Archives

Budget Crafters Essentials

There are a few things that are either free or minimal cost that every budget crafter should have in their stash

So here are some of mine

  • Tissue paper in white (I get 5-10 sheets at a local cheapie shop for $1)- this can be used to make everything from grass to water. To add texture, to create clothing and pretty much a whole heap of other things you will find a myriad of uses for it once you start experimenting.
  • Food Colouring- which I get at my local supermarket for 99c a bottle in 5 different colours. If you mix it with a little salt and water in a misting bottle you get a very cheap way to make your own Mists. You can blend them for your own custom colours or experiment with adding a drop or two of a black re inker to darken/deepen the colour
  • Thin Chipboard- the type that comes as packaging on cereal, crackers, and other such things. Is great for die cutting and saves a fortune on buying actual chipboard. You can also stick layers of it together to create thicker chipboard items. Good for the enviroment and your bank balance
  • Plastic Packaging- of the sort dies come in. It is perfect to alcahol ink over. You can use it in place of Acetate. You can die cut it to create your own custome stencils/ stencil elements and you can use it to cut out small patterns. Which I do with some of my smaller bears. You can also use soft drink bottles, milk bottles and icecream containers for the same sorts of things. Milk bottles are great cause they are opaque and give you a different colour to work with.
  • Old Sheet Music/Music Book- I managed to pick up an old book of music for $1.50 at my local Vinnies (for non Aussies St Vincent De Pauls a second hand or op shop). It pays when looking at things like this to look for the thickest book you can find. So you get the most bang for your buck so to speak after all for a budget crafter ever cent counts
  • Old Books- from old paper backs to coffee table books. You can use them to die cut and create pretty flowers, create funky embelishments, use the pages to create a background, cut out the pictures, and also re purpose them into mixed media journals or boxes. There are so many things you can do with books never throw one that is falling appart away.
  • Aluminium Cans- Which can be cut up (carefully) and used to emboss and die cut for funky metal embellishments for your projects.
  • Textas, pencils, crayons and chalks- of the cheap variety all can be used to colour, do resist techniques and other such things for your projects. You can get them cheap and still get some wonderful effects colouring with them.
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes- if you wet one side with a mister or paintbrush you can remove the top layer and use the corrugated card to create albums, embellishments and other such things.
  • A Roll of Brown Paper – great for giftwrapping for both genders, great to die cut and make flowers from, and also for creating cutsom pp.
  • Butchers paper- I often recycled the outer piece and use it in my crafting, it is great inked, stamped, misted, crumpled etc and its another free item you can get multiple uses out of.

These are some of the things that have not only helped me ‘pad’ out my stash for little or no money. But that are things I use regularly.

With a little creativity and imagination you can create wonderful things without feeling like your stash is lacking.

It is sometimes hard to watch others use tons and tons of pretty products and embellishments on their work, especially when you just can not afford to follow suit. However there is something to be said of the imagination required when you have a limited stash and are on a budget.

Don’t look at it as lack look at it as an opportunity to stretch your Imagination, and to create your way!

Two Different Wedding Sets Based on the Placecards

I can’t resist sharing these two sets with you all. They are based on the two placecards my friend liked the most.

I did go a little overboard and created a wedding program cover, favour box, thank you card and of course the place cards. Whilst they were not chosen or needed for this wedding I had fun stretching my talents and trying something new. Bear in mind these are not perfect just rough mock ups (so there are a few spots of ink and such that would have been re done for a finished polished product as such)

So here are the two sets (one has two different versions of the same box which is a small noodle style box though any box could be done as easily)
 photo weddingset2.jpg
 photo weddingset1.jpg

My Prize Put to Use

Of course when I got my lovely prize Pack from Girlie Grunge I had to dive right in and have a play and what better way to do that than a September sketch challenge from Jelly Bean Scrappers (though I did change it up a bit)

Now I love the paper I got in my pack so much and I hate the thought of wasting paper when you layer it up (some papers I dont mind doing this with however when it is paper that I truly love and want to get the most out of.) I have a little trick. It doesn’t effect your layers and you get the paper that would be covered up to put back in your stash

Simple cut out a square in the part of your page that you are covering up that is about 1/2 an inch smaller all the way around than you need and use that space to adhere your next layer. No one will know you did this and you dont have to worry about wasting pp 🙂 Not only a great budget tip but also great for those very special PP’s we hoard because we don’t want to use them all up at once.

I used 2 sheets of paper, the golden glow smooch spritz and a sheet of the Canvas that was in my prize pack.

I really love how this layout turned out:

Photobucket

Suitcase Box Tutorial (Yes my own unique box tutorial)

Photobucket

(the pictured suitcase boxes are 5″ wide rather than the 6″ in the tutorial it is explained in the instructions how you can alter the size)

A friend showed me a vintage suitcase that had been turned into a work of scrapbooking art. We were talking and as things go she wanted to figure out how to do the same thing on a smaller scale.

I said I had a few ideas I wanted to try and that I would get back to her and thus this tutorial was born.

This is perfect for the budget crafter as it uses just one sheet of 12 cardstock and the leftover bits are put to use. As well as leaving you with some squares that are perfect for inchies or layout titles and such.

Please do not be daunted by the amount of steps involved once you have made one of these you will discover how easy they are to make and how effective they look.

Materials:

A 12×10” piece of Cardstock in a colour of your choice

A 2”x6” piece of cardstock leftover from your original 12×12 or in a contrasting colour (depending on if you have Distress crackle paint or other acrylic paint to use)

Distress Crackle Paint or a contrasting colour in acrylic

10 brads (optional 26 if you would like all 3 of your corner pieces with a brad)

Ribbon, trim or Thin strips of faux upholstery suede for your straps and handle

2 Buckles (I used pearl ribbon sliders you can however get small buckles off eBay for a more authentic look)

Score board (alternatively a ruler and pencil will work however a score board is the fast simple option)

Strong double sided tape

Optional 1 7/8” x 1 7/8” piece of grungeboard

Multi Medium in Matt

Optional 6”x12” piece of patterned paper

Step 1:

Score your cardstock along the 12” edge at: 1”, 2”, 5”, 6”, 7”, 10” and 11”

Photobucket

Step 2

Turn your cardstock to the 10” length and score at: 1”, 2”, 8” and 9” (Please note if you want a smaller length to your box trim off extra cardstock and make sure you score at 1” and 2” on both sides by flipping the cardstock around I did this for the 2 boxes with the pattern paper on them to make them a 5” box.)

Photobucket

Step 3: Cut down the lines of your box along the 12” sides as shown in the picture. Along the edge lines down to the end of your two 1” score lines, please only do the 2nd line on the corners (see step 4 for why you need to do this the L shapes are then recycled into your corner pieces) It should look like this image:

Photobucket

Step 4:

Cut off your corner pieces in an L shape (each part of the L should be a one inch square so you will end up with 3 of them. Also cut off the 2 extra squares in the middle leaving two one inch squares. Your box should look like this picture

Photobucket

Step 5: Place tape as shown in the photo: The inside pieces get tape on the flat cardstock that will fold inside the box, the tabs get tape on the rough side or outer side of the cardstock as shown in the following pics

Photobucket

Photobucket

Step 6 OPTIONAL If you are adding patterned paper to the outside of your box. Score it the same way the 12” side of the cardstock was scored in step one.

Place tape around the top edges of the box and on both sides of all score lines. Stick down your patterned Paper (this method allows for the pattern paper to be adhered not only easily but also in a way that means no bubbles and such later)

Step 7: Fold all your score lines and run a bone folder over them for crispness.

Step 8: Remove the top part of your double stick tape from the ‘tabs’ (the small 1” squares) and attach them to the piece next to them. As shown in the photo:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Repeat step 8 until all 8 corners are stuck down giving you your basic box shape

Photobucket

Step 9: Remove the top layer of your tape from all the long flaps and fold them down (this has the added benefit of making your box a little sturdier)

OPTIONAL: Add your grungeboard strip to the inside of the box hinged bit or place underneath your pp on the outside this will help keep your box in shape. You could also paint it with crackle paint or cover it in felt or faux suede for an added luxury look to your suitcase and adhere it to the bottom (the hinged 2” scored bit that allows your suitcase to be opened and closed)

Step 10: Score your 2”x 6” strip straight down the middle so you have two 1” sides. Turn to the 6” length and then score every 1”. (Please not my pic shows a 12″ strip done the same way you can do this if like me you often loose bits as your making things)

Photobucket

Step 11: Cut these into L shapes like your corner pieces you should now have 8 of these in total.

Photobucket

Step 12: Take one of your L shapes and fold over into one square. As shown in the pic

Photobucket

Step 13: Cut along the diagonal of your square. The best way I can describe this is to make sure you do not cut your ‘fold’ line and that you’re cutting off the open side of your square.

