Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tutorial: Perpetual Journal

Hello friends! I finally finished my family's Christmas presents this afternoon and decided to share the how-to with all of you.

You'll remember that I said in an earlier post that I'd tried to do this project but kept running into trouble. I used this tutorial ( with really beautiful pictures) from Design Sponge. It. requires. a. lot. of. steps.

And that didn't work for me.

So... here's my take on it! Easier! Not as much cutting!

Tutorial for a Perpetual Calendar


  • plastic basket from the Dollar Store (they came in a 3-pack)
  • 2 100-count packs of 3x5" index cards (you will need 365)
  • 1 card of a different color (this is for your birthday. If you choose, you can use the regular card and fuss it up a bit to make it special. You *need* to make it special, cos, chances are, no one else will!)
  • 12 larger sized index cards (for dividers)
  • magazines to cut up for the pretty pictures
  • ribbons and decorations to embellish (I hate this word) your basket
  • a small notepad and pen
I paid $1 for a 3-pack of baskets, $1 for each of the packs of cards ($3), and $1 each for the 3-pack of pens and the 5-pack of notepads ($1 for one-third of the baskets, pens and notepads). My biggest expense was for the date stamps and ink pads, but I will be using them for my Etsy shop, so it's okay. (I think I paid about $6 for the stamp and $5 each for the ink pads. Maybe you can borrow one from work?) You could substitute writing the dates for the stamp, but I really like the look of it, so it was a worthwhile expense for me. Like most of you, I already had the magazines and ribbon. 

I made six of these and the total cost for all of them was $21 (minus the stamps and ink). Take that, Economy!

  • xacto knife and self-healing mat
  • hot glue gun
  • glue stick (not really a tool, but you need it. don't give me a hard time.)
  • ruler
  • date stamp and two colors of ink pads
Step 1:
Count out 365 cards (or 366 if you are including your birthday card in the regular-colored ones) You want to have one for Leap Day, too, even though you'll hardly ever use it. Be prepared!

Step 2:
Stamp the dates on each of the cards, doing ONLY the month and day (not the year). I used black for everyday and red for special days (holidays). I didn't bother highlighting family members' birthdays. Half of the time, someone in my family isn't speaking to one or another of the family. No reason to bring up un-fond thoughts, eh?

 Step 3:
Make your month dividers. Cut the large cards the same width of the 3x5" cards (5 inches!) and a little taller. I found that I liked the height when I only cut off the bottom two lines' worth of card. 

Cut and paste pictures on each month divider. I chose pictures that more or less went with the feeling of the month. It didn't help that I only had October and December magazines. (Sure hard to find Fourth of July colors in those issues.) You could substitute scrapbook paper or any other paper you like for this part. I'm just partial to color and I love Martha Stewart magazines...

Put your dividers in to separate the months. Aaah...

Step 4:
Decorate your basket. I used ribbon woven in between the slits on the sides of the basket and glued a fabric rosette and button to the front of each basket. I don't know how well the decorations will hold up over time, but I'm hoping for the best. You can also leave it plain, duh.

How to use this thing:

The reason I am so excited by the idea of this perpetual calendar is that I love the idea of a diary or journal, but I simply don't make the time to write. On each of these date cards you've made up, just write the year and one line about your day. The first year will be a trial in patience, but in the years afterward will be really cool to look at what you've written.

This is how neat it would look if I'd been doing this already for four years...

Last, but not least, include a pen and a notepad with the calendar. That way there is no excuse NOT to write each day.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

This past week I have been trying to make two new types of Christmas crafts - one for my family's Christmas presents (no link in case they are reading) and one a new type of paper ornament. The booger about it all is that I couldn't find all the supplies for the gifts that the tutorial suggested, so I tried substituting. Normally, I am extremely resourceful and can make most things look good. Not so here. My gifts looked horrible from the first step. Ugh. Three nights I worked on different (substitutive) versions. Three nights of going to bed feeling like I had accomplished nothing of value.

Then the prototype paper ornament I made at work with computer paper worked beautifully! I went home to try it with colored paper. Cardstock cracked. Okay. I bought scrapbook paper from WalMart for a good price. It still is heavier than computer paper, so it doesn't quite look right either. Ugh. More going to bed dissatisfied.

Yesterday, I went to the Dollar Tree and found a perfect way to make my family gifts - no substitutions required. And, actually, my version will be prettier than the original tutorial. Yay me!

Now to figure out how to make those paper ornaments out of something prettier than computer printer paper. Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Paper Roses

If you take:

1 barrette
1 piece of ribbon the same length as your barrette
3 paper roses

And then:

Hot glue the length of ribbon on top of your barrette and then hot glue the three paper roses on top of that you get a lover-ly hair barrette. And it hides many hair sins. Like messy pieces.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Paper Rose Wreath

It didn't seem like six days, but it WAS six looooooong days since I made paper roses. (Go to Crafting With Intention for directions. Sameh is verrah funneh and maketh me to laugh.) They are really beautiful. Plain, but beautiful. I made a million and they sat on my dining room table for all that time. I was trying to figure out how to seal them because my project was going to be in the bathroom and might (if I am lucky) feel the effects of long, hot showers.

Disgusting, no?
So, I dipped a couple in PVA. Bad move. Don't do it. They be really ugly-lookin'. See here:

Ugly, huh? Moldy-looking with boogers to boot. Not really, but it doesn't look pleasant and I am a pleasant person. Most of the time.

So, I decided, just make the darn wreath - you know how to use a glue gun. I glued a bunch of paper roses to a 12" rattan-type wreath. Then I took them outside (in the cold) and sprayed them with clear sealant. (Mmmm... smells good! There go a few more brain cells...)

Then I glued a ribbon on it and some screen to the back to make:

The earrings hanging in the center read: Happy Holidays

TA DA! A paper rose wreath earring holder! No longer will my earrings be stuck in a little drawer (that green thing on the left of the picture). They will be all together, in pairs, tarnishing equally...

And in Tutorial News: Thirteen samples finished (I made a mistake - big surprise - with how many I needed to make) and these bad boys are all that are left for me to make.

I might get this done in my lifetime!