Category Archives: Embellishments

Leaving A “Good” Impression

Stamped image on air dry clay

Air dry clay can be purchased at your local craft/hobby store.  It comes in a brick.  Tear off the amount you want and knead it into a ball shape then press it out with your fingers.  This is a paper clay and it is very lightweight and pretty durable.

While kneading this clay you can put a drop or two of ink from your reinker to color the clay to your desired color.  You can also add glitter during the kneading process to make this sparkle all over.

Because it is wet, I recommend you use wax paper beneath this clay during your working process.  The wax paper can also be used to press the clay flat.  Treat it pretty much the same way you would pie dough.  Flatten it out to the thickness you desire then stamp your image.  To get a good image the thickness needs to be about 1/8 inch.  Anything less will give you a flatter image.

If your first attempt doesn’t come out well just wad it back up and start over with the kneading and the flattening.  This stuff is pretty forgiving – that is until it dries out.  Once it dries out just add water to it and continue squishing it around in your hand until it comes back to the consistency of pie or bread dough.

Using letter stencils with air dry clay

Last year, for one of my granddaughters birthday presents, I did the letter stencil technique on this clay.  Press around the stencil to raise the clay above the stencil surface then let it dry.  After it was dry I cut it out with decorative edge scissors and painted it with acrylic paints.   I made her name using this technique and applied the letters to a big paper mache or chipboard “R” that I painted and decorated just for her.  Today’s video shows you how to use a letter stencil to get this raised lettering as well as the stamped image.

It has been a year since I last used the air dry clay, and it was pretty dried out and quite lumpy.  Some of the lumps did not get enough moisture and left the first stamped image pretty lumpy. Please make sure you find some kind of air tight storage container for this clay, save you some time and have less frustration.  I’ve gone to using my Food Saver and the bags to seal in the clay.

As you see the first stamped image, the ink colors have bled out.  That is because I applied colored markers to the stamp then applied the stamp to the wet clay.  If you want better results then let the clay dry before you use inks.

Acrylic paint works very well on this product, once it is dry.  You will like the results.

If you make beads, you can create your own beads with this then paint them after they dry.  If you are a Fimo Clay person and you make beads, work the same way with this clay as you would with the Fimo.  I do not think it will reduce as well as the Fimo Clay does when you put the layers together and then press and elongate.

I do know this clay works really well with stencils and rubber stamps.  You can get an impression from just about anything with this clay.  If you want to add flowers and brads to your creation just use the paper piercer and make holes for the brads.  You might be able to use a Crop-A-Dile on this product once it is dried, but I think it might be too thick to fit through the jaws.  There is a bit of shrinkage as this clay dries, so you might need to check any holes you punch in while it is wet – after it has dried.


I Can’t Make Anything Because I Don’t Have…

My Sister inspired this coming week’s videos.  She has not dabbled in paper crafts, nor been around anyone that does.  A comment she made to me two weeks ago, in one of our telephone conversations, fired off all kinds of things in my brain.  She said “I would like to be able to make cards, but I don’t have anything to do that with and I don’t know how.  I guess I could get some construction paper.”

She has not been influenced by me because we have only been in contact with each other since last year.  When I found her, after searching for five years and we danced around all the land mines and found common ground, I told her about my paper crafting then sent her a bunch of stuff I had on hand and could part with.  Yikes, remember my crazy shopping spree of late 2005 early 2006?

Last week she finally opened the boxes I sent.  A bit overwhelmed she was by the “largess”.  I’m afraid I compounded matters with the mass of goods.  Quite a lot of it she could not name if she was forced to.  That’s okay, I’ll get her familiar with all of it sooner or later.

This coming week we are going to be working “Outside the Box” with the things we have already in our craft spaces.  We are going to be doing some “Problem Solving” this week.  If money is a bit tight right now we are not going to let that little problem get in our way.

This coming week I am playing the “What If” game all week long.  We are going through our stash.  Things we have in drawers, jars, boxes, closets, shoved way back and long forgotten in some area of our space.  With a bit of glue, an item normally chucked in the recycling bin or trash, and some of the items we fell in love with at the craft/hobby store and have not used once we got them home.

Monday, I show you how to make a wonderful book from a cardboard box, some used coffee grounds, bookbinding glue, chipboard embellishments, a piece of mica, and photos.

CAUTION:  Monday (January 18th) is a three part set to get the whole project done from start to finish.

  • What If you need to make a gift for someone and your paper stock is low.  Not enough left over to make what you would really like to make?
  • What if you need two pieces of 4×8 chipboard and all you have are odd bits from previous projects?
  • What if you have some neutral papers but they are not quite the right color?

Tuesday is about heat tools and embossing powders.

  • What if you are having trouble getting the hang of heat embossing?  What are your options?
  • What if your heat tool has quit?  What if you have a project you have been working on that requires a bit of heat embossing?  Do you just give up?

Wednesday is about acrylic paint and rubber stamps.

  • What if you discover the ink pad you chose to use for some stamping is all dried up and you don’t have a reinker?
  • What if you were given a rubber stamp, by a thoughtful well meaning person, and you don’t have ink pads?

Thursday is going to be about those bothersome magazine ads.  We see them then quickly thumb past them.

  • What if you don’t have any rubber stamps for images?
  • What if the rubber stamps you do have don’t quite work with the message you want to send?

Friday is going to be about using the magazine ads and our scraps of plain colored card stock to our advantage.

