Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mini book gift card holder for your favorite teacher or Dad

It’s getting close to the end of the school year and what do give as a gift for a favorite teacher?  I don’t know any teacher who doesn’t have at least 3 dozen coffee mugs and cookies are nice but maybe your child should show of his or her measuring abilities and make a mini book gift card holder for a gift card.  Yes, gift cards are great you can get them in almost any denominations these days and the teacher can choose the gift. I've made this gift card holder for teachers, but don't stop there...Father's Day is coming up and it would be so easy to replace the ABC letters with DAD!  

You will need:

Card stock paper

Dimensional design or regular felt

Tacky craft glue, clothespin




Felt or foam letters or alternately mini felt apples (or you can make an apple from mini red hearts.)

Small amount of green chenille stem (for apple motif only)

5 inches of gold cord

Raised button

1.     Cut the cardstock into a 6” x 8” rectangle.

2.     Fold the cardstock in half meeting end to end.

3.     Rotate and fold in half again. (See photo)

4.     Open the folded piece of cardstock.  Fold up the lower right hand corner using the fold line as a guide. (See photo)  Refold the card and you will have formed a little pocket.  Put a dab of glue at the lower corner to secure the pocket and secure with a clothes pin till dry.

5.     Cut a piece of felt for the cover 6 ¼” x 4 ¼”.

6.     Cut a four-inch piece of gold cord for the closure.

7.     Turn the card over and measure and make a pencil mark down 2 inches on the side with the pocket. Make the cord into a loop and attach at the mark you made with a dab of tacky glue. This is the closure loop.  Turn over before you glue to make sure it is on the backside and when pulled around to the front will close the book.  (See photo)

8.     Spread a generous amount of tacky glue onto the entire back and attach the felt.  If your felt is dimensional or a print, be sure that it faces the correct direction.  Let dry.

9.     Glue a button on the front of the book and use it to loop the cord over it to hold the book closed.

10. Attach three felt or foam letters lengthwise down the front, A,B,C. or your can alternately attach a couple of felt apples.  Be creative!  Open the book and insert the gift card.

Note:  If you can find apples and you would like it to have an apple you can make apples with two small hearts.  Turn one upside down on top of the other and trace the top on the bottom of the first one and cut.  Use a piece of green chenille stem on the top and glue to the book front. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Quick and easy patriotic pinwheel wreath

Need a quick wreath to brighten up your holiday?  This wreath can be made in just a few minutes with limited supplies.  Inexpensive, quick, easy and patriotic, what’s not to like?  Have a wonderful and fun filled Memorial Day!

You will need:

Grapevine or any wreath you would like to recycle

Red, white and blue grosgrain ribbon (Any size ribbon)

Card stock paper in red, white and blue 

Glue gun and glue sticks

Screwdriver or pencil (to hold the pinwheel while the glue sets)





1.     Wrap your wreath with your red, white and blue ribbon all around, attach with glue gun and glue sticks.

2.     Make the pinwheels.  Cut 3 ¼” x 3 ¼” sized red, white, and blue squares from cardstock paper.

3.     Fold the paper diagonally, turn and fold the other direction.  Open the square.  Follow the fold lines to cut the square almost to the center.  Repeat all around on all the lines.  (See photo)

4.     Flip each pointed tip to the center and attach with a dab of hot glue.  Use the screwdriver or pencil to hold it down till the glue sets.  Be careful when working with hot glue!  Repeat around with each point.  (See photo)  Pinwheel made.  Make three pinwheels from each color.

5.     Attach a coordinating rhinestone or jewel in the center of each pinwheel.

6.     Use the hot glue gun to attach the pinwheels all around the wreath.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Pressed four leaf clover key ring

It’s well into spring here in the southeast and flowers and greenery abounds.  I have a patch of clover in my front yard.  Look very closely and you are sure to find a few four-leaf clovers.  I’ve always pressed flowers and you can too.  You can purchase a flower press in a craft store, make your own, or just use a heavy book (although choose a book that you don’t mind the pages getting a bit stained) After you press your flower or small clover you can put it between glass in a pendant frame to make a unique key ring.  Easy peasy. 

To make a flower press you will need to cut two rectangular pieces of wood the same size.  Drill holes in all four corners of both boards matching them up.  Purchase long screws that fit in the holes leaving enough protruding to tighten the boards together with wing nuts.  Cut corrugated cardboard to fit in between the boards and newsprint paper to put between the cardboard.  That’s all there is to it!

You will need:

Small flower or four-leaf clover

Flower press or heavy book

Newsprint paper or parchment paper 


Pendant frame with glass

Key ring

Large jump ring

Needle nosed pliers

Flower press method:

1.     Choose your flower or clover to press.  Use the freshest flowers you can find.  When pressed they will become thinner and semi transparent but will retain most of the original color.

2.     Open the press and on the bottom board place the cardboard.  Put down a piece of paper and lay the flower or clover on the paper. Add another piece of paper on top and put the second piece of cardboard on top of that.

3.     Attach the top board and tighten with the wing nuts.  Set aside for at least a week depending upon the flower's thickness.

Book pressing method:

1.     Open a heavy book in the center. Sandwich your flower or clover in between two pieces of newsprint or parchment paper and close it in the center of the book. 

2.     Place several more books or a heavy weight on top of the closed book and set aside for at least a week or two.

To make the key ring:

1.     After your flower or clover has dried carefully remove from your pressing device. 

2.     Open your pendant frame and center your pressed flower or clover in between the glass.  Place back into the frame and close and lock the frame.

3.     Use a needle nosed pliers to open a large jump ring and attach to a key ring.

You can use pressed flowers to decorate scrapbooks, frames, etc. by gluing or decoupaging onto any surface.  Pressing flowers will retain its color.  The flowers in the photo below are several years old and I haven’t figured out what to use them on just yet!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Quick and easy recycled cork floral magnets

My fridge is loaded with magnets of all sorts.  I use them to hold up notes for the family, photos, and grocery lists.  They are useful on lockers and other metal surfaces as well.  These magnets are pretty and cost pretty much nothing. For the magnet I used the bulbous tops of recycled champagne corks and magnets removed from a shower curtain liner!  Add some paint and glue and little imagination and you can have a whole fridge full in no time flat!  These would be great to make as group projects for senior centers, etc.  If you don’t have any corks, you can buy champagne corks in craft stores or online, or even ask local restaurants to save some for your group.

You will need:

For each magnet- Recycled champagne cork

Magnet purchased ones or recycled from the bottom of an old shower curtain liner

Acrylic paint, red, white, yellow, brown, black and green

Small flat brush

Liner brush

Paper plate for a palette

Gloss sealer

Glue gun and glue sticks

Fine sand paper

1.     Cut the top off the champagne cork right where it narrows.  You will be using the top button part only. 

2.     Prepare the cork by sanding off any writing and smoothing on both sides. 

For rose:

1.     Apply some red and white acrylic paint on a paper plate.  Using the small flat brush add some red paint to one side and white paint to the other.  Brush on the plate to blend in the center. 

2.     For the center of the rose, make a stroke with white side of the brush facing up in an arc shape.  Turn the brush and with the white side of the brush facing down brush in a curve meeting the two strokes.  Reload your brush.

3.     Continue working around the center Making petals with the red towards the center and the white around the edges of the petals.  When you have finished use a liner brush to further define the white and red areas.  Using green paint, make a leaf and stem down the side.  Let dry completely.  

For sunflower:

1.     Use the flat brush and brown paint to make a round shape in the center of the cork.

2.     Make petal shapes all around with yellow paint. 

3.     Use the liner brush to make black dots around the brown center and some in the center itself.  Line the petals with brown paint and let dry completely.  

To finish brush on clear gloss sealer and glue the magnets to the back.