Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Guest Blogger - Sue Hardman - "I Am Thankful"l Jars

Many of you have been asking how I make the ‘I Am Thankful’ jars so I’ve put together a little blog to help you get started.

 I was asked to make two for an order for New Year and whilst I was familiar with the concept I had never really seen one before, so I headed to Pinterest for some inspiration.  Although I found lots of examples I wasn’t wowed by any of the jars at all.  I'm actually quite pleased I didn't see anything to copy because it made me come up with my own ideas.

I've since made several jars, and each jar turns out very differently.  They are now more packed with tags and other interesting bits and bobs.  I now pop a white gel pen in there so there is always a nice pen handy to write down all the lovely things on your tags.
I think these make, thoughtful and lovely gifts.  I’ve had no problem selling these and sometimes struggle to keep up with demand. 

The other great thing about this project is you don't need to have a huge stash of dies.  With just a paper trimmer, score board and a few bit of embellishments, you can make your own tags, banners and pockets.  It’s also a great stash buster because all the embellishments are small so no cutting into big sheets
So let’s get crafting, I hope the pictures and text below inspires you to make your very own!

Step 1 - Find a jar
My preferred jar of choice is the Dowie Egberts jar as it has a nice wide body and mouth, so you can fit a more varied size of tag in there.  Of course you can use anything at all so check your cupboards first before you rush out to the supermarket.  The only boring bit of this is washing the jar, then it’s time to decorate!

Step 2 - Select your card stock and colours

I have an affection for Kraft card so I tend to use Kraft card for all my tags and interesting shapes, which is what you are going to write on. 
Choose a small selection of coloured card stock, I prefer no more than 4 or 5 and tend to keep them as block colours.  I think this gives a more wow effect to your tags.  However, don’t let me stop you going for a riot of colour and patterns, get rummaging through your paper off cuts.


I usually have a colour theme in mind so I keep my chosen colours all tonal.

Step 3 - Cut your tags and shapes

I'm always asked how many I put in.  I work on 52 as a minimum, all various sizes.  So this in theory is one lovely thing every week.  How cool would it be if we had 52 tags all with something on that we are thankful for!

I start by cutting the Tonic layering tags, which I class as my core set.  I use the 5 smallest dies, cutting 6 of each - this gives a good starting base of 30. 

I then cut 12 of the Tonic Banner dies, bringing my total to 42.
These banners I use as a ‘MONTH’ banner.  Sometimes we just want to write how great January was or it was my birthday in May kind of thing.  Dig out your alphabet dies and have a look through your sentiment dies to see how you can start to personalise your tags and banners. 

I have a little canning jar that I love, who can resist a jar of something.  I cut 3 each in kraft card and 3 in colour and then interchange the tops and bottoms, which gives me a total now of 48.

I sometimes think we might want to put a memory in a secret place so I cut 4 little pockets.  I have 2 Sizzix pocket dies so I include 2 of each.  Have a look for any other interesting shaped dies that you could adapt.  Don’t feel restricted here, get creative.  These are your statement pieces.  You don’t need many of them just a few and again get personalising. 

My order here was for a lady at church and I asked her for her 2 favourite bible verses so I included them in these statement pieces.  If you are making to sell this is where you can add value.

Total of items is now 52!

Step 4 - Decorate your tags - the FUN part!

As you know I like to personalise my jars as much as I can so don’t be shy in asking questions about colour, style and themes.

One thing I do like to do is faux stitching around all the tags and banners.  This is just my personal preference.  If you’re not familiar with faux stitching then do one and have a look compared to the ones without and then make your choice.  I've also noticed that the closer to the edge of the tag you can get with your faux stitching the better it looks.  I have a very fine black pen which is great for this technique.

Some of the tags I punch holes in, not all.  It's entirely up to you.  I like bakers twine but you can use ribbons and threads.
All the tags have just a little something on them.  Some just have the Tonic Nuvo drops on or a flower or a heart.  Keep it simple.  I don't get over fussy about all the flowers go on one size of tag. 

Of course I think everything should have a little sparkle so most of the items I stick on the tags I go over with a sparkle pen just to lift the colour.

When I think I've finished decorating all the tags, banners and pockets, I lay them all out and have a look at them all done together.  It's at this stage that I make any final decisions on whether anything more is needed.  Sometimes just a word sentiment.  Have a look at any stamps you have, the odd butterfly or flower stamped on will add interest

Step 5 - Decorate the jar

The final part, to decorate round your jar to make it something very special.

I have a tendency to go for a wide band of a book page, or a musical score - get your sparkly stuff out, spray the pages, distress them, colour them, and get your Nuvo moose on them.   I keep the same colour theme, where I can, to the colours on the tags.  Similar to our matting and layering on cards, then look at this as mat and layering and add  smaller band of something onto your book pages, this could be a lacy die or a nice ribbon.

For the wow effect I love a large flower.  The flower I have used here is a Sizzix Bigz die.  I've cut the flower out in white and coloured it with my Nuvo Moose to match the die round the jar.  If you don't have a large flower die then a cluster of smaller flowers would work just as well.  This is your feature on your jar so go to town on it! 

Of course you need some kind of tag with your message on - I Am Thankful or I Am Grateful.  I've added some tatty roses, again cut in white and coloured with Nuvo Moose and some Tonic glitter.
Attach your tag to the side of your jar with twine or ribbon.

Step 6 - Put it all together

Pop all your lovely tags, banners and pockets into your jar.  Add a white gel pen so you always have a lovely pen to hand.

I hope this has given you a feel for how I pull mine together.  I'd love to see your makes so please post your pictures. 
Happy Crafting!

Sue x

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