Thursday, August 18, 2011

use your scraps week | punched garlands + embellishment stickers

Can you believe that we're already at the end of Use Your Scraps week? Yes, I realize that it's only Thursday, but around here Fridays are reserved for Friday Favorites- a fun time all unto itself!!
Today we're going to dive back into our scrap stashes and grab those tiny bits- anything and everything down to something as small as a 1" square (provided you have a punch of that size) and use them to make some fantastic banner/garland/bunting thingies (you can see lots of examples of different kinds in one of my Friday Favorites posts) and also some embellishment stickers. I dug into my Christmas scraps for this one, with a small sample of my pile shown below.

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My kraft scraps also caught my eye as I was gathering materials. I have tons of little kraft bits (I use tons of kraft cardstock), so I pulled out a good sized stack of those as a grounding color, as well.

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I mentioned punches earlier, and now is a good time to gather them up. Small-ish shapes of 1"-2" seem to work best for the projects I have in mind...meaning that if you're a Martha Stewart punch hoarder like me this is a great time to haul them out!

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The next step is easy- punch, punch punch. For me this is best done while watching copious amounts of Stargate: Atlantis or Doctor Who, but you can of course substitute the entertainment medium of your choice.

I'm also a bit sick in the organizing department and stuck my punched bits into an embroidery floss box, sorted by shape.

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To make the banners you'll need a sewing machine. There's really no big mystery to this one- just load the shapes one at a time under the sewing foot, leaving a small amount of "empty" thread between each bit.

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I made little piles of various shapes and colors under the arm of my machine to make them easier to get to quickly.

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It helps to keep some tension on the strand by gently (and I mean gently) pulling on the strand as it feeds out of the back of the machine. Going kind of slowly is also a good idea.

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After a few minutes of stitching I had this bad boy to show for all my efforts (it's really one continuous piece, but the way it's draped over my fingers makes it look otherwise). Cool, eh?

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I think my favorite use for these is as gift wrapping. I'm not really big into using scrappy stuff like this for home decor, but I adore using it on packages.

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Just for kicks I also punched up a ton of pink and yellow scraps that I had left over after cutting about a thousand cupcake wrappers for a baby shower.

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These papers were all double-sided, and I love the effect of having some solid shapes mixed in with the patterns.

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If banners aren't your thing (or if you're like me and went a little punch-crazy), then you might like to try making a set of layered embellishment stickers using your punched pieces. I've seen similar sets on Evalicious and a few other sites and love them, and it turns out that they're super easy to make!

The first step is to take your punched bits and layer them up- I like to use some of the more basic shapes (circles, squares, etc) for backgrounds and add a punched butterfly or other shape on top, then finish the whole thing off with a rhinestone or button. You can see some of my finished shapes below, along with an item you'll need for the next step- a whole sheet of Glue Dots.

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You'll need to carefully peel the backing paper off of the dot sheet, leaving all the adhesive on the clear side.

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Then it's just a matter of plopping one of your layered pieces onto each Glue Dot, instantly turning it into an easy-to-use sticker. You can also totally do this without Glue Dots and just adhere each piece to your project individually.

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I hope that you've all enjoyed my Use Your Scraps focus this week as much as I enjoyed putting it together!! And, please, if you try any of these projects be sure to link them up in the comments so I can check them out!