10/22/20

Happy Halloween with Artesprix!

Last week, we had a great Virtual Vendor Visit with Artesprix, a brand new vendor to Notions! 

Artesprix Iron-on-Ink is a complete line of sublimation products that allow artists and crafters to permanently personalize polyester-coated substrates with their own designs. With dozens of different sublimation marker colors to choose from, along with stamp pads, accessories, and blanks, you’ll never run out of ideas for custom creative projects to make personalized products that last a lifetime.

If you caught our What's New Wednesday yesterday, Ashley from Artesprix gave our sales team a demonstration of how to use the iron-on-Ink on the metal luggage tag blanks. In case you missed it, here's the video below:

Today, we've got a project similar to what Ashley showed us, but for Halloween Trick-or-Treat bags! A big thanks to Artesprix and Gina Knuppenburg (https://desperatelyseekinggina.comfor today's blog content: 


Halloween Candy Metal Bag Tags with Artesprix Markers!

Create these fun and reusable Halloween Candy Metal Bag Tags using Artesprix Sublimation Markers and no one will ever be able claim your stash of candy as their own! We take Halloween candy pretty seriously and these fun metal tags let everyone in the house know which bag is yours. Really, though, these are great for households with multiple kids to keep bags straight. The Artesprix metal bag tags are double sided so they’re perfect for a fun design on one side and a name on the other side.

Artesprix Sublimation Markers

Artesprix markers work like regular markers…but with a little magic. Heating the special sublimation ink turns it into a gaseous dye that permeates a blank, like these metal tags, and transfers the design permanently. The image or design doesn’t fade and these candy bag tags can be reused year after year.

What You Need to Make these Halloween Candy Tags

Materials:

Tools:
  • Pencil
  • Cutting Machine
  • Artesprix Heat Press

Note: I used a purchased image from Design Bundles but you can draw directly on the copy paper, stamp an image using the Artesprix stamp pad and acrylic block, or use a light box and trace anything at all onto plain copy paper.


How to Make the Halloween Candy Metal Bag Tags

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:


Load the SVG image into the design studio for your cutting machine. Apply copy paper to the cutting mat and load. You can load the Artesprix marker right into the tool holder using a pen adapter. Remember to mirror the image! Set the machine to sketch and send the project to the machine.

Step 2:


I like to washi tape the copy paper down because it curls a little once you remove it from the cutting mat. Color and fill in your design.


Pro Tip: Color outside the lines. Really! When filling in the background, we encourage you to color outside the lines so when you tape down the blank, it will ensure the entire blank is filled.


Step 3:

Place the blank face down over the design and use the heat tape to secure. This ensures the blank and the design will not shift when pressed or ironed.


Now is a great time to heat up the press. Set to 400 degrees and 60 seconds.



Step 4:

Make a sublimation sandwich by cutting a piece of the protective silicone paper for the bottom. Place the blank down on the protective paper with the copy paper/design facing up. Cut and place one more piece of protective paper on top of the design. Ensure the design is close to the heat source. In this case, the top plate of the heat press is the source.


Step 5:

Time to press. Once it’s done and you’ve removed it from the press, perform a “peek test” to ensure the image transferred; carefully life a corner of the copy paper to check. Heat gloves keep your hands safe.


Step 6:

Repeat the process to add a name to the back of the tags.

Ideas for Using Your Halloween Candy Bag Tags

The Artesprix metal bag tags come with a handy clear plastic loop for hanging. To make it extra fun, cut 3 lengths of coordinating Halloween ribbon and loop it through the bag tag along with the hanger.



Fun, right? I’d love to know if you make these adorable Halloween Candy Metal Bag Tags. use our hashtag #supplyingcreativity to show us your creations!

Want to keep up to date with New Products, Trends and Notions News? Follow us on Social Media! What's New Videos, Product Releases, DIY's and more! Our social media feeds are always packed with fresh new content displaying your favorite brands!

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10/9/20

TCW Virtual Visit and Ken Oliver ColorSparx!

Tuesday we had a great time hearing from Jaime Echt at The Crafter's Workshop and learning about stencils, modeling paste and Ken Oliver ColorSparx watercolor powders. The continued education of our Sales, Marketing, and Merchandising teams on new products and trends is important to us here at Notions, and so being able to get hands-on with TCW's products was a blast!

