Friday, February 27, 2015

Prettifying Your Paper Stationery

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Prettifying Your Stationery

I am sucker for pretty stationery, and I couldn't resist this pattern when I saw it in Paper Source. So I decided to incorporate more heat embossing, while adding another prettifying technique.

For a full lesson on heat embossing, you can visit my last post that highlights the ingredients.

For the first step of this prettifying project, I used the following:
As you can see from the links above, and the pictures below I used Paper Source products. However, your local craft store should have heat embossing products. For example, Hobby LobbyJO-ANN, and Michaels carry their own lines of heat embossing products. 

Heat Embossing with Powder

Love Stamp

Gold Love Stamp

Thank You Stamp

Thank you embossing stamp

Thank you white embossing powder

Thank you card Paper Source

Before I sealed and delivered these thank you cards to the recipients, I was inspired by the pretty papers in Paper Source and decided to add an envelope liner.

For this second prettifying project, you will need: 

DIY Envelope Liner

Follow these very simple steps to create a dramatic look. I measured my envelope liner template on the paper, and then cut accordingly. Then I used the double-sided tape to adhere the paper to the inside of the envelope liner. It is important to use tape and not glue, because glue will ruin the paper. And voila! As simple as that!

Paper Source Envelope Liner Kit

DIY Envelope Liner

How do you prettify your stationery?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How To: Embossing Powder

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Embossing Powder

As a girl I loved giving/receiving handwritten letters. As an adult I love receiving handwritten letters even more, because they are a nice departure from the routine bills that hit my mailbox. When I write letters I try to personalize them so the receiver knows how much I care. 

To thank the attendees of my son's first birthday party, I wanted to try something different with the thank you letters. I visited Paper Source and fell in love with many of their products, especially their embossing powder tools. I decided to purchase some embossing powder essentials, and I am thrilled that I did. 

For this project, you will need:
As you can see from the links above, and the pictures below I used Paper Source products. However, your local craft store should have heat embossing products. For example, Hobby Lobby, JO-ANN, and Michaels carry their own lines of heat embossing products. 

Heat Embossing Tools

To personalize the stationery I used the VersaMarker pen to write out "thank you". This pen allows for a lot of flexibility in your design. 

Embossing Powder Ink Pen

With the paper underneath I dusted the embossing powder onto the inked surface of the stationery. 

Embossing Powder

Without touching the "thank you" on the card, I removed the excess powder. 

Thank You Embossing Card

From here I set the card aside and rolled the paper up while keeping all of the powder inside of the rolled paper. Then I placed the excess powder back into the container for later use. 

Paper Source

This is where it gets fun! I turned the heat gun on. I let it get hot (about 15 seconds) and then I slowly grazed the gun over the powdered "thank you". Right before my eyes the powder turned into a beautiful, shiny, textured, permanent message. It was like magic! I was hooked!

Embossing Heat Tool

Thank you card

I had so much fun adding the "thank you" note to the front of the card I wanted to add something special to the envelope seal. This time I used the stamp and stamp pad. 

Powder Embossing Tools

I absolutely love the effect that heated embossing powder brings to paper. The finished product is determinant on where the powder falls, and this makes for a very special and unique product every time. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

DIY Magnolia Heart Wreath

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DIY Magnolia Heart Wreath

With Valentine's Day around the corner, I wanted to add some subtle decorations around my house that could take me into Valentine's Day and stay for a while longer. This wreath allows for just that. The heart is a nice nod to Valentine's Day without being too "themey", and allowing it to continue its appeal into spring. 

For this project, you will need:
  • Dried Magnolia Leaves (I plucked mine from our backyard tree, but you can purchase them online)
  • Heart Shaped Wreath Wire Frame (I purchased mine from Hobby Lobby)
  • Hot Glue Gun with Glue
  • Paint Brush (optional)
  • Gold Paint (optional)
  • Wet Towel
I originally used the magnolia leaves as decoration for my son's woodland-themed first birthday party. The leaves air dried in my house for a couple of weeks, and I decided to re-purpose them for this project. I removed the leaves from their branches with gardening scissors so I could get a nice, clean cut. Then I cleaned them with a wet towel, and allowed them to dry completely. 

