Spark a Smile Blog

Welcome to the Spark a Smile blog! Check here for projects we’ve created, inspirational ideas, and stories about our mission to spark smiles in our community!

The Spark a Smile Circle

Our donation location representatives are always grateful for our stacks of happy greeting cards to distribute to their patients and clients, but, to be honest, we haven’t yet had any responses from the final recipients of our random Spark a Smile cards. However, after my dad died and my husband …

Dollar Bin Finds

This month, we’ve mentioned a few times how new papercrafters shouldn’t let the cost of creating cute cards deter them from getting started. Today, let’s take a look at some sweet deals you can find if you keep your eyes peeled! I try to avoid generic brands because they tend …

MySpace: On The Road

So when I’m off to relatives’ houses over the weekend, I pack all my stuff up into a neat box. It took me a while to find a box that fit my junk drawer organizer!

MySpace

Here’s a tour of my creative space at home. We rarely eat meals at the dinner table, so I can leave my stuff out indefinitely! But, I’ve made everything really portable so I can go on the road easily – I’ll share that tomorrow!Here’s the overview: It took me a …

Rubber Stamps Vs. Acrylic Stamps

Rubber is the original style of stamp. Rubber stamps are usually constructed of a wood block, as shown here, with an image on the front, and a raised rubber pattern on the back. Acrylic stamps aren’t mounted on anything, but instead “cling” (interchangable) to blocks of acrylic. There are a …

Cuttlebug Cutting

Yesterday we introduced the Cuttlebug machine, the most high-tech crafting tool that we use at Spark a Smile. There are more complex machines out there for cutting shapes out of paper, but the Cuttlebug is our favorite because it doesn’t need electricity, the cutting implements aren’t very costly compared to …

Cuttlebug Embossing

Today we’re featuring Miss Marlene’s favorite crafting tool, the Cuttlebug machine! It’s cute, it’s green, it’s simple to use, and we always have one ready for you to try at Spark a Smile. Let’s take a look the Cuttlebug’s embossing capabilities. Embossing creates a raised pattern on plain paper, adding …

Cut: Guillotine

The other type of paper trimmer that we keep at Spark a Smile is a Guillotine trimmer. This tool is great for cutting pieces in bulk, or thicker types of paper. The downside is that it takes up much more table space, and isn’t as portable. Raise the blade, and …

Cut: Basics

Paper usually comes in sizes too large to use on a card, so you’ll have to have a tool to shrink the paper down to card size! You could use a pair of scissors, a portable paper trimmer, or even an Exacto knife, a ruler, and a self-healing trimming mat. …

Punches

No black eyes necessary! Punches are small devices that quickly cut shapes from paper. Punches are a great investment, as you can reuse them as long as they last. With care, they should last years. Here are some of our Spark a Smile favorites. Upper left: Fiskars brand Squeeze punch. …