Friday, December 17, 2010

Sticker You Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Sticker You giveaway is commenter #6, Stephanie. She said, "It'd be nice to make stickers with my own designs to give away!"

Thanks StickerYou- such a fun company! Stephanie, we hope you enjoy your new stickers or labels. Email us and we'll get you the info on how to claim your prize. Also, remember that everyone can try it out with the coupon code "HeathersStickers" for 25% off your order.  Prices start at just $8.00 for one sheet and go down for multiple sheets. So, not expensive to give it a try.

We'd love to see how you these, if you've created a label or sticker based off any of our design recipes, let us know or upload a photo to our flickr group so we can check them out.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Custom Labels Gift Idea & GiveawayI

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I've been asked by a few people for some ideas on custom labels. As you know, I am always inspired by vintage finds and love these labels from the collection of Such Pretty Things. I thought it'd be fun to make some vintage inspired bakery labels for my Sister-in-law's birthday. She is a great cook and bakes yummy bread.  I made her some fabric labels sewn on bread bags to use for herself and then a sticker version for when she is giving it away.

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For this recipe you will need:

A label shape- draw your own in your editing program or use one found online. Many printers have templates you can download. I also found some [free vector labels] for You could use them as a starting point for your own designs and change out colors and other items you don't need.
Sans serif font- I used [District Thin] available for free from Font Squirrel.
Script font- This is really sort of a handwritten looking font. It's [Saginaw] available for free from Urban Fonts.
Clip art- I drew my little loaf of bread but if you want to find something pre-made, try looking for clip art fonts or search for free vectors.  I found a free clip art font called [WC Sold Out] on DaFont and some [free silhouette vectors] from All Silhouettes.
Colors- I just used black and white to keep it simple, but look at the inspiration labels– you could use any color combos you like.

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The first thing you need to do is decide how you will print your labels. There are a lot of great options for customizing labels. I'll give some recommendations at the end of the post. But just know that if you are getting them professionally printed, you may need to size your labels to fit a template or follow print guidelines from your printer. Once you know your guidelines you can get started on the designing. I used Illustrator and made these labels to fit on an 8.5 x 11 full sheet of sticker paper.

First thing I did was create my label shape. I created my oval then added the scallops. Tip for quick scalloped edge: Created a dotted border, expand the shape, then merge the two shapes together. I made a curvy scalloped border by using the round corners filter to smooth out the inner shapes.

Next, I added a white border line to the inside of the oval shape just below the scallops. Just layering each element on top of the one below. If you are using Photoshop, it'd be good to create each shape on it's own layer to make editing easier.

Then add the text elements and clip art to the inside of the oval. Some tips: look at the inspiration image and notice that some text could be on a path and follow the outline of the label shape, some of the text is larger and some smaller. Varying those things as well as the typefaces will help your label look authentic. 

When your design is finished, follow the recommendations of your printer to prep the file. In some cases, you many need to reverse the image, save it as a different file type, or change the image size.

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A few great resources to check out for printing your labels:

Avery full sheet sticker paper: This is sticker paper that you can run through your ink jet and then cut out to size.

Avery fabric transfer paper: Use these to iron your design on to fabric.

Instructables: Use this tutorial to print straight from your ink jet to fabric

Spoonflower: This company will print your file onto fabric for you. You could use their swatch size for small orders or go for a whole yard or two on different fabrics.

StickerYou: I was so excited to find this company! I heard about it via Twitter somehow and clicked right over. I've looked into sourcing labels for small business owners in the past and most of the options were so limited usually having you pay a huge upfront set up fee for the die cuts as well as requiring huge minimum orders.

When I found this company, who will print stickers and labels on demand in small quantities, I shouted HOORAY! It's about time! When you click over to their website, you will see that they print high quality vinyl stickers and labels of your own design in quantities as low as one sheet. And the prices are amazing for this type of customization.

Such a cool thing for the small business owner or crafter.  You just use their Sticker Maker to upload your design (or use some elements from their own library) on whatever size sticker you want to make– address labels, jar labels, etc.  I haven't tried them out yet so I don't know the print quality. But I'm excited to give them a try next time I need labels.  They say you can have them printed and shipped to you in about a week. So if you hurry, there is still time to use them to make a unique gift.

StickerYou has generously given Good Look Cookbook readers a 20% discount using the code "HeathersStickers" and has donated a $30 credit for one lucky winner.  That's potentially a lot of labels depending on the size you choose.

