Blended Brush Lettering

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I don’t do a ton of brush lettering. Pointed pen is usually more my speed. But sometimes brush lettering is just the way to go. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to try out MozArt Single Brush Pens for review. I really liked them, and I left reviews in several places at that time. These days I usually carry these in my purse for on the go art, and I pulled them out to play with a couple of days ago. These pens blend really well on the right paper, and I wanted to show you, so I put together a quick YouTube video so you could see them in action. You can check it out below, or keep scrolling for a short written tutorial.

I used Daler Rowney 70lb drawing paper for these pieces, which you can get at Walmart. I’ve also had good luck with Strathmore drawing paper. You’ll need your drawing paper, your brush pens, and a fine tipped water brush. To start, choose a couple of colors that you would like to blend. I decided to write the word love, and I chose a bright pink and a darker purple. You want to write your word with the lighter or less intense color first.

With your darker color, go over the bottom half of your letters.

Now take your water brush (or just a very fine brush dipped in water) and carefully go over your letters. You will use the water brush to pull the color on the bottom of the letters up into the color at the top of the letters.

The more you go over the line of demarcation between the two colors, the smoother your blend will be.

And that’s all there is to it! Here are a few other pieces I did this way. I hope you enjoy!

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Paracord People Key Rings

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Hey, guys! So the last few weeks have been CRAZY busy! We went up to church camp for a week, where my job is to head up the crafts. It’s always a blast, and I can’t believe I get to serve in such a fun way! Today I want to share with you one of the favorites from the week – paracord people key rings.

We do paracord bracelets every single year, because they are requested, over and over! Our kids range from 7 to 18, plus the workers get in on the fun too, so they are a project loved by (and doable by) all ages. Inevitably we end up with lots of paracord scraps that are too short to make into a bracelet, and those are perfect for these key rings. These are also a very fast make, so they’ve made more than one appearance at VBS week at church when I’ve only got 20 minutes per class for craft time. I’ve put together a quick YouTube video below, or you can keep scrolling for the written tutorial and photos.

Your supplies here are easy peasy. You need a split keyring, a lighter or matches to seal the ends of the paracord, a 1 inch wooden bead with a 3/8 inch hole, scissors, and two scraps of paracord, at least 12 inches and 24 inches.

Fold your shorter piece of paracord in half and slide one side of it into the split ring.

Thread both ends through the bead and slide the bead up to the split ring.

Place the longer piece of paracord behind the piece threaded through the bead and ring.

Make sure the shorter cord (here the blue) is centered on the longer cord (here the red). Now tie a knot as though you were starting to tie your shoe. This is also known as a half hitch knot.

Pull this knot tight, then rotate the whole thing so that the bead is at the bottom.

Now we are going to take the ends of the longer (red) paracord and from a loop on either side of the blue cords. The left side will feed behind the blue cords, and the right side will feed in front of the blue cords.

Now you will take the end of the top cord and feed it down through the loop that runs across the back.

Don’t pull it tight quite yet. First we need to then take the end of the bottom cord and feed it up through the loop on the top.

Now pull both sides tight.

Now we’re going to form those side loops again, but this time the cord on the right will feed under the blue cord, and the cord on the left will feed on top of the blue cord.

Once again, feed the top cord down through the bottom loop, and the bottom cord up through the top loop.

Pull tight again.

Now form the side loops again, but this time the right side will loop on top of the blue cord and the left side will loop under the blue cord. Feed the ends through the same way, bottom end through top loop, top end through bottom loop. We’re just switching the sides back and forth from turn to turn. You’re actually keeping the same physical end of the paracord on top every time, but you move it from left to right and back to left with every stitch. This is called a cobra stitch, and it’s also the stitch you will use to make the most common style of paracord bracelets.

Do this process several more times until you’re happy with the length of the body on your person. I did five or six stitches, which left mine a little over an inch long. Some paracord is stiffer than others, so your length per stitches may vary.

When you’re happy with the length, rotate the whole thing around again, and slide the body (the red cord) all the way up flush against the bead.

