Using BIG Words in Your Art, Literally

Making something bigger can sometimes enhance a seemingly ordinary project into something unique. A word or name is plain when written on a piece of paper but if those letters were suddenly enlarged 100x then it creates a whole new character. Today, we have two projects by Neva Cole and Roni Johnson that do just that.

 

Art paper mache project. handmade using chipboard, gesso and tsukineko inks.

Papier Mache Art by Roni Johnson

The bigger the better! What comes to mind is larger than the norm, but it also conjures up the idea of something a bit over the top! A project a bit larger, brighter, with more techniques, more products, and more goodness piled on. That is what inspired my “Art” that I’d like to share with you today. This is a hand constructed papier mache project that is not only larger than the norm but it is also styled in my own handwriting. I’ve not seen a project like this done before which just adds to my “more” theory of the bigger the better. Here’s a quick look at how it was made…

art lettering handwritten

I started with drawing the word “art” then transferred the text onto a large piece of chipboard. I trimmed away the excess chipboard and made a second copy by using the first piece as a template.

crafting a paper mache project

Next, I decided to make the depth 2.5” and trim several strips of chipboard to the same size. I simply taped these sides to one piece and taped the second piece to create the backside. I used tape here with these materials. I am certain a glue gun or adhesive of choice can be used instead.

inking a paper mache project with tsukineko ink

To create a proper ground for this 3-D project, I used strips of newspaper and cover the entire piece with a thinned down glue (of your choice) and let dry. I found that mine was sturdy enough after the first layer to proceed and painted the entire piece with white acrylic paint (or gesso). Since I work hard to set up a solid foundation it was not time to go crazy! And I finished the overall look with stamped images over the front of the piece, Onyx Black VersaFine ink, various colors of Creative Medium over several different stencils, and several colors of Fireworks Spray. Once my colors and texture were laid down I finished with adding vintage-looking items such as old paint brushes, pencils, and calligraphy nibs. Yes, it is easier to just buy individually manufactured papier mache letters, but this was worth it to have a one of a kind piece in your very own handwriting. Enjoy!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Chipboard
  • Newspaper
  • Collage Glue
  • Rayon Seam Binding
  • Microbeads
  • Glass glitter
  • Scissors
  • Old paint brushes
  • Old pen nibs
  • Old pencils

Bigger is Better Family Wall Décor by Neva Cole

This project is a perfect example of buying something with the full intent of completing a project but never actually getting around to working on it . . . I’ve had these letters for about 2 years, maybe even more. Insert a blush here! When the challenge to create something Bigger and Better came along it was finally time to decorate these 9.5″ letters that spell our family name–Cole. The Sierra Pacific Crafts Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) letters were painted with a mixture of Creative Medium mixed with VersaMagic Jumbo Java ink. This gives a nice glossy color in one coat that dries quickly. Several stencils and Creative Medium Metallic in Gold mixed with a small amount of Copper finish the look. The stenciling was completed in several steps with drying time in between to avoid smearing. This fun wall décor was easy to create in an afternoon and was ready to hang on the wall with small Velcro hangers. Our name is now proudly hanging above the coat rack my husband built in the entry way of our home.

Supplies

Imagine

Other

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Learn How to Create Monday Motivation

by Jessica Litman

Happy Monday! As you plan your week, Check out Jessica Litman's quick tips on a week-long planner layout. blue ink Tsukineko Memento Dew Drops.

Planner spreads don’t have to be overly complicated. In this quick and easy tutorial, all you need are stamps, Xyron Sticker Maker, double-sided Tear It Tape and Memento Dew Drops! Adding your personal touch to your weekly planner never looked so good!

Skill: Beginner
Time: 5 minutes + plan time

Directions

Lilac Walnut ink spray used to color cardstock. cut into strips for planner decor.
Step 1

Start by spraying Lilac Walnut ink on paper and let dry

memento paris dusk dew drop tsukineko to ink a flag stamp on an acylric block.
Step 2

Decorate the bottom of the planner by using a diamond stamp (main image at the top of the page) with Paris Dusk Memento dew drop to create a border at the bottom of the page. This will give it a washi tape look. Create flag stickers using a flag or banner shape stamp ink pad on white card stock.

xyron sticker maker.
Step 3

Fussy cut the flags and run through Xyron sticker maker. Adhere flags to important events for the week.

double sided tape to use with planner papercrafting
Step 4

Cut the paper spritz with walnut ink paper into thin strips. Use the strips as event dividers. Line the backside with double-sided Tear It tape and adhering the strips to the planner. Add additional stamps to the planner using the Paris Dusk Memento Dew Drop.

memento markers for the planner
Step 5

Record or Plan weekly events using the Memento pens. Sit back and enjoy your well planned and beautifully crafted week!

planner tips for planning out a productive work week!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Stamps – diamond
  • Teresa Collins – Love Today Clear Stamps
  • Crafter’s Companion – Clear Stamps
  • Xyron 1.5” Sticker Maker
  • White card stock
  • Stamp block
  • Scissors
  • Paper cutter
  • Planner

How to Create an Absolutely Bombastic Mixed Media Journal

 by Mischelle Smith

Art journal featuring a sailboat and ocean waves.

