Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

How to Make Bookmarks From a Photo

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Here’s how to make deluxe bookmarks that look like they came from a upscale bookstore. Personalized bookmarks make a small extravagance perfect for a gift or party favor.

I made these baseball bookmarks to give out to the members of my son’s Little League Team at the end-of-season party.  If you bought these at a bookstore or gift shop they would run $3 to $4 a piece. They take a little time to make, but the cost breaks down to less than 50 cents each in supplies.

Step One:  Make the Art

Using photo imaging software (I use Photoshop) create your artwork to fit a 2″ x 6″ area.

These are printable bookmarks. You can print them yourself if you have a good printer. Or you can have them printed at a photo place. Remember that when you get photos printed, the edges often get trimmed a bit.  So do not include any vital art in the edge border.

Open a new file that is 4 x 6.  Duplicate your artwork and position 2 copies inside the new file so that you print two bookmarks on one 4 x 6 photo.

Have your photo printed on lustre finish (not glossy). Lustre is more durable and does not show fingerprints.

bookmark printed two-up on standard 4 x 6 photo

bookmark printed two-up on standard 4 x 6 photo

Step Two: Back and Trim the Bookmark

Once your photo is printed, you will want to back it with acid-free cardstock.  You can buy cardstock in 8.5″ x 11″or  scrapbook paper works as well.  Plain or a pattern will work. You can get paper at craft stores or online.

Back the bookmark with acid-free paper. USe an acid-free gluestick.

Back the bookmark with acid-free paper. Use an acid-free gluestick to glue it to the paper.

Carefully glue down the photos. If you do happen to get glue on the front of the photo, use rubbing alcohol to wipe it off. Next use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.

Use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.

Use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.

Separate the two bookmarks

Separate using Exacto.

Separate using Exacto.

Bookmarks with rounded corners look more professional.  Luckily it is easy to make them with a handy corner punch you can pick up for a few dollars at a craft store or online.

Use a corner punch to round the corners.

Use a corner punch to round the corners.

Corner rounded.

Corner rounded.

Step Three: Attach a Tassel

Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top. You can use a standard hole punch, or use a simple shape.  I used a star punch for this bookmark.

To attach a tassel, loop it through the hole as shown in the following photos. You can use store-bought tassels or make your own

Put loop through the hole.

Put loop through the hole.

Insert end of tassel through the loop.

Insert end of tassel through the loop.

Pull tassel tight.

Pull tassel tight.

Et voila! You now know how to make a bookmark that looks like you got it in a bookstore. My daughter and I make these and sell them at craft fairs.  We also give them as gifts.  I like to add them to a present in place of a gift card.

Now that you know an easy way to make bookmarks, get inspired by checking out some of my other bookmark designs. If you are a scrapbooker, you can probably find lots of paper, stamps, and punches to come up with interesting bookmark designs.

I’d love to hear your ideas about custom bookmark designs. I think they would make a creative party favor for a wedding, Bar Mitzvah or birthday party.

Related post: How to make a Tassel

Vintage Ad Site

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Cool site with Vintage Ads on It

Ya gotta love vintage ads for cool design and insight into the history of our culture.  A web site that has a bunch of old ads all scanned in and organized by topic, date keyword, etc.  Ads are from 1930 and 1969. Tons of them!

The index is amazing.

Also a random image link.

Get inspired by these ads.  But be aware that many of them may still be under copyright, so don’t use them for commercial purposes.

How to Make a Birthday Card That’s a Mobile

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Mobile Greeting Card Craft

front of birthday card as it hangs

front of birthday card as it hangs

My sister made me this beautiful card for my birthday. I loved it so much I started making similar cards.

All you need to do is cut out some shapes out of scrapbook paper. She used hearts but you can so any shape you like. My daughter made a cute one with just rectangles.

You can use special scissors to make interesting edges.

Make several sizes of the shape and layer it.

If you are artistic like my sister, you can paint little images, like she did, (see the gallery for photos) and glue them on top.

My daughter made some images on the computer and printed them out. You could even cut images out of old cards or magazines.

