Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Collage – a fabulous form in any type of craft

The definition of collage is: "An artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface,often with unifying lines and color." (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/collage)

It is one of the most exciting types of art or craft to create. There are no “rules” necessarily so the sky is the limit. The only limitation I have found when working on a collage piece is being able to attach the items in a secure form.

Choosing the proper base for your collage is very important. If you are making collage jewelry you need something that will hold up to some abuse and allow for a jewelry finding to be attached. There are many different bases you can buy. Some even have the findings attached so that is one less step to complete.

Here are some pins I made using a base that already had the pin back attached. These were simple ovals in metal with a raised edge. The raised edge allowed me to stack items into the frame. I used Alene’s Tacky glue to secure the items. They have held up nicely but I think today I would use E-6000 glue. I used all kinds of things from my stash – buttons, charms, stick pins etc. I suggest pulling out pieces that you think look good together and start playing with arrangements.

The main focal point of this pin is the velvet button.  It is a vintage button in deep plum.  The other items used were buttons, beads and a mother of pearl antique cuff link.

This simple arrangement is mostly new plastic buttons.  The combination gives them a more "vintage" look.  Adding the small green ribbon to the edge added just the right finishing touch.

This is one of my favorites.  The black and gold buttons came from my grandmothers button stash.  The large teal oval piece is an old ear ring.
 The flower is a clay flower I purchased.
 This pin is just fun to wear.  I love the bright colors and the bows.  The solid red heart is wooden and the checkered heart is made of fabric. 
This pin was focused around the rocking horse stick pin.  The soft blues and browns seem to bring out the rocking horse.
Here are some pendant necklaces I created using the collage method. The small wooden frames were originally chalkboard Christmas ornaments. I painted the frames and then glued in my pieces with tacky glue. After letting the glue dry securely I used Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to create a resin type finish. The dimensional magic creates a professional finish and is very easy to use.

  
This pendant is layered with scrapbook papers, crystal jewels and a small butterfly charm.



This pendant was made for my mom.  I took old watch pieces and layered them on black scrapbook paper.
 
 
This pendant has a center focal piece of a scrapbook paper tag and several puffy stickers.
 
As you can see the sky really is the limit when it comes to collage creations. There is no right or wrong way to make a collage piece. This art form is perfect for Pink Lemonade Ideas.

Danna

Friday, October 25, 2013

Inspiration - what sparks your creativity?

In the previous post I talked about my love for pins of all shapes and sizes. Over the
years I have created some unique pins for my new collection. When I am out
shopping the clearance isles, garage sales and thrift stores I am always on the
lookout for some unique piece that could the inspiration for my next pin creation.
Things that inspire me range from a clay mask, a unique button, a piece of lace or
fabric, an old ear ring and many other items.
 
When creating something that you will wear also consider what clothing color
combinations you prefer. I tend to lean toward the bright jewel tones. These are
the colors that look best on me. I have a friend who wears more of the autumn
colors. I enjoy making pins for her because I get to use colors I normally would not
consider. If you have trouble picking what colors look good together take your cues
from nature. When you look at a field of flowers what colors stand out? Does your
eye pick up the pinks and purples or do you prefer the yellow and orange? This will
give you some direction.
 
The creative process for me always begins with an inspiration item and then I move
to the colors I wish to use. All of my craft items and fabrics are divided and stored
by color. So, when I want to create a pin, for example, from my inspiration item I
found then I pull out my boxes in the colors I want to use. Usually in jewelry I work
in only two colors but on occasion I will add several additional colors.
 
Here are a few pins I have made over the years. There is a brief description of the
inspiration piece and why I chose the colors I used.
 
 
 
This pins inspiration was taken from the black clay mask.  I found several of these (on clearance of course) and it reminded me of the beautiful Mardi Gra masks.  The fan is made from a piece of wrapping paper.  I glued card stock in between two layers of paper for added stiffness. 



This is one of the silver masks I found with the black.  I made this pin first and used tissue paper to make the fan.  As you can see the tissue paper did not hold up well.  This is now in my craft/sewing area because I love the colors.

 
This pin was made from another clay mask.  This one just called to be made to look like the Mardi Gra masks.  I only added the feathers and the beads at the top of the mask.  The beads I strung on a piece of thread and then glued to the mask. 
It is a very festive look.
 

This pin is made from a simple wooden heart shape with added buttons and fabric rose.  I needed something to add a small detail to a jacket in a particular shade of purple.  This fit the bill nicely.


