Homemade Stamp Cleaner

Hi everyone!

Quite a while back, I had included part of this post in another post about stamp cleaning. But I thought it wouldn’t hurt to share the information again with all you stampers or potential stampers out there!

Thoroughly cleaning the ink from your acrylic and rubber stamps immediately after using them will make sure that your stamps remain in good condition and continue to make clear, crisp images. There are many brands of stamp cleaners ~ Stampin’ Up, Hero Arts, Tsukineko, Recollections{Michael’s}, Stampendous, Grandma’s Secret, ScraPerfect, Simon Says Stamp and more. But I like to make my own stamp cleaner. Not only is it so much cheaper than store bought but it conditions the stamps and keeps them from drying out and cracking. Also, it’s very easy.

∗Please note: before we continue with the tutorial, I want to say that it is not my intention to be critical of any brand names of stamp cleaners or the companies that sell them. I am just providing an alternative for you in case you would like to try making your own. Plus, the savings from making your own are substantial which leaves more money to spend on other fun goodies! 🙂

 

You will need: bottled or distilled water, Johnson’s Baby Wash, glycerin, a spray bottle, measuring cup/spoon {optional}. * A bottle with a fine and gentle mister works better than one that sprays hard.

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In a small spray bottle, combine 1 cup of bottled or distilled water, 1 teaspoon of Johnson’s Baby Wash{for cleaning} and 1 tablespoon of glycerin{for conditioning}. Slowly rock the bottle back and forth to combine and prevent foam. Or, you can mix the ingredients in a measuring cup, stir slowly and pour into the spray bottle. Before using, just give 2 or 3 gentle shakes to combine. *Please note: these amounts can be adjusted depending on the size of the spray bottle you use. I mixed half of this recipe as I use a 4 oz. spray bottle.

Spray some stamp cleaner onto a scrubber mat that has a pile texture.  The one I use is the Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Scrub. This cleans the stamp on one side and dries it on the other. But you can also use the kitchen scrubby pads or microfiber cloths. Just rub the stamp onto the pad or cloth misted with the cleaner and then onto another similar but dry cleaning pad or cloth.

*No matter how you clean your stamps, it is always a good idea to always let the stamp air dry before putting it back in its designated storage container.

 

 

 

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Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email:        ctrytch@telus.net

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday’s Tutorial #3

Hi everyone!

Welcome to “Tuesday’s Tutorial”!  I added this to the blog to go along with Tuesday’s Tip,  Technique Tuesday and Tuesday’s Tag just to change things up a bit. I hope you enjoy!

What could be more special to a bird lover than this gift which is a jar filled with bird seed then topped with a nest complete with a tiny bird? It’s very simple to make and is a unique gift for anyone who loves birds, the outdoors and nature.

You will need: a mason jar with the lid {be sure that it is completely clean and dry inside}, ribbon, bird seed, bird nest, crinkle paper or Spanish moss, twigs, mushroom bird, tag, adhesive, twine.

∗Please note: I bought the little birds at Michaels. Remember, watch for their weekly coupons!

 

 

Wrap the outside edge of the lid with ribbon by overlapping the ends slightly and adhering. Then, with another length of the same ribbon, tie a small bow and adhere to cover the ribbon end. ∗Please note: I found this method easier than tying the bow from the same length of ribbon when wrapping the lid ~ I had a hard time getting the bow to stay straight.

 

 

Fill the mason jar with bird seed and screw on the lid.

Glue the nest to the top of the lid. Then add crinkle paper/Spanish moss, twigs, bird and tag. The tag can be a purchased on or handmade. I used a chickadee stamp on my tag and added a couple of gems before tying it on with twine.

 

An assortment of these jars will be available in The Carstairs Artisan Market this Christmas. There will be a blog post letting everyone know when the winter/Christmas items are available. Stay tuned!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial 🙂

 

 

 

*Please feel free to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Tuesday’s Tutorial #2

Hi everyone!

Welcome to “Tuesday’s Tutorial”!  I added this to the blog to go along with Tuesday’s Tip,  Technique Tuesday and Tuesday’s Tag just to change things up a bit. I hope you enjoy!

Today I am sharing how to make pretty layered paper flowers using the faux suede paper technique. These flowers are a pretty addition to any paper crafting project ~ cards, tags, scrapbooks, etc. Color coordinate the papers and brad to create an embellishment that will be the finishing touch to your project.

 

You will need: card stock {2 colors}, flower punch or die, bone folder, paper piercer/piercing mat or small hole punch, brad.

Punch or die cut four flowers {2 from each color}. ∗Please note: four flowers make a good sized finished flower. However, for a card perhaps just using two flowers might be better as it would add less bulk for mailing.

