Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DIY tutorial: mini birthday boards

A while back, I made a family birthday board.  My mom loved it, so I consider it a success.  :)  It's a rather big board, and very cute, but I started thinking about making some birthday boards on a smaller scale.  I took a mix of Pinterest ideas and Heritage Makers awesomeness, and came up with a pretty cute thing, I think!!  (I love this idea because it puts special dates right in front of my face so I don't forget them!)

I made the same project in two different styles.  You write birthdays (or anniversaries) with a dry erase marker on the month pieces, then hang them on the knob.  There's a hanger on the back so this can be hung on a wall.  So you can SEE it and never forget a special day!  :)  Just rotate the months so the current month (or NEXT month, if you want to plan ahead!) is showing on the front.  This board measures 7.5x7.5, so it doesn't take up much space.  Here's how you can *make your own mini birthday board:

*I do also sell these pre-made, if you prefer.  E-mail me at

Order your print in your Heritage Makers account.  (If you don't have one, contact me.  No problem.)  I designed these on 11x14 prints, and I really did try to make them fit all on one page, but, alas, you will need two prints for this project.  The 11x14 prints are $4.38 each at wholesale price, but you can save 15-25% if you're a Club HM member.  Membership is free--you're just buying publishing points to pay for your Heritage Makers items, then you get that discount at checkout. 
I created both of these designs (one above, one below) in my Heritage Makers account.  They are not in the template gallery, so you'll have to contact me and I'll get them transferred over to your Heritage Makers account.  Easy peasy.  E-mail me at  So the top design, as you can probably tell, is more colorful with holiday/season-related art on each of the month squares.  February has little hearts, May has purple flowers, etc.  The design here below is more neutral (I printed a few of the month pieces on the design above, you'll notice).
Be sure you select the UV coating option when you submit these for publishing!  (UV coating option is free to Club members.)  You MUST have that, or this project doesn't work as well.

It'll take about 7-10 days for Heritage Makers to send you your pages.  (And I always suggest you order as much as you can at a time to save on shipping--so get your Mothers Day gifts or your phone case or your wedding invitations or your family yearbook at the same time!)  Next, cut your pieces out.
Punch small holes in each of the month squares.  I did NOT use a regular size hole punch!  You could, I'm sure, but I prefer the smaller size.  I bought this smaller hole punch at a craft store.

Cut about 7- or 8-inch pieces of jute (also available at craft stores).  Thread one piece of jute through one hole and tie in a knot.  Repeat with all month pieces.

Buy an 8" piece of pine wood (called "common wood" at Home Depot or Lowe's).  The 8" size comes in various lengths, and if I remember right, the shortest piece is 6 feet long.  They're only a few dollars.  Cut a 7.5" piece from your pine wood.  (It's tricky.  It's called 8" wood, but it actually measures 7.5".  So cut a 7.5" piece so that you have a square.)  While at the home improvement store, get a cabinet knob (my favorites are the 99cent ones) and a sawtooth hanger for the back. You can paint your board if you wish, but I didn't.  If you want to, do it now and let it dry.
Center the sawtooth hanger, mark with a pencil, and tap the itty-bitty nails in.  (Hint:  The pine is soft, so I actually push the nails in a little with my hands so they'll stand up on their own when I pound them.  They are VERY hard to hold with your fingers when pounding in because they're so small.)

Your knob with come with a screw, but it's not sharp.  I highly recommend drilling a hole in the wood.  I recommend drilling the hole about 2" up from the bottom of the board, centered.  Next, screw the screw in only until it almost peeks through on the other side.

Next, you need to adhere the front piece (from your Heritage Makers print) to the front of the board.  I use permanent double-sided tape around the edges because I feel like I need a little "give" when I push the screw through to the front.

Now screw the screw in more, but ever so slightly until it just makes a little "bump" in your page.  Can you see mine almost coming through??  It's in one of the gray areas near the bottom center.
 As soon as it makes that little bump, I unscrew the screw back out.  (Not all the way, just a little.)  Then I have a small mark on my page where I know the screw will come through.  To break the page, I gently push a screwdriver into that little mark (which has your drilled hole underneath it).  This basically keeps the page from ripping too much when you put the screw all the way in.
 I just make the tiniest hole/indentation with the screwdriver.  See below.

STEP 10:
Go ahead and screw the screw in all the way so it comes through the front of the board. 
STEP 11:
Now you're ready to twist the knob onto it and tighten with a screwdriver. 

TA-DAAA!  It's all done--now just write special dates on the month pieces, then hang the month pieces on the knob. 

This makes a great Mothers Day gift or birthday gift!  I even had some newlyweds buy one of my completed projects for me.  We all have special days to remember!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

more bucket gifts!

