Category Archives: Art

Card with Present Pockets

September 29, 2014

Sweet cinnamon! Where the heck have I been?! A quick stop by my Etsy shop ( will show you the gambit of goods that I’ve recently added to this fine world. But you’re not here for that are you, you want to know how to make a great card that doubles as a beautiful package of goods… well, let me show you!

This is a card I’ve made on a number of occasions over the past few years- great bulk Christmas and Halloween gifts, gifts for teachers, gifts for those feeling under the weather… it has not been difficult to find an excuse to build this beauty. Recently my dear friend completed her final round of chemo for her Hodgkin’s lymphoma (hooray!) and then a week later was hit with appendicitis and trucked right back to the hospital… good grief! So I had to make her this card, there was really no option.

Step 1: Gather materials: Paper, ruler, glue, ribbon (or some other closure) and goodies to put inside- these are “the essentials” but you may find that a scorepad, bone folder, circle punch, paper piercer, brads and a paper trimmer are all extremely helpful tools when papercrafting.

(Goodies that work well for the pockets of this card are tea bags and squares of chocolate.)

Step 2: Prepare exterior paper. Using a heavier cardstock, cut piece to 9.5″ long x 4.5″ wide. Score a center “binding” at 4.5″ and 5″. Set aside.



Step 3: Prepare interior paper for pockets. You can use cardstock or patterned paper for the interior, though I feel it is easiest to work with thinner patterned paper. Trim paper to 9″ long x 7.25″ wide. To create a center binding that nests into the exterior paper, align paper so the long side is at the top and score at 4.25″ and 4.75″. To create the pockets, rotate the paper so the shorter side is at the top and score at 0.25″ and 3.75″. These are all valley folds (meaning they all should go down).



Step 4: Fold up the interior paper to create the center binding with pockets on both sides.DSC09882


Step 5: Glue down the top 0.25″ flap.


Step 6: If you have a circle punch, punch out a half circle from each pocket end to allow for easier access to goodies within. I used a 1″ punch.



Step 7: If you want to cover the inside of the card base, now is the time to do that. I did this out of necessity as I’m reusing the blue cardstock from another project. Using patterned paper trimmed to 9″ long x 4″ wide and scored 4″ and 4.5″, then align and glue ‘er down.

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Step 8: Glue pocket paper along binding of card base. 



Step 9: Increase strength of binding using brads. At estimated distances from each end, punch a small hole with piercer and insert brad. This is probably not essential, but ensures confidence that the packaging won’t fall apart at the binding and it looks polished.

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Step 10: Add a ribbon, decorate the exterior, and fill with goodies. I like to sandwich the ribbon between two of the outer layers, but let your juices flow with how you want to affix a closure. I would not recommend spherical confections as shown here as they’re a bit bulky.



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I love making cards for people, what a good feeling to give and receive a handmade package of beauty, and this one in particular is great because you get to stuff it with treats!

When I heard of my friends continued ailment, “WTF?!” was the first thing what went through my mind. SO, hey, why not plaster it in bold letters on the front of a card, right? Thankfully she is on the mend and doing well, presumably off of her all-liquid diet and getting back her strength.

As always, Thank You for stopping by!


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A (Not so Scary) Scarecrow Tutorial

September 11, 2014

As part of the Sunday School Kickoff this past weekend, I had kids plant tulip bulbs in front of the church sign. Bulbs were packaged with squares of burlap I cut from an old seed bag. When it was all said and done, my son picked up an empty square and asked,  “Can we make a scarecrow?” And that is exactly how this tutorial came into being. So follow along to build your very own yard companion to greet the Autumn upon us!

Step 1: Gather materials: Wood, old shirt, yarn/twine/string, old fabric for head (we used the rest of the seed back from above), scraps of felt, fabric glue, lots of paper/plastic grocery sacks or old rags or old socks or whatever you have that can be used to beef up the body (I know you have a pile of these somewhere- we all have a grocery bag graveyard), and any adornments you want to pimp out your scarecrow with.

Step 2: Assemble wood into a cross. We happened to have this yellow cross constructed and painted sitting in the garage collecting dust. A perfect dressform!



Step 3: Put shirt onto form. Tie the bottom with twine/string to keep the innards in.





Step 4: Stuff the shirt with recycled materials. We used old grocery bags. Fill it out through the arms to give it a bit more personality.





Step 5: Make the head by laying out a big square of the material and filling up the center with stuffing. Bring up the sides to create a head-like shape. Tie this onto the top of the wooden form.





Step 6: Give it a face using scraps of felt or other fabric and fabric glue. Or leave it faceless for a really creepy scarecrow.





Step 7: Add any additional adornments you wish: bandana, hat, crossbow… the choice is yours.



Step 8: Find him a home in the yard. Our garden is pretty much done for the year, but my son was intent on scaring any crows away from whatever the heck may be left beyond the weeds.



And there you have it!

Happy Autumn, everyone! Hope you all find solace in the changing of seasons from summer into cooler weather and shorter days. Regardless of where you are on life’s journey or your feelings about the bible, here is a little snippet I think all can appreciate:

Galatians 6:9 (NRSV)

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.

Agree? Doing what is right is downright exhausting at times! But because you know it is right, you mustn’t give up- it will pay off! Living your life is about the one thing you can control, take full responsibility for that and do what you were made to do. Life is short, make it count.

Thanks for stopping by- hope you come back again soon!


UPcycled Buttons

September 2, 2014

This past month, Family Fun magazine invited readers to take part in their “Top This” Challenge. The goal is to “top” the craft developed by the magazine using some common, household item. For the August challenge, the item was buttons.

The kids and I mulled over what to do when it occurred to me that the button itself could be the craft! I have been saving my bottle caps and thought, “What if we could MAKE buttons out of these?!”. Heaven knows we don’t need another excuse to produce millions of tiny plastic fragments sold for absurd prices. SO, here’s what we came up with…

Step 1: Gather supplies: Bottle caps, hammer, nail, surface to hammer on, paint and other decor (optional).


Step 2: Flatten front and backside of cap with hammer. Try to tuck in and flatten out sharp ridges on backside.


DSC09347 Step 3: Make button holes using nail and hammer.



Step 4: Paint over with acrylics, glue on googly eyes, or leave as is and attach to something. If submitting to a family-oriented magazine, I recommend painting over the bottle caps if they came from beer bottles.


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Step 5: Once paint is dry, use some Mod Podge or Krylon sealant spray to affix the paint.


Step 6: After sealant is dry, you can really do whatever you want. In fact, beginning way back at Step 1 you could really do whatever you wanted. Make magnets, a wind chime, have another bottle of beer to add one more cap to the collection- the choice is yours! My boy decided to draw Fire Nation symbols because he loves the old Nickelodeon Avatar shows and is convinced he’s a member of the Fire Nation.

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OK, so there you go! Take pride in the creation of your very own personalized buttons using things you already had around the house. Encourage yourself to take a moment to think about what you have and the great many uses for those things rather than dashing off to a super mega store to buy more for some silly challenge. The real challenge is about your resourcefulness and willingness to rethink uses of the many items around you.

Thank you for stopping by today! I appreciate YOU!


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