A Birthday Banner for the Birthday Girl

So this girl turned SEVEN on Wednesday! I can’t even handle this. She just got out of diapers, I swear.

We had a simple family get together at the house on Tuesday, and I made this Happy Birthday Banner to hang in the dining room. I used 4 sheets of kraft cardstock and 2 sheets of scrapbook paper. I cut the cardstock in fourths (I had 3 extra fourths), and cut the scrapbook paper into 3″x 5″ pieces to use in my Alphabet Punch Board. I ran the letters through my Xyron Creative Station to adhere them to the cardstock and strung it all on baker’s twine. I think I’m going to take the BIRTH off now that we’re done so that it just says Happy Day and hang it in her room.
Man, I love banners! This is one I made a couple of weeks ago for a baby shower at church. I cut the flags using my paper cutter, the letters using my Alphabet Punch Board, and the deer using a paper punch. I ran all the letters and the deer through my Xyron Creative Station to turn them into stickers which made the assembly super quick. Colton’s mom is doing his nursery in an outdoorsy theme, so hopefully she can use it in there too. 
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Early Fall

Okay, a reasonable person might be expected to believe that I had dropped off the face of the earth. In reality, the settling in to the school year along with various other unexpected occurrences has hit us like a freight train and blogging has gotten pushed to the back burner. But I’m here now! So I hope you’re ready for some pictures, because I’ve got a few to share.

This is a little half octagon table Nick and I refinished. Okay, it was way more him than me, but I helped a little. I am so terribly sad that I didn’t get a picture before he started tearing it apart, but trust me, it was UH-GLEE. Think sea foam crackle paint all over, and the veneer on two of the doors was badly damaged. That’s where he really impressed me – he smoothed it all out with Wood Bondo, and you can’t even tell it’s not original. The top was in good condition, so we just stripped, sanded, and stained it. We used a Rustoleum stain in Kona.

I shared this image over on Instagram. These lovely little banners were inspired by the one made by the adorable Bethany at Pitter & Glink. I made a cardstock template for my banners using my We R Memory Keepers Banner Punch Board, then cut two for each banner from dropcloth. I machine stitched them together with pink thread, then cut the words from htv using my Cameo. The font I used was Magnolia Sky, which is free for personal use. The flowers and bow are a variety of purchased and handmade pieces. I punched holes in the corners and added eyelets using my Crop-a-Dile Punch and Eyelet Setter, threaded in some random satin ribbon I had on hand, and knotted the ends on the front. On the back of each banner I hot glued a wooden skewer cut to size along the top to keep the banner hanging straight. The Create Beauty banner is hanging in my craft room (as pictured below), and the Be Kind is part of Lily’s gallery wall.

So this happened in late August. Sawyer wasn’t feeling well at all and we couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment, so I took him to the ER. By the time we got there he was having some breathing distress and they ended up keeping us for two days. We never did find out exactly what the problem was, but the best guess was that he had a virus combined with an allergic reaction to something that really hit him hard. Below is a picture of him hanging out with his buddy Chase, who brought him Play-Doh, cars, and snacks and spent some time looking suitably impressed with Sawyer’s grand tour of his hospital room.

Nick works for Lexus and they sent him this amazing gift basket, which was such an awesome thing for them to do!

Nick’s cousin got married last month, and we stayed at an amazing chalet near the wedding venue where they had this gorgeous handmade quilt on the bed. I’m in love!

We got to see Nick’s sister Kristin and her family, which was awesome. They live in Texas, and it had been over a year since we’d seen most of them. It was so much fun to get the kids together with their cousins!

Our Lily girl got baptized a couple of weeks ago, and she couldn’t have been more precious.

So those are a few of the things that have been keeping us busy lately. What have you been working on?
*There are no affiliate links in this post. I have not been compensated for using any product mentioned in this post. I just like to share what I have used in case you might want to use it too!
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We R Memory Keepers Gift Box Punch Board

Hi, guys. It’s been…busy…around here. Obviously by “around here” I mean around my house and not around here on the blog, because, well, I’ve had a few other things going on. Like putting down the last of the new flooring (in the kitchen) and painting ceilings (also the kitchen), and more painting, painting, painting, PAINTING (like, everywhere). We are slowly but surely getting there though. Just a few more little things and we will be ready to list.

