One Sketch, Two Ways

I love sketches! They’re so helpful when creating a project. They save time and effort by removing the guess work from the design process. Plus it’s always fun to see how many different interpretations come from the same sketch. So I decided to design a sketch and then create two projects from it, and share a few tips for altering sketches to fit your needs.

Indian Summer Card and Tag by Aly Dosdall

Here’s the sketch I created. It’s for a vertically oriented project (ie a card or tag) and contains some fun layering. I left some things open for interpretation since I prefer my sketches to allow for creative freedom and not be restricting in any way.

aly dosdall sketch

First I created a gift tag based on the sketch using the Indian Summer Paper Pack. The die cut AME 3×4 banner card at the top of the tag takes the place of the die cut heart overlay in the sketch. The sentiment on my tag is split by the border and a few enamel dots. The remainder of the tag basically follows the sketch. The tag dimensions are 3×6 inches.

Indian Summer Tag by Aly Dosdall

Next I created a birthday card based on the sketch using the Indian Summer Paper Pack again, but this time I focused on some different colors and papers in the collection. I also rotated the sketch 180 degrees, so the die cut overlay is in the bottom section of the card instead of the top (I cut out some of the arrows and triangles from the patterned paper with my craft knife to get a die cut look). The sentiment and banner flags are in the top left section of the card instead of the bottom right like the sketch shows. This card is 4×6 inches.

Indian Summer Cared by Aly Dosdall

Here are a few tips for using sketches:

  • Rotate the sketch on its side either way or completely upside-down
  • Flip the sketch horizontally or vertically
  • Swap out paper/embellishments for photos or visa versa
  • Swap around the placement of basic elements like photos, journaling, and the page title
  • If you need more photos than the sketch shows, divide a larger one into smaller ones
  • If you need less photos than the sketch shows, combine smaller ones into one larger one
  • Replace a single photo with a photo collage
  • To make a two page layout from a single page sketch, duplicate the original and then rotate or flip it to create the second page
  • To create a single page from a double page sketch, choose one of the two pages that best meets your needs and save the other for another project
  • To alter the size of your sketch (ie an 8 1/2×11 from a 12×12, or an 8×8 from a 12×12) reduce the size of the photos by 1 to 1 1/2 inches in height and width, and remove any elements that make the page feel crowded–less is more with smaller sizes

I hope these sketch tips are helpful for you and save you some time when creating projects. How about you–do you like to use sketches when creating projects? If you create a project using the sketch above, but sure to post a link in the comments section below.



Indian Summer Paper Pack
Indian Summer Chipboard Alphas
Indian Summer Journaling Cards
Enamel Shapes–Cool
Sew Easy Baker’s Twine–Aqua
Corner Chomper–1/8″ & 3/8″
Art Knife

Hello Banner

Do you ever just feel like making something fun to dress up a room even though there’s nothing in particular to celebrate? Well, I did. And here’s what I made–an all-occasion “Hello” banner!

Hello Banner by Aly Dosdall

Since this piece of home decor isn’t tied to a holiday or party of any kind, I picked one of my favorite generic collections–Farmers Market–and focused on the cheery primary colors. I started by cutting out some large pennants using the Pennant Nesting Dies. The die creates two slits for threading twine through to hang the pennants, but I wanted to fold the pennants in half to make them more sturdy. So I folded my 6″x12″ pieces of patterned paper in half, and then placed them on the die so that the fold was just below the top of the pennant die. That way when I die cut them the fold remained intact. 

Hello Banner_cut pennants

To cover the slits I added two strips of Washi Tape at the top of the pennants. I added some chipboard alphas to spell “Hello”, and then I embellished the pennants using some flowers that I made with my Flower Punch Board, some die cut frames, and Enamel Dots. To keep my flowers flat so I could easily add them to this project I didn’t cut off the last petal before assembling them.

Hello Banner by Aly Dosdall 2

It was easy to hang my banner by placing some adhesive in the folds of the pennants and then adding a length of baker’s twine in the crease of the pennants.

Hello Banner by Aly Dosdall 3

Then I hung my garland in my family room for us all to enjoy! It’s pretty details like this that make me smile when I walk into a room. What home decor projects have you created recently?



Farmers Market Paper Pack
Pennant Nesting Dies
Nesting Frames Dies
Flower Punch Board
Enamel Dots
Sew Easy Baker’s Twine
Washi Tape–Multi Color Pack

Indian Summer Layout

Today I want to share with you a recent layout I created with the Indian Summer collection and one of my favorite Lucky 8 Punches. This page includes a photo I took after we did a “facelift” to the exterior of our home a couple of years ago. I photographed the whole process and this was the final photo. While this photo was taken as the “after” photo of the home project, on this layout I used it to tell a different story.

Happy Home by Aly Dosdall

Since we moved to our current home and neighborhood over four years ago we have discovered that this is our favorite place to be. Not only do we love our home, but we love our neighbors, our schools, our community, and the beautiful mountains just minutes away. I wanted to tell that story in our album. Remember, you can use photos taken on any occasion to tell a different story about the subject of your photo.

Happy Home 3

I used my Floral Burst Lucky 8 punch to create the mat on my background. I placed the punched feather paper so that the left edge extended over the edge of the background paper and then trimmed the excess. This gives the page an open feel, and the brain automatically fills in the missing edge so that the eye feels comfortable with the design. 

Happy Home 2

To add emphasis to my photo I trimmed several sets of arrows from the Carefree patterned paper and pointed them towards my photo. I also added an arrow between the words in my title to increase focus on my photo. To finish off my page I splattered some tan ink around and added some enamel shapes, my title, and journaling.



Indian Summer Paper Pack
Indian Summer Chipboard Alphas
Indian Summer Journaling Cards
Lucky 8 Punch–Floral Burst
Washi Tape–Butter
Enamel Shapes–Cool

Birthday Wishes Garland

Recently my daughter turned 14, and if you’re a parent of a teen you know how tricky it can be to plan the perfect birthday celebration for a teen. While making plans a decor idea came to me that also included a fun interactive memory-keeping element. I created a photo pocket garland where guests can write their wishes to the birthday girl on journaling cards.

birthday wishes banner by aly dosdall

First I printed some wallet size photos of my daughter (that was a trick in itself to find photos she was “happy” with). Then I made some 3×4 pockets from Inked Rose papers with my Envelope Punch Board by simply cutting off the top flap of the 3×4 envelopes.

birthday wishes banner 2

I placed the photos on the front of the pockets and embellished them with some washi tape stickers, die cuts, enamel shapes, and baker’s twine. Then I added journaling cards to each pocket for the guests to write on.

birthday wishes banner 1

Finally, I strung some Sew Easy Baker’s Twine up and clipped the photo pockets on with some mini wood clothespins I picked up at my local craft store.

birthday wishes banner 3

The Birthday Wish Garland was a hit with the guests and the birthday girl!



Inked Rose Paper Pack
Envelope Punch Board
Punch Dies–Heart, Circle
Journaling Cards (Captured)
Enamel Shapes–Cool, Warm
Washi Tape–Multi Color Pack
Sew Easy Baker’s Twine–Pink

Flower Pencil Jar

If you’re looking for a back to school teacher gift idea, here’s a fun one. Teachers can’t seem to get enough writing utensils–probably because they disappear from their desk so quickly. Well these unique and decorative flower pencils will most likely stay put. They’re not something that students will easily walk away with by accident.

flower pencil jar by aly dosdall

First I made the flowers from Indian Summer patterned paper with my Flower Punch Board and used my Brad Setter and Piercing Tool to punch two small holes near the center of the flowers. Then I threaded a length of florist wire from the Flower Stem Kit through the holes in the flower and wrapped the ends around a #2 pencil.

flower pencil jar by aly dosdall_close 2

Then I wrapped the pencil tightly with green florist tape to hold everything in place. I added a small dot of hot glue between the bottom of the flower and the tip of the eraser to secure the flower, and Enamel Dots to the flower centers to cover the wire.

flower pencil jar by aly dosdall_close

An empty and washed pickle jar makes the perfect container. I added some burlap ribbon and clear river rocks to finish it off. Your child’s teacher will love receiving this gift!



Indian Summer Paper Pack
Flower Punch Board
Flower Stem Kit
Enamel Dots–Neutral, Cool
Brad Setter and Piercing Tool

Washi Tape Frame

School photos are an essential part of each new school year, but my dilemma always is what to do with all the extra prints! It’s fun to have them on display so here’s an easy DIY idea you can make for your own home, or as a gift for grandparents or teachers–a Washi Tape Photo Frame. This frame is about 5 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and fits either a 3×4 photo or a wallet size photo.

Washi Tape Frame by Aly Dosdall 1

I started with plain small craft sticks I bought at my local craft store. The small crafts sticks are exactly the same width as the smaller rolls of patterned washi tape, so I covered 14 of them with the smaller roll of Sea Foam Washi Tape. I trimmed the excess tape off the ends of the sticks by turning them upside down and cutting it off with my Small Precision Scissors (the washi tape won’t gunk up the non-stick surface).

Washi Tape Frame by Aly Dosdall 2

To hold the sticks together I placed four extra ones across the back and glued them down.  I embellished the photo frame with some Enamel Shapes. You can also add magnets to the back of the frame and display it on a fridge or metal cabinet.

Washi Tape Frame by Aly Dosdall 3

Now you’ll be armed with some ideas when all those photos come home–bring on the new school year!



Washi Tape–Sea Foam
Enamel Shapes
Small Precision Scissors

DIY School Notebook

This time of year there are so many fun school supplies out in the stores, but why not make your own so you can add your own special touch? Check out this 3 subject notebook I made for my junior high school age daughter. It was easy to make with my Cinch binding tool.

DIY School Notebook by Aly Dosdall

To create the covers I simply cut down some 12×12 chipboard to 1/8″ larger than the size of the loose leaf paper that I used for the inside pages. Then I covered the chipboard with some patterned paper that my daughter picked out from the Inked Rose collection. 

DIY School Notebook by Aly Dosdall 3

I cut down three coordinating 12×12 pieces of cardstock to the same size as the loose leaf paper to make dividers, and added tabs that I made with my File Tab Punch. I punched out some text from the patterned paper to use for the tabs and then I attached them with Tab Stickers. 

DIY School Notebook by Aly Dosdall 4

Then I bound the covers, dividers, and loose leaf paper with my Cinch tool. I love that not only am I creating something unique and useful for my daughter, but I’m also using up my scrapbook stash!

DIY School Notebook by Aly Dosdall 2



12×12 Book Board
The Cinch
1″ Silver Binding Wire
Cinch Wire Clippers
File Tab Punch
File Tab Stickers
Inked Rose Paper Pack

Washi Tape School Supplies

Happy Monday We R fans, and welcome to Back To School Week here on the blog. This week I’ll be sharing some fun ways to use your craft supplies to prepare for the new school year, so be sure to check back each day this week for more inspiration.

Let’s kick things off today with some Washi Tape School Supplies. My kids always like their school supplies to be unique and reflect their personalities. Washi tape is a quick, easy, and cute way to customize your kids/grandkids school gear. Simply grab some pencils, erasers, paper clips, notebooks or whatever else you’d like to dress up and start sticking your favorite washi tape on!

washi school supplies by aly dosdall 1

I added several strips of wash tape to some plain old #2 pencils. My washi tape is placed horizontally on the pencils, but you can also add your tape vertically to cover the whole thing.

washi school supplies by aly dosdall 3

These hi-polymer erasers are my favorite kind, so I bought a bunch of them for my kids and wrapped a few strips of washi tape around the center. That way they can use either end of the eraser and have a comfortable place to hold it.

washi school supplies by aly dosdall 4

Finally, I grabbed some jumbo paper clips and folded a strip of washi tape over one end to create bookmarks for my kids to use in their class agendas so they can keep track of the page they’re on. I trimmed the ends into various flag shapes.

washi school supplies by aly dosdall 5

The possibilities are endless when you combine Washi Tape with school supplies. What school supplies would you decorate with washi tape? Be sure to share a link to your finished projects!

washi school supplies by aly dosdall 2



Washi Tape: Pomegranate, Coral, Pumpkin, Butter, Avocado, Sea Foam, Navy, Multi Color Pack

Flower Punch Board Wreath

I always struggle with how to decorate between the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Summer wreaths seem to be out of place, but it isn’t quite time for fall leaves and pumpkins yet. Once I saw the Indian Summer collection I knew it was perfect for late summer/early fall decorating. So, I decided to pull out my Flower Punch Board and make a burlap-wrapped flower wreath.

Flower Punch Board Wreath by Aly Dosdall 1

I took a 12″ foam wreath base and wrapped it tightly with burlap ribbon. Then I added a small loop of twine at the top for hanging. I created several XXS, XS, and S flowers from Indian Summer patterned paper using my Flower Punch Board. To add some dimension to the flowers I trimmed off the last leaf after punching them, before I folded and assembled them.

paper flowers

I double layered a few flowers, left a few as single layers, and added enamel dots to finish them off. I placed the flowers on the left and bottom side of the wreath so that some of the nice burlap texture shows.

Flower Punch Board Wreath by Aly Dosdall 2

I love the balance between the burlap, the early fall colors of the Indian Summer papers, and the summery flowers. Perfect decor to hang until fall arrives!



Indian Summer Paper Pack
Flower Punch Board
Enamel Dots

Washi Tape Rosettes

I love the way paper rosettes dress up a project with texture and beauty. But how about dressing up your rosettes? There are several ways to add a little something extra to rosettes, but one easy way is to add some washi tape like I did with these Washi Tape Rosettes.

Washi Tape Rosettes by Aly Dosdall 2

I started by trimming strips of plain white cardstock and punching the edges of some with 2 Edge Punches. Then I added a strip of copper Metallic Washi Tape, and scored the strips at every 1/4″.

score and fold

Then I accordion folded the strips and hot glued the ends together. I placed some hot glue onto small punched circles and pressed the accordion folded pieces over the glue.

making rosettes

To finish off the rosettes I added enamel dots to the centers. These rosettes are great for scrapbook pages, cards, tags, or gifts. Try mixing different colors of washi tape for a fun and playful look.

washi tape rosettes by aly dosdall 1



2 Edge Punch
Trim and Score Board
Washi Tape–Metallic
Enamel Shapes–Neutral