Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Make Paper Covered Wooden Beads

Here is a family friendly craft idea for making colorful beads. My new friend Mary Ann Lenhard, who is a fiber artist, showed my family how to make these beads. My two daughters and I had a blast making tons of beads last Saturday. Even my husband joined in on the fun!

The paper covered beads can be combined with other beads to make bracelets, earrings, or necklaces. Just use your imagination...


Wood Beads (comes in large bags at craft stores)
Earth Love'n Gift Wrap (or other scraps of recycled paper)
Mod Podge or Lineco Methyl Cellulose Adhesive
Miscellaneous beads, string for beading, header pins, etc...


1. Rip used gift wrap or other paper into small pieces. I used scraps of the Brillant Floral Gift Wrap Design. Glue paper on to the wooden bead. Put glue under and on top of the paper.

At the suggestion of my fiber artist friend, I used methyl cellulose adhesive for this project. Methyl cellulose is acid-free, nontoxic, and it dries clear and is often used for bookmarking and archival materials. Mod Prodge will also work for this project.

2. Use your fingers to work the paper around the beads. After you cover the entire bead, try rolling the bead in your hand to make it smooth. Use a toothpick to punch the hole in the bead if it was covered over by the paper.

That's it! Use the beads to make bracelets, earrings, necklaces or any other type of beading project. I made earrings with my paper beads. The collage look of the bead and the colors gave the beads an oriental flair. To me the earrings look like Chinese lanterns, but my friend said they look more like hot air balloons!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Make Colorful Clothespin Magnets

Here's an easy craft you can make with's perfect for a birthday party! My daughter and I had a great time making these clothespin magnets for her new whiteboard. (My daughter is the hand model in these pictures...dirty finger nails and all!) If you don't want to make magnets, these colorful clothespins will certainly brighten up your clothesline.


Wood Clothespins (the flat kind with a spring)
Earth Love'n Gift Wrap (or other scraps of recycled paper)
Mod Podge
Magnets with a sticky side (I bought a small role.)


1. You will need 2 small rectangular pieces of paper to cover the top of the clothespin. Start by making a template so that you can make multiple magnets quickly. Trace the clothespin on a piece of paper or cardboard and cut out the template.

2. Use the templates to trace the shapes on the gift wrap and cut out the 2 rectangles. You may need to trim them slightly so that they fit evenly on the top of the clothespin.

3. Brush on one coat of Mod Podge on top of the clothspin and place the paper on top of the glue.

4. Brush another layer of Mod Podge over the top of the clothespin. After it dries, cut out a 1-inch piece of magnetic tape and stick it to the bottom of the clothespin.

That's it...I told you it was easy! If you want to get fancy, use glitter or other decorative items to embellish the magnets. Have fun!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to School Time...Decorate a Composition Book

I can't take credit for this idea...but, I do love it. The idea is from Chic'n Scratch and there is a great video on YouTube that walks you through a more professional version of this project. Here is my attempt at it using recycled gift wrap and leftover card stock. I think it looks adorable and my daughter can't wait to show it off at school!


Composition Book - the old fashion marble kind is just fine
Earth Love'n Gift Wrap - Flower Girl or other gift wrap designs
Card Stock - pink, white and/or other selected colors
Tape Runner - I did break down and buy this easy to use double sided tape dispenser. If you don't want to use tape, a glue stick would work also.
Optional - Stickers, ribbons or other decorative items.


1. Use a plain composition book for this project (no holes).

2. Using the gift wrap, cut 2 sheets of paper approximately 6" x 10". Put adhesive tape or glue on the back of 1 sheet of the paper.

3. Place paper over the composition book so that the edges stick out over the sides of the book. The edges will be trimmed later. I placed the paper evenly over the front end so that I wouldn't have to trim it. Composition books come is slightly different sized so it is important to cut the paper a little larger than the book.

4. Trim the edges of the paper around the book. Sandpaper can also be used to smooth out the edges. Make sure you use downward strokes with the sandpaper or you will take up the paper off the composition book. Repeat this process for the back of the book.

5. Using the sheet of matching card stock, cut out a 10" x 4" sheet of paper for the spine. Fold the paper around the spine so that you are essentially "training" the paper to hold the fold. Place adhesive tape on the paper and stick it to the spine. Make sure the book is closed when you are going through this process. Trim the paper, as needed.

6. The cover can be decorated as desired. I don't have stamps or stencils to create the name so I printed out my daughter's name in Word using a large font and I used the letters as stencils. For the title block, I created a triple matting effect using sucessively smaller rectangles of the pink card stock, the gift wrap, and the white card stock. I used the pink card stock for the letters. You may want to put the subject name on the composition book. Use leftover ribbon or stickers to decorage the book. Be creative!

Have fun with this project and good luck getting your kids up for school in the morning. My girls are going to be very cranky!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Make Bookmarks using Gift Wrap

My books are all dog-eared because I never have a bookmark when I need one. Not anymore...I just made 4 great bookmarks using scraps of gift wrap and left over ribbons and beads. This is a super easy craft (great for kids) that makes a great stocking stuffer or gift for your book club members.


Earth Love'n Gift Wrap - Hip Design, Flower Girl, Classic Stripes, Brilliant Floral
Hole Punch
Laminator (I used Kinkos)
Optional Materials: Ribbons, Hemp String, Beads, Tassles, Shells, etc.