Next find some pretty ribbon and attach.

Make another set of shapes the same size and glue these on the back.  That way both sides of the card are pretty when it hangs. My sister made the back different so that each heart is unique (see pic below).

You can personalize the card by writing saying on some of the shapes.

Special scrapbook glitter on my mobile makes it sparkle every time I walk by it. You could also try scrapbook embellishments. See links below if you need to buy.

The great thing about this card it that it can fold up into an envelope easy.

But when the recipient opens the card, the card turns out to be a small gift.

This little mobile looks great hanging up almost anywhere.  Much better than store-bought cards that are usually just discarded. I show my birthday card here, but you can make these for Mother’s Day, weddings, thank you cards etc. Any time you want to make a really personal card that can be treasured.

View all the artwork for this card in my gallery. Click on images to view them larger. You may use the images for personal use only under the creative commons license.

Thanks for looking and please let me know if you like this clever idea.

back of card

Related posts:
free birthday card art
how to make a poster in the Obama style


prize winning scarecrows

How to Make a Prize Winning Scarecrow

Let me know what you think by commenting below. Show your support by “digging” this post. Just click the digg button above.

Related post: how to make a tassel

Birthday Card Art—Free!

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Free Birthday Card Art

Spice up your homemade birthday cards with free photos and illustrations. New images coming soon! Click on an image to get a larger version. Images are free to use for personal use only under the creative commons license.  Let me know if like these images, and give me suggestions for more.

Ginger, the labradoodle puppy, is ready to party.

Ginger, the labradoodle puppy, is ready to party.

See my post on how to make a card that is a mobile. Close-up photos of the mobile art are in my gallery.

How to Make Designer Baby Burp Cloths Using Ribbon

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Easy Custom-Made Baby Gift

New moms really treasure handmade baby gifts. Here’s an easy craft you can do with just cloth diapers, ribbon, and a straight stitch on a sewing machine. These cloths are perfect for throwing on your shoulder when holding baby.

Click on pics to see larger version.

Buy a set of cloth diapers and some ribbon.

Prewash and iron diapers to avoid shrinkage after you put ribbon on.

Measure and cut two pieces of ribbon that are the length of the diaper. These will go down the center.

Next pin on the ribbon about a third of the way in from each side.

Sew down.

Next cut the ribbon for the bottom.  Make it about an inch longer than the width of the diaper so that you can fold over the ends to prevent fraying.

Use an iron to fold over the ends twice to create a nice edge.

Wrap the folded edge around the back of the diaper, then pin the ribbon on at the edge.

Now pin into place.

Sew it down along both edges of the ribbon.

Trim off an excess threads, and you are done!

Use coordinating ribbons if you are making a set of baby burp cloths as a gift.

Every time the new mom uses these pretty handmade cloths she will think of how much her friends love and support her . . . the best gift of all for a new mom who may not be getting enough sleep and may be overwhelmed by motherhood. Let me know if you like this idea or if you have other suggestions. Did you know that Amazon has great deals on baby gifts? You can read real customer reviews, which makes shopping easy. And many of them qualify for free shipping.

Check out my post on donating umbilical cord blood. I tell about my experience donating cord blood. If you want details on how and why to donate, read my hubpage on umbilical cord donating. I highly recommend donating cord blood. It is a precious fluid that is discarded if not banked for private use or donated.

Donating umbilical cord blood is free, and it may save a life.

Check out my post on how to make bookmarks from a photo. You could make a cute bookmark with baby pics.

Yoga is a great way for a new mom to get in shape and relax. Here’s my post on how to make a yoga mat tote bag.

Creative Halloween Ideas for Halloween Decorating

Bestsellers in Baby at Amazon

Figure skating crafts

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Two things my daughter and I love: figure skating and crafts. But it’s hard to find craft materials with a an ice skating theme! So I am sharing my links to items that feature figure skates. Hope you find something you like. I will be adding more, so check back. Let me know if you have suggestions.

I also have a post about figure skating gift ideas.