So between that and the soul freezing winter weather Tennessee has been hit with lately, things have been a little uncrafty. But last night I finally had a chance to sit down and put together a post about one of my favorite crafty tools, the We R Memory Keepers Gift Box Punch Board.

First of all, I want to make a disclaimer – these pictures, guys, they’re not my favorite. Late night crafting with incandescent lighting is almost always a bad combo, but we work with what we’ve got here. And my poor, poor kitchen table that is (somewhere) on the to-do list to get a makeover makes for a pretty lame backdrop. What’s really sad is that my mom passed this table on to us several years back, and when she did she had just refinished it. Three kids, one crafting momma, and all the abuse of being a staging area during our house revamp has left it looking a bit worse for the wear. No judgment though, someday she’ll have a fresh white coat of paint (if I have anything to do with it), and all will be redeemed.

So anyway, that out of the way, here’s the Gift Box Punch Board.

My mom bought me this board for my birthday, and I love it! In fact, I bought my SIL Leah one for Christmas. Basically it makes a self closing box (no separate lid!) with one square of paper. And they can be made in a variety of sizes of course, depending on your starting paper size and the shape instructions you choose.

I started out with a 6×6 sheet I cut down from this fun Disney paper. I scored the whole 24 sheet pad at a local dry goods store for $1.99!

As always with the WRMK punch boards, the instructions are printed right on the board, and the score tool stores in a slot on the underside of the board, so there’s nothing to keep track of.

I chose to make a 1.75 x 1.75 x 1.75 inch box. Based on that, here are the measurement instructions to follow.

Using this board is a lot like using the Envelope Punch Board – just punch and score. It’s important to pay attention to the line instructions, because they may not both be the same depending on your box size. If your box is taller or shorter than it is wide, your start and diagonal lines will be different.

Start out by lining the left edge of your paper up with the appropriate start line, in this case the small (S) line.

Punch using the button.

Now score using the tool along all three score lines, the two lines leading off the button (follow the little guides trailing off the button to find the grooves) and the diagonal line.

Now rotate your paper 90 degrees to the left and repeat all steps.

This is what your paper will look like at this point.

Also, our paper is small enough to fit entirely on the punch board, but if you’re making a bigger box, there is an arm that swings out to extend your score line surface.

Now, flip it over and do all the punching and scoring again.

Now you have two notches on each side.

Here you can see the score lines a little better.
Now insert each corner into the punch at the top of the button and punch again to cut the curved slits you will need to lock the box flaps together. It’s very important to make sure your corner is well seated into the corner of the punch before punching, otherwise your slits will be off and the corner will not round well.

Just make sure you have the same side of the paper facing up during the punching of each corner. This is what it should look like at this point.
Go ahead and crease your scored lines, starting with the longest ones.
Now bring your sides up and crease the diagonal lines inward so they are toward the inside of the box.

You can leave these interior flaps as is if you would like the box to be able to be flattened back out when opened, but I like to adhere them with either glue or an adhesive runner. I find it easiest to go ahead and add the adhesive to all 4 sides before folding up the box.

If you look closely, you can see the lines of adhesive.

When folded up, they will adhere the interior flaps to the sides of the box.

Now you will gently hook the opposite flaps together using the curved slits we punched earlier. Be careful here as these can be easy to tear, especially if you used thinner paper.

All done! Isn’t it cute? This size is perfect for gifting jewelry, or it would be just right for holding a cake ball or truffle at a wedding or baby shower. 
Since you can’t see the date on that ring, we’re going to say I graduated 5 years ago.
Here’s one I didn’t adhere the sides on. Okay, fine, I graduated in ’95. Whatever.
I made a whole stack of these for Lily, who loves anything Disney. And now I’m kicking myself for not buying up all the cheapo paper stacks!
These are really cute using just about any paper. Here’s one I made using some cool printed vellum I found at Tuesday Morning.
Oh, and how cute would these be in craft paper for a gender reveal party, with a pink or blue cupcake inside? So many possibilities! I can’t get enough of these punch boards, and I can’t wait to see if they come out with any more!
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Christmas Jewelry Gifts

I was a jewelry-making fiend this year for Christmas. I made tons and tons and tons of earrings and bracelets, and even a few hair pins! These were all very simple to make, and they all came together very quickly. And I had so much fun making my own earring cards from pretty scrapbook paper! Here are some (but not all) of the ones that went out to loved ones this year.

