Greeting Card File Box Organizer

I have a confession – I make cards, but I’m not so good with actually sending them to people on time.  I have them all tossed into a big copier paper box and have to dig through them all to find the right one.

Well, its January – time to get organized right?

So I created this greeting card file box organizer as a digital cutting file.

Greeting Card File BoxThe file fits A2 (4.25″ by 5.5″) sized cards and envelopes.  The file has a little divider too – for even more organization.

Greeting card file box

And since I couldn’t decide on just one style, I had to make 2 different panel and label choices.  A girl has to have options!

Greeting Card File box previewIf you need organization too, you can purchase the digital file here.  I used the Midwinter Digital kit to make the panels.  I’m lucky because the kit matches my craft room so well!

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Canning jar gift packaging tutorial

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.

Canning Jar Cookie Mix

Cookie mix all packaged up cute

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.

Love In a Jar Templates and Cutting Files

Looks like lots of pieces – but it all fits together – honest

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.

Love in a Jar stamp set

These are only some of the images – there are 32 in all.

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.

Picture 1

I change my mind a lot – so I don’t usually delete any unused layers right away.

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.

Picture 2

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.

Picture 3

I love this because I can change my mind a hundred times and never waste a single scrap of paper!

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.

I love being able to scale papers smaller to get smaller patterns.

I love being able to scale papers smaller to get smaller patterns.

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.

Sometimes a small tone on tone pattern looks nice.

Sometimes a small tone on tone pattern looks nice.

I add any custom text I want – then I can clip a paper into that too.

Oh the fun you can have with fonts!

Oh the fun you can have with fonts!

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.

Picture 7

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%.

Picture 8

I love that I can use digi-scrap elements in my projects

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.

Picture 9

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.

Hugs and Kisses Canning Jar gift

This quart jar held 2 packages of kisses with just a few left over to munch on

Homemade applesauce

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.

Homemade applesauce gift tag

We have an apple tree so we make this every year – so yummy

Homegrown popcorn

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.

Homegrown Popcorn canning jar gift

My kids love growing this – and the excitement of popping it

Cookie Mix

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.

Canning Jar Cookie Mix

Cookie mix all packaged up cute

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.

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City Sidewalks Gift Tags

I had the pleasure of collaborating with Kim of Kimeric Kreations to make this new digital craft kit.  Its called City Sidewalks.  It has a lot of nice, flat graphics perfect for hybrid crafting.

City Sidewalks Digital Kit

City Sidewalks Digital Kit

Speaking of hybrid crafting, I created a little freebie for you using the kit.  Its a set of gift tags.  The download includes the individual tags, but also a PDF of the collection so you can just print them, cut them apart and use them.  I kept the edges straight for easy cutting.  You can download them here.

City Sidewalks Gift Tag Freebie

City Sidewalks Gift Tag Freebie


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday I think. I like that is it nice and relaxed – and I can eat all kinds of yummy stuff with a pretty clear “its-only-once-a-year” conscience. There are really no expectations, no gifty pressures. I think those of us in the US are lucky to have this holiday.

I know I’m supposed to tell you all about all the wonderful new products, sales and discounts this weekend over at the Digichick – but I’ll do that tomorrow.

Today – just want to say “Happy Thanksgiving”.

Thanksgiving card freebie

Thanksgiving card freebie

If you would like a printable version of this card, you can get it here.  I also included a blank version for anyone who does not celebrate Thanksgiving.

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New Digital Kits (and a free frame cluster)

Happy fall everyone.  We are having some fabulous fall color this year – I’m so enjoying it.  I’m very excited to be back to designing and have been inspired to create a couple fall themed kits.

Here is Autumn Doodles.  It came out last week.

Autumn Doodles Digital Kit

Autumn Doodles Digital Kit

And this week I have the coordinating Autumn Silhouettes Kit

Autumn Silhouettes Digital Kit

Autumn Silhouettes Digital Kit

Didn’t the Creative Team to some amazing pages?  Such a talented group of ladies.

I also have a free frame cluster for you.  It combines elements from both these kits and from the free mini-kit I sent in the newsletter last week.  You can download the free cluster here.

Free Autumn frame cluster from Paper Garden Projects

Free Autumn frame cluster

If you haven’t already, make sure you download the free coordinating alphabet from the Paper Garden Projects Facebook Page (under the fan freebies tab).  Here is what it looks like:

Autumn Alphabet

Autumn Alphabet

One last thing – if you have not signed up for the newsletter, you might be missing out on other great freebies.  You can sign up here.

November Newsletter Freebie from Paper Garden Projects

November Newsletter Freebie from Paper Garden Projects

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

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