DIY Chocolate Labels

DIY Chocolate Labels - Image Strip

Ahoy Mateys! My friend was having a baby shower and I wanted to help, so they gave me the task of making the chocolate wrappers. Here I propose two methods of the creating them: the easy way and the hard way. I of course chose the hard way. Now you would think it’s because I’m so “hard core”, but in reality it’s because my brain tends to develop complex methods first, that don’t seem that complicated at the time. When you see the end result though it usually makes it all worth it.

Here’s what you’ll need (the hard way):

  • Hersey’s chocolate nuggets (purchase bags according to need)
  • Glossy Photo Paper (I bought a pack with 8 sheets from the dollar store)
  • Scissors
  • Kraft Glue
  • Ruler
  • Photo editing program
  • Printer with scanning capabilities
  • Sketchpad w/pencil or tablet

The shower had a nautical theme and they wanted me to design a cute baby pirate. Sorry Blackbeard. Here are the sketches.
babyshower_sketch3babyshower_sketch1 babyshower_sketch2

Once one baby swashbuckler was chosen, I opened a bag of nuggets removed the paper label from a chocolate and measured it with the ruler. With my dimensions for the wrapper, I set up a template in Illustrator, then scanned my drawing. In Illustrator I made a background for the label using colors from the shower theme, illustrated my baby pirate, and placed the words Ahoy it’s a boy on either side of the design. If you’re not sure about placement just refer to the original paper label. I also made a whale version based on a whale in their decorations.

Note: If sketching isn’t your thing try searching here for clip art options.

Fit as many of the labels as possible on one page. Find your printer’s settings and make the adjustments so it prints at it’s best setting on glossy photo paper. Print as many sheets as needed and while you wait remove the paper labels from the nuggets, taking care not to open the wrapper. Cut out your freshly printed labels and glue onto the chocolates with kraft glue. The least amount of glue the better. Mine had a control nozzle, if yours doesn’t consider pouring a little out at a time and applying it to the label with tiny cheap paint brush. Hold glued section together for about 20 seconds and put aside to dry completely.

Voila! Your custom chocolate nuggets are complete. So what was so hard about that? Well it is the most time consuming method and in my case, I found out that my printer didn’t like photo paper, no matter what setting I tried. Printing took hours instead of minutes as a finagled with the device.
DIY Chocolate Labels printedDIY Chocolate Labels Baby Pirate DIY Chocolate Labels - Blue Whale Ahoy It's a Boy

The easy way, here’s what you’ll need

  • Hersey’s chocolate nuggets (purchase bags according to need)
  • Self-sticking address labels
  • Ruler
  • Photo editing program or Microsoft Word
  • Printer with scanning capabilities
  • Sketchpad w/pencil or tablet

Sketch your design. Scan it. Measure the original label on the chocolate nugget. Set up your template. If using Microsoft Word (I don’t really recommend it for creating graphics) there should be a way to load a template based on your label type. Go forth with your design and apply it to the template. Print your custom labels. Carefully strip away the original labels on the nuggets, then peel and stick the new ones on. Much simpler right? The downside: when compared to one created with glossy thicker photo paper it will seem lower in quality.

At the shower guests thought that we had bought the chocolates that way. I also made food labels for the table using hard colored paper (my printer didn’t like that either). I designed a whale on one side and printed out a bunch of shells on another sheet of hard paper to glue on the back for support. seen below.

DIY Food Labels for the Table


Light Painting, Digital Art, & Prizes

strip_ten_collection_fb_pare_campauSeason 3 of Fotolia’s TEN Collection has begun! They are doing it a little different this year. Instead of featuring 10 individual digital artists, Fotolia has put together duos, one digital artist and one photographer. Just like in previous seasons the Photoshop file of their work will be available for download (sign-up to get a reminder to download for free). I’m so excited that they’ve included photography and the artists they’ve chosen to kick-off season three are phenomenal!

Eric Paré is a Canadian artist who specializes in light-painting, bullet-time and stop-motion photography.

Work by Eric Pare

Work by Eric Paré

Mike Campau is an American artist who is an expert at combining photography, illustration and cgi.

Work by Mike Campau

Work by Mike Campau

What I love even more, Fotolia has provided an in-depth video of their creative process. I’m the behind-the-scenes type; you know the one who watches all the DVD extras. I like to know how and why. This video gives some excellent tips. I highly encourage you to watch.

Another change Fololia has implemented is that instead of having just one competition at the end of the season, we now have the chance to “challenge” the artists after each PSD release for some excellent prizes. Learn more on TEN Collection’s Facebook Page.  Here is Mike and Eric’s wonderful creation and below is my contest entry.


