I'm thrilled and honored to be featured in the current issue of one of my favorite publications, Where Women Create Business.  I've enjoyed this magazine since the first issue, Winter 2013, was introduced.  It's truly a must-read for women who are searching for inspiration, valuable insight, advise, and take-aways she can apply to her own business.

The creator and Editor-in-Chief of Where Women Create Business, Jo Packham, is also behind Where Women Create and Where Women Cook.  You can read more about these publications at WhereWomenCreate.com.


Emma's Star Dust - Using Small Glass Vials in Your Paperweight Designs

I've wanted to design a paperweight around a glass vial for the longest time.  I've recommended them to customers who have asked for my help with items that needed to be encapsulated before they were displayed in a paperweight.  For some reason, I've never worked with one until now.

This particular design is centered around a glass vial filled with crystal glitter.  There's a silver bail attached to the cork that seals the vial.  Through this, a length of thin twine was looped and tied with a small key and a paper tag that reads, "Emma's Star Dust."

There are so many different variations of this design that can be achieved by changing the contents of the vial, the text on the tag, etc.  A few that come to mind are wishes, dreams, fairy dust, and potions.  If you rolled up a dollar bill and placed it in the vial, this could easily become Emma's Vacation Fund.

This project included just a few supplies.  I used an adhesive label for my background, some crystal glitter, a glass vial with cork lid, a key charm, and some thin twine.  The paperweight kit is the Heirloom Dome which is available at PhotoWeights.com.

A design like this typically involves selecting a piece of decorative paper to use as the background.  Because the packaging for the sheet of labels I used was the perfect color, I used this instead.

After I placed the adhesive label onto the paper, I centered a Design Area Template around the label to trace a cut line.

After I cut the paper along the line I traced, it was placed on the adhesive side of the mounting board (included with each PhotoWeights kit).

Putting glitter in a tiny vial can be tricky.  If you don't have a small funnel, you can do what I did.  Take a sheet of paper and crease it lengthwise.  The crease will guide the glitter right where you want it to go.

I didn't fill the glass vial completely with glitter because I wanted the glitter to have some movement.  Before I replaced the lid, I placed a small amount of clear glue around the cork to make certain it would stay in place.

To prevent the glass vial from rolling across the flat background, I used an embossing tool to create an impression in the paper.  This impression is also where I applied clear glue.  (I used Beacon 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue).

Here's how the vial appeared after it was glued to the background.

My mini paper labels were created on my computer using a basic publishing program.  I printed a few on card stock paper, just in case I needed extras.

After my label was cut out, I used a fine embossing tool to create a hole.  If you don't have an embossing tool, a large pin should work nicely.

I looped some thin twine through the key charm, the label, and the bail on the cork before I tied the ends into a knot.

The paper label was attached to the background with hot melt glue.  There are two reasons for this.  Not only does it adhere instantly, the hot melt glue acts as a spacer to lift the label up from the background to give it some dimension.

I used my embossing tool to mark the spot (pin hole) where I applied hot melt glue to hold the key in place.

Here's what the finished design looked like before it was placed in the paperweight.

To display the finished design in the paperweight, I centered it onto the adhesive side of the (black) felt bottom pad (included with each PhotoWeights kit).

The artwork was placed face down into the bottom recess of the paperweight.  The adhesive side of the bottom pad holds it in place.

Now that I've created this sample paperweight, I think I'll create one that's labeled Susan's Spare Time.  I can always use a little extra of that.

I hope this design idea inspires you to create a paperweight of your own.


Express Yourself at Work With a Glass, Emoji Paperweight - DIY

Last year I made my first emoji paperweight as a gift for a close friend.  These cute, digital icons are always scattered throughout her texts, so I designed a paperweight that features the one emoji that had become synonymous with her.  (Just in case you're wondering, it didn't resemble a brown, squishy substance.)

Most of the emoji merchandise you find in stores ranks high on the tacky scale.  Using our glass paperweight kits (available at PhotoWeights.com), you can create an emoji paperweight that's worthy of the corner office.

This is an easy project that involves sizing your emoji artwork to fit the display area of the paperweight style you've chosen.  Once the artwork is sized to fit, simply print your artwork onto high quality photo paper.  Our assembly instructions will guide you through the remaining steps.

Your emoji paperweight can include a single, large icon (as shown in the photo).  You can also create a collage of smaller icons or use a series of icons to form a message.

Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2017 | Categories:


Create a Pet Memorial Paperweight

Pet memorial keepsakes are becoming more and more popular.  This doesn't surprise me.  They're a lovely way to combine the photo of a beloved pet with a written sentiment.  They also make thoughtful gifts for a friend or family member who has lost a four-legged friend.

The artwork for this paperweight was created in Publisher.  You can use a variety of other publishing programs to create a similar layout.

When I'm creating a design on my computer, I like to start by drawing an outline that's the same size and shape of the paperweight's display area (as shown above).  I'm using PhotoWeights' Heirloom Rectangle Paperweight Kit, so the box is 3 11/16" x 2 1/4".  (Tip: Use your program's ruler feature to easily size your outline.)

I separated my design into two areas; one for the photo and the other for text.
I added a woodgrain background to my design.  The background image was sized slightly larger than the red box before the red box was removed.

Before you print the final copy of your artwork, print a draft version to make certain all elements of your design will fit within your paperweight's display area.

Use a Display Area Template to create a cut line you can follow to trim your artwork.

After my artwork was cut, I used a craft punch to create the opening for the photo.  I must have at least 10-15 craft punches in my arsenal of supplies.  Most craft stores will carry these in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The photo for the design was sized to fit within the photo opening before it was printed.

After the photograph was trimmed to fit, it was taped to the reverse side of the design.

The adhesive side of the mounting board was placed over the completed artwork.

I prefer to use craft punches to frame photos because it gives the design some authentic depth and shadowing around the image. If you'd like to simplify things, you can add a photo directly to your layout and print everything as one piece.

I placed the artwork face-down into the recessed area of the paperweight.  (Always clean your paperweight with streak-free glass cleaner before completing this step.)

The final step was to cover the base of the paperweight with the black velour pad that comes with each PhotoWeights kit.

I hope this post will give you some new ideas on how to incorporate photos and text into your paperweight designs.

Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | Categories: