DYI metallic foil cardstock tutorial.

This is one of my all-time favorite techniques! I love adding shimmer and shine to my projects and the faux metal look is really fun to work with. From shiny Christmas ornaments to steam-punk grunge, this is something every paper crafter should try at least once! You can use it to add silvery elements to your projects or color it with alcohol ink to create stunning metallic embellishments and backgrounds.


Embossed Die cuts 2

Foil motorcycle embellishment

Orange Leaf Card 2

 I created a quick video to show you the basics of making this fabulous cardstock for yourself. You'll need 80# cardstock, heavyweight aluminum foil, extra-strength spray adhesive and a die cutting machine. I also like to have extra cardstock or paperboard for creating shims to make a "press" sandwich.

Part I: Making your own metallic foil cardstock.

I've added links below to some of the supplies and equipment I used to make the die cuts and card backgrounds you'll see in this post and video. I'll be posting a new tutorial soon showing you how to color your metallic foil cardstock to make stunning, lustrous projects!

Much love & happy crafting!


Papertrey Ink Star Search Video Contest: Card-in-a-Bag Treat & Gift Bags

I'm so honored to have been chosen as one of the 5 finalists for the Papertrey Ink Star Search video contest! I'm even more excited to finally be able to share all of my fun treat holder and gift bag ideas will all of my Crafty Friends! If you like my video and project idea, please head over to the Star Search voting page and submit a vote for me. While you're there, check out the other 4 great winter project ideas from talented Papertrey crafters. I've added a photo gallery of the assembly steps and project design ideas below and will be posting more detailed instructions and another video soon. If you decide to create one of these fun projects yourself, please don't forget to enter it in my November Blog Challenge!



The back of the "Card-in-a-Bag" is a perfect place for a family photo or stamped sentiment!



There are many alternate closure styles you can come up with! 

Using the Front & Center dies from PTI is relatively easy & straightforward as far as creating the front and back panels. Just simply cut the panels and then add a bottom by cutting a piece of paper the same width as the base of the die but leave it at least 1 inch longer than you'd like the bottom to be. That leaves room for scoring at least 1/2 inch on each side to adhere to the bag panels.

I found it easiest when using the edger dies to cut my patterned paper and then cut two "backer" panels to make the bag more sturdy. Patterned paper tends to be thinner than plain card stock. You don't have to use white, you can use a solid color that coordinates with your patterned paper or stamp some paper yourself to create a fun coordinating liner! I like to cut the backer panels longer than my bag panels so I can simply fold them in and glue them together:


The next step is to cut your handle being careful about placement! It's hard to cut through 4 pieces of paper at once, so I tended to cut one, then put the next layer under the first one and align the die in the open hole. Be careful to make sure you cut the back panels facing the direction they will be assembled so that the hole matches up when the panels are glued back-to-back! I learned this the hard way when I cut these two panels and then flipped the back around to discover my hole wasn't perfectly centered. Oops! 


The smallest half-circle in the Hoopla Stitching Die Collection and the smallest oval from the Noted die collection seemed to be the best sizes for handles. I frequently use use a Crop-a-Dile to punch holes for ribbon or string instead as handles take up a lot of space I can use to decorate or add windows. I also had a lot of fun cutting out 4 panels and attaching them to each other to create a fun treat box with plenty of room for a family-sized bag of caramel corn! 

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The plain circle from the 2 1/2" Limitless Layers Circle die set fits beautifully on Tag Sale #6. One again that little half circle from Hoopla came in handy and nested onto my tag like it was made to fit! The caramel corn I made for the photo shoot sure didn't last long around my house! Neither did the cookies I made for this cute little number:


These are so easy and fun to make, you can be sure you haven't seen the last of them on my blog. You can literally make these for any occasion using any stamp & die set you have on hand. I love to cut windows into my bags, but that's certainly not a requirement. My plans for future bags include a wrap for a wine bottle, a treat bag with a gift card envelope on the bag and a gift holder for a dangling ornament you can see through the window. I'll be coming up with some measurements to cut gusseted sides so that you can create a traditional gift bag if you choose. I cannot wait to see all of your designs and I truly hope you love this idea as much as I do so please share them with all of us on the November Challenge page!

Much love & happy crafting!


DIY Texture Paste & Puffy Snow



I love love LOVE cards with dimensional elements and texture! When I first saw embossing paste I knew I had to try it, but it's kind of spendy and I was sure I'd use a lot. So, I wandered around cyberspace and found a recipe to try. But, I didn't have the exact ingredients and ended up experimenting with what I had on hand. The results were fabulous and came with a happy surprise... it puffs up when heated. ;) We'll cover that in part II of this tutorial.