Final Artwork by Eric Pare & Mike Campau

Using Mike and Eric’s tips, I wanted to create a powerful image with flow. My inspiration not only came from them, but from the video Born To Die by Lana Del Rey. The interior scenes were lavishly ornate and I wanted something similar in beauty and detail for my background without detracting from the main female figure. I’d also like to highlight Midnightstouch for her realistic Love Me Tendril brushes, used for the vines.
pare_campau_challenge_march_2014_spinder_entryclose-up_tenmarch3 close-up_tenmarch2 close-up_tenmarch


If you like my entry, show it some love by clicking the like button.

Happy 2014 with a Free Wallpaper

wallpaper_promo_christmas2014Happy New Year Everyone! May it shine bright and be filled with lots love, laughter, and learning. I’m going into my fifth year of blogging (I don’t count that one random post from August 08′) and it’s fun to look back on my posts. My design skills have definitely grown and I’ve come across some stellar artists. I’m looking forward to another year. It seems like it’s my tradition to post my goals for the next 365 days, so here it goes!

  • Be happy as much of the time as possible. Read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
  • Be grateful – find 3-5 things to be thankful for each morning
  • Get a shirt design printed on Threadless
  • Work 40 hours a week (freelance or full-time) and have fun doing it
  • Post once every two weeks (or more)
  • Pick up at least one new technique a week
  • Become a whiz at coding (html, css, js, wordpress etc.)
  • Finish Tomb Raider – Hardcore gamers don’t laugh, I don’t play that often and when I do it’s for about an hour and a half and I progress by 2%
  • Take more photos
  • Sketch more

and of course design stuff that kicks butt!

beadstutorialSpeaking of designs, here’s my wallpaper celebrating 2014. It was inspired by this Illustrator tutorial: Create a Mosaic BBC Inspired Text Art Effect. It’s said to take 1hr 45 mins. It took me longer because I had some issues and deviated a bit. Here are some tips. I messed up a few times by going to the Offset Path in the Object panel, instead of the Effects panel. Also I don’t know if this is because of the version of Illustrator that I’m using, but in Section 2 – Step 2 you may have to drag the Offset Path into the correct fill in the Appearance panel (see image in that section). I also didn’t use the provided build-a-font method. I chose the font Bauserif and filled in its shape. I also broke up the shadow effects into different sections based on my placement of the number and my light source. Again Happy New Year and Enjoy!

PrintA special thanks goes out to my cousin Cara, who always gives great feedback. My background was originally purple, which she was not too fond of (surprising since it’s her favorite color). I made some adjustments and voila!

Have A Merry Christmas & A Free Wallpaper

wallpaper_christmas2013_stripSeason’s greetings everyone! I hope you have a great Christmas and to celebrate I have created a Christmas wallpaper for your desktop’s pleasure. It’s actually an adaptation from my specialized Christmas cards going out to my clients.swirl It was inspired by an Illustrator Quick Tip: Create Decorative Swirls in Minutes Using the Width Tool. Never using the width tool before, I thought this would give me the chance to practice and create a pretty distinct Christmas tree. I opted against swirls though, adjusting curved lines of different line weights. I created one half of the tree then reflected it. Then I added a few more lines to break up the symmetry. I kept the lines on one layer, not really caring which line rested on top of each other. In the end this actually worked in my favor adding depth when I randomly changed the color of some of the lines.


Thank you to for my beautifully printed cards.


Printed Christmas Cards


Printed Christmas Cards – Personalized Message per Client

This month I’ve been plagued with shipping issues. Some items arrive early (which is great), but most have arrived late or I’m still waiting on them. Now I’m just going with the flow. Lesson learned: start in November. This is another item I’m waiting on, to pair with my Christmas cards.

Here is the actual wallpaper. Enjoy!

Also here’s another Christmas treat for you. The folks at fotolia have made all their Ten Collection PSDs available to download for free for the next 24 hours starting 10am (in your time zone) December 24, 2013. Check out their Facebook page to learn more.

It’s A Recession

oddcouple_recessionfacebookcoverSo I’ve entered another competition on Threadless (open for voting now). It’s called Odd Couples and the challenge was to pick any two unrelated characters or figures and show how they’d interact. As you can see, I chose a zombie desperate for money presenting teeth he’s “collected” to the tooth fairy hoping to cash in. The idea was inspired by my cousin Cara. She’s a teenager, but she’s really responsible with her money and doesn’t like to spend it, at least not on herself. One of her favorite phrases/reasons is “It’s a recession.”

I sketched the zombie and the tooth fairy separately. Then I scanned the sketches and took them into Illustrator for inking and color. It was the first time I had used a tablet. A fellow designer and friend of mine has been kind enough to let me borrow his Bamboo Wacom Tablet. It takes a while to get use to looking at the computer screen when your natural tendency is to look down as you draw, but if I didn’t have this tablet I don’t want to imagine how long it would have taken me otherwise. Here are some great tutorials that helped along the way:

Here’s the full design. Please don’t forget to vote for it on Threadless if you like it. Thanks!


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