Teacher Appreciation Favor Bags

I am the worst when it come to procrastinating, but let me tell you, I do some of my best work at the 11th hour. So when I volunteered to handle teacher appreciation for the school for the month of April, (back in October of the year before), I had every intention of getting everything done well in advance. Well… let’s just say on March 1st I had a bit of a reality check. My kids go to one of the largest elementary schools in Missouri, and my teacher appreciation gift would need to serve 150 people. What’s that saying about the best intentions?

After talking to some of my other crafty friends, I decided I wanted to do some sort of personalized gift bag with a treat. I zoned in on a bag of popcorn and some candy.  About this time I started seeing blog hops for the latest Mama Elephant release, and everyone was talking about the XL Creative Cuts Favor Bag.  The were soooooo cute and the ideas in my head started flying! I figured out how large the assembled bag would be, and unfortunately it was not large enough for a bag of microwavable popcorn. But I was so in love with that die, I just figured I’d come up with something else to go inside of the bags.

I placed an order and got to work with the favor bag die, the Mama Elephant Page Huggers stamp and die set and the Mama Elephant Words Defined stamp set. Can you tell I’m really digging Mama Elephant right now?

I started with stamping sets of three of the page hugger animals and three of the accessories on watercolor paper. I used Distress Markers and a water brush to color those in.  After I’d done a few sets that way I switched to 80 lbs Neenah solar white cardstock and used Copics to color the rest of the sheets. If you like stamps you’ve got to check this set out. It is too cute! Some of the accessories include a little graduation cap, a little love note, a carrot… but I went with a pencil, stack of books and apple… staple teacher items. 6th grade graduation is right around the corner and I thought the little animals would be adorable with the graduation caps on their heads, but I stopped myself. One undertaking at a time!

Since I needed 150 sets, I carried the sheets around with me and worked on them everywhere. And I do mean everywhere… basketball practice, during my lunch breaks, family gatherings, even at the auto drive-in while I was wait for my car to get inspected after a hail storm.

Next I die cut a black frame with a heart in the middle.  I enlisted some help from my mom and she stamped the frames with the Teacher wording from the Words Defined stamp set.  This was the perfect time to use the MISTI because the white ink didn’t always give a solid stamp.

While Mom was hard at work stamping, I die cut all of the animals, accessories and bags. Finally it was time to assembly everything! It seems like a lot at first, but you get into a routine and before you know it we were done!

And the icing on the cake… mini microwave popcorn bags fit perfectly! I will tell you this was a pretty ambitious undertaking, probably my largest to date, but I cannot be more proud of the way everything turned out.

Now go forth and create!

Supplies used:
Copic Markers (RV02, RV04, RV21, RV23, R14, R29, N0, N2, C1, C3, C5, E23, E31, E34, E37, B24, B28, BG10, BG13, Y08, Y17, YG13, YG17, YG63, YR02, V15)
Distress Markers (Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Worn Lipstick, Frayed Burlap, Mustard Seed, Carved Pumpkin, Barn Door, Dusty Concord, Mermaid Lagoon, Peeled Paint, Wild Honey)
Watercolor Brush Pen
Neenah Solar White – 80 lbs
Artist’s Loft Watercolor Paper
Mama Elephant XL Creative Cuts Favor Bag
Mama Elephant Page Huggers Creative Cuts
Mama Elephant Page Huggers stamp set
Mama Elephant Words Defined stamp set
Hero Arts Unicorn Pigment Ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Dye Ink 
Cricut Cuttlebug
MISTI Stamping Tool
Martha Stewart Scoring Board
Fiskars Deluxe Paper Trimmer
Advanced Tape Glider (ATG)
ATG Double Sided Refill Tape
Kokuyo Dotliner Adhesive
Kokuyo Dotliner Adhesive Refill
Teflon Bone Folder


DIY Foiled Journal

#DidYouKnow that you can foil vinyl?

I LOVE my Heidi Swapp Minc. I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked about it, but it is such a cool accessory to have in your stash.

School started back in August and that means resuming my duties on the PTA board. To stay organized I designated a notebook just for my PTA meetings. Of course I needed a way to upscale it, so I pulled out my ScanNCut and my Minc. I cut the wording I wanted: PTA; 2016 – 2017 School Year; and Fun Committee (I’m also on the Fun Committee at work) out of scrap vinyl. It didn’t matter what color I used because I was going to foil it.

