Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dig into Your Echo Park Stash for Three Easy Projects


Don't you love the bright colors in those photos?  The photos are teasers for the three projects in this post.  The great thing about these projects (well, besides the lovely colors and patterns) is that they are very versatile.  You can make them with any of the Echo Park papers and stickers that you have in your stash, because all of the Echo Park lines are easy to mix and match.  It's nice to have easy projects like this in the summer, when life gets busy.  So, without further ado, here are the three projects: a framed gift, a music-themed 12x12" layout, and a set of book club bookmarks.  Let's get started!

supplies: assorted Echo Park papers and stickers, frame with multiple openings, embroidery floss (DMC), punch (All Night Media), pen (Zig), adhesive tabs (3M)

First up is the gift item--a collage frame.  I made this framed piece as a Father's Day gift for my husband, but you could make it for any holiday.   Just choose photos and products that coordinate with your theme.  Here is a step-by-step tutorial:  
  1. Pick up a frame with multiple openings from your favorite retailer.  (These are easy to find at any shop that sells picture frames--you can grab one on your next trip to Target, WalMart, or Hallmark.)  
  2. Take apart the pieces of the frame.  Place the front of the frame on a piece of scrap paper and with a pencil lightly trace around the perimeter of each opening.  Cut out the shapes you have traced--these will be your templates for sizing your photos and embellishments.   
  3. Choose photos to fill some of the openings.  To trim each photo to size, hold one of the templates from step two against the back of the photo.  Hold the photo up to a light source (a lamp or a sunny window) and position the template where you want it.  Lightly trace the template shape onto the back of the photo.  Now you are ready to cut the photo to size, but do not cut on your traced lines.  Instead, cut around the traced shape, leaving about a half-centimeter margin all around the shape.  
  4. Choose embellishments to fill the remaining openings in the frame.  Because the different lines of Echo Park papers all coordinate so well, you can mix and match, choosing any scraps from your stash that you like.  I used a journaling block and fussy-cut stars from the "Little Boy" line, mini letter stickers from "Everybody Loves Christmas," large letter stickers from "Playground," and assorted patterned and solid papers from "Splash."   
  5. Cut out your paper to fill the remaining spaces in your frame (using the same process you used to cut your photos).  Add the embellishments to the papers and photos.  (I did a bit of embroidery, punching, and doodling, but you can use any embellishment techniques you like).
  6. Position the photos and papers in the frame, and use adhesive tabs to tape everything into place on the back of the frame.  The photo below shows how the back of the frame will look at this stage.  Don't worry--the front will look much prettier than the back!  :)

    To finish your project, carefully peel the backing off the adhesive tabs and put your frame back together.  The adhesive tabs will hold everything in place.  Voila, you're done!

    Here's one more look at the finished product (below):

    Now let's move on to the music-themed layout (photo below).  Everyone loves music, and writing about a person's musical tastes is a great way to journal on a layout.  This layout also features some artsy painting techniques, but you don't need to be an artist to pull them off.  The painting on this layout is supposed to look messy, so anyone can do it.  :)  I used acrylic paint, but you could easily substitute any of the spray inks that are so popular in the scrapbooking world at the moment.  You can also switch up the colors to match your photos.  I used shades of orange, but you can use any colors you like.

    supplies: orange cardstock (Echo Park Summer Days line), orange patterned paper (Echo Park Little Boy line), button paper (the flipside of the orange patterned paper), white cardstock (American Crafts), large and small letter stickers (both from the Echo Park Playground line), washcloth, orange border sticker (Echo Park Little Girl line), white paint (Deco Art), orange paint (Plaid), paint brush, emery board or distressing tool, notebook paper and pen, your favorite adhesive and/or glue stick.  Color inspiration: the Color Room palette # 62.

    Here is how to put together this type of layout:

    1.  Choose photographs from different times in a person's life.  (I chose photos of my husband.).  Mat the photos on the orange patterned paper.  Add mini-letter captions.  Distress the edges of the photo mats.  (I used an emery board, but you can also buy a special tool for this at your local crafts/scrapbook store, if you prefer.) 

    2.  Use large letter stickers to spell out your title at the bottom of a sheet of white cardstock.  (See photo below).  You don't need to worry about the color of the letter stickers, because you will remove them later.  Before putting your stickers on the cardstock, stick each one briefly to a clean, dry washcloth.  The resulting light layer of fuzz on the back of the sticker will make it easier to remove later.

     3.  Tear a strip from the top of the white cardstock, and place it under the bottom edge of the cardstock.  Use a painbrush to cover the bottom three inches of the white cardstock with orange paint.  The torn strip will help to keep you from accidentally painting your work surface.  Then, cover the rest of the cardstock with random streaks of orange paint.  (See photo below.)

    4.  Wait for the paint to dry completely.  While you wait, you can do your journaling on notebook paper.  I love to write, so I wrote three paragraphs of text, but if you prefer you could simply make a bullet-points list of favorite songs/bands from different periods of your subject's life.  There is no right or wrong way to do this journaling.  (See photos below.)

    5.  When the paint is completely dry, carefully remove the stickers to reveal the white letters.

    6.  Now it's time to start assembling the layout.  First, trim a strip with the title from the painted cardstock and adhere it near the bottom of the orange cardstock.  Layer the matted photos above the title strip, letting them overlap.  Tuck the remainder of the painted cardstock behind the row of photos and use this cardstock as a mat for your journaling pages.  You can use any sort of adhesive to stick all these items down, but I have found that a glue stick works best for tacking down the notebook pages.

    7.  Now you get to embellish!  First, add the border sticker along the top of your journaling.  Next, cut a free-hand heart from a scrap of the orange patterned paper.  Crumple the heart, distress the creases, flatten the heart back out, and adhere it on the center of the border sticker.  Finally, fussy-cut a button from the button-patterned paper and adhere it to the heart.

    8.  Now you get to put the final touches on your layout with paint.  This is really fun!  Anywhere you want to add a special touch to your layout, apply a little paint.  You can drip it onto the layout, dab it on with a paintbrush or your fingers, or use the cap of the paint bottle to stamp circles of paint.  I used all these techniques, and I enjoyed the process a lot.  Let these last bits of paint dry, and you are done!  Here is one more look at the finished layout (below):

    Last up is the set of bookmarks.  Summer is a great time for relaxing with a good book, and many people--both kids and adults--join book clubs for the summer.  Why not surprise the members of your book club with personalized bookmarks?

    Here is how the fronts of the bookmarks look (below):

    Supplies: assorted Echo Park papers and stickers, corner rounder (Creative Memories), hole punch (Acco), assorted fibers (DMC).

    And here's a photo of the reverse side (below):

    I made these with the "Borders" paper from Echo Park's "Summer Days" line (below).  The great thing about the "Borders" paper is that the strips are the perfect size for making bookmarks.

    Here is how to make these bookmarks:

    1.  Cut 2"x5" strips of paper--one strip for each bookmark.  Round the corners of each strip, and use a standard office hole punch to punch the holes for the tassels.

    2.  Cut out an ice cream cone for each bookmark.  Mat the ice cream cones with small rectangles of colored paper.  I made my mats with the thick colored strips from the top of the "Borders" paper.

    3.  Cut small rectangles of paper from the blue B-side of the "Borders" paper.  Personalize each rectangle with an alphabet sticker.  I used the alphabet stickers from Echo Park's "Everybody Loves Christmas" line.  Yep, that's right, Christmas stickers on summer bookmarks!  See what I mean about Echo Park's different lines being perfect for mixing and matching?  :)

    4.  Adhere an ice cream cone rectangle and a monogram rectangle on each bookmark.  Let these rectangles overlap.  Add a dot sticker at the bottom of each cluster.  I used dot stickers from the "Playground" alphabet.

    5.  Flip your bookmarks over to the blue side.  Embellish each bookmark with the phrase "Summer Fun" from the "Borders" Paper.  Use mini alphabet stickers to spell out the words "book club."  I used a variety of mini alphabet stickers--pink (from "Little Girl"), yellow (from "Springtime"), and green (from "Playground").

    6.  Last but not least, use embroidery floss or bits of ribbon to create the tassels for each bookmark.  With the variety of colors in Echo Park papers, you are sure to have some fibers in your stash that will work in the tassels.  I used DMC floss colors 3706 (peach), 947 (orange), 726 (yellow), 3346 (green), 931 (blue), 603 (pink), 794 (lilac), and 712 (cream)...but you could use any colors that your heart desires.

    That's it!  Thanks for looking at my projects.  I hope that they have inspired you to do some fun, easy-breezy summer crafting.  I'll leave you with one last photo of the finished bookmarks.


    rosebud101 said...

    Denise, these are great projects!!!!! I'd sure like to follow your blog, but you're not on friend connect by google. It's a widget you can add! Love your work!

    Denise Price said...

    Thanks, Mallory, I'm glad you liked the projects!!! I think you should be able to follow my blog just by clicking the "follow" button in the right-hand column. Then you can see updates either on your Blogger dashboard or thru Google Reader. Let me know if you're still having problems with it, and I'll see if there is anything else I can do.

    Lean said...

    Great work Denise and also thanks for how you have made it!