Monday, February 24, 2014

Stencil Challenge: Bleached Disney Shirts

Hey everyone!  It's a fun week over at Bitten by the Bug 2!  This week Maureen has challenged us to use our Cricut cuts as a stencil.  
This challenge was really perfect timing for me.  I have to get started on all these Disney shirts I want to make for our upcoming trip to Disneyworld this summer.  This is a HUGE secret to my kids.  We have never been to Disney before!  They will not know until right before we leave.  I have this whole surprise plan, and as we get closer, it is getting harder and harder to keep it a secret.  
If you want to join us this week, all you have to do is use a Cricut cut as a stencil.  Now let me show you how I made these shirts.  I also want to share what worked and what didn't work so well.  
Oh and I have some other cool news all the way at the bottom of the post!!!!!!
 They have no idea they get to wear these at DISNEYWORLD!!!

I found the bleached t-shirt idea on Pinterest (what would I do without Pinterest).  Different sites had different methods.  I went with a good one I found on the blog Then She Made.  She used an actual stencil for her shirt.  Other sites suggest using contact paper, which I didn't have in the beginning. 

I used wax paper for both my daughters' shirts.  On my Cricut with the Mickey Font cartridge (and the Cricut Craftroom), I cut the Mickey head at 6 in. for my older kids and 4 in. for my toddler.  Wax paper tears easily, so put your blade at 1, speed on low, and pressure low.  I then taped it down using painter's tape.   
Next, I used a Tilex Bleach Pen for Grout and Tile to rub over the area.  I let it set for about 10-15 minutes.  
As I used this method on different shirts and different colors, I did have varying results.  The pink youth t-shirt from Hobby Lobby did the best.  I bought a toddler shirt at Hobby Lobby that was a little more expensive, and the color didn't fade away as much.  
After making the two pink shirts with no problems, I moved on to making a blue one for my son.  This is where I had a problem.
For some reason, the edges turned slightly brown and not as defined as the other shirts.  This is when I decided to try contact paper instead of wax paper.  This was a really good decision.  It was a lot easier than the wax paper.
The contact paper stuck down really well to the shirt, which made it really easy to apply the bleach pen and get a nice clear edge.  The contact paper also allows you to lift it up and straighten out your stencil if needed.  
I found the green worked a lot better than the blue.  I also added a cute iron-on bow-tie I found at Hobby Lobby.  
Now I'll show you other methods I tried.  
I thought it would be very cute to put my son's initial in the middle.  Just be careful to flip your image depending on how you lay your contact paper on you Cricut mat.  I laid the paper with the backing side up.  The contact paper comes in big rolls, so if you mess up, you still have plenty with which to work.

So the blue shirt was destined for cuteness, however, my bleach pen finally reached its limit and began to run out as I got half way through this shirt.  As I rushed, trying to finish and not run out of bleach, I accidentally lifted up the bottom of the "G" causing it to mess up a little.  Oh well!  I guess a blue shirt was not meant to be!  The blue shirt did have a yellow tone after bleaching too. 
So here is a quick step-by-step plan if you want to make these shirts:

Supplies: t-shirt, stencil cut made with contact paper, bleach pen, newspaper

1.  Place your cut sticky side down on your shirt. 
2.  Place a piece of newspaper under the stencil area, so it won't bleed through to the back.
3.  Shake the bleach pen, and begin to apply it over the area.
4.  Let it set for 10-15 minutes.
5.  At sink, peel off contact paper and rinse with water really well.
6.  Wash and dry in cold water.
7.  Add any iron-on or other embellishments, if desired.
*Other sites mention using a bleach in a spray bottle instead of a bleach pen.  I think it really depends on the look you want.  I would like to try that method as well.  Most sites have sprayed bleach around a cut like so:
I'd like to give it a try.  If you do, let me know how it goes.

So here's our exciting news!  We had such a big weekend.  We had my 2 year old's birthday party, and we found out what the gender of the baby will be!!!  My sister made a reveal cake for us!  It was such an incredible experience to hand her that envelope and know she had such a special task.  She did a great job!  So here it is:
It's a BOY!!!
We are so excited and feel SO BLESSED!  We already have two girls and one boy, so this was just so great!!  
I must say that this was one of the most fun and exciting ways to find out what we were having.  We found out the very traditional way with an ultrasound for our first two kiddos.  For our third, we decided not to find out (which was an experience of a lifetime), and this time we thought we'd have a little fun!  Now for a name...

Thanks for stopping by, and we hope you'll join us this week for the challenge.

Monday, February 17, 2014

July 4th Flag Race Layout

Hey everybody!  I have a very quick layout I put together for Bitten by the Bug's Patriotic Challenge in celebration of President's Day.  I used the Artbooking cartridge for the first time, and I think I am in love!!!  It just made this layout so easy.  There were so many elements to choose from, and I could have added a little more .  However, I am happy with how it came out, especially with the finished photos on the layout.  

So what is a "Flag Race?"  Well this was something fun we did with the kids last 4th of July.  I promise the adults had just as much fun as the kids!!!  It was basically a relay where each team tried to be the first to transfer all their flags back to the start line.  SO FUN!  I found it on Pinterest.

So we hope you will join us this week and create something Patriotic using your Cricut.  
July 4-comes from Designer's Calendar
All other cuts are from Artbooking
For those of you who have a major eye for detail, you may have noticed my lower left star mat is different from the rest...GRRR!  I later fixed it.  LOL!
Using the Cricut Craftroom, I found the Artbooking cartridge fairly easy to size.  
I basically design the whole layout in the craftroom.  I use the Cricut Craftroom Basics to create the colored mats I need to test out my colors and sizes.  I sized the star photo mats at 11 inches as the handbook suggests for a 4 x 4 photo mat.
I sized the overlay at 9 inches instead of 11 inches as the handbook suggests.

And here is the finished project...
Now let me share my little mishap with you that I now know not to do when working with these Artbooking photo mats.  Please don't be a goof like me and glue down the 4 x 4 star photo mats all the way before putting your photos down.  I had to peel them off and re-cut them to put my pictures down.  My pictures are sized at 3.5 x 3.5 which fit perfectly under the 4 x 4 star mats.

So we hope you will join us this week over at Bitten by the Bug!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Organizing without a Scrap "Room"

Hey everyone!  This week over at Bitten by the Bug 2, we are sharing our scrap spaces or scrap rooms.  Well, for me, I only have a "space" and that is basically the dining room!  It works though, and I'll show you some ways I try to stay organized even without a room devoted to my hobby.  We also invite you to link up with us and share your scrap space!

We built our house in 2011, and I was so excited because I had an extra room.  It was going to be a hobby/play room.  Finally!  Well about one month later, I found out I was pregnant with our third child.  So I had my hobby room for about 9 months, and then it became Macy Paige's room.  And now that number 4 is on his/her way, it looks like I'll be staying in the dining room.  So here are some ways I stay organized.  Warning:  LOTS OF PICTURES and LINKS!
This is my dining room where all my crafting happens.  Don't let this neat picture fool you!  If I'm in the middle of a project, it looks like a tornado went through it.  But oh how I love when it looks nice and clean like this!
Now this little cabinet right here is one of the most helpful ways I stay organized.  It is awesome.  I found it at Walmart online. They still have it! It is not too costly and it has really held up well.  It has wheels and a table top that folds down and extends out.  I'll show you the inside later in this post.
In my living room, I've devoted an entire cabinet to scrapbooking supplies.  They are very deep cabinets.
So here is what is in there:

I still keep all of my cartridges in their original boxes.  I recently sold my Imagine and got rid of all those cartridges.

This is where I keep most of my paper.  The top shelf is for solids and the pattern paper packs are towards the bottom.  I'm slowly running out of room as I buy more paper pads.  I just love them!  I also love these clear 12 x 12 shelves from  I had trouble finding something that would not be too tall once stacked in my cabinet.  These are perfect.  I ordered one set of 10 shelves, and I was able to split them between my two shelves.  Now they were kind of pricey, but I really think they were worth it. 

Now this next 12 x 12 folder is for all those miscellaneous pattern papers I pick up in bulk sections.  I bought it a while back ago at Michael's or Hobby Lobby.
I try to keep the papers organized for scrapbooking by having a girl section, boy section, baby section, gingham/polka dot section, and holiday section.
This little basket holds all of my ribbon and twine.  Over the summer, I organized all of my twine by putting it on tags I cut from Plantin Schoolbook.
A basket full of punches
Now for my little brown cabinet that really stores so much stuff.  I can store my cricut inside on the bottom shelf, although I usually have it out on my table.  I just bought a Sillouette, which I haven't used just yet.  I just need to have some time to read everything.  I downloaded the software for free before I ever purchased it to make sure I liked it.
I keep all of my tools on the top shelf and my stamp sets on the bottom shelf.
Now here's a look at the inside shelves:
I keep tons of stuff in here!  Trimmers, ATG gun, Gypsy, stamp pads, embossing powders, stickles, glitter, baby wipes, embellishments, heat gun, etc.  I use rectangular plastic tubs/baskets that I can easily stack and remove when I need them.
My stamp pads and embossing powders...

Buttons and brads are in this container I found at JoAnn's.
I keep all the sparkly stuff in the pink basket.
I also keep all my sequin and flower embellishments in this cabinet too.  It's amazing what I can get in there.

Lastly, here is my favorite tip to stay organized.  This is how I store my paper scraps.
I have this accordian folder.  It is not 12 x 12.  I found it quite some time ago in the office supply section at Walmart.  In each section, I keep sheet protectors filled with scraps according to their color.  This is for any small piece I think I can use again whether it be pattern or solid.  I keep similar colors together.  I also have a sheet protector section for black, white, gray, and brown together.  I find that this really works for me.  I go right to it first when I need to cut something smaller.  I save so much paper by doing this.
Well I hope you enjoyed all the tips I shared with you for staying organized even without a room.  As you can see, I try to put stuff away and out of sight for the most part.  This helps me feel a little better about not having too much clutter seen and keeps little hands from getting into it all the time.

So we look forward to you linking up to share your scrap spaces this week!  Have a good one!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Valentine Heart Challenge

Hey Everyone!  Jayne has selected a fun challenge over at Bitten by the Bug.  It is a Valentine heart challenge, and for me, this was right on time.  I needed to get started on treats for my kids' classes.  Now that they are in elementary school, their class sizes are much bigger.  I have to make 50 of these babies!

All you have to do to join in on the challenge this week is create a card or project with a Cricut heart cut.
This cute angel heart cut comes from Create-a-Critter 2 and is sized at 2.5 in.  

 To make these, I just trimmed and stapled two 1x8 clear bags from Jaded Blossoms to the shadow layer.  Then I glued the top layer over it.

I think they came out pretty cute so far.  So we hope to see you link up your heart project this week!  In the meantime, I'll be working on the other 40 something of these!

I'm also linking up this week with:

And if you need another Valentine treat idea, these are the treats I made last year using My Craft Spot stamps and Create-a-Critter 2: