Monday, December 31, 2012

Snowman Bottle Cap Tag Ornament

Using bottlecaps is great fun, and I love to create things with tags!  Try making a bottle cap tag ornament of your own.  The possibilities are many!  Included here are a list of materials, a bottle cap printable sheet, and step-by-step directions.  Enjoy!
You Will Need:
*bottle caps (number depending on how many you want to make)
2 2/3" x 1 3/8" - #1 strung shipping tags with reinforced hole (I used Avery brand #11004 - 100 count)
**coffee for staining tags (brew or instant)
***3D crystal lacquer (by Sakura Hobby Craft)
snowman bottle cap insert printable
1 inch circle punch
laminator or clear packing tape.
black Sharpie marker (ultra fine point)
glue gun and glue
*I always purchase my bottle caps from Lehman's. You can find bottle caps for purchase in many places online.  You can buy them with and without the rubber seal, and the prices vary.
**My husband made a strong mixture of coffee using two scoops of coffee and about a cup of water.
***I have experimented with different clear lacquers and have found this one to be the best for my needs.  No mixing is required, it easily dispenses without bubbling, it does not have a strong smell, and it dries crystal-clear.  I purchased it directly from the Sakura Hobby Craft website.
How to Make:
1. Download and print snowman bottle cap insert here.
2. Laminate (not heavy seal) or cover inserts with clear packing tape (being careful to adhere smoothly).  I do this so that the ink will not run when the clear lacquer is applied. 
3. Punch out inserts.
4. Carefully press insert into bottle cap.  It is not necessary to remove the rubber seal inside the bottle cap for this application.  Press the insert gently into the bottle cap, without pressing it firmly in the center.  Pressing too firmly will create seal marks on the insert.  I simply press the insert into the bottle cap by lightly pressing in the center and around the edges with my fingernail.  See photo for finished look.
5. Fill bottle cap with clear lacquer.  Make sure to read the directions on bottle prior to using. Fill the bottle cap to the brim, as the lacquer will naturally shrink as it dries.
6. Allow clear lacquer to dry overnight.
7. Make coffee mixture as dark as desired. Keep in mind that the tags will appear lighter when wet and will dry darker.
8. Dunk tags in coffee mixture and lay on several layers of paper towels to dry.  Once I placed the tags on the paper towels, I poured a bit of the coffee mixture sporadically on the tags.  This created a primitive stained look when tags were dried.  Allow to dry completely.
9.  Write desired words in creative lettering using a black Sharpie marker (ultra fine point). Make sure to position a bottle cap as desired so that you can judge the size and location of your words/writing. 
10. Knot the ends of string together and hang. These also make great gifts!
11.  Try creating your own inserts using a desired picture/theme.  Bottle caps can be easily customized and made into ornaments, magnets, and pins.  Here are a few caps I created years ago...  These are much clearer that they appear, as the lacquer glare so easily when photographed. Note: These bottle caps were not hammered to curl the edges.  Nothing was done to the bottle cap prior to filling. I have made many bottle cap crafts over the years where I have hammered and removed the rubber seal, but that is a lesson for another day...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pinwheel Christmas Card

Well, I debated whether to stamp our Christmas cards this year... I could not seem to figure out what I wanted to do, as far as stamping goes, when I remembered the neat pinwheels that I have my students make on the front of a special gift for their parents.  I decided to use the same idea for a Christmas card.  I must say, after making 40 cards, I had had my fill--BUT I love how they turned out...

You Will Need:
8.5" x 11" scrapbook paper of choice (to use as card)
scrapbook paper of choice (to use for making pinwheel and ribbon)
large brads in choice of finish
paper cutter
small paper punch (with large lead)
straight edge or ruler
permanent adhesive

How to Make:
1.  Cut scrapbook paper for card 4.25" x 5.5" (simply cut 8.5" x 11" sheets in half). I actually found kraft colored pre-cut cards and envelopes (pack of 50) by Paper Studios at Hobby Lobby, so I was able to skip this step. :0)

2. Score and fold cards, or simply fold cards.

3. Cut 2.5" x 2.5" squares of pinwheel paper.  Cut as many as desired depending on the number of cards you are making. The kraft Christmas paper shown was purhased at Hobby Lobby (by Paper Studios).

4. Cut "ribbon" strips of paper in desired width. My strips were about 5/8".

5.  Using straight edge or ruler, draw a pencil diagonal from corner to corner on the back-side of each 2.5" square (see photo).

6. Using scissors, cut on each diagonal (toward the center) WITHOUT cutting to the center--approximately 1/4" from center (see photo).

7.  With design side facing up, fold every other corner to the center (see photos). If using two sided scrapbook paper, make sure to have the design you want to see most facing up. Then affix each folded tab with adhesive.  This will create the pinwheel. 

8.  Affix, "ribbon" strips on front of card in desired place and trim excess (see photo).
9.  Affix pinwheel on top of ribbon at desired angle.

10.  Puch a hole in the center of pinwheel (see photo). 

11. Attach brad in center.

12.  Stamp or write sentiment inside.  Note:  If printing a sentiment with printer, feed cards through printer BEFORE affixing ribbon and pinwheel.

Make one, a few, or many! Enjoy!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Paper Folding: Star/Wreath Ornament

These folded paper stars/wreaths turn out wonderful!  I had great fun last weekend making some for my grandson (for gifts) after he picked out the paper combinations.  Great to hang on the tree, tie on a gift, use as bowl fillers, etc.!

You Will Need:

two scrapbook papers of complementing design/color
paper cutter
thin jute or string for hanging

How to Make:
1. Cut scrapbook paper into 6, 2.5" x 5" pieces (3 of each design/color).

2. Fold each piece in half lengthwise, with design/color facing out (see photo).

3. Open each piece, flatten with design/color side face-down, and fold in each corner to "meet" the fold (see photo).

4.  Refold on lengthwise fold (see photo).

5.  Fold each piece in half with pointed tips meeting (see photo).

6.  Holding on the fold, snip off each tip (see photo).

7.  Assemble star by following each step as shown in the photos below.  Make sure to hold pieces as demonstrated.


8.  Cut a piece of jute, match up the ends, and feed the loop through the center of star/wreath (see photo). 

9.  Feed ends of jute through loop and pull taut.  Knot at the top.

I love making these!  Choose paper to fit your style--the combinations are many!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Vintage-Looking Mica Flake Candy Canes

These vintage-looking mica flake candy canes can be hung on the Christmas tree, used as bowl fillers, attached to an artificial or fresh evergreen wreath or garland, placed in a mason jar for decoration, etc. The possibilities are many, and they are easy to make!!

 You Will Need:
11mm x 12in chenille candy cane stems
(red/white and red/green stems available at Hobby Lobby)
about 1/3 cup Nestea® instant tea
Modge Podge® (matte finish)
*mica flakes
*I purchased my mica flakes from Country Whims.  Click here to visit this site!

How to Make:
1. Whip up a tea mixture using instant tea.  I used about a 1/3 cup Nestea® instant tea and 2 cups of warm water.  Stir together and heat on the stove until hot (hot enough to still put your finger in it—not boiling)—this takes very little time. 
2. Pour the mixture in a broiler pan (without the top grate) or a cookie sheet with sides. 

3. Dunk chenille stems in the mixture and swish them around until stained on all sides.

4. Ring out excess tea by squeezing the stems at the top and moving your hand downward.  Repeat several times if necessary.

5. Place chenille stems on several layers of paper towels to dry.

6. Bend stems in the shape of candy canes.  Place mica flakes in a shoe box.

7. Modge Podge® canes on both sides using a fat brush. I actually Modge Podge®d my chenille stems when they were still a bit damp. I did several at a time.

8. Drop canes in the shoebox of mica flakes and cover so they have been sprinkled with flakes on all sides. 

9. Hang on a wire or dowel rod to dry.  I simply place a dowel rod or wire across a large storage tub and let hang to dry.

10. Then hang, or affix, candy canes to holiday decorations. 
A bundle of candy canes makes a perfect gift.  Bundle a desired number of candy canes and tie them loosely with jute.  Then affix a vintage tag to the bundle.

Vintage Tag Preparation: Print tags on kraft or off-white/cream colored cardstock.  The sample was printed on kraft cardstock.  Trim along the outside edge of tag.  Punch a whole in the middle of the dot at the top of each tag.  Attach an eyelet, if desired.  I used a brushed copper looking eyelet.  Attach to candy canes with string. 

Try This!  Cut chenille and make a mini version.


Welcome to Creating Christmas with Sarah Beth where you can enjoy making all things Christmas, all year long.  My hope is to inspire you to create!  Stop back often... I look forward to "running" into you!