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Let's Recycle and Learn to Make Rings

November 17, 2017

I have been creating and using recycled materials for a long time. I am beginning a love affair with soda cans. I've made two different kinds of flowers using soda cans. I have a lot of recent experimentation, but not blog worthy yet. But these rings are. Using cut pieces of soda cans as a base, I have made simple colorful rings with the addition of a variety of materials. 




You can buy the Mandrel and Mallet from a variety of sources. I bought mine separately but while searching for a link to provide you, I found a complete set on Amazon for a great price. 


Soda cans are very easy to cut. If you need a tutorial you can view a quick video on how to cut soda cans. To begin working, you will need a rectangular piece of the can about 1" x 5" (this varies by the size ring you are making). I don't measure, I just cut enough that I know it will work and cut off the excess as I work. 

I place the tape on the inside or silver side of the can. This way I can make sure no designs of the can show through the tape. At this step, you can cut off any excess tape.

1st fold
Fold one of the long sides into the middle of the piece.  You don't have to be exact in measurement here.  The fold can also be rough as you can see above. Just make sure some of the tape comes with the fold.

2nd fold
Now fold the other side into the middle of the piece. Overlapping the can is fine, just make sure you have an amount of tape folding onto the back side of each fold as seen above. Once again, these folds aren't smooth. The only thing that really matters is the folded edges and that they are as parallel as possible.

Roll the taped can around the mandrel. (again not perfect - just a start to get it into shape)

Choose a size for your ring and then go smaller with the shape because as we hammer it smooth, it will increase in size. Cut off any length that isn't needed. 

One end you want to leave the flaps of the folding open and on the other end, you want to taper it to a point. The pointed end will fit into the open end and become almost seamless.

fit together
Making sure they fit together, then put a small drop of super glue onto the point and insert it again. Wait for the glue to dry.

not perfect inside
You can see that the ring is not perfectly round at this point as we wait for the glue to dry.

start hammering
Place the ring onto the Mandrel, I hold the glued seam with my finger just to make sure it doesn't come undone. Then I begin to hammer the ring with the yellow end of your mallet. Work your way around, move the ring as necessary. 

much larger
As you can see, the finished ring is much larger than when started. We began around a size 5 and ended up at a size 7.

The finished ring is now perfectly round.

I have made a variety of rings in different sizes and materials as I have tried to perfect the process. The pink ring is made with alcohol inks added before the process begins and covered in clear packing tape. The second ring is made with tape, just the same as this tutorial. The purple ring is made with alcohol ink being added after the ring is finished and without any sealing material, the last ring is the actual printed side of the can exposed. 


I am nowhere near done experimenting with soda cans. They are such a versatile medium and easy to come by. I keep returning to them as a source to solve a creative problem. I think I might have enough ideas to write a book about it someday.

This post contains affiliate links for products to make it easier for you to locate what you might need. If you follow the links, your purchase will cost you nothing additional but Try it - Like it - Create it will earn a small percentage from your purchase.


How to Make Your Own Christmas Tree Napkin Rings

November 8, 2017

These are festive quick and easy Christmas Tree napkin rings. They will add a touch of Christmas color to your table decor. With just a few materials you can have a table setting full of them in no time. What a great project to get the family or the children involved in crafting. I used a personal cutting machine but I have included a template to use with cutting out by hand as well.



this is the free pdf template


cut shapes
cut shapes

Using a cutting Machine:

Load the SVG file and cut each shape from the appropriate colored paper. Cut as many as you need for your table.

Using the template and scissors:

Cut the appropriate shapes from the coorisponding colors. Cut as may as you need for your table. 

fitting together
fitting the napkin ring together

Take the green napkin ring shape and slide the tree halves together. This will make a round napkin ring and a complete tree. Adjust the shape as needed to work with your napkins. 

add the star

Use a Glue Dot and adhere the gold star to the top of each Christmas Tree. 

