Tag Archives: Product Review

Product Review: Solid Oak Macrame Beaded Banner Kit

By Yarn and Needlework Contributor Stephanie from the blog Twilly 23

Want to try a new craft? Macrame involves a series of knots that are easy and quick to learn. This Solid Oak Kit will let you create a pretty wall hanging while also teaching you a new skill.

CRAFT:
Macrame

DIFFICULTY:
Beginner

MATERIALS:

 

REVIEW:

The macrame kit comes with three skeins of cotton yarn, beads and instructions.

Before getting started I recommend winding the skeins into balls because they can easily get tangled.

The directions suggest gluing the tips of the rope or wrapping them with tape. I recommend using wasabi tape because it is easy to peel off later.

The cotton yard is firm enough to easily knot but still soft enough to not scratch the hands. The beads are a pleasing natural wood.

You’ll need to find a way to secure the rope while you work. I started with zip ties around the back of a chair. However, once I finished the first banner it felt like a waste of zip ties since I could only use them once. Tying the rope with some scrap yarn worked way better.

The instructions have clear visuals for each type of knot. I found this very helpful since this is my first time trying macrame.

At first it felt like I was all thumbs and it was hard to coordinate my hands with the rope.

Over time I started getting the hang of it and the knots became easier to make.

Using the back of a chair works great because you can move ropes you’re not using out of the way.

As I become more comfortable making knots my knotting style tightened up noticeably. The left macrame above was the first one I made. I decided to place the first one in the center of the piece to compensate for the size change..

This took me three days to make. I made the first macrame day one, three of them on day two and did the last one and finished the piece on day three.

Each banner piece uses the same length for the ropes. I was surprised how much the knotting process made the ends uneven.

The wasabi tape also comes in handy at the end. I used it to tape my piece to the floor to cut the tails into a pyramid.

The kit made it easy to try macrame. Even though I’m a beginner at this craft I’m really happy with my finished piece.

Not only did I learn a new skill but now I have some groovy wall art.

Craft on!

Craft Tool Overview: The Crop- A- Dile Hole Punch and Eyelet Setter

By Card Making and Paper Crafts Contributor Heidi. Follow Heidi on her blog Blue Scallop Creations and on Instagram @bluescallopcreations.

I think I have just about every craft tool I could ever need—I really love crafting!  But the one tool I didn’t have in my supply bin was the Crop A Dile Hole Punch and Eyelet Setter from We R Memory Keepers and I don’t know why I waited so long.  Yes, it does look like it may be complicated to use, but it’s actually not and I’ve found this too be a tool I’ve been reaching for quite often lately.

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Vote Project Life for Best New Craft Supply!

Vote for the Crafties

Project Life 1st Page

I’ve never been much of a scrapbooker. Coming up with layouts and page ideas is a very daunting prospect, and I don’t really have the time to create something beautiful. I recently realized, though that I wasn’t really doing anything to keep track of my memories and I had nothing to look back on. When I first heard about the Project Life system, I was immediately curious. All the pages I was seeing on blogs and Pinterest looked so beautiful, and much easier than creating a page from scratch. So, I ordered my album, photo pocket pages, and my core card kit and got started.

Project Life Page

Once I started working on my album, I quickly realized that you could be as fancy or as simple as you had time for. You can make those beautiful embellished pages you see all over the web, or you can just stick with the cards and your own printed 4 x 6 photos and you still end up with a beautiful result. The core kits can be used to match your own personality and style, or they can match the color schemes in your photos. For Christmas, I got my mom the basic setup, and included the Cinnamon Edition Core Kit because she recently went on a trip to Colorado and I thought the colors would match the scenery beautifully.

Project Life Page

I absolutely love how easy it is to create a beautiful scrapbook in no time with the Project Life system. It’s actually gotten me to take more pictures and record my life a little better. Before, I had no motivation to take photos on vacation or in everyday life. Now, I take photos only because I can’t wait to use my Project Life system again!

Vote for Project Life as the Best New Craft Supply and all of your other favorite crafts at the 2014 Crafties Not only will you get to decide who wins the coveted Golden Glue Gun, but you could also win a $100 CreateForLess Gift Certificate!

We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board Review

By Card Making & Scrapbooking Contributor

Peg Rounds

Peg’s Crafting Corner

We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board

The holidays are coming quickly and it’s time to start thinking about all of the cards you will need to make this year.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have an easier way to do them?  Well, here’s one of them.  Use the We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board to create the envelopes for those cards.  It saves a lot of time and adds a personal touch to those handmade creations.  It’s easy to do, too!  I’ll even show you how quick and easy it is in this review so keep reading.

The punch board will allow you to make cards ranging from 2 x 3 ½” to 6 x 8 1/2 finished.  You will be pretty much covered for any sizes that you will need which takes a lot of the figuring out of making your own envelopes.

Trim

The first step, you need to cut the size of card stock that you will need to create the envelope.  The sizes are listed right on the board for your convenience and there’s no worry about losing it over time.

Place and score

Place the card stock on the board matching it to the ruler mark on the top left.  The score line measurements are listed for you, as well.  Punch the notches out and score it according to the guide.  I love that the punch is attached on the board so all you have to do is press the button.  There’s no having to take out the card stock and using any additional tools to get the notches made and then having to get it back in to score again.

Rotate and punch

Rotate it, lining up the score line as indicated in the instructions and punch and score again.  Repeat these steps until you have worked all the way around the card stock.

Fold at Score Lines

Fold at the score lines and tape closed.  It’s that easy!

There were a couple of things that I found as drawbacks to the board, but they are so minor that it would not stop me from loving and using this tool often.

The scoring tool which is a little bulky to begin with and doesn’t fit real well into the scoring groove, also, does not fit well for storage.  In fact, mine got stuck in the holder the first time I used it.  I had to spend some time and wiggle it out of there.  If the tool is not pushed all the way in, it sticks out and often falls out.  You can see what I’m talking about in the pictures below.

Scoring Tool

The second drawback is when making larger envelopes especially the largest on listed on the board, the board itself is too small to completely do the score lines.  You have to score up to the edge of the board and then flip the paper over making sure to get everything lined up and then score it from the backside to complete the score line.  It would have been nice if the board would have been made larger to prevent this.

Large Paper

Cardstock

Large Envelope

One thing that I absolutely love is that the Envelope Punch Board has the breakdown of the individual markings that you will need to create all of the envelopes listed on it.  There’s no guessing as to whether you have the correct mark or not.

Markings

Now, that you’ve learned the about the board itself.  Let’s make an envelope.  The first thing you will need to do is measure the width and height of your card.  Next week, be sure to check out my post entitled, “Christmas Village Tryfolds” to see how to make the card shown in these pictures.

Measure Card

Height and Width

The card measures 3 ¾” wide by 5 ¼” tall so the card stock will need to be cut to 7 7/8” x 7 7/8” which is also known as a (5-Bar) sized envelope for mailing.

Trim Cardstock

Score the card stock according to the directions on the envelope board at 3 3/8” and punch the notches out.

Score Cardstock

Fold it at the score lines and your envelope is almost finished.  See how well the card fits into it?

Adhere Flaps

Adhere the flaps with an adhesive.  I like to use a double sided tape such as Wonder Tape because it really has a good hold and even works great to seal the envelope closed.

Finished Envelope

You have now completed one card.  Imagine receiving a card looking like this one tucked inside a handcrafted envelope.  It adds to the joy of giving and receiving.

DIY Card and Envelope

The We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board is a must have tool to make those envelopes quick and easy for all of your card making whether it’s this holiday season or year round.   It’s a great all-in-one tool. Everything is right there at your finger tips now so there’s no need to search for an envelope that will fit that last minute card you just created.  This is one of those tools you often wonder how you ever lived without.

Jack-O-Lantern Jars

By General Crafts Contributor Monica from the blog Mon Makes Things.

Jack-O-Lantern Jars with Transform Mason Paint. Tutorial at ThinkCrafts.com

DIY Jack-O-Lantern Jars with Transform Mason Paint

Halloween is my boyfriend’s favorite holiday, and if he had his way, our apartment would be decked out in gruesome ghouls and gory zombie paraphernalia… So, I have taken it upon myself to create some Halloween decor that I will enjoy (out of self-defense). I had the opportunity to try out the new line of Ball Transform Mason Paints and thought this was a great opportunity to transform some mason jars into cute candle holders for the holiday!

Painted Halloween Jars - Tutorial at ThinkCrafts.com

Jack-O-Lantern Jars with Translucent Glass Paint. Tutorial at ThinkCrafts.com

Stuff You’ll Need: Mason JarsGlass Paint in Translucent OrangeBlack Glass Paint MarkerFoam Brushes

Start by washing and drying your jars so that the paint adheres well. Using your foam brush, apply a coat of the orange paint to your jar. I used three coats on these jars, as the paint was just a bit more translucent than I wanted, but do as many or as few as you like. Let the paint dry for several hours between coats; rushing it starts to peel the last layer. I speak from experience. 😉 I also painted the top part of the jars separately, after the bottom portions were done. Otherwise I’d have nothing to hold on to!

When your orange paint is dry, use your black paint marker to draw a jack-o-lantern face on the side of the jar! I drew mine on the side with measurements so I didn’t have to work over the type or intricate design.

