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Christmas 2017 Series - Quick Gift Tags Free Template

Posted on November 15, 2017 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Yesterday, we posted up a free template to make those lovely twine trees. You can use the same template (in the smallest size) to make these quick little gift tags. I have used up some glitter gold and green card I had in my scraps box for mine with a quick thread through of some gold cord. Easy but quite nice little handmakes for Christmas!

Christmas 2017 Series - Twine Trees Free Template

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Welcome to Day three of our Christmas 2017 Series!


Today I have a really simple but beautiful project for your that honestly takes minutes to make.You can make these lovely twine trees to hang as a decoration around the home or make them as unique gift tags or gift decorations for a special present.

 

 

The basic shape here is just a triangle with a punched hole at the top but you can find a template on the Member pages in various sizes, so that makes it much easier, as the hard work is done for you. We will be using the template on a range of projects over the following few blog posts so register with the site if you want to get that.



I have simply cut one of the larger pieces from the template and put some double sided sticky on the reverse and front to hold the twine as I start to wind it around. I didn't do this for the first demo and you can see in the photos that the twine doesn't sit as flat as it should to look neat. It is worth doing this step.



Now the tricky bit. Start winding from the bottom, securing the twine at the base on the reverse. You may need to unwind and do this a few times to get the twine to sit close together with no gaps. Getting the right tension is also key so that the string doesn't sag or slip down. I am using just a basic green garden twine here but I made some with a decorative twine that you can see in the photo at the top as well as a range of ones using a fluffy type of wool and some glittery thread I had lying around from years ago that I had no idea what to do with!




Thanks for joining me today an drop by again soon for more in our Christmas Series.




Christmas 2017 Series - Toilet Roll Pillow Boxes

Posted on November 13, 2017 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)


I seriously love upcycle and recyclye projects. I guess I have just become a bit meaner in my old age, or maybe I just like to see what I can do with all those things we usually throw out!




Anyway, here is today's projects using some humble toilet rolls. There have been all kinds of Health and Safety missives about using old toilet rolls, especially with children's crafts, so be aware of that. I am making these for my own personal use and therefore do not have any legal issues to worry about. Also, if you are intending to fill your boxes with candies or sweets, it would be wise to use wrapped ones just to be on the safe side!



First off, I am just squashing down the tube a little to make it easier when it comes to shaping the box.



 I have chosen some wrapping paper for my rolls and cut a piece to size.



After the glue has dried you can move on to forming the pillow box



I am gently pushing in one side at one end of the roll, to form one of the flaps. You will need to do this to both sides and on both ends. Don't be too rough with it, you just need to gradually form the shape and it will actually go into place pretty easily.



You can see one side folded here



Both flaps folded in here




Here is what the box looks like, without the wrapping paper but you can see the shape that you are aiming for is a pillow box



I've added some silver cord here to make little parcels which finishes the box off nicely. I think these look stunning with this lovely snowflake wrapping paper!



If you make enough of these little boxes, you could string them up to make an advent calendar. Notice the pegs holding them are the stamped wooden pegs we featured on yesterday's post!




I hope you are enjoying this year's series of projects. Tomorrow we will be making a very simple tree decoration project and there will be a free template posted on the Member pages for those that are interested.

Christmas 2017 Series - Five Ways With Decorated Pegs

Posted on November 13, 2017 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)

 


I really love making use of things around the home and transforming them into lovely and useful projects. Here is one that just uses simple and very cheap wooden clothes pegs which you can pick up in more or less any store. You can really go to town with decorating here. For my pegs I have painted each one with white acrylic paint to get a nice base to work on and to cover up any markings on the pegs.


Here are some ideas for working with the painted pegs.



I have simply covered each peg with some glitter paper here. Use a peg as a template to draw around one side and glue onto the top of the peg. These are simple but gorgeous and I will be using mine to attach tags to Christmas gifts. You could also use them to hang up Christmas cards that you receive or on a hanging advent calendar, similar to ones featured on this blog in past years.



For these pegs, I am using up my paper scraps in the theme of purple and silver. I think these look fantastic and I am really pleased with how they turned out. I have simply glued my papers to the pegs but you could also seal them with varnish to make them extra durable.



These ones are simply stamped using a range of Christmas themed words and images. The white paint gives them a very neat and clean finish and I am planning to use mine to attach tags to my gifts. You could also them as placecard holders for the dinner table.



I've simply glued this one to my gift but you could use some double sided tape or glue dots. I've added a wooden snowflake for decoration.

