Quick Tags using DCWV Tag Stack

I wanted a fast & easy project, something bright and cheery too, so I turned to a recent purchase: the DCWV Tag Stack – 36 sheets of double-sided 12″x12″ papers. With 18 different types of tag designs available, I was able to chose something that matched my mood of the moment – basically I wanted to make something similar to my previous Pebbles Inc mini tag flip, something with positive phrases and easily embellished without too much work.

I selected 2 different sheets from the stack that had similar bright colours & styles. One of the sheets consists of pre-perforated shaped tags, so I trimmed the other sheet of cut-aparts to the same shapes and sizes. The tags are glued back-to-back to create a double-sided tag flip.

The tags are accentuated with doodle borders and 3D stickers from my craft stash for a tad of dimension.

Some of the tags embellished with felt and quilled stickers. Video flip-throughs showcasing all the designs – front & back – of this tag flip are available on my Instagram account.

The tags are edged with brown or grey markers to cover the white core of the paper. This also creates a more homogenous look to the entire tag flip.

I had tried to include a yellow-coloured paper clip when embellishing the tags, but as the clip would obstruct the words on one side of the tag or the other, in the end, I used it as a dangle on the front of the tag flip instead. A couple of charms from my stash completes the look.

All the tags are held together with a metallic binder ring, decorated with cut rubber hair bands of matching hues. This is my positivity book of the moment, but the tags can also be used individually using the hairbands for attachment.

Rub-on Transfer Pouch

Didn’t get to craft much last month as I was busy with work. So for some quick me-time and a fast project, I decided to make use of the rub-on transfer kit I bought earlier from the Cityluxe online shop: a Craft MU Series print-on sticker set, which comes with a plain cotton drawstring pouch.

Separately, I had also gotten a 2-set bundle of print-on transfers of the same brand from Tokyu Hands – the price is about 10% cheaper due to limited designs and the bundle comes with a sturdy wooden stick. I decided to try combining the floral designs with the vintage prints and keep the marble print aside for future projects.

Basically for rub-on transfers, one just has to cut out the desired design (so that the rest of the sheet doesn’t get in the way during the transfer), remove the backing sheet, place the design flat on the craft surface, rub all over the surface with a hard object eg. wooden stick, plastic ruler or bone folder, then peel off the plastic sheet.

I must say that compared to the quality of the rub-on transfers decades ago when I was a teenager, the print-on stickers nowadays are of much much much better quality: the designs are not only pretty with plenty of variety, they come off easily and cleanly without breaking into pieces. Provided of course, that one rubs on all over the design fully – always peel off the plastic sheet slowly, then it’s possible to replace the plastic to complete the rub-on transfer should any detail be left out!

I am very glad that my ideas worked out as well as I imagined! The muted floral colours combined really well with the wordy vintage prints! The bouquet of flowers on one side of the pouch is a tad smaller than I expected for the centre of the pouch, but I’m pleased enough with the composition.

I have yet to use the pouch so I don’t know how lasting the print-on designs will be. Tried scrunching up the cloth pouch and the transfer is still intact with no visible cracks, so I guess light duty use will definitely be fine.

I once read an online comment that rub-on transfers are slower to work with compared to using stickers and paper/glue. This is true when one is used to speedy crafting. Compared to using ink & stamps and other multi-media techniques, however, this method of getting the desired design is faster and less messy – and nothing to clean up afterwards!

I love how this technique gives flat results, so it’ll be good for my schedule book or where I don’t want any bulkiness at all. But since the rub-on transfers are good for non-paper surfaces, might as well make use of the expensive (compared to stickers) print-ons for decorative wood slices. I’m also considering getting a pack of similar cloth pouches to make a whole set for gifting. Or perhaps some quick coasters?

Alcohol Markers Colour Swatch

After watching the stationery swatch Instagram videos by @rabch.jpg, (such as this and this), I was inspired to make my own colour swatches. I thought such swatches would remind me of the type of stationery I have in my huge stash, and most importantly, help reduce the amount of testing and possible mistakes when selecting suitable colour pens & markers for my crafting.

I had trouble finding affordable broad nibbed coloured permanent markers, which are great for colouring the edges of papers easily – just run the broad nib along the paper edge and the white paper core would be concealed quickly. So when I saw the yellow ocher alcohol marker set in Daiso ($2.14 for a pack of two different colours) I decided to give it a try. And of course I couldn’t resist getting many of the other available colours too!

Well, I’m really glad I did make the colour swatch, because the colours of the alcohol markers turn out to be quite different from the packaging! The dark cool grey looks bluish and the light warm grey has a slight purplish tinge to it, while the medium greys are much darker in shade than what I expected! As my son commented, one shouldn’t expect too much from cheap sources: this was after he had to help me uncap the markers for a third time – the caps for some of them are really too tight to remove!!!

One thing I did not expect was how much the alcohol inks bled through the paper of the notebook!! Basically the page immediately below the swatch was badly stained by my first swatch of the light cool grey, and all the colour blocks are totally visible on the reverse of the swatch page. I had to add a backing to the underside of the swatch page subsequently when swatching the rest of the colours. This is something I must remember to take note of when making swatches of future stationery!

Paper Bag Scraps as Mini Art Journal Base Pages

As mentioned before, I don’t always get to reuse Starbucks paper bags when they get stained with food & drinks. Such stained papers cannot be sent for recycling either. But usually the top half of the paper bags are clean, so after removing the paper handles for making coiled coasters, I trim away the clean top portion of the paper bag for crafting materials. The same goes for the top folded half of McDonald’s takeaway paper bags too.

The stiffer kraft paper from Starbucks paper bags serve as excellent base pages for mini 3-ring art journals. Just cut to the required size and punch holes in the appropriate positions – I can easily obtain about 10 such pages from a salvaged portion of one paper bag.

For the smaller paper scraps, and the thinner McDonald’s paper bags, they would be an excellent source for kraft paper materials in crafting projects. The top of the McDonald’s bags are usually creased from handling, but once further crumpled and flattened, would make beautiful textured backgrounds for cardmaking and art journaling.

My only problem now is finding a suitable method to contain the papers! I had started with using an envelope, but the amount of waste packaging materials and paper bags I’ve put aside for future crafting use have accumulated faster that the rate I use them up! Think I need a large box to hold all these scrap papers so that I can easily rummage through them during crafting sessions!

Starbucks Coiled Coaster

Sometimes when I takeaway from Starbucks, the paper bag gets stained with the sweet drinks and/or oily food and cannot be kept for future reuse. For such situations, I cut off the relatively clean paper handles (as long as the sweat stains are not visible) and keep them for making coasters.

This is a project I started last year after receiving an email from Starbucks re upcycling with their products. I follow the instructions at UpcyclingWithStarbucks: basically the paper handles of the paper bags serve as pieces of paper rope, to be glued and coiled round and round till a suitable size is reached. The result is a rustic-looking kraft coloured paper coaster.

I use quick-drying glue instead of a glue gun, so I have to hold the coils tight for half a minute to make sure it glues tight. Also, I find it useful to ensure the coaster is flat after adding on each piece of paper handle, by pressing the coaster against the table, then flip it over to do the same on the other side. Otherwise the coaster may end up resembling a little dish instead!

As I don’t do takeaway from Starbucks very often, it has been at least half a year since I started on the coaster. I’m afraid I can’t remember exactly how many paper handles have been involved, but must be at least from 5 paper bags?? The coaster now has a diameter of about 7.3 cm. I want it to be a bit bigger still, so I’m putting the coaster back in its ziplock bag for storage, till I do takeaway again!