Sunday, February 28, 2010

Recipe for "Recycled Butter Box Easter Basket"

Make this adorable little Easter Basket out of this....

Create your own by following the recipe below!

1 empty 4 quarters butter box like the one shown above
1 piece of patterned paper large enough to wrap around the box
16-20 guage wire for a handle
2 eyelets with a large enough opening for the wire handle to slide through
Enough ribbon to wrap around the box and to make a bow
White paint or your preferred color choice
Foam brush or paint brush
Preferred Adhesive ( We used Beacon's 3-1 liquid glue...LOVE this stuff! See the photo below!)
(And no...we're not doing any plug for this company! :) We have just found this adhesive to really live up to its reputation! Awesome stuff!)
Cut the top flaps off of the box or tuck inside. Depending on your preference, paint the bottom of the box a desired color (I used white) and paint or ink the edges of the box where the flaps used to be. I've also made recycled gift baskets/boxes without painting - its a fun way to show people you recycle! Measure the width and length of the box - make sure to measure each side of the box too because I found that some brands are not exact on all four sides while others are. Cut a piece of paper to fit the box.

Measure each side individually and then score the fold line for all four sides and crease the paper for a nice smooth edge - this helps the paper fit the box almost perfectly! Adhere the paper to the box using your favorite adhesive. Wrap a piece of ribbon around the top of the box and glue in place. Make a small bow and glue to box front on top of the ribbon you just glued around the top of the box. Using a Crop-a-Dile, punch a hole in the top of the box going right through the ribbon. Set an eyelet in each hole. Cut a desired length of wire for a handle. Curl the wire around a pencil or dowel to make it look like a spring. Stretch it out to desired length. Thread an end through the hole on each side of the basket. Curl the ends up around the basket handle. Add a little sentiment with stamps on the basket front, a flower and/or a die cut or leave plain like we did!

***Add shredded paper curls to the basket by cutting up old book pages or newspapers in small strips with your paper cutter. OR use your junk mail, your paper scraps, running it through your paper shredder!!! Wrap the wider strips around a pencil to curl and fill your basket! Try running your shredded paper through an embosser - I bet it would look amazing!! Ta-Da!

Recipe for "So Last Year" Easter Card using your Cricut!

5 1/2" by 6 1/2" white card
5 1/2" x 6 1/2" pink polka dot paper for card mat
Light Blue feather boa piece for bottom of card
Purple, Pink and Orange Stickles
Blue flower
Vintage Photo ink (Tim Holtz)
Teal or Turquoise and light purple ink
Pop dots
1 googly eye
Small light yellow feather
Easter Cricut Cartridge Cuts:
Chick (blackout) cut on yellow cardstock at 2 1/2"
Easter egg cut from book page at 3"
Easter egg cut from green polka dot flocked paper at 2 1/2"

Forever Young Cricut Cartridge Cuts:
"so last year" cut on silver paper at 1 1/2"

Ink the edges of the pink polka dot paper and the white card base. Adhere pink polka dot paper to the front of the card. Using a hot glue gun glue a strip of light blue feather boa to the bottom of the card. Next, use the Vintage Photo ink pad and a small paint brush or dauber to ink the edges of the chick and color in the feet using the same ink. Add the googly eye to the chick and color in it's beak with orange Stickles. Using scissors carefully cut a jagged area out of the book page egg to resemble a cracked egg. Using the teal/turquoise ink lightly ink the edges of the the same egg and lightly drag across the top of the egg coloring in to the desired shade. Add spots of light purple ink to give a more mottled look. Squirt a dab of purple Stickles on your finger and blend in to the egg to add sheen. Cut the green polka dotted egg in half adding jagged edges to resemble a cracked egg and then ink with Vintage Photo ink. Place random pop dots under the egg pieces and chick and adhere to the card front using the sample photo for placement - you may need to use a dab of hot glue for the green polka dotted egg resting on the feathers. Add the words "so last year" and a blue flower or flower of your choice to the upper left corner of the card.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"LUCKY" Grungy/Vintage St.Patrick's Day Banner

Use your Cricut to make this!

Add some Irish Luck to your d├ęcor by whipping up this super savvy, funky and fun 3-layered banner using your Cricut. Who knows, maybe you’ll attract leprechauns…!

This project requires the “Making the Grade” Cricut cartridge and will take approximately 2-3 hours to complete!

