Monday, September 10, 2018

Most 3G2S posts contain commission-yielding affiliate links. When you make a purchase after clicking a link, our family earns a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog.

Personalized Star Wars Pet ID Tags

Personalized Star Wars Pet Tags | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
 Since we adopted this pair of kittens in July, life has been interesting (and lots of fun).  These are not our first kittens by any means, but they are the most mischievous kittens we've ever welcomed to our family.  If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that Yoda is the one with the big ears, and Kenobi is the one with the smudge of black on his nose.

Although we had purchased some basic ID tags at our local pet supply store on the way to picking up these 9-week old brothers, we later decided we needed tags more fitting of their personalities.  That's when my online search led me to stumble upon the TagNTrail shop on Etsy. This shop sells handmade pet ID tags, waterproof collars, and more.  There were several Star Wars-themed pet tags to choose from, but I ended up with the Obi-wan pet tag for Kenobi because he's so lovable, and the Jedi pet tag for Yoda because he can jump so high that you'd swear he could fly.  I had a great experience buying from this Etsy shop.  I was able to choose the font color for our pets' names and contact info located on the back of the tags. The shop owner was even nice enough to change the lightsabers on Yoda's tag from red to green for me (because you know, Yoda's lightsaber is green).

At first I thought the tags, which are about 1.25" in diameter, would be too big for our little kittens, but they were very lightweight and didn't seem to get in the way of their daily mischief at all.  You have the option to ask for smaller jumprings if you have smaller pets.  I forgot to do that (oops), but it worked out well for us to simply put the tags on the ring that came with the kitten collars.  I'm pretty happy with these tags, and I'd definitely return to this Etsy shop next time I need dog or cat ID tags.

More Etsy Finds . . . 
Plush FuzzyNipper Catnip Toys | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
Fuzzy Nipper Catnip Toys from the Auntiemcreations Shop

Handmade Kitten-sized Collars from Etsy | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
Kitten-size Collars from SusansSewingStall Shop 

Do you like to shop handmade?
Share your Etsy finds with us in a comment here!

Also, check out how these talented Etsy shop owners are Making It for some real life inspiration.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Most 3G2S posts contain commission-yielding affiliate links. When you make a purchase after clicking a link, our family earns a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog.

Easily Attach Iron-on Patches Without Ironing or Sewing

Attach iron-on patches with no sewing and no ironing | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
 This past July, our oldest son competed in the USA Taekwondo National Championships for the third year in a row, and brought home a bronze medal for poomsae.  I was so proud of him because, although he had earned a medal in sparring in the past, he had yet to medal in poomsae, which is his true passion.

While at Nationals, we picked up some patches for his competition uniform and for his competition team jacket.  We had the patch sewn onto his uniform by a local tailor for $5.  Easy!  Attaching the patch for his team jacket was not so easy.  Since the jacket has a polyester nylon shell, I was told that puncturing it with a needle could cause damage down the road, and that it cannot withstand an iron hotter than 300 degrees.

I researched the issue online multiple times, watched many tutorials, and even reached out to Sport-Tek, the manufacturer of the jacket.  Still, I could not find a definitive answer about how to effectively and safely attach this patch, which has an iron-on coating on the back, to this polyester nylon jacket.  I did not want to experiment with any iffy methods, and risk ruining my son's jacket.

Then one day, in a last ditch effort, I tried to Google the issue again.  I came across quotes from reviews on Amazon for a product that did not show up in my searches before, so I clicked through.  The product was called Badge Magic.  I read the reviews, and they looked very promising.  Still, I did not see any that stated that this product would work on a nylon jacket using an iron-on type patch, so I asked the question.  Several past purchasers replied that it should, but one finally replied with a definite "Yes!".  That was what I was waiting for, so I ordered one sheet to give it a try.  It worked GREAT!!!  Since I had so much trouble finding the information I needed for attaching our patch, I wanted to share how easy this process turned out to be . . .


How to Attach a Patch the No-Iron, No-Sew Way:

Supplies Needed:
Sharp Pencil
Scissors
Ruler
TIP #1:  Be sure the fabric item to which you will be attaching the patch is clean and wrinkle-free, if possible.
Step 1.  Place your regular or iron-on patch right-side up on the printed side of the Badge Magic sheet.  While holding the badge in place with one hand, trace the shape of the badge using a pencil with the other.
TIP #2: Using an automatic pencil worked well for me because it gave me a fine line, and I was able to trace as close to the patch as possible without making any marks on the edges of the patch.
How to attach iron-on patches with no sewing and no ironing | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Step 2. Following the outline you traced, cut out the shape of the patch from the Badge Magic sheet.
Easily attach iron-on patches with no sewing and no ironing | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Step 3. Peel off the printed backing from the shape you cut out, exposing the sticky surface.
How to easily attach iron-on patches with no sewing and no ironing | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Step 4. Carefully position the patch right-side up on the sticky surface, trying to line up the edges exactly.  Press down firmly to adhere the Badge Magic shape to the backside of the patch.
TIP #3:  The adhesive is extremely sticky, so try to be precise when attaching the Badge Magic to the back of your patch.  It would be best to have an adult complete this step.
Attaching iron-on patches with no sewing and no ironing tutorial | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Step 5. If the Badge Magic shape is larger than your patch on any of the edges, trim the Badge Magic shape with scissors until its edges match up with those of your patch.

