DIY Valentine Stones, Heart Stones, Love Crystals

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I saw this pinteresting and came across it on No Time For Flashcards .   This is a great craft to do with kids because it’s really hard to mess up.  Luckily, Darbysmart sent me some acrylic paints in the mail and I always have vinyl cut hearts on hand (I am a crafter-dork like that I guess, LOL).

I have been subscribing to DarbySmart  (and also selling there as they also have a crafter marketplace).  Last month’s box of DarbySmart was out of this world as we made wood-burned leather coasters.  I gave them to my sister as a gift.  This month’s box was less than exciting, a calendar made from strings and wooden tags?

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Hmmm….. I think I will pass but since I am a crafter/maker/artist extraordinaire, I was happy with some of the tools in the box, including the paints and brushes that made this project possible!  I am trying to focus all of my blog posts around more diverse crafting projects, getting new materials every day makes me think outside the box.  What’s great is that if you subscribe to Darbysmart, you can always come here to see alternative ways you can use the materials they sent you.

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I like the acrylic paints!  And two paint brushes is awesome.  A person could probably paint a whole picture with the paints they sent (get a canvas, some wine, wine and paint in your home ❤ ❤ )  Washi tape: let’s be honest, who doesn’t love washi tape.  A GOLD paint pen, I frikkin LOVE paint pens, so this made the whole thing worth it.  I used a white paint pen in my previous blog about how to make your own handpainted wedding signs.  So that made me do a cartwheel and was totally worth it.  As you can see they have other materials, wooden tags.  Since I don’t want to do this months darbysmart project I am going to keep the wooden tags for gift tags in the future (maybe personalize them with my Cricut??)

Anyway, so if you don’t want to do this month’s project with DarbySmart, no problem!  I am going to try and think of some super fun crafting projects to do around this, including this cute tutorial on how to make your own “Valentine Stones”.

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Materials needed:

Acrylic Paints and Brush

Heart Stickers

(I printed mine out on the Cricut Explore)

River Stones

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Put the stickers on the stones.  So easy!

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Paint away!  I like funky colors, so I thought I’d do a pink/red/purple mix.  ❤

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Cover them in paint!  Yay!  Like I said, so easy.

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Happy little Valentine Stones!  I am going to put these in some organza bags and give as gifts.  I love stones in general, such an earthy feeling and a simple, solid valentine!  it’s one of those things your friends will keep around, or find years from now when they are cleaning out their closet.  Something that can make them smile even years from now.  🙂

Thanks for checking out my craft project!  For those who have already signed up for the newsletter, I will be trying to send out the first one at the beginning of February featuring a whole bunch of fun valentine day projects!  If you haven’t signed up yet, you should!  I will only be sending out one email a month, so your box won’t be clogged with a bunch a stuff, just a once a month mailer filled with fun DIY projects and crafts.

How is everyone else preparing for Valentine’s Day?

How To Make An Origami Heart, Love is in the air

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Loveee is in the air, or at least it is for me!  But that’s definitely an annual thing.  I thought it would be fun to show how I make origami hearts so that you can make them for any of your craft projects (or if you want to purchase some instead, you can buy them in my shop here).

These hearts are great for any sort of Valentine’s day project you may be working on.  They are nice just put into an envelope alone as a Valentine, if you are just looking for a simple valentine this year.

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Or you can use them in your FUN crafting projects to just give it that extra “WOW” factor.  Origami can make any hand crafted project come to life.  I made these cards for all the couples in my life, I also used scrabble tiles to connect their names.  Super cute.  Add a gift card out somewhere and each couple has a date night to look forward to!

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Just as a side note, if you are looking for these cute scrabble tile hearts for your craft project, you can also order those in my shop too (along with the scrabble tiles).

With that, here is this great tutorial I made about how to make an origami heart.  I hope all you pinners out there pin your heart out! LOL

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Happy crafting!!!!!

