Sunday, February 10, 2008

Scrapbooking 101: Easy Embellishments

Easy Embellishments

Easy, meaning you buy them pre-made. If you want to learn how to make them yourself…check out the advanced tutorials. Adding the trimmings. I call this pulling it all together! I won't go into too much detail here, but this is where I have the most fun. Your embellishments should project your original theme. They should provide the unity that connects the pieces together.

3D Stickers/Accents. You can buy these just about anywhere…Walmart, Michaels, the local scrapbook stores, etc. They are basically a couple of stickers with pop-dots in between the layers to give it the 3-dimensional look and feel. They look amazing and can be lots of fun, keeping in mind that they are not always cheap.

Shaker Boxes. These are a fun touch to a page. These are available for purchase at various places, if not locally, then check online. There is endless possibilities for making these. I won’t go into great detail on how to create, I will save that for the advanced tutorial…but here is the basics of it….You can punch out a design from a piece of paper and a piece of foam of the same size. Then using a page protector cut out a clear piece the size of your box. Now glue the top paper with designed punched out to the page protector then glue those both to the foam, carefully lining up the designs to match. Then fill up the empty foam area with little punchies, buttons, beads, whatever you like. You can just put a few or fill it entirely. Then attach a back piece, making sure that there is adhesive all the way around the design so that no beads fall out. Trim it up to that it all looks good and square. If you have a die cutter there are a ton of potential ideas. You can also rubber stamp a design in the background or use diecuts/punchies to make a design in the background...

Paper Dolls. These can be a real cute addition to your pages. They have (1) kits of them in all sorts of themes for sale, (2) templates for drawing and cutting out your own, (3)punchkins which are punches you can use to quickly punch them out of your own paper, or (4) die cut them out yourself with a sizzix out of your own paper. The paper dolls themselves come in different styles and colors. Many manufacturers provide hair, clothing and accessories for the dolls in addition to the dolls themselves. If you want to really personalize your dolls, you can create your own unique hair and clothing. Paper dolls are usually dressed either as a character doll (depicting a season, theme, etc.) or re-creating the people in the photographs themselves. Dolls can be decorated with chalks, pens, stickers, punches . . . they can be active (jumping, waving) and can really add a fun and personal touch to your layouts.

Paper Piecings. Paper Piecing is one of the latest trends gaining popularity in the scrappers portfolio. While the technique itself is not new it has only recently been officially named and recognized as such. There are companies from whom you can purchase patterns and kits. But with the internet - there are tons of free patterns available out there. Paper Piecing is simply the piecing together of different bits of paper to form designs for your pages. It is very similar to layering Die-cuts, except that you cut out all the pieces yourself. The designs may range from simple (one piece-one color) to complex (numerous pieces in various colors, shading, etc). While the finished product often looks very difficult and complex, fitting the pieces together is really very easy- a task that even the most un-artistic person can complete. Paper Piecing can be any size or color needed to fit or match with your page. The same papers that are used in the layout, can be used in the Paper Piecing, creating a continuity that is not available in other mediums. Paper Piecing is relatively inexpensive and a great way to use up scraps of paper. The only tools you really need for Paper Piecing are a good set of small scissors and a pattern. Creating patterns yourself is easy, and this opens up a whole new world of piecing possibilities. A pattern can be created from almost anything - children's books, rubber stamps, cross-stitch and tole painting patterns, coloring books, clip art, stickers, or even the photos themselves. Although creating your own pattern may be a little more work, you save on the cost of purchasing a pattern, and have a one-of-a-kind piece for your page.

Paper Wisps. One of the simplest and least expensive ways to add some dimension and interest to your pages is with paper wisps - long strips of paper cut so thinly that they curl. These little strips of paper can add such a unique look to your layouts, and they are so easy to make. You can use the same paper as in your layout as well - so they are always a perfect match. You can cut paper wisps one of two ways - either with your paper trimmer, or with an xacto knife and cutting mat. Many different factors will effect how much the paper wisp will curl; speed, direction of the cut, type of paper, etc. If you are not able to get a strip as curly as you would like it, try wrapping it gently around a pencil. The thinner the cut, the more it will curl on its own. Use paper wisps anywhere you would draw in lines. Strings on balloons, a fishing rod, the handle of a bag, the antenna of an insect, laundry line, Easter grass - there are so many possibilities.

Shrinky dinks. You can buy the shrinky dink material at most craft stores like Joann Fabrics. You can rubber stamp designs on them and cut out, or use a punch/die cutter and punch out a design and then color it. Once you have your design cut out and colored. Punch a hole in the material, this way you can tie a ribbon or string on it and hang it like a charm on your page. Once the hole is punched, then using a stylus or something similar keep a hold of the item while using your embossing heat gun and the little thing will shrink right up and make an adorable embellishment for your page. You can also just glue directly onto your page rather than hanging as a charm.

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