Friday, April 29, 2011

Shrink Plastic Jewelry

With Easter being so late this year, Mother's Day seems to be sneaking up on me a little faster than usual. It's just a week from this Sunday which means it's time to start gathering my cardmaking supplies, and, lucky for me...we had an influx of gorgeous card samples from our stores to inspire me.

Although it's easy to run to a store and grab a ready-made gift or a bouquet of flowers, I decided to go DIY for Mother's Day this year and turn to something a little more meaningful, budget friendly and something that will actually provide me with some entertainment while I wait for the sun to come out (hopefully this Sunday)!

We already taught you how to use Shrink Plastic a few weeks ago in this post. I thought it would be super cute to take photos and print them on the paper to make personalized charms and jewelry for Mother's Day. You will need Ink Jet Shrink Film - each pack comes with six sheets (I was able to fit about six photos per page). I used an embossing heat tool, but you can also just pop these in your oven.

Start by picking your photos and printing them on the the shrink paper, then cut the image down to size. You can use a punch to create different shapes (like the circle and tag punch I tried below), you can round the edges, or even use decorative paper edgers to make a scalloped border. Finally, punch holes in your image where you would like to place the ring to hang your pendant.

Now...the fun part! Using your heat tool, point the heat at the image until the edges start to curl up. Keep doing this until the piece shrinks up completely and starts to lie flat. You can take the back of a rubber stamp to flatten it out completely. If you'd like, this step can also be done using your oven (bake on parchment paper or cardboard at 300 degrees for 2-3 minutes).

Now, using jump rings, attach your pendant on a pretty ribbon or chain to create your personalized necklace. These would also make really cute earrings or a key chain charm (see the key chain I made of my daughter, and yes - my daughter is a dog!)I like to host wine tasting parties for my girlfriends, and I came across this picture of Golden Girls wine charms made of shrink plastic - how funny are these? I am now inspired to take pictures of my friends, turn them into wine charms and have them ready to hand out next time I host a wine tasting party - my friends will love it, and no one will ever wonder whose glass is whose.

There are so many fun things you can do with shrink plastic, play around with it and get creative! I came across these cute project ideas below - you can make rings, stamp pretty images on the paper and color them in with copic markers, create cute magnets for the fridge - the possibilities are endless. Happy {almost} Mother's Day! --Lauren

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

May Day Basket

Hi Everyone

I certainly can't believe that it is almost May!. This year has just flown by. Pretty soon it will be Summer, with all the fun that brings. As a child I remember making May Baskets, and thought it would be fun to make some this year. Here is a simple quick pattern for an adorable May Basket. It is so simple and quick, you could make a bunch to hand out, or leave on doorsteps. (provided it isn't raining, of course!


1 12x12 patterned cardstock
Paper scorer
Paper cutter
Decorative scissors

Step 1:

Cut a 9x9 square from your 12x12. Save the scraps to use as a handle.

Step 2:

Score your 9x9 square at 3 inches and 6 inches both vertically and horizontally. You should end up with 9 scored squares on your cardstock.

Step 3:

On the top and the bottom of your square, cut along the scores until you reach the horizontal score marks.

Step 4: Cut the corners off of your square.

Step 5:

Bring up the corners flaps and secure them to the middle flaps with adhesive. You will want to overlap the pointed corners. You now have the bottom of your basket.

Step 6:

Using decorative scissors, cut a 2x12 strip out of the longest scrap piece to use as a handle. Secure to the bottom of the basket with adhesive.

Step 7:

Embellish as desired and fill with flowers! I used ribbon bows at the base of the handle.

Happy Crafting


Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh Baby!! Crafters Challenge

Paper Zone is happy to announce our spring Crafters Challenge!! Because there is nothing as new and fresh as a newborn baby, this spring we will be celebrating life's little bundles of joy. We will even be having a special Baby Event in May (stay tuned for more information on that!). So we challenge you to create a "baby" themed project that will inspire us all. It could be a baby shower invitation, a scrapbook page, a baby shower favor, nursery decorations, you decide!

To enter the Crafter's Challenge you must use 3 of the secret ingredients below in your bouncing baby creation. To enter, please email pictures of your project to, or post pictures of your entry on Paper Zone's facebook wall. Entries must be received by Friday May 27th. The winner will be announced May 31st.

The winning submission will receive a $30 Paper Zone gift card!!

The Secret Ingredients are:

  • American Crafts Fabric Paper "Dear Lizzy" line
  • Felt (any color)
  • Basic Grey Buttons (any color)
  • Liquid Pearls (any color)
  • Cosmo Cricket 12 x 12 Upcycle in "re:love"
  • Cosmo Cricket 12 x 12 Upcycle in "re:peat"

Multiple entries are allowed.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Paper Easter Eggs

Decorating Easter eggs does not have to involve messy dyes or boiled eggs. Here is a quick and easy way to use some leftover scrapbook paper and make some super cute eggs. All you need is some cardstock paper, an oval punch and adhesive (preferably an ATG gun). I used Making Memories 12 x 12's from the Pitter Patter line and Basic Grey 12 x 12's from the Kioshi line. I really like the colors and think that the patterns offset the solids really well.

These eggs are super easy to make. Just punch a stack of ovals in a variety of colors and patterns. I used a scalloped edged oval punch, a smooth oval would be great too.

Each egg takes between 8 to 10 punched ovals. You can use less, but the more punches you use, the more intricate and beautiful the egg becomes.

Next, fold all of the ovals. You don't even need to score the folds. Just be very careful to fold the ovals down the center, especially if using a scalloped edge. You want to be sure that your edges all line up once you start the gluing. Also, remember when folding that the outer side of the paper gets adhered, so fold the color/side that you want visible on the inside.

Next, start gluing them all together. An ATG gun makes this a snap. Runner adhesive would work too. Put adhesive on one outer edge, add a folded piece, add adhesive to the next edge, add another piece and so on. Keep adding pieces until you have an accordian egg of about 8 to 10 pieces. That easy!

You can use pieces of all the same color, all solids or all print, you decide. I love this project, because, like dying eggs, each egg is unique and kids can have fun picking the papers and images they want in their egg. You could also try making some eggs out of the blooming seed paper and plant them after Easter.

For the final touch on my basket, I used my favorite Martha Stewart fringe scissors on some tissue paper to make some tissue grass. This is one basket that won't spoil or make you fat! Enjoy.

I hope you all have a wonderful and lovely Easter weekend,


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tissue Paper Eggs

With Easter fast approaching I want to share with you a cute and simple decor project made with paper; Tissue Paper Eggs.

First gather your supplies. For this project all you need is plastic eggs, tissue paper, PVA glue (or Mod Podge works great too!) a brush and some Shimmer Spritz.

Next tear the tissue into small pieces, about one inch in size.

Then apply glue to egg with brush and lay tissue piece onto egg. Brush glue over tissue piece on egg and repeat until egg is covered with tissue.

After egg is covered with tissue and glue set aside to let dry (I let mine sit overnight). Once dry the glue will become clear. If you would like your eggs shimmery, spray a little Shimmer Spritz on them!

Wasn't that simple? You might also try stamping onto egg after it has dried to decorate it more. Or use a decorative punch and punch pieces out of tissue and glue onto egg ; butterfly or flower shapes would be pretty!

One great thing about these eggs is they are lightweight, won't easily break and you don't have to worry about them getting rotten!

I was inspired for this project by the eggs that were made from the staff in the Beaverton store. They covered plastic eggs with tissue and Mod Podge. They then rubbed ink (from stamp ink pads) onto the eggs to create a realistic look. On some they sprayed Walnut ink to give an antique look. Aren't they amazing? (They also weaved the basket these eggs are sitting in out of craft paper!)

And our Salem store used the same technique, except instead of covering an egg they covered a balloon. When it dried they popped the balloon and cut the top off to make it look like a giant cracked egg. They then used it to hold eggs, how cute!For more ideas using Mod Podge visit their blog here.

Happy Easter,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Paper That Grows!

