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Pre-decorated Envelopes

I was watching a very old You Tube video that I stumbled on by someone called Crafty Hodges. She is just my style! One of the things she has in her videos are links to some quirky character downloads. I love them all. There is a link in this video (and a few others) to some free downloadable sheets. In one video she shows an envelope she made using some digital papers and some of her collage clips. She built hers by printing out the bits, cutting them and sticking them to a blank envelope that she cut using a score board. I did that:

but I went a bit more high-tech. I cut an envelope of the size I wanted using the punch board.

Then, I converted it to a .png. When I add it to my program , I make it slightly sheer. I can see the score lines clearly. I drag in a piece of digital paper and arrange it so the template is over the paper. I can build the collage elements on the address area.

Then all I do is hide the envelope template layer and print, cut, and make the envelope as usual. To be honest I probably don’t have to ass the digital paper, just the template of the correct size is enought for placement, but I like to preview the whole thing to see how it all works. I can even add the address digitally before I print it. I messed up on the brown one (the envelope was actually too small for the folder holder and all the goodies in a double ATC card swap) but it was easy enough to cut out eh address part and stick it to the front of a bigger envelope

I think they are very cute and make nice goodies to send as happy mail. I will probably make a few more, but I also saw a video on making a “magazine journal” and I quite like the idea of that to fill with collage play. I am far too distractable. but I am having fun so what’s the harm?



Gelli Plate Foldnote

I have been planning this one for a while, but kept putting it off cause I’ve been busy. I am against the clock so forgive the perhaps less than perfect sample, but focus on the IDEA. DD and I are having haircuts today (what is it about short hair?  It really needs more maintenance than long hair grabbed in a gripper!) and then ice skating and shopping so my day is pretty full.

First, the Mennonite Foldnote.  I did a post on this YONKS ago, but it occurred to me that it might work nicely with the Gelli plate for a piece of mailable art.

This would be a breeze with a larger plate, but as I only have the 6 x 6 one, I had to jump thru hoops to get something “clean”, as I worked thru printing on each isolated section, fortunately none of them bigger than 6×6 starting with an A4 sheet of paper.  There are no measurements given past the first one, as none of the rest of them are really needed.  My photos aren’t perfect, so search for Mennonite Foldnote and you may find better step-by-steps.

Start with a sheet of paper.  I was using plain printer paper – although slightly thicker paper may be nicer, it will add weight and if you really plan to mail it you may need to check the weight before you just drop it in the post.  Also the dimensions – in the UK that matters as much as weight.  With A4 it comes up about 5 x 6 (a bit less really, but being generous)

1. Fold the top right corner over leaving a 1 1/2 inch gap at the left side.  If you have a ruler that is exactly 1 1/2 inches lay that on the left and fold the corner over to meet it.  Easiest way.





2.  Fold the bottom left corner up to meet the lower edge of your first fold.



3.  Rotate slightly so the now bottom right corner is pointing straight down then fold it up.  Notice the right edge – you can see that little bit of overlap in the circle.  That closes the note.  Other than that, the placement of the fold is flexible.  And it will be different with US letter paper.



4.  Flip it over, so the fold you just made is at the top.  Fold the bottom up so the straight edge of triangle meets the top edge of the foldnote.  See the arrows?




5.  Flip it over and fold the triangle down.



Now, if you have a big plate, it is super easy to just mask the address areas and print over the whole of the front.  Done.  I had to jump thru hoops to isolate and print on each of the areas, using some masks and scrap paper to protect the areas I didn’t want to overprint or print on at all.  If you wanted to print on the INSIDE areas, except the centre section, to write on, you would simply mask the centre and print on the whole sheet.  I had to stop in order to post before I have to dash, but doing the inside is pretty much the same.

1.  Mask the address areas.  Be kind to your postman!



2.  Print on the front.  Keep the little triangle folded back out of the way.



3.  Cut a mask to cover the front.  I also stick a plain sheet of paper to the BACK side, to try to keep it clean.

foldnoteprint3 foldnoteprint2


4.  Print, area by area, manipulating the folds and using a cover sheet to keep our fingers from getting too mucky and transferring paint to what you want to be clean areas, print on each section.


I used similar colours but you can go wild with various combos if you like.



See how mucky the mask over the centre is? It really is worth doing.

5.  Stamp OPEN or OPEN HERE on the small triangle.


6. Write in the centre section, either right on the note, if you used decent weight paper, or add a plain block of heavier paper if you used thin paper and want to.



A I said I have to get a wriggle on so didn’t have time to print on the inside sections surrounding the block – and in fact you may want to write on ALL the inside sections, so it may not be required at all! Up to you.

7. Re-fold and seal the note by sticking the stamp over the tip of the triangle.  Make sure the stamp is well adhered to the paint-y surface!


Now, who shall I send it to?





Lacy envelope

I mentioned yesterday that I was making a lacy envelope for an A2 card.  I like the look of the doily ones I’ve seen but have no doilies of the right size. I did have some MS punches that I thought I could make work so I had a go.  The issue (in the UK) is that our paper is a different size to US letter paper.  I didn’t want to have to cut down a full 12 x 12 sheet to get an 8 1/2 inch square to start with.  I wanted to be able to cut down an A4 sheet and make that work – less waste.  The sizes for making the corner + edge punches work was also based on an 8 1/2 inch square – also a problem to do what I originally hoped which was simply punch the edges of a square and fold it.  So this is what I did instead.

First, square up your A4 sheet to 8 1/4 x 8 1/4.

I used the MS Score board with the nifty little envelope corner.  That helped get straight score lines with the paper on an angle.  But I am sure you can do the same if you take care with another scoring board. On 3 of the 4 corners, score at 3 inches from the corner tip. On the 4th, score at 4 3/8 inch.

Trim off the triangles where the score lines cross. This is what you will see.

On the top point, what will be the flap of your envelope, punch the corner punch at the tip. Now, lining up with the punch guide, punch one set on each side.

Now, lining up the first motif past the corner with the punch guide, punch again.

This will make sure you don’t end up with the final motif half on/half off the flap at the end. Trim off at the end of the punching for a neater look.

I added an anywhere-punch motif to the flap as well.

Using very thin double-sided tape, line the bottom flap.  Fold in the sides and stick the flap over them to secure the envelope.

Make sure nothing is sticking that shouldn’t! Of course your envelop won’t have the measurements written n it LOL!

Now you can line the flap, either with a bit of patterned paper or with a bit of coloured vellum.

This one is with the Art Deco punch – THIS one is with the ribbon border punch.  I may have been able to squeeze in a bit more on the flap sides, but I erred on the side of caution, again, lining up the first motif after the corner. Can you see how the other motifs don’t line up?  It’s OK.

I threaded some ribbon and tied a bow.

If you want to you can back the large punch with a circle of paper or vellum.

I would only use these for hand delivered cards, and to close I think I would either add a smidge of repositionable adhesive to the tip of the flap, or cut a small slit in the back of the envelope to slip the tip of the flap into. Maybe attach a circle, half stuck, to hole the flap.  Maybe I’d just grip it closed as I handed it over ….


Hope it’s useful.



Quotes for life – mini-book

OK, so I made a bit of progress on my mini from yesterday, then wrenched my back badly doing some cleaning in preparation for our visitor’s return from his European jaunt.  Grrr.  I’ll share where I am going with it and some of the bits.

The basic book is sort of built on the Kennedy Book idea (PDF in the sidebar, right) but using coin envelopes rather than pieces of cardstock as the “pages”.

Each envelope is covered with a bit of Basic Grey Obscure, with a contrasting paper lining the interior.

Then I have a variety of things I add:

Some flourish stamps, some paint on an OJ bottle cap, some small stamps for text, and letter dies.

The paper-covered envelopes get sprayed with some sort of ink (either the ones I made from the little packs of scrapbooking dyes or Cosmic Shimmer Chalk ink – sometimes both although the chalk ink is hard to see) and splattered with white paint mixed with a little water – I have this mixed up in a spray bottle but I usually just pull out the spray part and flick it.

Each envelope is labeled with the day of the week, and has a bit of a song lyric that includes the day name.   The day-name is done with the letter dies and the additional text with the small stamps, usually on the same paper that lines the envelope.

It hopefully looks fairly grungy (which I always think of as boy more than girl) and enough contrast with the black and the white for even my colour-blind DS to appreciate.

