DIY: Valentine Pocket with Printable Template

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Like I mentioned before, Valentine’s Day gets me pretty sappy. Sappy enough that all I wanted to do the other day was make a tiny Valentine Pocket to hide secret messages in.

I know. I know.

Well, I did it anyway, and put together a template and tutorial so you can make pockets of your very own, to decorate with all those heart stamps you made.

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Supplies

• Scissors
• Glue or gluestick
• Pens, pencils, markers, stamps, and anything else you’d like to decorate with
• The template below, printed (preferably on cardstock but regular weight paper will work.)

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It’s easier to decorate the pockets before you cut them out, so go crazy. I used all the heart stamps I made the day before, and every valentiney color. The more coverage you get on the pocket itself, the better they look (I think.)

IMG_6008When you’ve finished decorating, all you have to do is…

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Cut out the pocket template…

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fold along the dotted (hearted) lines, fold in & add glue to the striped flaps, and press the back of the pocket down.

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The back of the pocket, after the flaps have been glued in.

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Then you can write your secret message, and slip it into the Valentine Pocket

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and get started on the next dozen!

Bonus- The pockets are the perfect size for a business card, in case you want to do a slightly more professional version of the pocket. (I don’t know. Maybe?)
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I’d love to see what you do with yours!

DIY: Heart Stamps from Stuff your already have.

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Creativity isn’t always about going to the craft store and stocking up on the newest trendy supply- sometimes it’s about getting clever with what I already have. I save money (by using the things I have and might otherwise throw away), save time (by avoiding a shopping run), and tickle that part of my brain that adores a challenge.

Fortunately, I have a LOT of random supplies, so I get to experiment.

Since the DIY Craft Challenge theme this month is hearts, I decided to sit down and make an assortment of heart stamps using different techniques and supplies. I hope they will inspire you to put your heart making skills to work!

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Supplies to Gather Up

• Scissors
• Carving tools like these from Speedball
• Craft Knife
• Permanent Marker
• Pencils, with new erasers
• Stamp Pads
• Washable Markers
• Glue/Gluestick
• Wine Corks
• Sheets of Craft Foam
• Large Flat Eraser (or Speedy-Carve Carving Block)

Stamp 1: Scissors, Glue, Craft Foam, Stamp Pad

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This was simply the easiest, quickest, and most surprisingly amazing stamp I made. If you’ve got some craft foam and a pair of scissors you should make a million. First I cut out a square of foam the same size as the flat top of the stamp pad. I then free-hand cut a heart out of that square, and glued it onto the top of the pad with a glue stick. Now all I have to do is take the lid off the stamp pad, tap it on the ink, and print. I love the way it stamps!
(Inspired by the gift wrap experiment.)

Stamp 2 : Flat Eraser, Scissors, Marker, Stamp Pad

IMG_6108IMG_5977It takes a little effort to make this one work with scissors (a craft knife would be easier) but it prints beautifully. I drew a heart shape on the eraser with a marker, then cut around the stamp until I had just the heart shape. Then dabbled it in a stamp pad.

Stamp 3: Pencil (with fresh eraser), Marker, Carving Tools, Stamp Pad

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This one get the award for the most adorable. I drew a tiny heart on the eraser of the pencil, then carved around it to leave just the heart shape standing out, then stamped that in a stamp pad.
(Similar tutorial here.)

Stamp 4: Flat Eraser, Carving Tools, and Washable Markers

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This is definitely the most compact and kid friendly, since you can use the marker instead of a stamp pad. First I cut a small piece circle of eraser and shoved it into the end of the marker. Then I drew a heart shape on it and carved out the material around the heart. Once the shape is all cut out, I used the marker itself instead of a stamp pad, by coloring on the heart and stamping away.
(These stamps used the same technique at my tiny bug marker stamps, and you can find an extended tutorial here.)

Stamp 5: Craft Knife, Cork, Marker, Stamp Pad

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Although this little stamp get pretty rustic, I think that it is the prettiest. First I drew a heart on the wine end of the cork (the other side had a hole from the corkscrew) then I traced the heart with my knife, before cutting about 1/8 of an inch all the way around the cork. It took some back and forth between those two steps, but eventually I had a raised heart, all ready to stamp.
(Check out this even simpler version.)

