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Archive for August, 2008

Scrappin’ Green~ Tips for Eco-Friendly Memory Keeping

Good day everyone, and welcome to another Edition of “Scrappin’ Green!” In this edition, we feature Scrapbooker’s Club House member and August 2008 Guest Designer Lee Brehon, who brings us some fun and inexpensive ideas for recycling second-hand vinyl placemats. Since we definitely want to keep plastic and vinyl out of landfill sites, ways to reuse items made from these products are timely. Please pop in to Scrapbooker’s Club House anytime to share YOUR recycling/reusing projects with us. You’re ALWAYS welcome! Now, read on for some fabulous recycling ideas from Lee!

“Adding Punch with Placemats”
By Lee Brehon

Looking for an inexpensive and fun way to make a mini-album or add some punch to your projects!?
I found a solution to do that and save a ton of money!!! Additionally, I am recycling plastic and vinyl.

I love to go on little scavenger hunts for items that will work into my scrapbooking projects and this fun idea literally screamed at me from the shelf: “TAKE ME HOME AND REUSE ME!” So, I did. This is what I came up with!!!

What you are looking at are old plastic and vinyl table placemats from Value Village (a second-hand store). These placemats come in an array of beautiful colors, shapes and designs. You can find different colors of this plastic at an office supply store. (But, trust me when I say it is very expensive!!!!)

Here’s a photo of the placemat going through the die-cut machine.

The following pictures will show you some of the items I cut out. Beautiful!!

For this example, I put together a retro mini-album and even had a couple of shapes left over to use as embellishments. Here is one of the mini albums I created using a vinyl placemat~

1. Unfinished retro mini-album: Photobucket

2. Inside pages of retro mini-album: Photobucket

Here is an example of a gorgeous placemat already cut. The large sunshine shown here is going to be a mini-album for the kids. Photobucket

Note: I actually cut two covers (front and back) from one placemat that measures 6″X 5″. (This would depend on the design of course!)

The “HOHOHO” card and birthday card shown below were cut from a Christmas-themed vinyl placemat and a harvest-themed placemat.


Here’s a closeup of the Christmas card lettering cut from a placemat~


Here is the birthday card:


You could also use the shape of the placemat as a template to use over and over again. Here’s a large plastic template I cut from a placemat to reuse for this very purpose!


Here’s a ribbon holder I made from the placemats. I am going to reuse placemat-plastic to make more of these. The squares measure 2″X 2″ and I used a sharp blade to cut the horizontal lines. This is so worth the time to make: my ribbon all hangs and is very easy to see. You will get approx. 35 squares from one placemat.


A whole placemat design can be incorporated into a LO. These would make an excellent, inexpensive project supply for a large group, because they are often sold in a set of 4-6 placemats. This means you can get a lot of bang for your buck!

Additionally, I just know that the VINYL placemats will make excellent die-cut shapes that have dimension!!!!!!!! WOW!!! Does this offer some great possibilities???

I hope you will find some other great ways to use this otherwise disregarded household item on your next project. As you can see the recycling possiblities are endless and the savings could be huge! Go ahead and try this! Please come back soon and share your ideas with us in the comments section.

Please NOTE: I tried cutting the placemats on a home die-cutting machine, but it didn’t work so well with the thicker vinyl, but it worked well with the thinner clear vinyl.


Technique Tidbit Thursday- Bringing Out The Details!


I used to look at the work in scrapbook magazines and awe at how the detail work was done. I have learned that there is one thing you can do to step-up the detail work on your layouts with little effort and minimal tools.

Many patterned papers come with designs that maybe seem overwhelming as a background but would look fantastic as an overlaid piece. For this example I started out with this paper from the Spring Fling Collection by Pink Paislee.

I cut around the piece I wanted to detail and then used precision point scissors to cut around the flowers and the stems. NOTE: when cutting detail like this you can achieve a much smoother cut line by turning your paper rather than your scissors!

For small areas, such as between the flower and the stem, or areas that may be too tight to maneuver the scissors, I used an exacto knife to trim and placed the paper on a cutting mat.

Once I had the detailed piece cut out I adhered it to another sheet of paper (also Pink Paislee) to create a new effect.

You can also achieve a detailed overlay piece without cutting the piece off the original paper. (In this example I used paper from Sonburn Designs) I loved the flourish on this patterned paper and wanted to show it off rather than cover it up with my photos.

I placed my paper on a cutting mat and laid my photo where I wanted it on the page. I made tiny holes with my exacto knife tip (a paper piercer would work too) where the edges of the flourish and the edge of my photo met. Then, working with the exacto knife, I trimmed around the flourish where it would normally be UNDER the photo. NOTE: be careful to not cut it right off the original paper, but if you do, do not despair! That is what glue was invented for!!! I have accidently torn off my piece in the past but have “repaired” it by merely gluing it back in place at the end.

The next step is easy. Just slide your photo (or other patterned paper or whatever else you have chose to use) delicately under the piece you have cut and slightly lifted.

