Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gift Card Holders

 December 22, 2010
by Wendy Switzer


·         Card Stock – Dbl sided
·         Card stock - coordinating
·         Copy Paper
·         Adhesive runner
·         Ink – black or brown
·         Glue dots
·         Glue lines
·         Velcro
·         Corner rounder punch
·         1” circle punch
·         Bone folder
·         Greetings stamps
·         Embellishments
·         Edge punches



1.     Depending on the number of gift cards you are giving, you will duplicate the inside “pockets” as many times as needed to accommodate your gift cards.  You can have the holder vertical or horizontal (both directions are included).
2.     VERTICAL: Cut copy paper 5”X4”.  On the 5” side, score and fold 1 ½” in from one side and 1 ¼” in from the other side.  Score and fold ¾” up from the bottom. Cut out corner pieces from the bottom (as shown in photos).  Fold sides in first and place adhesive along the edge of the shorter side and secure longer side by pressing it down on top of the adhesive.  Use corner rounder punch to round the corners of the bottom flap.  Secure with adhesive. 
3.     HORIZONTAL: Cut copy paper 7 ½” X 2 ½”.  On the long side, score and fold 2 ¼” in from one side and 1 ¾”  in from the other side.  Score and fold ¼” up from the bottom. Cut out corner pieces from the bottom (as shown in photos).  Fold sides in first, then place adhesive along the edge of the shorter side and secure longer side by pressing it down on top of the adhesive.  Use corner rounder punch to round the corners of the bottom flap.  Secure bottom flap up onto the pocket with adhesive. 
4.     Using your circle punch, punch part of a circle in the open ends of each “pocket”.  DO NOT punch out the entire circle.  You want about 1/3 of the circle punched.  Punch just enough of a circle so that it creates a “thumb & finger” pull area to grip the card when pulling it out.
5.     VERTICAL COVER: Cut a piece of cardstock so it measures 7 ¾” X 2 ¼”.  Along the longest side make the following score marks: 3 3/8”, 3 ½”, 6 7/8” & 7”.  Make crisp folds along each of your scoring lines. 
6.     HORZONTAL COVER: Cut a piece of cardstock so it measures 5 ½” X 3 ¾”.  Along the longest side make the following score marks: 2 ¼”, 2 3/8”, 4 5/8” & 4 ¾”.  Make crisp folds along each of your scoring lines. 
7.     For both covers:  In the small area between the two largest areas, place a glue line.
8.     Next, place all of your gift cards into their own pockets and gather the bottom edges so that they are all even.  Gently press them into the glue line.  Press firmly on the tops of the gift cards to give a little added pressure to secure them into the glue line.
9.     Decorate the outside as desired.
10.  You can secure the flap with a small piece of Velcro, a button and some string, a snap, etc.  DO NOT use magnets for the flap.  The magnet could react with the magnetic strip and erase or damage information on your gift cards. You can use a decorative edge punch to punch a piece of coordinating paper and adhere under the flap for an added texture and look.
11.  You can add a decorative band to secure your holder closed.  Band size will be the same whether you create a horizontal or vertical.  Cut cardstock 1” X 5”.  Wrap around your holder and secure with adhesive.  Make sure you make is a little loose so that it slides on and off easily.  Option: you can layer another color onto your band, just cut a coordinating color ¾” X 5” and adhere it to the 1” piece before you fold and secure.
12.  Add a message stamp, embellishments, etc. and you are ready to give your gift cards in style!

1.     You can turn your horizontal gift holder into a purse by adding a handle and some bling.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Affordable Christmas Gifts

 December 8, 2010
Custom Decorative Plates
by Wendy Switzer


·         Ceramic Plate (with decorative raised areas)
·         Stickles - gold
·         Gold & Red vinyl OR decorative stickers
·         Cricut Machine
·         Transfer tape
·         Cricut Cartridges “Christmas”, “Joys of the Season” & “Trim the Tree” OR letter stickers
·         Plate rack or metal easel
·         Bone folder or popsicle stick


1)     Wash and dry plates completely
2)     Using the gold vinyl, cut a tree out that will be just 1” smaller than the center of your plate.
3)     Weed out all of the unnecessary vinyl pieces, leaving behind only the tree image.
4)     Press transfer tape onto your image.  Peel image away from the vinyl backing.
5)     Press image onto plate and using a bone folder, or popsicle stick, rub vigorously to transfer your image onto the plate.  Remove transfer tape slowly.  If image pieces peel up with your tape, press down again and firmly go over that area again. 
6)     Once you have your image in place, do the same technique with your saying and place it on top of your tree image.
7)     Use your gold Stickles to outline any raised or decorative areas around the plate edge.  Let dry completely.  Drying time varies with the temperature conditions, but usually is set in about an hour.  

This is a GREAT way to give a personalized gift without looking homemade. 