Repeat this for all 8 squares they will end up looking like a sort of square pac man:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Step 14: Paint your corner pieces with Distress Crackle paint or acrylic in a contrasting colour. If you chose to use cardstock in a contrasting colour you can skip this step.

Step 15 when dry place a brad in the centre of each corner piece (I use the piece that is in the centre as such) If you want to add brads to all sides do this now to the other two pieces as well.

Photobucket

Step 16: Paint some multi medium or other adhesive onto the non painted/non presentation side of your corner piece. Stick the triangle that has both of the other triangles attached to the top of the corner of your box (as shown) then stick down the other two triangles over your corner (see the pics below).

Photobucket

Repeat with all 8 corners.
This is what your box will look like

Photobucket

Step 17: Cut a strip of faux upholstery suede, ribbon or trim for your handle. Make sure it is a width your happy with.

Place holes for the brads towards the bottom corners of your Handle. Hold the handle to your box where you want it to be and mark the holes.

I used a tapered AWL (one of the benefits of being a bear maker as it is a tool of the trade however I also find it invaluable for scrapbooking as well) to punch the small holes needed in the box.

Add the brads to your handle and put through the holes.

Photobucket

NOTE: It took me a while to find a way to do the handle that I liked. I make the handle a bit thicker and put the brads down the bottom corners so that it overlaps the top part of the suitcase to look more like a real handle. However this is your suitcase you are free to do your handle how you choose.

Step 18: Measure your ribbon, trim or faux upholstery suede around your box making sure you have enough to go all the way around, with added extra to form your ‘straps’

Step 19: Using your ribbon, trim or thin strips of faux upholstery suede glue them into your ‘buckles’ by folding a piece of the end over and gluing it down. Do this for both strips

Step 20: Do up your straps at either end of your suitcase.

Photobucket

And Viola you did it!!  You can now create a mini album or use this as a gift box or decoration. Would also be great for a bon voyage party as party favours. You are only limited by your imagination. I would really love to see your creations if you try this tutorial!

Best of all this really is an economical little project.

A Glazing Good Time.

Make your Own Glazes

Another budget saver is making your own Glazes.

You can do this in so many ways and my sister even has a YouTube tutorial on how she does it

Although her preference is now to use Multi Medium in a gloss. I still love to use triple thick and will share my method step by step complete with photos for you all

This is Number 2 in things you can do with re-inkers other than re-inking your ink pads.

Photobucket

You can get bigger containers to make larger amounts of glaze however I truly like just making a small amount at a time, as I find it goes quite a long way.

I got my containers from eBay in the nail art section; here is a link to some http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/140549609149?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

The reason I liked these containers is because they come with their own little trays to store them in. They hold 5mls and you can most certainly search through and find larger ones for a bit more money to make larger batches.

So along with your containers and re-inkers you will need a gloss medium. I love and am completely addicted to triple thick. However I have also successfully made glazes with Glossy Accents and Multi Medium in the Gloss finish

Some Pearl ex, Perfect Pearls or other Mica Powder or Irradescance Medium (this last actually works best to give a shimmer to your glaze).

A small mixing spoon

A water mister or some water

If you want to turn your ‘shimmery glaze’ into something similar to ‘glimmer glam’ you will need some chunky glitter or fine depending on the look you are after

So now you have gathered all your Materials together let’s begin. You will see my Sister and I both have similar but different methods when it comes to making our glazes. Neither is right or wrong it is just what works for us.

Step 1: Mist a small amount of water into the bottom of your container (If you are using a bigger container you will need more water than in the pic shown)

Photobucket

Step 2: Add in a scoop or two of your gloss medium. Leave some room at the top of your container as you do not want to make a huge mess or waste this when you stir it.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Step 3: Add in a drop of your re-inker. I used Antique Linen Distress and needed 4 drops. However most colours will in such a small container only require one to two drops at most.

Photobucket

Step 4: Add in your pigment powder. I used Perfect Pearls Biscotti and was a little disappointed as it did not really shimmer when I used it to glaze with. Note if you are using Iradescance Medium mix a very teeny amount with your water then continue with adding your gloss medium and skip adding the pigment powder step.

Photobucket

Step 5: Use the skinny end of your spoon to stir your mix until it is all combined. Do this gently as it will take a minute and you do not want to create lots of air bubbles or spill too much.

Photobucket

Your finished glaze (you can make this as watery or glossy as you like depending on what you are using it for will depend on the thickness needed)

Photobucket
A great use: Take a Mulberry Paper flower and dip it in your glaze. Move it around till it is all coated. Shake off the excess. Then move away from your container and blow on the flower to remove all the excess glaze. Stick in some Foam or plasticine and allow to dry overnight. You may be tempted to dry the flowers with a heat gun. I have found from my experience it is far better to let them dry naturally. This gives a great finish to flowers and the colours are intense and vibrant. It is a totally different look than misting the flowers

Step 6: This is vital so you are easily able to re open your containers each time you wish to use them. Clean around the top of your jar.

And that is it. So quick and simple. Another great cost cutting idea for the budget crafter. See My Shabby Chic cards and boxes, as well as my Nieces 16th birthday card to see how vibrant paper flowers are coloured this way

And that’s all there is there isn’t anymore

21 tips for the Budget Crafter

I know how hard it can be when there is always so much new scrapping stuff coming out. It can be hard to watch your friends and other crafter’s who seem to have limitless funds buying all the things your drooling over. Being a budget crafter can be tough. So here are some tips to help you along.

1. First and foremost know your products and their value. Something is not a bargain or  a true sale if it is just retail. Knowing your products and their price range can save you being taken advantage of in a myriad of ways.

2. Invest in re-usable supplies such as inks, re-inkers (I have found so many uses for re-inkers especially the distress ones I am not sure where my stash would be without them plus you can make your own ink pads with the stamping foam or felt until you can actually afford the inkpad’s as well giving you the best of both worlds), dies, a die cut machine, stamps, glitters, flock, embossing powders and other such reusable Items.

3. When forced to choose between products think about what you will get the most use out of. We all scrapbook differently and as such we all use different things more than others. One of the biggest things to think about is what you will use the item for and how far will it go in your stash as well as how much you will use it.

4. Invest in Paper pads. Often we cut, tear and otherwise rarely use a full sheet of 12×12 pattern paper. 6×6 Paper pads are a great way to expand your paper range for not a great deal of money most are under $10 and you usually get quite a substantial amount of bang for your buck. Some Brands such as Kaisercraft also add in sheets of journaling blocks and embelishments. Making them perfect for layouts and cards.

5. Invest in your tools. A Paper trimmer, a score board (this saves a lot of money on buying gift  boxes and other such things I use mine probably more than most other tools), A good pair of scissors (I am addicted to fiskars microtouch), An eyelet setting tool ( I have the provocraft silent setter and love it), An edge distresser (there are a few out there I have had Making memories, Heidi Swapp and the Tonic one have to say the MM and Heidi Swapp I have found the easiest to use), a heat gun. There are many tools again ask yourself what you will use the most. There is no point investing money in things that will just sit around collecting dust. As a budget crafter it is all about things you will use over and over again.

 6. Be patient. Wait for sales and store discounts when you have a bit more to spend as it will make your craft budget stretch further.

7. Recycle- Be it packaging from items you have got, plastic packaging from goods purchased, thin chipboard from biscuits, cereal or other such packaged goods, or old jeans that are unwearable die cut for pages. Think creatively before throwing things away. You can often add to your stash for free.

8. Order with a friend. Often you can save on your postage or when one or more person gets together you will qualify for free postage. My Sister and I often order together. In fact we always do when ordering from Simon Says stamp so that together we can qualify for free postage. We do this many places as it makes sense.

9. When you are die cutting use recycled plastic packaging to make your own Masks, stencils and glimmer screens. This gives you variety in what you have. You can  re use them over and over and best of all the packaging cost you nothing. It is very economical. Enviromentally friendly and also gives you stencils and such you may not have found anywhere else. You can also combine them in limitless combinations.

10.  Look in your local Second Hand shops. I got vintage patterns for 50c each a couple of weeks ago as I wanted to use the paper for the T!m Holtz 12 tags of 2012. I also scored doily’s for 50c each and some great fabric for my bears and such. It is a great way to find cast offs and also helps you to think outside of the square. Also great for books to create recycled book flowers and to re-purpose for art journals and such

11.  Share dies with friends. Borrow dies and stamps and share amongst each other. This is a great way to expand what you have (I always cut out extras and put them in a folder so I have them when needed). Also use the dies to create your own stencils as stated above and you get the double whammy 🙂

12. Make your own. Embellishments and flowers. Now we all would love a never ending supply of Prima and other such stunning flowers however we can’t all afford it. The easiest flower I know how to make is show cased on my layout for under $2.50, Tissue paper cut out with a circle die or punch and scrunched  then misted. Simple cheap and looks great. Also to this end invest in flower dies and such to be able to make a variety of economical flowers.

