Tips, Tricks, & Tidbits

I’ve been working on a few neat little tricks recently that I wanted to share with you lovely people!

The first one comes to me via my friend Haley Moore. She’s been working on a fantastic Kickstarter campaign called Laser Lace Letters. (Check it out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/toenolla/laser-lace-letters) Over the last weekend I got to sit in on a small demo she did with wax seals. We designed our own and then cut them on a laser cutter, thanks to the Dallas Makerspace. She had a fabulous trick for preserving your wax seals to use on other projects. Sometimes trying to melt the wax onto your letter or artwork can be messy and you run the risk of messing it up (I know I have) but her neat technique is so simple and allows you to put your seals on anything and everything. I’ve recreated it here for you guys.

Supplies:
1. Metal sheet (this could be anything flat and metal like a cookie sheet)
2. Seal Stamp
3. Hot Glue Gun
4. Hot Glue Gun Wax (you can use the regular sealing wax that you light in which case you won’t need a hot glue gun but I find this gives me more precise circles.

Step One:
Heat up your glue gun until you can extrude the wax easily. (It needs to be nice and fluid or it will cool before you can place your stamp)

Step Two:
A tip for getting the size right is to put down a little less wax than the shape of your stamp because it will press it out. Too much and you will have a lot of excess on the sides. For the stamp I’m using I created a dime size pool of wax. Press the stamp directly in the center of the pool and let it sit for a moment to allow the wax to cool.

Step Three:
Gently wiggle the seal back and forth till it pops free of the wax.

Step Four:
After it has completely cooled, gently use your nail (or a small flat object if you have no nails) to pry up the seal from the metal plate. Now you’re seal is ready to be stored and used on any project you so desire! Add a unique touch to the next batch of Christmas cards you send out.

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Our next tip is for all those out there who enjoy making their own cards. Be it for birthdays, Get Well wishes, or Christmas there are so many fun ways to incorporate scrapbook paper into your designs. This year I am making my own Christmas cards and wanted to create a simple snowy hill scene to set my focal art against. In four easy to follow steps you can create a great backdrop for your Christmas (or Winter Solstice) cards.

Supplies:
1. Scissors
2. Cards
3. Glue
4. Scrapbook  paper
5. Focal Art piece

Step One:
At one of the corners of the scrapbook paper, cut a curved edge.

*Tip: when selecting the paper for my hills I chose patterns that were small and repeating. I was also mindful of the colors I chose. Blue and white gave a feeling of ice and snow. The patterns helped drive that feeling home since I chose primarily winter themed prints.

Step Two:
Cut a mirror image of the first one in another print. I do this by turning the paper over and tracing it on to the other piece you want to use. They will over lap each other so measure against the size of your card to make sure you’ve cut them big enough.

Step Three:
Glue your pieces to the bottom corners of the card. It is your preference for which one over laps which.

Step Four:
Glue down your focal art piece and add any other embellishments you want. Now you’ve got a great winter scene that can compliment most card designs.

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My last little tidbit of information is about organization. I don’t know about you, but I have a growing collection of stencils. Up until recently I’ve kept them in a stack in a drawer. But for those of you who have stencils, you know that they can get tangled up together, fine edges can get bent, and even break off. I was looking for a more convenient way to store my stencils and be able to tell at a glance what I have.

Several years back I bought a couple portfolio books that had clear page protectors in it, all bound together like a book. I filled one, but the second sits empty and it dawned on me that it would make a great stencil organizer.

This works for all but my large stencils. Those I keep in their original packaging to keep them nice, but for the smaller pieces (under 9×11) I am able to store them in one place, neatly, and at a moment’s notice see what I have.

Hope these little nuggets of knowledge inspire you to go out and make something, declutter your life, and have fun crafting! Are you getting ready for the Holiday’s? What is your favorite thing about them?

 

4 comments

  1. Kathie B. says:

    I really like the idea of making wax seals that you can add to cards later but I’m wondering how you adhere them to the card. Do you use glue or heat the seal up again? Thanks.

    • Nicole says:

      I did try reheating the wax but it is hard to get a true stick by reheating the hot glue gun wax. For a light seal use double sided tape on a letter already sealed (this just adds a personal touch) or use a dab of hot glue or craft glue for a more secure hold.

  2. Zoey says:

    By hot glue wax what do you mean like a crayon or what?

    • Nicole says:

      A crayon-ooo! I hadn’t thought of using one of those. That could work I think. And you would certainly get a wider variety of colors. The wax I am referencing in the blog though is especially made for hot glue guns. You can get it at Walmart or any other craft store. They are usually labeled as Sealing Wax. You can also use traditional sealing wax that has a wick and you light it and let the wax drip off onto the sheet.

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