Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shamrock & Easter Bottle Caps!



I am just LOVING this collection of annual images - it gives me something new to make each month!   It's been super nice to have a set of images on hand that I'll be able to use all year long - I should do more collections like this!  Anyway, this past weekend I got to work on my Shamrock Necklaces for March and an Easter key chain for April.  I made the necklaces for my girls and the Easter Key Chain is for yours truly (sorry, mom)! Truth be known - I've been waiting anxiously for my Easter Egg Beads and once the package arrived I got seriously busy!  I found them on Etsy in a shop named CuteCornwall and decided I simply could not live without them!  {UPDATE: After running this post, CuteCornwall emailed me and offered my readers a 20% discount! Use HAPPYBLOGGER15 at checkout to save!}

As always, I'm using bottle caps and epoxy stickers from my FAVE bead/supply shop, Fizzy Pops!  She's running a coupon right now... save 17% by using code LUCKY17 at checkout.  


Making bottle cap crafts is actually pretty easy and quick.  If you haven't taken the plunge yet, you should!!  Using a 1" round craft punch, you simply punch the images from your 4x6 print - apply them to the epoxy sticker and glue them to the bottle cap.  My favorite thing to do with them is make the beaded keychains, but my girls love just the simple necklaces.  If you want to see a detailed tutorial with tips for adding beads, definitely check out this post HERE.


Have a great day!



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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PIN IT to WIN IT!!


Have you had your eye on some fun printables in my shop, but didn't buy them yet?  Now's your chance to WIN THEM INSTEAD!! :)  Simply visit my shop, pin the printables you want to win, enter below by copying the URL to your pins and 5 winners will be announced tomorrow night!

Don't forget to do your bonus entries too!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
CONGRATS to my winners!! Thanks to everyone who entered... more giveaways to come!

Have fun pinning!



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Thursday, February 12, 2015

{FREEBIE!!} Activity Day Progress Tracker



One of the new LDS Planners I added to my collection for 2015 was for Activity Day Leaders.  Inside are tons of pages for keeping organized throughout the year and making sure the program stays on track - but I've gotten tons of emails from the MOMS of Activity Day Girls (who don't need the whole planner) but would LOVE to have the individual progress tracker.

So... :)  I decided to extract that page and offer it as a freebie!  You'll find it in my Facebook Fan Freebie Library {HERE}!


If you are an Activity Day Leader or in a Primary Presidency... you may want to check out the full planner (HERE) - complete with monthly calendars, planning pages, attendance sheets, rosters, birthday lists, group tracking and more!  It's particularly a great resource and tool for a new leader who needs help knowing what to do, what to plan and how to structure their activities!

Check out more LDS Printables {HERE}!

Happy Tracking!



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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Make Magnets with KISS Printables!



My super-fun friend Jen let me in on a creative little secret recently... she's been making magnets out of my KISS Printables!  How fun is that?  I love it when someone shows me a new use for an existing printable - makes it all the more fun to have the file in my digital arsenal!

{PS... I found this DARLING magnet board at Joann's - comes in all colors!}


Making a set of magnets is very easy - and once you have all of your supplies, it's probably only about a 20 minute project!  You'll need 3/4" flat glass marbles (found at any craft store in the floral aisle or at the Dollar Store), magnets of about the same size or smaller, Mod Podge (of course), a 3/4" round punch and a sheet of my KISS Printables


Start by printing and punching your KISS sheet (I always use glossy photo paper and make sure my printer is set to it's BEST quality print setting).  There were 8 designs in the Valentine Set, so for this project I'll make a set of 8 magnets!


Applying the Mod Podge is easy.  I just shake my bottle well, then using my finger - I get A LITTLE BIT from the lid and rub it onto the flat side of the marble.  DON'T go overboard or your ink will run and it will take forever to dry.  A thin coat is perfect... if it takes more than 5 minutes to dry, you used too much. 


Then, apply the punched KISS dots face up.  The marbles aren't perfect and as you can see, there is excess around the edges.  Don't worry about that for now, just let them dry for a few minutes.


