Memory Jars

Memory Jars - can be filled with trinkets, poems or even treats such as chocolate or homemade sweets.
Memory Jars – can be filled with trinkets, poems or even treats such as chocolate or homemade sweets.

Whether it’s for christmas, a birthday or another special occasion these ‘Memory Jars’ are so easy to make. You can fill and decorate them with as little or as much as you like. I made one for my husband for our first wedding anniversary and filled it with ‘promises’ – little notes of days out/ places I wanted us to visit.

The original idea is that the jar is used to collect memories in such as ticket stubs to concerts you’ve been to, love notes given to each other or any other little trinkets that you acquire throughout your journey together. Whether it’s for a loved one or a friend, you can add details to the jar that represent what that person means to you.

Materials Needed
Glass jar – (recycled)
Black chalk spray paint (optional)
Ribbon
Outline stickers
Stickers
Gems
Label
Glue
Note papers (optional)
Fillings such as sweets/ nuts/ chocolate (optional)

Method

  1. If you are recycling your jar from an old nut butter / jam jar, then give it a good wash with some liquid and a sponge.
  2. Once dry, decide whether you are going to spray the lid. I spray paint all jar lids (see my post here) with chalkboard spray paint so that I can write on them with chalk (as I use them to store left over food in). However, it is optional and you can skip this step. Alternately you can choose to spray paint the lid any colour you like, It all depends on whether there is any writing on it that you might want to cover. If you have a sticker big enough to cover the lid, you can do that instead.
    As my lid was already spray painted, I chose to use outline stickers to add some detail on the top.
  3. Using gems, stickers or whatever you like, decorate the jar. I used black outline stickers that I had in my craft trolley – I kept it simple with a few stars, words and candy cane. See diagram 1.
  4. Wrap some ribbon around the neck of the jar and tie into a bow. Trim the ends if needed and to prevent them from fraying, you can gently burn the ends with a lighter. ** Be careful ** when doing this so that you don’t burn yourself or set fire to anything! The best option would be to do it next to the sink!

    Diagram 2
    Diagram 2 – Adding ribbon and the label
  5. Making your label:- I had some pre-made cardboard labels which I chose to keep plain and decorated with outline stickers and gems. I trimmed it down to size and tied the string round the neck of the glass jar, wrapping the ribbon over the top to hide the string. See diagram 2
  6. Filling:- If you chose to write notes, love poems, ‘promises’ or anything else, ideally chose some pretty paper to write it on. I bought a mini note pad from hobby craft as the pages were just the right size.
    If choosing to fill with treats, this can be sweets, chocolate, nuts or even homemade goodies such as cookies or truffles. See diagram 3.
Diagram 3 - Filling the jar
Diagram 3 – Filling the jar

There you have it – a simple but effective gift idea that you can personalise however you like.

Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
Facebookpinterestinstagrammail

Homemade Advent Calendar

 

A homemade advent calendar that can be filled with anything you want - chocolates, sweets or even suggestions of things to do that day (e.g bake cookies, go to the park)
A homemade advent calendar that can be filled with anything you want – chocolates, sweets or even suggestions of things to do that day (e.g bake cookies, go to the park)

There is just under two weeks left until December kicks in and the whole world goes Christmas crazy. As I’m intolerant to many foods and follow a Paleo- Ketogenic diet, I struggled to find an advent calendar that contained dark chocolate. As a result I decided to make my own. If you wanted to avoid chocolate completely you could easily fill the pockets with a number of things like little love messages, poems, IOUs for things to do that day (e.g bake chocolate cookies, go to the park, watch a DVD) or even homemade gummies (if you’re Paleo, homemade gelatine sweets are great for promoting gut health!)… It’s all entirely up to you. I bought a range of dark chocolate from the company Cocoa Loco and then used pieces of kitchen foil to individually wrap them up.

What you use to decorate the calendar with such as type of paper, colours, embellishments, etc is up to you. I have given a list of craft sites that I buy from, but you can use whatever you have available. You see I’m a crafter and have built up my collection of papers over the years, so some of my items are probably 2-3 years old. The most important part is having enough space and the right tools for the job.

What you’ll need

8 – 10 pieces of coloured card (for the pockets) – I used black
4 pieces of card (for the backdrop/ sticking the pockets to) – I used black
2 pieces of A4 coloured card (for the number sticks) – I used 1 red/ 1 grey
1/2 A4 piece of card (for the number sticks – optional) – I used cream
Coloured paper (decorating the pockets with)
Double sided tape
Glue
Scissors
Sellotape
Craft knife
Craft mat
Embellishments/ toppers
Ribbon (to hang the calendar with)
Ruler
Eyelets (optional)
Brads (optional)
A piece of cardboard the width of the backdrop (for securing the back of the Calendar)

Method

  1. First of all decide how big you want the Calendar to be. I used 4 sheets of black card stuck together with Sellotape. Then I decided I wanted to lay my pockets out as a Christmas tree shape and chose to make the pockets a variety of sizes.
  2. To make the pockets you need to see diagram (1). Whatever size you want your pocket to be, a and b need to be the same size (width/length) as these make up the front and back of the pocket. Columns 1,2,3 and 4 also need to be the same size as these make up the sides of the pocket. When you are ready, using scissors or a craft knife, ruler and mat, carefully cut out the shape.

    Make the pockets
    Diagram 1 – Making the pockets
  3. Fold along the edges of the columns 1-4. You will need to cut where the lines meet in column 4 to stick the box together (See diagram above). Once folded and cut out, using double-sided tape,  stick the edges and the base (I also dabbed on a bit of glue to give extra hold). Continue this method until you have 26 pockets (25 days + 1 pocket to hold the number sticks)
  4. Once all the pockets are made you can arrange them on your backdrop and then one at a time, take each pocket and decorate it using coloured paper, embellishments and whatever you want. I used a square of paper to cover the front then decorated it with gems, brads, cut out toppers and ribbon.
  5. When all the pockets are decorated you need to glue them into place on the backdrop. I used double-sided tape to position them, then added glue to give it that extra hold. Ideally, wait until the glue on the pockets has dried before doing anymore, if you can’t wait, just be careful not to disturb the pockets as they are drying.
  6. To hang the calendar make two holes at the top of the backdrop – I put in some eyelets (simply because I had some) – then thread some ribbon through the holes and tie off the ends into knots. See diagram 2 below.

    Diagram 2 - To hang, thread ribbon through holes
    Diagram 2 – To hang, thread ribbon through holes
  7. Once you have done this, take your piece of cardboard and using double-sided tape and glue, glue the card to the back of the top part of the calendar. (You can choose to cover this with paper/ card if you think it looks scruffy). This will help to give stability to the calendar when you hang it.
  8. Decorate the area surrounding the pockets, I used gems and cut out toppers.
  9. Now make the number sticks that you’ll put into the pockets. If you don’t want to make the sticks you can add the number onto the front of each pocket (you won’t need to make an extra pocket to keep the sticks in and can skip parts 9-11).
  10. Your number strips can be any size/ colour and style, they just need to fit into the pockets. I measured approx 4.5 cm across in grey and 4cm across in red then cut them between 5-8cm long, depending on the depth of the pocket.  Punch little cream circles out of the 1/2 A4 card and various off cuts of coloured paper, these will be where you write the numbers on. Place the red strip on top of the grey strip and the two circles on top of each other (with the cream circle on top). Make a hole in the two circles and the two strips and pin them together with a brad (split pin). If you don’t have a brad, you can use some ribbon or cotton to tie them all together. Alternatively you can just glue the circles to the top of the stick. On each stick, write the numbers 1 – 25 on them, then slot a stick into each of the pockets.
  11. You’ll have one pocket that won’t have a number stick in it – that’s because it’s your collection ‘pocket’. Each day that you take a treat from one of the pockets,  you’ll remove the number stick and put it into the collection pocket – I placed mine at the top left of my calendar (See main image).
  12. Once all the pockets have  number sticks, wrap your chocolates individually in kitchen foil and slot them into the pockets (see diagram 5). I was able to fit two chocolates in each pocket – even the small ones – so that my husband and I can share the fun!.

    Diagram 5 - Adding in the treats
    Diagram 5 – Adding in the treats
  13. Optional – for the 25th (christmas day) you can choose to add an extra treat/ a larger piece of chocolate or even wrap up a small envelope of money!

There you have it – a homemade calendar that you can use time and time again

Craft Supplies

Every crafts a pound
This website has a wide range of goodies from papers, brads, toppers and all the tools you’ll need. Most items are £1, however there is a minimum spend of £20.

Hobbycraft
Whether you buy from a hobby craft shop or from their website they have everything and more! They often sell monthly grab bags for £15 filled with an array of products. These are great as the items usually add up to £30 if bought individually and you get enough to make a number of projects.

