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.

March 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Paper. 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.

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.

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!

May 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Fabric. 1 comment.

13. Paper dolls

“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes?

Here is the key to your earthly pursuits.”

(When I first saw this quote it was attributed to Carl Jung but as I’ve found no reference to when or where he wrote it, I’ve not put his name to it.  If you know where it came from please let me know and I’ll be very happy to attribute it to the genius who said or wrote it.)

So, what did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes?  I’m guessing that asking the question ‘what do you do now that makes the hours pass like minutes?’ will also give a key to your earthly pursuits.  As you can probably tell, for me, making things makes the hours pass like minutes especially if I’m making something new. When I was a child, I spent many an hour making paper dolls. I came across this tutorial on how to make some and then had a go myself.

First draw some outlines on some cardboard packaging.  Anything will do – cereal boxes are perfect.

Sorry, this picture isn’t very clear.  I didn’t want to make the pencil outlines too strong as I wasn’t sure if I’d want them to be visible or not.  The outlines all have an integral semi circular shape at the bottom which will form a base.  Also make another semi circular shape for each figure. This will then slot into the figure at right angles so that they stand up.

Next go over the shapes you’ve drawn with gesso (a type of primer that you can find where art supplies are sold).

When that is dry use something like a pastel to colour the shapes in.  I used oil chalks from Koh-i-Noor and shaded the colour with my finger tips.I then outlined the shapes again with a darker pencil for more definition.

I coloured the bases at the bottom of each figure and the stands in green and then sprayed the whole thing with fixative.

When the fixative is dry, cut around each figure and each semi circular base. Then cut a vertical slot in the bottom of each figure and in the top of each base.  Slot the base into the figure and hey presto, with a bit of bending, the figures will stand up.

On another note, my good friend, Mary Fraser runs Poppyfields, a children’s charity. Poppyfields gives children space to express themselves. For many children, communication can be a real issue. Often they lack the words to describe what they want to say and that can leave them feeling angry and frustrated. Using creative play and listening to them in a relaxed and playful environment, helps them to unravel their thoughtsand worries.  If you would like to know more please click on the link above to contact Mary through her facebook page or if you would just like to support her, click ‘like’ on the page.

April 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Paper. 2 comments.

4. Personalised Thank You Card

Well, the craft morning at the library went very well.  When I got there at around 10am the kind ladies behind the desk told me that we’d sold 10 tickets.  Pretty good I thought and said to my lovely daughters who had come to help that they may not need to stay for the whole time as I was sure I could manage 10 children.  The event started slowly at 11am with a few small children and their parents drifting in to the room.  I settled the first few down and got to know their names.  Then the fun began.  By 11.15 there were 19 children and 12 parents plus 2 daughters, 1 grandson of 6 months and me squeezed into the room.  We brought in extra tables and eventually had all the children working away making beautiful origami hearts and then paper beads.  At 12:30 when we finished, daughters and I crawled out happy but exhausted!  Everyone seemed to really enjoy the morning and all left with either a beautiful card and/or necklace but I’m glad it is only twice or three times a year.

On Sunday husband, N. and I were invited to a work friend’s home for lunch.  What fantastic timing after a hectic Saturday.  We spent a glorious afternoon with J, T and their talented family and I thought this morning that I’d like to send them a special thank you.  Last week, in one of those synchronistic (is that a word?) moments, a fellow folksy seller, Cat In The Moon contacted me to say that one of my map cards had inspired her to make a card for a friend out of an old ‘A to Z’ using the page showing the street where they both used to live.  ‘Aha’, I thought this morning, I’ll make J and T a card using our old ‘A to Z’. So, here is how I made it:

You will need:

  • Some A5 size card.  I have a box that I bought at The Paper Mill Shop quite a few years ago.
  • Some backing paper to use under the map (the turquoise paper above)
  • An old A to Z
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • Ruler
  • A biro pen that no longer works
  • Acrylic medium gel

Using the ruler and the empty biro score a line down the centre of the card on both sides where the fold will be.

Find the road that you want to use in the A to Z and using the ruler and grid lines on the map draw an outline.  For this one I drew an outline of a house.

My intention then was to glue the turquoise paper to the front of the brown card and then the map house to the turquoise paper.

Not so fast!

The glue spurted out from behind the turquoise paper and marked the brown card.  No problem I thought, it won’t show when it dries and carried on. the map didn’t stick well to the turquoise paper and the whole thing looked a mess.  Nevermind, I thought, I can fix this and using my trusty Acrylic Gel medium brushed over the whole lot. Not a good idea.  It looked even messier with glue spots showing through the brush marks on the brown card.  I peeled the map and turquoise paper off the brown card and left it to dry.  It has dried with brush marks so I’m going to give it another coat I think.

Gave it a few more coats of watered down acrylic medium gel and eventually got rid of most of the brush strokes.  Before the last coat, I raided grandson G’s  art and craft supplies for some glitter and found some little green sparkly stars that I dropped on the wet gel.

Left it to dry overnight.

Right, I thought this morning.  I will get this card finished then go out and sweep up some leaves before the rain starts.

Not so fast.

I decided to use double sided tape to attach the turquoise paper to the brown folded card.  Only mistake was that I didn’t throw the one I’d messed up away and ended up, in my haste, attaching the paper to the back of the messed up brown card.

Quick rethink.  It was impossible to take the paper off the card without ripping it so I cut the brown card leaving a small frame of brown around the turquoise.  Then attached it to another piece of card, grey this time.  You’ll see what I mean in the photograph below.

You will see from the photograph that the roof of the house is a slightly different colour…that is where the page of the map had yellowed with age.

Turned out ok in the end, I think.  Anyway, it is in the post to J and T.  I hope they like it.

February 1, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Paper. 4 comments.

2. Personalised Cufflinks

Right – on to ‘make’ 2.  This time I’m going to have a go at making some personalised cufflinks.  Here is what you need:

These are going to be for son’s girlfriend’s brother who is besotted with his new dog.

The cufflink blanks and cabochons are 12mm diameter.  The challenge so far has been getting a clear photograph, sized correctly so that Biggie’s head fits into 12mm. The cabochons magnify the photograph as well so be sure to take that into account. (Remember to print off 2 photographs).  I have printed the photographs onto card rather than photographic paper as I think the glue might be kinder to card.

Place the cabochon over the top of the photograph and draw around it with a sharp pencil.  Cut out carefully with sharp scissors or a craft knife.

Attach photographs to cabochons with a thin layer of PVA glue.

Once these are dry attach the photos to the cufflink blanks with all purpose strong adhesive.

Taaaa  Raaaa…a much easier make than the first.

If you would like to make some of these yourself please see my folksy shop for the components.  Some ideas for personalisation could be a piece of map showing a meaningful place; pause and play symbols, sports related pictures, children’s drawings.  The list is endless.

An alternative make  to the cufflinks is a bracelet like the one below.  You could have matching jewellery!

January 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Jewellery. 3 comments.

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