Sep 30, 2010

Cookie Sheet Calendars

I've come to realize that my mind works in strange ways.  I'm usually thinking of things when it isn't the season to think about them.  Know what I'm talking about?  Most crafters do.  So, in August I couldn't wait to start pulling out the fall/Halloween decor - in August!  I held out until just a few days before September though.  However, today, one day before October, I'm already gearing up for Christmas.  Sick, right?!  Here's my first Christmas project.

I've been making cookie sheet calendars for years.  At one point in time I even made them to sell so I've probably made at least 30+.   However, I've never kept a single one for myself and I LOVE them.  So, while I'm making a few of them for Christmas gifts this year, I'll be making me one too - yeah!!!

In case you've never seen one, here's what they look like.  These are a few I've made for classes I've taught or gifts and you can make them out of left over scraps and mismatched stickers - cool right?!  I'm all about using up my supplies.

The idea is that it's a perpetual calendar that is magnetic so each month you just move the pieces into the right place.  All the unused pieces store on the back.  You can totally personalize it with peoples names for their birthdays or use pictures of them too. 

You can make them horizontal or vertical.  The green and red horizontal one I made for my sister-in-law and the vertical one I made for a class I taught a few years back.

Fun, right?  I can't wait to get started.

If you'd like to make one, I'll eventually put up a tutorial. So stay tuned....

Sep 29, 2010

my very 1st blog award! Awww, shucks!

Ok, my blog is very new and I know there are tons of  blogs out there so what I'm about to post is probably not a big deal to most but it's kind of huge to me - I am the proud recipient of my first ever BLOG AWARD!  (How cool is that?!)

Sooooo, many to thanks to Lizard & Ladybug.  She nominated me and now I get to do the very same and nominate 5 other blogs that I love...  now the hard part, which ones?

Here are my choices, these are all new-to-me blogs that I've had fun reading:

Here's what I had to do....

1. Accept the award. 
Post in on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award 
and his or her blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 5 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

Super easy and fun.  So, enjoy the little blog links and go check out their sites.

Sep 28, 2010

A tiskit, A tasket, two little green paper baskets

Fall makes me want to bake! It's true, it does. However, if I bake I eat and that is bad, very, very bad (at least for my waistline). So I'm always on the look out for cute ways to give away food. Yesterday I made a giant batch of pumpkin muffins and needed to give them away so I quickly whipped out my scrapbook supplies and crafted two really quick baskets. They are both made from just 1 piece of 12x12 paper each and some ribbon. And, the cool thing is they both require just a few simple folds. Want to make your own? Here's how:

Both baskets will be made from following this first steps.  Following the diagram below, score your paper as shown.

When you are done scoring your paper, you want to take the corner pieces, the ones with the diagonal score marks and fold all of them in.  When they are folded, you'll have something that looks like the photo below with four corner creases. 

Once your paper is scored and corner creases are folded, you'll need to decide which basket you want to make.  My really good friend, Judy, showed me how to make the first one, therefore it is lovingly called the Judy Basket, here's how you do it:

Take the corner folds and push them into the center.  You'll need to poke holes in each fold and tie them together with twine or ribbon to hold the basket together.  That's it.  Cute right?  Here is my completed Judy basket filled with muffins and ready to deliver.

Now to make the other basket, it's just as easy.  Start by following those first steps of scoring and folding your paper.

Then take each corner fold and instead of pushing it to the center, push it to it's left and tape down on the inside of the basket/box.  Repeat this process until each fold is taped down and you have the shape of a box that looks like the photo above.  Punch a small hole on two of the sides and tie ribbon in place to make the handle.  See, easy right?!  Here's this one completed with treats.

These little baskets can be used for so many different things and the expense is really low to create them.  One sheet of paper and some ribbon.  Most of us have those things on hand which means no more needing to run to the store to buy a container.

My little basket idea was featured on Be Different...Act Normal - you can check it out and lots of others cool ideas here

Sep 24, 2010

Eyes and Fries, well tots actually!

For those of you who follow this blog from Judy's store, you'll recognize this project, well kind of.  And for those of you that are new, here's a project idea that I re-use for multiple holidays or events - it's fun and simple, two of my favorite things.

If you need a quick and inexpensive little Halloween themed gift, this is super easy and cheap budget-friendly.

Here's what you need!
- empty fry box (I like the shape of Sonic's tot boxes)
- gumball eyes
- scrapbook paper
- adhesive
- embellishments

Step One:  Eat the tots or fries so that you have an empty container. Yes, I know, this is probably the best step of the whole project!  :)

Step Two:  Carefully undo the empty package and wipe it out so there are no leftover food pieces or grease.

Step Three:  Trace shape onto scrapbook paper and cut out.

