Sunday, 15 October 2017

Ski Sweater Star Ornaments

Festive decorations today. Ski-sweater patterns and a fun bit of dimensionality - a bevelled ridge and an inner peaked pentagon - make these paper stars special. Super-fun to make.

Here are your freebie print-and-cut stars:


 To make:
1 Print and cut the stars. Use 160gsm photocopier card.

2 Score all the fold lines. Use a fine-point embossing tool held against a small metal ruler. You must score the lines radiating from centre, and all the horizontal lines, as indicated by the bands of colour.

3 Crease the folds. Use a bone folder. 

4 Fold the folds in this sequence: valley fold, mountain fold, valley fold for the horizontals. All the spokes radiating from centre are mountain folds.

5 Glue the reinforcement onto the wrong side of the star.

6 Glue the tabs under.

7 Add a ribbon hanging loop.

 There is a knack to folding these stars - do a trial run. You will soon be able to manipulate the folds so the mountains and valleys pop into place.

For a super-3-D ornament, glue two stars back-to-back.

Happy crafting.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Pineapple Party!

I've been clocking lots of pineapple designs around lately - could it be succulent fatigue (no, I will never tire of succulents)? Pineapples were popular during Regency times, when as a newly-available exotic fruit they were the prestige party gift. So, surfing the resurfacing trend, I have designed a Pineapple Gift Box for you.

The Pineapple Gift Box consists of an inner swirl-close box surrounded by a drawstring lattice pouch. There's also a gift tag. Fun to make - and fun as party favours. 

Here are your free Pineapple Gift Box design files (two files - one for the pouch, one for the inner box) :



 Pineapple Gift Box

1 The project is made on 160gsm photocopier card. For the lattice pouch, print the wrong side of the card brown to match the pineapple colour (use the eyedropper tool, if you have one in your program). 

2 Print the lattice pouch design on the flip side of the card.

3 Cut out the design. (For PDF version, you must carefully cut the slits with a craft knife over a self-healing mat.)

4 Glue the reinforcements onto the wrong side of the lattice pouch.

5 Score fold lines down centre of each reinforced point. Crease the folds inwards.

6 Now make the inner box. Print and cut it out. Score the fold lines (use a fine-point embossing tool held agains a small metal ruler). Crease the folds.

7 Assemble the box. You can used d/s tape or PVA glue to secure the tabs. Glue the side flap, then the base tabs. To close the box, fold down the flaps consecutively, tucking the last one under.

8 Centre the inner box on the wrong side of the lattice pouch. (The box corners fit between the loopy top leaves.) Thread baker's twine through the holes and draw up the leafy top.(Magic moment when the lattice slits morph into a net!) Do not crease the larger loopy leaves - keep them as soft folds. Tie a bow. Add decorative pony beads to the twine ends if desired.

9 Optional tag included.

Hope you have a pleasingly perfect pineapple party. :)


Monday, 25 September 2017

Ultimate Paper Craft Bible. Review.

A Complete Reference with Step-by-Step Techniques

Collins & Brown

Paperback £17.99 UK/$19.95 US/$22.95 CAN

ISBN 978-1-911163-42-8

Star rating: ****

Just out – this delightful compendium of paper craft techniques, begging you to dip in for inspiration whether you are a newbie or an experienced paper crafter. Paper is such a versatile craft medium, there’s always something new to discover in terms of craft techniques.

Here, you will find chapters on Colouring, decorating and texturing; Card making; Envelopes, gift-wrap and gift boxes, Scrapbooking; Paper cutting; Origami; and Other paper crafts. A nice touch – the sections are index-tabbed for go-to convenience. There’s a good section on paper flowers – check out the show-stopping Sunflowers.

This title does a good job of covering a pretty big subject. It comes up with fascinating techniques you may not be acquainted with – for example, Bubble Printing, Making Polymer Clay Embellishments, and using a sewing machine to pierce holes for paper embroidery. Step-by-step how-tos are provided with illustrations and text; projects are photographed. 

If you are already a paper crafter, you may be familiar with the two main contributors to the book: Paula Pascual and Sarah Beaman, superstars both. Other contributors have top paper craft credentials, such as Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell and Hilary More. 

The section on Paper Cutting is especially strong. Irresistible projects include suede-look Victorian cut-and-pierced paper gloves (clever use of a pattern wheel marker!) and Mexican-style paper cut banners.

So, a good new title. There is however, something missing. No digital paper crafts. There are an ever-growing number of digital paper crafters out there. Different platforms make it a challenging topic to cover - but this vibrant and exciting crafting area should not be ignored!

Ultimate Paper Craft Bible is part of a series. You will probably want to check out some (or all) of the other titles, which include Ultimate Sewing Bible, Ultimate Crochet Bible, Ultimate Quilting Bible, Ultimate Knitting Bible, and Ultimate Wood Work Bible.

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this title.