Monday, 5 September 2016

Hi everybody.

For September, here on the Dragons Lair Designs Inspiration Blog, we are working on the theme "Preparing For Christmas" and hope that we can inspire you with different ideas for crafting for Christmas, but not only for Christmas but for other times of year as well.

I've got a few ideas for you to think about and hope you like what I've made.

They don't look very "Christmasy", but not all Christmas gifts and ideas have to look specifically "Christmasy", especially if they are made to be used all year round, and you can always add more traditional Christmas items to any creation you make.

What I Made:
  • A decorated gift bag to give a baby blanket I'd crocheted in
  • A decorated "Book Box" of hand made cards
  • An unique mouse mat.

These are what I used:

Stamping Dragon Designs Item:
Items from the "Summer Sunset" collection available - here - in the store.
Items from the "Oh Baby Mine" collection
Background from another collection
  • Scissors
  • My Craft Studio Elite Software
  • Baby Blue Die Cutting Machine
  • Tonic Butterfly Die
  • Tattered Lace Flower Die
  • Non-stick Craft Sheet
  • Paint Brush
  • Pallette
  • Sponge
  • Pokey Tool
Method - Mouse Mat:

This is a great way to make something that will be used a lot, and looked at often, but will be a specific memory for the recipient.

It's basically a scrapbook layout, created digitally, and printed out at the correct size to fit inside a blank mouse mat.  (it needs to be constructed digitally at the correct size for your blank because you must have a perfectly flat image for inside the mouse mat).

As this mouse mat was a gift for my father, who's had his autobiography published this summer, I wanted to keep the image layout very simple - lots of flourishes and frames wouldn't have been suitable for him, but for a different person a different look can easily be achieved in whatever graphics package you choose to work in.

I chose a pale blue background from one of the DLD collections as a background (should have made a note of which one I used I know!).

I then took the image from the front of his book, together with three photos my youngest sister had taken of him at three different book signing sessions during the summer, framed the photos, and made a simple layout.

This was then printed and cut out to size and put into the blank mouse mat before using the tape that was inside one edge to seal it.  I then used ultra tacky tape to attach the gell wrist rest.

Method - Book Shaped Box Of Assorted Cards

If you are a person who makes more cards than you have people to give them to, and are not able to get out and about to go and sell them at craft fairs, etc., then how about boxing some of your makes up to give as gifts to family and friends?  It will be a Christmas gift that will be useful to the recipient for months to come.  You can go all ornate in how you box them up, or keep it simple - how you present your gift is up to you.  I've used a book shaped box file and decorated it simply so that it can sit unobtrusivaly on a shelf until needed.  I'm actually giving this one as a raffle prize in a charity event my niece is organising this month.

I took the same type of book shaped box file as I used in a previous project - here - and painted it with white gesso.  I then painted it using Cosmic Shimmer Paints as I did on another project - here.  I was going for quite a distressed, old book, look.

I took items from the Summer Sunset collection into My Craft Studio software and put together a "book name" panel.  I printed this out quite small for the spine of my book box and larger for the front.  After cutting these out I attached them to book box.

I then went through my collection of made up cards to select an assortment, put in inserts, attached a sticker with my details to the back of each, matched them up with an envelope and put them into the decorated box.

 (You may recognise the dragon on the front of the top card!)

Method - Decorated Gift Bag:

Gift bags are handy to put gifts that are hard to pack into.  But buying decorated ones are expensive, so why not invest in a pack of plain bags and decorate them yourself.

With so many different collections available in the Dragons Lair Designs online store you are sure to find digital downloads that you can work with and print off to decorate a gift bag for anybody for any occasion.

I've used a baby collection to decorate this gift bag to place a baby blanket I crocheted into.

Once again, I took items from the collection into My Craft Studio to resize, add text, etc., and then printed them out onto Super Smooth cardstock.

I did one panel, including a digitaly "die-cut" Christmas Tree, for the front of the bag.

A panel and a frame for the back.  As this is another item that will be given as a raffle prize for the charity event I'm going to slip in a picture of the blanket that will be inside it and slip it into the frame.  The frame in this instance is stuck on on three sides using double sided tape.

I also made a gift tag with a panel for somebody to write a greeting on the front.

 And a pocket with a window that has acetate inside it on the back - I do this for anything I make using yarn these days so that the recipient knows the yarn content and how to wash the item that's being gifted.

- o O o -
Anybody noticed that the first two items would be suitable for entries into this month's Dragons Lair Designs Challenge Blog?!  The theme for September is Books and/or Paper.  As the first item is a mouse mat based on the launch of a book and features book signing sessions it would fit into the theme.  As would the gift box of assorted cards that's in the shape of an old book.
So I hope that, not only have I inspired you to think of different things to craft for Christmas, but also to craft something suitable for entry into the challenge.

- o O o -
And that is it from me for today.
Please keep coming back regularly to look at new posts as, over the next few weeks, you'll find various "Inspiration by ..." posts appear on this "Dragons Lair Designs Inspiration Blog", as well as other posts by different Design Team members.  I'll be back with more posts over the coming months as well, so keep an eye out for those.

Till next time - Have Fun Crafting!
Dragons Lair Designs Inspiration Blog Design Team Leader
(And if you are wondering "who's Gwyneth?" - then you'll find an "About Me and My Blog!" piece on my blog.)


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