Monday, August 31, 2009

Dragonflies: Just Wire and Beads

Welcome! Today I'm going to show you an easy way to create a dragonfly made from wire and beads. Isn't he cute? It's very simple, you don't even need any tools except for a wire cutter.

The first step is to cut a piece of wire about 11 inches long. Then bend your wire about 1 1/2 inches down, and thread a bead on it.

Next, twist your wire around, more than half way up. (Or, like the photo, you can string beads up for the tail.)

Then, string a bead on going through both wires. This will be your largest bead, because it represents the body of the dragonfly. After you have your bead on, make a loop with your long piece of wire, like in the photo. (I don't use any tools to do this, I just eyeball it and shape it with my fingers.)

Now, you're going to make three more loops, crossing over the middle as you go. It will look like two figure 8's on top of eachother.

Next, take your longer wire and wrap around your two left loops, cross over the middle and wrap around your two right loops. You're just securing them in place with your wire, by wrapping around them. You should have something that looks like this when you're done:

Then all you need to do is thread on a smaller bead (this will be your head) and curve your wires around to make little antenna. (You'll want to snip your wires to the same length before you do this.) If you have a wire bending tool, you can use that, otherwise I sometimes use a small paintbrush handle or other such thing to wrap the wire around. Also, fan your wings apart with your fingers.
There you have it! Now, glue it onto your card, and everyone will love it!

The stamps I used on this card are 74679-D Take Time to Enjoy, and 74659-C Dotted Line.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Collapsible Calendar Tutorial

Hello! I've had a special request for a tutorial, so I thought I would give it a go. :o) This is the Collapsible Calendar from my Free Patterns page on my website. In order to make this, you will need to print the pattern onto card stock. Simply click here to get to the free patterns page, then click "3-D Templates" or type "Calendar" in the search box. Then click "Download Pattern". (You will need a PDF viewer to see the pattern.) Click on the printer icon in the top left corner. It will take two pieces of card stock.

Once you print the pattern, cut on the outside solid line, and stamp to decorate. It should look something like this:

Next, score and fold all of the solid lines. Once you've done this, you are ready to start gluing your tabs together. Start with Tab A. I like to use Mono Adhesive to stick my tabs together because they stick immediately and you don't have to wait for them to dry.

After you get your adhesive on, put your Tab A's together, so they match, and so the words "Tab A" are glued facing each other.

Pinch them together, applying a fair amount of pressure. Repeat for Tab B, but don't continue to all of them yet. You'll want to put your rubber band in place after A and B are glued.

When I'm picking out my rubber band, I kind of eyeball the size. I like to stretch it out real well also. Here's a picture of the size that I like to use.

Placing the rubber band on the two hooks should be pretty easy, since you haven't glued the rest of your tabs together yet. Just hook it on both, like so:

Now you'll want to apply adhesive to the rest of the tabs. The easiest way to do this now that the rubber band is in place, is to flatten the calendar out while you put your adhesive on.

Now all you need to do is pinch each tab together with its counterpart, making sure it's going to stick.

Voila! You're done! It's fun to see it all put together.

And even more fun to press down on it to flaten it, then let go and it springs back up! This is a great little something to send to your friends, since it flattens out for mailing. I'd put it in between two pieces of chipboard, stick it in a 9x12 envelope, and wait to hear about what happened when they opened it!

This sample I made was stamped using 74675-Flower, and 74674-Leaves from Victorine Originals rubber stamps. I used Memories Soft inks, as to not overpower the calendar.
Have fun making your own calendar! I have 2010 up on the website right now. If you want to make a 2009 still, just email me and I'll send you the PDF.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick & Easy Little Books

Hello fellow stampers! For my first blog post, I thought I would share with you how to make these fun little books. They are so cute, and easy to make too. I love making these for creative party invitations, as little note holders, or to hand out to people with information in them like your website or blog. You could write in one and put it in your child's lunch box. What a fun thing to find when you go to eat lunch.

To make a little book, all you need is one sheet of card stock, a roll of calculator tape, a gluestick and a paper cutter. (And things to decorate it, like rubber stamps, ribbon, etc.) That's it!
First, cut a strip of card stock from the end of your 8 1/2 x 11 sheet. You'll want the strip to measure a little wider than your calculator tape. I cut mine at 2 1/2 inches. (You want it to be 8 1/2 inches long, not 11 inches long, so make sure you have your card stock the right direction.)

Then fold that card stock *almost* in half. What I mean, is act like you're going to fold it in half, but don't meet up the ends quite all the way. I like to leave about 1/8th of an inch of card stock sticking out when I fold it. Then flip it over and do the same thing the other way. This makes your spine, like this:

Now, open it flat again, and fold each side in, *almost* to the spine folds. This is what I mean:

Now, all you need to do is accordian fold some calculator tape, and those will be your pages. I like to measure against my book cover, but if you're a ruler person, 2 inches seems to work fine for the page width. I usually accordian fold about three pages worth, with my ends sticking out like this:

Now to finish, just open up the flaps on your book cover, spread some glue on them, and close the flaps over your calculator tape ends. Like this:

Now you're ready to stamp and decorate! If you're going to add brads or things to your cover, you may want to decorate it before you glue your pages in, so you can hide the brad prongs.

Here's mine, all done up!

I used all Victorine Originals stamps, of course, because that's my company! I used 74675 Flower, 74704 Small Blank Tag, and 74706 Hello Friend.
I hope you enjoy making these cute little books!