Posts tagged ‘tutorial’

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

I realize it’s mid-June and to most people, it’s not exactly calendar season. But for me, I just want a change of scenery. Since I can’t write on my Rifle Paper calendar (thou shalt not deface any Rifle products with messy handwriting…everyone knows that), I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own. Here’s how I did it:

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

S U P P L I E S

  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paints
  • Ruler
  • Paintbrushes
  • Number stamps (mine are from The Curiosity Shoppe, which sadly appears to be closed!)
  • Cup for water

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

To begin, I (roughly) measured out the lines for my calendar squares and then ran my paintbrush right along the edge of the ruler. I should preface this by saying that I am NOT a perfectionist. I have little interest in making everything look uniform; I just want to have fun creating and get things done. Plus, watercolors don’t exactly lend themselves to clean lines. The more freeform, the better!

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Once I have the lines and month name painted, I gather my number stamps.

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

To stamp with watercolors, I simply paint the rubber stamp with the paintbrush and stamp directly onto the paper. Easy peasy.

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

I decided to go with a light paint color so I can eventually write over the date without competing with the overall design.

DIY Watercolor Calendar | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Let dry and let the planning begin!

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DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

The other day as I was browsing the shelves of the Goodwill, I spotted this muffin tin + knew instantly that I wanted to turn it into a planter. Once I picked up the muffin tin for $1.50 (50% day – look out!), I swung by Lowes and had a wonderful time picking + choosing my succulents.

Click here to see my Vine video of the planting process!

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

To create this planter, you will need:

  • Six succulent plants (I purchased all of mine for less than eight dollars at Lowes)
  • 1 muffin tin (the deeper the cups, the better)
  • Vinyl Bumpers
  • An awl or drill (and drill bit)

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

After cleaning the muffin tin as best I could (a good rule of thumb for all thrift finds), I flipped it over and punched drainage holes in all six of the cups using a bookbinding awl. Luckily the tin was super easy to punch through, but if yours is thick, I recommend using a drill with a small bit.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

From there, I added a vinyl bumper to each of the four corners of the tin to allow for proper drainage. This is key if you prefer living plants.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

I then played around with the arrangement of the succulents and placed them in the muffin tin.

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Then I began moving the soil around, adding in a handful of small rocks, and finessing each of the plants to my liking. After that I lightly watered the individual plants and called it good. The thing to remember about succulents is that they require minimal watering. In fact, it’s best if you leave them alone until their soil is completely dry. (You can read even more care + keeping tips here!)

DIY Muffin Tin Planter | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

So there you have it! A quick + easy Springtime DIY that has yet again fueled my thrift shopping habit! I have plans to make a bunch of these for my wedding and display them amidst other floral centerpieces on our tables. Good times ahead!

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Using Books as Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Using Books as Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Using Books as Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Using Books as Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Using Books as Packaging | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

As wonderful and foolproof as gift cards are, their tiny size sure does tend to spoil the surprise factor when it comes to packaging. I am always looking for ways to “throw off the scent” and using books from thrift stores is my definitely my favorite option. Not only does the recipient receive store credit to their favorite shop (if you play your cards correctly), but they get a free book out of the deal! And we all know how many awesome things a person can do with a book: use it for decor, rip pages out for crafting purposes, upcycle it for another gift, or heck, maybe even read the darn thing! Plus, if the cover art is well-designed (I, for one, always judge books by their covers), it can take the place of decorative gift wrap <—-there’s the recycling fiend in me again!

The packaging process is super simple. For my gift, I used a book I found at the DI last year in Utah (chosen for it’s aqua hues), yellow felt trimmed on one side with pinking shears, and faux-tinsel yarn. The letter “A” was cut out with my Cameo + adhered to the cover using washi tape. I like to create my own envelopes for the actual gift card using kraft butcher paper (or any paper that folds well), a few stamps, and a little bit of tape, but that’s completely optional. Pretty much as simple as simple gets, right?

xoxo

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Reusable tote bags are a big thing around these here parts. They’re so big, in fact, that when I went to NYC last March, I excitedly bought my mom a canvas grocery bag from the Zabars featured in You’ve Got Mail (“get in another line”) because I knew she would appreciate both the reference AND the usability. So in the spirit of recycling + good packaging (no longer mutually exclusive!), I decided to create a few tote bags for myself and for others this holiday season. Here’s how to create your own tote bag design:

Tote Bag DIY | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Tote Bag DIY | Ann-Marie Loves Paper IMG_3938
Tote Bag DIY | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Tote Bag DIY | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Tote Bag DIY | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

Instructions

1. Make a stencil. I designed mine in Silhouette Studio and had my Cameo Die-Cutting Machine do the hard work for me. If you don’t have a machine, fear not! You can always use an xacto knife to achieve very similar results.

