Archive for the 'paper' Category

1st birthday card tutorial

My sweet girl is turning one in a little over two months. That is crazy. However this card isn’t for her but for the gaggle of giggling soon-to-be one-year-olds that we know.

52 crafts in 52 weeks: 1st birthday card tutorial


Blank cards
Pretty paper
Foam squares
Sewing machine
Xyron sticker maker
Silhouette machine
(the last two could be replaced by scissors and glue)

1) Cut out a bunch of ones from your scrapbook paper using your Silhouette (or scissors).
2) Stick a one to the centre of a blank card using the foam squares.
3) Cut out a stack of teeny tiny triangles (you could use silhouette for this too, I wish I had as mine are a bit irregular).
4) Turn them into stickers (or use glue in the next step).
5) Stick them to your card in a bunting-like fashion.
6) Fire up your sewing machine. Stitch over the triangles to represent the bunting ribbon.
7) Make as many as you like & you’re set for birthday season.


A handmade Christmas – cards

I have a weakness. A weakness for Washi Tape.

52 crafts in 52 weeks - Washi tape
I’m not very good at making anything with the beauties I collect; I just gaze at them adoringly. However when I needed an easy Christmas card design, one that I could do after bedtime (Emily’s obviously), during naps and even in the time Emily was willing to sit next to me “helping”, I turned to my treasured tapes.

52 crafts in 52 weeks - washi tape Christmas Tree cards
I used three different tapes for each card. I just cut pieces of different lengths; stuck them to plain white cards; and finally topped the trees off by punching a star shape.

52 crafts in 52 weeks - washi tape Christmas cards

These could not be easier to make. Now I just have to actually write and mail them. England, you might get them by the New Year if you’re lucky!

52 crafts in 52 weeks - Washi tape Christmas card

Nursery projects part 1

The time is approaching: Baby is due in 5 weeks and 1 day. I can hardly believe it! So much has happened since I found out I was pregnant and that we were moving to the west coast of America. You can catch up on what we’ve been up to since moving over on Letters Home.

So, to the craft. As you can imagine I’ve been itching to get making for the baby’s room for quite some time but the arrival of my craft supplies (and other important things like furniture) from the UK has really kicked me into action.

I still have some projects on the go so this is the first post of probably about three or four about what I’ve made or am making for our little one’s first room.

We’re renting so painting wasn’t really an option – and even if it was, it’s not something we have time for. So decorating the walls in other ways was high on my list of things to do.

The very first thing I made was this handsome chap.

I picked up the wooden owl shape from Michaels. But you could just as easily cut one out of some sturdy cardboard (corrugated would be best).

I then drew around the owl onto some paper (thin cardboard would be better) and divided it into the shapes of wings, feathers across the chest, head etc. I used them as a template to cut out pretty scrapbook paper which I then pasted onto the wood using Mod Podge (PVA would do fine too).

You could make this for virtually no cost if you used cardboard and paper or fabric scraps you already own. It would be fun to personalise it with your baby’s name too. As we don’t know if we have a boy or girl I can’t do that yet but maybe later.

And that’s it. Here he is hanging over our changing station (the drawer unit is from Ikea, along with most of our furniture).

Just look at the cuteness in this drawer…

Part 2 to follow very soon and it’s my favourite project so far.

{week 42} paper flowers

Happy Mother’s Day to the UK mums. To celebrate I made these pretty flowers for the table today as I was cooking lunch for my mum and mother-in-law. We had blueberry cheesecake for dessert – it was so so so good. Recipe here if you want to try it. Anyway… on to the craft.

Paper flowers for Mother's Day

Karen suggested I try making paper flowers in the comments for my stamp making post. I got the general inspiration from this instructuable but I made mine a little differently as you can see from the photos. I followed the same basic steps – cut petals out of paper, screwed them up and shaped them into petals. I used old faithful mod podge to stick them together into flower shapes and a screwed up ball of paper for the centres. Then I used hot glue to stick them to twigs. A perfect Mother’s Day table display.

Are you ready for the close ups?

Close up Close ups10 weeks to go! Wow.

{week 18} easy card making

Card making isn’t a new craft to me but the tool I used this week is. If you read a lot of craft blogs, the Silhouette SD won’t need any introduction. If you haven’t a clue what it is, read on…

I make a lot of cards – I never buy them – so a tool that allows me to digitally cut-out easily repeatable shapes, lettering, borders etc. instantly appealed to me. You can use it to cut out pre-loaded shapes and your own designs (something I haven’t had time to try yet) onto card, paper and vinyl (to name just a few materials). The Silhouette plugs into your PC or Mac (Mac software has just been released thankfully) and you use the software to determine the shape you want to cut.

Card making with the Silhouette SD

I first selected the basic arial font and used it to cut “happy birthday” out of a plain white card. Then I chose one of the flower shapes and cut it out of the blue card. Easy as that – and nearly as quick as that once you’ve done the initial set-up.

