This is bat country


Stampendous or Gelli? Monoprint plate comparison

This product was NOT provided to me to review – I bought it with my own hard earned £s.  Not that that fact would matter to any review, but I would have been happier if I hadn’t paid for it LOL!

I was quite excited when I saw there was another “gelatine” plate on the market!  It was a bit cheaper than the Gelli plate, and thinner.  It was the thinner that really got me excited.  Cause I was hankering after a round plate, and then after the smaller sized ones, and I immediately thought I can cut that! And indeed I could.  And did.


I started by cutting some paper shapes to check the size, although in the end I got more than my first plan.  I got:

  • one  6  x  4
  • one  5 1/4-ish round
  • one  4  x  4
  • one  2 3/4  x  3 3/4

And looking at the scraps I had left I thought What the heck? and cut a large heart, a 1 inch circle and a slightly bigger than 1 1/2 inch circle using one of the Sizzix thick dies.  Yep. You heard me.  I die cut my Creative Palette.  And this was all before I used it for the first time.  Evidence, you ask?


This was all before I used it, cause, you see, I expected that it would work pretty much EXACTLY like the Gelli Plate.  Ha   HA   HA. The joke was on me.

Excited to have a play, I pulled a print.  I was using the Basics paint, so slightly better quality acrylic.


What? That was a simple print – bubble wrap that had a bit of purple on it, pressed to the plate.  OK so I tried the cheap craft paint, lighter body, not so quick to dry.  Better.


OK so then I tried the craft paint and tried to pull a print thru a stencil.  WTF?!


This was NOT going as I expected.  I hopped over to You Tube to see what sort of demo videos I would find.  Found this one. What was obvious was that the techniques shown did NOT include many of the ones I love with the Gelli Plate.  So I carried on experimenting.  I tried the small shapes.  Added the paint, laid on the stencil, brayered off the paint (tried to)


Then printed with them.


Not very crisp, but possibly with some work it could be OK.

I grabbed one of my home made foam stamps and tried lifting off the paint with that – again, I’ve done this 1000s of time on the Gelli, but….


DOH!  To be fair it is hot here, but the paint dried so quickly and the plate gripped the paper so strong it tore it.

The video shows slow-drying medium, which I don’t have, but I certainly have used Glaze medium to increase the open time of paint so I gave THAT a try:




I had plenty of dried paint on the various plates so I grabbed my packing tape and …


DOUBLE DOH!  I know that is hard to see but at the top left you can just about see the yellow smudge and you can clearly see the plate is still loaded with paint.

I had a look at the packaging and saw mention made that spritzing the paint with water would allow you to pull further prints.  I first tried the stencil again, this time doing the normal process – paint on plate, stencil over, thinner (printer) paper over to pull thru but gave it a bit of welly, as they say:


Then I rubbed really quite hard with my thumbnail, really pressing into the paper –  I almost embossed it, I was rubbing so hard!


And that gave me an almost acceptable print:


I then tried the water spritz, which improved things a lot – first pulling thru the stencil and then printing with the stencil removed:



Just for comparison, I grabbed my 6 x 6 Gelli plate and tried the same, with Basics paint as well – just to be fair, cause if it was the heat of the day that was causing the problem that would matter:  Nope.  Gelli plate pulled thru the stencil just fine


and the second pull was just as dark


What have I concluded?  If you want a Gelli Plate, get a GELLI PLATE.  While I have no doubt with a little practice, and more experimentation I can make these plates work in some way, I think the unpredictability of them will make for a frustrating printing session.  I would perhaps pull the paper away more with dread than anticipation! Perhaps if I scale back my expectations I might be OK with it, but is that really what you want to do when being arty?  Expect less so you aren’t disappointed?

Why does this plate perform this way?  It FEELS different.  The surface is …firmer, I guess, and it doesn’t have nearly the give in it the Gelli plate does.  The thinness of it might be nice on one hand, but it works against it on another – when you press the paper to it you don’t feel that sense of yielding like you do with the Gelli.  I don’t think the recipe can be the same either, and I think that has to be the core reason why this was such a disappointment – it just doesn’t react with the paint the same way.   I had a lot of ideas for experimentation but the reality of it is that (as is so often the case) I, as a consumer, was lured initially by the slightly lower cost (I’ve seen them as low as about £14 ) initially, but seriously seduced by the thought I could chop it up.  In all other aspects I EXPECTED it to work just like my Gelli Plate did – and it didn’t.

