Make a Seaside Garland with Gwen Studios!

 If there is one thing I love, its all things to do with the sea!
I live near enough that I can spend a few hours or the whole day if needed. 
Making beach crafts is one of my favorite things to do 
and this Seaside Garland is a breeze to make!

* As a design team member for Gwen Studios,
I am provided with product to work with each month.

To get started, you will need the following:

1. Prep the selected shells and starfish by first cleaning them with a damp cloth, then applying a coat of clear sealer. Set these aside to dry while you wrap the twine around the cord.

2. Next, cut 8" lengths of the assorted ribbon. 
Fold them in half and hot glue to the back or inside of the shells.

3. Loop and glue some ribbon as shown below, to the back of a couple of shells and the starfish.
Slide these loops onto the wrapped cord and attach the bows using the included twist-ties. 

 4. Stagger your shell placement on the garland, filling in spaces with tied ribbon.

All ready for summer!

Head on over here  to see more creative idea's to make with this ribbon!


DIY Ribbon Bookmarks with Gwen Studios

These ribbon bookmarks are a great way to bring new life to old jewelry.
A quick and easy craft for the whole family.
Make a bunch (like I did) and tuck them in a book or gift them on their own!

* As a design team member for Gwen Studios,
I am provided with product to work with each month.

To get started, you will need the following:

  • Any Gwen Studios Ribbons, 1" or smaller
    Ribbon Clamps (2 per bookmark)
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Scissors and a ruler
  • Assortment of old jewelry, lone earrings, charms and beads. (2 per bookmark)
Measure and cut your ribbon at 10". Final book mark length will be about 9". Make sure you are using sharp scissors when cutting your ribbons to help deter fraying on the ends. 

Fold the ends of the ribbon at about ½". If you are not able to get a crisp fold, add a little bit of double stick tape under the fold. Use your thumb and finger to firmly hold the ribbon in the clamp while you crimp one side with the pliers. Then you can finish crimping the rest of the clamp. Repeat process at the other end of the ribbon.

Attach your made charms to each end with jump rings or lobster claw clasps. 
So pretty!

So as you can see here, I got a little carried away in making the book marks.
I couldn't help myself! All the ribbons are just so pretty and compliment the charms so nicely.
See a ribbon that you like? Click any of the links corresponding with the numbers above.

1. Plum Fancy Trim    2. Pink Satin     3. Sweet Shop    4. Rhinestone Fancy Trim     
5. Mint Green Burlap     6. Sweet Shop      7. White Fancy Trim     8. Emerald Green Satin    
9. Sweet Shop    10. Tropical      11. Pink Burlap     12. Sweet Shop 

Find your favorite Gwen Studios Ribbons at your local Walmart and online at Walmart.com!

Head on over here  to see more creative idea's to make with ribbon!


All about Artist Trading Cards

 People ask what is so great about "Artist Trading Cards" all the time.

I just have to say that they are fun to make and create! I consider them Miniature works of Art!
Artist Trading cards are also known as ATC's.

They must be 2.5"x3.5" or 64x89mm. And are meant for trading ONLY. Usually through the mail via various yahoo groups or in person at a gathering. (The art card above was created for a annual Fiskateer event where everyone made 50+ cards with our photo on the front and our personal info on the back.)

ATC's usually are made of a sturdy chipboard backing to ensure safe mailing. I like to recycle cereal and cracker boxes for ATC bases. In the past I used to score and cut each card on my paper trimmer. I went through quite a bit of blades this way! 
I have also made my ATC's with painted vinyl, soda cans, fabric, .....
Craft stores carry a line of Trading card sleeves, envelopes and baggies meant to keep them safe till swapped.

There are usually themes for a swap you might participate in. Here the theme was Nesting dolls. And as long as I kept my shape under 2.5"x3.5", I could use any shape. So I created a hand sewn doll that folds out to show to smaller nesting dolls. Go here to see more nesting dolls.

For the Alice in Wonderland swap, instead of making all my ATC's to be the same, I used a few brochures for the new movie and cut out images for each card. Then I accented them with glitter glue and shrink plastic key charms. I accented the edges with a gold leaf pen. See more Alice in Wonderland here!Sometimes the swap host will provide a template of the shape to use. In this case it was a house I printed out and made a template from card board. I hand cut each ATC and covered it with paper, added a vintage packaging tape transfer image, added some wings from a butterfly punch (cut in two) and finished it off with a few rub-ons.

This Bingo card was created with a rubber stamp made just for art cards. Now days you can also find scores of images or back ground stamps in the exact sizing for your art cards.
The butterfly is one of my favorites and I created it using a variety of alcohol inks. 
The theme was Mardi Gras masks. The top piece of the mask was made from the clear packaging some of your craft products come in. You can see the rest of the Mardi Gras masks here.
Here I hand cut women images from fabric and mod podged them to the paper on the card.
I colored one side of clear vinyl with alcohol inks and them stamped the reverse side with a music sheet stamp and staz- on/ The theme was Easter- hence the eggs.

