Sunday, November 25, 2012

Old Book to Notebook

I took an old hard cover book and turned it into a notebook by using a few simple tools. It was really inexpensive and, although it was a learn-as-I-go project (I didn't really have a game plan going into this), I love it. I saw a lot of tutorials on how to make notebooks out of old books, but none that I liked. Some had book rings, some required expensive tools, and others were just plain wrong. So, I took a little bit of advice from all three and came up with my own version. I have written instructions at the bottom of this entry! It's easy and I promise you can do it. Check it out! 

*This project is really easy/cheap, but it is fairly time consuming. It takes a few days because binding pages takes glue that needs to really set. I know rubber cement says it's fast drying, but to bind pages, it takes time. So if you are going to start this, please fully read the instructions before diving in!*
Again, Sorry for the lack of pictures. If I make another, I will add pictures! 


Old book with little to no meaning/worth (I picked mine up for 50 cents at a thrift store)

Scrap piece of canvas material that will cover the binding of your book (*edges folded under*)

Notebook Paper (Enough to fill your book binding (I used almost two packages of loose leaf college ruled)

Paper Slicer (You will need one of these for this project. They are probably ~$8.00 at walmart. You will be cutting the lined paper multiple times, so a pair of scissors just wont cut it (cut. it. ey? ey? yeah you got it.)

Rubber Cement (if you are under 18 you may need an adult with you- I know it's ridiculous- OR you can just go to meijer at midnight to buy it and do the self-checkout. No one on the graveyard shift cares how old you are ;) 

Needle & Thread & Pins

X-acto knife

Two sheets of matching Scrapbook paper (for inside covers)

*Superglue is optional. 

Heavy Books for weight

Step 1: Cut your notebook paper to fit into your book. You can see my from my pictures that I cut mine so that the holes were no longer on the paper, but the red line still showed, and the header was fully in tact. You can cut your paper any way you like. This is probably the hardest part of the whole process because you can really only cut as many papers at a time as your slicer will allow (my cheap one is about 10 at a time) so it can get really monotonous. But try to be persistent and get it all done in one sitting because pretty soon your eye adjusts to the right place to cut and it gets easier.
Step 2: Once you have your pages cut, then you can line them all up. Place them on the edge of a table and place some heavy books on top of the page so they don't move. I tried to use clamps but they bent the pages, so books work better. Then let the edge of the pages you will bind hang JUST off the table. Paint on the first coat of rubber cement. Leave for at least 2 hours. Then paint another coat. Then wait again for 2 hours. Then paint another coat. Then wait. Then paint another coat. Let the last coat dry overnight. Once its dry test your pages to see if thy are all stuck together and wont fall out. If you are all set, then move on. Other wise- repeat the coat and wait process until  you pages are bound. 

Step 3: Use your x-acto knife to cut out the page in the old book. Yea, cut em right out of there. No need to be shy!
Step 4: Take your scrap book paper and cut them into three pieces: One for the left cover, one for the right cover, and then one that will sit in the binding but will overlap the left and right covers about an inch. Use your rubber cement to glue the three pieces on (left, then right, then center.) 

(I actually did this part after part 4, but I think it would be easier to do before.)
Step 5: Cut your canvas scrap to fit the binding of your book (I had mine cover JUST the binding so that I could easily sew in the creases where it isn't so thick)
Step 6: Pin the top and the bottom to the book to hold in place. Then pin by pin ( about 2 inches apart) pin down the canvas on each side of the binding. Make sure to fold the edges of you canvas under to avoid an unclean fraying edge. It looks a lot nicer and is worth the extra 60 seconds I promise. 
Step 7: Once everything is pinned in place, then start sewing. Yes by hand! It takes about 45 minutes each side. (sounds like a lot, I know but I was watching The Walking Dead, so my timing may be a bit off ;)) It will be hard to get the needle through the book so I used a hard surface to tap it through on each stitch. Try your best to make sure each stitch is equally spaced apart. They should be no longer than a pinky nail width across (like half a centimeter I guess). Oh, TIP** Hide your knots at the end of your threads by tucking them in the fold of the fabric (tedious I know) or in the binding of the book. 

Step 8: Take your bound pages and coat them with rubber cement and tightly place them in the binding of your book (on top of the scrapbook paper, obviously). Make sure this is tight and place the book under the heavy books again to hold in place for at least 2 hours. 
Step 9: Take it out and check to see if it is stuck in (It should be stuck pretty well (don't wrench it open, it's going to be somewhat delicate). If there are little pockets where it didn't stick very well (which happened to me) take your super glue and dribble it into the spots -careful not to get it on the other parts of the book- and hold tight (either in your hand or under the books again) for 15 minutes. I know superglue dried fast, but I would rather be safe than sorry, and 15 minutes is no 2 hours. 
Step 10: Your book should be finished! Get out a pen and start journaling for goodness sake! 

