simple monday: lacy card

lacy card

In a moment of being absolutely stuck on a project I decided to take a break and make a thank you card for a friend. I had no idea what I was going to make but since I was short on time I knew it had to be simple. I went for my safe bet—white paper and a paper punch—and I piggy-backed on my idea from  last Monday.

I used the Martha Stewart Crafts Stained Glass Punch all Over the Page design. My first thought was to add a sheet of colored paper inside the card but I decided to go a little unconventional and leave it as is. I made sure to leave enough space for a message, added embroidery thread for a touch of color and rounded the corners. A small scrap became a gift tag. That's it!

I always say... simple is so much better!
Happy Monday!

lacy card

simple monday: cut out designs on box covers

simple monday - decorative cover

You're going to think that I'm a one-track mind, but when I work on a particular project or use certain tools my mind keeps going and going. I can't help trying to come up with something else—a different angle or idea. So here's today's simple project...


- 12" x 12" sheet of white card stock
- 12" x 12" sheet of orange card stock
- Scraps of contrasting colored paper just large enough to cover a select amount of cut out designs.
- Optional : an extra sheet of card stock to make an extension like I showed you in my previous post.
Martha Stewart Crafts All Over The Page Punch, Caning (video of how to use it)
- Glue

simple monday - decorative cover

- Fold the cover and bottom of an origami box (just like in my previous post).
The advantage of an origami box for this project idea is that once it is all folded up the colored paper used in the background is all covered and secured within the folds.

- Unfold the cover and use the All Over The Page punch in a random pattern. Leave some negative spaces too—white areas are visually attractive too!
I don't recommend punching anything beyond the black dotted lines (see photo below). Anything punched beyond those lines would end up inside the box cover and the opening and closing of the box may tear the cut out design.

- Glue the scraps of colored paper to one side of the white sheet.

- Refold the box cover. You will need to re-crease the folds firmly in order to fold the colored paper. Be careful not to tear the cut out sections of paper.

- Optional - add an extension to the base.

- Cover your box.
That's it!

TIP!—For those of you that have cutting machines
Use one of your favorite SVG flourishes and repeat it in a similar pattern to get the same effect. Just make sure the lay the paper really well by flatting out all the folds in the sheet.

Happy Monday!

[The flower is one of my favorite designs: Water Lily]

simple monday - decorative cover

how to make a larger origami box

origami boxes 1

Yesterday I had a little break that I needed to fill with making something—anything. You know that feeling when your hands need to be busy?

I stood in front of my materials and tools and I decided on tackling something for Halloween. I ended up making some goodie boxes for the kids and my Mr. Z.

When I was completely done with the folding, stamping, decorating, etc. I thought that it would be fun to figure out how to make them larger without having to resort to making a geometric/complicated project and using what I had already finished.

[Confession: There are times that when I make something for fun I don't like using my computer or cutting machine. I think that's why I enjoy crocheting and knitting so much—no fancy gadgets—just your hands and yarn. The same applies to paper projects. Just give me some scissors/trimmer, paper and glue. Bliss! Then again there's the occasional "just for fun" project that ends up like this—talk about a lot of math—lol!]

- Spider webs from my Halloween Kit
Martha Stewart Crafts Designer Paper Pad, Carnival
Martha Stewart Crafts Cling Rubber Stamp Set, Carnival
Martha Stewart Crafts Sticker, Carnival Pom-Pom Spider (surprise! when I placed the boxes in a dark corner last night I discovered that the spiders' eyes glow in the dark—very cute! I'm surprised it isn't mentioned anywhere on the packaging.)
- White embossing powder
- Silver embossing powder
- Strips of black and kraft paper
Martha Stewart Crafts Heat Tool

Steps for the top and bottom of the box
To make the origami boxes simply follow the steps here (you just need to watch the first 2:40 minutes  to do what I did). I used to make origami boxes by using scissors in one step. I no longer make them that way.

Paper sizes:
Top of box: 12" x 12"
Bottom of box: 11.5" x 11.5"

Size of the finished box with extension: 4" x 4" x 3.5"

origami boxes 2

Steps for the extension
- Cut two pieces of paper that are 3.5" x 11.5"
- Fold each one in three sections by sliding a sheet inside the bottom box and pinching it where it meets the corners. Pull it back out to crease completely.
- Repeat the process with the second sheet.
- Glue the sheets to one another as you see in the bottom graphic (two U shapes facing one another). Make sure that they are going to be in the right position—not to tight to slide into the box and not too loose either.
- Once the glued pieces are dry tuck them back into the boxes and there you have it—larger boxes!

In the photo above the extension is just placed inside the box and I hadn't glued it to the sides. As you can see, this is definitely a way in which you can play with what patterns are placed inside vs. outside.

Now that all the boxes have the extensions in place they are almost twice as big and the patterns of the bases are visible. Can you see how this can translate to Christmas or any other occasion?

The embellishments for these boxes are really simple. I simply selected a stamp and heat embossed it onto a strip of black or kraft card stock. Each strip is stacked with either a cut out of a web design or a glitter paper circle and a spider. That's it!

origami boxes 3

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

how to: card & embellishments gift set

gift set 1

Since the busiest gift giving season will soon be upon us (whether we want to believe it or not) I decided to create a set that shows you how to combine different tools to make gift embellishments and a card idea. Keep in mind that the flower idea can be made with many colors and even be a useful way to use small scraps (you know I enjoy those projects).

gift set 2


The Martha Stewart Punch Around sets are a great way to add a decorative border to any project. But instead of showing you how that works (you can see that here) I decided to make something that uses them in a different way. This simple flower just uses the corner punch!

