How To

Alcohol Inks | How To’sday

So summer blahs have set in and you’re looking for something new to add a little zest to your crafting? Why not put today’s alcohol inks tutorial by Charissa Miller to the test? I admit, I’ve never used alcohol inks but the agate technique looks particularly intriguing and fun!

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One of my favorite things to do with alcohol inks is to create full backgrounds for cards with the Alcohol Ink Agate Technique. This technique creates a multicolored, multi-dimensional, beautifully colored background that can have the feel of agate stone or a gorgeous sunset.

You’ll need glossy paper for this technique to work. Don’t use photo paper or cardstock as it will just dry into a muddy mess of not cute! Use a glossy paper intended for inking/crafting. You’ll also need an inking tool and a felt pad to add to it. This felt is a one-time use only because alcohol inks are flammable and you do NOT want to store a bunch of felts that could combust. Finally, you need tp pick out your colors. You can use as many colors as you want, but I tend to stick to 3-5 colors so all the colors show.

The alcohol inks line also has what are called Mixatives—these are metallic, pearl, black or white pigments that add opaque (alcohol inks are translucent) patches to your design. I love adding the gold or silver to give some shine. Only use a TINY amount of the mixative though, or it could overwhelm and block out your actual alcohol ink colors.

To get started, take your inking tool and squeeze out a small amount of ink onto the felt. You only want a single spot of each color to ensure that you do not end up with too much of one color. Once you have all of your colors, add a tiny amount of mixative, if desired.

Next, dab the ink tool over your paper. Don’t swirl, blend, or move the felt while on the paper, just pick up and dab, pick up and dab. Turn the tool before each dab so you apply the color in a different pattern and don’t end up with a repeat pattern.  The ink will dry within seconds so you don’t have to worry about smearing it.

Once you have your base layer you can add more colors (including new ones) by adding more ink to the felt. You can make a color lighter by putting a dot on your felt and then squirting blending solution on top. You can also lighten the entire background by applying some alcohol blending solution to your felt and dabbing that on your paper.  It may go through a couple ugly stages, but just keep working it and it will turn out beautiful.

Here is an ugly stage:

Here is the completed background:

If you’d like to stamp over you design, use an ink that can dry onto the slick glossy surface.  I prefer Archival Ink because it dries on the glossy surface and easily shows over the background color.  I use it in black, but any color could work.

And this is the completed card:

Here are a few cards and backgrounds made with the Alcohol Ink Agate technique.

Hope this inspires you to give alcohol inks a try.  They definitely are a lot of fun!

Fancy Pants Designs Transparencies | How To’sday

So you’re smitten with transparencies and love adding them on top of a layout, but really want to get a little more use out of them. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with snazzing up a layout with one snappy step, there is so much more to these thin sheets of plastic than meets the eye.

Today Staci Jones shows us fun new ways you can use transparencies like the ones in today’s steal, the Fancy Pants Designs, Paper, Transparency and Sticker collection.

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Transparency.  Some may cringe when it is listed in a kit, but have no fear- the possibilities are endless! When Kristy asked me to do a how-to with transparencies, I dug out some of my favorites from Fancy Pants and got to work.

Transparencies could easily be affixed to a piece of plain cardstock and then jazzed up with some Stickles to make a quick and easy background.

The picture could be adhered on top of the transparency…

….or underneath for a cool effect.

If using the whole transparency isn’t appealing, just cut out elements for borders or embellishments on a layout.

Cut them up and they are a great addition to card making.

Think beyond the traditional scrappy projects and they are great for home decor…

…and fun kids room decor.

So what are you waiting for? Steal today and be sure to share your fun projects on ScrapbookSteal’s Facebook page. I would love to see what you create. Thanks for having me today!

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Staci, you ooze talent girl! Thanks so much for sharing your projects with us today!

If you’re looking for more fabulous ideas on how to use your transparencies, check out how Charity Becker used them in this How Tos’day post and how I used them in this Fantastic Friday post.

We R Memory Keepers Brad Setter and Brads | How To’sday

I love a good tool and I think any paper crafter knows We R Memory Keepers definitely has some pretty amazing crafting tools. Today’s steal, the We R Memory Keepers Brad Setter, is no exception. Add the bundle of sparkly mini brads and you’ve got the makings for some happiness that would rival Bob Villa with a new power tool.

Today Cristine Redmond shows us some fantastic uses with the brad setter and brads.

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How many of you can relate to this scenerio:  You want to put a brad on your project so you pierce a hole, put the brad in, flip over the project, then continue to poke and prod the tender spots under your nails as you try to set the brad.  Am I the only one?  I didn’t think so.  That is why I absolutely LOVE the We R Memory Keepers Brad Setter.  This has to be one of the best scrappy inventions out there.  Plus, it’s so easy to use I put my 5 year-old to work using it (supervised, of course!).

My biggest is getting to the age where she pretends she knows how to tell time.  Everything ends in “30” (it’s always 5:30 or 12:30, etc.).  I thought I would help her make a clock so we can work on learning to tell time.  She is already excited to tell her teachers that she knows how to tell what time it is—and school doesn’t start for almost two months!

