Friday, December 12, 2014

Crafts with Heritage Makers home decor & gift ideas

If you're looking for a great gift or home decor, you can make any number of things using your own Heritage Makers account!  

Or you can just let me make them for you!

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:

Like the Facebook page, and invite someone you know who would love it to "like" it, too!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's time!! Be a Heritage MAKER!

Are you a photo stasher or a heritage maker?  

Photos aren't meant to be stored.  They're meant to be SEEN!

Preserving photos and memories in pages has actually been proven in studies to improve emotional well-being in many ways.  Click that link to see a variety of surprising memory-keeping benefits!

And then get started right here, right now--just follow the steps.  It's time!  Be a heritage maker.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

why photo organization is more important than you think

Have you ever thought about this?

Taking photos and then doing nothing with them actually disconnects us from the memories that we wanted to preserve when we took the photos!!

If organizing your photos is overwhelming, let me help!  Getting a handle on them is the first step to doing something with them.  Learn from my 3-part series, "Photo Organization and Preservation" and then tell me in the comments one or two things that were the most eye-opening.

Part 1:  Organizing and Decluttering, and their Surprising Benefits

Part 2:  Solutions for Storing and Preserving your Photos (and why they're not the same thing!)

Part 3:  Strategies for Consistency

Once they're organized, they're ready to slide into beautiful templates (or create your own design!!) where you can also tell the stories that belong to your photos.  

This is the INTERACTION with photos that we need!

I love the easy photo organization options from Forever.  Here's a quick overview--you'll see why I love it:

You can't choose anything better to do with your time (or money) than preserving your own memories, the traditions of your family, and your heritage!  And it actually has a lot of personal benefits, too, so it's truly self-care!

Here are two quick ideas for you to stop just amassing photos and start making something meaningful from them.

#1 Pick a memory-keeping solution you will love and do.  These three are fantastic options because they're all heirloom-quality products from a company with a photo privacy promise, so you can just pick the option you like best without worrying about quality or privacy.

#2  Work with a friend!  I host online events all the time to help people set aside time on their calendars to make sure their good intentions become reality!  You're welcome to join any of my events--most of them all free and all of them are fabulous.  Click here to see what events I have coming up.  

Or, if you prefer to put together your own group (whether in-person or online), you can always take advantage of Referral Rewards to get everyone started!

So there's really no time like the present.  We all need what photos and memories can do for us.  It starts with organization.  The videos and resources I've shared here can help.  Just remember that it ends with this:

and most likely something like this

and definitely this

Once your photos are organized, they're ready to preserve, and you can get started right here.

You might think you're too busy or too overwhelmed to organize your photos, but figuring it out matters.  It matters to your heart and soul.

Who DOESN'T need photo organization tips?  
Pin this image to Pinterest to save and share!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Special Family Days: DIY birthday & anniversary board

I am really excited about this latest DIY project I've made using Heritage Makers prints.  As you've seen from other DIY tutorials I've posted, I've only used Heritage Makers scrap pages for my crafting.  This one is bigger than anything else I've made before, and this is actually made from a POSTER!   (Well, half a poster anyway.)

Look how cute!!! (despite the terrible lighting)

I know the photo isn't great, but this is a birthday/anniversary board (I've called it "FAMILY special days" on the poster), and then there are little wooden pieces with names and dates that are hanging below the corresponding birthday/anniversary months.  I made this one for my mom for Mother's Day, but when my daughter came home from school and saw it, she was really disappointed that we're not keeping it...  So I think I'm making another one.

Wanna join me?!?  Let me show you....

Total cost for this board is probably $23-$28, depending on how many "danglies" (you know--the pieces that dangle) you have for your family.  BTW, you will most likely spend more than this in getting the supplies, only because in some cases you use only part of the larger package that you need to buy, but it will come out to about $23-$28 for supplies actually used.  (Which is why you might as well make two!  And the Heritage Makers poster actually comes with two on it!  So why not?!  Keep one, give one away!)

  • this Heritage Makers poster    This is not in the template gallery like the other crafts I've made--this one is in my personal account, which I can then transfer to anyone else with a Heritage Makers account (which is free).  
  • This is an 18x24 poster, so each print (poster) will have TWO pieces for your board that look like this:  
  • 24 1/4 inches of a 1"x10" board    So if you go to your local home improvement store, look for nice boards that are 1"x10".  The crazy thing is that even though they are sold as 10", they only truly measure 9 1/4.  They will come in 6 ft., 8 ft., 10 ft., or 12 ft. lengths.  You only need slightly over 2 feet (24 1/4 inches, to be precise).  I made these poster prints to fit the 9 1/4" wood, so just cut a 24 1/4" piece off the long board, and you're good to go.  
  • Power saw to cut your board, OR lovely person at the home improvement store to cut your board for you.  The finished product should be 24 1/4 inches by 9 1/4 inches (which is what the 10" boards really measure, remember) and about 1" deep (or whatever it really measures)
  • Paint of your choice.  I did white, but light brown would be good.  Or you could stain it.  Look at your print when you get it and see what you think matches best.
  • 12  1/2"  cup hooks to go under each month.  At a home improvement store.
  • Power drill with a 1/16" drill bit.  
  • Several 1 1/2" pieces of wood--hearts for anniversaries and circles for birthdays.  These can be purchased at your local craft store, or online.  You'll need one for each person and couple in the family.
  • 7mm jump rings    All right, I had no idea what these were.  These are used for making jewelry.  You can buy these at your local craft store, too.  I got a pack of 144 for $3.  You will need roughly 4 of them PER circle/heart.  
  • small needle-nosed pliers to open and close the jump rings  (2 pair if you want life to be easier)
  • 1 self-leveling picture hanger   I've also seen them called sawtooth hangers.  At home improvement or craft stores in the framing section.  These usually come in a package of 3.
Order your beautiful print from Heritage Makers.  Email me at if you need some instructions on how to do that.  (Or, as I mentioned previously, I can always just order it for you if you want.)