3-5 pieces of 12x12 black cardstock
3-5 coordinating 12 x 12 pieces of patterned paper in green tones (we used Rusty Pickle) but any coordinating paper works just fine!
3-5 pieces of 12 x 12 coordinating solid brown cardstock
2 pieces of 12 x 12 solid green in a coordinating shade
Vintage music patterned paper scraps (we used Making Memories FaLaLa)
Small piece of torn corrugated cardboard
Black and white damask/flourish print ribbon (or any other pattern/color)
Stickles (we used Gunmetal Black and Distressed Stickles in Peeled Paint)
Sewing Machine with brown thread (this step can be skipped)
Paintbrush (or Q-tip)and water
Hole punch
Ink pad (we used a copper colored ink by Dew Drops)
Forest Green Rain dots (adhesive transparent colored dots)
Embellies – things in green – all different shades work great!
(We used muted lime green buttons in assorted sizes, green safety pins, paper clips, St. Patrick’s Day acrylic shapes, butterflies with clips from the Florist section at craft stores) We also used silver beading to attach to the butterflies for more bling, soda can tabs, a bottle cap and silver paper clip – feel free to jazz up your own creation!)
Your preferred adhesive

1. Using your Cricut and the “Making the Grade” Cricut cartridge you will need to cut out five pennants using the “blackout” feature from the black, brown and green patterned paper. We cut ours at 7”. So once all pennant pieces are cut, you should have a total of 15 pieces.
2. Cut the letters “L-u-C-k-y” using your paper scraps from step one and the solid green paper. You will be cutting the word “LuCky” three times – once in black, brown and green. We cut ours at 4”.
3. Next, stack the pennants so that the black is on the bottom, brown in the middle and the coordinating patterned paper is on the top of each. Layer these pieces so they are off-centered slightly (see photo for example or visit our blog at for close up photos of each pennant).
4. If sewing the pieces together this is the time to do that. Make a sloppy stitch (we used the straight stitch – size 6.0). Stitch around the entire pennant following the edge of the top paper (should be the patterned paper shaped pennant) as a guideline- stitch approximately ¼” in from the edge of the paper. (NOTE: Before sewing, we found it easier to add a small spot of adhesive to the center of each pennant layer to keep the pieces in place.) If you are not going to stitch the layers together, go ahead and use enough adhesive to attach pieces haphazardly.
5. Do the same now for the letters. Cut the word “LuCky” from the black, brown and green solid paper using the paper scraps from step one. You should have a total of 15 pieces – three of each color. When we cut ours we did not use shadow or blackout for any cuts. They were all the same size just arranged so that edges of each color showed.
6. Arrange the three layers of letters in whatever color preference. We mixed our layers to add a little more whimsy to our banner (see the photo for example). Adhere the letters together using your favorite adhesive but do not glue to the pennant yet – set aside.
7. Using a small paint brush, dip and drag across an ink pad and heavily ink the edges of the patterned paper. Once inked, use the same paint brush by continuously dipping in water to lighten the ink and give it more of a water colored look. Continue adding water until you get desired results. While wet, start weathering the edges by rolling and slightly tearing to give it a more vintage/grunge appearance (see photo for example).
8. Using your preferred hole punch (we used our handy dandy Crop-a-Dile), punch a hole through both sides of the pennants making sure to go through all three layers. Lay out the entire banner side by side in the correct order.
9. Cut eight pieces of ribbon into 6”-8” strips (or whatever is appealing to you!) and two pieces to hang the banner (we used two 12” pieces). Hook the banner together using the ribbon. The two longer pieces of ribbon are used on the very first and the very last hole for hangers. To hang the same way we did you will need to fold the ribbon in half and push the looped end through the hole on the pennant. Tie a knot at the end so that the loose ends are on the front of the pennant (see photo for example). For all of the other pieces, just slip the ribbon through one hole on each pennant and connect by tying in a knot- trim ribbon edges to desired length.
10. Tear two pieces of vintage music paper scrap around all four sides large enough to use as a mat under the letters “F”and “y” and ink the edges. Curl the ends of the paper by rolling and slightly tearing the edges. Adhere to the first and last pennant where the letters will be positioned.
11. Find some coordinating paper scraps to place under the “u” “C” and “k”. We used a black cardstock circle from our scrap box, a piece of torn corrugated cardboard and paper scraps from the paper leftover from the pennants. We also added random “x’s” with staples to the corrugated cardboard. This can be done by stapling one time and then stapling on top of the staple on an angle to form an “x.” Adhere the paper scraps to the banner pennants by using the photo above for placement.
12. Attach the letters in the correct order on top of the paper scraps you just glued on the pennant pieces.
13. Now the real fun begins! It’s time to start personalizing the banner by making it your style. Add feather butterflies like the ones we used or cut them out using your Cricut. Add beads, sequins, buttons, safety pins, paper clips, tulle and more to give your banner that special touch that makes it YOUR creation!
14. The final touch, is of course, optional BUT it definitely adds some Emeril "Bam!" And some SHA-ZAM! Get your own by adding dots of black and green Stickles randomly on the letters and maybe some rain dots in a coordinating green around the banner edges.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Recycled Pop Tart Box and Card Duo Perfect for Valentine's Day!