Step Four:  Fold cut out paper into fry box shape and staple or glue together.

Step Five:  Decorate

Step Six:  Fill with treat and give away!

Seriously!  Wasn't that just about the easiest thing ever?  Yes, I do know you can buy containers like these, however, they aren't always in the size or color you want and this way you can enjoy an unhealthy treat, re-purpose and customize all at the same time.  For me the whole project cost $2.  (The .99 cent tots and the gumballs from the $1 store.  I had everything else on hand.)

And, because I like to craft with my kids, this is one of those easy projects that they can do and customize. Little Bug, one of my twins, made this one for a friend - cute, right?!

So there you have it,  Enjoy!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Sep 20, 2010

Word art canvas/Subway art

I've heard it called a couple different things, for the vinyl crafter it's probably most commonly known as Subway art. I don't really care what it is called, I just knew I wanted to make my own. And so I did.

I know a lot of people have their own vinyl cutting machines, not me - bummer, right! So I had to do a few extra steps to make my canvas, here's what I did...

Canvas or piece of wood
Scissors/x-acto knife
Spray adhesive
Contact paper

Step 1:  Paint your canvas.  This color will end up being the color of the words so pick a color that will show well.  I just used an off white for mine.

Step 2:  Make a list of words.  I had my family help and we listed words that we felt best described us.  We have some pretty silly things on there, lots of inside jokes but honestly, it wouldn't be us without those.  After you have your list, open a document program on your computer.  I actually used an illustrator program and laid them out to scale.  Then I printed them onto just regular printer paper.

Step 3:  Once all your words are printed out, spray the back side of the paper with spray adhesive and attach it to the front side (shiny side  not sticky side) of the contact paper.  Then cut all your letters out.   

TIP:  Keep in mind the bigger your words are the easier it will be to cut out.  Duh! Right?  I know, but it needed to be said.  Mostly because I learned the hard way.  Bigger words will also help you in the painting stage too.

Step 4:  Once letters are all cut out, lay them out in the position that they will go on your canvas.  Don't stick them down yet though.  Make sure they are all laid out and that they are spaced right.  You won't be able to check the spacing until all of the words are out. Then, after everything is in it's place, carefully peel the backing off the contact paper and stick it down.

Step 5:  Start painting.  If you are using a canvas be careful as the paint can seep under the letters.  To avoid this issue, put your paint on top of the letter and spread it out onto the canvas.  This way the paint will not pool up at the edge of the letter.

Step 6:  Once you have it painted to your liking and the paint is dry, start removing you letters.  (In the photo some of the letters have been removed but the others haven't.  Notice how the contact paper creates a mask for the paint to show from underneath when the paper is removed.)

Step 7:  (optional)  Sand it down.  Because I used a canvas and it has a texture the words were not very crisp.  Because of this I chose to give the whole thing a distressed look and used a fine grit sand paper to remove some of the paint.  This distressed it all and made it look more complete and balanced.

Step 8:  Hang it up!

It's not a hard project but it is time consuming.  My canvas was very large but you could easily do this in less time on a smaller canvas.

Also, if you want great canvas prints but don't want to do all the steps mentioned above you could design your art work and then have it custom printed at


In the comments Shannon shared a great tip:  "To keep the paint from bleeding under the letters, after you stick all of them down, give the entire canvas one coat of the off-white color before painting the top color. That way, in case any paint does get underneath the letters, it will be the same color."  Thanks Shannon, I will most certainly do that on my next one!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

&ltimg border="0" alt="Photobucket" src=""/>

Sep 16, 2010

Mini album from a card pack

So, here's a quick and easy project that you can do even if you aren't a scrapbooker.  These make great little mini albums for any occasion or advice books for like a baby/wedding shower.

You'll need:
card pack
adhesive, like a glue stick or tabs
chipboard or cardboard (don't have any?  Cut up a cereal box)
hole punch

Step 1:  Grab a pack of blank cards.  Usually you can get these at Walmart or Target for around $3.  They will have 8 to 10 cards in them with coordinating envelopes.  The designs lately are fabulous!

Step 2 & 3:   Set aside the cards for now and just take out the envelopes.  Determine how many envelopes you will use, I used 4.  From here you will basically make a chain of envelopes hooking one flap to the back and bottom of the other.  You'll repeat this until all your envelopes are glued together.  Be sure to line them up well with one another as this will help it align better once it's folded into an album.  (to see how the envelopes will look once they are all glued together, see photo #4)

Step 4:  Now you need to make the covers.  Trim two pieces of chipboard to fit inside the envelope.  You can do this by measuring the space or by tracing a card as your template and then cutting it slightly bigger so that it fills the whole space.  Then, take one piece and place it inside the top envelope and then add the second piece to the bottom envelope.  Adding the chipboard will stiffen up the covers which will help protect the finished design.
Step 5:  Fold flap over on the first envelope to hide the chipboard that is inside. For the back envelope, cover with paper or card of your choice. Then carefully fold up your album accordion style.

