Category Archives: Up-cycled Projects

Graphic 45 DIY Home Decor

Graphic 45 DIY Home Decor: CREATE!  An Upcycled Project

Hello, G45ers!  I love thrift shops…and flea markets…and yard sales, too!  Nothing gives me more of a thrill than finding someone’s castaway, buying it for a song and turning it into treasure.  That’s what I did when I made this Graphic 45 DIY home decor for my new studio.  It’s being featured on the Graphic 45 BLOG today, and I hope you’ll pop by and take a peek at it.

Graphic 45 DIY Home Decor, DIY Quotes and Newsprint, City Scapes by Kathy Clement Product By Graphic 45.Photo 1

This is easily the largest project I’ve ever tackled.  It measures 3 feet long by 12″ high.  The wrought iron finials make it even longer!  I’ve hung this in my studio above my work desk, and I just love it!

Here’s a look at the piece before I went to work on it:

Graphic 45 DIY Home Decor Step Out Photo, DIY Quotes and Newsprint, Cityscapes, by Kathy Clement, Product by Graphic 45, Photo 1You probably cant see it in these photos, but lots of the paper had chipped off, and everything was really faded.  But….it was on sale for half price, and I fell in love with the metal finials, so I had to bring it home with me.

Here it is hanging in my studio:

Graphic 45 DIY Home Decor, DIY Quotes and Newsprint, Cityscapes, Process Photo, by Kathy Clement, Product by Graphic 45 Photo 8I hope you’ll find a minute to pop over to Graphic 45 where you’ll find process photos, designer tips and more close up views.

If you don’t have time to visit the G45 Blog, here’s a YouTube Video for you to enjoy!

Thanks so much for stopping by!




Place in Time Mini Album


Place in Time Mini Album for Really Reasonable Ribbon Autumn Challenge


Hello, Friends!

It’s time for another great challenge over at Really Reasonable Ribbon.  This time, we have been challenged to create a project with an autumn theme.  I combined ribbon from the Autumn Days Ribbon Club with beautiful papers and images from Graphic 45 to make this Place in Time Mini Album.  It’s a great way to store all your sweet summer memories so they don’t slip away.  This is a photo heavy post, so you might want to go grab a cuppa and a snack.  I don’t want you to pass out before you finish the post!

Kathy by Design Place in Time Mini Album for Really Reasonable Ribbon

This little album has a faux leather cover that was created by sanding and embossing an old cereal box with an Anna Griffin embossing folder.  The dry embossed cover was pounced with Espresso, Ginger and Caramel Alcohol Inks.  Next,  the entire surface was treated with Versamark Ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder.  It looks and feels like leather.  So cool!

If you’d rather not read all the content below, I made a short (under 2 minutes) video so that you can see the inside.

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 02For the binding, I simply scored and accordion folded to create hinges on the inside where I could attach my inner pages.  The front of this album is bedecked with images from the August Place in time papers because they are the perfect match for the August Autumn Days Ribbon Club Assortment.  I also used yellow, olive and navy burlap string throughout the book.

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 04The inside pages have a kraft cardstock base, topped with papers from Graphic 45 Place in Time and French Country collections.  I left lots of room for photos, journaling tags and mementos.  I love the way the Autumn Days Ribbon Collection bridges summer to fall.  The colors are perfect!

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 05The pages measure 4.25″ x 6.5″, so there’s lots of room for large photos to be tucked inside.  The waterfall page is tied together with a piece of Daffodil Delicate Stitched Satin Ribbon, which is one of the selections in the August Ribbon Club.  The little border at the bottom uses the Sunflowers on Kiwi Grosgrain Ribbon.

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 06Each page folds down with room for a photo on the designer paper and journaling beneath.  I love putting interactive pages like this into an album!

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 07Here’s a pocket page, with plenty of room to slip in a handful of photos.  Again, I used the sunflower ribbon as a border piece and tied a snippet of Daffodil satin through the chipboard button.

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 08Lots of room for photos here, and some fun journaling tags, too.  Large photos can be tucked into the pocket. The sunflower ribbon unifies the design and adds so much texture and visual interest to the album, don’t you think?

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 10Photo booth style photos are really popular right now, and these little tags are the perfect place to display them.  Using the front and back of the tags, you have room for 8 small photos.  Or, you can use a white gel pen to jot down journaling notes.

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 11The final page is a fold out page with room for large photos.

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 12Inside the fold out page, I have created a pocket with journaling tags and room for more photo storage.  So even though this mini is small in size, it has room for loads of sweet summer memories.

RRR Autumn Challenge Placein Time Mini 13Here’s another view of the faux leather surface and the accordion fold binding.  The bold gold flower is from Petaloo.  This color palette with the Autumn Ribbon Club Assortment reminds me of the golden light that is peculiar to fall.  I love the fall season, and think these papers, colors and ribbon do a great job of capturing the nostalgia I feel when autumn rolls around.

Now, it’s your turn!  Create an autumn themed project using ribbon or trim and link it up to the Really Reasonable Ribbon Challenge Blog.  Visit the BLOG for more inspiring projects from the rest of the team and details on how to play along.

Thanks for stopping by today!



This Place in Time Mini Album is available for purchase in my ETSY shop.

Upcycled Tag Mini Book

Upcycled Tag Mini Book for 613 Avenue Create

Hello, Friends!  It’s time for another great challenge at 613 Avenue Create! Challenge #95 is “Anything Goes” and the optional twist is “Bags, Tags, Boxes and More.”  Now, I love a good tag, and because of this, I can’t seem to bring myself to throw away the tags that come as part of the packaging for embellishments.  So many of them are made from a nice weight of chipboard and have a really pretty shape, too.  I had squirreled away a few of these in the Closet of Shame, and knew that I wanted to use them to make an upcycled tag mini book for this challenge. Here’s what I came up with:

613 Ave Create tag book 01These 3 Bo Bunny tags were slightly different in size, but they all had the same shape and a pretty scalloped bottom edge.  I sanded them lightly, painted the edges with Antique Linen Distress Paint and then used pretty vintage images from Crafty Secrets to decorate.  I stayed with a simple blue, white and silver color palette to unify the pages, and used papers from an old K and Company paper stack that I found in my stash.

613 Ave Create tag book 02This sweet little angel was treated with UTEE before she received  her sparkly wings.  I tucked in some velvet leaves and berries that  I tapped with white pigment ink to give them a frosty feel.  The icicles were die cut from vellum.  All the edges of the tag were embossed with Zing Silver Glitter Embossing powder.

613 Ave Create tag book 03My upcycled tag mini book opens from the bottom because the holes were already punched into the packaging I used.  Here, I’ve included the words to one of my favorite Christmas Carols typed out in a fancy font.  The shimmery ribbon is Stiched Sheer/Satin from Really Reasonable Ribbon.  it ties the dreamiest bows!

613 Ave Create tag book 05

613 Ave Create tag book 06I’ve added rub-ons, metal brads that I’ve embossed with Bridal embossing tinsel, sequins and little bitty snowflakes. The silver metallic ribbon is from RRR as well.

613 Ave Create tag book 07I salvaged this dove from a Christmas tag…I knew it would come in handy some day!

613 Ave Create tag book 08613 Ave Create tag book 09The back cover is sort of upside down, but I love the way it looks resting on all those delicious ribbons!  The best thing about this upcycled mini book is that it doesn’t take very long to make.  Once you’ve picked your papers and images, it goes together really fast.  And it will make a sweet hostess gift during the holidays, don’t you think?

613 Ave Create tag book 10So the next time you purchase a package of brads or embellies, you might just want to tuck the packaging material away in your Closet of Shame so that you can make your own upcycled mini book!

There are prizes for this challenge:

Bugaboo Stamps

  is offering a prize of 7 digital stamps!

Beansie Doodle

is also offering a prize. You can get this info from the 613 Avenue Create blog.

I’m also entering this project into the following challenges:

Sweet Stampin’ Christmas (use Snowflakes)

Word Art Wednesday (Anything Goes)

Divas by Design (Christmas with flowers)

Nutcrafters Challenge #79  (winter weather)

Thanks so much for stopping by!  If you have any questions or comments on this project, I’d love to hear from you!




Faux Leather Gratitude Journal Tutorial

Gratitude Journal 13Crafty Secrets October 2013 Linky Party

Hi, friends!  Is it really time for another Crafty Secrets Linky Party?  It doesn’t seem possible, but I look at my calendar and see that this is indeed, the first Monday in October, so it is time to play.  The design team will be sharing tutorials and projects this month featuring fall and Halloween themed projects on our blogs.  You can hop from blog to blog for inspiration and tips on using your favorite vintage images from Crafty Secrets.  Then, visit the Crafty Secrets Heartwarming Vintage blog and link up your new fall/Halloween themed project made primarily with Crafty Secrets supplies.  Sandy, the owner of Crafty Secrets, is so generous: each person who plays along will be given a $6 credit at the Crafty Secrets online store.  But that’s not all: one lucky name will be randomly drawn to receive a $50 credit.  That’s a lot of fun shopping!  So, before I share my faux leather Gratitude Journal tutorial with you, let me give you the links to the other gals on the design team.

Faux Leather Gratitude Journal Tutorial

Before we get started, I will tell you that there are a lot of photos, and a ton of steps for this tutorial.  You may want to go get yourself a cuppa of something tasty to drink and a snack before we get started.  Go ahead…I’ll wait for you….Ready?  OK!  All the images and papers for this project came from the Crafty Secrets Digital Thanksgiving Collection and Autumn Blessings Heartwarming Vintage Cuts.  The Thanksgiving collection is brand new, and available for immediate download for just $10.99.  The Autumn Blessings Vintage Cuts have been marked down to just .75 cents!

A couple of years ago, I noticed a trend on Facebook for celebrating the month of November as a month of gratitude. I love this idea, and it was wonderful to read day by day the things that my friends were thankful for.  The only problem is Facebook is a very temporary platform.  I mean, have you ever tried to go back and find a post that you liked yesterday, only to search in vain?  With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought it would be really nice to have an actual journal where I could record a short entry each day of something I’m thankful for.  And, if I could include pockets for photos or recipes or little mementos …that would be even better.  And, if there was room in that same journal to write down lists or notes, that would be super.  So I went to work, designing the features I wanted in my gratitude journal.

Step 1: Eat Your Cereal

Would you believe me if I told you that this sweet little journalGratitude Journal 17  started life as a cereal box?  Well, it did!  To create the cover for your journal you will need an empty cereal box.

025 (2)

Flatten an empty cereal box and cut to a height of 6 3/8 inches.

Flatten an empty cereal box and cut to a height of 6 5/8 inches.

027 (2) Trim off one edge of the box, and cut it down so that each side measures 4 1/2 inches by 6 5/8″  .  You want your spine to measure 2″ in width.  Conveniently, this box measures that exactly, which gives me a pre-scored spine.  

028 (2) Emboss both the front cover and back cover of your journal with the embossing folder of your choice.

031 (2) Sand the front cover to prepare it to receive ink.  No need to sand heavily…just create some tooth.

029 (2)  Use alcohol ink and a felt applicator.  I used a mixture of Espresso, Pesto and Cranberry in the first coat.  You’ll finish with the copper metallic.

032 (2) It will take more than one coat of the ink to completely cover the writing on the front of the box.  Just be sure to let each coat dry before adding the next coat.  It doesn’t take long.  Be very careful if using a heat gun…alcohol inks are flammable.  Keep it a good distance away from the surface and keep the nozzle moving.  Or, just be patient. 

033 (2) Just ink the edges and the spine of the inside cover. 

034 (2) Score the spine at 1/4 inch intervals and accordion fold it. 

035 (2) I like to use alligator clips on it for a couple minutes just to train the pleats to stay in place.

037 (2) Tap the front cover all over with Versamark Ink.  Just the cover…not the spine!

038 (2) Sprinkle with clear embossing powder, tap off the excess, and heat set.  Repeat this process on the back cover.  When you are done, your cardboard cereal box will look like old leather…and it feels really neat, too!

039 (2)

Create your inner pages

Use sturdy 8 1/2×11 cardstock to print out your selected pages from the Thanksgiving Collection.  I printed each page, flipped it over in the printer and then printed the backside with a complimentary pattern.  (I used Stampin’ Up Ivory Naturals cardstock because it has a vintage look to begin with, and it takes the printer ink really well.) You are going to need 5 sheets of double-sided printed paper and one sheet of single sided printed paper to line the inside of your book.

Select your liner paper, and cut two panels, each 4 1/4″ x 6 1/4″.  Ink the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and use strong white glue or double sided tape to secure to your inside covers.

040 (3)  Save the leftover bits…we’ll be using them soon.

I had some old pages from a day timer journal that were the perfect 4×6 1/4″ size for the inside pages, but you could easily cut sheets of cardstock or notebook paper to this size.  You’ll need 35 sheets, divided into 5 “bundles”.  Cut your double-sided paper as follows: 5 rectangles cut to 4 1/4″ x 6 1/4″ and 5 rectangles cut to 4″x 6 1/4″  .  You’ll also need five 1″ x 6 1/4″ strips for binding.

041 (2) I used a very thin bead of white glue down the far left hand side of each piece of paper to create a sort of mini pad.  Remember: you will have 7 sheets of this paper in each bundle.  I used double stick tape on the 1″ x 6 1/4″ binding piece and scored each piece at 1/2″.  I peeled the tape away and bound each bundle.

042 (2) This is what the bundle will look like when it is finished. Repeat this process for all 5 bundles.

Adding the covers to the bundles:

Once you have your 5 little bundles completed, it is time to add the covers.  Score each 4 1/4″ x 6 1/4″ rectangle at 1/4″ and again at 1/2″.  This will be the front cover and hinge for your journal. 

046 (2)  Use 1/8″ red line tape along the front edge of your paper bundle.  If you look where the pencil is pointing, you’ll see where I added the tape.  Peel off the liner, and very carefully line up the scored cover so that the edges of the cover match up with the white corners of the bundle.  You’ll have a 1/2″ overhang on the bound side of your bundle.  This is what you want.  Press down to seal.  Repeat this process on the back of the bundle, adding the matching  4″ x 6 1/4″ rectangle to complete the bundle.

044 (2)  The inside will look like this, and the back will look like this:

047 (2)  Here you can see the hinge that we’ll use to secure the bundle into the spine later.  And here’s what the bundle looks like from the front.

045 (2)  Repeat this process with the remaining bundles.  When you are done, you’ll have 5 pretty little bundles, all ready for binding:

048 (2)  Decorate the front of each bundle using images from the Autumn Blessings Vintage Cuts. Place a quote about gratitude inside the cover.  Then line the back side of the 1/4″ overhang with double stick tape and carefully stick it down onto the accordion fold.  050 (2)  It will look like this.  Flip the bundle to the backside and add a pocket.

049 (2)  I had smallish brown paper bags that were the right width, but too tall to fit in the book.  So I cut them down to the right height, sewed up the bottom seam, and folded over the flap.  I used a glue stick to adhere these to the back of each bundle.

Decorating the cover….almost finished!

I printed out a 4 x6 image, treated it with the cracked glass technique and then tore around the edges.  I inked the edges with black soot distress ink.  I secured ribbon to the front and back of my journal with double stick tape.  Do not use tape on the spine.  I added one of Tim’s buckles to my image, and then popped the whole thing on with foam tape.  Finished.  And now, for the pictures:

Gratitude Journal 01 Gratitude Journal 02 Gratitude Journal 03Gratitude Journal 04 Gratitude Journal 05 Gratitude Journal 06 Gratitude Journal 08 Gratitude Journal 09 Gratitude Journal 10  Here you can see the bottom of the bag.  I lined it with printed paper and cut a thumb hole in it.  These are so very cute, and a handy place to tuck a photo, a recipe, a souvenir…I love pockets!

Gratitude Journal 11 Gratitude Journal 18

Here’s a view of the outside and the inside of the journal.  Plenty of room to record your blessings.  Imagine your grandchildren coming across this in years to come and reading your expressions of gratitude, written in your own hand.  It gives me chills just to think about it.

Gratitude Journal 14

So, there you go, friends: my Faux Leather Gratitude Journal is complete.  If you are still with me, thank you.  I know this was a long post, but there were a lot of details to share.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  It’s always hard to translate a project like this onto paper.  I hope you were inspired to create your own Gratitude Journal.  I always say that thankful people are the happiest people in the world.  Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment…they make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time,



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