Monday, October 11, 2021

Easy Thumbprint Braclet with Grafix Arts Shrink Film

Designer Crafts Connection
and Grafix Arts teamed up for a blog hop! 

 As a creative mom I was (am) always looking for cute (and easy)  grandparent gift ideas. This Thumbprint Bracelet fit the bill!  Grafix Arts Shrink Film is the star of this project, shrinking already cute thumbprints down even further! 


Grafix Shrink Film
Willing Kids (or non-willing that you have bribed ;) )
StazOn Solvent Ink (color(s) of choice)
2" outline heart shape printed on paper (this is to be used as a tracing guide)
Sheet of scrap paper
Black Permanent Marker
Hole Punch
Heat source to shrink film (Oven, Toaster Oven, or Heat Gun)
Parchment Paper (If using oven)
Baking Sheet (If using oven)
Jump Rings

Begin by placing the Grafix Shrink Film over the printed heart shape. You will use this as a guide for the placement of the thumbprint. 

Grab your willing kids...

Yes I got the 27, 23, and 20 y.o. to help me!
(I do have 4 children but one decided to visit the boyfriend vs. mom ;) )

...have them ink up their thumb and have them make a couple of practice thumbprints scrap paper. This is helpful if you have a child that likes really digging their thumb into the ink. If the ink is too "juicy" on their thumb you will not see a clear print image. Have the kids (or help the kids) make their thumbprints in a heart shape overlapping the bottom corners.) (Image 1)

Using the permanent marker trace along the outline of the heart. Add any extra details, dots, dashes, or even a name and year. (Image 2)

Cut out the hearts make sure to leave a bit of clear border around the design. Punch holes on either side of the heart at the fullest part. (See photo.) (Image 3)

Place parchment on baking sheet. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top to help keep the designs flat during shrinking. (Image 4-5) 

Shrink Film design according to package directions. (I used a Conventional Oven at 350 for 2 min 45 sec) 

Allow to cool, and lay the hearts out to plan your bracelet pattern. 

Using pliers, connect the hearts together with jump rings, add a clasp on the end.  (I used what I had on hand and they were tiny, thus the double ring design. You may use more or less depending on the size of your jump rings) 


Designer Note: A 2 inch heart Shrinks down to about 3/4".   I used 9 hearts, 20-5mm jump rings, and 1 clasp to make a 9" bracelet. (Hearts in the original for reference.)



Special thanks to Grafix Arts and Designer Crafts Connection for hosting the blog hop! Be sure to check out the rest of the Designer Crafts Connection Blog  for more Grafix Arts inspiration!


Monday, August 23, 2021

Wild Thing-Gwen Studios Ribbon Projects


DIY Lamp Upcycle

 A couple of weeks back I was presented an opportunity through the Designer Crafts Connection to received a wonderful assortment of Gwen Studios ribbon and applique's to create with.

I will admit after being in awe of the texture and luxurious feel of the faux leather ribbons, the animal prints intimidated me a bit. But I was excited to create with these beautiful ribbons. 
For my first project, I decided to update an accent lamp I had picked up at the thrift store.  I loved the shape of lamp but the shade left much to be desired. 

Supplies: thrift store lamp, hot glue gun/glue sticks, Gwen Studio Ribbons-3/8" Satin (Black), faux leather 3/8" brown snakeskin and 7/8" cheetah print.  Optional-hot glue helpers (Plaid Crafts)

  • Remove lampshade from lamp base. Measure the length of the lampshade, add 1 inch if working on a straight pattern 2 inches for a diagonal. 
  • Cut ribbon to length.
  • Decide on ribbon pattern order (I choose to use the black satin ribbon in between the two patterns I selected to create a distinct stripe.)  Begin by putting a bead of glue along the top inside rim, press ribbon into place. (This is where hot glue helpers come in handy.) Wrap ribbon around outside of shade and secure underneath with more hot glue. 
  • Continue with additional ribbons until surface of the shade is completely covered.  
  • When you get to the end, you might have some overlap at either the top (or the bottom or both just adjust until you are happy with the finished look. 

I love the difference between the before and after!

 "Wild Thing" card

My second project came because I couldn't stop singing the chorus of "Wild Thing" while making the lamp. Then I saw this adorable "Wild Thing" paper by PHOTOPLAY Paper Company and the card begged to be created. 

Supplies used: Gwen Studios Ribbon-Faux Leather 3/8' white snakeskin, PHOTOPLAY Paper Company-Wild Thing pattern papers, Hero Arts "I love you" stamp, Fiskars-black rub-on alphabet (discontinued), brown and black cardstock from stash, dry adhesive, Ranger Archival-black permanent ink pad and hot glue gun/glue sticks. 

 The faux leather ribbon, had the bonus of having an almost canvas like feel to the backside of the ribbon, this made it perfect for stamping on  (I love you) and using rub-ons (i think) with. 

