<![CDATA[Inspired Creativity - Crafts]]>Sun, 21 Feb 2016 01:46:36 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Make-Your-Own Mosaic]]>Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:40:54 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/make-your-own-mosaic
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"Jerusalem Jerusalem qoties volvi congregare filios tuos quemadmodum gallina congregat puilos suos sub alas et nolvisiti?" Matth 23-37
        This is our recreation of the mosaic located at the foot of the altar in the Church of Dominus Flevit (in Jerusalem). It is a shortened version of the passage from Matthew:

                    "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I
                     have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
                     and you were not willing."
 
       It struck Dan as a very profound verse to put at the foot of an altar and he really liked it. He began playing with the idea of recreating it on a smaller scale. He shared the idea with me and before long we were starting it. Our hope was to give it to Dan's dad as a gift. That was well and good but his parents were coming for a visit in a month's time so we had to get moving.
        Initially, I was going to let Dan have this project to himself, but he convinced me to help him by calling it a "big puzzle." That was all it took to get me on board. For our first mosaic of any kind, this was quite the project we were taking on, but we were eager to tackle it and learn along the way.
Tools we used:
  • Wooden base (We used a 1" by 23.75" pine round from Home Depot)
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Strong adhesive glue (We used Loctite All Purpose Clear)
  • Plates, ceramics, and other glass of the colors you want to use (We bought what we used at Goodwill)
  • Tile nippers (from Michael's)
  • A hammer
  • Tile grout (We used gray)
        1.) Begin by penciling the main outlines, using the ruler to help with any straight edges and with measurements. If you don't have a colored picture you can use as a reference, I would highly recommend getting one before doing this step.
        When drawing, make the lines a little thicker to allow room for the glass to fit. Depending on the size of your mosaic you may have to compromise on the amount of detail you put into it. It you look at the drawing above verses the finished product (the first picture on this post) you will notice there are seven chicks drawn, but only five actually made. That was because when we came to those, we realized that we didn't have the room to outline all of them AND fill them in. It would not have looked like baby chicks at all. So we ended up spacing five chicks apart enough that we didn't need to outline each one and you could still tell what they were. Had we done this on a larger scale we could have kept that detail there, but not on something this small.
        Feel free to draw the detail on now, though. Being able to see it sometimes help you decide what needs to stay and what you can get away with taking out. Remember, the pencil lines are going to be completely covered up so you don't have to worry about drawing lightly.
        2.) And now the fun begins! Once you are finished drawing it is time to break some plates and get to placing them on the picture! This is where you will want to use those tile nippers as well. The closer to the same shape you can make the pieces the better, but don't stress it if they aren't the exact same. It is a mosaic, the pieces are supposed to be different! However, do try picking pieces of the same thickness. It will keep the smallish pieces from getting swallowed up when it is time to grout. 
        Something to think about while deciding what order to glue it all down: Is what I am currently working on in the foreground or is part of it behind another section? We glued down the chicks before the wing details because the chicks were in front of the wings. We glued the beak, crown, and eye down on the hen's head before we started on the inside. These are all things you have to take into consideration when making a mosaic with different sized and shaped pieces like this. Get the main outline placed first and then play around with placing other pieces. DO NOT GLUE UNTIL YOU ARE POSITIVE YOU WANT THE PIECES THERE!
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We started with the outline of the hen and played around with her head and wings some as well.
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We both agreed on the outside lines so we got to gluing those down.
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I cleared all the not glued down pieced away so I could get a better idea of what we were working with. Doing this throughout the project will really help you with where you are going with it.
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We got the rest of the outline glued down then got to work on some other important parts. We glued down the beak then started on the chicks.
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This gives you an idea of how much we ended up straying from the original drawing. When we glues the chicks down, we did the furthest on the outside first and worked our way in. After they were glued, I went back and glued down the light blue of the hen's wings.
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All the chicks are finally in place!
        At this point, we had the main outline of the hen, the red on her head, her eye and her beak, the chicks, and the outline of her feathers glued down. Everything else was loose and still being manipulated and moved. It is a process, but once you get the hang of it it really is like making your own puzzle!
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The body of the hen was my project. While I fiddled with that, Dan got to work on the background.
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Needless to say, his progress was moving much faster than mine. He was also home more than I was, so that helped.
Dan said the lettering was by far the most difficult part. The glass we were using kept shattering into pieces too small for us to use so we had to resort to different, unorthodox methods to get it to break into decent sized pieces.
This was the last picture I took before we started grouting. I did get the wings finished shortly after this picture was taken!
