Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Bandana Gift Card Holder

When it comes to gifting, gift cards are the easy option (bought in a last minute panic at the supermarket?). Why not add a dash of thoughtfulness by dressing them up in attractive packaging. This bandana wrap makes for a nice presentation. There's a card enclosure, too. Yes, I'm still on my bandana binge. It's a big trend this spring, and I'm riding it. :)



So, there you have it - an almost-instant spruce-up for a last-minute

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

"Mirror Embroidery" Drawstring Bag

Outsies - "mirrors" on top.
"Insies" - "mirrors" underneath.
With William & Kate's royal tour of India, there's a spotlight on Indian handicrafts. I've always been a big fan of shisha - mirror - embroidery. Recreating the look in paper is something I greatly enjoy. Soo - here's a drawstring bag with a mock shisha band.

I bought some lovely mirri card at the Ally Pally crafting event - so this was a project waiting to happen. There are two ways of going about the mirror effect - the choice is yours. You can either glue on mirri card circles, or cut out circular holes and glue mirri card rectangles behind the cutouts. 

Here are your free designs:
Drawstring Bag A has the mirror circles glued on. Drawstring Bag B has the recessed mirrors. I have only given a digi-cut version for this bag because it would be too fiddly to cut out by hand. For hand-cut version A (the .pdf), you can cut out the mirror discs with a paper punch. 

Shisha Drawstring Bags - Making Up Tips

Cut out all the pieces first. Score and crease all the folds. You have to manipulate the zigzag top folds a bit - just take your time and pay special attention to the pointy creases. You need two panels for each bag. For the glued-on-top mirror bag - do not glue on the mirrors until the two panels are joined to make one length. Then do not glue mirrors onto the underlap. For the glued-behind version - do that first, but no mirror needed on the underlap.

The tassels are made with craft thread. I used my brand new handy dandy gizmo that I bought at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show - yay! It's the Clover Small Tassel Maker. 

I didn't think I needed a tassel maker. I do perfectly well with a notched piece of card. But I simply cannot resist the lure of a new crafty gadget.

The tassel maker was fun to use - the end grooves made it easy to cut the threads. I liked the counterintuitive method of tying the top knot in the centre. So - good new toy!
Enjoy doing the papercraft mirror embroidery. Have bags of fun.


Friday, 15 April 2016

Bandana Keyring Pockets

Bandanas are a hot fashion item this spring - fine by me - I've always been fond of the paisley/mixed print thing. So - here's a handy dandy little project in a bandana print. Mini pockets that can be stored on a ring. (I've called them keyring pockets, but that is actually a book ring...)

Clock the motif on the pocket back. 

Here's your Friday Freebie project:
Bandana Keyring Pockets

1 Cut out the components and score the folds with a fine-point embossing tool held against a small metal ruler. Take special care scoring the curves folds at the base. If cutting by hand, you will have to pierce holes for the brads.

2 Crease all the folds.

3 Glue a reinforcement around the pocket back hole and the other one around the pocket front flap. Glue the brad mats back-to back.

4 Glue the top of the pocket flap on to the top of the wrong side of the pocket back, edges aligned. Use tacky PVA glue applied with a cocktail stick.

5 Thread a brad through a brad mat and insert it through the hole in the pocket front. 

6 Glue the front flap to the side edge of the back, aligning edges.

7 Thread a brad through the remaining brad mat and tie on a piece of craft thread behind it. Fasten to the top flap.

8 The pocket is now finished. Pop the pillow box closure at the base.

9 Make as many pockets as desired and thread on to a book ring. I always think and odd number is more pleasing.

 What will you store in yours? Brads, buttons, whatnots....

Monday, 11 April 2016

Dictionary day!

This is not a craft project, although it is papery in nature. Tuesday, 12 April 2016 is the publication date for my husband Michael's dictionary for Schofield & Sims. It took him over five years to compile and the pub date coincides with its launch at the London Book Fair at Olympia. This is a totally new dictionary compiled from scratch. It is the most up-to-date and comprehensive Key Stage 2 dictionary for children 9-11+.

Impossible to tell from the pic, but this is a ginormous book - over 600 A4-size pages. 

Congrats to Michael. Well done you!


Friday, 8 April 2016

Paper + Tape: Craft & Create, by Marisa Edghill. Review.

Paper + Tape: Craft & Create

Cut, Tape, and Fold your way through more than 75 creative & colourful

papercraft projects & ideas

By Marisa Edghill

Walter Foster 2016

Paperback £12.99 UK/$19.99 US/$23.95 CAN

ISBN 978-1-63322-048-5

Star rating: ****

Papercrafters love washi tape. That’s a given. But what to do with the washi stash? All suggestions welcome. This new title by Marisa Edghill has plenty of fresh – yet simple – ideas for washi-wonderful creations.

Many washi-craft titles limit themselves to using stuck-on snippets of washi as decorative elements – an all-too-obvious and unimaginative use. This title even includes projects that use washi tape as a functional connective element (pleated doily bows, Paper Pyramid Pouches). Wow.

The author is especially good on generating decorative patterns using washi tape. The Vintage Flower Design teacup is a cinch – and delightful. The concept is to recreate the vibe of handpainted pottery using washi tape. Modern Geometric Mosaics and the Fruit Salad Stickers are winners.

Yes, you’ve seen the paper beads before – but they are well-executed and deserve inclusion. The Papercut Bouquet idea is good – using an engineered washi tape underlay with a papercut topper. Shooting Stars – pleated paper star-topped tassels – nice dimensional project – fun to fold.

Self-adhesive sheets of washi paper are now available for crafting. It would have been nice to include a project or two using this new creative material on its own or in combination with conventional washi tape strips. Also – the eraser stamp project looks like it belongs, but doesn’t quite tie in with the washi theme.

The book would make a fab gift for a child’s half-term break.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Bandana Gift Box

I have a thing for scarf prints, and bandanas are having a moment (not that they ever disappeared). Soo - here's a handy pillow gift box decorated in a bandana design.

Like all pillow boxes, it is a cinch to make. Just one flap to glue, pop in the ends, and you're good to gift.

Here is your free printable papercraft. Make by hand (.pdf) or digi-cut (Silhouette):

I've given you two sizes for the cutting file. The larger size is 20% bigger.


Sunday, 3 April 2016

Butterfly Box

Today's project is pillow box with two compartments. This butterfly box makes a great party favour - a different treat in each half!

Here's your free printable papercraft (.pdf):
Butterfly Box

1 Cut out the pattern pieces. 90gsm paper or lightweight card works best. The paper needs to be flexible so the box puffs up smoothly.
2 Score the fold lines with a fine-point embossing tool held against a small metal ruler. Fold the creases, taking care to shape the curved folds.
3 Glue the strip on to the centre back of the box front. Use tacky PVA glue applied with a cocktail stick.
4 Glue a centre wing flap onto either side of the front piece centre spine. Next, glue the angled flaps. Let dry.
5 Puff up the box and fill it. 
6 Tie a narrow ribbon box around the box centre. Situate long bow loops at the box top to look like antennae.

Enjoy making your butterfly pillow box!