Monday, April 20


You can laugh, but I haven't touch my electronic die cut machine in about 4 years.  The last time was when we were making house signs with my DSILs.  One of the many reasons I guess is because I am scared.  Yes. Intimidated too.  I have been using the original Cricut Expression for many many years, and after a thorough research, and decided to switch to Brother Scan N Cut 2.  I do not want any more cartridges.  Although it took me a long time to let my Cricut Expression and Cricut cartridges go.  I passed them on to a beginner crafter.  I know they will be in good hands. But don't tell anyone, I saved my most favorite Cricut cartridges for a "just in case" kind of thing.  Now that I have an area solely for my "Brother", I have no more excuse to ignore this machine.

For about 3 years now, I have been using 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils in daily life (I am loyal to the Young Living brand).  I make a lot of DIYs - from soaps to cleaners, etc. etc.  Last week, I finally got the courage to use my Brother Scan N Cut 2 and make some vinyl labels for my home made stuff.  This project made me realize I made the right choice for my electronic die cut machine.  I was able to use any font I like from my computer.  Though it has been 4 years, after reviewing some video tutorials online, I was back on track.  It was like riding a bycicle.

Home Made Foaming Hand Soap
Thieves Cleaner

Home Made Hand Sanitizer Spray

I was very giddy after making these labels.  Now my DIYs look a lot cooler, aside from the fact that they are awesome and without harmful chemicals.  I will be making a lot more labels for sure.

'Til next blog!

Sunday, April 12

Home Made Face Masks

Hello crafty reader!  I hope everybody is enjoying time at home with family, at the same time staying safe for everybody.  My post today is about home made face masks.  I am not sure about other countries, but where we are in the US, it is advised to wear a mask when out and about to get necessities.  Since the start of the pandemic, I couldn't buy masks anywhere.  I have even traveled a few hours away from us, and still no luck.  Now that we are supposed to wear masks outside, I had to make them for us, and extras to give to family and friends who can't sew.  Eventually, donate more to our local hospital.

Before I proceed about my latest project, I want to stress the following about home made masks:

  • Do not microwave the masks, unless you're sure there is no metal of any type in it.  Wash them instead.
  • If you use origami vacuum bags, make sure the material doesn't have fiber glass or any material that could be harmful to the lungs.
  • Use the right type of material for your home made masks.  There is a very good article about it by the New York Times (click here to see).  If you are making masks, might as well do it right so it can serve its purpose - protection for you and the people around you.  I found this too, which refers back to the NY Times article I just mentioned.

I have 100% cotton quilting fabric at home (tried to be a quilter... but didn't work!).  I also found flat elastic in one of my drawers.  I'm good to go.  But I was thinking what would make my mask better.  I thought of the pillow protectors that are hypoallergenic, protects against dust mites, pet dander, pollen and other allergens.  So on my Walmart run last week, I looked through their selection of pillow protectors.  Since I will use it for my mask, it has to be breathable.  I bought just one of this to try.

I decided to have 3 layers for my mask.  Two of the quilting fabric, with the hypoallergenic fabric in between.  Since this is my first try, I used the $1.29 Fat Quarter (18" x 22") 100% cotton fabric from Joanns, which I got on clearance a long while ago.

I followed this guideline in making masks from the Deaconess Website, which also includes a video tutorial.

Out of the many tutorials out there, I used this one because it seems to be patterned after the N95 masks used at the hospitals.  Also, I like that it covers most of the face.  

I also adhered twist ties so you can secure the mask on the bridge of the nose.  Others used pipe cleaners or chenille stems. I use my favorite Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive by Beacon to do this after sewing around the edges the first time, leaving an opening.  You can see in the picture below the hypoallergenic fabric is still showing on the outside.  The next step is to turn this inside out via the opening I left during sewing.

Here, the hypoallergenic fabric is now inside and can't be seen.  I only made 2 pleats instead of 3 from the tutorial, making sure they are all in the same direction.

I was able to make 9 masks with the flat elastics. 

When I tried it on, it was loose so I just tied a small knot and it fit just fine.

I ran out of the flat elastics, so I looked around my stash and I found this.  

I cut the elastic and sewed the ends in the corners, the same way I did the others.

I also found that it helps to pin the pleats in place before sewing.  The masks look a lot better in the end. 

With this type of elastic, I was able to make 10 masks (2 kids sizes)

I also made a couple of masks with a side pocket to insert filters.  It's more work, but I like the end product.

With one hypoallergenic pillow case, I was able to make 21 face masks.  Not bad at all.  I have used one of the masks when I went to town this week.  It fit comfortably and I was able to breathe just fine.

I made a mistake of buying the Aller Ease mattress protector.  Turned out it's not breathable.  DH got me a couple of the pillows so I can start on my second batch of masks soon.

