Stepping Out in Style (Essentials)

In week 3 of my time as an Echo Park Fresh Face Designer, I wanted to share a unique project that was inspired by the Style Essentials Collection.  To see the post on the Echo Park blog, click here, or simply keep reading!

I have a confession to make. There are days when I would like nothing better than to stay in my comfortable (and only somewhat stylish) pajamas all day long.  But when I first saw the very fashionable Style Essentials Upscale collection from Echo Park, my mind was immediately filled with crafts project ideas highlighted by amazing textures and material – like patterns. Instead of slumming in my pajamas, I was wishing I could head out for night on the town decked out in, well, paper!  And while I didn’t manage to get a little black dress made for today’s post (an idea that only last a fraction of a second in my mind), I did manage to use this amazing paper to create an accessory that I think captures the stylish and fun nature of this collection.

Can you tell what the base shape of the purse might be?

Created by altering an old book cover, this little black purse was a simple way for me to make sure that even when I am not at home crafting, I still have some paper with me!

Who wouldn’t want to head out on the town with some Echo Park paper in hand?  Here’s how you can too:

Materials:
-At least 4 sheets of Echo Park Style Essentials 12X12 collection - for this particular design, I substituted one sheet of Style Essentials with the fun Rose Blossom paper from Yours Truly.
- Liquid adhesive such as Modge Podge.
- Ribbon or other fibers for embellishment
- Embossing Ink
- Embossing powder
- Magnet or alternative for closure

To create the purse form, simple remove the pages from a hardcover book on the inside binding.  Carefully measure the dimensions of the outside cover and cut your patterned paper accordingly.  For this design, I chose to use Black Flourish for 2/3 or the cover and and the b side of Black Quatrefoil for the binding or bottom edge of the purse. Generously apply an even coat of your liquid adhesive to the bare cover and apply your paper.  Press down firmly and allow to dry.  Using the same adhesive, apply ribbon to cover the joint created by the two paper, making sure that the ribbon folds over the cover and into the inside edge of your purse (this will help t make sure it stays in place)

The inside is as pretty as the outside!

Once the outside cover is complete, the next step is simply to create the v-fold for the side of your purse.  The important point to consider at this stage is how far you would like your purse to open.  Keep in mind that the wider you would like the opening, the more paper will be needed, and the thicker your accordion fold will be.  Because the dimensions of each book will be different, consider creating a template out of scrap paper to experiment with the size and shape that will work best for you.  Finally, at this stage, add ribbon loops the inside of the purse to attach your handles, and then cover the entire inside with a piece of patterned paper, such as the b side of Grey Flourish

These flowers are interchangeable!

I had a lot of fun creating some beautiful paper flowers to embellish the purse a little further.  By using a snap to attach the flower to the ribbon one one side of the purse, I was able to use some of the other fun colors from this collection to create a flower that can be changed depending on the event or outfit.  The coordinating patterns in this collection make this a fun way to add a few coordinated options to the project!  Just think of all the fun colored flowers or shaped embellishments you could create if you added the Style Essentials Runway collection to your lineup as well!
Finally, I made some really simple paper beads to use for the handles of the purse. Here’s how:

Together with some ribbon tied together with the beads to  create a fringed look, you could use this same technique to create a matching necklace, bracelet or even earrings.  How much fun would it be to head to your next event decked out in paper! Talk about being serious about paper crafting – now if I could just figure out a way to glam up my pajamas with paper, I would be all set!  Thanks for stopping by today – I would love to hear what you think!
This post was featured at CraftGossip!

The Bold and the Beautiful!

It’s my second posting as a Fresh Face Designer for Echo Park Paper Co., and I thought I would share a bit of a funny story with you!  Click here to view this post on the Echo Park blog.  

I am not sure if any of you have ever had a craft project that seems like it is out to get you!  Well, this week, I wanted to share with you a project of mine that is out to get me – but not in the way you might think!

A colorful and bright wreath for my colorful little girls!

This beautiful wreath, made with some simple paper cones, was designed to adorn the room of my two adorable daughters. And every day, as I walk in and out of their room, I inevitably catch the edge of this wreath on my shoulder!  In fact, I am beginning to think that the only way it would be physically possible for me to run into this wreath as much as I do is if it was actually jumping off of the door and bumping into me as I walked past!  I think the real problem is that the wreath knows how pretty it is, and just wants to make sure it gets noticed every time I come by. I love it – I really do, but who knew a little paper wreath could be so high maintenance!

A tiny bit of twine to add a little bit of texture

Actually, it really is no wonder that the vanity bug has bitten this wreath. You would be vain too if you were made with the amazingly bold and beautiful Summer Days collection by Echo Park. This paper just makes me smile every time I see it, and it was the perfect collection to use for my two daughters who happen to be just as bright and beautiful!

And with some many amazing paper collections from Echo Park, this wreath could easily find a place in your home too (wouldn’t it be so cute with the new A Boy’s Life collection)!  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Here’s how:

 Materials:

  • Echo Park Summer Days collection – you will need 6-8 sheets of 12X12 paper to complete your wreath.
  • Wire floral wreath form
  • Hot glue
  • 5” of ribbon
  • Approximately 25 crayons for embellishment

To embellish the wreath, I added playful floral shapes (inspired by the Summer Days Element stickers) to the inside edge of the cones.  This also helped to finish of the inside edge of the wreath and cover any gaps that formed as I was placing all of the cones. The banner shapes were cute freehand and adorned with letters from the Alpha Stickers sheet.

