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Old 03-18-2015, 07:57 AM   #1
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Maple Leaf To Make or Not to Make Your Own Embellishments?

That is the question...



Do you use dies to create your custom own embellishments?

Do you use industry created embellishments to coordinate with your projects/papers, etc?

Do you use a mix a both?

I have many dies that have not been used since I've bought them (shame on me really). Now I am contemplating on whether or not to sell these dies; especially if it is with a coordinating stamp set.

I am in the midst of paring down my stash. Any advice would be greatly appericated
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:17 AM   #2
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Answer: It depends. I use punches or dies for paper flowers, but then I also make them out of yarn or cording. I rarely use coordinating papers or embellishments because I would rather not have the manufacturer dictate my taste. I usually alter embellishments rather that use them "as is" out of the package.

So as far as paring down your stash of dies, may I suggest that you cut whatever you think you might need in the future on vellum or stencil material to use as a template. You can always trace and use scissors.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:00 AM   #3
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When I think of "store-bought" embellishments, it is always things that I can't make myself that come to mind (gems, brads, etc.), not flowers or stickers or die cuts or what-have-you. The brads and eyelets came with me when I moved across the country, the chipboard embellishments and flowers did not. I wish I had kept my buttons - I do miss those! I think you need to assess what gives you pleasure in the making, and go with that. If you like to make flowers, keep dies and punches to make them with. If you like to do fussy cutting, you can pare down some of the dies that go with specific stamp sets. If you'd prefer to cut them with the die (especially because you already own it), then keep the dies and pare down something else. Everyone has their own approach to creating, so figure out what is most important TO YOU and what gives YOU the most pleasure, and base what stays and goes on that...

One word of advice on anything and everything that you plan to assess for possible purging (papers, stamps, inks, punches, dies, embossing folders - everything!) is to take $$ out of the equation. The money is already spent, you enjoyed the items (or you didn't), you got your use out of them (or you didn't). Consider it an "educational expense" and move on. If you can't sell stuff, give it to a school or senior center or after-school program that would benefit from having it - pay it forward!

Good luck with that and, as the saying goes, "the first cut is the deepest"! Once you start getting rid of the excess, it gets easier and more rewarding...
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:29 PM   #4
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W
One word of advice on anything and everything that you plan to assess for possible purging (papers, stamps, inks, punches, dies, embossing folders - everything!) is to take $$ out of the equation. The money is already spent, you enjoyed the items (or you didn't), you got your use out of them (or you didn't). Consider it an "educational expense" and move on. If you can't sell stuff, give it to a school or senior center or after-school program that would benefit from having it - pay it forward!
This is wonderful advice, and so true, Sue. In addition to making cards, I also sew for a hobby and when we moved, I gave away lots of fabric and some patterns. I had a brief pang thinking of what I had spent on these things, but then told myself, I had actually gotten some good out of them before giving them away. I had the fun of planning the project, thinking about sewing it, picking out the fabric and patterns. The only part I didn't do was actually sewing it, lol.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gregzgurl View Post
When I think of "store-bought" embellishments, it is always things that I can't make myself that come to mind (gems, brads, etc.), not flowers or stickers or die cuts or what-have-you. The brads and eyelets came with me when I moved across the country, the chipboard embellishments and flowers did not. I wish I had kept my buttons - I do miss those! I think you need to assess what gives you pleasure in the making, and go with that. If you like to make flowers, keep dies and punches to make them with. If you like to do fussy cutting, you can pare down some of the dies that go with specific stamp sets. If you'd prefer to cut them with the die (especially because you already own it), then keep the dies and pare down something else. Everyone has their own approach to creating, so figure out what is most important TO YOU and what gives YOU the most pleasure, and base what stays and goes on that...
One word of advice on anything and everything that you plan to assess for possible purging (papers, stamps, inks, punches, dies, embossing folders - everything!) is to take $$ out of the equation. The money is already spent, you enjoyed the items (or you didn't), you got your use out of them (or you didn't). Consider it an "educational expense" and move on. If you can't sell stuff, give it to a school or senior center or after-school program that would benefit from having it - pay it forward!
Good luck with that and, as the saying goes, "the first cut is the deepest"! Once you start getting rid of the excess, it gets easier and more rewarding...
Well said and so true. Dea
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:42 AM   #6
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I love to make my own embellishments. One of my favorite creative things in the world to do.