The pages will get mounted on the accordion spine and then it will operate like the sliding Kennedy Book.  I hope – if it doesn’t work like I hope,  I can make it into a non-sliding book and not have lost all my hard work!

But now a diversion.  I am always dropping what I think of as little bits of wisdom (and he probably thinks of as little annoying lectures)  on my son.  I’m sure most parents do this, with more, or less, success than me.  I am always hugely happy when one of my little lessons lands on fertile ground and takes root.  A few years back we had a discussion (or I lectured him, depending on your POV) about cursing.  My lesson was that words have power.  Use them too often, and they lose that power.  A carefully placed curse  will provide impact, but save it for when you really NEED that impact. If every other word out of your mouth is a curse, the words lose all meaning.

Fast forward a year or more.

I forced DS to watch The Princess Bride.  I had tried to read him the book (and I often read to the kids on long car journeys so this was not an odd occurence) but what I found so funny about the book, the WAY it was written as an edited story told by the Grandfather, but including all the bits the grandfather left out,  he just didn’t get.  So I settled for making him watch the movie.  Inconceivable!

At the point in the movie when Inigo Montoya comes face to face with his father’s killer, he extends his recurring statement of My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father. Prepare to die! to add  I want my father back you son of a bitch! My son turned to me and said Mom!  I know what you mean now! He only cursed that one time and it DID have more power! Oh joy!  It sank in.  And he was able to identify the lesson in the wild! Amazing.

So the idea of this envelope is to provide me a oppourtunity to pass on these sorts of little life-lessons from a distance.  I’ll hope, if I can manage to sit at my desk long enough to gently craft, that I can work on that aspect of it so I can share a visual rather than just tell you my plan. I think it’s pretty clever (modest? nope, not me) and hope it will work like I want it to.  And that DS will actually play his part in it when it’s done (and that, fellow crafters and Moms, is where it is likely to all break down.)

Watch this space.

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Delayed from yesterday

I did promise, and here it is. And a two part Sunday-someplace-else this week, to make up for the late post too. I would SO play with this house – I would set it up on my window sill and play with the people like they were The Sims. At least with a pretend family I could make them behave, tidy up, and I wouldn’t have to feed them EVERY DAY!  Plus I LOVE that 50s style house!

Next, I am enjoying having a little explore of The Cottage Industrialist and am particularly taken with these little freebie cards and envelopes. Tiny and cute.

And who can resist cupcakes dressed up as Pirate ships? Adorable. Check out the site here for more Pirate Printables and see what else you can uncover there.

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Monday morning dilemma

I can never quite make up my mind if Monday morning comes around too soon or not soon enough! While the prospect of a lazy weekend of crafting is appealing, the reality of everyone underfoot is less so, and when they have all left for the day a blissful silence and a day full of possibilities envelopes the house….until the piles of laundry and carpets full of thread snippings, cookie crumbs, foam square backs, grass and dirt infiltrate your consciousness, anyway. And with the shooting party/BBQ attendees all safely away, there is perhaps more cleaning than usual to do.

I am still trying to get back to last weeks project, although little progress has been made.

Another dilemma or two – I’ve punched and covered the small coin envelopes

but I can’t decide if I like the surround on show (as it is less of a KRAFT sort of colour and more of an….orange almost) or if instead of inking the additions I should be inking the envelopes!

On the one hand I like the definition the un-inked envelope gives – it does frame the papers nicely.  One the other hand is the colour too different?  I just cannot tell!

Next dilemma – I have the series of question cards.  I cannot decide if I want then to be bound into the book as other pages, with the pockets having a photo on the front and inside the pocket housing maybe additional info written by the person in the photo OR if I should trim the question cards into tags to go INSIDE the pockets.

There isn’t a lot of room on the cards for much info, but on the other hand how easy will it be to get the people (grandparents and parents is what I am thinking at this point) to write something more for the pockets? Having them bound means less chance of them falling out and getting lost, for sure.

I felt the upper right of the cover needed something, I just wasn’t sure what.  I think this little flapped string tag is just the thing.  I’m sure it cane from a GOGO kit but no idea which one or who it’s by.

I think I’ll have to throw in a load of laundry and think about it some more …..

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Mini-album, US shopping, and altering Oh my!