Once they are dry, take your scissors right along the edge and trim.  The backs won't be perfectly circular, but that's okay!  You won't see that part anyway.  If you want to take an extra step here, put a little dab of Mod Podge on your finger and run it around the edge.  This will help seal it so the paper won't lift up over time.  Then, apply your magnets!  I bought self-adhesive magnets to make this project quicker, or you can just use a small dab of glue from a hot glue gun.


And... Voila!  All finished!!  I also trimmed a piece of sheet metal to fit into a 5x7 frame that I already had... then added a bow!  If you want to make a cute little note like mine to complete the set, I punched a 2.5" circle out of scrapbook paper, then a 1.5" scallop from white.  I hot glued another magnet on the back of this cute clip - super easy!


Did you notice the bottle cap magnet on there too?  Of course, you can use Epoxy Stickers and Flat Bottle Caps... or if you can find the larger 1" clear glass marbles, you can make them the same way as the KISS ones I just showed you.  If you remember back to last week... I shared the February 4x6 from my Annual Bottle Cap Collection as a freebie (HERE)!

Now that you know what to do... this project can be applied to ANY of my Kiss Printables!


Don't the YW Value KISS Printables make a great set, especially with the YW Value Bottle Cap





So cute on a white magnet board!  This is what our YW Leaders gave our new Beehives at New Beginnings and the girls loved them!  They found these white magnetic boards at Joann's as well.

What set will you make?



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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

NEW Recipe Binder Printables + a GIVEAWAY!



Oh my goodness!!  I have wanted to make a set of recipe printables for years - and after months in the making... they are finally ready!  This set comes in both full size (8.5x11) and half size (8.5x5.5).  Both binder and sheet protector sizes are widely available anywhere that sells office supplies or online.  A full sheet of written instructions is included... but below are some images and tips for assembling yours!

Dying to get started?  Links to these printables are below. Through 2/5 use RECIPE30 to save 30%!


The category pages are SO FUN!!  The two key features of these pages - and I think what makes them unique from any other set out there - is first... each one has a fun, witty or relevant quote!  And second, each of the dividers has a unique paper edging along the right side.  This feature is not only totally cute - it's very functional and will help you quickly navigate your binder!


How does it help you navigate?  Simple... because I used the SAME paper edging on the recipe pages - as you turn and flip through - the edging and coordinating flags helps you quickly see what section you are in!  Each section has a unique, but coordinating, paper!


As your binder lays open, the edging on both the left and right sides matches the edging for that category's divider page.  So, this printable comes with LOTS of pages since every category also has a left and right sided recipe page.


These are what I refer to as the "Designer" Recipe Pages.  They are laid out for you with lines and sections, ready for helping you organize each recipe.  As shown in the graphic above, you can either print and write... or following the instructions included, you can use Adobe Reader, Word or other design programs to add text boxes to these pages prior to printing.


However... if you'd prefer to NOT mess with a bunch of text boxes - you can also use the "blanks" that I included as well.  These pages are quite versatile - you can add more than one recipe per page, you can insert recipe photos, you can set up your own layout... sky is the limit!  Again, detailed instructions are included the the downloads.


And guess what?  It's no coincidence that the binder ALSO matches my new Bottle Cap Menu Board printables!  I'm so excited about these printables and thrilled they are finally done... so I think that means it's also time to celebrate with a giveaway!


I'll be selecting 3 winners - each will receive both the Recipe Binder (your choice of half or full size) AND the Menu Board Printables! And don't worry... if you've already bought these printables, you can choose whether to get a refund for your prize if you win (or I can send the printables to a friend instead).  No reason not to enter, right!?

 To enter, use the Rafflecopter Box below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONGRATS TO CHRIS, MARIE AND MOLLY FOR WINNING THE PRINTABLE PRIZES!

Thanks for entering, everyone!!



I USE SCRAPBOOK MAX TO DESIGN ALL OF MY PRINTABLES.
Click HERE to get a free 30 trial of this fun, easy & awesome software!




Friday, January 23, 2015

How to Make BEADED Bottle Cap Key Chains!