The ribbon heart was created  using the "Faux Leather" white cheetah pattern.

  • Begin by cutting 2- 3 1/2" pieces of ribbon and 2- 2 1/2" pieces of ribbon. 
  • Using some form of grid to help keep you "square" lay one of the  3 1/2" face down horizontally. 
  • Place the 2nd piece of 3 1/2" length ribbon at a 90 degree angle with the ends touching. Glue in place
  • Stack a piece of the 2 1/2" length on top of the horizontal side and glue in place, place the 2nd piece of 2 1/2" at a 90 degree angle on top of the first glue in place (see image 1) he
  • Work beginning from the left hand side (the horizontal side) and fold over the shorter ribbon piece creating a loop that exposes the pattern and glue the end in place next to the first set glued ends on the right side. (see image 2)
  • Fold over the right hand side (vertical)  in similar fashion, glue in place on the left (see image 3)
  • Fold over the horizontal (left side) longer ribbon piece, going under the first loop and secure in place with glue. Repeat with the right side making sure to go over the left hand loop before securing with more glue on the right (see images 4 and final for reference.)

 I love the way it looks like Mr. Grumpy Gorilla is blowing kisses at the heart. Hmm he might need a set of bright red lips💋

Thanks again Gwen Studios and Designer Crafts Connections for the opportunity to create with these amazing ribbons! I can't wait to do more! 


Friday, November 13, 2020

Me and my "Girls" -Doll Making for Operation Christmas Child


There is a reason I am known as the #CrazyShoeboxLady. That was proven with my latest project about 8 weeks in the making! It's Shoebox Season for Operation Christmas Child and that means I have been busy packing shoebox gifts. This year I was blessed with doll kits. 24 kits to make 18" "American Girl" style dolls. The kits were relatively simple to put together as they were designed for kids, BUT they needed some love (and some quality control at the factory) in order for them to become a cherished plaything I needed to put some effort into making them special.

As you can see they had a large gap no matter how much "stuffing" they were filled in so they all needed to be hand stitched. This was accomplished over about 6 weeks. In the car on the way to my Nephew's wedding. While watching TV. While catching up with the kids and the hubby at night.  I also needed to check all of their joints (some needed to be sewed and or glued in place as did their neck pieces.)

 As I finished I could then begin to trim  (check out the photo below to see just how "off" it was. ) and style their hair.

When all that finished the real fun began. I got to dress them!  The dolls had a simple outfit but part of the fun of this style of doll is to change their clothing. So I put out a call on Facebook and many friends came to the rescue. I had donations of 18" doll clothes coming to my door for about 2 weeks. One friend donated "themed" outfits, handmade shorts and dresses, and another "everyday clothing" and then I picked up underwear and shoes (Amazon has almost everything.)  

It was fun to see my collection of "girls" grow. I will admit we had a few laughs together watching sitcoms and even a movie or two together. My son came home from college one weekend saying "Ahhh mom....never mind" (he knows me well.) 

All in all it took about 2 months to complete all of the dolls and and it was total labor of love! Each doll is traveling with a tote bag filled with two changes of clothes, and a couple of accessories. Plus I traded one of them to a fellow shoebox friend for 23 doll quilts (she wanted to send one and I couldn't blame her they are adorable. ) So each doll has their own doll quilt. 

And because I had way to much fun with them. I even created a mini shoebox for each doll and mini items to put into the shoeboxes. It started out with a PDF template I created, then the long tedious process of hand cutting out and scoring the boxes (thanks for to my Score-Pal) that wasn't too bad. To fill their shoeboxes, I created mini t-shirt jump ropes, wash cloths (cut from a dollar store towel) , mini soap (created from air dry clay) and even shrunk a printable set of paper dolls and an Operation Christmas Child letter to put in the box as well. I rounded their boxes out with mini cups (communion cup size), mini clothes pins, tiny rubber bouncy balls, "baby" hair clips (dollar store purchase), hair ties with hair ribbon, those mini paper parasols, a little pen, and my favorite item mini teddy bears or rabbits a friend donated from Amazon.

When I was finished I naturally had to have a photo shoot with all of the girls!

This was truly a labor of love, each stitch a prayer for the child it was going to and  I LOVED every minute of it! I pray the children that receive these boxes have as much fun with their doll as I did!   And before I get asked YES they fit into a shoebox

Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week is
November 16-23,2020
There is still time to pack a shoebox!

To learn how to pack a shoebox visit: How to pack a shoebox
To find your nearest drop off location: Operation Christmas Child Drop-Off Location


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Swaddle Babies

Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week is November 15-22 and it's never to early to pack shoebox gifts that will get sent to children in need all over the world. 


