TIP: subtle stamping & stenciling for backgrounds

Welcome to Wednesday!  today is another new episode of my show on My Craft Channel “Create to Remember”!  Today is a short, quick little video sharing a few tips for adding extra texture and depth to a background. Whether you are using just a plain card stock base, or even a very simple printed paper background, it’s awesome to add some subtle stamping and stenciling layers!Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 9.00.39 AM

i have developed such a love for stenciling, that it just creeps into every project that i make! and the truth is that it’s really a very FAST process. Today i feature one of my favorite projects from Jamie Pate that she created for the E*ideabook “Make Pretty Stuff”.  The page has yummy layers and is just beautiful! but it’s such a simple color palette that it looks so clean and fresh. take a look at this video today and see how by just adding a small amount of stenciling and layer with stamping you can create unique backgrounds in literally minutes!


We are all gearing up for MAY 3rd, which is National Scrapbook Day!  I am participating in an EXCITING event over at Big Picture Classes that you just have to check out! It’s FREE! but it’s a FULL DAY of inspiration and idea sharing!  The GOAL is to share 10,000 layouts on instagram on that day! wouldn’t that be INCREDIBLE!?!? well, we need EVERYONE to get on board! it won’t matter what kind of “memory keeping” you do, SHARE IT! We will be posting our projects and tagging them with the hashtag: #NSD10k and @bigpictureclasses for chances to win fab prizes!

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Here is the link to sign up and get involved! check out that page and see all the instructors that will be sharing their favorite TIPS and ideas as well as the companies that are involved providing prizes! It will be such a FUN day! Plan on taking the day off from your regularly-sceduled-activities… and spend all day creating!!  check it out, and MAKE PRETTY STUFF!

i spy diy! upcyling

ok, before you read this post today… (oh, BTW: happy EARTH day) you just have to know Maggie!! she is the cutest, sweetest, happiest, funniest, funnest, most kind and considerate and did i mention HILARIOUS girl ever? the minute you meet her, you just melt because she just has this way of drawing you in. She is 100% unselfish and gentle, and —well… she will put a smile on anyone’s face… and i have the advantage of knowing what her voice sounds like… and being from Illinois (chicago area) she just has this cutest, subtle little accent when she talks, and as i read i can totally hear her voice. Today, her cutest personality totally shines through.  For one thing… i LOVE LOVE LOVE this project that you are about to see. and it looks FANTASTIC to me! so…. without any more fuss… HERE is Maggie Massey, on ‘upcycling’ and making our “EARTH” prettier one boring end table at a time!

The DIY world is FULL of fantastic ideas for upcycling a million different things…tables, chairs, boxes, lamps, anchors, books, you name it! All you have to do is browse Pinterest for 3 seconds and you will come across gorgeous upcycling projects from all over the globe!

That’s just what I was doing when I came across this fantastic table…by Primitive & Proper

Map Table by Primitive & Proper

Isn’t this just so cool?! Those colors!

For this project, the blogger simply mod-podged an old map to the top of her daughter’s nightstand…awesome, right?

Now I have done a bunch of table projects, and I have done a bunch of Mod-Podge projects…but I had never done a Mod-Podge table project.

Until now.

We have an extremely BORING corner in our living room. BO-RING.

#HeidiSwapp I Spy DIY! by Maggie Massey

The part of the room just opposite here is bright and cheery and colorful and right in front of a window and filled with pillows and texture and awesome. But this corner? Yeah…not so much. The little end table in the corner is part of a set that we bought right after we were married and it was cool…WAS cool…then. Now it’s just all big and scratched and dented and yuck.

I’ve wanted to buy a new table for this space for years…but I’ve never found exactly the perfect one, at the right price (that’s the kicker…at the right price). So when I saw the Map Table I decided I would upcycle our old cruddy table into a new pretty table! Yay!

I gathered my supplies…

…my table, some Mod Podge, a sponge brush & some of my very favorite new paper…Seeing Stripes…found in the new Favorite Things Collection (found at your local scrapbook stores and online).

#HeidiSwapp Favorite Things Seeing Stripes paperOH! I also grabbed some gold spray paint…just to change things up a bit more.

Now here’s where I want to give you a bit of a disclaimer.

I stink at Mod Podge.

And by “stink” I mean if Mod Podge were to pick the person they would NEVER want to use their product and then have it featured on a hugely popular blog, they would pick me. Hands down. I just don’t “get it.” I’ve read directions, practiced and practiced and practiced…completed projects, left projects undone…run the gamut. But I stink at Mod Podge.

So I decided I would try it again. On a piece of furniture for our living room. A piece of furniture I have no intention of replacing for a while. Yikes.

Thank goodness I have a husband who loves me enough to overlook my “projects.”

OK, so here’s what I did. I taped up the legs of the table with painter’s tape and sprayed the top part of the table with the gold spray paint. Then I Mod-Podge’d the top of the table with the paper. WHAT?!?! Yep…I know…simple.

Here’s how it turned out…

#HeidiSwapp I Spy DIY! by Maggie Massey

Hmmm. Well. It’s OK. It’s not perfect. It’s far from perfect. The seams are totally evident…and there are bubbles under the paper (and before you think, “well you’re supposed to push the bubbles out” – yeah…I did…but again, I stink at Mod Podge). It’s not the best DIY I’ve ever done…but it’s CERTAINLY NOT the worst (you don’t want to see the worst).

And, in my opinion, it’s better than what was there. By far.

#HeidiSwapp I Spy DIY! by Maggie Massey

And when I add a new lamp and few more accessories, I like it even more. And if you don’t look too closely, the bubbles and seams don’t stand out TOO much.

All in all, I’d say it was a DIY success…sorta. Like 70% success, 30% fail. Have I mentioned I stink at Mod Podge?

#HeidiSwapp I Spy DIY! by Maggie Massey

At least that corner is no longer boring…(smile).

When was the last time you tried actually creating something you’ve pinned? Go ahead…I dare you.

NOT BORING! and i dare say… i would buy it off you!! :) love you so much Maggie! (see you on FRIDAY at HANNAH’s HOME ACCENTS!)

dreamy with an added “punch”

Lindsay Bateman is up today on the blog talking about trying to escape the “overwhelm”, trying to “recharge” your creative self and going “back to basics”… and i think that she was inspired, as this monday morning i am feeling completely OVERWHELMED!! (and i don’t even have a new baby!). We are just coming off Spring Break, and i feel like i am behind in everyway! i want to thank Lindsay for her gentle reminder to ‘keep it simple’.    i am taking some nice deep breaths this morning, and starting out with making a list, getting some of the basic things in order, and then making a plan!  I will say that it did make me happy that we get to see Madix make his debut here today! I am SO happy for Lindsay and her husband as they have welcomed their first child into their home! What a joyful, wonderful time! one that needs to be documented because that time slips by so quickly!  here’s  some wisdom from Lindsay:

Every now and again, I love to bring things back to the basics.  Keeping it simple.  It really does take out the “stress” sometimes, and even with scrapbooking it can often bring me out of my crafting funks, when I am just not feeling creative.  It can also bring me back to feeling centred when I just feel completely overwhelmed.  Let’s face it, it happens!  With SO much amazing scrapbooking stuff out there, it can be overwhelming at times just wondering how to begin or where to start.  Today’s project I am sharing really helped re-energize my creative self and I had the best time creating it.  I definitely did my best in creating this layout by keeping it simple and reminding myself of just how awesome the “basics” can be.

punch layout-2


This layout celebrates the basics of paper punches.  I know we all have them!  They are absolutely a stash staple, but can easily be forgotten about.  With so many fabulous products out there, sometimes little gems like these can find their way in the background and be completely overshadowed.  Well….not anymore!  I whipped out some of my amazing paper punches by American Crafts and seriously have never had the best time creating a layout that was so fun, relaxing and really helped to push my creativity as most of the layout was created with nothing but paper and paper punches.  How great is that?

