Use Your Stash | Gelatos

It has been such a long time since I’ve done a Use Your Stash post. It’s definitely time for a new one! I recently created a layout background using gelatos and thought this would be the perfect subject. While there’s been a lot of buzz about them and designers are using them more and more, many crafters are still wary.

Gelatos are pigmented color sticks with a soft texture. They come in a tube like chapstick and the consistency is harder than lipstick but softer than a crayon. You can use them like crayons to apply color to a surface. You can also mix them with water and use them like water colors. They are so much fun to use!

For my use your stash posts, I like to go in search of other layouts and inspiration to show additional examples and ways other crafters have been using the item. Check at the end of this post for additional video resources.

Here are some great ways to use your gelatos:

1. Create Backgrounds

For my layout, I wanted to create a colorful background to showcase some spring flower photos. I just took each gelato and colored in a section of the background. Once the color was down, I took a paint brush with water to spread out the color a bit. And by adding water and forming puddles, I applied my heat tool and pushed the water drops to create the cool drips.

I worked with one section at at time. Applying the color, the water with the brush, and drying with the heat tool before applying the next color.

The finished layout is super colorful. I love the saturated color the gelatos lend to the background. As much as I love pattern paper, it’s fun to create custom backgrounds like this for special layouts.

2. Make Embellishments

I love, love this idea from Wilna. Over on 2 Peas, she shared this layout using gelatos to create her own super sized enamel dots.

Source: Two Peas In A Bucket Check out Wilna’s video!

3. Painting with Gelatos and mixing them with other Mediums

In this project over at the Simon Says Stamp blog, Shari Carroll watered down her gelao colors to color in the message on the front of the card. Then she added one color to Faber Castell Glaze to get a really cool effect on the inside flap.

Source: Simon Says Stamp blog Check out Shari’s video!

4. Adding Color to Pattern Paper

Ever have a piece of pattern paper and you want to add a pop of color? I love this idea from Mou over at the Design Memory Craft blog. She added some gelato color to a pattern paper background with a wet brush over gesso to get a cool wash of color.

Source: Design Memory Craft blog

5. Mixing Mist colors

Who doesn’t love a tool that can perform double duties? Mieko shared this cool idea on the Design Memory Craft blog. She took the silver metallic gelato and mixed it with water and added it to a Mini-Mister to create her own mist color.

Source: Design Memory Craft blog

6. Coloring Embossed Backgrounds

Last, I have shared this idea in a previous post, but wanted to revisit the topic. Gelatos are perfect for adding color to the raised background created by embossing folders.

I love how the white looks on the kraft paper. And the lighter colors (especially the metallics) show up great on black paper.

In addition, I always find videos to be helpful when trying something new. The links below are all freely available videos showing a variety of gelato techniques.

  • Designing with Gelatos – Design Memory Craft – a fantastic video showing a variety of different gelato techniques along with this gelato set
  • Designing with Gelatos – with Limor Webber – an hour long class showing even more techniques. She shares a lot of information as she works on the different surfaces.
  • Drip Techniques with Gelatos – with Donna Downey – Donna showcases why a surface painted with gesso provides the perfect backdrop for a dripping gesso technique
  • And last, two more videos from Wilna showing more ways to use gelatos on scrapbooking layouts. This one is for Studio Calico and she shows a fun technique combining glaze and gesso with the gelato colors. And then this one is for Two Peas where Wilna uses bright gelato colors on a black chalkboard background.

I hope that these ideas help you get your gelatos off the shelf and onto some new projects!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Embellishing With Buttons

If there is anything in my stash that I have a hard time using it’s buttons. I try. I pull them out often and try to work them into my pages but it doesn’t always work. There are so many different ways to use buttons so you’d think that it wouldn’t be that hard. I’m not sure if it’s that I need the page to have a certain style or feel to make them work or what.

Over the weekend, I was making a set of embellishments and buttons were the perfect flower center. It had me thinking…as long as the buttons were out, why not come up with a few more sets button flowers as long as I was at it?

I started with some basic shapes. A rounded square, a basic flower and some buttons.

I attached each flower shape with some dimensional adhesive and used glue dots on each button. I’ll be making identical flowers and mixing up the colors on each one. There’s a picture of the finished product at the end. BUT before I had this finished, I already had a flash of an idea for another shape entirely.

For the next one, I used the same rounded squares but wanted circles as the flower base.

I also wanted to add leaves to this flower, so I took my circle punch and punched a circle in a scrap of green cardstock and then reinserted the circle into the punch to get that leaf shape.

And lastly, a quick shot of the embellishment that started it all. I will keep the extra matching buttons off to the side. I won’t use them on the flower, but will have them handy to use as I complete the layout. I’m going to try and incorporate a few more buttons into my design. I have them out, I might as well use them.

Here is each completed set. I’ll be using the last set in a layout later this week but don’t currently have any plans for the other sets.

I’m sure some may wonder why I’d do this ahead of time when I don’t have a layout in mind. Honestly, I just don’t worry about the colors being perfect. I had the buttons out and the idea in my head. If I didn’t create them in the moment I may have forgotten about it all together. I did use neutral cardstock for the first two sets purposely to make it easier to work them into other layouts. And who knows? Maybe the orange/hot pink/navy color combo of the first set will spark a new layout. Hmmmm…maybe I should challenge myself to do just that!

Stay tuned later this week for a fall layout using the green/yellow flowers. I picked these colors specifically to match a layout I’m working on.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Use Your Scraps | Technique Squares

Today I have a different kind of “Use Your Scraps” post. I recently purchased a newer idea book from Paper Crafts Magazine called Paper Crafting Tips and Tricks. The issue is jam packed with great ideas. No matter what kind of paper crafter you are, there are useful and fun ideas from start to finish.

My favorite ideas are the pages and pages of technique squares that demonstrate tons of great ways to use your stash. I was so inspired that I created a whole pile of these squares myself.

I searched through my pattern paper drawers for some patterns that I really liked and would love to see on more layouts or cards. I also found cardstock scraps in colors that coordinated. The cardstock pieces are 2.5 inches and 2.25 inches and all the pattern paper pieces are 2 inch squares. For each color combination, I came up with a variety of different things from my stash to enhance the squares.

So I know you are wondering, what am I going to do with all these squares?

The truth is, I don’t know yet. I just enjoy playing with paper and making cool stuff, even if I don’t have a specific project in mind. and especially when it comes to scraps and items in my stash, I don’t mind using them up even in there is no plan. I’m sure some of these will end up on layouts, some will make it onto cards and I can also use them on gifts or gift tags.

I hope this inspires you to dig into your scraps and create something just for fun!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Use Your Stash | 3×4 Journaling Cards

It’s time for another installment of Use Your Stash. This month’s layout is inspired by a sketch I found on Lilybee’s blog a few weeks ago:

I don’t think any of the examples on the blog post included premade journaling cards, but that is exactly what I saw in my head when I pinned this sketch. In fact, I really wanted to dig into my Project Life kits and use some of those journaling cards on a layout.

For my use your stash posts, I like to go in search of other layouts and inspiration to show additional examples. I have to admit that I had a hard time finding good examples that used journaling cards as part of the layout design, not just as a journaling block. But I did find some fun examples, even if a few of them aren’t quite what I had in mind.

1. Project Life Journaling cards

While I purchased Becky Higgin’s Clementine Project Life Core Kit, I frequently use my own stash in my Project Life album. I won’t be using all of these journaling and placement cards this year in that album, so I thought it would be fun to create a 12×12 layout and include them in the design. One of the journaling cards was the perfect place to add my longer title.

2. Make the journaling cards prominent in the design

In this layout from Margrethe in the Two Peas gallery, the cards are clearly used for journaling but I love that there is more attention being drawn to the journaling cards than to the photos. The journaling cards placed in the center of the layout draw your attention and the photos around the borders act to support them in this clever design.

3. Create a fun mini album

I love this project from Garden Girl Lexi Bridges. If you have a large stash of journaling cards and really want to make a dent, you could create a fun album. I love that the cards are attached by a ring and it’s small enough to tuck in to your purse or handbag.

4. A page full of cards

This is a great example of using cards to design a layout (from yellowpeep in the Two Peas gallery). While this is a digital layout, the idea can easily translate over to paper journaling cards. Many of the Simple Stories and Echo Park designs are not just for journaling but for decoration. This is the perfect way to add both to a fun layout. And you could always replace a card or two with a photo in the same size.

5. No photo necessary

Speaking of a page with no photos, I adore this layout from Garden Girl Wendy Sue Anderson. It’s another great example of the journaling cards as the focal point and a great way to get several of them on your page.

All of these ideas will work for any type of 3×4 journaling cards you might have in your stash. Simple Stories, Bo Bunny and Echo Park frequently include 12×12 sheets of 3×4 cards you can cut out. My Mind’s Eye collections also include journaling and title cards that would be perfect too.

So if you have a big collection of journaling cards in your stash, I hope that these ideas will inspire you to get them out of your stash and into a project.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Use Your Scraps | DIY Chevron

Welcome to another installment of use your scraps! I try to come up with a use your stash or use your scraps every month. For this month, it was super easy to find some scraps now that they are sorted and organized. I’m actually using them all the time!

