Monday, November 22, 2010

How To: Hidden Staple Matchbook Notepad

With the holidays fast approaching if you're anything like me you're always on the look out for inexpensive and easy to make stocking stuffer ideas. Well here is a great little D.I.Y. that takes next to no time to whip up, is super easy to personalize (say with an initial stamp), and costs literally pennies per item to make. Ready for it? That's right - matchbook notepads, but this version is large enough to actually be useful and jot down lists and ideas in. Plus, it's complete with hidden staples which makes it both kid friendly and purse friendly - no pesky exposed staples snagging on fingers or fabric.

All right, let's get down to it. Here's what you'll need:
1. a strip of card stock which will serve as the notepad's cover measuring 2 3/4" x 11"
2. two sheets of basic copy paper for the inserts
3. a paper cutter for cutting your paper and to serve as your ruler
4. a heavy duty craft glue {Crafter's Pick works great and can be found at your local Michael's craft store.}
5. a stapler with at least 2 staples
6. two paperclips (optional)
7. a small perforated rotary cutter {You can also pick up a small handheld one at your local Michael's for $1.99 or just use your sewing machine minus the thread}
8. a bone folder to help make neat folds and crease lines (optional)

How To:
1. Cut your copy paper into strips measuring 2 1/5" wide by 11" long. You will get 3 strips per sheet.
2. Now take those strips and cut them down to 2 1/5" x 3 1/2" pieces. You will get 3 per strip. Count out 12 sheets of paper to go inside your notepad and put the rest aside for any other notepads you may want to make later.
3. Use your perforated rotary blade or an unthreaded sewing machine and perforate the copy paper 1/2" from the bottom and set aside.
4. Grab your strip of card stock and lay it face up. Fold inward a 1" flap at one end.
5. Flip your card stock over, face down, and fold a 1" flap after the first fold.
6. Keeping your card stock face down make a third 1" fold after the first two.
7. Keep all the folds sandwiched down together and measure 4" from the top of the folds towards the center of your card stock. Make a crease to be folded down as the cover later.
8. Now that your card stock is all folded take your sheets of copy paper and insert the perforated ends into the pocket created by first fold. Center the paper from the sides of the card stock getting ready to staple at each end. You can use your paperclips to help keep the sheets of paper together and to keep them in the right spot...
9. ...because you will need to turn your card stock over to staple it. Make sure you place those staples below the perforated lines. This way the paper can be easily ton out of the notepad.
10. Get out your craft glue and add some paste between the second and third folds and smoosh the two together.
11. With those pieces glued together now apply some glue to the other side, being mindful not to get any on the copy paper, and fold inward making a sandwich.
12. Now fold the 4" crease down over the copy paper making a cover. Trim any excess card stock off so that the cover will tuck comfortably into the bottom lip like a standard matchbook.
Now that your notepad is complete grab those stamps, linocuts, paper punches and have fun decorating! Don't be afraid to put some personality into those stocking stuffers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This Is A Necklace.

Yes. Yes, it is and a pretty cool one at that.

{Word Charm Necklace via Tickette}

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Many Faces of Eve

It's getting to be that time. That time of year when you curl up on the sofa, pull out your paper and pen, and start jotting down your holiday gift ideas. I love this time of year because shopping for other people is one of my favorite things to do. I'm so hesitate to spend money on myself that it's such an indulgent thing for me to buy something 100% guilt free. Plus, I can honestly say that I'm an excellent gift giver. I have a knack for reading people - well except where guys are concerned. Just ask my dad or my brother-in-law. For three years running now they each tend to get the same thing: "something" and socks for my dad and "something" and a Tim Horton's gift certificate for my brother-in-law. Yippee. But, in my defense it's not entirely my fault. Women are just easier to shop for. We like pretty things. Be it clothes, jewelry, a bauble - if it suits us, rarely will we ever say "ehhh, I don't need it."

Still, there are some women that can be tricky to shop for. So in my down time I did some virtual shopping and put together a gift guide for that clever, quirky, hipster, laid back, sophisticated, slightly over-the-top friend. Because, we all have someone who defies description.

{For links to any of the items shown above just click the picture. It will take you to my treasury on Etsy. Happy shopping!}

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

I've been putting off a "I'm home" post for 4 days now because it'll mean that...well, I'm home and vacation is over. But, since I've already been back to Birdcage Cards's business, house cleaning, dog walking, and babysitting I think its proof positive that it's life as normal once again - though not that that's a bad thing. After taking 2 days to travel home and getting locked out of the Newark airport I'm quite glad to be in the comfort of home.I brought home a slew of magical memories, a few of which are among the most meaningful of my life, tons of fun travel pics, and a heavy handful of super cool souvenirs and trinkets.

By far my favorite souvenir was, you guessed it, a bag. However, in my defense, this isn't just any bag. It's a super special, handmade in Guatemala, leather and Mayan brocade weekender by John Heaton. The quality is superb and yay for me the price tag was not nearly as steep as the one listed on the shop's website! Props to my dad for raising me in a flea market where everything is negotiable.

Unfortunately, I was in a bit of a frenzy before I found said weekender. You see, low maintenance me was convinced that I could pack for two weeks (including two formal gowns) in a simple carry-on suitcase. Well, once there I realized that not only had I under-packed, but I packed the wrong things. So, needless to say purchases had to be made and before I knew it my (or should I say my sister's) little red carry-on could fit no more. The day before I left I added shopping for luggage to my to-do list and while I ended up missing out on seeing one particular convent I did come home with this lovely lady... ...nice right?! And don't worry I haven't forgotten to share some of my gorgeous pictures of the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and city of Antigua. It's just that I took so many I hardly know where to begin! I guess I'll have a lot of sorting through to do tonight.

Until next time. Lots of love,