        And now it is time to grout! I would recommend watching a YouTube video to see a visual of how the consistency of the grout is supposed to look. The video we watched said it needs to seem like runny mashed potatoes. Grout hardens very quickly, so once you spread it, give it a minute or two to set and then get to work taking it off.
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We basically dove head first and covered the entire surface with grout. We dropped large globs on different sections and spread it out using a putty knife. Make sure to get all the way to the edges.
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Looking back, it may have been wiser to do sections at a time. It took a LONG time to get it all cleaned up. We used sponges, paper towels, damp cloths, you name it. Anything that would take the hardening grout off of the top of the tiles.
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This was how it looked when we got the grout off at first. It was very cloudy and we still had a lot of scraping to do to get more grout out of certain areas.
        Because of how long it took us to get it off, the grout dried over certain pieces of glass and swallowed the shortest pieces. Over the following weeks we worked on it a little at a time, using toothpicks to gently scrape the grout off and uncover important details (especially around the lettering). On some of the larger chunks of grout we took a very small flat head screwdriver and it worked just fine.
        Some of the red glass that we bought was very cheap painted glass and when we scraped the grout off the paint came right off with it. A friend of ours made a comment in joke saying that we should take nail polish to it. We didn't take it as a joke and decided to give it a try. It worked surprisingly well and it is near impossible to tell which ones were painted and which weren't.
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Dan and I working to get the glass repainted.
        And there you have your mosaic! We did a bit more touch up work on some very small pieces that the grout swallowed but were then completely done. I hope this simple tutorial is enough to get you going to trying your own masterpiece! Let me know how it goes and show a picture of your finished product!
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<![CDATA[Family Birthday Calendar]]>Thu, 04 Jun 2015 15:56:23 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/family-birthday-calender-xxx
        My mom has this amazing ability to remember all of her families birthdays without having to write them down. I am talking about immediate family and cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, close friends, and the list goes on. She tries to make it a habit to call them to wish them a happy birthday and talk for a minute or two. Dan and I saw this family birthdays calendar on Pinterest and both thought it would be something she would like.
For this project you will need:
  • Wood for the top piece (You can either buy a sign from a craft store like we did or cut your own piece of wood to the size you want.)
  • 1 1/2" wooden discs (I am pretty sure you can get them at Hobby Lobby, but they were sold out every time I went so I bought them from Micheal's online and shipped them to the store.)
  • Wood blocks for the months (You can use the discs above if you like. Dan and I cut a wooden yard stick into 1 1/2" sections. Our goal was to set the months more visually apart from the days by making them a different shape.)
  • Paint (Whatever colors you like!)
  • Paint brushes
  • 1/16" drill bit and drill
  • Jump rings (We bought 3/8" size)
  • Eye Hooks (We bought 13/16" size)

1.) Begin by painting your sign. Make sure to give it plenty of time to dry!
2.) Once you have the base coat down, add the wording on the top. Ours simply said "Family" but you can put "Family Birthdays" or whatever you like!
3.) Once the main sign is done it is time to work on the months. We cut a wooden yard stick into 1 1/2" squares and then sanded one side down.
4.) Paint them! We tried to keep each background color to a theme for that month. Above is February, March, and April.
5.) Now it is time to decorate them! Dan and I decided to put logos on each month instead of the month's abbreviation.
This was the progress so far. As you can see, Dan went and spruced up the designs on each month a bit more. Before the project was finished he went and touched them up again.
6.) Next put the eye hooks in place. You will need 12 for the top to connect the months. If you are using a thicker wood (like the yard stick we used) you will want to put eye hooks in them as well. If you are using the discs (same as the birthdays) you will go straight to drilling holes in them and putting in jump rings.
7.) This is how your discs should look after you paint them and drill the holes in and attach them. We tried to keep the colors of the days similar to the colors of the month they were under, but you can be as creative as you like!
Another look at the current progress!
The final step is to add the birthday. We put the persons first name and day they were born on the front. We also considered putting their last name and the year they were born on the back.
And there you have it! A wonderful gift for family or friends that you made yourself! A lot of people say that homemade gifts are special, and it's true! Giving someone a gift that you put that much effort and time into really shows them that you care. I hope you get creative and make one of these for your family! Let me know in the comments how you made it and if you did anything different!
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<![CDATA[Chalkboard Mugs]]>Thu, 07 May 2015 14:31:29 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/chalkboard-mugs
        These mugs are super easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and completely adorable! Dan and I made them to thank some friends of ours and I was so pleased with how they came out.

What You Will Need:
  • Mugs (we went to Goodwill to get ours because we had a lot to make!)
  • Painters tape (The better the quality means the less touch ups you have to make later)
  • Porcelain 150 Pebeo Chalkboard Paint (You NEED* to get this kind of chalkboard paint.)
  • A soft bristled paint brush

*I know there is a really easy way to make your own chalkboard paint, but this kind you actually bake onto the mug so it is dishwasher and microwave safe. The normal kind and the homemade kind are neither of those. If you are willing to only hand wash the mug and never put it in the microwave (I don't know what kind of fumes would come from it if you did that!) you would probably be okay with normal chalkboard paint, but this is a much easier, and safer in my opinion, way to go about it. You can purchase this paint on Amazon.
1.) Take the mug you want to paint and start by taping it off. You can paint as little or as much as you like! I recommend not painting all the way to the lip of the mug simply to avoid taking a sip of your beverage and tasting chalk instead.
2.) Now get that first layer on! It will look something like this; not very thick and a little streaky, but don't worry. Give it a few seconds to dry (it dries very fast!) and then add another coat. You may need to do this a few times to make sure you get it all evenly.
Dan and I didn't tape around the handles, we just made sure to be careful not to get paint on them. It turned out much easier than trying to tape them off.
3.) Once you have put enough coats on, remove the tape and set the mug aside so it can dry for up to 24 hours. This is how it should look once it is dry!
4.) Take a toothpick to scrape off the bits of paint that made their way under the tape. After you are satisfied, you can bake the mug according to the directions on the little bottle of chalkboard paint. Allow them to cool completely in the oven before taking them out.
5.) Once the mug has been baked, take a piece of chalk and rub the ENTIRE surface of the mug with it. (This primes the chalkboard paint so when you draw on it you don't get lines that become seemingly engraved in the paint forever.) Let it sit for a few minutes then wipe it clean with a damp cloth or paper towel. Now you are free to enjoy your new mug!
A few things to note when making these:
  • The bottle of paint is VERY small. They are 45 ml each. Dan and I had to make 19 of these mugs so we were worried that one bottle wouldn't be enough. We were wrong. Not only did one bottle cover all 19 mugs, but it also lasted through touch ups AND we still have a little left over!
  • The mugs touch up wonderfully! We would notice some that, after letting them completely dry, we could see the design behind the paint, or we saw thinner spots. We experimented on one mug to see how touching them up would turn out, and it comes out great! After we let those few spots we repainted dry, you couldn't tell where we had made the touch ups at all!
  • Keep in mind that if you do make any touch ups, try to make them before baking the mugs. Otherwise you will have to bake them again to seal that new paint on.
  • To get the most out of your paint, apply thin layers. Globbing the paint on to make it cover quickly will cause you to run out of that little bottle much quicker than you think!
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<![CDATA[Tiny Decorative Bows]]>Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:53:06 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/tiny-decorative-bows
        This is a very easy project that lets you make adorably tiny bows perfectly each and every time! All you need is some ribbon and a fork! I am surprised it took me this long to try it, but once I had a reason to I jumped on Pinterest to find where I had pinned it and went to work! This was the only type of ribbon I had on hand, but any kind of thin ribbon would work!
        I kept the red ribbon tail longer because I used it to secure the bows to the bags I was putting them on. You can cut all of the ribbon tails shorter if you plan to glue it to something or affix it a different way. Hope this helps fuel your creative tank!
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<![CDATA[Dog Neckties]]>Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:26:31 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/dog-neckties        I grew up owning a dog. Until I got married and moved away from home, I never knew what life was like without a dog in the house. Now I have fish. I miss owning a dog, but working at PetSmart means I am around dogs all the time.
        Before we moved away a friend of mine showed me a tutorial for making dog neckties. I have wanted to try making them, but I didn't have the chance
(or a dog to model them) until recently.
        I found my opportunity when some friends at church asked me to watch their dogs while they were on vacation. They own a Great Pyrenees and a Great Pyrenees/Lab mix. A few days after they left, I went to Goodwill and purchased some neckties and got to work.
For this project you will need:
  • An old necktie
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread of similar color to the tie
  • A ruler
It is always recommended to read the ENTIRE tutorial before beginning!

1.) Begin by choosing which necktie you want to use. These were the ones I bought at Goodwill. Use the wide end for big dogs and the skinny end for smaller dogs.
2.) Measure out how long you want the necktie to hang down from the collar and then add one inch. (This is for the 'knot' of the necktie. I didn't add that to my first small tie and it came out looking shorter than I wanted it to. I learned the hard way).
3.) Add an additional 4-5 inches for a smaller dog (thinner collar) and 6-8 inches for a larger dog (thicker collar) and cut. If you want to be sure of how much fabric you will need, just use your dogs collar as a reference point. If you don't have a collar handy, go a little bigger than you think is necessary. Remember, if the hole is too big, you can always sew it closed a little more.
4.) Set aside the remainder of the tie for now.
5.) Take those extra 4-8 inches and fold them over (in half). Using your needle and thread, sew the end together so it makes a loop that your dogs collar can slip through.
This is how it should look after you sew it together.
6.) Cut a strip off of the remnant of the tie you set aside and wrap it around just below the spot you sewed. This is the equivalent of the knot on the tie.  Fold the ends in so you don't see the cut ends. Sew that together, making sure to connect it to the tie itself to keep it in place, and you are finished!
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Now your pets can finally accompany you to your business meetings looking as professional as you do!
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<![CDATA[Yarn Ball Decoration]]>Wed, 11 Mar 2015 17:18:05 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/yarn-ball-decoration
        I love when I find simple, cute crafts that I already have all the necessary ingredients for. It becomes that much easier to experiment and try them out. This yarn ball was one of those crafts. I have seen a few different tutorials for these and all of them are fairly simple and close to the same. I decided to give one a try that seemed the least amount of steps (it was my day off and I was feeling lazy).
        For this projects you will need:
  • Balloons- preferably 5" around balloons
  • Elmer's glue
  • String
  • A small container
  • A plate or paper towel to catch any drips or spills

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Start by mixing your glue and a little water in the small container. You will not need a lot, just enough to make sure all the string can get well coated.Try not to make the glue mix too watery.
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Next, take your balloon and blow it up to the desired size. I kept mine fairly small and stuck a Hershey's Kiss inside it for a little extra fun.
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Now dip your string in the container and get it thoroughly coated. Be careful not to get it tangled up!
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Take your string out and squeeze it gently to get out any excess glue mixture. Begin wrapping the string around your balloon! There is not much technique here. I started from the top and just began wrapping in every direction, making sure there were no holes large enough for the Hershey's Kiss to fall through.
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Yep, set that balloon on a plate and place it somewhere for at least 24 hours. After that, check it and if the string is still damp, better go another 24 hours to be on the safe side!
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After it has completely dried (mine actually only took about 14 hours to dry. Probably because I didn't use that much string) take a pin and pop it!
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All I have to do now is cut out the Kiss I put in it and take the balloon remnant out.
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My finished product! The holes were too big and the Hershey's Kiss fell out, but it was a success other than that!
        To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at the beginning of this project. I didn't think the string would keep the form as well as the tutorials said, but I was happily proven wrong! With some fun colored string you can make very cute decorations. Below are a few ideas!
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Put lights in them and hang for a cute decoration or for the holidays.
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Wrap the balloons thickly to make an almost solid ball.
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Place the yarn balls in a basket and set them on a table for a lovely centerpiece!
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I am not sure if this is what they did here, but using leftover string remnants of different colors to make yarn balls is a great way to use and not waste supplies!
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<![CDATA[36 Hand Print and Foot Print Crafts]]>Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:13:49 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/36-hand-print-and-foot-print-crafts        With seven nieces and nephews I am learning that creativity and crafts are a great way to teach children. Most Sunday School teachers have learned this and have kids color pictures of David throwing a stone at Goliath or Jesus ascending into Heaven while they teach their lesson for the day. Some brave teachers even get out the paint. Bless them.
        Doing crafts with kids is also a great way to let them express themselves. They may have some very creative ideas that you hadn't thought of. Finding those ideas can be as simple as handing them a pen and paper! I have compiled a list of fun hand and foot print crafts you can do with your kids. I encourage you to be creative and maybe teach them about elephants while they are turning their hand prints into one. Make this a time to learn AND have fun! It is amazing how much you learn when you don't realize you are learning.
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<![CDATA[3D Paper Heart Box]]>Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:00:02 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/3d-paper-heart-box        Sometimes the smallest gestures can make the most impact. A smile as you pass someone in the grocery store, a laugh at someones joke that wasn't that funny, or even a small heart box that you made with a piece of candy inside. Being creative in small ways opens doors to be creative in much larger ways.
