If you’re not counting your pennies these days, then you’re one of the lucky few. Most of us have felt the pinch of the “economy” in one way or another. Here are some “free” ideas to help you weather this slump and create beautiful pages in the process:

Homemade stamps. You’ve probably seen it before—dip a cup rim in paint and then use it to stamp circles. Pretty cool, huh? Well, my layout needed some glitter so I got a water bottle cap, Zyrtec medicine bottle cap, and the cap from a paint dauber.

I dipped them into glue and then stamped circles on my page:


I added glitter to each circle as I stamped



Here is the finished page:


Create things from your scraps. Make punchies (circles are good for journaling spots later on), titles, or cards for future pages from your scraps. You’ll have more time to create and you’ll get a lot more mileage out of your paper versus throwing away scraps or stockpiling them in files at home.

Share with friends. You know you still want that latest greatest super cool new gadget for scrapping. Pool your resources with friends and either buy one together or agree to share at crops. Get together once a month at your LSS to crop (or at home if you don’t have a local scrapbook store) and have each person agree to bring one big tool (Revolution, Slice, Wishblade, Cricut, Big Bite, Bind It All, etc). That way you can still use it without having each person in your group buy the same tool for themselves.

Create your own templates. Use a dinner plate like I did on this layout to create a circle:


You can view a whole tutorial about this technique HERE. Have a candle stick or lamp with a cool base? Trace it to make your own unique “diecut” paper.

Texture. Marianne Walker of Copic has a little swatch of terry cloth she calls “Dirty Old Rag”. What's it for? She puts ink from Copic markers on it and dabs to create a fun texture. You can do the same thing with old towels (they don't have to be “dirty” LOL) you have at home–use paint to dab on a textured pattern. How about glimmer misting a page and then dabbing with a towel afterwards to create a sandy texture (think beach pages with Glimmer Mists in brown!!)? You can do the same with textured paper towels–I love the diamond pattern on Bounty paper towels. How about using the texture of a sink mat or old plastic bath mat to create texture? A smashed basket can be used to make texture by rolling it across paint. Use the bag from your avocados or other produce (those crocheted net bags) as a mask–paint over it on the page and peel up to reveal the pattern. There are lots of fun things you can do with stuff you would throw away anyways.

Hope those ideas inspire you as we are coming out of April and into National Scrapbook Day Weekend! I won't be around much because I will traveling from store to store doing lots of make n takes. I hope to see you around!!

Happy Creating!

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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One thought on “Five Fridays #25 – “Free” Scrappy Tools

  1. This is the perfect lead-in to what I wanted to tell you. There is a website called Peachycheap.com. they sell only one item a day and they sell it cheap. The deal is, if you like it, buy it right then because many, many days they sell out. They discount things up to 90% and they sell some really neat stuff.

    Thanks for the tips in this post. I don’t know anyone who isn’t cutting back these days. If I don’t see you before, I signed up for a class in Palm Desert the end of the month.

    Posted on May 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm