One of the things I love most about being part of the design team for Kitschy Digitals is the freedom to make just about anything that takes my fancy with the kits. As a non-scrapbooker who’s particularly fond of scrapbooking products, it’s a match made in heaven, and it’s largely down to Danielle’s kitschy kits that I’m now a fully paid-up member of the digital fan club. As well as being ridiculously economical (pay for something once, use it as many times as you like), digital products are also incredibly versatile - maybe even more so when you’re looking at them through non-scrapbooking eyes. On the off-chance you’re either (a) unconvinced, (b) yet to try digital or (c) not quite getting all you could from your kits, I’m here to bring you The Rather Large List Of Ways To Make The Most Of Your Digital Supplies (Including Papers, Kits, Elements, Brushes, Fonts And Just About Anything Else That Might Fall Under The Digi Umbrella).
:: one ::
Print elements onto sheets of inkjet-friendly shrink plastic to make charms or buttons. When you're preparing the file to print, bear in mind that images will shrink by around 50% when heated and the colours will also intensify. Punch a single hole near one edge to make charms and pendants, multiple holes for sew-on buttons, or none at all for hole-free charms which you can glue into place. You don’t just need to stick to elements either. Try printing patterned paper sheets onto the plastic and then punching or cutting out shapes to shrink and use in a similar way.
:: two ::
Use layered templates as patchwork patterns. The cushion below was designed using an Ali Edwards template from Designer Digitals. I re-sized it in Photoshop, and then printed out the pieces individually to make paper patterns, adding a 1.5cm seam allowance around all sides. You could just as easily adapt the same idea to create blocks for a patchwork quilt, or to make a patchwork-style collage from patterned paper.
While you’ve got your needle and thread out, digital brushes, elements and dingbat fonts can also make great embroidery patterns. The bird on my cushion is from this brush set, and the deer on the scarf below is from the Kitschy Digitals Woodland kit. They were each worked in slightly different ways – the bird was printed onto plain paper and traced through the fabric with a water soluble pen, while the deer was printed directly onto the fabric – but both options make for really straightforward stitching.
You remember my sellotape tutorial, right? I still love this idea and have a couple of sheets of tape-strips printed up and stashed away for Christmas. I’m also planning to print up a couple of wider strips from the same product, maybe using this picture font, and wrap them around plain drinking glasses to use over the holidays.
Make your own custom-designed fabric by printing digital papers onto inkjet cotton or linen. If you’re not planning to wash the fabric (e.g. if it’s for a collage or a scrapbook layout), you can alternatively use normal fabric. Spray a sheet of copier paper with temporary adhesive and press your well-ironed material down on top, making sure it doesn’t overlap the edges. Run it through your printer, as normal, and then peel away from the paper backing.
:: six ::
Think clearly, and design your own acetate overlays or transparent elements. I did this with the feathers from another Kitschy Digitals kit, and used them to make the napkin ring below, but they’d also work beautifully on cards, layouts or as pages in a mini-book. For plenty of acetate-y inspiration, you could do much worse than browse through the Hambly Screenprints blog, and while I’m not about to suggest you try resisting their gorgeous overlays, there’s no good reason you can’t use those and print your own versions at home, too.
The Kitschy frames below were printed on to sheets of plain white card, and the pictures then made on top, filling in the centre part of each frame. By adding a bulldog clip to the top, or fixing them in place with a magnet, you can turn your artwork (or your children’s) into an instant, framed gallery. Alternatively, you could print off a whole selection on slightly smaller sheets and clip or bind them together to make a 'framed' sketchbook, ready to be filled with all kinds of doodled, painted or collaged masterpieces.
Thanks to email, Twitter, Facebook and mobile phones, most people don’t use as much stationery now as they once did, but it doesn’t stop me (and I’m guessing quite a few of you, too) loving fancy paperie. Put your digital kits and favourite fonts to work designing all sorts of personalised pieces, from invitations and notecards to tableware for your next party.
Inkjet transfer sheets (often sold as t-shirt transfer paper) allow you to add digital designs to almost anything made of fabric. The pyjama top below combines the Kitschy deer (again!) with a cute, cross-stitch font and took all of ten minutes to print out and iron into position. You can obviously make your designs as simple or as complicated as you like, depending on the kit and the item you’re adding it to. (Find a quick tutorial for the whole pyjama project here.)
:: ten ::
Maybe it was just me, but I always loved name-tapes when I was at school. Getting a new set because my mum had run out of the old ones wasn’t quite as big a thrill as the twice-yearly trip to buy new shoes, but it was definitely up there! With a little help from your printer and a bit more of the inkjet transfer paper, it’s not too difficult to make your own version of name tape, guaranteed to be even more exciting because they’re personalised. Type the relevant name in your favourite font, then add a small digital stamp or dingbat alongside it – something from these David Walker collections for girls or boys would be perfect. When you’re done print the design onto the inkjet sheet (don’t forget to reverse the text), and iron onto a strip of cotton tape. Snip the tape into shorter pieces and fold over the ends to stitch into clothes, just as you would a normal name tape.
If you don’t have any need for name tapes, you can still use the idea to add words, images or printed designs to other projects. I ironed a length of digital lace onto some cotton tape for the layout below, which also features the same product printed out as an acetate border strip, a length of sticky tape and a set of shrink plastic buttons. If that doesn’t count as getting the most from a kit, I’m not sure what does!
:: Some of the Kitschy kits are also available in the Two Peas digital store, along with a really wide range of kits by other designers. I love the range Shimelle has been developing (especially the Trip to Nature papers, and am also head over heels for Jill MacDonald’s hand-illustrated kits.
:: Designer Digitals is always a good bet, too, especially as everything in their store (everything!) is on sale at the moment. I’m especially smitten by the Andrea Victoria patterned papers and calendars.
:: And last, but not least, the rather smaller but no less pretty kits at KI Memories, which are every bit as colourfully wonderful as their printed papers. As well as more Jill MacDonald goodness, there are also a couple of older Love, Elsie lines and some exclusive-to-digital Elsie elements, too.
xPS. If you want the chance to win some Kitschy goodies, it’s not too late to sign up for the 12Days workshop, which also features a healthy selection of digital downloads and other goodies!