It all started a few months ago when I ventured into something new... which was designing bottle cap sized (1") printables!  I had seen them made up with beads online - but had NO CLUE where to begin. So, I signed up for two hour Jewelry 101 Class at Joann's and since then, this new little beading hobby of mine has taken me by storm! I am absolutely inspired by all the colorful beads and have loved marrying them with the bright patterns and colors of my printables.  And... based on the volume of emails I get on a daily basis asking for help, it sounds like many of you would like to give it a try too!  So, although I'm not a master-beader... I'm a beginner, in fact - I'll do my best to walk you through how to make these fun, colorful bottle cap wonders!  Throughout the tutorial, I'll also recommend (and link to if I can) the places I've bought my beads and supplies. 


And... hopefully by the end, you'll be able to make all kinds of bottle cap crafts with the same techniques!  Like this necklace for example... just adding one "bead dangle" to a necklace or key ring makes a DARLING difference!


Since black and purple are my FAVORITE colors right now... I picked this one to do step-by-step!  You can get this printable {HERE} in lots of colors!  Or.. you can take a peak at my entire collection {HERE}.


First... you'll need to buy or borrow some basic jewelry tools and supplies.  

(1) Chain Nose Pliers  (2) Round Nose Pliers  (3) Bent Nose Pliers  (4) Wire Cutters  (5) Mat

Where to Buy these SuppliesYou'll be able to find these tools anywhere that sells jewelry-making supplies and at craft stores like Michaels, Joann's and Hobby Lobby.  You can start with a Beginner's Kit of tools for $10-15 or you can get them for $4-6 each, so definitely use your craft store coupons! These kits are also available online, check Amazon if you don't have these stores near you.  The beading mat is also a must have... I paid $3 for it at Joann's. It's basically a thin, soft mat that measures 9" x 14".  It's a great work space and it's main purpose is to prevent your beads from rolling around. OR... you can buy a felt square for $0.30 or just use a small kitchen towel.

In addition to your tools, these are the other basic supplies you'll need (also referred to as "findings").


(1) Silver Spacers - 4mm    (2) Jump Rings - 6mm   (3) Daisy Spacers - 2mm   
(4) 2" Headpins   (5) Flat Bottle Cap Zipper Pull   (6) 1" Epoxy Stickers
(7) Bottle Cap Printables (punched with 1" round punch)

Where to Buy these Supplies:  The spacers, jump rings, and headpins can all be found at any craft store that sells jewelry-making supplies. I prefer Michaels over Joann's, Walmart has a decent selection of basic supplies (if they have a craft section at your store) and Hobby Lobby is good as well.  These basic jewelry findings are also sold on thousands of websites online and on Etsy.  I've purchased bottle caps and epoxy stickers from several online stores and my FAVORITE is FizzyPops. Her selection is great and her quality is the best I've found. The thickness and firmness of her stickers is second to none - and what I also love, is she sells a variety of bottle caps with epoxy stickers in DIY kits.  The more you buy, the more you save + if you want more of a one stop shop, she also has all of these findings, plus a great bead selection as well.  She has generously set up a coupon code for my readers, you can use CANVAS10 to save 10% off your order.

CHECK HER SHOP OUT {HERE}

For your bottle cap printables... you can visit my shop to see my full selection.  I recommend printing them as 4x6 photos at your favorite photo lab, then use a 1" round punch to punch them out (punches are sold at any craft store, or here's a link on Amazon).


If you've never bought beads before... it's helpful to have a sizing guide so you know what to look for.  The largest bead I've used on any of my keychains is this CUTE polkadot bead... it's 16mm.  Then - I always pick a range of sizes, all the way down to the simple 4mm silver spacers.

  For the best design, you'll want to mix sizes, colors and materials.  Think about the design theory "earth, wind and fire"... and follow that rule of thumb.  That means you should pick at least 3 different types and sizes of beads to keep your design interesting and fun.  If you look at mine, I chose 2 colors + silver.  I chose stripes, pearls and polkadots - simply add variety with sizes, colors, materials and patterns.  Below is a list of my favorite places to buy beads:

BASIC BEADS: (pearls, spacers) - Michaels, Joann's, Hobby Lobby and Walmart
POLKADOT BEADS: Happy Kawaii Supplies
OTHER NOVELTY BEADS: Cute Cornwall
SILVER CHARMS: Bohemian Findings

These have become my "go to" shops... they usually have what I need - and between me, a few of my friends and my sister - we've ordered several times and love these shops!  A good tip if you are just starting out, look for bead "mixes".  It's a less expensive way to build your stash if you can get a mix of colors or sizes in one listing instead of buying a strand of each color in each size. Rarely do I buy a strand unless I know I need a bunch of that particular size or color - I much prefer mixes.  One spot I really like is the clearance section on FizzyPops... she offers mixes there and it's a great way to get a nice assortment of colors and sizes without breaking the bank.

You've got your supplies, now let's prep your bottle caps...


I've touched on this part of the process several times already when I've released bottle cap printables - but in case you don't know - here's a quick run down.  You print the bottle cap sheets as 4x6 photo images at your favorite photo lab.  Then, using a 1" round punch, punch each one out.  Adhere them, image side UP to the Epoxy Sticker.  Try to avoid touching the sticky part (you don't want fingerprints or oily residue getting stuck under there)!  I've found it easiest to hold the sticker and the image together with my index finger and thumb, lining them up before pressing.  Then, using E6000 Glue, adhere the stickered image to the bottle cap.  Set aside and let dry for a couple of hours...

...which is the perfect time to get started on your beads!


I like to pick out the beads I'll be using, then start by threading them onto my headpins until I like my little collection.  For most of my beaded keychains, I've made 6 to 8 "bead stems" (that's what I call them) - or "bead dangles"?  I typically choose 2 or 3 beads of varying size and style.  For some beads, the hole is larger than the head of the pin.  In that case (look at the polkadot bead one) - I put one of my tiny 2mm daisy spacers on first, then put the bigger bead on. You can also use a "bead cap" with beads that have a larger hole, you'll find these at any craft store.


Next... grab your Chain Nose Pliers.  Grip the pin as close to the top bead as you can and bend it to a 90 degree angle.  The pins are very pliable, so it's not tough and will bend easily.  Then, I usually just go down the line and quickly do this step to all of my cute little bead stems.


Then, take your wire cutters and cut the pin, leaving about 1/4th of an inch... this is the part of the pin  you'll be "rolling" to create your loop.  One important point... your pin will go flying when you cut it - so point the pin directly down into the mat so it doesn't flip back and hit you in the face. Seriously. It will. So be careful.  It's a good idea to wear glasses when you are cutting your pins.


Next... you are going to make your "loop".  Hold the bead stem straight up and down and position it so the pin is pointing directly towards you.  With the Round Nose Pliers, grip the pin at the very edge of where you cut it.  Notice that I'm about 1/4th of an inch from the tip of the pliers.  This is important - where you grip will determine your loop size.  The closer to the tip of the pliers you grab, the tinier the loop - the closer to the base of the pliers, the bigger the loop.  Remember we trimmed the pin to 1/4th inch?  That's why we are gripping the pin here.

Ok... with the pliers in your right hand, hold your beads upright with the left.  Keeping it straight up and down - then... with a twisting motion of your wrist, ROLL the pliers away from you (like you are revving a motorcycle) and your loop will begin to form.  Slide the round nose around, grip again and finish the loop - bringing the tip of the pin in towards the bead to close the loop. This takes practice and your first few will look crazy... keep trying, practice with a few and eventually you'll get the hang of it.  Just remember... rev it like a motorcycle to form your loop!  If you completely slaughter it... open it back up with your pliers, slide the beads off and start with a fresh pin.


This is what it will look like after you work the loop a bit to get it nice and round.  Make sure the tip of your pin tucks right to the hole on the top bead.  This is called a "Simple Wire Loop".

Here's a couple of short videos that might help you see what I mean... {HERE} and {HERE}.


After you master your loop... finish the rest until your little collection is complete.