Okay, this is not jewelry, but it’s the bag I made to package up Lily’s teacher’s gift (the first two pairs of earrings pictured below). I used my Gift Bag Punch Board (tutorial coming soon) to make the bag, then punched the top with my Marvy Uchida Clever Lever Border Punch System. Then I wove ribbon through the slots and closed it with a bow at the front. Isn’t it darling?

Memory wire bracelet

Coiled wire bracelet tutorial

These started as cabochons I got crazy cheap at Tuesday Morning, and I added them to hair pin blanks.

These were little scrapbook embellishments.
 
Tiny seashells for the top pair and former scrapbooking brads for the bottom.

More brads.

Covered button embellishments and cabochons.

This started as a straight metal feather. I just rounded it over my wrist, punched holes for the leather cord and added crimps, jump rings, and a clasp.

I love the worn leather paired with the gold and floral.

Metal stickers made into earrings for our oldest resident Frozen fan.

Little bitty ones for Lily.

Extra large cabochons and hair pins.

Earring and bracelet set.
Did you make any jewelry for gifts this year? Leave me a link in the comments – I’d love to see it!

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Pinwheel Punch Board

A couple months ago I heard that We R Memory Keepers was coming out with a new punch board: The Pinwheel Punch Board! I was so excited that I immediately emailed them to ask if they might be willing to send me one to review here on the blog. The very sweet lady who responded to me told me that they didn’t currently have a budget for reviews on that product, but she would be happy to send me one to try anyway! I was so excited!

I got busy playing with it right away, but I wanted to wait until I could get a hold of a set of the pinwheel attachments before I told you all about it here. Unfortunately, once the punch boards hit the craft stores, the attachment sets were sold out everywhere I went. I finally found some in stock last time I went to Hobby Lobby, so I’m ready to show you how it works!

First of all, you can make pinwheels in many different sizes, using paper from 3 to 12 inches square. Today I’m going to show you one using 6×6 paper, which makes a pinwheel the same size you would normally find at the store. Of course you might ask, why not just go get one at the store for $1? Well, because those shiny numbers at the store can’t complete with the gorgeous papers combinations you can come up with on your own! I chose these two sheets in fun fall colors. Here they are front and back.

First of all, raise the arm on the punch board.

Now slide the corner of your paper under the red button, square it up and punch.

Now punch the other four corners. Repeat for the other paper. The side of the papers that is facing up when you punch it will be the side that shows in the center of your pinwheel.

Back side of bird paper.

Now line your first paper up with the corresponding mark on the left side of the punch board.

Bring the arm down so that it pokes a hole through the center of your paper and anchors it in place.

Insert the included blade tool in the track, with the blade to the left of the track like so.

Slide it down the track, cutting the paper until the track ends.

Without lifting the arm, turn the paper 90 degrees and repeat. On half of the turns the corner will not line up exactly with the measurement mark – that’s okay. Just make sure that the notch in the paper sits over the blade track. Repeat on the other two corners.

Back view so you can see the cuts better.

Now raise the arm and remove your first piece of paper. Repeat with the other paper, but this time you will be working on the right side of the punch board.

Now, lay your papers face down, one on top of the other at a 90° angle, like this. The paper you slit using the right side of the punch board (here the floral/purple sheet) will go on the bottom.

Make sure the holes in the centers line up.
Now, take one of the skinny sections of the bottom sheet and weave it up through the slit in the top paper just above it. Continue the maneuver, working clockwise, all the way around the pinwheel.

Now you want to add the whole thing to your attachment assembly. The attachments come with enough sets to make 10 pinwheels. At $4.99 a pack (Hobby Lobby), that puts your pinwheels at 49¢ each, if you have your paper on hand. That’s already cheaper than the store, but if you use a lovely 40% off coupon like I did, then you get 10 pinwheels for $2.99, an even better deal! It’s hard to beat a 29¢ toy!

