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Christmas 2017 Series - Chipboard Screen Template Display Card

Posted on December 6, 2017 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)


At last I have got around to putting up some Christmas decorations! Actually, this year was the first year ever that I really didn't want to get involved in it all. For some reason, maybe age, maybe generally being a humbug, I just didn't want to go in the loft and pull down the Christmas decorations. After much fussing, my dearly beloved husband clambered up there, with very little complaint, which was a surprise, as he generally doesn't like doing anything he is asked to do. I then told my smallest teenager that she would be tasked with decorating the Christmas Tree if she did indeed want one. After much whining, she did agree and in fact she made a fantastic job of it!


So anyway, in the spirit of Christmas decorating, today's project idea is a lovely display piece. I originally intended making this as a sort of card but decided that with the chipboard, you are making something much more permanent, so ended up making something in between.

 

I am using the Chipboard Screen Template, decorated in festive papers with handmade paper poinsettias, a stamped a die cut tree and a stamped greeting.I originally made this with someone in mind but decided I liked it so much on my fireplace that I am going to leave it there for Christmas. Here are a couple more pictures. No project notes as it is really self explanatory.



I got carried away making the paper flowers, which were so simple to make. I will be posting up a free template for those in another blog post but you could use your paper punches or die cutters to make them also.



There are just so many ways you can use this template, to make display screens for all kinds of occasions. This is just one idea! I hope you have enjoyed our Christmas Series, as we draw close the end for this year. Please do leave me a comment on the Facebook page or indeed down below this blog post. All comments and questions are gratefully received.

Christmas 2017 Series - Paper Strip Ornaments

Posted on November 29, 2017 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello and welcome back!

 

Today, we have another easy project for you as part of our ongoing Christmas 2017 Series.

 

There is a free template for you too, if you are not a member of the site, then just register. using the link on the top right. Here are a few examples of today's papercraft project, made with just some paper strips, some beads, wire and ribbon.







These are easy to make if a little fiddly if you are not dexterous with your hands but definitely the process itself is simple.

 

Cut out your strips, either using the template or you can just cut your papers to make ornaments of any size. Here for this large one I am using scrapbook paper.



Using a paper puncher, just punch some holes through the middle and each end, as shown by the template.



Next, thread a bead onto some wire and secure by bending the wire back and through the bead. This will be the bottom of the ornament.



Next, spread out the strips in preparation for folding them. Ideally you want to work with the top strip first followed by the second and so on down to the strip at the base of your pile. I found this out by mistake, as you can see in some of the photos above, the strips won't lie flat properly if you do them in a random order.



Pass the wire through each strip as shown bringing each side of each strip to the middle in turn



Here you can see how it looks. When you have fed all the pieces onto the wire, you can add beads and to secure it, gently pushing the ornament down to get the shape you want. Make a loop of the wire and secure it by winding it around itself. Then add ribbons and other decorations as you wish.

Christmas 2017 Series - Alcohol Ink Foiled Bauble

Posted on November 27, 2017 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Today I wanted to share a project that I stumbled upon while I was messing about doing something else and in fact it turned out really well, so I was excited to post it up here on the blog.

 

I had some plain baubles left over from the sales last year that I picked up really cheaply. Last year we made some lovely alcohol ink ornaments and this project just is another version of that really.



So here are the baubles, there is a mixture of pearlised and shiny in the pack and you can really use either of them. I decided to go for the shiny ones as I felt that any missed areas wouldn't show up so badly.



After covering the bauble with glue, I am pressing some silver foil flakes all over the top. This took several goes, with extra glue to get the whole bauble covered. You will get in a mess and you will get silver flakes on your clothes, hair and carpets, so check make sure you check yourself if you are going out!



When the foil has dried, you can add your alcohol inks, mixing colours as you like. I happen to love blues and purples, so I have gone with those. The ink dries lighter than it goes on, so you will probably need to add more to get a depth of colour.



Here is the finished bauble. I love this!

I added a coat of laquer varnish to seal the foil on the bauble and stop it flaking off.

Thanks for joining us today and drop by again for another project in our Christmas 2017 series on the next post.

Christmas 2017 Series - Tissue Baubles or Ornaments 2

Posted on November 22, 2017 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (1)


Gotta love these upcycle projects! I'm back to my tree decorations again today. That same box or baubles/ornaments bought last year in the sales is getting some use this year. I am so pleased with the twig tree covered in all these creations and if you like doing these kind of projects then this one is a must do! All you need is some pretty tissue papers, the printed kind is the best.

 

So I had some gold printed tissue paper I bought about 14 years ago, that I found in a drawer under my bed. Honesty, this tissue paper has been all round the world and back and I finally thought, enough is enough, it has to get used. I had used it a bit here and there but do you know when you have something that you buy and you just don't think you should use it because it looks too nice, was too expensive, or you think you make have a use for it in the future but in the end you don't....well this was on of those items!Turns out that it looked great on my plain old Christmas baubles.


 


The process for making these upcycled baubles or ornaments is exactly the same as we featured on an earlier post with our Distress Oxide Tissue Papers but a whole lot easier as we are using ready printed tissue that we don't have to make first and we don't have to seal to prevent the inks running. So read this post first to see the basic method which just involves using a watered down PVA/white glue to layer up pieces of torn tissue paper, letting it dry and then using some laquer to seal and add a little shine.




I just love how these turned out, taking basic boring and cheap baubles and making them super pretty. One pack bought in the sales last year, has allowed me to make three different types of home crafted ornament to keep, what a bargain!!

Christmas 2017 Series - Beaded Paper Strip Tree Ornaments

Posted on November 19, 2017 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (1)


This is a project based upon one that you can find all over the web but I wanted to make my own version and to make it easy for you, there is a template on the Member's pages that you can pick up if you register with the site.

 

I haven't done any photo instructions for this one as it is relatively straightforward. Bend the paper strips back and forth according to the dotted lines, working from the largest fold to the smallest, shaping the paper at the top or bottom. Punch a hole through the middle and feed through some beading wire and beads to decorate on each layer, the top and the bottom, or as you wish. Loop the wire at the top so that you can hang your ornament.



This is a great way to use up old scraps in your craft box or to make coordinating decorations for a gift to match the wrapping paper.



I will post up some photo instructions if anyone is sruggling with this but it is pretty easy to do. Have fun with the template and of course drop a line to the site using the contact form or add a comment below this post if you have any comments or questions.


Christmas 2017 Series - Distress Oxide Tissue Baubles

Posted on November 18, 2017 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (1)


As promised, we are continuing with the Distress Oxide Crumpled Tissue Technique, this time using it to decorate some cheap, nasty Christmas baubles/ornaments.

 

I love upcycling things to make something really handmade and unique. The thing about crafting is that you can do the same thing twice, use the same materials and tools and finish up with things that are different in colour, tone or finish. Everything you make is truly unique and today's project is a good example of that.



I've got my plain old, cheap baubles out again!



And my good old Distress Oxide Inks. I've gathered all the colours together as I wasn't sure what I was going to create.



I created a whole heap of papers using the same Crumpled Tissue Paper Distress Oxide technique I used in a previous post.

Simply gorgeous colours!!

 

I have added some spray inks over the top, silver, gold and copper depending on the base colours.

 

Tip: Through trial and error I discovered that the Distress Oxides and spray inks will run a bit when we get to the pasting stage, so you will want to seal them if you can. I used some hairspray to just try and fix the colours a bit. There will still be a bit of run but not nearly as much.



I started off by covering my bauble with a coat of gesso, simply to give me a base to work on and hopefully make it easier for things to stick to it.



Then I tore up my paper sheet into little pieces, trying to make sure that I picked the best bits and glued them onto the bauble, making sure to cover the whole thing and working the paper down as much as possible with a wet brush. I found that using a mixture of PVA or white glue mixed with a little water to thin it out was the best option.


Here are the results, with some more spray inks added before adding a coat of laquer to seal the ornament.


Green and yellows with gold spray


Pinks with silver spray


Blues and purples with silver spray


I just love the rough finish on these tissue baubles, where some of the tissue didn't lay flat. I thought this would be a problem but I am actually really happy that it worked out that way! These will be added to my growing collection of hand finished baubles that I create each year.

 

Thanks for reading and join me again tomorrow for another fun project with a free Member template!

Christmas 2017 Series - Quick Gift Tags Free Template

Posted on November 15, 2017 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (1)


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 (1)


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 (1)


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 (1)

 


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!





 


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