Jaime Echt is the designer and founder of The Crafter's Workshop. The company began as a small paper arts shop in 1997, and one day in 1998, they realized the only thing missing from their shop was a great assortment of unique templates and stencils...and thus TCW was born! Today they have a large collection of stencils, mediums, and more!

If you loved Ken Oliver's ColorBurst powders, then you're going to love the new ColorSparx powders! Ken and TCW have teamed up to keep this product going with a newly designed bottle for smaller hands or grip strength that isn't quite what it used to be. They come in six color coordinated sets! Shop Now.

Check out the video next week on our Facebook for What's New Wednesday!

Here's the step-by-step on how to use the ColorSparx watercolor powders! You can use whatever stencils and modeling paste colors you like with this technique!

Step 1: Get a 6x6 Mixed Media Board and a 6x6 stencil (we're using SKU #086539 "Snowflakes") and choose your colors.


Step 2: Sprinkle the watercolor powder over your stencil. Think of this as a "light salting," as a little goes a LONG way.


Step 3: Spray your stencil with water. Two spritz should do it. Don't overspray, or your print wont look very crisp. Peel off your stencil.


Step 4 (optional): Waste not! Get a fresh mixed media board and put your wet stencil face down on it to create a negative of the original. This is great for creating a heavily colored background!


Finished! Use these as backgrounds for a different work of art or leave as is! This technique is great for use on watercolor paper for making Christmas cards!


Now that we have the basics, let's move on to the bigger project! This project uses the 12x12 stencils and mixed media board, the watercolor powders, and the modeling paste to create a textured multimedia art piece that is perfect for Autumn and/or Thanksgiving! Use this technique with any of the other stencils and modeling paste colors by TCW.

Step 1: Choose your colors and stencil. We used a harvest themed stencil, but the sunflower would also look stunning! (Stencils used: TCW 819 & TCW 799)


Step 2: Sprinkle the watercolor powder over your stencil. Tip: Do the light colors first, then do the darker colors.


Step 3: Spray your stencil with water and peel off the stencil. You could just leave it at this and be completely happy (or do the negative and see how it looks!) but we're going to go one step further. Let your work dry completely before continuing. 


Step 4: Pick a sentiment stencil like this "Thankful" stencil and place it over your work and tape it down at the corners. This will keep it from moving around while you work.


Step 5: Scoop a dollop of the modeling paste (we used TCW9042) out with the BACK of your pallet knife. This will make it easier to spread. Start in the middle of your stencil to avoid smearing and use the long edge of your pallet knife to spread the paste lightly, like frosting a cake. Do not lift straight up off your stencil, but rather glide away.


Step 6: Do the same to the outside pieces.


Step 7: Peel off your stencil and soak in water or wash off immediately. The modeling paste will stick like cement to the plastic, so you're going to want to get it off as soon as you're done.


Now you're done! Set up your artwork in a place of honor, you worked hard on it! This technique can also be used on a smaller scale for card making, using the 6x6 stencils.


Want to keep up to date with New Products, Trends and Notions News? Follow us on Social Media! What's New Videos, Product Releases, DIY's and more! Our social media feeds are always packed with fresh new content displaying your favorite brands!

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9/24/20

Cricut 101

This blog post is about getting more familiar with the Cricut basics. Any new Cricut Crafters out there, this is for you! Here to help supply the necessary information to get your Cricut creativity flowing. Some of you pros may not need this step-by-step but might know a newbie who could use it. 

Now, let's get into it!


For today's project you will need:


To see how to set up your new machine, visit help.Cricut.com!

Now that your machine and Design Space app are ready to go, this is what you should see...

        


From there, you can start customizing! The side bar on the left will be your best friend. It's where you can add your text, images, get a template to help you see where to place your design, etc. In this case, the only elements needed were text and images. 

(Some features may have an additional cost. There is an option to purchase a monthly Cricut subscription. Please see Cricut.com for more details.)

