Showing posts with label paper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label paper. Show all posts

Tutorial: Simple Sketchbook Journal Cover

How to personalize a sketchbook or journal cover with recycled artwork or cardboard.I always keep a sketchbook by my side to jot down ideas, draft patterns and outline my blog posts. I am typically working on dozens of projects every week, so this little journal is one of the ways I keep my thoughts and processes organized.

When one sketchbook gets filled, I move on to the next.

Being an artsy-craftsy person, I really enjoy pretty things, so when I recently purchased my newest sketchbook I decided to personalize the cover and brighten it up a bit.

I used an old watercolor painting from my stash that's pretty, but not quite frame-worthy. You could just as easily use a piece of your child's artwork, a scrap of colorful cardstock, an old book cover, a piece of recycled cardboard or anything that is on a piece of heavyweight paper or lightweight chipboard.

Materials




Directions



As I said before, I used a watercolor design that I painted on a heavy watercolor paper, but you can be creative with your cover material. Just about anything is better than the original cover.
Open the sketchpad to the back cover.
You should be able to gently separate the wire binding and slide off both the back and front covers.
Remember how the covers are placed so you can slide them back on to the wire binding later.
Measure the original front cover and trim your new cover to the same size.
Looks good so far.
Turn your new cover face down and use the old cover as a template so you can lightly trace the binding holes with a pencil.
Next, it's time to punch the holes in your new cover.
Carefully use a paper punch to make holes in all the spaces you traced then erase any remaining pencil marks.
Position the new front cover and the original back cover and slide them back onto the binding wires. Gently push the binding wires closed.
The new sketchbook cover is definitely an improvement.

I think the heart shaped holes match the hearts in my artwork nicely. It's just a little detail, round holes would have been just as functional, but the heart shapes make me happy.

How to personalize a sketchbook or journal cover with recycled artwork or cardboard.

And now I'm ready to start sketching and writing all my design notes in my pretty new notebook.

How to personalize a sketchbook or journal cover with recycled artwork or cardboard.

How will you re-cover your sketchbook or journal?




Silhouette Cameo: Free Gift Box Cut File

Free Silhouette Cameo Cut File: Recycle your old cereal and cookie boxes into unique, lidded gift boxesI try to incorporate recycled materials into my crafts whenever I can, so my friends and neighbors are never surprised when I call them up and ask if they have any empty food boxes (or toilet paper tubes, plastic bags, water bottles, etc...) I could use for a project.

I especially enjoy working with cereal boxes because of the awesome graphic design elements in the printing. It kind of brings out the kid in me! So if you're looking for a one of a kind way to package up a special gift, look no farther.

This lidded box is 3 inches square and an inch high and works well for gifting all sorts of small trinkets, jewelry and maybe even gift cards.

Materials


Directions


Of course, to get started, you'll need some boxes. The only requirement is they need to be at least 6 inches wide. (Darn it, the Panko box ended up being to small.)
Next, download my free simple-recycled-box cut file and open it with Silhouette Studio. It should look something like this.

Free Silhouette Cameo Cut File: Recycle your old cereal and cookie boxes into unique, lidded gift boxes
Before cutting with your Cameo, you'll need to prepare the chipboard pieces. Use a paper trimmer to cut two 6 inch squares.
Position the squares on the left side of the mat. The top square will be the box lid and the bottom square will be the box bottom.

Pro Tip: You need to make sure you are using a new-ish mat that is extra sticky or the chipboard will slip when the cutting begins.
Load the mat into your machine and select your cut settings. Luckily there is an automatic setting for chipboard. I was able to use the presets when I cut the Lipton tea box, but I adjusted the blade depth up to 7 for the cereal and cookie boxes.

How to cut cardboard and chipboard with your Silhouette Cameo

Send to the Silhouette and let it do all the work.

You should get two lovely pieces like this.
Bend the dotted score lines. Apply a little bit of glue to each of the tabs.
Press the glued tabs to the inside of the box sides.

