59. Another Birthday Card

It is my friend Julia’s birthday on Monday.  She loves dogs, so I thought I’d make her a personalised card.

Those of you who followed this blog in its first year will recognise the method – it is a papercut.  I drew a design in pencil then cut it out with a craft knife. I then stuck the design on to a contrasting backing paper with Spray Mount.

It would probably have been better to have drawn the design on the reverse of the paper so I didn’t have to erase the pencil marks; but being no Leonardo Da Vinci, my brain power does not stretch to mirror writing.

55. Word Bird

It has been a hectic week so far.  I realised this morning that I didn’t have a make ready to publish so decided to take an hour out this afternoon to get one ready.  I enjoyed making this so much that I forgot to take photographs at each stage and totally lost track of time. That must be a sign of a good make.

The directions for this make are by Ann Ellis in the January/February 2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors

I started by roughly drawing a body, wing and beak shape on cardboard as Ann suggests.

Then I cut the shapes out:

and this is where I got lost in a dream of tissue paper and glue and forgot to take any more photographs.

The steps are very simple: tear up tissue paper, stick it to the body, wing and beak. Then embellish.

Attach the finished bird to a skewer or other handy stick and admire.

45. Paper Cut Design for a Card

I’ve been experimenting with paper cutting and wondering what to do with the finished product.   This week I’ve made one into a card for a family member’s birthday.

Firstly, draw a simple outline onto some scrap paper.  Once you are happy with your design, either copy or draw it onto some coloured paper.

Using a craft knife and a self healing mat, cut around your design. This is quite fiddly and requires some care.

Once the design is cut out, stick it onto a piece of contrasting paper and then onto a blank card.

Or, you could paint a background and then stick the papercut on to it when it is dry – depends on what time you have and how arty you are feeling.

44. Quilt label

This week’s make has been a bit of a mission.  Our good friends, R & A have been made proud grandparents and I wanted to give new baby Samantha a specially made quilt.  The quilt was no problem, after all, you will have seen from previous posts, I’ve made these before.  This time, I decided that I’d like to label it as I’ve read some articles saying that labelling is important so future generations know where and when the quilt was made.  I did some research and found that I could print directly onto fabric from my ink jet printer.  This sounded ideal, I could design a beautiful label, print it and sew it to the back of the quilt and hopefully it would last the life of the quilt.

Some websites suggested that  in order to print successfully on to fabric, the best thing to do is to soak the fabric first in ‘Bubble Jet Set’ .

This I did:

I left the fabric to dry, then ironed it to some printer sized freezer paper. (Common in the US but not so easy to get in the UK – try ebay)

I then designed the label:

Unfortunately, when I tried to print the fabric on the freezer paper, my printer didn’t cooperate. I tried an old printer – still no luck. Very disappointing.

Trying again, I decided to write directly onto the fabric.  Once again, I ironed the fabric onto freezer paper.  This holds it and makes it easier to write on.  I found a fun font and then copied it directly onto the fabric using a Copic Multiliner SP 0.25.

Then I cut it out and sewed it to the back of the quilt.

Not quite what I had intended but it works and I hope it will last as long as the quilt.

42. Card for Mike

One of the family has a big birthday this week and as he loves maps as much as I do,  I’ve made him a card using an old map and some cut out letters.

I learned how to make letters like this in art class in my first year of high school – one of the more useful things I learned in school.  When I was in school we made the squared paper from scratch but that is hardly necessary (I wonder why we did that???).

So, using some squared paper, I marked out the letters with a pencil and ruler. Then I cut them out. I found an old map featuring the town where Mike was born and grew up and placed the letters on the map.  I then drew around them with a pencil.  You could do this on the reverse of the map if you don’t want to get pencil marks on the front but I wanted to make sure I got the town centrally placed.

I cut out the letters on the map and stuck them to the front of a blank card.

40. A Fabric Banner

Our regular craft group met last week at Burnham Wellness Day.  We had a great turnout and lots of people stopped by our tables to see what we were making and have a chat.

One of the regulars asked me if I would help her to make a banner for a table top sale that she will be holding on behalf of our library.  She had been thinking that she would like me to paint the wording but the rest of the group thought that fabric would be better.  So, I brought it home and it has turned into this week’s make.

Esther gave me a tab top curtain to use as the banner.  I cut the letters out in paper first and then used these as patterns to cut out the fabric.

I pinned the fabric letters to the banner

I started to machine them on with zig zag stitch but found that the banner was so big the letters were falling off as I manoeuvered the fabric through the machine.  So, I tacked the letters in place before stitching.

And here is the finished banner:

Some of the letters are a bit wonky but I’m sure Esther won’t mind.

25. Paper bag Made From a Comic

Another busy week at work so I was looking for something very quick and easy as a make and mistakenly thought a paper bag would fit the bill. I had several tries at this, this is the one that worked!  The bag is made just like wrapping a gift but leaving one end open.

I had some lovely heavy paper that was originally a poster that came free with a newspaper.

The picture above shows it cut in half with the top folded over about 1cm and glued down.

I then found a large heavy book and folded the paper around it. Folded over the edge again and glued it down.

Next I tucked in the base just like wrapping a present and glued it closed.  Standing the book upright on top of the glued paper held it all together while it dried.

I then sharpened the creased edges of the bag and  used a two hole punch to make holes for the ribbon on both sides of the bag.

