Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Decorating buttons with patterned papers and a card for Mum

I love weird & vintage buttons, but they can be very expensive to buy, so when I came across some packets of mixed black plastic buttons at 10p a throw, I set about decorating them myself. This tutorial describes the results of my experiments with covering them in patterned papers.

"Gluing the paper to the button"

Choose some patterned paper with tiny images that will sit neatly on a button - scraps are ideal. Using a soft brush, coat the flat side of the button and the reverse of your patterned paper with a thin layer of matte multi-medium. Using the matte version saves any splashes from showing if you accidentally get some of the multi-medium where it's not wanted. Set these aside for a couple of hours to dry, and remember to wash up your brush in water.
"Paper trimmed and sanded"

Next take each button in turn, trim off the excess paper with scissors and holding the button with the paper facing up, sand the edges with short downward strokes of a small piece of fine grade sandpaper. This will ensure the paper doesn't rip into the surface of the button.

"Punching the holes"

Following the 4 buttons in the picture above from left to right, take a thin sewing needle and push the tip through the centre of each of the holes in the button from the back (1), then flip the button over (2) and push the needle all the way through from the front (3). This will push any rough edges through into the hole and leave a neat finish. Finally, open up the hole completely by poking it through from the front with a pokey tool or similar (4). I use a small embossing tool for this job.

"Finished buttons"

To finish them off, rub some distress ink around the edges using a piece of cut 'n' dry foam, working in the ink especially where there are any bits of white showing, add any stamping in a waterproof ink, then give the buttons a coating of glossy accents. Try not to get the glossy accents in the holes, but if you do then use the pokey tool to free each hole, cleaning it on kitchen roll after each poke.

"Postage Stamp Buttons"

Postage stamp buttons are made in exactly the same way, just use old stamps instead of patterned papers. To remove postage stamps from their backing paper (e.g. the corner of an envelope), fill a tray with water and float the stamp face up on top of the water, then leave for an hour. The water soaks in to the backing paper and the stamp will peel easily from the front without the dye running. Place the stamp face down on a sheet of kitchen roll overnight to dry, then use as any other paper.

"Dylusions Sprays buttons"

These buttons are decorated with papers made from spraying pearlescent card with various colours of Dylusions inks.

"Distress Ink Buttons"

The papers for these buttons have been decorated with distress inks and overstamped using the Technique Tuesday "Get in Gear" stamp set.

OK, enough with the buttons - what can we do with them? Here's a card I made for my Mum, thanks Mum.

"Thank You card with buttons"

The basic construction is a standard 6" x 6" easel card using patterned papers. There is a foamboard diecut birdcage (see previous posts) decorated with Adirondack gold mixative and fixed via a length of chain set into an eyelet at the top of the card.

"Buttons and charms"

Charms hang from jump rings in the bird cage, and buttons decorated with matching papers are used for embellishments. Each of the buttons has some gold thread threaded through the buttonholes.

"Butterfly cameo"

This charm has a butterfly cut from patterned papers embedded in glossy accents and attached via a chain to the sentiment panel.

"Sentiment panel"

The sentiment is heat-embossed in gold onto a diecut from the patterned paper pack; the panel is raised with foam tape for extra dimension and the end of the cameo chain adhered in behind.

"Thank you"

The background for the top panel is patterned paper matted onto gold hammered card. The bottom panel has been stamped onto a plainer patterned paper and brushed over with Perfect Pearls for matching gold glimmer.

plastic buttons with one flat side
patterned papers (I used Kaisercraft Secret Bird Society)
7Gypsies Stamp set Conservatory
Papermania stamp set Birdsong
160gsm white cardstock
Dylusions spray inks
Distress Inks
Claudine Hellmuth Studio multi-medium matte
soft brush
small piece of fine-grade sandpaper
stamps and Archival ink
Distress inks
Glossy Accents
old postage stamps
Cosmic Shimmer gold embossing powder
Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold

Entered for the following challenges:
Die Cuttin' Divas - Anything Goes
Oldie But Goodie - Anything Goes
Party Time Tuesdays - Anything Goes
Bunny Zoes Crafts - Anything Goes
Incy Wincy Designs - Vintage
Lawnscaping - Embossing
Cutie Pie - Die Cuts and Punches

Friday, 25 May 2012

Foambird :-)

Here's another card using foamboard diecuts (see my tutorial for diecutting details)

"Foambird Card"

The background for this card uses my favourite inking with various colours of distress inks, overstamping with the same colours, and brushing a couple of the stamped images with Perfect Pearls for a little glamour.