13. Invest In Dies- Alphabets, flowers, mini albums, and nesting dies all offer great value for money and will help you stretch you budget further.

 14. Keep your Scraps. Be it pattern paper or cardstock those scraps (not talking the skinny or teeny unusable pieces) are great for mini albums, cards and if it is a pattern paper you hate you can ink over it and many other things to create mixed media backgrounds.

15. Sort your stash. Make sure it is accessable and easy to find items in your stash the easier it is to find things the more often you will use them.

16. Join in swaps. It is a great way to expand your stash. Be it a product or embellishment swap. It is also a great way to challenge yourself and learn new techniques

17. Look in your Discount, bargain shops they often have craft and scrapbooking stuff as well as art tools. Even the toy section can be great for inspiration. Did you know you can use playing cards to make albums and atc’s? You can scrapbook a frisbee (I know because I have done it), They can be a great source of not only cheap supplies but inspiration and sometimes storage as well.

18. Look for tutorials online be it video or step by step. Indeed one of my favorite tutorial sites is splitcoast stampers their resource list of tutorials is impressive and I have yet to fail at any of the tutorials.

19. Create a wishlist at your favorite online store and don’t be afraid to share it with others especially around birthday and Christmas Time

20. Look for cheap alternatives. I use soft willow charcoal to add a gritty grimy look to my vintage pieces. This was a cheap buy at just $2.95 for  12 pieces and it goes very far. A white children’s crayon is another great thing as it is fantastic for creating your own resists and you can pick up crayons very cheap.

21. Focus on what you do have! The more we focus on what we do not have the less creative we feel.

and thats it my top 21 tips for the budget crafter am sure I have loads more but that is a post for another day.

A Layout for under $2.50 Yes You Can!

Photobucket Guest DT May Challenge Layout: My Entry

This layout cost me under $2.50 actually if I am honest it cost $2.20 in total to create. Yeah I know right? I never originally set out to create a budget layout it just turned out that way.

This month’s Guest DT member Jody set a monthly challenge to create two clusters with 5 or more things in them. For the most part I used flowers that I made myself. Although there are some mulberry paper roses that I used as well.

Inspired by the background of the photo (me in Year 7), and the new teal Peacock Feathers Distress ink and re-inker that had recently arrived on my doorstep. I set to work.

Photobucket

I had already played with making my own Peacock Feathers mist and also misting some seam binding in various colours and such.

The first step for me was creating the background. You can do this in many ways, swiping your ink pad over the card stock, with cling wrap or the way I did with a scrunched up piece of paper towel. This gives a mottled effect. However it was a little too dark for what I wanted. So I took an old Snow cap paint dabber added a smidge more paint from a new one, added some water and shook well. Bingo I had a perfect tool for whitewashing over the cardstock to tone down the colour.

I also used this technique to tone down the DCWV Jewel Stack cardstock I used to matt the photo on. In fact that was the next thing I did. Then I stuck my photo onto the cardstock and adhered it to the background (the Cardstock is a plain Sam & Lucy 12×12 from a pack that I picked up on sale).

The next step was creating my boarder with seam binding. This is actually very simple you place tape around the boarder of your photo matt and then stick the seam binding to it. I folded the edges over as I went however you could also cut your seam binding to fit if you did not want the fold. Either way you will not see the joins or folds as they are covered with flowers.

Then it was a matter of playing with flowers and such to see what I wanted for my clusters. The large Flowers are Tissue Paper cut from A Fiskars large circle punch. You punch through several layers of tissue paper put a brad in the centre then scrunch each layer from the centre outwards. I misted mine with Homemade Peacock feathers mist.

The seam binding flowers I also handmade from the same seam binding I used for the boarder.

Once I had decided on how I wanted my flowers. I then used Inkadinkado Dot Flourish stamps to create my flourishes. I repeated the same stamp 3 times to create the flourish. Stamped with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink. (What I love about this layout is it also shows you that the different ways you use an ink can show as almost different colours). Then added some hot fix rhinestones from my stash (obtained cheaply from eBay) over the Dot parts of the flourishes in different sizes.

Then I stuck my flowers down where I wanted them. Made some pearl sprays using pearl sprays and wire. It only took 2 stems of pearl spray. I used the wire to sepperate one stem into two sprays for the clusters.

Glued them in with a little glossy accents and viola a layout that won’t break the budget