The attachments have three parts, and they assemble like this:

Once you have the head seated on the straw and the spindle attached to that, slide your papers onto the spindle, still face down.

Now, take one of your hole-punched sections from the top sheet (here the yellow paper), pull it forward, and thread it onto the spindle.

Now take the skinny section from the bottom paper directly to the right of the section you just pulled forward and do the same thing. Repeat all the way around, moving clockwise and alternating between the front paper and the back.

Once all the hole punched sections are threaded onto the spindle, press on the end cap.

You’re all done!

Look at it spin!

Here’s what it looks like on the back. If you’d like your pattern to show on the blades instead of the center, just make sure the pattern is face down when you punch your paper.

Of course you can also just do this with one paper, which will make a 4 blade pinwheel, also adorable. If you do so, you need to work on the left side of the punch board when using the blade.

This punch board has been so much fun! Best of all, the attachments are reusable, so if say, your two year old crumples up beyond repair the pinwheel you made him, you can pull the assembly apart and make a new one! You can also use just about any paper straw out there, which really opens up your color/design options – although those 15 inch gray and white striped ones in the kit are super awesome!

Of course you can certainly make pinwheels without the attachments – they just won’t spin. But they do make gorgeous decorations! You can anchor the center with a fun decorative brad. I can see some little stationary ones attached to paper flags to make up an awesome baby shower banner, and what fun props they would make for a photo shoot! Or you could even attach them right to a memo board with a colorful push pin! Oh, and what about gift toppers? And cards? The possibilities are endless!

We R Memory Keepers provided me with a Pinwheel Punch Board to try, but they did not compensate me for my review (or even ask for it), and all opinions are my own.

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WRMK Envelope Punch Board

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite craft tools: The We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board.

I got this punch board back in June, but it had been on my wish list since last summer. It has been so much fun! We used 3 of these at the Teachers of Good Things Craft Day last weekend, and several ladies mentioned that they had plans to get one for themselves. In fact, my mom has plans to pick one up at the first opportunity.

While the Envelope Punch Board may look complicated, it’s actually super easy to use, and I wanted to do a quick tutorial. First of all, the measurements you need for just about any size envelope are printed right on the board. It also comes with a sticker with the metric version of the measurements so you can adhere that on top of the standard measurements if you prefer.

It tells you the correct paper size for the card you’re using, and it gives you a measurement mark to place the edge of your paper on for scoring. You can make envelopes from paper sized up to 11.5 x 11.5 inches. These for are for 4.5 x 6 inch cards, and I just squared off some 8.5 x 11 scrapbook paper for this size.

For the Craft Day, as well as for some note card sets I’ve made as gifts, I used 6 x 6 paper to make envelopes for 3 x 4 cards.

Today I’m going to make a 3 x 4 envelope using this sweet 6 x 6 paper I picked up at Tuesday Morning. 
To make this size, you will take your 6 x 6 sheet and line it up at the 2 5/8 mark.

Once it’s lined up, push down on the button at the top to punch your first notch. It’s important to note and remember that this is the only time during this process that you will line your paper up with this mark.

Then take the handy score tool included with the punch board and score the paper down the score track.

Now this part is important. Turn your paper COUNTER clockwise, so that the notch you just punched is on the left.

Now, you want to align the line that you just scored with the little guide arm that leads off the bottom left of the punch button. If you try to line the paper back up with the 2 5/8 mark again, your notches will be off and your envelope won’t fold correctly. I bumped the contrast on this photo way up so you can see the score line a little better.
Now punch and score just like you did on the first side, then turn counter clockwise again. Repeat until all 4 sides are notched. It will look like this when you’re done. I’ve folded up the sides a bit here so you can see all the score lines. Each score line should meet another at the inside point of a notch.
Now you want to round your corners. To do this, just insert each corner into the space at the top of the punch button and punch.
Ta-da!
Next fold in the sides of your envelope.
Line the lower edges of your side flaps with the adhesive of your choice. Elmer’s Glue-All works great here, but I prefer and generally use a glue or tape runner like this one. 
Fold up your bottom flap and press where it meets the side flaps to seal the adhesive, then fold down your top flap and press flat. 
Isn’t it so cute?! I love the “just stay little” sentiment  near the point of the closing flap. Perfect for a baby girl gift! If you’re adding a card for giving, you can go ahead and do that and seal the envelope with your glue runner. If this is for giving someone to use later, you can include a sticker for them to seal it closed when they’re ready.
These little envelopes are so easy to embellish too. For this one I just added a scalloped circle and a little bow, both secured with the glue runner. My SIL Leah’s sister Deborah made one like this at the craft day and I loved it!