Insert the napkins and they are finished and ready to place on your Christmas dinning table. 

finished project

This post is a part of Craft Lightning Holiday craft challenge. Each crafter is challenged to create a December holiday craft that takes 15 minutes or less to create (excludes drying time). The challenge runs from November 5 - 9. Each day, eight new crafters present a holiday craft creation. These projects are featured on Made in Crafts, The Country Chic Cottage, and 30 Minute Crafts. (links are in the above graphic) Remember to visit each day to see the new set of crafty creations.

This post contains affiliate links for materials. Using these links will provide a small commission to Try it - Like it - Create it but will cost you no additional fee.

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How To Make Your Own Stamping Alignment Tool

November 7, 2017

I am not a huge craft stamper but I have always been intrigued by the alignment tools that are available. I just can't justify the price. I know they work well, I know their users love them. I just don't love the price. I've seen crafters make their own version and I finally decided I would make one for myself. It wasn't hard to make, it didn't take a lot of materials and it works well. 



  • Clear document container
  • Hot Glue Gun (or Super Glue)
  • Adhesive Foam Sheets 9 x 12
  • Magnetic Printable Sheet 8.5 x 11
  • Small magnetic dots
  • Printer and printable grid [free printable grid]


I bought my clear document container at a Yen store in California. You can find similar containers on Amazon [clear container]. What you want is a container that is slightly flexible, has no additional pattern or shapes on the front or back, and has a clasp closure. The container, of course, needs to be clear.

I glued the cardboard sheet from the craft foam package into the container first


adhesive foam
The adhesive backed foam sheets were easy to use and I just kept layering them into the container

The next item I bought was a package of craft foam that was adhesive backed sized 9 x 12. It contained 6 colors of foam and a cardboard sheet. I used all of it to fill up one side of the document container. You can use a variety of different materials to fill the space but the craft foam allows it to be somewhat flexible to give a good stamp impression.  This package is similar to the one I bought but it has more sheets. [foam sheets] The reason I like this pack is that they are adhesive which means the layers adhere smoothly.


I created a card layout grid that I printed onto a printable magnetic sheet. The blue lines are 1" measures. The black lines are standard card sizes in vertical placement. The layout also has red lines for standard card sizes in the horizontal position. For some reason, my printer wouldn't print them. I must be out of red ink. I bought the magnetic sheets from Amazon. They are Avery brand and had 5 sheets of 8.5 x 11 in the package. [magnetic sheets]. This is the top sheet of the stack and I glued it into place, it would have been nice if it too was adhesive backed. My only regret is that the Avery Magnetic sheets aren't that strong of a magnet as I would like. If this is giving me issues, I can always use pieces of tape to hold the card in place. For the price, I am happy with the final results. 


This is the tool in use. Placing the card blank onto the grid and holding it in place with small magnets. You could also use tape. Position the clear acrylic stamp onto of the card in the position you want. Close the document container and push on the stamp so the stamp adheres to the container. Open it, add ink to the stamp and close the container again using pressure to stamp the image. You can continue this process until your stamping is finished. 

The stamping alignment tool works great for two-layer stamps. 


This is the first card I stamped using my new tool I made. The card is stamped and then colored with colored pencils. The text banner was actually stamped with a traditional wood back stamp and didn't stamp well. I went over the wording with a marker. Using the two different styles of stamps, I am 100% sold on my new stamping alignment tool I made.

Here is the comparison and breakdown of costs:

Break down of my cost

craft foam package $7.68 for 12            3.84 I used 6

5 magnet sheets for $7.68                      1.54 I used 1 sheet

super glue 2 pack from dollar store       0.50 I used 1 tube

clear document container    yen store    1.68

circle magnets  100 for $2.75 I used 6    0.17

 TOTAL SPENT                                     $7.73 


Compared to Amazon Prices

Misti                           $ 69.95

Tonic by Tim Holtz    $ 30.10

Memory Keepers        $ 38.58

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Put the Petal to the Metal with the Fun Craft of Flower Arranging

November 6, 2017


Flower arranging is a beautiful craft, which can be tricky to get right. You might think that putting a few different flowers together can't be that difficult, but once you start getting creative, it takes a lot of work to create a stunning arrangement. If you're thinking about learning a new craft or you just want to bring some nature into your home, flower arranging could be a good thing for you to pick up. It's something you can teach yourself to do if you want to, and you can do it casually or take it really seriously and even enter competitions or do it professionally.


What Is Flower Arranging Useful For?

You might be wondering what the point of flower arranging is. After all, you can buy an arrangement of flowers already put together whenever you want one. And there so many different designs to choose from, you're never stuck for choice. But being able to arrange flowers yourself means you won't have to pay anyone else to do it. You can create an arrangement that's perfect for any occasion, and you'll save money by doing it yourself too. Flower arrangements are fantastic for anything from weddings and funerals, to simply having fresh flowers in your home.




Should You Start with a Class?

If you're thinking about learning to arrange flowers, your first question might be whether it's worth taking a class. You can take short workshops or longer courses to learn how to master the art of flower arranging. While it's not a requirement, you might decide that taking a class is useful. Some people learn much better if they have an instructor right there to help them. You'll have someone who can answer your questions right away and give your practical instructions with hands-on advice. Plus, attending a class gives you something social to do, instead of just learning at home on your own. However, it's by no means essential, and you can learn at home if you want to.


Self-teaching Resources

Whether you decide to take a class or not, there are plenty of resources you can access to learn at home. You might be interested in taking an online course, which could include instructional videos for you to follow. There are also videos you can watch on sites like Youtube that will help you get started and learn some different techniques. If you prefer to read instead of watch, there are some books that will help you start flower arranging, like Get Started with Flower Arranging by Judith Blacklock. You can also find blogs and other craft resources online, plus there are magazines if you prefer something in print, or perhaps a digital magazine.

What You Need to Get Started

You don't need too many supplies to start arranging flowers. As you learn more, you might build up your tools, but there's no need to have everything right away. To begin with, it's useful to have a pair of rubber gloves, a knife or clippers, some flower shears, and a vase. You'll also need some flower foam to stabilize your flowers, as well as floral tape, as well as flower preserve to keep your flowers fresh for longer. And, of course, you'll also want some flowers and other greenery to put into your arrangement.




Where to Get Your Supplies

Where and how to buy your supplies is another question. You can easily find a lot of what you need from any plant nursery or flower store, as well as other more general stores. For example, Costco can be great for buying cheap flowers wholesale. Ordering online makes things a lot easier too. DoingUp has a section for fresh-cut flowers and supplies, including plenty of flower arranging supplies. If you want to start doing lots of flower arranging, keep an eye out for discounts so that you don't end up spending over the odds.


Preserve and Prepare Your Flowers

Before you get started with flower arranging, you should learn how to prepare your flowers. When you buy your flowers, you want them to last as long as possible, so it's important to protect them. Putting them in lukewarm water with flower food will help to ensure they stay nourished and resist bacteria while you're waiting to use them. If your flowers don't come with preservative food, you can buy it separately or make some yourself. There are a few different homemade solutions you can try, such as one that mixes sugar, white vinegar, and water. Make sure you unwrap your flowers and remove any ties or bands before you cut about an inch from the stems at an angle and place them in water. You can leave them for a couple of days before you put your arrangement together.

Another thing you might want to do to prepare your flowers is remove any bits you don't want. You might want to take off sharp thorns, such as those you find on roses. Or perhaps you will want to remove excess leaves or unsightly bits so that your flowers have a sleeker look for arranging.

The Basic Arrangement

Putting together a basic flower arrangement isn't too difficult. You can use floral foam to keep your arrangement in place in your vase or container, and floral tape or chicken wire can also be useful. Put your larger flowers in the middle of your arrangement, with smaller ones around the outside or in between them. You can fill in spaces with foliage to make sure you don't have any big gaps. It's really up to you which flowers and foliage you choose, but you might want to think about the conditions they require and how long they will last. And, of course, you'll want to consider texture and color to make sure it all goes together. Once you've made your first arrangement, you can start to experiment more and branch out. You can include things other than flowers, such as beads, ribbons, and other accessories.


