DIY Silhouettes and Stencils from Photos

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By Guest Blogger Bernadette from Gardening&Crafting with Bernadette

With advice, tutorials, and inspiration, Gardening&Crafting with Bernadette is a great source for anyone interested in crafting with nature and outdoor tips.

 

How to make a Silhouette Stencil from ThinkCrafts.com

Who doesn’t love delicate and elegant, even fun and funky silhouettes? I love to use them in my scrapbooking and as digital art on my website and blog; as well use them to make stencils for my many craft projects. I found a quick and easy way to make my own silhouettes using photos I took myself. I’ll show you step by step on exactly how I did it.

Mail Call– Stenciled Bag

Accessories, Crafts No Comments

By Guest Blogger Cara

Stenciled Mail Bag at ThinkCrafts.com

Every time I leave the office to get the mail, I wish I had a bag. we usually have a pile of outgoing letters and even more incoming. The P.O. box is usually stuffed with catalogs and magazines, and I tend to drop ten things before I get back to my car, and I usually misplace the box key. I’ve been known to take it home for a long weekend every once in a while, wash it in my jeans, etc… well, no more! Behold, the mail bag.

I made it with a super easy stenciling method.

You’ll Need:

Read the Full Craft Tutorial After the Jump…

Ask the Expert: Stencils, Stamps, Die Cut Machines & More

Cardmaking, Crafts, Paper Crafts, Rubber Stamping, Scrapbooking 1 Comment

By Cardmaking & Scrapbook Layout Contributor, Peg from the blog Peg’s Crafting Corner.

Q1. How can I use stencils and templates on my pages?

 

A1. There are many ways to use these on a layout. They can be laid on the paper so the design can be traced with a marker. When used with an ink pad the image is transferred onto the paper by pressing the ink into the crevices. By using a light box the image can be embossed onto the page with an embossing tool to create a raised impression.

Q2. What’s the difference in die cut machines?

 

A2. There are only a few major differences in machines and which one you purchase greatly depends on what you want to do with it. Some of them are electronic and require the use of cartridges (carts) Others are used with electronic design cards ( sd cards) or can be hooked up to a computer to obtain additional images and others are manually operated through the use of a hand crank. These require the use of dies to cut the image. These machines will also emboss the item you have cut out. Many of them will cut various items such as paper, chipboard and even fabric.

Q3. My ink smears when I color my stamped image. Do I have the wrong markers or pencils?

A3. Once your ink has become permanent what you use to color the image can be anything of your choice. The most important key to good stamping and coloring is to choose the right ink. Dye inks are good as they dry quickly. Stazon Inks are good to use because they work on pretty much every surface.

Q4. What are the sizes for layouts?

 

A4. While it is a matter of preference, the basic layout sizes include 8 x 8″ and 12 x 12″. Some choose to do an 8 ½” x 11″ layout. There aren’t any “right choices” in what size you decide to do, but it helps in choosing to keep in mind the amount of time you want to spend on the layout (remember the bigger the layout the more it will need on it and the more time you will spend). If you have done a lot of one size, create a different one for a change. You may not like part of the paper design so cut it off! This will create a smaller paper for you to use and get rid of what it is you don’t like. That’s ok! Remember it’s all up to you.

Q5. There are so many tools out how do I decide what to buy?

 

A5. For me, I have a rule of thumb when I’m looking to buy something…I must be able to come up with 2 ideas for using it first. It doesn’t mean I won’t purchase it; it just means that I have to have those ideas first. If I can’t come up with those ideas I look online to see how others are using the tool.

Stencil Basics

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By Kid’s Craft Contributor, Gillian from the blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

My children, who happily share a room despite being different ages and sexes, also share a useless closet that has, up to now, just been filled with junk. It’s not really tall enough for a true closet, it wraps around in a snail shell shape which makes storage difficult, and it has no light, so it’s pretty dark in there. The only thing that it’s been really handy for is a fort. And periodically they will pull out all the stuff that they have shoved in there when they are supposed to be cleaning their rooms and set up house inside. So we’ve decided to make it official, it is no longer the closet, it’s the fort. And being the children of two parents who are constantly renovating their house, they wanted some improvements. Beginning with the walls. Together they decided it needed to be a cottage, like something out of a story book. After some discussion (“No, I’m not going to wallpaper in there!”) We settled on stenciling. They chose the pattern and colors, I did the work (typical!). I remember stenciling with my mom years ago but hadn’t tackled a true stenciling project since, so if you are like me and needed some tips, here are the basics to stenciling!

