Monday, July 25, 2011


Mailing packages can cost a pretty penny.  Here's a way to recycle your old shopping bags and create shipping mailers that are one of a kind, fit your item to be shipped, and are inexpensive. 

Materials Needed: 
Old Cardboard Gift Box or comparable, Clear Packing Tape, Scissors, Ruler, Paper Shopping Bag.

I use these dimensions for my mailers... 8" x 12".  But adjust it to fit the items you're going to mail.
Tip: Use an old gift box to cut your template...thin cardboard.

This is a great way to recycle your paper shopping bags.  
Tip: Choose ones that have good sturdy paper.

Cut open the bag...down the sides and across the bottom. 

 Using your template as a guide, cut out as many mailer blanks as you can.  
Tip: Remove the handles and excess cardboard which only adds unnecessary weight to your mailer package.

Fold a Mailer in Half. 

If you're kinda anal like me, you can trim down the sides that are uneven.
Tip: easiest way is to use your paper trimmer tool.

To make it sturdy, I fold over the edges and tape it down using packaging tape.
1) I cut at an angle, the bottom corner where the 2 "open sides" meet.
2) Next, I fold over the edge a bit...up to you how much you want to fold over...and then tape down.
3) I do the same thing to the other open side. I leave the "top" part of the mailer open.
Tip: For tapes to use, use clear strong packaging tape or Duct Tape (comes in neat colors). You don't want your mailer to fall apart during mailing. Make sure the Tape Sticks to the Bag...if paper is too slick, your tape may not stick.  If this happens, use a Different type of bag OR you'll need to Tape Up your entire bag.

To ready your item for mailing, first wrap Item in bubble wrap and tape down. 
This will provide that "cushiness" needed when mailing....just like those
 more expensive bubble mailers that they sell. 
After you insert your item in the mailer, then fold down the top open area and tape securely down.
Finally, double check your mailer and Tape over Any places that look like it needs taping...
like thin areas, seams in the bag, corners, etc.etc. You want to make sure that the mailer is secure. 
Final step: Just add your shipping label and you're ready to ship! 
Tip: I like to decorate my mailers with cute colorful decorated tape. It gives it just that little extra something. 

Here's a bunch of new recyclable mailers that I made today.  I'm ready to ship!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In a Creating Mood...Vintage Pillowcase Tote Bags

vintage pillowcase tote bag in yummy yellow

another vintage pillowcase tote bag in orange orange
close-up detail of vintage doilies used as front pocket and cottage detailing 

little fabric tabs using modern fabrics

on my mannequin
close-up of vintage doilies and modern trim

modern fabric trim tags and vintage velvet ribbon tag

vintage button details
 I told you I was in a sewing just takes me awhile to get started.  I LoVe LoVe LoVe fabric...the color, the designs, the textures, the trims.  But, sewing in general kinda makes me get the whillies sometimes because I gotta really "think" about how to do it.  My young summer sewing classes come to mind.  Sewing is a much more time consuming thing for me than jewelry making.  There's a ton more steps...but maybe it's just bc I don't do it as often as I would like.  Maybe if I keep on doing it, I'll get way way faster where I can do "breathe" sewing where it just comes so naturally I don't even think about it. That's the way I do jewelry..."breathe" jewelry making.

Anyhoo, I got an itching to start using my lovely fabrics..both vintage and modern. And the gorgeous trims ribbons buttons and other thingamajiggys that I've collected over the years...they all seem to be giving me that mermaid call.

So, this week, I dragged out my containers of materials and shoe boxes of trims and got "close" to them again.  Inspired, I made these 2 vintage pillowcase tote bags.  I learned the technique from Tif at her Dottie Angel weekend retreat sewing class last September in Seattle WA.  I wear my tote bag I made at Tif's class all the time. And, gals always always stop me and tell me that it's super cute...thanks, I know...oooo, not too modest aren't I?

But, this time, I changed up the design and gave it my own twist...adjusting the Length and added the flip over collar at the top.  I found that the original design from Tif was a bit toooooo long for me.  I'm only 5' 1" and my arms have a hard time digging to the bottom of the long tote.  So, I came up with my own way to shorten it and give me a top cuff to embellish.  Now, I can easily reach into the bottom of the bag and there's still plenty of room.

Love them!  I'm going to make more...and make more things with my fabric.  I'll show you more photos when I'm done.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wedding Season...My Cousin's Wedding Card

Handmade Wedding Card and Matching Envelope

Butterflies are Free...   

Matching Envelope to go with Wedding Card

This year, we have several Weddings to attend.  The first of the season is my cousin Lisa's wedding.  I created this Wedding card for her and Galen.  I just love butterflies.  They always make me think of Freedom, Joy, and Love. 

I was did I get to this design?  You know, when I create my cards, they just "happen". I just let my mind go and my hands start picking up papers, stamps, stamp pads, etc.  I enjoy creating these small works of relaxes me and happens quite naturally.  If I'm having a "hard" time creating, I put it down and walk away and return to it later.  Other times, it just flows like water and I move from one step to the next.  Just adding as I see fit.  Very similar process I use to create jewelry.

Have a great Summer everyone!


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