I love it when each month's Paper Pumpkin Kit from Stampin' Up! arrives. Now, I may not always be thrilled with the kind of project when I first see it. But all it usually takes is a few minutes of thinking about the possibilities of the new goodies that have landed in my Craft Room. The January 2017 Paper Pumpkin Kit was one of those. On the front of the booklet that comes with every kit I saw 6 treat bags. Oh, great (no exclamation point here). What was I going to do with 6 kits. They're cute, but even the smallest club to which I belong has 10 people these days. What the heck was I going to do with this – well, use the stamps of course.
NOT! There in teeny print below the cover's picture was, "Kit contains supplies for 24 treat bags." Now that deserves an exclamation point!!! Or three!
That's the good news. With 24 kits, I can easily take a basket of treat bags to my Book Club Meeting later this month – we frequently have 20 or more people at our pot luck lunches.
The not so good news is that, to make these lovely treat bags – all 24 of them – takes well over 2-1/2 hours. It will be close to 3 if you don't take some short cuts. This is not your 30-minute Paper Pumpkin kit. How do I know about the time? I had an afternoon all to myself yesterday, and I decided to have a go at the kit because who knows when I'll have a day to myself before the Book Club meeting, so I might as well get them done. They're not actually completely done because I do not have treats to put in them on hand. But putting treats in the bags and sealing them should only take another 15 or 20 minutes max. Nonetheless, I timed myself and did not let myself get side tracked while I was working on them.
Since my original post, I have found my treats for the bags – Small packages of Dry Roasted Almonds that fit in the Treat Bags folded in half. Here is one important thing more than I wrote about in the following paragraphs: When the bag is folded on the top, it is very bulky, in fact too bulky for the little heart seals that come with the kit to stay in place for long. My solution was to trim off the top of the bag except for the front flap. Then the heart seal stayed put. I tried it on one bag and it did fine for almost two days. Now the rest are done and my treat bags are ready to give away at our meeting on Thursday! Oh, and this whole process added about an hour more to the total time for the kit construction, bringing it almost to 4 hours!
Here are my notes on trying to get this project done in full in 3 hours:
- Definitely make this one of those projects you make assembly line style. Do all of one thing, then go onto another.
- Stamp the hearts before you punch them out. Those little critters are hard to hold onto when stamping individually. I know it looks easy in the Stampin' Up! video, but I did not find that to be true in my Craft Room. A possible downside is that, if you overstamp a heart you may end up getting ink on another heart. How did I come up with that? Guess. So I ended up stamping some of my hearts on the "back" side of the sheet that held them all.
- Think about just using one sentiment on all your bags. It was an easy decision for me because all of the book club members are my friends. But that way you're only inking up one stamp.
- Adhere the banners to the bags before you construct them. It's just easier to adhere the banners on a flat surface.
- If you have any vellum tape, use that to attach the vellum banner to the white banner. The time and fuss of putting two glue dots on each of 24 banners adds up quickly. I used the Tombow Vellum Adhesive in a tape runner like SNAIL's.
- Wait until the bag is made before pinching the gussets. It's tempting to fold them while you're folding the other scored lines, but you'll save time folding them at the end.
- Watch how you put the hearts on the dowels. The bottom of the heart is supposed to be the point on the arrow.
- I did not add the Gold Thread behind the hearts. The metallic threads and I do not have a good personal relationship. Heaven help me if I've allowed any adhesive to be out on my work surface because that thread is going to find it and stick to it! You can see the photo above. I think the gold thread is just a bit too much.
- Buy the treats to go into the bag first. Now I'm going to have to get them all out again and do the last few steps.
The bottom line with this project is that it's fun. I'll enjoy the oohs and aahs and smiles when my book club friends pick them out of the basket. That's worth every minute!