See How to Create a Family Tree Wall Hanging

by Iris Rodriguez

See How to Create a Family Tree Wall Hanging using Tsukineko All-Purpose Ink and VersaFine Clair

This month we have the pleasure of working with Joy Clair stamps. Today, I am using the Love Tree stamp set which made me think of the strong bond that exists amongst family. I created a wall hanging as an ode to family and the love that binds us and keeps us together. For this project, I stamped the sentiment “Love Blossoms Here” onto watercolor paper, personalized it with alphabet stamps, added wire hanging and added a book paper backing to represent the family stories that get created along the way and then passed on. Keep reading to see how I created this lovely home decor piece.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1.5 hours

Directions


Step 1

Spray the watercolor paper with water. Then brush on the Tropical Lagoon All-Purpose ink. Dry the paper. This will become the background.


Step 2

Stamp the tree and sentiment with Acorn Versafine Clair ink. Add Imagine’s Embossing Powder in Clear and heat set. Then continue to stamp the rest of elements.


Step 3

Color in the tree with the Chocolate All-Purpose ink and water. Dry the paper.


Step 4

Measure a piece of discarded cardboard to fit behind your main tree image.


Step 5

Adhere the book paper onto the cardboard with Matte Medium. Add the Matte Medium on the cardboard, on the book paper. Burnish with your fingers or brayer to ensure bubbles do not develop under the book paper. Brush on Matte Medium over the paper. Then adhere to the back of the wall hanging. This also helps give weight to the watercolor paper, which keeps the paper straight.


Step 6

Paint the dowels with Terra Cotta Walnut ink with a brush and water. Dry the dowels with the heating tool.


Step 7

Punch holes on the top and the bottom of wall hanging using the hole punch.


Step 8

Add the eyelets with the eyelet setter. Wrap wire in the hole and around the dowel several times. Ensure to leave a loop in the center to hang on the wall.

And, this is it! A new art piece for your home or a great gift for a family member or friend. I hope you give it a try.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Joy Clair Stamps – The Love Tree set
  • Eyelets
  • Eyelet Setter
  • 20 gauge Steel Wire
  • Wooden Dowel
  • Watercolor paper
  • Cardboard
  • Book Paper
  • Matte Medium or Mod Podge
  • 1/16 hole punch

Helpful Tips and Tricks: How to Take Amazing Photos of Craft Projects

by Martha Lucia Gomez

Helpful Tips and Tricks: How to Take Amazing Photos of Craft Projects

With the ever-growing popularity of social media platforms, particularly Instagram, crafters have been talking about how to take better photos of our projects. Since not all of us are professional photographers, and we don’t all have “the perfect tools”, I would like to talk about how to take great photos of your work without having to be a pro-photographer.

Style your photos creatively

These are important elements to focus on when taking a photo of a project:

  • the backdrop or background
  • main focus – which is always your project
  • props or supporting elements to make the focus shine
  • the camera

Backgrounds

With clear and simple photos you need to have a neutral base or background, like white, grey, ecru, cream or even brown tones like wood. Since most of us don’t have professional lighting, set your background up where it is in natural light, and make sure it is a large enough base to place your card or project. Try using dark colors in the background to help the project colors pop.

You can set up your background so that your project can be laid flat or standing up. I find that I can capture more details by taking photos of my cards flat on a surface with the camera located directly above it. Also, if you have a small space to take your photos, this option is perfect because it requires less space and can make it easier to incorporate other elements.

With flat photos, remember your backdrop is the most important part. If you are creative you don’t need to buy expensive elements, you can use everyday household items and surfaces as the background. The most important thing is to keep in mind the colors and textures. A brightly colored element next to your project can round out the scene and support the focal point, but being able to use it as the background will be trickier, tho can work on occasion.

You can use wood surfaces, floor boards, ceramic tiles or designer textured papers, as well as other supplies to add some depth to the photos. You can also use elements like designed plates, which can be easily found in home decor stores. My favorite is HomeGoods because I can buy just one plate, placemat or napkin. Neutral colored fat quarters found at the fabric store is another cheap option.

Supplies or Photo Props

With staging photos, it is nice to add a few elements alongside your card or project—but these cannot compete with the main focus object i.e. your crafting project. You can use many items as photo props. I use a lot of flowers and greenery, my favorites are made of silicone because the fabric flowers don’t look real to me. But definitely, my favorites photo props are the craft supplies. Supplies like inks, stamps, stencils, color pencils or markers, and die cuts are perfect elements to support your project. Extra embellishments like buttons, sequins, washi tape and twines are also great, but always be careful with the color combinations. My suggestion is to start with the neutral items first that won’t compete with your project. If you still aren’t finding what you like, just look around your home and you might find gorgeous elements that you can borrow for a few minutes as part of your photo.

Camera

With today’s technology, you really don’t need to have a professional camera. Cell phones like the iPhone or Samsung make it possible to take amazing photos. To make them work best, use natural light source and keep an eye out for any shadows across your photo. Also, think about a good angle to take the photo. Always start by making your lens parallel to the project front, and then play with the angle from there. My last helpful hint is very simple but important: always clean the lens of your camera or phone before taking the photos. Because we touch our phones so often it is easy for the lens to become dirty.

I hope you found these tips useful. Just remember to stay open to learning new ideas and most importantly have fun! Thank you for stopping by the Imagine blog and don’t forget to share!

Learn How to Upcycle Wine Bottles with Paper Mache

by Iris Rodriguez

Spring is coming and in some places, it’s already starting to look like spring with the beginning of sunny weather. To celebrate the change of the season, I like altering bottles of every type such as wine, liquor, and Coke bottles. Each one has it’s own potential and beauty. Today’s project is an altered wine bottle, made to look like flowers are springing out (pun intended) with a real zipper and paper mache to cover the glass. This project takes time! Paper mache takes longer to dry so to start this project please carve out a couple days for its completion. As part of my color palette, I was inspired by Pantone’s Color of the Year, Ultraviolet. For my version of Ultraviolet I used Fireworks! Shimmery Craft Spray Grape Jelly and Lulu Lavender. This altered bottle makes a beautiful home décor, centerpiece or just a nice gift.

Skill: Advanced
Time: 2.5 hours + 1 day drying time

Directions


Step 1

Select a bottle, remove labels and wash it inside and out. Dry completely.


Step 2

Measure the zipper on the bottle, determined where it should open and adjust slider accordingly.


Step 3

Glue cardstock paper on each side of the zipper, ensuring that the paper is on front facing side of the zipper. Add paper starting from the top of the zipper to where the slider is located. The paper helps to glue the zipper on the bottle and still allows for adjustments to the opening.


Step 4

Glue tissue paper around the area where the zipper will be placed. The tissue makes for a porous surface to color and to glue on the zipper. Let dry.


Step 5

Glue the zipper onto the bottle.


Step 6

Mix the Sculptamold or other paper mache product with water. Mix in small sprinkles of water at a time until the desired consistency is achieved, which should be similar to cottage cheese. Mix a small portion at a time. Be careful but quick because it sets fast.


Step 7

Apply the paper mache with a palette knife around the outside of the zipper. Work time is short—about 15 mins before it begins to set. Spray a little water to smooth the surface. (After it has set, you won’t be able to change it much.) Paper mache is very porous and takes the ink sprays very nicely. It is messy, however. It is water soluble, so clean up is fast and easy. Let the bottle dry for one day or more.


Step 8

Apply more paper mache or molding paste through stencils. The pattern will not come out crisp and clear because of the bumpy surface but that’s what makes it artsy! Let dry.


Step 9

Color the bottle with Fireworks Shimmery Craft Sprays.


Step 10

Color paper flowers with the Fireworks. If you want some dilution of color without dilution of Sparkle, add Sheer Shimmer in Sparkle. (Also, if you wanted to keep some white, make them match by just adding Sheer Shimmer.)


Step 11

Spray Fireworks onto the smooth side of the watercolor paper. Dry it completely. Stamp and emboss the butterflies with Tuxedo Black Memento Luxe and black embossing powder. Fussy cut the butterflies. For the antennas soak a piece of embroidery thread in glue. This will stiffen the thread. Cut little pieces for the antennas and glue to the back of the butterflies.


Step 12

To make a decorative bottle stopper use a dresser pull knob.


Step 13

Apply gesso to the dresser pull knob then color with the Grape Jelly Fireworks Craft Spray. Then seal the knob with the spray sealer.


Step 14

To adhere the knob to the bottle, use a natural cork and glue. The cork usually expands when it is popped out the bottle, so in essence, it’s hard to stick back in the bottle completely. However, you can shave down the cork with a serrated knife. This image shows the cork before and after.


Step 15

Screw in the dresser pull knob into the cork. Apply E-6000 adhesive. An alternative to using a cork, adhere the dresser pull knob with a two-part Epoxy clay.


Step 16

Place the corked knob in the bottle.


Step 17

Phew! Almost done. All that is left to do is to put it together. Glue the flowers in the area between the open zipper, tucking them under the edges. Glue butterflies around. Spray a little bit of sealer over the entire bottle.


Step 18

The pull knob’s neck area will need a ribbon to cover the seam and glued cork. Embellish the bottle with charms, rhinestones, chains.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Glass bottle
  • Zipper
  • Paper flowers
  • Embellishments – ribbon, rhinestones, charms
  • Butterfly stamp
  • Sculptamold or other paper mache product
  • Molding paste (optional)
  • Cardstock – white
  • Watercolor paper
  • Gel Glue
  • E-6000
  • Cork
  • Dresser pull knob
  • Stencils
  • Gesso
  • Krylon – Spray Sealer
  • Embroidery thread – black

Create a Beautiful ‘Under the Sea’ Theme Tag

by Kassy Tousignant

Create a Beautiful 'Under the Sea' Theme Tag

I would love to show you a fun, new way to use Radiant Neon Amplify Texture to create an interesting Snakeskin texture on your next tag or cardmaking project. In this project, I used it with a background stencil and colored with Fireworks sprays to achieve a dynamic, textured pattern on my tag.  I am always looking for new, innovative ways to create texture and add visual interest to my work and Amplify really took it up a notch! The light foam that pops as a result of heat-activation is unlike anything else. I also love that it can be sprayed or painted over to achieve your desired look.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 30 minutes

Supplies

Imagine

Other

  • E6000 glue
  • Prima – Sculpture Medium clear, Acrylic paint
  • Liquitex soft body paint – Muted Grey, Muted Turquoise
  • Graphic 45 stamp
  • Echo Park – Snakeskin stencil
  • Woodcut Octopus
  • Cloth netting

 

Learn How to Upcycle Cork Coasters

by Elina Stromberg

Learn How to Upcycle Cork Coasters

A while ago, I found a pile of old cork coasters in my kitchen cabinet. I had not used them in years and was just about to throw them away, but then I realized they were perfect for small home décor items. Maybe the beautiful material made me change my mind. Nowadays cork is truly a trendy material in craft projects, so I thought I should try to turn the old coasters into something nice and new. And I’m so glad I did!

Skill: Beginner
Time: 30 minutes

Directions


Step 1

Remove dust and stains from the coasters.


Step 2

Stamp the images using Onyx Black VersaFine. When stamping, press the stamp firmly on the cork surface. VersaFine is a great ink for solid image stamping and since it is a dense ink it should stamp on the cork well.


Step 3

Color images with All-Purpose Ink. Use irRESISTible Pico Embellisher in Wedding Dress (white) for decorating the stamped and colored images with dimensional paint dots. Let dry.


Step 4

Using a new Fantastix, color in the leaves with All-Purpose Ink in Spring Green.


Step 5

To finish this project, continue stamping and coloring the remaining coasters in your set. You have the option of making all 4 or 6 of your coasters different or repeating the same image for all. If you want to hang the decorated coaster on the wall, attach a loop on the back of the coaster with a strong adhesive.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Cork Coasters
  • Stampendous – Nesting Bird Stamp
  • Acrylic block for stamping

Create a Lovely Wedding Gift Out of Polymer Clay

by Iris Rodriguez

Create Lovely Wedding Gift Out of Polymer Clay Ultraviolet color

The weather is getting nicer and the wedding season will be upon us soon. Of course, weddings happen all year round, but June is a popular month. June wedding tradition goes back to Roman times when they celebrated the festival of the deity Juno and his wife Jupiter, who was the goddess of marriage and childbirth, on the first day of June. The Victorians celebrated June weddings because the flowers were in full bloom, which was used as wedding decor. Speaking of decor, I had the idea to celebrate weddings this season with a DIY ring bowl. It is easy to make and it’s not time-consuming. The results are beautiful and heartfelt. The ring dish can used during the ceremony to transport the ring down the aisle, and the newlyweds will always have a keepsake from the wedding.

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1 hour

Direction


Step 1

Condition the FIMO clay on the pasta machine or use a roller. If using the pasta machine roll a sheet of clay to the thickest setting (about 5 mm).


Step 2

Lay down the sheet of clay, place the bowl upside down on top of the sheet. Using the bowl as a guide, cut the clay from around the bowl with clay pick or precision knife. Smooth out the bowl’s rim by running your fingers along the surface and smoothing out bumps and jagged areas. (I used a cutting mat as the  Imagine Craft Mat as it is not a cutting mat.)


Step 3

Press stamps into clay to add texture or a sentiment.


Step 4

Place the clay in the bowl and bake together, according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the clay package. The clay will take on the shape of the bowl.


Step 5

Rub the Purple Hydrangea VersaMagic DewDrop ink on the bowl in random areas. Use the pointy end of ink pads to get into the crevices.


Step 6

Spray a little water on the ink—it will turn liquidy right away. Swish ink around the bowl, ensuring that it gets into the stamped areas.


Step 7

Dump out liquid ink and dry excess liquid in the bowl with a dry paper towel.


Step 8

Continue to color the bowl by rubbing more ink with your fingers or Sponge Dauber. Do not add more water. Leave areas uncolored, so that you can add another color. Heat Set. In the uncolored areas rub, with your fingers or a Sponge Dauber, Wedding Dress Memento Luxe. I did not blend the colors much, but you can. Slightly rub on Delicata White Shimmer all over the bowl, avoiding the crevices. It helps to bring everything together and gives a nice light shimmer.

 
Step 9

Add dimension with Grape Jelly and Lulu Lavender IrRESISTible. Using the fine-tipped applicator to fill in recessed areas. Here I have filled in the birds, birdcage, and text with the Grape Jelly color. Add Lulu Lavender in the rest of the recessed area to vary the colors. Allow everything to dry completely. Seal the clay with clay sealer or indoor polyurethane.

Supplies

Imagine

Other

  • FIMO polymer clay – White
  • Clay pick or precision knife
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Sculpey Clay Sealer or Varathane Polyurethane Sealer
  • Pasta Machine or roller
  • Bowl (4-inch diameter, heat resistant)