"Decorated Foamboard Birdhouse Diecut"

The diecut was separated with a craft knife, the roof and floor decorated by dabbing with gold and the main body of the house embossed with a wood folder, then decorated with distress inks and alcohol inks, first white stripes, then other colours to complement the background. The foamboard picks up the embossing patterns brilliantly. The bird and butterfly were cut from patterned paper, shaped and all the pieces stuck with Pinflair dimensional glue to add to the dimension.


This lovely Chocolate Baroque sentiment was stamped in olive archival ink and heat-embossed in clear. This image also shows part of the background stamping.


The beauty of the foamboard is all the wonderful dimension!

Chocolate Baroque stamp sets: Live Out Loud, Fly Away With Me
Sizzix Bigz dies
cardstock: white, 300gsm for card blank & 160gsm for stamping; hammered gold, 200gsm for matting
Kaisercraft Secret Bird Society 6" paper pad
Distress inks and markers: Scattered Straw, Tumbled Glass, Bundled Sage, Antique Linen, Tattered Rose, Brushed Corduroy, Walnut Stain, Picket Fence
Archival ink: Olive
Alcohol inks: Cranberry, Citrus, Butterscotch, gold mixative
Perfect Pearls: Gold Heirloom
Embossing powder: Stampendous Clear

Entered for the following challenge:
Hot Shot Crafts - die cuts

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Foamboard die-cuts & Steampunk Card

I found a huge A1 sheet of foamboard for £2.99 in "The Works" this week, and have had some fun playing with it. It's hard to cut with scissors, but easy with a craft knife. The first thing I tried was to slice off a 6" strip. Just the right width for a die-cutting machine, and trying it out I found I was able to cut it pretty successfully using the Sizzix Bigz dies. The great thing about foamboard is that it squashes nearly flat in the machine, then springs out to full thickness once it's passed through, so once you've got the die started in the machine it goes through easily.

"Foamboard diecuts"

These are a good 4mm thick and make a great, cheap alternative to chipboard. You can either cut thin paper diecuts to decorate and stick them on top, or decorate them directly using alcohol inks or picket fence distress ink plus colours on top, or in any number of ways. The gears and weathered clock diecuts above have been dabbed with Adirondack gold mixative, the globe & bird were decorated with distress inks. So, once you have your diecuts, what do you do with them?

"Steampunk Parallel World"

These foamboard Townscape & Gadget Gear diecuts were used to add some dimension to a steampunk card. The background is inked with distress inks and overstamped in the same colours with a couple of the stamped images brushed with Perfect Pearls for a little added shine.

"Foamboard Townscape"

The townscape diecut was first dabbed with Pearl mixative to lighten the background colour and give a metallic sheen, then different colours of alcohol inks were dabbed onto each house. The black foamboard background makes the colours quite dark and leaves the houses looking brilliantly grimy and grungy. Mixed colours were dabbed onto the bottom edge.


The sentiment and main image were stamped in black archival ink and heat embossed in clear.

"Main image"

The mad professor was decorated with distress markers and watch parts adhered to add some dimension to the transportation contraption. My big thanks to my very talented friend Lee aka Craftyloops for the brilliant bag of watch parts she sent me, they are fabulous! Apologies for the reflection in the photographs, the light is sadly lacking today.


This side-on view shows all that yummy dimension from the foamboard diecuts.

Sizzix Bigz Dies, including Tim Holtz' Gadget Gears
Sizzix On the Edge Dies, including Tim Holtz' Townscape
Sizzix Originals Dies
Paper Artsy Hot Picks stamp set HP1106
Technique Tuesday stamp set: Get in Gear
Distress Inks & Markers: various colours
Adirondack Alcohol Inks and Pearl & Gold Mixatives
Archival Ink: Jet Black
embossing powder: Stampendous Detail Clear
watch parts
Adhesives: Pinflair dimensional glue, glossy accents, PVA

Entered for the following challenge:
Hotshot Crafts - Diecuts
Stempelssone - Headgear
Do You Stack Up? - Landscapes
Paperplay challenges - Destruction
Just Keep on Creating - Anything Goes
Truly Scrumptious - Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Anything Goes

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Butterfly birthday - a pretty book card for a 17 year old girl

This is another birthday card for one of my nieces featuring lots of my favourite techniques.

"Butterfly birthday"

The front cover has a pretty inked background with my favourite distress ink stamping and perfect pearls in the background using some gorgeous meadow stamps.