My ehow article on How to Care for Figure Skates to Make Them Last

You can pick up tickets to ice skating events like Stars on Ice; Disney; and even the Olympics and World Figure Skating Championships through Empire.

Valentine’s Project

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Free Creativezazz Heart Art to Zazz Up Your Valentines

Creativezazz is offering you heart art to get you started on creative Valentines.  Free for personal (not commercial) use). Have fun.  Let me know how yours turns out.

Each says I Love You in a foreign language.  Try making hearts of your own in other languages.

Then cut them out, put on stems and leaves, et voila!  You have a romantic bouquet!

If you just want to make a card, check out my eHow article on How to Make Cards to Print

For instructions on how to turn your hearts into a mobile, see my post How to Make a Card That is a Mobile.

If you like this post, please share, using the “share” button above. Thanks. Happy Valentine’s Day!





Check out my eHow articles.

How to Videos & Articles:

Make a Cool Poster in the Obama Style

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

My daughter's pic in Obama Style[/caption]

A fun site from allows you to quickly take a photo and turn it into art in the style of the iconic Obama poster.

Iconic campaign poster of Barack Obama

Iconic campaign poster of Barack Obama

My daughter

Just go to and follow the easy instructions.  The trick to make the poster look good is to play with the sliders that allow you to adjust how much dark blue, light blue, red and white is in the image.  As a Photoshop guru, I think this a neat little way for just about anyone to make a posterized image without having to know all about Photoshop.  You can then download, email or put the images into Facebook.  The site has more than a half million pics in the gallery now!

Most photos look great just doing it this way. If you want, you can go into Photoshop or another program first, and cut out the background so it has less detail. I did this with my puppy.  You can also edit the pic after you download it.  Make sure to change it from index color to rgb.  I also made the white whiter on mine. Have fun.

Very cool.  (Thanks, Rex, for showing me the site!) Try it.

My husband

My husband

If you just want to buy a Obama Hope campaign poster, check out this Aamzon link.

Amazon has a few other Obama items I like. Like this hat . . . .

And this company sells a cool little pins that looks like the front page of the newspaper for historic events. Check out the one about Obama making history. Would make a nifty little gift for an Obama supporter.

I love the superhero version of Obama on this t-shirt. There are tons of items at Amazon. These were my favorites.

Pinewood Derby

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

forPics are up in the gallery of the Pinewood Derby held at the Ontario YMCA on January 24, 2008. You can see all the pics and play a slideshow by clicking on this link to the gallery.

Some very cool pinewood derby car designs.

16 cars in our age division. Judged for speed and design

16 cars in our age division. Judged for speed and design

Designs ranged from a pinewood derby soccer field to a pinewood derby Kleenex box to a pinewood derby surfboard.

A soccer field is also a racing car!

A soccer field is also a racing car!

The last two cars on the racetrack were neck and neck.

If you are serious about winning a pinewood derby race, you should know there is a mini industry in specialized pinewood derby supplies. Visit your local hobby shop. Don’t despair if you don’t have one nearby. Amazon sells tons of pinewood derby supplies and has fast shippers.

My daughter loves to surf, so she made a pinewood derby surboard.

My daughter loves to surf, so she made a pinewood derby surfboard.

Creative Snowmen

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

You don’t need snow to make a snowman. When asked to make a snowman out of something unusual, Mrs. Merrill’s third-grade class had some creative solutions. View the album of creative snowmen 2009-10 here.

See the 2008-09 album here.

Enjoy the slide show. To view a larger image, click on the smaller icon. Parents, you should be able to just click and drag off a copy of the photo. Fun project.

2009-2010 snowmen

Click to view 2009-2010 snowmen

My reviews of great book series for kids

My review of the Ranger’s Apprentice series
My review of the Percy Jackson series
My review of the Artemis Fowl series
Battle of the Boys Books: Percy Jackson vs. Ranger’s Apprentice

Related posts:
Show your Chaparral spirit with creativezazz roadrunner t-shirts
Lego Rock Band Review
Lego adds Toy Story Legos
Free creativezazz Valentine Heart Art
How to figure skates that fit your feet . . . and your budget

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