When it comes to journaling, I’m a beginner. It’s been a fun transition going from die-hard stamper to the mixed media world and now into journaling. I’ve been able to bring many of my skills with me and I’m learning new skills daily. I wanted to do a spread in my journal that used Imagine’s color of the month Greenery and the artist challenge “You Feeling Me?” If you happen to be new to journaling, like me, then I’d recommend starting with a simple spread like this. I’ve discovered that my Memento Markers are the best journaling pens I have and they coordinate with the ink pads what I’ve used on my pages … LOVE that!

Directions


Step 1

Stamp Pear Tart onto Imagine’s mat several times. Using a palette knife, add shimmer Creative Medium to the ink and mix gently. Do not mix the entire color so several shades of Pear Tart show through the Creative Medium.


Step 2

Stamp Bahama Blue onto the craft mat and add into the Creative Medium mix. Again, don’t over work the mix.

Step 3

Adhere stencil to journal page with washi tape. Use a palette knife to apply the Creative Medium mixture. Apply the mixture onto the left page at the bottom and top. Set aside and let dry completely. Adhere Travel Notes stencil to page and color with Bahama Blue Memento. Repeat using a mottled circle stencil. Stamp randomly on the pages using VersaFine with travel theme stamps.

Paper Waves fill a journal page

Step 4

Sketch a boat onto kraft paper and cut out. Wade pieces up and then flatten out. Distress boat with VersaMark ink. Set aside. Place a hard craft mat behind the right-hand page. Cut along the edges of the waves to create a niche for the boat. Place the boat in between the waves. Attach with On Point Glue. Use Tear It Tape to attach the right-hand page to the page behind it. Hiding the cut in the page and the back of the boat. Use Memento Markers to doodle and journal around the pages. Use Memento Markers to doodle and journal around the pages. Flick New Sprout and Bahama Blue Fireworks on pages. Spray pages with Frost Shimmer Spray.


 

The steps above can serve as dozens of variations on the inside pages of a journal. One could stay busy with these ideas for days! To transition to thinking of the front cover, I thought I’d break it up a bit. I love green and as soon as I sprayed a touch of New Sprout Fireworks on leftover canvas I knew I wanted to make a journal. The combination of green with aqua blue’s is a favorite of mine so adding Bahama Blue Fireworks with the New Sprout worked perfectly. Creating this cover was super easy … filling up the pages is what takes time and thought.

Directions


Step 1

Spray canvas scraps with New Sprout and Bahama Blue Fireworks. Let dry. Tear pages from old books, hymnals and dictionaries to add as pages. Modpodge the front and back of each page. Let dry.

journal page cover

Step 2

Lay canvas and pages in the order you like. Secure the center with a pin. Stitch the album together with a needle and thread. Draw a line down the center with a ruler and stitch on this line. Decorate the cover with washi tape, stamped sentiments, and hand-drawn elements. Personalize with your favorite quotes and phrases. Add any additional items. In the photo above, I included a butterfly stencil. Finish by flicking Fireworks onto canvas to match the base.

Supplies

Imagine

Memento Luxe – Pear Tart, Bahama Blue
Creative Medium – Shimmer
VersaFine – Tuxedo Black
Memento Marker – Tuxedo Black, Sky Blue, Rich Cocoa, Bahama Blue, Teal Zeal, Nautical Blue, Pear Tart, Danube Blue
VersaMark 
Fireworks! – New Sprout, Bahama Blue
Sheer Shimmer Spray – Frost
Daubers – Sponge and Jumbo
On Point Glue
Tear It! Tape
Palette Knives
Craft Mat

Other

Stencil Girl – Whimsical Waves, Travel Notes Mini
Close To My Heart – Stamps
Cardstock
Mottled Circle Stencil
Craft knife
Washi tape
Journal
Canvas Scraps
Old book pages
Modpodge
Foam Brush
Adhesive
Scissors
Needle
Thread
Ruler
Pencil

 

Dye Embroidery Thread with Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray

by Jennifer Vanderbeek 

Use Stamps for Stitching by Jennifer Vanderbeek. pink rose embroidery thread. green, white frame.

