December 1st, 2014
For the Michaels Makers Challenge this month, I was asked to make a creative gift and custom gift-wrap.
For my gift, I decided to create some sewn journals. These are an easy and inexpensive gift, and they also make great stocking stuffers.
I ended up making 5 journals for this gift, but a set of 3 is pretty standard, or just one with a ribbon and a pen is still a great gift.
Paper Pad (the one I used is only $5 today! And you can make up to 48 Journals with it!)
Basic Sewing Machine
Step 1: Cut your cover to size. I used full-sized letter paper (8.5×11) and placed it on a 12×12 sheet of paper that I had cut down to 8.5″ leaving the width 12″. I used 12 sheets of paper – this will create 24 papers, and 48 pages (back and front).
Step 2: Fold and sew. The way that I do this is to fold the cover sheet ONLY, crease the fold and then unfold. This gives you a guide for sewing. Then place the papers centered on the fold, and sew up the middle.
The end result will look like this.
Step 3: Use a bone folder to crease the spine. I can’t think of a single tool that does this job as well as a bone folder. I’ve had this one since my bookbinding days at college. Definitely a great investment!
Step 4: Trim. Once your spine is folded. You’ll need to use a NEW xacto blade to trim ALL of the edges. Place your straight edge firmly where you want to cut, and then use the xacto knife with medium force to slice through all your pages. You may need to cut more than once, thats okay. Better to cut a few times with medium force, than to hit it with full force and ruin the edge.
Trim the top, bottom, and side for a perfectly-edged journal.
Step 5: Repeat for as many journals as you want to make!
For the wrapping part of this project, I wanted to create a box that perfectly fit the journals. I did this by hand, but you could use a Cricut Explore (that cuts and scores in the same pass!).
Ad tech Permanent Glue Runner
Ad tech Hi Temp Glue Gun
Step 1: Measure your journals to get the finished size of the box. Mine was 8″ x 5″. Then add on the height of the stack of journals. Mine was about 1″. You’ll have to add the height measurement to each side of your original rectangle. Then if you desire, you can add another .5″ to fold back over so that you don’t have raw edges on the final box.
Step 2: Use a bone folder to score all of these folds. Then use scissors (or xacto knife) to trim around edges, and cut out flaps like this:
Step 3: Fold box along all score marks, glue tabs with a glue runner, and then glue the flaps and fold into place.
Step 4: Cut a cigar band to hold the journals together, and tie a ribbon around them. Then place inside the box.
Step 5: Measure the size of the top of the box using the bottom of the box as a guide. Add about 1/8″ total for the top to fit on the bottom. Cut glitter card stock and score.
Step 6: Cut flaps, fold all scores, and use a hot glue gun to glue flaps in place.
Step 7: Put top box onto bottom box, and tie with ribbon, and embellish with ribbons, wood veneer tags, and a stem.
Check out the other Michaels Makers this month:
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*This post contains affiliate links. Product for this project was provided by Michaels Craft Stores
November 30th, 2014
I created those adorable Let it Snow banners for my Michaels Dream Tree this year. I’ve had quite a few people ask about how I made them so I put together this quick tutorial. They are really easy to make if you have the new Cricut Explore which cuts glitter cardstock like it’s well, regular card stock.
White paper – 12″x18″
Large Cricut Mat
Cricut Deep Cut Blade
Ad tech Permanent Glue Runner
Step 1: Use Cricut and Large Cricut Mat to cut banners. Mine are 3.75×17.5. You can also cut these by hand because they are such a simple shape.
I get 3 banners from one sheet of 12×18 paper.
Step 2: Lay out your phrase in Cricut Design Space to fit on your mat size. You can cut any of your own fonts. Just make sure they are sized to fit your banner. My phrase is 14″ long.
Step 3 Cut glitter card stock. I use my deep-cut blade, but I’ve never tried it any other way, so you may be able to use a regular blade.
The glitter card stock cuts perfectly every single time, even in the tiny detail areas.
Step 4 Apply glue to the back of the phrase. I use the Ad tech Permanent Glue runner because I like how the adhesive just adheres to where the paper is.
Step 5 Stick the phrase on the paper banners!
And then just decorate your tree!
November 26th, 2014
These chalkboard place cards are super easy to create. I found chalkboard coasters at Michaels and knew right away they would make the perfect placecards for my thanksgiving table.
Chalkboard Coasters (I found these at my local Michaels)
Mini Wood Spool
Ad Tech Hi-temp Glue Gun
Basically you just need to glue the spools to the back of the coasters. I HIGHLY recommend a full-format high-temperature glue gun like this one from Ad tech. If you don’t have one, you should definitely get one. It has quickly become my favorite crafting tool. You have to be a little more careful with high-temp, but it adheres to pretty much everything, but you get less strings, and you have a few more seconds to reposition items before the glue hardens.
Glue on one mini spool to each corner…
Your place cards will stand up just perfectly, and all you have to do is write names on them!
I also found cute chalk banners at Micheals and just had to get them. I love a few little chalk accents in my fall decor. Also did you spy my burlap placemat?
If you don’t want to glue spools to the backs, you can just leave the coasters flat and prop them against other decor on the table. You could also turn these into a banner by stringing them and writing what everyone is thankful for etc. So many possibilities!