Monday, October 17, 2011

Tutorial - Newspaper Letters

Most households worldwide have a pile of newspapers piled up somewhere. These have been put to good use by crafters for a very long time making larger projects like paper mache or simpler altered items. Today I want to downscale even more and show you how to transform a simple item like a chipboard letter into something special to add to your paper crafting project. This was a tutorial featured in the August copy of Scarpbook News and Review magazine

Chipboard letters
Gel Medium
Step One: Tear a piece of newspaper up into small pieces as shown above. Try and find a piece of newspaper that has text on both sides of the paper.
Step Two: Paste the newspaper onto the chipboard letter. Place the newspaper pieces onto the letter in a random pattern with the text running in various directions.
Step Three: Turn the chipboard letter over and add some adhesive to the sides. Fold the newspaper over the sides and cut away any excess pieces.
Step Four: Turn the Chipboard letter right side up again and lightly sand the edges with a sanding block to smooth them.
Step Five A: You have several options to finish your letters off. The first and easiest option is to ink the edges. You could ink them lightly or heavily as I have done for a more dramatic look.
Step Five B.1: Another option is to first ink the edges and then add some acrylic paint to your letter. In keeping with the recycling theme, use items like toilet paper rolls to stamp onto your letters.
Step Five B.2: For a more distressed painted finish add a layer of Ranger Rock Candy crackle paint.
Step Five C.1: Another option to finish off your letters is to age your letters for a vintage look. Start by inking your newspaper covered letter with some Ranger Vintage photo distress ink. Then ink the edges with some Walnut Stain distress ink.
Step Five C.2: Now add a layer of extra thick gel medium to the entire surface of your letter. For added texture you could tap your finger on the gel to create some peaks. Set aside to dry.
Step Five C.3: Once the gel medium has dried completely you can add some more ink and perhaps some metallic paints to the letter for a really aged finish. The gel medium on the letter above was smoothed over before it dried.
Step Five C.4: For the letter above I created a far more textured surface with the gel medium but tapping it with my finger. This is a really lovely finish and definitely my personal favourite of the options I’ve demonstrated.

Depending on your personal style, there are dozens of options to finish your letters. You could dip your covered letters into some clear UTEE, stamp and emboss over the newspaper text or maybe even mist them. Not only is this a fun technique to use to embellish your chipboard lettering but also a great way of keeping up with the latest trend of scripted text on papers without having to fork out a lot of money.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tutorial - Sticker Letter Background

One of my major frustrations with paper crafting is those annoying leftover sticker letters you inevitably end up with. I have yet to use every single letter in a sheet of alpha stickers. I know one option is to combine your lettering when making a title, which I often do, but I’d like to show you another more fun and creative use for those leftovers. This was a tutorial featured in the August copy of Scrapbook News and Review magazine

Alpha and/or numeric sticker letters

Step One: Cut a piece cardstock to the size you need. I’m going to use mine as a background on a card but you could cover an entire 12x12 piece of cardstock for a layout if you choose.
Step Two: Stick your alpha and/or numerical stickers onto the cardstock in a random pattern. You need not only use letters and numbers. You can add any leftover stickers lying around to your design.
Step Three: Paint a layer of acrylic gesso over your entire surface area. If you don’t have gesso, regular acrylic paint will do fine. If you’ve used a dark piece of cardstock, you may need a second layer of gesso.
Step Four: Add some colour to your textured background with some mists. For a more intense colour, you could paint over the gesso with a coloured acrylic paint.

Now that you have your base you could kick it up a notch and add some stamped images or maybe even some embossed images. If you want to define the sticker patterns you can outline them with stickles or maybe even add some textured pastes. Because the stickers are covered in gesso/paint first, leaving you with a neutral base, you can combine leftover stickers from several different sheets to create a single background.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tutorial - Corrugated Board Frame

I do a lot of online shopping so I have a constant supply of cardboard boxes coming into my home. At first I used to just throw them all away until I realised the true value of corrugated board and what a gorgeous backing it made to just about any kind of paper crafting project. Now I hold onto those boxes and cut them up into manageable size pieces to be used on projects as I need. Today I’d like to share a fun way of making your very own photo frame using some corrugated board. This was a tutorial featured in the August issue of Scrapbook News and Review Magazine

Corrugated board
Molding paste
Extra thick gel medium
Glass beads
Step One: Depending on what size frame you want you need to cut two pieces of corrugated board the same size. I used an existing frame I had as a template so I cut two 6x8 pieces.
Step Two: Now cut an opening for your photograph in one of the pieces only. I cut a 3.25x5 opening for my photograph.
Step Three: Remove the top layer of paper from the corrugated board. I suggest that you don’t remove all of the paper. Leave some random pieces in place because this adds character to your project once you add the colour.
Step Four: Add some molding paste to two of the corners across from each other. Use your fingers to create texture and patterns in the molding paste. Then add some extra heavy gel medium to the side panels. Embed your glass beads into the gel medium while still wet. Set this aside to dry. Depending on the amount of molding paste you added you may need to leave it to dry overnight.
Step Five: While your pastes are drying you can work on the back panel of your frame. Use an existing frame as a guideline to cut out the frame stand. You need to do your measurements carefully so that your frame will have the right balance. If you cut your stand too low or high your frame may not be able to stand up on it’s own.
Step Six: Add some liquid adhesive to your panel. It is very important that you not add any adhesive to the “stand” part. You may want to push the stand out before adding the adhesive to ensure that you don’t accidentally get any on it.
Step Seven: Cut a piece of cardstock the same size as your frame and stick it to your back panel.
Step Eight: Lift the stand out of your panel and check that it will allow your frame to stand on its own. Here’s a side view of the frame.
Step Nine: Once the molding paste and glass bead embedded gel medium has completely dried, set it on your craft mat and mist with the colours of your choice. I used some Lindy’s Stamp Gang Moon Shadow mist. I’m love these two toned mists. I used Buccaneer Bay Blue and Tawny Turquoise.
Step Ten: Add some flowers to your frame over the molding paste. I used some white flowers which I also misted with the same Moon Shadow mists. I suggest you stick your flowers down with a hot glue gun if you have one.
Step 11: Stick your photograph onto the cardstock surface of your back panel. Again, measure carefully to ensure that your photograph is centred with the opening of your front panel.
Step 12: Now stick your front panel onto the back panel.
Step 13: Stand your frame up pull the stand out. You may need to play around and make adjustments until it’s able to stand completely stable.

These would make a great personalised gift for a friend or family member. Another option would be to not add the front panel to a stand but use it to frame a photograph on a layout instead. Either way, these are great fun to make and a creative method of recycling your postage packages.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

August SNR publications

These are the LO's published in the August edition of SNR magazine. The LO above was sone for the "Just the two of us" call. I decided to use this pic of Erin with Matt when he was only a few weeks old. I just LOVE this pic. I used it together with more of my Bella Vollo Swirlydoos kit. I altered my Dusty Attic frame with some molding paste which I then coloured with some alcohol ink for a really gringy finish.

This is my oldest son at his Hip Hop dancing show. As is the norm with most kids, he no longer does hip hop but it was really fun while it lasted. I create the bg myself using stamps and platinum UTEE on some red cardstock.

Last but not least, is a LO I did with my DD and she really is quite the charmer, especially when it comes to dad...LOL!! I kept this one quite simple with some lacing to finish it off. I altered the Dusty Attic chipboard with some Creative Inspiration paints and made my own pearl flourishes sing liquid pearls.

Thanks for taking the time to check in.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tutorial - Faux Leather using beeswax

There are several techniques available to create a faux leather finish. In fact, we’ve already shared several with you. Therefore, it was a challenge to create something new. While browsing the internet looking at some mixed media pieces using beeswax, I realized that it would deliver the perfect finish I was looking for. I love finding ways to use mixed media products on my paper crafts, so please allow me to share my discovery with you. This tutorial was featured in the July issue of Scrapbook News and Review magazine