It's not very exciting to wait for the glue to dry, so you can use paperclips to hold your box in place until everything is dry.
Repeat the process for the lid.
For my tea box, I positioned the graphic part of the cardboard on the outside of both the lid and the box, but it can also be fun to put the graphics on the inside for a little surprise or mix it up and put the lid graphics on the outside and box graphics on the inside.

Free Silhouette Cameo Cut File: Recycle your old cereal and cookie boxes into unique, lidded gift boxes

Happy recycling and gift giving!




Tutorial: Artistic Meditation

Feeling stressed? Try a little artistic meditation to relax and unwind while creating a stunning piece of art.It's no secret that when I have an episode of crafter's block I usually turn to paper and pencil to regain a bit of focus and inspiration. I guess the process is similar to the latest adult coloring book craze. There is something deeply meditative about adding color to a blank page and watching a design grow.

During a recent craft slump I got out my watercolor pencils, paper and a quilt design book. The finished artwork looks quite intricate, but the process is not as fancy as you would imagine.

Materials




Directions


I started by drawing a quilt block design called Double T onto a sheet of vellum. If you are not comfortable with the drawing part, you can save and print a copy of my Double T drawing onto vellum. Or, if you want to try something different, Quiltivate is a great resource for geometric quilt block patterns that you can save and print.
Next, center a square of watercolor paper over your drawn or printed design and hold in place with a couple pieces of painter's tape. Your watercolor paper should be at least 1 inch larger than the geometric design. Place the papers onto a lightbox so you can see the design through the watercolor paper.
Use watercolor pencil(s) to lightly sketch smaller shapes and doodles onto the watercolor paper using the larger quilt block shapes as a guide. I work in small sections and enjoy drawing a variety of teardrop shapes, but there's no right or wrong way to do this.

Also, I like my design to be symmetrical, but there is no law saying it has to be.Take your time. This is all about relaxation and watching the shapes gradually fill the page.
Remove the papers from the lightbox and color in your design.

Again, take your time and enjoy seeing each little shape fill with color.
Use a liner brush and water to "paint" over the colors.

As the colors soften, let yourself relax.
Repeat the steps. Sketch some small shapes to fill the next section.

It's not a race, so slow down.
Fill the shapes in with color.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Add water and let the colors soften.

Aah...

Repeat the process as necessary until the entire design is filled.
You can use as many or as few colors as you like for your individual meditative masterpiece. In this demonstration, I only used two colors and varied the darkness of each. There is no right or wrong way to create.

Feeling stressed? Try a little artistic meditation to relax and unwind while creating a stunning piece of art.

Breathe. Relax. Create. Be happy!




Crafter Thoughts: Extreme Adult Coloring

Extreme adult coloring ideas: meditate by creating a geometric painting with watercolor pencils

My husband didn't believe me that there is such a thing as adult color books and that it's one of the biggest current trends in hobbies until he Googled it.

It's no surprise to me that these books have become insanely popular. There's something about adding thoughtfully placed color to the page that is extremely meditating. Think about it. Why do you give your own kids coloring books? To keep them focused and quiet. It works the same for grown-ups.

I've kind of adapted the concept of adult coloring books into my own little art form. I like to start by sketching a geometric design on a piece of vellum.


Next, I position the vellum on the back of a sheet of watercolor paper and stick it on with a couple small bits of masking tape. Then, the papers go over a lightbox (or a brightly lit window) so I can see the design through the watercolor paper.

The meditative part is using watercolor pencils to fill in all the shapes from the geometric design with smaller, softer details.

Extreme adult coloring ideas: meditate by creating a geometric painting with watercolor pencils

I bet you didn't see those butterflies and dragonflies when you looked at my initial sketch, but there they are!

Finally, fill in the gaps. This isn't a speedy process. The entire drawing/painting easily took 8-10 hours, but I love the colors and design so much I framed it an hung it in our guest room.

Extreme adult coloring ideas: meditate by creating a geometric painting with watercolor pencils


Here's a second painting I completed using the same geometric template. I like this one because I used almost all 24 colors in my set of Loew-Cornell watercolor pencils.

Extreme adult coloring ideas: meditate by creating a geometric painting with watercolor pencils

Relax and treat your self to some colorful meditations!