It’s time to change calendars and I couldn’t let the perfect Sierra Club landscapes of last year go to waste, so I made some envelopes.
old calendar pages
washi tape (optional)
I made 4×6 envelopes. I started by drawing a big 8inch by 10inch square on the back. I usually free hand the rest of this but here is a template to show you what I do.
Cut out the large rectangle. Then take 1 inch off of each side of the bottom flap and 1 inch off each side of the top flap. I also trim the top flap at this point, which are the diagonal lines I drew in.
Just add some washi tape around the edge and you’re ready to send it. I suggest using a white paint marker or metallic Sharpie for addressing darker pages.
I also used a couple pages to line envelopes I had on hand. Simply trace the envelope on the image, cut it out, slide into the envelope, and the secure it to the flap with a line of glue.
I saw these adorable matchboxes from Kim’s Little Monsters and thought I would make some of my own. These will make great little gifts or stocking stuffers. The best part is that you can use whatever supplies you have on hand and really personalize them. Don’t worry too much about making them perfect, the imperfections add to their charm.
scrapbook paper/paper/washi tape
pens/markers/colored-pencils/paints (whatever you prefer)
First wrap the outside.
Then draw the cover. Cut to size and glue on the top.
Now decorate the inside. Cut a decorative background and glue it into place. Then make a character. If you’re not a great at drawing, you can use a photo or clipart. Cut out your character and glue to a small piece of cardboard (smaller than the character so you won’t see it). This will add depth. Glue it into place.
Lastly, add words of encouragement. Draw a ribbon and write in something sweet. Cut it out and leave a tab on the side. Fold and glue the tab to the side of the matchbox.
This is a simple book binding technique I found on PhotoJoJo. I used it to put together a quick photo book. This is perfect for photos from a weekend trip or a party. I used photos from a hike I took with my dad during my last visit to New Mexico.
2 binder clips
glue (acid-free, PVA glue works best)
strip of paper (4inches by 1inch)
Cut postcards to match the size of the photos. Get photos in the order you want and sandwich them between the postcards. Make sure your stack is flush and use the binder clips to secure the stack together.
Glue the top evenly.
Prop it upright and allow to dry. Then repeat. Once dry, apply glue to the strip of paper and use it to cover the top.
There you have it, a simple flip book of photos for about $5 ; 25 prints for 10¢ each (from Walmart), 2 postcards 50¢ each, glue $2 (but regular Elmer’s works too). It took about 30 minutes total to put together including drying times.
I recently won this beautiful book from Christine at SewYeah for my suggestion of a book on gift wrap. She insisted that her gifts are not usually well wrapped, but I find that hard to believe because my book arrived so cute; simply wrapped in tissue and bakers twine and when I opened it confetti flew everywhere, such a beautiful surprise. I’ve always loved gifts that were a little messy to open. I really appreciate that carefree moment of wondering what it is more than caring about who’s going to sweep this up, it reminds me of being a kid.
Anyway back to the book, it’s amazing and includes 30 paper craft projects. It’s one of the best craft books I’ve seen in a long time. There are tons of lovely photos, the instructions are very clear and easy to follow, most of the projects include a template, and the ideas are original (I haven’t seen them all on Pinterest already). Having looked through it, I can tell I’m going to put this book to good use. I can’t wait to make this mirror, how beautiful!
Head over to SewYeah for a full preview of the book and a free printable of one of the projects!
Here is another quick notebook you can make from a postcard and some scrap paper.
These make great travel journals, since they are small enough to fit in your pocket. When I travel I try to write down funny quotes and moments from the trip, the little things you forget about; later these are the perfect captions for photos. I started doing this after I scanned all my family photos, most of them had notes on the back that gave me a better idea of what was going on. It bummed me out to realize when I look back at my own photos, how much I will have forgotten about those moments. So I try to record more and when I put together photo books or albums I include these little notes.
paper (cut to size)
2 small binder clips
Fold postcard and paper directly in half.
Position paper inside postcard. Use the binder clip to secure the paper to the postcard.
Use needle to punch though paper and post card from the inside. If you are making a thick notebook, you may want to use a hammer and nail to punch the holes.
Run floss through holes and tie on the inside.
Trim the excess floss.
If your notebook is thick, place it under a stack of heavy books to flatten it.
That’s all there is too it. Really easy to put together, it only takes about 5 minutes.
CONFESSION: I buy too many postcards.
I’ve found a few uses, other than just sticking a stamp on them, that I will be sharing over the next couple of weeks. Here is a simple matchbook-stlye notebook. It’s the perfect pocket sized notebook to jot down a daily to-do list or other short notes.
Cut paper to size. Slightly smaller than the width of the card by half the height minus 1/2 inch. My postcard was 4 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch so I cut my paper to 4×3.
Fold base of postcard up about 1/2 inch.
Place stack of paper under the fold and staple it. Since it is wider than a traditional matchbook, I stapled it twice.
Fold the top down over the paper and slip under the bottom flap to close.
I was elated when I discovered that Hubble Telescope images are public domain. That’s right! You can access and print amazing celestial scenes for FREE (or at least just the cost of printing). The HubbleSite provides incredible high resolution images and tons of information. I got lost in it for a few hours when I was picking my images. If you have time, check out how they are colored.
Because I know you’re wondering, the above image is under the wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way’s closest neighbors.
To add focus and because I didn’t want to bother with mats, I used Photoshop to make my images round with a white border.
To do this to your images:
1. Download the highest quality image and open in Photoshop
2. Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool
3. Set it to a fixed size and use the same number for the height and width so that it will be a perfect circle (i used 2000px)
4. Select your circle
5. Copy the area
6. Create a new document (I used a 2400px square)
Or if you’d rather skip the work and use the images I chose, just click on them, save, and print! Even the image above with a title is printable, just click and the title will disappear. The images are 8 inch squares which is perfect for a home photo printer, but you can make them larger if you’re willing to take them to a print shop.
Above is a jet in the Carina Nebula.
This one shows a cloud of gas and dust being molded by radiation in the Small Magellanic Cloud.
This one is the Crab Nebula.
I recommend printing the article that corresponds with each image and attaching it to the back of the frame for future reference. If you’re anything like me, you will undoubtedly forget and wonder just exactly where your looking. Click on the description to access the article.
All image credits go to NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Thanks for showing us beyond our world.