DIY Halloween Votives. Tutorial at ThinkCrafts.com

I also tried out the Translucent Dark Purple, but I wasn’t all that pleased with the color AND the bats I tried to draw turned out really ugly. I strategically turned the jar so that you could not see my pathetic bats. I slapped on some stripes in a last-ditch effort. If you are a better artist than me, which let’s face it, would not be surprising, give it a shot! But I recommend trying one of the different purple paints from the line… This one was a bit on the blue side of purple.

Drop some candles in those babies and you’ve got yourself a fun twist on the traditional jack-o-lantern! Of course they glow better at night, but nighttime makes for poor photos. Just trust me that they look cool… and make some of your own! 😉

 

Project Life

By General Crafts Contributor Erin from the blog Lovesome.

You guys, I have a confession. I don’t scrapbook. Ever.  I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get into it! Too many papers and punches and adhesives, it’s overwhelming! So I ooh and aah when I see the beautiful scrapbooks my friends have made, and silently dream of the day when my pictures can look as pretty as theirs.

 

Well, imagine my excitement when I started hearing about Project Life. It’s meant to be a hybrid, an in-between for people like me and real scrapbookers. It is as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

Project Life Album

It’s basically a (beautiful) photo album with different pocket pages. There are tons of layouts for the pages, so you can make it as easy as printing photos and sticking them in the pockets, or you can scrap your heart out and embellish the heck out of those pages. Either way, it’s easy and fun and gets your pictures off your computer and into albums that you will actually look through and pass on to your kids.

 

Project Life Layout by Erin at ThinkCrafts.com

 

I decided to go the digital route and embellished my photos in Photoshop. I like a clean look, so it was perfect for me to add a few words and graphics here and there, print them off, and stick them in the photo pockets. Easy!

 

Black and White Layout - Photos and Cards

 

There are also tons of different sized cards that you can decorate and stick in the pockets. They are great for journaling special moments or decorating to make the page extra cute. I think it would be fun to let kids help out and color or paint some of the cards. Artwork made by little hands would be such a fun touch! I just printed some crosses on mine, I like the graphic punch they add to the page.

 

Project Life Cards Texture

 

I’m kind of a paper nerd, so the texture of the cards made me really happy. They are a great weight and have a beautiful texture. It’s the little things, right?
Something else that made me giddy is the fact that there are hundreds of cute printables all over the internet that people have made just for Project Life albums. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to printables that I can print off and stick in the picture pockets. So easy!

 

Project Life Layout from Erin at ThinkCrafts.com

 

I think what I love the most about Project Life is that there are no expectations. It’s just meant to be fun and easy and gives me a way to get my photos off of my computer and phone and into albums where my family can enjoy them and the memories they hold.

 

Gumball Jar with Martha Stewart Glass Paint

By Kid’s Craft Contributor Tracey, from the blog We Made That.

DIY Gumball Jar using Martha Stewart Glass Paint. ThinkCrafts.com

My kids and I dabble in a lot of different types of crafting, but one thing we have never tried is glass painting.  Sure, I have seen tons of different projects I would love to make but they all seem way too difficult for my kids to do, and I pretty much just craft with my kids.

Then I got the opportunity to try out these Martha Steward Glass paints, and that is when I came up with the idea of making a Gumball Jar.  My girls LOVE gumballs and this project gave us the opportunity to really try out these paints, and I have to say that they are nowhere near as difficult to work with as I thought they would be.  Each bottle has a pointed tip that makes it very easy to get the paint where you want it.

My daughter (who is 6 years old) had no issues using the paints at all, she actually had a blast making this jar.  Her favorite was the translucent glitter paint, because it is so pretty.  By the time she finished putting all the dots (or gumballs as she says) all over the jar she was pretty much an expert at it.  She would use the tip to spread the paint out to make the dot bigger or just put a tiny little dot on to have a small gumball.

I did write the word Gumball onto the jar for my daughter, but that is only because she is still working on her handwriting and if she had done it, well you would not be able to tell what it says.  However if she was a better writer I have no doubt that she could have done that too.  All in all I am very happy with how this jar turned out and excited that we got to try out these paints and can’t wait to do another project with them!

Supplies

Directions

Clean Glass

Clean your jar with the rubbing alcohol

(This gets all the grime and dust off of it so the paint sticks really well)

Write Gumball

Using the Martha Stewart Opaque Glass Paint write Gumball on the jar

Gumballs

Now you can start putting dots (or painted gumballs) all over your jar using the Martha Stewart Transparent Glass Paint

Alternate Colors

Alternate the Martha Stewart Transparent Glass Paint colors so you have a variety of balls all over the jar. 

DIY Gumball Jar with Martha Stewart Glass Paint. ThinkCrafts.com

Once all your paint has dried just fill your jar with Gumball’s and you are set!