Summer Crafts to Spice Up Your BBQ

 

Though it might be too late to spruce up your Fourth of July BBQ with some homemade crafts, there are at least 6 weeks left to add decorative touches to your next outdoor party. With a paper pinwheel or homemade labels for your items, these little details go a long way in providing creative flair to keep your guests entertained and talking. Like our blog post on Father's Day crafts, these projects take little more than a few steps and a trip to the craft store. More...

DIY Gift Ideas For Father's Day

With Father's Day just over two weeks away, now is the time to start making the perfect gift to surprise dad. He might like golf clubs, grilling equipment, or some new ink cartridges for his printer, but nothing says "I love you" quite like a homemade gift. After suggesting gift ideas for Mother's Day, we knew Father's Day was a perfect occasion to get those creative juices flowing again! Here are a few ideas that any dad is sure to appreciate. More...

Artwork You Can Print Out and Hang on Your Wall -- M.C. Escher

A print of a classic work of visual art from your HP laser printer is a great way to liven up your surroundings at home or the office. Many large high-resolution reproductions of iconic photographs, paintings, drawings and prints can be found with a quick search on Google Images, and they can be resized to handily print out on an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of photo paper or coverstock.  For monochrome prints, you will achieve the best results from a laser printer versus an inkjet printer.  To print color artwork, a photo inkjet printer will produce a better quality piece.

This month, we are going to take a quick look at the work of one of the most gifted and influential artists to come from the Netherlands, M.C. Escher. More...

DIY Mother's Day Gift Ideas

6. May 2013 08:00 by Calvin Yu in Arts, Crafts & DIY Projects  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

With Mother’s Day coming up quickly, it’s time to start thinking about a gift for mom. While every mom might love some diamond earrings, a cruise, or new carpeting for the basement – these options aren’t always economically feasible. With that said, we’re sharing a few favorite gift choices for mom you can easily make on your own and all you’ll need is paper and a printer!

Follow our five gift steps and your mother is sure to see that you put a lot of thought and care into making her day special. Here's a list of 5 creative and thoughtful gift ideas that won't break the bank:

1) TREAT HER TO A 5-STAR ROOM SERVICE EXPERIENCE

Mother's Day Door Hanger

Breakfast in bed is always a great kick start to Mother’s Day. It’s simple, quick, and highly appreciated. Since your mother has cooked so many meals for you, it’s a great opportunity to return the favor.

Waking up to the smell of coffee brewing and the sound of a sizzling skillet—lovely! A delicious breakfast served in bed—even better. Knowing she doesn’t have to clean up the kitchen—perfect! You are already off to a great start with mom.

Keep in mind however, that a little planning can go a long way, so treat her to a 5-star room service experience by letting her choose her favorite dish the night before with this cute DIY Door Knob. You can then make sure you have everything at hand in the morning to prepare her breakfast before she even gets out of bed.

2) MAKE HER THE BEST MOM MEDALLION

Mother's Day Ribbon

Because who doesn't want to hear that they're the world's best mom?

It may seem like a cliché, but ask any mom and she will tell you that a gift you make with your own hands means more than anything you can buy at the mall. This colorful medallion will surely brighten her day and give you extra points for the try.

Instructions:

  1. First up, cut all the pieces apart using a paper trimmer or scissors (whatever you have).
  2. Next you will want to accordion fold the two diagonal striped strips at every 1/2 inch. If you have a ruler, it can help make clean lines to fold on.
  3. To make the paper medallion, a hot glue gun will come in handy. Put a big dab of hot glue in the center and hold until dry and set.

3) DON’T FORGET TO PRINT THE CARD

Mother's Day Card

While all moms do love getting gifts, it’s often that the card may be the most meaningful part. This is your chance to show your mom your appreciation for all her hard-work and love. With the internet at your fingertips, you won’t be hard pressed to find

tons of printable Mother’s Day cards. Just make sure your printer is stocked up on colored ink before you print. Browse the many selections and make sure to personalize the card with your own special note.

4) PRINT A COLLAGE WITH HER FAVORITE PHOTOS

Mother's Day Photo Collage

Make your mom laugh and reminisce with a unique twist on a photo collage. Come up with a special theme, such as vacations throughout the years. Utilize collage tools such as GetLoupe.com to easily create a special album for your mom in the shape of a heart, butterfly, or whichever shape you’d like!  You’ll get the best results if you have a photo printer, such as HP’s Photosmart. Don’t forget to get HP ink for the printer so you can print your photos with vibrant colors.

5) AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, PRESENT HER WITH FLOWERS

DIY Mother's Day Flower Bouquet

Moms love getting flowers, but sadly they only last a few weeks, if not just days. So this Mother’s Day, make her everlasting flowers yourself. This impressive bouquet only requires a few necessities and will definitely make an impression on your mom. For a full tutorial, visit: www.elli.com

What you will need:

  • 24 prints of the paper rose template
  • scissors
  • a hot glue gun
  • florist wire and florist tape
  • ribbons
  • bow

Getting Instagrammed Moments on Paper

 

In a previous blog post, we featured a mobile app that would allow you to print directly from your phone to your Canon printer. But what if you don't have a Canon device and you want to get photos from the popular smartphone app Instagram printed? Thankfully, in the increasingly mobile-centric world, you don't have to look too hard to find the perfect option-- Printstagram. Offered on both your smartphone and your web browser, the service allows you to transform any Instagrammed moment into a fully realized physical object.  With mobile cameras becoming increasingly better at taking high resolution photos, this is a perfect option for amateurs and pros alike to capture the moments traditional photography cannot.

How does Printstagram work?

If you're accessing Printstagram though your web browser, simply go to the main page and click the desired type of printing you want. When you click 'Buy Now', it will prompt you to log-in to Instagram with your username and password. After that, you're free to select the photos you want and within 14 business days, Prinstagram will ship the products to you.

For those with a smartphone running Apple iOS, you can download Printsagram's "Print Studio" app for free. By downloading the app, you'll be able to automatically synch your Instagram photos through your camera and order prints on the go.

What sizes of prints do they offer?

Printstagram is thankfully able to offer a wide variety of sizes. The smallest are the mini stickers, which measure less than 1 square inch and cost $10 for 252 total stickers. Individual prints can range considerably, including more expensive options like the 8x8 inch framed print for $60. For those who want high gloss options, Printstagram also offers posters up to 28x30 inches, which can be comprised of up to 512 different Instagram photos.

What occasions is Printstagram good for?

Every occasion. Really! You can use Prinstagram to get photos or posters to decorate your desk, an empty wall, or a refrigerator. But the prints also make great gifts! For instance, you can create a calendar that includes 365 different prints, making it a great way to show a loved one the photos that matter most to you. You can also create mini prints, which measure approximately 8.5x5.5 centimeters, making them perfect to slip into your cards during the next holiday season.

How long do the prints last?

Though it might depend on the type of print and exposure to light, all of the prints are produced with premium photo paper or card stock with glossy or matte finishes that help preserve shelf life. The posters are also printed on a special thick Fuji Crystal Archive paper, preventing the wear and tear that might easily come with posters. Needless to say, you want to go back to Printstagram to get new prints made every month.

If you use your phone primarily to take pictures, or want to be able to capture those on-the-go moments without having to worry about lugging around a bulky camera, Printstagram is the perfect option for getting mobile photos from Instagram available in physical form. Whether you're keeping them to yourself, or sharing them with others, no moment is a bad moment to hand out these printed memories. However, if you are too impatient to wait 14 days to get prints, now's the time to stock up on ink cartridges to do it yourself.

No matter how you plan on printing life's special moments, please share some of your favorite photographed moments below!

 

5 Awesome and Easy Crafts Made with Printer Paper

19. March 2013 07:00 by Calvin Yu in Arts, Crafts & DIY Projects  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

Decorating a home or apartment is no easy feat. If you’re just moving in, it takes a long time before you fill the empty spaces on the wall, top every table with a centerpiece, or decorate each room with its own unique flair. If you’re starting from scratch with a bare home, there’s a few ways you can go about livening it up:

  1. Hire an interior designer. If you don’t have the time, energy, or desire to decorate your own home, you can have a professional create the perfect ambiance in almost no time. While you can give the designer a budget to work within, this is a pricey option.
  2. Decorate yourself. A majority of people decide to decorate their homes themselves. Usually this entails hitting the most popular home décor stores (Target, Pier 1 Imports, Pottery Barn) and picking out the best selections that work together.
  3. Create it yourself. An option many people never even think of is making home decorations themselves. If you’ve ever been shopping and seen an awesome home décor piece and thought to yourself “I could make that” – the chances are you can!

Creating your own home accents is an extremely cost effective way of decorating your home, and once people find out you’re the designer you can expect the compliments to begin rolling in. A lot of people get stuck on the idea that maybe they’re not artistic enough to create their own home décor. The truth is, it can be pretty challenging and you do need an artistic knack to get started on your own unique decorations. However, if you know where to look, you can find thousands of incredible step-by-step tutorials online.

Below are our top five extremely cost-effective décor picks (from blogs throughout the web) that you can make at home with printer paper!

1) Paper Flowers

Paper FlowersThis super simple project uses the very bare bone minimum of tools. All you will need to make this project is the following:

  • Regular printer paper
  • A color printer stocked with color ink
  • Scissors
  • A hot glue gun

With the easy to follow guide, you can create as many flowers as you’d like in almost no time. Your friends will definitely be impressed that these flowers were made only with paper. Whether you put a few flowers in a shallow bowl as a centerpiece or add stems and put them in a vase, these simple decorations are worth trying out.