Do I use my dies to make embellishments? I use too then I just kind of tapered off. I love fussy cutting. I am now more a fussy cut make your own embellishment type of girl.

Do I buy embellishments? Not a lot but you have to admit there are some cute embellishments that make you happy. I am going to buy them and use them.

If your not using your dies you probably not going to wake up one day and say "I am so into dies and I need to use them all the time." Even if you did you probably want different dies that fit who you are at the moment.

I think a lot of people think making your own embellishments will save you money. In some instances it really does. I have made embellishments that cost more money than if I went out and bought them. I made those because I enjoy the art of making embellishments. Then others, including me, make embellishments for our own unique look and something that does not look like it came from Michaels. I recently received a card that was handmade for me. It had the cutest embellishment on it that I fell in love with. Then I realized that was one of the most popular embellishments being sold at Michaels. The person who created the card for me actually made the embellishment look new & unique where for me that has a seasoned eye completely missed it.That's the thing even bought embellishments are going to be unique in creations because the artist is unique creating it.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:15 PM   #7
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I like to make embellishments for my scrapbook pages because I think it is fun and I'll see them again. Embellishments on cards Not so much. I usually keep cards simple. That said I looooove making the dimensional flowers. Then I don't want to give them away. I do not have a green thumb so these are for me. I did a few around Christmas and one of my friends called and wanted to buy some. They were not for sale. lol. Am I the only one? Now this time next year I will give them to her but right now they are mine.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:47 PM   #8
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I like to make embellishments for my scrapbook pages because I think it is fun and I'll see them again. Embellishments on cards Not so much. I usually keep cards simple. That said I looooove making the dimensional flowers. Then I don't want to give them away. I do not have a green thumb so these are for me. I did a few around Christmas and one of my friends called and wanted to buy some. They were not for sale. lol. Am I the only one? Now this time next year I will give them to her but right now they are mine.
grandy- Add me to the club of hoarding my paper flowers. I have a green thumb and gardening is my passion.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:46 AM   #9
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I make most of my own embellies now. I use my stamps and my dies. I have tons of examples on my blog. I no longer buy stickers or embellishments, or I should say rarely buy them. I try to make the most of my stamps since that is where I invested most of my money.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:57 PM   #10
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I LOVE making my own embellishments. I love making them sometimes more than the projects themselves.... but making my own embellishments gives me pride that the project was made completely from scratch.

My favorite embellishments are flowers and anything that includes beads etc.
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:58 AM   #11
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I make my own for the most part. I have a Cricut which helps plus loads of stamps. I will often look up ready-made stuff as a starting point and then make something myself. It seems so wasteful to purchase ready made when I have a limited amount of spending money. I do not buy dies or punches anymore because I just cannot justify the expense. The Cricut is all I need. I tend to get bored easily so investing $25 in a die set I may only use 3-4 times is just not worth it.
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:49 AM   #12
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I used to buy embellishments but now that I'm minimizing my stash, I use what I have or make my own. I'm really fond of making my own flowers and finding ways to use my dies and punches. When I see an already made embellishment, I take a pic and then figure our how to make it myself.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:23 PM   #13
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I am a new crafter. Sort of an accidental paper crafter. I already owned the Vintaj rolling mill (I call it that because in the jewelry world, that's the term) I then learned that this rolling mill cuts paper! I was struggling then with back pain so could not make jewelry and by golly I'd bought this rolling mill/die cutter thing and thus I must use it. So in came papercrafting to help me relax and heal up.

Because of that mill, dies came first. Before my papercrafting education. I've tried really, really hard to make what I can to avoid the stash hoarding phenomenon...It is so hard to avoid you know.

I own one pack of off white paper roses, bought before I got the dies to make my own roses in any color I want! I have that pack of roses hanging on my embellishment tree as a reminder of what NOT to buy!

I did make about 5000 diy dots (I still have 5000 beads waiting for me to bake them). And then I was sad, because I saw these really cool metallic dots. So... I researched and I got some gilder's paste and voila, metallic dots.