*Note: If you want to hide your stiches on the inside of your "hinges" you can try putting the binding on before putting the scrapbook paper in (Do steps 5-7 before step 4). Like I said, I learned as I went with this project (No game plan) and I really don't mind the visible sticthes. I'm a big fan of character and tiny details, so I like them, but if you are a morestreamline person, I'm sure it would work to put scrapbook paper over second. Okay enough chatter, get out there and make one!!

Don't forget to comment! <3

Thank You Card

I made this Thank You card and it actually has already been put to use! I won't say to who, because they haven't received it yet ;)  The inspiration for this card was actually from an album cover-Cage the Elephant anyone? In my mind the "Thank You Happy Birthday" looked like cut out letters. I obviously haven't seen the album cover in a while because it looks very dissimilar to this but I actually love the "Indie/Homemade/Retro" vibe this gives off. On another note, I think I might try making these crafts more of tutorials once in a while, but I really stink at taking pictures of the process because I forget and get too excited about finishing it! But, nevertheless, the written instructions are at the bottom of this entry. Thanks for looking :)

I hope this long list of instructions doesn't scare you! I promise it's super easy! I just threw in tips to make your time easier and tried to actually explain since I didn't take pictures.

Two pieces of cardstock (one brown/paperbag texture & one white/homemade speckled texture)
 Two sheets of scrapbook paper (one sparkle glitter paper & one light blue with little white polkadots) 
Mod Podge
Mod Podge Acrylic Sealing Spray
A junk piece of cardstock, posterboard, etc that is at least large enough to cover the card when it's open
Sponge brush or Paint brush
X-acto knife
Extra fine glitter
3 Blank notecards
Black Gel pen
Decorative blade scissors
Glue stick
Paper slicer ( I use this because I have it, but if you're good at cutting straight lines with scissors, that's fine)
2 Pieces of regular college-ruled lined paper

Step 1: Cut your brown cardstock in half (hamburger style) to create card size & fold that in half
Step 2: Take your white cardstock and slice it to size, just larger than what you would like it to be for the inside right side of the card
Step 3: Use decorative blade scissors to carefully cut the edges of the white cardstock
Step 4: Glue the white cardstock onto the brown cardstock (right inside)

Step 5: Take one piece of lined paper and write out THANK YOU in block writing (I would use a pencil for this part)
Step 6: Place the lined paper on top of your scrap book papers (all separately, so you will cut each letter shape three times, not in one shot) and trace the letters with your x-acto knife. CAREFUL because the knife are extremely sharp- lay a piece of cardboard or an old book underneath where you cut, so you don't harm your surface. ** You dont need to press very hard. Just like if you were writing with a pencil **
Step 7: Glue each letter onto the front of the card using a glue stick

Step 8: Take one notecard and fold it in half. Draw a half a heart on the crease and then cut it out. (This might take a few trys, so you might wanna have more than three notecards) Then take that heart template and place it on the center of the next notecard. Trace it with a pen. (*Don't discard this heart cutout- save it for step 10*) Then Cut out the trace-line using your x-acto knife. TRIM (do not cut to the edge of the heart, leave a decent (3/4"+ edge) edges of notecard so that it fits onto the middle of the white piece of cardstock.
Step 9: *Do this next part over top of the other piece of lined paper( it will catch excess glitter)* Place your cut out notecard onto the white cardstock. Then paint mod podge onto it with your sponge or paintbrush, only in the heart cut out space. Carefully lift the cutout template and sprinkle glitter all over the glue. Then pick up the card and gently tap it onto the paper to release excess glitter. If it is not thick enough (as mine was not) I opted to do a second coat. CAREFUL though, as it can sully your mod podge supply if you double dip, because the glitter WILL come off the heart at this point. Use your template again for the touch-ups if you do them. After you are finished with your glittering, bend the paper in the middle and use it as a means of getting the glitter back into the glitter tube/bottle you used. It's a lot of glitter that you DON'T want to waste!! 
Step 10: Take your spare piece of cardstock/posterboard and place your heart cutout, not the notecard, but the heart cut out you saved, and trace it onto the scrap at least two inches from the top left corner. (enough so that if you place the heart cutout on top of your glittery heart on the card, the card will be completely covered. Then go to a ventilated area and a place where things can get ruined ( I recommend doing this in a dorm hallway or outside. Don't do this inside or around ANYTHING you don't want sticky and shiny.) Place the scrap over the glossy heart, don't smudge the heart while you do this, and spray lightly with your acrylic sealer. Do not overspray, just lightly do this to seal the glitter onto the cardstock. A little goes a long way. 

Step 11: Take your third notecard and use it as a straight edge to draw lines underneath the heart on the white cardstock. I used a black Gel pen which worked really well for this. I wouldn't try to make it perfect, it's supposed to look kind of indie, homemade. So wherever you can add character I would do so.
Step 12: Write your personal Note! That's it! You're all done!

