Crafty Fun Friday: Sticky Note Cover from Coasters Tutorial

PostItCover1-1

I love papercrafting. I haven’t done much of it lately because I’ve been so wrapped up in the world of vinyl personalization (need a decal?), but today I was so happy to get my fingers dirty again. I love playing with paper! I have so much scrapbooking paper, you might say I’m a hoarder. It’s probably nothing compared to what others might have, but I feel like it’s a ton.

Today I finally completed something I’ve wanted to do for a while: a snazzy cover for one of my many Sticky Note Pads (yes, Post-Its). I also used a tool that I’ve had for a while, but haven’t used much: The Cinch from We R Memory Keepers. Actually, I think the main reason I bought the Cinch was to make these sticky note covers. The Cinch is a bookbinding tool that’s pretty much just awesome. You can use wire coil binding or spiral binding to bind together books or papers, or even chipboard coasters. It punches the holes (round holes, no less, unlike some similar tools), lines up your coil and materials, then presses together the coil. Fast and easy!

I started with 2 coasters that I stole borrowed from a restaurant that are 4 inches square. 

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Then, I ran the coaster through my Xyron machine to make one side sticky. You can also use a glue stick or a tape runner; whatever you have on hand is fine.

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Put the sticky side down on the bottom of your scrapbook paper, and trim closely around it with a sharp craft knife. 

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 I need to change the blade on my knife; it took a few swipes to cut through the paper.

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Once the paper is trimmed, run the coaster through the Xyron again, to make the other side sticky. Trim the paper from the other side. (I used two-sided paper on this project, in case you’re confused – kitchen tools on one side, and the blue/yellow/green stripes on the other)

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Repeat with other coaster.

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Once the paper was adhered, I used a fine grit sanding paper to smooth out the edges on the coasters, and to clean them up a bit. 

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Next, I used my distress ink and a sponge to darken the edges.

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When the ink was dry, I was finally ready to break out The Cinch! I lined it all up and punched 7 holes at the top. 

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I used 3/4 inch Book Binding Wires to bind it all together… 

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…and voila! My snazzy sticky note cover was done. I’m so happy with how it turned out; I can’t wait to make more!

PostItCover1

PostItCover2

Give it a try! My daughter immediately claimed the pink book, so I made the cooking book for myself. Enjoy!

It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time!

cookietime

So, I might be going a little overboard with this whole Girl Scout Cookie thing. This is my daughter’s first year as a Girl Scout, she’s a Daisy, and I am so excited that she’s decided she wants to be a part of this. I was a Girl Scout for practically my entire childhood, and I have so many fond memories. I hope she has as much fun as I did! But back to the overboard part.

My daughter’s troop consists of Kindergarten and First Grade-aged girls. Suffice it to say, they’re not too excited about the whole cookie booth sales thing. I’m trying to explain to my girl that it’s important to sell a lot of cookies because it helps the troop, it helps you, blah blah blah. And, everyone loves Girl Scout cookies, and they love to see cute little faces selling them.

When the other moms and I were talking about setting up the booths, we decided to keep it simple; we would handle making the signs since our little girls can barely write legibly at this point. And me, being the overachieving, vinyl-cutting, personalization-business mom, said I would take over the sign-making. Here’s what I came up with:

CookieBooth2 CookieBooth1 CookieBooth3

I thought they turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself. And yes, that is glitter vinyl on the Troop sign. We can all use a little extra bling! The girls all signed their names on the Troop Thank You sign, and it looks great.

Is it too much, yet? Am I a normal Girl Scout Mom?

So then I was thinking, it would be nice to give each customer who buys cookies from our cookie booths a little Thank You card with our troop information on it; you know, in case they needed more cookies. Plus, it teaches the girls that a simple Thank You is a wonderful thing. I’ll also be making personalized Thank You notes for my daughter to put with her pre-orders. I’m generally not the best when it comes to writing Thank You notes, but maybe I can at least teach my children how to show their thanks. Of course, after I thought of the cards, it was all I could think about, so off I went to Photoshop to get busy.

I was so happy with how the notes came out, that I decided to share them here, free to download, for whomever may find them useful. Let’s try to teach our children the art of being grateful! And so many people buy Girl Scout cookies, and support the organization; they especially need to be thanked.

DaisyThankYou4Up

Daisy Thank You Notes

Generic Girl Scout Thank You Notes

Generic Girl Scout Thank You Notes

To download, just click on the picture, then right-click and select ‘Save As’. Print the cards full size and borderless (if you have that option) on card stock, then cut apart on the lines. Or, you can purchase the Avery Postcards 8387. Super simple! Terms: PERSONAL USE ONLY. Please do not sell the design or the finished product. Print as many times as you need. Design © Shannon Moore, 2014, 

Here is an example of the personalized card I did for our troop. If you would like personalized cards for your troop, please contact me for pricing!

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And of course, if you need cookies. I’ll hook you up. 🙂

Last-Minute Mom: DIY Ninja Valentines

NinjaCardBlog

Well, I guess it’s not really last minute since I still have almost a week to get these done, but still. I feel like I should have been done with my kids’ Valentines last week. I finally, just now, finished designing them, so now all I have to do is get them all printed, cut, and folded. And, then, I have to do the same for my daughter. Sure, I could go to any store and buy Valentines for both of my kids, but where’s the fun? What’s the challenge? I feel that as a ‘crafty’-type person, I should put a little more thought into these silly things. Plus, I love to see my kids’ eyes light up when I present them with the finished product. Its nice to hear “Wow, Mom, that’s awesome!” every now and then.

