Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

FYI: Project Life Tips By Jennie Garcia

Happy Friday! This is Jennie and I just wanted to share some techniques and tips that I’ve learned these past months while doing Project Life. I know that many of you will be starting Project Life this year and I thought you may need a hand. I think I finally found my groove and rhythm, now I really feel like I know what I’m doing instead of just guessing as I go. So here are my tips and I hope you find them useful! If you want to, leave us your own tip on the comment section! Here are 7 Project Life Tips for you!

Tip #1: Keep it Simple

I LOVE embellishing! I know how tempting it is to put 20 embellishments on the same card but easy does it! Once you feel you like the card stop looking for things to add. This will also help you finish those spreads faster.

Tip #2: Know your photos

What I mean by this is that you should find out if you prefer portraits, horizontal or square photos. Most of my photos are portraits (taken with my iPhone), some squares with a few horizontal ones every now and then. This will help you find the perfect page protector. These 2 below are my favorite, I use them all the time! With these kind of page protectors I also feel like I can put lots of photos without looking too busy!

Tip #3: Get a photo printer! 

I know it can be pricey but it’s worth the extra cents. No waiting for prints to be done, not driving to the store and you can print as you go! I got a Canon PIXMA MG6320 for around $70 and I’m pretty happy with my purchase. Every week or two I print my photos and I slip them in their page protectors even if I don’t work on them right away.

 Tip #4: Include yourself! 

Yes, scrapbookers tend to scrap everyone in family from the great grandparents to the goldfish but where are we? Like 5 photos if you count all the albums since 1995. I don’t blame you. I HATE PHOTOS OF MYSELF! Really! I’m the least photogenic person in the Galaxy! I’m not exaggerating! Well maybe a tiny bit. I’m not taking photos each week and that is why I include my Currently List Card by the awesome Kristin aka rukristin! Every Sunday I take a few minutes to fill my card. I actually fill the answers on pencil on the back of the card, when I work on the spread I type it with my typewriter.

 Tip #5 Get tech support!

I have really bad memory so I LOVE that my phone tells me what day I took the photos. Also mix it up with apps! a few of my favorites are: Pic Tap Go, RealBokeh, Pic Stitch, A Beautiful Mess, InstaWeather, InstaPlace and Rhonna Designs.

 Tip #6: Make your own kits!

Supplies are cool. NEW Supplies are even cooler but STOP buying! (Unless you buy Tombow which you HAVE TO since you always need awesome adhesives!) I keep my embellishments and cards by color to find them easily and when I make a layout I just pick my little color boxes a go to town with them. My three staple embellishments are: Alpha Stickers, Labels (most print and cut freebies I find online) and Enamel Dots. Of the last ones I have some store bought and some home made with perler beads which I glue using the Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue.

Tip #7: Write your story! 

I write my journaling on the back of the photos as I print them but maybe you can use your planner or even write notes on your phone. Sometimes all you need are funny memes or even snapshots of your Facebook or Twitter Status.

I’ll have more tips in the future but to avoid making this post a book, I’ll stop here. These are just a few basics I wanted to cover but if you would like me to talk more about one of these tips or you have any questions just leave them in the comments and I will get back at you on that!

To glue the photos, papers and labels on this spread I used the Tombow Mono Adhesive Permanent. To glue the glasses I used Tombow Power Tabs and some of my alphas were not that sticky so I used the Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue.

For this spread I used cards from the Happy Core Kit, Embellishments and Alphas from Freckled Fawn and Simple Stories.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Take Care!

Project Life and a Bow Tutorial By Jennie Garcia

Happy Thursday! Today I have some Project Life pages and a little tutorial that I filmed a while ago and forgot to share! 

Check out THIS VIDEO for a tutorial to make these bows using the Tombow Xtreme Permanent Adhesive.

Have you tried making your own Homemade Enamel Dots? It’s super easy! Just put perler beads in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees in parchment paper and it looks great! Make sure you use the Perler Beads brands because other brands come out a bit wonky. Once you make your batch just use the Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue to glue them in your project.

To glue the papers on the card I made in the corner I used the Tombow Mono Adhesive Permanent

To make this tiny bow I used ribbon from May Arts and the Tombow Xtreme Permanent Adhesive! To glue the bow once it’s made, I used the Tombow Power Tabs to glue it to my project.

I love keeping tags, I think they will be interesting in a few years.

I had to add a special insert since this week my daughter started Kindergarten.

To glue the photo and other die cuts I use the Tombow Mono Adhesive Permanent.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know how your bows turn out!

Take Care!

Tombow Challenge….fall bookmarks….by melissa cash

Hi there, this week Jennie is challenging us to create a project with a”Book” Theme.
For my project, I chose to make some Fall themed bookmarks.
I used one of my favorite Fall themed stamp sets from Reverse Confetti called Forever Fall.  I love to color my stamps with Tombow’s Dual Brush pens and wanted to give it a try with this set.  I wasn’t sure how well it would work because the stamps are clear and sometimes that can be a bit tricky.  I loved how these turned out.  I colored the images with the markers and then gave them a light spritz with water and stamped them onto some cream cardstock.  I wanted to keep these very simple as I am going to make quite a few and donate them to our local library to give to the kids when they check out books.
A little tip I gave a few days ago and want to repeat because I used it again today.
Use some Tombow Mono Aqua on your twine to stiffen it up a bit as this allows it to be much easier to tie in a bow.  The bow will really hold it’s shape this way.  To do this, I just squirt some Mono Aqua out onto a scrap of cardstock and run the twine through it,  I use my fingers to lay the twine out nice and straight on my non stick craft mat and let it dry for a few minutes before I tie a bow or add to a project.

Now, how would you like to win this awesome prize pack?

Foam Tabs

Be sure to head on over to Jennie’s post…you can find it HERE to see all of the details and link to your amazing “Book” themed projects!

watercolor friendship…by melissa cash

Hey, hey there Tombow fans!

I hope your summer is treating you right and you have been staying cool and out of the heat.  No better way to do that then by heading to your stamping space and getting creative.

Today, I am sharing a card I creating using my Tombow Dual Brush Pens and a spritzer to give my card a watercolor effect.

I started by die cutting three of the Hero Arts Spring Branch dies out of 140# Cold Press Watercolor paper and then coloring one of them completely using the following Tombow Dual Brush Pens: Avocado #098, Pink Rose #703, Pink #723 and Chocolate #969 (always need a little chocolate somewhere when crafting ;)

On the 2nd die cut, I colored only the leaves and the flowers and on the 3rd, only the flowers.  Give each of the die cuts a little spritz with water and watch the magic happen.

The Tombow Dual Brush pens will blend together and give you a beautiful watercolor look.

Before you layer and add your Spring Branch to the card, add a few splatters of color using the markers, a non porous surface (ie:  an acrylic block or plastic plate), a paintbrush or toothbrush and some water. I scribbled the marker onto an acrylic block, spritz with water and then pick up color with the brushes and holding the brush over the cardstock, tap it with your finger.  Do this with each of the colors.  You will really be glad that you did!   I got the larger splatters by using a large soft paintbrush and smaller splatters by using the toothbrush.

When your card base is good and dry, stamp a sentiment in a coordinating ink on the lower right corner.  The sentiment I used is from the Penny Black, Special Wishes #30-229 stamp set.

Next, you will want to adhere your completely colored die cut onto the card using some Tombow Mono Multi.  Next, you will want to snip the leaves and flowers off of the second die cut and layer them to the first die cut using Tombow Mono Multi.  Be sure to offset the leaves and petals a bit for a more realistic look.  Now, you will add the final set of flowers from the third die cut in the same manner as before.  Add a few pearls for a finishing touch and you are good to go!

This card was really quick and easy to make and would be perfect for when you need to mass produce some cards.

Sending you wishes for a wonderful weekend, thanks for stopping by!

Bird Tags! by Jennie Garcia

Happy Monday!

This week Tombow has an awesome challenge for you! All you have to do is use a birds on your project! You can make any project your crafty heart desires as long as it has a bird or something related to birds like nests, feathers, eggs, etc.!

For my tag I’m using a technique that I learned from Marie. It is super easy and I love the effect!

Color the blending palette with the Tombow Dual Brush Pens.

Once you have all the colors you want you can use the Tombow Bleding Mister but I wanted a little shine so I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist.

Put the tag or piece of paper on the blending palette and try to smooth it with your finger so the whole tags gets a little color!

It looks like this! and you even get a little extra enough for one or two extra tags.

I took one of the tags and I stamped it with a rubber stamp and a Tombow Dual Brush Pen.

I used the Dual Brush Pen on a clear stamp for the birds.

I used the red as a shadow so then I stamped the birds in black!

I stamped the quote with alpha stamps from Studio G. I used Rusty Hinge and Mustard Seed Distress Ink for the corners to make it a little brighter. I also did some white highlights with a pen. The ribbons are from May Arts and the key is from Momenta.

  I also covered a Maya Road Bird with paper and a stamp using the NEW Tombow Xtreme Permanent Adhesive. I colored the branch with a brown Dual Brush Pen and then I used some Clearsnap Gold Smooch. I glued the branch and the trim with the Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue. I outlined the bird and tag with the Mono Twin Permanent Marker.

This is my second tag. I made 3 in less than an hour which is lighting fast for me! I did the same background with the Tombow Dual Brush Pens and a little distress inks in the corners. I stamped a quote on the May Arts Ribbon.

On the top of the tag I did a little collage with some washi tape, a piece of paper and used postal stamps. to glue them I used the NEW Tombow Xtreme Permanent Adhesive which I also used for the metal corners.

 They come with a foam dot so I took it off and just used the Xtreme Permanent Adhesive. I like that the stamp reads “Very Effective”

Third Tag! For this one I didn’t use Distress Inks on the corners and the background was made with leftovers from the others.

Did the same stamping shadow that I made on the first tag.

All the tags and some of the elements were outlines using the Tombow Mono Twin Permanent Marker. I glued the metal cage and bird with the NEW Tombow Xtreme Permanent Adhesive!

Here is the awesome prize you could win if you upload your bird project before June 10th at midnight! Once you upload your project tell your friends to vote for you!

I hope you enjoyed my post and since you must be inspired go flying to make your project!

Take Care!


Decorative Painting Trick with Irojiten Colored Pencils by Marie Browning


This is a quick fix for all you decorative painters out there. I painted this little frog in with acrylic paints on a wooden surface. I was not happy at all with my floating and used Tombow’s Irojiten Colored Pencils to do a quick re-do.


Here is Mr.Frog again, this time the shading is a bit smoother, the highlights more defined and the coloring a bit brighter. I started by choosing my Irojiten colors, and making sure the paint is bone-dry, I blended the colors on top of the painting. I loved using the Fluorescent green to really make the green ‘pop’! Even the very fine details were easy to handle. In a few minutes I was much happier with the finished piece. The acrylic matte varnish then was applied to protect and fix the painting.


Here is the finished seed box lid ready for my spring planting!

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awesome, amazing….by melissa cash

Hey, hey, hey….it’s Friday!
Today, I am here to share a card I created for my hubby…shhh, don’t tell, but it will be for our anniversary a little later this Spring.
I always find it hard to create cards for my hubby, especially when I am trying to say something sweet and let him know how much I love him.  Recently, I received this great set of stamps called Chalkboard Love that was created by Lizzie Anne Designs for Simon Says Stamp.  I love when you can take a set that is “themed” for a holiday, but versatile enough to be used for other occasions. :)
I started with a white card base and then popped up a blue/white checked panel with Tombow Foam Tabs and then layered a yellow panel with Tombow Xtreme Adhesive.  Next,  I wrapped some blue/white bakers twine a couple of times around the yellow panel and tied a simple bow.  I die cut a white and light blue panel and embossed the sentiment with white powder onto the blue die cut panel using Tombow Mono Multi I added the panel to the card front using more Tombow Foam Tabs.
Now, I have a couple of tips for you.
Tip #1
Sometimes when embossing, your paper can warp just a tad. When you are layering to another panel use Tombow Mono Multi as it will create a nice even bond and your warping problem will be history!
 Tip #2
When popping up a panel onto a card, be sure to use plenty of Tombow Foam Tabs around the edges and center of your panels.  This will keep your card nice and even and you won’t have any sagging area in the center and sides of your panels.
I wish you all a safe, happy and crafty weekend!