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I used the fabulous NEW Heidi Swapp Dreamy collection to pull together this piece.  I have to say that I have never loved a collection more.  It is FULL of absolutely everything you could want to celebrate all of your memories!  It has glitter, ephemera, pastel colour palettes, word stickers and more that will have your creative wheels spinning.  For my 12 x 12 piece, I pulled together some of my favourite photos of my brand new baby boy.  I printed the photos at home, approx. 2 x 3 inches and then used my American Craft Knock Out Scallop Circle punch to punch out the photos.  I then matted each photo on a 3 x 3 square piece of the Dreamy Dreamy Dots Paper and the diamond paper found in the Dreamy 6 x 6 paper pad.  Once I had my elements together, I created a mini collage on each 3 x 3 square using different papers from the Dreamy collection that I punched into various shapes using my American Crafts Knock Out Punches.  I had the best time creating each element using the Star Punch, Butterfly Punch, Scallop Punch and Circle Punch.  I would then just layer and piece together all of the different punched shapes to create each look.  I love all of the extra added detail and layering the punches created.  Other than a few extra embellishments I added from the Dreamy Collection (stickers, words, frame) this entire layout is created solely with punches!

punch layout-5

Creating this layout has definitely reignited a love and deeper appreciation for incorporating more punches into my projects.  Punches are such amazing tools to add customized detail to projects simply and effortlessly.  I love it!  Bring on the ability to create customized embellishments.  Nothing better than that!  I hope you enjoyed my little “added punch” to my Dreamy layout! :)

When i saw this gorgeous layout ( and i am very much in love with this Dreamy Collection! ) i thought — what is she talking about “simple”??  but she is right – this is just pretty stuff + glue!  and taking time to focus on what matters; what you want to say! Simplicity is peeling everything else back, and acknowledging the GOOD around us! everyone does that in their own way… and getting lost creating something that will capture precious memories is a wonderful way to do just that!  THANK YOU Lindsay for letting us get a peek at your little man! we love him already! here’s to a great weeK!

Supplies:  Dreamy 6 x 6 Paper Pad; Dreamy Dreamy Dots 12 x 12 Paper; Dreamy Ephemera; Dreamy Word Jumble Stickers; Dreamy Clear Words; Dreamy Layered Paper Bows; Dreamy Glitter Paper Frames; Mini Stamp Always; Mini Stamp Together; Mini Stamp Inspire Other: American Crafts Knock Outs Punch Star 1.5″; American Crafts Knock Outs Punch Butterfly; American Crafts Knock Outs Punch Scallop; American Crafts Knock Outs Punch Circle; American Crafts Knock Outs Punch Triangle Banner


Mini-Stencils in ACTION

happy friday!  this week was such a whirl-wind that i didn’t even post about this weeks episode from My Craft Channel! and it was all about some of my FAVORITE new toys, so i couldn’t just forget about it!  This week’s episode of “Create to Remember” was all about my new “mini-stencil” sets… and seriously, the MORE that i play with these, the more that i LOVE them and find fun ways to use them! as May comes, I will be sharing lots more ways to put these little jewels to work on all kinds of projects!!

HS_ministencil5Quick recap….

There are 4 sets of Mini Stencils:   FRAMES,   WORDS,   SHAPES and PATTERN  (you must have them all!! wink)

in each folder, there are 6 mini stencils AND 6 pieces of 3×4 white card stock to get you started!

in this week’s show, i share some tips for using the Color Shine with the stencils… and share some tips for “masking” off areas that you don’t want to spray! you can click play right here and watch the quick video!!

just a little SUGGESTION… the stuff that you spray on will make a difference and when you spray on a surface that is really absorbent, then you get better results!  so check out the Color Magic heart and star tags, as well as the NUMBERS!  holy cow, it’s so fun to spray the numbers!



here are a few examples… once you get going… there is no stopping!!



so the little “love” circle is one of my favorites… it’s in the ‘SHAPES’ folder…

HS_ministencil4here i have mixed the new JoAnn stuff with the DREAMY collection! (wow, so cute!) and i used Blush and Mint Green Color Shine… On these cards i used the JoAnn “water color tags”… folks, these are amazing. they are SO PERFECT for stenciling and spraying it’s just like a little stencil dream come true! i mean, c’mon just look at all those shapes and sizes! LOVE THEM!





and i just love the words! it just  opens some new possibilities! i have a few more tricks up my sleeve #comingsoon… and i am in the process of designing a whole new series of My Craft Channel videos!! so be sure to get your hands on some of these mini stencils so you can join me making pretty stuff!!!



#heidiswappatjoann IDEAS!

HELLO!! i am back with another round of inspiration and ideas for using my exciting new products available at Joann Stores! and today i am featuring the WOOD items, and sharing some fun ways you can create really custom and stunning projects for your HOME, and even for gifts! Both of the projects that i am sharing today are available with Free Project download sheets that you can find HERE!


Shhhh… i think that this on is my favorite!! and really… it’s the big black and white stripes that do it for me! and combined with some bling?! oh, yea… i’m in! I made this SUPER easy project for Quincy’s room. We had just ordered her a black and white striped duvet cover from overstock.com and i wanted to create something that would sit on her desk in her room… now, the awesome thing about this item is that you can do pretty much ANYTHING to it!! (spray paint, color shine, stencil, mod podge, etc etc). The clip actually allows you to place the wood in the stand horizontally or vertically which opens the door for even MORE possibilities! and when you get it, it already comes with a little overlay piece that can act as a ‘photo mat’ even if you were just clipping a photo on to the base. click HERE for the free instruction sheet for this project!



so…i painted the whole thing with white acrylic paint… spray paint would work too! after it was dry, i actually used Chalk Board paint to make the black stripes.  Then i used the glitter album cover “dream big” to create a mini book to clip on! I made this to be a little ‘journal’ of sorts – for Quincy to write in there her long and short term goals. She is very goal oriented, and at such an important age to really believe in herself! I stamped the word “remember” (from the stamp set) onto a long piece of paper, and then added a mini bull dog clip from the ‘hardware kit’ onto the front of the mini book.  She loved it, and it was the perfect addition to her room! THAT is what is so awesome about this item… TOTALLY customizable!  her room is not all finished (the decorating part) … it’s a work-in-progress… looking forward to sharing how it’s all coming together! but lets say there are a lot of fun “memory” projects finding their way into her decor!

Next up is this gorgeous and intricate 6×6 wood frame album – i call it a ‘wood frame’ because the front is really like a frame- with a big opening in the front. This one can be used in a million different ways. When you buy it, you get the wood frame, a chipboard backer and a few white pages with a clear overlay! the white paper is PERFECT for stenciling and color shine… or to use as a template to cut other papers.



Again… the wood is SO versitile! in this case, i sprayed it with a combination of teal and white Color Shine. You can see here the very delicate nature of this piece… so pretty and unique! you will also notice that hidden into the design are some holes that are perfect for using book rings to bind an album (or also for hanging this on the desktop display stand) it’s also so lightweight that it can easily be added to the front of a mini book or onto a page even!



from this view you can see how i layered up some tags for the cover…and tied them on the frame with Color Shined ribbon!  the water color tags might not look amazingly exciting in the package, but they are at the TOP of my list! you will be amazed at how beautifully and immediately they soak in the Color Shine, making them absolutely ideal for stenciling! you can see that i only sprayed Color Shine on the bottom portion of the large tag. The ‘adore’ and pink striped tags are from the set of 3×4 glitter tags. Don’t hesitate to cut them into the shapes you need! they certainly don’t have to stay rectangular!

HS_woodalbum3those little bow jewels are SO sparkly… you will be amazed! i love them. they bring just the right touch!   – also.. you will notice that there are some “glitter” markers in the set. talk about sparkly! seriously amazing!  but you can color on the wood as well with the markers (and if you have any wood veneer embellies) — looks awesome! Click here for the instructions for this project! 

As always i love to see what YOU are making! please tag me up on instagram with your projects and your hauls using the hashtag: #heidiswappatjoann

you can click HERE to find the locations that are carrying this product line!



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