- The corner punch of a Martha Stewart Punch Around Punch set
- One letter-sized sheet of dark blue paper
- Paper trimmer or scissors
- Glue
- Button

gift set 3

- Using the paper trimmer cut 20 - 1/2" x 3" strips of paper and 3 - 1/2" x 2" strips of paper

Note: If you have a different corner punch design, experiment with the width of your strips to see what makes the most pleasing design for the tips. I started with a wider strip and started narrowing it down until I liked the shape that was formed.

- Punch the design centered on both ends of all the strips.
- Glue 10 strips in a crisscross fashion and keep them flat.
- Do the same with a second set of 10 strips but curl them up when dry.
- Glue and crisscross the 3 smallest pieces and curl them as well.
- Stack and glue all three flower pieces with the smallest one at the top.
- Attach a button or other embellishment to the center.

Other ways to use this flower: frame several as wall art, add them to napkin rings, use as a gift topper or include one in a gift tag, scrapbook page or card design.

gift set 4


- The edge punch of a Martha Stewart Punch Around Punch set
- Martha Stewart Crafts Mini Scoring Board
- Martha Stewart Crafts Large Punch, Monarch Butterfly
- 1.25" Circle punch (punch one white circle and one dark blue circle)
- Paper trimmer or scissors
- Two 2" x 8.5" strips of dark blue paper
- Two 1.5" x 8.5" strips of white paper
- Orange glitter paper (in this case I used a sheet that is part of the Martha Stewart Crafts Designer Paper Pad, Carnival)
 - Glue

gift set 5

- Punch all four strips of paper along one side with the edge punch.
- Using the mini scoring board, score all the strips every 1/4" and fold them in accordion style.
- Glue the two blue pieces together (along the short end) making sure that the punched designs match up. Glue the opposite ends to form a band.
- Repeat the previous step with the white strips of paper.
- Push and glue the straight edged center of the blue paper (now a cylinder) down and centered over the blue paper circle. Place something heavy on the rosette until it dries.
- Glue the white folded paper over the blue paper making sure that the folded edges match up.
- Glue the white circle over the entire rosette and set it aside to dry with something heavy on top.
- Cut out a paper punch butterfly from the glitter paper. Slightly fold it in the center and glue it to the center of the rosette.

gift set 6

Stamped and embossed card
(a replica of a card I made just last week for a friend that is going to live overseas)

- 8.5" x 5.5" white card stock folded in half lengthwise
Martha Stewart Crafts Around the Page Starter Set Stamp
- Dark blue ink pad
Martha Stewart Crafts Heat Tool
- Martha Stewart Crafts Set Your Own Stamp Case
- Versa Mark ink
- White embossing powder
- Dark blue paper
- Paper trimmer or scissors
Martha Stewart Crafts Large Punch, Monarch Butterfly
- Orange glitter paper (Martha Stewart Crafts Designer Paper Pad, Carnival)
- Glue

gift set 7

- Stamp the fern design along the bottom of the card.
- Arrange the sentiment that you will be adding to your card using the Martha Stewart Crafts Set Your Own Stamp set. It's very easy and quick to do!
- Stamp your sentiment on the dark paper using Versa Mark ink. It will seem almost invisible.
- Before the ink dries dust white embossing powder all the letters. Shake off the excess.
- Heat the powder with the heat tool until you see that all the letters have been embossed. The powder will have a shine to it when it's completely set.

gift set 8

- Cut out the sentiment from your page using a paper trimmer. Allow for some room on either side of the message.
- Use scissors to cut out an upside down V (ribbon-like) ending to the strip of paper.
- Measure and cut the paper so that it fits on the front of the card only.
- Punch out the butterfly from glitter paper, slightly fold it in half and attach it to the blue sentiment paper "ribbon".

gift set 9

Origami gift boxes
I simply used the same steps that I used for this long ago project. Easy!

gift set 10

Martha Stewart craft tools always meet my expectations or exceed them. Their quality and versatility are of great importance to me because I do make a lot of handmade gifts and such and I know that I will be using them for a long time. One more thing, which may be minor for many is the fact that the tools are a neutral light color has always thrilled me to no end—they feel very me.

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Disclosure: I received these craft tools to try them out as part of Michaels Craft Month where you can find all these Martha Stewart products and so much more. All opinions are my own.

simple monday: easiest scarf ever!

martha stewart mambo yarn

Last week I got a boxful of Martha Stewart goodies to work with (you'll see the projects coming up) and one skein of Mambo Purple Caterpillar yarn was part of the package. It's so unique and it was just begging to be used. I love the encasing around the colored yarn! I played with it a bit and I finally decided on making a simple scarf.

- One skein of Mambo Purple Caterpillar yarn
- Your fingers!

Yep! All I did was use a crochet chain stitch and no hook. I just used my fingers. If my camcorder weren't out of commission I would've gladly shown you how I did it. For those of you that know how to crochet it's extremely easy to do. The yarn is so thick that handling it is really, really simple.

I chained stitched all the yarn a couple of times (crocheted, pulled apart and crocheted again) until I was happy with the looseness of the loops. When I was done I tied the opposite ends together. To wear it I simply twist it in an eight shape, fold it to make two rings and slide it over my head. This project won't take you more than 5-10 minutes. That's it!

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To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month enjoy this week's freebie SVG awareness ribbon