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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Mini Cinch Tutorial  

Mini Cinch Tutorial


In this tutorial, I will be showing how you can create books using the Mini Cinch! This tool makes booking binding quick and easy. It allows you to punch perfect holes with customizable hole spacing on any size project. The Mini Cinch is great for making mini albums, recipe books, customized journals and planners, presentations, and more. Rachel and I recently taught an online class using the Mini Cinch that you can watch below! 


Today I will be making a junk journal using the Mini Cinch. I chose to make a junk journal because I always have random leftover papers laying around and like to use them up! Today I'll be using watercolor paper, drawing paper, cork paper, black paper, kraft paper, gold paper, old book pages, and velum sheets. They are not all the same size, but I do not mind that with this style of journal.

Step 1: Measure Your Papers

Your papers do not have to all be the same height or width, but they do all have to end in a certain measurement. On the Cinch, there is a guide on the left side that says A, B, and C, and next to it are measurements. These stand for the amount that the Cinch will work on without leaving an awkward half-hole at the end of your page. Your paper measurement has to end in a whole inch, 1/2", 1/4", 1/8", 5/8", 3/8", or 7/8". 

Step 2: Punching Holes

The Mini Cinch will come with the center wire holding it down so it can store away nicely. Remove this by pressing down the handle and pushing it into its housing on the base of the Cinch.

On the left side, there is a slot that holds your guide. Pull it out and use the measurements on the right side to show which hole you will place your guide into. Most of my pages in this book at 5 1/2", which means I would use the A guide.

Now that my guide is in place, I can stack papers into the Cinch and push against the guide. It says that you can punch up to 2mm of paper at a time, but I find that it depends on what kind of material you are punching. Thick, heavy paper like watercolor paper can only be punched with a few sheets at a time. Drawing paper or copy paper can have more stacked up. Thick materials such as cardstock I only punch one at a time.

Punch your pages by pressing down on the lever. If you have a hard time, take some pages out and punch fewer at a time.

If your page is longer than the first 6 holes, you will need to scoot your paper over and punch again. You line this up using the small blue tab on the left side of the Cinch. Put your second to last paper into the hole and slide the blue tab down to hold it in place.

Make sure your papers are still pressing against the back of the Cinch and punch down again. Repeat as many times as you need to reach across your page.

Because not all of my papers are the same size, I had to change where the guide started on them. For this gold paper which measured 5 1/4" I had to change the guide to B.

All of my pages are punched, including my chipboard covers. You can stack about 1/2" of papers thick to fit inside of the .625" binding wire, which works best with the mini cinch.

Step 3: Decorate Cover

I recommend decorating your covers before binding them with the wire because painting them around the wire is tricky. If I don't know how I want to decorate my covers yet, I will at least gesso over the bound edge.

Step 4: Adding the Binding Wire

The Mini Cinch works best with the .625" binding wires. I recommend grabbing the variety pack because it has a range of colors to fit the needs of your project. It comes with 16 12" wires with which you can easily make 25+ books with because most books won't be the full 12". 

The wire has fatter and thinner loops. On the right side of the Cinch, there is a place to hold your wire as you begin to load it up with the paper. Put the fatter side of the wire on it.

Now you can start adding your covers and papers! Begin with your outside cover and working back to front, add in your papers how you wish, finishing with your front cover.

Step 5: Cinching

After all of your pages and covers are added to your binding wire, carefully take it off of the holder and cut off the extra wire using wire cutters. I like to cut off the extra before Cinching so I can reuse the rest of the wire for another book. 

It's time to Cinch! Put your binding wire with all of your pages into the back end of the Cinch. Use the handle to push down to begin to round the wires. Watch how far you are closing them together, so you do not over-cinch them. The 2 sides of the rounded wires should be barely touching.

Step 6: Bend over Wire

To finish off your book, grab your needlenose pliers to round off your cut wire edge so it will not get caught or scratch anything. 

Step 7: Clean Up

After every project, I like to empty out my trash storage holder at the bottom of the Cinch. Grab and wiggle it until it comes out so you can dump out its contents.

The Finished Journal

I wanted this journal to have a vintage feel so I added a paper from the 49 & Market Vintage collection to the cover and stenciled on some transparent texture paste. I used Distress Oxide inks in the colors Rustic Wilderness, Gathered Twigs, and Bundled Sage. I also used these inks to add splatters to the page. I added Crackle Paste with Bundled Sage Ink mixed into it to scrape around the page.

I then added some Book Corners to the bottom corners and used a Crop-a-Dile to punch a hole and add an eyelet for the twine to hold it closed. 

I love how this journal turned out and can't wait to start working in it! This tool is so easy to use and I like how I can make a one-of-a-kind book.

I hope this inspires you to make your own book using this fun tool! Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Jessica.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Button Press Tutorial 1 comments  


If you're wondering how to use the new Button Press from We R Memory Keepers, you've come to the right place! This tool is so much fun to play with once you get the hang of it. I admit I messed up a few buttons during my experimenting, but hopefully my mistakes will help you! Directions are included in the box, but I found them a tad confusing. So here are the steps more simplified. (Videos are at the end!)