Caring for Your Arrangements

When you make a beautiful flower arrangement, you want it to last as long as possible. Whether it's just going to sit on your dining room table or you want to give it to someone as a gift, caring for it properly will ensure it doesn't wilt and die within a day. If you use floral foam to stabilize your arrangement, you'll need to water it every few days to ensure it gets enough moisture. Flower preserve in the water will also keep your flowers going for longer. It's also best to keep your flowers away from direct heat, including sunshine. While it might look good sitting in your window, it might not be the best place for it. Changing the water and cutting the stems often helps too.




Transporting Flower Arrangements

Sometimes, you'll want to take your flower arrangements somewhere. You might have made it for someone's wedding, or you want to give it to someone as a gift. You don't want it to get ruined, so you'll have to make sure you protect it during transport. Stabilizing your arrangement in a box is one idea that might help, especially if your arrangement is in a vase or other container and you're traveling by car. Bouquets are better off in a bucket of water, although one that's not too full. Avoid keeping your arrangements in the trunk, where it could get too warm.


Arranging with Dry, Silk or Paper Flowers
Making arrangements with fresh flowers is fun, but it's not always the most practical. Fresh flowers can only last so long, especially in warm conditions. Sometimes it's fun to experiment with other materials, although it can end up turning into a completely different art. Some other options are to use dry flowers, silk flowers, or even paper flowers. You can still create some stunning floral arrangements with these materials, but it can be very different to using fresh-cut flowers. However, you can also create flower arrangements that have a range of other uses, and that will last much longer, which makes them great gifts.

Starting a Business

If you enjoy flower arranging, you might eventually want to start making money from it. Sometimes you might almost accidentally end up doing it for a profit. Many people start off making arrangements for friends and family but eventually, the demand grows, and they have to start charging if they want to fulfill people's requests. If you want to start a floral business, you should consider how you're going to do it. Are you going to make arrangements from home, have a workshop, or perhaps even open a flower store? You'll need to make sure you have plenty of experience with making floral arrangements and that you can offer lots of creative ideas. When you run a business, it's not just about what you like to do but about listening to your clients too. You might go into it for the creative fun, but you'll also need to take care of the business side.


Learning to arrange flowers could take you to different places. It might just become a fun hobby, or you could end up doing it for money.


This is a submitted post.


Easy Stationery Craft using Opal Vinyl and Simple Tools

November 1, 2017

I am fortunate to have a personal cutting machine and a die cutting machine. I know all crafters don't have them. I wanted to show a way to work with vinyl without having any of these expensive machines. You can easily cut vinyl with decorative paper punches and scissors. Even a simple hole punch would be fun to use. So I create this cute stationery set using simple tools. 


  • Notepad to decorate
  • Solid color round pencils
  • Opal Vinyl from Tape Technologies Inc.
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Decorative scrapbooking paper
  • Paper flower accent
  • Silver Sharpie Marker
  • Craft Glue Dots
  • Decorative edge paper punch
  • Scissors


To begin, I gathered all the materials. I cut the Opal Vinyl using scissors and a decorative paper punch. I cut more vinyl into strips using scissors to use later on the pencils. Finally, I cut three squares using scissors for a final touch. 

I cut the decorative scrapbooking paper into a square piece. 

I cut the ribbon, folded down the edges and adhered with Craft Glue Dots. Then using the Silver Sharpie marker, I wote the word "Notes" on the ribbon. 

collected elements ready to go

applied paper
attach the scrapbooking paper using Craft Glue Dots

applied vinyl
attach the Opal Vinyl

applied flower
attach the paper flower with a Craft Glue Dot

wrap pencils
using strips of Opal Vinyl, I wrapped the pencils at an angle to create this fun striped effect.
You could use paper punched shapes instead - get creative. Fun for kids too!

