I’ve always thought those “chocolate bar cards” are kind of cool, but have never made one before. We had the best coaches and management for Shay’s hockey team this year and I thought it would be fun to make one for them.candygram

How to Create a “Candygram”:

  1. It was a bit tricky to know how to start, so I began by searching the web for samples. The samples provided me with ideas for how I would word my “candygram” and also gave me some ideas for what candy to buy. (Keep in mind that many of the images will be American and you may not be able to get the same candy/bars in Canada.)
  2. I made a list of candy and chocolate bars that I thought might work in my card.
  3. I then began to play with words and write my message. You really need to write your message before you go shopping otherwise you have no idea what to buy. There were a few phrases that I wrote two different ways as I wasn’t sure if I could find the candy I needed.
  4. Go shopping. The message can take up a lot of space, so keep that in mind. I ended up using two full sheets of bristol board. I did run into a few snags and had to change and delete a few phrases because I couldn’t find the candy I was looking for.
  5. I taped my bristol board together (similar to the spine of a book). I then used a ruler to measure out the spacing for my printing. I did all of the printing with pencil and placed the candy in the proper place in the “cloze”.
  6. I went over the penciled message in marker and used a combination of double-sided tape and staples to mount the candy on.
  7. I had planned to embellish it with some  “hockey” themed paper/images, but quite frankly, I just ran out of time.

I sometimes find males hard to buy for and yet want the coaches to know how much they were appreciated. This ended up being perfect because it was a nice addition to the “team” gift that was given.  Obviously, this is more about the fun and the thought, than the actual quality of the gift.


Just Add Tape!

This morning I challenged myself to a 10 minute project that began with no plan or goal. I was pushed for time and had no post planned for the day. I got out my crafting tape and basically started to “play”. In fact, Shay came in and asked what I was doing and I said I didn’t know. He proceeded to ask a few more questions about my project and I told him I really had no idea what I was going to do, but it all began by covering an old puzzle piece with tape.  Here is what evolved.homemade card


  • card stock (for card base)
  • crafting knife
  • scissors
  • old puzzle piece
  • crafting tape
  • dollar store letter stickers
  • adhesive/tape


  • Cover the puzzle piece in tape. I used 3 different designs of tape and randomly placed strips across the surface.

tape covered puzzle piece

  • Flip the puzzle piece over and use the knife to cut all of the excess tape off by using the edge of the puzzle piece as a guide. (Oops! No picture.)
  • Use the tape to create a border along the bottom of the card. I layered mine to get this look.
  • Adhere the puzzle piece to the card.
  • Add lettering to get the message you want.  (The “PEACE” Man! is a little lame, but I was in a big rush and wanted to incorporate the puzzle piece into the greeting itself.)  Of course, you could use any play on words with the peace/piece idea (Peace be with You, May you find Peace, etc.) or something like “love you to pieces” or “you’ll always have a piece of my heart”, etc.
  • The concept of this card is much less about the final look of the card and much more so about being able to create a great card without a roomful of scrapbooking tools. This is the epitome of simple, cost effective and the possibilities are endless. The puzzle piece simply adds dimension and a bit of interest. If you skip it, you could get the same effect by incorporating buttons, fabric, washers or other household items. I tend to find that some sort of dimension adds interest and a focal point to a card. It isn’t necessary, but more so my preference.

Next time you’re at the dollar store, pick-up some tape and card stock and begin to play and create. It is amazing what you can come up with simply by combining different patterns and materials.  This project took less than 10 minutes and that was without knowing that I was evening going to end up with a card.  This project is rated A for “anyone could do it”.  Have fun!

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Coffee Themed Homemade Card

What homemade gift is complete without a homemade card to go with it. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought the idea would work perfectly for this coffee themed gift basket I was making for my children’s teacher. I downloaded to free fonts for the greeting: KG Skinny Latte and SF Espresso Shack.

Coffee Cup Card

Coffee Cup Homemade CardThis card was super easy to make and I kept it very simple because I wanted it to look like a coffee cup. I made it postcard style, so the greeting is on the back.

  • I cut out embossed white paper that I had on hand in a mostly rectangular shape, with the slightest angle extending from the top of the cup/card to the bottom so that there was a bit of tapering towards the bottom.
  • I then used brown ink to darken the edges.
  • I used a woven textured white paper for the lid of the cup. I basically cut out a long rectangle to fit on the top and extend slightly over the sides. I then carefully cut the sides of the top to create a lid like look. I inked the edges of the lid as well. The card is quite plain, so the ink just helped to give it a bit dimension.
  • I took a piece of brown card stock and ran it through my crimping tool. I made it long enough that I could wrap it around the cup and slide it under the “greeting” on the back of the card.
  • I cut-out a circle charm on my Cricut (has slits in it) and slid some brown ribbon that I had on hand through the slits. This ribbon actually had an adhesive backing, so it was as simple as peeling and sticking it to the corrugated card stock. I then used some Weld Bond glue (my favourite crafting glue) to stick the little button heart on the top corner.
  • For the greeting, I wanted something to fit with the coffee theme. I am a total sucker for word plays, so I wrote a cheesy little “coffee greeting”. I downloaded two free fonts for the greeting:  KG Skinny Latte and SF Espresso Shack.Coffee Cup Homemade Card