I am determined to make it part of my creative process to make my embellishments so I don't have to stock them, nor pay the high prices. My primary materials these days are paper, stamps, dies and glues.

I found baking clay half off, bought white, and some molds... and oh my gosh are those 3d elements so darn cute!

Let's see what other silly embellishments did I buy and now regret. I bought white buttons, to paint and washi tape over. After that my M-I-L brought me a lifetime supply of really unique buttons... /sigh. AND very recently I bought a button MOLD... Now were talking!

I do like metal findings and bought a bunch of Holtz elements for my mixed media work. I don't regret those, and I do sort of hoard them because they are also so darn cute. I do buy half off, or garage sale priced paper clips and filigree.

I do also buy rhinestone designs on clearance or through this site. I have a lifetime supply of clear korean rhinestones, but making fancy swirls and borders is really time consuming, so is coloring those little suckers.

When I make jewelry it is mostly for resale and I knew going into papercrafting there was no money in it and anything I buy is a sunk cost. I wish it were otherwise but the market is not there to sell something you lovingly created for say 1 hour and its only worth $5. So new crafters be warned! Just like previous posters have said. This is a true hobby, a labor of love to share with other not to make money off of.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:06 PM   #14
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zineth I love it!!!


I started in paper crafting years ago, but got back into it in 2007. Then again, I had to put it aside as life gets in the way. Then, I got back into making jewelry after I got really sick. It was something I could easily do in bed and I would take projects with me to chemo. That transitioned me into polymer clay....HOOKED!! I still love making canes.

Now, I use a lot of my own polymer clay beads, wired stone wrapping and jewelry type elements in my mini albums, scrap layouts and even cards. For some reason, I truly believe that these arts belong together.

You may want to think about putting some of your embellishments on Etsy for mini albums and such. That way you could possibly break even!!
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:17 AM   #15
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zineth- I loved your post too.

I joked a few months ago that all the crafting things I do are in small boxes but my paper crafting items take up a whole room. When I joked about that it really bugged me so I went in that week and fixed that little problem. Now my room is full of coloring tools. I am much happier now.

I love my molds too. Resin & clay make my heart sing. I love my mold collection. I even make my own molds.

My rhinestone collection is huge. My downfall is bling. I don't consider that making embellishments though, lol. I live for bling. I do enjoy coloring bling & making my own rhinestone designs.

I love tedious art work though. I struggled with that over here for a long time. It seemed like at that time the trend was to make fast projects and tons of shortcuts. I enjoy the whole process of making something and watching it come to life. I have a passionate love for miniatures and details.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:07 AM   #16
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Interesting Q.

Friends think I am a little loopy when I go in stationary stores and get cross about what they call "hand made". To me, they are hand assembled. It is factory made embellies stuck on a card...maybe by hand. Not the same to me. And btw they charge 10 for them.

Now that is ok...but I would not call them hand made. I have bought some at times to see about CASEing them if they go on sale post holiday. I hold them for my teacher and we sit and dig at it and yes, usually, anyone could make it.

I buy my embellies...rhinestones, brads and eyelets. I dont like chipboard, stickers, etc myself. That may change in time. I do have perfect pearls to make dots here and there.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:57 AM   #17
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Yeah what they call handmade, I don't call hand made for sure.

I do buy rhinestones, brads eyelets too. I do purchase chip board but only plain to die cut and distress them to look like hinges and hardware. It's lighter then the real thing and with the current embossing powders and stuff I can give it the look of real rust.

I have LOADS of stickers that were given to me and that I use to buy on clearance early on in the game, but now plan on giving them to my grandson's school for the teacher to use. I have no use for them. If I want to make a sticker, I print it, coat it and use my xyron and create my own design.... but I'm not a sticker fan either.

I do like making my own half back pearls and dots from the endless supplies of perfect pearls, pearler pens and even Adirondack Dimensional Pearls. I found a bunch of that in loads of colors at Tuesday morning a while back. I used the reds for Holly berries on these little Wreath embellishments that I made this christmas.

Like I said its so fun to do this and put all the different elements together.
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