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How To Make A Steampunk Hot Air Balloon

I love all things steampunk, so when I came along the Lace Up Hot Air Balloon I knew I wanted to create a great flying contraption of my own…even if it was made of paper!

Using a handful of supplies, many I’m sure most of you crafty folk already have, I made this shining balloon to use in scrapbooking and card-making projects, or you can attach it to a magnet and hang it on the fridge!

Steam Punk Hot Air Balloon

The first step of this project was covering the bracing and basket pieces with the gold label paper.

I realize that everyone might not have gold label paper, any metal colored paper will do. In fact, this might be an excellent opportunity to try out your paint or stamping techniques to create a faux sheet of metal.

Secondly, I used a bit of glue to cover the balloon chipboard piece with a cool checkered paper from an old Flow book. Have you checked these books out? They are a paper lover’s dream!

With all the pieces I just used scissors to trim away excess paper, but if you have a craft knife, it’d be even easier.

The ropes were not nearly as complicated as I thought they’d be!

First, I looped six pieces of the elastic thread through the bracing piece and then the top of the balloon. I used hot glue to secure the ends to the back of the balloon.

Second, I repeated the process with a thick quilting thread, but from the bracing to the basket. *You don’t want to glue these strings down just yet, so make sure they are plenty long enough.

Third, I stretched the bracing down to where I wanted it and hot glued it into place.

Finally, I flipped over the entire project, pulled down the basket so that all the strings were even, and hot glued everything into place.

This project was so much easier than I thought I was going to be! I’m sorry I didn’t get more complicated and create a clever steam-punk inspired pattern with the “ropes!”



  • Lace-Up Hot Air Balloon
  • Gold Label Paper (or any metallic paper)
  • Checkered or Striped Cardstock
  • Glue
  • Elastic Thread
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Glue
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Easy Totem Whale Card

Dawn (the little mennonite) here today to show you a fun way to use the totem whale from eyeConnect Crafts.


Paint the totem whale grey and water spout white.  Let dry.  Add glitter to the whale and spout.  Let dry.  Glue the whale together.  Since I wanted it to stay in one place there is no need to use brads to connect the pieces.  Add a googlie eye.

Cut out a piece of cardstock slightly smaller then the A2 card front and colour a wave pattern of your own design.

Stick the wave drawing to the card front with photo squares at an angle.  Adhere the whale to the card front with foam squares.

Add a sentiment and three gems!  Send to a good buddy!


eyeConnect Crafts totem whale

grey and white paint

paint brush

grey and white glitter

clear glue

sentiment (mine is from Lawn Fawn’s Critter’s in the Sea)

felt markers

white cardstock

scissors or rectangular die


foam squares

photo squares

googlie eye

black VersaFine




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Hello Baby – Lace-Up: Celebration, Stars – Card

Hello, dear friends!

Lilian (The Leaf Studio) here today to share a cute Baby Card, using Lace-Up: Celebration, Stars

Heat embossing is my favorite technique to color the chipboard shapes!

I inked the Lace-Up: Celebration, Stars with VersaMark and sprinkled some neon yellow embossing powder on (I use a piece of scrap paper for this):

Put the excess powder back in the container and use a heat gun to melt the powder.

I repeat the process a couple of times, for a smoother look.

I die cut a piece of patterned paper and adhered it on the white card base:

String some yarn through Lace-Up: Celebration, Stars and add some foam tape on the back:

I stamped the sentiment on a strip of paper, tore the sides and inked the edges. Add the strip and the Lace-Up: Celebration, Stars on the card:


Lace-Up: Celebration, Stars

VersaMark ink pad (Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts)

Embossing Powder (American Crafts)

Heat Embossing Gun


Foam Tape

Patterned Paper

Dotted Rectangles Die Cut (Sizzix)

Cuttlebug die cut machine

Blue, Green and Yellow ink pads

Baby Stamps (Close To My Heart)

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Easy to Make Bendy Straw Duck Puppets

It’s camp week at our house which means it’s uncommonly quiet and not once have I been asked, “Can I play on the…”. The toddler and I agree it’s a beautiful thing and it’s made craft time a little more special since it’s just us. I love working on projects as a family, but I forget how much fun it can be to spend one-on-one time making. There are fewer distractions and comparisons being made; there’s an intimacy to the moment that lets the imagination soar!

Speaking of pretend play, here’s how we made a family of duck puppets using bending straws.

Duck Family Puppets

First, gather your supplies. In the picture above you can see I started out using kids’ washable paints, they did not work well at all, and we ended up painting over them with a thicker acrylic.

