10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Three

Happy holidays, everyone, and welcome to Day Three of our annual 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m here to share a few ideas for using your digital papers and elements to make some festive holiday tags.

I love making tags; I use them on packages & gift bags, bottles of wine, and sometimes I even hide gift cards in them. I also like to use them in my pocket pages in my scrapbooking albums (often, the smaller sizes fit nicely in a 3×4 pocket, or attached to a larger journal cards).

For today’s project, I am going to to show you how to create some photo-based tags (for memory-keeping purposes), and also some gift tags (for wrapping purposes).

To create the photo-based tags, I used a bunch of different items from the all-new holiday collection Every Day of December by Sugarplum Paperie and Laura Passage. Mainly, the photo template set…

First, I took out a few of my old Christmas cards from when my kids were little, and snapped a few photos. Then, using Photoshop Elements (PSE), I attached the photos to some of the blocks on the templates (Ctrl-G in PSE; Ctrl-Alt-G in PS)… and I also picked some cute patterned paper and elements to attach to others.

Once I had the templates filled, I printed it all on 8.5″ x 11″ white matte presentation paper. I usually add a stroke around each item make it easier to see the edges for cutting. I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to use everything; the process was just to print things that I could easily cut or punch and then play around (and it was super fun)!

Here’s a look at what my first print sheet looked like as it came out of the printer…

I just use my Fiskers cutter, some scissors, and some punches to cut everything out. I don’t have an electronic cutting machine — yet! (hello, Santa…!)

Once I had everything cut out, I started assembling the tags… which came together quickly! First I added ribbon, bows, and twine. For dimension, I used glue dots to add some stars I had in my scrap stash.

I love the way these turned out, and it is so fun to have these old photos front and center this year! Take a look…

For the non-photo-based simple gift tags, I wanted to utilize all of the beautiful patterned papers and journal cards that I found in the Every Day of December collection. Here’s a look at the kit and cards, so you can see what I used…

First, I found a generic tag shape from my digital scrapbooking stash, and I used it as a clipping mask to attach the patterned paper (see the next image, below; the shape I used is shown in the top two rows — and also — as you can see, I try to use every square inch and align items evenly to make for quick cutting)…

As you can see, above, if you compare my print sheet to the original journal cards/etc… on some tags I wanted the top of the tag to be in one color, and the body of the tag in another… so I just clipped the two papers and moved them up or down in Photoshop until I got them each where I wanted to create the two-tone effect.

Then, after adding a stroke around each tag (again, to give myself a handy cutting line, once printed)… I printed them on an 8.5″ x 11″ paper and cut them out.

Once the tags were cut apart, I then punched a hole in the top of each one — and even brought out my crop-a-dile to place a few grommets in the holes, which is a little touch that just gives them a little extra sparkle. 🙂

I also selected some twine, ribbon, and a few other embellishments from my stash (and/or word art from the kit) to complete these tags. Here’s a look…


I was having so much fun, I decided to make another group of tags — this time, using the December Stuff collection by Dunia Designs, as shown here…

I fell in love with the little doodled trees… so I decided to use them as embellishments on a bunch of tags.

Here is a look at my print sheet, after I arranged them on a 8.5″ x 11″ canvas in PSE…

I did have to cut each of these items out by hand — and I am not perfect at “fussy cutting” — but it was quick and easy!

After cutting the trees, I thought they looked great and really stood out on black and kraft-colored solid papers. This time, I just cut the tags out free form — maybe not perfectly-cut, but fine for my purposes! The key to these tags is to give some of the elements dimension. I did that with pop-up dots in a couple of different sizes, and also with the twine, ribbons, washi tape, and stars that I added (oh, and a few circles I added from punches)…

*TIP* — on the trunks of the trees in the top row of tags, you can see the little bit of “naughty and nice” word art that came in the kit. I added it to the trees, creating my own custom trunks, by layering it and clipping it to the tree shapes in PSE — super easy, and a great way to add just a bit more interest (plus, “naughty and nice” is perfect for life around here)! In this same way, I also put the year “2018” onto the tree trunks of the smaller tags in the bottom row, as well. I felt like I had a lot of kraft paper on the smaller tags… so rather than adding another patterned paper, I broke things up by using a thin strip of some washi tape.