You’ll need:

Stencils – there are so many to choose from these days!

Stencil Paint - *Note – craft paint won’t work here, trust me, I found that out the hard way!

Stencil brush or sponge

Masking tape

Pencil

1. Start by marking out your space. For this wall, we wanted to leave an opening in the stencil for a “window” that will be painted on next (with cows out in the grass and curtains it seems). Get a rough idea of how many repeats you’ll need both up and down and side to side so that your pattern is even.

2. Once you know where your pattern is going and what your spacing will be, tape your stencil in place at your starting point . For my spacing, it worked best to start in the center.

3. Tape off the parts of the stencil you are not painting in the first layer. Yes, you can try to avoid them with your brush, but taping off the unused parts makes life easier and the process faster.

4. Dab the end of your brush into the stencil paint. It’s very thick and slightly waxy, almost like lipstick, so you don’t need a lot. Blot as needed on a paper towel.

5. Apply the paint in a swirling motion onto the stencil, turning the brush in small circles to apply the paint evenly.

6. Work the entire surface in one color and then allow the paint to dry overnight before proceeding to the next color, being sure to remove any tape and clean your stencils between layers.

7. Remember that you don’t have to use all parts to the stencils, and you can combine different stencils to make a more complex pattern. Try a few ideas out on paper (or your wall if you’re really bold – or have leftover wall paint) and have fun!

Stenciled Tea Towels

Crafts, Home Decor 1 Comment

By Kid’s Craft Contributor, Gillian from the blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

Someday I will have the time and patience to embroider some cute flour sacking tea towels for my kitchen. I love the way they look and that you can vary them for the season, but alas, bad eyes and impatience has kept me away from most embroidery projects. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t have some fun tea towels this fall. A little freezer paper and paint and voila, cute, acorn towels to hang off my stove or drape over rising bread for those chilly fall evenings.

Here’s what you need!

Acorn Stencil
Freezer Paper
Fabric Paint
Foam Brushes
Flour sacking tea towels
Scissors
Craft knife
Iron

1. Cut a piece of freezer paper to 8 1/2″ x 11″ and print the template directly onto the paper (plastic side down).

2. Cut out the stencil carefully with your craft knife.

3. Iron on the stencil, centered near the bottom of your tea towel.

4. Sponge on yoru fabric paint, making sure you get paint all the way to the edges. Allow the paint to dry.

5. Peel off the stencil and heat set the paint with your iron.

Ask the Experts: Embossing & Embellishing

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By Card Making & Scrapbooking Contributor

Peg Rounds

From Peg’s Crafting Corner

Sizzix Embossing Folder

Q: How is the color added to embossed images?

A:  There are many ways to add color to an image that has been embossed using a folder.   The folder itself can be inked using an ink pad and then the paper placed inside before running it through the embossing machine.  An inked brayer can be lightly rolled over the image after it has been embossed or ink can be placed on an inking tool and it can be added onto the paper before embossing it.

Pick up Tools

Q: I have trouble picking up small embellishments and then by the time I do they are wrinkled.  Is there something that I can use for this?

A:  There are several good pick up tools that have been designed to help with this.  They have a tacky area that will stick to the item to pick it up, but also will release it when you need.  Two of them that are great to use are the Embellie Gellie and the Kook Tac Pick ‘N Place Embellishment Pencil.

Fireworks Spray Ink

Q: Are there more ways to use spray inks other than just spraying them on paper?

A:  You can mix them will Gesso and use them with a stencil for a different look.

Ribbon Storage

Q: What is a good way to store ribbon?

A:    The Heavy Duty Storage Boxes by Pioneer are made to store all types of scrapbooking supplies including ribbon.  They are easily stackable so you can keep everything together.

Classic Motifs Hanger

Q: What can I use to display some of my favorite projects?

A:  Create for Less carries many cute decorative hangers that are perfect to hold that special project.

Painted Pumpkin Topiary

Crafts, Fall, Halloween, Home Decor, Kid's Crafts No Comments

By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

This Painted Pumpkin Topiary is a great kids' craft to brighten your doorway this Halloween

Welcome autumn with this cute pumpkin topiary.  It’s a great project to get the kids involved with, and can be made either in this simplified form, or gussied up by painting and embellishing with lots of details.  Either way, this cute decoration is a fun way to welcome fall!

Pumpkin 2

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own pumpkin topiary:

Read the rest…

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