When creating a craft project such as a card, tag, scrapbook, junk journal, or some other type of mixed media art, where do you all gather your decorative elements? Do you fussy cut out your shapes and sentiments or do you die cut them out using special machines such as the Sizzix BigShot, Cricut Maker, Brother Scan and Cut, or other fancy machinery?
I tend to do both hand cutting out my elements for placement in my journals and cards as well as use my Sizzix Vintaj BigKick and Cricut Explore Air 2 die cutting machines. Sometimes finding just the right shapes for a project can become a challenge if you do not own certain die cutting equipment or have a subscription to access certain types of images to print and cut. However, there is a solution.
Let’s say you wanted to make an aged themed photography junk journal and wanted to incorporate vintage shaped hardware made of card stock and chipboard, such as gears, vintage cameras, filmstrips, and photos of people. If you didn’t own those dies or machines that sectioned out those shapes, you could purchase them already cut. There are many shops that offer a variety of themed die cuts for sale.
You can also find photos of vintage people on Etsy, like I did.
If you do own an electric die cutting machine, such as the Cricut Explore Air 2 then you could always access their free images on Cricut Design Space. That can be very useful. You can take it a step farther by uploading an image to it too. To see this process, check out my YouTube video on it.
In that video I use gears from my latest freebie kit “Rustic Beauty”. They are uploaded, cut out, painted, and added to my junk journal. Click here to download the free kit.
These cut shapes bring fun personality to many works, as do fussy cut images. Although it is less time consuming to use your die cutting machines, you can still get satisfying results from cutting out your own flowers, tags, people, borders, and more from designer papers. There are so many printed collections available, as well as from digital versions for consumption. Even old books and magazines offer and array of images that can add beauty to your art when fussy cut out.
Just have fun piecing together your resources. I’m sure your art endeavors will be a success!
I hope this post helps. Happy Crafting!
To see the completed journal flip through please watch this YouTube video:
Do you crafty-holics make New Year’s Resolutions for resolving your project woes? Are there any skills that you have just not mastered yet? Since there are so many exciting ideas out there to try, it is good to add more techniques or styles to your existing mastery. I like to challenge myself to create something out of my comfort zone.
Last year, (A few days ago) I channeled my energy into sewing. I have always loved how sewn papers and fabrics add such splendor to junk journals, scrapbooks, tags, and more. However, I seem to continuously mess up the process. Typically, either the upper thread or the bobbin runs out of thread, or the needle breaks and I replace it incorrectly (or all the above). When woes such as that happen, it ruins the material, or jumbles up the stitch. I keep the messed-up papers and fabric by covering it up with some other type of medium, like torn book pages on the back of a sewn tag.
Those mishaps do not stop me from repeatedly trying to understand where I am going wrong. I’m embarrassed to say that I have had my sewing machine since 2003 and I basically still have no clue how to correctly use it. Years ago, I had pushed it to the back of my closet with my clay, jewelry, wood burning tools and other stuff I picked up at the beginning of my serious crafting journey. I just couldn’t leave it in there. I realized that I had been missing out on so many opportunities to jazz up my artistry.
I therefore have decided that by the end of 2020 I will run my papers and things through that machine like it were second nature, without destroying the materials. By practicing and putting it to good use the dust will finally not be the only thing touching my Singer sewing machine.
So, set some artistic goals for the year coming. Decoupage that napkin to your canvas. Open your new digital software and design your first graphic. Use your charcoal pencils you just received for Christmas and start sketching. Whatever you do, whether things work out smoothly or not, don’t give up. Tell yourself that you will become a prodigy of that trade. You will resolve what has been hindering your progress. That’s what making resolutions are about.
I hope this post is helpful! Thanks for reading it! Happy Crafting!
