DIY Mini Notebooks

For years I’ve carried a mini notebook around in my purse. Despite how much I rely on modern technology (read my iPhone) my mini notebook always comes in handy for something–from keeping my preschooler entertained in the grocery store, to taking notes, to writing down funny things my kids say, to making grocery lists. Don’t know what I’d do without one. So…when my current notebook ran out of paper of course I could have bought one at the store for a buck, but making one is so much more fun. And it looks cuter too!

DIY Notebooks by Aly Dosdall 1

I used some leftover Albums Made Easy 3×4 journaling cards from the Indian Summer collection to create my notebooks. The journaling cards make for quick and easy covers, and they break up the plain lined paper inside the notebooks as well. It was easy to find the cards I was looking for in my Albums Made Easy Card Cabinet Organizer.

DIY notebooks_select cards

I simply trimmed down some 8×8 Chipboard to fit the 3×4 journaling cards and rounded the corners with my 3/8″ Corner Chomper. I adhered the journaling cards to the chipboard, paying careful attention to the edges and corners.

DIY Notebooks by Aly Dosdall 2

Then I cut up some loose leaf lined paper into 3×4 pieces, rounded the corners, mixed in some journaling cards, and bound it all between the chipboard covers using my Cinch tool.

DIY Notebooks by Aly Dosdall 3

These little notebooks are for me to keep, but they’d also make great little gifts for friends, neighbors, co-workers, or teachers. Creative cheers!



Indian Summer Journaling Cards
Albums Made Easy Card Cabinet Organizer
8×8 Chipboard
Binding Wire–3/4″ Gold
The Cinch
Corner Chomper–1/8″ and 3/8″

I Spy We R!

We love to see the amazing projects created by our fabulous blog readers, fans, and customers. It’s awesome what your creative minds come up with! We’re pleased today to share some beautiful scrapbook layouts featuring, well…you!

Photogs by StampinRooster

We love this grid-style layout we found by user StampinRooster using our Indian Summer collection. All those gorgeous layers add so much depth to her inspirational page. Be sure to check out more of her lovely projects in her gallery.



Good Heart by Renee Zwirek

Renee wowed us with the gorgeous flowers she created using the Flower Punch Board. All the white and gold layers are such a stunning design element! To see more of Renee’s work, visit her gallery here.

GoodHeartLayout1_Renee Zwirek


Flowers I Love You by Lee-Anne Thornton

Lee-Anne’s graduated heart rings totally caught our eye. The black background really makes the papers from our Love Notes collection pop. What a fabulous design Lee-Anne! (Check out Lee-Anne’s online gallery here.)

I Love You _Lee-Anne Thornton


Suprise Me! by ScatteredConfetti user ScatteredConfetti created this simply stunning page using our Love Notes collection. We find the little details–paint splatters, stitching, small paper tears, and her perfect placement of embellishments–absolutely charming. Be sure to visit ScatteredConfetti’s gallery.

Surprise Me_Scattered Confetti


Our final page is another one made with our Love Notes collection. Did you notice that the last three layouts were all made using that collection, but none of them is Valentine’s Day themed? We pride ourselves in creating themed collections with plenty of generic patterns. Versatility is awesome.


Beautiful Flower by Wendy Antenucci

What’s not to love about Wendy’s page? Everything about this is just awesome–from the stitched triangles, to the beautiful layers, to the gorgeous photos, and the fun title work. Yep. We love it. See more of Wendy’s fab designs here.

BeautifulFlower4_Wendy Antenucci


I don’t know about you, but after seeing this I’m ready to get creative. Thank you ladies for sharing your inspiring pages with us! 

Washi Tape Letter Decor

Raise you hand if you’re a Pinterest fan. (I am! I am!)

Pinterest is one of my all time favorite places to find inspiration for projects of all kinds. Recently I came across something that really inspired me on Pinterest to create a fun piece of home decor–a Washi Tape Letter.

Washi Tape Letter Decor by Aly Dosdall

I was inspired by a pin that was originally from Anthropologie (another favorite place of inspiration) and I loved it. Here’s it is:

anthologie inspirationn

When I saw these Candied Letter Desk Clips I just knew I had to replicate the concept with washi tape and paper. After thinking and planning for a while here’s what I came up with!

Washi Tape Letter Decor by Aly Dosdall 2

To create this decor piece here are the supplies I used:

1. 4 1/2″ x 6″ white wood monogram (I picked one up at my local craft store)
2. Analogous colors of washi tape in various widths (analogous meaning they sit next to each other on the color wheel)
3. 8″ x 8″ piece of bare chipboard
4. Woodgrain contact paper (or woodgrain patterned paper)
5. Craft knife and cutting mat
6. Hot glue or other strong adhesive
7. Twine (optional)

I started by selecting some analogous colors of Washi Tape to match my craft room (which is where this piece resides). I made sure to choose varying widths and patterns within the color scheme to create more visual interest. I also threw in a few contrasting neutral colors–woodgrain brown, dark brown, black, and silver.

washi tape letter 1

I placed strips of washi tape across the front of my letter (which was already painted white when purchased) in horizontal stripes, being careful to create some balance in how I interspersed the contrasting colors. Designer tip: wipe down your letter with a clean cloth before adhering the washi tape to remove any dirt or dust–that way your washi tape will adhere more securely to your letter.

