DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial

DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial--How to make your own lacing cards using any theme you want!  Perfect for church bags, diaper bags and gifts.

From the time my daughter was old enough to need something to entertain her during church, I’ve had a church bag put together that we can grab and go on Sundays.  Of course, the contents change periodically to keep her interested and we’ve had to add more items since my son is also in need of distraction during church.  Mostly we have crayons, paper and books along with a couple of small cars.

Recently I was at the store and spotted some darling animal lacing cards that I thought would be perfect to throw in the church bag to shake things up a bit.  The next Sunday, they were a hit and I decided to see if I could make some lacing cards that were more church themed.  (Of course this same tutorial applies for any theme you want.)

To make your own lacing cards, follow these steps:
First you’ll need to find some clip art for the images you want.  I searched for ‘free bible stories clip art’ and came up with a ton of options.  One image caught my eye and took me to an entire website of free clip art in almost any category you could imagine: nature, language arts, science, sports, fairy tales and the list goes on.  (Keep in mind that this site allows free use of its images as long as you don’t try and profit from it.)

Save the image to your computer by right clicking and selecting ‘save image as…’.  This will allow you to choose where you want to save the file.

Once you have all your images, place the images in a word file and resize the images and adjust the margins if desired.  I wanted to fit two images per 8.5×11 page and they each ended up being between 4-6″ wide/tall.

Print your images on cardstock.  (I used white.)

DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial--How to make your own lacing cards using any theme you want!  Perfect for church bags, diaper bags and gifts.

Use a pencil to trace a border around the image, about 1/2″.  Make sure you’re not trying to be too detailed.  Cut out the images and erase any remaining pencil marks.

DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial--How to make your own lacing cards using any theme you want!  Perfect for church bags, diaper bags and gifts.

Punch holes around the image, spacing every 1/2-1″.  This is totally a personal preference.  Just make sure not to get too close to the edge of your border.  Mine varied a little per card.  You can use a regular hole punch to make the holes.  (I have a Crop-A-Dile, which allows me to punch 3/16″ or 1/8″ holes.)  This step gave my forearm and hand a major workout!  I made a total of 12 lacing cards and each card had at least 30 holes.  You do the math.

DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial--How to make your own lacing cards using any theme you want!  Perfect for church bags, diaper bags and gifts.

Laminate each lacing card.  I did a hard laminate which is stiffer and stronger so combined with the cardstock, the cards should be pretty durable.  I don’t have a laminater, so I took my cards to a local genealogy store that does it for pretty inexpensive (I paid $4 for 7ft).

Cut a border around each card, making sure not to get too close to the edge.  Repunch the holes on each card.  (*Note: You could wait to punch the holes until this step instead of doing it twice but I wanted to make it a little easier on myself since I’d have to punch through hard laminate and cardstock if I had waited.  In addition, by using my Crop-A-Dile, I was actually able to punch a slightly smaller hole within each original hole, preserving the strength of the lamination around each original hole.  Overkill?  Maybe.  But I’d like these to last as long as possible.)

DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial--How to make your own lacing cards using any theme you want!  Perfect for church bags, diaper bags and gifts.

For the lacing, I found a pack of 8 pairs of shoelaces at my local dollar store (Dollar Tree).  Not quite enough for each card to have it’s own, but I don’t expect all 12 to be used at the same time. *wink*

My daughter was so excited to try out the new lacing cards!  I wasn’t even done punching the first one (the second time around) and she was already pulling out the laces and waiting for the card when I finished.  She laced three or four of them before I told her I needed to put them away until Sunday.

DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial--How to make your own lacing cards using any theme you want!  Perfect for church bags, diaper bags and gifts.

As for me, I really love the way they turned out!  The clip art is darling and overall it was a fairly inexpensive project, costing me less than $10 (if you include the cost of paper and ink which I already had on hand).  These lacing cards would make a great birthday gift, stocking stuffer, church bag activity, for long car trips or something to keep in your diaper bag while you’re out and about.

I hope you have fun making your own!

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

Every once in a while you find the perfect little piece for your house.  It’s not necessarily big or fancy, but it’s just what you’ve been looking for.  I was browsing through the store the other day and found just a piece: a small, wall-mountable coat rack.  I knew the second I saw it where I wanted it to go: on the wall behind our front door so people would have somewhere to put their coats and jackets.  The only problem: it was the wrong color.  A brownish-gray and the metal hooks were almost the same color.  Kind of blah.  But color is a fairly easy thing to change, especially when you’re dealing with smaller pieces. So I bought it and brought it home for a little DIY action.