 There are basically two ways to make the embossing paste: option 1 is to use baking soda and option 2 is to use corn starch. Baking soda has a finer texture and stays soft longer, allowing for you to add impressions from stamps or gently use a texture plate to press designs into the surface. Corn starch is slightly coarser and sets up hard rather than pliable. 


  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 Tbs Mod Podge
  • 1 Tbs white acrylic paint



This is ridiculously fun to play with and something I discovered completely by accident! I was trying to make my own texture paste and the recipe called for PVC glue. I have no idea what that is (I'm sure a trip to the craft store would solve the mystery) but I always have Mod Podge on hand, so I figured that would be a comparable substitute. It also called for corn starch which I used for my first batch.

For some reason I decided to use baking soda for the second batch. Perhaps I was running low on corn starch, or maybe it was the Costco-sized container of baking soda begging to be used for something... ANYTHING. I was incredibly happy with both batches and began a crafting bonanza using anything even remotely resembling a stencil. Being a naturally impatient person, it didn't take long for me to reach for my heat gun to speed up the drying process. This is when the ~magic~ happened! 


I'd forgotten Mod Podge tends to expand when heated - a fact I'd learned during other grand experiments I'll save for another day. The combination of Mod Podge and baking soda made a much softer paste that puffs and expands when heated. It also lends itself nicely to being "pressed" with different texture plates and even "de-bosses" when you stamp on it. When it's wet, glitter sticks to it and refuses to come off. You can even color it with alcohol markers, pearl powder or sponge it with dye ink. Add drops of re-inking dye or mix it with colors right on your craft sheet. The sky's the limit with all the ways this stuff can be used! Without further suspense here's the magical recipe:


  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 Tbs Mod Podge
  • 1 Tbs white acrylic paint

Add more baking soda if you'd prefer it thicker (up to 1/2 cup total) or a splash of water if you'd like it thinner. I use the thinner recipe for puffy snow and the thicker recipe for texture paste. 



  • When using the baking soda recipe, give the paste a bit of time to cool off and start to stiffen before attempting to make any impressions in the surface. It stays soft on the inside for a surprising amount of time and the thicker the paste, the longer it takes for the "inside" area to dry out. If you try it too soon it will stick to your stamp or texture plate and you'll have to "patch" it with more paste (not to mention washing your impression tool.) 
  • You might think adding glitter to the medium would create "glitter paste." Yeah, I thought so too. Unfortunately it takes a huge amount of glitter as the flakes just get coated in the white paint and lose their shimmer. Just add glitter to your project while the paste is still damp and you'll be much happier!
  • If you're layering embossing paste over ink, be sure to use non-water based ink. This is especially important with the puffy snow formula since it's wetter. I learned the hard way when I layered it on top of the first Holiday Lane house I'd made and let it sit for awhile before using the heat gun on it. The ink from the roof pattern I'd stamped bled into my pristine white snow and made it look like a volcano had spewed ash all over. While this occasionally does happen in Alaska, it's not the look I was going for. :(
  • Avoid the temptation to touch the "snow" while it's warm and puffy. I made this fatal error with that sad little house that now looks like it was attacked by a marshmallow monster. Just trust me on this... or look at the photo below. ;)


Much love & happy crafting!


Faux Watercoloring Technique


I received many questions about how I made the Holiday Greenery, well... greener! I used copic markers and some crafty shading to "spruce up" these die cuts and make them appear fuller and more detailed. Check out my first video tutorial and learn how to make these fun sprigs for yourself!


I used to create these tags:

Virtual Product Parade: 

You can stamp on glitter!

I've seen posts online that say it's possible to dye glitter with ink refills and I've watched Jennifer McGuire's video on making glitter die cuts. So *obviously* I began to wonder - can you stamp on glitter?? Answer: why yes, darling, you can!

Step 1: Cut your shape out of double-sided adhesive paper or foam paper.

Step 2: ADD GLITTER! Jennifer likes to burnish the glitter in, but I find it easier to sprinkle glitter onto some paper and rub the sticky surface into the glitter. Do what makes you happy.


Step 3: Stamp! It helps to have a MISTI stamping tool for this step because the impression is very light at first. You can stop at one impression if you want a pastel shade of your ink color, otherwise stamp the image several times until you're pleased with the result. 


You may want to buy some small cubes of ink and use them just for glitter because you will get some on your ink pad. It cleans up fairly easily though.


There you go! Hand stamped glitter stickers & embellishments! My MISTI is now a hot glittery mess, but I'm so pleased with myself I don't even care. 

IMG_4895TIP: Choose stamps with bold designs because fine lines get lost in the fabulous sparkle-fest.  

Much love & happy crafting! 



Use the link below to share your creative spark and inspire others by submitting your Glitter Stamping project. Remember... it doesn't have to be "perfect" to be beautiful! ;)


An InLinkz Link-up