It is my hope that by the end of the week you will have a different outlook on your craft supplies and what you can do with what you have.

Need supplies?  Place your order at my Stampin’ Up! website.  While you are waiting for them to be delivered get busy with what you have until then.  Don’t let a short supply of products stop you from creating.

Mosaic Moments

Mosaic from scraps

Peel and stick labels are excellent for this kind of a project.  The sticky part of the label does double duty here.  The scraps of paper are attached to the sticky surface, leave a gap between each piece you place, and the embossing powder has a place to stick to.

Once you have everything applied, scraps and embossing powder, use your heat tool to set the powder.  It takes a little longer for the powder to set than it would normally take.  Once it is finished and set you will like what you see.  The heated embossing powder shimmers between the scraps and adds a visual element to this piece.

If you have put off making “Serendipity” squares because of all the gluing involved, then give this a try.  Makes that process so much easier.  Get your scraps together, dig around and find a label, then give this a try in your “studio”.

Add a mosaic piece or a Serendipity square to your layout, mini album, or cards.  Want to see how to do this?  Check out  my video on the process.  Very easy to do.

Flower Facelift

Prima Flowers

At some point, nearly everyone has purchased Prima flowers or the paper rose bouquet packages.  Looking at pictures of other peoples studios I see bottles and jars crammed full of the brightly colored Prima flowers.

I have a few, but not many.  For some crazy reason I got stuck in the sticker zone.  I have tons of sticker sheets but very few flowers.  Think I’ll have to remedy that.

Pictures I’ve seen of mini albums made using these flowers they are mostly adorned with brads.

Since I began this weekly format of having a “Wet Wednesday” I knew I was in trouble last week since I own ONE re-inker.  An embossing pad re-inker at that.  So Prima flowers, paper rose bouquets, and an embossing pad re-inker were brought out and tried.  I liked the results and that is today’s tutorial.

Paper Rose Bouquet

Isn’t it Marie Osmond that sang “Paper Roses”?  Well, here are some paper roses.  I’ve had these since 2005.  They were purchased for my daughter’s wedding album I made for her that year.  White, pink, and these purple bouquets.  I have these left over from that time.  They have sat in a drawer, still do even after this treatment, until I can figure out what to do with them.

The two roses on the left are the ones that got the clear embossing treatment.  The three to the right are just as they came in the package.

Prima Flowers Altered

In 2006, during my eBay stint, I purchased a couple very small bags of these flowers.  Brads were included in the package for embellishment.  Over the last few years I’ve used a couple flowers at a time until I’ve about exhausted my stash.

For today’s tutorial the bottom two, the pink and red shiny flowers, are treated with embossing reinker and clear embossing powder.  Try as I  might, I could not get a good photo with these in focus.  I’m sorry for the blurred look of them, but you can see them better in the video.

The upper two with the yellow centers have been treated with an Ocher colored embossing powder and Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint from Stampin’ Up! #116806.  To see the beautiful edges of these flowers you will have to watch the video.  This really bad photo doesn’t do them justice.

While you are creating your beautiful projects, consider doing this treatment to your flowers.  Need the Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint?  Stop by my Stampin’ Up! website and “get you some”.

Tag-You’re It

Tag from scraps

Today’s tutorial is about using scraps.  These are pieces from the Christmas Jingle Scrappin’ kit #115696, Creamy Caramel Stampin’ Pad #103220, Fundamental Phrases #114968, Anchored Rub Ons (discontinued item), white glue, eyelets, sticker phrase,  and ribbon from my stash.

Each project we complete, either a layout or a card, there are scraps left over.  These scraps accumulate and get hidden away.

In my room, I have a drawer they go in.  I just scoop them up and dump them in.  Then they become “out of sight out of mind”.    When I had to redo my room – see my post from – I decided to get my papers in order.  Scraps were placed in 8-1/2 x 11 sheet protectors along with the same colored card stocks.  We’ll see how that works.  Many of you have a filing system and your scraps go in a file folder with your papers.

No matter how you do it, scraps seem to multiply all by themselves.  So it is time to give those pieces a place to live.  Something to do.  Share those scraps with love.

Making tags is about the easiest way to use up scrap pieces.  You don’t even have to make up tags, make a 4 x 6 photo mat or journaling mat from your scraps.  Add a bit of pizazz to your layout or card front.

Paper bag albums are the rage right now.  Make a few tags from your scraps and bling them up with embossing powders, crystals, glitter, and lots of other sparkly things.

You have a stash of ribbon snippets or ends that are growing in a jar, can, or drawer?  Get those scraps out also and give them a place to live.

Do you have sticker sheets you purchased thinking you would use them and have not done it yet?  Or do you, like me, have sticker sheets with the good stuff used and all that is left are words or graphics that don’t apply to things you are making now…so they sit stuffed away somewhere.  Get a bit creative with your stickers.  Letter stickers I have in abundance….hmmm sounds like a new project.

Make Your Own Epoxy Stickers

Crystal Effects "Epoxy" Sticker

This was originally going to be for tomorrow, Wednesday for the “Wet Wednesday” segment.  Wet because of the glue used.

Crystal Effects #101055 and a couple of stickers from the Christmas Jingle Simply Scrappin’ kit #115696

I have a video up on YouTube that shows how easy it is to create your very own epoxy sticker.    This allows you to change up an ordinary sticker and make it into something special.