 


You could also add a name and make your peg personal!



Or add numbers and use them to hang parcels on a hanging advent calendar (I'll be featuring a project using these in another blog post)


I hope you have enjoyed this first project for the Christmas 2017 series. I'll be listing all the projects with free templates or digitals on the Member pages, together with all the previous years projects, so join up to the site to see those and to get any templates we post. All other project posts are archived in the Projects and Tips Menu on the left hand sidebar.


Technique Book Project using Homemade Texture Paste

Posted on June 28, 2017 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Ok, so today we are using the texture paste made in the last post to create a lovely cover for a book that will be where I want to store my samples for the distress inks and other things that I discover. I am using some precut covers from Zutter and I will be using my Bind it All to make up the book when I have finished.


Gently scrape the texture paste over your stencil, making sure that it is not too thin or too thick. You want a raised texture but you also want it even across the cover, so use a piece of card or an oil paint spatula or pointing trowel tool to do it.

 

Tip: Scrape off any paste that has gone over the edges of the cover before it dries and make sure you wash off any stencils right away, or else the texture paste can ruin them!


Here is the finished front cover for my journal, which I left to dry overnight.


Tip: The stencil is much smaller than the cover, so let each section dry before doing the next, so as not to smudge the wet paste. You can then line the next stencil up as much as possible to create a continuous pattern. It is quite difficult to do it perfectly and don't worry too much, as when you paint over it, any mismatches are not so obvious and add to the rough handmade charm of your project anyway!



I painted the cover with a black gesso, simply made with black paint added to my white gesso. In fact the final colour was more of a dark grey but I was very happy with this.



The gesso gives a completely flat matt appearance and really hides the pattern underneath, so I went in with some Metalic Lustre to bring out the beautiful texture. I am using Black Shimmer here, with a tiny little bit of the Silver to highlight here and there. Don't overdo the silver or you lose the aged look that you want.



I was very pleased with this effect and the photo does not do it justice in any way. Absolutely stunning!



For the back cover, I repeated the technique but with a different stencil.



Out comes the Bind It All to create a cover.



Here is the almost finished album. I am waiting for some corner protectors to come in the mail, which will finish it off nicely and I will post up another photo then so that I don't hold up this blog post. I am soooo happy with how this turned out and will be off to make some more in different sizes. The homemade texture paste we made in the last blog post worked so well and all for a fraction of the cost!




Easter 2017 - Twine Covered Easter Eggs

Posted on April 6, 2017 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)


I think Easter lends itself to the natural look really well. Twines, raffias, simple Spring flowers, all make us feel part of the season. Following on from our earlier project where we make some lovely little Easter twine baskets, here is another decorative idea for you to try. These look gorgeous hanging on a twig tree or if you like, just make them without the hangers and display them in a faux bird's nest.



Simply wind your twine around your polystyrene egg, securing the top with a know and a pin to hold it in place. Use a good glue for this. I am using white PVA glue here so that I can move the twine around until I am happy with the position. You will then need to leave it for a few hours to dry.



Carry on winding around, adjusting as you go. You don't want any of the white foam showing through, so it is worth taking care.



Now you are ready to decorate.



Here is a smaller one decorated with ribbon and some punched daisies




As simple bit of vintage lace to decorate this one



Hang them on a twig tree for a lovely natural Easter decoration. If you have a natural look tree, even better!



Easter 2017 - Mini Easter Boxes with Member's Template

Posted on April 5, 2017 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)


I absolutely adore making mini boxes, there is something deeply satisfying about making a box for some reason. Easter gifts are usually associated with baskets but boxes can make a nice change and can work well with most of the mini Easter eggs you can buy. These little boxes can be made with or without an aperture as shown in the demos. Use coloured papers or simple card, textured with an embossing folder. Add some stamped images, stickers or flowers to decorate.




I've made some really small ones here with some mini cards to go with them. Use these ones for flat chocolates or maybe some money. I love using the gingham papers for Easter and you don't have any, you can find some ginghams to use on the Member pages.



This little rabbit stamp is perfect for decorating the mini boxes



The mini cards feature simple and cute Easter themed images coloured with my lovely Copic Markers.



I will be posting the template for these boxes on the Member pages in the next day or so, so look for them there if you want to make your own! Join us again tomorrow for another project.