Debbie’s Challenge: Glittery Radiant Orchid! by Marie Browning

For Debbie’s challenge, we are using the Pantone’s Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid! As it is so close to Valentine’s Day, I thought a cute ‘n quick card would be fun!


I really wanted to do something with candy, but alas, no candy stamps (I have so many stamps you would think I would have one with candy!) So I made one using a favorite Penny Black stamp! I stamped the ‘Cheesecake Wishes’ stamp, but masked off the dandelion wishes.


I did it by making a mask. Stamped the image onto a piece of 20 lb. copy paper, cut out what I didn’t want, and adhered it temporarily with the Removable Adhesive . Now stamp the image with the mask.


I added in a lollipop and a tongue for cheesecake using the MONO Twin Permanent Black Marker. Easy to draw stuff, don’t panic…if you need to, use very light pencil marks to sketch the design first.


Color the image using the Dual Brush Pens, including of course, the #685 Color of the Year! I also added a few heart DoodleDabs to the image.


Now the challenge called for glitter, so to bling it up a bit, out came the Art Institute Glitter. The glittered swirls and outlines around the hearts were added with the Glue Pen and pale pink glitter. The lollipop used the MONO Aqua Liquid Glue and Angel Dust Glitter. 


Here’s the finished card!

Thanks for the challenge Debbie! It was Sweet!


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Blending on Vellum by Marie Browning

You can use Tombow’s Dual Brush Pens on vellum with great success! It’s a great introduction to blending for beginners as the vellum is forgiving and beautiful!


The trick to working on Vellum is to stamp on the front, and then do all the coloring on the back. You can use a good permanent ink such as StazOn, or even a digital stamp such as this rose from Crafty Secrets. As you are not coloring on top of the image, you have no problems of compatibility with the ink and and the Dual Brush Pens. Here I am adding the deep red to the roses, letting the shadows on the stamp be my guide. I will then add the medium and light hues to create the blending.


Here is the completed blended rose. Look closely at the leaves, I added a bit of the red flower color to the leaves for added interest.

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Place your finished stamped and colored panel up against different backgrounds to see what looks best. The translucent vellum has the background showing through and can achieve very different effects.


Here is the finished card and envelope. Vellum is beautiful to stamp and color, but also makes adhering difficult as everything seems to show through. I used Permanent Adhesive at the top of the panel and camouflaged it with a pretty tulle bow and crystal.

Have you tried blending on vellum lately? You will be surprised how easy the soft translucent vellum magically blends the colors together when you work on the back!

beautiful day….by melissa cash

Hi there!  Today I am sharing a card that I created using a fun technique that creates a pretty watercolor effect.
A few weeks ago, I shared this card on the Tombow blog and one of our followers named Ann suggested that I create the background with Tombow Dual Brush pens instead of the inks that I had previously used.  So I did just that!
I started by embossing the Penny Black Damask Pattern stamp with black embossing powder and then I scribbled ink in #676 Royal Purple, #679 Dark Plum and #725 Rhodamine Red onto a craft mat and spritz with water.  The picture below is the markers before the water was added.  After spraying the scribbles with water, I smooshed the embossed image around to pick up the pretty colors.  I used Tombow Stamp Runner, Foam Tabs and Power Tabs and Mono Multi to adhere the parts of the card together.
Give this simple, fun technique a try, you will love it!

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