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Posts Tagged ‘trash to treasure’

100% Recycled

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

recycled notebook

Let me go with you through the process of making that tiny stitched notebook.

It happened before I purchased the huge scrapbook.com order

My husband was away for work and I was bored.

I pulled up my scraps basket, which contains scraps of patterned papers and cardstock as well as old envelopes, pieces of boxes and other junque.

I pulled out my sewing machine and blew away a cloud of dust that covered it [hmm…], threaded it and hooked it up.

I played my favorite iTunes playlist on repeat.

And I started playing.

At first I just sewed [or tried to sew] scraps of papers together along with other stuff and created random stitched collages “to be used later on”. I have no idea when, where or what for, but I kept them all.

Then I pulled out an old watercolor paper I stamped on years ago and started stitching around the stamped and colored images and cut them off.

Then [and here is when that notebook started to emerge] I took an old cardboard cut out and a bunch of padding paper and sewed them together. You can see the sewn spine in the photo collage above, on the middle image.

Then I wanted to conceal the outer stitches [which were far from neat] and adhered a scrap of patterned paper I had left from an old Christmas collection pad.

After doing that I felt that something is missing and decided to adhere one of the stamped and sewn images I made before.

To hold everything together I added 2 layers of glossy Mod Podge.

Here is a glimpse of the notebook “in progress” [taken by my ancient phone cam…]:

stitched notebook

That is all.

Welcome Little One Workshop
Check out Creativity Prompt’s new and unique self paced workshop: “Welcome Little One”. This workshop will provide you with everything you need, and then some, to make a fabulous handmade mini album to record the first moments of a new born baby.

Video Tutorial – How To Make A Mini Book Out Of Soap Wrap

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Recycled Mini Book

The Story

You know how much I love recycling and turning my trash into treasure so it’s no surprise that I came up with this project after my bathroom got filled with empty boxes of soap.

When Amy from Mod Podge Rocks e-mailed me and asked if I wanted to use some of the Plaid products on my future projects I knew this mini book idea would be perfect for the test run. The funny thing is that just before Amy e-mailed me, I already bought a huge bottle of Mod Podge Gloss for paper just the week before so I had a chance to try out 2 other products that got sent to me by the company: Mod Podge Hard Coat and Mod Podge Sparkle.

I really, really, really loved the Mod Podge Hard Coat. I initially chose it for another project. I accidentally ruined a set of coasters I had and thought the Hard Coat formula will be perfect to restore them. However I used this as a top coat for the mini book and it is amazing. It is a bit thicker than the original formula and it dries clear into a hard coat (just as its name suggests…) that seals the cover and secure the binding of the book. I really recommend this for book makers.

The Sparkle formula has fine glitter in it and it adds a fun glittery top coat to any surface. What i like about it is that it adds the glitter without the mess that usually goes with it… You just need to apply it with a foam brush and the glittery particles doesn’t rub off of it after it dries up.

The recycled mini book can be made out of any box, of any size, so I purposefully left out exact measurement, so you can use the same technique on any empty box that comes your way.

So if you feel like playing along and learn how to make this recycled mini book, keep on reading.

Tools and Supply

This project uses MINIMAL supply, as it’s mostly recycled.

How To

[Go here to watch on YouTube and while there, please rate, comment and subscribe.]

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Flatten the box by carefully disconnecting the connecting flaps at the bottom and inside the box. You may also use a craft knife for that.
  2. Use your scissors to cut off the flaps, as well as the inner flap and the short edge attached to it, so you are left with 3 sections: 2 cover sections and a spine, already creased for you…
  3. Measure the width and height of the cover sections and the spine and cut pieces of patterned paper at the same size for the cover. If you want to conceal the binding you will need one piece the size of the cover section and the other size larger by the width of the spine plus an additional inch. If you choose to conceal the binding, adhere the outer cover papers at the end.
  4. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the cover section and the spine, lay the pattern paper on top of it and apply an additional layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it off. Put it aside to dry.
  5. Take a plain copier paper, the same width and height of the spine and mark 3 horizontal lines on it – one at the center and two additional ones, about an inch apart. If you work on a larger box, you may want to add more lines, equally separated from each other.
  6. Next mark equally separated vertical line, each line stands for one signature. I used 5 signatures, so I drew 5 vertical lines, one at the center and the rest in ¼” intervals.
  7. Cut your signature inserts to double the width of the cover section and the same height and fold each signature of paper inserts in half.
  8. Line up the paper guide with the inner crease of the signature and poke holes on the crease next to each of the 3 horizontal lines. these holes will help later with the binding process.
  9. After the inner cover is layered with paper with a base and top coat of Mod Podge and completely dry, line up the paper guide with the inner spine and poke a hole at each of the intersections of the horizontal lines with the vertical lines.
  10. Start binding the signatures together. Take the first one, insert the needle through the center hole and into the center hole of the signature, than to the upper hole and back from the bottom hole, into the center hole to the outer cover – repeat on all the signatures.
  11. Once you finish binding all the signatures together, weave the thread through the center line of threads until it meets the initial loose end and tie them together in a tight knot. Cut the excess thread and tidy up the knot to look as smooth and straight as possible.
  12. Lastly, apply a layer of Mod Podge Top Coat on top of the outer cover and the spine, it will secure the binding as well. You may also apply an additional layer of Sparkle Mod Podge if you want a fun glittery finish to your mini book.
  13. Enjoy!!!