“Luv U” Card & Matching Gift Box Recipe

It’s an Olive Juice Studio Original Recipe just for Memory Miser Customers!

Don’t cringe and think you have to run to the store to buy something special for this project. This creative little “crafterpiece” comes from your recycling bin and paper scrap stash AND the “Love Struck” Cricut cartridge.

My husband bought pop tarts last night (yes, for himself)….and I “found” inspiration!

This morning, instead of an ugly blue pop tart box sitting in the pantry, my husband found this…

Sorry dear, I just couldn’t resist!!! He didn’t seem too disappointed until I told him it wasn’t for him…he has to wait for his special Valentine!

Ingredients for Box:
1 pop tart box – any flavor or fat content will work!
Cricut and “Love Struck” cartridge
Enough paper to cover box – either all one pattern or coordinating patterns
Small scrap of paper to go around the top of the box (I used a script pattern papery by Paper Studio)
Black pompom fringe – enough to go around the entire box
Enough ribbon to make a bow and handle
Black and white scraps for the Cricut cuts
Pink feather boa pieces…pink/black tulle or netting or any other type of filler for the inside of the basket
Pop Dots (dimensional)
Preferred Adhesive
Black Stickles
Black Staz-On Ink OR a coordinating color paint that matches your paper pattern
Foam brush or paint brush
Modge Podge or any other favorite brand of decoupage glue
Cuttlebug and D’vine Swirl embossing folder (or any desired embossing folder!)

Directions for Box:
First remove any pop tarts that could still possibly be inside the box. Next, cut the top flaps off of the box. Then paint or ink the edges of the box to cover up some of the blue. You can paint/ink the bottom of the box or leave it as is. I tend to leave mine as is because everyone always gets a kick out of knowing where their “cute” little gift box originated from!

Now you need to measure all four sides of the box. Cut four pieces of paper to fit each side of the box. Cut it exactly the same size as your measurements and then glue to the box. Next, cut a strip 1 ½” wide for each of the four sides or one long strip that folds around the sides. If you are using a 12x12 piece of paper you will need to add a second piece which is covered by the ribbon –just make sure the seam is in the back of the box. Glue to the top edge of the box. Using a small piece of sand paper or an emery board lightly sand the edges of the paper around the box. Then, using a foam brush, cover the entire exterior of the box with your favorite decoupage glue. Let dry.

Once the box is dry, glue black pompom fringe around the box where the two papers meet. See photo for example. Next, is the handle. Select a piece of coordinating ribbon and cut to desired length. Now cut the ribbon in half so that you have two pieces. With both pieces of ribbon, tie a bow to one end and then glue the opposite ends to the inside of the box to form a handle. Let dry. Add black Stickle dots to the top edge of the box and allow drying time before adding feathers to the inside so the dots don’t smear (speaking from experience!). Once the Stickle dots have dried feel free to add pieces of feather boa, tulle, fabric scraps, paper shreds, etc.

One more step for the box! Cricut time! Grab your “Love Struck” Cricut cartridge, some black scraps of paper and small pieces of white to place under the hearts for the words to pop out more. Cut the hearts at 2 ½”. Glue a small piece of white scrap paper under each heart and then add dimensional dots (Pop Dots) and attach to the front of the box (see photo for placement).

Matching “LOVE U” Card

4x6 black card base
Scrap of patterned paper used on the box above for the mat (3 ¾ x 5 ¾”)
Cricut and “Love Struck” cartridge
Small piece of coordinating ribbon used on box above
Piece of black pompom fringe for bottom of card
Black and coordinating paper for hearts
Pieces of pink feather boa
Pop Dots (dimensional)

Adhere the patterned paper mat to the front of the card. Using a small piece of coordinating ribbon tie a loose knot and attach to the top of the card mat.