Finished piece. I added the small Opal Vinyl square to the top edge to balance out the piece.
I drew over the edge of the pockets with the Silver Sharpie marker.

This project is a part of the Tape Technologies Inc. Design Team Challenge. For the month of November, we were asked to design using their Opal Vinyl. It can be found on Amazon under the brand name StyleTec. I was provided product to work with for this post. 

Opal Vinyl available at Amazon

This is an affiliate link and I will make a small income from your purchase to help support this site.



How to Paint with Stickers

October 28, 2017

Heading into a Total Knee Replacement, I knew I wanted to line up an easy sedentary craft I could make. I know how to knit and crochet and I can always fall back on those but I was thinking it would be fun to find something different. I was roaming the internet and someone mentioned a paint by number sticker book. I had no idea what that was but I was intrigued. So after a few different forms of searching, I found them on Amazon. There aren't a ton of them but they do exist. Sticker painting books can be found for children and adults. Now, I just needed to choose the book I would buy.

the book
This is the book I finally decided upon. There was a variety of choices. I was tempted by a spiral bound book. I also paid attention to how many pieces there were to create in each book. My decision was ultimately made on how I liked the variety of images offered in the book.

the art
This is what the artwork looks like. Each area is indicated by a number that corresponds to a sticker that fits the shape.

the stickers
This is what a sticker page looks like. At first, we thought it would be difficult to flip back and forth. Then we noticed the sticker pages are perforated and tear out of the book making the use of the stickers easier. My daughter and I worked together taking turns with placing the stickers and finding the stickers.

The final piece. This is the first image in the book. We are working from front to back of the book without jumping to our favorite images.

What we learned:

It does take a bit of skill to place the stickers in the designated place.
The stickers aren't overly sticky, you can remove them and replace them.
Spaces and the sticker aren't perfect and you may have some visible white space.
The color can scratch off the sticker if you overwork it. 
The process reminds me of working a crossword puzzle. 

This is the book I bought from Amazon - Sticker Therapy Nature

If you are going to buy your own, consider how many images compared to the price. I saw a few options that didn't have the stickers numbered. I saw a few others that you had to cut the stickers yourself. So, with that said, make sure you know what you are buying.

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Colorful Coke Can Flowers

October 24, 2017

These lovely flowers are made from a coke can. The end results can be used for jewelry, card decorating and scrapbooking. I imagine you could come up with additional uses as well, I'd love to hear them. These flowers were fun and easy to make. I plan on gluing a pin backing onto the flower making it a brooch. 




  • Super Glue (I used Gorilla Glue)
  • Soda cans cut into sheets
  • Cuttlebug (or other die cutting machine)
  • die shape (flower)
  • Buttons (or another embellishment)
  • q-tips
  • Alcohol Inks

The materials for this project are basic. I had them all on hand. I really like the recycling aspect of this project, turning the cans into something beautiful. 

Cutting soda cans are easy to do and can be done with regular scissors or utility scissors. The metal is actually rather soft. After cutting out pieces and making sure they are clean and dry, I used my Cuttlebug to cut the shapes.


Cuttlebug cutting soda can

Using the sheet from a soda can and the flower die, I ran the sandwich through the Cuttlebug. Cutting soda cans take a few extra passes to get thoroughly through the material.


qtip painting
Q-tip painting

Applying the alcohol ink to the Q-tip and then painting the soda can, results in subtle pastel shades.


dropped ink
dropping ink on the flower directly

Dropping the alcohol ink directly onto the flower and using the Q-tip to manipulate the placement of the ink as desired.

coke can
coke can

This image shows the coke can image is on the back of the flower.
There are techniques to remove the soda brand ink but it isn't necessary.
Some crafters even utilize the soda ink pattern on the front of their projects.