Earth Day is coming up this Friday, so what better time to introduce our new selection of paper from Bloomin! These new papers and mini gift cards can actually be planted and grow into a beautiful array of wildflowers like zinnias, snapdragons and daisies. Do you ever wonder what to do with cards you receive from your friends and family once you've read them and the holiday or special event has passed? I do. I always feel bad throwing them away, mostly because of the sentimental attachment, but also because it just contributes to the ever-growing landfill. With this paper, you can create beautiful cards and once your friends have enjoyed them, they can be planted in a special part of their garden or a pot on a window sill so the memory can last on and on. We are carrying these papers in 8.5x11 sheet packs (either white or assorted colors). The sheets are really versatile. They are sturdy enough to be used for greeting cards or boxes, but the cotton composition still allows it to be easily punched. It also works great in the letterpress machine!
In addition to the sheeets, we also have some mini gift enclosures available in a range of shapes and colors.

Not only are these 2.5" square cards great for a finishing touch on a gift, but the shapes could be used as an embellishment on a more elaborate card or other craft project. There are tons of uses for this paper from Easter greetings to a Mother's Day Card that actually turns into a bouquet!

Seed papers are also great for handmade weddings and baby showers. You can make your own favors like these cute little cards for all of your guests with your special message and planting instructions attached:

Or like thes pillow boxes so you can hide an extra treat inside.

This is such a great way to add a little extra to your celebration and let your guests remember your day for months (maybe years) to come.

Happy Earth Day Everyone!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Blogger Bear

After the tremendous response we received from the adorable felt penguin and felt Easter Bunny made by Heather in our Salem store, I asked Heather to create a template for another fun felt project.

The felt PZ carries is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles so in honor of upcoming Earth Day: we bring you Blogger Bear!!

Here is a list of items you will need:

- 2 sheets dark brown felt
- 1 sheet light brown felt
- 1 sheet red felt
- 1 sheet pink felt
- two button eyes of your choosing about half inch diameter
- good sharp scissors
- fine point marker
- Jilly Bean twine or embroidery floss
-book binding needles or other large eyed needle
- enough fluff stuff to fill the 9 inch bear

Step 1:
Using the template provided on the Paper Zone website (click here), trace the shape of the bear onto the dark brown felt and cut. Cut two shapes so that you have a front and back for your Blogger Bear.

Step 2:
Trace and cut the ears, nose, snout and heart using the detailed image from the template.

Step 3:
Test assemble your bear to make sure that the shapes are how you will like your final bear to appear.

Step 4:
Center red felt heart on the bears tummy and baste stitch around the heart using the Jilly Bean twine or embroidery floss. Be sure to start and end your stitches on the inside of the bear so you will not see the knot.

Step 5:
Baste stitch the inner ears, snout and nose. Draw the mouth using the fine tipped marker. Button stitch eyes in place.

Step 6:
Begin to blanket stitch the front and the back of the bear together, hiding your knots and tails inside the bear. Leave an opening so he can be stuffed!

Step 7:
Fill him with fluff (not stuff), finish up the stitching and then give him a hug!

Thank you, Heather, for your fun felt creations and for creating this adorable little template!!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter Egg Blooms

Hi Everyone! Isn't it nice that Spring is here? I am waiting for a little more sunshine, but I do know it is coming. In the meantime, I am working on some Easter Crafts. I am going to be using these Easter Egg Flowers in my place settings for my Easter Table. I used the Dilly Dally line from Making Memories for these flowers. The line is bright and colorful and perfect for this time of year. In order to make these flowers, first download the template of the flower. Step One: Trace the flower and stand onto your paper. You can get two flowers out of one 12x12. Step Two: Cut out the flower and the stand. You may need to adjust the size of the circle or the circumference of your stand to accommodate the size of your eggs.

Step Three: Crease each of the petals down the center. This will ad a little dimension to your flower.

Step Four: Create a cylinder using the long strip and secure with adhesive. Rest your egg on top of the cylinder.

Place your flower petals over the egg.

I hope you enjoy making these decorations as much as I did!
Happy Crafting