Sunday, December 30, 2018

Dollar Store Decoupaged Notebook

Here's an easy way to decoupage a notebook with a couple of dollar store items and a few basic art supplies.

You'll Need:

  • 1 paper or chipboard covered blank notebook
  • 1 large printed paper napkin, split into layers
  • Tinted decoupage medium, Mod Podge, or bookbinding glue
  • Flat paintbrush or sponge brush, 1-2" wide
  • Old plastic credit card or hotel room card
  • Craft knife or single edge razor blade
  • Sheet of printer paper or plain scrap paper
  • Metallic rubber stamping ink
  • Rubber stamp to coordinate with napkin paper
  • Pencil
  • Damp paper towel

Tools and supplies you'll need for this project
1. Unfold a napkin and split the layers apart. Discard the white layer and save only the printed layer. This thin layer will become semi-transparent when you apply the glue, and blend with the notebook color.

Discard all but the printed layer of the napkin.
2. Position the napkin wherever you want it on the cover. With your pencil, lightly mark the corners and sides of the cover on your napkin. Set it aside -- don't cut it yet.

3. Open the notebook so that you're only working with the front cover. Apply an even layer of the decoupage medium to the entire cover, all the way to the edges. Work quickly or the medium will soak in.

Open the notebook while working, but don't trim the edges yet!
4. Grab the napkin and, using the pencil marks as a guide, lay it down onto the cover. Spread it out. Don't worry if you get a few wrinkles and tears, the decoupage medium will darken and "age" those areas. Gently dab the napkin down onto the cover until it's pretty flat.
Wrinkled and torn is ok!
5. Here's how to burnish down the napkin -- lay your white paper on top of the wet cover, and, using a long edge of your old credit card to press out the excess medium. Start in the middle and burnish out toward each edge. Repeat, starting in the center and scraping out in a different direction each time. Clean up any extra medium with a slightly damp paper towel.

Burnish from the center out to the edges with an old credit card.
Trim with a single edge razor or your favorite craft knife.
6. Set aside the white paper cover and let the cover dry completely. You will probably have extra napkin hanging over the edges. Resist the temptation to trim the edges!

7. Once the first coat is dry, apply another thin coat. It will protect the napkin. Dab up any extra and let dry completely again.

Don't be alarmed if your cover warps. It should flatten when dry, but if not, you can press it until a big book later.

8. Now you're ready to trim the excess napkin. Turn the notebook over and, using your razor or craft knife, trim carefully right along the edge. If you burnished well, the edges should be completely glued down. If not, just touch it up with a little more medium.

9. I like to add more napkin scraps here and there, and a little more medium to give the piece an aged look. Don't add too much more moisture though, or your cover could start to fall apart.

10. I always like to add a metallic touch, so in this example I stamped a leaf-and-stem motif with fast-drying gold Delicata ink.

Delicata metallic inks dry faster than pigment inks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A La Amigurumi! (Japanese crochet dolls)

I was sure stymied when the MOTH came home with a little collection of miniature vintage Japanese crochet dolls. And for some reason, this collector had 2 of everything -- twins?

Pair of vintage amigurumi (crochet) dolls in "sailor suits"
Fortunately, I found a similar doll (thank you Google image search) and learned a little bit about the interesting craft of Japanese amigurumi.
Miniature Japanese crochet doll (amigurumi) crawling along in a purple onesie and bonnet.
Here's a little bit about the ones we found: Ami is the Japanese word for "knit/crochet," and nuigurumi is Japanese for "doll." They became more popular after WWII and on into the two-thousandsies. Mine are crocheted and stuffed, and their faces are hand painted. They measure about 2-3 inches in height and each one is slightly different. These make nice little gifts, but I would not use them as toys, they're mainly for collecting, a la other Japanese Kawaii-style items.


Monday, April 2, 2018

April Sequins Sale

Dear Friends and Fanatics,
This entire month, for the first time I'm putting all my vintage sequin strands on sale -- 10% off, no minimum order (usually you have to buy 5 strands to get the discount). Specialty sequins are not discounted, but all others are. Here's a direct link to the sale items: .

I will be adding a few more colors, sizes and styles throughout the month, but meanwhile here are some special lovelies to consider.

Blue iris AB, 6mm flat
Iris, AB (aurora borealis) or rainbow-coated flat sequins cover a lot of ground in your embroidery projects.

Copper AB 4mm cups
These little copper iris cups look like rhinestone crystals in your work, but are light as a feather.

Transparent Lime green lustre 6mm cups
 Layer transparent sequins over each other on patterned fabric, for interesting and subtle effects.

Matte metallic plum, 4mm flat
Matte sequins aren't as reflective but they're rich in color! I have these plum beauties in 4 styles -- small and medium in both cupped and flat. Great for floral motifs!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Rosemary Potpourris

Well, after pruning the rosemary bush, I couldn't bring myself to toss all the branches. REALLY don't need more rosemary right now, tho. So I just stripped the leaves and popped them into these little cotton drawstring bags from my shop.
"Just Rose Mary" potpourri bags
No washing, no processing the herbs, makes an insanely quick potpourri that you can just crunch a little to freshen after the scent fades.
Lettering with India ink and a rolling alphabet stamp
By the way, I use India ink most of the time because it's permanent, dries fast, less toxic than other inks. My alphabet roller stamps are almost vintage but you can still find some good ones for sale!

Good supplies make life easier!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Vintage Posies Cupcake Toppers

Well, hello again! Here's a fun little spring project, my recent take on the miniature vintage flocked flowers thing... which incidentally I try to carry in my Etsy shop whenever I can find them.

Vintage Flocked Flower Cupcake Toppers
Traditionally, these little craft treasures were used in doll hats and miniature crafts. Most that I've found were made in Japan or Korea. The newer miniature flowers don't have the delicate colors, detail and flocking, not to mention the soft-colored plaster stamens, or pips. My collection is pretty faded, but still precious.

Floral tape, artist quality glitter glue, vintage mini flocked flowers, and food skewers
To complete this project, you'll need a few basic supplies:
  • Miniature flowers to wrap. If you can't find the vintage ones, try these on Amazon.
  • Floral tape in your choice of color(s).
  • Food grade wooden skewers. Mine say "gluten free," lol. I got them at a restaurant supply store.
  • Glitter glue. Also your choice of color, but I highly recommend Ranger Stickles. It doesn't drip or flatten out when it dries. Also, the applicator allows you to use a very fine line.
  • If you trim your food picks, you'll also need a sharp pair of scissors or craft knife.

Step by Step

1. Choose a stem and bend the wire at a right angle, then wrap it around the skewer.
Bend the wire and...

...start wrapping.
2. Wrap floral tape around the wire.
All bundled up comfy and posy, I mean cozy!

3. Apply a little bit of glitter glue around the top and let it dry.
Make three, or six, or twelve!
These little bundles make adorable cupcake toppers -- use matching frosting dude. Also nice looking around the message on a frosted cake!