May 15, 2011

Graduation Station

t's graduation season again! Last year, my first posts on this blog were tutorials on graduation-themed crafts, so I thought it was worth reposting . . . along with a cute graduation cupcake tutorial as well. Enjoy!


It's been four years since I graduated from college. My college years meant so much to me and I honestly mourned school after I left. Making this little album was a great healing process for me (yes, I'm a total dork). I made it four years ago but I still think it's a pretty cool little idea.

Most diplomas are presented in a fancy folder with the school's seal on top like this one. Once the diploma is out and in a frame, what can you do with these folders?

The inside of my AASU one features a sketch of one of the buildings. When I first saw it I got a little lump in my throat because I recognized it as Gamble Hall, the dusty little English building where I spent most of my hours at AASU. Later I realized, duh, it could be any of the buildings on campus since they all look alike! The sketch endeared me to the folder anyway and I had to find a use for it. I decided to make a photo album out of it.

Since the folder isn't very wide, I was able to only fit six pages (3 page protectors) inside. I chose to make a horizontal album, since the building sketch was horizontal. The album would work just as well vertically if you prefer . . . in fact, you may have an easier time finding 8 x 10 page protectors that are vertical. I used 8 x 10 horizontal page protectors (by SEI--I'm not sure if they still make them, it's been awhile!) and sewed them together on the right side. You can also punch small holes up the sides and tie them together with ribbon also. I hot glued the back of the last page protector to the inside of the folder and voila! A cute, personalized graduation album. You or your graduate will treasure this for years to come . . . I know I do!

Let me know if you make one of your own. Send me links to your blogs . . . I'd love to see how you interpret this project into your own style!


I got the idea from a great book called Creative Card Making for Scrapbookers (by Memory Makers). I've had the book for years and in fact, it was a hand-me-down from a friend. Even though it's old and maybe out of print (Amazon was out), I've gotten endless ideas for cards from this book. This graduation card is just one of many really nice ideas. To make it my own, I added a nice extra element if you're interested. Here's what you'll need:

black cardstock
patterned cardstock
small tassel (I found mine at Hobby Lobby in the decorator fabric section)
black button or large brad
adhesive (Tombo Mono is my fav)

2.5" x 4.5" strip of white paper (regular or cardstock will work)*
hot glue*
*these are the materials for my "add-on"

Here's the text from the book:

"Begin with two identical square pieces of patterned paper (mine were 4" x 4"); adhere together, patterned sides out. Fold glued square in quarters; crease. Open and fold diagonal so that the square collapses into itself along crease to form square one-quarter the size of the whole. Adhere black cardstock squares to top and bottom of folded form. Adorn with button and tassel to complete mortarboard. Stamp sentiment inside card. (by Jodi Amidei)"

I slipped my tassel on a big brad and pushed it through a black square BEFORE I glued it to the patterned paper. I also wet embossed the "Congratulations" for a little more texture. Here's what it looks like when you open it.

I just love how it pops open, sort of like origami.

Once I made the card, I realized that I had no room to write a note. (No, seriously. I didn't figure that out until it was time to write a message!) So I wrote a small note, rolled it up, tied it with a ribbon and glued it to the top of the card to make a little diploma. Here's how to do it:

Write your note on the slip of paper. Starting at the BOTTOM of the note (that's important!), roll up the slip of paper around a pen.

While the scroll of paper is still wrapped around the pen, tie a ribbon around it.

Squeeze a line of hot glue at the very top of the scroll (just inside the top edge). Push the diploma on a corner of the mortarboard card. Now, when your graduate opens the ribbon, your note should spring open! Cool, eh?


A couple of girls at my church just graduated high school, so I wanted to make them a treat. I found these ideas online . . . I LOVE the internet. Check out these cupcakes!

I actually changed a few of the ingredients. I used a Ghiradelli caramel square for the top of the cap rather than a chocolate-covered graham cracker . . . I thought the cracker would be too heavy (not to mention not the right scale!). The cap was made by "gluing" the square and a mini Reese's cup with melting chocolate, then gluing a Fruit Roll-up tassel to a mini blue M & M. (If you want to make these, I suggest using a toothpick as a dowel . . . the cap is pretty heavy, and won't stay put!) The diploma, in the original recipe was made with fondant . . . uh, I've never worked with that stuff, so I found these new Golden Oreo straws that I covered in white chocolate . . . and the ribbon is again, Fruit Roll-ups. Everything went very well, except the frosting. I suspected I made it too thin, not to mention it was a super humid, rainy day. The frosting totally fell, so that's why it looks so pathetic in the picture! Anyway, I thought they came out really cute. (BTW, I have worked with fondant since then and it's not so bad . . . but I think the Golden Oreo sticks--if you can still find them--are much tastier)

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