As you can see, my sides ended up being different lengths. This won’t matter after the next step.

Now tie a knot in each side of the red cord about an inch out from the body.

Now trim the red cord on both sides about 1/4” past the knots and seal with your lighter/matches. You just need to hold the ends in the flame for 2-3 seconds to melt the cord, and this will keep it from fraying.

Now tie knots in the blue cord at your preferred length to make the person’s feet.

Trim and seal just like you did for the arms, and you’re all done! Isn’t it cute?

You can of course decorate the head with stickers or markers if you’d like. One year I used my Cameo to cut out a tiny pair of glasses so my son’s would look like him.

Happy paracording!

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Aldi Quarter Holder Keyring with Free Commercial Use Cut File

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Have you ever shopped at Aldi? If there’s one in your area and you haven’t been, you need to go stat! Aldi has amazing prices, and a wonderful selection of store branded products, as well as a limited supply of names brand items. I’ve never had anything from Aldi that wasn’t delicious, and I can generally take care of most of my grocery list in one trip there.

Part of what allows Aldi to keep their prices so low is the fact that they don’t employee people to bag groceries or clear the lot of carts. Instead, they provide a long counter for you to bag your own groceries (bring your own disposable or reusable bags, or you can buy paper bags for a few cents each or reusable plastic bags for a little more). To keep the lot clear, they give you some motivation to bring back your own cart – you “rent” a cart for a quarter at the start of your trip. Just place your quarter into the slot of the little box chaining the front cart to the one behind it, and the chain will pop free and release your cart. When you’re done with the cart, wheel it back to the line of carts and plug the chain on the next cart into the back of the lock box on yours, and your quarter will pop back out.

I try to always have a quarter in my wallet when I go, but I’ve forgotten more than once. Aldi is actually happy to let you borrow a quarter from one of the cashiers if you forget yours, but then you have to go through all the hassle of going in first to ask, then returning it to the cashier after you retrieve it from the cart at the end. So I decided to make myself a little keyring specifically to hold my Aldi quarter, and I created a free cut file for my newsletter subscribers so you can make one too! AND you can feel free to use this cut file for commercial purposes!

When we had our church’s Ladies Tea last year, I cut Dollar Tree vinyl placemats into big circles to use as chargers for my place settings. 

Because I hate to waste anything, I saved the parts of the placemats I cut away, and they were the perfect material to make my quarter holder! I haven’t tried other placemats, but these cut like a dream on my Silhouette Cameo.

I used the Coverstock setting in Silhouette Studio, but changed the passes to 4 instead of 2. I saved this as a custom cut setting, which is why it says Dollar Tree Placemat instead of Coverstock, but you can see that the Blade is 7, Speed is 1, Force is 33 and Passes is 4.

The width on this should be 4 inches, so make sure you have it sized appropriately before you cut! To get the files, just sign up for my newsletter right here, or you can do it over on the right where it says Get the Sawyer Ford Home Newsletter and Free Cut Files. You will get 3 files – a .png, a .jpg and a .svg. Because I am offering this for commercial use, I cannot include a .studio3 file, but both the .jpg and the .png should be easily traceable with basic Silhouette Studio, or you can open SVGs with Design Edition or higher, or with Cricut DesignStudio.

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After you’ve cut out your placemat piece, fold it in half, wrong sides together. Slooooooowly stitch around the outside of the circle using a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. I tried super hard to sew these using a straight stitch, but it always came out super wonky. The zigzag stitch worked perfectly though. Just make sure that the “outside” stitch goes just off the edge of the vinyl and it should look very neat. When you are done, you can use a little bit of stitch fix or even super glue to keep the ends of your thread from unraveling. Thread the strap loop onto a split key ring, and you’re ready to load up your quarter and add it to your keys! I made one for my mom, and she and all the ladies sitting near her at church had a fit over it!

