You know those storage bins that we use for the kid’s toys and stuff?  Why not use them for our scrap supplies?  The one pictured below is a smaller version than what you normally see but the larger ones would work too.  I got tired of the bright colors and wanted something that fit my room better.  I bought some spray paint that is especially for plastics.  There is no prep work, just spray and let dry.  You can find it at your local hardware store.  I used two cans for this project.  I love the new brown color and I have not had any problems with the paint coming off.

Here is a before picture of the bins on my scrapbooking desk (yellow/pink/blue in the center) and it also gives you a better idea of their size:

I use these bins to hold chalks, acrylic blocks, stamps, tags, foam brushes, adhesive, and lots of other things.  Your challenge for this week is to find something in your scrapbook room that needs to be organized and come up with a way that works for you.  Don’t organize all your supplies, just pick one thing.  Once you have that one thing organized, focus on keeping it that way.  Then it will be time to move on….baby steps!!  If you need help with something specific or would like ideas on a organizing a particular supply, leave me a comment and I will post at least one idea for you!

Altered clipboards are a great gift for kids.  They are inexpensive and fun to make.  All the kids I have made them for love them.

Supplies needed: Clipboard, ModPodge (comes in glossy or matte, I prefer matte), paper and/or paint, stamps and/or embellishments, fibers/ribbon, exacto knife, and a pen.  A brayer is helpful but not required.

1. Sometimes the top clip on the clipboard will screw off.  If it does, take it off for easier decorating.  If not, you can work around it by planning a design where you paint the top part and/or have a straight paper line.
2. Chose papers, colors, and embellishments for your clipboard.  Make a rough draft drawing or have a design idea in your head.  When chosing a design, remember to keep the majority of the main surface flat because it will be used for writing.  Because of this stamping is a great choice of embellishing.  Keep stickers in the corners.
3. Any areas that will be painted should be done first.  I like to paint the side/edge of the clipboard for a more finished look.
4. Next cover with your chosen paper.  Use the Mod Podge as your adhesive, applying a thin coate to the clipboard.  Use a foam brush for complete coverage and don’t worry applying the Mod Podge beyond where you are placing the paper.  Place the paper on the clipboard and use a brayer to roll over the top of the paper so that it is secure.  Let dry.
5. Flip the clipboard over and using the exacto knife, trim the paper around the clipboard.
6. Stamp, embellish as desired.  Mod Podge works well as an adhesive for diecuts and paper flowers like in my examples.
7. Cover the entire clipboard with two thin layers of Mod Podge.  Let dry between coats to avoid bubbling.  Also, apply the Mod Podge well around the edges of the chipboard.  This will give it a more finished look and ensure that the paper you’ve applied is secure.  (If it starts coming loose, what kid won’t pull/pick at it until it comes apart.)
8. Use ribbon or fiber to tie a pen to the clipboard.  Make sure it is long enough for comfortable writing.

Tip: To avoid bubbles when using Mod Podge (as shown on Stephanie’s clipboard) remember two things.  1) Use thing coats.  Don’t worry – It will stick and too much is not a good thing.  2) Give plenty of drying time between coats, especially when you’ve used it as an adhesive underneath and before applying the top protective coat.  If you do get a small bubble, you can try to roll it out with the brayer.  If that doesn’t work just leave it.  You will do more damage than good and the great news is that I have had this happen and after it dries the bubble disappears!

I use title pages to divide up my books.  I organize my pages in chronological order.  The title pages serve as a marker for myself and those that look through my books.  It also saves me the worry of fitting so many pages in a book.  I use 3D-ring binders so the pages can be easily moved around, added, and removed.  When I fill a book I just start on the next one, instead of having one book specifically for 2007 and another for 2008 and overfilling them or running out of room.  Title pages can be very simple and are a fun way to use up embellishments and paper that you’ve been struggling to find a use for.

Scrapbooking has become a very important part of my life, as a way to preserve the past for future generations and as a creative outlet.  It’s time I can take for myself and can also be time spent with family and friends when we scrapbook together.  I am starting this blog as a way to share my passion of scrapbooking, card making, stamping, and other paper crafts.  There will be many helpful tips, ideas, and challenges to come!