If you have any question, suggestion or remark – don’t hesitate to contact me – either leave a comment here, use the contact form or start a new thread on the Creativity Prompt Flickr Group!!!

I would also be very happy to see your own creations, so don’t be shy and share πŸ™‚

Make Your Own Planner 2012
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This workshop will show you how to make a beautiful handmade planner for the year 2012. Not only are you going to get the entire meticulously designed planner kit for instant download, but you will also get a high resolution video tutorial as well as step-by-step instructions to guide you on each step of the way. Either treat yourself with a fresh and creative start for the coming new year, or get it to create wonderful gifts for your family and friends.
Join now

Make Your Own Planner Workshop
Check out Creativity Prompt’s self paced workshop: “Capture Your Dream”. In this workshop you will capture, follow and make your dream come true as well as document your journey in a fabulous mixed media mini album.

Creativity Prompt – Upcycle a Yogurt Container into a Surprise Mini Album

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Upcycle a Yogurt Container into a Surprise Mini AlbumBeing environmentally friendly is important to me. It is actually very selfish of me, as I want my posterity to enjoy mother earth as long as possible. Therefore on one of my very first creativity prompts I have shown you how to turn your trash into treasure.

This week I am revisiting this idea and I am going to show you how you can upcycle an empty yogurt container, just before it hits the recycle bin, and make a beautiful surprise mini album with it. If you are not a big fan of mini albums in boxes, you can stop half way through and make a lovely pencil (or brushes…) holder from it.

So if you are interested in turning your trash into treasure too, keep on reading.

Tools & Supply

How To

[The fabulous music is by Josh Woodward from his album: “Not Quite Connected”]

Step By Step Instructions

  1. Measure the lid’s diameter with a ruler.
  2. Cut a circle from your patterned paper in the same diameter.
  3. Adhere the patterned paper circle to the lid with Mod-Podge and seal with another generous layer of Mod-Podge on top. Let dry completely.
  4. Cut a bunch of patterned papers to the same height as your container and a 1″ width. [mine are 4″ by 1″]
  5. Adhere the strips to the container – one by one – using Mod Podge. To eliminate air bubbles, rub each stripe with your finger. It’s messy, but important to secure your paper strips to the plastic container.
  6. Seal your strips of paper with another generous layer of Mod Podge and put aside until it dries completely.
  7. Measure the diameter of the bottom of your container to figure out the smallest size of a circle that can fit into your container.
  8. Cut as many cardstock circles as the number of pages you wish to have in your mini-album. The circles vary in size whilst the smallest has the same diameter as the container’s bottom and the largest has the same size as the container’s lid.
  9. To find the center of the cardstock circles, cut some more circles from scrap paper, at the same size as your cardstock ones. Fold each scrap paper circle once vertically and once horizontally and mark the point of conjunction. This point is exactly at the center.
  10. Use the scrap circles as a template and punch a hole at the center of each cardstock circle.
  11. Cut a long strip of strong decorative string and fold in half.
  12. Make a knot at the fold (with the two long string edges coming out of it).
  13. Weave both edges of the string through the circles. Secure each circle with a knot and add another knot between each circle, at about 1″, as a spacer.
  14. Punch a hole at the center of the lid and apply Diamond Glaze (or any other strong liquid adhesive) to the inside of the lid.
  15. Thread the ends of the string through the hole and make sure the top cardstock circle gets stuck well to the inside of the lid.
  16. To finish off the lid, thread the ends of the string through the paper flower and the button and secure in a knot. Dab some diamond Glaze on the knot to make sure it stays put.
  17. Cut a piece of ribbon that circumscribes the top of your container. Apply a strong tape adhesive to the back of the ribbon and adhere to the top edge of your container. Repeat on the bottom of your container. This will finish off the edges.
  18. For a more cohesive look, add a second strip of ribbon (about 1½ times the circumference of your container) and then adhere to the edges with glue dots, while pleating the ribbon at each 1″. Secure each pleat with a glue dot.

