It really is oh so easy to let your stash pile up, no matter if you are nuts for pens or fresh new notebooks, stationery or scrapbooking material. Suddenly you find yourself with little bits of leftovers and old supplies at the bottom of a basket, and by then it is time to do something about it!
I went through my stash and piled up a rather jumbled collection of, well, STUFF of all sorts, and decided I wanted to make some handmade embellishment clusters. The idea with these is pretty simple: pick out items that seem to go together, build them up in various layers, and then you have ready-made embellishments to but on your layouts or cards. Instant awesomeness on a page!
The leftover die-cut Doo-Dads make excellent clusters
I love me a great pack of fun die-cuts, especially from a brand I love as much as October Afternoon! A good die-cut pack lasts for quite a few projects, and I usually tend to use my favourite pieces on a layout or two, and then I have half a pack left of really nice shapes that I forget about.
The Doo-Dads in these clusters are from the Midway collection, which if I remember correctly is from 2012.
Using some steel dies from my collection, I cut out a few more shapes from some scraps of paper, and edged them slightly with distress ink. To top it off I stamped this cute little Instagram camera stamp from Lawn Fawn (the #awesome set), which I coloured in with plain ol’ watercolours.
Also, a little dimension is always nice, so I popped a few of the layers up on sticky foam pads. The little speech bubble in faux wood veneer also does the trick. I really love these chipboard products from Wycinanka, so much so that I have sort of ended up with quite a lot of them… But they are so versatile! But, of course, it’s time to start using them up! Surely it will only take me a decade or two.
Wood veneer in abundance – perfect for embellishments!
Speaking of faux wood veneer, I have had a whole pack of these gorgeous butterflies (from Santoro) for a few years in my stash. They are lush, let me tell you. If you are a bit of a craft nerd like me, let me tell you, the quality of these wood veneers is amazing.
Crafty friends that know me know that I like to HAVE butterflies in my stash but don’t necessarily use them very often. Well, this little challenge was a great moment to change that!
These clusters were really quick to make: I cut out 3 circles in various sizes from scraps of paper, stamped a few sentiments and cut out the banners by hand, and then put it all together with the butterflies. To make them sparkle a bit extra I used leftover pieces of gold foil to add a bit of flair. This is one of my favourite things to use left over foil for!
The cut-apart sheet leftovers
Do you love cut-apart 12×12 s papers? Do you cut out your fave parts and then get pieces leftover in your scrap box? These journaling cards are from an old collection either by Crate Paper or Cosmo Cricket (any other obsessive scrapbooker’s out there who remember?), and I loved this cut-apart piece of paper so much! …I seem to remember a beautiful fawn motif… So I have held on to this last pieces for a looong time. I don’t even know how long. But hey, some people save all their old receipts. I happen to save all my old pieces of pretty paper.
I cut out some banners and a few other scraps of paper and layered them on top in the corners of the journaling cards. Then I added some wood veneer, baker’s twine, sequins and a few splatters of gold ink.
To get a bit of a doodly, handmade style I drew some lines around the banners with a black pen, a little technique that really can change the look of any paper product in an instant. Simple but effective.
Now I have all these wonderful handmade embellishment clusters to use on my layouts! It feels great to use my older stash, and actually, it’s a bit like they have been transformed from something old to something completely new! I have to say, I feel pretty excited.
This really is such a simple and fun way to use up a few of your old and neglected goodies! And I promise you that even if at first it looks like nothing goes together, the end result will surprise you, and you will feel all creative and brilliant. Promise!
Have you a pile in a basket on your desk that could do with some clustering? Have you created any handmade embellishments? I’d love to see it, leave a comment with a link below!
/Jennie, a.k.a. jenandtricks
p.p.s. This article has also been posted on stuckintheglue.com, a collaborative crafting blog where friends help friends adhere their crafty lives together. Hop on over and have a look!