Friday, January 31, 2014

Cards We Love

I love sending a card to brighten someone's day or just because.  Over the last four years, our design team has created some incredible handmade cards. I recently was going through a box and found some great ones to share with you! Hope you enjoy these incredible handmade, stamped cards using PSA Essentials Peel & Stick stamps by our very talented team. 

Just a note uses PSA Vanilla Peel & Stick Stamps and Butterfly Stamp from Cupcake 

This card uses our Maxine Young at Heart Peel & Stick collection, exclusively for Hallmark Stores 

This card uses Hello Kitty School Days Peel & Stick by PSA 

This "thinking of you" stamp comes from PSA Dare to Dream Peel & Stick pack

This card features The Eifel Tower stamp from PSA Frenchie Peel & Stick pack. 

Which card is your favorite? Tell us here by leaving a comment or share it on Facebook

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valentine's Day Garland

Rubber Stamped Valentine's Day Garland

Mrs. Green is the newest member of our PSA Essentials design team! She's created a Valentine's Day Garland that I just adore.   On her blog, she's done a fantastic tutorial which I am lucky to be able to share with you today!  To recreate this, you will need:
  • Cardstock
  • Stamps by PSA Essentials
  • Ribbon
  • Rope or similar
  • Mini clothespins
  • Circle punch
  • Glue dots
* Mrs. Green used stamps from six different PSA Essentials peel & stick packs for this project: the dotted outer ring from the Cupcake set, and an assortment of whimsical, love-themed centers from the Mr and Mrs, Love Birds, Smile, Happy Holidays, and Whimsy Cakes sets.
Valentine's Day rubber stamps
Stamp your chosen designs onto white card stock.  Mrs. Green chose 5 different designs and stamped 5 of each design, giving her a total of 25 stamps. Use a circle punch to punch out the stamped designs.
Rubber Stamped Valentine's Day Garland
Add tails of ribbon to the bottom of each circle.  She used an assortment of five different ribbons that she got from the dollar store, attaching the pieces to the circles using glue dots instead of regular glue to make the process go faster. (And cleaner!) Since she had 5 of each stamp and 5 different ribbons, she was able to pair them up in such a way that no two of her resulting medallions are the same.
Rubber Stamped Valentine's Day Garland
To assemble the garland, you will need rope (or something similar) and mini clothespins.
Rubber Stamped Valentine's Day Garland
Easy peasy!  Visit Mrs. Green and subscribe to her crafty awesomeness to ensure that you never miss a post!

Friday, January 24, 2014

How to make your own Gift Wrap

Sometimes you have a little extra time on your hands (okay....that doesn't happen all that often!) but there are times you want to make something from scratch.  Sure, it's easy to buy wrapping paper at the superstore, but making your own is fun and cost effective.  A large roll of craft or poster paper is about 1/2 the price as the same amount of gift wrap.

We were recently invited to a 4-year old birthday party.  We almost always bring books as a present.  I made "4" birthday wrap using our Vanilla Peel & Stick stamps by PSA Essentials and my PSA Stamper.  All of these 4's took less than 5 minutes.

I wrapped the presents after the stamps were fully dry (about 15 minutes) and then tied with some ribbon.

So what do you think? Will you try making your own gift wrap soon? You can get really creative and use stamps from our "Whimsy Cakes" collection or "Happy Birthday" from our sentiments.  You could also switch up your ink with different rows for pops of even more color.   The possibilities are endless here!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DIY Party Hats

I'm all about doing it yourself.  Just so long as it easy.  Many times I have made party hats completely from scratch (see a tutorial here) but sometimes when you are planning a big party or have lots of other creative components, you need to take some short cuts.  I made these party hats for my son's 1st birthday last year.  They were simple, festive and personalized -- perfect for the occasion.  When you want to go a step further than store bought, try this idea.

For this project, you will need:
  1. Zap Dots clear sticker adhesives
  2. Cardstock (patterned and colorful solids) 
  3. 2" and 1.5" round punch 
  4. Party hats -- found at Target 
  5. PSA Essentials Personalized Stamp (Christi design shown here, personalized "Connor's first birthday."  Any of the designs can be personalized anyway you want, they don't have to be just address stamps.  Just make sure it fits the character limit!)

Step by Step: 
  1. Stamp onto solid cardstock.  Allow to dry and punch with 1.5" circle punch.
  2. Take your 2" punch and punch out colorful, patterned cardstock. (I used dots!) 
  3. Mount the stamped 1.5" circle onto the 2" circle with Zapdots
  4. Mount them to the party hat! 
You can use your personalized stamp for other projects, too, like for party favor stickers (below), cupcake toppers, invitations, and centerpieces. 

So what do you think of this easy project?  Read more about Connor's 1st birthday "Hungry Caterpillar" themed soiree here!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Day

Today we are taking some time honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at PSA Essentials and honor a man who worked so hard to make a difference in this world. True we have come a long way in equal rights, but also true that there's still so much work to be done.   Here's a collection of some of my favorite quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   Which is your favorite?

Jennifer Holmes created this celebrate card using our Smirk Peel & Stick stamps by PSA Essentials. She colored them up brown, white, tan, and varying shades to represent different races and stamped "celebrate" from her stamp collection.   I think it's an excellent reminder to celebrate the diversity in this world!  My favorite quote by Dr. King:  "...what are you going to do for others?"  After all, I think that today is all about what we can do to make a difference.

Share what you are doing to make a difference in this world on our Facebook page!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stamped Banner for Kids

Michael's put out their Valentine's craft section about 2 seconds after the ball dropped, and I was most pleased. It's never too early to start seasonal crafts in our household and I was lucky to score some great items around the first of the year.  I found Paperology pre-cut hearts that I knew would make for a good kids project using PSA Essentials Peel & Stick stamps.

The important part of this craft is that kids have fun.  I try not to worry about stamps being perfect, or paint being perfect.  They aren't and that's okay. You will need:

  1. Paperology Paper Hearts (you could also cut your own from cardstock!) 
  2. Pink and purple paint 
  3. PSA Frenchie Peel & Stick stamps (lips) 
  4. PSA Smile Peel & Stick stamps (You're sweet!) 
  5. XOXO Ribbon by Martha Stewart
  6. Hole punch 

When dry, load up the stamper and let the kids stamp.  Molly randomly stamped "You're So Sweet" and the lips all over the hearts.  Then I hole punched and threaded the ribbon through. 

Hang from the window and that's it! Easy and fun to do with the kids in the afternoon. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Valentine's Day Card Favorites

At PSA Essentials, our talented design team has made some beautiful, handmade Valentine's Day cards over the years.  Today I am sharing a collection of my favorites using a variety of our Peel & Stick stamps.  From PSA Archive, to Mr. & Mrs, to Smirk Kiss Me Now, to Whimsy Cakes, to U.B.U. Bicycle Bride, these cards use our stamps in a variety of ways and styles.

These cards are by Jennifer Holmes, Kelly Eubanks, & Vera Yates. Which is your favorite?  Are you making Valentine's Day cards? 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Valentine's Day Kids Crafts

The O'Regan household is busy prepping for Valentine's Day with some crafts and DIY home decor.  It's not so much that I love these holidays, but each holiday is a great excuse for after school activities (days that we don't have ballet or tennis, the hours between school and dinner can feel very long, so we are always looking for things to do!)  Many moms are scared of glitter because of the giant mess it can make, but if you do it outside and use fixative, I find it's not that bad.  Molly has been desperate to glitter anything so this project is perfect.

You will need:

  1. Wooden letters in "L", "O", "V", and "E"  
  2. Red and pink glitter
  3. Paint - we used red and purple 
  4. Martha Stewart Glitter Glue 
  5. IMPORTANT:  Fixative - gloss finish 
The letters were white so we painted them purple and pink. At the same time, we painted some hearts for another project which I will share later in the week! 

When the paint on the wood was dry, we brought the letters outside and placed them on a trash bag.  This is to keep glitter contained.  Molly and Connor both painted on the glue.  Make sure you glue all the way to the edges. 

After you shake out the glitter onto the letter, pick up the letter and "roll" the glitter around to shake off the excess. When the glue and glitter have dried, the last step is to add the fixative.  A good gloss fixative will help ensure you don't get glitter all over the house and all of it stays on. 

I added the letters to the mantel along with some glitter tulle, and we will be adding to this display for the next few weeks! It was an easy and fun project that just about anyone can do. (Even Connor enjoyed gluing!) 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Flash Cards for Kids

I am resurrecting a great project today by Mae Armstrong.  I've always been a huge advocate of flash cards for babies and toddlers.  Starting at 6 months, I regularly sat with Molly and showed her pictures of farm animals, nature scenes, fruits and vegetables, clothing, every day items, colors and numbers.  With my son, Connor, now 19 months old, I haven't had as much time to sit with flash cards as I like but we still do them on occasion.  Here's our stack that we run through at mealtime or snack time.

Molly was talking early – she said her first words at 7 months, and she was doing “flash cards” here at 17 months.  Check out this video.  It's funny to look back at it years from when I took this - I don't understand her like I did back then.

Flash cards can get expensive so Mae Armstrong created DIY Flash Cards.  This flash card system teaches counting and its better than anything I have purchased.  She created animal silhouettes and grouped them by numbers. Here's the template you can use so you can create your very own flash cards. Click the images and print away – she used cardstock to print so they’d be nice a sturdy for her twin boys. 

After printing, trim along the guides.

Mae stamped the corresponding numbers inside the circle tags using PSA Essentials Vanilla Peel & Stick stamp set.  She also added a patterned star burst paper behind the stamped tag. Glue and assemble.

She organized the set before gluing everything.

 Here they are ready to be enjoyed.

Mae’s boys had a great time with this project and she’ll be packing this for her next trip – it’s such a great travel activity that doesn't take a lot of room.    How cute are these boys?!

Tell us what you think of these DIY Flash Cards now!