                            


Once you have the text added and to the width your project requires (please refer to the rulers on the top and side), you can weld it all together so when it cuts, it will look exactly as it does on your screen. Select each text box (this can be done by holding shift and clicking on each of the boxes until they are all highlighted) and the weld button is located near the bottom right of the screen. By not welding, you may be able to conserve vinyl, but you'll have to manually line up your text. 

When everything is welded, click "Make It". 


Hit continue and it will connect to your Cricut machine. It's important to select the type of vinyl you are using (if you're using an Explore, make sure your dial is turned to the correct material.) This helps your machine know how to cut the material. After selecting your type of material (in this case it was Premium Vinyl) you should change the default setting to "More". This insures that the blade will go deep enough to where your design will come off the backing cleanly. Line your vinyl up the the cutting mat (shop through cutting mats here: https://bit.ly/2FO34yl) and press it down straight and smooth out any bubbles with a credit card or tool. The Cricut Light Grip mat was used in this project.

Insert the cutting mat with the material into your Cricut, making sure the mat is touching the rubber wheels. The button that has the arrows should now be blinking. Click that, to load your mat. Push the  and your machine will start doing its magic. 


Remove vinyl from cutting mat and proceed to take off the access material as shown in the picture below. It is also important to take out the small pieces that may be left behind. This is called "weeding." As you can see the inside of the "a" needs to be removed. It's all in the details!


To keep the text in the same position, Transfer Tape is very important! Cut out the length and width of your design and stick it right on top. Press down hard for about 30 seconds to ensure that all the letters will come up when you go to take it off. It should all come up on the clear tape and from there you can apply to the desired surface. Even if a letter gets left behind don't panic, just lay the tape back down carefully and continue to press down to secure it. If it's being stubborn, use a credit card or tool to rub over it. Then just line up the design to your surface and push down. Remove the tape and you've officially made your first Cricut Project!


Decide you want to add a little something else? That's super easy! You simply go back to your design, fit it in according to your text and then remove the already added text so you don't waste any material. 


And you should end up with something like this...


You made it to the end! We know it may feel like a lot reading all the steps involved but it really does fly by once you get the hang of it. Just refer back to this blog when you need to. 

For more ideas on what you can create with your Cricut, follow https://www.instagram.com/officialcricut/ on Instagram. They are always keep the inspiration coming!

Be sure to add #SupplyingCreativity in your Instagram caption. We would love to see your Cricut creations. Use hashtag #CricutMade and your project might get featured on Cricut's official Instagram. Happy crafting! 

9/10/20

Get Inspired With Diamond Dotz & Fiskars!

Our Notions Commotion event a few months back was full of project inspiration from some of the best in the business...and we really do mean best in the business! These vendors truly care about their customers and want them to have the best experience possible when crafting with their products. We have some great testimonials about brands featured in this blog post!

"These are amazing, and a great company! If anything is missing they send it out to the customer without question...even if the customer spilled the dots- you can't get better service than that!" 

                                                    -Cheryl-Lee on Diamond Dotz

With the Fiskars World Headquarters in WI, I often get the opportunity to test products under development. This is one of the product lines I tested and I found them simple to do by following the package directions. Making a backdrop of different shapes is stunning!"

-Christine on Fiskars Paper Gem Templates 


Today we wanted to showcase two of those unreleased projects. We have a feeling most days this fall will be spent at home so these projects are sure to keep your hands and mind busy while you stay in. 

Fiskars Paper Gem Templates!


Feels like forever ago but here are some images we snapped when Fiskars let us test out their new products. Such a fun visit! All you need to do this project is a fancy paper or cardstock, a hot glue gun (or any kind of adhesive, really), scissors, a scoring stylus, and the Fiskars Paper Gem Templates!



This is such a quick, consistent way to add fun, 3D shapes to your party decor or gifts. Integrated scoring tracks make it easy to cut, score and assemble 3D stars, diamonds, lanterns and more!

Find the project sheet here: https://bit.ly/3fGKfKe

Shop Now: https://bit.ly/2YRbRX9

Diamond Dotz Are Trending!