"Butterfly dimension"

The butterflies are stamped separately onto watercolour paper and acetate using archival ink. The watercolour paper butterflies are coloured with distress inks and a watercolour brush, highlights being added with a white pen. All the butterflies were carefully cut out and adhered to the background with glossy accents. For the butterfly on its side, the two acetate wings are cut out separately from two copies and layered over each other. The wings are carefully shaped by hand and just the edges adhered to the paper layer with glossy accents. It's hard to see in the photos but looks very pretty in real life, you'll just have to trust me ;-)

"Many Happy Returns"

The closure is just a length of lace coloured with distress inks and glued beneath the two inside panels.

"Birdy Decoupage"

Here's a gorgeous decoupage using a free image from the Graphics Fairy. The sentiment is enhanced with a glaze pen (excuse the reflection in the photograph, it reads "Many Happy Returns of the Day"). It's an old-fashioned sentiment that you don't see very often these days, and I never really thought about what it meant when I had cards with this on as a child, but isn't it lovely?

"What's behind the arched window?"

There used to be a programme on the BBC called "Play School" and every day they would have a very short film (some wildlife, or a factory production line or something along those lines) introduced by heading through one of three windows: the round window, the square window or the arched window. This window covers up the book aperture, you have to open it to see what's inside...

"Hello little birdies"

It's another decoupaged Graphics Fairy image :-)

Artemio stamp set meadow
Artemio stamp set insects
Spellbinders die set: Heartfelt Creations Decorative Chateau Gate HCD718
cardstock: purple 300gsm, white 160gsm
Distress inks: Milled Lavender, Dusty Concorde, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Chipped Sapphire
Archival ink: Jet Black, Cobalt Blue
Perfect Pearls: Heirloom Gold
printout images from the Graphics Fairy
adhesives: Pinflair dimensional glue, PVA, glossy accents

Entered for the following challenge:
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Anything Goes
Bunny Zoe's Crafts - Anything Goes
Cupcake Craft - Simply No Design Paper
Joanna Sheen - Happy Birthday
Paper Sundaes - Things with Wings
By the Cute and Girly - Spring is all around
Oozak - Spring Colours
Creative Craft Challenges - Distressed

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Alice in Derland - Black and Gold

Not a typo, the title is deliberate. It describes the way my brain is (not) working :-). Well, the Altered Alice blog has a great challenge this month and it's "Anything Goes", so I got out my lovely new Tim Holtz embossing folders and my favourite IndigoBlu Alice I stamp set and started to play. This is the result...

"Alice in Derland"

A sheet of gold mirri card is embossed and painted over with black acrylic paint using a finger. After a couple of minutes the top surface is buffed with a sheet of kitchen roll to reveal the gold embossing, leaving plenty of paint in the recesses to give a lovely aged effect and show off the embossing beautifully.

The background card blank is decorated with distress inks and a mask made by running an acetate sheet through the Gears die and spraying the back with ReMount.

"Alice in Derland"

Each of the stamped images is coloured using Distress Markers and a watercolour brush. Some of the inks are applied directly to the paper, and others are diluted with a little water before applying. Once coloured, the images are cut out, shaped with an embossing tool, and mounted in place using Pinflair.


The sentiments are stamped onto thin white card with archival ink and diecut & embossed before colouring & edging with distress inks to match the background, edging again with a gold metallic promarker, and fixing in place with Pinflair for plenty of extra dimension. This sentiment is probably my all-time favourite. Such a succinct description of life!


This picture shows the background layers quite well. The rabbit's gold watch was enhanced with gold metallic promarker around the edge and a few dots in the middle. The extra gears are cut from some scraps of mirri card, embossed with the steampunk folder and decorated with black acrylic paint before mounting with Pinflair.

"Mad Hatter"

This guy has the same initials as me - maybe that's why I like him so much :-) I love the way he is just floating above the action looking down on all the proceedings. I gave him some gingery looking sideburns to match his jacket. I can never resist placing him looking down at Alice and Alice looking up at him when I use both images on the same card. Curioser and curioser.