After cutting the vinyl don’t remove it from the backer just yet. I took the words and cut them so that they’d fit in the Minc carrier sheet. I picked my foil color (there are so many to choose from, but I thought blue would look good on the neon green notebook), and ran it through the Minc. Don’t forget the foil should be shiny side up.

After that it was as simple as picking up my shiny new letters with a transfer sheet and putting them on my notebook!

This is a great little trick. Just think, now you can put foiled letters, words, designs… anywhere! Just an FYI, if you dont have a Minc this could also easily be done with prepackaged foiled alphabet stickers. Honestly it definitely would have been quicker… but what’s the fun in that?!

Go forth and create!

Birthday Favor Boxes

It seems I’ve been taking a bit of a break from blogging. Not intentionally I assure you. I just hadn’t been doing a good job of documenting my projects as I was completing them.

With the Thanksgiving weekend coming up I hope to get started on a holiday project for my son’s class. In the mean time enjoy these favor boxes I made for his 7th birthday. He loves Legos and superheroes, so I combined them both. The inside contained a birthday Lego figure and an official Lego Builder license.

Lawn Fawn had just release their scalloped treat box die and I thought that would be great for party favors. I did a sample mock up using the scalloped treat box you can check out here. Unfortunately it wasn’t large enough for the treats I’d purchased so I started looking for other options. I found a great milk carton box on the Stamparadise blog. These boxes were a great size, and since she included dimensions I didn’t have to spend any extra money for another die.

I started by creating 20, (yes 20) milk carton bases. Cutting each sheet to size was no problem, but I will tell you, scoring each piece, especially the diagonal lines was a chore. How I went about doing the diagonal lines was to use the fold out arm of my We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 punch board. Lastly I die cut a small stitched circle on the back flap of each box so I could have a milk straw sticking out of the back.

After all of the boxes were cut and scored I used my MISTI to stamp out the city background from the Avery Elle Super stamp set in Fog Grey ink. I then stamped 40 of the same background on black cardstock in white ink, again using my MISTI, which made things go pretty quickly. Next up were 80 word bubbles (4 for each box). After everything was stamped and had a chance to dry I die cut the city backgrounds and word bubbles. I also die cut a bunch of clouds that I didn’t end up using. Finally for the word signal that read “Happy Birthday” I hand drew the shape (there is a die included in the Super Elle-ments die set, but it wasnt long enough for what I needed), and cut 20 of them out with my Scan-n-Cut. I then stamped Happy Birthday on each of them with my MISTI.

After all of my individual pieces were complete it was time to assembly everything. This actually went pretty quickly! I offset the cityscape  die cuts from the stamped background to give the illusion of depth. After they were assembled, I punched 2 holes in each box, filled them with goodies and tied them closed.

I had so much fun putting this all together and they went over well at the party. Word of advice… when undertaking a task like this I recommending binge watching something to help the time pass. 🙂

Until next time… go forth and create!

Back to School – Lightbox Slides

I recently purchased a Heidi Swapp Lightbox from Michael’s. No, I didn’t use a 40% off coupon. What? Me? Not use a coupon? Nope… Because it was already 50% off in store! What?!?! Win/Win!

I’ve been watching the Lightbox for some time, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend $40 on something with a non-replaceable light bulb. Yep. You read that right. Once the lights burn out that’s it! But nonetheless, it’s a pretty cool accessory that I wanted, and for 1/2 off? Why not!

There are a bunch of accessories to go along with the Lightbox that you can take a look at here. If you choose to purchase, definitely look around. There are a couple of online stores (like Scrapbook.com) as well as Michael’s and JoAnn’s that have the accessories priced cheaper than they are on the American Crafts website.

School is starting next week (ah, where did summer go?!), so along with the “Class of …” t-shirt I talked about last week, I also take the mandatory “First Day of…” photos. I thought it would be fun to use the Lightbox this year, but there was no way I’d be able to fit the message I wanted on it. Cue the DIY music…

The slides you can purchase for the Lightbox are 12.5 x 3. I decided to use transparency film sheets  (you know, the ones the teachers used in class with the projector a LONGGGGGG time ago) for my DIY, but they were 8.5 x 11. This meant I wouldn’t be able to recreate the slides  exactly. I had to decide if I just wanted to go with a smaller size (11 x 3)* or if I wanted to cut each word individually and be able to space them out accordingly. In the end I decided to just do a full slide in a smaller size. (1) less pieces for me to keep up with, and (2) I figured I could use some of the cute icon slides to fill in the open space.