•Distress ink
•Melting pot
•Heat gun
•Perfect Pearls

Step One: Gather all your supplies together and place your chipboard piece onto your non-stick craft mat. I was lucky to find this adorable chipboard piece at my local scrapbook store.
Step Two: We'll be adding several shades on ink to our chipboard piece. It's important to start with the lightest color first. Ink the entire surface area with Vintage Photo distress ink.
Step Three: For the next layer of ink, use Walnut Stain distress ink. For this layer only, ink the edges of your chipboard piece.
Step Four: For your third and final layer of ink, use Black Soot distress ink. For this layer only, ink small parts of your edges to create shadows. On my piece I inked the tip of the boot, the curve along the back of the boot, the heel and the sole of the boot.
Step Five: Add some natural beeswax pallets to your melting pot and turn your temperature dial to 140 degrees to allow the wax to melt slowly. Remember to never leave melting wax unattended as it’s very flammable.
Step Six: Using a paint brush with natural bristles, paint the entire surface of the chipboard. I specifically took a picture of the boot right after adding the beeswax to show you that it’s natural for it to look very cloudy and waxy. I remember how I thought I'd done something wrong the first time I tried this.
Step Seven: Allow the beeswax to completely cool before the next step. Notice how the wax clears as it cools.
Step Eight: Now take your heat gun and slowly heat the wax to smooth out the lines created by the paint brush. Don't allow the heat gun to linger on one area too long because that will create pooling. You need to move the gun over the entire area in a continuous movement.
Step Nine: This step is optional. If you want a thicker finish, add a second layer of beeswax. I took the picture right after applying the beeswax to demonstrate that even though it looks scary at first, it does clear up once the wax cools completely. Once the wax has cooled, run the heat gun over it again to smooth the wax surface. I added a coat of antique gold Perfect Pearls to my finished product for a little shimmer.

Anyone trying beeswax for the first time will probably have a few "what the....." moments. I know I did. Don't panic until the wax has completely cooled. Remember to run over the wax with a heat gun to smooth the surface if that's the finish you want. Although sometimes having the added texture of the paint brush is an essential element of your project. Just keep playing until you find what you're comfortable with.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tutorial - Chipboard Flaking

We spend a lot of time thinking of new ways to alter the tops of our chipboard pieces to make them pretty and unique, but have you considered using the base of your chipboard to alter your piece completely? I’d like to share a little trick called flaking your chipboard to add a special touch to your chipboard pieces. This mini tutorial was featured in the July copy of Scrapbook News and Review magazine

•Embossing powder

Step One: Place your chipboard onto your non-stick craft mat. My piece had smaller components to it which I removed. I'll replace them again at the end.
Step Two: Emboss your chipboard with UTEE.
Step Three: Flake your chipboard by creating layers with your craft knife. Cut a small slit into your chipboard base and then pull the layer back. I only wanted the very edges of my angel wings flaked, so I only pulled the layers back a short distance.
Step Four: Paint the flaked layers with a complementary color to your embossed surface. I used bronze acrylic ink by Liquitex. Add the smaller components which you've painted back into your piece and you're done.

The design of your chipboard piece will determine if this technique will look good or not. Obviously it can't be done to just any chipboard design. This is also a great technique to add a distressed look to your piece. Consider what your piece would like finished before starting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

tutorial - Double embossed Chipboard

Dry embossing and heat embossing on their own are each fantastic techniques used to add texture and interest to your project, but throw them together and you have some serious wow factor. Allow me to demonstrate on this adorable chipboard piece of a woman’s silhouette in an evening dress. This tutorial was featured in the July copy of Scrapbook News and Review magazine

•Perfect Pearls
•Embossing powder
•Embossing folder
•Cuttlebug or similar embossing machine
•Heat gun

Step One: Place your chipboard piece on your non-stick craft mat.
Step Two: Paint the surface of your chipboard with a base color. I used some black Liquitex acrylic paint. This paint is really thin and offers a clean and smooth surface to work on.
Step Three: This step is optional. I wanted to add a little shimmer to the dress part of my piece so I dusted a coat of Perfect Pearls onto the piece while the paint was still slightly damp.
Step Four: Use some embossing ink to stamp onto your chipboard. Add some embossing powder and heat emboss your stamped images. I used platinum UTEE in my example. I love the texture of the UTEE and I knew it would deliver a great contrast against the black background.
Step Five: Place your chipboard piece into your selected embossing folder and run the piece through your Cuttlebug or similar embossing machine.
Step Six: Remove your chipboard from the embossing folder and embellish further with pearls, paints, etc.

This technique can be applied to chipboard pieces of all shapes and sizes. Try mixing different styles together like flourish stamps with polka dot embossing folders. Use different coloring mediums for your base. Try using two or more different embossing folders or stamps for a single piece of chipboard.