What kind of Valentine’s Day projects are you looking forward to do?

DarbySmart December Box, Wood burned scrabble tile, Experimenting with wood burning

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As I get more into the art of crafting, the more I want to learn.  I started subscribing to DarbySmart’s subscription box, and this month they sent me something I’ve been thinking about for a while:  a woodburner.  YAYY!

A wood burner is a metal tool that you heat up similar to a glue gun and then you can write with it as seen above in either wood or on a leather of some sort.

Now, I had no idea how to do any of this, and I was little overwhelmed when I looked at design sheet they sent me and I wondered if it was even something that I would be able to pull off with a successful traced image.

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The method is pretty easy.  I guess you just turn the image over and then you just scribble big blocks of pencil behind the image you want to trace:

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You then retrace the image with a ball point pen, pushing hard, to create the designs on your item.

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Then you simply use the wood burning tool to create something magnificent!

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I wondered if this same process could be used with other things, so I decided to make something I have been thinking about for a while, a giant wood burned scrabble tile.  😀

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First I printed the image from off of my computer…

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Added the tracing to the back…

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Used a ball point pen to trace the item onto the wood

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Tada!  (This is the part where I was surprised it worked.  LOL)

Then, some wood burning later (this tile took me about 20-30 min):

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Then I got my cute lumberjack to cut out the letter and suddenly we have  a new, amazing monogram for the house to display!  I definitely am loving this project from DarbySmart and I am excited about the next box, definitely worth the $19 per month.  Love it!

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Cookie Mix In A Mason Jar Recipe

As we enter into the end of the year, it’s always nice to have something special to give out to people as you run into them.  I love making these cookie mixes in a jar, and I am constantly surprised with how easy they are to not only make, but to bake as well!Photo on 12-30-15 at 9.00 AM.jpg

I was skeptical that a good batch of cookies could be made from a mix in a mason jar alone, but boy was I wrong.  These make the perfect cookies, especially if you just want to make chocolate chip cookies.

Ball mason jars are selling a “vintage limited edition” jar that has this cute purple tint to it, so I thought that’s what I would do for my gifts.   I really didn’t even need that many supplies.

All your gift recipient has to do is pour the mix into a bowl, add a stick of melted butter and one egg.  Mix into balls.  Place on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  (I printed a cute little recipe card to tape on the side of my jars with my Cricut Explore.)

With mason jar cookie mixes, there are only a couple of BASIC ingredients you need, and once you reach that quota, you can pretty much add whatever cute, little seasonal touch you may want.  (For me, I added some crushed candy canes.  :0) )

If you had the desire to make a ton of these (and I do, lol, I am thinking sweethearts for the valentines day season), stock up on the following while you are at the grocery store:

Sugar

Brown Sugar

Salt

Baking Soda

Flour

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The base for each jar is:

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 and 1/4 cup flour

top with seasonal treats!

I added crushed candy canes, walnuts, and chocolate chips to this christmas gift, but you can add all sorts of different treats that may be appropriate for whatever season you are in.

Be sure to let your loved one know the directions too, whether on the side with a label, or just tell them:

Pour the mix into a bowl, add a stick of melted butter and one egg.  Mix into balls.  Place on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  

Maybe candy corns for Halloween?

Sweet hearts for Valentine’s day?

The possibilities are endless!  I love this because it allows me to be able to give so many great gifts to great people.  Throw in a cookie cutter or a seasonal tea, and this makes an exceptional gift!

Happy crafting and happy new year!

Origami Christmas Trees :-) How to make your own origami christmas tree <3

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I was sending some of these origami Christmas trees out to some customers and thought how fun it would be to write a blog post about how I made them.  Sometimes, when learning different origami patterns, I notice how easy it is to make one mistake in a fold, and mess the whole thing up.  I’ve included some other tutorials in this blog post because I think learning from multiple sources is the best way to absorb information.

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To start out, you are going to need a “square base”.  The square base is one of the most common base folds when doing origami.  A paper crane starts with a square base, to give you a point of reference.

I got this tutorial from mylifeboxjewelry.com:

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Pretty fun, right?!  I am on the look out now for a HUGE piece of paper.  LOL, I want to make a huge one of these.  How fun would a two foot tall tree be?

Happy holidays fellow crafters!

Amazon Handmade vs Etsy

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Over the last couple weeks, Amazon has announced they will be launching a beta Handmade selling program in an attempt to steal some of the etsy market.  This is great news for thriving craftpreneurs who want to be exposed to different markets.   While many other craft sites exist on the web, such as art fire, there aren’t too many sites like etsy.  And Amazon wants in.

Interestingly enough, through this process exploring Amazon, I have learned that over a third of the products sold on Amazon are done through third party sellers, such as those like me selling through the site.  When one thinks about what the average Amazon customer is versus the etsy customer, it’s easy to see the market has been broadened enough for you to be exposed to all sorts of different people.

Amazon Seller dashboard is definitely set up for hardcore sales, and on some level, I feel like the beginning sellers should err away from getting started on Amazon because they demand quick shipping times, and if this isn’t something you aren’t used to, I might step away from it, rethink your process, and come back.  But in all my experience selling online, I think its always best business practice to ship immediately the next day, no matter what.  But like I said, etsy is a great beginning seller playground to make mistakes and also to have the freedom to make those mistakes.

Etsy is a great place to be, don’t get me wrong, but when it comes to being part of a great community and trying to express how we would like etsy to be, well, the company isn’t too big on that.  Believe it or not, any critique of the site you try to have within the etsy forums will be immediately shut down by etsy themselves.  You can’t even talk about Amazon Handmade on their forums without having your discussion shut down.  Crazy.

The Looming, Scary Power of the Etsy Gods

That being said, etsy does and has suspended shops without warning.  From copyright law to delayed shipments, one day you could wake up and your shop would be gone.  You need to be a top rated seller all the time, and I once had to work with etsy to avoid getting suspended due to some delayed shipments, and they were very strict.  That week was especially scary for me because I do depend on my etsy income.    And my sales dipped in half during that month because they kept all my products as unlisted in their system, so no one could search me.

What did I learn from this experience?

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  I’ve decided to branch out to other sites, slowly.  I’ve started selling my scrabble tiles on ebay now, and was approved for the Amazon Handmade Beta Program, which was great, because it’s created a whole other income for me that I would have otherwise not received on etsy.

WordPress, where I currently blog now, has an amazing business website upgrade that blows my mind, only like $200 for one year too. They even have instant chat so your customers can message you any time they want through your website.  That’s the path I am trying to go to next, better website, selling on multiple marketplace websites, and really trying to develop my business.

Good products will always stand the test of time, and even in different marketplaces.  Signing up for the Amazon Handmade program has really generated me a lot of leads, and I am impressed with a lot of the features they offer.

Another value is there are a lot less customer inquiries over Amazon, just orders, which makes sense.  When was the last time you messaged a third party seller through Amazon?  As a result, I haven’t had any email discussions with my Amazon customers and I’ve already been on for three weeks, and I have been making consistent sales.  Because of this, your average Amazon customer knows what they want, and they buy it.  (Unlike the more specific etsy customer who sometimes have very intricate colors/details they see in their mind’s eye and would like you to create.)

Get on Amazon!  Sign up at soon as possible too.  It takes 4 weeks for them to review your business to see if they will let you on, and they are waiving the $39.99/month seller’s fee until August of 2016, which means you can ride through all of 2016’s wedding season to see if its worth it for your craft business.

Want to get started on Amazon Handmade?  Sign Up Here!

Anyone else trying Amazon Handmade?

Hand Painted Mr/Mrs Wedding Signs

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So, I have been in awe of wedding signs on etsy for the last few years.  I even took a calligraphy class through I Still Love Calligraphy (would totally recommend, Melissa is an AMAZING teacher, and it’s another skill you can gain to get more sales, for sure).

The process didn’t start this pretty in the beginning, it started with a lot of “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” exercises if you know what I mean…. I never really felt the need to learn specific calligraphy, but learning how letters work and such has allowed me to imitate some of the modern calligraphy we all see on etsy sometimes.

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Brainstorming started out with a sketch pad, some coffee, the wood I was going to write on, and my old calligraphy work book (ignore the ink spill I made, lol)

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I started messing with a couple of ideas in my notepad, until I came up with some sort of design I really liked.

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Then I started to sketch some ideas onto the wood in chalk first so that I didn’t mess up the first time around, after all, wood doesn’t grow on trees or anything, well it does, but you know what I mean.

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I measured every angle of this sign to ensure that it would look even, I think that is a very important feature of selling hand written signs like this, centered and complete and beautiful.  So do some measurements to make sure you are within the center.  Rulers are our friends. 😀

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I think the most important part of making these signs is to use this specific type of pen.  I learned about this pen from another blog called “Dream State”, where she swears by these types of pens.  Her tutorial is also the one that helped me gain the confidence to try making one of these signs myself, so check it out!12193618_10153337968241443_5640763154612441991_n

Next came the painting part!  (this picture is after I have finished painted it).  The pens can be messy, so be very, very careful on your wood – – – – learn how to work with the paint pens before you jump right into your project.

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I had a lot of fun so I thought I would add somes branches….and….

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ta-da!  Anyone can do it!  Message me if you are interested in a kit with the wood prestained and cut, and also the paint pen!

All Hallows Eve is upon us! Wa ha ha!!!

I’ve been going a little Halloween haywire.  I just get so excited about the holidays.  I am seeing all these great ideas to get festive.  I have die cut machine and was super excited to make some decorations to put around the house, and also have an excuse to put more items on my shop. (or the other way around too – – – I am making items for my etsy shop as an excuse to decorate the house with all the fun Halloweenie stuff I want. wa ha ha ! 😀 )

First off, I made a one-of-a-kind trick or treat banner.  I like the idea of making more OOAK items on etsy.   I love handmade items, there is a heart, and a love, and a labor to them, and I think this is why so many people love to craft/buy crafts.

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If you like this banner and want it for your Halloween celebration, you can purchase it here for $12 (Priority shipping options are available if Halloween is just a smidgen away!)

Hmmmm, I thought, now I need a garland of some sort!  Bats are always scary and spooky so I thought I would go with some bats of my own!  While this isn’t an OOAK item, the product is “freshly cut” for customers to guarantee a brand newness.il_570xN.846050022_fxgg

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If you want to order your own bat garlands, a set of eight bats is only $5! (and the garland fits perfectly over any door, such as seen in the above photo).   You can order them here while the season is still going! 

Alright, alright, alright, I thought, Now I need something for cupcakes….. I know that there isn’t a better way to take out zombies than through eating cupcakes…. so….

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Zombie cupcakes!  Yes!  These are some I made for my husband to celebrate Halloween coming (and our joint love for cupcakes, just saying).   You can purchase a set of 12 of them for only $5 here!

So Halloween galore at the Paper Crane Wishes shop this month!  My next post will be about how to make pumpkins covered in a glitter.  This project will make your pumpkins the talk of the neighborhood.

How are you preparing for the Halloween/Christmas season?

If you have a shop, how is October treating you?

Candy Corn Mason Jars! Spray painted mason jars, mason jars,

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I’ve been seeing these cute little mason jars all around pinterest and etsy, so I thought I would try to make some!  (They turned out pretty cute if I may say so myself… 😉 )

Spray painting things in general is pretty easy, but when you want to have this sort of ombre effect between colors it’s best to spray paint the different colors in sections….  This is a great method to incorporate all of your wedding colors into one item too, maybe as a centerpiece?  So many ideas with these mason jars!12049392_10153273348651443_4309822671321266210_n-1

Materials

I just went to Home Depot and found these three cans of spray paint at $3.97 a piece.

