Tag Archives: handmade

Handmade gifts are awesome

Handmade gifts are awesome because they contain a bit of YOU. It could be as simple as a batch of cookies, or as complicated as a large bronze statue (though I don’t see anyone giving me a metal statue for my birthday…)

Gifts can be a quagmire though. Take the example of cookies: there are vegan cookies, sugar-free cookies, and cookies the person is allergic to, and regular sugar-laden cookies.

So, the safe thing is to make something pretty. I love hand-knitted and hand-painted things, like boxes and usable items like cardholders and coin purses.

The sky is the limit! Since my etsy shop is called Earth and Faery I like to make things that are magical but also down to earth.

Since school just started here, I thought of a gift a child might like and came up with a pencil box that I painted and embellished.

pencil box

This is the end result, a mystical night view with a fairy and a dragonfly.

I bought a box of raw wood, which I sanded within an inch of its life. Then I painted some primer, using craft paints. The last layers of paint are done with artist acrylics for better results. Pictures are in the sequence of production.

pencil box
primer
pencil box
primer
pencil box
lid artist paints

In the above picture I used three shades of purple to get the night sky, using artist acrylics.

pencil box
inside finished
pencil box
lid embellished with gold paint
pencil box
fairy and dragonfly

There you can see the details of the lid embellishment. Simple but fun and I think some child would treasure it, don’t you?  As a child I would have been enchanted to receive this gift.

We don’t receive enough homemade gifts in my opinion. All the cold store-bought things just inspire you to buy more (in search of that thing that gives a sense of satisfaction within.)

I prefer to give gifts people can use, like candles, edibles, boxes for keepsakes, knitted wash cloths or hot pads, a painting (IF the person professed a liking prior (unless they were lying…)) That’s their problem then. 🙂

Etsy is full of cool handmade gifts. Maybe this Christmas is a good time for a shift in gift giving, what do you think?

If you liked this simple tutorial on how to paint a wooden box, you can check out this blog post about making a handmade art journal. GREAT gift!!

Crafty girl’s guide to art journal making.

An art journal for an artsy friend is surely the best gift.

I also have a short e-course on how to make a polymer clay mosaic embellished box. Check it out.

Polymer Clay Mosaic Box from start to finish.

I know we’re a long way from Christmas still, but now is the time to look into making handmade gifts. What calls to you? Yarn? Check out some local sales. It’s a good start.

Have a creative week, lovelies!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of goodies in my etsy shop right now just in case people don’t want to make their own…Earth and Faery.

 

Make your own art journals, easy tutorials

There is a special feeling of satisfaction after you make your own art journals using your unique style. Art journaling will be less intimidating when you’re not faced with a book from the store filled with glaring white pages.

When you make your own, it becomes “friendly,” something you have gotten to know during the creative process and that you enjoy working in afterwards.

shabby chic art journal
shabby chic art journal

 

ledger art journal
ledger style art journal

 

altered books
altered books art journal

If you have questions about materials and procedure, I can help you.  In this e-course you will learn how to:

  • use fabric in your art journal
  • paint and dye fabric without fabric dyes
  • age paper
  • add fun details to your journal
  • use old books to alter using your own style
  • make mini journals that will fit in your purse
  • use tips and tricks to add your own touches
  • be creative with the materials you already have
  • inspire your creative process in general

To participate in this e-course you don’t need any particular artistic skills other than your hands and some art supplies. If you don’t have all on the list, use what you have.

We will make a shabby chic cloth-bound journal, a ledger style journal, and alter two picture books with unique pockets.

You will receive three detailed videos and a PDF for parts that I could not film.

To find out more GO HERE.

I would love for you to come and explore art journaling with me!

xo

Maria

Art journal made from a manila folder.

I have a fun tutorial to share today on how to make an art journal with a manila folder cover.

The pictures are not the greatest, but I had only artificial light when I took them.  I wanted to show the step by step process.

Now for the tutorial…

 

old manila folder
I started with a used manila folder and blacked out the text on the tab.  I used a liberal amount of Mod-Podge to glue the folder together, being careful that the edges stuck well.  I still ended up with some air bubbles once it dried.  Grrr.
I used a strip of washi tape over the uneven edges and glued down some white cardboard to reinforce the tab.  I made sure to lay down a strip of glue to hold down the washi tape forever, lol.
I folded the manila folder in half, using a bone folder to really press down the crease hard once the Mod-Podge had dried.  This was before the washi tape obviously…
I cut the white cardboard to the shape of the tab and now had a very sturdy tab.
I now laid the folder flat on my table and spread out a layer of paint…
I spread some paint on the back of the folder.  I like the shabby uneven look.
I used several layers of paint, mostly spread with an old gift card.  Both sides are similar, just a slight difference in the colors.
I painted the tab purple and wrote the words “Good Dreams” on it.  I stamped the front cover with the word Imagine, and there is plenty of space for embellishment.  The back cover has only paint on it, so there is plenty of room for creativity.
I cut out some paper stars to cover the air bubbles on the inside cover and stamped some inspirational words.

 

I used card stock paper for the signature.  There are 24 empty pages to embellish when all is said and done. They are a bit narrow, but that’s the shape of the folder. Card stock is not as durable as watercolor paper, but you can certainly use wet medium and paints on it. I used card stock in various colors.

 

I tried to get a picture of the various papers, but it didn’t turn out great.  There are two sheets of green, two yellow, and two manila colored.  I thought it was fun to add varied colors.

 

The inside front cover adjoins a green paper…

 

And another close up of the back inside cover.  The picture is pinkish, and I blame my camera for that.
What do you think? I really enjoyed the project and I can’t wait to embellish the pages.  It’s a good size for traveling too.
What are you working on now?
xo
Maria
P.S. I have some journals for sale in my etsy shop. CLICK HERE.