Category Archives: Quick and Easy

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party and Tutorial

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 07Crafty Secrets December Linky Party and Tutorial

Hello, Friends!  Can you believe it is already December?  Where did this year go? It’s time for the Crafty Secrets December Linky Party…the last one for 2014.  Our theme this month is Cooking, Christmas or Calendars and the design team has prepared some wonderful projects to inspire your creativity.  We hope you will play along with us and link your own project using Crafty Secrets products to the Linky Party BLOG.  If you don’t have any Crafty Secrets products, you can find dozens of  FREE PRINTABLES by clicking on the link.  Just download and print so you can play along.  Everyone who plays along wins a little prize, and one lucky participant is randomly chosen to win a $40 shopping spree in the Crafty Secrets store.  No reason not to play along!

Hostess Gift Recipe Box Tutorial

The holiday season brings on lots of parties and occasions where you need a little hostess gift.  I’ve used papers and images from the wonderful new Kitchen Memories Digital Kit to alter a kraft gift box.  My family loves appetizers, and every Christmas Eve we have a fun party where I make all our favorite appetizers and that is all we have! So I filled my little box with a bunch of my favorite appetizer recipes.  This would make such a sweet hostess gift at a holiday party.  It’s cute, it’s useful and could be used all throughout the year.

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 04pgI’ve had this little box in The Closet of Shame forever.  It measures 5 1/4″ x 3 3/4″ so it’s the perfect size for standard 3″ x 5″ index cards.

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 01I printed my papers and the recipe cards from the kit.  I used the clipping tool in PaintShop Pro to trim around the decorated recipe card so that I could size it to fit my box dimension.  Then, I copied and pasted 6 of them into Microsoft Word to use as recipe dividers sized to 5″ x 3″.  The 7th one, I sized smaller so that I could add layers of paper to my box top.  You know how I love my layers!

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 02jpgAll the edgses of the box were inked liberally with Black Soot Distress Ink.  I cut the vintage grocery paper to fit inside the lid and bottom of the box, inking them liberally with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 03pgHere’s a look at the cover “in progress.”  I sewed around the edges of the Red Tweed paper and matted it on a slightly larger piece of black cardstock.  I also stitched around my cute vintage recipe card, then matted it with red and black cardstock.  I love the vintage vibe you get with  this red, black, cream and white color palette!  I free-hand cut the little fishtail banners and glued them in the top right corner of the box.

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 05pgI love this project because it is so simple to make and comes together in just a couple of hours.  It would probably take you even less time to make, as part of the time I spent was in searching for the images, and figuring out how to bring the concept together.  I added some vintage metal corners, some cute buttons and a perky bow made with Micro Red Gingham.  Quick and easy, but very, very cute!

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 08Here are the recipe cards I printed and cut out.  I used my trimmer to go around the straight edges, so there’s very little fussy cutting involved.  I thought about computer journaling the text, but in the end, I decided to use my own handwriting.  It just seemed to fit with this vintage project.

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 07See how perfectly the cards fit into the box?  This will be so much fun to gift to someone during the holidays!

CS Linky Party 01I just had to show you this adorable cherry ribbon I found to line the sides of the box. I ran 1/4″ Scor-Tape around the perimeter and then pressed my ribbon down.  It holds like a dream.  I did the same thing on the bottom of the box, using the red micro gingham to tie in with the box cover.  Quick and easy…because the holidays are busy!

Crafty Secrets December Linky Party 06Oh, the only other thing I did was print out the  sentiment, cut it, ink the edges and treat with UTEE to age it.  When the UTEE cools, you can bend the paper and create all those cool hairline cracks. I popped the sentiment circle up on foam dots to add a little dimension.

Here’s the links to the rest of the design team.  We have TWO guest designers joining us this month.  The fabulous Glenda Brooks from Magpie’s Corner joins us with her eye for vintage loveliness, and my very crafty friend Birgit Norton from Crafting While I Wait is sharing another of her fun, fresh designs with us.  Lots of ideas and crafty inspiration await you as you visit the team:

Glenda Birgit DarleneDianeElizabethGloriaMelodyMicheleShantaieSheila

Once you’ve visited all the designer blogs and left them some love, head on over to the Crafty Secrets BLOG and link up your project to the Crafty Secrets December Linky Party.  You need not follow the theme, but it’s always fun if you do!  You have until midnight Pacific Time on Sunday, December 14th to add your project to the link and have a chance at winning that fabulous shopping spree!