Adobe Photoshop Applications come with multiple preset patterns that are fun to use but only cater to a select number of themes. They are great to have when designing scrapbook pages, layouts, templates, and many other projects. It may seem as though the pre-installed patterns only give you few options to build with. However, the Adobe Photoshop software allows you to increase your patterns inventory by designing your own. There are multiple ways of doing this, but in this post, I will show you one of the ways that I create mine.
The first thing I do is open the application. I’m using a Windows PC. The software version I’m using is Photoshop CC 2019. I click “File”>”New”. The “New Document” box opens.
There you can choose which type of document you want to create. I choose “Print” on the Document menu bar at the top. Under “Preset Details” I leave the default “untitled-1” name. I also keep the default settings of 8.5” width x 11””height”. I changed the resolution from 72 pixels/Inch to 300 pixels. I also make sure that the color mode is set to “RGB Color” and the background is “white”. Then I click “Create”.
When the document opens, the background layer is automatically white, and it is locked. I’m then going to add a new layer in the “Layers” Panel to the right. You can do this by either clicking on the “new layer” icon at the bottom right of the Layers Panel, or by clicking “Layer”>”New”>”Layer” on the menu bar at the top, or by using your keyboard shortcuts “Shift+Ctrl+N” on a PC or “Shift+Command+N” on a MAC. I will label this background because the original white background layer will get deleted at the end of the design.
Once the new layer has been created, we will begin to design the pattern. There are a few ways of accessing your patterns library. A very common method is by going to the menu bar and clicking “Edit”> “Presets”> “Preset Manager”. The Preset Manager panel opens. Using the drop-down options, you can choose the “Type” of preset you want. In this case we want “Patterns”. The files in the “Patterns” library appear. You can see what is already loaded. You can also access your Patterns another way.
It is helpful to have the “Tool Presets” window open. Some may find this method of finding your tools as a good option. To add icon to the panel then follow these steps. If it is already available, or you don’t want it open, then skip to the section “Designing The Pattern”.
Opening the Tool Presets Icon
On the menu bar go to “Window”> “Tool Presets”. Ensure that “Tool Presets” is checked.
Once it is, you will be able to easily access it using the Tool Presets icon, as shown below.
Simply click on the options menu (three stacked lines) to view the preset manager.
Once in the Preset Manager Panel, choose the “Patterns” option from the “Preset Type” drop down list.
Here you will see your installed patterns. There are just a few available. We can now design our own.
Designing The Pattern
Open a PNG file. For this illustration, I will use the blue present from the freebie graphics kit (Presents Mini Kit), from this site for the pattern design.
Click “File”>” Open”> choose the file to use. With your file open, use the keyboard short cut keys to copy [(Ctrl + C) on a PC or (Command +C) on a Mac] and paste it [(Ctrl +V) PC or (Command +V) Mac] into the “untitled-1” file.
With the graphics layer selected, make another copy of it using the keyboard short cut Ctrl + J or Command + J on a Mac. Click and drag the copied image above the original one.
Make about seven more copies. Click and drag them on various parts of the page.
Now click on Layer 0 or the bottom white layer and delete it. Then highlight all the remaining layers. To highlight all the layers, simply click on the bottom layer, scroll to the top layer, and hold the “Shift” key and left click at the same time.
We will now finish up the pattern. With all the layers selected go to “Edit”> “Define Pattern”.
Give your pattern a name when the Pattern Name dialogue box opens. I will name mine presents. Then click “ok”.
Now you can test your pattern. Open a new document. In the layers panel click on the white background layer. On the Menu bar go to “Layer”> “New Fill Layer”>” Pattern.
The “New Layer” dialogue box opens. Click “ok”. You will then see the “Pattern Fill” dialogue box. You can scale the percentage of your pattern up or down using the drop-down menu beside “Scale” (arrow). At 100 percent it looks identical to the size of the pattern you just created. By scaling it larger (moving the handle to the right) it makes the images bigger, and less filled on the screen. By dragging your handle to the left, the images are scaled smaller, and fill the page more, as shown in the photo below. I typically make mine smaller for my digital scrapbook papers. In this illustration I scaled mine down to 23 percent. When you are satisfied with the size you want click “ok”.