If you want to achieve a cascading effect like I do with mine... lay out your bead stems and line up your jump rings.  To begin attaching, you'll need to use your Chain Nose Pliers and your Bent Nose Pliers. Grip the ring with both pliers, one on each side of the opening.  Hold one plier in place, then bring the other one towards you to open.  Resist the temptation to "pull" them apart - it will weaken the pin and you'll never get it rounded again.  While the ring is open, slip the bead stem loop onto the ring and close the same way you opened... holding one plier in place, then pushing the other back to meet it. 


I put one bead dangle on each jump ring, alternating sides.  It takes practice getting your jump rings to close and takes practice to get your beads to look the way you want them too. Be patient. Give yourself time during your first project to play around - going through a little bit of trial and error is good!  Your SECOND key chain will go MUCH easier than your first, so don't give up.  Just keep practicing your loops, opening/closing jump rings, placement with your beads and develop your own techniques and styles.  In not too many projects, you'll be beading like a master!

  

So.. there you have it - a list of tools, supplies, shops, tips and pictures!  I hope this helps you get started... if you'd like more instruction, search "Simple Wire Loop" or "How to Use Jump Rings" on YouTube... watch a few video tutorials and you'll get the hang of it really quick.  If you are having tons of fun - you might also consider signing up for a class at your local craft or jewelry store... it's a great night out with the girls.  If you have any questions... please leave a comment and I'll answer them in the comments so everyone can read them.

Happy Beading!



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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Valentine's, St. Patrick's & Easter KISS Printables!



It's KISS-mania at my house right now!  As soon as I finished the Valentine set, I just couldn't help myself but keep going!  I love these little morsels of cuteness - they make great gifts and favors, make gorgeous candy dish displays and NO ONE can resist them!  


I love to put them in mason jars, but of course, there are lots of things to do with them!  Organza bags, little glass dishes from the Dollar Store, white organza gift bags, Chinese take-out boxes, little clear paint cans... the list goes on!  PLUS... making them is super quick and easy too!  Here's a couple of ways you can try... do what works best for you.

PRINTING TIP: I always use glossy photo paper from the Dollar Store and always make sure my printer is set to it's "BEST" print quality setting... my photos represent these two tricks!


One efficient way I've found to make up a batch is to first cut my printable into strips.  Then, using a 3/4" round punch (find at a craft store or online, here's one on Amazon) punch them out.  I turn the punch over so I can line up the image within the circle.  Then, quickly run your KISS bottom over a regular glue stick and adhere your cute punched image.  DONE.

Another similar way is to print your page on full sheet sticker or label paper.  You still cut into strips and punch - but instead of gluing, you peel off the little sticker backs.  For me, this way is tedious and I got tired of peeling the backs off, felt time consuming.  Gluing has been faster for me - but others swear by the sticker paper... to each his own! :)


OR....

If you make tons of KISS jars like I do - you might want to consider a sticker maker!  Oh my heavens, this is my most favorite new tool!  I'm sure there are other versions, but mine is a Xyron "Create a Sticker" MAX - and oh my word, it's awesome!!  You print and punch like normal, then feed the little dots through and it automatically puts adhesive on the bottom. It's very basic, no batteries or plugs.  You actually turn a crank to feed them through.  Then you just peel and stick - super fun, super fast!  I bought mine at Walmart for $20 and have found the refill cartridges are cheapest on Amazon ($9.99 for 18 feet of adhesive).  Xyron has a few different types of machines - so if you are interested in getting one, make sure you look at all the different styles so you get the one that will work best for you and the types of projects you do.  There's also one that makes stickers AND magnets... that one would be VERY fun to have!


I've also been getting some questions lately about how to get the KISS (or Rolo) bottoms to face outward in your jar.  Unfortunately, if you just dump them in - they tend to hide their cuteness.  Using a long pencil, I put in a small handful, adjust a few with my pencil to make sure they are facing out, then add another small handful, adjust... and so on until the jar is full.  I also dial into my mad- "PLINKO" skills (Price is Right Reference) to get them to slide into place as well! :)  It definitely takes a few extra intentional minutes to "style" the jar - but it's worth it to make sure to get the look you want. 


They are just so fun... fun to make and even more fun to give. These are probably my most favorite type of printable right now and I hope they are a favorite of yours too!  Below are the links you need to grab your new sets!


Enjoy!!



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