Thursday, May 19, 2016

Customize Your Pencils

I know you can get decorated pencils at just about any store these days but I thought about customizing my own with some of my favorite papers by DecoArt.

They are super simple, super fun and you could customize your pencils to fit any decor, event, etc. with coordinating papers.

I got a super deal on this box of 72 pencils from Staples - only $3! Hello!!

On the back of the paper I measured out and drew lines for 7" long and 1" wide.

Next, I cut the strips of paper, applied DecoArt DecouPage Medium to the pencil, laid the pencil in the center of the paper - lined up with the silver topper and rolled the pencil. You want to make sure you do this on a flat surface. It didn't work so great rolling it on the tile due to the grooves/grout lines.
Add more DecouPage Medium to the end of the pencil as the paper slightly overlapped and then I added more medium to the entire pencil. Stand the pencil up with the eraser leaning up against it so that it can dry.

Take an emery board or piece of sandpaper and shave off any excess hanging down where you'll sharpen the pencil.

Ta-Da - customized pencil!! Just think of the possibilities!!

You could stamps some paper or stencil 'small' words on to some paper and make personalized pencils too. Have fun with it!!

Happy Creating,

Monday, January 11, 2016

Storing and Organizing Stencils

The use of stencils in my artwork has increased and therefore I've amassed quite a collection of them. I use to keep my stencils in page protectors ~ in a binder (the ones that fit anyway) but needed to find another solution with my growing collection.

I now store them in scrapbook storage boxes that I get at Michael's. I love it when they have them on sale! I have 6 full boxes that are organized but when creating I was wasting so much time going through the boxes to find the stencil I wanted to use on a project. I have the boxes labeled by brand (4 of them are DecoArt Stencils to include Tracy Moreau Stencils & 1 box is full of Creative Arts Lifestyle Stencils by Patricia Rawlinson). Not only do I have a lot to pick from, but as I go through them, another thousand ideas flood my head with future projects. I LOVE it when that happens ~ but not when I need to focus on getting a project done - lol!!

So......I came up with a little storing/organizing system that has worked really well for me and I wanted to share it with you!
I cut off the picture of the stencil on the cardboard packaging and put them on a metal ring so that I can thumb through them ~ my version of stencil swatch cards. As my collection grows I see the necessity of having to have several rings of stencil swatch cards ~ like one with flowers, one with letters, one with borders, etc. I also have several stencils that did not come with a picture or cardboard packing so plan to take pictures of those, print them off on cardstock and add them to the ring.  This has SAVED me a TON of time when I'm in the middle of creating. I can look through the ring quickly, pick the one I want and then go to my organized storage boxes, pull the stencil and it's back to creating!! PLUS, I have to add that this has kept me from purchasing duplicates/triplicates of stencils (Yes, I've done it before) as I know which ones I have now!!

Hope this helps you make storing and organizing your stencils a little easier!
Happy Creating!