 

 

 

Now we need to separate each flower into two layers. This is done by working the petals with the bone folder to separate the fibers. With the paper between the bone folder and your thumb, gently pull the paper through. Do this a couple of times to each petal then turn it over and repeat on the other side. This will be breaking down the fibers to allow the layers to pull apart. You should start to see the edges separating. Now it’s time to slowly and carefully pull the layers apart into the two layers. You will see the inside of the flower layers are a bit fuzzy ~ this is the faux suede paper technique. Repeat this step for the remaining three flowers and you will end up with 8 flowers.

  

 

 

 

With the “suede” side of the flower facing up, crumple each flower into a tight ball.

 

 

 

Now, uncrumple each ball and flatten just a bit making sure the fuzzy side is facing up. Layer the alternating colored flowers on top of each other. Using a paper piercer/piercing mat or small hole punch, make a hole in the center through all eight layers. Push the brad through the hole and flatten the prongs on the back side. Fluff up the petals a bit and there you have a pretty paper flower to add to a project.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial 🙂

 

 

 

*Please feel free to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Tuesday’s Tutorial #1

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the first “Tuesday’s Tutorial”!  I am adding this to the blog to go along with Tuesday’s Tip,  Technique Tuesday and Tuesday’s Tag just to change things up a bit. I hope you enjoy!

Today’s tutorial: Curly Paper Halloween Wreath

 

 

This style of wreath may look complicated to make but it’s actually very easy ~ I promise! Wreaths are a wonderful way to decorate your own home for any season or occasion.  Or for even giving as a gift 🙂

You will need: assorted coordinating patterned papers, cutting tool of choice, bone folder, styrofoam wreath base, straight pins, embellishments, ribbon for hanging. ∗Please note: if you are unable to find an actual styrofoam wreath base, you can always use a styrofoam disc, which is what I did. Just trace a circle {I used a saucer} in the center of the disc and cut out using a knife. Be careful though!!!

 

∗Please note: you may click on the link below for a printable project sheet.

#1} Cut the patterned paper into 1/2″ strips {each 12″ x 12″ sheet will yield 24 strips}. I used approximately 125 strips for a 10″ wreath. You might be able to use less but I like them nice and full. That way there is no chance of the styrofoam base showing through.

 

#2} Now it’s time to curl the strips. With one hand, hold a strip of paper in the center {no need to measure, just roughly in the center} and use the bone folder {in the other hand} to pull it along the length of the paper strip. Basically the same way you would curl ribbon for a gift topper.

 

 

#3} Turn the paper strip around and repeat step #2 for the other end.  Your strip should now look like this.

 

 

#4} Repeat steps #2 and #3 for all remaining strips of paper. You can have the papers in a pile or sort them into the separate patterns.

 

 

#5}∗Please note: decide how you want to hang your wreath. If you want a loop of ribbon to go around the wreath, add before the wreath is covered. It is easier this way. If all you want is a small hanging loop on the back, that can be added once the wreath is complete.

Begin attaching the strips to the wreath by pushing a pin through the center of the strip and inserting it into the styrofoam wreath base. Don’t poke yourself! Keep alternating the patterns until the wreath is covered and you are happy with how it looks. Be sure the inner circle and the outside are covered as well. You don’t want any of the base peeking through!

 

 

#6} Add embellishments. I embossed a piece of card stock then added some “s c a r y” stickers, corner brads and a few black rhinestones. There you go! Your curly paper wreath is now complete and ready to hang!

 

 

Curly Paper Halloween Wreath Printable Project Sheet

 

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

 

See you next Tuesday!

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Framed Chalk Board Tutorial

Hi everyone!

Today’s project is a DIY framed chalk board. Chalk boards can be used for more than just the classroom. You can use a chalkboard to write to-do lists, weekly menus, shopping lists and inspirational quotes. Plus, they can be as large or as small as you want. So, if you have a picture frame that you’re not using or want to pick one up at a dollar store or thrift store, you can easily turn it into a useful chalkboard for any where in your home.

You will need: picture frame {glass removed}, chalk board sheet or chalk board paint, card stock, cutting tool of choice, adhesive, sand paper/paint/soft cloth/brush {optional if painting the frame}. ∗Please note: chalk board paint is also available. I have seen it at Home Depot and some local dollar stores also carry it. I haven’t used this product but the instructions for it are on the containers.

#1} Carefully remove the backing and the glass from the frame. If you have chosen to paint the frame, sand the surface and wipe off the dust with a cloth {cheesecloth works great for this} before painting.