Stay safe and have a fun and productive time at home, everyone!

Monday, April 6

Multi-Purpose Station

This area is another thing I'm excited about in my new craft space.  It's where I store my punches, envelopes and other tools and supplies.  My electronic die cutting machine is there also.  And it can also be a second craft desk.  I also love that I can write notes and reminders, and even doodle, on the side. 

I was able to find these Bin Boxes from Amazon, which fit perfectly on each shelf of the tall fixture.  They're corrugated and sturdy and can carry some pretty good weight, especially my punches.

The pull-out table is from Ikea.  I had to buy the table top and each height adjustable leg separately for it to work in my configuration.  The other end is resting on one of the shelves.  Underneath is a drawer cabinet I got from Amazon as well, which holds all my stock of adhesives and refills.

Now I can use my Brother Scan n' Cut 2 anytime.  There is room for the cutting mat in front and behind the machine.  I can actually do something else while its cutting.  I didn't have that luxury before.

Yes.  I let go of my Cricut Expression and passed it on to a novice crafter friend of mine.  It served me oh so well for many years, but it was time to move on to a machine that will suit my card making needs.

My favorite part of this desk is that it can be pulled out another 9 or 10 inches for more work space. In this picture, the table is snug against the wall.

And here it is pulled out to a secure length.

And for more work space, I can pull out the rolling drawer cabinet underneath.  This could actually work as a sewing table.

Or this can be used by another person, so two people can craft at the same time.  So many possibilities with having two work desks.  I am very excited!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my new craft space.  And maybe found some inspiration for your own crafting joints.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment or send me a message on the Tinker Planet Facebook Page.  Happy crafting!

Saturday, April 4

Photo Station

When was the last time you used a regular point and shoot camera?  Years ago, I have my Canon digital camera in my craft room all the time.  It was essential for my blogging.  Now with all the technology of the smart phones, I can't remember the last time I used my digital camera.  I sure love my Samsung Galaxy Note 9.  All the photos in my posts the last year and a half are taken with its camera.  Back then, my purse is filled with so much stuff - camera, notebook, pen, video camera, cellphone, wallet and a lot of other junk.  Now, I use a small purse with just my wallet, smart phone and a couple little things.  In the fall and winter, I don't even use a purse, as my wallet and smart phone fit in the inside pockets of my jacket.  

I digress.

Let me write about this area of my craft space.  You can see the rotating fixture that holds my A2 card bases and envelopes.  Next to it is a drawer cabinet I got from Amazon, which holds supplies I don't use as often as those on my craft desk.  And on top of that fixture is a new addition to my planet.  It's new because it was in hiding for quite sometime.  There was no place for it in my old craft room.

When I was planning my new craft space, I made sure I have a spot dedicated for my Shot Box.  It's a collapsible tabletop top photo light studio - something I've always wanted to have.  I chanced upon this cool thing at HSN a few years ago.  I love where it is now.  I can use it any time.

As a blogger, this will be a very useful tool.  It has built in lights and comes with 4 backdrops.  You can take pictures from the front as shown in the pic below.

Or you can take pictures from the top.

I am very happy how things are falling in to place in my new craft space.  Though I have a bunch of stuff in my to do list, my brain is still running with ideas for future projects.  I can't wait!

Friday, April 3

Stamp Storage

Like many paper crafters and card makers, I have a wide collection of stamps - from rubber, mounted, unmounted, clear... If I have any digital stamps, I have to dig in external hard drives.  I'm sure I would find some.  I never got into digital stamps because to me, it defeats the purpose of stamping.  Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer the traditional way.

Anyway, for my new craft space, though I don't have all my stamps in the same fixture, I have them in the same area.  My clear stamps are in white 3-ring binders.  

Foam stamps and Stampin' Up clear stamps in DVD cases are in an Gnedby Shelf Unit by Ikea.  The wood-mounted stamps are in two drawer cabinets by Best Craft Organizer.  While my unmounted rubber stamps are in EZ Mount Stamp Storage Panels by Crafter's Companion.

Storing my clear stamps in 3-Ring binders is the best system for me, alphabetically by brand.  It saves so much space!  I have 2 empty binders waiting to be filled (grin).  The Christmas stamps are in the black binders.  While the red binders are my catalogs for image stamps and sentiment stamps.  

I put the clear stamps in different style Ultra Pro sleeves - they are acid free, has UV protection and made in the USA.  I mainly use the follwing:

And because I have a lot of stamps, I had to catalog them so it will be easy for me to find what I need when I need it.  You can see below how I catalog my image stamps - according to theme, then according to brand.  So if I want to make a birthday card, I'll go to the "Birthday Tab", and see what stamps I have.  And from there, I'll know what brand and where the actual stamp is stored.

