Friday, April 24, 2015

Crafting: perpetual calendar blocks

I promise some day my posts will not mostly be about crafting with Heritage Makers scrap pages!  I keep having fun trying new things, and I keep wanting to post what I'm doing!

I really love these little perpetual calendar blocks.  I don't know why, but I think perpetual calendars are kinda fun.  If you've never heard of perpetual calendars, you just switch sides of the blocks (in this case) to give the current date.  These sit nicely on a desk or a kitchen window sill.  I've made two different styles.

Like most of the DIY craft projects I've posted here, I sell these pre-made in my online shop (or just e-mail me with an order--contact information in the "contact me" tab above).  However, this post is really a tutorial about how to make these yourself.  Wellllll, not a difficult tutorial, I admit!  It's probably fairly self-explanatory from just looking at the blocks.  :)

Order the cuteness!  And by "cuteness," of course, I mean a Heritage Makers print.  I designed these myself, and they are made from 11x14 prints.  Because I haven't submitted them to the Heritage Makers Template Gallery, they aren't available for public use without me transferring the project to your (free) Heritage Makers account, then you ordering it from there.  (Or I can always order it for you and have it shipped to you.  Either way, e-mail me if you want this print.  Easy, peasy.)

UPDATE 2022:  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 most likely easier for you to order these items from me--meaning I make them for you--than it will be for you to make them in your own Heritage Makers account.  Just contact me with questions (or to order) these cute perpetual calendar pieces!

Oh, these are CUTE!

STEP 2:  
Cut out the individual pieces.

STEP 3:  
You will need four 2-inch wood blocks for this project (to make ONE set of perpetual calendar blocks).  You could also get away with 1 3/4-inch blocks if you prefer.  You should be able to get these at craft stores, but I order mine online because I get them in bulk.  I use  Go in on it with a friend--share shipping.  :)  You can paint the blocks if you like.  Allow to dry thoroughly.  (I didn't--I'm kind of on a natural wood kick right now.)

STEP 4:  
Use a spray adhesive, permanent double-sided tape, or a Xyron to stick the pieces onto the blocks. 

That's it!  These only cost a few dollars to make, and I think they make a cute gift, or just a darling little home decor item, whichever style you choose.

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:

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.  

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.  

UPDATE 2022:  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 probably easier for you to order these items from me than it will be for you to order from your own Heritage Makers account.  Just contact me with questions (or to order) these cute birthday board pieces!

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 make one.  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.)

I really love how the Teacher Thank You Bucket turned out, too.  This is a generic one, 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!!

UPDATE 2022:  All these items shown were made with Heritage Makers.  However, 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 these items from me--meaning I make them for you--than it will be for you to make them in your own Heritage Makers account.  Just contact me with questions (or to order) these great items!  Or, for another amazing digital scrapbooking program where you can design your own scrap pages, have a look at Artisan by Forever.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

books are magical - Where are your stories and photos?

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

Books really do bind people together and break the shackles of time.

And are proof that humans are capable of working magic.

Where are your stories and photos?  If they're not in a book yet, it's time!  

This is one fantastic option if you're short on time but want something beautiful and heirloom-quality:

Or if you want full creative flexibility on your pages, with that same heirloom quality, give digital scrapbooking a try:

There are so many amazing personal wellness benefits to putting your photos and memories in pages that you don't want to miss any of them--especially for kids!  Read more at that link, and then 

You can always contact me if you have questions--I love helping people do something meaningful with their precious memories and photos!