Design team member of Alpha Stamps, lover of ephemera and junk.

Welcome! Grab a cold one, kick off your shoes, and have a look around.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

City's Superior Snake Venom Stand

Well, it's certainly been a while since I last posted. Thanks for dropping back in; you know I couldn't go through a Halloween season without making something! Here's a quick altered tin that was fun to make. Welcome to City's Superior Snake Venom Stand, where many of your Halloween necessities can be found. There are pumpkins, skulls, and various potions. And don't forget those green jars of snake venom!

Most of the supplies used for this tin came from Alpha Stamps: all the jars and labels, the skulls, the pumpkins, and the jack o' lantern. Plus, that fun little shelf that fits right in the tin. I covered the entire tin with scrapbook paper, and added the shelf. It's perfect for displaying all those spooky jars. 

The little pumpkin headed girl was inspired by one made by the marvelous Bella Ayers of Alpha Stamps (her tutorial can be found he. I painted a spooky face on a styrofoam pumpkin, and made a body using an armature of pipe cleaners covered with tape and painted white, with black stripy legs. Her skirt is made from a faux flower, with a ribbon belt. Bella posted a great tutorial for making the doll here.

I didn't glue any of the merchandise down in this shop, so things can be moved around and added later just for fun. For a list of supplies, click here. Happy Halloween!


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Halloween Produce Stand

Halloween is near, and it's my favorite time of the year! I made a little produce stand to celebrate. The vendor also seems to enjoy Halloween; he's selling more than just fresh produce! I used a 3" Tall Display Base and a Stairstep Tabletop Display from Alpha Stamps to build the perfect stand in which to sell his wares. It's fully stocked with fall goodies: everything from apples to pumpkins to Halloween decor. I'm sure his black cat is not for sale, but you never know!

I assembled the Base and covered it with scrapbook paper, then did the same with the Stairstep Display. They're both easy to put together with a little white glue. I ended up changing the top of the cabinet base later, as the pumpkin pattern was too busy once I started adding the merchandise.

Thin cardboard was used to make the sign for the stand. To keep it sturdy, I glued a couple of toothpicks to the back of the supporting posts. The stripey paper and the sign came from the Fall Market Signage and Labels collage sheet.


Lots of the goods for sale are just as they came: the skull, the jack-o-lantern, the black cat, and the pumpkins, for example, but some got a little extra treatment: I simply removed the corks from the clear bottles, but added labels to the green and the amber bottles. The clear bottles are filled with a Halloween Polymer Clay Mix. Looks like delicious Halloween candy!


The amber bottles are filled with seed beads.

I also added tiny labels to the crates. So cute!


The proprietor is offering you an apple (I hope it's not poison!) This skeleton comes with stiff arms and legs, but it's easy to cut them apart at the joints and, using hot glue, give him a different pose. I cut this guy's arms at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and then pieced him back together. Now he can lean on his stand in a jaunty manner.

This stand was so much fun to make and stock up with Halloween What will your stand sell? For a list of supplies I used, click here!


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Animal Family Album

It's been a while since I've done any real crafting, but this family album project had me remembering why I love it so much. Using collage sheets and a black Mini Photo Album Accordion book from Alpha Stamps (supply list featured below), I made a little photo album with a slipcase. Just 3" tall! 

I used two copies of the Photo Album Covers collage sheet to make the cover of the book and the front of the slipcase. The collage sheet has a front and back image of the book covers. I used one image of the front covers for the front of the book, and cut the center part of the same front image out to place on the slipcase.

One copy of the back of the book was used for the actual back of my book, and part of the second one was used to cover the book's spine. I had a little scrap left, so I cut out one of the small flowers and a strip of the embossing and glued them on to the spine to give it more texture.
I used heavy cardboard for the covers of the book, and thin cardboard covered with scrapbook paper for the slipcase. There's a tutorial on how to make the slipcase below.
Let's look inside! The first page is the Duck and Goose family. Hey, wait a minute...what's that goat doing there? Surely that's a mistake.
Let's go on to page two. I love these colorful photo frames with the the flowers and birds, and the beautiful bunny sisters all dressed up in their Easter finest. Dangit, it appears that the same goat is photobombing the rabbit on the right.
And, the final page, with more sweet bunnies. Hey, now. This can't be right! What a rascal that goat is.
The spine of the book is only attached to the front cover. This way, the book can be opened out into an accordion, to view all the photos of the Easter family (plus several pics of that danged goat). The first and last pages are glued to the insides of the covers.
Here's a sample template for making the slipcase. I didn't include measurements, because this will vary depending on how thick you make your book. Once my book was constructed, I used it to make the template. I laid it down on the cardboard and traced around it for each side and the back, and left the top and bottom flap long so I could trim them to fit when the slipcase is assembled. Remember to allow for a little give wherever you have your folds, so the book will be able to slide in and out with ease. Here's what the cardboard looked like when it was all cut out. The dotted lines are fold lines. I scored the fold lines on the cardboard using a ballpoint pen and a ruler. That makes it much easier to make a nice crease.
Fold all your pieces in, and glue the tabs to the top and bottom. White glue works just fine for this. Once your box is constructed, wrap the outsides with scrapbook paper.
A circle template is a great way to make nice semi-circle cutouts on the sides of the box. I cut the semi circles out of the sides after I had constructed my slipcase, and I also painted the inside black after it was already put together, but you can learn from my process and do both of those things before you glue anything. It'll be way easier; trust me on this.

I hope you enjoy this little project. For a full list of supplies used, click here. Happy crafting!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Christmas Houses

It's that time of the year: let's ramp up that Christmas crafting! Using a Tall House Shelf set from Alpha Stamps, I made a couple of holiday houses. One, a gingerbread house with happy kids, and one a retro looking house using my favorite color combo of turquoise and red (plus pink!). Each house is 6" tall with a 3" by 1" base.

The gingerbread house features two happy kids, laden with sweets. The ground, window sill and roof are all covered with an icy layer of glitter, and then encrusted in candies. How cute is that little girl's gingerbread house hat?


The tree is decorated with festive holiday lights; these kids are ready for the big day. Both of the trees used in these projects were a little wide for the bases, so I trimmed their backs flat so they sit flush against the houses.

The occupants of the retro house have used the same lights to decorate their roof line. I separated the lights from their strand, and attached them with an epoxy glue that sets instantly with UV light. It's my first time using a glue like that, and I love it! I used an old kit that my husband had, but if you're interested, I did find several different brands when I searched online for "epoxy glue UV light". I highly recommend adding this to your selection of glues.
Don't you just love this pink tree? It's decorated with colored beads. And who's that peaking out the window at Santa? Looks like someone's wrapping up more gifts. Santa is outside, ready to deliver the goodies he's packed in his bag. Ho ho ho, merry Christmas!
The houses were super easy to make and decorate. The backs and sides of each were painted to match the paper used to cover the fronts; the windows, icy roofs, and bases were all painted white and covered with glitter. White glue was used to decorate the trees and add the embellishments like the snowflake on the Santa house, and the candies on the gingerbread house. (Yes, the base is blue in this photo; I repainted it when I decided to glitter it to look like snow.)
Here's how the figures stand in front of the houses: I held each cutout where I wanted it to be place, and used a pencil to mark the spot where each foot hit the ground. I inserted a straight pin into the base at each mark, and then snipped the pins down to size. White glue was used to attach the pins to the backs of the legs of each figure.  Below, the pins are glued, waiting for Santa. You'll need to hold him in place while the glue dries, but it just takes a couple of minutes. Once your figure is set on the pins, you might want to remove them from the base and put a little drop of glue on the pins before you reinsert them. Now your figures are able to stand away from the house without the use of foam tape. 
For a list of supplies, click here!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Spookytown, USA

I recently received a set of Cabana Row Mini Houses from Alpha Stamps, and I knew right away that a Halloween village was in order. Hello, Spookytown! Kids are frolicking, cats are guarding pumpkins, and someone has used a skull as a seasonal decoration.

Here are some closeups:

I started out by covering each chipboard house with scrapbook paper; one type for the house itself, and a contrasting paper for the roof. Each got a Halloween motif on the front, and all but one got Halloween "windows" on the sides.

Spookytown needed a home base, so I made one out of foam core. It's covered with black tissue paper; I just wrapped it like a present and glued it down. Orange ric rac helps finish off the edge.  

 After the foam core was covered and the ric rac was applied, I wanted to add some texture on the ground. This would have been best to do before the ric rac was glued on, but sometimes I do like a challenge. The only way I could think of to apply the "grass" was to use spray mount, but I definitely didn't want to get that grass all over the sides and into the ric rac, so I made a cardboard template to protect those areas. I measured the base, and cut the template 1/8" less on all sides, so there's a little black edge around the border.

I drew crop marks so I could position the base in the center of the template. Once the template is ready, tape the base on face down, so you can spray the top and apply the ground cover. Make sure you do this part outside! I used washi tape because it's easy to remove.

The great thing about using foam core is that it's easy to construct a scene. To attach the tree silhouette and the fence posts, I glued thin wire to the back of each element. Once the glue is dry, I used a straight pin to make a little hole in the foam core and then inserted each piece.

It's so easy to build a fence this way. I also used wire to allow some Halloween figures (a black cat, a couple of pumpkin heads, and a boy with a jack o'lantern) to stand. Wire allows the bats to fly, and holds up the skull bead so it doesn't topple down. I chose not to attach the houses or the pumpkins or fall leaves. Maybe I'll want to rearrange things some time.

I hope you enjoyed Spookytown! For a complete list of supplies, click here.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

The Halloween Special on BTV

Let's see what's playing on BTV (Brownie TV). I am a huge fan of Palmer Cox's illustrations of Brownies, so I am totally in love with Alpha Stamps' new collage sheet featuring them at Halloween. Those Brownies should be on TV! For this project, I used an Altoids Tin TV, and covered it with scrapbook papers. A couple of toothpicks make the perfect antennas.

I used a thin strip of sturdy scrapbook paper to make the TV 3d. The Brownie images are attached to the background with foam tape, and a mossy ground and some pumpkins were added. To fit the pumpkins in, I cut them in half with a box cutter. If you apply slow gentle pressure, they divide fairly easily. They're attached with white glue. I made one into a jack o' lantern using a thin tipped Sharpie.

It's always fun when Halloween specials are on TV. Bring on the Brownies! For a list of supplies to make this or other scary programing, click here. And stay tuned for more Halloween crafts. 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Halloween Scary Book

It's never too early to start up on Halloween crafting! I used some Solid Moon Book Pages from Alpha Stamps to make a spooky Halloween book. A Haunted House overlay was the basis for the perfect cover art for the book. I painted the overlay black, and added scrapbook papers plus a moon and pumpkins from collage sheets to set the spooky scene. You can just see the tiny skeletons peaking through the windows. This book was bound with a Zutter Bind-It-All.

It was fun to mix and match Halloween papers to make each page different. Once each page was covered, I used lots of individual images from collage sheets to fill the space. I kept moving everything around until I was happy with the layout. For the really busy pages, it helped to take a photo before removing everything for gluing.  

The first page is a clowder of cats. Black cats, to be specific. I love the vintage look of these frightful  felines.

Next up, some jack o'lanterns. That background paper has to be my favorite.

Witch, please! It's so nice that this coven got together for a group photo. Better look behind you, witches.

These shady fellows are obviously up to no good. Are those the ghosts of past victims of this poison dealer?

The penultimate page features happy trick-or-treaters. Witch better have my candy!

I found the perfect image for the final page. It fits beautifully, and it makes me laugh to think that of all the scary things featured in this book, Medusa seems to finds the fun loving children on the adjacent page to be the most horrifying.

For a list of supplies, click here!

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