Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring Photo Board

Earlier I showed you a french inspired bulletin board but I said that there were so many other possibilities that I wanted to show you. I decided that this photo board was too cute to pass by! We started with a 16x20 canvas and covered it with batting and fabric using a staple gun on the back side of the canvas. For this board we used Michael Miller fabric. Then we created our grid pattern with a mixture of scrapbooking ribbon from American Crafts and basic craft ribbon. To secure the ribbon we also used a staple gun on the back frame of the canvas. Don't be afraid to layer patterns that coordinate with one another not just coordinating solid ribbon. To give added support to the ribbon as well as decoration we used Making Memories brads which were poked through the fabric, batting and canvas. You may need to use an X-acto knife to poke through all of the fibers together. We will be displaying the photo board shortly but make sure to ask our employees if you have any questions on how to put it together! Just to give you a heads up, some of my fellow employees will be joining us to blog about what is going on in their departments and what they are excited about. That way you don't have to hear from me all the time! I hope that you have a great weekend and I will be back Monday with some exciting news!! Tiff

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Easter Egg Make & Take

I thought I would give you a preview of the FREE make & take that will be happening from 1-3pm this Saturday. A new product for Easter this year is the transparent eggs that are similar to Christmas bulbs so of course they have endless ways of decorating them. You can hang them on an Easter tree or you can also tie a ribbon around the top and hang them alone. A simple way to decorate them is to fill them with Easter treats like Jelly Beans and sprinkles or just use multi-colored Easter grass. For the make & take we will be using Easter grass. They are an easy and unique way to decorate without a lot of fuss, plus you get one for free if you stop and make one on Saturday!! Tiff

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Easter Decor

Hello Hello, Easter is quickly approaching! Earlier this month I gave you a few ideas for decorating your table for the big day but we didn't talk about how to decorate your house. One of the ways I get ideas is by finding projects online or in magazines that get my ideas flowing and then make it my own. Here is an idea from Martha Stewart's website that caught my eye. We have traditional Easter wreaths hanging in our store with the usual plastic eggs and Easter grass but I thought this was a fun update. In her project they used real eggs that had been hollowed out and dried leaves. We thought that we could get a similar look with the plastic eggs that we carry. They aren't the ones that you put candy in, they are a softer plastic that we were able to easily poke a hole in so that we could thread our eggs onto a wire. Make sure that you use a 16 gauge wire otherwise your wreath will end up a little droopy! After we had all of our eggs on we tied coordinating ribbon in between each egg and ended with a bow on top. Your wreath could also be used as a simple centerpiece with candles in the middle. Have fun decorating, see ya tomorrow! Tiff

Crafts Direct New Billboard

Hey everyone,
Its Nate, the advertising guy here at Crafts Direct. I just wanted to make a quick post and share with you some fun stuff (well, I think its fun). Yesterday we had a brand new billboard go up in St. Cloud on Division Street by St. Mary's cathedral. I had a chance to drive by and snap some pictures for anyone that doesn't get over there and I must say, it looks pretty neat. We are really trying to make a new statement with our advertising that represents who we are. Many of you may not know that Crafts Direct is a local family owned business and only one of its kind. We want to set ourselves apart from the typical craft store because we hope that our store would be a place to go for inspiration for creating things that are an extension of who you are. We hope that as we are changing our advertising that you will be a part of it and give us feedback as to what you like and what Crafts Direct means to you. Hope to hear from you soon. Check out the new logo! Keep your eyes peeled for fun new changes, we will keep you posted!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Handmade Embellishments

We are getting down to the last week of National Craft Month, how sad! Well I will still be here to give you more project ideas so don't fear. This weekend I had a bridal shower to go to, I figured since I work at Crafts Direct I better represent! I decided to attempt my first handmade card, now keep in mind that I am not a big scrapbooker so this was a challenge for me. It ended up being the easiest thing I have done and now I am addicted. So I decided what better time to share with you some ideas for your Easter cards that you might be sending out this year. I started with a sheet of 12x12 double sided cardstock from our new line Tres Jolie by My Minds Eye. I cut it down to the size I desired (8.5 X 5.5) and folded it in half. Next I took my ribbon and cut it to fit my card. To finish off the ends of the ribbon I cut them at opposite diagonal lines to one another, then attached it to my card using double sided tape. The last part is the most fun and the title of my project today! I can never find exactly the right embellishment or phrase that I want especially for holidays. I found a great way to get what you want is to just do it yourself! My "Happy Easter" crest was created using parenthesis brackets with a regular font and rotating and stretching until they formed my crest. Then I was able to type the phrase that I wanted with my favorite font. A great place to find free fonts to download is, this one is called Porcelain. Make sure that when you are printing you use a heavier weight paper such as cardstock so that your embellishment is not flimsy. To add dimension to my card I used 3D dots to adhere the phrase. It is a really simple idea and easy to do, hopefully you like it as much as me! Tiff