For a fairy tales theme. I stamped a piece of card stock with a Snow white stamp, colored in the parts needed and covered the image with crackle glaze. The rest of the card is covered in vintage inspired wrapping paper, stamped tissue paper and the edges finished with a gold leafing pen.
For the next two Halloween cards, I just accented already great images with glitter glue and buttons. Then I used my FAVORITE pens, Sakura SoufflĂ© pens that turn opaque on dark paper just like magic!

See more Halloween cards here!

For the Witch card, I brushed the raw side of the ATC blank with white gesso, them ran over it with lime green acrylic. Before that had started to set I added one more layer of crackle glaze. The image is just a basic run of the mill photo copy to which I adhered to the card. I rubbed a little of the gesso around the image edges, added some glitter glue and finished with the soufflĂ© pen.
When you are ready to send out your cards, it's important to add the following:
  • Your name
  • Your city/sate or country
  • Name of the swap
  • Date 
  • ATC number- 1 of 6, 2 of 6, and so on. 
You can all this to the back of each ATC hand or by using
one my of ATC rubber stamps from Blank Page Muse*.
*Save 15% off your order with discount code BPMMichelle

There are many ways to store your art cards. I displayed the Halloween ones on a vacant wall one year for the month of October. I also store them by year in a 3 ring binder using Trading card pockets. These can be found in any store that sells trading cards.

It's nice to browse the book and be re inspired every now and then. :)

If you are interested in participating in some Artist Trading Card swaps, please consider joining our group.- Mixed Media Art Charms and Faerie Garden Swaps. 


Ribbon Decorated Spring Tote with Gwen Studios


Hi Everyone! Happy Spring!
 I hope you'll enjoy these oh-so easy ribbon decorated totes as much as I did in making them!
The best part is that they can be used as a gift bag, a small purse or even a Easter basket!

* As a design team member for Gwen Studios,
I am provided with product to work with each month.

To get started, you will need the following:

  1. Thread one end of the ribbon onto the blunt needle. 
  2. From the inside of the tote, push the needle through a opening. 
  3. Secure the ribbon tail with thread and the sewing needle to the inside of the tote. 
  4. Pull the ribbon up then back through the openings as shown. 
  5. The more holes you skip, the neater the ribbon will lay flat. 
  6. Alternate between your favorite ribbon colors. 
  7. Decorate just one side or all over the the tote. 
  8. Secure the ends of each color ribbon on the inside of the tote, again with the sewing needle and thread. 

Finish your tote with a pretty ribbon or other decoration.

Here I added some Mermaid fun! See how I made it here. 

This pink decorated tote is perfect for a picnic in the park ... 

...or some Easter fun with the kids! 

See more creative ribbon idea's on the Designer Crafts Connection Blog!


DIY Rainbow Wreath with Gwen Studios

I had so much fun creating this colorful wreath using all my favorite colors from Gwen Studios! 

To make this Rainbow Wreath, you will need the following:

  • GWEN STUDIOS Favor Pack - Rainbow assortment of 3/8' grosgrain ribbon
  • Craft foam wreath (any size)
  • Plastic cauldron
  • Gold coins
  • Cotton batting
  • Plastic canvas
  • Marker
  • Sharp scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Gold glitter paint 

    • Use the scissors to cut the foam wreath in half. 

      Wrap a piece of ribbon around one end of the wreath  to determine the length you will need for the rest of the colors. For my wreath, each ribbon measured 4 ¾". After you have cut all your ribbon, lay it on the wreath to determine your design. Make sure you have some extra pieces available to fill in any gaps if needed.

      Working with one ribbon at a time, add a thin line of hot glue to the foam wreath and attach the ribbon. Secure the ribbon ends to the back of the wreath. 


      When you get to the end of the foam wreath, use the scissors to cut the end as shown, creating a 'slit '. Push the plastic canvas into the slit and with the marker, draw a cloud shape. Pull the plastic canvas out of the slit, cut the cloud shape with scissors and and re-insert into the slit, securing with hot glue. 

      Drizzle the cloud shape and unwrapped wreath end with hot glue. Then carefully use a craft stick or the end of paint brush to push the batting, covering the cloud. 

      Using some hot glue, fill the cauldron with leftover bits of the plastic canvas and batting. Then adhere the end of the wreath into the the top pf the cauldron. Add a few gold coins, cutting some in half to fit. The gold glitter paint is helpful in concealing hot glue drips and trails, plus it adds the perfect bit of glittery Leprechaun magic, don't you agree?

      Thanks for coming by, I hope you've enjoyed my craft!

      Please visit the Designers Craft Connection for more Gwen Studios Ribbon idea's!


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