Growing up, I loved my baby dolls and being just like my mommy.  Because of this one of my favorite items to pack into shoebox gifts are dolls. I wanted to design a simple, hugable baby doll for our little shoebox recipients (the 2-4 year olds.) that would fit perfectly into a shoebox. 

These swaddle babies fit the bill. Made of soft flannel and stuffed with  Poly-Fill, I hope these adorable dolls snuggle into a 'young mommy's' (or daddy's) heart. 

Supplies Needed: 

2-16" squares of flannel (can be the same or coordinating)
1-7" (approximately) circle of muslin
Fairfield Poly-fil
Thread to match flannel
Embroidery Floss (variety of colors)

Tools: needle, scissors, dressmaker pencil, ruler, straight pins, sewing machine,

Optional Supplies: 2 feet yarn, ribbon, iron

 Step 1- Begin by pinning right sides of fabric together, and using a 1/4" seam allowance sew around 3 sides. On the forth side sew all but 3 inches. Snip corners and turn to the right side. Give it a quick press if needed to flatten fully.

Step 2- Turn in the opening and sew shut, then continue sewing around the entire edge of your flannel with a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Step 3-Fold the flannel square in half diagonally, offsetting about 1/2 inch at the top (see photo). Pin together. Find the center of the piece from the top (offset) point and pin for reference. 

Step 4- Mark the area for the "body". From the folded side you will be drawing 2, 5 inch long lines, 2 inches from either side of the middle pin. (See photo collage above for reference). Sew along these lines going through all layers of fabric. 

Step 5- Stuff the body cavity with Poly-Fil stuffing, take care not to over stuff so you can sew it shut. Stitch across the top of the body cavity again going through all layers of fabric. Set aside.

Step 6- Take your circle of muslin and using your longest (basting) stitch and a 1/4 " seam allowance,  sew along the perimeter of the circle. Do not back stitch! You want to be able to gather the fabric along the thread.

Step 7-Carefully pull on one of the threads to begin gathering the muslin, till it takes the shape of a small pouch. Stuff tightly with Poly-Fil and tie off the thread. This will become the doll head.

Step 8-Attach your doll head, to the body. Hand stitch in place, being sure to only go through only the top layer of the blanket

Step 9 (Optional)- If you want your swaddle baby to have hair. Wrap the length of yarn around your fingers and tie the bunch of loops together at the bottom. Fan out to form the curls. Tuck the tied end under the top of the head of the baby and sew in place.

Step 10- Securely tack the top layer of blanket to the bottom layer to hide your stitches.

Step 11- Securely tack the rest of the blanket around the baby.

Step 12-Using embroidery thread, add eyes and mouth details. 

Your Swaddle baby is now ready for a special child you love, or to tuck into a shoebox gift!

Special thanks to Fairfield World for providing the PolyFil used in this project! 

The babies in the "shoebox nursery."
Getting ready to travel with Operation Christmas Child to their new homes.

Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week is November 15-22. To find out how to fill shoebox gifts for children in need all over the world, check out their website.



Friday, September 4, 2020

Meet Dorinda!

Meet Dorinda. I met Dorinda when I became an Area Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child 6 years ago. We hit it off right away! 

Dorinda is on my church and community relations team. In her free time Dorinda sews. She sews bags, and dresses and pillowcases. Dorinda and her mom Vae actually converted Vae's garage into a fabulous "sewing room" because they both love to quilt. There is workspace, and machines, and a long arm quilting machine. 
These wonderful ladies know how much I love packing baby dolls into shoebox gifts so they make it their goal to keep me in doll quilts for my "babies". Check out their amazing work!

Aren't they sweet??? I found a fabulous deal on "baby bottles" (they are actually party favors.)  So I tucked a bottle in with the babies and now bundled up and ready to go on their long journey! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Shoebox Crafting!

If you have known me for any time at all, you know I LOVE creating for Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts.

When I found the burlap wedding favor bags on clearance, I knew they had to be turned into "tic-tac-toe" games.

The burlap made it super easy to stitch on with cotton crochet thread. I simply back stitched along the lines to form the board.  The pieces store in the bag.  I love the result!

Supplies Used: Burlap Wedding Favor Bags ($6.99 for 12 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby), Crochet Cotton, Needle, Buttons for markers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Inspire Canvas

A simple flat panel canvas turns into an "inspiring" decoration with Mod Podge and some simple embellishments.

After creating a base layer of Mod Podged scrapbook paper, I layered the cut out shapes and the "inspire" wording. When dry, I added some lace trim and buttons. The finishing touch was the adorable charm I created using a Craft Fantastic Charm Tray. The flower charm was designed to be a necklace but I flipped it upside-down and hung the bird charm off of it. 

I loved the results and this canvas became a wonderful decorative touch to my craft area! 

**Please be advised that Plaid Enterprises, Inc. has compensated the designer by furnishing Plaid product at no charge in connection with this posting.