Posts Tagged: fun

Paper Project: Gnomebook!

Gnomebook Ad

If you’ve never had a little gnome buddy, you’re missing out! Whether jotting down secrets or grocery lists, your bearded garden friend will keep them safe in your very own gnomebook.

Gnomebook Materials

What You’ll Need:

4 x 6 Notebook, Scissors, glue stick, pen/pencil, a variety of colored cardstocks, ruler, colored pencils/markers, and  the gnomebook template.

First, you’ll need to make a wrap for the entire notebook. This will serve as the background for your gnome. We chose bright colors, orange and green, for our gnomes.

You will need two pieces to cover the notebook completely. Cut out an 11″ long strip of cardstock to fit around the notebook.

cut orange background cut out background fit background around notebook

Next, secure this strip to the back of the notebook with glue. The top of this strip will fold over the top of the notebook a little bit. Make the top crease and the crease that comes up around the notebook (so it can eventually flap shut with the gnome bearn).

glue stick

Glue the section of the strip that will attach to the back of the notebook.

glue notebook back

Glue down the top flap to attach to the notebook.

Fold top flap over

Cut another strip to fit the front/top of the notebook. This one will be about 4″ long.

cut top flap of notebook

Glue this flap to the top of notebook (on top of your first flap) and fold it around the front/top of the notebook.

glue top flap fold over flap

Print and cut out the gnomebook template. Trace the head, hat, body, and pants on different colored cardstocks (or print the template out on different colored cardstocks…mix and match to make different gnomebooks!). I chose to trace mine, but feel free to do what is most fun for you!

cut out pattern trace each template

Cut out the gnome pieces.

cut out pieces assemble gnome pieces

Now its time to start assembling the gnome! Start with the head and hat. Glue the head on so that the beard hangs off the top flap. Make sure not to glue the bottom part of the beard, because then you won’t be able to open the notebook! 🙂

glue head and beard

Next glue on the hat. It will fold over the top of the notebook just a bit. Glue it up well so it stays on there!

glue hat

Next, tuck the shirt piece under the gnome’s beard. Glue the top part of the shirt onto the top flap of the notebook, then cut the shirt where the flap ends.

glue shirt glue shirt under beard

Then glue the bottom half of the shirt onto the bottom part of the notebook (the two pieces of the shirt should come together where the flap comes down, and remember the beard will tuck in to close the notebook). Glue the pants on now, you know, right where this gnome’s pants might be!

glue pants

Now comes the part we’ve been talking about – getting  the  gnome’s beard to tuck into his belt buckle so he keeps your notebook shut and your secrets safe! Mark on the shirt where the bottom of the beard hits.

mark where beard overlaps shirt

Then, make a slit with scissors or an exacto knife. The slit should go through all pieces of cardstock.

cut slit for beard to close notebook

Give it a test to see if it works!

outline the gnome

Now comes the tricky part- cartooning a cute gnome face. Get creative, or just use gnomebook template and darken the lines. Start with pencil and finish off your design by tracing details with a pen or felt tipped marker.

draw a gnome face, or use the template outline facial features with pen or marker finishing touches, shoes color the beard

Time for the finishing touches. Use markers and/or colored pencils to add color to the gnome’s boots, belt, and beard.

finished notebook

When you’re satisfied with your creative touches, these gnomebooks are ready for their first scribbles!

 Kristin AnKristin Andersonderson is a Luther Grad from Des Moines where she designs graphics, paints, eats, and dreams of owning a vegetable farm. To see more of her work check out her webpage!


Paper Project: Homemade Envelopes

Homemade envelopes

Everybody loves receiving something special in the mail, but with the convenience of text and email, a lot of us have let the handwritten letter fall by the wayside. Send some inspiration this winter! Homemade envelopes are an easy and fun way to add a personal touch to snail mail and give your favorite magazine pages new life. Download and print this template to get started!

What You’ll Need:

Scissors, glue stick, pen/pencil, a variety of magazine pages with images that you like, and our envelope template.

Materials for Homemade Envelopes

We chose some of our favorite pages from past issues.

Magazine Pages

Trace the template on the backside of the magazine page.

Trace Template

Cut out the envelope.

Cutout Envelope

Crease the side flaps and the top triangular flap of your envelope.

Fold Side Panels        Fold Top Triangle

Glue time!

