How to: Paper Dress Banner in a Shadow Box & giveaway

May 17th, 2010

A couple of month’s ago I was seriously inspired by Trish Turay’s dress garland featured on Get it Scrapped. I instantly knew that I wanted to create a shadowbox for my new niece’s nursery. So I bookmarked the website and ordered a 9×20 Shadowbox online.

On Saturday I had a whole day to do whatever I wanted with it. So I hopped out of bed and got to work! The first thing I did was create my own cutting files. I have a Cricut Expression and use SCAL to cut all my own custom files.

I created 2 dresses, 1 apron, 2 over-skirts, and a collar. This made really short work of my project because I didn’t have to hand cut anything.  I love my Cricut.

All the paper that I used is from my Quite Contrary line – Hello Beautiful color set by My Mind’s Eye.

With all my dresses and items cut out, I grabbed some Lush embellishments also by My Mind’s Eye, and my awesome new Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro and started embellishing!

For the first dress, I used ribbons, paper and brads to create some cute hand-made flowers. I also added some tiny rhinestones for buttons and made a glittered sash.

The second dress also got some glitter on the collar and layered skirt. I ran the top skirt through the sewing machine and topped it off with a ribbon sash and a button. I also added a playful pink pom pom trim using my Glue Arts Glider.

For the third dress, I wanted to gather some wide organza that I had lying around. So I pulled out my sewing machine… I barely know how to sew, so pardon how messy this is… but at least you know beginners can do it too!

I traced where the apron hit the dress so that I would know where I needed to start my skirt and how long of a gathered piece I needed.

Then I grabbed some yarn and sewed it loosely to my organza – about twice as long as the skirt.

Then I gently pulled on the yarn to gather it, and then sewed it to the bottom dress, so that none of my bad sewing would show!

The gathered skirt was a little unruly, so I used my glue glider to help it stick down. You couldn’t see any of the glue in the final product.

I also wanted some ric-rac on the bottom of the apron to finish the transition. The best way I know to create adhesive ribbon is to run it through my Xyron. This really makes it easy to get ribbon down securely especially on curves. I also used it on the green ribbon on the first dress.

Once I was happy with how all the dresses turned out, I decided to make a banner with the new baby’s name.

I just hand-cut a bunch of triangles and then ran them through the sewing machine with some crocheting string. I did it really SLOWLY so I had control over the string and the placement on the triangles.

I chose a contrasting color – brown, to give the banner a more detailed effect. Then I simply added some glitter sticker letters.

Once I decided how everything would be placed. I grabbed some teeny clothes pins and some cream seam binding to hang the dresses on. I also found some eye-screws to hang the ribbon by.

For the banner, I used some small pins and tied the string around them.

You can also see that I added a few pins in the middle of the banner to create a scalloped look. This was the final product and I absolutely love how it turned out. The hardest part was having to give it away! But I can’t wait to see it in my new nieces adorable nursery.

For the wrapping, I wrapped some tissue paper around the frame and had my cricut cut out another dress and apron. I only added one embellishment to this dress — a little rhinestone necklace. Then I clothes-pinned it to the ribbon with a little congratulations tag.

If you’re interested in doing this or a similar project, I actually took the time to build all the files (SVG, GSD, JPG, AI)  for the various cutting programs and am selling them at Design House Digital starting Thursday May 2oth (2010). These files should work for any die-cut machine including the Cricut (with SCAL), & Silhouette. I’m giving away this digital kit to one of my readers, all you need to do is comment — tell me what kind of cutting machine you have — and I’ll choose one random winner on Thursday Morning!

How to start project 365 by using an album template

January 20th, 2010


If you’ve heard about Project 365 or are thinking about doing it, now is a great time to start. I’m sure you have *some* photos from 2010 and many more days are ahead of you still! This year I was planning on doing a modified version of 365 where I would compile photos from each month and make a few pages, and then at the end of the year get an album printed. However when I really started looking at how much fun taking just one single picture every day could be, I decided to go for it! So I made a super clean, super simple album template for the month of January. I wanted it to be very photo-oriented because with 365 photos of different things, you don’t want too much interfering with that. Plus I like really graphic and editorial style layouts. Here is the album that I designed:

You can see that it’s really basic. It has 8 pages wth spaces for 31 photos, and then a 9th page which has one line for a caption for each photo. I am going to make a corresponding album for every month of 2010. Each will be a variation based on the season, but they will all have the same look and feel so that if you followed the project through for the whole year, you would end up with a sleek coordinating album.

You can also personalize and modify the template to your specifications by adding digital elements and patterns. I decided to make a quick video tutorial to show you just how easy it is to compile your photos from 2010. Hopefully it will inspire you to start taking pictures! If you are unfamiliar with templates, this tutorial should give you a basic understanding of how templates work in general.  I used Photoshop Elements 8.0 but the same principles apply to other versions as well as full-featured Photoshop.

Video Tutorial – Basic Digital Layout

January 1st, 2010

If you’re interested in digital scrapbooking, but you think it’s a little intimidating, here’s a video I made for Design House Digital.

It’s just a really simple layout to get you started, and best of all, you can download the kit that I used for FREE so you can follow along. I used Photoshop Elements 8, and if you don’t have it, you can download a FREE 30-day free trial. It’s actually quite a simple and straightforward program to use, yet it has so many awesome features. You can also do this same basic thing with Photoshop.