1. Cut out an 8 x 4.5 inch piece of gift wrap. Use the dotted lines on the back for the paper for reference. The lines are 1 inch apart.

2. Hold the paper vertically and fold the paper in thirds so that the bookmark is 1.5 x 8 inches.

3. I decided to laminate the bookmarks so that it will hold up longer, but if you don't want to use plastic, just glue the bookmark together, punch a hole at the top, and continue with the decorations.

4. I used one 8.5 x 11 inch lamination sheet for the 4 bookmarks. Use the slicer at Kinkos to cut the bookmarks apart. Make sure you leave some plastic around each bookmark so that the it remains sealed.

5. Punch a hole at the top of the bookmark.

6. You can use whatever materials you have on hand to create the decorations. I used pink ribbon for the Classic Stripes and Flower Girl bookmarks. For the Hip Design, I used some Hemp string, beads and a shell with a hole in it. For the Brilliant Floral bookmark, I strung some glass beads from an old beading kit and attached a black tassel to the end.

Have fun and create lots of bookmarks! Please send me pictures of your bookmarks and I will be happy to post some of your ideas.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Make a Southwestern Paper Pot with Gift Wrap

Don't throw away your gift wrap when you can turn it into this cool looking paper pot instead! I have seen many bowls made of magazines on the internet, in craft stores, and in craft books, so this project is not an original idea. But I thought I would give it a try using my gift wrap, and see what happens. I used Earth Love'n Paper's Rhombus Retro design to give the pot a woven, southwestern look.


Rhombus Retro Gift Wrap - roll or flat pack
Mod Podge (craft glue)
Foam Brush or Paint Brush
Glue Gun
Glue Sticks


1. Cut long strips of gift wrap using the dotted lines on the back of the gift wrap as a guide (cut along very other dotted line). The width of the strips should be 2 inches.

2. Fold each strip in half, lengthwise along the dotted line so that the colored paper is on the outside. Fold the strip again lengthwise so that each strip is 1/2 inch wide.

3. After you have folded about 10 to 15 strips, begin coiling one strip tightly around. This will become the bottom of the pot. Use the glue gun to put glue along the center of the coil. Add a second strip where the first strip ends. Insert the second strip into the end of the first strip and glue it down.

After I got the hang of gluing and coiling, my younger daughter squeezed the glue and I rolled the coil. She loved helping out, and is very pleased with the final result. Make sure you face each strip in the same direction so that the folded edge is always the same direction. The bottom of the pot takes don't get discouraged.

4. Once the bottom of the pot reaches the desired size, it's time to work on the sides. If you are going to use the pot for a specific plant, you may want to measure the plant prior to moving on. My base is about 4" in diameter. The folded side of the paper is on the bottom of the pot. Begin making more strips (steps 1 & 2) and wrapping them (with the folded side down) around the pot about 1/8" up from the strip below it. Put glue along the top half of the strip below the one you are placing on the pot.

5. Continue adding strips until the desired height is reached. My pot is approximately 5.5" high. To finish off the top, I placed one strip along the top of the pot so that the fold sits along the rim. I glued one half of the strip on the outside of the pot and the other half on the inside.

6. Cover the outside and inside of the pot with Mod Podge. Don't forget to Mod Podge the bottom too. This will give it some more strength and a little shine.

FYI...this is probably obvious, but the pot is not water proof, so don't water your plant in it. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Craft with Gift Wrap for Mother’s Day… Make a Decoupage Plate

Well...Mother's Day is coming up, and I've been toying with the idea of posting some craft ideas using my gift wrap. Now seems like as good a time as ever. I'm not a flowery kind of girl, but my favorite gift wrap design is the Brilliant Floral. It's so pretty, I thought of framing it and putting it on the wall. But instead of framing it, I decided to decoupage it on a glass plate.

Give mom some home baked cookies or muffins on this plate or use them for a special Mother's Day brunch. Here we go...


Clear glass plates (I bought them at Walmart for $1.50 each)
Brilliant Floral Gift Wrap (Earth Love'n Paper Products- use roll, not flat pack)
Mod Podge
Foam Brush for Paint Brush
Razor or Scissors
Gold Acrylic Paint (Optional)


1. First you need to flatten the gift wrap. Unroll 1 piece of gift wrap and reroll it in the opposite direction so that the back side of the gift wrap is showing. Put a rubber band around the paper.

2. Remove tags from plates and wash with soap and water.

3. Unlike most paper decoupage projects, you are going to use 1 piece of paper for the project. Lay the plate on the section of gift wrap you want to use and cut around the plate leaving approximately 1" of paper around the plate.

4. To make the gluing process easier, you may want to put the plate upside down on a coffee can or other stable container.

5. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back of the plate. It doesn't need to be thick. Then stick the colored side of the paper on the back of the plate. Smooth the paper down. The gift wrap will crease around the curved outer rim of the plate. This will not detract from the final look. Take about 5 minutes to smooth the paper around the plate. Let dry for about 10 minutes and then use a razor or scissors to cut off the excess paper.

6. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back side of the plate. Allow to dry for about 15 minutes. Reapply about 4-5 coats of Mod Podge allowing it to dry each time.

7. Optional - To finish off the back of the plate, apply 1 or 2 coats or gold acrylic paint. Finish with 1 coat of Mod Podge.

Please Note: Do not wash plates in dishwasher...handwash carefully. Enjoy!