Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How to Use Chipboard

Every place you look chip board is being used not just for scrapbooking but on other craft projects and in home decor. The reason I like chipboard is that its cheap, versatile and easy to use. Its a fast and easy way to add texture to a scrapbooking page

What is chipboard ? Its pressed fiber thick paper that is usually made from recycled paper. Now you might say well Ive never seen chipboard but you have it that stuff on the back of notebooks and spiral pads- that brown cardboard we all have laying around.

Here are some great ways you can use chipboard when scrapbooking:

Make number or letter embellishments out of chipboard- place printed paper over the top of chipboard and press hard along the outside of each letter with a pencil or pen, making an impression into the chipboard. Then you just cut it out.

Create a one-of-a-kind chipboard embellishments- cut out shapes such as flowers, stars or even tag shapes and cover with scrapbooking papers distressing the edges. They can also be painted with craft paint or chalked

Frames or photo mats really stand out when made out of chipboard. I like the difference in dimension that chipboard gives to a page layout. Chipboard will help your photos stand out more too. Add eyelets or brads and even rub-ons to make this a unique addition to your page

Making your journal block out of chipboard will make it more noticeable on the page

Chipboard edges can be sanded with an emery board to give them a more vintage look

Designs can be embossed on chipboard for even another effect

Working with chipboard can be fun and will really make things pop out on your scrapboard page and what can be less expensive then the back of an old notepad

How to Make Grubby Tags

Grubby tags are a great addition to any scrapbook page. They can be used as tags on baskets, packages or even as Christmas ornaments too. You can make them as elaborate or as simple as you wish with decorating. The directions below are for the simple basic grubby background to the tag.

3x5 index cards ( You can substitute boughten shipping tags but I like using index cards - they are less expensive and you can make them any shape or size you want.)
3 heaping tablespoons of instant coffee ( the more expensive brands will give you a darker color - if you use a cheaper brand you may want to add more)
1 cup of boiling water
Few drops of vanilla ( I like vanilla for a scent, but do use cinnamon oil at Christmas time...the choice of scents is yours)

Directions:Cut the index cards into the shape you want and punch a hole in the top ( I have used star shapes, Christmas trees, bells, snowflakes besides the standard tag shapes)

Mix the hot water, instant coffee and vanilla well then apply with a sponge brush to both sides of the tag place on a drying rack to dry ( I use an old window screen but a baking rack will work also)

Let the tags dry thoroughly turning them over a couple of times . If they dry to light you can restain them.To hurry up this process place them on a cookie sheet in a low temperature oven for a few minutes

If you would like the tags to have a motley effect spray them with a bit of water before completely dry.Should the tags curl up ( I find this happens more often when I dry them in the oven) press them with a old iron on the cotton setting ( a pressing cloth may be used if you dont have an old iron)

You should also stain the string you use - embroidery thread may also be used as string as well as torn homespun or raffia

Once they are completely dry the fun begins. Writing should be done with a permanent sharpie marker.Embellishments such as mica flakes, buttons, rubber stamping, bottle caps, vintage copies of photos, vintage images can all be used. Also like to paint on the tags with acrylics.If I do more than just write on them I do modge podge them. If the items you add seem to light colored just add some of the staining mixture to them with a q-tip.Let your imagination and creativity run wild and have fun making tags !

Five Things Every Scrapbooking Page Should Have

When scrapbooking as especially as a beginner we often look at a blank page and are completely overwhelmed. Relax this is suppose to be fun and there really is no right or wrong so just let your imagination and creativity flow and remember these five things that every scrapbook page should contain ( well in my opinion)

1.Photos- pick out the best photos that represent the feeling and look you want the page to have - dont try to use every photo

2.Journaling - writing something about the photos. Remember you will be looking at these pictures years from now and wouldnt you like to know who the people in them are, where the picture was taken and when.

3.Use complementary colors- try to cooridinate your colors and patterns so that they are pleasing to the eye

4.Effective designing- dont let the other stuff overpower your photos they are what is important - too much can only distract

5.Lasting- make sure you only use supplies that are going to last that they are archival quality so that they will withstand the test of time

Have fun preserving your memories it really is worth the time !

Don't Destroy Your Scrapbooking Pages Slowly

After spending your time and energy creating beautiful scrapbooking pages do not let them be destroyed slowly. Learn about the various chemicals that will damage your scrapbook over time and ensure that your pages are just as beautiful as the day you made them years from now.

Paper- avoid paper that is not lignin-free. Lignin is the stiff component of a plant that holds it together. After a while lignin will cause paper, photos and fabric to turn brown. Lignin free paper does cost more but is well worth the price.

Fabric- fabric is not acid free if you are going to use it be sure that it doesn't touch photos directly. Place paper beneath fabric if you are going to have it overlapping. The other thing to consider with fabric is if it will bleed. Test your fabric by soaking it in water overnight before using.

Glitter- use special glitter glue when using glitter assuring that the glitter stays in place if not your photos will be scratched

Mounting tape- be sure to use acid-free mounting tape on photos or they will slowly discolor

These are just a few simple tips to follow to insure that your beautiful photos and scrapbooking pages stand the test of time

How to Use Scrapbooking Chalks

Scrapbooking Chalks are a great inexpensive way to add color to your scrapbooking page. With a simple set of basic chalks you can add shading, highlighting to your various types of papers, stamping,punch art and die cuts. They will allow you to be more creative and give your scrapbooking layout character. Be sure when you buy your chalks that they are not just artist's pastel they need to be acid free just like all of the other things you use on your scrapbooking pages.

There are a variety of tools that you can use with chalks including q-tips, cotton balls, eye shadow applicators and tissue. Experiment on a scrap piece of paper with the various tools to see what kind of effects you can get. Start with a light touch you can always add more color. Always start with the lightest color and add to darker when shading.

If you are going to be chalking an embellishment be sure to use extra caution when glueing. The chalk will stick to the glue. Chalk can be used to tint ribbons and fabrics.

To fix mistakes you can use a chalk eraser that is available at most craft stores. Fix mistakes quickly though chalk does become permanent

Chalk does not generally need a permanent fixative, the pigments in chalk become permanently set in just a few hours. You can use a acid free spray fixative available in craft stores but be careful not to spray your photos

Have fun and experiment...let your creativity run wild. Chalks can be a lot of fun !

How to Preserve Newspaper Clipping

At some time in our lives we all want to preserve a newspaper clipping. Maybe our child scored the winning homerun or won the local science contest, wedding announcements even the sadness of a obituary we want to preserve. These are all things we want to preserve but they begin to deteriorate the moment they come off the press. Do we have to accept this- no with the help of modern technology we can preserve these clippings to be read and enjoyed by future generations. Below are a few options:

1.Archival Mist Spray - this product neutralizes the acid in the paper. It is expensive but is the best in my opinion and can be found in scrapbooking store and craft stores

2.Make it Acid Free by Krylon is much like this product and less expensive it can also be found in scrapbooking stores and craft stores. it also neutralizes the acid found in paper

3. Scan your article to acid free paper and print it. The results are easy and fanastic and usually look exactly like the original

4. If you dont have a scan this same process can be done at your local print shop

Always use one of the above methods to stop the aging process as soon as possible but if you have articles tucked away its not to late you can not repair the damage already done but you can stop further deterioration.

How to Create Your Own Batik Paper

If your wanting an unique background paper for scrapbooking try making batik paper its fun to make with your favorite stamp and a few other supplies.

Mulberry paper in either white or a color
A bold stamp ( preferably one that is at least partially solid)
Clear embossing powder
Clear embossing ink
Water colors in two complementary colors
Spray bottle of water
Paint brush


1.Tear the edges of the Mulberry paper to the size you want your finished piece of paper

2.Stamp randomly on the paper with embossing ink and sprinkle with embossing powder, melt the powder with heat-embossing tool (Hint: do not put your stamped images to close together you want the batik background to show )

3.Lightly spray the stamped page with water. Dipping you brush into the watercolor pigment and touch the paper on the edge. The paper will pick up the pigment and bleed. The paint will spread over the as the water on the paper picks it up (Hint: the larger the amount of paint on the brush the larger the area it will spread to, if the paint doesnt spread spray the paper with more water.)

4.Add the second color in the same way. The alternate back and forth between the colors until you get the desired effect on the paper.

5. Let the paper dry thoroughly before using in your scrapbooking or altered art work.

Different Ideas for Backgrounds

Many times we run out of ideas for the background on our scrapbooking pages below are a few that you might consider using

1.Book jacket- use the book jacket of a favorite book of your childs or yours such as Harry Potter you can use the actual book cover or scan it on your computer and use the paper you create

2.Clothing- scan a piece of clothing such as a team uniform on your computer and use the paper created for a background

3.Use left over scraps of fabrics from costumes such as Halloween for the background

4.For scouting pages scan badges and emblems and then print the paper to be used as a background, this same thing can be used with any uniform that has badges

5.Use calendar pages they have wonderful images and can be cut down to the right size for your scrapbook

6.Maps make great background for pages about trips

7.Scan the newspaper especially the comics or sport events that you or child have taken part in to make the background paper

8.By scanning sheet music you have a background page for a childs recital - make it personal by scanning the piece that they played

9.Scan doilies for the background of pages to get a lacy look

10.Take a picture of items like cheerios, jelly beans, marshmallows and other small food items, then scan into your computer and print.

11.Use gift wrap and wallpaper- many times you can get wallpaper books for your local wallpaper store

12.Brochures and documents can be use or scanned and printed for a background

These are just a few ideas for backgrounds. Look around let your creativity flow. Please remember if you are not sure if this papers are safe for scrapbooking scan them and print them onto paper that is

Basic Steps for Creating a Page

There are a few simple steps in creating a scrapbooking page that will make you much happier with your finished product but be sure to remember do not stress over the page this is to be fun- be flexible and enjoy yourself

1.Choose the theme of the page- a trip to the zoo, first day of school, etc

2.Choose the photos you want to use that represent the theme of your page

3.Sketch out a basic layout for your page -where will things go, where will things fit and choose a color theme

4.Crop your photos to remove unwanted and unnecessary space

5.Mat your photos- this will make them the focal point of the page

6. Select the embellishments you want to use- the stickers, braids,ink, stamps, etc.

7.Start arranging all of your elements on the page like a puzzle. play around with them in different arrangements

8. When you are happy with the way it looks walk away from it for a few minutes if possible and come back and look once more before glueing it down.

Now you have finished a page....if your like me you have boxes of photos on to the next !