up larger than the rest of the words (i.e. Amber), you enter that word in your list more than one time.

So I put in a list of words that I felt described her.  Once the “cloud” is made, you can use their format  options to change colors and fonts and how the words appear in the cloud.

Once I got it to where it complimented the colors of the card I printed it off on colored cs. I moved the oval around the “word cloud” until I found the best postion that captured the words I wanted diplayed and cut it down to fit the mat.  I stitched the finished mat to the inside of the card. 

Tip:  It would have been better to stitch the mat to another mat and then apply to the inside of the card, that way your stitching would not show on the back.  Since, I didn’t think of that before hand, I glued a mustard mat (5″ x 5″) to the back of the card and covered up the stitching.  This may seem like it would make the card heavy but it actually helped support the bulkiness of the flower.

Decorated Pins

Added a small bow so I could tuck  a couple of bead encrusted pens to finish off the inside.

Tip:  Because I couldn’t get all the words I used in the “word cloud”  inside the oval, I printed them off on vellum and glued them to the left side of the card.  That way when she opened it up she could see all the words that was used to describe her.


I created an envelope using Paper Wishes Pastel Vellum Papers.  I used the pastel orange and then wrote her name and embellished it with a cute bubble bee and some rain dots.

The vellum envelope allows you to see the Sunflower and mutes the colors. 

Wow, this is a long tutorial for one card.  I have learned that the more detail you do to a card the more instructions it requires.  I’m sure I missed something or accidently left something out.  So if you try to make this card and have a question, please be sure and let me know if I’ve left something out or it is not clear.  I’ll be more than happy to update anything I left out or need to make clearer.

Thanks again for stopping by and let me know what you think.  I hope I showed you something new or provided you a tip that makes it a little easier.

May 21, 2009 - Cards, Tips, Tutorials    No Comments

3-D Sunflower Part 2 of 3

Leaves turned to petalsHi everyone!  I apologize for the delay in the continuation of this card, I had several things come up that I had to take care of and by the end of the day I was too tired to add to this tutorial.

I also updated the first post, you will need to cut 24 to 25 petals not 12.   I also updated the information to reflect that all edges, on all pieces have been inked using Creamy Brown and added ribbon, pin, and brown CS information.

Let’s pick up where we left off.  This picture shows one row of leaves with the stems cut off to form the petals and one row of leaves with the stems still on.  Take a close look at the petals; the top of the petals are turned slightly to the right and on the bottom row the top of the leaves are turned slightly to the left.  This is important as you start to layer the petals that some go to the left and some go to the right.


The petals are colored using the MCPT technique, there are two groups of leaves #1 group and #2 group, and using the colors of Prisma Pencils indicated in post 1 of 3.  I followed the basic yellow in the center, darker color to the left of the petal and lighter color to the right.


Additional enhancements

I also used some perfect medium on several of the petals.

Tip:  You could take 12 of the petals and use as the base, then take 6 and dry emboss them and 4 heat embossed and 2 using perfect medium.  This would give you a different look entirely.

Petals Heat Embossed

Here is what the Jeweled Gold heat Embossed petals look like.  There are actually 4 petals that I did this way.  I colored them along with the other petals and then heat embossed over the petal.  This adds depth and color variations to the petals.


Rolling the Petals

Using a smooth pencil (the Prisma Color Pencils work well), roll the ends of the petals to make a curve.  Some petals will need a little roll and others will need a deeper roll.  I initially rolled them all the same and then as I started assemblying them rolled the petals more as I needed them.

Assembly of Petals

Start layering the petals from the front wrapping the curved ends into the inside of the front of the card.  I used repositional glue until I got the first three or four started.  As I like how they looked I went back and attached them with permanent glue.  Don’t be surprised if you get something the way you like it and then need to add a petal to the layer beneath.  Just keep arranging and layering until you go completely around the oval cut out.

Once they were all attached I cut an oval 3.09″W x 3.693″ H,  heat embossed in with Marcasite and then glued it to the back of the front of the card to cover the petals and create the center of the Sunflower.

Amber's B-Card

With the center in place I took the 3-D Scribble Paint and started filling the outer part of the center of the Sunflower with dots. 

Tip:  Start with the dark color first and then work your way up to the lighter color.  It takes less of the lighter colors to make an impact so don’t over saturate the light colors.

I added the mustard mat (5″x5″) to cover up the center on the inside of the card.  If I had planned a little better I could have probably eliminated a layer by incorporating the center with the mat, but at this point it was too late.

I’m going to stop here and we’ll finish up the tutorial with what I did to the inside of the card.  Thanks for looking and don’t forget you can click on the pictures to get a closer look.  Thanks for stopping by and be sure and leave me a comment, I enjoy hearing from you.