Thanks for stopping by!








Secret Santa Gift Bags


RRR Gift Packaging and Ribbon Challenge 01Secret Santa Gift Bags for RRR Challenge #107

Hello, Ribbon Lovers!  It’s time for another fabulous ribbon challenge at Really Reasonable Ribbon.  With Christmas just a few short weeks away, the challenge theme is Gift Packaging and Ribbon. I’ve worked up some cute little Secret Santa Gift Bags to help you with an idea for just a little “somethin’ somethin'” for co-workers, clubs and any occasion that calls for a tiny gift.

Secret santa bag skatesI used LIttle Bitty Kraft Bags as the base for my Secret Santa Gift Bags, but Really Reasonable Ribbon has a huge selection of cute bags that you could use.  Each little bag has been decorated on the front, and contains an ornament tag and individually wrapped Ghiradelli chocolate inside.  This cute ice skate bag has been decorated with Light Blue Micro Gingham.  I love the pretty bows you can make using this and a Zutter Bow-it-All tool.

Secret Santa BootHere’s a cute red one with Uggs boots on the front and Wavy Vertical Stripe Ribbon.  It makes me think of peppermint sticks!

Secret Santa Gingerbread HouseThis cute gingerbread house looks great with a little Natural Jute String, Peppermint Baker’s Twine, and Brown Micro Gingham.

Secret Santa Reindeer

Here’s a fun Santa and Reindeer that I’ve embellished with a little Gold Metallic Baker’s Twine, and a loopy holiday bow made from a sheer ribbon with 4 thin satin stripes.  (This is currently out of stock in the shop, but you can easily substitute Sheer Organza with a satin center.)

RRR Gift Packaging and Ribbon Challenge 01I was able to make 50 of these cute bags in 2 days time.  They are cute, go together quickly and are perfect for stocking stuffers, Secret Santa Gifts, a place to tuck a gift card or cash.  (The bag on the far left is decorated with Forest Green Delicate Stitched Satin.)

Here’s a peek at what’s inside the bag.

Secret Santa Bag insidesHonestly, without the ribbons, these bags were a little bit Plain Jane! But the holiday ribbons got them party ready in no time.  Now it’s your turn to share a Gift Packaging and Ribbon themed project!  Just link it up over at the Really Reasonable Ribbon BLOG.  I can’t wait to see what you make!

Thanks for stopping by!




Take Me out to the Ball Game!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game! Sports and Ribbon Challenge for RRR

Hello, Ribbon Lovers!  Is it really already the middle of September?  I feel like the days are just disappearing!  How about you?  I can’t believe it’s time for another great challenge over at Really Reasonable Ribbon.  Challenge #103 is all about Sports and ribbon, so I dug out my Graphic 45 Good Ole’ Sport papers and some beautiful ribbon from RRR to make my Take Me Out to the Ball Game birthday card.

Sports and Ribbon challenge 01I put down a layer of Navy Blue Sheer Organza with a Satin Center to anchor the base of my card.  Then I topped it with a second layer of Navy Blue Stars on White Grosgrain to go with the star images in the paper and embellishments.  I stamped the happy birthday directly onto the card front and embossed with clear embossing powder.  I added just a touch of Natural Jute String beneath the baseball button on my rosette.  It’s a pretty simple card layout, and came together in about 20 minutes.  No kidding!

If you are wondering about the torn edge on the base of the card, I’ll tell you a little secret.  I was making this up at the last minute for a big family birthday party.  So I was in a hurry.  And I glued my card front UPSIDE DOWN onto my card base.  For a moment, I despaired…then I thought, just tear it, make another card base and put it on the right way.  So that is what I did, and I actually like the torn edge on the front of the card.  But shhhhh…don’t tell!  It’s just our little secret!

Link your Sports and Ribbon themed project up to the RRR BLOG before the end of September.  Can’t wait to see what you make for this great challenge!  Thanks for stopping by!




Creating With Vintage Photos (Mama Said Card)

“Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This….

Good Thursday morning, folks.  Now that I’ve got you humming that nostalgic tune, how about we discuss creating with vintage photos?  Vintage photos are a hot trend right now, and you can easily use your own family vintage photos to create unique and meaningful gifts.  With Mother’s Day right around the corner, this is a great way to fashion a one of a kind gift for Mom that’s guaranteed to make her laugh (or cry, as the case may be) and feel especially  loved.

The Story Behind the card

I have a best friend who lives in Georgia.  We’ve known each other since we were both young wives and mothers….more than 32 years now.  Dianne is a girlfriend’s girlfriend!  She and I have been together through thick and thin –literally and figuratively!  About a year ago, we enjoyed a glorious girlfriend’s weekend together.  There was wine, laughter, fabulous food, shopping, shopping, shopping and late nights filled with reminiscing and girl fun.  Dianne is a fabulous decorator, and I enjoyed a tour of her beautiful home.  She has this photo of her mom hanging in her laundry room:

Mom fixed & smaller (2) Her mom lived in base housing in Massachusetts when Diane and her three siblings were small.  There was no dryer in the home…everything had to be hung out on the line.  Two of her kids wet the bed, so there was always a ton of laundry to be done.  On this very windy day in March, her Mom was trying to hang out the freshly laundered sheets, and the frisky spring wind kept whipping them and breaking the clothesline, causing the sheets to fall on the ground…which meant they had to be laundered all over again.  Can you believe this happened three times?  After the third time, Dianne’s mom went to her friend’s house and said, “Come and take a picture of this.  If I don’t laugh about it, I know I will cry.”  So the picture was taken, and the rest is history.  

The minute I saw this photo, a plan hatched in my brain.  I asked Dianne to e-mail me a copy of the photo, which she did, and this year for Christmas, I carried out the plan.  Here’s what I created with this vintage photo:

002 (2) Click on photo for larger image.

I cropped the photo, printed it on matte photo paper in sepia tones and matted it on brown cardstock,  I stamped a graphic stamp around the perimeter of the kraft card base using copper metallic ink.  The corners were rounded, and a cute little tag was affixed to the lower left corner of the photo:

004 I added twine to the top of the card and that, as they say, was that.  I kept it simple, wanting this fabulous vintage photo to be the star of the show.  I made 8 of these 5×7 cards for Dianne, packaged them in clear cellophane packaging and tied ribbons and twine around the top.  The day she received the package, she called me in tears, “The best present ever…” was her verdict.

Creating with vintage photos for special occasions

We all have these photos around the house.  The color photos are often not so great looking, but printed in sepia or black and white, they take on an elegant finish.  You could use a vintage photo of your child on the first day of school and put it into a set of thank you notes for high school or college graduation.  A vintage photo of a Bride to Be playing dress up would make great thank you notes or wedding shower invites.  For the expectant mom, you could use her baby pictures….there is no end of clever ideas for creating with vintage photos.  It’s inexpensive, meaningful and unique.  It requires very little crafting ability and almost no crafting tools.  The bottom line?  You can do this!!!  And you’ll look like a gift-giving rock star in the process!

That’s it for me today.  I leave you to get going on your own, creating with vintage photos…and humming, “Mama Said There’d be Days Like This!”  Hoping this is one of the good days Mama told you would come your way.  Until next time,



Product used in this project:  Paper: 5×7 kraft card bases and envelopes from Darice; brown cardstock from Bazzil; Dies: Tim Holtz Alterations Tiny tags and Tabs; Punches: 1 3/8 ” circle punch; Inks: Ranger Distress Ink in Vintage Photo and Tea Dye; Colorbox Cat’s Eye Pigment Brush Pad in Copper; Twine: DMC cotton floss color 644; Stamps: Japanese fan, Maya Road; Flourish: Technique Tuesday.