If you'd like to enter to win the $30 credit from StickerYou, just leave a comment under this post with your favorite use or gift idea for labels. We'll pick a winner next Friday 12/17/10.  Happy designing!  

P.S. StickerYou or any of the companies listed in this post did not pay for their links. However, StickerYou is providing the giveaway.

  I love design, illustration, crafts, & searching for cool vintage things in thrift stores. Find me blogging at The Modern Hive.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Custom Wall Art

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My 2 girls share a bedroom and they got some new bedding a little while back. I decided that I wanted to create some custom wall art for their bedroom that coordinates with the new bedding.

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For this recipe, you'll need:

• A simple serif font. I chose Baskerville Oldface, because I wanted a simple and classic look. This font came standard with my computer.
• A color palette that matches your inspiration (the bedding, in my case).
• Some pre-made textured backgrounds. I chose these backgrounds, available at

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Gather all of your ingredients. Feel free to make adjustments, according to your own tastes. I opened up an 8x8 in. document in Adobe Photoshop. I dropped in my chosen background. Then, using the text tool, I typed the word "dream" in the center of the page with my text color set to a very similar color as my background. I set the blend mode to "multiply" because I wanted my background paper and texture to show through. You can experiment with different blend modes to see what you like.

The next step is specific to Adobe Photoshop, but you may be able to achieve similar looks with a different software program if you experiment. Using the Layer Style menu on my text layer, I set a white outer glow to create a bit of an ethereal look to the text.

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And that's it! I created 3 different pieces of wall art that coordinate and will hang together on their bedroom wall, forming a sort of triptych. I plan to have mine printed on canvas. You can create a variety of wall art to match any decor, using different backgrounds, colors, and inspiration words.

Designer. Mother of 4.
Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, or see my digital scrapbooking designs at Scrap Girls.

Friday, November 26, 2010

gift tags

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With the holiday season upon us I'm definitely on a gift tag making kick. As soon as I saw this leather case I thought it would be a great point to take off for another tag idea. This involves some digital work at the beginning and then a bit of cutting and construction at the end. These would be great for Secret Santa gifts where you want the "From" part of your tag hidden.

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The ingredients for this piece are really simple. I selected a photo (top left) that inspired me to create a pattern that is not holiday related and can be used at any time during the year. I used Adobe Illustrator to create a similar pattern by using solid rectangles and a the more subtle option of outlined shapes.

I originally selected red and gray as my colors but I ended up only working with the red.

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I printed an entire letter sized sheet with the pattern I created.

I then proceeded to cut out a shape shown at the top. Measurements aren't necessarily important here, but proportions are. Just make sure that the two large rectangles are exactly the same size and make sure that you have two tabs as indicated in the diagram. Add a bit of glue to the tabs and close the envelope. Cut out a curve centered at the top (that goes through front and back) and you're done with the envelope.

Cut out a gift card and punch a hole at the top for ribbon. Make sure that the card is snug inside the envelope, so that the latter doesn't fall off.

While making the top envelope and tag I thought of a simpler option—a matchbox type card. This only involves cutting out a shape that is like the bottom diagram. Make sure that the added lengths of side A and side C are at least 1/8" longer than side B. That will allow for the matchbox side A to tuck under side C, when folded and closed. A bit of glue or a staple should be used to hold side C attached to side B. Make sure that a small edge is left unattached so that the cover can tuck under it.

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So here are the two tags. Now you can give your gifts and tuck your name safely away until it is time for the big reveal.

Remember that the pattern you just created can be used for printing out matching gift wrap, suitable for small items.

Friday, November 19, 2010

White Balance

No standard recipes today. I'm sharing with you how to quickly adjust white balance to your photos so they look top notch!

Here's what the image looks like when I'm all done. Hope this helps with your photo editing!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Enviable Envelopes

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I love getting mail. No, not junk mail, but letters, cards, personal things. I fell in love with these custom rubber stamps and decided to create some designs of my own to make my own correspondence a bit more lovely.

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For this recipe, you'll need lots of varieties of my very favorite thing: fonts! There are lots of varieties that can really change the look of any of the address labels/stamps you create.

• frilly script font: Natalya
• bold extended font: Blackoak
• bold condensed font: Clarendon
• stylish font: Lemon Chicken
• sans serif font (Arial, Helvetica, something you already have is fine!)
• decorative borders, frames, ornaments: IM Fell Flowers

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I just started by typing my name and address using each of the fonts, then I played around with different combinations of names, addresses and arrangements. Contrast is an important element here—combining large with small, decorative with plain, bold with condensed, heavy with delicate—the differences make the end results beautiful and elegant.

