DIY Flocking


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I’ve been seeing flocking all over the stores (and some ingeniously decorated nails). It’s kind of like colored, fluffy, cotton candy, but in teeny pieces. I didn’t want to buy more things, so my first thought was can I make my own? Yes I can!

I borrowed the microfine shredder from the kitchen, wadded up some paper scraps from Daiso, and shredded away. In case I didn’t cover everything, I used the same color yellow as a backing, covered it in glue and dipped into my paper flocking (tweezers are helpful!). Then I glued it to my daisy flower, which then decorated my 3D cakes.

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Shaping Die Punch Flowers


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Before buying my Silhouette SD digital die cutter, I bought die punches like these. I toyed with giving them away, but now I’m really happy I didn’t.

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I shudder to waste paper scraps and want to use every inch of it before tossing it out (see my post on How to Use up Scrap paper). Using these die punches was easier and faster than trying to register the exact placement needed on my Silhouette. However, I still used the Silhouette to cut my cherry blossoms (middle punch) because I wanted the cup the petals more readily.

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Top left: If using a cherry blossom die punch, snip in between the petals to make them easier for cupping.

Top right: This blossom is cut from my die cutter – see the deeper gaps between petals? I used a burnisher and rubbed the petals against a mouse pad. For those who have a digital die cutter, here is the cherry blossom I made in SVG and DXF or PDF format.

Bottom left: Continue rubbing into the center to make a small bud.

Bottom right: If you want the blossom to stay open, flip it over and poke a smaller burnisher into the middle, then add dots with a felt marker to represent the stamens.

I then used them to decorate this 3D cake card.

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DIY Re-usable Gift Box using Vinyl and Free Flowers


VinylBox_Done_Low“Just buy a dollar store bag and save yourself time”, hubby said. But what’s the fun in that? OK, so I was kind of rushed, but it’s a different kind of rush right?

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I salvaged a stationery box from work that fit my gifts perfectly, but of course it’s ugly. I amassed the largest pieces of scrap vinyl (salvaged from a sign store) that would go together.

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I made sure the vinyl would cover the box with some excess on all sides, removed the wax, and placed the box right in the middle, using a bone folder to squish out the bubbles from the middle to the outside edges. Then I cut 45˚ slits toward the corners.

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I brought the long flaps up, stuck it against the box and trimmed off the excess triangles, leaving a tab to fold over to the other side. This ensures you’ll never see the old box.

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Then I adhered the short sides and trimmed off the excess all around.

My family and friends know I try to be as eco-minded as possible. I’ve had to ask for my xmas gift bags back and cushion their crestfallen faces by reassuring them another gift will come in the same bag next year. I don’t tend to do that with birthday gifts, so when my sis-in-law saw this box, the first thing she said was “Can I keeeep it?” and hugged it to her chest. I can’t tell you how happy that made me!

I’ve used this free flowers file for other projects in the past like cards and flower pots: http://www.fordesigner.com/maps//10878-0.htm

Folded Lucky Stars Tutorial


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For years I used to carry a small tin case with travel scissors and paper. I would fold stars on the bus, waiting rooms, dark movie theaters, and while having conversations with people because folding was like breathing. To give a jar filled with 365 stars to someone showed you thought of them every day of the year. I’ve lost count after a thousand stars but always enjoyed seeing their expression. I’ve decorated greeting cards, the outside of jars, even Christmas trees with them – is it a wonder I used them in my wedding invitations?

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There are many tutorials online for folding Lucky Stars but while teaching others how to make it, I’ve learned their number one mistake is creasing the first folds too much. By the time you reach the end and are ready to “puff”, the star is apt to squish to one side rather than separate into it’s 3D glory. Notice how it’s gently folded in place but not sharply creased? If you haven’t had success in the past, please try again with this small change and let me know if it made a difference for you.

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I also like to fold around a string as I go, to make a bracelet or a garland of stars. The easiest material to use is ribbons because the width is ready to go and they’re oh-so-shiny.

To see my step-by-step tutorial, please visit my guest post on Ann Martin’s blog, All Things Paper. If you haven’t seen Ann’s work before, prepare to lose a few hours exploring her site. Her wedding certificates are simply exquisite as they enhance the newlyweds’ choice of theme. Any time a beginner quiller asks me for basic steps, I always point them to Ann’s Basic Tutorials because she really pays attention to the nuances and helps people realize quilling is not as hard as it looks. Her  paper projects (check out her washi Easter egg tutorial) entice you to try different techniques and materials.

Ann also interviews paper artists around the world, showcasing their work and highlighting the subtleties. As if her plate isn’t already full scouring the web and offering up the best eye candy, she has also authored a book of the same title, All Things Paper, which is like a hard copy of her popular site – but contains nothing you’ve seen yet. Not only does Ann have uber-human attention to detail, she also has a way with words, describing steps as if painting a picture – the best kind of tutorial maker out there. Thank you for being you, Ann.

3D Ornament Gift Tag


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I’ve seen many wonderful 3D ball ornaments and thought it might also make a great gift tag. It’s also a great way to use up small scraps of left over paper.

It’s super easy to make. Just fold your circle/ornament in half and glue about 5 various colors to each other, then to the tag. The best part is that it’s easy to re-fluff back up if it’s been squashed by another gift.

Have a happy crafting season everyone!

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DIY Tracing Light Table


I needed to trace something and instead of taping it against the window, I realized our acrylic cook book stand was simply perfect. I lay it down on it’s side and placed my lamp along the “bottom”. Who can resist a 2 for 1 deal?

 

Paint a White Christmas


Need snow? Paint yourself a winter wonderland. Daiso sells pearlescent white paint for $2 in a small tube. Use a fine brush, load it up, and let the paint scrape against the edges of your craft project (in this case a party favor box).

Try to make it look like natural snow drift by painting from one direction (so don’t coat every edge).

This triangular party favor box is sold on Etsy, along with other dinner party paper decor. Half-moon shaped flaps are on both ends to allow easy access to your stocking stuffer. Perfectly size for biscotti treats.

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