Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Altered Angels by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

A friend gave me six cute 7” tall wooden angel ornaments that she no longer wanted. I politely thanked her, tucked them away for a few years, and forgot about them till a recent clean-up. Because ‘cute’ isn’t my style, I thought it would be fun to alter the angels with paint and pens, giving them a very different look!

Here’s the ‘before’ shot:

I pried the star off of one of them. Here’s how she looks after her makeover:

I turned another upside down, moved the eye hook, and made her into a bird:


What do you have that could benefit from a total re-do? If the answer is ‘not a thing’ then head to a yard sale, thrift shop, or ask a crafty friend to share some of her unused stuff.

Can you flip the item around and turn it into something new? Think outside of the box!


1. Paint the surface of whatever you’re altering. A base coat of gesso and a coat or two of acrylic paint should do the trick.

2. Trace around the shape and sketch some ideas on paper before you commit. Or if you’re feeling fearless and confident draw straight onto the painted surface without any pre-planning.

3. Use paint pens or paint and fine brushes. Doodle and alter your ________ (angel, star, circle, mask, whatever….). Stop at intervals, get away from the project so you can come back with fresh eyes and see if you need to keep going or if it’s DONE.

4. Keep going until you are content with the project. If you add too much and aren’t happy, paint over whatever you’ve done, sand the surface a bit and start again!

  • Acrylic paints
  • Gesso
  • Paint pens in black, white, metallic gold, copper, orange or colors of choice
  • Wooden shapes to paint 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Last-Minute Gifts: Jumbo Clothespin Pencil Holders / Notepaper & Pencil/Pen Holders by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Need some last-minute gifts? No problem! Here are two you can whip up in no time, and if you’re already done with presents for this year, bookmark the idea for other occasions and for next year’s holiday season!

Photo Holders –
Great as stocking stuffers, place cards for a festive table!

Paint a jumbo clothespin or leave it as natural wood.
Add embossed Shimmer Sheetz to the front, or both front and back.
Lightly sand the Shimmer Sheetz to tone down the sparkle and reveal the core color (Gemstone has a silver core, Iridescent is white), and/or alter the SS with alcohol inks if you want!
Embellish with fibers, sequins, gems or in whatever way you choose.

Pencil/Pen Holders –
Terrific party favors, stocking stuffers, teacher gifts; make one for yourself!

Paint a wooden favor bag or any similar small container with straight sides.
Add embossed Shimmer Sheetz or handmade paper to the front, or both front and back.
Embellish with miniature playing cards, leather or paper cord, ribbon, charms or other dimensional elements. Tip: Fray the end of the ribbon to add a special touch.

For Both Projects –

Use slivers of strong hold Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs to secure the sequins and metal charms. (Cut the Power Tabs with non-stick scissors.) Use double-sided adhesive tape to adhere the Shimmer Sheetz and handmade paper.

That was easy, wasn’t it?
You’re welcome to share my mantra: Easy Isn’t Cheating!

  • Embossing folders – Card Suits, Stars (Kaisercraft)
  • Shimmer Sheetz in colors of choice (Shown: Amethyst Gemstone, Yellow Iridescent)
  • Handmade paper with botanical inclusions
  • Sanding block, optional
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Power Adhesive Tabs (Tombow)
  • Non-stick scissors to cut Power Tabs
  • Jumbo clothespins
  • Wooden containers
  • Acrylic paint (shown: Black Plum)
  • Paintbrush
  • Leafy branch peel-offs in Gold (Elizabeth Craft Designs), option – alter with alcohol inks
  • Large star-shaped sequins (or Shimmer Sheetz in Silver Metallic and star-shaped punch or die)
  • Flat-backed gems
  • Crown and flower charms
  • Mini playing cards
  • Leather or paper cord
  • Fuzzy fibers
  • 2” wide iridescent ribbon

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Stenciled Gift Card Envelopes by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Gift cards are such a popular way to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and other occasions. One of my favorite ways to present them is in a hand-stenciled envelope. For me, taking that extra step, creating a custom envelope, is well worth a few minutes; they’re easy and fast, and a lot of fun to make! I always make a big batch so I have plenty on hand.

While you’re at it: Stencil a few pieces of cardstock, some larger envelopes, shopping bags, sheets of gift wrap…Might as well keep going as long as the paints, stencils, and brushes are already spread out. (As long as I’ve got my supplies out on the table I want a bountiful outcome!)


1. Find a gift card envelope template via Internet search, trace and hand-cut cardstock envelopes OR use a cutting die. (I chose cardstock instead of text weight paper so the envelopes are durable and can be re-used or added to an album or journal.)

2. Stencil the envelopes with gold acrylic paint or whatever color(s) you prefer. Tip: Make sure your stencil is large enough to cover the entire envelope when it is open and flat with all flaps extended as shown in the photos above. I chose 9 x 12 stencils to ensure that I wouldn’t have to move the stencil once I had positioned it. Large stencils with all-over or radiating patterns give lots of options for taking advantage of various elements within the designs.

3. Hand- or die-cut two folio closures per envelope. Fold and assemble the envelopes, adding metallic braid or twine to the closure. Alternatively, use eyelets and silk cord. Reminder: Shimmer Sheetz folio closures for these projects were cut with standard dies on a full size machine. If using thin dies, a metal adaptor plate is required. (Review Els van de Burgt’s YouTube tutorial if you are new to this technique.)

Other Options:

*Instead of a gift card, tuck in folded cash or golden dollar coins, movie tickets, or a personalized coupon good for homemade brownies or a pie!
*For envelopes that can be tied onto bottles or used as napkin rings, punch a hole in one corner and add a piece of ribbon BEFORE tucking something inside.
*Use stenciled envelopes to hold Artist Trading Cards.

  • All-over or radiating pattern stencils (shown: StencilGirl Products L423, L350, L304)
  • Cardstock in shades of red, pink, and cranberry or colors of choice
  • Gold metallic paint
  • Stencil brush
  • Template/pattern OR gift card envelope and folio closure dies (shown: AccuCut for GrandeMARK machine)
  • Ruby Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz (Elizabeth Craft Designs) dappled with alcohol inks in Espresso and Gold (Ranger) to use for folio closures
  • 2 glittered or gemstone-topped brads OR 2 eyelets
  • 8” Metallic braid (shown: Kreinik #16) for folio closure
  • 8” Silk cord for eyelet closure

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Grids and Greens by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

I loved Tim Holtz’s Holiday Greens Sizzlets dies right from the get-go! There are four in the set – realistic, bold and graphic, just right for so many projects. And the Kaisercraft Grid embossing folder was right up my alley, too. Together: Cards that are easy as pie. Actually, even easier than pie!

The recipe:

1. Die cut the greens from green glittered cardstock, Emerald Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz, or a mix of the two. (See REMINDER following Step 5 of the recipe.) Tip: When removing these intricate die cut shapes from the die, always begin at the stem end and work slowly and carefully so the delicate stems don’t tear.

2. Emboss wine red cardstock or Ruby Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz with the grid embossing folder. Option: Tone down the Shimmer Sheetz by lightly sanding the surface. Adhere the embossed rectangle to a side-fold A2-size card base using double-sided adhesive tape.

3. Arrange and adhere the greens as shown or as you prefer. Use tiny slivers of Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs to hold the die cut greens in several places, allowing most of the leaves and needles free from the surface for lots of dimension.

4. Embellish with a red star-shaped button (shank removed) or a trio of red gem-topped snowflakes (die cuts or sequins).

5. Trim any greens that extend past the edges of the card front.

You MUST use a Metal Adaptor Plate or the Sizzix Big Shot with Precision Base Plate when die cutting Shimmer Sheetz. Review Els van de Burgt’s YouTube tutorial if you are new to this technique.

*Switch to a brighter color palette or go for a monochromatic scheme like ivory, white, and silver.
*Instead of an embossed grid background, use textured handmade paper or cardstock with a small all-over dot pattern.
*Position grid and greens on a larger size card base (5 x 7 works well), leaving an inch or more at the bottom; add a bow (ribbon or twine) where the stems touch at the bottom of the cluster of greens so they look like they’re tied together.

  • Holiday Greens dies (Sizzlets)
  • Shimmer Sheetz in Ruby and Emerald Gemstone
  • Grid embossing folder (Kaisercraft)
  • (For die cutting Shimmer Sheetz, a Metal Adaptor Plate or Sizzix Big Shot with Precision Base Plate is required)
  • Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs
  • Non-stick scissors (for cutting Power Tabs)
  • Optional embellishments (gems, star-shaped buttons, snowflake sequins)
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Sanding block (optional: To tone down Shimmer Sheetz)
  • Cardstock in wine red (to emboss), silver and Kraft brown (for card bases)