Wilkinson
Many wilkos stores sell a variety of craft items such as papers, ribbons, toppers and embellishments. Most of the papers I used for this project were from a pack of papers I bought last year from Wilkos.

Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
Facebookpinterestinstagrammail

Homemade Jar Labels

Homemade, Jars, Labels, recycled, paleo, upcycled
Make use of those recycled glass jars and funk them up with some easy to make labels!

Since going Paleo I’ve been conscious of using plastic tubs and cling film on my food as certain plastics have shown to leak chemicals into the foods. As a result I’ve taken to recycling any glass jars with lids that I come across and using them to keep left overs and homemade sauces in. When using a jar I usually write on some sellotape with a marker and stick it to the lid or the jar so I know what date I made it/ what it is. Being a little OCD it drives me nuts having the peel off the tape each time the jar needs washing out so I’ve decided to make some labels that I can reuse.

Methods

Spraying onto Glass
I had purchased some chalkboard labels a few months back but found they were not very hard-wearing so decided to buy some chalkboard spray and try out a few ideas I had. The first idea was spraying the chalkboard spray directly onto the side of the glass jars. I used masking tape to create an oblong shape so that when the tape was removed it would look like a label. This idea did work and the paint stayed on even when I washed them in the sink (after I had allowed the paint to dry). The only down side was that normal chalk didn’t write on it very well so I had to use a chalk pen.

Spraying the Lids
The second idea was to spray the lids of the jars. It worked really well but I found that the writing would rub off when taking the lid on and off. Again this was using normal chalk however when I tried a chalk pen it wasn’t a problem.

Homemade Labels
My final idea was to make labels that I could reuse and replace when they became worn out. I did this using double-sided glue sheets stuck on foil that I sprayed with the chalkboard paint. This was my favourite idea because it meant I could make lots of labels and also keep some aside for when I need them.

Shopping List – what you need
Black chalkboard spray paint (I got mine from Hobbycraft approx £7.99)
Masking tape
Newspaper
Double sided glue sheets (A4 size)
Kitchen foil
Ruler
Pen
Craft knife and mat
Scissors
Chalk/ chalk pen

Time approximately 30 min – 1 hour

Notes

The spray paint didn’t say it was suitable for glass but I didn’t have any problems with it staying on the glass jars.

You can get a variety of coloured chalkboard paints or even make your own (Pinterest has lots of tips/instructions for doing this).

If you decide to use the method where you spray directly onto your glass jars I recommend using gorilla tape or frog tape. It costs more but is so worth it. I bought cheap masking tape and I found it didn’t do such a good job – I was left with imperfect lines / some leakage at the edges.

  1. Method
    Go somewhere with lots of space and a flat surface.
    Take an A4 glue sheet and on one side mark out the lines for your labels with the ruler and pen. You can be more creative and draw shapes etc – it’s really up to you.
  2. Take a large sheet of foil (bigger than the glue sheet) and carefully place it on a dry clean surface.
    Slowly peel the edge of paper off one side of the glue sheet (not the side with your markings on!) and leaving enough foil around the edges, stick the glue sheet to the foil. The excess foil will act as tabs for taping the sheet to the newspaper when spraying so that it doesn’t move about. You may need to use your hand to smooth the glue sheet down.
  3. Spread the newspaper out on a surface/ floor outside (where you are going to carry out the spray painting) and place the glue sheet/foil on top (foil side facing you). Use some masking tape on the edges to tape it in place to keep it from moving as you spray it.
  4. Following the instructions on the can spray the whole of the foil sheet. You may need to do 2-3 coating but make sure you allow each coat to dry thoroughly before you do another one.
    When dry peel off the masking tape and place it onto the cutting mat with the foil facing down (so you can see the paper side and your markings)
  5. carefully using the craft knife and ruler (or scissors if you have made shapes) cut the sheet into labels. And trim off the excess foil from the edges. Be careful not to press too hard or the foil on the reverse might tear.
  6. Your labels are now ready to be used or kept for later.
  7. Make sure your jars (or whatever you are sticking your labels to) have a clean and dry surface before applying. Peel off the paper side, stick to the surface and smooth over with your finger.
  8. Use chalk or a chalk pen to write on it.
Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
Facebookpinterestinstagrammail