I am more a fan of the BIG standard mason jars size (quart) over the smaller ones you will sometime see sold on etsy (pint).

Interestingly enough, I have this hunch within me that most prefer the BALL brand to the KERR brand.  (Why?  Who has really heard of “Kerr” when they are thinking about their mason jar memories?  Feel free to comment if you are more of a KERR fan, just trying to see what people prefer).

So it took me a while to figure out where to get BALL mason jars, but you can easily purchase them at target for about $10 per set of 12.

If you are more of a KERR fan, Walmart sells the KERR brand.

(Does anyone know the difference between these two brands?  Please comment if you do..)

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So, first, I just spray painted all the jars white.  I let them dry for about 15-20 minutes, and then I did another layer.

(plug to my favorite grocery store, Trader Joes, here for having amazing brown paper bags perfecting for any crafting emergency)

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Next, I spray painted the bottom 2/3 of the jar orange.  I let it dry for 15-20 minutes, then I spray painted another layer.

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And finally, I did spray painted the bottom 1/3 of the mason jar with yellow…. let it dry for 20 or so minutes…. did another layer….

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then WOW, here we are!  I just tied some cute little bows from natural hemp cord and we have a wonderful little Halloween decoration.

Don’t want to make them?  Buy them from my shop!

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Using Chalkboard Paint, How to Make a Chalkboard, does chalkboard paint really work?


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Chalkboards are such an amazing way to amp up any event, and the great thing is that it is so easy.  I just used chalkboard spray paint on these items.  I wanted to see if the materials would hold up.  The frame chalk board was made with just the cardboard base of the frame that holds the picture together.  Crazy, right?  I didn’t think the chalkboard spray paint would work on cardboard, but it did!  The three jars were all just glass, and those turned out very sleek and elegant.

One thing I always wondered about these spray paint chalkboards is if you can actually erase the words – – – – AND YOU CAN!  As you can see here…… I erased the earlier messages of “sugar, spice and everything nice” from before and wrote some other messages….

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How To Make A Chalkboard From Everyday Items

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So, I had randomly purchase some chalkboard spray paint and have been wanting to try it out for a while.  My little munchkin has been writing on the walls with crayons and I know that she needs something else to help her creatively explore, and a relative of mine recommended a chalkboard.

I had an old picture frame I wasn’t using (and for some reason had drawn a heart on it, probably some other crafting project I was working on….) I also had some cute glass jars around that I haven’t used in a while.

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First, I removed the base of the frame to spray paint it.12027530_10153259322171443_6486575507511825233_n

Went outside, spray painted it (like I said, super easy)

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Since I didn’t know what was going to happen with the cardboard base, I added a couple layers of spray paint to make sure that I could draw on it.  I knew the glass jars would be okay because I had read online that glass works great with chalk paint.

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Then I let them dry for a couple hours in the hot sunshine.  I think I let these dry for about 5 hours.  (It was a hot, sunny day in the New Mexican desert though).  And then the test drive…..

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You could do all sorts of stuff with frames like this!  This is a GREAT craft for weddings if you want to have chalkboards around for table numbers or what have you.  Or you want to do some pretty hand lettering for the event.  Or just use these as photo props in a photobooth at the wedding.  (My mind is exploding with possibilities).  But for the sake of housewares, I thought I would test it out as a “to do list”

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And now the final test….12027689_10153259321271443_4678129687953842684_n

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Consensus says….

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“YES! This is great, Mom!!”

(okay, she didn’t say that, but I am pretty sure that is what her body language is saying here)

For some more inspiration for chalkboard art, I pulled a couple of these pictures off pinterest

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Taken from modwedding.com

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Taken from weddingchicks.com