IndigoBlu stamp set "Alice I"
Sizzix Tim Holtz embossing folders "Pocket Watches and Steampunk"
Sizzix Tim Holtz M&S die: alarm clock
Sizzix Tim Holtz Bigz Die: Gadget Gears
acetate mask made using the above die
Sizzix Tim Holtz Bigz Die: Weathered Clock
Spellbinders dies: Labels, Ovals, Scalloped Ovals
cardstock: gold mirri, black 160gsm, white 300gsm, white 160gsm
Distress Ink Pads & Markers: Scattered Straw, Old Paper, Antique Linen, Black Soot, Broken China
Adhesives: PVA, Pinflair dimensional glue
Acrylic paint: black
Promarker: gold metallic

To be eligible for Creative Craft World's Challenge, you have to mention it in your blog post, so cosider yourself mentioned :-)
Entered for the following challenges:
Altered Alice - Anything Goes
CES Challenges - Anything Goes (sorry to see you going)
Simon Says Stamp and Show... Your Favourite Stamp
Creative Craft Challenges - Anything Goes
Just Tracys Crafts - Anything Goes (sorry to see you going too)
Creative Craft World - April Mini Challenge

Friday, 11 May 2012

A quickie

Here's a quick card for an old codger (like me :-).


I love this 7Gypsies stamp set and just fancied using ALL the stamps at once! The birdcage was partially embossed with some brown embossing powder after distressing in blue, then shaped and adhered to the card with Pinflair with the diecut bird underneath. One panel was stamped in archival cobalt over a light brown inked cardstock, and the other with sepia archival over a blue inked cardstock. The background is cut from a sheet of my precious Tim Holtz paper, and a length of blue organza ribbon tied around the card beneath the top panel. All the layers were matted with the same dark brown card.

7Gypsies stamp set "Conservatory"
Tim Holtz paper pad "Lost and Found"
Spellbinders die birdcage & bird
Distress Ink Pads: Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Chipped Sapphire, Antique Linen, Walnut Stain
Archival Ink Pads: Cobalt, Sepia
blue organza ribbon
cardstock: white 300gsm card blank, dark brown 200 gsm

Entered for the following challenges:
Stampin' for the weekend - layers challenge
Totally Papercrafts - No Pesky Girls Allowed

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Happy Birthday 5 years old - ooo arrrrr!!!

LOL! It's my nephew's 5th birthday soon and he does like his pirates, so I designed a card with the idea of including some pirate stickers that he could stick on and around a pop-up pirate ship. I made the pop-up from a free template by a very talented chap called Roger Pattenden. I wonder if he's jolly... :-)


The background was sprayed with lots of Dylusions inks and blended with water from a mister spray. Some distress ink was added around the edges and the background matted onto black cardstock. This was overstamped with "Waves" from the Graphic45 set and a galleon from the Crafty Individuals set, then each stamped image was brushed over with gold perfect pearls. The compass and anchor from the Kanban set were stamped in black archival, with white ink pen highlights added.

The lettering was diecut from empty cat food box and spare inked card and the coloured card stuck onto the cat food box. The edges were coloured with a gold marker and highlights added with white pen, then the finished letters were stuck to the front of the card with Pinflair to raise them even more.


The Graphic 45 fish were stamped in blue archival directly onto the background, then again onto acetate. The acetate fish were cut out and adhered over the top of the stamped fish with glossy accents. The bubbles were added with glossy accents.


Some sea-themed charms were attached to a key ring with jump rings and short lengths of chain, and the keyring threaded through an eyelet set into the corner of the card. The keyring is removable for future use - I thought he might like to attach it to his school bag or mobile phone. A large octopus charm was adhered to the bottom of the card with Pinflair dimensional glue - I find this glue really forgiving for attaching large, metal or bulky objects.

"Pop-up Galleon"

Well, here's the pop-up galleon. It really is rather magnificent, thank you Roger! I set it amongst a sponged distress ink background and added some of the pirate stickers. Printing the ship off at full size, I needed an A4 card blank to accomodate it, and reinforced the front and back covers with extra card layers to make the card heavy enough to take the pop-up, but it worked out really well. I intend to hide some cash in amongst the masts - the best birthday cards always have a bit of money in them, and everyone knows that pirates like to hide their treasure :-)

Graphic 45 Stamp set: Tropical Travelogue
Kanban stamp set: Lighthouse
Crafty Individuals stamp set: CI-294
Sizzix Tim Holtz decorative strip die Vintage Market
Anita's A4 card blank and envelope
cardstock: 2 x A4 black, 1 x A4 plus scrap 160gsm white, empty cat food box
Distress Inks: Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Chipped Sapphire, Bundled Sage
Dylusions spray inks: Vibrant Turquoise, Fresh Lime
Archival Inks: Jet Black, Cobalt
Perfect Pearls: Heirloom Gold
adhesives: Glossy Accents, PVA, Pinflair Dimensional Glue
Inkssentials white opaque pen
Letraset Gold Metallic Marker
printouts on 160gsm card galleon pop-up templates & instructions
pirate stickers (mine came from Lidl - thanks Mum!)

