Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Making your mark

While I was looking for craft ideas for my Christmas projects I came across a lot of

"handmade is better" sentiments. Well I happen to agree! To promote the idea I made special tags for all my gifts to let the recipients know their gift was "made with love" - which it was, let me tell you. There is nothing like a ton of thought and effort to show someone that you care.

Thankfully, my cousin Dawn had loaned me an enormous amount of stamping supplies (a friend asked when seeing it, if she owned her own store!) to play with while she took a break from the hobby. Stamps, ink and even stacks of paper all at my disposal. Well of course I had plans to make Christmas cards, but I think we all know how far I went with that idea. Instead I used those supplies to make my tags.

For the tags pictured above I used only two sheets of paper, two colors of ink, one stamp, some glue and a gel pen.

What I wanted from the paper was a subtle yet elegant look so I chose ink that was the same color, but different tone and a stamp that was a beautiful swirly kind of pattern. Once you start stamping on one sheet, cover the whole paper with design - it doesn't take too long. Be sure to clean your stamp well before moving on to the next sheet! Then do as before.

Using a set of graduated heart-shaped mini cookie-cutters (from one of those kitchen gadget stores) I traced small hearts all over the paper. Then I went to cutting. Doing the project in steps like an assembly line makes the work a little smoother, but that doesn't mean your hands will forgive you for all the monotony of tracing and cutting.

Once they were all cut I used a little glue to affix the red to the green and let them dry thoroughly before writing on them. I considered printing the words on the paper but I thought that kind of defeated the whole idea so I used a black gel pen and hand wrote my message.

Some I taped to packages, others I punched a hole through and strung them on jute string.

Out of just two sheets of paper I got a large stack of tags - more than I even needed for Christmas - so I have leftovers for Valentine's Day! (Or St. Patricks Day or May Day or...etc.) Not to mention that all my friends and family know that their gifts were extra special.

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