Since your Heritage Makers print will come with two of these things that say "family: special days," you will need to cut them out.  (Gifts for a mother AND a mother-in-law for Mother's Day!)  Your print will measure 9 inches high and 24 inches wide.  Cut your 10" board (which, again, truly measures 9 1/4") to be 24 1/4" long.  This will allow you to leave a tiny edge around the "family" print once it's matted on the board.

Measure and mark.

Stick a small piece of tape to hold your print onto your board.  Carefully mark on the side of your board, placing a dot underneath each of the 12 months, right in the center of the board.  (See my little pencil dots?)

Drill board for hooks.

Using a 1/16" drill bit (it's at the far right in the case--tiniest one), drill holes where you marked dots on the edge of your board.  They don't have to be all that deep.  See my drilled holes, plus the dot on the far left that hasn't been drilled yet.

Sand, then paint.
First, just sand any rough edges on your board.  Mine didn't have a lot.  I did sand a little where I'd just drilled the holes, but not that much.  For me, the sanding took about 24 seconds.

Then paint.  I chose white.  Since the print would cover most of my wood, I only painted around the edges.  I also painted the four 1" sides of the wood, and I opted not to paint the back, but you certainly could.  I use craft paint (acrylic) found at craft stores for about $1 or less.  You don't use much paint with this project, either.  While you're letting it dry...

Prepare the "danglies" (you know, the things that dangle)

Open your packages of 1 1/2" circles and hearts.  Get enough circles for each family member's birthday, and enough hearts for each anniversary.  (You could also do JUST birthdays, or you could do all circles or all hearts.)  Draw a straight line down the MIDDLE of the circle.  These circles by Lara's Crafts are nice because the center is kind of marked right there in the middle.

Once you've drawn a line in the center, drill holes using a 1/16" drill bit (very tiny).  Try to drill as close to the edge of the circle as you can because when you place the jump rings in them later, you won't have a lot of room.  As you can see in the photos below, I used an old yucky piece of a 2x4 to put my danglies on when I drilled the holes.  It made it easy to just go right through without worrying about what was underneath.

For the hearts, I didn't bother drawing a line because the point at the bottom and the (inverted) point at the top are in the center anyway.  So I just drilled as close to the edge as I could.  You can also see other holes in my 2x4 from the previous pieces I'd drilled.  This drilling goes really fast!!  Your danglies are not that thick, so it doesn't take long.

Paint the "danglies."

Get all the sawdust off them from the drilling first.  Then paint your choice of color.  I again went for white.  I chose to only paint the fronts and sides.  Let dry.

And, hey, those crazy stripes are cut from an old plastic tablecloth my kids used to use!

Screw in the 12 cup hooks in the 12 drilled holes in the board.

Your board should be dry by now.  Just screw the 1/2" cup hooks into the holes you drilled on the bottom.  Make sure the hooks are facing the right way--it's okay if they don't screw in tightly, they just need to be FACING the right way.

Write names and dates on the danglies, then link together using jump rings.

I just used a fine-point Sharpie marker to write the names and dates.  If you've never used jump rings before (I hadn't, either), they are really easy to work with, given you have two pair of needle-nosed pliers.  These two I actually bought in the jewelry section of my local craft store when I bought the jump rings.  Anyway, you can see the gold jump rings on my table.  Now look at the pliers on the left to see that I've got a jump ring I'm holding in there.  All you need to do is hold each side of the jump ring with pliers, then twist in order to OPEN the jump ring.  Then slide it through your drilled hole and then use the pliers to CLOSE the jump ring again.  You can see I've done this on the bottom of the "Jordan" and on the top of the "Ethan."  

Next I am about to put a jump ring IN BETWEEN these two, so that I'm linking the Jordan and the Ethan together.    

You also need to put an extra jump ring on top of whichever circle (or heart) is at the top.  In this case, it's going to be the Jordan.  So the Jordan will have a jump ring through its top hole, just like the Ethan does, but then I will attach another jump ring to THAT one so that I have a jump ring to put over the hook for that month.  Like this:

By the way, I recommend keeping your extra jump rings, wood pieces, paint, etc., in case there are new members of the family added!  (whether through marriages or births)

STEP 10 (almost done!!)
Nail in a sawtooth hanger on the back.

Measure to find the center of your board, then place your sawtooth hanger in the center and nail it in.  Those little tiny nails are real buggers to try to hold while you're nailing, so I got a larger nail and tapped it in just enough to get the hole started.  That way, the tiny nails stood up on their own and they were easy to pound in.

Make your home beautiful or knock the socks off whoever is lucky enough to receive this as a gift!!

UPDATE 2022:  This large print (poster) was made with Heritage Makers.  Heritage Makers is currently being updated to a new software platform that doesn't require Adobe Flash to run (which Adobe discontinued at the end of 2020).  For the time being, it's easier for you to order this print from me than it will be for you to transfer it to your account or make your own in your own Heritage Makers account.  Just contact me to order this print, or if you have questions.