Create the stuff you wanna see

Guess who cleaned their craft closet this weekend? Wellto be fair, sorta cleaned. At least now when I open the door stuff’s not fallin out of boxes or knockin things into corners I can’t reach. I took my sweet time and looked through old bins and bags full of memories. That’s all that closet holds really, a bunch of ideas and memories. But anyway, while I was looking through one of those boxes I came across a tiny yellow booklet I made back in early 2000. I called it We Dig Crafts Vol.1 Ha! It was the dawn of things to come, I just didn’t know it at the time.

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On the inside cover I dedicated this book to Marisol & Kim Baca (The Baka Girls) for being the craftiest chicks I knew

At first all I did was shake my head at my apparent love for Microsoft Word Art and outdated website links. But as I continued to turn the pages I started to see a few patterns. Firstly, without even recognizing it, I was compiling a resource for friends based on our combined need to see people of color either making crafts or crafts that featured people of color. I was also throwing my hat into an arena I knew nothing about because of said need. I had zero design background and or skills, but apparently I felt like that mattered less than creating the things I wanted to see since they weren’t available.

I still roll like that. I still make stuff based more on need than actual skill level. I still like to share it with people I think might appreciate it. Here’s a sampling of my most recent crafty projects! 

I found a package of 4 padded envelopes for $1.00 in the clearance section at Office Depot. I don’t know how people walk past a clearance section and leave without buying something. I came home & stenciled all four in under 15 minutes.

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I found this stencil at Michaels. You know I used a 40% off coupon too

Once they were dry I looked through my stash of collage images and found two that looked like they’d go well with the colors. A little glue and some cardboard backing and things suddenly started to come together.

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I always save images of HBG’s for those I feel like making somethin moments

Since I knew that the two envelopes I’d be working on were going to be mailed I decided to keep the design elements simple but bold. I used an image from my collection of hbg’s from Essence Magazine for the purple envelope and a photo of Frida Khalo for the orange one. Next I broke out my favorite gel markers and added some color around the edges.

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A better view

Before I mail these out I’ll add an address label to the front and that’s basically all there is to it. If you already have spray paint on hand and some stencils this project costs less than the cost of one forever stamp.

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There’s nothing you can teach me that I can’t learn from Mr. Hathaway- Amy Winehouse

My next quick craft was this ode to Amy Winehouse gift bag. Same photo method for the bag as I used on the padded mailer envelope. The only difference is the chevron design was already there so I only needed a paint pen for a few last minute dots.

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When I was done with Amy, I still had a little inspiration left in me, so I grabbed this DVD gift box and started playing around with it. Instead of using it for a DVD though, I’ll likely use it as a gift box for something small, like a package of note cards or a used paperback book. It took absolutely no time to make. Y’all might wanna investigate this idea with some of your own design elements. I highly recommend it.

DVD Gift Box from Dollar Tree
DVD Gift Box from Dollar Tree
Used gel pen markers  to write a message
Used gel pen markers to write a message
Added a photo from my Essence stash & some color.
Added a photo from my Essence stash & some color
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The finished product!

That’s about all the crafts I had time to work on last week. March is National Craft Month, so I still have a little time to sneak a few more things in. Hope you find some time to get creative too.



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Devoya Mayo is Co-Creator of The Happy Black Girl

Get To Know An HBG is her favorite column to write.

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