Total Gift Cost:  Plate $1.00, Stickles $4.99, 2 yards Vinyl $7.00 (Stickles & Vinyl will do 9 plates) Ea plate $2.33

 December 8, 2010
Copping Plate Makeover
by Wendy Switzer

·         Ceramic chopping plate/spoon rest
·         Alcohol inks – lt. green, dk. Green & silver
·         Alcohol ink applicator & pads
·         Vinyl - Silver
·         Transfer Tape
·         Cricut Machine
·         Cricut cartridge “Storybook”
·         Isprophyl alcohol
·         Paper towel
·         Wired ribbon – silver
·         Bone folder
·         Metal easel


1)     Apply 4-5 drops of light green alcohol ink to your applicator pad. 
2)     Dab ink around the entire surface of the plate.
3)     Apply dark green in the same method.  Use sparingly and apply in a random pattern
4)     Apply silver ink in the same manner, only do not seek to apply to entire area.  You want the silver to be randomly places so as to give the effect of marble or granite when you are finished.  NOTE: if you do not like the look when you are done, you can simply spray with alcohol and rub with a paper towel to remove the ink and start over.
5)     Using the silver vinyl, cut your letters “NOEL”.  Weed out any unnecessary pieces of vinyl, apply transfer tape, peel letters away, press onto chopping plate and burnish with bone folder.  Peel back transfer tape.
6)     Add a bow to the side and place into a metal easel. 

             Total Cost: Chopping Plate  $3, Alcohol Inks $10 (MANY plates per bottle), ribbon $1  Each plate about $4.50

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wood Medium and the Cricut

My guest on today's show was Howard Fullmer.  He lectures & teaches at a local college.   He also designs and builds sets for infomercials and films. Howard is a very talented designer and I was very impressed by his eye for creativity.  I recently had the wonderful opportunity to work with him while filming Provo Crafts "Creative DVD Series" (  Howard and I both were hosts of instructional DVD's that centered around the Cricut machine.  Howard, also, has an amazing sense of humor!  He used this humor to keep us rolling with laughter while we endured long hours on the set.  What an amazing experience this was.

Howard shared with us how he used veneer wood in the Cricut machine to create a beautiful inlaid effect.  By using two different colors of wood "paper", he cut the same image then simply exchanged pieces back and forth until he had created the look desired. Once this process is complete, you can sand it smooth, stain it, seal it and you have created something unique and stunning!

My creation came from taking a Christmas tree cut out and tracing it onto a piece of pine wood.  I then used a jigsaw to carefully cut out the delicate tree.  I smoothed the edges with sandpaper and an electric sander, painted the tree, sanded the edges again to remove a small amount of paint along the edges and stained the entire tree.  I cut ornaments from 40 gauge metal, used alcohol inks to add a bit of color to them and secured them to the tree.

Using your own creativity and experimenting with different mediums, can expand your Cricut's ability.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Favorite Things!

Well, todays segments was all about the things that I love and cannot live without in my design center.  


Die Cutting:  
Cricut Expression & my Gypsy.  LOVE LOVE LOVE them and there is not a single day that goes by that I am not creating on one or both of them.  Last year I went through 72 mats! YIKES! Does that tell you just how much I use, and enjoy, them to create with? WOOHOO!!!  It is definitely one of my all time favorite products.  Although I do not have ALL of the cartridges, I make very good use of the 100+ that I do have! I just recently added the Cricut Imagine to my collection and designed some fun projects for a DVD I hosted for Provo Craft.  Another innovative product that will surely be a favorite! 

ATG tape gun! It might seem like it's a bit bulky and awkward, but once you try it, you will NEVER go back.  The reason I always reach for my ATG gun, is that the cost to use it is minimal compared to regular tape runners.  While competitive tape runners have anywhere from 20-50 feet and can cost you anywhere from $ .17 - $ .70/yd, the ATG gun refill tape is only $2.54 for 36 yards.  That comes out to be only $ .07/yd!  Going through adhesive like I do, this was the only economical choice for me. 

Album/Book Binder:
This is a great way to make your original albums come together.  Very user friendly and can bind anything from calendars to chipboard books.  The wire bindings come in various sizes so pretty much anything you can dream up for an album or keepsake can be bound together in a matter of minutes.  If you love to make your own mini books, albums, cookbooks, calendars, etc., then this is the perfect way to get the job done with professional looking results. 

Acrylic Resin
This product continues to amaze me each time I find a new use for it.  Not only can you add a touch of shine to a project, but a bit of that 3-D look as well.  This resin has a final result that is clear and raised.  I LOVE working with this in my jewelry designs, accenting a flat area in a project and of course you can use it as a glitter fixative.  Using it as a glue on projects gives it one more reason that it is a MUST in any crafters corner.

