57. Valentine Card

Some days crafty things just don’t go right. I was full of enthusiasm to make some Valentines cards and had found one online that I thought I would have a try at making.

Take a look at this one

Gorgeous and relatively simple, I thought.

Not so fast…

I gathered the equipment together

and marked out the lettering.

Then I carefully cut around the solid lines and folding at the dashed lines.  This took a while.  I was engrossed in listening to Danny Baker on the radio that was mistake number 1! I wasn’t concentrating on the card and glued the wrong side of the cut out piece:

How can I fix this? – mistake number 2. I should have put it in the bin at this point.  I decided to put glitter on the glue and make it look like I meant to cover the front with glue.

The pot of glitter had not been opened before and was covered in tape. I took much too long trying to get it open – mistake number 3. By the time I had finally got into the glitter the glue was almost dry.

But I carried on – mistake number 4. Glued it to the card and found that I had cut the heart too big so it didn’t fold properly – mistake number 5.

At this point I decided to try making a different card.

This one is much simpler.

Cut 2 hearts the same size from some pretty paper. The picture below shows enough for 3 cards.

Here comes mistake number 6.  I had drawn the heart shape on the reverse of the design and found when I turned it over that I had missed the design in some places – the white stripes in the picture above.

Stick one heart to the front of the card.

Then stitch the matching sized heart on top of this one.

If you look closely you will see mistake number 7.  I accidentally got some purple pen marks on the large top heart and had to disguise it by going around the whole heart with a purple outline.

As I made these 3 cards, I refined the method.  On the last one, I glued some tissue paper to the reverse side of the top heart which hid the print on the underside.

I also made mistake number 8…as I was finishing off the stitches on one of the cards, I snipped off the thread too close to the card and cut off the knot I had carefully made to secure the stitching so the inside has a loose end.  If I had more time and wasn’t making so many mistakes today, I would cover the stitching on the inside with another layer of card in a contrasting colour but I’m going to stop while I’m ahead.

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February 14, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. 1 comment.

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.

January 26, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. 3 comments.

53. Decorated Coat Hanger

This make has been languishing at the bottom of my makes basket for a year.  I picked it up many times and then always decided to wait until I got some Mod Podge.  As some very dear people gave me some, I was able to try it out.  It’s great and I think there will be a lot more makes with it in the year to come.

You may have noticed a new button on my blog to the top and right of this post – Pinterest. This is a virtual pinboard where you can save things you find around the web.  It is absorbing and truly fascinating to look at other people’s pinboards and discover all kinds of useful and interesting stuff.  So if you feel like having a look around, just click the button.

This make starts with an old wooden coat hanger and some recycled tissue paper that was way too beautiful to throw away.

I cut the shape of the hanger out of the tissue paper, leaving some extra paper to fold over the top and bottom.  I cut notches to fit it around the bends.

Then I glued it down with Mod Podge and repeated the procedure for the other side.

Once the paper was all stuck down and dry, I cut out some words and stuck them on too. Then I covered the whole lot with another layer of Mod Podge.

(Thank you  Kelly Rae Roberts for the inspiration).

January 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. Leave a comment.

52. Hopes and Wishes Chest

And here we are at the last post of the made by pin year.  I’ve made it…or rather, I’ve made a year’s worth.

This last make is a Hope and Wishes Chest for the new year.

I bought some blank chest shaped boxes.  (I learned my lesson from the very first make – an attempt at making a box!)


I found that it if you aren’t going to paint these, it is best to cover them with very thin paper.

I used specially bought paper for the middle one above and it was too thick to stick down smoothly, especially over the curves.  The left hand one is covered with used stamps from around the world and the one on the right is covered in a replica of the very first copy of the Times of London.  ( I think this one is the most effective).

I then covered all of the paper with acrylic medium gel and left to dry.

After 24 hours, I printed, cut out and stuck on some words to the outside and a map to the inside of the lid.

This is when I discovered that the layer of paper had made the lids too thick to close over the bases easily. I remedied this by rubbing a candle over the parts that close which allowed them to open and close a lot easier.

I used them as gift boxes and hope they might be used to store the recipients hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

Happy New Year everyone!

January 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. 4 comments.

46. Gift box made from Used Stamps

I’ve just got in under the wire with this week’s make.  All will become clear in a couple of weeks time.

I’ve collected stamps since I was a little girl. I had stamp albums that I inherited from my mum and dad and also collected used stamps for Blue Peter Christmas Appeals.  Old habits die hard.  I still can’t throw and envelope with a stamp away.  Nowadays the stamps go to whatever charity is collecting them.  The batch I used for this make included some that were damaged and of no use to collectors.

I started by taking the paper off the back of the stamp.  To do this, soak the stamp in a container of water.

This takes a few minutes.  When you can peel the paper off the stamp easily, dry the stamp by placing it face down on a towel, J cloth or paper towel.

While the stamps are drying find a suitable container that you can use to stick the stamps to.  I used a plastic container that had contained frosting.

When the stamps are dry fix them to the container one at a time. I used acrylic gel medium but you could use PVA glue or varnish.

When you have covered the whole container.  Paint over the stamps with a layer of your fixative.  Again, I used acrylic gel medium.

And here it is.  I’ll probably use it as a Christmas gift box.

November 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Paper, recycled. Leave a comment.

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.

November 18, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Paper. Leave a comment.

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.

October 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. Leave a comment.

35. Paper Weaving

For this week’s make I’m going back to card making, this time with a paper weaving theme.

First of all find some interesting and colourful pictures that you can cut up.

I used an old calendar – sorry about the flash in this photograph.

Then cut the page into 1cm wide strips.  I used a guillotine as it was quick and easy.

Interweave the strips under and over each other.

Once you are happy with the size, shape and design, glue the front of a piece of folded card and stick on the woven paper.

September 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Paper, recycled. Leave a comment.

34. Pen and Pencil Desk Tidy

My desk was a mess and had attracted a lot of pens, paintbrushes, scissors and other tools that I had dumped into 2 old coffee mugs.  I needed a desk tidy urgently and here it is:

I made it by cutting down a sturdy cardboard box.

I then took the box apart and opened it out.

Having a huge stock of old maps, I lined it with a piece from one of those.

Then I glued the box back together again.

Last year we visited the magnificent Abbaye de Fontevraud near Tours in France and I used some of the pictures from that trip to decorate the outside. As a backing I used a map of that region of France. Then I painted pva glue over the whole thing to protect the paper.

For the history buffs, the picture is Eleanor of Aquitane, wife of Henry II.

September 1, 2011. Tags: , , . Paper, recycled. Leave a comment.

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.

July 1, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Paper, recycled. 1 comment.

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