For my next step, I decided on the placement of the leaves. I knew I wanted to feature the rich green color, and also highlight the beautiful, velvet texture of the backside of the leaf. So I decided to alternate sides. I also wanted to follow the natural curve of the leaf with the heart. After I confirmed the placement, I glued each leaf to the wire base of the wreath frame and glued each leaf to one another for added stability. 

Hot glue gun

Magnolia Leaf

Magnolia Leaf Heart Wreath

Once I completed one side of the heart, I copied the same direction on the other side. You can stop here, but I decided to add a little glamour! I took the gold paint and highlighted the veins and velvety texture of the backside of the leaves by brushing the gold paint onto the back of the leaf. I love how it brought some great detail and flair to the project. 

Gold Magnolia Leaf

Gold Magnolia Leaf

I knew I wanted this wreath to hang on the door of my son's room, so I went with 12 inches for the wreath frame. But you can use a wreath frame that is larger for the outside of your house. 

After purchasing the products and drying the leaves, this project took me a little over an hour to complete. I hope you enjoy this project and add your own little twist that makes your own heart happy!

DIY Gold Magnolia Leaf Wreath
DIY Magnolia Heart Wreath

Monday, February 9, 2015

My First Project with Annie Sloan

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Hello everyone. I am sorry for my yearlong hiatus. I was am busy soaking up every moment with my little son. However, I am incredibly excited to be back in creative action!

I have been dying to try Annie Sloan's chalk paint for years. As the pioneer of the chalk paint world, her paint did not disappoint!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

The beauty of chalk paint is in its simplicity. Chalk paint requires very little prep work (no sanding, no primer) and it dries very quickly. It also can be used on most surfaces. I was able to complete this makeover in one afternoon. I will only touch the surface of chalk paint with this project. But I did invest in this beautiful book which has me thinking about many more ways to use this magic paint. 

For this project, you will need: 
  • Item to Paint (I used a hand-me-down mirror that wasn't fitting in with my light decor)
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I used Louis Blue)
  • Annie Sloan Soft Wax - Clear (Optional, for sealing the project)
  • Annie Sloan Soft Wax - Dark (Optional, for adding depth and texture to the project)
  • Natural Bristle Paint Brush 
  • Rag (Optional, for applying the wax)
  • Protective Materials (I used gloves, cardboard to protect the workstation from paint, paint tape and recycled newspaper to protect the mirror)

Annie Sloan Wax

Annie Sloan Before
Before: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Before I started painting, I cleaned the mirror frame with a wet towel and then allowed it to dry completely. I didn't sand or prime the wood finish of the mirror frame.

I used the natural bristle brush to apply one coat of Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Louis Blue. The paint dried very quickly, and soon turned into a chalky-milky texture. As you can see from the picture below, I needed to add one more coat after the first coat. 

Annie Sloan First Coat Louis Blue
One Coat of Chalk Paint
After about 15 minutes, the entire frame was dry. I applied a second coat. 

Annie Sloan Louis Blue second coat
Second Coat of Chalk Paint
After the second coat was dry, I used my rag to apply Annie Sloan's clear wax. The clear wax applied very easily. The wax isn't necessary, but it does help cure your paint job. It takes several weeks to dry completely. 

After the clear wax settled in, I decided to add some texture and depth to the project. I took the same rag and applied Annie Sloan's dark wax to the inner layer and outer layer of the mirror frame. You can achieve different looks with this wax. I wanted a very subtle look, so I didn't apply too much wax. But, this is a great way to bring out any texture you have in your project. I like the faux patina the wax created for my mirror frame. 

Annie Sloan Wax

*Sidenote: I would like to take some time to thank my little helper, Baby A. 


You can see the finished product below. I am happy with my first attempt, and excited for more projects with Annie Sloan. 

Annie Sloan Louis Blue
After: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
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