DIY Paper Frames

It’s time to talk DIY crafts! My friends Grace and Tamar (see below) came to me with a design problem. Their stairwell is bare and they want to hang up photos, but it’s a narrow space and frames risk getting knocked over as people walk by. Plus this should be attractive and on a budget. What to do?! After researching ideas via pinterest, we concluded it would be best to buy some fun papers and tape and mount the images right onto the wall. We didn’t want it to feel cheap and dorm -style, so we had some fun with it!

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Meet Grace and Tamar. They rock!

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We met up at my favorite guilty pleasure: Paper Source! If you’ve never been, even just to browse, make the trip!

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Grace and Tamar decided to buy two different types of patterned paper to keep it all feeling cohesive. I decided to also do this project for one of my bedroom walls. I also switched it up and bought different types of papers and even brought along some fun wrapping paper I had left over at home. With a little double-sided tape, we mounted images on our paper.

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It was fun to play with the scraps, colors, and textures.

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Even wrapping paper made for a fun colorful backing.

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I kept laying the images out to make sure I was staying within the same color palette.

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Above is Grace cutting up her images. She went a step further than I did and even laminated the sheets so that everything was completely smooth.

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Originally we thought we’d use masking tape, but found fun colors of electrical tape to play with. Grace and Tamar used black tape for all the edges to keep it consistent. Precutting the tape on a mat makes sure it’s even and squared corners.

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It’s fun to look back at old photos 🙂

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I decided to mount my photos around my frame so I can look at them every morning.

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Don’t look too closely at my messy bed (which was an impromptu desk for this project). But I love the family pics <3.

Thinkin’ DIY

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This past weekend I worked on a crafty assignment with some friends (which will be blogged about soon) and it involved a stop at one of my favorite stores: Paper Source. While we were there I took a photo of this fun colorful crane mobile. I could totally see making this out of left over scraps of fun printed papers. Cranes are also one of the easiest animals to make as origami. Did you know I was in origami club in college? (Nerd alert!) #RISD #ArtDork

DIY: Backing A Bookcase

Remember how I told you about my blank canvas? Well I’ve been adding to the room (on a tight budget, of course) and I wanted to share this cheap, fast do-it-yourself project.

You can see the beautiful plants I wrote about here, in the photo above. And also the Ikea curtains I added (click here to see their online specs). But do you notice that the back of the bookcase (my roommate left for us) is completely naked? Not only does this mean wires show in the back, but it visually looks cheap and bare. I got a little creative and came up with an easy solution.

Step 1: Layout the bookcase and asses the tools needed. I got out my hot glue gun, some tacks, an exacto knife and my roll of handy trace paper.

Step 2: Measure the width of the bookcase, and cut a piece of trace paper slightly larger than that length.

Step 3: Tack the corners in place, as this is just temporary and to hold the paper in place while you hot glue the corners down.

Step 4: Hot glue just under the trace paper in each corner. In case you ever want to take it out, this will make it much cleaner to remove. Once dry, remove all the tacks. Then repeat this all down the bookcase, being mindful that seems line up to where the bookcase horizontals will cover them.

If you followed the instruction above, your bookcase back should look a little something like this.

Then prop the bookcase back into it’s spot, and notice that by gluing in just the corners, it allows for a gap where cords can fit down which hides them from the front of the bookcase.

How easy was that?! And while it’s only a subtle difference with the trace paper, it makes the bookcase feel much more elegant than it is. If you want to add some more drama with a fun color or pattern, check out your local arts store for fun gift wrap paper, or even contact paper/wallpaper. This DIY bookcase backing can be quite the statement!

Holiday Cards: Embossing

My holiday cards have officially been sent (finally!) so I feel it’s safe to talk about them. One style of card that I love is embossing. My family would make these when I was growing up, so I associate Christmas with embossing. After Thanksgiving (black-friday, cough-cough) Michael’s was having a 50% off sale on stamps, so I found a classy yet simple holiday-fall looking stamp and a new Chrsitmas card was born. I already owned the following needed to make this card: cutting mat, brown 8.5X11″ paper, embossing stamp pad, printer access, copper embossing powder, embossing heat gun, metal ruler, accent paper (in this case red card stock).

Once you find the perfect stamp, design a template on the computer that says “Happy Holiday’s in a fun font (check out dafont for ideas). I decided to make a postcard, which meant I could fit 4 cards on a standard 8.5X11 piece of paper. Print your design onto the brown paper. Use the stamp on the embossing pad and stamp it on all four spots on the paper. An embossing pad is like a giant glue stick, so when you stamp and then use the embossing powder, it sticks to the pattern of the stamp.

I own several embossing powders, but I found the copper had a hint of red that gave it a Christmasy vibe. It also stood out on the brown paper. So pour the power over the stamped areas, and then collect the excess powder because it can all be reused.

The paper should look like this (below). Heat up the embossing gun (mine is Martha Stewart brand and it works well). I like to use the heat gun under the paper which then melts the copper powder into a solid. Sometimes the heat causes the paper to warp, but since we are mounting it after, it’s not a big deal. Be safe with the heat gun. You can smell the paper burning while embossing, so be sure to keep the heat moving around the page so you don’t burn the paper or start a fire.

The melted copper powder creates a solid raised pattern matching the stamp. Next cut out the postcards.

Cut out the accent color for the postcard. Once completed, you get a special homemade card that looks classy and unique. Write your greeting on the back of the postcard and then toss in the mail! Warning: Embossing is addicting and you’ll want to make cards to celebrate every occasion.

I have several other designs I’ll unveil this week. Even if you don’t like my patterns, hopefully it’ll inspire you to try something new.