Glue Dots
This is a product that just has so many uses...AND...has so many different types to choose from.  "Glue Dots" come so many sizes and forms, but my favorites have to be the small, the thick and the lines.  These are perfect for those simple little jobs that you need just a dab of glue here or there.  I love the strength of these wonderful little dots and have used them on everything from paper to wood...metal to floral.  They are the perfect thing to have sitting out on your desk and within your reach! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Candy Corn Lunch Fun

 October 27, 2010
Candy Corn Crazy
by Wendy Switzer

·         Colored paper lunch sacks
·         Misc cardstock scraps
·         Black ink
·         Wiggly eyes
·         Ingredients to make bread dough or frozen bread dough
·         Food coloring: orange & yellow
·         Adhesive
·         Cardstock: misc colors for each sack
·         Clear lunch cup container
·         Plastic spoon
·         Candy corn
·         Pineapple tidbits
·         Mandarin oranges
·         Mini marshmallows
·         White chocolate


Candy Corn Finger Sandwiches

1)     Mix dough and let rise (or thaw and let rise).  Divide into three parts, 1 larger part and the other two parts smaller, but the same size. 
2)     Kneed orange food coloring into the largest piece of dough.
3)     Kneed yellow food coloring into one of the smallest pieces of dough.
4)     Roll the last (white) dough into a tube or “snake” piece the length of the bread pan.
5)     Roll out the orange dough so that the width is the same as the white dough’s length. 
6)     Wrap the orange dough around the white dough and pinch together.
7)     Roll out the yellow dough and roll around the orange dough.  Pinch sides and ends together so that you cannot see any orange dough. 
8)     Grease a bread pan and place your dough in the pan.  Set aside to rise.
9)     Once the dough has risen to just the top of the bread pan, bake it according to directions
10)  Once bread has baked and had time to cool, cut into slices.  Fix sandwiches as usual.  Cut into triangle pieces and you now have “candy corn” bread finger sandwiches.

     Candy Corn Fruit Salad

1)     Layer fruit in lunch container…pineapple first, then mandarin oranges, topped with marshmallows.
2)     Use a little melted white chocolate to dip the end of the spoon in.  While still soft, press a candy corn into the chocolate and let harden.  A little sugar treat for after lunch is eaten. 

Fun Lunch Sacks

1)     Candy Corn: White sack, add a yellow cardstock strip at the bottom, a wider orange strip above the yellow, add a face on the front.
2)     Pumpkin sack: Orange lunch sack, color the top green, tie with green tulle and add or draw a face on the front.
3)     Frankenstein: Green lunch sack, black hair at the top, draw a few lines and stitches on his face, add some eyes, nose and mouth.
4)     Cat: Black lunch sack, add yellow eyes, cut triangles for the ears and attach at the top of the sack
5)     Mummy: White sack, cut strips of white cardstock and edge with black ink, glue to sack in a layered manner, add wiggly eyes

Candy Corn Party

 October 27, 2010
Candy Corn Crazy
by Wendy Switzer


·         Crispy rice cereal
·         Marshmallows
·         Margarine
·         White chocolate or cheesecake pudding
·         Milk
·         Clear plastic cups
·         White baking bark
·         Food coloring: yellow & orange
·         Gelatin: orange & yellow
·         Whipped topping
·         Glass vases: 3 different sizes
·         Tulle: yellow & orange
·         Candy corn
·         Fruit candy slices – lemon & orange
·         Toothpicks
·         Deep XL muffin tins
·         Reg. muffin tin
·         Mini brownie baking mold
·         Cardstock – yellow, white, orange & black
·         Black marker
·         Packaged gum
·         Painty pens: yellow & orange
·         Cello bags
·         Bamboo skewers
·         Wrapped Hard Candies – yellow, white & orange
·         Paper cups


Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats
1)     Mix 3 different batches of marshmallow treats, according to the directions on the box.
2)     Add orange food coloring to the first batch and fill the Deep XL muffin tins ¾ full.
3)     Color the next batch yellow and fill the muffin tins to the top (yellow on top of the orange).
4)     Do not add any coloring to the last batch.  Fill regular muffin tins with this mixture. 
5)     Let all of the treats settle and cool for about an hour. 
6)     Remove yellow/orange treats from tins and place the regular treats on the top.  Press onto the top and shape with hands to form a rounded top.
7)     Let stand for a few hours to allow stickiness to dry.  Put  into cello bags and tie with tulle.


1)     Mix gelatin according to directions, however, reduce the amount of cold water by ½ c.
2)     Mix the orange first and fill the paper cups ¾ full. Put in refrigerator to set up.
3)     Once the orange gelatin has set up, remove from the refrigerator.  Mix yellow gelatin and pour on top of the orange gelatin.  Place in refrigerator once again.
4)     When you are ready to serve, cut the side of the cup and peel away.  Gelatin will be firmer than normal. Place on a dish and top with whipping cream.
5)     PUDDING DIRECTIONS: Mix white chocolate pudding according to directions, separate into 3 bowls, color one yellow, one orange and leave the last one white. Layer into cups and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Place marshmallows or whipping cream on top if desired.  I topped mine with a orange and lemon candy slices. 


1)     Tea lights striped around the outer edge with yellow and orange.
2)     Yellow, orange & white paper used to create a wrapper for candy or gum package.
3)     3 tall vases, different sizes, filled with white, yellow and orange hard candies. Fill a small baggie with candy corns and hang from tulle tied around the middle of the vases.
4)     White chocolate melted and colored yellow and orange and layered in a mold.  When firm, pop out of mold, place a bamboo skewer in the top and decorate with a cardstock candy cord accent.