November 24, 2014

CraftyGoat's Notes: Thanksgiving School Snacks

I was excited when I found out my son would be taking snacks to school the day before Thanksgiving break. I searched Pinterest for ideas, hoping for something relatively healthy, easy to transport, and not terribly complicated or expensive. When I found this pin for some crackers decorated like turkeys, I knew I was on the right track.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to simplify the paper cutting. This Turkey Pillow Box shape has a great face and tail feathers. Aside from the crackers, all I needed were 3-12" fall patterned papers for the feathers, a sheet each of red and orange for the face, and some googly eyes (I splurged on stick-on ones so the kids could easily help). I used a glue stick to attach the paper shapes, and ended up with a super-cute Thanksgiving snack.

Cute, easy & cheap — I love it!

December 3, 2013

CraftyGoat's Notes: Using a Silhouette Cameo to Make Elmo Party Decorations

We had a small Elmo-themed birthday party for my daughter's second birthday this past weekend. I'd planned to share a tutorial here on how to make a polymer clay cake topper... but that topper didn't quite make the cut. So instead I'll share some of the other fun decorations and activities we came up with.

Making the Sesame Street Shapes

Continue reading "Using a Silhouette Cameo to Make Elmo Party Decorations " »

July 2, 2009

Alcohol Ink Postcards

Last time I showed how to make recycled postcards using cereal boxes and crumpled tissue paper. Today I'm taking a cue from these plastic bag prints, using alcohol inks and a plastic bag in a postcard project.


  • Paperboard (like from a cereal box), heavy poster board, or card stock.
  • Plastic bag. Thicker, more opaque bags are better for hiding the pictures and writing on the packaging underneath. If you don't have plastic bags around because you only use shopping totes (good for you!), then you could also use the slick side of a cheap shower curtain. (Thanks to Filth Wizardry's shower curtain play mat for the shower curtain idea.)
  • Adhesive. A Xyron works great for this project.
  • Alcohol inks and applicator.


Continue reading "More Recycled Postcard Fun" »

June 26, 2009

Recycled Tissue Paper Postcards by CraftyGoat

If you're like me and have trouble throwing away possibly-useful things, then you may not even want to read this post. I had a lot more storage room before I realized I could cut up all my cereal boxes and use them for crafty purposes. And I used to only keep the tissue paper that looked nice enough to re-use... now I feel obligated to keep even the stuff the gift recipient crumples up and tosses aside dismissively. So, pack-rats, consider yourselves warned. This may be another thing you'll have to find room for in your "nest."

The postcards are made from cereal boxes and recycled tissue paper. Or other stuff (see more suggestions in the materials). And the possibilities are pretty much unlimited.


  • Paperboard. You can recycle this from cereal boxes, soda can boxes, Kleenex boxes, etc. If you don't have those, you could use heavy duty poster board or cardstock.
  • Tissue paper. Old, crumpled stuff works fine. You could also use other patterned paper products, such as paper tablecloths or paper napkins (if using 2- or 3-ply napkins, make sure to separate the layers first)
  • Adhesive. I used decoupage glue (i.e. Mod Podge or Crafter's Pick) for my project. A Xyron machine or spray adhesive would also work.
  • Decorations. Stamps, paint, antiquing inks, chalks, glitter, etc. (Nothing 3-D, though, or it won't qualify for the postcard rate.)


Continue reading "Recycled Tissue Paper Postcards" »

December 29, 2008

CraftyGoat's Notes: 7 ways to recycle greeting cards

I go through the same mini-crisis after every birthday and holiday... what do I do with the cards people sent me? Granted, it's a slightly easier decision if it's just a signature on an unattractive card — to the recycling bin it goes. It seems like there aren't that many that are like that, though. Some have handwritten notes from friends or family members. Some have gorgeous images, or paper I know I could make something out of.

Those are the cards that are trouble. Those are the ones that I have piles and piles of in closets and drawers.

Just in case I'm not the only one who tends to hoard cards, I thought I'd share a few tips for using these cards in a good, constructive way. Whether it's Christmas cards, Valentine's Day cards, or note cards, hopefully one of these ideas will help you "upcycle" your old cards into something even better.

Continue reading "7 Ways to Recycle Greeting Cards" »

December 12, 2008

CraftyGoat's Notes:  Christmas Card Using a Handmade Foam Background Stamp

Still hoping to make your own Christmas cards? This gingerbread Christmas card is simple to make, but it will be a welcome addition to any friend's mantle. The trick is to spruce up a basic gingerbread outline stamp — or any other outline stamp — by making your own matching background stamp from foam.