Step 6:  Take one card and center it on top of the envelopes in the first fold

Step 7:  Once you have them centered, punch two small holes through both the card and envelope. (holes should line up on the crease of the folds in both the cards and hooked together envelopes - see completed album photo if clarification is needed)

Step 8:  Thread ribbon or string through holes and tie in place. Knot or bow can either go inside the card or on the outside of the envelope.  I chose to put mine on the outside. Once your first card is in place, repeat steps 6 thru 8 until you have cards attached in all the folds of the envelopes.

Step 9:  When all the cards are in place and attached with ribbon, you should have something that looks like this and is ready to decorate.

Below are some photos of the same project done up in different colors.  Some of you will recognize the red set from Judy's, I taught them in a class at one of her crops.

Sep 13, 2010

BOO sign

 So, these mod-podged wooden letters are all over the internet and on lots of craft blogs.  However, although they aren't a new idea, I love them and want to share mine.  If you haven't seen them before, here's also a quick write up on how to make your own.

What you will need:
- Wooden letters to spell out the word of choice
(I found mine at Walmart)
- Various scrapbook papers
- Modpodge
- Scissors
- Ribbon
- Embellishments (if desired)
- Paint and paint brush
- Sand paper (if desired)

Here's how:
- If desired, paint the edges of the wooden letters and let dry.  I painted mine black.
- Trace your wooden letter onto the back of your paper and then cut the traced shape out.
- Add an even coat of mod podge to the wooden letter and adhere paper into place. Let dry completely and resist the urge to pop or mush any bubbles should you get them on your paper.
- Once dry, add a top coat of mod podge over the paper.
- When the top coat is dry, you can sand the edges of each letter and add ribbon to hang the letters together.
- Embellish as desired.  I think these little Sizzix ghosts are a cute accent and go with the theme.

This is a really easy project that comes together rather quickly. You can do all sorts of words and for all sorts of occasions.  "BOO" was super easy though because all the letters had center openings which made it easy to loop them together with ribbon.

Thank You gifts

I have a bunch of projects I'm wrapping up and getting ready to share but they aren't quite share-worthy yet.  So, in the mean time, here's another fun family favorite.  We make these a lot and give them as Thank you gifts.  Recently, I've had some questions about how to make them so here's a quick explanation of what is needed and the steps I follow when making a bouquet.

Supplies needed for cookies:
- Small Gum drops ( I usually get the spiced drops from Walmart)
- BBQ Skewers
- Store bought cookies with holes in the center, my favorites are:  Keebler Fudge Stripes & Murray Sugar-free Shortbread flower shaped cookies.  You can also use Keebler Rite Bite, 100 calorie Grasshopper cookies or 100 calorie Cookies and Cream. (Just keep your eyes open as you shop, if the cookie or cracker has a hole in the middle, it will most likely work.)

Supplies needed for container:
Small flower pot
Floral foam
hot glue gun and glue

Step One:  Put a gumdrop on a BBQ skewers and push it down about 3/4 an inch.  It looks better if you put the gumdrop on upside down.

Step Two:  Add the cookie - so far pretty easy right?  I love easy and cute and so these cookie flowers are perfect!

Step Three:  Add another gumdrop on top of the flower.  This time, put the gumdrop right side up.  And, there you have it - you just made a cookie flower.

Next, you need to prepare the container.

Step One:  Locate a pot.   I just get mine from Walmart or Hobby Lobby and I paint them.  Sometimes I will buy these in advance, paint them and then stash them for when I need them down the road.

Step Two:  Add floral foam to the inside of the pot.  I like to buy a block of it and cut it to the size needed.

Step Three:  Add your flowers and arrange bouquet.  I always start with one in the center and then cut the bbq skewers down to adjust the height of each flower.

Step Four:  Once all your flowers are in place, heat up your glue gun and very carefully add some moss on top of the floral foam.  This will hide your foam and the bases of your skewers and will just add that extra touch of cuteness.

Step Five:  Add a bow if you so desire, I always do.

Step Six:  Go make a flower delivery to brighten someone's day.

Sooooo, sooo, easy!

Sep 7, 2010

Another fall tradition.