I mentioned at the beginning that it was third time lucky for this make. Here are the first two efforts:

The first one I tried to make following instructions on a you tube video…disaster!

And this one looks good but would hold nothing of any weight at all as the bottom of the bag was made like this:

Cutting slits in each corner and then folding the bottom in.

I will get some card and strengthen this one but not today – I’m all bagged out.

17. Needle Felted Purse

This make came about because I wanted to make something special for a dear friend’s daughter’s 21st birthday. I’ve been waiting to post this until today as this is her birthday and I wanted to make sure that she opened it before she read how to make it!

I learned how to needle felt from Val who also showed me how to make paper. So far I’ve made many brooches and a couple of pictures but I wanted to make Lily something new and different.

I started off with a piece of soft felt roughly 48cm x 24cm.

Then using a needle felting tool I felted in some ‘Oliver Twist Silk Fibres’ (I bought these from Rainbow Silks – a treasure trove of beautiful creative supplies in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire – it’s next door to the Roald Dahl Museum if you want to make a day of it. They also do mail order if a trip isn’t possible.)

After I got the fibres in place, I sewed on some yarn and beads. (Scroll down for a picture.)

Once the decoration was all in place I cut a piece of lining fabric slightly larger than the piece of felt all the way around the rectangle.

For this purse I found a piece of beautiful, fine cotton Liberty print in my stash.

I pinned the lining to the felt, right sides together so that the lining would show slightly on the two shorter sides.

I then sewed the lining to the felt around 3 sides (the two longer sides and the short side just below the felted design). After turning right side out,  I closed the fourth edge by folding the lining over the felt slightly and hemming in place.

I then folded the fabric in three making a purse with flap and sewed up the sides of the purse part.

I used velcro to close the flap to the purse part.

At this point, I looked at the purse and thought, ‘This isn’t what I had in mind for Lily. Start again!’

I used black felt this time and followed the colours of the lining for the felting and beading.  I also added a label inside with her name and today’s date that I printed on fabric using Bubble Jet Set (more of this technique to come).

Happy birthday Lily!

10. Recycled ruffle necklace

Into double figures! Make number 10.  Sounds good until I realise I have 42 left to make.

This make was inspired by a Marni.com necklace that I saw in one of the Sunday supplements.  The Marni necklaces are beautiful and follow one of the hottest trends of the moment – ruffles but if you don’t have the cash to splash out then have a go at making one like this.

I used about 2 metres of black ribbon for the pleated section and about 1.5 metres for the ties.  The ribbon came off a beautiful box of perfumed goodies that I received for my birthday. The beads (22 taupe coloured and 22 very small black) I took from an old 80s necklace. I also used two jump rings from my jewellery making supplies but they aren’t strictly necessary if you don’t have any to hand.

Starting at one end of the 2m piece of ribbon, start to fold tiny pleats.  I creased them by running my thumb nail down the fold and then putting a couple of stitches at the top of the pleat to hold it.

I have to admit this does take a little while to complete.  After I had pleated the entire piece, I pressed it very carefully – I was terrified that I’d melt the ribbon!

I then sewed the beads on one by one alternating the larger taupe coloured with the small black ones that act as spacers.

The ribbon I used was already shaped at each end but if yours isn’t then cut each end on the diagonal then hem them raw edge.

Slip each end through a jump ring and stitch in place.

Lastly cut the other piece of ribbon (1.5m) in half and hem each end of both pieces. Thread one end of each piece through the jump ring and stitch in place.  I gathered mine slightly but you could easily attach in the same way as you attached the main part of the necklace (i.e. cut the end of the ribbon on the diagonal, hem and thread through the ring).
Tie the two ends in a bow, slip over your head and you are ready to go!

8. Gift Tag Made from a Napkin

That sounds a bit unlikely doesn’t it?  I have a bundle of odds and ends of paper napkins.  You know the kind that you might buy for a birthday or barbeque, use most of the packet but find there are always one or two left over that never get used again.  So I was looking for something to do with them.

Apart from the napkin, here is what else you will need:

Piece of card, pick a colour that will go well with your chosen napkin

PVA glue

Small brush for applying the glue




Hole punch

Hole reinforcers – but I didn’t have any to hand today.

First cut out the card into the shape you would like to make your gift tag.

Check how many layers your napkin has and peel off the top layer – the one with the design. Place the piece of card under the design and draw around the edge of the card with a pencil.

Using the brush, paint a thin layer of glue onto one side of the card.  Make sure the glue goes right to the edges.

Place the cut out napkin piece onto the glue. Press down gently from the middle outwards, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.  Be careful as it is quite delicate – too much pressing can tear it.

Turn the tag over and cut any excess napkin off from the edges so that it is flush with the card.  While the tag is right side down, put a small pencil mark where you would like the hole to be.

Place the tag under a heavy book and wait for it to dry.  Once dry, punch a hole on the mark with the hole punch and place a reinforcer (if you have them- do they even sell them anymore?) on each side of the tag. Thread a piece of ribbon, string or rafia through the hole and it is ready to use:

While I was looking for a piece of ribbon, I came across some plain white cardboard tags that I bought from the Post Office a while ago and used one to make this tag with one of the other odd napkins I had:

I’m pleased with how these have turned out – the napkins are so fine that they look like the design has been painted on to the tags.  I will probably make more to keep in my wrapping paper box.

It would also be a good technique for making cards or bookmarks.