Glue the piece down using a precision tip glue (photo safe, of course!!!). I used Scotch brand Quick Dry Adhesive. The final result has the effect of a stamp or rub-on and matches your paper perfectly!!!

Enjoy your creations!


Have you got a technique to share? Please send us your tips and techniques and you will be featured here on our blog! Send your articles and photos to

Join us for the SBCH “Olympications Event!”

Scrapbooker’s Club House has a very special announcement!

In honor of the Olympic Games, Scrapbooker’s Club House will be kicking off a fun 2 weeks of challenges this Friday, August 8th that will whip your creative muscles into shape while allowing you to tour the world from your scrappy chair! It’ll be a blast!

Come join the friendliest site on the internet to exercise your scrap-happiness!

Mark it on your calendar: August 8-22, 2008.

Come share the fun at SBCH! You won’t regret it!

Questions? Contact Ali at or Nicole at or Noella at

Sketch Contest #19

We would love to see what you can create with the following sketch.   We will choose a winner from all entries and you will win a prize from SBCH!  The winner chosen will then get to design an example from one of my sketches for one of the future blog sketch contests.  The deadline for the contest is Monday August 25th. A winner will then be chosen on Tuesday August 26th and I will post another sketch contest on Wednesday August 27th.  Scrapbooker’s Club House will continue to hold this contest biweekly. We hope you will give it a try!

When you have completed your Layout you can post it in the “blog contest” gallery or e-mail to me at or Nicole at Please be sure to also name your entry with “Blog Contest #19” either in the title or description in the gallery. Finally, This contest will remain as a blog contest and not be announced on our forum, so make sure to stay tuned regularly and check our postings daily.


Here is your sketch:

And a fantastic interpretation by Designer, Shannon Cummins

Now Come on ….give it a try!  You may be the next featured designer!

Scrappin’ Green~ Tips for Eco-Friendly Memory Keeping: 10th Edition

Can you believe that we have had 10 weeks of scrappin’ green tips? WOW! You can access the previous articles on your right—-> Lots of great ideas!

This week, I’ve written an article that combines scrappy tips from Mary Chong, Deanne Burton and “Yours truly” to make our hobby a little greener and safer for our precious earth. Read on! Happy Friday everyone!
~Scrappin’ Green Tips from Mary, Deanne and Ali~

Mary Chong, one of our new Scrapbooker’s Club House Design Team members, shared these super scrappin’ green tips:

*To save paper, cut multiple mats from 1 piece of cardstock ie~ if matting an 8×10” photo – cut the middle out of the mat, and you’ll have a mat for a 4×6” photo.
*Use scraps for die-cutting – some cutting systems allow for use of small pieces of paper.
*When you need a little bit of an accent colour, use scraps: cut circles or squares with punches.
*Save your scraps and use to make cards, gift tags, and note cards.
*Use your circle punch with your scraps and adhere them in a row behind a mat – you’ve made an interesting scalloped edge!
*Use your scraps to punch shapes or designs – glue them in an abstract pattern on the corner of a 3×5” index card or similar cardstock and you now have a custom little notecard!

Here are 2 samples I made using a variation of Mary’s index card idea. (Thanks Mary!)


Deanne Burton sent in the following tip: “A student of mine gave me a gift at the end of the school year in a beautifully decorated paper bag that he coloured and designed himself. I didn’t have the heart to throw the bag away so I tore off his artwork and used it as the background in this layout I created.” (Deanne’s LO is based on a sketch by Adrienne L. at )


Deanne also shared the idea of using the inside (bubble) portion of a padded envelope to create an interesting background. Although paint is commonly used with bubble-wrap to create a background, Deanne used Tim Holtz distress ink and found it made a softer pattern when pressed on her background cardstock than did paint.

Here in NS, all of our paper and boxboard is placed in a bag at curbside for later sorting/ recycling. To gather up bits and pieces of paper at my desk as I scrap, I have a simple tip. I keep an empty tissue box on my desk with the plastic insert at the top removed (I recycle this plastic piece as per local laws.) As I scrap, I throw all the itty-bitty bits of paper into the box. Once the initially empty tissue box is full, (takes a few days) I can just throw it in the correct recycling bag (in our case, this is a clear bag.) No tiny bits of paper flying everywhere: they are INSIDE the box. And, a plus: I empty the paper recycling bin in my office LESS often– again with no more flying itty-bitties! LOL!


Here’s a final tip to reduce paper waste and to add an historic touch to your layouts for years down the road. Using a “Handmade by…” reusable stamp [mine is by Inkadinkado (#6706-L)], I stamp a bunch of labels on scrap cardstock pieces. Then I trim these and store on my scrap desk in a little caddy, within easy reach. (I even use the back of cardstock where I have made “journaling mistakes” for these labels.) When I complete a page, I turn it over and glue on a label in a CS colour that “coordinates.” Then I sign and date it. (I also number my layouts using this method.)


I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Scrappin’ Green and learned a few easy tips to help protect our precious planet as you craft beautiful memories! Feel free to send your “green scrappy tips” and article ideas to me at Thanks for reading!

You can find Mary at:
You can find Deanne at: