February 2012

12 posts.

Call for projects: Halloween and teens

Hey, gang! We’re gearing up for our October issue, so we have a couple of calls we’d like to share with you! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!


Halloween Pages, Cards & Decor

We’re looking ahead to Halloween, so we want to see your best Halloween pages, cards and décor items. They can be cute, scary or a little of both!


To submit your projects, e-mail a scan or photograph of each submissions@meredith.com by Saturday, March 10. Please type “Halloween” in the subject line. Limit submissions to three per person, and keep attached files less than 500k.



Teen Pages

We’re focusing on the teen years in our October issue, so send us your best teen-related scrapbook pages. We’re looking for pages highlighting anything teen-related: school achievements, milestones (like getting a drivers’ license), birthdays, trends, friends, etc.


To submit your projects, e-mail a scan or photograph of your layout to submissions@meredith.com by Saturday, March 10. Please type “Teens” in the subject line. Limit submissions to three per person, and keep attached files less than 500k.


(Edited to correct the date.)

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How to Subscribe to Scrapbooks Etc.


In recent months, we’ve come out with many more ways to subscribe to Scrapbooks Etc. See how you can gain access to our issues full of great scrapbook pages, paper crafts, and inspiration!

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Project Life: Printing Pics


One of my biggest challenges with keeping up with my Project Life is printing pictures. I don’t own a photo printer and refuse to make daily trips to Walgreens to print out a few of my latest snapshots. I also settled on using mostly wallet-size photos, which can be expensive to print and wasteful, since they print four of the same photo to fit on a 4×6″ print.

Thankfully, I found this awesome tutorial on Ali Edwards’ blog about using Photoshop to print multiple images on a 4×6″ print. She gives great step-by-step instructions for printing two 3×4″ images on one print. I altered her instructions to fit four 2×3″ images on one print (as shown above).

Not only has this saved me tons of money in printing, but it lets me see how my pictures look next to each other, so I can decide which prints to use.

What are your printing challenges with Project Life? What great tips and techniques are you using?


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Use Up Letter Stickers

We all have those letter stickers that we never use– the ones that will get tossed when we’ve used all the common letters up. Instead of throwing them out, though, try using them to make create fun accents. On this page, leftover letters become loopy flowers. But the possibilities are endless. Use capital Bs as butterfly wings or mirror capital Ds to create a ladybug’s body.

See how to make the flowers here:

1. Punch of cut a small cardstock circle.

2. Cut an “o” sticker at one end (although experiment with Qs, Cs, or Ps). Overlap and adhere the snipped ends to each other to create a petal.

3. Layer several petals around the cardstock circle. Then finish the accent with a button.

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Make Your Own Stamps

Give your projects homemade flair with easy-to-make foam stamps. Here’s our step-by-step instructions for designing your own!

1. Gather your materials: craft foam, marker, scissors, removable adhesive, acrylic block, ink pad, cardstock.

2. Draw or trace your design onto the foam and cut it out.

3. Apply a very small amount of adhesive to the foam shape, attach it to the acrylic block, and stamp the image onto cardstock.

Tips for using your stamps:

Get a grip. Almost anything flat can be a stamp—just add a handle. Use foam-core board, cardboard, or acrylic blocks as handles and attach with temporary adhesive.

Let go of perfection. Handmade stamps are rarely flawless, so embrace their inconsistent look.

Use the right colorant. Handmade stamps tend to be irregular, so use them with moist colorants, such as acrylic paints or chalk and pigment inks.

More stamp ideas (see below for examples of each technique):

Raid your chipboard. Chipboard accents make fabulous stamps when attached to a block and inked with acrylic paint. Work quickly, or the paint penetrates the chipboard and the layers separate.

Form with foam. Craft foam is an ideal material for making homemade stamps. Foam cuts easily, so it works especially well for making layered designs. For accurate alignment, attach the stamp to an acrylic block.

Turn up the heat. Make your own clear stamps from hot glue. Quickly draw
a design onto a silicone craft sheet with a hot-glue gun, fold the sheet over the glue, and flatten it with an acrylic block. Once the glue cools, peel it from the sheet and use it like a clear stamp. It’s an ultracool technique but requires a bit of experimenting.

Stretch your imagination. For a supereasy stamp, add rubber bands to a stamping block or brayer. Vary the look by placing the rubber bands at random or aligning them in a perfect pattern.

Shelf it. Checkerboard foam shelf liner is great for stamping free-form backgrounds. It can be cut or torn to size, depending on the look you’re after. Ink a torn piece of liner, apply it to your background, and press it down with your hand to create the pattern.

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Spring Word Art

Looking for a fun (but easy) way to spruce up your home decor? This springy piece of word art is really simple to make. Just download the PDF of the words here, print it out on an 8.5×11″ piece of cardstock, and adhere it to the back of a frame. We got this frame at Michaels and spray-painted it.

What if you want to use your own words in a similar version? It’s as simple as typing them into a word-processing program and changing the font, size and color of each word. Or go try the online app called “Wordle,” where you can type in whatever you want, adjust the layout, font and color and make a “word cloud.” Try it out and let us know what you come up with!

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A Piece of Advice


One of my favorite stories in the April issue  is “Showered With Love,” full of projects for a super cute baby shower. We were crazy for all of the projects and loved that designer Lisa Storms took all of the work out of coming up with a simple shower activity. Just download this pre-designed advice sheet, add some patterned paper, and cut a slit in it to hold the pencil. (To find out how to make the umbrella pencil, pick up our April issue!)

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Birthday Cake

SOURCES Cardstock: WorldWin. Font: Rockwell off the Internet. Punches: Fiskars (stars, scallop border).  Other: Bead, paper mache boxes: Joanns. Design: Lisa Storms.


When Lisa Storms sent this project in for our birthday story in the April 2012 issue, we all thought it would make an awesome birthday party decoration. And it’s so simple to make!

Take three different sizes of round kraft boxes (you can find them at your crafts store) and cover the bases (forget the lids) in white cardstock or paint them white. Stack them (bottom side up) and hot glue them together. Punch scalloped borders along white cardstock and adhere a strip to the bottom of each cake layer. Punch different sizes of stars in a rainbow of colors from cardstock, and adhere them as shown. For the flag, use an anywhere hole punch or drill to make a hole in the top box. Print or write a sentiment on a strip of white cardstock, then wrap the cardstock around a craft stick or bamboo skewer and adhere. Glue a bead to the top of the stick. Insert flag into the hole. (Make sure the stick is long enough to touch the bottom of the box.)

These cakes would make awesome centerpieces or even favors (as smaller versions). Enjoy!

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Sweet as Honey


Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and it’s time to start thinking about the school valentines (if you haven’t already). I have some good friends who are beekeepers and sell their honey locally. I am not sure if you have ever been to your local Farmer’s Market, but ours always has honey.

My children’s favorite thing at the Farmer’s Market are the honey straws. They usually sell at five for a dollar, so I give my kids a dollar and they get two and Mommy gets the last one (just to be fair…I wouldn’t want them to argue, of course.) These yummy treats are also sold at the Amazon Marketplace and they are flavored….yum!

Anyway, when our beekeeper friends recently contacted us about buying honey, these honey straws came to mind as a great Valentine idea. Totally different than your usual candy and kind of fun to eat. Of course, my daughter was very excited about giving out something unique.

We quickly printed up little cards, punched holes to feed the straws through and we were done. The bee was downloaded online from a free clipart website.

These took no time at all to make and my daughter is happy as can be. All she has to do is sign them and they are ready for the Girl Scout Valentine party tonight.


Happy Creating!


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CHA: Our Picks

Last week, the Scrapbooks Etc. gang headed to Anaheim, CA, for 4 jam-packed days. We met with scrapbook manufacturers, saw all the fun new products, and got inspired for future magazine stories and projects! Check out our staff’s top picks!




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