Variation – You can skip steps 1-3 & 7-16 and make a quick and easy pencil holder instead…

Upcycled Yogurt ContainerUpcycled Yogurt ContainerUpcycled Yogurt Container

How Ideas Become Creativity Prompts…

A page torn from my bedside journal:

From an idea to a Creativity Prompt


If you have any question, suggestion or remark – don’t hesitate to contact me – either leave a comment here, use the contact form or start a new thread on the Creativity Prompt Flickr Group!!!

I would also be very happy to see your own creations, so don’t be shy and share πŸ™‚

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Creativity Prompt – Chunky Mini-Album – First Video Tutorial

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Chunky Mini-Album
After long deliberations with myself (I admit. I have those.) I have decided to go ahead, roll up my sleeves and make a video tutorial. I have chosen to make a project similar to a former creativity prompt – a mini album I have prepared from a recycled cardboard box, for my nephews’ and niece’s photos.

I hope you will enjoy this tutorial and that the instructions are clear enough. However, bear in mind that this is my first attempt at a video tutorial, so it’s a bit rough around the edges (and then some). Therefore I would be much appreciative for any feedback – good and bad, so I can apply it to my next videos.

Covering the cardboard (which is the same as covering chipboard) with patterned paper is a step which is repeated in many creativity prompts. So it’s good to have it “on tape” for you to see the way I am going about it. I believe that even in poor quality, a video is more explanatory than a photo.

This week’s creativity prompt is brought to you in a video form… Enjoy!

[To watch in high resolution, go here and press the link below the video]

The papers I used on my tutorial were from Basic Grey Wassail 6×6 Paper pad.

The song on my video was made and performed by my brother in law and his friend while they were still in high-school. I was amazed at their talent and I would like to know what you’re thinking as well πŸ™‚


Chunky Mini-Album

If you have any question, suggestion or remark – don’t hesitate to contact me – either leave a comment, use the contact form or start a new thread on the Creativity Prompt Flickr Group!!!

I would also be very happy to see your own creations, so don’t be shy and share πŸ™‚

Creativity Prompt #13 Γ’β‚¬β€œ Recycled Mini Album

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Mini Recycled Album

Due to the vast popularity of the former Ò€œturn your trash into treasureÒ€ post, I have decided to make a series of posts, concentrating on using recycled objects to create art.

On this week’s creativity prompt I am going to show you how I have made a beautiful mini album, featuring my 3 nephews and niece, also known as “the elite squad“, using a USPS priority mail box.

Instead of throwing the box to the bin I salvaged it by taking it apart and cutting it to 3½ by 3½ inch squares. After covering the squares, punching them and putting a ton of embellishments on them, no one can tell they were taken out of the garbage bin πŸ™‚

By making the album out of this box, I am not only helping the environment by the mere act of recycling but also by not using a brand new album or a new chipboard sheet, made out of newly chopped trees… I guess I can call it a mindful use of finite natural resources and the results are pretty cool, as you can see yourself.

So here goes this week’s tutorial:


  • Cardboard box (not necessarily USPS’s box).
  • Patterned paper and black or craft cardstock.
  • Adhesive – glue stick, tape runner and double sided tape.
  • Basic Γ’β‚¬β€œ ruler, scissors, craft knife and a cutting mat.
  • Crop-a-dile
  • Binder’s rings
  • Embellishments Γ’β‚¬β€œ clear your stash & go crazy!!!


    1. Take the box apart and flatten it up
    Cardboard Box
    Flat Cardboard Box

    2. Measure and cut the squares
    Cardboard Squares

    3. Cover up the squares the same way you’d cover a journal bind Γ’β‚¬β€œ cut a bigger piece of patterned paper and apply glue stick to the cradboard square. Adhere the square in the middle of the patterned paper piece and cut all the edges in an angle, then adhere the flaps you have created to the cardboard.
    Covering Cardboard Squares

    4. Cut 3½ inch squares from the black cradstock to cover up the other side of the cardboard squares. (As I was using a very colorful and busy patterned paper for covering the cardboard squares, I chose to cover up the other side with a black cardstock. I would have used craft cardstock, had I had any…. but the main idea is to use the supply you already have.)

    5. Adhere the cardstock squares to the uncovered cardboard with double sided tape, to insure a sturdy hold.
    Cardstock Cover
    Covered Squares

    6. Punch your finished covered squares with the crop-a-dile (¼ inch from the side edge, 1¼ inch of the top and bottom edges).
    Punching holes

    7. Attach all the squares together with the binder’s rings and start adhering the pictures and writing the stories to go along with your pictures.
    Mini Album

    You can take a peek at my finished mini-album here.
    Finished mine album pages

    Please share your recycled creations with me by leaving a comment!