Unlike last year, when I made what seemed like a million embroidered felt lollipop lips and mustaches, this year I decided to tone it down a notch, and stick with designing cards. A friend of mine had been asking if I could make her some matchbook sticky note holders, so as I was researching those to see exactly what she meant, I came across some matchbook treat cards. Ding! A light bulb went on above my head. I found some super cute clip art on Etsy here and here (so many great illustrators out there!), some printable papers, fired up Photoshop, and I was off. 

I really loved the ninjas I found, and my 4-year old son has recently been claiming that he wants to be a ninja when he grows up, so these were perfect. Done. The owls I also loved, and my 7-year old daughter did, too, so that was easy. Done. The rest was up to me.

Outside of Ninja Card

Outside of Ninja Card

Front Flap

Front Flap

Sweet Treat Inside!

Sweet Treat Inside!

Yes, I know that pack of M&M’s has been opened. I couldn’t resist!

See how the front flap tucks into the bottom part? Matchbook. I was so tickled with how these turned out, I thought I would share them with the world. I made them into a printable file, which is now available in my shop. Right now, I only have the ninjas available, but I’ll post the owls as well, when I have that set finished. There is some assembly required; you’ll have to print them, borderless works best, cut on the vertical lines, fold on the horizontal lines, then staple your treat in. The “From” field is blank on the printable, so you’ll just have to fill in your little ninja’s name, and that’s it! These are specifically designed to hold the fun size packs of m&m’s, but I’m sure other treats would fit nicely, too. The printable file looks like this:

Your file will not have watermarks.

Your file will not have watermarks.

What do you think? Are you making your kids’ Valentines this year, or are you doing store-bought?

Can’t get enough  ninjas? My sis-in-law has some awesome printable Ninja Activity Packs for Early Elementary over on her blog. And they’re FREE! The preschool pack is coming tomorrow, so I’ll be downloading that for my ninja-loving son. Go check it out!

Tasty Tuesday: Oven Baked French Fries

french-fries

 

I have to admit: I’m a meat and potatoes kind of girl. Or, well, mainly potatoes. I’ve yet to meet a potato I don’t like. My favorite? Mashed Potatoes, hands down. Whenever my mom would make mashed potatoes when I was kid, I was right there next to the mixer, waiting to lick off the beaters. She still lets me do it, just because she still thinks it’s funny. I digress.

I have nothing against frozen french fries, they’re quite good when they’re done just right. But the budget doesn’t always allow for the frozen fries, especially when you can get a giant bag of fresh potatoes for about the cost of one bag of frozen fries (I’ll have to do a cost comparison on that, actually). Plus, when I make my own, I know exactly what’s going in and on the fries. Potato, check. Olive oil, check. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, check. That’s it!

Here’s how I do it:

  1. Wash and scrub about 5-6 medium russet potatoes – adjust for your family size.
  2. Slice each potato in half, then cut each half into strips, or fries. One of these days, I’m going to get a fancy french fry cutter, but for now, I use my favorite super-sharp knife.
  3. You may have to cut the fry in half again, depending on the size; you want to try and keep them around the same size so they’ll cook evenly.
  4. Continue with all of the other potatoes, until you have a pile of fries.
  5. Dump them all into a large zip-top bag, and add about 2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). Use your judgement here; I usually just pour it in until it looks good.
  6. Shake the bag until all of the fries are coated.
  7. Cover a baking pan with foil, for easy cleanup, then spray lightly with cooking oil.
  8. Dump the fries on the treated pan, and spread evenly, trying to keep them on one layer.
  9. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper (optional) over the entire pan.
  10. Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes, or until they look nice and toasty

I don’t flip the fries during cooking, but if you want to give that a try, let me know how it works out! I also like to let mine get a little crispy, but not too much.

This is a perfect side to make when you can’t think of anything else, and you have a bag of potatoes that need to be used up. We love to have them with hamburgers, of course. The kids love them!

Homemade Taco Seasoning – Forget the Packets!

tacoseasoning

We’re a big fan of taco seasoning in this house. If we don’t have tacos on Tuesdays, or some variation of tacos, the children will mutiny. So, taco seasoning is used at least once a week. For years I would just succumb to buying the little packets, not even thinking twice about all of the added sodium, preservatives, and numerous other ingredients I can’t pronounce. In my ongoing quest to eat a little better and save money in the process, I decided to start making my own taco seasoning. I was leary, at first, thinking there’s no way the homemade stuff could be as tasty as the store-bought wonderful-ness. I was pleasantly surprised, and very pleased with the result. Here’s the recipe I use:

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 1 part chili powder
  • 1 part cumin
  • 1 part garlic powder
  • 1 part onion powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 part crushed red pepper

Note: a part can be whatever unit of measurement you’d like to use. I generally add 1 or 2 tablespoons of each ingredient (except for red pepper flakes), depending on how much I’m making at the time.

Mix all ingredients together, and you’re done! I make it up in batches and keep it in a mason jar. And yes, that is the top to a parmesan cheese bottle that I have on my mason jar in the picture above. It fits perfectly!

To Use:

– Add 2 1/2 tablespoons to 1 pound of browned ground beef; stir in 2/3 cup of water. Bring to a boil, and simmer until water is cooked off, stirring regularly.

Yum!