We invest a lot of money into our craft supplies, so why not use them to their potential! We can find new uses for craft sprays, embroidery threads, and stamps and stretch our craft budgets. In this tutorial, I outline how to use stamps as a template for embroidery. And while we’re at it, why not use sprays to make custom-colored embroidery thread, too!

Skill: Advanced
Time: 2 – 3 hours + drying time

Directions

Step 1

Spray Rose Bud, Lilac Posies and New Sprout Fireworks directly onto the craft mat close to each other for the dye ink to blend. These colors will create the Rose petal colors. Add a length of white embroidery floss across the three puddles and let them soak up the color.

Step 2

Repeat with New Sprout Fireworks and Walnut Ink for the Rose stem colors thread. Allow both floss color themes to dry completely.

Step 3

Stamp the chosen image onto pressed linen with VersaFine. Let dry.

Step 4

Thread a needle with 3 (of the 6) strands of the dyed floss and fill in the stamped sections with the different colors. The sample project uses satin stitch for the petals and leaves, detached chain stitch for the stem, and French knots for accents.

Step 5

Embellish the stamped image with a stitched frame or other embellishments.

Step 6

Paint a bare wood frame with a wash of white acrylic paint and spray with Desert Sand Fireworks to add a touch of age and shimmer.

Step 7

Cut a piece of chipboard to fit behind the opening of the frame and wrap the embroidered linen around it. Secure it inside the frame and project is ready to go!

This project makes a great gift or can be a lovely decorative item in a craft room.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • White embroidery thread
  • Acrylic blocks
  • 
Close to My Heart – rose stamp
  • 
Linen fabric
  • Embroidery needle
  • 
Embroidery hoop
  • 
Wooden frame
  • White acrylic paint
  • Paint Brush
  • 
Chipboard
  • Scissors

 

Don’t Be Eye Candy Be Soul Food by Tenia Nelson

I wanted to make a super fun card encouraging ladies to be made of the good stuff while also strutting your stuff! I started with stamping an image with VersaMark onto watercolor paper and heat embossing it. I then used Bamboo Leaves Memento marker to scribble onto an acrylic block and watercolor the lady. I did the same technique with Tuxedo Black Memento Marker and Rich Cocoa Memento ink for the skin tones. I then sprayed New Sprout Fireworks Craft onto the whole image panel to pull the design together, stamped the sentiment onto a piece of cardstock using Cottage Ivy Memento Ink and finished it with adding sequins and washi tape. And mounted the whole piece onto a blank card base.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Unity Stamp Company – stamp
  • Watercolor
  • Embellishments – sequins, washi tape, sticker stitches
  • Heating Tool

 

How to Make Two Matching Flowers in Her Hair Cards

by Renee Zarate

Renee Zarate created two girl-themed cards with a positive sentiment and a focal point of flowers in each of the girl's hair. Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray, On Point Glue, Memento ink, blue, pink, black shimmer, paper flowers, glitter, glass beads, red hair.

It’s great to have handmade cards on hand just in the case an unexpected event pops up. I created two girl-themed cards with a positive sentiment and a focal point of flowers in each of the girl’s hair. Each has a unique and artsy style and I wanted to share some of the features that made them come together. First, I used Fireworks Shimmery Spray with a paint brush to color the image of the girl. Fireworks is a spray but works great as a watercolor. Next, I used On Point Glue to add the flowers and embellishments. This precision adhesive is perfect for reaching intricate spots on this card with no visible residue. Finally, I choose a matching base color to bring the design together.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1 hour

Directions

Renee Zarate created two girl-themed cards with a positive sentiment and a focal point of flowers in each of the girl's hair. Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray, On Point Glue, Memento ink, blue, pink, black shimmer, paper flowers, glitter, glass beads, red hair.

Step 1

Gesso watercolor paper. Trim to 4 ½ x 6 ¼ inches. When dry, stamp an image on gessoed paper.

Renee Zarate created two girl-themed cards with a positive sentiment and a focal point of flowers in each of the girl's hair. Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray, On Point Glue, Memento ink, blue, pink, black shimmer, paper flowers, glitter, glass beads, red hair.

Step 2

Color in the image with color pencils and Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray. Fireworks is a spray but can also be applied with a paint brush or a water pen (just unscrew the spray applicator and pour ink into a palette). Applying Fireworks with a brush offers a more controlled use of the product which creates beautiful results. Ink edges of the panel with Paris Dusk Memento.

Renee Zarate created two girl-themed cards with a positive sentiment and a focal point of flowers in each of the girl's hair. Fireworks Shimmery Craft Spray, On Point Glue, Memento ink, blue, pink, black shimmer, paper flowers, glitter, glass beads, red hair.

Step 3

Cut a piece of matching decorative paper the size of the card to 5 x 6 ¾ inches. Distress edges with Memento Paris Dusk inkpad. Let dry. Apply VersaMark and heat emboss with Clear Embossing Powder.

Step 4

Stamp phrase on panel and heat emboss with Clear Embossing Powder. Use On Point Glue to attach embellishments like small paper flowers, glass beads, and glitter. Apply Gold foil with glue stick and a stencil. Rub on with fingers.

Step 5

Cut black mat for the main panel. Cut to ¼” larger in order to create a border.

Step 6

Mount panel on black cardstock. Then mount to decorative paper. Adhere entire panel to blank card. Ink edges of the card with Delicata Black Shimmer ink. For the second card, the image was cut out of Jane Davenport paper instead of stamped. Repeat the steps above for a lovely matching set.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Prima Marketing – stamp, stencil
  • Paper flowers
  • Glitter
  • Glass beads
  • Gold foil
  • Glue stick
  • Craft mat
  • Heating tool
  • Paper trimmer
  • Gesso
  • Cardstock – black
  • Water pen
  • Color pencils
  • Jane Davenport – patterned paper

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Cutting Class

Learn some basic on cutting tools for crafters.

If you have been paper crafting for a while you have probably made quite an investment in cutting tools. When starting out one might assume that a nice pair of scissors will do. But there are many different tools that have an array of features that make paper crafting easier, and often more fun! Some devices are made out of sturdy materials so they will last a long time but also makes them expensive. We hope to provide some insight on what to buy and when in order to avoid overspending on equipment you may not need…yet.

Beginner

At the beginning stage, there is a lot to learn about paper, ink, stamping techniques and adhesives used in projects. It is great to learn the basics of composition and design when starting out. Whether making a card, a banner or a paper flower arrangement, most of the learning curve is with the basic layout, color theory, and form. No matter the layout or project, you are probably going to need to cut the paper.

Drawing representing a basic paper trimmer.

Get a perfect edge of the perfect size (almost) each and every time! (User error does cause some heartaches.)

Besides a good pair of scissors, a basic paper trimmer and a few fun punches will be a great start. A trimmer allows accuracy in cutting measurements and straight clean lines. Once a few projects are made using a paper trimmer,  it is hard to go back. Many come with a slide style blade, but there also are guillotine styles. Another beginner essential is a paper punch. These heavy little devices offer basic shapes such as a circle, heart, star or a hexagon and can keep anyone busy for a long time. With a basic punch, the beginner can go crazy on creating paper garlands, adding dimension to a card design or making labels for other projects. 

They are kinda like the ole’ office supply hole punches on steroids.

$ – Paper trimmer $10-20. Do some research and go ahead and get a nice one. This device will be one of your most used tools no matter how long you’ve been playing with paper. Be sure to get one that offers replacement blades. Punches vary from $5-20 each. Beginning investment can range from $35 -$75.

Intermediate

Once the beginner has developed a strong foundation in layout and a working knowledge of materials then it is time to kick it up a notch with more complex designs. One way to do this is with a die cut machine. Die cuts come in basic shapes, basic words and alphabets, as well as more complex designs like flower sets, animal shapes, box templates, edge treatments, etc. The die and paper run through a die cut machine which may be manually cranked or electronic. It acts much like a punch creating perfect shapes. Die cuts can be much more delicate than punch shapes and you can find die cuts that do some really amazing tricks! Using die cuts can be quite joyful, but the price is significant. Once you are ready, invest in the machine and build your die cuts over time. As with punches, think about the variety of uses you will get out of each die when deciding on which ones to purchase.

Hand drawn image of a hand crank die cut machine.

You can get a workout while you create!

$$ – Die Cut Machine $50-$150. Again, do some research and get a nice one. One machine should last you for years. Wait for a sale or a coupon and pick one up. $15-30 for each die set. Your investment could easily reach $100-$200 quickly.

Advanced

Plotting and crafting meet at last! What takes someone from an intermediate to an advanced crafter is debatable. Since the digital machines are the most expensive, we reserve the price point for the advanced level with the confidence that anyone can make millions of great projects without spending at this level. While digital cutting machines are designed for easy use, we feel the advanced crafter will have the background and experience to get the most out of the flexibility and precision the plotter style machines offer.

Hand drawn image of a digital cutting machine.

It’s like having your very own crafty robot.

$$$ – Digital Die Cut Machine $200-400.

Whether you are just starting in paper crafting or have been crafting for years, we hope this review has helped provide guidance on purchasing tools that will match your needs. Of course, buy whatever devices you wish especially if you are on a Treat Yo Self mission! We recommend the above “levels” for the amount of use one can get before moving on to the next purchase!

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