Handmade How-To: Botanical Note Cards Using Dingbats

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

2014 is here! I hope you all had a great New Year’s Eve celebration. I’d like to start this year (and the 2nd year of Happy Hands Project… wee!) with a note card DIY. Botanical themes grew in popularity this year and making them is easy-peasy. There are a lot of wonderful greeting cards for sale out there, like these cards from Amy Sullivan and florals from Rifle Paper Co., but if you want to make some on your own, here’s an easy way to do it. And the best thing is, it’s all for free!

In this DIY, we will be making 2 A6 cards which will fit nicely into C6 envelopes. We will be working with Adobe Illustrator, a downloadable dingbat font, and another font of your choice to write a message on the card. I am using Illustrator CS6 on a Mac, as you will see on the photos that will follow.

Let’s get all the materials ready, shall we? First, download and install the font Arboris Folium. Then download this chalkboard background from Besotted. If you’re printing the cards right away, have your card stock ready, too, preferably between 200-250gsm.

{1}
Open a new document in Illustrator. Select an Artboard size, which should be the same size as the paper you’ll be using. In my case, I use A4. Click ‘Landscape’ for the Orientation so you’ll be laying out the cards nicely on a horizontal page.

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

{2}
Make a rectangle using the rectangle tool (click M for the shortcut).  Position your pointer somewhere on the artboard and click once – enter the size 105mm x 148mm on the window that pops out. This will be how big your card will be.

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

{3}
Place your background onto the artboard. Go to File, select Place, and locate the file ‘CHALKBOARD_TEXTURE_BB.jpg’. The image will be placed on top of the rectangle you just made earlier. Resize the chalkboard background to a size you like. Just make sure it’s bigger than your rectangle.

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

{4}
Position your chalkboard background to the back of the rectangle – Object, select Arrange, then select Send to Back (click shift + cmd + [ for the shortcut). Now that the background is behind the rectangle, we can proceed with the masking. Masking the background means that it will take the shape of the rectangle above it.

{5}
Masking! Select both chalkboard and rectangle using your Selection Tool (hit V for the shortcut). Click Object – Clipping Mask – Make.

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

{6}
Pull out your Glyphs Panel. It’s time to select a botanical element for your card! Click on Window – Type – Glyphs, and a panel will come out. This window will be displaying the characters available in a certain font. Choose Arboris Folium font to see all the dingbats this font has. (Warning: Prepare to ooooh and aaaah. I love this font!)

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

{7}
Time to pick a specific element that you like. To make it appear on your artboard, click the Text tool (shortcut: T) and click anywhere on your chalkboard. Change the text color to white and type in a huge text size. In my case I used 275 pt, but you can go lower or higher. You can always adjust it later. Once you’ve chosen an element, position it to your liking. I centered mine as you can see.

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

{8}
Do you want a different element on the other card? Repeat the same process, and you’ll have 2 cards in no time.

DIY Botanical Notecards via Happy Hands Project

{9}
If you want to write a message anywhere on your card, select a font you like and lower the font size. How big your text will be is totally up to you. Just in case you’re curious, I used Cantoni DIY Wedding font by Debi Sementelli. It’s gorgeous.

That’s it! Load your card stock into your printer and you have 2 note cards! Happy writing, and have a wonderful New Year everyone!

 

Handmade How-To: DIY Golden Centerpiece

Gold Leaves Centerpiece via Happy Hands Project

We had an abundant supply of dried leaves around the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago, and I thought, why not transform these supposedly useless things into something useful? If you’ve read about my addiction with gold paint, you’ll understand why I came up with this DIY. I need to spray gold paint!

This is super easy, you’ll have a great centerpiece on an otherwise boring space in no time.

Here are the things I used:

  • A bunch of full, dried leaves (make sure they’re not torn!)
  • Gold spray paint (I used Pylox, but feel free to use another brand)
  • Newspapers
  • Wide-mouthed jars in various sizes and heights (I used 3)

Here’s how to make a simple centerpiece like I did:

{01}
Collect dried leaves. Select those that are not too small, but make sure you have a variety of sizes. I collected a lot but ended up selecting about 20. Oh, and it also helps to have an eager beaver little helper with a bag. Don’t ask me, she put that headband on her head saying it was her ‘crown’.

Gold Leaves Centerpiece via Happy Hands Project

{02}
Select the best leaves – use your judgement here. I retained those that were not too twisted or coiled. I also took some thin and wide ones.

Gold Leaves Centerpiece via Happy Hands Project

{03}
Set up your spray painting area! Make sure you are in a well-ventilated place and cover the floor with newspapers. Lay your leaves down and get your paint ready by shaking it for about 30 seconds.

{04}
Start with short bursts of paint directed to your leaves. Just spray lightly at first, moving around horizontally until all your leaves are gold. I kind of did a triple coating because I want my leaves to be rich gold.

Gold Leaves Centerpiece via Happy Hands Project

{05}
Leave your painted leaves to dry, which may take about half an hour to an hour, depending on how many coats of paint you sprayed. When they’re fully dry, turn them and start spraying the other side.

{06)
The fun part and finale! Gather your jars and start filling them with gold leaves. I found out that it’s nicer to use leaves of different lengths so that some stay in while the others stick out. It’s also nice to combine straight leaves with slightly curved ones.

Gold Leaves Centerpiece via Happy Hands Project

There you go! You can place it in your living room or dining table, or fill a shelf with lined up jars. You can also swirl some fairy lights around the jars for that Christmas vibe. I hope you’ll enjoy making these as much as I have!

Gold Leaves Centerpiece via Happy Hands Project

 

Handmade How-To: DIY Gold Note Cards

 

DIY Handmade Notecards-5

 

I used to be a silver-loving person. I just felt that silver is the most neutral metallic color, if there ever is such a thing. Until I laid my hands on my husband’s gold spray paint. Ever since I discovered how nicely it adhered to any type of surface, I just wanted to ‘Pylox’ everything that comes my way. No, really. I found out the gold paint covers my thick card stocks very smoothly, so I experimented making some note cards.

 

DIY Handmade Notecards-1

 

Here are the things I used:

  • A4 size card stock (I used a shimmery 250gsm card) plus a few extra ones
  • Gold spray paint (I used Pylox, but feel free to use another brand)
  • Rubber cutting mat and cutting materials
  • Ruler
  • Newspapers
  • Pens, markers and any writing instrument you prefer
  • Masking tape
  • Embellishments

 

I know not everyone has her own rubber mat, so some alternatives are a stack of newspapers or a large piece of cardboard box. You just need a cardboard that you can slash on that is thick enough to protect the surface underneath.

So are you ready to make personalized note cards? Let’s go!

{01}
Cut your card stock to desired size. I usually cut mine equally into 4 pieces, and they perfectly fit inside a C6 (114x162mm) envelope. Here’s a guide to envelope sizes if you need one.

{02}
Make use of your masking tape and extra card stock. Cut your tape and cover parts of your card that you want unpainted. Those clean spaces will be for your handwritten messages, embellishments or drawings. If you prefer having minimal paint and more writing space, use your extra cardboard to cover your note card. Tape the edges of the cardboard to keep them in place. On one of my cards, I cut a circle and stuck it onto the center of my note card. The center will remain white while the rest will be painted gold.

{03}
Set up your spray painting area! Make sure you are in a well-ventilated place and cover the floor with newspapers. If it’s windy, stick your cards onto the newspapers. One tape underneath will be easy enough to peel off.

{04}
Place your note cards on the covered floor. Shake your spray can for a minute or two to make sure the paint will be smooth when applied. Oh, and keep the cap on when you do so!

DIY Handmade Notecards-3

{05}
It’s time to start spraying! I hold my can about a foot from the note cards and spray lightly and quickly in a horizontal manner. I usually spray a second coat to make sure even the tiniest bits are covered. Leave your painted cards for about an hour to dry.

DIY Handmade Notecards-2

{06}
And now for the best part! I love peeling off masking tape to reveal straight edges. It’s also a nice surprise to see how each card would look like sans the strips of tape.

{07}
Decorate, embellish and write on your cards. The possibilities are endless. You can use strips of washi or fabric tape to prettify your works of art, or just use your favorite pen and doodle all you want.

DIY Handmade Notecards-6

 

Nothing beats a handmade card sent by snail mail, in my opinion. How would you ‘Pylox’ your cards? I’d love to see how they would look like! Tag me on Instagram.

 

DIY Handmade Notecards-7

Printable Valentine’s Day Card

 

When I was about 10, we had a craft project in school for Valentine’s Day. We were asked to bring old greeting cards and recycle them to make a new one. Oh, how thrilled I was! With school glue and scissors in hand, I cut up hearts and pictures to make a Valentine card for my Mom. I remember trying to make a heart (or flower, my memory is already a bit bleary) pop up when the card is opened.

I managed to make a small cardboard accordion and glued the heart (or flower!) on top of it. Kind of like a Jack-in-the-Box effect. The pop-up heart didn’t surprise my Mom at all, but it sure did make her happy.

YouAreLoved Card

As a tribute to my childhood tradition of handmade cards, I made a watercolor illustration last weekend for my Mom and Aunts. I’m sharing this with you so we can all extend some handmade love to the people we care about. Spread the love!

Download the printable card here.

Bee-Themed Birthday Party Invitations

Bumblebee Birthday Party Invitations via Happy Hands Project

 

What a year it has been! Our daughter has turned one! We celebrated this milestone at Shakey’s Pizza – and Lori enjoyed every minute of it!

My husband and I decided on a bee-themed party, as it was the most suitable for our girl. She’s very active, always a busy bee, always fluttering about. So once we had the theme down, I started on the invites.

We deviated from the predictable yellow and black and settled on yellow orange, lime and magenta… and everything fell into place. I had a lot of fun planning all the DIYs for the party. It wasn’t easy, but still a lot of fun! I made bee antenna headbands to serve as party hats, name tags and goodie bags with Thank You labels, plus an A3 sized framed poster. Since there was no available baker’s twine in the party’s colors, I made a few yards myself. I liked the way it turned out because it matched everything else!

Bumblebee Birthday Party via Happy Hands Project

Bumblebee Birthday Party via Happy Hands Project

The highlight of the party of course, goes to the hysterical magic show and pretty balloons by Leny’s Party Needs. A bee party will not be complete without a beehive cake! Gervy of Gervy’s Amazing Cakes designed a super yummy lemon butter cake and chocolate cake bars. The staff at Shakey’s Katipunan were very pleasant to work with. But the best part? Lori had the time of her life! Thank you so much to our family and friends who were there to celebrate with us.

Bumblebee Birthday Party via Happy Hands Project Bumblebee Birthday Party via Happy Hands Project

Bumblebee Birthday Party via Happy Hands Project

Photos courtesy of Liyan Aprieto

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Washi Tape Covered Wooden Pegs

 

Wooden Pegs and Washi Tape DIY via Happy Hands Project

I love washi tape. I can hear a chorus of ladies screaming at me now, saying, “WHO DOESN’T?”. It has now been a staple in my treasure trove of crafting supplies.

I remember buying my first six rolls of mt Tape in Tokyo a few years ago, not really knowing what I’d do with them. Fast forward to 2013, and I’ve got rolls and rolls of these colorful paper tapes! I order them from all over – from US and HK shops in Etsy to local shops here in Singapore. You might say I’m a bit weird, because I have this certain attachment to things. I love my washi tape stash so much that I feel that every project I use it for should be useful, and working on it should be simple yet worthwhile.

Last month I was thinking of putting up buntings with my little family’s photos attached to wooden pegs. Well, I must admit I never got to printing the photos yet (let alone selecting which ones get printed!) so I started on ‘prettifying’ my pegs first. And this is so not a tutorial. This is something so straightforward that it doesn’t need much explanation!

Wooden Pegs and Washi Tape DIY via Happy Hands Project

All you need is a roll (or a dozen rolls – that’s up to you!) of washi tape, plain wooden pegs, a sharp cutter or X-Acto knife, and a rubber cutting mat or a stack of newspapers.

 

  1. Align one side of your tape to one side of your peg. Don’t worry about not getting it perfect the first time as washi tape doesn’t stick to the wood like Superglue. Just lift it and re-align.
  2. Turn the peg over and trim off the excess (make sure your newspapers are thick enough so as not to scratch the table’s surface!).
  3. Turn your tape-covered peg upright. Do you see a gap there? Cut the tape that covers the gap and carefully tuck the tape within that space.
  4. Do the same for the other side of your peg!

 

Ain’t it so fun and simple? I cannot wait to use these wooden pegs now.

Wooden Pegs and Washi Tape DIY via Happy Hands ProjectWooden Pegs and Washi Tape DIY via Happy Hands Project

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