After posting my {Easter bucket tutorial} I decided to try some of those other bucket ideas.  I love them!  Both of these were just made from Heritage Makers templates (so the "work" had already been done for me), but I did make a few changes to suit my preferences better.  I LOVE that about Heritage Makers templates--they are still editable and 100% customizable. 

Anyway, here's the Dad's Treat Bucket I made:
I think it's darn cute if I don't say so myself.

(If you want instructions on how to make these, click the "Easter bucket tutorial" I mentioned in the first paragraph, or you can always e-mail me--my e-mail address is in the "contact me" tab in red above.)

I really love how the Teacher Thank You Bucket turned out, too.  This is a generic one that I'm selling, but I made some personalized ones for my kids' teachers, too.
Going to fill this with treats for the teacher, and maybe some pencils and other things she might need throughout the year??  Haven't decided yet.

At the side, there's a blank tag to write "to," "from," and a message to the teacher.  (When I made these personalized in my Heritage Makers account for my kids' teachers, I typed a note right on here.)

This is optional, of course, but I thought the little bus was cute.  I can't remember the saying it had in the template, but I changed it to say "the best teachers teach from the heart," because I think it's sweet & true.

Final view--you can see the lid here.  Cute, right?  That's the part that I personalized for my kids' teachers:  "Mrs. Jones' Survival Kit," etc.

I actually used this basic template to make a bucket for my son's piano teacher.  Instead of the yellow on the front, I found Heritage Makers art that looks like a sheet of music, and instead of the scissors & pencil & apple, I found a piano.  It's all black and white.  It looks pretty cool.

SO MUCH you can do when you are literally designing your own scrap pages with Heritage Makers!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

books are magical!

This is true of any book, but a book with photos, memories, family history???  Even more so!!

"What an astonishing thing a book is.  It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles.  But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years.  Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.  Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs.  Books break the shackles of time.  A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."  ~Carl Sagan

Thursday, March 19, 2015

tutorial: BUCKETS!

Today I'm going to show you how to make buckets!  This is a really fun and SIMPLE craft to do with Heritage Makers individual scrap pages and a plastic "paint can"-type bucket found at your local craft store.  There are a lot of pre-designed buckets in the Template Gallery at, but if you prefer designing your own, go for it!  Also--don't forget--even Templates are still 100% customizable!  You can change anything you want!

The bucket I made was an Easter bucket, and that's the tutorial I'll show you today.  I've done these before and personalized them for kiddos ("Kayla's Easter Bucket", etc.), but this one I'll show you is sort of a generic one which could be used as a regular Easter basket/bucket for kids OR  a cute Easter candy "dish," of sorts.

Before I show you the Easter bucket with the directions, I want to be sure to mention that buckets can be made for ANY occasion!  Here are some ideas:

Dad's Junk Food Bucket (fill with treats)
 (Again, these are all in the Heritage Makers Template Gallery, so the designs are done for you!  And they can be personalized.)

Thanksgiving Blessings Bucket (write what you're thankful for on strips of paper).
 Mom's Sweet Retreat Bucket (fill with soaps, lotions, bath salts, chocolates, etc.)
 Baby Memories (as described below).
You could also do (and there are Templates for) trick-or-treat buckets, teacher appreciation buckets, coach thank-you buckets, buckets to hold valentines, new mommy survival kit, birthday gift bucket, college survival kit, and more.

So how's THAT for a bunch of fun ideas?!?  ;)  Now let's move on to the easy steps of making this Easter Bucket.

Order your scrap page from Heritage Makers.  It's Template 104746.  You can find it at the Template Gallery by either typing in that number in the search field, or typing "Easter bucket" in the search field.  It's a 12x12 scrap page.  You have the option, when you print it, to get the Lite Paper option, which I always do for this project.  It's cheaper, but more than that, it's easier to work with on this round can.  The Lite scrap page is $3.50 wholesale, but if you're in Club HM (it's free to join) and buy publishing points to use for your purchases, you save 15-25% at checkout.  Shipping from the quarter-of-a-million-dollar Heritage Makers printing press takes 7-10 days, so plan ahead.  If you've been to the post office recently, you know shipping isn't cheap, so when I order something small like this, I always order it with something else (like my personal scrapbook pages, a storybook about a family trip, or whatever memory-making I'm doing at the moment). 

Get a "paint can"-style bucket at your local craft store.  I think this was about $7, but I always use a 40% off coupon.  :)
 NOTE:  Because this template is made on a 12x12 scrap page, it actually fits TWO Easter bucket designs (the three pieces shown above).  So that comes out to $1.75 for each can, cheaper if you are in Club HM.

Cut out the pieces from your scrap page.

