Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cardboard Cowboy Boot Craft

I'm on a mission to create crafts inspired by each of the 50 states. Is there anything more Texas than a cowboy boot? This one is made from the flap of a cardboard box.


Cowboy Boot Craft


  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • ballpoint pen
  • brown ink
  • q-tip


Start by cutting out a boot shape from cardboard. I used the flap of a cardboard box and it was the perfect size. I cut mine freehand (and it looks more like a Christmas stocking with a heel than a cowboy boot); you may want to sketch the shape on the cardboard before you cut it out. 

Now, use the CAPPED ballpoint pen to draw patterns and designs on your boot. Use the same amount of pressure you would if the pen were uncapped. 

You'll end up with lines that look like this:

Rub a brown inkpad on the edges and on the heel. 

At this point, I trimmed the boot to make it less stocking-like (curved the top, pointed the toe up) and re-inked. But I didn't re-photograph. Sigh.

Rub a q-tip in the inkpad and use it to trace the indented patterns on the boot. The q-tip will travel smoothly in the grooves you made with the ballpoint pen. 

Here's how my boot turned out. 

It occurs to me now as I'm blogging about this... those straps I drew in as decoration should probably be attached to a spur. Oh well. We'll just pretend it's decoration, or that my cowboy has spurs that camouflage perfectly with the background. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Camp Lassen, Year 3

I've gotten another step closer to scrapping the remaining photos from Trevor's time in Cub Scouts. This two-page spread is from 2016, his third and final trip to Camp Lassen as a Cub.

Camp Lassen (affiliate link)

Since I scrapped this about 18 months after the trip, there was no way I could remember the details from a trip I didn't even attend. Thank goodness I keep a daily journal about Trevor's life (412 typed pages and counting). I just searched the document for Camp Lassen, then copied what I'd typed onto the journaling block, as good as if I'd scrapped it the day they'd returned home from camp! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Storing Scout Patches (And My First Time Designing One)

This post contains affiliate links. 

Patches are a big deal in the Boy Scouts of America. On his uniform, a Boy Scout displays the BSA emblem, the US flag, a council patch, unit numbers, his rank patch, his patrol emblem, a badge of office, and merit badges. But for most Scouts, that long list represents only a small portion of the patches he owns. Scouts get patches for outings, events, and activities, too. 

So if most patches don't go on the uniform, where do they go? Some Scouts sew all their patches onto a blanket. Others put them on a backpack or a jacket. I imagine a lot of Scouts just let the patches pile up in a shoebox or drawer. 

The option that made the most sense to Trevor and me is to store them in a binder. They sell binders with a label on the spine specifically for holding Scout patches. While they look very nice, we went a cheaper route and got a plain heavy-duty binder and a pack of trading card pages. We sorted the photos and put them in pockets... which worked well until we turned the pages and the patches slipped out. So frustrating. 

The solution came from a tool that is common in the scrapbook industry:

We R Memory Keepers - Photo Sleeve Fuse Tool

This is the Fuse tool. It functions similarly to a wood burner to melt page protectors to 'lock' the pockets. We put the patches in place, heated up the tool, and did a quick zip to seal them up. It's a bit hard to see, but you can just make out the horizontal lines above the penguin and cake patches, as well as the diagonal line separating the two. 

Here's a typical page in Trevor's album. As you can see, we labeled the page with the rank and year, then filled in the extra pockets with a Cub Scout emblem and strips of cardstock to match the rank color (in this case, Bear is blue). 

The patches are securely locked in place, but if he ever wants to remove one, we can easily cut or slit the pocket and get a patch out. 

Some of the patches don't fit nicely in pockets. For example, the loops on the temporary hanging patches don't fit the pages we bought. We either folded the flap under (as in the 'Knights of the Round Table' patch above) or let it stick out and fused diagonally around it. 

You might have noticed in the title of this post that I tried designing a patch for the first time. Every so often, there will be a contest to design a patch, usually for a special event or anniversary. In this case, the call went out for a commemorative patch for the 90th anniversary of Camp Wolfeboro. There were four specific rules for the design:

       1) The design must be on a circle 3 inches in diameter
       2) The design must promote the theme of "90th Anniversary"
       3) The following must be incorporated into the patch
                a. "Camp Wolfeboro"
                b. Use the Pine Tree from the Camp Logo
                c. "XC Anniversary" or "XC years" or "90th Anniversary" or "90 years"
                d. "MDSC" or "Mt Diablo Silverado Council"
                e. "Since 1928
       4) The design can include up to six colors

I used PicMonkey (of course!) and came up with this design:

It was a lot of fun to put together. They haven't announced a winner yet, but I'll let you know when I do!

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Friday, February 16, 2018

Felt Carrot

This post contains affiliate links.

Look at the cover of Kids' Felt Cuties (given to me by Leisure Arts to review) and tell me you are not in love with the Bella's Garden project. It is adorable! Trevor has long since outgrown his pretend kitchen (SO cute), but he would have LOVED this felt garden to harvest before cooking for his diciers years ago. (Where has my baby gone?!)  

Although our days of playing with plastic animals and faux food are behind us, I was inspired to put my own twist on the felt carrot in the book. 


Candy-Stuffed Carrot



Cut two identical carrots from the orange felt. Set one aside to be the back of the carrot. 

Using three strands, use the embroidery floss to backstitch partial horizontal lines on the front carrot piece. I made a total of 7 lines (alternating sides, starting with the left), but you can do whatever.

Cut three carrot tops from the green felt. These should not be identical, as they look more realistic when they are different. Put all three carrot tops under the embroidered carrot front and use a backstitch to secure them. 

Place the back carrot piece behind the front carrot piece. Stitch the two pieces together, starting about an inch down from the top left, going around the point, and stopping about an inch below the top right. 

It should look like this before you tie off the floss.

Stuff the carrot with Jelly Belly Sours. (Go ahead and eat the red, yellow, and blue ones since they clash with this project. Yum!) Cut two matching lengths of adhesive-backed magnets. Stick them together, then peel the paper off both. Place them between the two carrot tops. The adhesive is strong enough to stick to the felt, and the magnet will prevent Jelly Bellies from escaping.  

This would make a fun addition to an Easter basket, if I did Easter baskets. Maybe I'll just hide the carrot along with the eggs on Easter morning and let Trevor find it. 


I really enjoyed making the carrot and am eager to try one of the other projects from Kids' Felt Cuties. The Piggy Coin Banks and Taco Plushie are particularly adorable. Expect to see more felt projects from me in the near future, inspired by this awesome book!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Webelos 1, Scrapped and in the Album

Trevor has been a Boy Scout for 11 months now, which means that it's about time I finished up the layouts from his time as a Cub Scout. This double-page spread covers his first year of Webelos (2015-2016).

Webelos 1 (affiliate link)

As you can see, I included as many photos as I possibly could, showing the wide variety of activities from the year. I made sure to include the other boys as often as possible, but the focus is definitely on Trevor. I used two fussy-cut photos and the sun sticker to form a visual triangle, but that's about it as far as design goes. 

I should add that I had to piece together the blue backgrounds in the upper left and lower right. All I had were small scraps, but I really wanted to use them up. The yellow text boxes and photos are placed very strategically to hide the seams as best I could!