Kids Get Crafty: Getting Toasty
S'mores...yum. I have been known to buy the really good chocolate, the kind that costs $5 a bar, and make s'mores on my stove. Or in the microwave. Or with a blow torch. You know, whatever is handy. So I was excited to get into this month's theme of s'mores (or fireside). That is, until I realized how hard it was to find a s'more sentiment. But more on that later.
Before we start, be sure to check out the other blogs along the hop today for more great ideas of crafty projects to do with your kids. It really is a lot of fun. The links to the other blogs are at the end of this post. Now, let's carry on!
Since my little one is still a little one and doesn't really have complete control over things like her dexterity, I wanted to find fun things she can do that adhere to two mandates:
1. It's easy
2. It's not (too) messy
Once she gets a little older, I would have no problem setting her lose with finger paints...in the tub. But until she understands the cleanup process, we're sticking to things that do not add to the very long list of things mommy needs to clean up. One of the things I found while researching was the idea of painting with water. I also found a recipe and made something called a squishy bag - that was not as successful because I just ended up with a bag of muddy red colored goo that my daughter has no interest in playing with. But that's another blog post.
Anyway, back to painting with water. The ideas I found online recommended allowing little ones to paint with water on construction paper, which is a great. But my crafty mind immediately thought of Tim Holtz Distress Ink. Everyone with a love of splatter knows those things react with water, and I thought it could create some unique backgrounds/specialty papers for my card ideas.
First, I took some panels of Bristol smooth cardstock, cut to 5.5 x 4.25, and directly applied ink to them in the various colors I wanted for my two projects. If I were to do this again, which I totally would, I would take the time to apply the ink in a different application. I am not sure how exactly since I think ink blending defeats the purpose of involving children, but applying the ink directly left things a little, um, streaky. And splotchy.
Next was the easy part. Baby. Water. Brush.
This happened quite a bit too.
Once we were done "painting", the resulting panels looked like this:
Not terrible, but also not exactly what I had in mind either. There was a third panel that was unused because of the way I put ink down on it. I'm not sure what I was thinking, perhaps cutting it in half, but I decided to just go with these two for now.
I knew the black/blue/purple panel would be used with the My Favorite Things Toasted Marshmallow die set as a background. I coveted that die set for so long until I finally broke down and bought it. I did not buy the coordinating stamp set because I thought I would never need s'more sentiments. How wrong I was!
For the brown panel I had something else in mind. I wanted to make it look like an actual s'more and incorporate unconventional material (which is, of course, said in Tim Gunn's voice every time). It came together much faster than I thought. Well, except for that darn sentiment.
First, I did touch up the Distress panels with some ink blending to smooth out the rough parts and to fill in any blank spots. It didn't alter the overall appearance by much, just made it smoother. Then, once I was happy with that, I wanted to take a bite out of it.
And here is my (unpaid and nonsponsored) advertisement for Google Image Search. I don't know where I would be without this. I literally typed in "chocolate bar with bite missing" to ensure I cut the right shape, and just like that I had so many images to choose from.
I kinda sketched a bite mark on the reverse side of the panel, but ended up free handing it with my scissors. The beauty of this technique is, if you mess up, it looks intentional. So just go for it!
Oh, and don't throw that corner piece away either.
Next, I took a scrap of white paper and used the panel as a guide to cut the marshmallow. I wanted this to have a smooth edge, since that's the nature of marshmallows, and I wanted it to stand out from the bite mark about 1/4 - 1/2".
Next, using Distress Inks again, I lightly browned the cut edge of the white cardstock to make it look toasted. I started with Tea Dye for a lightly toasted look, and then used Walnut Stain on the very edge to give it a gradient look. I was very pleased with how it turned out.
Using the corner piece I cut off the large panel, I used two Copic markers (E59 and E79) to color the reverse side and add some shading to look like chocolate. This is where the literal interpretation of a s'more falls apart a little since the chocolate would obviously be melted, but it worked for my purposes. I also added dots with the E79 marker on the front to represent the small holes in an actual graham cracker. They are subtle, but I think definitely add to the card.
Finally, I brought in aluminum foil to add a little kick to the card. Again, this isn't a literal interpretation of a s'more because I've never wrapped one in foil, but I liked the idea of incorporating the foil from the chocolate bar, so this is where I ended up. After tearing off a piece that was bigger than my panel, I gently crumpled it up to give it a worn appearance. Remember, the emphasis is on gentle. Otherwise I would have lost it trying to uncrumple a tight wad of foil without tearing it. That would be the worse!
It was tricky figuring out what to do along the front of the panel where the foil lines up against the "cracker". Because I wasn't sure liquid glue would hold or create a pattern that would show through the foil, I went with Tombow Xtreme Adhesive. It's near impossible to get it right up to the edge, so in the end I just kinda curled it back on itself and tried my best to make it look like the foil was torn away. I accomplished this by, wait for it, tearing it away. Success!
I also applied tape around the outside of the card on the back and wrapped the foil around to give it a finished look.
And finally, the sentiment. Wow, it was a toughy. I first Google Imaged Searched "s'more sentiments" and got a surprising number of results. A lot of them wouldn't really work for a card, but I found a couple that I could smoosh together that were OK. Initially I thought about "Sorry, I'm a hot mess". Cute, and appropriate for an apology card, but the trouble was actually making that happen. In the end, using the Honey Bee Stamps "Blah Blah Blah" stamp set (for the Sorry) and the Concord & 9th Sophisticated Script sets, this is what I ended up with:
I liked it, especially after I added shadow to the copper embossing powder with a black gel pen, but it was just too big. No matter how I positioned it on the card it took up too much of the front panel. Back to the drawing board, and by drawing board I mean Google, and I was no closer to the answer.
Then I remembered that I recently have been inputting all of my stamps into an app for easy reference and this was just such the event! Again, I'm not being paid to highlight an app, and I won't mention it by name here (but let me know if you want to know which app), but I was amazed! Within seconds I found another stamp set that I ALREADY OWNED (I know, I didn't have to buy a set?!?!). This was Honey Bee Stamps Life Right Now set. This may be a discontinued set, so sorry, but it had the sentiment "I love you more". Perfect. Just add an "s" and I would be done.
Using the Concord & 9th Sophisticated Script set as a reference, since it was still sitting on my desk, I sketched out the word "s'more" above the word "more". I thought about just embossing an "s" in there, but that really would not have worked. After heat embossing the original statement in white powder, I carefully marked through the original word with a Faber-Castell XS PITT Artist Pen and traced my pencil lines. It turned out great.
I also added some brown and white twine to the front, since the sentiment strip is small, to give it some interest and break up the space. The sentiment is also the only dimension on the card, to accommodate the twine, so this could definitely be a one layered card if needed.
In the end I was really happy and pretty impressed with the final result:
The other panel turned out well. I had actually made another couple of cards on my own, just to get a feel for what I wanted to do with the actual die set. It was my intention to turn my daughter's "painted" panel into another campfire scene, but time got away from me. So I've included below my other test panels, which also turned out pretty well. If you have any questions about them, leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer.
Thanks for hopping along the blog hop today, and thanks for sticking through this to the end. It was a long post today, but I had so much fun making these s'mores card that I did not want to leave out one little detail. Be sure to check out the other blogs on the Kids Get Crafty Blog Hop, and be sure to tag me on social media if you give this card a try. I would love to see your work!