Easter 2017 - Gold Stippled Easter Eggs

Posted on April 4, 2017 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Today we have another decorated Easter Egg idea for you to try. I saw some lovely decorated eggs for sale in my local craft store and wanted to have a go and make my own, as I thought it would definitely be cheaper but more importantly, I was interested to see if I could recreate the effect myself.



Tip: Use bamboo skewers to hold the eggs while you paint them. You can pull them off afterwards or leave them in so that you can display them in a vase.


Tip: I found out quite by accident that pushing the skewers into my bucket of plaster of paris was the perfect way to let them dry without touching each other or smearing!



I spent a bit of time mixing my paint colours to get the exact ones I wanted. I had taken a photo of the ones in the store and used that to match it to. I was looking for a much more vivid colour than the usual pastel tones you find on Easter projects. This was actually quite a challenge but I think I got there more or less in the end. After letting them dry, you can then get out your gold paint and an old toothbrush and use this to dab on the eggs to get that lovely mottled pattern.



Here is a closer look at the finish which I think looks gorgeous and pretty near the same as the ones for sale at a fraction of the cost!


Easter 2017 - Flower Decorated Eggs

Posted on April 2, 2017 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Just a quick project idea for this post. If you like me have thousands of paper flowers lying around and want a quick but really satisfying project to use them up, then how about using them to cover a polystyrene egg. I think the effect is absolutely beautiful!



Use coloured pins to secure the flowers and overlap them a little so that you don't have the white of the egg showing through. As simple as it gets really but gorgeous nonetheless!


Thanks for joining us for our Easter projects 2017. I hope you are enjoying this series!

Easter 2017 - Chalked Easter Eggs

Posted on March 29, 2017 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Well at last, we are ready to go with our Easter projects!. These beautiful chalk effect eggs look lovely in a little faux bird's nest.

 

Actually, work started on these over a month and a half ago but what with ongoing problems with the website (still not fixed, we are working with 'work arounds' ) and ongoing personal problems noted in the previous post, we are most definitely slow to get off the ground. Life is always like that isn't it? You plan and plan to make sure things go well and something or even multiple things come out of left field to throw all your plans to the wind!!


We are using polystyrene eggs here rather than real ones. If you are like me, then you manage to buy polystyrene Easter Eggs every year and then you are not quite sure what to do with them, They sit gathering dust or mounting up in your cupboard until you open it and you get swamped with hundreds of eggs rolling around on the floor.

 

I decided to deal with this problem last year and you will find some projects we finished last Easter in the photo gallery and under the project ideas tab. Having bought even more of these stupid things, we have some more ideas to try this year!



Actually, I loved doing this technique and the final effect is pretty stunning, so why not have a go! Anyway, the effect we are trying to achieve is a lovely matt finish on those polystyrene eggs. To do this you need to add some plaster of paris to your paint mix in the following proportions:

  • 3 parts of your paint colour
  • 1 part of Plaster of Paris
  • A little water to mix



You really want to get very light pastel colours for your eggs. You can see here that my blue came out too dark, so I did repaint a few times adding more white, until I got the tone that I wanted. Rememer that paint often dries darker and in fact that is what happened for me, so you may need to adjust it. I was looking for a really delicate light blue here.


Tip: Note that I am using a toothpick to hold the egg which makes it a much less messier task!



Here is my green. This one was pretty good.



Once dry, you can get going with the really clever part to make your eggs look realistic. I am using a brown paint here and an old toothbrush to flick the paint onto the egg. You will end up covering surfaces and anything else within range, including yourself with paint but the effect is worth it!

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading our first Easter project and do join us again for another project in our series, which we will be posting fast and furiously in an effort to catch up!



Valentines Day 2017 - Origami Hearts

Posted on February 5, 2017 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)


I do not profess to be any kind of expert on origami, in fact I am so far from being an expert that it is not really worth mentioning at all! Having said that, I do enjoy paper folding and we have featured quite a few paper folding projects here on the blog over the years, so we have a basic heart which you can make featured today.


I had been wondering what to do with some lovely paper printed with gold oriental script that had been sitting in my paper box, so this project was just the perfect way to use it.

 


I made lots of these and used them along with the Folded Hearts we posted about earlier in the Heart Notes Jar project.



There is a template on the Member pages but you really need some photo instructions or video to make these, so I will be uploading one as soon as I have done it. Alternatively, or if you can't wait for me to do that, you can find lots of other videos on Youtube showing how the folds are done.  Make a large one and add a message inside or make some mini ones and use on your cards and gifts.

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Valentines Day 2017 - String Heart Quiz

Posted on February 5, 2017 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)


We have a quiz for you today. So how did we make this heart?