Second, Paint your ducks! We went for the classic yellow and orange, but if you’re crafting with older kids, you could always get more creative with their colors.

If there is one mistake I regularly make with the Totem Poppets it’s not paying attention to the image and painting the WRONG SIDES. To be sure you don’t make this mistake paint both sides of your pieces!

To be certain you don’t make this mistake paint both sides of your pieces!

After the paint has dried, go ahead and use the mini brads to assemble the ducks, using the picture as a guide.

If you’d like you can paint the brads so that they are yellow too.

Finally, use a little bit of glue to attach the eyes and straws.

Using bendy straws instead of craft sticks of dowels was my son’s idea. As he explained, then the ducks can move even more!


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Christmas in July- fast and easy card with Lace Up Celebration Bulbs

Dawn (the little mennonite) here with a Christmas card.  I know its early but it always helps to make Christmas cards throughout the year so that they are already done by December.  I used the celebration bulbs lace ups from eyeConnect Crafts to make this easy card.

Ten of these bulbs come in the lace up celebration bulbs package.  This project only uses four, so you can make many projects from one bulb package.


Take each bulb and colour it directly with distress ink.  I used candied apple for the red and pine needles for the green.  Since, distress ink stays wet (only for a very short time), I quickly added clear embossing powder and heat set it.  This creates a “shiny Christmas bulb look.”  Make two red and two green.

Tip: Only do one bulb at a time.

Paint the top of each bulb with bronze craft paint.  Let dry.  Add all four lace up celebration bulbs to a string of Lawn Fawn gold cord.

Cut out a piece of 4 3/4 x 5 patterned Christmas paper for the background (I used Lawn Fawn paper) and adhere to a white A2 card front with foam squares for added interest and dimension.  Choose a cherry Christmas sentiment and adhere to the bottom right corner with adhesive.  I choose to ink mine with Versafine ink onto vellum, pour over clear embossing powder and heat set; however, if this is not method is not available to you, you could print out a sentiment on a computer or write one directly on the patterned paper with a black pen.

Take all four bulbs, still connected on the cord, and decide how you want to arrange them on the card front.  Adhere two foam squares to the backs of all four lace up celebration bulbs.  Adhere bulbs to card front.  Twist the cord as desired for maximum interest.  Adhere each cord end to the card with wet adhesive like glossy accents.  Give to someone you love.


eyeConnect Crafts lace up celebration bulbs

bronze paint

paint brush

gold Lawn Fawn cord

patterened Christmas paper

white A2 card



clear embossing powder

black Versafine ink

heat gun


foam squares

glossy accents

pine needles distress ink

candied apple distress ink

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Hibiscus Lace Up Hot Air Balloon Scrapbook Page Embellishment

Dawn (the little mennonite) here today with this tropical hot air balloon.  I made it with eyeConnect crafts lace up hot air balloon.  Don’t know about you but I’ve always wanted to ride in one of these.  My Mom and I are planning to in the near future so I made this embellishment for my scrapbooking page when I finally get to go.  🙂


Paint the top of the lace up hot air balloon white.  Let dry.  Paint pink hibiscus flowers (I used a stencil for a helping hand) on the balloon.  (This picture looks glossy because I had already applied the glue for the glitter when I took the photo.)

Add glitter.  (We all need a little shine!)

Paint the bottom yellow.  Let dry.  Paint green leaves.  Dry and then add green glitter.

Finally, add black bakers twine to the lace up hot air balloon.  I tried white string at first but it looked too flimsy. However, because the bakers twine is so much thicker I only used it in every second hole on the bottom.  Embellish on scrapbooking page when ready.

Please note that a third piece comes with this hot air balloon kit but I have chosen not to use it.


eyeConnect Crafts lace up hot air balloon

pink, yellow, green and white paint

paint brush

pink and green glitter

black bakers twine (I used American Crafts)

stencil (I used a delta Creative stencil)


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Making an Easy Journal Cover for your Planner from Cardboard

Making an Easy Journal Cover for your Planner from Cardboard

Hi, Erin (owner and designer of EyeConnect 🙂 here today I have two journal ideas to share with you!

The first is a tunnel book and art / nature journal I’m working on. I posted this one in Jane Davenport’s mixed media FB ground and had a ton of requests for more details.  So, I thought I’d share some pictures of it here. 

It’s made of 6 pieces of chipboard with decreasing sized holes in it. Each page represents one of the level of the ocean’s biome levels and features one or more of the Aquadic Collection Totem Poppet animals.