I am still looking at some of my stash shopping from our trip home and wondering what I will do with it all. One of my first little experiments is a mini-album, using some coin envelopes. I know there must be blank ones available but my UK Staples only has the ones with the printed info on them and the self-sealing flaps, so I bought a box in the US to play with.

I found, on sale (and then 50% off the sale price) some little K&CO pads that they sell in association with I got a couple of the photo mat pads and one of the Questions to Ask pads and am building the album around them. I’ve not gotten very far in to it yet, and got sidetracked today, but I wanted to get this posted before I forget – it’ll be a WIP this week, I think.

I started with a Prima flower that I took apart.  I misted the green bits with a gold glimmer mist and the music note bits with some copper mist, brushed some copper acrylic paint on the edges then reassembled it.

I used a MS border punch on the edge of my cover – the chipboard is not massively thick, I had no trouble punching thru it (it’s the back of a paper pad, so heavier than cereal-box card but not as thick as commercial chipboard)  Obviously ou should follow the guidelines from the punch manufacturer even if I didn’t (basically you have to decide if you want to risk your punch this way for yourself!) and covered it with paper from the pad (paper in the pad is 4.75 x 6.75 inches so perfect for the envelopes) then decorated it with some bits like a stamped and embossed image, the altered flower, an old metal frame, teeny letters, and a couple of interesting bits.

The frame will house a family photo once I decide which one I want to use!

TOP TIP: after peeling off the sticker question cards from the pad, I was left with a nice little border frame (or two, if you don’t mind one missing one side)

I rubbed a little bit of Distress Ink on it and I think it made a nice addition to my cover.

The little group of gems was a real find in AC Moore – they were under $.60 for some and under $1 for the rest and I really like them.  A mix of gems and pearls, sticky as a group, but easy to snip apart if need be, they don’t look nearly as good in the photo as they do IRL. Here’s a close-up of another set I got:

You can bet this is going to be on my W tomorrow!


Quick peek and another mini-book

Still not tiring of making minis but I am def. germinating some layout ideas.  Maybe I’ll get to one soon.  But I did have a lot of fun re-visiting my stash and using some supplies that, when they came out, and I first got them, I swooned over.  It seems that not too long after I moved to a more colourful and bright style, which is probably why these goodies languished in my stash for so long.  The scary part is, I feel like I barely made a dent in that stash!  I could easily make three more minis in this style.

YouTube video to come.


Another (quick) envelope book

I made this with the idea it would be a quick, easy, limited supply project. I seem to get a lot of email, Peamail, and YouTube mail from people who want to use some of my mini-books for kids groups. This should be a good one for that, as you can easily substitute a punched hole ribbon binding. I kept it simple but you can obviously add a lot of embellishment to it.


Another little video

I pause every time I type “video” because, as those who have seen them know, they really aren’t “videos” – I will get over it eventually, or sort out my camera situation.  Anyway, for those who wanted more info on the envelope book, here is the video for you.  It goes by a bit fast in some places, and some of the subtitles may be hard to read, especially here, but if you click on the YouTube logo it should offer you the option to watch it there, a bit bigger and better quality.

It took a while to get this up due to the fact I have been really ill with some flu-y sort of nonsense and spent about 48 hours mostly sleeping and (more of a problem) for some reason Audio Swap on You Tube was down fir a couple of days.  So although the video was ready on Friday, it was only last night that I was able to add the music. Almost all of the music I use is either from my in-laws various bluegrass band recordings OR from an Audio Swap group called MusicShake.  Lots of people have mentioned that the music is restful or relaxing, which is ideal for a video like this.  Whereas I would be inclined to add some old blues boys or some raucous fiddle tunes or some other copyright protected music if I was picking stuff I like to listen to, using Audio Swap is a good way to ensure you don’t get your video silenced due to copyright. And you can limit the selections to ones that fit the timing of your video, which is handy.

I have done another one of these with a slightly different (I think easier) construction, making use of patterned paper cut to simple standardized sizes that I think turned out kinda cute.  I’ll try to sort that out, photos and video, soonish.  I need to get well and get to Staples to find some envelopes (maybe white, with no self-seal) to play with.  I have to say I  find the combo of cheap office supplies (especially now they have so much in “Kraft” or buff colour) with pretty scrappy paper to be a winning combo.  It def. helps me use up my stash, esp. from kits where I may have only a couple of sheets of paper in a range and need to make it stretch.