This pin I did not make.  It was given to me from a friend.  It did however spark several pins made from a piece of lace.  I did not take pictures of the pieces I made before I gave them away.  (A side note -- always take a picture of something you create.  You never know when you will want to refer back to your creation.) The base is simply a piece of lace.  It is fairly fragile but has held up well.


This pin was made for my friend who wear alot of fall colors.  She commented on how she liked the feather pins that were popular.  The feathers are glued to a base and the center is a vintage clip ear ring.  Under the ear ring is a small piece of lace to add a little spark of off white.  (Sorry about the blurry picture)

 
This pin is made from a domino.  The picture is taken from a greeting card
I was going to discard.  I added the simple word to of "love", cut from a book. 
The edges of the domino are colored gold. 
 
Find what inspires you and see what wonderful creations are sparked.
 
Danna

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Flower Power

When I am picking out what to wear I work from a different angle than most people. I don’t choose my clothing first, I select my accessories first. This may seem odd to some but it works for me. I love jewelry, scarves and pins. So most of the time I look at what ear rings, scarf, necklace, or pin I am in the mood to wear and then build the outfit around that item. One of my favorite accessories is pins.

When I was in high school I had a huge pin collection. I wore at least one or more a day. At that time the popular pins were more of the “button” size with different pictures, words or characters. Some of my pins were shaped like objects. I remember several that were items such as a box of crayons, a piano, a cloud with a face and many more. I had a smiley face button in every color of the rainbow and all different sizes. Like most guys who got rid of all their baseball cards I wish I had saved my pin collection. I have a few that my daughter has now taken over but most of them I discarded.

Therefore when pins became stylish again I was truly excited. Now I could create a new collection of handmade pins to wear. Some of my favorites are the popular flower pins. I made several to coordinate with different outfits. Here are a few:

The zipper rose in the middle I purchased.  Then I built the flower on a denim base.  I added a layer of batting between the denim to give the layers a little more bulk.  The red tail under the twisted rose and yo-yo is the end of a zipper.

 
 This flower is one of my favorite shapes.  You cut circles and then gather pinch one end to create a petal.  Attaching the petals together creates your flower.  The purple "fringe" flower is the next layer.  The jeweled piece is a vintage clip on ear ring.  The blue rosette is made from tulle.  I added some small beads in various places to give a little extra sparkle.


I wear this flower alot.  It is the same pinch gathered pattern as above.  The only difference is I cut smaller circles and added an inner layer of petals.  I like how the frayed edges give it an extra measure of character.

 
This flower is made from the fabric of a skirt I shortened.  Using extra fabric from a garment makes the perfectly coordinated accessory.  This pattern is a layer of flower shaped pieces in various sizes stacked.  I fused fabric together with Wonder Under to add some stiffness before cutting the shapes.  Having the layers in coordinating colors adds a little more interest. 

 
This is the same pattern as above with the stacked flower shapes with one difference.  The bottom layers are four shapes folded over into quarters and then fanned out to create the layer.  The top two layers are the solid flower shape. 


This flower pin is made from pieces cut from a discarded sweater.  I built it on a base of deep purple fabric.  Then added the two large twisted rosettes, feathers and the light purple sweater petal flower.  The center is a large button.

Each time I pin one of these to my outfit it makes me smile.  My mom always told me that anything looked better with a smile.  So I guess when I wear my flower pins I look better.

Danna

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Simple Birthday Gift

I have the best mom in the whole world. She has always been there to support and encourage me. We have a great time when we are together. I am fortunate that we only live a few miles from my parents so I get to see her often.

When it comes to gifts she prefers something simple that comes from the heart. This year for her birthday I purchased a potted plant and placed a simple plant poke with a celebratory message. I knew she would love the plant and attaching the simple handcrafted message made it unique.

Here is the plant.  I wrapped the pot in patterned tissue paper and tied it
with a piece of bias tape binding.

 I made the plant poke out of card stock.  Then attached the scalloped square and the paper flower I bought on clearance for a penny for the whole package.  I then punched holes in the top and bottom and placed on a wooden skewer stick.  I put the pointed end into the potted plant.

As in an earlier post I stated that sometimes the simple things in life are the best. Many times today we feel we must “buy” the perfect gift and it must be more expensive than last year. Recently I was talking with a friend who was telling me about a Mom’s group she attends that sends a package to their college students who live away from home. In the package are various “gifts” and treats. They also enclose handwritten notes from each of the moms. She was telling me how much her daughter appreciated the package from home. But the one thing that she appreciated most was the encouraging notes. The notes were what made her feel loved. Not the gifts or treats but the simple thoughtful words from people who knew and loved her.

So, the next time you have to look for a gift for someone special in your life. Take the time to send a message of love and encouragement. It can be as simple as a plant poke.

Danna

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fun with Tagxedo

Finding the perfect gift when you are a teenager can be a challenge.  My son was trying to decide what gift to get his girlfriend for an occasion.  We were tossing around ideas from jewelry, flowers etc. when I remembered a website that we had used at school. Tagxedo.com

Tagxedo is a free user friendly site where you can create a word cloud picture.  You can put in a URL and tagxedo will create the word cloud from the website, or you can type in a list of words to create the cloud.  The more times a word is repeated the larger the word will be in the cloud.

The original thought was to create a word cloud using words that described my son and his girlfriend, print it out and put it in a picture frame.  Once we created the word cloud we began to review our options for printing and saving the word picture.  I found you could purchase items with your word cloud printed on the item.  There was everything from coffee cups, mouse pads, bags and tshirts.  We decided to print the heart shaped word cloud on a tshirt.

Here is the result:
There were several tshirt styles to select from.  We thought this one worked the best for our design.


The tagxedo can be designed many, many different ways.  My son liked the heart with the black background.  It did provide a nice backdrop to bring out the shape and the words stood out a little better on the black.
 
A tagxedo word cloud has an abundance of creative uses.  Here is a short list of some ideas I have considered.
  1. Express your feelings about a person.
  2. Put the names of everyone on a sports team, classmates, family reunion as a keepsake.
  3. Words that describe a group (i.e. band, youth group, class, choir etc.)
  4. Information about a special event (i.e. graduation, wedding, birth, anniversary etc.)
  5. List of things you like to do - print it out and put it on the wall
  6. Describe your company and what makes it stand out might be an interesting way to market your business.
Here is a tagxedo I created using the URL of my blog.
 
 
Try Tagxedo yourself and see what sparks your creative cloud.
 
Danna
     
 
 
 



Friday, October 18, 2013

Updated Mouse Pad

I am one of those people that likes everything on my desk to feel coordinated and bring a smile to my face.  So when I started my new job at school I looked at my mouse pad and thought "Oh, no this will never work".  It was ugly, ugly, ugly.  Now I know that a mouse pad may seem like an item that does not draw much attention.  But, since I teach technology my computer area is my area of expertise.  Therefore I use and look at my mouse pad all day long.  It also sits on the top of my desk not on a keyboard drawer. 

I did some research to find ways to do away with the ugliness.  I found that you can adhere fabric to a mouse pad using Mod Podge.  It is a fairly simple process.  My mouse pad had a type of plastic coating on the top so it was stiff.  I think the same process would work for one that is more of a fabric type material on top. But you may want to do a test first.

 

Here are the steps:

1.   Cut the fabric close to the size of the mouse pad.
2.   Brush the Mod Podge on the mouse pad in an even coat.
3.   Lay the fabric on top and press to remove any bubbles. (Be sure you take the time to get the bubbles out or you will have a rough spot that will be uncomfortable.) You may want to use something that rolls - a brayer, rolling pin or glass.
4.   Let it sit for about 5 minutes
5.   Brush an additional coat on top of the fabric to seal it.
6.   Let it dry for several hours.
7.   Trim the fabric
8.   Add an additional layer of Mod Podge to seal the fabric one last time and be sure to get the edges coated.
9.   Let dry completely. (If any parts are not coated add another layer of Mod Podge).
10. Use an emory board to sand down any rough edges.

I use my mouse pad constantly and have had no trouble with the fabric peeling up or fraying on the edges.  The Mod Podge gives it a surface that can easily be wiped down.

My challenge to you is don't settle for an ugly mouse pad.  Create one that makes you smile every time you look down.

Danna

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Dish Towels

Dish towels (in my humble opinion), should not only be functional but attractive.  They should bring an element of joy and fun to your kitchen.  This is especially true during the holiday season.  Even if your house is not full of guests your family will enjoy the extra dash of cheer. 

Last year I had several Christmas events to attend where I needed a gift for a gift exchange.  Since we live on a tight budget I have the "opportunity" to get very creative with these gifts.  I usually prepare a gift basket based on a theme and fill it with several handmade items plus a few bought items.  One particular event I was to attend required a gift for only ladies.  This allows for an abundance of creativity.  I started searching through my stash and came up with some plain dish towels I had purchased.  Now all they needed was a "pink lemonade idea" to turn them from plain to fancy. 