For the full article and tutorial, visit: Ellinee.com

2) Paper Garland

Paper GarlandPaper garland is an easy way to add a colorful decoration to your walls. The geometric cutouts pictured were created with a template, so all you need to do is print, cut, fold, and glue. If you’re going to hang the garland, you’ll also need sewing thread to connect the different ornaments. You can hang a few strands in a group, or create a few long strands and hang them to span overhead across two walls.

For the template and full article, visit: TheRedThreadBlog.com

3) Paper Lanterns

Paper LanternsYou may not be able to use regular printer paper to create this stunning lamp, but because the steps are so easy, buying the thicker parchment paper will be worth it. For this project, you won’t even need a color printer - you can simply use plain old black ink. After you print and cut out the lantern, roll it up and use a glue stick to keep it together. With the addition of a battery-powered tea light, you can place these lanterns around your home for a chic atmosphere.

For the cutout and full article, visit: DreamHomeDecorating.com

4) Paper Tree

Paper TreeIf you have a youngster at home, they will love helping you build this paper tree to paste along a wall. Trees symbolize life and growth, and are frequently associated with family as we all know the significance of family trees. This printable art piece is 62” tall and 28” wide. You can print out the different size leaves and make the tree as bushy or as bare as you’d like. This would be a great addition to a child’s room or playroom.

For the printable tree and full article, visit: CraftyMoods.com

5) Photo Collage

Photo Collage

A home isn’t really complete without photographs of friends and family hung around the house. Frequently, you’ll find photo collages going up alongside staircases with wedding photos, baby photos, travel photos, and more. In order to really feel that homey feeling, surround yourself with the people you love most. If you love creating photo albums and collages, purchasing a photo printer might be beneficial in the long run.

To view more photos of this collage, visit: BradyLou.com

Homemade Cards Make a Creative Impression

Yes, today is Valentine's Day, that holiday where you go out and buy your loved one a card, flowers or maybe chocolates. Luckily, you're just in time to make your own card for this Valentine's Day! Homemade cards are a way to show your significant other (or anyone else, for that matter) how creative and thoughtful you are. With so many options available, taking the extra time to make a card from the comfort of your own home goes a long way.

Making a card from home might seem like a daunting task, but the process is actually very easy. Though you can go to your local craft store (like Michael's) to purchase scrapbooking supplies for cutout letters, rubber figurines, and ribbons, this isn't a requirement. As long as you have a thick 8.5 by 11 inch card stock in the color of your choosing, an envelope, a working printer with multicolored ink, and Microsoft Word, you're all set to begin making your own masterpiece.

The steps for making the card are simple:

  • First, you need to get your inspiration! What holiday or event are you creating a card for? While Valentine's Day is the obvious example for today, what if you wanted to make a card for Father's Day? Luckily, the internet offers plenty of examples, particularly the social image sharing website Pinterest and handmade goods marketplace Etsy.
  • With your inspiration in mind, open up Microsoft Word. If you are familiar with more advanced programs like Photoshop, feel free to use those, but for those without graphic design knowledge, Word will be your go-to choice. A standard greeting card size is 5 inches by 7 inches. Since you are printing two sides, the height would be 7 inches and the width should be 10 inches. Make sure that your page is also set to landscape orientation.
  • In order to determine which side is which, you'll need to use the draw tool to make a line down the middle of the card. How do you know where to put it? Word uses a ruler at the top of every page. Since the width is 10 inches, you need to mark it off at 5 inches.
  • Next you must determine which panel will be the outside of the card and which will be the inside. If you plan on only printing an image on the front of the card, the right-hand panel on your screen will be where you need to place the image. If you are printing on both the inside and outside, you will need to create two separate pages in Word, the first page functioning as the cover and the second page functioning as the inside. Double check to make sure you've set things up correctly by doing test runs on your normal printer paper.
  • With the page set up, now the fun can begin! Feel free to add any images or graphics you feel are relevant. Do you want the card to be personal, funny, cute or playful? Using the right image can do a lot to set the mood/tone of a card. Here, you can also use the text box feature to adjust where you position the text on the page. Take time to experiment with fonts. Just remember not to use the text to put your name in the card. You'll want to sign it later!
  • When you're satisfied with your test design, go to File => Print and do another test copy. You'll want to make sure everything is in the right spot on the page, and nothing goes outside of the printer's margins. Once satisfied, be sure to remove your regular paper and insert the 8.5 by 11 inch card stock into the printer's feed. Before printing, go to your printer settings to ensure your print quality is on "best" or "high quality." Though this uses more ink, it will give you better image quality.
  • Click print, and voilà, you've got your card ready!

Though you can glue on all of the other craft items at the end, you don't have to. Just be sure to write a personalized note and sign your name to make things official. Though it may have taken a little bit of time to get all of the graphics and images just right, others will take notice and thank you for your creative efforts!

So get crafty just in time to say "I love you" to that special someone. Feel free to share your best designs, tips and tricks below.

Month List