Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year's Invitations!

Good day, Crafters!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas last week.  A belated Mele Kalikimaka from all of us here at HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts!  It's almost 2016 and we all know it's never too early to get ready for the next big holiday.  So, today I will be showing you how to make some beautiful invitations for your New Year's party.  I'm someone who loves the gold, white and black combo for the "Golden Hour" theme, so today I will be showing you how to make a fun and sparkly invitation using a beautiful gold star vellum paper that we carry.


Supplies Needed
WeRMemory Envelope Punch Board
Fiskar's Paper Trimmer
Black Fine Point DecoColor Paint Marker
Double-Stick Tape
Medium Vellum Paper
Vellum Paper with Gold Stars

*Nope, that's not gold confetti!  


Let's get started!

First, you're going to refer to the sizing chart on your punch board.  It goes by the 
size of your card, so after you find that, you will see what size you need to make your paper square from your 12x12 inch piece of star vellum paper.  After cutting it down to size, follow the instructions on your board to cut out your envelope.  Be sure that your paper is face down so that your scoring will allow the flaps to fold inward!

Next, cut out two pieces of double-sided tape and stick them onto the shorter inner flaps like so and tape them down!

After that, you're going to get started on the hand-lettering!  I chose a fun and casual script style so that it would match the simple elegance of the scattered cold stars.  Because this is vellum, you could draw your design on another piece of paper, put it underneath your vellum and then trace over it.  But here I decided to wing it.lol  I went over my lettering another time to make sure that it was bold and opaque.

Let your lettering dry and you're finished!

There is so many things you can do with vellum when it comes to invitations and letters.
You could use plain medium vellum paper to make an envelope and put not only your invitation inside, but some colorful confetti or sequins inside as well!  It's a fun way to add sparkle and pizzazz!  A bold and bright font on the front would match that perfectly!

As always, have fun and see you all in 2016!
Erika @ PC

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Letter Felt Plush

Hey everyone! 
I've been itching to make some felt plushies.  Then I thought:
What would be a fast, personalized and adorable last minute gift?
Alphabet plushies!  You could sew up the letters of your friends or
 family members'
initials or even their whole name!
All you need are a few things.
DMC Embroidery Floss
Ribbon (3 in.)
Fabric Scissors
Sewing Needle
Polyfill stuffing (not pictured)
Sharpie (optional)
Let's get started!
First, you're going to sketch out your template on your paper.  You want to make sure your
letter is at least one inch all around because you're going to need room for stuffing.
Cut your pattern out.
I'm going to show you to different ways of cutting your pattern out on your felt.
The first way is pinning the template onto your felt and cutting around it.  For letters with negative space in the middle like this 'D', 'A's or even more complex ones like 'G' or 'W' where you need to cut around awkward corners and angles, this might be difficult.  The second is the good old tracing method, where you trace the template onto your felt with a Sharpie.  Some people have different preferences, but choose whichever is easiest for your letter.
Cut out two pieces and pin them together.  Then, you're going to start sewing! 
If you have a letter with an opening, try sewing up that part first so that your felt pieces are held together and the edges line up as you continue sewing.  Your pins are there to help you out at the beginning, but you're going to need them out so that you can stuff your letter later!
I'm going to be using the basic blanket stitch for a decorative border.
To do this stitch, stick your needle through your felt from underneath your piece about 1/8th of an inch from the edge. 
Then, pull your thread through and put the needle downward into the loop of working thread that is forming at the back of your piece.  Make sure that the thread coming out of the top with your needle is "underneath" your needle as you do this. 
Continue pulling slowly.  The thread from the loop will now form the outer edging of your piece once you pull it snugly against the side of your felt pieces.  Making sure that your stitches are also 1/8th of an inch apart, continue until you reach the end. 
Once you've finished the inside, start on the outer edge of your letter.
I stitched about two inches and them started stuffing.  Use a little polyfil at a time I used my pencil as an awl and it did the job really well. :)  I basically stuffed as I stitched.  Every inch or so I put a small wad of polyfil in.
I sewed the ribbon in at the top as a loop with a basic Hemming stitch.
To finish your stitch off, stick your needle into the inner end of your first stitch and pull it out through a random spot in your plush.  Pull it through.  Cut the thread as close to the felt as possible and make sure the end is hidden within the two felt pieces. 
Finito!  Your letter plushie is done!
These are easily customizable!  Go to town with the embellishments!  If you have the skills, you
could totally embroider some designs on your felt before sewing your plush together.  Add some beads to your blanket stitch.  Experiment with different color combinations!  These are really fun to make as a last minute gift or even as ornaments for your tree.  Make a plush 'JOY' to hang on a garland of lights!  Make a 'MERRY' in red felt with green embroidery thread to hang on your mantle.
The possibilities are endless!
As always, have fun!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hand Letter Your Envelopes!

Hey crafters!  
Today I'm going to be playing around with the WeRMemory Envelope Punch and
practicing my hand-lettering skills.  For those of you who like to personalize 
your greeting cards or even design your own, this handy punch is perfect for you!
You're now able to choose your paper and the dimensions for your envelope. 
The fun part of course is decorating it!

So for this week, I'll be showing you an example of what you can do
with this punch.  I have some black cardstock that I will be using for the envelope.
It's something different and unique; the complete opposite of your standard white greeting
card envelope.  Plus, you'll get to play around with some light-colored inks for lettering.
I'm so excited to see how this will turn out!


Here's what you'll need to make your envelope.  Here's also what I forgot to add in the 
photo: Fiskars Paper Trimmer.  It's what I used to cut my squares of paper, but
you really could use a ruler and pencil to mark off the borders of the square and then cut it out with 
scissors.  But, unless you're extremely confident with your cutting skills or if you're pressed for time and just want fast, straight cuts, the trimmer is for you.

To make your envelope, you're basically going to follow the instructions on the
punch board itself.  After you've punched out your form, all you have to do
is either glue or tape the bottom of the two larger flaps to the two smaller inner flaps.

Now, let's talk writing tools.  These are a few of the pens I like to use, but
everyone is different.  From the left, you've got your standard mechanical pencil. Next is the 
Uniball Signo White Gel Pen.  The ink is a lot more opaque and brighter than the white 
Gelly Roll.  Next to that is a silver version.  The ink looks bright enough to be platinum 
color instead of a darker silver metallic gel.  Next is an AC Black Felt tip pen.
Micron pens are great to use, but I also like using the American Crafts
brand for a smooth black line.  Like Micron, this line also comes in different nib sizes.
 On the very right, we have the ever-popular Gelly Roll gel pen.  These come in a variety of colors and finishes, from Stardust to Souffle.  The one I have here is a Moonlight Black/Gold gel.

 So, I have a fake name and address that I've made up for this hand-lettering example.
What I've done is print out the name in a font that I wanted to try practicing.  This is a 
greatway to study types when starting out in hand-lettering.  Your computer is a great tool! 
All you have to do is scroll through the font list on your word program, type out the alphabet, make it at least 50 pt. in size and print it.  Grab some tracing paper and trace over each letter just like in elementary school,  paying attention to each font's individual style and character.

A few tips for addressing envelopes:
1. If the house or apartment number is a number that is 10 or lower, spell it out.
2.  Spell out streets and states as well. Ave. becomes Avenue, CA becomes California, etc.
3.  Watch your spacing!  Pencil in guidelines before starting your lettering.  You
want to make sure that it not only looks intricate and beautiful, but legible as well.
 4. Remember to allow space for any stamps you are planning to use.
4. Watch your fonts!  Make sure they don't clash.  You want to draw the eye in
and interest it.  Not hurt it.  A loopy script for the recipient with some simple block 
letters for the address maybe?

 So, here I have my guidelines.

With my trusty pencil again, I sketched out the name and address.
I added some accent points with the clamshell doodles on either 
side ofthe zip code.  After that, I went over it with the silver Signo gel pen.  

This was so fun to do!  It's really great to practice hand-lettering because it's such
a fun art form.  Also, bringing that art into your envelopes is also a great way to
add your own personal touch to your snail mail.  It also makes your recipients feel extra 
special! :)  Of course, you don't have to stop at the lettering.  Why not add 
embellishments like washi tape and stickers?  Even a light wash with some watercolor 
paints on light-coloredpaper could add a nice pop of color and look nice against bold 
black lettering.  
Experiment and have fun!
Erika @ PC!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Crankin' Out Crafts, Episode 445 - Nautical Ornament with Sea Glass Spray

JFlo creates a nautical ornament with Sea Glass Spray paint from Krylon and a clear glass ornament. This is a unique way to decorate your tree, especially if you live by the sea (or if you just wish you did)!


  • Glass ornament
  • Dowel rod
  • Styrofoam
  • Krylon Sea Glass Paint
  • Starfish
  • Jute/twine

Decorated Wooden Tree

Today we are going to decorate this two panel wooden Christmas tree which will be the perfect accent in any household. It will be the talk of the party! This is a more in depth project but very worth it!


-one package of a set of unfinished wood tree panels from any Ben Franklin store

-acrylic paint either the Ceramcoat or Americana brand in the colors ivory and metallic 14k Gold
1 bottle of each color

-Deco Page in either matte or gloss

-one container of ultra fine glitter in gold

-pack of nylon brushes in assorted sizes ranging from widths of 1cm - 1in

-one brush very wide in width (maybe 1in-2in) with very stiff hairs. You will want the hairs to not be smooth and close together.

-Tray Mate to catch and save any extra falling glitter. The funnel on the end makes pouring extra glitter back into the container much easier.

-BoBunny 4 pack of stencils. You will be using the stars stencil

-palette knife (either metal or plastic is fine)

-one container of BoBunny gold glitter paste

 First thing we will do is paint one panel of our two panel tree set in the color ivory with our nylon brush. Completely coat both sides. It takes about 5 minutes for the paint to dry (depending on how thickly you coat it) but wait until one side is dry before painting the other side.

Do the same thing with your metallic 14k Gold on the other panel.

Second step is create a "birch tree" look on top of our metallic gold panel. Use your big thicker bristle brush to dip lightly into the ivory paint, only getting paint on the very ends. As illustrated on the left, the further apart the bristles on your brush, the easier it will be to create thin gaps, allowing the gold to show through. brushing in one direction, cover both sides, allowing more dry time.

Third step is to go back to our first panel we painted in the solid color ivory. Letting it dry completely first, we are going to now use our BoBunny set and create these really cool 3d glitter stars.

Your stencil is sticky on the back side, so stick it onto your ivory panel, making sure it is completely sealed to the board. Take you palette knife and scoop out some BoBunny gold glitter paste and apply it smoothly across the stencil, filling in the stars. Pretend as if you are frosting a cake, applying glitter paste across the entire surface evenly.

When finished, lift your stencil from the board and wash in the sink. (washing the sticky side will be okay) The glitter paste dries really fast, so be sure to rinse your stencil within 3 minutes of applying.
You will need to repeat this step a few times to cover the entire board.

Fourth step is the glitter edges.
After both panels are completely dry, take your smallest brush and paint the a small section of edging of one of your trees. Eventually all of the edging will be covered, but because glue dries, section by section holds the most glitter.

After painting one section, holding your tree over your Tray Mate, pour ultra fine gold glitter over the glue. Repeat until you cover all the tree edges.

Then all you need is to put the two panels together! if it's too tight a fit, you can use sandpaper to make the fit more smooth. Cute right?!

Bethany@Enchanted Lake

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Tree Toy Car Display

Good Day, Crafters!
If you're like me and you have a younger brother who loved to collect
 toy cars as a kid, or even still collects them now, I have a great project that is
 perfect for them.  It's simple and turns out to be a
really cute display once it's finished.
Supplies Needed
Hot Wheels Toy Car
Hot Glue Gun
Twine (not pictured)
Hearty Clay-White
White Acrylic Paint
Mod Podge
Powdered Snow
Wood Slice

Let's Get Started!
First, plug in your hot glue gun so that it can heat up.   Then, paint
 one side of your wood slice white.  It doesn't have to be perfect and reach the edges.
Let dry.
Next, shape some of the clay into hill-like shapes.  Let them dry and then hot glue them onto the disc to create a small landscape.  Make sure that there is still enough room for your toy car to fit!

After that, brush a thick layer of Mod Podge over your entire landscape and sprinkle on some powdered snow.

Next, hot glue your pine trees to the scene. 

For this next step, you're gonna need about 10 inches of twine.  Put a drop of hot glue on top of your car to help secure your mini tree for tying. 
Wrap the twine around the car and the tree and tie it off underneath the car.  Cut off any excess twine. Add a drop of hot glue on the bottom of each wheel to stick your scene and you're done!

These are really cute as a small decoration on a coffee table or even as a small centerpiece.  If you're
able to find a small toy car that can fit the tiny Home for the Holidays trees that are about 1 inch tall, you could even make it into an ornament by adding an extra loop of twine at the top!
As always, have fun!
Erika @ PC