So, to add to the I make the mistakes so you don’t have to …. list, I’ve tried the Creative Palette so you don’t have to. But if you have, and had a better experience with yours, please, do share.

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Summer printables for Project Life

It’s been hot here and finally feels like proper summer.  That made me think summery thoughts so I made these quick printables.



The turquoise looks quite intense on the screen, but it could be my monitor colour sync settings – just for comparison I printed them and on my printer they come out like this:


Your printer and monitor are likely to show different colour values than mine do, but maybe seeing the screen grab beside the printed version you will have a better idea of what to expect when you print them?  Maybe not, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

Just one page and you can download the PDF here.  I did SAVE AS using the Quartz filter, so the file size is reasonable at under 1 mb.  It shouldn’t have any loss of quality but feedback to me if you feel they don’t print well – I suggest Matte Photo Paper and High Quality for the printer settings.

Because people often want to know, the font I used is called Alpaca Solidify and can be found here.


A different sort of crochet bracelet – Cloud knot

Firstly, apologies to my followers – I stupidly had a spelling error in the title of yesterdays post.  I corrected it, and the slug (the thing that is made up of the title of your blog post and creates the URL link, more or less, ) but that happened seconds after the post went live.  And in computer terms “seconds” might well be YEARS.  The email to followers had been sent, but when you clicked the link  it would have taken you nowhere.  I figured if you saw the email and the synopsis was of interest, you’d have been able to get there eventually.  In future I’ll first be more careful about spelling in the title or if I edit the title, I won’t edit the slug.  I did at least two monumentally stupid things yesterday and this wasn’t the stupidest, I assure you.

There will be a few links in here, tracing my meander across the internet and how this came about.  First the bracelet:


This is made from a crochet i-cord in two colours.  The “clasp is a button and loop.


The sizing is easier with a single colour.  What I would suggest is you crochet the i-cord as long as you need – and this one for this knot was about 20 inches – then pull a scrap of yarn of another colour thru the three loops on the hook.  Once the knot has been made, sew the loop on the beginning end then lay it over your wrist to get the size right.  Just unravel the end of the cord then pull the tail thru and weave in the ends to finish it off and sew on the button. Start off with about 16 inches for a very fine wrist or maybe 18 for a larger wrist, then try the knot and see how close you are.  Mine was about 20 inches and I did have to unravel an inch or so.

Now the links.  I saw this bracelet using a KNITTED i-Cord and I thought it was cute.

So I went looking for a crochet i-cord.

And I found THIS.  But OMG – I am completely incapable of the whole drop-two-loops-but-hold-on-to-them part. She is clearly more adept than I am or has younger, nimbler fingers!  I kept losing one and then it would unravel and trying to pick the stitches up again was doing my head in.  Sure, I could have found however many double-pointed needles (three or four, I forget) I would need and KNIT the i-cord but that’s not what I wanted.   After fighting with it for far too long I took a step back and thought how I could keep track of those loops and my sanity.  The double-pointed needle was the key.

This does make a slightly looser cord, but if you can manage to use a smaller hook than the yarn actually requires and make sure you tighten up the tail when the two loops are on the needle, it’s tight enough.

Start the crochet as she says, Chain 3 then pull up a loop in each of the first 2 chains – 3 loops on the hook.


Her instructions say “drop the first two loops but hold on to them”  - yeah, right.  If you can manage that it’s a lot easier!

What I did was slip the double-pointed needle (or a short, thin knitting needle, the double-pointedness doesn’t really matter) into the first two loops and scoot them off the hook.  I found I could hold both the yarn and the needle like so:


The first stitch is to chain in the loop on the hook.


I did that behind the needle.  Make sure you tighten the tail so the loops on the hook are SNUG but not massively tight.


The next step is to chain in each of the other two loops.  She slips them BACK onto the hook but I found it easier and faster to slip the hook into the stitch on the needle, BEHIND the needle, then work the chain and THEN slip it off.


and then repeat with the final loop


The slip off the first two loops and repeat until the i-cord is as long as you need it to be!