Step 6.  Using a ruler, determine and take note of the desired position for the patch.  (For example, I measured how far down from the shoulder seam the patch should be while my son was wearing the jacket.  I also noted that the top right corner of the patch should hit the edge of the red stripe.  Then I used those same guidelines to position the patch with the jacket sleeve laying flat.)
Attaching iron-on patches the no-sew and no-iron way | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Step 7.  Carefully remove the plain white backing from the back of the patch, exposing the second sticky surface.
TIP #4:  According to the Badge Magic instructions, at this point you should fold back any extra adhesive seen around the edges of the patch, however, if you had trimmed the Badge Magic shape (Step 5), then this should be unnecessary.
How to attach iron-on patches the no-sew and no-iron way | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Step 8.  Position the badge in the desired position.  When the position looks correct, press down firmly on the badge.  Rub the handle of your scissors over the entire badge, especially the edges, to make sure there is a strong bond.
TIP #5:  Since my son's jacket has a nylon shell, like a windbreaker, it was shipped to us with creases all over.  I did not have a way to remove these creases, so I used both hands to put tension on the area where the patch was to be placed to flatten the material while placing the patch on the jacket.
Learn how to attach iron-on patches the no-sew and no-iron way | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

That's it!  The process was super-quick.  The Badge Magic is said to be washable, but I have not tested that yet.  My son's jacket is new and has barely been worn due to the warm weather.
Tutorial for attaching iron-on patches the no-sew and no-iron way | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Below is the Badge Magic instructional video.  According to the reviews on Amazon, this product works great for Boy Scout and Girl Scout badges too.


What other uses can you think of for Badge Magic?
Share your ideas with us in a comment here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Most 3G2S posts contain commission-yielding affiliate links. When you make a purchase after clicking a link, our family earns a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our blog.

7 Tips for Gifting the Ultimate Custom Photo Blanket

This post has been sponsored by Collage.com.
Best Grandpa Ever Photo Blanket | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
My father just celebrated his 78th birthday.  It feels like we just celebrated his 70th.  I really wanted to show him how special he is to everyone and how much we appreciate him for all the caring things he does daily.  We ended up gifting to him a photo blanket from both my family and my sister's family.  This might be one of the best gifts we've ever given my dad.  That we were able to present it to him collectively, made it that much more special.

I designed this custom sherpa photo blanket using the tools on Collage.com.  I learned some tips and tricks while doing so that really made this one-of-a-kind blanket into a cherished keepsake for my dad.  I'm happy to share what I've learned, so you can create the ultimate custom photo blanket for your loved one.


7 Tips for Gifting the Ultimate Custom Photo Blanket . . .

1.  Keep the best part hidden.  When presenting your sherpa photo blanket, fold the blanket with the image side facing in.  This way, the recipient will see and feel how soft and cuddly the blanket is, while the best part is still out of sight. When your loved one unfolds the blanket, the one-of-a-kind design will be revealed, causing many Oooo's and Aaaaah's to ensue.
Sherpa Photo Blanket Gift Idea | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

2. Select photos from both the past and the present.  Before you even think about choosing a layout, carefully select which photos you would like to include on this photo gift.  Consider choosing photos from important past memories, such as a wedding, a graduation, or a favorite photo of someone who is no longer with you.  Also include photos from the present to represent things that make your loved one smile today.
Custom Collage Sherpa Photo Blanket Gift Idea | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

3. Choose a blanket that suits the recipient's lifestyle. The sherpa throw was perfect for my dad because we live in New England.  He will be able to cuddle up with the throw while watching football during the chilly fall and winter months.  A queen size blanket would be too large for his needs.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Options | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

4.  Choose a template that accommodates and shows off your selected photos best. There is a large selection of pre-made templates to choose from on Collage.com. If you don't see one that fits your needs exactly, you can always create your own.  Remember that some templates have areas that can be customized.  For example, the template I chose originally said "Best Grandma Ever", but I was able to change it to say "Grandpa" instead.  I was also able to change the the font size and reposition the text.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Templates | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

5. Use the same filter on all your photos. Since you are using photos taken at different times and in different places, they may not look cohesive when displayed together. Running them through the same photo filter will help with that.  For example, I applied the San Carmen filter to all my photos.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Filters | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

6. Use the highest quality photos in the larger photo fields. Likewise, reserve the lower quality photos for the smaller photo fields. If you have a photo that is a little dark or could be crisper, you can use the built-in photo editor on Collage.com to brighten, sharpen, and crop your photos.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Photo Editing | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

7. Select a background that suits your photo collage. Although it may not seem intuitive, you should choose your blanket's background when the rest of the design is complete.  Select a background that shows off your photos best.  Try to avoid backgrounds with colors that clash with your design, and backgrounds that compete with your photos for attention.  You want your photos to be the stars of the show, not the background.
Custom Collage Photo Blanket Background Choices | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

I have to say that choosing the photos for my dad's blanket was the most difficult part of this project.  Once I had settled on those, the tools available on Collage.com made the whole process super-easy. There's also a guide that tells you what date you should receive your photo gift by for each shipping method, so you can be sure to receive your gift in time for Grandparent's Day, Christmas, or any other special occasion. Be sure to check for photo blanket deals and free shipping deals on Collage.com before ordering.

Like this photo gift idea? Pin it for later . . . 
Custom Collage Photo Sherpa Blanket | 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Who do you know who would love a photo blanket of their very own?
Tell us in a comment here.