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Homemade “Snowflake” Themed Birthday Card

I consider myself to be one of those people who is more of a “Jack of all (many) trades” than a master of any one thing. I like the fact that I will attempt almost anything at least once, learn from my mistakes and sometimes try it again so I can do a better job the second time around. If I achieve some degree of success and find the experience enjoyable and rewarding, I will continue to perfect that particular skill. The problem with this is that I love to try new things and therefore don’t really have a specific area of expertise. So, I do many things well, but few with the level of excellence I have grown to expect of myself. Such is the case with card making. My experience with “paper crafts” stems from a scrapbooking background. Although many of the techniques are the same, I can’t say that I spend much time making cards. Basically, I haven’t dabbled in card making enough for the task to be quick and easy for me.  I make a card when I need one and will often just give purchased cards or make a little gift tag in lieu of a homemade card. It is for this reason that I have a set of steps that I subconsciously follow when planning the layout for a card ~ this just helps to give me some direction when starting a project.

Card Making Tips

  1. I  start by picking the paper I want to use. I usually include a solid colour along with one or two coordinating printed papers.
  2. I then go through my “stock” to see what kind of embellishments I have on hand that would work with the palette and papers I have chosen (brads, eyelets, beads, glitter, ribbon, buttons, stickers, etc.)
  3. I often include something linear like ribbon, washi tape or even long narrow strands of paper. Although I don’t always include an element like this, I find it is my “go to” card embellishment.
  4. I then consider what my focal point is going to be ~ a sticker, a layered paper image (made with my Cricut), buttons, flowers, felt shapes, etc. For the actual layout, you need to keep in mind where you want the eye to be drawn.
  5. Finally, I think about the greeting or message I want on the card and how I am going to achieve it ~ computer, stamps or letters cut from my Cricut.

Homemade Snowflake Card:

  1. I chose the paper colours based on the colours I was using for the theme of the party. I am mostly using “butcher paper brown” and white, but have also included a hint of blue to tie in the colours I used in her birthday invitations.
  2. I have many embellishments on hand, so I simply went through what I had. I obviously was looking for items that specifically fit into either the winter/snowflake theme or my colour scheme.  For this card, I chose a roller stamp that was kind of swirly and whimsical like falling snow. I also found a white snowflake brad, a few snowflake stamps, a foam “SNOW” word that I cut out from a border that was in the paper package I used for the invitations and some Cricut cut snowflakes and lettering.
  3. For this card, I used the same ribbon that I used on the invitations as well as some pre-cut white borders I had on hand.
  4. I wanted the focal point to be the words on the card, so I made sure that this stood out and that nothing else on the card competed with the message.
  5. Again, for this particular card, my greeting and the focal point were one and the same.  The other embellishments added a bit of dimension and appeal to the card, but were not meant to be the centre of attention.

When pulling a card together, I am always trying to think in layers. When making a card I feel that the paper is my base and from that base I build the look of the card, one layer at a time. I often find that what takes a card from “blah” to “bling” is those little subtleties that are hardly noticeable and yet make a world of difference. For me, the three things I use that I believe pack the most punch are:

  • inked edges ~ I find that a bit of ink on the edges of the paper help distinguish one layer from an other and make an element stand-out and not get lost in the layout.
  • pop dots ~ 3D adhesive dots help to lift an image or letter off a page and thus give the project some dimension.
  • opalescence glitter glue ~ by this I mean glitter glue that is more clear than any specific colour, but just adds a bit of shimmer to the edge of an image, centre of a flower or tips of a snowflake. The glitter is not “tacky looking” or over powering, but more just a hint of shimmer when the light hits it just right.

Here is a look at how I used these principles to create Eden’s birthday card.

In addition to decorating the outside, I was looking for something for the inside as well. In this case, I found a poem that works perfectly. I will mount the poem inside the card and then write her a personal message. My kids love these homemade cards and often keep them by their bed and read the personal messages we write inside. A birthday is the perfect opportunity to tell your loved ones how special they are and how much they are truly loved. Shay has even been known to keep special cards under his pillow and sleep with them. It really is worth the extra effort to let them know how important they are.

Here is the poem that I found. Credit for this lovely poem goes to Mandy Wilams.

homemade snowflake card


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Homemade Cards: Snowflake Birthday Invitation

Eden’s 12th birthday is in just a few weeks and I haven’t even got the invitations out! I set aside today to get the job done.  I really didn’t have a plan, but thought I would do a winter/snowflake invitation because she wants to go sledding. She is only inviting 4 girls, so the job isn’t as overwhelming as some years. I had lots of paper on hand and decided to have her pick colours from what I had. I picked up this package at Target for $1.30 on Christmas clearance. It is wintry, but not really very festive. Eden loved the colours and picked out the paper she wanted and then I just created the invitation by using the paper she picked as my starting point.

homemade birthday invitation

This package contained 8 sheets of 12″ X 12″ paper, a sheet of stickers and a foam “Let it Snow” border. Not bad for under $2.

Printing the Invitations:

I began by making the actual invitation on the computer. I downloaded a free font called Gingersnaps from www.dafont.com. I love this site and often search for specialized fonts for my projects. I changed the address for the screen shot, but otherwise this is what it looks like. homemade birthday invitation
I added a text box in the background, printed her age and then changed the opacity of the teal to 70%.  I created the invitation as a full-page document. I then displayed the “page thumbnails” of the page I had created and duplicated the page 3 times, so that I had a total of 4 copies of the invitation. homemade birthday invitation

When I went to print the document, I found “Layout” in the drop down menu on the printing page. I then select “4” under pages per sheet. It takes all four of my pages and scales them all down to fit perfectly on one page of card stock. I then cut the page into 1/4’s and proceed to make my invitations, postcard style, by decorating the opposite side of the card. homemade birthday invitation

Decorating the Birthday Invitation:

I started by covering the backs of the printed invitations with the paper Eden had chosen. I then gently sanded the edges to reveal some of the white below the dyed surface. I then used a turquoise/teal ink on all of the edges. This is nothing more than dabbing the ink pad along the edges. I used a make-up style brush to get into the grooves that the pad wouldn’t reach. I then cut a strip of coordinating paper (one side with a scalloped edge) and adhered it to the right side of the card with double-sided tape. I also happened to have ribbon on hand that I ran down the straight edge of the paper strip. This became my base card. From here, I began to play with embellishments to see what I could come up with for a finished look.  I ended up using a combination of a few items I had on hand. First, I took a handful of these cheap dollar store snowflakes and tried to kick them up a notch.

homemade birthday invitation

Cheap white snowflakes approximately 1″ in size.

On some, I added blue gel pen topped the blue with a clear glitter glue. (Those on the envelopes only have glitter glue.) I also added a little silver dot to the center of the snowflakes I mounted on the card. These are the smallest snowflakes on the invitations, located closest to the bottom of the card. The second snowflake is a made of plain white felt. I found these snowflakes at Target in the same bin as the paper package. The snowflake at the top was made by mounting a snowflake sticker onto teal circles and hand cutting around the outside edge.

I simply staggered the snowflakes when I mounted them and used 3D foam mounting dots to add extra dimension when mounting the smallest snowflake at the bottom. Finally, I stamped “Save the Date!” on that adorable polka dot paper and then stuck it on a white “tag” that I had cut out on my Cricut. I added a little line/dot pattern around the outside edge with a black Sharpie and used red ink on edges of the tag. I curled blue wire around the shaft of pen and then twisted it to create a bit of a whimsical look. Finally, I added a bit of embellishment to the envelopes so they would coordinate with the invitation and then added the girl’s names.

I am so glad to have the invitations done. We will let them dry over night and then deliver them tomorrow. Hopefully all of the girls can make it!

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Homemade Cards for All Occasions

Although this is one of my first posts of this nature, my passion for upcycling, repurposing and homemade projects is always brewing.  Life is generally pretty busy  and I don’t always take the time to work on projects of this nature, but every so often I just need a “creative fix”.  I find that projects that get my creative juices flowing can really consume me.  My mind can become a frenzy of ideas and I have suffered many sleepless nights as a result.  At times, I am frustrated by that fact that I simply don’t have  the time to pursue all of the creative ideas stored in my head.  Sometimes, a little project like making a card allows me  just enough creativity to feed my spirit.

Homemade Cards and Gift Tags

I decided to post a gallery of some of the homemade cards that I have made.  I would consider myself more of a scrapbooker than a card maker and have never really taken card making too seriously.  I generally only make cards as I need them and often do so last-minute.  Most are really easy and quick to make.  I try to remember to take a picture of the cards I make, so that I can re-use some of the same ideas another time.

I tend to use primarily paper embellishments because I have a Cricut and can make most anything I want.  I do a bit of stamping, but am not great at it.  When I have the time, I like to combine mediums and use watercolour pencils, acrylic paints, watercolour paints, markers and glitter glue to add interest, colour and dimension to a plain stamped image.  Mostly, I love to play and often end up tossing out what doesn’t work.  For me the fun is in the process.  I often have no idea or plan for a card, and it just kind of evolves as I muddle through.  I had lots of fun with the gift tags on the bags, as I was not in a time crunch and really just took the time to explore.

Creativity and Wellness

I consider creativity to be a huge part of my own personal wellness.  There is nothing like the feeling of having made or created something on your own.  Sometimes my ideas are borrowed and just tweaked to suit my needs, while other times they are completely original.  Either way, I know that exercising the “right side of my brain”  leaves me feeling fulfilled and at the same time excited to do more of the same.

Have a great do and strive to do something creative.  You won’t regret it!