Posts Tagged ‘Paper Crafts’

August 5, 2017

1st Day of School Sign

With Nicole starting school soon I started thinking about all those First Day of School photos we could take. I really liked the idea of doing a chalk board photo, but my calligraphy is about what you’d expect of someone who spends most of her time typing. And is dyslexic. There are places where one can buy a faux sign (like etsy), but then I’d need to keep buying a new one every year, and if the seller I was buying from decided to close up shop I might be not be able to find someone who could duplicate their work. A slightly different font choice, layout or color would drive me absolutely batty. I need things to match, it’s a compulsion. Besides, I’m pretty handy with the graphics program. I should make my own!

I started with this tutorial which included the chalk background.

In my experience, a true white (#FFFFFF) color text was a little too white, and made it obvious the chalk board was fake. Another tutorial recommended #CCCCCC for the color of the text, but that ended up being too gray. A good compromise was #E3E3E3.

Once I had the image designed I was on the hunt for a wide wood (or faux wood) picture frame where I could remove the glass. I settled on this one from target after holding up a few next to an actual chalk board to see how well the wood grain would good with the chalk board texture. I bought three since they were on sale, and I will one day have three kids in school simultaneously.

I printed the image on heavy card stalk. The card stalk had a nice grain texture which helped with the realism of the chalk board. The heavier the cardstalk, the stiffer the paper and the less likely it is to bow without the glass to keep it pressed flat.

Finally, I removed the stand from the back, and taped over the hooks so they wouldn’t catch on Nicole’s clothes when she held up the sign.

I am very happy with how the sign turned out. Best of all, since I used my own graphics program it will be a snap to go in and change the grade level, or the career aspirations every year. I like it when I make things easy for my future self.

I had seen the idea floating around pinterest, and thought about doing some as wall art a la project balancing act. I had it penciled in on my never ending to do list, with the intention of doing them eventually. When Alexis came home from school on Friday with a potted plant with her footprints that I suddenly felt like I needed them. Like right now.

For mother’s day this year I decided I wanted to make butterfly footprints with the girls. Luckily for me we have a lot of finger paints around these parts.

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Might have used a bit too much paint…

They were fairly easy to do. I had Alexis in the high chair so I’d have easy access to her feet. Nicole’s were a bit trickery because she’s in that I-do-it-myself phase, and after the first butterfly attempt she was ready to let loose her own creative juices. I promised her more time in the box when we were finished, and that bought me a few extra minutes.

I will love this addition to our playroom. I am thinking about framing the photo of Nicole with her finger paints to go along side them. My only reservation is that it doesn’t exactly sit right with me to have a photo of one of the girls and not the other. (My sense of fairness apparently extends to my wall hangings.) At least in this case the finger paint is the subject and her face is obscured, I suspect in a few years it won’t be obviously Nicole.

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Done over again with less paint. I love the way they look on the wall!
December 12, 2014

Newborn Hand Prints

How many adults does it take to get hand prints of a newborn?

collectinghandprints
Sorry Alexis, you were born into a crazy crafting, keep sake loving family!

This is not a project for people who prefer not to get messy.

My mom is holding Alexis. We found laying Alexis in my mom’s arm worked the best. It helped keep her calm and my mom could hold her hand out. My dad is holding the binky in her mouth. We’re using the binky primarily as a mouth guard. Just because the finger paint is non-toxic, doesn’t mean it’s good to ingest – especially for one so small! The binky blocks access to the mouth, so if we let go of her hand for a second there’s no way she can inadvertently eat any paint.

My job was to actually get the hand print. As before, I found it easier to bring the paper to the baby, rather than try and maneuver the baby onto the paper. I used a small piece of cardboard to back the paper and keep it from flopping about.

I started by trying to place Alexis’ hand in the finger paint. That was a huge mistake, and made for a huge mess! Newborns like their balled fists. Instead it worked better to get a little paint on my index finger, and rub it around on Alexis’ hand. I was also able to open her fist a little. After a few iterations I got the timing pretty down so I could quickly press the paper against her palm while her fist was still opened.

alexishandprint
Done! (Although still a bit messy…)

Next order of business: Bath Time!