Doctor Who Christmas Card

Doctor Who Tardis CardOk, now I know you get some terribly annoying people who count down to Christmas from like, October but I think I am safe to say (what with only a few days remaining) that Christmas is now upon us! I have to admit that I haven’t actually made Christmas cards this year except for ONE!!! And boy, let me tell you that this is one heck of a – blood, sweat and tears – kind of special card, because ladies and gentlemen, it’s a TARDIS!!!!! …. ok, so if you’re not a Doctor Who fan I can see how you might be thinking what!!!??? … but really, neither am I. I am a crafter, well, a card crafter to be precise, I make handmade cards. A friend of mine introduced me to crafting about 5 years ago and i love it. I don’t do it very often now as my ME can cause me to flag (slang for get really tired) and I struggle to concentrate and be able to sit that long. However occasionally if I know I’m planning to make a card for a certain date I can spread the making over a long period of time, like I did with this one.

So, why a Doctor Who card?
Well, a friend of mine is a massive Doctor Who fan and has been for years. Its something which he holds close to his heart and recently stated on Facebook (when the anniversary episode was aired) that it had helped him deal with some tough times. When the special episode was due to air my friend was so excited, he did a count down till it was aired, he even visited a Doctor Who event, taking his photo with a number of the aliens that appear in the show. Now I have to say, I’m not a Doctor Who fan. It’s not that I don’t like it, I do, I think its great, but I’m not a big telly person and have never really watched all the episodes of anything (yes, including friends, lost and heroes etc). It was seeing someone get that excited and baring their sole and emotions about how something as simple as a TV show had helped him in life, I thought that it would be a good idea to make them a card! so, thats how it started. Im crafty, I didn’t think it would be too hard to do and I wanted the challenge (as I’ve made many cards but not like this!) so, thats more or less it. I took my time, made a template, ordered the card etc that I needed and hey presto, Dr Who has landed!

How to make it
So, if you want to see how I made it, Click here. To see the finished article, just keep scrolling down.

Feedback
I have to say I’m really proud of the finished article. I would tweak the odd thing or two if I were to make one again, but I think it’s clear to see what it is and my friend was very pleased with it, he even said he would keep it and put it up every year with his decorations! Bless!

So, what do you think? Doctor Who fans and non-fans, let me know. Its my first (and hopefully last) attempt so be gentle with me! … maybe next time I will make a Dalek!

Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
Facebookpinterestinstagrammail

Doctor Who Card – How to Make!

Doctor Who Christmas TardisTo begin you need to make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials. The items I needed to make this were as follows:-

Craft knife and cutting mat
Scissors
Pencil
Hole punch
Double sided tape
3D foam pads
Needle and thread
Hole punch
Computer and printer
White card
Dark blue card
Black card
Silver card
Green card (I had 2 tone of green)
White paper
Silver bow
Very small gem stones
PVC glue
Holly stamp

Size and Measurements
Now I have not put any measurements on here as to the dimensions that I used and the simple explanation is that I wasn’t actually planning to write about it. (I was simply making a card for my friend, it was an unrelated conversation with another blogger on Google+ that made me decide to post it). Anyway, it shouldn’t really matter what size you choose to make your tardis as long as your card is in proportion.

1. To begin, I would recommend printing off a photo of a tardis, alternatively search for an image and save the photo (I did this on my iPad), that way you can refer back to it when you are working out your template and putting all the sections together.

2. I would recommend making a template of the whole card and all sections before you cut into your black/ blue card. When you have the whole card completed then use the templates to draw round. For the templates you can use paper but I used and would recommend using card. Start by drawing the outline of the tardis, bare in mind how big you want it to be and whether you will have an envelope or box, big/deep enough to send it in. Also consider if you are going to build up all of the doors, windows and roof. You can choose to only build up certain areas, such as just the door and windows or just keep it 2D.

3. The size of the doors will depend upon the size of your Tardis, they need to be 3/4 of the length of the card. Place these on top of the Tardis template then cut two more doors, half a cm smaller than the ones before; these will go on top of the doors. By doing this (two layers) it gives the card depth and you can use foam pads between the layers to make it 3D. You can choose to only do one layer, but if you do two, the first (larger) doors will be made from black card, and the smaller sized doors will be in blue. The black card is to give a kind of shadow/ depth look. If you only want to have one layer, you will be missing out the shadow, so remember to do the doors in Blue.

4. To Make the door panels, again the concept is similar to the doors where they have a black under layer to give depth. if you choose not to do this then you only need to make 8 panels for the door (in blue). If you want the depth/shadow effect you will need to make 8 panels in blue and 8 larger panels in black. I played about with scraps of card to work out the size of the panels.

5. Windows
The top left and right panels of the Tarids doors feature the windows. The easiest way to make these, is to print an image off (onto plain white card) and stick it onto the panels. Now I have to admit that my husband did this part for me. He also printed off the notice on the left hand door panel, the St Johns ambulance sign found on the right hand door and the ‘police box’ sign at the top. He did this by creating the images in PowerPoint then printing them off. You may have to print them off and resize the images a few times until you get them in the right proportions for your card.

6. Window panes
For the window frame you basically create a rectangle shape in PowerPoint on a new slide then fill the shape with black colour. Following this, create a new rectangle shape (filled white or light blue). This will be the used to make the 6 small window panes. Resize the shape until you have it small enough to fit onto the black rectangle (that you have just created). Copy and paste 5 more times so that you have 6 panes of glass.

You will need to mess about with the dimensions of the shapes to make sure it’s all symmetrical. Once you’re happy, highlight and copy the all the shapes in one go and paste to a word document then print. If the images is too small for your card, you may need to drag the shape about from the corners to resize according to the dimensions of your card.

7. For the ‘Police Box’ sign, use the same concept. Create a black rectangle in PowerPoint. Drop a text box on top of it. Type ‘Police Box’ change the font to white, resize the font according to your shape. Hit the space bar a few times so you get the spacing between the two words. Then, drop another text box Into the space between Police and Box. In this text box, type ‘public’ hit return and type ‘call box’. Same again, white font and make the font smaller. Print and again, you may need to play about with the sizing until you have it right.

8. For the St. John’s ambulance sign, copy the image from google images then drop into a word document and print. Again, if needing to resize, play about with the image until you are happy.

9. The roof
I chose to layer the roof to keep in theme with the rest of the card. I used the template to draw round the top part, stopping when I got to just above the doors. For the section where you place the ‘Police Box’ sign cut out a strip of card just a bit bigger than the sign in silver then cut another strip a bit bigger than this in blue. This will give the roof some more depth (you can leave out both these layers if you wish).

10. Light
For the light on top of the roof I didn’t make a template as it was such a small section. I cut out an extra ‘triangle -ish’ piece of card (in blue) and added 3 very small rectangles on to it (cut out in sliver) to give it the appearance of a light.

11. Door handle and key hole
Again I didn’t do a template for this section. I made the handle with a cut out piece of silver card and used a small hole puncher to make the key hole. I used a dot of PVA glue to stick these to the completed card.

12. Snow
I used white paper to make the snow, but didn’t make a template. I just drew a wavy line on paper and cut it out and used double sided tape to fix to the completed card.

13. Wreath
I didn’t make a template for the wreath as it was pain in the butt to do!!! I had to stamp a holly image onto different pieces of green card and cut them out. I cut out a ring of card and stuck all the holly leaves round the ring (using PVA glue) layering it up. When it reassembled a wreath I stuck a silver bow to the bottom and a few small green and red gem stones to look like berries. I used a foam pad to stick the wreath to the card.

14. Putting it all together
Draw around your templates onto the relative card and cut out carefully on a mat, using a craft knife and ruler. When you have cut everything out in the right card, it’s time to stick it all together.

15. Sticking order
– Stick the roof on first, then the doors/shadows
– Stick the shadows/door panels
– Add the windows, the St Johns Ambulance sign and the ‘notice’
– Stick the door handle and key hole
– On the roof, add any layers under the ‘police box’ sign (finishing with the sign)
– Add the triangle to the light on the roof and then the 3 little windows
– Add any snow and then the wreath (or other effects such as balloons maybe if you were making it as a birthday card rather than a Christmas card).

For any sections that you have layered, you can either stick the card on top of each other (using double sided tape) or use foam pads between each layer so that it makes the card 3D.

16. The Stand / Back
To make the Tardis stay upright I made a ‘stand’ like you get on the back of photo frame. I folded a piece of A4 card in half long ways, glued the two sides together (using double sided tape) and folded the card over by 1cm at the top. The 1cm piece will be stuck to the back of the card. Because the size of my cards this was the right height for my card to stand up straight (so from the side it gave a ‘V’ shape).

Finally
If you want to add a verse, do this before adding on the stand. The easiest way is to to type one on the computer and print it out, then take it (double sided tape) to the back. If you want to write on the back of the Tardis, the best way would be to use a nice gold or silver pen.

Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
Facebookpinterestinstagrammail