Archive for whimseybox

DIY: handmade stamp & greeting cards

I’ve been a Whimseybox customer for a few months now and each craft they send is always better than the last. 2 months ago, they sent materials for a handmade stamp and hand printed greeting cards. I have to admit, I was a little nervous with this one, so I tucked it away until I had time to really tackle it. This past Sunday, I went to town!

Sometimes, the hardest part is figuring out what you want your stamp to say. So, I went with a classic lolcat greeting – HAI! My friends who know me well will get a kick of out of it. In fact, looking at my greeting cards just makes me smile. So here’s how I did it. Be warned, if you’ve never made your own stamp, there is a small learning curve, but completely do-able.

1. First, gather all your materials. You’ll need card stock, a rubber stamp, a stamp carving tool, ink, and what I’m going to call an ink spatula. Also pictured, original instructions from Whimseybox.

2. Next, print out your text or image. If you’re super creative, you can draw something. I printed text. Take a pencil and color in your text/drawing. You’ll want to press down fairly hard because you want the pencil to transfer to the stamp.

3. Next, burnish your text to your stamp. I had no clue what this meant, so I looked it up. Always learning something new. Basically, flip the paper over to your stamp and rub (without moving the paper) over your penciled in area. If you’re a lefty like me, just think of all the times you smudged your homework in school. This too is essentially ‘burnishing’. Your text will be backwards. I filled in any areas that didn’t transfer as well, just so I would have a guide.

4. Next, start carving out your stamp. A stamp carving tool should be thought of like a shovel. You scoop out the negative space (where you don’t want ink) like you scoop ice cream or snow. You don’t pick at it – like I first tried to do. Start small and don’t try and go too deep straight away. Carving a stamp is much like cutting fabric, you can’t add it back after you’ve cut, so go slow. Safety note: scoop away from you and your hands, this little tool is sharp!

5. After you have your stamp carved, add ink using your ink spatula. A little bit of ink goes a long way.

6. Test your stamp on some scrap paper. I found out that I preferred the second stamp, instead of the first one with all the fresh ink (you can see my test sheets in the back of this pic). Then, stamp your greeting cards & voila!

I love how different and personal each card is. The project itself took a few hours to complete, but it’s one that I really enjoyed and would do again in an instant. But for now, I’ll be sending these cards out to a few friends and hope it makes them smile too!

DIY: link ball chain bracelet

After months of being on the waiting list, I finally got an official invite to WhimseyBox, a monthly subscription box service for crafts. I didn’t have to wait because it’s elite or pretentious; it’s just still in start up mode.

My first box arrived last week and I was excited to craft; particularly, because I’ve been in a DIY mood for a few weeks now. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I first opened the box (slightly based on the presentation of another subscription box I receive). But after I completed the craft and had materials left over to make 2-3 more bracelets, I decided there was just enough inside for a mini monthly project. Plus, the box itself is totally worthy of organizational projects (sturdy and has an area for labels). Not to mention, it was all delivered to my front door. Definitely worth $15 for a little craft treat each month.

So what was inside? 2 skeins of embroidery thread, chunky chain, ball link chain, and detailed instructions on how to assemble this fun & easy DIY bracelet.

Like any DIY, it’s really all about finding ways of crafting that work for you. Finding my groove with this project was a little frustrating, but once I did I flew through it. To get started, tie your thread on the end of your chunky chain. Next, weave it around the chunky chain and the ball chain pretty much placing the thread in between the spaces of the ball chain.

Keep going until you’ve made it back to the start point. The instructions left this part up to a bit of interpretation, but I basically did a little bit of overlap when it came to my ball chain. I also double knotted the remaining thread with the tail of my first double knot (so make sure you keep a bit sticking out!).

Next, take your remaining thread and cut 18 inch pieces. They suggested cutting 12 36 pieces, but I was afraid I was going to run out of thread if I kept cutting, so I shortened the end braids (this also worked because I made the actual bracelet longer).

Basically, just give yourself some thread to braid and make sure that when it’s on the chunky chain you just finished, that it goes all the way around your wrist. Loop half of your thread to one end and braid. Repeat on the other side.

After you’ve knotted your braids, just strap on your pretty new bracelet.VOILA!

I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with this craft. I’m not an overly ingenious DIY-er and probably wouldn’t have thought this up on my own, so thanks Whimseybox – can’t wait for next month’s box to arrive!

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