Monday, March 26, 2007

WINNERS!!! (photos below)

Today I am bringing you the results of our very own Crafting Contest. Hopefully you all had the opportunity to stop in the store to check it out. We were so happy with all the entries that came in. We are hoping to make the Crafting Contest a bi-annual occasion so if you missed it this time make sure that you are ready for this fall! The pictures do not do these projects justice so make sure you stop in the store this week, they will be on display until April 1st in the Customer Lounge. I won't waste any more of your time, here we go! Our winner for Paper Crafts was Debra Johnson with her Family Heritage Cookbook. "It was created originally to introduce our family to my new daughter-in-law, it has expanded and copies are a treasured gift to many family members." For our Home Decor category Debra was also our winner! In the floral category we had 3 entries and it was the closest of them all. Linda Claude won with her gorgeous wall arrangement. Our winner for the Beading category was very unique, it was a beaded art doll titled "Mother Nature" by Kelley Girtz. I think my favorite category was Child Crafts, I was blown away by the things that were brought in, such pros and so young! Our winner was Mary Benda with her realistic horse drawing. Fine Arts was the broadest category and probably the most difficult to judge. Trudy Graves' mirrored photo frame ended up taking that category. Last but definitely not least was our soft crafts and GRAND PRIZE winner Gloria Notsch with her Baptismal Quilt made from 3 generations of wedding dresses! We just wanted to say thanks again for all of you who participated and voted, we are excited to do it again. Here are the names of our voting winners for $10.00 gift cards: Jenny Wipper, Liz Smith, Krista Ogilvy, Sherla Poser, April Janku, Mary Safgren, Kristi Decker, Kayla Larsen,
Ryan Stewart, and Jim Taylou. Congratulations!!


Friday, March 23, 2007

Snazzy Check Book Covers!

Happy Friday! I hope you're as excited as I am for this weekend, but first a project for today! These pictures aren't the greatest but hopefully they can help spark some ideas for your own check book. My cover was on its last leg so I decided instead of buying a new one that I should make my own with some of my favorite papers. We sell clear plastic covers for checks in packs of four so you can create your own cover using whatever materials you like and slip them in the plastic. For my check book I used My Mind's Eye Bohemia Collection for the cover. For the inside I used a sheet from an 8x8 Vintage Paper Pack by Paper Pizazz. I added embellishments to mine but if you use a patterned paper that is really all you need. That is all for me today, have fun, get crazy, and enjoy the weather! Tiff

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Personalizing Albums and Journals

Personalizing clothing has become very popular these days but I think we should be personalizing everything we own. It is probably the easiest project to take something that is already made and put your own twist on it. Today's project is personalizing your Scrapbook albums and journals. There are endless possibilities but I will just tell you about a few for now. I used an album that was semi-unfinished to start. It doesn't matter if the album or journal has a pattern on the front because most likely you will be covering it up, go for the one that is less expensive. This can also be a great way to give a new look to an old album. We covered ours with scrapbooking paper from the Basic Grey Blush collection but another great way to cover your album would be with your favorite fabric. We used double sided tape to attach ours because we knew we would be using an iron in our next step so we avoided using glue. If you choose to embellish your album another way a good option would be mod podge for both paper and fabric. Next we used a flocked flower iron-on transfer that is normally used for clothing. The flocked transfer adds another texture to the album and makes it more interesting. That's it, not many steps and your album or journal is completely transformed! This album will be on display in the store for a closer look, don't be afraid to ask our team for inspiration on other ways of personalizing an album. Tiff

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Vintage Easter Spread

I can't even believe that it is almost April! That means that Easter is right around the corner. We had the St. Cloud Times call and ask us today about what kinds of ideas that we had for Easter centerpieces and place settings. All we had as of right now was pre-made items so we thought we better fix that. The centerpiece is what I would recommend starting with and then you can use it to base your colors and accents on later. We created a three tier centerpiece using terra cotta pots and trays. We started with the largest tray, then placed a pot upside down on the tray. Now you have created the next platform for another tray and so on. Sizes of your trays and pots should be decided according to what you will be placing on your tiers. For the bottom of the centerpiece we used pots filled with floral foam, moss, and small bushes of spring flowers. You will probably need only a few bushes because you will cut them down to fit into your pots. For the next tier we experimented with a new way of displaying your colored eggs, instead of egg cups we used small cupcake liners. It gives it a more elegant look. We topped it all off with a chocolate bunny. Instead of using the usual Easter grass, which, lets face it can look a little cheesy at times, we used shredded scrapbook paper. For a really colorful look use double sided paper. We just used a paper shredder to do the work for us, you will be surprised you actually won't need to shred that much paper, we only used one 12x12 sheet. Hopefully we have inspired you to do a little holiday planning and make a festive setting. Tiff

Monday, March 19, 2007

Trés Jolie and Signature Life!

As Spring is arriving and the weather is changing, so is our product here at Crafts Direct! Recently, we received two new paper lines from My Minds Eye: Trés Jolie and Signature Life, both complete with coordinating paper and die-cuts.
The Trés Jolie line is full of bright colors and new, vintage-retro patterns, perfect for the upcoming summer season! The line comes with brand new adhesive page borders and fun and funky frames, cardstock alphabets and memo tags too spice up any craft project!
The Signature Life line also has a complete set of matching paper and functional embellishments to make any scrapbook page complete while taking on a more urban approach, turning even simple moments into extraordinary ones!
Take a look for yourself at

Extreme Crafting

Today's project is kind of a different sort of project, it is more like a little something to inspire you to be bold with your crafting. If you checked out my blog about the Urban Craft Uprising you might have run across some of these groups that are changing the way we see crafting these days. The one that was most interesting to me is actually a knitting gang...that's right I said knitting gang. It is called Knitta, Please! "it is a group of more than 10 ladies of all ages, races, nationalities, religions, sexual orientation and gender". The group "tags" the city with colorful pieces knit from left over yarn with a note attached signed by Knitta, Please! along with their web address. Business owners are then greeted by a silly, thoughtful piece of art that is easily removed instead of the graffiti that is most commonly scattered in the city. The group originally began as an anonymous crew but as their popularity arose they were forced out of secrecy and are now finding themselves installing exhibits of their works in galleries. Ok, so you don't have to be this wild and crazy, but it is a great inspiration for us crafters to get involved socially with one another for good causes or for just plain fun. Tiff

Friday, March 16, 2007

French Inspired Memo Board

Its Friday!!! Hopefully everyone is having a fantastic day and gearing up for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow. Sadly I don't have a St. Patty's themed project for you today, instead I want to give you a project that you can use every day of the year. Memo boards have endless craft possibilities but I won't overload you today, I will just show you our very fancy french inspired memo board. The toughest and most time consuming part of this project will be just deciding what kind of fabric and frame you want to use to coordinate with your decor. You will need a frame (whatever size you desire), fabric (we used Anna Griffin fabric, our frame was 11x14 so we only needed a fat quarter), and lastly you will need either a sheet of metal or a sheet of cork. We used cork on ours so that we could use it as a bulletin board, it is also easier to cut the cork down to your desired size using scissors. Since your fabric will be mainly held in place by your frame you will only need to use a little tape to hold it in place. We wrapped our cork in fabric like you would a present, then we put it in the frame and replaced our backing. It is nice to have the backing because most come with a stand or hooks attached so that you don't have to do more work! The same can be done using metal so that you can create a magnetic memo board. Keep posted with us on our blog or in our store for more ideas on memo boards and fun ways to personalize your magnets. Have a great weekend, see you Monday! Tiff

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stamp & Wrap

I was so busy yesterday getting ready for our All Day Scrap this Saturday that I completely forgot to blog!! I can't believe it, but I am back and ready for today's project. I always find myself at home, last minute of course, trying to throw a present together for a birthday or something of the sort, and I NEVER have wrapping paper. I don't buy wrapping paper unless it is Christmas and I think gift bags just aren't as entertaining for people to rip open. So I was thinking it might be fun just to create our own wrapping paper from things you might have around your house. I started with basic brown craft paper that you normally use for mailing packages. You can also use plain colored paper, tissue paper, etc. Now you can put to use some of those stamps that you have around your house that you use for scrapbooking or decorating and embellish your paper using paint and ink. Here we used Ceramcoat acrylic paint and distress ink. Now you have custom wrapping paper! (Sounds fancy doesn't it) You can even top it all off with a bow made from left over yarn scraps from your last knitting project. Even if these aren't supplies that you already have at your house it ends up saving you money on gift wrap! I love it and I hope you do too. Just a reminder, don't forget to come in and check out our Crafting Contest, the entries are all so amazing, the race for the winner is getting heated. A lot of the categories are REALLY close. Also if you come in and vote your name will be put in the drawing for 10/ $10.00 gift cards, you can enter once a day until Friday the 23rd.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tea Towels