I can’t wait to make a tonne more cards and I can see me using it for lots of other uses: gift wrapping, scrapbooking and even glass etching (a future 52 weeks project maybe?).

PS – if you’re in the UK, I bought my machine from CraftsULove.

{week 14} scrapbooking

I’ve never really got into scrapbooking despite being a major lover of all things paper. But this tutorial from Creativity Prompt and my impending wedding anniversary (paper is the traditional first wedding anniversary gift) persuaded me to give it another go.

I used phrases from our wedding readings and vows printed on white card and dug-out loads of photos from the last year and printed them onto photo paper. Then I got cropping and sticking. I also used the free journalling tags to add hand written notes and comments about the photos.

Anniversary mini-book

I haven’t quite finished it yet but I’ve got a couple of weeks until the big day (wow, this time last year was a flurry of last minute preparations). I hope Ben likes the finished book.

Anniversary mini-book

{week 8} origami

It may be becoming obvious that I love paper – I have drawers and boxes full of the stuff. That’s not to say I don’t need more – you can’t really ever have enough paper (or fabric, but that’s another story).

So this week’s project is another paper-based one. I’ve made origami cranes before but never in such bright and pretty paper (from Paperchase by the way) so I folded up a few to make a pretty display (glass bowl was an engagement present and has been in a cupboard for a while as I didn’t have anything to put in it). You can find instructions for cranes here.



So cranes are pretty but been there done that so I found something new to try…

Origami flower

This pretty flower was made using this fab tutorial. I’ve had it bookmarked for ages so it was great to give it a go at last.


Hope you enjoyed this week’s project. I’ve covered quite a few papercrafts so far – do you have a favourite I haven’t tried yet?

{week 7} book binding

I’ve had this book sitting on my bulging craft book shelves for a while. For some reason I’ve never made anything from it. Well this week that all changes.

As usual, I used supplies I already had to hand to make this book. I used sketchbook paper for the cover (ideally the cover should be a slightly heavier paper like watercolour but I’m making do) and beautiful pages from old Toast catalogues for the decoration and the facing pages. Bright red thread binds it all together.

Equipment for book binding

The book has two sections and a ‘W’ fold and was very very easy to make. I have a feeling I will make lots more of these in all shapes and sizes.

Front page

Back page

Finished book

Have you tried book binding – what styles have you tried?

{week 4} papercutting

Papercutting – also known as scherenschnitte (scissor cuts) in German – has deep historical roots. The oldest known papercut is from 6th century China and the art spread across Asia and into Europe by the 16th century. Read more about the history and culture of papercutting on Wikipedia.

It’s no secret how much I love papercutting – if you read paper and cloth you’ll have seen my love for artists like Rob Ryan and The Time is Now – and I’ve been wanting to give it a go for a while. Look at all the beauty I found on flickr!

1. Esiotrot, 2. 333 Miles to Home, 3. Untitled, 4. winter forest papercut, 5. Zoe, 6. An Awkward Grimace, 7. Tree – abundance 3 detail, 8. The Wound (detail), 9. A mother’s afternoon-papercutting.jpg 2

The first thing I did was buy a decent knife. Research suggested x-acto is the knife of choice – I got this one from Amazon.

Then I did some sketching and then some cutting! I just used sketchbook paper as that’s what I had to hand. See skinny laminx’s tutorial for a method where you use thin paper over black paper instead of drawing directly on the paper you’re using like I did. The main thing to do is to make sure you don’t leave any unconnected areas or accidentally cut too far. Take it slowly.

Here’s my first attempt… what do you think?

First attempt at papercutting

First attempt at papercutting

First attempt at papercutting

Have a go, it’s  fun!

{week 3} papier-mâché

Before I get stuck into this week’s craft I just want to say a huge thank you to whipup for featuring my crazy little endeavour this week and to say hi to everyone who’s visited, commented and subscribed because of it.

Papier-mâché is a craft as old as paper making itself and has been used for decorative purposes as well as in toy- and mask-making for centuries.

I’ve had the book Home, Paper, Scissors by Patricia Zapata for a while but I haven’t had chance to try anything so I was keen to make something from it for this project. The bowls featured on the front cover grabbed my attention but in the spirit of trying not to spend too much money (or none in this case) I chose to take Patricia’s suggestion of using shredded office paper rather than beautiful brand new coloured paper.

home, paper, scissors

This is probably the most therapeutic craft I’ve tried so far – I loved using my fingers to spread the glue around rather than a brush and as it’s water-based PVA it washes out easily. It was interesting picking out the different snippets of information from the shredded paper – there were splashes of colour among the office-white, and handwritten scribbles as well as printed type – and I recognised receipts from different shops and my husband’s foreign travels.

Papier-mâché in progress

And here’s the finished bowl, full of my collection of vintage cotton reels. Such an easy, practical and effective project. Give it a try!

Finished papier-mâché bowl


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