Finished project

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Tryazon and Boye Pom Pom Making Party

October 21, 2017

Special thanks to Boye and Tryazon. #pompomparty and #tryazon

The ending of a fun gathering, I brought the Boye Pom Pom Party Kit to a teens sleepover party. They started the evening with a school bonfire party, then a sleepover. I arrived before pick-up time to share the Tryazon Boye Pom Pom Kit. The girls were ready to get started when I arrived. As with most teens, what you think doesn't always happen. I will explain later. 

pom pom kit
supplies from the box

The Pom Pom Kit Included:

  • Boye Pom-Pom & Tassel Maker kit
  • 3 Skeins of yarn
  • Supplies & instructions to make 10 pom pom necklaces 

Each girl got to take home one of each:

  • Double-sided inspiration card
  • Promo code for the Pom Pom & Tassel Maker
  • Promo code for yarn
  • 1 Boye tote bag 
  • 1 fun sticker

We began by sorting out all the contents of the box. Each girl got to pick their take-home items. We opened up the Pom Pom Tassel Maker and talked about how to make the pom poms. I shared that I thought I would want to use two of the yarn colors for my own necklace. 

girls hard at work

There weren't enough tools for everyone to make the same size at the same time. The girls started making different sizes. The larger the pom pom seemed like the better choice. They all loved the large ones. Then it became a challenge to see who could make the largest one!

pom poms
a variety of different sizes

As the girls got picked up, there were fewer users trying to use the same materials so now they were able to make multiple colored pom poms. 

multiple colors
multiple colored pom poms

What we found out while using the Pom Pom and Tassel Maker. It wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. Teaching a group of people led to a few pom poms that fell apart because the wrong yarn ends were used to tie off the pom pom. Depending on how many wraps of yarn you used, tying off the pom pom was hard to make it tight enough to hold the pieces together. Keeping track of the ends to tie off was something you need to pay attention too or they might get lost in the wrapping of yarn. After the pom pom was made, the needed to be trimmed up to a circular shape in some instances and I am not sure why that was the case. 

What we liked: the different sizes available. The channel guide for cutting the yarn. The fact that once you had the Pom Pom Tassel Maker you would want to make more of them. In the end, we think it would be a lot easier to use with just one or two people instead of in a larger group setting where everyone is trying to use the same pieces. 

Boye Website
Boye Facebook
Boye Twitter

You can get your own Pom Pom kit at Amazon

This post contains affiliate links. We will earn a small income if you use them. There is no cost to you. 

How to make a Halloween Diorama

October 13, 2017

I am participating in the fifth Halloween PopCorn Box Party 2017 with Laura Kelly. I have participated for a few years. In 2015 I made a lantern with googly eyes, and in 2016 I transformed the box into a box! It is so fun to see all the creativity this project takes on. We are given a package with a few materials included. The only stipulation is that we must use the PopCorn Box. 

The sponsors of the 2017 party are World Market - Kunin Group - Udderly Smooth - Expressionery - Ellison/Sizzix - Oriental Trading. Some items included in the package were the popcorn box, colored felt, pencils, candy, little pumpkins, and lotion.


To make the diorama I used the following materials:

  • popcorn box
  • Craft glue dots
  • black cardstock
  • Cricut Maker
  • yellow felt
  • small pumpkins
  • scissors or pen knife
  • battery operated tea light

I created the SVG files for this project and if you would like to use them they are linked below:

I also cut the felt with my Cricut Maker but I used the design software to cut a basic square. 

I have included affiliate links in this post. If you follow them and purchase items, there is no cost to you. Try it - Like it - Create it will earn a small fee to help support the website. 

Putting the project together:

The images below will show the step by step process to make the diorama. 

cut a small opening for the on/off switch of the light

felt and light
glue in place the light and felt

glue in the house and pumpkins

glue in the window

finished project


Take a moment to see all the project from this year's party.
Enter to win Sizzix Big Shot Machine, Tool Caddy and Cutting Pads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spooky Eyes Halloween Yard Decoration

October 8, 2017

Learn how to make these Spooky Eyes from Recycled items at Glue Dots. My tutorial can be found on their blog. [tutorial]

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