For this one I just added ribbon, sealed into the bottom flap and wrapped around the front.

Then I just folded a little ribbon rosette to accent it.

The Envelope Punch Board retails for $19.95, but both Hobby Lobby and Joann carry them, and there’s always a coupon for at least 40% at both. And of course you can get them on Amazon, which is where I got mine, and they’re forever going on sale there. In fact, they’re $12.75 on there right now.
Besides envelopes, you can also make gift boxes and 3d envelopes with this punch board, as well as darling little paper bows and lovely little treat boxes. For more ideas for the Envelope Punch Board as well as other WRMK punch boards, check out my Pinterest Board, Punch Board Projects.

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Birthday Gifts with We R Memory Keepers Punch Boards

Guys, I’ve been playing with the Envelope Punch Board (and a few others!) by We R Memory Keepers, and I’ve been having so much fun! Nick’s grandmother Gail’s birthday fell the week we were at camp, so we missed the party, but we got to see her on July 4th, and I gave her the birthday gifts I made for her then.

Last year, for Mother’s Day I think, I made Gail some blank note cards. I punched out butterflies and flowers from scrapbook paper and sewed them to the fronts of the cards, and she loved them! I sure wish I had thought to snap a picture before I gave them to her. Anyway, I thought she would enjoy some smaller note cards for her birthday, and okay, I really wanted to make her something using my punch boards!

I actually made her two different kinds. One set of ten were little gift card sized cards, and each one had a different image or pattern embossed on the front. I just made these with stamps and embossing powder. These will be perfect for slipping a gift card into or attaching to a package or gift bag.

The others were a bit larger at 4 x 3.25 inches and suitable for mailing if she chooses. These were my favorite! Each card and envelope was unique in pattern.

I used fun cardstock for the cards from 4.5 x 6.5 inch stacks that I trimmed to 4 x 6.5 and folded in half. Then I used a Marvey Uchida Clever Lever Border Punch System that I got for crazy cheap at Tuesday Morning ($7.99 – score!) to punch a decorative border along the front edge.

This border punch system is ah-may-zing! You can get different cartridges, which are normally about $11.99 each, but Tuesday Morning had them for $1.99! The punch cuts exactly 2 inches in each punch, which was why I trimmed the cards to 4 inches wide. There’s no guesswork with where to line up the punch for the next cut, because the guide has little slots where the punch fits, and there’s a pretty strong magnetic bar that keeps your paper from slipping out of place.

I made the envelopes from different patterned 6 x 6 sheets, and I LOVE how they turned out! I also punched a little flower out of sticker paper so she can seal them if she wants to mail them, and also a label for each so that she can write an address. I just included those in each envelope.

The labels were a little larger than I wanted them to be, but that was the size paper punch I had.

I also used all three of my other boards in making her gift, although I forgot to get a picture of the cute little gift bag I made with the Gift Bag Punch Board. First of all, I made her up some adorable little pillow boxes using the Pillow Box Punch Board.

Some of these I made using 4.5 inch length cardstock, and some using 6 inch length cardstock. The smaller ones are perfect for something small like candy or earrings, and the bigger ones fit a gift card perfectly.

I also made her a couple of pairs of earrings, and I put them in this sweet little box I made using the Candy Box Punch Board. She had already untied the baker’s twine from one end to open it when I took this picture.

I’ll go into a little more on how to use each of the punch boards in my upcoming posts, but for now I’ll just say that they are all just the best thing ever, ever, ever! None of the links in this post are affiliate links, and these products were not provided to me for review.

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