CraftyGoat's Notes: Card Supplies
  • Stamp: Clear Stamps Christmas set by Paper Studio
  • Ink Pads: Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy), StazOn solvent ink (Jet Black)
  • Paper: Christmas Gingham (The Paper Studio), Spring Green card stock (Double Mates), white card stock
  • Adhesives: Pop Dots, Terrifically Tacky Tape, removable double-stick tape
  • Tools: Fray Check, scissors, bone folder, solvent ink stamp cleaner
  • Fun Foam
  • Ribbon


Continue reading "Gingerbread Stamped Holiday Card" »

October 4, 2008

Finished Thank You Card 1 I always like to keep a few "Thank You" cards on hand, and seasonal ones are especially nice. In honor of World Making Card Day today, I thought I'd share instructions for this stamped autumn-themed Thank You card.

You won't need to buy special scrapbooking papers for this one. Just use your ink pad with plain card stock to create a beautifully coordinated look. And while this quick-and-easy project is all paper, I've included a polymer clay variation at the end just in case you want to spruce it up a bit.


Finished Card with Supplies
  • Card Stock: 1/2 sheet (8.5" × 5.5") each of cream and tan
  • Ink Pad: I used Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink
  • Stamps: I used PrintWorks Thanksgiving Blessings and D.O.T.S. Seasons of the Heart Set
  • Tools: Paper trimmer, adhesive, stamp cleaner


Continue reading "Autumn-Themed Thank You Card" »

August 27, 2007

CKC-TulsaI just got back from a quick weekend trip to Tulsa, where I went to the Creating Keepsakes Scrapbooking Convention, aka CKC-Tulsa 2007. It was my first time to go to an event like this, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I ended up learning a little, buying a little, and walking a lot! Thought I'd share a quick list of with my thoughts on the best & worst of this event:

The Best

  1. Cool New Products. A couple I liked were the Fastenations Brads and the Lip Smackin' Ribbon. The Fastenations Brads have a flat spot on top, so you can match them to your project using a standard hole-punch & a dab of glue. The Lip Smackin' Ribbon is kind of a mix between paper and ribbon -- and it has some properties that give it some interesting possibilities.
  2. Watching & Learning: I volunteered as a teacher's assistant for four hours to save a little money & to get some freebies (more on that later). It was interesting to watch a seasoned craft teacher at work. My favorite part? When she used her best kindergarten-teacher voice to tell the room full of adults, "Okay, I need everyone to listen very closely now." And it usually worked! Probably the best craft-teaching idea I've seen...
  3. A Few Good Deals: Deluxe Designs is going out of business, so they had a great clearance ($0.50 each!) on those card templates I love. I would have bought them all if they'd had them! And speaking of good deals, I got a $30 voucher for volunteering. With that, I got the 40 Techniques for Making Cards book and a couple of paper crafting magazines. Nothin' better than gettin' stuff for free!

The Worst

Continue reading "The Best & Worst of CKC-Tulsa" »

July 31, 2007

Watercolor Heart Thank You CardPolka Dot Creations just posted a tutorial I wrote on how to make a "Thank You" card with polymer clay and alcohol inks. Check it out here.

While you're there, check out the rest of their tutorials (all free!) here. Lisa from Polka Dot Creations has also set up a Flickr group for projects related to the tutorials, so you can see some of my variations there & upload your own. Hope you enjoy!

March 28, 2007

Altered ClipboardHere's how to turn your boring-looking, utilitarian clipboard into something that's great to look at and totally useful. While I was specifically thinking about hemp projects when I altered my clipboard, there's no reason this wouldn't work just as well for paper crafts or anything else you want to take along with you.

Step 1: Make it Pretty

ModPodge works great if you want to cover the clipboard with decorative papers. Just brush one layer of ModPodge onto the clipboard, trim the papers to size, then adhere the papers and brush another layer of ModPodge on top.

Continue reading "Make your Own Mobile Crafting Station" »

March 18, 2007

Rubber CementThis will probably be a "well, duh" post for most of you -- but I thought I'd share it just in case there's anyone else out there like me.

We stopped by my parents' house on the way back from Austin, and I was chatting with my Mom about her scrapbooking supplies. She mentioned a new glue, and I responded that I could use a good glue. Specifically, I complained that when I'd used rubber cement, it would sometimes peel right off. My Dad looked up and said, "Well, it may have changed since I used it, but that used to be one of its purposes." (I hadn't considered that maybe I learned my hesitance to directly contradict someone from my Dad!) He said that back when he used it, putting the rubber cement on one surface made it such that you could peel it off, while putting it on both surfaces made it permanent.

When we got home, I looked at my bottle of rubber cement. And what d'ya know? It's right there in the instructions: "Low tack: Apply even coat to one surface and press together immediately. To remove, carefully peel from one edge. Stronger bond: Apply even coat to both surfaces."

So I tried it -- and sure enough, that did the trick. The thing is, I'm not the type that's averse to reading instructions -- it's just that I assumed I knew how rubber cement worked. I mean, doesn't everybody...?

