Quick & easy last minute holiday ideas

It’s time for more holiday ideas through Xyron’s 30 days of Holidays!10372750_10153350649544251_5810699339160766702_nThere is nothing I like more than a home-made Christmas. Brings back great childhood memories of making ornaments and decorations with my mother and siblings. I’ve come up – with some help from Pinterest – with some quick and easy decorations that really lend that home-made look to the home and gift items that are equally fun to do with the kids.

First up is a book mark. This was so easy to make with Xyron’s laminate cartridge and it’s a great way to preserve your art or that of a child – show me a grandma or grandpa who reads who wouldn’t love their grandchild’s art work done up in a useful gift. I sliced up an art journal page to about 1 1/2″ by 7″ sections. I ran them through my Xryon 5″ Creative Station with the Laminate/Permanent Adhesive.20141204_133816Then I stuck them together back-to-back and trimmed around the edges, punched a hole with the Crop-a-Dile and tied a pretty ribbon through the hole.20141204_134754My next project is one I found on Pinterest but revised it to make it even easier to assemble. I started with an empty toilet paper tube and flattened it with a bone folder. I wanted to print some holiday clip art onto a book page so after finding some free downloadable art I printed the two pictures on office paper to line up placement.

I was able to add just a tad of adhesive with the Xyron Mega Runner to all four sides of the book pages to hold them in place on the office paper. The paper (with the adhered book pages) was reinserted into my printer so the images could be printed on the book pages. I ran the printed book pages through the Xyron Creatopia with permanent adhesive and gently peeled it off the backing. Lay the toilet tube on the sticky side of the book page so the image is centered in the front of the tube. Wrap the page around the tube, fold up the bottom and clip the top sides of the book pages so you can tuck the top flaps down inside the tube.
linda_neff_Xyron_ornamentUse the Teresa Collins Stapler to secure the bottom of the tube. 20141204_131417Pierce a hole on each side of the tube top and add some wire. I added a jingle bell to one and white-washed one with a dilution of gesso. Stuff with special candies, candy canes, or other small items and hang on the tree as a special treat for visitors.20141204_142800My next project uses Xyron Laminate Magnet refill in my Xyron 5″ Creative Station. I took a piece of red glitter paper from DCWV Christmas & Winter Glitter Cardstock Stack and ran it through the Creative Station to put full-coverage magnet on the back and laminate on the top. Then I die cut it using a Christmas ornament die. I added the word ‘JOY’ that was die cut and run through the Xyron 1.5″ Sticker Maker. A pretty ribbon finishes the look. I also die cut letters to spell ‘peace’ from the scraps. It looks so cute hanging on the fridge!

linda_neff_Xyron_Christmas_Fridge_Magnets_blogFor the final hooray I grabbed my bag full of last year’s Christmas cards. How many years have I saved Christmas cards always intending to do something with them – well, this is the year! This actually was the easiest and my favorite.

I cut the card fronts just a hair smaller than the manilla tags I wanted to use, inked the edges and ran them through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station with permanent adhesive.

linda_neff_Xyron_tags_swagMy original plan was to make gift tags from these, but once I got them all done and laid out they looked pretty enough to hang so that’s what I did. I simply strung them some twine and hung them from a shelf. Aren’t they cute! When I actually get around to Christmas shopping I can slip the tags off the twine one-by-one and use them on the packages.

20141204_171327Make sure to visit the Xyron Facebook page to check out other great projects from the rest of the designers. There’s been some great ones and we ain’t done yet!

Creating perfect layers

10487465_10203247648726859_5415453188514283000_nlinda_mug_2014I’m so happy to be back with the Xyron Design Team! As you all know, I LOVE my Xyron and it’s so easy to work with products that I already know and love. Our first post for the new team came up rather quickly and we were presented with products from Perfect Paper Crafting and Xyron.

I had no idea what Perfect Paper Crafting was all about – especially their Perfect Mini Layers rulers. It didn’t take but cutting a couple mats around a photo before I realized I really needed these tools! The Perfect Mini Layers rulers are very easy to use. They’re all well marked with easy-to-read measurements.

They have a little edge that grabs the paper and then all you need to do is run a nice sharp craft knife down the edge. A perfect straight mat edge each time!

I started by putting Xyron Double-Sided High Tack 1/2″ Tape on the back of my photo and adhered it the paper I was using for the mat. Placed the ruler against the edged of the photo and used a sharp blade to slice down the edge.

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I was able to build up the layers in matting and with so many width choices it was easy to do.

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This beautiful paper is DCWV and I used several papers to layer color and pattern. All embellishments came from the pack; they were made by cutting out quotes and phrases and using punches to make some flowers.

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The pieces for this layout were so quick and easy to assemble by using Xyron to evenly distribute the adhesive on all the small pieces. That old Karen Foster corner punch was used to make pieces to stack along a border strip as an added decorative element.

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The punched scallop circle serves as the background for the flowers. I used Xyron Adhesive Dots to stack the flowers then finished off with an Adhesive Dot for the flower center and sprinkled with a bit of glitter.

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This layout came together so easily and I really like it. It’s the perfect photo of my brother and our cousin Liz. Just two fun-loving cousins sharing a moment at a Father’s Day gathering.

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I also used the Perfect Paper Crafting Mini Layers rulers to create this quick little card. The mats were extremely easy to cut and create with the rulers – even in calculating the larger spacing on the top and bottom of the center mat. After the mats were assembled and the ribbon tied, the entire front was passed through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station and placed on the folded card – Ta Da!

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Be sure to hop on over to Xyron’s blog – Ain’t She Crafty and the Perfect Paper Crafting blog for so many more tips, techniques and projects using these fantastic products!

This little heart of mine …

Howdy! I’m up over on the Art Glitter blog today with a how-to create this glittery little Valentine’s Day canvas.

It is super quick-n-easy and makes a cute little shelf-sitter.

Jump on over and take a look!

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And, here’s a link or two for a few other Valentine’s Day ideas: http://artglitterblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/glittering-candy-jars.html and https://linda-neff.com/2013/01/10/lovin-this-little-box/

 

Lovin’ this little box …

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotI love looking at blogs where the artist creates adorable little gift boxes. I think gift boxes are such a lovely and fun way to present a gift to someone – in addition to the gift inside they also get to enjoy or reuse the box it came in!

I’ve never really tried to make too many boxes. I always thought it would be a bit time-consuming. Boy, was I wrong!

I made this little box in under two hours – I think it was more like an hour and a half from start-to-finish.

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I got the idea this morning when I was putting a new bar of soap in my shower. Yardley soap is one of my favorites, I especially love their English Lavender, and when I was flattening the box for the recycle bin it occurred to me that the box is the perfect size for a little gift of candy or a gift card – or both! So instead of adding it to the recycle bin I headed for my room and carefully opened the box on its side seam so I could use it for a template.

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I used a paper from my Ciao Bella Stack from DCWV and traced the soap box onto the backside of the paper (it’s easier to see the pencil lines on the white rather than the pattern paper). Cut the box by cutting on the inside of the pencil line so no pencil lines will remain that might be seen. Use a scoreboard to score lines on your paper in the same places the box has score lines. A bone folder will give you a nice smooth crease.

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I used the cut-out sheet and a coordinating paper from the same pack of Ciao Bella Stack from DCWV. I selected my title for the box and carefully fussy-cut that out, then cut about a two-inch strip of the coordinating paper to use as a wrap on the box. The Fiskars Lacy Doubles Interchangeable Border Punch was perfect to punch the edges on the wrap strip. All the edges – box, title and punched strip – are inked lightly with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

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I added a strip of Sticky Strips to the outer edges on the punched border strip. These will easily hold Poupon 717 Microfine Transparent Glitter and help to add a bit of glitz to the wrap.

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I used my ‘glitter painting’ technique on the title by squeezing out a dollop of Designer Dries Clear (DDC) onto a palette. I take a fine-tip brush and carefully ‘paint’ the DDC onto parts of the rose on the title cut-out then sprinkle with the appropriated glitter color. I used Juicy Fruit 99 and Just Peachy 162 Ultrafine Transparent glitters along with Poupon 717 Microfine Transparent glitter on the rose to create a variegated look. The leaves are done the same way using Leaf 114 Opaque along with three additional greens from a medallion of glitters. The rim of the ‘Love’ title is ‘painted’ with Tree Bark 524 Microfine Opaque.

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I love the look from adding glitter to die-cuts or stickers for that matter. It really helps dress up a plain-Jane and adds a nice touch of glitz to what, otherwise, might be flat and dull.

While the glittered pieces are setting aside and drying, it’s time to add the glitter to your Sticky Strips. This is so easy! Peel the protective cover from the strip and pour on the Poupon glitter. I always gently rub the glitter into the Sticky Strip before tapping the excess off.

Fold the box and add adhesive to the side to adhere together. I used the Xyron Mega Runner with permanent adhesive. Only the side seam needs to be adhered but I also added adhesive to the bottom flap so it will not open. Fold the box closed then wrap the wrap band around it to see where to crease the band. Remove and score so the band will wrap and lay nicely; secure to box with ends meeting in front (the title is adhered over the ends). I wanted my title to be domed so added three strips of adhesive foam tape to the center areas then used DDC to adhere the title to the box (this creates the dome).

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Fill with some Valentine candies for a cute little gift.

I also decorated some recycled jars for Valentine’s Day gift-giving. Visit the Art Glitter Blog for the tutorial.

Creating the look of delegate lace in minutes

I love being part of the Art Glitter Design Team. It is pushing me to try new things and use products in ways I never really gave any thought to before. Now I’ll be driving here or there and all of sudden it will dawn on me -“hey, this might work this way” or “I wonder what would happen if I did that.”

This faux lace technique is one of those “wonder” moments I couldn’t wait to try. As a member of the Art Glitter Design Team I am responsible for creating several samples each month that demonstrate techniques for using Art Glitter product. The faux lace technique is one I’ve seen done several times over the years with mica powders. It occurred to me recently that it may work just as well with glitter so I couldn’t wait to get home and give it a try; when it worked I immediately wanted to share it with all of you!

I think I actually like the finished results even better with Art Glitter! It looks so delegate, yet elegant, and I made this card in just a few minutes – easy peasy. Here’s how:

Start with a piece of black cardstock cut to 3 ¾ inches by 5 inches. Run 4-6 strips of solid tape next to each other across the cardstock. Uncap three to four jars of glitter.

Take your finger and gently roll the tape in opposite directions to create a lace-like appearance.

Randomly pinch very small amounts of the Art Glitter colors over the tape on the cardstock. Do not tip to remove access; leave the glitter-covered cardstock lay flat on your workspace. When glitter covers most of the taped area, gently tap on some pieces of gold leafing. The leafing will adhere to any remaining uncovered tape and add a bit of bling to your project.

Gently rub leafing and glitters into any remaining uncovered tape; tap access off (save access in a separate jar and use as a party mix).

Cut a patterned paper (for backing) 4 inches by 5 ¼ inches. I used coral gold dot paper from the Coral Couture Stack from Die Cuts With a View. Cut teal cardstock to 4 1/8 inches by 5 3/8 inches. This, and the coral used for the card base, is both from the Die Cuts With a View Coral Couture Cardstock Stack. Stamp a sentiment in black Archival Ink onto a ¾-inch by 3 ¾-inch strip of the coral cardstock. Attach with tape and Tiny Attacher to the glittered lace cardstock. Adhere layers together with tape and adhere to card base to complete the card.

Materials used:

Art Glitter: Berren, Flax and Dreams – all Ultrafine Transparent Glitters; Butterscotch Ultrafine Opaque; Gold Leaf

Tape: ATG 700

Papers: The Coral Couture Cardstock Stack and The Coral Couture Stack

Adhesive: Xyron Mega Runner

Stamp sentiment: Stampavie

Stapler: Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher

Give this technique a try – you’ll love how easy it is! Visit the Art Glitter Blog to see what other projects the Art Glitter Design Team has created.