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Friday, December 4, 2009

.:Feature Friday - Craft Rookie:.

I'm so excited for you all to meet our guest blogger today! Dani is here with an awesome tutorial for you all - perfect for Christmas!

Hey Everyone!

First I just want to say thanks to Sumo for inviting me over to her blog! I am really excited to be here!

Let me introduce myself: I'm Dani AKA "Craft Rookie." You may have seen my blog...if not, you can go HERE to check it out. I started my craft blog about nine months ago...and can I just say that I may or may not be (but definitely am) a Craftaholic. And I'm pretty sure I'm perfectly okay with that. My husband, however, is not...he often refers to my crafts as "Cra(p)fts." He just doesn't understand, I guess... *wink*

ANYWAY, on to my tutorial. Since Christmas is just around the corner (22 days away, oh my gosh!) I thought I'd show you (one of the things) I've been working on over the past couple of days: Gift Tags!

Okay, so gift tags are one of those things that you could most likely buy much cheaper than you can make them. But Oh. My. Heck. they are so fun to make--and super cute! If you like scrapbooking or card making, gift tags are the thing for you! And don't freak out and think you can't make gift tags because you don't own 1,000,000 bajillion stamps. Most people don't. I am one of those people who don't. (They are pricey! Yikes!) So I make due with cute scrapbook paper, buttons, ribbon, and my own handwriting. (As Tim Gunn would say: "Make It Work.") So we will, Tim, we will....

Let's get started:
First of all, a disclaimer: I am a picture-poster. If you've been to my blog, you know I post more pictures than words. (Which is saying something because, um, I post a lot of words, too...) Oh well...right? You'll have to deal, because I seriously cut down the amount of pictures I wanted to show you by...well...a lot. Like probably 75%. (I'm sick, I admit it.)

Okay....here goes. First, in case you are wondering, this is the Christmas paper pack I use for all of my tags:
It's Me and My Big Ideas Christmas Paper Pad and it has SO many cute patterns! Check out a few of my favorites:
Cute, right? (PS sorry for the yellow-ish photos...my craft room is DIM.)
So I'm going to walk you through how I made one of the tags...and then I'll show you pics of some more so you can get some ideas.

I started with this cute paper with some large-ish ornaments on it:
I cut the green ornament out pretty close to the black edge. When I got to the part where the string was supposed to be, I just cut it off...you'll see why in a minute.
Next, I laid my ornament shape down on a bunch of different patterned paper to see what I wanted to go with it. One important trick to card-making is to kind of plan what papers/shapes you plan to use before you start sticking it all together. It makes things go more smoother, and your card usually turns out much nicer.
I chose this white graph paper, and then decided that the tag would need some more color, so I ripped off a little bit of green paper. Using a torn edge on something like this is one way to add "interest" or "texture." It helps the card look more put-together when it's not so clean-cut everywhere.
Don't worry about measuring everything perfectly. Just tape it all down on there, then trim off the edges. See how the white piece is hanging a long way to the left of the card? No biggie...just trim off the excess once it's all taped (by tape I mean double-sided tape squares) down nicely.

Now you can see why I cut off the string. I can easily just draw on a new string directly onto my card...and it looks way nicer than if I were to try to cut out that narrow little black line and make it look decent.
I decided this tag would be cute if I added a little dimension. I did that by placing foam squares underneath of the ornament to help it kind of "pop" off the page:
The top of the tag looked a little bare and it was making it look bottom-heavy...so I added these buttons to give it a little more detail, and then I added in my "To:" and "From:" text.
Next, I rounded a couple of the corners. If you want a few basic paper punches, I recommend a corner rounder, a scalloped edger of some kind, and if you are lucky like me, a 1" square punch and a 1" round punch. Then you're set. :)

Still with me? That doesn't look too hard, right? That's because it's not! The trick to making cards (and therefore gift tags) is knowing how to layer, how to add texture, how to add "interest," and knowing where to cut. If you can do those things, you can make ANYTHING with paper. :) (Okay maybe not ANYTHING...but a lot of things. Work with me, people!)

Here are a few more tags I've made in the last couple of days:
As you can see, I've made them all shapes and sizes. This way I can put them on all shapes and sizes of gifts--and besides, doing them all different makes them all more interesting. :) That's part of the fun of making things hand-made.
Now just punch a hole in one corner, and attach it to your gift:
Cute, right? I think so! :)

Thanks again for letting me stop by, Sumo! :) I hope you will all check out my blog. Sumo is posting over there today. :) And here's a shameless plug: I'm just a few followers away from 200--so become a follower because I'm going to do a give-away when we reach the big 2-0-0!!!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love reading them! I try to reply to questions the best I can, but you can always email me at sumossweetstuff {at} gmail {dot} com.