If you have been checking our blog from the very beginning you may remember when I talked about giving your flour sack towels an update. (If not check out the January Archives!) Today I have a project for you that was done for the store to give you an idea of what you can do to spice up a traditional craft. We used the everyday white flour sack towel but we cut it down in size to create 4 fancy tea towels. We cut the flour sack towel in 4 even sections and then hemmed our ragged edges. The embroidery was done using one of our Savvy Stitches embroidery kits which we had mentioned before. These kits are great because the patterns are very modern, they can be used several times, and if you aren't an embroidery pro no worries, they come with directions and everything you need to get started. The edges are what gives this tea towel a unique look. We used rick rack, ribbon, and a ruffled trim. Each was sewn on one at a time. Rick rack can get a little tricky so make sure you get it wide enough to fit your stitches down the middle. Hopefully this will just get the ball rolling for you and you can make it your own. The best part that I have found of embroidery is that it is probably the most inexpensive craft out there so you can splurge on the accessories!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Custom Plates

Well hello, Happy Monday! I am back for more project ideas. Lately I have been really interested in collecting and decorating with plates. The problem is the ones with the really intricate patterns are usually the most expensive, so I thought why not make our own version. It is a pretty simple project but I think you don't know how good it looks until you try it. We used My Mind's Eye, Bohemia collection scrapbooking paper for ours but you can use fabric as well. We traced the bottom of the plate onto the paper and cut out our stencil. Then to adhere to the back of the plate we found that using vellum adhesive spray works really well, then you won't see any of your adhesive showing through. That's it, that's all. That might be the world's shortest project! Obviously they are not meant to be eaten on but they work as nice chargers or just decoration for your table, walls or shelves. We used some of our seasonal chargers to really dress them up for decorating your table. Hopefully we have given you a project for your own home or at least sparked some ideas. Back for more tomorrow. Tiff

Friday, March 9, 2007

Wooden Jewelry set

My project today is a good project for just about anyone you don't have to be an expert in any particular crafts to be able to do it. We made a necklace and earring using some small wood shapes with funky scrapbooking paper mod podged on. To dress it up a bit more we added a matching jewelry box, this would be perfect for giving your projects as gifts. To attach your wood shapes you will need 1 package of chain, matching jump rings, and your choice of clasp and earring. We used 3 different types of 12x12 scrapbooking paper to have variety but you can use just one if you want to keep the design simple. I will be back Monday with more projects. Also we will have the projects from the Crafting Contest on display starting Monday so come in and get your vote in! At the end of the two weeks of voting, we will place all of the ballots in a drawing for 10 $10.00 gift cards. You can vote once a day for the next two weeks so make sure you get your name in the drawing as much as possible! Have a great weekend! Tiff

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Retro Headbands

Hi there, it is late Thursday night and I am blogging straight from Craft Night!, hopefully it will become a regular event at the store. If we missed you tonight hopefully we will see you at the next event. My project today is again from Adorn Magazine (broken record I know, but they just have so many cute ideas!). Retro and vintage fashions are on the rise, and how appropriate a chunky headband. We are getting in a ton of retro and vintage fabrics that are perfect for these headbands. Okay so here's what you need: •Plastic Headband to cover •1/8 yd. fabric •Tape measure •Scissors •Sewing machine or needle and thread •Transparent tape
1. Using your tape measure, measure the length and width of your headband at its widest point. Add 1/2" to the length. Double the width and add 1/2". Cut your fabric.
2. With right sides together, fold your fabric strip in half lengthwise. With sewing machine or needle and thread, stitch down the length of the fabric to form a tube, using 1/4" seam allowance. Trim your excess fabric to 1/8". Using 1/4" seam allowance, sew one end of the tube closed.
3. Turn your fabric tube right side out. Slide the fabric over the headband until the closed end is taut against the headband end. Adjust the fabric so the long seam runs along one edge of the headband. (There will be excess fabric near the ends where headband is thinner)
4. Starting with the stitched end, pull the fabric to one side so that the non-seamed edge of the fabric tube is taut against the headband edge. Working on the seamed side, fold excess fabric to the underside of the headband, double folding if necessary. Tape in place. Continue folding fabric and securing with tape, until all excess fabric is folded under and fabric lies smooth.
5. Whipstitch fold closed, removing tape as you go until you seam is complete.
6. Fold raw edges of the open end inside the tube and whipstitch closed. Repeat folding, taping and stitching for second side of headband.
7. Wear it in your "do", your done!
See you tomorrow! I am off to craft some more with the ladies! Tiff