Finally, for one last project… I had some very small cream-colored tags laying around in my physical stash for years, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to use them! I knew they would be perfectly-sized to put around a wine bottle or box of chocolate to give to girlfriends and neighbors.

For these, I just punched out some more 1 inch circles from various patterned digital papers that I printed out, and then I attached those circles to each tag. On top of the circles, I added each friend’s first initial with some chipboard letters, and a topped it off with a small star or sequin and some ribbon. I think they are going to like this bit of customization on their gifts!

I also used a punch for some of the word art (“celebrate”) that I found in the kit… and added that to these small tags. I thought these might be nice for New Years Eve.

I hope I have inspired you to print out a few papers and elements and put together some tags this holiday season. This was seriously a fun and therapeutic project for me — and I know I’ll be so glad I’m getting it done early in a couple of weeks when things get really hectic!

This project is nice because you really don’t need any fancy tools or machines (other than a photo-editing program such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, etc.). Here is a look at the other tools I used…

I hope this has given you some ideas! If you’re thinking of giving this project a try… head over to The Digital Press’s challenge forum and get the details about how you can earn challenge points for December 2018 at TDP if you try any of our “Holiday Tips & Tricks” throughout the month as they appear here in this blog series! Also, we’d love to see any photos of your holiday projects using TDP goodies in the gallery this month, so link us up after you’re finished creating and uploading! 🙂

Happy crafting and happy holidays!


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About the Author  KerriAnne is a homebody who resides in the desert SW. She started scrapbooking when her kids were little and hasn’t stopped despite the teenagers rolling their eyes and sticking out their tongues!  When not scrapping or being a chauffeur, she can be found consuming large amounts of iced coffee.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day Two

Welcome to Day Two of our annual 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series here on The Digital Press blog! The holiday season is normally my favorite time of year, but especially for crafting & baking! But just like everyone else this time of year — extra time is short! These tips & tricks are great ways to utilize limited time to your advantage.

Today I’m here to share a fun chalkboard art tip for your holiday decor. I have a large chalkboard which is actually an old framed picture that I picked up at a garage sale (I jazzed up the frame with spare paint & the glass with chalkboard paint a few years back!) It’s a staple in all of my holiday decor, as it can easily be updated. I love all the fun chalkboard ideas on Pinterest… but man, I just do not like my handwriting, let alone in chalk! Therefore, I like to use the fun cut files or digital supplies that all our talented digital designers create to help me update my chalkboard!

Here’s how to do it…

Supplies:

  • Paper or scrap vinyl
  • Chalk
  • Digital cut file or word art (I chose this cute ‘Merry & Bright’ card from Tis The Season by Rachel Etrog Designs)

I brought the card into my Silhouette program & traced the card to get cut lines. I typically use a piece of scrap vinyl, as the color doesn’t matter for my final project- it’s just a template! Alternatively, you could print the card on cardstock or some thicker material & then cut out the words.

After my vinyl was cut, I weeded out the words — careful to leave the inside portions of the letters. I added some transfer material so that those inside portions would peel off with my vinyl.

I centered my vinyl on my chalkboard (eyeball it — I really don’t think it matters to be perfectly centered!). 😉

Then I simply filled in the words with red & white chalk…

After carefully peeling up the vinyl, there will be some chalk dust — just blow it away. Then I finally weeded out the inside of the letters… & voila!

The usual spot for my chalkboard is on our entry bench! It goes perfectly with my $1 Poinsettia I picked up on Black Friday! This project took me less than 30 mins (and that time included pulling my Silhouette & supplies all out from the cupboard!).

Cute, and easy!

If you’re thinking of giving this project a try… head over to The Digital Press’s challenge forum and get the details about how you can earn challenge points for December 2018 at TDP if you try any of our “Holiday Tips & Tricks” throughout the month as they appear here in this blog series! Also, we’d love to see any photos of your holiday projects using TDP goodies in the gallery this month, so link us up after you’re finished creating and uploading! 🙂


AmieAbout the Author  Amie is a craft-loving dental hygienist who lives in Washington state. She loves her husband, her two crazy kids, and her English Bulldog… as well as coffee, baking cupcakes, daffodils, glitter & sprinkles, reading a good book, and lip gloss — not necessarily in that order.

10 Holiday Tips & Tricks | Day One

Hello there! Carrie here, wishing you a very Happy December and welcoming you to Day One of the 2018 edition of our always-popular 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series here on The Digital Press blog!

I have a fun, quick ornament project for you today.

You will need a couple of things, some of which you may already have on hand: half a piece of red cardstock, a 10″ strip of 1/2″ black ribbon, a 1/2″ (diameter) button, and a glass ornament with a removable top. You will also need scissors (or optionally, a paper cutter), a glue stick, and a hot glue gun.

The first step is to trim that red paper into 1/4″ strips. I cut mine from the 11″ edge of the paper, so they are 1/4″ wide by 8 1/2″ long. You will need about 20-22 of these (half the sheet of cardstock). I’d recommend using a paper cutter, but you could also cut the strips by hand with scissors. Once you have a pile of 1/4″ strips, roll each one into a spiral. I found it easiest and quickest to roll them tightly around the barrel of a smooth pen as shown in the photo below (using a pencil or just my fingers left creases in the paper). The coils will spring loose when you pull them off the pen, which is fine.

Next you’ll need to get all those little coils into the ornament. Remove the prong cap (just pull gently), and insert the coils. I found it easiest to wind each coil a little tighter when I pulled it off the pen and then drop it straight into the ornament. You can fill the ornament as full as you want, but you’ll probably want to use at least 20 of those 1/4″ strips.

Once your ornament is filled with coiled paper strips, put the prong cap back on. Measure the circumference of your ornament by wrapping the ribbon around it. Add another 1/2 – 1″ for overlap. Trim your ribbon, and lay it right side down on your work table. The classic DIY way to adhere a ribbon belt is to hot glue it, but that’ll leave a lumpy line underneath the ribbon that is especially noticeable with satin, shiny or clear ribbons. I recommend using a glue stick instead. Just drag that glue stick down the wrong side of the ribbon, making sure to get even coverage all the way out to the edges. If you want the last 1/2″ or so of your ribbon belt to hang loose, be sure to stop applying glue about 3/4 – 1″ from what will be the exposed end.

This may be the trickiest part of this whole thing: applying the ribbon belt. Starting with the end of the ribbon that will be completely covered, stick it, glue side down, to the center of the ornament. Working your way around, smooth the ribbon against the ornament, working out any puckers or bubbles. You may find as you finish that the ribbon will need to dip into a slight “v” where it overlaps which is fine as long as the rest of the ribbon belt is smooth. You may also want to trim the exposed end of the ribbon if it seems a little too long. In my example below, the ribbon is cut on an angle to look like the loose end of a belt.

The last thing to do is apply the button. Place a healthy dollop of hot glue on the back of the button, and stick it on top of the ribbon belt. You can use the button to cover up the overlap, or offset it slightly to look like it’s a belt buckle (mine has the latter option). There you go, one simple Santa ornament.

You can apply this same trick to other themes as well: white paper and black ribbon for a snowman, green paper and striped ribbon for an elf, turquoise paper and silver ribbon (and a jewel button), etc. I’d love to see any other variations that you come up with!

Speaking of which… if you’re thinking of trying this, head over to The Digital Press’s challenge forum and get the details about how you can earn challenge points for December 2018 at TDP if you try any of our “Holiday Tips & Tricks” throughout the month as they appear here in this blog series! Additionally, we’d love to see any photos of your December/holiday projects using TDP goodies in the gallery this month, so link us up after you’re finished creating and uploading! 🙂


caliten About the Author  Carrie is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. She and her family enjoy spending time outdoors, year-round, near their home in Colorado. In addition to scrapbooking and the occasional hybrid home decor project, Carrie also reads voraciously, accumulates fabric, makes soap, brews beer, grows hops, and tries to keep indoor plants alive.

Tutorial Tuesday | Photographing an event

Hey there! With Holiday season upon us, we thought it might be a fun idea to give you some tips on how to photograph an event, whether it is Christmas (as in my examples below), a birthday party, a baby shower, a family reunion, a professional event or anything you could think of!

Capture the “big picture”

This is the most “obvious” thing, that we usually all do, so it’s an easy one to remember. Take a couple images of the whole event, the whole room (or rooms if it’s a big event). This will help record the location, but also the weather, the time of day. Of course, you will have most of the guests on those photos, even the shy ones that won’t agree to be photographed alone or in smaller groups! Remember to change your points of view so that all those pictures don’t look the same. If you can find a higher position (from a scene, for example, or even by stepping on a chair), it’ll be easier to have the whole room in your image. Use the widest lens you have (18mm in the image below).

Focus on the relationships

Those events’s main interest is usually to be together, so remember to capture that in your images. The moment people arrive at the location and greet each other is a perfect opportunity to capture those happy reunions. Don’t hesitate to photograph people hugging, talking, laughing with each other. That’s the whole point of being together, right?

Take some “documentary” images

This is another great tip to help take photos of the shy guests: take their photo without them noticing, without directing the scene you’re photographing, as if you were a fly on the wall. Capturing them that way will help you getting relaxed, natural photos of them. Of course, if they ask you to delete the photos, you have to respect that… but try showing them how awesome they look first, they might change their mind! LOL

Take some posed photos

If it works with the kind of event, have a little “photo session” with traditional, posed photos of the guests. I have a tradition like that with my mom, brother, sister-in-law and now my niece when we celebrate my mom’s birthday on December 26th. It’s almost the only photo I have every year of my brother who hates to have his picture taken and is awfully good to avoid my camera… but at least I have one good yearly photo of him! LOL

Photograph the details

Remember to photograph all the details of the event. Decor, food, piles of gifts, the games that are played during the event, the flowers, the activities (below my family watching old photos my mom had scanned and my cousin playing some music), the invite and more! Those details make the “personality” of an event, what’s special about THAT event, they deserve to be remembered!

Don’t stress too much about technique and be present

As you can see from my pictures above, technical perfection wasn’t my main concern there. I made sure I recorded those memories, even though my white balance was a mess and some pictures were blurry, but the most important thing for me was to be present, enjoy my family (that I don’t get to see very often) and have a good night making memories with them. Don’t get too caught up in getting the “perfect” settings or trying to figure out a new photographic technique but remember to make and record memories, even if the pictures are far from being perfect!

EXTRA TIP: take videos!

Last but not least, remember that pretty much all cameras can take videos so use that awesome feature. It’s especially great for speeches, music, dancing, candles blowing, gifts opening and anything with movement! And if you want to add these videos to your scrapbooking pages of the event, here’s another tutorial on how to use QR codes on your layouts.

Here is a page I created using last year’s Christmas pictures and the beautiful kit “Traditionally Festive” by KimB Designs.

I hope you’ll find these tips helpful to capture all those fun memories on the next event you attend!


ChloéAbout the author  Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, is a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She lives with her man and dog Kira in a small town of Alsace (in the northeast of France), where she loves to read, watch good TV shows (TWD being her absolute favorite), and just hang out with her friends — no matter if they are close by, online, or away in her Swiss hometown. She recently became quite obsessed with Bullet Journaling, FlyLady and Zero Waste.

Tutorial Tuesday | Documenting Pop Culture

Welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! I’m so excited to be here with you today to talk about one of my favorite things… pop culture (and how to incorporate it into your scrapbooking)!

Ever since taking a pop culture course in college, I’ve been fascinated by the ideas, perspectives, attitudes, and images that are within the mainstream of our culture. From advertising to literature to music, it all has a huge impact on our day-to-day lives. I think it’s really important to document the various aspects of pop culture in my scrapbooking, because I know I will love to look back and see how pop culture has changed over time in our lives. It gives me a glimpse into the details of our lives and the things that have made them unique and interesting.

With that in mind, here are just a few ways that you can document pop culture and all of its impact on your life …

  1. Create a ‘snapshot of today’ by scrapbooking about the realities of life today. You can include things like the major news events, the popular TV shows, the music on the pop charts, and the political realities that your country is facing. The world changes so fast today that having those details in your scrapbooks can help you remember what life was like for you and your family at any given time.
  2. Outline your favorite books and literature from your current lives. What books have you loved? What books have been made into movies? What book-related events have you attended? What magazines do you read? What are the genres that you enjoy?
  3. Create a page about your personal style. What clothing brands do you wear? What style do you wear your hair in? What are the fashion trends that you love (or those which make no sense to you)?
  4. Scrapbook about your musical tastes. Are you a music person? Do you listen to the radio in your car? Spotify or Pandora? Do you listen to podcasts? Do you have a theme song that gets you through your day to day?
  5. Document the different things in your life that make your life more interesting — TV shows, movies, slang/expressions, the technology/apps you depend on or use on a regular basis.

Here are a couple of example layouts that I’ve created, each of which document my own connection to pop culture. The first one outlines all of the podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis (it will be interesting to go back later and see what I was listening to in 2017!)…

[ credits: Mellifluous Kit by MEG Designs ]

This second page documents the fact that I am a huge reader and a lover of all things books and reading! I make a point of creating a page at the end of every year that documents my favorite books from that year, because I love going back later to look at what I was reading in any given year…

[ credits: One More Chapter Kit by Anita Designs and Designs by Soco ]

 

I hope that these tips will help to inspire you to begin capturing pop culture, and documenting its place in your life! I think that you will find it adds a little something special to your pages and helps transport you back to an exact timeframe to add to your memory keeping!


Amy

About the Author  Amy lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and their 13-year-old boy/girl twins. Their 22-year-old daughter has finished up graduate school at Clemson and is starting her first full-time job! She has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s, but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born… and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together. She is also a huge reader (mostly literary fiction), a pop culture junkie, and LOVES all things beauty & makeup!

Hybrid How-To | Thankful Tree

Hello, everyone! Kate here to show you how to use your digital paper to make a lovely center piece that also doubles as a gratitude reminder. It’s the perfect project for November!

Supplies

  • Digital kit of your choice. I used Felicity by Little Lamm Co.
  • Photo editing program such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements
  • Cardstock
  • Cutting machine or scissors
  • branches – real or fake. I used some fake light-up branches that I can use year after year.
  • Container like a vase or a jar
  • mini clothespins or string

Instructions

I found some leaf shapes in my digi stash that served as templates. I clipped the digital paper to the leaf templates, then printed and cut everything. Felicity had some cute tags that I printed as well. And I think I used every single paper in that kit – they were all so pretty!

Next, I arranged the branches in my container and added some pinecones and other filler. I put all the leaves, tags, clothespins and a pen into a bucket next to the tree. We’ve asked the whole family to write down what they’re grateful for on the different leaves and tags and then pin them on the tree branches as the month goes on.

I want to make this a yearly tradition for our family! And my hope is that it will be a reminder for all of us about the things that truly matter as we go into this holiday season.


Kate About the Author  Kate is on the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She lives on the Utah/Colorado border with her husband, 5 kids, 10 chickens, a dog named Gracie, and a cat named Kit. She’s a city-born girl who found she’s really a country girl at heart. She can be found outside, barefoot, and probably in her garden.