Apparently not.

So thanks to Dad for pointing that out. Wonder what other instructions I need to go read now?

February 21, 2007

Abandoned Card, Before and After
Making a mistake is one thing that makes me want to give up on a craft project. But I've noticed that I also tend to abandon craft projects that are going really well. I'll get to a certain point and I'm happy with it... but if I don't have a clear vision for what the next step should be, I'll stop. I guess I'm afraid I'll mess it up.

I usually tell myself I'm just gonna leave it there for a couple of days and see if the perfect idea hits me. Ya know, divine inspiration. But after a couple of days pass, something more pressing comes along and it gets pushed to the side. And months later I find a pile of nice, promising half-finished works in the corner of the closet.

It doesn't matter how promising they were when I stopped working on them. They're still half-finished. And I suspect that finishing something -- even if it ends up being less-than-perfect -- is better for my inner artist than leaving it unfinished.

So here's an abandoned card I finished in honor of this week's challenge at Inspire Me Thursday. Their "Abandoned Art" theme served as a nice reminder that sometimes you need to get over the fear of future failure and just do something.

Any abandoned artwork in your closet? What caused you to abandon it -- a mistake you made, fear of messing it up, or something else? Leave me a comment -- or add your own entry to the Abandoned Art challenge.

Card materials: Stone Washed Denim-Basic Checks (Provo Craft); Denim Seams Printed Flat Paper (K&Company); Black & Cream Polkadot (Colorbok). Doodles Stamp & Design (All Night Media); Seasons of the Heart Set (D.O.T.S.). Blue fiber (Adornaments); polymer clay stars.

November 22, 2006

Triple Leaf JournalSingle Leaf Journal Want to give someone (or yourself!) a nice journal this Christmas? Covering or "altering" composition notebooks is an easy way to make an attractive journal.

Covering a Composition Book - The Basics

Continue reading "How to Make a Composition Book Journal" »

November 20, 2006

Just noticed some fun-sounding swaps over at Swap-bot, & thought I'd share them.

  • Address Book / Blank Notebook or Journal Swap. Sign up by 11/20/2006. Send by 11/30. Maybe send a decorated composition book...?
  • "Leftover" Holiday Card Swap. Sign up by 11/24. Send by 12/4. A wonderful way to get rid of last season's un-used cards!
  • Just Desserts ATCs Swap. Sign up by 11/30. Send by 1/5/07. Desserts are all around us this time of year... at least the Artist Trading Card version is low-fat! Any medium is fine for these ATCs.
  • Christmas Cards Swap. Sign up by 12/1. Send by 12/2. 10 store-bought or handmade cards. For any of you super-organized folks who have an excess of handmade Christmas cards!

Enjoy whatever crafting you're doing this Thanksgiving holiday!

October 17, 2006

CK Layout Challenge SketchWhile I'm not much of a scrapbooker, I love this free random layout challenge generator from Creating Keepsakes. You specify the categories (e.g., color combinations, shapes, embellishments, layout sketches, etc.) you want included in your layout challenge -- and they'll generate a random challenge for you. Most of the categories work just as well for cards, ATCs, or other paper crafts.

I like the way tools like this give me a set of guidelines to create within. Maybe it just helps get the creative juices flowing -- no starting with a scary blank page. Or maybe it gives me a challenge -- I start wondering what I can make that's creative and unique, starting with these set guidelines. Whatever the reason is, it's something I definitely enjoy. Here are a couple of my favorite products for sparking creativity:

  • The Joy of Card Making [aff] has sketches -- they call them "recipes" -- for card layouts in several standard card sizes. Each recipe includes various examples of finished products for more inspiration. (There's also a Joy of Card Making: A Second Helping [aff] that I haven't tried yet -- it's on my Christmas list, though!)
  • Deluxe Cuts Card Templates are fun little plastic templates for various card layouts. The templates make it a little easier to trace and cut out the paper shapes.

Do you have anything special that inspires your creativity? Leave me a comment -- I'd love to hear about it!

September 20, 2006

Blue Bottle cap MagnetsArts and Crafts Collage Bottle cap PinsOur library system has some of the best classes! Last night I went to a Bottle Cap Creations class taught by local artist Kiona Millirons, where the library provided us not only with free instruction — but also free bottle caps and all the free supplies we needed to make a belt, bracelet, pin, pair of earrings — or whatever. How cool is that?

I decided to make a couple of magnets (the blue ones in the picture) and a couple of pins (the "Art" and "Crafts" collages). They were fun and very easy to make. Here are the basics:

Continue reading "How to Make Easy Bottle Cap Jewelry" »

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CraftyGoat's Notes is all about sharing polymer clay tips & tricks that have worked for me. (And even a few that haven't!)

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