Those of you who vist the blog will have seen our String Baubles we made at Christmas. I decided to have a go making a heart shaped one. The ball shapes are easy, you use a balloon which you deflate after your string is dry but what about the heart shape. Yes, you can use a balloon shaped into a heart but that is not what we did here. Can you guess?
 

Add your answer below and if you guess correctly, we will send you a free template.


Valentines Day 2017 - Mini Folded Hearts With Free Template

Posted on February 5, 2017 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)



In an earlier post, we made this lovely Heart Notes Jar project. Scroll down the blog if you want to read it.


The jar contains a mixture of folded and origami hearts. The little folded paper hearts are really simple to make and a great way to use your leftover scraps of valentines papers.Just fold on the lines as shown to make a little pocket which you can use to add a message inside for your loved one. You can use them as mini notes stacked in a jar, or make them bigger and use as proper notelet to your loved one.

 

Check the Member pages for the template. There are different sizes on the template, so you can use them in lots of different ways. We are using the last sheet of multiple mini hearts for the jar project!

Valentines Day 2017 - Heart Concertina Medallions With Free Template

Posted on February 5, 2017 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)



We are busily catching up on the Valentine's Day projects in case the website goes down, so here is another project and template for you.

 

We have made lots of concertina style pieces on the blog over the last year, mainly for Christmsas projects. Well if you enjoyed making those, here is another use of that easy technique for you to try and make some lovely heart medallion shapes which you can use on your cards, as a decoration on a gift or even hanging off a twig tree like I have done.

 

Another hanging medallion heart. Try to ignore the thread of glue from a hot glue gun which shouldn't have been there for the photo!


Use the template to cut out the shape from your paper and simply concertina fold from one side to the other. Glue end to end and then push down to form your medallion. Simple! Here are some photos and you can find the free template on the Member's pages.


Cut out the template strip, score and fold into a concertina


Bend and glue or tape the ends to create the heart shape and then push in to form the medallion, just as you do for any normal circle medallions that you make this way.


A hot glue gun is needed here to secure your heart as it will spring out easily. These hearts look lovely on cards also but they are bulky, so make sure you are delivering your card in person rather than posting!





 

Valentines Day 2017 - Heart Banner With Free Template

Posted on February 5, 2017 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)



Today we have a lovely decorative Valentines project for you. There is a template on the Member’s gallery, so sign up to the site for that if you want it.

 

You probably remember making these at school. We have given these paper hearts an uplift by using beautiful papers and pretty pastel brads and pegged them with mini pegs onto our line.



You can also make them in the larger sizes and use them as single hanging decorations as shown in the photo above. The good old Twig Tree steps in again.


Cut the strips out, you will need 5 in reducing sizes. The template includes strips in lots of sizes so just choose which ones you want depending on the size of heart you want to make, just making sure that they are five next to each other on the template. You also need a centre strip to hang your heart. Here are some quick photo instructions to make them.



Punch holes in the top and bottom of each strip before you stack them.


I am just showing how to assemble one side of the heart here for simplicity and because it can be quite fiddly. You can do both sides at once by just laying them back to back, i.e. do the same with the other side with the coloured side of your papers facing inwards. You will see why in a second. I am using white paper here so it doesn't matter which way around I place my strips.



Now start to bend each one over from the top to the bottom, starting with the smallest strip and ending with the largest.


Secure with a brad.



Now, you can do the same with the other side, making sure to add a strip in the middle which will be used to hang your heart. This only needs to be punched at one end, which will be the end you push the brad through, The top of the strip is where you will attach your peg. If you like, you can leave this strip out altogether, as I have done in the larger heart hanging from the twig tree. I have glued in a piece of cord instead.



Here you can see another heart being made, this time I am using paper strips cut from patterned paper. The pattern faces inwards initially, then as you bend each strip down, it will be showing on the outside of the heart. If you get it wrong, it will be obvious right away!


I hope you have enjoyed this project and join us again for another Valentine's Day craft soon!


Valentines Day 2017 - Heart Packet With Free Template

Posted on February 5, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)



Visit the Member pages for the template for this project. We have made some Valentines themed gift packets in several sizes as well as a page of mini ones that you can use to hang on a string and create a decorative piece.




Put sweet treats inside or simply messages.




Letting you into a secret, my demo features some glass heart decorations rather than sweets as I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for but you get the idea!