With the “Love Struck” Cricut cartridge cut a heart at 4 ¼” from black paper then cut the group of candy hearts stopping after the first heart has been cut at 3”. Next, cut a heart from the same patterned paper you used for the top strip on the box above. Cut this heart at 3 ½”. (It does cut a group of four hearts but I only used three of them). Run each heart through your Cuttlebug or other embossing machine using your desired embossing folder ( I used D’vine Swirls). Stack the hearts using Pop dots (dimensionals) and attach to card front. Glue a strip of black pompom fringe to the bottom of the card, folding the ends under for a neat and finished appearance. Add pieces of light pink feather boa to the lower left side of the heart and under the top heart that reads “LUV U.”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

RECYCLED ART...First a Gift Box..then...A Decoration!

Make this super easy, affordable & adorable swanky little treasure that can be used as a gift box,  a decoration to hang from your door knob or any other special little area in your home! It's just the perfect size
to slip a few handmade cards, tags, gift card or any other small trinkets into!

To make this little box you will need a Rice-a-Roni box, or any other brand box similar in size and shape.

Cricut Cartride:  Love Struck
1 Rice-a-Roni Box (or any other brand of rice or any other size box that is comparable in size
1 12x12 piece of patterned sheet music paper
Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Ink - I used the Walnut refillable ink that comes in a bottle
Black paper scraps
Black Stickles
Pop Dots (dimensionals)
Preferred Adhesive
Black Ribbon or fabric to go around the top of the box
Coordinating black ribbon for handle
Emery Board or piece of sand paper
Wine colored feather - or any other desired color
Scrap piece of black tulle
Black Staz-On Ink OR black/cream colored paint to match paper background
Mod Podge or any other decoupage glue
Small piece of velcro

First begin by painting the edges and bottom of the box if you don't want the recipient to know you are using packaging  from your recycling bin!  I typically choose to only ink the edges and top of the box and leave the bottom visible (you would see the Rice-a-Roni packaging on the bottom if you flipped the box over).  Next you need to measure all four sides of the box, including the top flap of the box. I have made several of the boxes and have found that different brands measure a little differently so make sure to measure all four sides.  Then cut your paper to fit the dimensions of the box, including a seperate piece for the top flap. 

Before adhering the paper to the box, use the refillable ink (or even coffee/tea staining will work too!) to antique the paper.  I used a dash of Collage Pauge (it's just like Modge Podge!), a drop of ink and several drops of water (you want it to be the consistency of water) to make the solution. With the paper in one hand and the ink mixture in the other, hold the paper over a sink or other work surface and pour the mixture over the paper.  Hold the paper upright to let the solution run down the paper so that it has drips running down it. Quickly before the ink dries, run the entire piece of paper under the faucet and take a clean foam brush or a paper towel and blot the paper to lift the color off in some areas.  Once you have the desired look set it aside to dry. Once the paper has dried you will notice that it is warped and wrinkled in areas.  This is okay and the look we're after. :)

After the paper is complety dry, score the paper to fit all four sides of the box.  Crease and then glue to the box.  Using an emery board or sandpaper, lightly sand the edges (top, bottom and all four sides) to smooth the edges.  Using a medium brown tone of ink, lightly ink all of the edges of the box.  Next, completely cover the outside of the box with a light coat of decoupage glue.  Let dry. 

Now we're going to add the ribbon/fabric border to the very top.  Measure a piece to fit around the box and glue to attach.  Cut another piece of coordinating ribbon to fit the box for the handle and attach with brads or glue to the inside of the box (I glued the handles in place on the box shown above).  Cut the ribbon into two pieces and tie a bow at the top. 

Using the Love Struck Cricut cartridge and black paper cut the heart with the man and woman's heads and the solid (blackout) heart shown directly underneath it on the keypad overlay. Both hearts were cut at 3".  Stack the hearts with dimensionals (Pop Dots) and attach to box front with more dimensionals.  Add black Stickles around the top heart for extra bling.  Tie a small scrap piece of black tulle and attach to the upper corner of the Add dots of black Stickles to the tulle.  Slip a small wine colored feather underneath the heart so just the top of the feather shows.

Glue a piece of velcro to the top lid to hold the lid in place or if you don't want to bother with the box top, it can be removed completely so that the box looks more like a gift bag. :)