Thursday, 25 February 2016

Basket in a Bag

Here's a fun idea inspired by the modular origami boxes of Tomoko Fuse- a flat-pack basket in a bag. The basket sides slot together, then a handle is added. These baskets would be just great for a child's craft activity party (over three - brads included). The party guests could make the baskets, then fill them with goodies.

Here are your free files, hand-cut or digi-cut (Silhouette):


Basket in a Bag

The basket sides are partially assembled - and folded compactly - before placing in the bag. Crease the folds and stick the base flap, making a channel. For each basket, you need two sides with handle holes, two without. You also need the handle (two contrasting strips, glued or d/s taped back-to-back) and two brads. The base liners are optional. 

To assemble the basket, slide the tab into the channel of the the adjacent side. Alternate the sides with the handle holes with the plain sides. To make the basket base, fold down the bottom flaps consecutively, tucking the last side under. Attach the handle with the brads. You can pop in a base liner as a decorative feature.

To seal the bag, you can use a 20cm (8in) strip of 3mm (1.8in) ribbon or the narrow paper strip provided.

I prefer the cut-out version of the basket - much more elegant. However, for a super-easy basket, no need to cut out the motif.

The baskets can be disassembled just as easily as they are made. If you want to make the basket permanent, glue a base liner onto the basket bottom. (You will have to glue on the base liner as a reinforcement if filling the basket with heavy contents. You can glue a base liner inside and outside, if required.)

You can post these baskets along with Easter - or birthday cards.


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Terrarium Gift Box

Here's a cute little gift box that channels the trend for succulents and projects in South West colours. The slot-close box resembles a sand-painted terrarium - retro fun. Just the right size for a small treat.

Here are your freebie print-and-cut files, cut by hand, or digi-cut with a Silhouette machine:

Terrarium Gift Box

To make up:
1 Print onto photocopier card.
2 Score the fold lines with a fine-point embossing tool held against a small metal ruler.
3 If cutting by hand, cut the slots first. Alternatively, digi-cut with a Silhouette machine.
4 Crease the folds. Join the side tab to make a ring, then join the bottom tabs to the base. Use tacky PVA glue or d/s tape.
5 To close the box, slide apex tabs into adjacent slots.
6 The tag is optional. Tie it through a slot before closing the box.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Beautiful Paper Stars. Review.

Craft Decorations for Every Season

By Ursula Stiller, Armin Täubner and Gudrun Thiele

Floris Books 2015

Paperback  £14.99

ISBN 978 178250207-4

Star rating (!):****

Star quality! A jumbo compendium of folded paper stars – paper manipulation heaven! You don’t have to be a papercraft geek to access and appreciate the starry projects in this book – but if you are, there is plenty to keep you enthralled here. The projects are graded according to difficulty (star rating – natch– of one to three).

The makes are suitable as festive decorations year-round – for parties (indoor or patio), weddings, Christmas, even home decor. Garland or solo, paper stars are attention-grabbers.

The book is divided into sections according to  traditional star type, and each section has its own expert contributor. The star varieties are Aurelio Stars (3-D interlocking modular triangles), Filino Stars, Froebel Stars* (woven paper strips), Messina Stars (fan-style with individual folded units), Solino Stars (papercut), and Venezia.  I would have liked a capsule history of each star style. No info is provided on their crafty origins (I know that Froebel stars are the brainchild of 19th century German educationalist Friedrich Froebel - Wiki him). 

Each section begins with basic techniques for each star style. Step-by-steps are given photographically or as line drawings (I did think that the drawings for the complex Froebel star were a little confusing). Following on from basic how-tos are projects of increasing difficulty level. Variations in paper type and surface decoration provide the tweaks.

The projects are attractively photographed in suitably cosmic settings to maximize the fun factor. Handy tips are interspersed – example (spoiler alert) – tie the hanging thread around the centre of a spent matchstick and insert into gap in star. (Wish I thought of that.)

Back-of-book is a template section. A few templates are same-size, but most require enlargement.

