Archive for June, 2011

Graduation gift ideas

graduation capGraduation is one of the most exciting summer celebrations. Who doesn’t love a good summer party and the excitement of new adventures?!

But Graduation can also be the one of the most challenging gifting occasions. Either you’re not privy to the Grad’s preferences or you risk paying homage to the child you once knew. Time flies so fast – It’s tough to remember the American Girl Magazine your Grad once loved could render a crushing blow to Freshman coolness. In other words, what was once a go-to gift might not apply to this new adventure.

Or maybe you’re dealing with the biggest problem… you have a dozen fabulous Graduates to recognize with your given budget. (I usually hum the lyrics to Feist’s Mushaboom when these situations arise, “It may be years until the day, my dreams will match up with my pay”) Oh, how wonderful it would be if I could execute the creative ideas that run through my head?! Read the rest of this entry »

Creative gift wrapping: reusing a gift box

Last month I needed a graduation gift for a friend. Deciding what was going inside the box was easy. Deciding how to jazz up my packaging took a little more time. I was traveling on a flight with this, so sturdy packaging was a must. I found a gift box I had saved (thanks, Anthropologie) that fit everything inside and was the perfect blank canvas. To personalize it I designed a piece to mount to the lid of the box, which featured a series of words related to my friend’s graduation in a variety of fonts.

I love how this turned out. It is simple, clean packaging that is truly custom (I chose each word featured in the design), and it’s something I can do for another occasion.

P.S. Don’t think that you need any fancy design programs to do this – I created this in good old Microsoft Word with a series of text boxes.

PS colors: peacock & chocolate
Latest fave: Satin Ribbon

Quick-step guide: Binding with the Zutter

You’re probably thinking, “Zutter, what?” Or maybe you’re already a fan of this new DIY tool. To help you discover the magic of the Zutter Bind-It-All and its accessories, I created a simple keepsake book in five easy steps.

Items needed:

Zutter Bind-It-All
Wire cutters
½” gauge wire (thinner books) or ¾” gauge wires (thicker books)
Envelopes, cover stock and text for pages
Chipboard for covers (try adding decorative paper or photos to the cover)
Xyron 510 or Tape Runner adhesive for attaching paper to covers
• Your imagination!

zutter cover binding

Step 1: Set your guide to “C” for creating the holes in the chipboard. Set your covers (these are finished with Cavallini Gift Wrap) inside opening, stopping at the guide. Make sure the stabilizing foot is out, then pull the handle down. Read the rest of this entry »

Creative gift giving: Flip flop bracelets (with printable tag)

Among the small treats that make me happy (in no particular order): chocolate, coffee, sheets of Lokta paper, new felt tip pens and, now, flip flop bracelets! I love mixing different color palettes on my wrist with stacks of these recycled bangles, and I absolutely love the story behind them.

stacked bracelets

These bracelets are made by a group of women in Mali (West Africa), who collect worn out flip flops, melt them down and draw the plastic into colorful loops. Everyday flip flops are reborn as unique, handmade bangles. One can only guess the journey each one of these lovely trinkets has taken. Read the rest of this entry »

How-to: Summer cup covers

Keep those pesky bugs away from your favorite summer beverage. These stylish cup covers are festive AND serve as a drink marker too… write your guest’s name on top! Use this super easy how-to at all your summer fêtes!

PS colors: peacock & paper bag
Latest fave: Spritzer Rubber Stamp Cleaner and Rubber Stamp Cleaning Pad

Materials Needed:

    Summer Cup Cover How-To PDF
    Not a Plastic Cup (set of 4 re-usable red cups)
    • Red & White Paper Straws
    Circle Cards in Sunshine, Clover & Poppy (or whatever colors you like!)
    Flower Shapes Pack
    • 1/4” Round Hole Punch
    • Small Zots Glue Dots


      1. Begin by folding petals for added dimension.
      2. Re-punch holes in centers of flowers using a 1/4” round hole punch. Stack flowers as desired in two or three layers. Position flowers on top of circle card, close to the edge (making sure to leave room for writing a name), and punch a hole as far as your hole punch will reach.
      3. Write name on circle card opposite from where the hole is punched. Place on top of cup, position flowers on top of circle card and feed straw in place. Place two glue dots on lip of cup.
      4. Place cover on top of cup with the straw placed closest to glue dots. This will keep your cover in place AND acts as a hinge allowing for refreshing refills!

Upcoming workshop: Creative Spiral Travel Book

zutter bindingOur newest crafting tool has me dreaming up great gifts, like the perfect graduation gift for my nephews. The Zutter Bind-It-All let me turn old photos, loose objects and paper into a spiral bound keepsake book. Since many of you seek unique graduation gifts and creative ways to package your summer travel memories, we’ve taken this project and turned it into a workshop.

Join us for:

Creative Spiral Travel Book Workshop
Saturday, June 11, 2011
11:00 am – 1:00 pm (local time)
Register today!

Get hands on experience with a new tool and leave with a wonderful book for summer journaling or gift giving!

PS colors: paper bag & persimmon
Latest fave: Zutter Bind-It-All

Buyer’s favorite: Unique Father’s Day gifts

Father’s Day is approaching and, whether your dad is sweetheart or a geek at heart, we have unique gifts for dad.

geek dad book geek pen

Geek is the new cool, so for the geek dad we have tons of options. The Geek Pen is my personal fave – It comes complete with a stylus, flexible LED light, UV light, red laser pointer, and clip. It is the ultimate gift for Dad to nerd out on. We also have a Geek Dad book with great geeky projects, like “Building the Best Slip N Slide Ever.” It’s just in time for summer fun! Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: 10 questions with Stylist Shana Faust

stylist shana faustPhotography courtesy of Amber Marlowe Blatt and

Following yesterday’s Midsummer’s Eve Affair we spent a few minutes with Handmade Weddings coauthor Shana Faust, and let readers ask the artist about her creative process, to find out how this busy stylist is able to Do Something Creative Every Day.

Question from Nicki: What is your favorite thing about styling?

A: I love using objects and their placement to create arresting images that tell a story and evoke a feeling.

Question from Nicki B: What spurs your creative blocks and how do you get out of them?

A: I definitely can get stuck sometimes. Usually at the beginning of a project, when I am searching for the genesis of a concept, a blank canvas with infinite possibilities can be daunting. But once I’ve got an initial idea things tend to flow from there.

I’m lucky to live in New York City because it is such an inspiring place. If I’m ever in need of a spark I usually head outside for a walk (and coffee!) and a trip to one of my favorite stores. Kinokuniya Bookstore, NY Art Central, Pearl River and Economy Candy are some of my favorite haunts.
Read the rest of this entry »

Art of Craft: New recipes for DIY cards & crafts

rubber stamping
stencil crafts
letterpress cards
craft cutting

As we mentioned in our Behind the Design post earlier this week, the new Paper Source catalog features an entire spread dedicated to a customer fave — Recipes! The Art of Craft lets you explore new techniques for rubber stamping, embossing and stenciling, along with digital die cutting and letterpress projects, through 46 easy-to-follow recipes.

Experience the sophisticated side of crafting by clicking an image above or flipping to pages 14 and 15 of the catalog. Then, tell us what technique you’d like us to tackle next OR share what you discovered when trying these on your own.

– Annie & Claudia, PS Craft Design Team
PS colors: fuchsia & paper bag
Latest fave: Silhouette Digital Die Cutting Tool