I decided to add some ruffled strips of fabric to the edge.  I used three different fabrics and made the strips 2 inches wide.  I cut the strips out with a pinked edge to prevent fraying.  When I was stitching these up at quilt group one evening (about two days before the event) everyone was complimenting how cute they were.  I knew then I had a winner of a gift.


I used the method of stitching a zigzag stitch down the center of the fabric over the thread tails.  You can find several videos on You Tube for this method.  It works really well and is very easy.

Using left over strips of fabric I tied the towels at the top to give them a nice presentation.


At the party we played the gift exchange game where you can steal a gift from someone else.  These ladies were having a great time "stealing" my towels from the person who first chose them.  The lady who finally won the towels was very excited.  It is always nice to know that a gift you made is loved and appreciated.

This year I have plans for some new dish towels and I think I may take them to our quilt group Christmas party.  So the next time you need a quick gift that everyone can use and enjoy look for a sturdy plain dish towel.

Danna

Monday, October 14, 2013

Aprons are making a comeback!

Using an apron seems to be growing in popularity. When I was younger using an apron was something our mothers did, not us. I don’t know why, because an apron is a very practical item. I don’t know how many times I have ruined a blouse because I was cooking spaghetti sauce and did not have on an apron.

Well now, you can find a multitude of patterns in all sizes and shapes. I especially like to make a “Mommy and Me” apron set. I made these for Christmas gifts one year and they were very well received. It is always fun to have your little one in the kitchen and they feel “grown up” if they have an apron like Mom’s.

Here are a few I have made:

This is a Mommy and Me trio set.  It is pieced with left over fabric a friend gave me.  I used the selvege edge and stitched the strips together with a decorative stitch.  This provided a nice detail and a stronger seam.

This is a toddler size apron and chef''s hat made from left over jeans that belonged to my son.  I thought the ABC fabric worked well for a boy.  The pocket is a nice palce to stash the "treasure" boys always seem to find.

This apron is based off the pattern below.  Instead of a jean leg being the body of the apron I used a piece of fabric.  I love the look of the pleated ruffle.  It leans a little more to the sophisticated side.

This is a cafe apron. The loop on the left side is a piece of rick rack sewn into the seam.  This allows you to hang an towel from the apron.  These are great for guys who like to bar-b-que and get their hands messy. (It might make the apron last a little longer with the towel handy)

One of my favorite patterns is to take a leg from a pair of jeans and use it for the body of the apron and then add a pleated ruffle to the bottom.  Find the pattern  at Janet Smart's Blog. There are many, many variations of this pattern. I made mine a Mommy and Me set for my sister-in-law and her daughter.  I couldn't find a picture but I used a red polka dot fabric for the pleated ruffle.  They turned out really cute. 

You don’t need a pattern to make a simple cafe apron. It is a rectangle with a sash attached at the top. These work great with pockets for working in the yard, cleaning house etc.

So, if you have an apron in the drawer get it out and start using it. If you don’t, pull out your fabric and whip up a bright one that makes you smile every time you wear it. And of course while you are wearing your apron mix up some “Pink Lemonade”!

Danna













Friday, October 11, 2013

Handmade Burp Cloths

Now when my children were babies we had some items that were handmade, but not many.  The "designer baby" trend had not become popular yet.  I love to look at Pinterest and the many blogs to see what new moms are coming up with for their babies.  I wish I had been that creative when my children were small.

Since I am now at the age where my friends are becoming grandparents I am once again going to baby showers.  They are always fun and exciting but for different reasons.  I am glad my kids are practically grown and now I can enjoy small ones in a new way.  In an earlier post series I showed you the baby quilt and various other gifts I made for one of our dearest friends first grandchild.  It is the series No Scraps Left Behind.  That gift was the beginning of a new journey into seeking out what was popular now for newborns.

I found many different ideas and have started a Things to Make list.  One of the first ones I have tried was burp cloths. Previously I had only embellished the traditional cotton burp cloths.  That was fun but you are limited to only the ends of the cloth having color.  So, I made up a pattern for burp cloths that were one fabric in the center with coordinating fabric on the ends.  I also used another coordinating fabric on the back so they are reversible.  I layered cotton batting in the middle so they are absorbent.  I used cotton fabric and did a detail stitching on the seam where the fabrics meet.  This was a great way to practice some of the fancy stitches on my machine and use different threads.

