Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Scrapbook Title HACK using vinyl!

Happy Wednesday friends! I wanted to share some crafty inspiration with you today but I'm typing this up as my toddler plays quietly by himself (whaaa? I know... don't... so I will keep it brief.  As you may or may not know, I'm a *little* behind on my scrapbook.  Anyone else?  Now I'm not quite as far behind as my mom, who is still working on my elementary school pages but I haven't reached my goal of being caught up on my son's photos before the next baby comes... 3 weeks.  Yea, it's not going to happen.   That being said, any free time lately has gone to scrapbooking (or working on our business) instead of other crafts.  I'll share some layout ideas with you later but HAD to share this little hack with you before I forgot!

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing through these links gives me a small commission at no extra charge to you.  Products I link are products I personally use.  Thank you for supporting my blog.

No, this isn't about coming up with something clever as your title but rather about what material you should be using for the titles on your scrapbook spreads!

There are a few options available when putting a title on your scrapbook page.

(1) Write it out by hand.
       Pros: easy, always available
      Cons: doesn't look as nice

(2) Use scrapbooking stickers.
      Pros: fairly easy, looks nicer than handwriting
     Cons: can get expensive, time consuming, limited to size/design of sticker

(3) Cut words out of paper with your cutting machine.
      Pros: Unlimited font styles, unlimited options for size/paper design, inexpensive.
     Cons: Very time consuming to glue down every letter


(4) Cut words out of vinyl with your cutting machine.
      Pros: Unlimited font styles, unlimited options for size/color (as long as you have that color vinyl on hand of course) easy to apply, fast to do
      Cons: a little pricey (cost of vinyl & transfer paper) but not any more than scrapbooking sticker packs from the store.

I'm a big fan of option #4.  If you already have a cutting machine and vinyl at home, then this is a no-brainer.  If you don't but scrapbook a lot, it's something to consider having on hand (the 
Silhouette is awesome to have for scrapbooking and other crafting... not just for titles!)

My super crafty and amazing mother shared this idea with me (here's a guest post she did for me sharing how to make personalized necklaces from Shrinky Dinks!) and I'm so glad she did.  It has completely changed my scrapbooking game.  I have always hated hand written titles and it seems that the store bought stickers were never the right size or color that I needed (or I ran out of letters!) plus they were expensive.

Using my Silhouette allows me to design my title in any font I like and in any size or shape.  Using vinyl saves me time because applying individual pieces of paper took forever and resulted in SO. MUCH. GLUE. on my hands.  With vinyl I simply design it, cut it out, weed it and then use transfer paper to move the entire title to my scrapbook page at one time.  It's amazing.  I seriously can't get over how brilliant of an idea this was.

Don't stop at page titles, use this to create your own "stickers" for your spread!  No need to search the stores for a sticker or embellishment that sort-of works, simply design exactly what you want, in the size and color that you want!  I just wrote "Baby's First Christmas" but you could easily personalize it with your child's name (I'd like to see you do that sticker company! ha!)

Vinyl is also very thin so it lays nicely on your pages, creating a very crisp and smooth appearance.  If you are like me and have to include something lumpy bumpy on your pages, stick with the vinyl title and add a few small touches elsewhere to add dimension.  Here's what I did on this particular spread:

I just cut out a few trees (by hand) from the background paper and attached them to the top of some plain creme colored buttons.  It drew the different elements from the page together and added a few pops of dimension.  I also used a similar idea for creating a layered tree on the title page where I wrote the year details.  I like to use hot glue as a way to bind layers together and create dimension (other scrapbook adhesives will just stick them together flat) but there are other options available at the craft store- like those spongy little squares... what are those called again?

Whether you occasionally scrapbook or have years and years of spreads ahead of you- trust me- this idea is worth a try.  It's been a complete game changer for me and in many cases will be the way I title from this point on.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Map Inspired Home Decor

I have always had trouble buying gifts for people.  I really do want to give a gift that shows I put some thought into it and that I care- but most of the time it ends up just being a standard clothing/accessories that has something about it they like (like a sports team or pattern).  It's no surprise that I struggle with this though, being as "receiving/giving gifts" is 5 out of 5 on my Love Languages.  It just doesn't come naturally.

Crafting comes naturally.  I love creating with my mind and hands.  Some people aren't as receptive to "handmade gifts" as I am though so I tend to steer clear of them.  That all changed this Christmas.  As I was searching the stores and racking my brain to find the perfect gift for my mother-in-law (who we think has the #1 love language of gifts) this idea hit me.  It's sort of store bought but with a creative twist.  Easy, meaningful and perfect for anyone on your list (or yourself!) who loves to travel or has loved ones afar.

{Sorry for the poor lighting in the "after" photo.  I forgot to take one until it was being wrapped up!}

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing through these links gives me a small commission at no extra charge to you.  Products I link are products I personally use.  Thank you for supporting my blog.

Here's how to make your own:

Step 1: Find some frames/shadow boxes that you like.

I found these at T.J.Maxx for around $5 a piece.  They had several sayings like "family always & forever" , "soul mates" , "best mom ever" and "best dad ever".  It didn't really matter what they said since I was painting over them but I did love the square shape and how they all coordinated together.  The round pieces also stuck up from the background which added dimension.

My MIL lives in Georgia now but her three children reside in Indiana, Florida and Pennsylvania.  I wanted to make something that captured all the places that her heart is scattered across the states.  Oh, and all three kids attended Purdue University so the black & gold colors were fitting!

Step 2: Paint the back or whatever spot you are going to re-decorate!

It took several rounds of gold paint to cover up the black wording, but luckily acrylic paint dries pretty fast.  Just keep doing it until the original design is covered up.

Step 3: Create & apply your vinyl design.

Using your Silhouette or other cutting machine, create vinyl pieces in the shapes of your choosing.  I wanted basic shapes of Indiana, Florida and Pennsylvania.  Tip:  Make sure you measure your shapes to fit inside the space in every direction. I measured side to side and up and down but forgot about making it fit diagonally!  Oops.  I had to re-cut my states!

Position the vinyl where you want it and remove the transfer tape.  Press down the vinyl so it sticks well.

Step 4: Draw hearts in the states using a metallic pen or marker.

You can do this with vinyl or by hand, I just thought it was faster by hand!  Add hearts in the locations where loved ones live, in the state capitol, or in between multiple locations.

That's it!

I love how easy this project was and how personalized you can make it.  I chose to keep the fourth shadow box as it was- saying "Family Always & Forever" but you can make it as small or big as you need.  What a perfect gift this would make for anyone with family out of state or for those who have moved from state to state themselves.

Love this?  Check out my most popular post for another map-inspired DIY!