Entered for the following challenge:
Crafty Card Makers - a Male-theme
That Craft Place - One for the Boys
Just Tracy's - Anything Goes
The Stamp Man - Favourite Technique (mine is to overstamp an inked background and brush with perfect pearls, then add more stamping - I love to create lots of depth in the background using this method. Of course, I also love dimensional cards, so I have the best of both worlds with this entry :-))
Aud Sentiments - Anything Goes
Cute Card Thursday - One for the Boys
Simon Says Stamp - Birthday

Friday, 4 May 2012

Male 18th Birthday - Birdwatching Theme Book Card

If you're anything like me you'll probably have a pile of gorgeous toppers that you've never got around to using. I stroke them occasionally and put them back in the packet then get out my inks and stamps. Well, this card was built to accommodate a gorgeous Kanban bird decoupage that I just couldn't resist in my local craft shop. It had been stroked too many times and was just begging to be used!

"18th Birthday - Birdwatching Theme Book Card"

The outer cover is made from thick, brown card and the closure uses a rough string (the stuff they call in the farming community "Bailer Twine").

"Front Cover"

Three sheets of white card are coloured with distress inks in a similar way to make matching backgrounds for the front cover and the two inside panels. A series of stamps are then used to transfer a light coloured distress ink onto each dried panel and the stamped images brushed with gold Perfect Pearls to make a detailed, shimmery background.

The sentiment is stamped in black archival ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. The top-hatted gentleman are stamped in black archival, but just the top hats embossed, then the images are accentuated with white ink pen. The hand and ticket images are stamped onto separate white card coloured with distress ink, using cobalt archival, then cut out and mounted with foam pads. The "Admit One" is accented with a glaze pen to make the lettering stand out a little, and the hand has some highlights added with a white pen.

The globe is diecut from cat food box and white card. The cat food globe is coloured with distress inks, the white card with dylusions sprays, and the stand with gold adirondack applied with a dabber. The map is cut from the white card die cut and stuck onto the coloured cat food box diecut, and the whole then adhered to the front of the card using foam pads.


The twine closure is attached to the card by adhering between the inside covers and background panels using glossy accents before sticking the background panels in place with pva.

"Left Hand Inside Panel"

The left panel has a length of ruler ribbon attached (thanks Lee!) to provide a space for a couple of tags to be inserted. The "little birdie" sentiment is overstamped in black archival ink, and the binoculars stamped onto separate cardtsock, coloured, cut out, shaped and adhered with Pinflair for a little extra dimension.

"Right Hand Inside Panel"

The right panel houses the gorgeous Kanban woodpecker decoupage that sparked off the whole idea for this card. Other diecuts from the sheet (binoculars, notebook) were tucked into the "book page" edges for added decoration, and some stamping added to the edges.


Of course, you need somewhere to write a greeting, and this set of matching tags is perfect. Write on the ones you want to use and tuck them into the card; use any left over to attach to your gift. The banckgrounds are created in the same way as the main panels with distress inks, perfect pearls, and overstamping the sentiments using black archival and clear embossing powder. Some bailer twine makes a great, masculine alternative to ribbon. Sorry Lee, not a flower in sight on this card :-)

Kanban Castle Howard Bird Toppers
Pink Paislee stamp set - Daily Junque
Clear Art Stamps - SM10 Journey
Tim Holtz stamp set - Curious Possibility
Kaisercraft Stamp Sets - Up, Up & Away, Life Sentiments
Papermania Stamp Sets - Hampstead, Urban
Sizzix Tim Holtz M&S die - globe
Distress Inks - Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Chipped Sapphire, Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint, Pine Needles
Archival Inks - Jet Black, Cobalt
Perfect Pearls - Heirloom Gold
Embossing powder - Clear
Inkssentials white pen
Sakura glaze pen, clear
Cardstock: white 160gsm, brown 300gsm, hammered gold 200gsm
Ruler Ribbon
Bailer Twine
Adhesives: Glossy Accents, Pinflair Dimensional Glue, PVA, foam pads

Entered for the following challenge:
S J Crafts - Favourites (I just love my gold Perfect Pearls LOL!)
Fab 'N' Funky - Celebrating Male-Ness
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Crafty Cardmakers - For the Boys
Bunny Zoes Crafts - Ribbon or Twine (I went for the twine, but you might count the ruler ribbon too!)
Kaboodle Doodles - Add some dimension
That Craft Place Blog - One for the Boys
Sweet Stampin' - Anything But Square
Oozak - Spring Colours