I pulled out my trusty Scan and Cut and cut the words, “First Day of” and “Last Day of” out of black vinyl. Of course you could use any color, but I just wanted mine to be pretty simple. I then transferred the vinyl to a transparency sheet laid out horizontally. I cut that down a three inch height. I was able to get both slides, “First Day of” and “Last Day of” out of my 12 x 12 piece of vinyl. Hey! Waste not, want not! I rounded the corners of the slides with my We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 punch board to give it a finished look.  (It’s a great little tool that does a ton of things. I love this blog that showcases some of them). Rounding the corners could have been done with a lot of different tools, but I used what I had. (Note: The  1-2-3 punch board did NOT like the transparently sheets. I think the plastic kept getting stuck, so we won’t be doing that again.)

That’s about it! Now I need to figure out how to store these slides until the end of the school year!

Go forth and create!

*I had the hardest time trying to get my vinyl to be perfectly centered. In the future I plan to put the vinyl on the slide first, then cut it down to size. Instead of trying to line everything up on an 11 x 3 slide. 



Father’s Day Canvas Bag

*Yes, I know Father’s Day has past. This post was written before Father’s Day, but since my Dad reads my blog (thanks Daddy!) I had to hold it. Enjoy!

Father’s Day is right around the corner, but I started planning my Father’s Day gift BEFORE I even gave Mother’s Day a second thought. That’s rare for me! My dad enjoys buying fresh fruits and vegetable for meals on a daily basis, so I thought a cool grocery tote would be a fun gift. The thing is, my dad could care less about labels and trends. So I knew a tote from West Elm or World Market wouldn’t do.

I found a fun saying about Dads and Grandpas, and thought it would be nice to turn that into a grocery tote. As long as it wasn’t wildly colored, I figured Dad would be on board. I designed the saying using ScanNCutCanvas and cut it out of stencil  plastic with my ScanNCut. Next I painted the saying on the canvas with fabric paint. I was worried the paint would find a way to leak under the stencil, but the Silhouette stencil material comes with an adhesive back. Score! I let that dry overnight, then applied another coat of paint. I let the second coat dry for about four hours, removed the stencil and viola!

Finally I got all of my siblings, nieces and nephew to write a little note (or a scribble for the little ones), and now have I a custom one of a kind grocery tote.

I think my dad is gonna love it!

Playing catch-up…

I’ve been incredibly busy lately and haven’t had much time for crafting. Yes. Very sad. I’ve gotten a little Copic coloring in here and there (check out this new class being offered by Sandy Allnock in May) and done some playing with my new Distressed Crayons, but not much else. I hadn’t posted in a while and just wanted to say “Hi”, and give you a little sneak peek at my next project.

The plan is to get started on this next week, but you know how life is. So far I got the layout done in ScanandCut Canvas (to use with my Brother Scan and Cut). Simple lettering and found the Batman logo through a Google search. I don’t know if I’m going to do this on canvas or wood, but probably canvas since I already have it. This is going to either be a belated birthday gift for my nephew who just celebrated his 1st birthday, (he’s a huge Batman fan… as big as a fan a 1 year old can be), or I’m getting his Christmas gift done REALLY early.

Until next time…

batman screenshot

Savings Jars

I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University a couple of years ago. During that few months, not only did I learn how to improve my financial future, I also learned the importance of teaching good money habits to your children while they are young. Since then, I’ve picked up the book Dave co-authored with his daughter, Smart Money, Smart Kids. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend it!

One thing I learned from the book is to teach children to separate their money into three categories: Give, Save and Spend. My kids are 11, 9 and 6, and especially with my 6 year old, being able to visualize this is very important. Cut to the savings jars…

I will preface the remainder of this post by saying I did not create this idea. It’s all over Pinterest, and Dave Ramsey even sells something similar on his website. With that being said… onward ho!

I found this candle holder at Kirklands, (sorry, link says it’s no longer available), and purchased coin jar lids from Michaels. And yes, I used coupons at both locations! 🙂 You could call it a day and have a finished product, but of course I had to spice mine up a bit.

I pulled out my Scan N Cut and made vinyl labels that read: Give, Save and Spend. I then transferred those to the mason jars. See how much that little label kicked it up a notch? I finished off each set with a personalized chalkboard name tag and we were done! Now the kids can watch their savings grow!  

 Please keep in mind these are glass jars and therefore are very breakable (I know this from experience and have had to replace one of the jars).