2. Place a sheet of chipboard / cardboard / heavyweight paper inside your tote. (Note: If your bag needs ironing – ugh, ironing! – do this beforehand. It’ll be worth it, I promise.)

3. Position your stencil over the area you would like to paint and adhere it to the bag with removable tape.

4. Using a multi-surface craft paint and a foam paint pouncer, dot over your stencil gently yet firmly until the whole area is covered in paint. I only applied a single coat because that was all I needed. Apply as many coats as you deem necessary.

5. Let dry. Slowly lift your stencil and check for any areas that may need a touch-up.

6. Bring your tote everywhere you shop and let the compliments roll in!

Supplies

Martha Stewart Gold Metallic Paint // Martha Stewart Crafts Foam Pouncer // Tote Bags  //  Silhouette Cameo

xoxo

3 Comments

I don’t know if it’s my “recycle, reduce, reuse” California upbringing (anyone else remember that song??) or if it’s simply my personal inclination to hoard anything made from a tree, but the thought of throwing away something that can easily be repurposed pains me. Especially anything from Anthropologie. (Have you ever watched an Anthro employee wrap a gift with the quintessential brown tissue paper + that giant washi tape dispenser? It is a true delight, my friends.) The other day while I was organizing all my various packaging supplies, I realized that the paper quality of an Anthro bag would be perfect for creating envelopes!

Turning Anthropologie Bags into Envelopes | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Turning Anthropologie Bags into Envelopes | Ann-Marie Loves Paper
Turning Anthropologie Bags into Envelopes | Ann-Marie Loves Paper

The process of turning a paper bag into an envelope is as basic as you would imagine. First, I cut out one side of the bag (the side that doesn’t fold up) and turned it over to the backside. Using a 4-bar Paper Source envelope template as my guide, I traced the shape with a pencil and then cut it out by hand. Next, I folded up all the flaps, adhered with a tape runner, and applied a liberal amount of washi tape. Done and done!

Tis the season to repurpose!

xoxo

1 Comment



1. Put on your finest pair of sweatpants. Photographing inanimate objects is utterly exhausting. You’ll see.
2. Find the best source of natural, indirect light. For me, it’s right by a sliding glass door with a sheer curtain drawn to eliminate shadows + harsh light.
3. Use a white foam-core board as the background. This board is not only a great neutral for shooting + editing, but it’s strong enough to act as a tabletop.
4. Gather an assortment of “props.” For my latest shop designs, I used a mix of graph paper, a hot pink envelope from Jamaica, a photo of San Diego, and washi tape. Always washi tape. To keep things streamlined for future product shoots, I left two strips of washi tape on the board permanently.
5. Take a quick Instagram break.
6. Style the stamps to your liking. As much as I love elaborate set-ups, I know better than to do that to myself. When it comes to efficiency and personal sanity, the simpler the better.
7. Take several different shots of each product. I always zoom out more than what seems necessary, just so I can crop and rotate to my liking when I edit. Better to have too much to work with than not enough. Trust.
8. Style, shoot, repeat.
9. Take a step back and photograph your set-up. Who knows, it might make for a good blog post (;

xoxo

P.S. New stamps are up!

8 Comments

Last Friday I saw this pin pop up in my Pinterest feed and within a half hour, I was rifling through the felts + fleece at Joann’s.

I didn’t follow the actual instructions that the source of the pin provided. Instead, I used my Paper Source envelope + liner templates, along with a little hot glue, a pencil for tracing, and some sharp fabric scissors. The bow was a quick + easy embellishment to make as well. All I did was fan-fold the fabric over itself a few times, pinched the center together with my fingers to create a bow shape, and then secured it with a thin strip of hot pink fleece. It was so much fun to make, but really, the best part of the process was giving it to someone whom I knew would appreciate it.

