I love canning jars. I do actually use them to can (mainly tomatoes and applesauce) but I’d love them even if I didn’t can. They are so sturdy and homey and practical.
I wanted to make some canning jar gifts this year, so of course I had to create a way to package them.
I called the collection I created “Love In a Jar” because that is kind of how I feel about homemade gifts. They require a sacrifice of time, which seems to be our most precious commodity these days.
The collection includes templates, cutting files and some coordinating images. I thought I’d share with you a little tutorial on how I use these kinds of products to make things. Hopefully, you’ll find some helpful ideas here.
Here is the main product: Love in a Jar Templates and Cutting files.
There are so many pieces because I tried to give you lots of design options. Each of the package styles have multiple label styles to pick and choose from.
Here is the coordinating stamp set. All the the images are coordinated to fit the labels in the template kit – again with mix and match options.
I tried to make this set as flexible as possible. You can use just the cutting files – along with your traditional paper crafting supplies.
You can use the templates and stamp images along with your digital supplies to make packaging you simply print and cut out by hand.
Or you can combine the templates, stamp images and digital cutting files to create a hybrid project. That’s what I did to make my gifts, and I saved some screen shots along the way so I could share my particular process with you.
I start by opening the template I want in Photoshop and saving it with another name so I don’t overwrite my original. I choose the layers I want by turning the eyeballs on or off. I also bring in any stamp images I might want to use by opening them and dragging them into the template.
When I’m making a hybrid project, I like to create a little shadow-y edge between 2 papers that I’m planning to print and not actually layer in real life. I just think it gives it a little definition. Its not necessary, I just like it…. I have created a Photoshop action that I use to create the shadow layer with just one click.
If you would like a copy of this action, you can download it here.
If you need more information on installing and running actions, you can get tons of great information from Charm Box Studios. Charla has tutorials for installing actions here (She also has some great actions for photos, take a peek while you’re there).
So once I have the template I want, the stamps I want and my shadows made – then comes the fun part. Adding the digital papers. Just open a paper you want to try and drag it in above the shape you want to add it to.
Then hover your cursor on the line between the two layers and alt click to snap the paper into the shape. You can move the paper around to include a certain portion, you can resize and rotate it too.
You can also clip solid papers into your stamp images. This will give the images both color that matches the kit you are using and a paper-y texture.
I add any custom text I want – then I can clip a paper into that too.
Now I have my finished design (Yay – save that file!). Its decision time. You can just print what you have and cut it out by hand and you’re done.
But what if you want to use your digital cutter? I recommend trimming your image by going to edit – trim – then hit OK in the dialog box. This will get rid of all the extra edge and make it much easier to move your project around in your cutting software.
After you trim, save the item as a PNG file. Then you can open your PNG in your digital cutting software, layer the digital cutting files on top and print and cut as many copies as you’d like. (There are detailed instructions for this included with the cut files if you need them).
But here is the even more fun part….
I love that I can use any image I want from a digi kit to embellish my project. For my Cookie Mix jar (way, way up there..) I wanted the bakery image from the City Sidewalks kit to decorate my jar. I brought both the bakery and the popcorn tree into my project file so I could get the size right. Then I moved them to a new document and trimmed them as saved them as a PNG as described above.
I opened the PNG in my Silhouette Studio software. I selected the trace window, chose the select trace area and drew the rectangle around my element. Then I clicked off the high pass filter, set the threshold at 100%.
Then I just clicked trace outer edge to get a cut line around it. Then I group the image and cut line, copy it and add pate it into my print and cut for my project.
Here are some of my projects made this way. You can see that sometimes I just use cardstock for the base and digital supplies for the rest (I just shut the base off in the template). I also like to use just parts of the templates to make more physical layers. THere are cutting files for all the diferent layers included.
Hugs and Kisses Jar:
The base is cut from kraft cardstock, the papers and truck are from the City Sidewalks kit. I cut the front and back tags as separate layers and added them with foam tape. And added a flower and snowflake from my stash.
This is the hang tag style. I cut the label separate for this one too (it also used City Sidewalks papers). I added a button tied with raffia.
This is the short version on a pint jar. Also using City Sidewalks and cutting the front tag separately. I added text instructions to the plain panel in the back.
Also City Sidewalks papers and elements. The base is cut from cardstock. and the bakery image is cut separately and popped up on foam tape. I added directions to the back panel.
I hope you found some useful information in this tutorial. I really do enjoy combining my digital stash with my papercrafting stuff to make things. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for making gift packaging.