Once I covered the entire front of my letter I placed it upside down on my Precision Glass Cutting Mat and used my Craft Knife to cut off the excess. Since my letter has lots of curves and odd angles it was easier to only cover the front of the letter and not the sides.

washi tape letter 2

Next, I cut an 8″ x 8″ piece of Chipboard to 6″ x 7 1/4″. Then I trimmed an 8″ x 9 1/4″ piece of woodgrain contact paper for the front cover, and a 5 1/2″ x 6 3/4″ piece for the back.

washi tape letter 4

I cut the corners out of the front cover and wrapped the contact paper around the chipboard.

washi tape letter 5

Then I placed the back cover on to finish off the woodgrain background.

washi tape letter 6

Once my background was finished I measured and marked my letter so it was centered on the background. Then I hot glued my washi tape letter on and allowed it to dry thoroughly before displaying.

Washi Tape Letter Decor by Aly Dosdall_close

If you’d like, you can hot glue some twine on the back of the piece for hanging, or you can stand it up on a shelf to display it. I love what this decor piece adds to my craft room!



Washi Tape–Sea Foam, Avocado, Onyx, Metallic Silver, Multi Color, Brown
8″ x 8″ Chipboard
Craft Knife
Precision Glass Cutting Mat

Baker’s Twine Tassel Garland

Did you love all the photos from the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show last month as much as I did?

I thought so. =)

Not only do I love seeing the new products coming out, but I can always find fabulous trendy ideas for all kinds of projects there. This year I was very inspired by all the tassels I saw in CHA photos used in various forms of booth decor. I love the cute celebratory look of them and I decided to create a tassel garland using my stash of Sew Easy Baker’s Twine Spools.

Bakers Twine Tassel Garland by Aly Dosdall

Bakers Twine Tassel Garland by Aly Dosdall_close 1

It was easy to create this tassel garland–I’ll show you how. First I wrapped baker’s twine around my hand several times. I wrapped mine about 20 times, but you could wrap it more or less depending on how thick you’d like your tassels to be.

bakers twine tassels 1

Next I wrapped some twine around the top of the loops to secure them. Then I tied the ends in a square knot and trimmed the excess.

bakers twine tassels 2

I cut the loops at the other end in half and then trimmed them so that they’re all even.

bakers twine tassels 3

bakers twine tassels 4

Once I created all my tassels, I strung them together along a piece of green baker’s twine. To do this I used my Sew Easy Needle, which worked great since it has a wide eye. I threaded my green baker’s twine through the eye and then pushed the needle through the tops of the tassels.

bakers twine tassels 6
I tried to mix up the order of the colors so they weren’t in a perfectly repeating pattern–it makes for a more engaging presentation.

Bakers Twine Tassel Garland by Aly Dosdall_close 2

A Baker’s Twine Tassel Garland is perfect decor for any room or for any occasion–showers, parties, holidays, birthdays, or just for fun. Creative cheers!



Sew Easy Baker’s Twine Spools–Yellow, Aqua, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink
Sew Easy Needles

String Art Valentine Frame

I love the challenge of trying to incorporate other crafts into my paper craft projects. It keeps things fun and interesting! String art is a popular form of home decor and all the rage among DIYers right now, so I decided to give it a try with paper and stitches instead of wood and nails.

String Art Valentine Frame by Aly Dosdall

To create this String Art Valentine Frame I trimmed a 4×6 piece of red cardstock for my background. Then I drew a 3 3/8″ x 5 3/8″ border with a pencil on the back of the cardstock. I used an extra heart I had die cut for a previous project as a template and traced it in the middle of the border I drew.

string art 1

Then I used my Sew Easy tool, ruler, and mat to create stitching holes following the border I drew.

string art 2

The heart shape I drew was too small for my Sew Easy, so I used my Piercing Tool to punch stitching holes following the heart shape.

string art 3

Then I used a single strand of Sew Easy white floss to stitch through the holes. I stitched three strands from the border through each hole in the heart (except for the last one which has four). I used tape on the back of the cardstock to hold the ends of the floss strands in place.

String Art Valentine Frame by Aly Dosdall_close

Once I finished the stitching I placed my string art heart in a 4×6 frame I picked up at the dollar store. This makes a great addition to Valentine’s Day decor, or a great gift as well. You could also include a string art heart on a card–it would make a perfect handmade valentine!



Sew Easy Tool
Sew Easy Floss Grey
Sew Easy Piercing Mat
Sew Easy Ruler
Piercing Tool

Accordion Folded Hearts

Accordion folded rosettes are a long-time favorite DIY paper craft embellishment, so it makes sense to see them appearing in various altered forms. I love the different accordion folded shapes popping up on paper crafts projects. Last fall I shared a tutorial for creating accordion folded leaves, and today I’ll show you how to make folded hearts for your Valentine’s Day projects.

Accordion Folded Heart Bag by Aly Dosdall

Accordion Folded Heart Bag by Aly Dosdall_close

To create an accordion folded heart, start by trimming a 12″ x 1 3/4″ strip of paper. Fold the paper in half, and cut the strip as shown in the image below.

accordion heart 1

Unfold your cut paper strip and it should look like a bracket shape. Align the straight edge of the strip at the top of the Trim and Score Board, and score every 1/2 inch.

accordion heart 2

Accordion fold the strip (beginning and ending with a mountain fold) and adhere the ends together with strong adhesive.

accordion heart 3

Place some adhesive on a small scrap of paper, flatten the folded strip into a heart shape with the straight edge on the inside, and press it into the adhesive on the paper scrap.

accordion heart 4

accordion heart 5

You can cover the center with a brad or other embellishments, and then add the embellished heart to any paper craft project–scrapbook pages, cards, gift packaging, etc. I placed mine on some Valentine’s Day treat packaging I made with my Gift Box Punch Board, and my Gift Bag Punch Board. I used papers and stickers from the Homemade collection by our sister company, Pebbles, Inc. I embellished the folded hearts with some sentiment stickers and some shapes I cut out with my Albums Made Easy Dies and Evolution Advanced.

Accordion Folded Hearts by Aly Dosdall

Accordion Folded Heart Box by Aly Dosdall_close

This Valentine’s Day try including some trendy accordion folded hearts on your paper craft projects. Be sure to share your creations with us on our Facebook page!



Trim and Score Board
Gift Box Punch Board
Gift Bag Punch Board
Albums Made Easy Arrow Dies
Albums Made Easy Icon Dies
Evolution Advanced

Valentine Candy Bar Wrappers

My girls and I love to make handmade class valentines each year. It’s a great way to spend time together and get a little creative too. Of course handmade valentines for three girls means making a lot, so we always try to find something clever, cute, and quick. Here’s an easy idea for bulk valentine treats. These are great for class valentines, teachers, neighbors or friends.

Valentine Candy Bar Wrappers by Aly Dosdall

I picked up some Nestle Chunky bars from the dollar store and wrapped each of them with a 6 x 2 1/2 inch piece of patterned paper. I adhered them with power craft tape–you could also use a glue gun.

Valentine Candy Bar Wrappers by Aly Dosdall_close

Then I wound some jute twine around the wrapped bars several times and tied the ends in a bow. I used my Evolution Advanced to die cut some hearts and letters with the Heart Punches Dies and the High Rise Alphabet Die. I used a glue pen to adhere the X and O letters to the die cut hearts.

Valentine Candy Bar Wrappers by Aly Dosdall_dies

I used mini wooden clothespins to attach the “XO” heart tags to the wrapped candy bars. The giver’s name can be written on the back of the heart tags. These little goodies take just minutes to make and are a cute and fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Come back next week for more Valentine’s Day project ideas. See you then!



Inked Rose Paper Pack
Heart Punches Dies
High Rise Alphabet Die
Evolution Advanced

Love This Layout

As we transition into February and look forward to Valentine’s Day, I always enjoy the opportunity to use my crafty supplies to express and record my love for friends and family. While creating handmade goodies for a spouse or significant other is meaningful and fun, Valentine’s Day is also a good time to reflect upon and document other important relationships. Recently I took the chance to do just that.

Love This by Aly Dosdall

One of my oldest sons (we have twins) has a very special relationship with our youngest daughter. They have very similar personalities and while that can sometimes cause a bit of tension, most of the time they really love each other and are very good at expressing that. It makes my momma heart just about burst to see how sweet they are together. I’m glad I was able to capture this special relationship on a scrapbook page.

Love This by Aly Dosdall_close 1

There are so many relationships that are worth including in our scrapbook albums–friends, coworkers, mentors, neighbors, grandparents, siblings, parents, children. Be sure this month to take time to record and celebrate other special relationships in addition to your relationship with your valentine. With all the darling love-themed products available it’s the perfect time to do that.

Love This by Aly Dosdall_close 2

To finish up today I’ve also got a little tip to share with you. To create the triangles on my layout I used the smallest of the Pennant Nesting Dies, and trimmed off the edge with the slits for hanging. The die creates a nice embossed effect on the triangle. As always, I love finding multiple uses for tools!

pennant die triangle

And triangles are so trendy right now–I see them everywhere. They’re fun, easy, and create a big impact on projects. Give it a try! Creative cheers!



It Factor 12×12 Paper Pad
It Factor Journaling Cards
Pennant Nesting Dies
Evolution Advanced