I've been working on a subway art project that is HUGE so I'm a little occupied lately.  However, I've been thinking about all things fall and I must admit that I can't wait to add to my Halloween book.  This little book is another one of our fall traditions.  We pull it out sometime mid-September and keep it out until Halloween.  Then, after Halloween I add new pictures and tuck the book away until next year.  It's fun for the girls to look through all their past costumes and I love that I have a little organized spot all ready waiting for this year.   Here's a look at what I've done in the past.  Now if my kids would just decide what they want to be this year, I could start making their costumes.  Of course, that's after I finish my current project.  LOL!!!

Sep 4, 2010

Pumpkin Box Puzzle

It's Labor day weekend, and while I will be creating, crafting, and decorating it won't necessarily be fun fall crafty things. So, while I'm busy with other things, here's a quick fall project from my past...

A Pumpkin Themed Box Puzzle.... Strange, right?! - now let me explain.

For two years I was the Activities chairman AND committee for my church - yes, just me.  My job - I didn't get paid - was to plan, prepare, and present fun activities for the members that attended my church.  I'd try to have an activity every quarter if not every couple of months.  The challenge for this particular activity was that it had to be family based, focused on fun for the kids, and needed to be done on a small budget.  The giant box puzzle was just one of the budget friendly games I came up with.

It's basically just a mural that I painted on 9- 14x14 boxes (bought at Walmart).  At the event the boxes were all mixed up and the kids had to put them back in order like a puzzle.  It's a simple idea but I tell you what, it was a hit with the kids between 3 and 8!  Some of them did it several times.

If you want to create your own big box pumpkin puzzle here's what you need:

9 - 14x14 boxes 
(or at least 9 to 12 boxes that are all the same size and can be stacked in a grid)
and an imagination.

Seriously, that's it.  If you don't trust your painting/drawing skills go buy a $1 fall themed coloring book and use it as your guide for your design.

And as an added bonus, the cool thing about this craft is that the boxes can be collapsed, stored and used again.  Or if you're like me, you'll recycle them and use them for moving boxes.

Enjoy!  And, have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Sep 1, 2010

September Traditions!

Guess What????  It's September.  September and October are my two favorite months of the year.  I love the cooler weather, the fact that I can almost start wearing sweaters, the routine of the school year, and fall family activities.

We have a fall tradition in our family that I look forward to every year.  We make pumpkin people.  We even send out invitation and have a little crafting party with my daughters and their friends.  The one rule that we started last year was that they had to invite someone that they had not invited over before.  It worked as a great friendshipping tool and it was fun for them to think outside of their comfort zone and reach out to a new person.  That new rule will help us out greatly this year as we have recently moved to a new state.

So, the tradition will continue on this year and now that it is finally September,  - I swear, I've waited all year! - now we can start collecting the goods and make our people.

(Also, just as a side note:  We've been making these little guys for about 4 years now but last year I saw that there was an article in Family Fun about them too - I don't have a link but I'm sure you could find more info and see other samples by searching their site.)

So, here's what you need to do:

1- buy small pumpkins, squash and gourds in various sizes and shapes.  (we had a great little family run farm stand in Camden that I miss greatly, but if you have a place like that, check it out)

2- Go on a nature walk, take a bag, and collect all kinds of little things that you can use for decoration.  I've used the following:  rocks, sticks, berries, flowers, leaves, moss, nuts, and acorns.  You can also use found items like plastic bottle caps, trash ties, etc... but I personally like to stick with the things from nature.

3- While you are letting your pumpkins adjust to room temperature, somewhat clean your found items.  You mostly just want to remove any dirt that may interfere with the adhesive.

4-After everything is dry and at room temp, start building your creations.  The best way to do this is to start with stacking your gourds.  Obviously you will start with a bigger one on the bottom and go smaller from there.  Keep in mind that you want them to be balanced. 

Once you get them the way you want, you can use toothpicks or small wooden dowels to attach them together.  (Small children will need help with this step as the skin of the gourds is tough)  Plus, After I get the toothpicks in place, I will usually add in some hot glue just for good measure.

5- Start decorating.  This part is so fun. You can really do so many different things (notice the leaf hair and nut hat that my daughter is working on - serious, endless possibilities here)

Ok, lets talk adhesive:  The majority of what I use is hot glue and toothpicks.  Toothpicks work great for berries and such but not so great for sticks and rocks.  Hot glue is great if you plan to keep them in your house once they are decorated.  However, if you put them on your porch (which we do) the night time temps can cool the glue and decorative items that are glued on can easily fall off.  I still mostly use hot glue but you might want to try other adhesives too, maybe glue dots, Gorilla glue, etc....

Other tips:  You can turn your gathering processing into a scavenger hunt game that is fun for little kids.  Or a nature walk bingo.  The whole project can be a really fun, positive experience for the whole family.  Perhaps that is why it one of my favorite fall traditions.

 These were made by the kids we invited over last year, check out the leaf mohawk and the pirate  - fun, right?!