These would make a fantastic craft booth item, which is why I wanted to offer the cut files for commercial use. You should be able to get about 20 pieces from the Dollar Tree placemats, which are 11.25×17, so for cost of $5 worth of placemats and a 100 pack of split key rings (Amazon has them currently very cheap, linked below), you can make 100 awesome items that you can price at $1 each and still make a good profit on them.

Alternately, they make awesome little gifts for your mom or your sister or your kid’s teacher, or your secret sister. And come Christmas, they make great stocking stuffers for the grocery shoppers in your life.

There are at least a couple of different placemat designs currently at Dollar Tree, and I’m going to pick up one of each to make more of these. Please do sign up for my newsletter and get the free cut file as well as a few other free personal use cut files!

Also, if you don’t mind, I would love it if you would pin this post – you can just use the button there below!

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DIY Mini Canoe with Free Cut File

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Guys, I have the cutest little craft for you! And I have a free cut file for you to make it even easier! Today I want to show you how to make these adorable miniature canoes.

If you’d like, you can follow the tutorial in the video below, or you can keep scrolling for a written tutorial. Either way, you can grab your free files here. You’ll get a .png if you want to print the template and cut by hand, as well as a .svg and a .studio3 file if you want to cut using a cutting machine. These files are for personal use only.

I used the cut file to cut a paper template and cut my actual material by hand but if you have a machine that will cut the material you’ve chosen, you can just do that.

Several years back I bought a kit from Hobby Lobby that had the pieces to make one of these canoes from leather. Before I made that one, I traced around the pieces on paper so I could make more later on. The other day I drew it out in Procreate using my IPad Pro and turned it into a more polished template and cut file. For this post I made one from suede and one from 3mm craft foam.

I didn’t want any pen marks on my suede or craft foam, so I traced around the suede with the point of a sewing awl, and the craft foam with an embossing stylus. I used a fine liner to mark dots through the template onto the material for the stitching holes.

I just used a craft blade to cut out the pieces, then a hole punch for the stitching holes. On the suede I used a 3/8” Punch because I was using thick suede lacing to sew it together. For the foam canoe I used silver twine, so I punched the holes with a 1/16” Crop-a-dile Punch. Start by tying a knot in your twine and threading it through one of the center holes. I used a piece of thin jewelry wire to make myself a needle for the twine.

Thread the twine back up through the corresponding hole on the other half of the canoe, then bring it back down into the same hole you started on.

Carefully pull the twine tight (but not so tight that you tear the foam). Fold the canoe in half and, wrapping the twine around the end of the canoe, thread your twine through the next hole up on both sides. You want your stitches to wrap around the outside of the canoe.

Repeat this step until you’ve reached the top of the canoe. Thread your twine back between the pieces of foam, tie a knot and trim. Repeat the process on the other end of the canoe.

Use a high temp hot glue gun to glue your seat into place, one side at a time.

And you’re done! These would make such a cute activity for a scout meeting or camping themed birthday party! You can also punch more holes around the sides of the canoe and add decorative brads, or use pens, paint, or markers to decorate. I would love to see it if you make one!


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Alcohol Inks on Glossy Photo Paper

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A few months back my friend Amy bought me some Tim Holtz Ranger Alcohol Inks for my birthday. I’ve played with them on ceramic tile, which is a lot of fun, but I wanted something I could use as a paper element. The standard medium for alcohol inks is Yupo Paper, which can be pretty pricy, generally over $1.00/sheet. I did some research and found that some people have had great luck with glossy photo paper – on the back side. I happened to have quite a bit of glossy photo paper on hand, so I gave it a try, and I was pretty pleased with my results. It doesn’t wipe clean like Yupo, but it does allow the ink time to spread and mingle well, and at 1\10 the price, you can afford to play. If you would like to see the alcohol ink in action, check out the video below. You can also scroll down for some photos. 

The paper I had on hand has some printing on the back, but it is possible to find it without any printing. However, for my purposes I only need the middle space, so it didn’t matter. I also ran my finished sheets through embossing folders, and I loved the results! I punched 1.25’ circles from this one and made a simple but beautiful card with loads of color and texture.

Photo paper also looks stunning when embossed or die cut plain, as you can see on this card I made a few years back. Excuse the awful flash photo. I was trying to really capture the embossing.

If you’ve got a box of glossy photo paper on hand and don’t print your own photos, don’t toss it! Get out your die cutter, embossing folders, or just some paper punches and make some really striking card and scrapbook elements!

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Free Cut Files!

Hey, guys! I’m working hard to build my audience and my brand, and I want to offer you guys lots of fun, valuable content! I’ve added a form over there on the side for you to sign up for my email newsletter, or you can sign up right here in this post. Scroll to the bottom after the pictures. 

I promise I won’t spam you, but I would love to be able to keep you up to date on what’s going on on and off the blog, as well as when I have a fun treat for you like a free printable or cut file! and speaking of free cut files, when you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get two free cut files today! Each file comes in .svg, .studio3, and .png formats and is for personal use only.

The first cut file is this fun handlettered Calligraphy Nerd graphic for all my lettery peeps. As you can see, it looks awesome added to a zipper pouch to hold pens, or it would look great on a shirt or as a car decal!

Calligraphy Nerd free cut file by Sawyer Ford Home

The second freebie is this handlettered Caffeine and Mom Jeans cut file! With Mother’s Day juuuust around the corner this would be so cute on a shirt or hat for the mom in your life who is rocking those mom jeans!

Caffeine and Mom Jeans free cut file by Sawyer Ford Home

To get both files, please sign up for the Sawyer Ford Home Newsletter below or in the sidebar over to the right. And if you wouldn’t mind, I would loooove it if you would pin one or both of these images!

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Rainbow Cloud Party Favors

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This past weekend my church had our 3rd Annual Ladies Tea party. Our theme this year was “After the Storm”, and our pastor’s wife wanted to use rainbow jellybeans as party favors. I was tasked with packaging, so I came up with a couple of different options, one with white clouds, and one representative of stormy skies.

You can watch a tutorial for both versions below or if you’d prefer a written tutorial, keep scrolling.

For the first version you will need the following:

A We R Memory Keepers Pocket Punch Board

A piece of white Cardstock cut 5x5 3/8

Adhesive

Jellybeans

A small piece of transparency film cut 2x2.5

Not shown in above pic, a Fiskars XL Cloud Squeeze Punch or other cloud shaped punch, scrap white cardstock to punch out extra clouds

Insert one 5 3/8 inch side of your cardstock into the punch board and follow the instructions printed on the board to create the pillow box.

Use the cloud punch to punch a cloud in the section farthest from the end tab.

Add adhesive to the four edges of your transparency film and adhere over the cloud shaped opening.

Add adhesive to the end tab of the pillow box and adhere shut. Close the end flaps of the box.

Punch 5-6 more clouds from your scrap cardstock and adhere around the cloud shaped window. Fill your pillow box with jellybeans and you’re done!

For the second party favor, you need the following:

A scoring board

Adhesive

A strip of gray/dark cardstock cut 2x8.5

A strip of transparency film cut 2x7.25

A small (2x3) plastic zipper bag filled with jelleybeans

A small cloud die

A die cutter

Alternately, you could cut the whole cardstock strip with a Silhouette/Cricut machine.

Score the cardstock across the long side at 3 inches, 4.25 inches, and 7.25 inches. Cut the cloud shape out of the first three inch section, just below the score line using your die cutter.

Score your transparency film at 3 and 4.25.

Crease all score lines and adhere the transparency to the cardstock, lining up the respective 3” and 4.25” score lines. Run a line of adhesive across the transparency just below unlined flap of cardstock.

If you would like to punch or cut a decorative edge in the flap, do so at this time. Add adhesive to the flap. Press the bag of jellybeans against the adhesive line on the transparency. Bring the front and back of the favor box up together, fold over the flap and adhere. All done!


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Check Out My Newest Skillshare Class on Calligraphy

Did you guys know that I’m a a Skillshare teacher? Skillshare is an amazing platform that has thousands of classes on just about anything you can imagine. I have 21 classes currently on the site, mostly focused on pointed pen calligraphy. Skillshare is a paid membership platform, but if you will follow my affiliate link,  you can access all of Skillshare for two whole months for free! You can view a sample lesson from my latest class below.

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Glitter Ink

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Today I wanted to share with you a quick and easy way to turn liquid watercolors into seriously gorgeous glitter ink. Our church hosts an annual Ladies Tea, and I just found out that this year’s event will have a theme of “After the Storm”.  The idea is to incorporate something rain or storm related in our table decor. I create pretty place cards for my table every year, so this year I decided to use glittery silver ink to write them.

I immediately thought of Finetec, but I don’t have any silver on hand, so I decided to see what I had on hand that I could make work. I pulled out a bottle of Ecoline Liquid Watercolor in Cold Grey.

 

 

I also found an unopened bottle of Winsor Newton Iridescent Medium.

I filled most of a small dinky dip with the Watercolor and added maybe 1/8 tsp of the iridescent medium. Then I screwed the lid on and just shook it up.

Guys, it turned out so gorgeous! It’s hard to capture on camera just how glittery it is!

I have a number of colors of Ecoline Liquid Watercolor, so I mixed up a few shades.

Glitter Ink

Glitter Ink

\Glitter Ink

If you’d like to see me mix the ink and write with it, check out the video below. Happy writing!

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DIY Mother’s Day Card – Tear Away Coupons

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Guys, Mother’s Day is just around the corner! I’ve got a fun little card project for you today that will be just perfect! You can check out my YouTube video below (and give me a follow – I’m just getting started, but there will be more to come!). If you’re more of a step by step type of learner, you can follow the tutorial below the video.

Mother’s Day Tear Away Coupon Card

This project incorporates the idea of the classic Mother’s Day Coupon book into a fun card that features perforated tear off strips for the coupons.

You will need a sheet of light colored cardstock, a scoreboard, scissors, adhesive, a paper cutter, a stamp and stamp pad of your choice, and a perforating blade. If you don’t have access to a perforating blade, a sewing tracing wheel will work in a pinch, although your strips will be harder to detach.

We’re going to start with a sheet of card stock and a sheet of coordinating scrapbook paper cut to the following dimensions.

Place your 5.5 x 8.5 cardstock on your score board and score the short side at 4.25” (the halfway point) and again at 1.5”. Then rotate the cardstock 90 degrees and score from the edge up to the 1.5” score line every 1/2 inch.

At this point, you can fill in your coupons. I handlettered one card that I made, and stamped several others.

After filling in your coupon words, use your perforating tool to perforate the line you scored at 1.5”, above the coupon words. If you are using a handheld perforator rather than a paper cutter with a perforating blade, your scoreboard works wonderfully well as a guide. Just scoot it away from the side edge of the scoreboard so that your blade can roll onto one edge of the cardstock and off the other.

I did not add this step in the video, but if at this point your perforated piece seems like it may tear off too easily, which may happen if your cardstock was very thin, you can stabilize it across the back with a piece of coordinating washi tape. This should not prevent the tabs from being torn off when they need to be.

Now you will fold your card base at the 4.25” score mark and adhere the 5.25” x 4” coordinating paper to the front center.

Now take your 4.75” x 3.5” piece and score it all the way around at the 1/4” mark and the 1/2” mark. I like to score one side, flip it around to do the opposite side, then rotate it 90 degrees and score to connect the lines.

Stamp the center with your sentiment, then add foam dots to the back and adhere to the center of your patterned piece. If you would like to emboss your sentiment, do so before adding the foam dots.

Now use scissors to snip the score lines between the coupons, up to but NOT into the perforated line. And you’re done!

I left the inside of the card blank other than the coupons to leave plenty of room for a handwritten message. Add a pretty coordinating envelope from your patterned paper, and you have a really special and unique Mother’s Day Card! You can shop the supplies used in this post below.

If you make this DIY Mother’s Day card, I’d love to see it, so please link it in the comments!

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