Here are the supplies we used:

I adhered the scalloped paper to the thick cardstock-y thing that comes with new calendars using rubber cement.  Then I marked the center spot and my daughter used the Brad Setter to pierce a hole.

We added some numbers to the page using Thickers, then used the Brad Setter to pierce a hole in the clock hands.  My biggie inserted the brad into the clock hands, then into the clock page itself and flipped it all over.  Using the other side of the Brad Setter, she pushed down to separate the brad legs (or tongs or whatever they are called).

Once they were separated, she used the head to push down the legs.

Seriously, I didn’t have to help her at all.  This tool makes it SO easy!  Here is a picture of the finished product:

Cute, right?  I thought I’d put the Brad Setter to use on a different kind of project…a card.

After I tied the bow on the card, I used the piercer to make a hole through the knot of the bow.  Then I put a brad in and used the other side to set it.  Seriously, you need this tool if you don’t have one.  I know you’re thinking, “But why would I spend money on this when I have perfectly good fingers to use?”  I thought the same thing, which is why I put off buying this tool forever.  You only need to poke the tender skin under your fingernails so many times before you begin to wonder if there is an easier way—luckily, there is!

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Cristine! I love it! I also love that you were able to get your biggie involved in some paper crafting with you. So much fun.

We have a pretty great lineup for the rest of the week, so don’t forget to stop by each day. Tomorrow is the final installment in the Turquoise Mid Week Mojo series, Thursday we are treated to a triple whammy from the Summer Design Team and Friday will be this months Blog Hop!

Have a fantastic day!

Fancy Pants Designs Chipboard Banner Sets | How To’sday

What party doesn’t need that little extra something? What home doesn’t need that little extra splash of decor? Well,  Fancy Pants Designs Chipboard Banner Sets are a great place to start! What’s not to love about a sturdy, high-quality chipboard banner that can be decorated to stand the test of time? Just think of the options! Birthday parties, baby showers, summer, 4th of July… Sheesh, I think I’d even like to create a fun Halloween themed banner!

Today we are thrilled to have Becci Manies, the banner queen herself, show us how to make a cute summer banner with today’s steal.

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First, I gather a variety of products to place on the chipboard banner pieces, both large and small, hard and soft, flat and dimensional. I like to gather most of my products before I start my project, then I choose from the pile to create each banner piece.

I prepare the elements that I am going to use by inking, sanding, tying twine on or assembling die cuts as needed.

I like to layer everything on to the banner piece before adhering any of the layers together.

I like to curl pieces (as shown) to make the parts stand off of the banner piece and add dimension beacuase I don’t like everything to look flat.

I layer and tuck the elements together until the piece looks pretty full.

Here are all of my elements layered together on one banner piece.

I decided to ink the edges of the flower print scallop circle. Then I was happy with the banner piece and I started to glue the items together.

I use a mixture of foam adhesive, Tombo glue, and Zots glue dots to arrange the elements at different levels.

I prepared each letter by sanding the edges and tying a piece of twine around it.

After you arrange and layer each banner panel you string it together with a piece of ribbon and you have a completed banner!

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Thank you so much Becci. Your banner is beautiful!

If you have a great idea that you would like to see featured as a How To’sday at please send your text and photos to

Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow for a little Mid Week Mojo! :)

Paper Weaving | How To’sday

Today’s How To’sday takes me back to my carefree days of childhood and paper weaving art projects in grade school. Today’ Venetia Holbrook shows us step by step how to integrate paper weaving into a stunning design idea for scrapbook pages.

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I am so excited to get to share a How To’sday tutorial on ScrapbookSteals! Let’s weave some fun into a couple of layouts!

First Weave Idea–

  • Grab three pieces of cardstock. Two to weave and one to use as a base.

  • Cut the same size strips of your weaving cardstock. I did one inch, but any size works.
  • Gently tack down the very edge of a set of your strips, alternating the end you tack down.

  • Start to weave the other card stock over the tacked down piece and under the loose piece. Then alternate the over under and continue across the page. You need to tighten your weave as you go.

  • Once you’ve finished, tack down your loose ends and trim the edges if needed.

  • Cover the top edge with a border and design your page!

Second weave idea-

Every little kid has done this, but a redo is great for a hidden journaling element on a page.

  • First, cut two rectangles.

  • Next fold them in half and trim the edge to a half circle.

  • Cut even size strips from the bottom fold to just past the width of the paper when laid across at 90 degrees. I cheated an used a pattern paper with lines so I could free hand the cuts. I stacked my papers so the cuts would match.

  • This part is hard to explain. Think of the bands of paper as arms, and they’re giving bear hugs, (you know when someone grabs you around the arms and you can’t move?) alternate the bands around and through each other. As you go, it gets tighter, so be patient.

  • When you’re done, you should have a hear basket that you can punch or cut hearts into for a hidden journal pocket.

I hope you loved my weaving magic!

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Venetia! What a brilliant tutorial. Such a fun and fresh idea to incorporate into scrapbooking! Thank you so much for sharing.

If you have an idea that you would like to see featured on our blog as a How To’sday tutorial be sure to share! You can send your photos and text to

Have a lovely day and I’ll see you tomorrow for a little Mojo!