I’ve heard that many people are completely overwhelmed by Pinterest and can only handle it in small doses. I totally see where they are coming from (that’s how I feel about Facebook). But for me, it’s god’s gift to the interwebs. I can binge on it for hours at a time. And I do. Often. I don’t view it as a place to compete with other bloggers/crafters/makers. I also don’t use it as a place to promote myself (although it’s always a thrill when I see one of my own designs being pinned by others!). I simply see it as a much better alternative to saving all those photos on my desktop. That’s so 2009.

xoxo

1 Comment

Happy Friday!

Today I have a little tutorial on how to make a hand-embroidered card. I’ve been wanting to put my own spin on string art for awhile now, I just could never figure out what I wanted to make with it. That is…until I caught a glimpse of my striped washi tape and realized it would make the perfect stencil for a card design! I love when this happens!

To create the stencil, I simply lined up the stripes on three strips of the pink + white washi tape and stuck them onto a scrap piece of cardstock. It was the easiest (read: laziest) way to make a stencil without having to do any measuring. Win-win for this anti-measurer!

To designate where to poke the holes, I positioned the stencil in the center of the card and made a little pencil mark at each end of the stripes, (going around all four sides of the stencil). Then I used my paper piercer to quickly punch out the holes. (This could also be achieved with a bookbinding awl or an xacto knife.) Once all the holes were punched, I took an eraser to remove any visible pencil marks.

To determine where the top holes would meet up with the bottom holes to create the first stripe, I made a two small pencil marks using my stencil as my guide. Once I was ready to stitch, I started from the backside of the card and went over-under-over-under as many times as I deemed necessary. When I was finished with one color, I simply tied a knot and re-threaded my needle with the new color. I repeated this until the entire card was filled out.

Once all the stripes were embroidered, I adhered a strip of cardstock to the inside of the card to cover up all the knots.

And that’s it! Easy enough, right? (;

xoxo

2 Comments

Happy Tuesday! I’m writing this blog post from Newport Beach and am loving the change of scenery! I can’t wait to get outside and take a walk around the bay, but before I do, I want to share a little packaging tutorial on how I customize envelope liners.

First of all, lining envelopes is not only a fun surprise for the recipient when they open the package, but it’s also a great way to use rolled sheets of paper! I have a huge collection of rolled paper that has a tendency to collect dust simply because it is so unruly to work with. Well, no more excuses…it’s time to use my stash!

Here I’m using an A6 kraft envelope from Xpedx and hot pink patterned paper from Egg Press. I cut the paper down as small as possible to make it easier to trace and cut.

Since my Paper Source liner template is designed for triangle-flap envelopes, I made a little pencil mark on the template where my kraft envelope will end. This comes in handy when I go to cut my paper down to size. (If you don’t have liner templates, you could easily make them yourself with a heavy piece of cardstock or a manila folder.)

Lay the liner template on the backside of the patterned paper and trace just the bottom rectangle portion (not the flap).

Next, flip the template upside down and trace the upper portion of the paper (again, not the flap), using the first set of pencil lines as your guide. From there, cut along the pencil lines to remove the excess paper.

After I’ve cut out the patterned paper, I place it in the envelope and make light pencil marks to indicate the slight angling of the flap. (Personally, I avoid measuring at all costs and eyeball everything, but feel free to measure out the angle if you prefer exact proportions.) Once I make the pencil lines, I cut away the excess paper.

Tuck the liner into the envelope and position as you would like. Then add a little bit of adhesive to the portion of the liner that will be on the flap. That’s it! No need to adhere the whole entire sheet.

For an additional element of surprise, I stamped a phrase atop a strip of orange washi tape and stuck it just below the envelope opening. (This is covered by the flap when it’s closed.) The striped teal washi tape wraps around both the front and back of the envelope.

Both the front and back of the envelope are adorned with Paper Source labels (unfortunately no longer in stock) and embellished with my stamps. (You can find the “Cheers” stamp here).

Ta-da! Now stick a handmade card in there and send it to someone special!

xoxo

6 Comments
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