Design Custom Labels (Or Just Learn How to Make Vector Graphics)

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said that I finally figured out my printer problems? Well, now I can make all kinds of pretty labels for my soaps, salves, and lip balms.

Since it’s taken me over a year to figure out all the steps to successfully making stickers, I thought I’d take the guesswork out of it for anyone else who wants to label their stuff.

You can make your own custom labels using this handy – if not brief – tutorial that covers everything from downloading software, to making vector images, to buying sticker paper, to printing without ruining your sticker paper.

From this... to this

From this… to this

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Wrapper’s Delight: A Guide to Beautifying Your Gifts the DIY Way

On Christmas morning, after we’ve opened up our presents and after my dog has sufficiently torn the wrapping paper into the tiniest pieces possible, we get out this massive garbage bag and throw away all the paper that spent weeks just hanging out under the tree. And every year, I can’t help but think about how wasteful it is. When you think about it, wrapping paper isn’t much more than really expensive toilet paper (and I hate buying toilet paper). I mean, what else do we throw away as soon as we use it?

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This year, though, I’m not buying any wrapping paper. I’ve got all kinds of stuff around my house that’s going to be thrown away anyway, so why not use that? With a little bit of tape and some string, any package can look pretty. Wrapping presents creatively doesn’t even have to be a big thing, either. Choose a theme, wrap them all the same and change a decoration here or there. We’ve got three guides — one for boxes, one for paper and one for decorations — that’ll convince you to kick the wrapping paper habit once and for all.

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Bad Pictures? Throw Some Light On Them

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at taking pictures. I can paint, draw, and sculpt ’til the cows come home but something about photography just eludes me.

I also don’t have a fancy camera to take pictures with. (I do have a fancy girlfriend who has a really nice camera that she sometimes uses to help me out).

However, seeing as I like making things and tell you about it, I figure it’d be nice to learn a think or two about photography. So far, I’ve made absolutely no progress, but I have made this fancy light box that I saw on 17 and Baking a few years ago. It diffuses the light and creates a nice, blank background so that you can stage your stuff for a good shot.

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Grow a Family Tree

Are you in close proximity to several family members at this very moment? Perhaps for the whole week? This is a great time to talk to relatives about where you all came from. Then take that info, work some homespun magic, and turn it into a beautiful, meaningful piece of art.

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Bound and Determined: Coptic Book Binding

Now that we’re well into January, can we talk about resolutions for a minute? Real talk: not all of mine are going so well. Drinking apple cider vinegar, for example, is actually disgusting. As much as I want to have world’s strongest immune system and hair that glows with all the might of the godesses, it’s just not something that I can ingest a tablespoon of every day. Writing in my journal, on the other hand, is something I can handle. I made the executive decision to starting working on two of my resolutions at once (attempting to learn crafts that appear to require years of apprenticeship, I’m looking at you) and make my journal with my own two hands, and you know what? So can you. Learning coptic binding has been on my crafty to do list for a while now. First of all, it’s ancient. I mean, who doesn’t want to learn how to make books in the style of Christian Egyptians from the 2nd century? It’s also damn impressive what people can do with a stack of paper and some string.

L: unknown; M: Natalie Stopka; R: Stephanie Dean-Moore

L: unknown; M: Natalie Stopka; R: Stephanie Dean-Moore

Functionality-wise, Coptic binding doesn’t use any special glues and results in a book that can open flat. If you’re left-handed or have a southpaw who you hold close to your heart, you know how irritating spiral-bound notebooks can be. You can make blank journals so you have somewhere beautiful to store your thoughts, or print your own book using our template or doing some crafty Microsoft Word margin-tinkering of your own. Continue reading