Sticky9 Square Prints & GIVEAWAY!

I know how it goes.  You spend all this time taking wonderful pictures (hundreds, maybe thousands!), and you don’t have a thing to show for your hard work.  Instead, they are sitting on your computer somewhere off in la la land.  I’ve been there and, truthfully, I am usually still there. It’s heartbreaking, really.  I love going through printed photos from my childhood simply because they’re something I can hold onto.  Is anyone else with me on this?

Today, I am here to tell you that there is hope.  I have teamed up with the fantastic crew behind Sticky9 to share with you one way I have recently used their Square Prints.  If you’re not familiar with Sticky9, they are a London-based business whose mission is to turn digital content into fun and tangible objects like magnets, phone cases, prints, and calendars.  In other words, a dream come true!

The best part?  This post comes to you with a GIVEAWAY!  More on that later, though… First, I want to show you my closet!  A Beautiful Mess posted my picture below on their Instagram feed, and it received more than 5,400 likes — yippee!

I would consider my closet to be quite ordinary.  Our apartment has very little closet space, so it can get kind of hairy in there sometimes.  In order to spruce things up a bit in my closet, I decided to order myself a set of Sticky9’s Square Prints.  It’s a fantastic deal: 27 premium matte prints for $16.99 (free shipping worldwide).  I may have screeched when my package arrived.

Going into this project, I already knew what I wanted my final product to look like: a colorful, memory-filled surprise every time I opened my closet.  Now, I spend more time gazing at my pictures than I do getting dressed.  Oops.

Here’s what I used for this project:

Before you start hanging, take a few minutes to spread your photos out on the floor.  Figure out what order you want to arrange the photos in, and how much space you’ll need between each.  I also took this time to write on the back of each photo in pencil.  I wanted to remember why these specific pictures were so important to me.

To hang your photo display, place your first two thumbtacks on the inside of your closet door at equal heights (I eyeballed mine).  Take the hemp string and tie a knot around the first thumbtack.  Pull it taut and tie another knot to the second thumbtack.  Double check that the string is level.  Clip on your first four photos!  (You’ll notice that the string will dip in the middle — this is normal!)

Repeat this process five more times, spacing each row about five inches below the previous thumbtacks.  Then, admire your work!  It’s that simple.

And now for the fun part: a GIVEAWAY!  One lucky reader will win their own set of premium matte prints, courtesy of Sticky9.  HOW COOL, RIGHT?!

Here’s how to enter:

  • Comment on this post with how you would use these Square Prints.
  • Follow Scissors & Sage using the email sign up in the sidebar to earn one additional entry under your name.
  • If you already follow Scissors & Sage, say so in your comment to earn both entries.

The giveaway is open until Friday, January 23rd at midnight EST, so get to work!  The winner will be contacted directly after the 23rd.

Can’t wait to find out if you’ve won?  Visit Sticky9 now to pick out your very own Square Prints or one of their other awesome products!

PRODUCTS & MATERIALS FROM: Sticky9Jo-Ann Fabric, and A Beautiful Mess App

DIY Advent Calendar

Late last week, I was inspired to create my very first advent calendar.  I was catching up on posts from A Beautiful Mess, a lifestyle blog I follow, and came across this DIY project.  I’ve thought of making an advent calendar in years past, but never had enough foresight to create it before December began.  Now that the calendar is finished, it will certainly bring a lot of holiday cheer into our cozy apartment this season!

Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess was kind enough to share a PDF of the advent numbers in her blog post.  When I noticed that some of her numbers were missing in the download, I wrote to her in the comments section.  She got back to me very quickly, and fixed the download the following day!  It was so nice to receive a personal response from such a well-known blogger.

I posted two process pictures (below) on Instagram of my DIY advent calendar, and couldn’t believe when Elsie not only “liked” both of the pictures, but also commented, “Looks great!” on the first one below!  I felt starstruck.  What’s more, Elsie’s activity on my two pictures brought a lot of new traffic to my Instagram profile; I received over 80 likes on the first picture, plus new followers!

I completed this project over the course of two days.  There were more steps to it than I had anticipated, and crafting + taking pictures of crafting = a lot of time per project.  Here’s how I made my DIY advent calendar!

Step 1: Download and print Elsie’s advent numbers onto soft white text weight paper from Paper Source.  (I printed my numbers at a scale of 65%.)  Using a paper cutter, cut the numbers into uniform-sized cards.  Lay a large piece of butcher or craft paper on the floor and arrange your numbers in a tree formation.

Step 2: Move the numbers to the side and turn your large paper over.  Create square edges by folding over uneven sides and taping them to the paper.

Step 3: With the help of another set of hands and eyes, hang your large paper in a desired location using clear push-pins.

Step 4: Set up an assembly line of numbers, string, scissors, washi tape, and mini clothespins.  (These clothespins are sold in a pack of 25, however I somehow lost one over the years, leaving me with 24.  I decided to use a regular-sized clothespin for number 1, and really love how it looks as a tree topper — not shown below!)  Cut washi tape into square segments and then diagonally into triangles.  This will allude to the shape of a tree.  Finally, tape the string to the paper making sure to hold it taut.  Snip off the ends of the string close to the tape.