You can see it looks just like a knitted i-cord, if ever so slightly looser.  Maybe.  I didn’t knit one for comparison as that would have required me finding MORE double-pointed needles!

And funnily enough when I was writing this, in going back to look for the link to the crochet i-cord so I could add it,  I found ANOTHER link that does almost exactly the same thing I show here! So not a new idea.  She does slip the loops back on to the hook the do the chain, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same thing.  Nothing new under the sun….

While I liked the original knot, the cord I made was pretty long so I went looking for other sorts of knots.  And I found this one, which is cute and slightly more complex.  And THAT is the knot I used.  Because it is from a single cord and not two, there isn’t the double side strands like the original one I saw – it’s a thinner bracelet and doesn’t need to be tied on.  Pulling it on and off that way stretches the yarn too much, I think.  And overall this knot seems flatter on the wrist.  I am dying to try it with the smooth, slightly shiny WI yarn – I think I have soft and cuddly but they also have a soft and shiny (?) version that I didn’t buy.  Have to check my stash and see if I have something similar, or get some, cause the less wooly, smoother yarn might make for a better (and certainly more summery) end product!

How’s that for a meander across the net? Pulling together knowledge from various crafters to create something inspired by them all, but at the same time, new.  MAYBE.  Who knows,  if I took more time to look, that I wouldn’t find someone else out there who did EXACTLY the same thing?



Crochet braid bracelet

Really, it is BRAID not BRAIN – DOH! Corrected, but not sure the email link will work as a result if the slug is edited.  Sorry.

If you read here at all you are aware that it only takes a stray comment to set me off on a quest.  At crop a few weeks back, Julia’s mate Ally showed a photo of a knitted cable bracelet, and said she wanted one.  She doesn’t knit, so I said, Oh, I’m sure if you Google crochet braid bracelet you will probably find one for crochet that you could do instead. Yeah. Right. Famous last words. I DID Google it and I DID find a fair few versions, but I didn’t like them.  You might, but to me they all support the comment knitters make, that crochet is gross – and by that I don’t mean gross as in disgusting but gross as opposed to fine.  They all seem to use a combo of front post and back post triple crochets (UK double treble I think) that just don’t appeal TO ME.

I had an idea that I thought would work but it took me a while to sort a pattern.  Do please remember I am not a professional crochet gal, nor am I experienced at writing patterns.  I hope I have made it clear, and the instructions suit ME but might not be exactly like a professional pattern.

The method is crocheting three long fingers, off a base block, then plaiting those fingers then joining them to carry on with an ending block.  It looks like this:


What I like about it is that the parts are clearly defined and maybe a bit finer than the FP/BP combos, which are pretty thick and a totally different look.

I used a US D/3 (UK 3.25 mm) hook and Baby weight yarn.  It was a scrap and the ball band is long missing, but that is my best guess. The pattern is written in US crochet terms so for UK folk:

SS (Slip Stitch) and Chain are the same in both, so far as I can tell.

UK stitch termsdouble crochet (dc) USA stitch termssingle crochet (sc)
half treble (htr) half double crochet (hdc)
treble (tr) double crochet (dc)


Initial Block:

Chain 10

SC in 2nd chain from hook and across (9 SC)

Chain 1 (turning chain)

repeat this row till the piece measures about 1/2 the width of your wrist, ending with a WRONG SIDE row


You now have 9 SC or three 3 SC groups

The Braid – this is composed of three “fingers” – the italic stitches are worked on the base, the chain up  and DC back works the fingers.


 SS in the 1st stitch

Chain 20 – 30

This might be a bit of trial and error to begin with and will depend of the weight yarn you are using, how tight you want it in the end,  as well as how big your wrist is.  As a general guide, the chain should be long enough that when you wrap the piece around your wrist, the end of the chain will meet, or very nearly meet, the beginning chain of the SC block. (astute UK viewers ignore the hook – that was a photo from a previous sample )


DC in the 2nd chain from the hook back down the chain.  BE CAREFUL not to let the chain twist.