The same goes for me sentiment stamps.

For the pages, I prefer to use the Five Star Reinforced Graphing Filler Paper.  The best place to get this is Walmart just after the school year starts.

My wood-mounted stamps are stored two ways.  By brand as you can see in the pic below:

If I don't have so many of a certain brand, I store them by theme.

My unmounted rubber stamps are in storage panels arranged by brand.  This saves me so much space, and the panels fit any 8.5 x 11 storage (vertical highly recommended).

I hope my stamp storage ideas help you out, especially in saving space in your craft room.  The more extra space you end up having, the more supplies you can add to your collection.  Happy stamping!

Thursday, April 2

Craft Desk

I celebrated March National Craft Month by finishing my new craft space.  It has been a few days, and it sure feels good every time I'm in it.  

In my last post, I blogged about my Embossing and Die Cutting Station.  Let me continue and share with you the rest of what's on my craft desk.

I have mentioned before that CD/DVD towers are one of my favorites in storing and organizing my supplies.  As you can see on my desk, I have 3 of them.

There are a couple more new additions in this section.  One is the ink pad organizer by Stamp n' Storage, which I painted white.  I still have the CD wall rack from Ikea (discontinued) to hold my Stampin' Up ink pads.  

I also took advantage of OTT Lite's sale early this year, and got me a new OTT craft lamp.  Now that I don't have natural daylight coming in, I will have to rely on my OTT lamps so I can see the colors just right.

My pen and marker organizers are still the same.  I splurged on a set of Spectrum Noir Markers from HSN last year.  Although I'm not expecting them to be as good as Copics, I'm still willing to give them a shot.

My stamping tools and supplies are in this area.  I hope to add a Misti (or two) to this bunch soon.

Because I like to use embellishments on my project, it's but wise to have them all within arms' reach on my desk.  They used to be scattered in my old craft room, and with this move, I made sure they are all in one spot.  See the VHS cases?  They are perfect for embellishments!

Since I'm right-handed, what better place for my ATG guns but on the right hand side of the desk.  My other tools like heat gun, etc. are in the same area.  The big and long embossing folders, dies and die cutting platforms are kinda out of place, but that's where they will be for now.

My craft desk is more functional than ever.  I have big hopes that it will be a lot easier to do my projects when the tools I need are just within reach.

Wednesday, April 1

Embossing Folder & Wafer Thin Die Storage and Organization

A couple of days ago, I blogged about my new craft space.  And as promised, I will share about my storage and organization ideas.  

For this post,  I will show you how I organize my embossing folders and wafer thin dies.  They are situated in this CD/DVD tower on the left hand side of my craft desk.  I find the CD/DVD towers best in storing a lot of my stuff, especially with the adjustable shelves.  My manual die cut machine  is right next to it - the Big Shot machine.  I've had this from when it first came out, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate this tool.  This is my best friend in due cutting, and continues to serve me well.  However, I plan to upgrade to the Big Shot Plus sometime soon, as my collection of bigger dies is growing.  Anyway, I call this spot my die cutting and embossing station.

My embossing folders are arranged by brand, the same way I had it before.

My wafer thin dies are still stored this way.  

I use metal sheets for roofing as my base, then adhered two layers of 1/4" strips of mounting tape.  After that, I topped with cork strips.  Magnets keep the dies in place.

When I started having bigger dies, I had to store them in this Artbin case.  The only thing about this is that the dies are hidden, so I end up not using them as often as I should. 

For a while I've been looking for a better way to store my bigger dies.  And when I went to the Great Lakes Mega Meet last year, I found these magnet cards by Stamp n' Storage.  They'd be perfect for the bigger dies.  However, I wasn't fond of the price.  I did buy a pack, hoping they would be enough for the dies I already have.

So I did my research online, and I found a way to make my own.  I already have 8.5 x 11 chipboards.

So maybe, just maybe there are 8.5 x 11 magnet sheets with adhesive out there.  And this is why I love Amazon.  There's a bunch of them there at a good price.

It's very easy to make.  Peel off the backing just like so.

Then align the magnet sheet against the chip board.

Then with a scraper,  adhere the rest of the magnet sheet as you slowly pull the backing out.

I was so excited with this new system. 

The size is perfect for my die sets and the big dies.  It saves so much space, and I can easily find the die I need.

 I attach the instructions on the back.

For some, I attached a sleeve for instructions that won't fit the 8.5 x 11 space.

I'd hate to say goodbye to my Artbin Magnetic Die Case, but this new system is perfect for all my big dies.  I'll have to transfer all of them to the magnetic panels soon.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  More on crafting storage and organization in my next post.  Until then!