Tunnel book as an ocean Biome by Erin Sparler
Tunnel book as an ocean Biome by Erin Sparler
Totem Poppet Dolphins jumping through tunnel book hole.
Totem Poppet Dolphins jumping through tunnel book hole.

Totem Poppet Whale eating Krill in the Splash Biome  tunnel book by Erin Sparler
Totem Poppet Whale eating Krill in the Splash Biome tunnel book by Erin Sparler

 (To see more of my in process photos, videos and sneak peek shots follow @EyeConnect on Instagram.) not sure yet what I’ll put in the frame of the binder… ideas? 

I just bought and painted a cardboard 3 ring binder from Recollections to house and protect it. I used blues, green and silver watercolors with wet and dry brush techniques as well and bubble wrap to create some texture!

Making an Easy Journal Cover for your Planner from Cardboard

The second journal I want to share with you is a planner or journal cover for several small  notebooks I bought for a dollar at Michaels. I’m trying out bullet journaling and needed a new  journal to hold ideas, to dos and sketches.

Here is the cover: I used a Jane Davenport’s Mermaid markers with suran wrap to create texture. I’ll continue to add more detailing -picking out stuff I see from the textures- as I work in it, so make follow to follow me  @eyeconnect on Instagram to see how it changes!

How to make an easy journal cover from cardboard instructions:

  1. Measure your inserts. Mine were perfect for a 8.5″ x 11″! 
  2. Here I have folded the standard letter size chipboard in half. 
  3. Punch 4 holes in the cover to lace your elastic through.
  4. I used Jane Davenport’s extra elastic that came with her butterfly journal because I like the colors and if matched the colors of the inserts I found. But you could use any elastic you have. You could even use a rubber back in a pinch.
  5. Start from the inside and go through the top left hole.
  6. Come back up through the top right hole.  (See the next picture.)
  7. Go down to the bottom right hole and through to the back.
  8. Come back up through the bottom left hole. 
  9. Now either use the clips that came with the set or tie a square knot to secure your eleastic.
  10. Tip: let the elastic overlap and get the clip closed on it before cutting it down to size!! (I used the backs of my scissors and teeth as I was out and about while making this and didn’t have any needle nose players.)

The chipboard cover folded, with the 4 holes and the elastic.

Stitching: start in the inside…

It’s easier to use a bit of overlap and then cut off the excess. 

Using the backs of the scissors to close the clasp.

The store bought inserts

Adding some color and texture to the cover.

These two journals span the full gamut from pure art to pure functionality. Maybe you want or need just one or the other, or maybe you need and want both! Either way having one or more journals to work in is a great way to try new things, expire different ideas and experiment with your art, and your productivity!

You can see more creativity and get an inside view by following me on



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Spring Rain Cloud Kids Craft

Spring Rain Cloud Kids Craft

Hello, I’m Erin from My Very Educated Mother, and I’m a new member of the EyeConnect Crafts Design Team! As a homeschooling mother of four, it’s hard to find time to craft without having at least one child looking over my shoulder. For that reason, I like to work on crafts that are kid-friendly, and really, there isn’t anything better than sharing your passion with your family!

This first project is perfect to make in anticipation of spring days to come! The kids and I used the Lace-Up Rain Cloud to create a tissue paper cloud and glittered rain drops. Here’s how you can make a cloud of your own.


First, cover the raindrops with a layer of decoupage medium before sprinkling them with glitter. Be sure to cover both sides with glitter and then let them dry.

TIP: Keeping the raindrops attached makes this step less messy for both little and big hands. A paintbrush is also much easier for applying the glue.

Second, rip white tissue paper into rough 1″x1″ pieces. Wrap them around the eraser end of a pencil, dip them in glue, and then stick them to your cloud.

If you have younger kids, you may need to go back through and use the end of the paint brush to add more tissue paper and make sure everything is attached and sticking.

Let the cloud dry for an hour.

Once everything has dried, you can start attaching your raindrops to your cloud.

Originally we planned to use gray baker’s twine but realized it looked much better with this heavy quilting thread instead.

As you can tell from the picture, you WILL get glitter everywhere! We don’t mind but if you do, try using a glitter glue instead.

I ended up doing most of the threading but that’s okay, it was fun wondering around the house with my daughter as she tried to decide where to hang it!

We tried it in a door frame.

Then, it migrated to the back door, and this is where it is still.

To hang our cloud, we used mounting putty since it’ll stick to anything and the kids always get a kick out of it.


  • Lace-Up Rain Cloud
  • Decoupage medium or glue
  • blue glitter
  • white tissue paper
  • paintbrush
  • string or thread
  • a pencil

Before you know it March will be blowing in like a lion and out like a lamb and then April showers will bring May flowers.

