Making custom stencils

X-Acto sent me a few of their latest craft knives, which I love. Especially the fat pink Designer Series #11 craft knife in the photo above. In exchange, they asked me to show you how I use X-Acto around my home. Considering that crafting is mostly what happens in my home, I decided to share three of my top craft uses for X-Acto knives.

1. Creating custom stencils

The first time I ever picked up an X-Acto knife was in junior high (grade 7). I took a stained glass class. We started out etching mirrors with our own drawings, which we made into stencils with Con-Tact paper and an X-Acto knife. I was hooked. I made more than a dozen etched mirrors. (I still have some of them. I’ll show you someday.)

Since then, I’ve made many more stencils. Jess Chamberlain and I made the stencil above to paint onto a roman shade for Sunset magazine. Read more »

Paper lantern making

Fabric flower brooches

Duct tape wallets, cases, and purses

I’m excited to share the news that I’m teaching my first craft workshops next spring at Sharon Art Studio in San Francisco! I’ll be teaching three classes in February/March: 1) Paper Lantern Making, 2) Duct Tape Wallets, Cases, and Bags, and 3) Fabric Flower Brooches. Click here for more information on the workshops. So, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you want to learn these crafts, please sign up early. You can register for the classes here. By the way, craft classes make great Christmas gifts. I look forward to meeting some of you in person and making crafts together!

UPDATE 2/3: Unfortunately, these classes were canceled for health reasons. Not to worry, though. I will post my instructions to make the tissue paper lanterns (bottom three lanterns in the photo) and some of my duct tape crafts here on Crafty Nest.
See below for the rest of the tutorials:
Paper star lanterns (or you can buy gorgeous ones here)
Duct tape wallet
Wired ribbon flower pin (the pink one in the photo)
Felt dahlia corsage
(the red one in the photo)
Melted fabric flowers
(the white one in the photo)

Three duct tape wallets

Girls camp - duct tape wallets

Girls camp 2010 - duct tape wallets

After volunteering for girls camp, I needed a couple weeks to recover. Now I’m back. I planned to take lots of photos at camp, but instead I ended up spending every moment teaching the girls how to make duct tape wallets. By the end of the week, I was seriously sick of duct tape wallets. But the girls loved them, so it was worth it. A friend sent me these photos that she took at camp. (That’s me in the gray sweatshirt in the first photo.)

Because of the green tarp roof on the makeshift quonset hut that we called The Craft Shack, everything looked green tinted. It reminded me of the Mr. Big song “Green Tinted Sixties Mind.” Admit it, you know you loved Mr. Big. :)

Anyway, duct tape wallets are certainly not a new thing, and I probably don’t need to tell most of you how to make one. But when I was searching for instructions online, I couldn’t find one easy-to-follow tutorial for a simple duct tape wallet. Plus, friends have asked me for the instructions for my wallet design. Though I developed this pattern myself, I’m told it’s not exactly original, but here it is. This wallet takes about 45 minutes to make. Read more »

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