Here are some samples of what I made:






I made three of each combination because I thought that made a nice gift.  I usually roll them and tie them up with a piece of fabric.  Then I package them with some other small items such as shampoo, powder, wipes etc.  This makes a nice gift and a useful one.  Since the cloths are made out of cotton they can easily go through the washer and dryer. 
So the next time you have a baby shower to attend pull out your larger scraps and make a unique gift for the new mom and baby. 
 
Danna



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Maze Quilt

When I quilt rarely do I follow a pattern exactly.  I usually see a picture of a quilt and then decide on some slight modifications.  Then I draw out the new pattern with my dimensions on graph paper.  This maze quilt is one that I used this process to complete.

I found the original pattern in an old quilting magazine.  I could not find the magazine but it was from the late 1990's.  It was only a picture of the quilt no pattern or instructions.  I thought it was really unique and decided to give it a try.  I drew out my version making the quilt approximately 35" x 42".
The white blocks become the maze path. The beginning and ending are in opposite corners.  I did not want to add anything to draw attention to the start and finish to allow the child to explore different routes on the quilt. 

Being the frugal crafter and quilter that I am whenever I finish a project I take all of the scraps and cut them up into usable size squares.  I even save the smallest bits for other crafting projects, but that is a post for another day.  Therefore when I decided to make the maze quilt I pulled out my box of 2 inch squares and started laying out my pattern.  Now I am not sure what prompted me to lay out each row and attach the blocks one by one.  When I was about half way through making the quilt top it struck me that I could have used the quilting grid interfacing and this whole project would have been done in a matter of a few hours.  Instead, my brain freeze cost me about half a day just to piece the top together. When I make another one I will definitely use the grid interfacing.  I think my brain freeze was more of a brain fry because when I pieced the quilt it was 110 degrees outside.

I did a simple diagonal quilting pattern going only one direction.  This creates a diagonal movement in the quilt that would otherwise be very blocky.  The black border adds a nice outline for the maze.  When I was done I showed it to my family and my son said it would be great to drive hotwheel cars on the maze.  Guess what, he was right the white path is the perfect size for a hotwheel car.  Of course when he said that even being a teenager he had to try it out.

I used all different kinds of fabric on mine to create a very scrappy look and use up a small portion of my 2 inch square stash.  I think using only a coordinated selection of fabrics would change the look and feel but work well also. 





I hope this inspires you to try a pattern you like and make your own modifications.

Danna

Monday, October 7, 2013

Washi Tape

I have seen many projects on Pinterest and blogs that used Washi Tape.  I wasn't sure I would be able to incorporate it into my projects.  But one day I found several rolls on clearance (remember I am a frugal crafter), so I purchased them.  I brought them home and used them on the traditional paper projects - cards, gift tags, bags etc.  Then one day I was working on a project to "spruce" up some items for my desk.  I have a small tape dispenser that is the perfect size for my desk, but like most tape dispensers it is boring black.  My first thought was to glue ribbon around the edge to add some detail.  Then it hit me -- why not use the Washi tape.  Here is how it looks now. 

 
I didn't want to add color as much as I did detail.  This is for my crafting desk at home.  My color scheme is black and pink with a hint of green.  The pink and green tape I have did not coordinate well so I chose to use this simple lace pattern.  I think it turned out rather nice.


After that I kind of went "crazy".  I was in the process of gathering things for my classroom at school and wanted to "spruce" up some items.  I purchased this bulletin board at a garage sale for $1.00.  It had your basic metal gray frame, well that was not going to look very nice. So, I added washi tape to the edge.  It was the perfect width and when I want to change the color scheme of my classroom I can just remove the tape and put on a different color.


After the bulletin board I moved to my desk items.  I added two rows of tape to my paper clip dispenser.  And look I even found matching paper clips.  I also added some to my tape dispenser at school.  It looks like the one above just different colored tape.

 
 
One of the last projects I did was this "W".  I found it on clearance at Michael's for 30 cents.  It was a pale pink and not very exciting.  I added rows of the washi tape on the diagonal.  After the tape was secure I brushed on a couple of layers of Mod Podge to make it more durable.  I have not found a place to hang this in my classroom yet.  One thought I had was to glue it to the end of a cut off door hanger and then let the "W" become the hook.  

 

I think I may have found another crafting addition.  This might not be a good thing.  But at least I am having a great time!