HDC in the next stitch of the base

SS in the next stitch

That was worked over the first 3 stitches of the base

Repeat for each of the two 3-stitch groups left


Break off the yarn with a LONG tail and pull the tail thru the loop on the hook to finish off.

Braid the three fingers, just like you would plait hair! Don’t pull the plait tight, and keep the two ridges on either side of the DC flat and upwards.


You MAY prefer to make the back of the piece the front, if you prefer the smoother look of it.


Thread the ends of the fingers onto a knitting pin to keep them from moving around. You can see that above.

Chain 2 with a new strand then SC in the 2nd chain from the hook.  Working with the WRONG SIDE facing, 2 SC in the end of the first finger. You are working in the SIDE of the DC at the tip

Chain 1, 2 sc in the next finger, Chain 1, 2 SC in the final finger, Chain 1 (turning chain).  You should again have 9 stitches across the base and your turning chain on the hook.

You can now remove the pin! Sorry, I think I missed taking a photo of this step but you can see the result in the final piece. This joins the separate fingers into the plait/braid and “locks” them in place.

SC across in each SC and Chain 1 space (9 SC)

Chain 1 (turning chain) then SC across (9 SC)

repeat this until the end block meets the initial block when wrapped around your wrist, then do two more rows.

Sew a button( or buttons) on the initial block

SS in first 3 SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS in final 3 SC for one large  button



SS in first SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS 5th SC, chain 3, skip 3 SC, SS in final SC if using two small buttons

Test the fit before breaking off the yarn.  If it is too tight, just pull back the final row with the loop/loops for the button/buttons and carry on with another few rows of SC. When you are happy with the fit…

Break off yarn and pull it thru the loop on hook to finish

Making up:

As this is going to be worn and probably washed weave in the ends (all but the long tail one) but double back on yourself a couple of times to make sure the ends are secure and won’t work loose.


This is optional – if you want to make sure your braid doesn’t twist around in the wearing, weave in that long tail loosely but take it all along the back of the braid, catching the loose fingers and securing them in place.


Again, double back on yourself a few times to really secure it.


My first attempt was with a slightly thicker wool (DK I think) and looks like this:


And I did a CHUNKY version just to see how it looked.  Might be TOO chunky, not sure.  Def. too chunky for a hot summer day LOL!.


Maybe you can see it better here:


So there you go.  It is def. DIFFERENT to the cable bracelets Ally showed me, but I think it has a charm of its own.  And def. works better for crochet, even it is it a fairly bizarre construction.  If you make one I would sure love to know if the pattern made sense to you and to see your bracelet.  I wonder if Ally would deem it good or a disappointing crochet version of a knitted project.

BTW I think this would make a cute headband as well, just by making the beginning and ending blocks longer and at least doubling the chains that make the fingers, then  adding a chunk of elastic between the two ends.




Stencil letterpress

I saw this video late one night and fancied having a go, but I have very few wood veneer pieces.  A star from last year’s advent calendar and a couple of trees, I think, and that is about it.

The star worked, although I had the same problem she had with one area impressing too deeply and cracking:

 I was looking for other things that might work and decided to try some chipboard.


It worked too, although the pigment ink soaked in to the chipboard more than I would have liked on some pieces – and getting the pieces down on the cardstock in any sort of reasonable alignment was tricky,  The pigment ink is so wet and stays wet for so long, even the tiniest dot on a finger tip ends up on the final piece.



But the emboss is quite deep, which is nice. Also some cracking…not so nice.  I did play around with the idea of coating the chipboard with gel medium to keep the surface from peeling away when you pull it off, but the brush strokes (and even the texture from the brayer, using my Gelli plate-to-coat trick) show.  Maybe the kind of chipboard that has a coating on it would be the best kind for this.

So I have done faux letterpress with embossing folders but the real problem with that is it’s so hard to skim the paint or ink on just the raised bits and not into the open areas.  But as I had the big shout out anyway, and a couple of new stencils, I thought why not try those?


Not bad – some darker areas along the lines where the ink was heavier, and the stencil has a border around it, like many stencils do.  I played around with cutting a mask, which helped, but you still get the embossing even if you don’t get the ink:


I may play around with it a bit more, but the best plan seems to be just to trim it – which makes it less like letterpress!  But overall it looks better.


Stencils without a border are clearly the best choice for this, but I only have maybe three like that so not ideal.

You can see on the back the emboss is decent – not as deep as the veneer but it doesn’t crack at all.


Well work further play.  I must go back and watch a few more of her videos – I always liked her work in scrapbook mags and books and her cards are cute, but she seems to have a lot of technique videos.  I am ALWAYS on the look out for them!

Off to make falafel.  Should have bought some while I was out, then I could keep playing…. oh well….


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English speakers look away! French and Spanish 2015 Project Life calendar cards

This started as a bit of an experiment.  In the past I have done Spanish calendars and they were popular.  As I had a flurry of visits from France, I though I might as well go ahead and do a French one too.  The major thing is that if what I see online is to be believed both commonly  use the Monday to Sunday format.  As I had taken the time to do both this year, it seemed an easy thing.  The real issue turned out to be the DAY abbreviations!  I found a LOT of variation.  For the formatting, it is far easier to standardize the day abbreviations and that SEEMS to be acceptable but it is hard to know.

I used slightly different fonts.  The French one is Fontleroy Brown and the Spanish one is Sevillana – why?  they FEEL right, but then what do I know?  At the end of the day, they look good to me so there you go.

I will be very interested in any feedback from native French or Spanish speakers – how wrong did I get it?  It’ll all feed into my future calendars so if you like them and use them, take a moment to let me know.  If I got it horribly wrong tell me that too!


The FRENCH version is here.

The SPANISH version is here.

Now, that really MUST be the end of calendars for a bit.  Much as I love the process and designing them, it’s just time to get obsessed with something new, for a while….. {wink}


WOYWW 267 – such a hypocrite!

Yep.  I admit it.  I am a total hypocrite.  I moan and moan at people on WOYWW who are working on Christmas projects and cards and yet I have been consumed with 2015 CALENDARS for the last couple of weeks.  Shocking.  I hang my head in shame.  I had a plan of a little trick to share and it wasn’t until I went looking for OTHER 2015 printables that I realized that no one else is doing freebies this far in advance!  Yet I know from requests behind the scenes or in comments people DO want to start working on these NOW – quite possibly the SAME PEOPLE who are making their cards in July LOL!

So what is on my desk is a mess from making CD calendars, and photo cubes and then photo cubes with added CD calendar printables, and then photo cubes with added tear-off calendars.  DOH!


I was playing around with the idea that you could turn any set of Project Life printable calendar cards into a reasonable tear-off calendar by printing multiple pages on a single sheet.  So I turned my own printables into a tear off.


No, it’s not as cheap (in TIME for sure or COST, if you print colourful ones like mine) as buying a bag full of tear-off calendars from Hobby Craft, but you have to admit these are a lot cuter….


And all I had to do to sort it was change a few settings in my printer menu:


The size of them will differ, depending on whether you AUTO ROTATE or not.


See the difference?


But could I find a free 2015 calendar printable sized for Project Life to test out?  Could I heck! The only pitfall I can see in advance is that not everyone makes their printables as multi-page PDFs.  Many of the old ones I did find are offered for download 6 months per PDF.  That means you may have to print at least two (two 6-month groups per sheet) to et the size small enough – unless you have a Mac and can merge multiple 1-page PDFs into a one multi-page PDF.

So there you go.  When (if) you DO eventually decide on a project that needs a tear-off calendar, maybe you’ll remember this and give it a go – and MAYBE by then there will be a few more options for 2015, and I’ll revisit the idea and share samples using other printables.  I hate saying This’ll work till I can test it but I’m not so wasteful as to test it with useless, expiring calendars {wink}

It’s meant to be quite warm today so I’ll be looking forward to an hour or two at the ice rink with DD.  Last day of college for her and the long summer ahead.  Will we be fewer on the Mr Linky list as the days get hotter and the lure of a holiday away, near the sea grows? I wonder…

Happy WOYWW all!

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Manly Photo Cube and 2015 tear-off calendar printables

Last week I used some grid/graph paper to make a card.  As the tablet was still kicking around on my desk, I thought I might use it to make a “manly” photo cube.  I don’t know about the men in your life, but the men in MINE have one rule – nothing too frilly, flowery or indeed colourful when it comes to gifts for them.  They are both sort of OK with a colourful CARD, I just know not to expect them to display it anyplace public (like DH and his desk, or DS in his apartment anywhere really) so they look then leave it at home where *I* can display it if I like.

The problem with grid/graph paper, or at least with what I have on hand, is it’s in a tablet with holes  for a ring binder.  That makes it less than the required 8 inches.  But you can overcome that.  And grid paper is manly, right? I made my cube using two different types of graph paper – just for a little more interest.


It’s all about the position of the ring-binder holes.  Start by folding the paper in half, matching the holes – this is fine because you are going to make that fold anyway when folding the cube sides.  Lucky, that.


Cut the sheet to 4 inches. This will position the holes just right on that side.


Depending on your paper, and mine is an A4 UK tablet, square off the sheet by trimming to 8 inches on the other side.


Now to fold.  Go back to the post with the basic instructions for the photo cube.  When you come to the fold that brings the sides in, make sure the holes are  positioned like this:


When you fold the side, the holes are going to be hidden.


For a cube made from 8 inch squares, you need a 4 inch (with a smidge trimmed off) insert for each side (unless you add the base side with the insert side facing inward, to give a flatter base) and 12  hinges that are 2 7/8 inch square, scored and folded on the diagonal.

Obviously this size cube is WAY too small for the CD calendar inserts.  But I made two sheets you can print, cut and use to create a tear-off calendar.  You can see how to do that in this (old) post.  To add that to one side just cut a 2 3/4  inch square of cardstock .  Stick the last page of the tear off completely to this.


Cut another piece of cardstock to 3 x just shy of 4 inches.  Stick the calendar piece JUST in a + in the centre.


Tuck the edges of the 3 x 4 piece into the corners, over the insert, but leave the corners of the calendar base ABOVE the cube side corners.  Like so:


Now the tear off sheets can be, well, torn off, of course, without disrupting the cube, and at the end of the year you can just take out the 3 x 4 inch piece and replace it with a new tear off for next year!

I used quite small photos, with just a dot of repositionable adhesive behind, to hold them in place, but allow for changing them as the mood, or newer photos strikes.


You can see it is smaller than the 6 inch CD calendar cube.

This is something I think DH would keep on his desk – no flowers, no swirly flourishes, no colourful papers.  The font isn’t Helvetica or Futura or Gill Sans, but it’s pretty plain.

Now I’ll have to be on the look-out for other grid papers! With the addition of the cardstock inserts and the hinges, even this thin paper makes for a solid and sturdy cube.  And costs pennies. Result!

I think most tear-off calendar printables tend to be more rectangular the square, so these may not suit everyone.  I went ahead and did the Sunday to Saturday and Monday to Sunday versions – take your pick.  They end up as a 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch square.




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A few cube improvements

I was considering those corners on the large photo cube from yesterday and thought of a few small improvements that I think will make a big difference to the overall look and function.  See if you agree.

1. The photos might shift over time – as you turn the cube or handle it, the photos might shift slightly, because they are not big enough to be held in place by the fur corners.  Only two of them really fully engage the edges. Simple fix is a bit of repositionable adhesive on the back of the photo.  That will keep it in place but still let you change them.  A more complicated fit would be to mount the photo to another insert piece and slip that in, but that is harder to get in and out and a waste of cardstock.


2. The photos not fitting to perfection – remember that the 4×6 photos don’t completely fill the diamond?


A simple strip of a punched border (or even a strip of plain patterned paper or card ) about 1 1/2 inches by just shy of 6 inches will help fill the gap.



If you leave this loose it won’t affect the changing of the photos.  Again, you could add this over the photo,to another insert piece, but the full size insert IS harder to get in and out once the cube is stuck together!

3. The calendar could shift – a cardstock circle with a couple of pop dots added to the bottom will create a shelf to rest the calendar sheet on.


Just stick that to the insert at the bottom then allow the bottom edge of the calendar stack to sit on it.


When you stand the cube up in position, it’ll all get held in place.  You can add the punched borders as well, just be mindful not to cover any of the calendar!