You can view your pattern by following the same steps from above by accessing the Preset Manager. Your pattern will be the very last one in the file.
This technique can be used from various files, brushes, shapes, and more. I will cover those in other tutorials. I hope you found this post helpful. And as always, happy crafting!
Do you like to add elements to your digital designs? It’s fun to give your pictures a little boost. Here is a small clip art kit that you can practice with. It has a fun sewing theme. All images are in PNG (transparent) format, making it easy to blend over top of other graphics. You can add these images to individual papers, photos, or even add them together and print them out any way you like. You can upload them into your cutting software, like Cricut Design Space and cut them out. Take your project to the next level. Give the gift of decorative photos!
I hope this adds to your crafty idea list. Enjoy this weekly freebie!
I want to show you one of my latest templates I created in Photoshop. This is the 6.25” x 6” Lilac Envelope made from the digital template that I have in my Esty shop. I use templates to make elements that work well with scrapbooks, junk journals, and various other mixed media projects. This piece does just that.
It has two pockets to store tags, cards, flat pens, photos and more. It has the space for you to house memorabilia along with giving your projects some spunk.
When you purchase the Lilac Envelope file you will receive the following:
– Cover Pages files (Has the names of each template)
All are printable on to 8.5″ x 11″ Standard paper sizes.
There are different variations of how to decorate your envelope using the provided ephemera files that come with the kit. See my YouTube assembly video for instructions on how to piece the envelope together.
I hope this message will inspire you to create something fun! Happy Crafting!
Get more freebies weekly! Please enjoy this latest six piece 8.5″ x 11″ paper kit. The papers have a “nostalgic era” feel to them. Bring the past back to life. Use this paper pack with journals, scrapbooks, collages, tags, mats, and multiple types of mixed media projects. Click to download.
For all the do-it-yourself (diy) paper crafters out there, which type of papers do you use when making your junk journals? Do you use mainstream brands such as Graphic 45, Bo Bunny, My Mind’s Eye, and Tim Holtz Paperstash, or do you purchase digital designs from online vendors, such as multimediacraftsdigi.etsy.com?
I like to use a combination of them, along with junk mail, envelopes, paper bags, tea and coffee stained papers, doilies, tickets, vellum, old sheet music pages, glassine bags, old book pages, fabric, lace, and much more. I also accent them with tags, folios, tuck spots, jewelry and other elements.
I tend to always include certain journal resources in my books and folios. The following are a must have for my detailed journals:
Vintage style paper
Ledger or ruled paper
Old book pages
Those are pertinent in my journals, for I feel those contents add great character to the journal, giving the owner of it room to write, a sense of nostalgia, and an over all shabby chic feel (Which is my favorite theme).
You, of course, could omit some of those and add other ephemera to your books. I just like to have various elements in each one of my designs. I get them by collecting advertisements from the postal “junk” mail, online blogs, eBay (bulk supplies for auction) Amazon, Etsy, and other websites that offer free digital downloads. (Disclaimer: If you click on the eBay link and make a purchase, I will receive a percentage from your order).
The good thing about postal junk mail is that they provide great and sturdy supplies. You can use the credit card templates that comes with the marketing material as a tag. Simply add some designer paper on both sides of the card, punch a hole at the top, add a ribbon and you have yourself a nice element for your scrapbook or folio.
You can also take an envelope from the junk stash. Paint it with some gesso, decoupage it with a pretty napkin, and add it to your journal.
I love to use Guest Check receipts, scraps of paper, die cut shapes, and tabs to add more appeal to the books. I usually print on them with vintage writing stamps along with other designer graphics. I ink all the edges of the papers with various distress inks. I cut out some envelopes, fold them over and make pockets out of them. I then garnish the folio or journal with mixed media elements such as paper clips, brads, and other hardware.
