Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tea Box with Chipboard Flowers

I posted yesterday about my box I covered. I haven't finished it quite yet, but I did want to post some pics and show off what I did so far.

So here is a slightly blurry shot of my covered box and the teabox I used to make it. A week or so ago, I was staring at the empty teabox after using my last tea bag and thought it looked about the size to hold 3x5 cards. Turns out, it's the PERFECT size. Once I finish this box I'm probably going to give it away as a recipe card box or something. I've noticed that a lot of tea boxes are about this size, so you can check yours out. Maybe it could work for holding 3x5 cards, too!

I decided to cover the box using only pieces of scrap paper from my paper stash (except for the initial layer of cardstock I put on all of the faces of the box, for added strength), and more specifically only those scraps that were still on my desk, yet to be filed. I really like the way it turned out. It ended up having combinations I never would have thought to use before. I did a lot of sanding and really like the way it turned out.

I used my paper punches to create the cute little "chipboard" flowers (as described in yesterday's post).

And here are a couple of clearer pictures of the little mini albums I did yesterday. As I mentioned, these are examples of one of the mini albums I'm teaching in my upcoming class at the Riverview JoAnn. The letters and numbers are also "chipboard".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Being Cheap! Making "Chipboard"!

So lately I've gotten hugely convicted, like a lot of people, about not only my personal finances and spending, but how much I effect this planet I'm on. Combine the two (serious budgeting and being more conscious about not being wasteful in my paper crafting) and you get my latest thingie--making "chipboard"!

Basically, I love chipboard. I think it looks awesome in finished projects, but I'm not so super fond of the prices. I also see the chipboard shape packs and think that although a lot of it is cute, a lot of it is stuff I'll never use. So I've gone for quite a while without using chipboard at all in my designs.

I'm blessed to have a Cricut Expressions machine. It's what I used to cut the letters in the little mini album project I have pictures of here. You can use paper punches, though, to achieve the same results and create your own "chipboard" flowers, hearts, scalloped squares, or whatever.

Basically, to make your own "chipboard", just cut four layers of cardstock in whatever color you want to be your base color. (I usually use cream or off white because it seems to look more like real chipboard, but other colors can look cool, too!) Just make sure you make all four layers the same color. I like to cut one more layer either in a patterned paper or another patterned cardstock. I like for them to be white core (white on the inside... you can discover whether or not your paper is white core by either looking closely at the side of the paper or ripping a small part of it... if the tear shows white, it's white core) so that I can create cool sanding effects.

Glue the underlayers of cardstock together, making sure to align them nicely. Glue your final piece on top and let it dry for a while before trying to sand. These aren't as sturdy as real chipboard, but they still look really cool, I think.

This first one shows the letters all lifeless against my plain mini albums. (I'm teaching a new class at JoAnn on how to make your own mini albums, another part of my budget/green crafting binge.)

Here are the letters with four cardstock shapes made for each one to turn into "chipboard".

Here are my finished mini album fronts. I decided to do the dates, too. On the smaller numbers, I did only two layers of cardstock beneath the top layer.

I think I'll post later on how I organize my scraps for maximum future usage. Also, some on my new vow to not buy any new supplies at ALL unless it's a consumable and I'm replacing something I've just used up. (Adhesive refills, glue, stamp ink, specific papers I use a lot [white cardstock, etc.], black pens, etc...) I'm not sure how long this is going to go for. But I've decided to do the best I can with what I already have. After all, constantly consuming more and more isn't just wasting the money I'm currently spending--it's really wasting the money I've already spent, too. Right? Because I'm not using what I bought already, it's essentially going to waste.

Anyway, so hopefully someone likes this idea and uses it. Ooh, I need to post the teabox I covered! I used some of my little "chipboard" flowers on that, too, and it turned out totally cute.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking

Lately I've been really into doing digital scrapbooks. I have learned that my printer (Canon MP480) is capable of printing borderless 8.5x11 sheets. WHOA, am I excited!!!! Below are two images of a two page layout I did in Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 (yeah, 2.0...) in an 8.5x11 format. They printed off perfectly on Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II sheets. I'm not being paid by Canon to say that or anything, but I have learned from personal experience that, yes, there IS a dramatic difference between the products made for your printer and products you may try to buy of any other brand. I'm more than satisfied.

I made this layout using the Barefoot kit over at This was a kit I bought (*GASP!*) because I just couldn't resist. I love the fact that this kit is really made to celebrate boys. There are far too few things out there meant to do any kind of craft projects for boys, as if moms of boys are any less inclined to craft about and for their children than moms of girls.

What I LOVE about the digital scrapbooking is the fact that you basically have limitless use of what kit items you get. For instance, I just made my entire title and a little subtitle out of the awesome distressed looking letters that came with the kit. I didn't have to give any thought to the fact that I was using up my letters in this project because I can never run out! Even though I use up paper and ink in printing these sheets, I'm technically not using as much as it seems because I'd be using a lot of this ink to print the pictures in these pages anyway.

For those of you who have a good photo printer, but can't print borderless 8.5x11" sheets, go with 8x8 sheets! You can print the 8x8 square onto a sheet of 8.5x11" photo paper and then cut it out and slip it into your album. I've been making an entire album for my husband for our 5th anniversary like this. It's totally cute.

Oh, and for anyone who thinks using the ink is too expensive--on my printer so far (I've been keeping an ink journal), I've printed 12 4x6 photo sheets, 8 5x7 pictures, 5 8x8 sheets, and 2 full 8.5x11 sheets and my ink is saying I've only used up half of it. My ink refills cost about $24.00 (I use the ColorXL, too... more ink for less money!).

So I'd encourage people to try out some digital scrapbooking! Go to my favorite digiscrapping all kinds of free kits you can experiment with!