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spring Photo Clip

Today's project is extra special because you can come in to our store and make it for FREE! this Saturday 1-3pm. I just finished the sample today and I thought I should share the idea because it turned out really cute! We have these giant wood clothespins that are really inexpensive from Sbars, they measure about 1.5" X 6".
1. I started by cutting two strips from a small sheet of scrapbooking paper (You might even be able to put to use some of those old scraps you have been holding on to!) Cut them 1 3/8 x 5 7/8. I used paper from the 8x8 Pocket Full of Posies paper pack by DCWV. We decided to use this paper because we just got in cardstock flower embellishments that match!! (You might fall in love)
2. Before putting my strips of paper on I distressed the sides of my clothespin with Versamark inks to match my paper.
3.After your ink has dried you can attach your strips with a strong adhesive. Remember you are attaching it to wood so it will need to be strong. We used super-strength glue lines.
4. Now you get to dress it up with fun embellishments. We decorated the front with a cardstock flower from the new packs we got that match the Pocket full of Posies paper. Then we added a rhinestone to accent the glitter from the paper.
5. Just add your favorite pic and you are set! The clips stand up nicely by themselves or you can add a magnet to the back and use it for your fridge.
Don't forget to stop in Saturday from 1-3pm so you can make it for FREE!
Back tomorrow for more!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


As promised I am going to attempt to bring you a new project every day through March. Today's project is making silhouettes for wall art. You can use either decorative paper or your favorite fabric. Don't be afraid to mix patterns it makes it more unique and interesting. Okay here's how, (this project is also found in Adorn Magazine), you can start with already existing photos or you can also take new ones.
1.Make sure that your subject is in a profile position. To make your image the size you desire for your frame you can use either a photo editing program such as Photoshop or you can also use a copy machine to enlarge the photo.
2.Next tape transfer paper colored-side down, to the back of your fabric or scrapbook paper. Use a pencil to trace around the outside edge of your subject. Then remove your photo and transfer paper and make adjustments to the drawing if you desire.
3.Cut out your silhouette along the transferred lines and also cut your contrasting paper or fabric to fit the frame you choose for your piece. Make sure that you have enough room between the frame and your silhouette so that it doesn't appear to be scrunched.
4. Glue your silhouette in the center of your contrasting paper and frame as desired.
If you are displaying more than one silhouette together it is nice to have variety in your choice of patterns and shapes of your frames. A way to unite them is to paint all of your frames the same color so that they tie into one another. Have fun with this project and get creative, maybe even try a silhouette of one of your pets! See ya tomorrow!

Monday, March 5, 2007

National Craft Month Projects!

We are celebrating National Craft Month here at Crafts Direct the entire month of March. I just wanted to remind you that the deadline for entries for the first ever Crafting Contest is this Friday and also that our Free Craft Night is this Thursday from 6:30 to close. In honor of National Craft Month we are going to give you a new project idea every day for the rest of this month! Give us feed back and let us know if you like the projects and if you try them at home show us your pictures! Lately I have been a little obsessed with Adorn magazine. It is full of trendy new ideas for craft projects and my personal favorite, home decor projects. They had an entire section on "amping up your lamp". I had never realized how many different things that you could use to dress up a plain lampshade. In the samples that we did for the store we used fabric, trims, buttons, and ribbon. If you want to start fresh with a new lampshade instead on one you already have try out the self-adhesive lampshades that we have, it made putting fabric on my lampshade the easiest part of the process. The label on the shade is even a pattern for you to trace on your fabric. Otherwise you might want to use a hot glue gun, also works great just not as quick. We just got in another shipment of new fabric today from Michael Miller that would be perfect for home decor projects. You definitely don't have to be a seasoned crafter, it is as easy as gluing and tying knots. Have fun, hope to see some sassy shades soon!