I found some leftover strips in several colors from DCWV’s Letterpress Stack. I love the colors and thought they would be perfect for a summer page. I have seen several other designers try this “make-your-own-chevron” pattern and thought it would be a great topic for this month!

Because the chevrons make such a bold statement, I wanted to keep my photos and journaling simple at the top of the page. With such a light background and all the color below, I thought my photos would be best anchored onto black mats. I love the contrast between the black and all of the colors. And the chevron pattern was super simple to create!

All you need to do is cut some squares from your scrap pattern papers. Mine are 2 inches but you could make them smaller or larger. I think it’s probably best to use a small scale pattern. I don’t think it would work as well with large florals or intricate patterns because of the way these line up. (To note: I did not try to get the lines in my pattern papers to line up across the chevron. Sometimes they naturally do and other times they are off. I was just adhering the shapes onto the paper!)

Cut your squares in half along the diagonal and then start lining up the triangles point to point. The second row is added offset to create the pattern.

Other: AC JFK Remarks alphabet stickers, Colorbox Cat’s Eye Black ink, Heidi Swapp bling, Michael’s black bling, DCWV graph paper, Queen & Co felt bee.

I love taking my punches and using them in a unique way. Cut your punched scraps, rotate them, double punch them. They don’t have to be plain and boring…they can be fun, unique and intersting!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Use Your Stash | Vellum

This month’s Use Your Stash is going old school. When I was unpacking recently, I came across a pack of 12×12 vellum that I didn’t even know I had! I don’t remember buying it as I was never a big user of vellum back in the day.

But after my discovery, I started seeing vellum everywhere. Has it made a big comeback that I am not aware of? Or is it one of those things that sat quietly in the background but never really went away? Whatever the case, it made the wheels start turning in my head to come up with a fun way to use it. Along the way, I found some other fun projects to share with you.

How many of you still have some vellum in your oldest stash? Clear off the dust and try one of these ideas on your next layout or project!

1. Mute the background

The idea for this page came from Erin Lincoln. I don’t remember where I saw her layout, but the image stayed with me. She layered vellum over a bunch of cutesy die cuts and added a photo of herself as a child on top. I also unearthed a stash of these old Frame Ups while unpacking. (Remember when My Mind’s Eye only produced die cuts?) I am not ashamed to admit I still have a big stack of these things. I adored them and just seeing them makes me nostalgic. With this layout, I killed two stash items with one layout!

Taking a cue from Erin, I added these die cuts in the background and covered them up with vellum. The fun backdrop scene is there, but the focus is brought down to the photos. These are just random photos of my nephews, taken at different times, each highlighting something about their personalities.

This idea would also be perfect for any bright pattern paper that might be overwhelming your layout or card. Just lay a sheet of vellum over the top and the colors are instantly muted.

2. Add dimension

Remember my butterflies from last week? I wasn’t that thrilled with my coloring job, but a layer of vellum not only mutes the color but adds interest.  I added a stamped swirl to the vellum and heat embossed the image in white. Now I feel like I’ll actually be able to use these on a card or project.

3. Confetti Pocket

Have you gotten in on the confetti craze? I think it’s fun, but so far have avoided it. After I saw this fun page from Nicole Nowosad on Jillibean Soup’s blog, I thought it might be doable. Vellum is the perfect way to contain all the bits and pieces but still see it on your card or project. Great for a birthday page!

4. Positive and negative shapes

Using vellum to make die cuts or punches will add subtle interest. I saw this lovely layout from Audrey Yeager on the Crate Paper blog. This technique is especially effective if you need to add “something” to your project but don’t want to detract from the photo.

5. Hold photos or journaling tags

Love this layout from Wendi AntenucciJillibean soup recently came out with some vellum envelopes that are perfect for tucking photos or tags into. Great for journaling you might not want to broadcast or a photo that could be sensitive but you still want to include it.

I hope this gives you some ideas to try this weekend!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Use Your Stash | Stickers

In this month’s Use Your Stash, we are going address stickers. If you are like most scrapbookers, you probably have a healthy supply of stickers in your stash. Once upon a time, stickers were among the only kind of embellishment you could purchase to add to your pages. Since we all have them, let’s take a look at some great ways to get them off the sheet and use more stickers on our pages.

1. Use dimensional adhesive

One of the reasons I haven’t used stickers much lately is because stickers are flat. With so many other embellishments that add dimension and interest, I tend to pass on flat stickers. Many collections now come with coordinating sticker sheets, so the desire to include them on layouts has been growing. The easiest way to add new life to stickers is to pop them up on dimensional foam adhesive.

In this layout, I’ve used the sticker sheet that coordinates with the For The Record collection by Echo Park.

The dimensional foam adhesive adds another benefit – once you add the adhesive, keep the adhesive backing on so you can move the sticker around on your page until you are ready to stick it down.

2. Create sticker cluster embellishments

Another way to create dimension with stickers is to create stacked and cluster embellishments. Take a queue from this layout from Shimelle and stack stickers with a similar shape together, largest diameter on the bottom, smallest on the top.

Source: via Tammy on Pinterest

Source: via Tammy on Pinterest

3. Letter stickers

Who doesn’t have letter stickers? These days, alphabet stickers come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. One way to make a statement with letter stickers is to vary the sizes, shapes and typefaces in one title:

Source: via Tammy on Pinterest

You can also make letter stickers stand out by outlining them the way May Flaum does:

Source: via Tammy on Pinterest

4. Cut them apart

Another way to get more mileage from your stickers is to cut them. Use half of your sticker on one side of your layout and half on the other side of your layout to maintain balance. Amy Heller uses this technique on her pages all the time, especially with label stickers.

In general, if a sticker is too big, cutting some of it away is always an option. In my layout above, I loved a black flourish sticker on the sticker sheet but it was too big to add to the white flower the way I wanted to. I just snipped off part of the sticker and put the half I didn’t use back on the sticker sheet

5. Change them up

When all else fails and you can’t figure out how to use a certain sticker, you can always alter them. Many stickers come with a coating on them that resists paint and other medium, but if you lightly run over the surface with some sandpaper, it will help. Try paint, mists, stickles, etc… I love how soapHOUSEmama (aka Ashli) misted these banner stickers to get the exact color she needed for her layout.

If you have a sticker that is just too plain, don’t forget you can always add gems, pearls, and buttons to spruce them up.

I hope this gave you some ideas for using that stash stickers you’ve been holding onto!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Use Your Scraps | Stacked Embellishments

Last year, I had a feature on my blog once a month called “Use Your Stash”. I love to challenge myself to use up items that have been in hanging around for awhile. But because most of my stash is currently in boxes in my garage, I thought I would expand the feature to include scraps. Who doesn’t have scraps of pattern paper and cardstock to use up?

Earlier this week I shared some layout foundations you can create with 6×6 paper pads. With the grid layout, I had some larger scraps of paper left over on my desk. Rather than putting them away, I challenged myself to create some fun embellishments to use on the layout.

Creating your own embellishments

While flat embellishments can help our albums from overflowing, flat embellishments can also be…well….boring. Whenever you add some dimensional adhesive and lift things up, you create more visually appeal.

To create my embellishments, I gathered a variety of punches, buttons, and flowers along with my cardstock and pattern paper scraps.

I like to use a stacked approach when creating my own embellishments. Starting with the largest shape on the bottom, stack up layers of punched shapes, flowers and buttons to form your embellishment.

In this example, I started with the kraft circle and layered on the scalloped circle punch that is slightly smaller. Next I added the starburst circle punch with some dimensional adhesive. To that, I added the flower and gem on top.

I like to make my embellishments in groups of three, but you can also mix it up. Vary the colors of cardstock you use, change up the flowers colors or the gem colors. Change up the sizes too – make some larger ones and smaller ones.

With just a few bits of leftover pattern paper and other items you have on hand, it’s quick and easy to create a group of embellishments to custom match your project.

Sketch Ideas for stacked embellishments

I also wanted to link you up (courtesy of Pinterest!) with some sketch ideas I’ve pinned recently that would work perfectly with these kinds of embellishments:


I am going to keep these embellishments with the grid layout I created the other day:

I am starting to create page kits to use when I move. I will be staying with my folks for awhile, until I find a job and a place to live. I won’t have a scrapbook space there, so to stay productive, I am going to arrive prepared. More on that in a future post.

I hope this gives you a few ideas for using up your own scraps!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Use Your Stash | Basic Grey Doilies

Welcome to another installment of Use Your Stash. Do you love these Basic Grey doily papers as much as I do? I don’t pick them up from every collection, but I do have quite a few of them in my stash. And *gasp* I’ve only ever used one on a layout. How sad is that? I’m not one to save products for perfect photos, yet I do have this habit of letting stuff sit in my stash.

In Shimelle’s Pretty Paper Party class, she mentioned that if you really love a pattern paper, aren’t you going to love it even more when it’s in your album and you can actually enjoy looking at it? I thought that was the perfect excuse to dig into my collection of doilies.

5 Ways to Use Doily Paper

1. Bridge a 2 page layout

I used the doily on this page as a way to create a cohesive background for my 2-page layout.

These doilies also provide a great canvas to embellish. Add flowers onto the background. Add jewels, brads and pearls to the flower centers. Die cut flower shapes from acetate to add dimension without the bulk.

And a quick design tip – the aqua flowers I picked were just a tad too bright for my layout. I grabbed my Malted Milk paint dabber by Jenni Bowlin for Ranger and painted on top of them. It instantly brought the tone down without losing the color entirely. I ended up painting on all the flowers because it looked so cool.

Full disclosure – it wasn’t until after I got this layout half done that I realized I packed all of my Europe memorabilia. I have several things I want to add to this layout so I did not glue down all the flowers. Some day when I move and unpack, I will create a pocket in the left corner include my memorabilia (postcards, museum tickets, receipts, etc…). After that is down, I can glue down the flowers.

2. See through

Check out this cool layout by kristii that I found in the 2 Peas gallery:


I love that the foundation of this layout is the doily paper.  She created a smaller page within the canvas to showcase her photos, but the background doily is still intact with the zig zag edges the holes you can see through. I love the unexpected! And if you feel like it needs to be mounted on something for stability sake, try a sheet of this plastic paper from Bazzill. It will give the same effect but still keep the background open and airy.

3. Stretch it


By all means, if you simply love the pattern, don’t feel like you have to use one full sheet on your layout or spread. I love the design of this layout Kristina came up with in this Basic Inspiration layout and video for Basic Grey. She cuts about 1/3 of the sheet so you’d have the rest to use on another project — or two or three projects!

4. Unique background

Source: via Tammy on Pinterest

On the other hand, for a totally different look, Keisha Campbell used a doily as a background in this layout and it creates a gorgeous tone on tone muted effect. It’s a great canvas for the fussy cut flowers. This background would be gorgeous for a wedding photo or an enlarged portrait photo.

5. Make special cards with scraps

And lastly, after you slice up your pretty paper doilies to create your layouts, take the scraps and make a few special cards. In this one, I used a bottle of stickles to add accents and flower centers. I love to create embossed backgrounds and to get all inked and stamped up, but sometimes, it’s faster and easier to just use a pre-made background. I don’t mind taking the shortcut when I’m pressed for time. The pretty paper makes the card special and that’s what counts.

A few more random ideas –

  • further stretch your doilies by cutting out individual flowers and using them as embellishments.
  • If don’t love one of your doily patterns anymore, consider using it as a mask for your mists
  • Punch a large square from a doily paper and use it to fill in a square on a grid layout

I hope you were able to get a variety of ideas for using your own doily paper. What are you waiting for? Go get them out of your stash and onto your scrapbook pages!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Use Your Stash | Journaling Spots

It’s time for another installment of Use Your Stash. Who doesn’t love a good journaling spot? Whether in a multi-pack or in a die-cut 12×12 sheet, most manufacturers bring out new journaling spots and cards with every new collection. Not only can they serve their original purpose to hold journaling, but they can also be a versatile embellishment.

If you are like me and have a large variety in your stash, here are a few ideas to help you get more of them on your pages:

1. Pile it on

This “10 Things – Right Now” layout is a great way to get a lot of journaling cards on the page. I love snapshot pages like this that freeze a moment in time and give you a glimpse of exactly what’s happening. When you really want to use up your stash, challenge yourself you get as many on the page as you can.

2. Hold a title

I had every intention to create a card this week, but my crafting time was limited with several showings on the house. Besides, anything I would have created wouldn’t have been as cute as this. I love everything about this card, shown on the Jillibean Soup blog this week. (I also found Celeste’s public online gallery.) Not only did she use a journaling card to hold her title, she also added some stitching to the cluster of journaling spots as an embellishment. Why didn’t I think of that?


3. Page accents

In Nichol Magouirk’s recent “From Start to Finish” videos for 2 Peas, she included some journaling cards that served as accents on her page. This is such an easy way to use up that stash, but also an easy one to forget to do. You can do this same thing with any journaling cards that contain words that could reinforce the theme of your page.


4. In divided page protectors

I’m a huge fan of divided page protectors. I love the variety they add to my albums. When I saw this layout from Kelly Purkey, it make me think of using journaling cards. I don’t think any of these are journaling cards, they are just pattern papers cut to size. But if you use journaling cards instead, you’ll really put a dent in your stash!


5. Ground embellishments

I love this page from Aphra Bolyer. She uses journaling spots to house embellishments that would otherwise look scattered on the page. The cluster of journaling spots makes quite a statement! Another great way to use up that stash.


I hope this gives you some fun ideas to try this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a fabulous weekend!