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I printed these on some envelopes I have so they are ready to use, but I like the
added texture that you get when you actually make an impression from a rubber stamp, so I plan to order rubber stamps that I can use in the future. I'm excited about how these turned out! They make me want to send something to myself.

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Designer. Typography geek. Entrepreneur.
Follow me on twitter, read my blog, be my friend on FaceBook, or check out more of my work.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vintage Bus Scroll Inspired Poster

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I'm sure you've seen these vintage bus scrolls as part of interiors lately. They make such a fun graphic statement. Since the originals are hard to come by, I thought it'd be fun to make a version for our house. I decided to use all the street names where my husband and I  have lived since we've been married. But, just think of the possibilities. You could do favorite vacation spots, cities you visited, cities from your family history, a list of goals... whatever you can imagine. The picture above is found from a Flickr photo stream found [Here].

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The ingredient list for this recipe is really simple. You will need:

• A boldish sans-serif font (I used Bebas- found on Font Squirrel for Free)
• A two color palette- Black & White or Light Grey.

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First check out how you will be printing your poster. There are a lot of options when it comes to one at a time poster printing. Try Zazzle, CafePress, Overnight Prints, Uprinting, etc. They all have options for single poster prints. Look at their size & price options and decide which one you want to use.

Open a new document in your image editor to the size you want your poster. I used Illustrator and created my poster at 16x20 inches. You could use pretty much any editing program for this project and make it any size.

Fill the background of your document with black. Then created a smaller text box about 2 inches inside the border because I plan on framing my poster and want a little space to show around the words after it's framed.  Select full justified text and start adding your street names in white or light grey to the inside of the text box. I just listed each street on it's own line.

Find your text attribute option box in your program. In Illustrator it's found on your upper menu in a little blue link when you have your text tool selected. On the bus scroll example image you can see that some of the lines are really small, some are large, some are close together, and some spread way apart. This is done in the text options by playing with the font size, kerning, and tracking options. Just play around with them till you get all the streets on their own line and taking up the same amount of space on the line.

Alternately,  you could create a text box for each text line and then space them yourself. I've seen some bus scrolls with centered text of different sizes and it still looks cool. So, if that's easier for you with your available program, go for it. 

Follow the uploading directions of the printer you selected and save your new poster in their recommended formats.  Upload to your printer and when you get it back you'll have a great personal statement art piece to frame and hang.

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Here's how mine turned out. I love it! I can't wait to get it framed and hang it up. We've been married for 14 years and if you've counted them up, moved 9 times. Fun to remember all the crazy places we've been together!


I love design, illustration, crafts, & searching for cool vintage things in thrift stores. Find me blogging at The Modern Hive

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thank You Notes

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We recently established a new tradition in our family of each writing thank you notes on Sunday afternoons. I made a family thank you note binder, where I have a few guidelines for how to compose a personal thank you note, as well as a pocket to hold pre-made thank you cards and envelopes so that my children can just grab one when they’re ready to write. I wanted to make a variety of thank you notes and found some great inspiration on Typography Mania.

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For this recipe, you’ll need:

A variety of fonts in different weights, styles, and sizes. I chose Bill Hicks 5, Made, and Linear, which are all available free at Urban Fonts, as well as a couple other fonts that I already had installed on my computer.

A neutral color palette of tans and black.

Ornamental swirls and swashes

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Gather all of your ingredients. Feel free to make adjustments, according to your own tastes. I opened up a new letter-size document in Adobe Illustrator and then drew a box that measured 5.5x8.5, so that when I fold it in half, it will fit the standard envelopes that I have on hand (you can use the software you feel most comfortable using and change the size if you have different envelopes).

I decided to write “thank you” in a variety of languages to fill up the front of the card. I thought it would be an interesting twist and my ulterior motive is that maybe my kids might learn a little foreign language! I found this site helpful: Ways to Say Thank You to find a variety of languages.

After getting all of my type fit in place, I moved my file over to Photoshop for the finishing details. I used a variety of swirly decorative brushes and swashes of color under the text and on the edges of my card front. I already had these, which I got at Scrap Girls, but you can use whatever ornamental swirls you want to decorate and grunge up your edges a bit.

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Here is my finished card, which will now be placed in our family Thank You Binder!

Designer. Mother of 4.
Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, or see my digital scrapbooking designs at Scrap Girls.
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