Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Lame Wednesday Rant and a Super Awesome Personalised Notebook Tutorial

 The ONLY thing I have to rant about today is how full my brain is. I'm on holiday, in the same country as mein wunder boyfriend, but Ich am confused. Which language am I thinking in? Speaking? Listening to? I hadn't realised how much vocabulary I actually learnt in August. I am able to understand so much more of what Andi's parents are saying, but in turn, I am concentrating more and completely mentally exhausted.

I am also quite traurig as we have to go back to Mannheim today and I don't get to see them again until February. We always have the best times at home in the country, even if I feel like I might want a lobotomy. 
(Any newb readers to my blog will be wondering what an earth I am going on about. Please click on my About Me section to learn more!)

I am also heaps happy to go back to my home from home Mannheim. Ich vermisse es!

So rather than a rant, I am going to pass you over to my uber awesome blogging buddy and IRL blogging friend, Anja, who has made time to share a fantabulous tutorial with us. Ich heart her.
Hi everyone! My name is Anja and I'm so glad to be here today blog-sitting at Craftbotic while Rosie is enjoying her stay in Germany. You can usually find me over at Cocalores, where I blog mostly about my creative endeavors (which include sewing, baking, and giving new life to old furniture) but also about anything that strikes my fancy. I am very happy to say that Rosie and me are not just blogging buddies, but have become friends, too! She is just the best!

Do you also like reading the About Me page first? Well, here is mine in a nutshell:
  • My husband, dog, and job are my everything. Well, that and my creative side.
  • I'm German, so you'll always find lots of entertaining mistakes and clichés.
  • I'm a redhead, but my go-to accent color is pink. Not always easy to make it work.
  • My vices include coffee, chocolate, ice-cream, and DVDs. Preferably lots of them, and at the same time.
Being creative is what puts a spring to my step. The problem is: Crafting materials tend to be somewhat pricey! A template and paint here, some fabric and crochet yarn there, believe me, it adds up pretty quickly. That's why I love inexpensive projects using things I already have lying around the house and why I want to share this tutorial with you today:

How to make a cute and inexpensive 
personalized calendar or notebook

What you need:
  • scissors
  • cutter / exacto knife
  • ruler / set square
  • glue (glue sticks are better than liquid glue)
  • pencil / pen
  • lots of old magazines (fashion magazines are the best because of their great prints, many adds, and glossy paper)
  • a simple calendar / notebook
  • clear contact paper

1. Color
Decide which color scheme you want to go with. You end up getting the best look if you stick to monochromatic pictures.

2. Go through your magazines
This is the easiest and the hardest part. You leave through your old magazines and cut out all the pages that look pretty. Use your exacto knife to cut along the spine of the magazine.
The pictures can be small or really big, and it's best if you collect a good mixture of patterns and solids in different shades. You rather cut out more than you will need because it's easier to choose the prettiest ones later on.
Why is this the hardest part? You might be tempted to read the magazines again, and then this project will take you forever. Trust me, I know first-hand.

3. Choosing pictures
Start with pictures that you absolutely love and that should have a prominent position on your calendar. Use your ruler and pencil to mark where you want to cut. Measuring and cutting exact lines produces the most professional end results. Start off with squares.

4. Getting your glue on
After cutting out some pictures, you can start to glue them onto your calendar. Spread the glue well, especially on the corners of the picture. Place them closely together so that the original color of the calendar doesn't shine through.

5. Use what you've got
Sometimes pictures fit together very well. For example, the cartoon with the woman in black that you can see below had a scalloped edge in a darker color, so I chose pictures in a darker shade of blue for the area above it. Too many straight lines look boring. That's where you can put an odd shape (like the model below) and glue them directly over the lines. Still, it all depends on what you have collected at the beginning.

6. Extras
You might even use punches to add some shapes to the end result. For example, flowers can look good.

7. Patience, girls, lots of patience!
When you have covered all of your calendar (don't forget the spine!) you proceed with the contact paper. Use the clear kind, the one you can cover books with. Place it on a flat surface, put weighs on its corners, and measure (surface of the calendar - front, spine, back - plus about one inch on every side).

Carefully (!!!) pull off the paper backing and place your calendar on the contact paper. Carefully (!!!) pull off more of the backing and flip your calendar. If there are any air bubbles left, don't push (that might ruin your pictures), instead put a sewing pin into the air bubble to remove the air. Cut away the protruding corners, then fold the contact paper inside the calendar. Thereby, you get a clean finish, and the edges of the calendar are protected as well.

8. Drum roll: Your calendar!
Here's the end result of the two calendars that I made (front and back). If you work really carefully, you ca even get an ombre look (the pink calendar has darker, hot pink pictures on the front and softer, baby pink colors on the back).

It doesn't get any more YOU than that, right? Calendars and notebooks like that are unique (that means if you forget them at work, you will get them back because everyone knows they're yours), and they make perfect, inexpensive gifts for your loved ones. You can make more manly ones, too (including pics of cars or other hobbies that your guy might have).

I hope you enjoyed this easy and inexpensive project! Curious what else I've got going on at my blog? Here are some ideas:

I'd love to see you at my blog!

Stay in touch: blog / twitter / pinterest

Isn't it great when you have friends who can step in and give you a few days off? Boy do I need it. The time I would spend blogging is going into working and preparing for the next half term. I'm even Christmas shopping as I will not be back in Germany until February (schniffle....the German sniffle). So while I am busting out the festive wrapping and hiding the not so festive marking, spare me a thought, but seriously visit Anja's blog. I'm biased. She's awesome...her blog is superb....that is all!

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Cocalores said...

Ha ha, my ego has now grown to the size of one of the smaller planets out there (maybe that one that consists of diamonds?)

Love how you desribe the language confusion in your head, that's how I feel after writing a post in English and then having a conversation in German. It's mind-boggling!


Cocalores said...

Before I forget: the German sniffle would be *schnief* or something like that! ;-)

Lieke said...

Wow!!! Awesome!!! So need to do this! But I don't have enough time to do all your great tutorials :(

Jen @ frazzled 5 said...

Love the books Anja! I am a redhead too:)
Hugs, Jen @ frazzled5

Alyx said...

What a fun idea! And I love the way you randomly sprinkled some German in there - kept me on my toes. :)

Meiqing Xu said...
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