I love How To’sday. It’s sort of like a little crafty Christmas every time I open up an email from one of you talented crafters, sharing your tips. Today’s tutorial is simply put, amazing. Charity Hotrum Becker shows us some tips for using those transparencies that are in our stashes that tend to just sit there because we aren’t quite sure what to do with them!

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Okay, who can even spell that word? No wonder transparencies are so intimidating! But, I’ve got a few tips that cut them down to size. Specifically I’ll illustrate their use as flowers, pockets, and good ‘ol frames.
Flowers first!

Transparencies come in various sizes, colors, prints and pre-designated uses. For handmade flowers I use the transparencies with an all over print. You will also need a jeweled brad, a pair of tweezers, a heating tool, and a paper trimmer or pair of scissors.

First cut 4 strips measuring 2 ½ by ½ inches. Pierce each strip at the center. Thread each strip onto a brad so the arms spread out like an asterisk.

Using tweezers, grasp the brad by the “feet” and hold it upside down. Turn on the heating tool and warm the transparencies for 5-10 seconds. It will quickly become pliable. Use your fingers to mold the strips into a curved shape, bent toward the brads jeweled center. The strips may need reheated a few times to get the curve you have in mind.

To make a smaller flower try cutting strips that are 1 ½ inches by ½ inch. Give the strips a shallower curve so the flower has a more open appearance.

What’s a scrapper to do if a heating tool is nowhere to be found? Here’s a second flower option. For this one you’ll need a print transparency, a jeweled brad, and a paper piercer.

Cut 4 strips 3 ½ by ¼. Pierce each strip in the middle and ¼ inch from each end.

Thread a strip onto the brad using the center piercing. Bend one side of the strip in and thread it onto the brad, bend the other side in and thread it onto the brad. Repeat this process for all four strips, taking care to turn each strip so that the flower petals form an asterisk.

These flowers are lots of fun to add to any crafting project, but look especially snazzy on gift tags!

After you have completed your flower cut a 3 inch circle from card stock. Pierce the center and insert the transparency blossom. Fold the brad back securely. Punch a small hole ¼ inch from the side and thread about 6 inches of twine through in a slip knot.

Many Transparencies are designed to frame a photo. This is a wonderful addition to a page, but what if your transparency doesn’t show up when placed over your photo…what good is THAT! Trim your picture to fit inside the colored portion of the frame. Choose a contrasting paper, and cut a photo mat that will extend beyond the edges of your transparency. Ink the edges to give your mat definition and adhere photo and frame to mat.

Still not sold on these bits of “sheer fun”? Here’s one more idea to get transparencies out of your stash and onto your page. Journaling pockets made from transparencies take advantage of their transparent nature. How fun to bling out your journaling card and slip it in a clear pocket! Embellishments look great inside these little pockets also. It’s a fab way to fill up those spots in a sketch that call for little photos.

Thanks to Cathryn Hanson for the amazing sketches I used on these layouts and to Kristy Lee for the delightful card sketch, and of course to Steal Network for letting me showcase my talent. It’s kind of fun to see my name up in lights!

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Charity! Unbelievably amazing tutorial. Thank you for taking the time to share your talents with us. I know I’ve got some transparencies that I’m dying to try some of your techniques with. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you have an idea that you would like to share on a How To’sday, don’t be shy. We’d love to see what ideas you have up your crafty sleeve. You can send photos and directions to kristy@stealnetwork.com.

Hope you have a great day. I’ll see you tomorrow for another Mid Week Mojo.