Here is a picture of what the wood looked like before I did anything to it.  I unscrewed the hooks and set them and the screws aside.  There was a very thin coat of varnish and it was matte so I didn’t worry about sanding it.

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

The next step is to get some petroleum jelly (vaseline).  This is what you will use to distress your wood, or make it look weathered.  The reason this works is because the paint will not stick to the jelly.

The keys to distressing are:

  1. Look at the direction of the wood grain and think about where the paint would naturally rub or peel off.
  2. Apply the petroleum jelly in the same direction as the grain.
  3. Apply it on the edges, corners or raised areas of the wood.
  4. Be random about where you put it.

You can see in the picture some of the places where I applied the jelly.  You don’t need to use very much.  Just get a little on your finger and start spreading it around in a few places.

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

I applied two coats of paint because I wanted a little bit of the grain and some color to come through, but it’s really a matter of personal preference.

After your paint has dried, you’ll be able to see the places where you applied the jelly because they will be lighter and look more shiny and wet.

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

Next, get a paper towel or napkin and fold it up so it is 2-3 layers thick.  Rub the spots where the jelly is and the paint will start to flake off.

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

And…voila!  You’ve distressed your wood without having to use any stain or sandpaper.  Much less time consuming and messy.  You can even use this technique on multiple layers of paint.  Just make sure you let each layer dry completely before applying the petroleum jelly.

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

How to Distress Wood {using Petroleum Jelly}--the easy, fast and no-mess way to distress wood.

I hope you find something to distress soon!  Let me know how you liked using this technique!

Book of Thanks Tutorial

Book of Thanks--quick and simple tutorial on how to make a Book of Thanks for commemorating Thanksgiving each year!

Last week I posted about new traditions I’m going to be starting this Thanksgiving.  One of the traditions is a Book of Thanks, which is basically a journal or binder that you can bring with you each Thanksgiving, wherever you are, and have everyone write what they are thankful for (or draw a picture) in it.  (You can read more about it here in the original post.)  Today I am sharing a tutorial on how I created my Book of Thanks.  Hopefully it will give you some ideas about creating your own.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will received a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

One of my favorite crafting tools is my Silhouette Cameo, which is a multi-functional, electronic cutting machine.  It has computer software that allows me to create pretty much anything I want and then I plug my computer into the Silhouette and it cuts it out for me using a small and very precise blade.  You can also swap out the blade for a pen and it will draw/sketch whatever design you created.  Honestly, I use my machine all the time for scrapbooking, vinyl, cards, fabric, etc.  (I know I sound like an advertisement, but I am not getting paid to say this.  I just really love it!)

That being said, I knew that using my Silhouette would be the easiest way for me to create a fun cover page for my Book of Thanks.  If you don’t have a Silhouette or other cutting machine (like a Cricut), you could also create a cover page in a word program and print it out, or use your own scrapbooking/crafting materials.

I designed my cover page using the computer software and a combination of sketch pens and cut outs for the final product.

Book of Thanks--quick and simple tutorial on how to make a Book of Thanks for commemorating Thanksgiving each year!

Book of Thanks--quick and simple tutorial on how to make a Book of Thanks for commemorating Thanksgiving each year!

Since I paid for the images I used, I can’t offer my design as a file, but you can click on the links below if you’d like to get the files for yourself to use with your Silhouette.

Images used in Silhouette Studio:

Font used: Copperplate Gothic Bold (free from Fonts Geek)

I already had a 3-ring binder so I slipped it in the front, then grabbed a small stack of white printer paper and stuck it inside to have ready for Thanksgiving day.  I also got a small zipper pouch and put a couple of scrapbooking pens inside (the ink is archival safe and won’t fade or bleed over time compared to regular ball-point pens).  Once the papers have been written on, I’ll put them in protective sleeves and then clip them inside the binder.

Book of Thanks--quick and simple tutorial on how to make a Book of Thanks for commemorating Thanksgiving each year!

I really am so excited for this new tradition!  It will be so much fun to look back on past years and see who was with us and what they wrote.

If you want to know more about what I’m including in my Book of Thanks, check out the original post, comment below or email me!

Book of Thanks--quick and simple tutorial on how to make a Book of Thanks for commemorating Thanksgiving each year!

How do you commemorate your Thanksgiving?