Hello, Oddies! 

Today I thought I would share two of my favourite ‘ Craft Hacks’ I use for every project! 

Craft Hack is defined as a technique/ tip that is adopted to make one’s time and activity (and sometimes saves money!) a bit more efficient/ or easier to do. 

Craft Hack #1  The first hack I am showing is how to make a flat art easel using supplies you may already have in your crafty cave! 

What you will need: 

  • a hard surface (this can be a cutting board, a piece of large chipboard, the backing of a thick paper pad, or my preferred method of recycling an old cuttlebug C plate!) You most likely want to find something smooth without bumps so that your stamped/ digital image lays flat.  
  • a scrap piece of paper ( i used either scrap of bristol board, or express it as it is a paper that can hold up to bleed through from my colouring) 
  • Removable/ repositionable tape ( I use the scotch brand removable tape but any should work!)
  • strong double sided tape (I use sook wang because it hold up to the elements and makes a strong hold to the board)
  • an image to colour that is already cut out! 
Top Left: Sook Wang Tape, Top Right: Scotch removable tape, Bottom Left: White scrap paper, and Bottom Right: Old Cuttelbug plate

I find that I am terribly nervous colouring an image and then using my silhouette to cut it out! I have ruined too many finished coloured pieces in the past because I didn’t line up the mat properly, or for some reason, my mat in my silhouette doesn’t always read the lines clearly on a coloured image. But I do find it difficult to colour and image once I have it cut out it also saves my projects from my fingerprints/ smudging accidentally! (well for the most part!) 

Left: shows when my silhouette is being a bad girl and cuts through an image accidentally, another reason I always print 2 of every image as well! it doesn’t happen often but occasionally the machine isn’t perfect!

How to put the easel together:

  • put the double sided tape on the backside of the scrap of paper you want to use on top of your hard surface
  • Place the scrap paper on the hard surface and stick down
  • then grab your removable tape and cover an area big enough to fit your colouring project on
  • expose the adhesive and now you have a tacky surface to stick your image down! 

I love using a white piece of paper behind my projects because I find I get less bleeding outside the lines if I have been heavy handed, but also if I want to make arrows showing light source I can, I also scribble my markers if one of my light colours gets some dark on it that I don’t want! 

Now I can colour this image up and not worry about my fingers getting in the way! it is also great if I want to take my colouring on the go!


Hack 2: Is using a digital software to make digital sketches! 

I love using sketches when I am in a time crunch as it takes the guesswork out of what my layout design will be. Normally sketches that we see on blogs or facebook are just a flat image and we still have to figure out how to measure everything, and it can be a bit difficult to manipulate the sketch to whatever size you want (I see a lot of sketches for 4.5 x 5.5″ but my cards are usually 5.5 x 5.5) or you may find it hard if your image would be better if the sketch was rotated somehow. 

That is why I  make sketches in my design studio of my silhouette (you don’t need to own this particular software to make sketches and software which allows you to use basic shapes such as rectangles, circles, ovals, and squares should work).

This helps me to manipulate any design I like without having to touch my precious paper first! I can change the size of my layers, flip it, rotate it all with a click of a button. If I don’t like a layer I can hide it for the time being.

Once I have made a sketch in my silhouette I always save it to a folder on my desktop before I manipulate the sketch too much.

The added bonus is that I have all my dimensions layed out on screen and it makes the cutting into my paper more accurate and less time consuming then if I was going to measure each sketch every time I go to use it.

Step 1: insert the project you want to make a sketch into the software and drag to the side for reference. I used a previous card I made in this example, but you can use any project (I tend to make cards that look nothing like the one I have scraplifted)
Here is the finished sketch I made from my card. I save it at this point so that I can make sure I have a hard copy that I do not manipulate
I then placed my digital image I want to use into the sketch to see if I need to flip anything. I ended up leaving the sketch the way it is but at least I can play with placement before I start cutting and taping my card together.
here is the image with the sketch flipped, I realized as soon as I flipped the sketch it was weighted to heavy to one side and I actually preferred the sketch to be the original in this case. so I just clicked the back button and restored it to the original!


Now I have a plan to make my next project and I don’t have to worry about whether the card will work or not! 

I hope these hacks have helped you! Let me know in the future if this is something that the Odd DT can maybe start adding regularly on Facebook or on the blog. I know we have a bunch of talented girls whom could share their craft hacks with you!