Danna

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Peel Away Sticky Stabilizer - WOW

After using the embroidery sewing machine several times I went to my local sewing machine center to ask some questions. My sister-in-laws machine is not the most expensive one but it is a nice version. The man at the sewing center showed me some stick on stabilizer. WOW – this really made a difference. Instead of fighting to get a piece of fabric into the hoop, I can now just peel away the top paper on the stabilizer and stick the fabric down. Another tip the salesman gave me was to only peel away what I needed for that project, leave the stabilizer in the hoop, peel another section off and do a second or third project before removing the stabilizer from the hoop. Now it takes less time to get something ready to embroider. So far I have done dishtowels and fabric pieces for my mug rugs with the peel away stabilizer. I bought a roll that was 2 yards long. I believe you might be able to buy it in precut sheets also.

I also learned that if you want to embroider terry cloth towels you would need to add a water soluble stabilizer on top of the towel. This does not allow the stitches to sink into the terry cloth. I have not tried this yet but the samples at the store looked nice. I found some YouTube videos that gave me some more tips.  Just search machine embroidery.

I look forward to trying many more projects. As with all my other creative passions this could quickly become an obsession. Next on the list to research is the card reader adapter so I can download embroidery patterns from the Internet.



As always please share your projects, tips and ideas.

Danna

Friday, October 4, 2013

Machine Embroidery

About a year ago my sister-in-law let me borrow her sewing machine that does embroidery. I haven’t figured out all the features yet but it has been fun to play around with the different options. Every time I use it for a project it sparks about a thousand different ideas.

One of the first projects I embroidered was the band of a chef’s hat I made. My sister-in-law has a great nephew that loves to help his grandmother and mother cook. So instead of practicing on a scrap piece of fabric I decided to use the band of the hat. It turned out really cute. I would have put his name but I wasn’t sure what spelling he used. And since I do most of my sewing after 10 pm I wasn’t able to call and get the correct spelling. So I put the word “Cook”. My sister-in-law appreciated the fact that someone was using the machine (since it had been gathering dust in the closet) and was excited to give her nephew the hat.

 
Another project that turned out much better than anticipated was some shoe bags. A friend had given me the bags from some twin size sheets she had purchased. When she gave them to me she said “I know you will come up with something to do with these.” I wasn’t sure what to do with them so I put them away for a later time. My friend travels fairly often with her husband and had mentioned one time that her shoes were always a problem in the suitcase. She did not like having them next to her clothes but hated to carry a separate suitcase for them. So I embroidered the word “Shoes” on the sheet bags and put a nice frilly design below. They are the perfect size for dress shoes, flats, flip flops etc. I don’t think they would hold tennis shoes but they might. When I returned the bags to her she was thrilled. Every time she travels she says “I always remember to put my shoes in the bags”. I recently found some bags I had stuffed in the back of my closet, so maybe I will make her some spare shoe bags.






Please share some of your machine embroidery ideas. I am always on the lookout for something new and different.
Danna

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wrap it Up

Wrapping a gift is just as fun to me as selecting the perfect gift. I enjoy creating a distinctive gift bag and card. Taking the time to prepare a beautifully wrapped gift is an expression of love.

I also love to use gift bags. This way I can create a beautiful bag in advance and when I am in a hurry (which is usually the case) I still have that expression of love. I buy solid colored gift bags in all sizes and then use a variety of scrapbooking and craft materials to create a unique look.

Many times this can give the simplest of gifts more impact (i.e. a gift card). I have several family members who truly want just a gift card or cash for an occasion. It is hard to “dress up” these items. I use a decorated gift bag and put in the gift card/cash and something small like a piece of candy, a candle, etc. inside. When I have done this in the past I get more compliments about the gift bag than I do the gift. But I know both are appreciated.

Here are some gift bags I have created. I don’t put any limits on what I use other than it has to be glued onto the bag.

 
One these bags I used paper flowers, a fun foam glittered flower and chipboard shapes.

The large notes in the center were actually the front of a thank you card.  The birds are chipboard cutout I painted and distressed.  The flowers are paper scrapbooking flowers with brads in the center.

The flower on the pink bag is made from a coffee filter with a silk flower in the center.  The flower on the blue bag is made from pages of a book cut into the flower shape and then curled around a pencil and stacked.  The paper behind the the chipboard bird is a page of an old dictionary.  I love the half circle cut outs on the edge of the page.

The striped bag has stacked fun foam flowers just glued to the front.  The heart on the other bag is the front of an old card with torn edges.

The red bag on the left has simple squares of paper glued on point with a chipboard cutout painted and distressed.  The other bag has a collage of papers, cutouts and a button.


So let your “Pink Lemonade Ideas” run free and see what wonderful creations you can make. I would love to hear your ideas and/or comments.
Danna