What kinds of projects do you like to make to celebrate the seasons?


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Fun Valentine’s Day Kids Craft Project

Lace-Up Large Broken hearts

Fun Valentine’s Day Kids Craft Project!

Live FaceBook Tutorial with MyKidsTime This Fri. Feb. 3 at 10am!!


Thanks for joining us during our fun -and crazy- kids craft time! The live video is available on MyKidsTime FB page and will soon be available on YouTube as well as here.

Here’s our final Valentines Day card using the Lace-Up Broken Heart:

The inside of our kids craft for Valentine's Day.
The inside of our kids craft for Valentine’s Day.
A second version of our kids craft for Valentine's Day.
A second version of our kids craft for Valentine’s Day.
The inside of the second version of our kids craft for Valentine's Day.
The inside of the second version of our kids craft for Valentine’s Day.

Scroll to the end for your discount code! 

Thanks for watching!!!


This Fri. Feb. 3 at 10am Erin, the owner and founder of EyeConnect, and her son Elon -age 5- will show you how to make a fun simple kids craft for Valentines Day. Join us live as we paint, stamp and lace-up 2 of our Lace-Up Hearts is a simple kids craft idea for Valentines Day.

Tune in on MyKidsTime’s Facebook page at 10 AM EST Fri. Feb. 3 for this short and easy kid’s Valentines Day craft tutorial!

If you’d like to craft along with us or if you’re visiting after the live feed here is a supplies list of all of the different materials that we utilized in the craft.  And of course please feel free to alter or substitute anything that you may have, that is part of the fun of crafting, experimenting!

And make sure to watch to the end, as I offer a discount code for all of the people that joined us on Facebook live! Thanks for watching! Have fun crafting!

Supplies list for the Facebook Live Tutorial:

[ ] One pack of EyeConnect Crafts Lace-Up Broken Hearts in size large (comes with 2 broken hearts)

[ ] An assortment of string, ribbon or leather to lace up your broken hearts

[ ] Stamps

[ ] Ink stamp pads

[ ] Quotes, expressions, or phrases either as stamps or pre-printed stickers.

[ ] One or two piece of long chipboard and/or patterned paper

[ ] One or two pieces of chipboard or card stock to form the card base size 8.5 x 11″ or 10 x 7″

[ ] Glue, glue stick or white craft glue works fine or if you want to be more permanent about it I hot glue gun works well too

[ ] Assortment of watercolor paints, or acrylic paints, or spray inks

[ ] Assortment of pens, pencils, crayons or other implements of destruction

[ ] Baby wipes

[ ] Water brushes, regular paint brushes will do fine as well

[ ] One or two mini clothes pins
More Broken Heart Project Ideas:

Here are some of the many different ways you could design your Lace-Up Broken Hearts:

Create a Rustic Addition to a DIY Project:

 Lace up your broken heart with twine for rustic feel.
Lace up your broken heart with twine for rustic feel. This heart reads, “Good as new and was used as an addition to a get well card I sent my Dad after he had open heart surgery!

Make a Thank you Card with your Kids

Making a fun and easy Thank you Card with kids using our Lace-Up Broken Heart in Large.
Making a fun and easy Thank you Card with kids using our Lace-Up Broken Heart in Large.

Add Wings to Make Your Heart Soar!

Add the Totem Poppet Wings, in Large to make your heart soar!
Add the Totem Poppet Wings, in Large to make your heart soar!


Use a Broken Heart to Label a Wedding Gift Bag Tutorial:

Make a Valentines Day Gift Bag label with The Totem Swans and the Lace-Up Broken Heart.
Make a Valentines Day Gift Bag label with The Totem Swans and the Lace-Up Broken Heart.

Make a lovely love letter:

Make a lovely love letter for your sweet heart wing the Lace-Up Broken Hearts.
Make a lovely love letter for your sweet heart wing the Lace-Up Broken Hearts.


Make a Heart Themed Art Journal Page:

Create a heart themed art journal page using the Lace-Up Broken Hearts.
Create a heart themed art journal page using the Lace-Up Broken Hearts.


Broken Heart as a baby Shower Present Card Tutorial:

Create a cute card for a baby shower present using the Lace-Up Broken Hearts.
Create a cute card for a baby shower present using the Lace-Up Broken Hearts.

Thanks for watching! Here is Your Special Discount Code for 25% off for joining us on our live FB event!


(Please note this coupon is only good for the month of Feb and will expire in Feb. 28 so get your order in Now :!)