Step 5: Continue this process until you reach the bottom of the tree.  Clip on all of the numbers with clothespins to confirm that they sit nicely.  Then, step back and admire your hard work!

Step 6: Using a thin Sharpie, unclip the numbers one by one and write down winter- or holiday-related activities under each number on the large paper.  That way, you can reuse the number cards in future years for different activities.  (My December activities are fun and simple surprises for Anne and me, so for her sake, I can only share one with you here!)

When December hits, unclip your card to reveal the activity of the day.  Then, turn the card over and clip it on backwards.  That will allow you to keep all of the cards up at once, plus know the current date.  By Christmas, you’ll have a white paper tree decoration that no one would ever know was an advent calendar!

What do you think of this DIY project?  Will you try making your own advent calendar this holiday season?  There are so many alternatives to the usual candy-filled advent calendar that I challenge you to come up with your own way of doing it.  Tag your creations on Instagram with #scissorsandsage and @victoriaavitale so that I can see what you’re working on!

DIY Pencil Eraser Stamps & Card Crafting

I’m a sucker for all things paper crafts.  A few weeks ago, I saw a picture on Pinterest for these DIY pencil eraser stamps, and nearly fell out of my seat.  Not only because of how cute the stamps themselves are, but because I had never thought of using a pencil eraser as a stamp before.  It’s almost like your own little linocut!

One perk of dating a middle school language arts teacher is that I have endless access to no. 2 pencils.  I sent Anne on a mission to collect like-new pencils, and she didn’t have to look any further than her classroom floor in the first week of school.  Success!

I’d like to also mention that this is my first blog post with my sister’s awesome Canon DSLR, so bear with me as I learn how to use the different settings and lenses.  Here’s what you’ll need to make these DIY pencil eraser stamps:

Materials:

  • Two no. 2 pencils with unused erasers
  • Ballpoint pen
  • X-acto knife

To begin, use your pen to draw your desired design on the pencil eraser.  The triangle was the easiest for me to make, so it might be a good place to start.

Once your design is drawn, use the X-acto knife to cut along the pen line and straight down toward the pencil’s metal band.  Then, lay the pencil down and carefully cut in toward your design to break away the excess eraser, like so:

Continue this process until your entire design is cut out.  Be gentle with it, as your new stamp does not have as much structural support as it used to.  Note that I also found it helpful to rinse the stamp afterward to wash away any remaining pen ink.

Voila!

Making a stamp is fun and everything, but it gets even better once you pick out some pretty ink colors and STAMP IT!  The triangle was so easy to make, that I experimented with a plus sign stamp as well.  This design is a little more flimsy, but no less cute.  I decided to make a couple of cards with these stamps, and one is already en route to a loyal reader!  Here are some pictures of my final product:

What other stamps could you make from pencil erasers?

Mirror, Mirror: Part Two

Last year, I made my friend Caroline an apartment-warming gift for her move to The Big Apple.  It was a framed sign that read, “YOU LOOK GREAT” when read via the bathroom mirror.  When not read through the bathroom mirror, the DaVinci-style message appears to be written in reverse and with mirror-image letters.  The trick is to hang it on a wall directly opposite the mirror so that you can read it when you’re brushing your teeth or getting ready to go out.  It can be a nice way to counteract self-criticisms.

I’ve been thinking about ways to spruce up our own bathroom recently, and recalled this project.  I got to thinking that I kind of wanted one, too.  We have a wall in our bathroom about 3-4 feet from the mirror, so it was perfect for a similar sign.  I wanted it to be subtle and unique, and quickly settled on “INSIDE AND OUT.”  (As in: “You are beautiful, inside and out.”)

The steps for this project are almost identical to my first Mirror, Mirror sign.  Read up on how to make either of them here.  There are, however, two differences in this one.  First, the two frames need to be far enough apart on the wall so that your head fits between them when looking in the mirror.  They may look oddly far apart on the wall at first, but it’s worth it when you or your house guests discover the secret message!  Second, the frames need to be hung in reverse order.  When looking directly at the wall, the left frame must read “AND OUT” and the right frame must read “INSIDE.”  Capiche?

What would you write in your own secret bathroom sign?  Leave your response in the comments section below!

Father’s Day Card Crafting

IMG_1311

Looking for a last minute Father’s Day card?  I made this card fort my dad in under 15 minutes, and he loved it!  There isn’t much to it.  I cut up a few pieces of colored paper in the shape of a popsicle (I wasn’t neat and tidy about perfect lines — on purpose!).  Next, I glued the paper down and then hand-wrote the words in a few different fonts.  I got this card idea from Paper Source, as I often like to do.  This card could even be used for a dad or grandpa whose birthday is in the summer!

IMG_1310 IMG_1314Happy Father’s Day!