Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Beautiful Paper Cutting. Review.

Beautiful Paper Cutting

30 Creative Projects for Cards, Gifts, Decor, and Jewelry

Lark Books, 2015

Paperback  £12.99/$17.95 US/ $ 20.95 CAN

Star rating: ***

This pleasant papercraft project portmanteau title is one for the newbies, and casual crafters at that. Come here if you want an appealing collection of easy projects, not if you want to seriously pursue the craft of paper cutting. (The dedicated student of papercutting would be shocked at the recommended use of paper punches.) Having said that, most of the projects are well-chosen and some them are showstoppers.

The cards have a naive quality and make an asset of their irregularities and imperfections. The Cut Tissue Paper Greeting Card, by Cynthia Shaffer, is a delightful Matisse-y collage.

Many of the projects are 3-D, such as the Elephant Mama and Babes, by Ellen Deakin, and the charming Alice’s Wardrobe by Silvina de Vita – with clothes on hangers- which channels the irresistible attraction of paper dolls.

Step-by-steps for each project are supplied, with photos as needed.

There’s a template section back-of-book with templates in various formats. Some are same-size, some require enlargement, and quite a few are cut-up-this-book prints. 

There are also capsule bios of the book’s contributors – always nice to hear about the creative journeys of crafty people.

Many of the projects might be fun to do with the kids.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Love Heart Bunting

OK - I have been milking the Valentine love heart sweeties theme - but here's one more blog post with the bunting on its own. Big it up for parties, or shrink it down as a gift wrap decoration.

Here's your free print-and-cut file:

Just cut out the hearts, fold them in half over baker's twine or a ribbon.
Secure each heart in place with a strip of d/s tape inside back, near the top opening.

Hope you have a great Valentine's Day.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Valentine Bunting Pillow Box Bags

Continuing on my Valentine candy heart theme - here are easy-make handbag-style pillow box goody bags - great as party favours.

Here are your free print-and-cut files:


To make - cut out digitally (with a Silhouette machine) or by hand. If cutting out by hand, punch holes at the dots. Score the folds with a fine-point embossing tool held against a small metal ruler. Pay particular attention to the curved folds. Pre-crease all the folds. Glue the handle tabs onto the front top- use tacky PVA glue applied with a cocktail stick. Now for the fun part: the bunting. Fold each flag in half. Put a piece of d/s tape right below the opening on the inside back. Cut a 30cm (12in) piece of craft thread. Stick three flags of your choice, catching in the thread. Thread the string through the holes and knot the ends. Fold in the side flaps, applying d/s tape. Stick in place. The top closure pops into place. You may wish to use sticky pads or glue dots to secure the seal.

Make up a batch of these as party favours. Sweet treats to all!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Valentine Gift Bags

The larger size is 20% bigger.
These printable Valentines gift bags make great party favours - and they are simplicity itself to make. There's just one flap to stick and a tab to tuck in. The closure is secured with a foam sticky pad. Six different candy heart colour combos to choose from!

Here are your freebie Valentine bags:


To make, print and cut - by hand or with a Silhouette machine. Score the fold lines with a fine-point embossing tool held against a small metal ruler. Crease the folds, stick the side flap with d/s tape or PVA glue. Fold in the bottom flaps, then tuck the tab in the slot. Gently crease the side panels in half at the top - soft folds. Seal the flap with a sticky foam pad.

You can make these in gazillions - hand out to classmates, party-goers, etc. 

More to come - a candy heart bunting!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Love Heart Treat Boxes

Thinking ahead to Valentine's Day, today I have mini-treat boxes inspired by candy hearts, or sweetheart sweeties. They have flip-top lids and are topped with removable love heart cards. They are fun to give or as party favours.

Here are your free printable papercrafts:

Print the templates on ordinary photocopier card. Here are some how-to pics:
Cut out the box pieces by hand or Silhouette machine, score and crease the folds. I stick the tabs with double-sided tape. Assemble the box, then turn under the tabs. The V-piece forms the lid lip. Turn under the side tabs, then fold under the. The remaining tabs are attached to the underside of the V-shaped box lid. The card is attached to the box lid with sticky squares. A sticky square holds the card shut, too. Sticky squares keep the box shut.

Ideally, the box should be filled with sweethearts - but I guess any small sweet treat will do.

And, of course, you can big up the cards for convential Valentine giving.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Mini Shoebox Storage System

It's January. Time to tidy and take stock. I think about tidying.... and design papercrafted storage ideas instead. Much more fun! So much for good intentions. Today's project is a totally glue-less mini shoebox, plus a strap for grouping them together.

Everybody loves shoeboxes. It is probably the shoe thing for some, but for me a shoebox brings back fond memories of my shoebox of craft supplies that I had as a kid. Scissors, crayons, glue. I loved the sound the lid made when I closed it shut after a crafting session...

So much for nostalgia... here are your free templates:


Print on the wrong side of the paper. Cut out. Crease the folds. The longer-than-usual side tabs hold the shoebox - and lid - together without glue. So... when no longer needed, you can pack the shoeboxes flat for another time. The carrier strap folds flat, too. Good to go for another time.

The mini shoeboxes are also adorable for gift presentation. Hope you find them useful!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Art of Papercutting, by Jessica Palmer. Review.

The Art of Papercutting
By Jessica Palmer
Search Press 2015
Paperback, £14.99 UK,$21.95 US
ISBN 978 1 78221 066 5

Star rating: ****

It’s January – time to take up a craft, or fine-tune your skills.  Jessica Palmer’s The Art of Papercutting is an excellent mix of the practical and the inspirational, which delivers on its inviting cover line, “Learn how to see the world with a papercutter’s eyes.” 

Jessica Palmer is a successful artist who illustrates in paper. Papercutting is her medium, and her book generously shares her technical and inspirational secrets. This is not a project book – although there are 12 templates back-of-book. It is a how-to book – thinking in positive/negative, the importance of pattern, connecting links, sourcing designs, plus many invaluable tips (for example: if cutting text, a photocopy is easier to cut than an actual book page).

The book is a gallery of inspiration, featuring the fantastic, Beardsley-like intricate arabesque designs of the author. The author's wearable paperart collars are very special indeed.

Even if you are into digital papercrafting, there is much to be gained from this book. Just as abstract artists can do representational drawing, learning about papercutting by hand can up your digital design skills. Learning about how to generate papercut designs is a shared skill.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Thanks a Bunch Card

Happy New Year! Hope you had a cosy break. Here's a well-timed freebie printable - a thank you card plus matching envelope. See what I did there with the flowers :) Basic print and cut - not much to tell (for what there is, see below).

Here are your free printables:

 As you can see, I've given you two cards to a page for paper economy.
 I cut them out with a paper trimmer. Score the fold with a fine-point embossing tool, use a bone folder for a nice crisp crease. For the envie, I cut the flap edge and the long visible edge with a paper trimmer, the rest with scissors. Score as for card. Seal with a glue stick or d/s tape.

Hope they come in handy!