See! Five heart stamps without even pulling out a potato or a sponge.

So what now? Check back tomorrow for a Valentine template that will put those stamps to good use!

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DIY: Appearing Leaf Drop-Dyed Tissue

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If you’ve tried out our Paper Flower or Tie-Dye Tissue Paper DIYs you know how much fun it is to dye paper with liquid watercolor. There’s something so magical about the way the colors mix and flow through the paper fibers.

I was thinking about fall leaves, and of course paper dyeing seemed like the perfect way to capture the fiery colors of the season. After a little experimentation, I came up with a dyeing variation where leaves mysteriously appear on a gorgeous field of color.

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Supplies You’ll Need

• White tissue paper
• A Pigment Based White Stamp Pad, like this Craftsmart Pigment Ink Pad from Michaels. Other stamp pads, or inks, should work too, just test them out on a piece of scrap tissue.
• Stamps, made or bought.  I made my own in a method similar to the one Rachel used for her Stamped Scarf project. I carved my stamps from cheap erasers.
Blick Liquid Watercolors
• Liquid Droppers and/or absorbent foam paint brushes.

Here’s a sneak peek at the leafy magic…

 

To get started- decide how you are going to use your tissue, and where the leaf design should be. If you are using it in a bag, I would suggest decorating the corners; if you’re going to wrap with it you will want to decorate from the center out.

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Ink up your stamp, and press it firmly on your tissue. (You know- stamp it!)

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Repeat with your stamps in a random pattern until you are happy with the design. It may be difficult to see the white ink on white tissue- but that’s what makes the next part so fun!

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Let the stamped tissue dry for a few minutes, then fold the tissue several times and place on a plate or other protective surface. With your dropper or brush begin applying dabs, drops, and lines of liquid watercolor to the tissue.

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The leaves should start to appear in white on your tissue. (The watercolor won’t soak into the area that you have covered with the stamp ink.) If you end up with excess dye puddling up on your design, simply dab with your brush or a paper towel.

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Keep dropping and dabbing until you’ve covered the area with color.

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Flip the tissue over and add color there as well. (It should soak through all the layers.) After you are done, let the sheets dry completely (at least overnight) before unfolding and using them.

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Tada! Customized tissue that will make all your gifts pop.

Other things to try

• More color combinations
• Different stamps – maybe stars, initials, polkadots…
• Other types of ink – colored or metallic ink pads, block printing inks and more
• Drawing with metallic Sharpies or paint pens
• Drawing with dry watercolor pencils before dyeing
• Experimenting with other papers

DIY: Black Cat Stamped Scarf

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall
I can’t believe it’s almost October! Autumn is in full swing and I’m excited to finally do some fall crafting. I’ve had this project on my to-do list for a few months so I was eager to finally work on it and have a fun new scarf to wear for Fall.

Supplies Needed

• White scarf (cotton or linen is best)
Black stamp pad (for fabric)
Carving block
Linoleum Cutter Tools
• Pencil

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall

You can use scratch paper to decide how you want to draw your cat. I kept mine simple. Then use a pencil to draw the cat onto the carving block. Once you’ve finished, get out your carving tools.

Using the smallest carving blade, I carved the face of the cat first.

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall

Then I switched to a larger carving tool and carved around the shape of the cat head.

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall

I continued to carve out all the negative space around the cat head until it looked like this:

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall

Now that you’re stamp is ready, do a test on a piece of scratch paper to see what it looks like.

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall

Next, start stamping your scarf! But first, make sure to iron out any wrinkles from the fabric. Lay it flat and begin to stamp. Start at one end and work your way to the other. I stamped in rows and tried to make them as evenly spaced as possible.

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall

Once you’ve stamped the entire scarf, use an iron again to heat set the ink by pressing for 10 seconds or put on high heat in the dryer for 15 minutes. And you’re done!

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall

This scarf would make a great gift for a cat-loving friend, or if you’re like me, you’ll wear it yourself all season long!

DIY Cat Stamped Scarf #craft #kitty #blackcat #fashion #fall