Step 1: Open your box and take everything out. The button press is all put together besides the handle. It's easy to twist right on, no tools needed!

Step 2: Attach the top and base cutting inserts (the white circle pieces) to the button press. They attach with magnets.

Step 3: Decide what size button you're making, and use the appropriate cutting die. It looks like a donut (small - pink, medium - mint, or large - teal). Place a small piece of paper down on the white base insert, with your cutting die on top of it. Adjust how you want it using the lines on the die to guide you.




Step 4: Now you're going to cut your paper to size. Swivel the bottom half of the press with the cut die on top so that it's underneath the top part of the press. Press down with the handle until you hear little cracking sounds. Swivel it back out and your paper is cut the perfect size now for your button! (If your paper is not cut all the way through, you need to press a bit harder, or try pressing more than once. Especially for the large die.)

Step 5: Take off the white cutting inserts, and attach the top and base press inserts to the button press. These attach with magnets as well, and are color coordinated with the dies (small - pink, medium - mint, or large - teal).




Step 6: Lay down the button pieces in a sandwich on top of the base. First the button front (rounded side going up), then the paper, then the mylar plastic circle if you want a glossy finish. The mylar is optional, just don't add it if you want a matte finish. Rotate your top and base inserts to A.




Step 7: Swivel the bottom half of the press so that it's underneath the top again. Check again to make sure both the top and base pieces are lined up at A. Press down the handle. You'll hear a good "punch" sound. When you swivel the bottom back out, your button will have "disappeared"! It is stuck up in the top part of the press - this is what you want. 

Step 8: Now we're going to attach the other part of the button. Lay down the back piece of the button on the empty base insert. Make sure the pin part that you open/close is facing down. Use the lines on the base insert to help you line it up.

Step 9: Rotate the top and base inserts to B. Swivel over again so that the bottom part is underneath the top part of the press. Check again that they are both lined up to B. Give it a good press down.

Step 10: Swivel the bottom back out, and remove the finished button! It's easier to take off the base and turn upside down in your hand to remove the button. Enjoy your beautiful work!

*Note: the large button takes a little more effort. You need to press down harder, and I have found it takes 3 presses on the last step to really make sure the front and back pieces are attached. You can see this better in the videos.* 


In this video we unbox the Button Press bundle and try to figure everything out. This is just for fun and is not the actual tutorial. You can see how confused we were! Lol.



Here is the step by step tutorial that walks you through making each size of the buttons!


Here are just a few ideas of where to put your buttons:

  • scrapbook layout
  • birthday card
  • decor piece - attach buttons to picture frame or wood piece - try a heart, tree, letter of your last name, etc.
  • party favors
  • create photo buttons
  • label totes or kids' backpacks with name buttons
  • button earrings
  • button necklace or lanyard
  • decorate a journal cover or planner
  • decorate a display or cork board
  • instead of the pin back, attach adhesive foam to create a fun button sticker!
  • paper clips
  • bobby pins
  • key chain
  • rosette
  • find more ideas on our Button Craft Pinterest board!





Now you can button all the things! Be sure to tag us on social media so we can see what you make with your Button Press!





Posted by Rachel Kent

Monday, December 2, 2019

Paint Like Pablo  

Paint Like Pablo Painting Kit

This painting comes as a kit where you can make it your own with the brushstrokes and colors you chose. The paint is very vibrant and flowed nicely onto the canvas while painting. This painting took about 25 minutes.

Supplies you need:

This kit contains everything you'll need to paint like a pro! You get a 12x18 canvas that has a pre-printed image of the painting featuring fruit and a vessel, a set of 12 acrylic paints, and a paintbrush, and a step by step page explaining how to make the masterpiece come to life! There is also a small painted version of the painting so you can see the colors that are recomended. On my painting I chose to follow the colors for the fruit but have a more colorful and vibrant background.

Additional Supplies you may want:





Once your masterpiece is finished you can mount it on a board, put it in a frame, or crop and pin it to the wall. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and are inspired to paint!


Posted by Jessica.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Easy Watercolor Tutorial

New to watercolor? Here's an easy tutorial for you to make your own custom art!

Supplies needed:

Prima Watercolor Confections - Woodlands Crate Paper Color Reveal panel watercolor brush (a bigger flat one is ide...
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Saturday, June 8, 2019

DIY Shadow Print Tote

Is it possible to have too many totes? Of course not! This DIY shadow printing tote is an easy summer craft! I love how it turned out with only using a few items. I used one magenta Inkodye packet leftover from my canvas pouch project. I prob...

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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Color Pour Tutorial


Hello everyone, Wendy here today to share some messy gorgeous art with American Crafts Color Pour!  When I first saw this system introduced I was totally in love, the colors, the marble look, and everything always looked wonderful…  So I wanted to find o...

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Lumi Shadow Printing Tutorial

Here is a fun summer craft for you or the kids! Design a canvas pouch using sunlight, any flat object, and dye. This inkodye by Lumi is specifically formulated to develop its color when exposed to sunlight. So whatever you put on top of the pouch, that part with...

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