Glue time

Place some glue on the side flaps and fold the bottom square portion of the envelope over them. Press and hold until the glue dries.

glue side flaps

Once the glue dries completely, your envelope is ready to be filled with holiday cheer!

Finished Envelope

These envelopes are a perfect fit for 3×5 index cards so you can send a letter or your favorite recipe! The standard size means that your envelope can be processed by the postal service without any additional stamps, but we recommend writing  address information on a white background (white sticker labels work great) so that they can be read easily by the USPS machines.

We promise, you can’t make just one of these. Make envelopes for all occasions!

Perfect Fit for Index Cards   Make more envelopes   Envelopes
Kristin AndersonKristin Anderson had a blast putting this winter’s paper project together! She is a Luther Grad from Des Moines where she designs graphics, paints, eats, and dreams of owning a vegetable farm. To see more of her work check out her webpage!

April 2016 Calendar

April! Get a head start on your fun-planning with this handy-dandy April 2016 calendar (and you can download the pdf here). Enjoy! XO, Inspire(d)


Check out these great spring activities!  In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

  1. April 1-3: Enjoy an amazing Women’s Weekend Out in downtown Decorah! In store demos & parties, door prizes & giveaways, Style Show Brunch, entertainment nightly! or
  1. April 1: Celebrate Women’s Weekend Out at Modish 6pm until 8pm with a Bohemian themed party! Includes beverages and gift with purchase!
  1. April 2: Apple Grafting/Apple School at Seed Savers Exchange: learn to graft & care for apple trees April 2 or 9. Sign up @
  1. April 3: Elvis Lives! Joseph Hall, Elvis Tribute Artist plays the Steyer Opera House, Hotel Winneshiek, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Full bar available, 104 E. Water St, Downtown Decorah –
  1. April 7-10: “The Pillowman” will be presented at the New Minowa Players theatre, 906 S Mill St., Decorah, at 7pm on April 7-9 and 2pm on April 9-10. Mature audiences only – strong language, violence and adult themes. 563-382-5174.
  1. April 10: Hippen Plays Hippen @ The Porter House Museum! Original piano music by Ben Hippen. Porter House Museum, 401 W. Broadway, Decorah, 4pm
  1. April 10: Des Moines folk-rocker Ryne Doughty plays the Hotel Winneshiek Lobby, 6:00pm, Full bar & menu available in a great atmosphere! 104 E. Water St, Downtown Decorah –
  1. April 15: Absolute Hoot performs a Decorah Fast Fiber fundraising party! Steyer Opera House, Hotel Winneshiek – tickets available at the door. Visit or
  1. April 16: Mid West Music Fest – special La Crosse festival day April 16, three days of music and fun in Winona April 28-30.
  1. April 17: Jake Illika plays the Hotel Winneshiek Lobby, 6:00pm, Full bar & menu available in a great atmosphere! 104 E. Water St, Downtown Decorah –
  1. April 17: Empty Bowls 2016! Hotel Winneshiek, 11am – 2pm. Come enjoy soup in a unique bowl you keep. All proceeds to fight local hunger.
  1. April 22: Celebrate Earth Day with the Oneota Co-op. Join us for food, music, and kid’s activities from 5-7 pm outside the Co-op on Water Street. Rain location planned!
  1. April 22: ArtHaus Earth Day Poetry Slam sponsored by Dragonfly Books, 8pm at the Elks Lodge. Expect a green-theme twist collaborating with Green Iowa AmeriCorps. $5/$3 students.
  1. April 22: Kendra Swanson and Sandler get the folk out at the Root Note in downtown La Crosse. Great taps, coffee, and crepes – 115 4th Street South.
  1. April 23: ‘Now is the Time’ uses film, dance, and live music to explore the human experience of the four seasons. 7:30pm St. Mane Theatre, Lanesboro.
  1. April 29: ArtHaus Annual Art Gala & Fundraiser. Ensure your community arts center thrives! Hotel Winneshiek, 7pm. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
  1. April 30: Iowa’s longest running Mtn. Bike Race! Decorah Time Trials take place at noon. No pre-reg necessary. Register day of at entry to Dunning’s Spring park on Ice Cave Road.
  1. April 30 – May 1: Trempealeau Hotel presents MWMF Ticketless Venue Music Matinees: Sat- 1-3 Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Sun 1-3 Pine Travelers, Plus Saturday Night Surprise show 9pm!