Valentines Day 2017 - Heart Sentiment Jar With Free Printable Tags

Posted on February 4, 2017 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)


I’ve made this project for my beautiful children, to give them some inspiration day to day. I have got to be totally honest here and admit I was struggling to find nice things to say once I had got to about four but maybe that is a good thing, as I had to really sit down and think about them for a bit.

 

This led me to revist some old photos and remember things they have done over their lives so far that have made me laugh or step back and realise how lucky I am to have them. I feel that if people did take the time to stop and think about people they love and often take for granted in their life, maybe we would all find the world to be a better place to be. My mother used the phrase ‘Count your blessings’ often and I guess this is what she meant.




Anyway, I found this lovely heart jar in the discount store and in fact it was gathering dust in my garage, so it was dusted off and used for this project. I simply added some ribbon, a hand written label and a small polymer clay glitter heart that I found in my stash to the lid. Next I just filled the jar with tiny paper hearts, each with a personal note inside. I’m using a mixture of the folded hearts and origami hearts (we will be featuring in the next few blog posts) and using up my paper scraps. A simple idea but one that can spread such good vibes and that can only be a good thing!

 

There will be a free printable tag also on the Member pages, with four different wordings, just as soon as Webs.com, our website provider allows me to upload the files for you. Sorry for the wait but we are unable to do anything about it.

 

Valentines Day 2017 - Polystyrene Hearts

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)


Here is the project that was originally going to kick off our Valentines Series 2017.  Last year we made some decorated polystyrene Easter Eggs on the blog so I wanted to do the same with some hearts that I found in my boxes of odds and ends. 


I just love how they look hanging simply on a twig tree. That twig tree has been such a sound investment, as you can hang more or less anything on it and it really adds a lovely festive note to your room. If you haven't got one, you should!!



There are so many ways to decorate these simple hearts but we are just featuring a few on this post.

  • Try simply dabbing the heart with alcohol inks. These inks are just so versatile and will stick to most surfaces and are particularly useful on glossy or non porous things like these polystyrene hearts. Just make sure you let them dry thoroughly first before you start fidding with them. Actually, I did consider stamping on them with some archival inks but in the end I decided that they look nice enough with just the inks. You can see the effect on the heart in the background in the photo above.
  • Try using Distress Stains, again just dabbed over the heart. Go for a mixture and let the colours blend. These can be messy and take a while to dry. I ended up going around with bright red hands for a day or two after this, which got me some strange looks in the supermarket!
  • Decorate in a decoupage manner using little scraps of red and pink papers and a slightly watered down white glue (PVA). Handmade papers work particularly well for this technique, as they get saturated with glue easily and can be moulded to the shape you are using, whilst glossy papers can be difficult to use and need a little more work. I think they look stunning on a simple white twig tree but would be equally nice attached to a gift or hanging from a banner or string.




Tip: I’ve covered all my hearts in a gloss varnish to protect the finish, as polystyrene often chips off leaving an unsightly white piece underneath.


Here are some more projects using decorated polystyrene shapes:


Decorated Eggs Part 1

Distressed Easter Eggs

Stamped Easter Eggs


Christmas '16' Wrapping Paper Bags

Posted on December 15, 2016 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Our final project for this year, is to make some lovely gift bags for your presents using either backing papers for smaller bags or a piece of wrapping paper, to make bags of more or less any size.The video below uses a sheet from our Scandinavian Knit themed papers set and will make a small bag for maybe some chocolates or a piece of jewellery but if you use a piece of wrapping paper you can make much bigger bags that co-ordinate with your other gifts. Here is a bag using that same paper we used to make our crackers/bon bons.



So here is a quick video tutorial showing the folds to make the gift wrap bags!


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


Christmas '16' Mini Crackers using Scandanavian Knit Backing Papers

Posted on December 14, 2016 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Those of you who have read this blog over the years, will know that I love making little gifts to put on the Christmas Tree or on the dinner table. This was the thinking behind today's design, a set of lovely mini crackers/bon bons that you can cover with your paper leftovers or wrapping paper. I have covered mine with the red paper in the Scandanavian Knit themed backing papers collection we featured on an earlier blog post. Use a thin card or sturdy paper for these and fill them with small gifts or sweet treats!



You can find this Template on the left hand sidebar, under Box Templates and a sample page from the backing papers on the Member pages, with the full set in all colours and sizes available under the Printables Sheets Tab.


Tomorrow we have a final card project and then after that a wrapping paper bag demo before we round off on our Christmas Series for this year. Join us then for more!


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