3D Paper Hearts
        This is a very straight forward project. I got the template from:
http://www.minieco.co.uk/boxed-geometric-heart/
but I will also post it below. I used the heart box I made to give to my husband with a love note inside! =) They can be made in any color and are incredibly adorable!
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<![CDATA[Tissue Paper Pom-Poms]]>Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:55:36 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/tissue-paper-pom-poms        A friend of mine is having a baby so a few friends and I have decided to throw her a surprise baby shower. We got together for supper one night and began brainstorming different ideas and once we found a theme we liked we began making a list of what we would need. One of my friends, Linet, found these cute tissue paper pom-poms that you hang from the ceiling. She said we can easily buy them premade and just fluff them before we hang them up. I, on the other hand, saw this as an opportunity to be creative.
        I searched on Pinterest for baby shower ideas and found a very simple tutorial to make the tissue paper pom-poms. I showed it to the girls and during one of our shopping trips bought some tissue paper to experiment with.
Original credit for the tutorial goes to http://blog.exclusivelyweddings.com/2012/04/22/how-to-make-tissue-paper-pom-poms/

     
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Here is everything you will need: Scissors, ten sheets of tissue paper, and a large twist tie or zip tie.
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Begin by opening up the tissue paper, making sure they are all lined up. Then begin accordion folding it.
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Just like so!
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Next, take your twist/zip tie and wrap it tightly around the middle of the folded tissue paper. I used my hand to squeeze them together to make it easier to fit the twist tie on.
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Take the scissors and cut the two end so they are rounded, like this.
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Spread the side out and begin to pull the tissue paper up, one layer at a time.
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One at a time...be sure to go slow, but if you do rip a piece it is not that big of a deal. It will not be noticed.
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Pull them up as far as you can.
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Once all of them have been separated, it should look something like this. Take it by the middle and fluff the rest of it so it makes a nice ball.
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Hang it by a string or ribbon and you have a cute, cheap decoration entirely made by you!
**UPDATE: Ashley, the friend we threw the baby shower for, loved these so much she took them home to decorate her daughters rooms!
**UPDATE 01/20/15: I made some more of these for another friends baby shower, but this time they were light blue and lime green! They came out adorable!
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<![CDATA[Homemade Stamps]]>Wed, 11 Mar 2015 15:42:56 GMThttp://julieschuler.weebly.com/crafts/homemade-stamps     I often go through my Pinterest Creative Ideas board to refresh myself on what I have pinned. I have over 400 pins on that board alone so I often forget or overlook things. While scanning through one day I came across a very simple craft: using erasers to make stamps.
     The picture practically explains itself. I thought it was a very creative idea, so I kept it in the back of my mind. Recently I was wrapping presents for my younger sisters' birthday and trying to add a creative, personal touch. This idea came to the front of my mind and I immediately began looking for erasers. I found three and got to work. I grabbed a paring knife and a pencil and sat down at my kitchen table. I knew I wanted to make a moustache and a Mickey Mouse head so I began with Mickey.
     I started by drawing the picture on the eraser with the pencil. Then I took the paring knife and cut around the drawing, trying to cut deep into the eraser but also go as smoothly with the lines of the drawing as possible. Then I took the knife to the side of the eraser and began cutting toward the drawing, about a third way down the side. When I got to the picture I took the newly cut piece of eraser in my fingers and gently pulled at it until it ripped away, careful to make sure it didn't take any needed hunk of picture with it. After a bit of experimenting I got the hang of it and a new stamp was made!
    I already own ink for stamps (i have a set of lower case letter stamps) so I took that out and pressed my Mickey Mouse head into it and then pressed it onto scrap paper as a test. It worked quite well, if I do say so myself! I excitedly started on the moustache and found it was a bit more tricky. I ended up redoing the design on the other side of the eraser because I had accidentally cut off one end of the moustache. The third eraser ended up being a simple heart.
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My tools. I didn't use the scissors for the stamps; I was making a homemade card for my sister and used the scissors for cutting paper. I used the permanent marker on the stamps to see if that would be a practical alternative to ink and it seemed to work after I had used the ink once, but not so much if I started with the permanent marker.
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The finished stamps! Mickey has a hole in his head because the eraser I used had a hole in it. NOTE: that WILL cause a hole in your picture so be aware of that. After stamping, I had to take the permanent marker to fill in the hole it left.
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How the stamps turned out. (See what I mean about the Mickey head and the hole?) To avoid any lines around the outside of the stamp (see the heart stamp) make sure you are cutting off enough eraser. If you didn't want to utilize both sides of the eraser you could just cut all the excess off to avoid it altogether. It is up to you!
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