Beautiful Paper Stars delivers on the title.  It is a worthy addition to your papercraft  library. There is much here I am keen to explore.

Above is a link to another title by one of Beautiful Paper Stars' contributors. He's your go-to guy for Froebel Stars!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Mini Milk Carton Cubby Dividers

I never stop thinking how to improve or tweak past projects. So, here's an upgrade to my previous project, the Milk Carton Storage System.
Once folded, the diagonal dividers just pop into place, giving you a more versatile storage space.

Here are your dividers:

I score and crease the folds with a fine-point embossing tool and small ruler before cutting the dividers out with my Silhouette machine. After creasing, a strip of d/s tape inside the base of the fold keeps it all together, ready to pop into place in the lined cubby.

Ready for Marie Kondo-style tidy-up bliss! Get going with your Mini Milk Carton Cubbies. :)


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Mini Milk Carton Desktop Storage System

Milk cartons are incredibly cute - but not the most practical storage containers for non-liquids. Problem solved! These fun milk carton containers have drawers or cubbies for easy access. Their base is square - so you can create all sorts of storage combos - beach hut-like crocodiles, towers, trays, or solos... the choice is yours.

I have included slot-and-tab connectors, in case you prefer non-permanent links to gluing.

Here are your free Silhouette digital cutting files:

Side-facing milk carton shell
Cubby liner
Milk Carton Drawer
Front-facing milk carton shell
To make the cubbies, cut out the templates and score the folds. Crease the folds, paying special attention to the V apexes at the sides. To make the openings, fold the V-shaped tab and the tabs to the side of it to the back. Join the side tabs, then fold the base and the top. 

When folding the cubby liner, the coloured side belongs inside.

When making the drawer, the coloured side belongs outside. Fold the pull-tab and glue it behind the short side before assembling the drawer.

To complete milk carton, pop in either a drawer or a cubby liner.

The storage configurations are up to you. Stick them together with d/s tape, PVA glue, or the connectors provided.

Enjoy papercrafting your modular mini-milk carton storage system! 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Link to my son's music video!

This has nothing to do with papercraft. Proud Mum Dept: link above is to my son Daniel's music video (he's the writer/director) for the up-and-coming Scottish band, Fatherson. The song is Lost Little Boys and it is the lead single from the band's forthcoming album for Sony.


Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Crafter's Guide to Patterns, by Jessica Swift. Review.

The Crafter’s Guide to Patterns
Create your own hand-printed designs
By Jessica Swift
Search Press  2015
Paperback £12.99
ISBN 978 1 78221 219-5

Star rating: *****

This crafter-focussed book is a superb intro to the magical world of surface pattern design. Creating decorative prints is a burgeoning area for the hobbyist and pro alike, due to technological advances – the internet for sourcing design inspiration, computers for a technical assist, and the possibility of affordable small-quantity print-runs from print bureaus. Jessica Swift’s book is an easy-access lightning guide for the uninitiated or technically timid. It teaches the fundamentals of pattern design, then spotlights crafty applications – such as stamping, screen printing, stencilling, and cyanotyping (a photographic printing process). There is a handy look-in on digitizing designs, but this is not the main emphasis of the book.

Jessica Swift aims to train the reader to see the world through the eyes of a pattern designer. In the book’s intro, she says -  of the important concept of the pattern tile -, “Once you learn and understand how patterns are constructed, I’m willing to bet you ‘ll try to deconstruct every pattern you see in the world from now on.” I can vouch for this!  Being a pattern repeat detective can provide puzzles to solve while queuing or in waiting rooms. 

The book is in lavish full-colour photography. A delightful feature is interviews with “name” designers from around the world, such as Heather Moore (Skinny LaMinx). Discover what makes them tick!
The book is divided into three sections – Planning Patterns (pattern design bootcamp), Using Patterns (various applications – with tips), and Resources (20 copyright-free motifs with QR codes, printing and image resources, useful websites, plus an index). There is surface- and technique - specific advice aplenty.

Think of Jessica Swift’s book as a portal to the wonderful world of pattern design. It is ideal for gifting.