August 3, 2012

Baby Footprint Magnets

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magnet

I really wanted to have a footprint keep sake, but the local craft stores didn’t have any footprint kits. Wierd, no? Since I wasn’t as interested in all the fine detail you get with the ink pad as the general shape of the foot, I decided to just use non-toxic fabric paint. My mom held Nicki in the cradle position, and I painted a little fabric paint on her foot. I’d then take a piece of paper, place it on cardboard for support, and press it up against her foot. I found it easier to move the paper to the baby, than the baby to the paper. Less messy that way too. We took about a dozen footprints until I got a reasonable one. (Someone likes to wiggle her toes a bit.)

I scanned the best footprint I had into the computer and make duplicates. I was planing on sending a footprint magnet to family and figured I’d need about a dozen magnets. Even if I got better at taking her footprints I was still going to really be testing my newborn’s patience if I sent everyone a real footprint and not a digital duplicate. Scanning them into the computer also allowed me to alter the color of the footprint, and let me clean up any issues like stray marks left by wiggling toes as well as preserve them for posterity!

If you’re making one or two, it’s cheaper to go out to Michaels and by magnet backing. If you’re sending them out with your birth announcements (which is what we did), or planning on redecorating the grandparents’ fridge, you might want to consider Xyron Creative Station with Magnet Refill Cartridge. I refer to it as my “sticker making machine” and used it to adhere my wedding invitations to the pocket fold. It’s definitely a handy device if you like to make a lot of paper crafts.

See, super easy. Added bonus: you can use the left over magnet backing to make photo magnets!

I just have to start off by saying what a difference a year makes. Compare my Anniversary photo to the photo of me in the “About Sarah” section of the side menu. The bathroom scale might not report much of a change, but I see a world of difference. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I have been wanting to do a family travel map for a while, so when our anniversary was coming up I thought it would be a fun project to do together. I loved the idea of working on a project together, that’s also practical in the sense that we’ll hang it up and love to look at it rather than something that gets stored away. (Like our wedding album. Sad, but true.) We wanted to combine the traditional first anniversary wedding gift, paper, with the modern anniversary gift, clocks, so we added a series of world clocks to the map.

I’m very happy with how this turned out. I ended up using just traditional rubber cement to mount the map onto a foam core backing. Most people recommend spray adhesive for an even spread, but I had so much rubber cement left over from a wedding project that I wanted to use up. Rubber cement worked fine for this project because the map was on thick matte photo paper: no wrinkling or bulging. It’s not perfect, but it works well enough.

The frame came from Walmart (about $18 + tax). I could have gone a little cheaper, but I liked the look of the frame, and the dark mahogany brown color. It matched the map perfectly. The frame had a plastic shield over (ie fake glass) but it was fairly easy to rip out and make room for the pins. Once I pulled out the plastic, I realized how flimsy the frame was. The foam board backing is necessary to help it keep it’s shape, as well as provide a place for the pins to go.

We used medium black tacks (purchased on amazon since they were cheaper when you factored in shipping – $9). The tacks have a tendency to disappear when you stand a few feet back because the map is so dark. We decided to pin places we had been to together, including before we were married or even engaged. Other options include having pins of different colors for each family member, or pins for with kids and sans kids.

The wall clocks are of important locations to us. We met, married and honeymooned in three different time zones which happen to move West to East. The progression works very well with the concept of world clocks. The time is set to the time of our ceremony, 5 o’clock Eastern Standard Time. I suppose, if we hadn’t, I probably would have had one large clock for where we were married, and several smaller ones indicating either places we had been, or wanted to go. I printed the clocks on photo paper which gives them a bit of a glossy shine, kind of like the glass on a real clock.

I want to keep up the tradition of an anniversary craft project, but next year will prove to be a challenge. The traditional gift is cotton, and the modern gift is china. I have no idea what I will do.