Diamond Dotz has become a very trendy craft! Quarantine has made us all look for crafts that provide some sort of therapeutic aspect. Methodically placing gemstones on a sticky, color coded surface until you have a work of art seems to do the trick for many people.

https://www.today.com/shop/best-diamond-painting-kits-t180029

Diamond Dotz is an amazing craft where stunning designs are created with tiny “Diamond” like facets. Their Diamond facet art kits will produce a stunning shimmery effect, featuring a broad range of designs that cater to all tastes. Not to mention they are quick and easy to do, the end result is an exquisite Diamond Dotz design that is so visually spectacular that it will have you eager to do more!

Using the Diamond Dotz stylus, simply pick up a facet and place it onto the sticky design surface. Nothing can prepare you for the spectacular sparkling result of your finished project!

Project Sheet: https://bit.ly/3dzv1Vz


Want to keep up to date with New Products, Trends and Notions News? Follow us on Social Media! What's New Videos, Product Releases, DIY's and more! Our social media feeds are always packed with fresh new content displaying your favorite brands!
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8/27/20

Adding Images to Resin Art

We're just going to jump right into the project this week because...I mean...look at how cute this coaster turned out! This dachshund will be living happily in the clouds forever. Follow along to find out how exactly he got there. 

Dachshund dog and balloons design by KaylaPhan (https://www.redbubble.com/people/KaylaPhan/shop

First (and arguably most exciting) order of business, is to go to https://www.redbubble.com/ (or a similar website) and pick out stickers. They have so many amazing designs created by such talented artists from all over the world. Shop through their trending or most popular stickers or go ahead and search for an idea you have in mind and there is bound to be one you love. When choosing your sticker for a coaster, be sure it's size small (so it will fit in your coaster mold) and select transparent when it comes time to pick a finish. 

Once your sticker(s) arrive and you're ready to craft, you must begin your project by removing the adhesive off of the back of the sticker. All you need is Goo Gone and a paper towel. After a bit of scrubbing, you will notice it comes right off. It's all about trial and error. We originally tried it with the adhesive still on the sticker but it left a bit of a milky layer around the sticker. Therefore to prevent any unwanted residue in your finished creation, don't forget this step! 

Shop Goo Gone products here: https://bit.ly/3gAaIsv


Now it's time to mix- this is the super easy part! Thanks to Alumilite, they make it easy for us to get the perfect resin mixture. Simply pour equal parts "A" and "B" parts together and mix until all of the swirls are gone (don't forget to scrape the sides as you go) and slowly pour the resin to avoid air bubbles. If you do have bubbles, pop them with a toothpick or use a lighter.


Shop Alumilite Amazing Cast Resin here: https://bit.ly/31vbG4S

Pour a thin layer of well mixed resin into the coaster mold. Then go ahead and place your sticker so that the front of the sticker is FACE DOWN. Finish by covering the rest of the sticker with resin.

IMPORTANT TIP: Be sure to continue to check on your sticker as the resin cures. You may have to nudge/press down the sticker into place occasionally until it sets up enough.

Bones and Botany design by E. Moss (https://www.redbubble.com/people/edemoss/shop)
Succulove design by Haley Luden (https://www.redbubble.com/people/haleyluden/shop)

Customize it how you'd like. Leave it plain with just your image or add extra color and sparkle to your project with American Crafts Color Pour Mix-Ins. Both ways will turn out amazing!

Shop American Crafts Color Pour Resin, Mix-Ins & Molds here: https://bit.ly/3b1VPxF

Now let the resin dry for approximate 24 to 48 hours or until the resin is not sticky or super bendable when touched. Once it's fully dried, remove from mold and you should be left with something like this...major heart eyes!


We have been doing so many things virtually these past few months, including tons of Zoom hang outs. Maybe for your next virtual wine craft night with your friends, you can take a crack at this project! Each of your friends can be assigned one person to make a coaster for. Think Secret Santa and pick a sticker of something you think they would love. No one will know which ones there's will be until the end, keeping everyone guessing. Be sure to tag #SupplyingCreativity on Instagram so we can see your finished creations! 

Crafting is such a positive outlet to express yourself and stay connected with friends and family. These coasters would be a great gift to let people know you're thinking of them. Every time they go to put down their morning coffee or tea, they'll see your coaster and be reminded of you. 

Happy crafting!