#2} Cut a piece of card stock to fit on the frame backing. Cut the chalk board sheet the same size as the card stock.

 

 

#3} Adhere the chalk board sheet to the card stock. The chalk board sheets that I bought were self adhesive. If not self adhesive, be sure to use a dry glue such as double sided tape or tape runner instead of liquid glue which could cause the chalk board sheet to bubble.

#4} Adhere the chalk board panel to the frame backing. I just used a glue dot in each corner. This is to keep it from shifting in the frame but can easily be removed from the frame backing later on if necessary.

 

 

#5} Replace the backing in the frame and you’re done! You’re chalkboard is ready for all sorts of writing 🙂  When you’re ready to write something new, simply wipe off the chalk with a soft cloth.

 

 

 

*Please feel welcome to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Crinkled Seam Binding

Hi everyone!

Today I want to show you how to create your own crinkled seam binding. Smooth, flat ribbons are pretty of course but this crinkled version adds a fun texture to your paper crafting, wreaths or even sewing projects. Also, soaking the seam binding in a tea solution before scrunching will give it a nice vintage look if that is what you are looking for.

 

You will need: seam binding, scissors, spray bottle with water, baggie, craft sheet {or anything waterproof to do the spraying on. Even a sink will do}.

 

Cut a length of seam binding {a metre or so is a good amount to work with}.
Dampen lightly by spraying it with water (be sure that it is not too wet).
Scrunch up the seam binding into a ball.
 Stuff it into the corner of the baggie and tie the baggie shut.
 Let it dry over night and in the morning take the seam binding out of the baggie. Now, fluff up the seam binding and let it finish drying if it is still a wee bit damp.
Now your crinkled seam binding is ready to embellish all sorts of projects 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

*Please feel free to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net

Calender Corkboard

Hi everyone!

Today I have a fun project for you ~ a calendar corkboard. These compact little calendars can be used anywhere in your home ~ on a desk, kitchen counter or night stand. Because they use basic supplies, a few can be created to coordinate with your décor. So let’s get started shall we?

 

You will need: chipboard, patterned paper, cutting tools of choice, adhesive, corner rounder, sanding block or nail buffer, 1/8″ hole punch or crop-a-dile, ribbon, calendar print outs {links below}, stapler or brads, paper piercer/piercing mat {if using brads}, eyelets/eyelet setter or crop-o-dile. ∗Please note: if you don’t have chipboard, don’t fret. Cardboard packaging, like a cereal box will work just fine. Just be sure that whatever you use is a little on the thicker side. This will make it easier for the calendar to stand nicely.

 

#1} Download and print off the PDF calendars. Thank you to http://www.print-a-calendar.com for their free downloads! calendar1   and   calendar2

 

 

 

#2} Cut apart into months. Mine ended up measuring 3″ high x 3 1/2″ wide.

 

 

#3} Stack the months lining up the edges. Staple on each end close to the top or just one staple above the month. Or, if you are using brads, measure and make two pencil marks where you want the brads to go. I measured in/down 1/4″ each way. Pierce holes with a paper piercer/mat.

 

 

#4}  Add brads. Cut a backing mat about 1/8″ larger that the calendar all the way around and adhere calendar to it. ∗Please note: Once 2018 is here, just download, print off, cut and stack the new months. Carefully remove the old calendar and adhere the new stack to the mat to enjoy your calendar for another year.

 

 

#5} Cut two chipboard pieces and four patterned paper pieces {two for the front/back and two for the insides}. I just have two patterned paper pieces shown to fit in the picture. Round the corners, if desired. The measurements for both are 4″ x 5 1/2″.

 —>

 

 

#6} Adhere patterned paper to all four sides and lightly sand edges to smooth. On the outside of the front piece and the back piece, measure 3/8″ down and 3/4″ in towards the center, make pencil marks and punch holes with a hole punch. Add eyelets.

 

 

#7} Add some foam adhesive to the back of the calendar mat and adhere to front patterned paper/chipboard piece. Cut a piece of cork that measures 3 3/4″ x 1 1/2″. The cork I used was just thick enough that it wouldn’t fit in the corner rounder so I rounded the corners with small scissors instead. Adhere below calendar. ∗Please note: because the cork is thinner than a typical corkboard, it’s best to use the smallest thumbtacks you can find.

 

 

#8} Put the front and back together, add ribbons through eyelets, tie into knots or bows and trim off the excess. There you go! You now have a pretty little calendar to put anywhere in your home 🙂

 

I hope you enjoyed todays tutorial. As always, please feel free to share what you create!

 

 

 

*Please feel free to sign up as a follower to receives updates by email so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

Until next time,

Erin

The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net