A simple bow and some colorful crayons help highlight this playful paper!

So, even though I need to listen to the snickers of my husband as he hears yet another altercation between Karen and the wreath (I’m not sure if it is the banging of the wreath base or my cursing that gives it away), this bright and beautiful project is sure to be a part of family memories for years to come!

Ready, Set…CHARGE!

Welcome to my first Echo Park Fresh Face Designer Post! To see this post on the Echo Park Blog – click here!

Project Title- Ready, Set…CHARGE!

Every year, I get caught up in the New Year’s resolution trap!  I either spend all of January feeling that nagging sensation that I have failed to yet again meet my New Year’s goals, or I ignore the process all together and spend the entire month feeling the nagging sensation that I have forgotten to do something.  So this year, I decided to keep things simple, and set one little goal that could help me feel like my life was at least slightly more organized than it was in 2011.

A little vintage inspired charging station created with Echo Park Times and Seasons collection

I don’t know about you, but in our family, cords seem to have taken over!  They seem to be everywhere (and yet often times, nowhere we can find them).  So, I decided to create a handy little charging station to keep all of the cords for our electronic devices in one tidy place. What better Echo Park collection to cover up our technological mess than the beautiful, vintage Times and Season’s collection (no, the irony is not lost on me)?  This was my first chance to break open this collection, and it left me feeling like this resolution might just be a keeper after all!

Here’s how you can create one too!

Materials:

  • Echo Park Times and Seasons collection (you will need approximately 4 – 12X12 sheets to complete your project depending on the size of your box)
  • plastic or wooden box with lid, large enough to hold a standard power bar
  • drill
  • adhesive such as Modge Podge or alternative

Ready. Set...CHARGE!

The initial set-up of your box structure will vary slightly depending on the piece you have chosen to alter.  For this project, I started with a basic wooden box that was designed to hold 8 ½” X 11” paper.  To create my charging station, I simply turned over the lid of the box to create a flat surface with a secure edge, and then applied some scrap pieces of wood on the underside of the lid to keep it from sliding around on the box.

I then determined how many charging stations I would need to handle all of our gadgets, and drilled holes accordingly (make sure your holes are large enough to feed the cords through).

A place for everything and everything in its place - for once!

A power bar was placed inside the box, and a hole was drilled at the back to feed the cord.  And then, the real fun began – time to embellish!

The medallions from the Trinkets paper embellished with a bit of Crackle Accents

The best part of this project for me was playing around with the designs from this collection in a way that would compliment the purpose of the altered box, and also play on the idea of old versus new!  The flags, cut from the fantastic Lovely Noteables paper provide a punch of color to the top of the piece, and help to create a practical way to remember just which cord belongs to which device! And the medallion shapes, fussy cut from the Trinkets paper, became a simple, yet colorful “gear-like” accent for the design.

I cannot think of a more beautiful (and ironically appropriate) paper collection for a modern day charging station!

So I’m curious, how many of you are taking on a New Year’s resolution this year?

I love the vintage feel of this charging station - a little ironic, but oh so beautiful!

Starting her early!

The blue snowflake paper designed by my two year old! I let her loose with some Distress Stain and, voila!

It’s CropChocolate.com project time again, and this month, I wanted to share a project that I actually completed with my two daughters!  We were challenged to come up with a family friendly project, so I decided to see what my two year could do if I let her loose with some Distress Stain. To get my 9 month old involved, I used fingerprints to create some stamped snowmen.  Personally, I think the results are fantastic, but I would love to hear what you think!

Here’s how you can do it too:

Materials:

  • Any size plain coloured cardstock – Just be aware that this technique does involve a fair amount of splashing, so a larger piece works best!
  • Distress Stain – Broken China
  • Distress Ink – Broken China
  • Jar or container
  • Paint brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Crackle Accents (optional)
Snowflake Paper
  1. Using your Distress Stain (Broken China), add a few dabs to the bottom of a container.  Add about 4-5 tbl of water.
  2. Take your paint brush and saturate with the watered down Distress Stain.  Using a flicking motion, or by tapping the paint brush, splash colour down onto your cardstock.
  3. Using the Distress Satin in the container, randomly dab the stain onto your paper. Use a forceful arm movement so the stain splatters when it hits the cardstock. The harder you hit the dauber onto the paper, the more your splatter will look like a snowflake.
  4. Trim your paper down to the size you will need for your project.
  5. Using the coordinating Distress Ink in Broken China, use an applicator to swirl ink onto your cardstock.  Start on the outer edges and move inward in a circular motion.
  6. Take the sandpaper and run it along the edges of your paper to distress.
  7. Using the Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, run your ink pad along each edge of the paper. If needed blend with a foam applicator.  This will give the edge of your paper a slightly “burnt” appearance.
  8. Optional step – Using some Crackle Accents, apply generously to the snowflake splatters you have created. Set aside to dry.
Alternative project idea – you could just use this technique to dress up some brown or white butcher paper for unique hand embellished wrapping paper. 
Snowmen Stamps
  1. Using Distress Ink in Broken China, simply press a finger into the ink and then place down firmly onto cardstock.  Use different size fingers for each of the levels of the snowmen.
  2. Using a jounraling pen or permanent marker, draw in eyes, arms, and buttons on your snowmen.  Add a small scrap of oragne cardstock for a nose.
  3. If desired, cover the ink fingerprints with Crackle Accents.  Allow to dry and then assemble your card!