You'll need to apply some sort of adhesive to the back of your pieces.  I chose a Xyron machine (The 5-inch ones are about $20 at Walmart--they make anything into a sticker.)  You could use a spray adhesive if you prefer.  In the photo below, I've run my pieces through the Xyron, so the white behind them is just the Xyron backing.  Next, I'll peel off my pieces and adhere them to the bucket.

The "happy hunting" goes on the back.  The chocolate bunny in the circle goes on the lid.  The "Easter goodies" goes on the front.

AND YOU'RE DONE!   It takes almost no time and makes a darling little bucket.  It would make a cute Easter "basket" or gift or candy "jar."  I tied it with a bow on the side, but that's optional.
 Happy buckets!  :)  They'd obviously make a cute teacher gift, neighbor gift, Dad's birthday gift, etc., too!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I'll do your scrapbooks for you!

Now you have two options for ME to do your digital scrapbooking for you!!  This Personal Photo Manager option allows you to choose from several options for a family yearbook, give me photos a little at a time over the course of a year, and have me do everything else.  This is $15/month for 12 months and includes the book!  Remember, too, that this is the highest-quality digital scrapbooking out there, with library binding and metal stitching, and you'll have it forever in your account if you want to reorder.

The other option, the one I've always done in the past, is me making any book of your choice for $25/hour consultant fee plus the cost of the book.  You can choose a template from our *extensive* template gallery, which makes the book come together very quickly (hence, cheaper for you since it's less of my time), or I can design one for you if you have something specific you're trying to create (tribute book for a loved one, specific vacation, etc.)  Another option is for us to "team" work on the book, with you doing some and me doing some.  Again, that saves you money on the consultant fee as well. 

Either of these options should meet any need you have.  Please feel free to share this information, too!  Lots of people know the value of photos and memories but are just a little overwhelmed as to how to DO SOMETHING about it.  I can help! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Crafts with Heritage Makers

If you're looking for a great gift or home decor, you can make any number of things using your own Heritage Makers account!  If you don't have one, you can get one (they're free) at

I have been selling Heritage-Makers-crafted decor (holiday, home decor, gifts) for a few years now at local craft fairs.  I design my own papers using Heritage Makers scrap pages, then I cut them and use them for various craft items.  I recently created a Facebook Page so anyone can "shop" my creations online.  (You'll have to e-mail me with your order, but you can see all the pictures and product information, including number of items currently in stock, right there on the Facebook page.)  Ordering information is there in the first (pinned) post.

If you "like" the Facebook Page on Facebook, you'll get updates when new items are added, too! 

Here are a few of the things you'll see:
(These are mini blocks!  Stacked like this, they are 3" tall and 3" wide.  Change the numbers as you countdown to Christmas.)

(7"x7" square board with 3x3" month cards that have a UV coating so you can write on them with a dry erase marker.  Hang months on the black knob and never miss another birthday!  Check the link to the shop to see the other style of this calendar.)

("Chunky Kids Nativity" is coated with Mod Podge to make it kid-friendly.  Mounted on pieces of 2x4.  Largest piece is 5.5" wide.)

(Perpetual Calendar on 2" blocks, perfect for a desktop.  Check the link to the shop to see the classic style of this calendar.)

(Silhouette Nativity.  Mounted on 1x4 pine.  Wood is painted black.  7 pieces.)

(12x12" special occasions print, framed so you can write birthdays and anniversaries on the glass with a dry-erase marker.)

I also have several styles of framed prints for the home.  I offer them in 8x8 but you can order them in 12x12 if you like.  More shown at the link above, but here are a few examples:

Monday, November 3, 2014

All About Heritage Makers 2015

This is the latest and greatest--everything you want to know about Heritage Makers.  I made a similar video several months ago, but this one has the updated Club HM information.  Club HM was streamlined in October 2014, making it much clearer to understand with the addition of wholesale pricing and Club discounts being taken at checkout now.  Plus, prices come out a tad cheaper, too!  Watch this video for everything you want to know about Heritage Makers, but be sure to skip 39:15-40:15 where I had some technical difficulties.  :)  I only spend a short time in this video on the actual how-to of making a book because I've already recorded some more thorough tutorial videos called Getting Started With HM.  There are four of those, so if you want to see what all the fun buttons in Studio do, and how to simplify some things as you're creating pages, you can find those on my YouTube channel also!  Happy Heritage MAKING.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

new pop-out cards!!

I am in love with this new product!!  I've actually imagined something like this before, but this is AWESOME!
So it's an invitation-style card (just a front and back--doesn't open) and the middle pops out to become an ornament!!  I've seen several templates with family photos right there in the middle.  How darn cute is that??  These come in packs of 12.  Be sure you're a Club HM member (free to join) for the best savings!