Glassine bags are fun to use as well. They add beauty to any junk journal and provide a storage compartment for a lot of your ephemera, so you can showcase your collected memorabilia or just simply hold your photos.
Which ever types of media you use, have fun with it. Even if you make a mistake cutting, sewing, gluing, or whatever to your project, keep that scrap. A crafting error can turn into a sparkling idea!
I like to make many of my holiday decorations by using different items from various sources. Today I’m going to show you how I made my Santa Clause Canvas. I got this idea from the YouTuber May May Made It Crafts She is a very inspiring artist.
What you will need is an 8” x 10” light weight cotton duck canvas. I got mine from Michaels in a pack of “Artist’s Loft” 10+2 Super Value Canvas Pack on sale. Mine is archival, acid free, and was titanium acrylic gesso primed.
You will also need a background designer paper. I used a sheet from my commercial use digital 8.5” x 11” collection “Vintage Script” in my etsy store multimediacraftsdigi.etsy.com.
I had the sheet printed out on a laser printer at Staples, since my printer at home is inkjet. I prefer to use laser jet instead of inkjet printing on mixed media projects like these to avoid ink bleeding when wet substances like modpodge glue or gesso is added.
In addition to your canvas and background paper you will need a big paint brush and smaller ones (I used a 3” one made by plaid and the smaller brushes came in a kit by Daler Rowney, “Artist Choice Value Set”)
a napkin with your preferred holiday image
modeling paste or thick paint
spatula or flat knife (be careful not to cut yourself)
extra decorative elements.
Step1. I first began by adding a thick coat of modpodge all over the front of the canvas, spreading it evenly using the brush. I then added the background paper by centering it and smoothing it down across the canvas.
I added a little more glue to the center and spread it out over top the image, making sure that there were no air pockets between it and the canvas.
While the canvas was still wet, I tore away the excess edges, giving the paper a distressed look. I allowed the canvas to dry overnight. You don’t have to wait that long. You could dry it using an embossing tool.
Step2. Once the canvas was dry, I added a thin layer of gesso across the face of it, using vertical paint strokes. I added more paint to the center where the napkin image would get placed.
Step3. After the gesso completely dried, I got my 3-ply napkin out. I removed the first two solid napkins that were attached to the one with the image. I then tore out the image from that napkin.
I added some modpodge to the face of the canvas, in the same manner as the technique used in step 1. Next, I added the Santa Claus image by placing it in the center of the canvas. Starting in the center of the image, I gently pressed it into the canvas, using outward strokes of the brush until it was completely adhered. I let the image dry overnight.
Step4. I took out my Tim Holtz distress oxide ink “Vintage Photo” and lightly distressed the canvas to give it an aged look.
Next, I got out my “Anna Griffin 8” x 8” Pochoir Botanical Damask Stencil” and “Faber-Castell Texture Luxe-Gold” to give the canvas more dimension. I also added in some “Faber Castell Asphalt Texture” paste mixed with gesso.
I used the stencil in opposite corners of the canvas by adding a thin layer of gold texture over top of it.
Then I took the asphalt and gesso mixtures and added it to the adjacent corners. I let them dry overnight. Once again, you do not have to wait that long. Drying it with an embossing tool will work just fine.
I then took some white paint and gesso and used a small brush (Brush #10 of Daler Rowney Flat) to highlight the stenciled and asphalt textures. I dipped my paint brush into water first and then mixed it with the paint on the canvas over top the textures to dilute the paint. I then took a dry rag and dabbed over some of the gold texture so it could bleed through the white gesso.
Next, I used some green and red acrylic paint (Americana Black Green, Apple Barrel English Ivy green, and Apple Berry Spiced Berry) to accent the shadows on Santa clause’s image. I used the green on the grass and blended some of the left-over white paint at the bottom to soften the color. I did this using brush “number 1 round” with circular motion. I added in thin streaks of grass using brush number 0/3 liner”.
Lastly, I took “brush number 1 round” and dipped it into some water and diluted gesso and plucked paint across the canvas to give it the look of snow.
The project is complete. You can garnish it with extra elements at this point. I simply took some Diamond Stickles by Ranger and added it on Santa’s coat.
I hope this process was helpful. Have a great day!
Styles are great and convenient assets used to reproduce a particular look on various elements. Today I am going to demonstrate how I created a simple distressed, overlay style in Adobe Photoshop. I’m using a Windows PC. The software version I’m using is Photoshop CC 2019.
With a document open and a layer selected go to your menu bar and click “Layer”>”Layer Style”>”Bevel and Emboss”.
The layer style dialogue box will open. There you will input the dimensions as follow:
To the left of the Layer Style dialogue box check the box beside “Bevel & Emboss”. Over to the right under “Structure” choose “Outer Bevel” in the Style drop down list. For Technique choose “Smooth” in that drop down list. Leave the “Depth” at 100% with the “Direction” circle highlighted “down”. Make the size 6px, and Soften 5px. These measurements can be made by either manually typing in the number into the box or by clicking and dragging the handle across to the correct position.
Under “Shading” make sure that the Angle is set to 120 degrees, the “Use Global Light” box is left unchecked, and that the “Altitude” is 30 degrees. Beside “Highlight Mode” choose “overlay” in the drop down list. Set the opacity to 40%. For Shadow Mode choose “Linear Burn” in the drop down list with an opacity set to 65%.
Next , to the left of the Layer Style Dialogue box check the box beside “Contour” and double click “Contour” to choose the correct elements. Under “Elements”, to the right of “Contour” click on the arrow and Choose the “Linear” option in the drop down list. Make sure that the box beside Anti-Aliased is left unchecked and that the range is set to 100%.
Then check the box beside “Inner Shadow”. Double Click “Inner Shadow” to view the elements within that asset. Under “Structure” Make the Blend Mode” set to “Linear burn” in the drop down list, with an Opacity set to 10%. Make sure that the Angle is set to 90 degrees and the box beside the “Use Global Light” is left unchecked. Set the Distance to Zero pixels (0px) and the choke is Zero Percent 90%). Make the size 18px. These adjustments can be made by either manually typing the number into the boxes or by clicking and dragging the handles across to the suited amount.
For the Quality, leave the Contour set at “Linear” which was already selected earlier. Make sure that the Noise is set to zero percent (0%).
Next check the box beside “Inner Glow” to the left of the Layer Style dialogue box; Then double click “Inner Glow”. Under “Structure” Make sure that the Blend Mode is set to “linear Burn” in the drop down list with an Opacity set to 35% and Noise set to 15%.
Make sure that the circle beside the “Color Picker” box is highlighted then click the box. This open up the Color Picker (Inner Glow Color) dialogue box. Choose a medium to light color brown. I used #947754. You can drag the circle in the color picker box to the shade of your liking or manually type in the digits in the # box.
Once the color has been chosen, choose the transparency you like. I used the “Foreground to Transparent” gradient selection. You can acquire this option by clicking on the dropdown arrow beside the gradient box and choose from the list.
Under “Elements” set the “Technique” to softer, and make sure that the circle beside “Edge” is highlighted for the Source. Set the Choke to zero percent (0%) and the size to 84px.
Under Quality, make sure the contour is still set to Linear with the box beside “Anti-Aliased” left unchecked. Set the Range to 50% and and the Jitter to zero percent (0%).
You are now ready to save and name your style. To the right of the Layer Style dialogue box, click “New Style…”. The New Style box opens. You can give it a name. I named mine “Frame Shadow Overlay”. Then Click “Okay”. Your Style is now ready.
You should be able to find it at the very bottom of the Styles Window. Typically, the very last style you add will show at the very end of the list of styles.
This style can provide numerous looks for the enthused digital crafter.