Friday, May 27, 2011

Last Minute Japanese Tape

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A must-have for any crafter is Japanese tape. Around here, my tape is very popular with the kids. So it's not unusual to have my rolls go missing -- very annoying, especially if I'm wrapping gifts at the last minute or trying to finish off a project in the middle of the night.

So what to do if you're in need of tape and can't wait for your order from Etsy? If you have mailing labels handy, you can make some "tape" with your own customized patterns.


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1) Vector patterns. The first three I downloaded from Pattern People. The last swatch is a pattern already found in Illustrator's swatches.

2) Mailing label template. I downloaded the respective Illustrator template from Avery. (This is the size I used -- picked up from Target.)


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1) I started out by opening the AI files from Pattern People. I edited the colors on some of them to my liking. There were multiple layers to the file. The one I worked on was the bottom layer labled 'swatch - working.'

2) After editing the colors, I grouped it all together and dragged the group right into the swatches palette. This creates a brand new pattern swatch.


3) Lastly, I opened up the AI template for my labels, and simply drew long strips and filled with my patterns. Make sure the layer you're working on is separate from the template outlines. I made sure to extend past the labels a bit for bleed.


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Just a couple of things you can do with your homemade tape. These are especially nifty for gift-wrapping, because they're already pre-cut.


Knock Knock Giveaway Winner!


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The lucky winner of the Knock Knock Giveaway is poster number 14, Amy Hackworth!
Please contact us with your email address and Knock Knock product of choice via
the contact form on this blog. Congratulations to you!



A huge thank you to everyone who entered the contest!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Knock Knock Giveaway!

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If you have not yet checked out Knock Knock, I highly recommend a visit. The website abounds with humorous stationery and office supplies. Practical, funny and beautiful... sounds like a winning combination to me! See the end of this post for instructions on how to enter for a chance to win the Personal Library Kit or another item of your choice from Knock Knock.

The Personal Library Kit caught my eye because I am always lending out books and not always getting them back. Let me just insert here that I am guilty of the same thing so this library kit seemed like a great idea.

I decided to create a bookmark in a similar design style that the borrower could keep potentially making the return of the book a bit less painful. :)


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For this project, you will need the following:
  • Rounded rectangle shape
  • Pattern of your choice (I created my own in Photoshop)
  • Sans-serif block type font in a medium weight
  • Quotation of your choice. I chose a quote about reading. Strange, I know.

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Create a new document in your photo editing software. I chose to create a 2.5x8 inch bookmark.

Fill your background layer with your chosen pattern.

Add the rounded rectangle on top of the pattern, center it on the document and fill it with color.

Type the words 'keep this' in a large size using your sans-serif block style font and type 'return the book' in brackets just below it.

About half way down the bookmark, add the dotted line, center it in the horizontal space and fill it with color.

Below the dotted line, type your quote in a smaller point size using the same font as above.


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There you have it, a fun bookmark to send along when you lend out your books. A nice reminder at the top and a great quote at the bottom! Print out a stack of bookmarks and have them ready to tuck in the next book for a friend. Don't forget to add your personal library card so you can get that book back!

You can win the Personal Library Kit or another item of your choice from Knock Knock. Follow the instructions below to enter.
  • Visit Knock Knock and browse their products 
  • Comment on this post
  • Follow or subscribe to this blog 

Comment by May 26th, 12:00 am CST. The winner will be announced on May 27th.
Have fun and good luck!

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The lucky winner of the Knock Knock Giveaway is poster number 14, Amy Hackworth!
Amy please contact us with your email address and Knock Knock product of choice via
the contact form on this blog. Congratulations to you!



A huge thank you to everyone who entered the contest!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Old Business Cards + A Giveaway *CLOSED*

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I just recently redesigned my blog. This is something that happens practically every year (hopefully this redesign will last me a bit longer). Why is it so hard to design for yourself? I digress. I have a pile of these fabulous, but outdated business cards. I don't want to throw them away, but the designer in me doesn't want to hand these out anymore as they aren't an indicator of what my branding looks like anymore.

Luckily for me, I designed these cards double-sided, so I can easily repurpose them in so many different ways. As you see here, I just sewed them together & displayed them back-side out & BAM! I've got a sweet little banner for a festive party or dinner.

If you haven't discovered the glories of sewing paper, I suggest you stop reading right this minute & GO DO IT RIGHT NOW. I love sewing paper. It's easy, you don't need any

special bells or whistles on your machine in order to do it, you just do it. Simple as that.

Allbusinesscards.com wants to know what would you do with business cards? Would you design a calling card? Make mini thank yous? Comment on this post (one comment per person ONLY) letting us know! 3 random winners will receive a prize of 500 one-sided business cards + shipping for free.

Comment on this post before 11:59pm MST May 19th. Winner will be announced May 20th. US & Canada entries only.

Good luck!

If you would like to win one of these little banners, comment on my teaser post at melissaesplin.com. Two winners will be announced for that giveaway May 20th. International entries on that giveaway are welcome.

THE LUCKY WINNERS ARE:
lmt said...

I'd design my very first business card and I'd reuse them when they are out dated for making a memory game for my son

Christina said...

The uniform shape makes them handy for handmade flash cards or a memory game for the kids.

sandandstarfish said...

I would make cute thank you cards. I was thinking about doing them as postcards but that just seems a little too much (too big, too weird) right now ;)
I absolutely love the idea of using the backs of business cards for something else! Thanks for the giveaway and for getting some ideas in my head spinning!


Thanks for participating!! Your ideas were great!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Photo-Lettering

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Have you played with the new Photo-Lettering site from House Industries? It's an easy way to create unique type elements– especially if you don't have the software to do it yourself.  This fun tool let's your type up to 40 characters, swap out for alternates, and edit the colors.



Once you have your text created, just add it to your cart and check out. At $7 it's a cheap way to access high quality fonts without paying for the whole alphabet.



Once your order is complete, you download your text. It comes as a fully customizable vector based PDF file. Pretty fun! Check out the blocks below then head over to their idea page for more samples on how to use these awesome alphabets.


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