Tomorrow I have another option, one perfect for a manly desk LOL!  I also created some sheets for tear-off calendars so I can show how those work with the cube.  It’s not quite done but turning out really cute so far.  All will be revealed – and after I triple-check the Sun to Sat and Mon to Sun calendar dates I’ll add the tear-off printables too! Then I can stop being obsessed with calendars AND cubes {wink}

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Combining projects! Calendar Photo Cube

NOTE: Go forward to the next post to see a few small improvements!

I have a box that is full of old-style scrapbooking papers that I am 100% sure I will never use on a layout.  Back in the day I tended to buy not only a collection of papers, but multiples of them.  Whatever was I thinking?? These florals are never going to get used in any other way.


I still have a load of different sizes of photo cube sides on my desk, and my latest calendar printables, and this morning, the two things just sort of came together in a creative collision.

This will make a fairly large photo cube, six inches (nearly) per side, but the advantages outweigh that, for me.  What ARE the advantages? The biggest is it is easy to replace the photos and add the calendar pages – WAAAAY easier than the other version.

You can:

  • use  full 12 x 12 sheets of scrapbooking paper to fold the sides
  • use two 12 x 12 sheets of cardstock to cut all of the inserts
  • use two sheets of 12 x 12 cardstock to cut more than enough hinges (I’ve altered the size slightly and don’t see it makes the slightest difference)
  • use 4 x 6 photos, either orientation, and only need to trim off the barest sliver off one side to make them work
  • use any CD-sized calendar printable and turn it from a photo cube into a Calendar Photo Cube!

I am not going to re-do the folding process.  Pop back to this post to see all you need, including a link to a video if that is easier for your to learn from. From here on it’ll just be the differences between THAT and THIS.

You need:

  • 6 sheets of 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper.  Cardstock really is too thick.
  • 6 sheets of 6 x 6 cardstock (paper is really too thin) with a sliver trimmed off 2 adjacent sides
  • 12 4 x 4 inch squares
  • double-sided (paper-backed) adhesive

The only difference in the assembly is DON’T add the base/bottom with the diamond facing inward – assemble it with all the diamonds facing OUTWARD, including the base. Once you have folded and assembled the cube, you really need to only select your photos (five for a Photo Cube and four for a Calendar Photo Cube).  Portrait or landscape, both work – see how close they are to a perfect fit?



Just trim off the barest sliver.  Just enough for it to fit.  Because the photo does not totally fill the diamond, you can easily slide them in and out.  You do have to slightly bend the photo but nothing LIKE how you would have to in the more close-fitting version.




Because the inserts are plain cardstock (and mine are white but you could easily use coloured card to make a feature of those triangles) I don’t mind those bits.


The construction is just tight enough (unless you are tossing it around the room) for the photos to stay put. You can feel free to add a little stamped accent to fill the space (and I’d do all four so you don’t have to consider which side hold portrait and which hold landscape photos) or anything flat.  I don’t think I would try adding a flower or dimensional accent cause it’s just going to make getting the photos in and out harder.

If you print ANY CD case calendar printable, so long as you’ve printed a page and cut one to check the central design works once you slip it in, to turn it into a Calendar photo cube. Let me share my thoughts on this.  OK, sure, you could put two in each side (or three in four sides, or…whatever) but having more than one month on view is just confusing.  And putting a photo in the bottom side, the one it rests on, is a bit pointless – as soon as you rotate the cube to show that one, the other ones are going to be wonky.  SO, if you print and cut the calendar inserts, then group them six and six


you can put the first six months on one side


and the last six months on the bottom, hidden from view.


Then you can simply remove the month when it’s over and toss it in the bin – sort of a more sophisticated and pretty (and bigger) tear-off calendar!

OK, yes, like the photos the CD inserts don’t fit the diamond perfectly but this is function over form.  If they DID you would never be able to wedge six sheets in a side, nor pluck out and bin one when the month changes. I don’t think it looks bad this way but again, coloured cardstock or some decoration might look OK if it bothers you as it is.


Not something to make for every calendar person on your list, but the folding, once you’ve done it for one cube, becomes an almost Zen like process.  And I like the idea that you can change the photos at will and with ease.

For an easier and smaller one, use maybe 8 x 8 paper to start with and add the photos but stick on one of the small tear-off calendars on one side!




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