Comment if you liked the tutorial.. I'll try one with pictures next week if I can but I don't want to waste time if no one reads them! Haha. Please leave a note if you enjoyed this!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

*** Sparkle Heels ***

This is the Before and After shot. So proud of these! Picked these up for 50 CENTS at a thrift store! Then I found this glitter at a local craft store for $1.00. So, this project is my favorite because I got these amazing shoes for practically free! I used mod podge for my glue- just brushed it on and sprinkled the glitter on. I did two coats on the sides, but one on the heel itself. Then I used mod podge acrylic sealer so they wont melt if I step in a puddle and I won't leave a glitter trail behind me. Check out the rest of the pictures! 

Greeting Cards

Made these greeting cards out of two pieces of 8 1/2 x 11" cardstock- one in basic cardstock and one in a homemade-like white with specks. Also I used two sparkly pieces of scrapbook specialty paper that doesn't shed glitter (amazing). I used modpodge to glue the white paper inside the brown and to glue the flags on the celebrate card. I used "krazy" glue (basically superglue) to glue the candles into circles (had to let those sit pinched together by clothespins for ten minutes to get it to hold). Then I used  a Glue Pen (yeah a ballpoint pen that's ink is glue) to write "Celebrate" and "Make A Wish". I drew a flame shape on a piece of scrap cardstock and then cut it to out, leaving its shape in the cardstock. I used that to then lay on the paper and carefully smudge mod podge inside it to make the flames for the candles. I used glitter on the words and flames. Pretty cute right?  Fun Tuesday project. 

Flannel Heart Garland

This is on top of my dresser in my bedroom. I made this garland by literally buying a 1/4 yard of flannel for 69 cents, cutting out the hearts, and sewing them together! It's really simple and maybe don't look the most professional, but for $1 and 5 minutes, I'll take it. 

Personalized Photo Coasters

Allison and I made these coasters over the summer. I took the pictures of the bottom five coasters as well. You've probably seen tons of tutorials on how to make these- ten cent tiles, mod podge, pictures, sealer, felt pads. That's exactly how we did it! It took about 30 minutes total, plus the overnight sealer drying time. These are on our coffee tables in our living room. Hope you like them.

Peek at my Desk

This is my desk! I don't actually use it to do homework or craft - that I do in the living room- but I do use it to hold things. I also have my catch all bulliten boards hung next to it to hold my fun appointment cards and class schedule. :)  Alright, that's all! Hope you like my desk.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas Lights "Garland"

My favorite project so far. My friend Lyndsey and I made this in just under an hour! Total project cost: just $13.00 Keep reading!

100 christmas light 20' strand white clear lights from Hobby Lobby for $5.00! (Side note, check out that updated Prego jar filled with Pussywillow branches that I picked on campus today)

Dollar Tree ornaments: $4 for all of them (15 assorted gold balls and 6 prancing reindeer with bell collars).

9 clothespins that Lyndsey and I mod-podged with black fine glitter. Then pretty notebook paper for notes to Santa.


Close-up of the amazing reindeer I love! Dollar tree is the best. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Herringbone Graphics

Okay, you got me. This isn't a craft. Alright, alright I know. But I really like these graphics I came up with! I played around on photoshop until I came up with these. I took the pictures too :)

Magnetic Message Board

Found this tin/metal decorative piece at Hobby Lobby on clearance. Then I found the six little clay tiles and liked those, and also liked the three flowers. Then I bought little square magnets (strength 3) and hot glued them to the backs of the flowers/tiles. I already had the clothespins that I actually got at the Grad Bash my senior year. Anyways this metal plaque board cost $18, the flowers were $6, the tiles were $3, and the magnets were $2.  It was a little expensive because of the board but I couldn't have made it myself and it was on clearance, so. That's that! We've got our mail (bills :( wahh ) to go out this week clipped on it. It's hanging in the kitchen. <3

Friday, November 9, 2012

Glitter Mason Jar

I wasn't too sure how this was going to turn out- glitter on a mason jar that is- so I used an empty Prego Sauce jar in case it didn't. However, I think it turned out awesome. I've got a little electric candle in it and I tied a piece of ribbon around the top in a knot just to give it a little somethin'. Anyways, it was really really easy and I'll probably make more in the future! I used mod podge glossy finish and gold glitter. I sponged the mod podge on and sprinkled glitter all over until I was satisfied!

Dry Erase Board

Picked up an old frame from good will for $0.50 (which I originally used for my Halloween Photobooth). I mod-podged glitter all over it, used a piece of colored card-stock and now it's a dry erase board. I drew some snowflakes on it for now :3   It's in my bathroom- since I lacked decoration in there and my room is just too full.. Hope you guys like it!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


These little flannel guys are doubled up - so four layers of flannel! Took a LOT of patience to hand cut and sew them, and then flip them inside out and then stitching the openings up. Then they are filled with rice. You pop them in the microwave for about a minute and they stay warm in your pockets for about 30 minutes. They don't last as long as I'd hope but they're pretty adorable sooo it's cool. =^.^=