Saturday, April 30, 2011

More to do with Magazines: How to Make a Wallet

There are lots of similar tutorials out there for homemade wallets that divert magazine pages from the recycle bin that use packing tape as a laminating agent.  I wanted to find a way to make them so that you didn't have to deal with the seams that are created from the strips of packing tape.  I also wanted to soften them up a bit.  Well, I found a way!  With both Mother's and Father's Day coming up, I hope you'll find it easy enough for the kids to get involved too, they will need a little assistance though!

Start by gathering up some supplies.  Pick some of your favorite pictures from magazines that you already have laying around the house.  It could be from a gardening, hobby, fashion or celebrity magazine.  Just find something that you (or the person you're making it for) love. You'll also need a roll of clear contact paper and something to cut with.  I use a rotary cutter and straight edge but scissors are fine too. And finally, you'll use a sewing machine to stitch up the sides.

Start by trimming the rough edge of your magazine page.  Before you begin laminating, you'll want to make sure your page is the right size for your wallet.  Begin by folding the "wrong side" of your wallet together leaving the bottom edge slightly lower than the top, like this:

Then fold the bottom edge up one more time.  This will form the pocket that will hold your cards so you're only going to fold it as far as necessary, but not too far or you'll have to dig to get your cards out.  Use a card as a guide, it should look like this:

Now cut off 12 inches from your roll of contact paper.  You'll want to make sure to remove the backing carefully, lay the sheet out as flat as possible as you peel.  It's very easy to make unsightly creases in the contact paper if it folds up during the peeling process.  Okay, lay your contact paper out in front of you with the sticky side up.  Like so:

As you can see, I got a crease.  Adjust the laminate, so creases are closest to you as they will be on the inside of the wallet and likely hidden in the folding process. Now grab your magazine page and carefully place it wrong side up on the laminate.  Where you place it is not all that important, you just want to make sure that you leave a margin all the way around, like so:

Then you'll make some cuts to make folding the laminate easier.  So you'll make a cut from the magazine page to the bottom of the laminate.  You'll start your cut approximately 1/2" in from the edge of the magazine page:

Repeat on all four corners:

Fold your two shorter edges up on the page as shown below.  I find it easiest to work on making sure my crease folds nice and straight before pressing the remaining laminate into place.  But making adjustments with contact paper is definitely easier than making them with packing tape!

Now cut off the four excess rectangles of contact paper, but save them as you will use them later:

Now fold the two remaining sides inward:

Once your margins are folded in, you'll have some exposed magazine paper in the center of the page.  Use your excess strips to cover them.  Don't worry about how it looks, it'll be on the inside but you want to be sure it's all covered to protect the wallet.

Now you can fold it all back up and bring it to your sewing machine.  Simple stitch down each side and your wallet is complete!

To finish it up, fold the wallet in half and tie a rubber band around it for a couple of days to help it keep it's shape.  I make a bunch at a time and usually only have to keep them in a band for about a day:

If you're feeling adventurous you can chop up a page or more and laminate the pieces separately then sew them all together instead of the folding.  You can make more pockets that way and the pictures and words on the inside don't have to be upside down.  I have both types in my Etsy shop.

If you try this method, let me know how it goes below.  Did you do anything different?  Either way, get creative and have fun with it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring is Here and I've been AWOL!

I know, I know it's not fair to rub it in!  While some parts of the country experienced snow last week, I've been working in the garden for a month now.  The weather in the South has turned my yard into a little slice of heaven and I have been taking full advantage of it!  Which means that sitting inside behind a computer just doesn't happen more than absolutely necessary.  Now that the gardens are growing and the deck is spruced up, I'll be taking my laptop out to enjoy the fresh air while I blog.  So, yes, you'll be hearing more from me!

I thought a giveaway might be a nice way to get things started....ya know get the typing fingers warmed up! So here's the giveaway prize:

After some spring cleaning, I had to do something with the mounds of discs that I had. There were way too many (DOZENS!) and quite frankly most I hadn't looked at in years.  That's how this fully functional hanging wall clock was born.  If purple is not your color check out the pics in my Etsy shop for other color options.

So, how can you win one of your very own?  Just leave a separate comment for each of the simple tasks listed below and you'll be entered once for each one that you complete.  And on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm EST I'll use a random number generator to determine the winner.  Be sure to leave a way to contact you if you're the winner (your blog, your etsy store, twitter name, your email, etc):

1.  Become a Follower of this blog
2.  Tweet this blog post (be sure to leave your twitter alias)
3.  Become a fan on Facebook (already a fan?  That counts, just leave a comment)

While your in my shop checking out other clock color options, check out my magazine wallets.  My next blog will show you how to turn your colorful old magazines into a stylish wallet!  Until then...
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