Advent Challenge: Day 19 – Biscuit box

Day 19: Biscuit Box


If you’ve been following my blog since I started it last April, you may well recognise this card. I blogged about it in my A-Z Challenge post ‘U is for…’ which you can read here. It is made from the remnants of a box of Marks & Sparks Christmas biscuits, received (with thanks!) last year. Once the biscuits were a distant memory, I decided that the box was too pretty to just recycle, so I chose to up-cycle it instead – ie cut it up and make it into a card. The only thing added to the biscuit box on this card is some glitter glue, peel-off borders around the spotty strip at the bottom, and two adhesive gems. It just goes to show that inspiration (and crafty goodies!) can come from any number of sources.

To make this card:

  • The most important step first – eat the biscuits!
  • Cut up the box so that you have a border, an interesting topper that fits inside the border, and narrow strip. Use a corner rounder punch to round off the edges of the topper and the border.
  •  Glue the border to the upper section of your card blank so that you have even spacing around the top and sides.
  • Fix the topper inside this border using adhesive foam pads.
  • Use glue or double sided tape to fix the strip to the lower half of the card, and edge with narrow silver border peel-offs.
  • Accent the topper with adhesive gems and iridescent glitter glue. I also glitter glued the spots on the strip at the bottom.

I’m hoping to receive more biscuits in pretty boxes this year so I can do the same thing…


Advent Challenge: Day 17 – Music Peel-off

Day 17: Music Peel-off


I love and hate this peel-off in equal measure. When I first found it I thought it was fab, but when I got it home and actually *looked* at it, I realised that it is musically inaccurate – the rhythms are all wrong. But hey-ho, I’ll just have to send it to someone who isn’t musically minded, they won’t know the difference! Regardless of rhythm, this peel-off is a great way of making quick and easy cards – you get about 8 or 10 on a sheet, for less than £1. All you really need to add is some subtley patterned backing paper.

To make this card:

  • Cut a sheet of fairly plain backing paper into a square approx 2 cm smaller than your square card blank.
  • Stick the backing paper to the card blank centrally using double-sided tape.
  • Place the music peel-off a little above halfway up the backing paper, and carefully place the words below. A pair of tweezers can be very helpful when trying to pick up the tiny words.
  • Outline the backing paper with a zig-zag peel off in a colour that matches the music.
  • Add a black adhesive gem at each corner of the backing paper to finish.

Of course, there are so many possibilities for change within this design – using a different colour backing paper for example, or substituting the gems for brads, buttons or even tiny doodled musical notes!

Advent Challenge: Day 13 – Tis the Season

Day 13: Tis the Season


In yesterday’s Kraft Angels post, I told you about the gorgeous free papers I’d received in an issue of Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine. Today’s card is another example of the sort of thing you can make with free papers, and how inspirational they are. I love how the backing papers, toppers and embellishments all match – not just in colour, but also in terms of their style. When you’re making cards using your stash, it can sometimes be very hard matching the style of things together – they may be the same colour, but a cutesy cartoon animal topper isn’t going to go with a classic traditional backing paper. Magazine freebies take all that worry away, and leave you free to concentrate on being inspired with what to make.

To make this card:

  • Cut out a rectangle of coloured squares backing paper just slightly smaller than your card blank.
  • Edge the backing paper using a brown inkpad, and once it is dry, stick it to the centre of your card blank using double sided tape.
  • Fix a piece of black gingham ribbon across the centre of the card. I find using narrow double sided tape works well for this.
  • Mount a ‘Tis the Season’ topper over the middle of the ribbon using adhesive foam pads.
  • Take the die-cut flower and gently curl the petals, using your fingers.
  • Edge the flower using a brown inkpad, then stick it to the top right corner of the card, slightly overlapping the topper. Place the foam pads just in the centre of the flower to enable to petals to maintain their curl.
  • Finally, put a clear adhesive gem in the centre of the flower, and glue tiny buttons on either side of the ‘Tis the season’ topper.

I did only use about 2 inches of ribbon on this card – it stops just underneath the topper on each side! But it doesn’t alter the look of the card in any way, and it means I’ve got more ribbon left to make more cards with. Waste not, want not!

Advent Challenge: Day 12 – Kraft Angels

Day 12: Kraft Angels


Ok, I admit it, I totally stole the ideas for both of these cards from a magazine. But they are so gorgeous, I just had to include them in my challenge! The angels came free, along with matching backing papers, in issue 91 of Simply Cards & Papercraft, which I now subscribe to. But if you can’t get hold of that magazine and want to make something similar, I’m sure there are plenty of similar angel stamps that could be used instead. These angels are actually stickers, so I had to stick them onto some excess cardstock and cut them out before I used them.

Angel with stars – to make this card:

  • Place a border sticker horizontally across the centre of a Kraft card blank.
  • Attach the flying angel over the top with adhesive foam pads.
  • Use a red pen to doodle tiny stars all over the background.


Angel Love – to make this card:

  • Cut out a strip of patchwork backing paper and edge with a brown ink pad to define it.
  • Once dry, glue this strip across an A5 Kraft card blank, about 2/3 of the way up.
  • Mount the ballet angel over the strip and slightly to the right, using adhesive foam pads.
  • In the bottom left corner attach the ‘Love’ sticker.
  • In the bottom right corner, place three clear adhesive gems.
  • Edge the whole card with the same brown inkpad.

I think these cards are just gorgeous, and a big thank you must go to the original designer, Diane Grimshaw. I have another card coming up in this Challenge that utilises these same free papers, but this one will be entirely my own design. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see it though!

Advent Challenge: Day 9 – Stars

Day 9: Stars


More magazine freebies! I’m sure they would be quite easy to make from scratch too though, especially if you have a die-cutting machine. These are quite little cards and the stars measure 7cm at the widest point.

To make these cards:

  • Cut out a star shape from the free papers of a magazine, or cut a star shape out from card stock and decorate.
  • Mount the star onto some shiny or iridescent cardstock, and cut out.
  • Highlight around the sides with glitter glue.
  • Mount in the centre of a 10 cm square card using adhesive foam pads
  • Accent each corner using buttons or gems.


The brown cardstock in the ‘Believe’ card is called Kraft card, and seems to be quite fashionable at present. Yes, it’s surprising, but even crafting has its fads and fashions!

Advent Challenge: Day 8 – Book Page Tree

Day 8: Book Page Trees


I’ve made loads of these this year! Great for making bulk lots of cards as they are quick, easy and cheap to make, and can easily be made unique, or even tailored to your recipient!

This year I’ve seen a few people using book pages in their craft – mainly on ATCs – and I’ve had a go at a few myself. Although to start with I did have problems with the mere fact that I had to destroy a book in order to use its pages! I’ve found that I am more mentally capable of such a dreadful crime (!) if the book book is old and tatty anyway. So I bought an old art book from a charity shop, and carefully took it apart so I could use it in my craft. I’ve used the picture pages to make some gorgeous handmade envelopes, and the written pages to use on these Christmas cards.

To make these cards:

  • Tear a page from an old book into rough Christmas tree shaped triangles.
  • Use green chalks to colour the trees, particularly highlighting the torn edges.
  • Glue the tree to the centre of a white square card blank
  • Draw a short trunk at the bottom of the tree using a brown marker pen
  • Decorate the tree!

There is so much scope for decorating the trees individually. In the two examples here I’ve used adhesive pearls for baubles in one, and glitter glue for tinsel in the other. I’ve also used adhesive gems, brads, peel-off borders (which can also be coloured with permanent markers), and fibres. You can tailor a card to your recipient’s favourite colour very easily if you want too. At the top of the tree I’ve used star-shaped gems, but again, you could use pretty much anything that’s starry or sparkly!


You’ll notice that I’ve used my book page with the writing running vertically. This is another example of me being frugal! It’s quite easy to tear a series of diagonal lines down a page and get lots of triangles, but if I had done this with the page horizontal, half of my trees would have had upside-down writing on. I’m sure this wouldn’t bother plenty of people, but for some reason I didn’t like the idea, but could happily tolerate sideways writing – go figure! The result was that I ended up using the entire sheet, and only threw away a tiny border from around each edge. So just one book page (approx A4) has made about a dozen cards, and I still have some left over!

Another variation I have made on this theme is using a piece of sheet music (bought for 20p in a charity shop) in the same way. In this one I’ve used purple fibre as tinsel, and put a purple gem brad in each corner of the card.


Flower cards

Following on from my post a couple of days ago, here are some more cards I made using free papers from a magazine. They took hardly any time to make, and for a change I have abandoned my peel-off sentiment addiction and left them blank.

Both are made with Prima paper flowers – one with adhesive gem centres, and one with a brad centre. My favourite is the top one. Almost everything I make is symmetrical, and I love it when I manage to create something pretty but off centre!