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Archive for the ‘paper crafts’ Category

It’s here!  “Thing” number thirty!  I completed my Thing A Day Challenge with another crafting first: making a candle.  When I saw the wedding candle favor tutorial on 100 Layer Cake, I had to try it for myself.  It’s such a cute idea for a personal, hand-made thank-you or hostess gift.  And it’s really easy to make.  I bought the wax, fragrance (vanilla), wick, and glass container at a craft store and used some scrapbook paper and hemp rope that I already had on hand.  All I did was preheat the glass container, melt the wax and mix in the fragrance, secure the wick to a chopstick resting atop the glass (to keep the wick centered and standing straight), pour in the wax, and wait for it to dry.  The options for embellishing the outside are endless.  Twine, tags, charms, whatever.  I’ve seen embroidered felt candle cozies in the store, which would also be cute.  I think it turned out pretty—and it smells really good!

Wow, I can’t believe the Thing A Day Challenge is over.  It has been so much fun.  I’ve learned new things, discovered new talents, met new people, found new stores, and purchased a bunch of cool new craft supplies.  But most importantly, the challenge helped me return to my creative passions.  And that was the whole point.  I’m pretty much obsessed with crafting now, and I am excited about the future.  I have so many ideas—for this blog, for new creative projects, for a potential Etsy store—that I can’t wait to make happen.  Thanks for coming along with me on the journey!

P.S. – My boss asked me to write an essay about the experience for Diablo magazine, so I’m excited (and a little nervous) about that.  I’m working on it now, and I’ll be sure to post some excerpts here in the coming days—and link to the real deal when it’s published.

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Sigh… my first major Thing A Day fail. I was bound to have one of those, right!?  I’ve seen several bottlecap magnet tutorials recently, and I’ve been wanting to try it out.  While some tutorials call for a dimensial adhesive, such as JudiKins Diamond Gloss or Ranger Glossy Accents, I used Martha Stewart’s and the suggested clear casting resin.  I’ve never worked with resin before.  It’s like a very smelly chemistry experiment.  For the first couple bottlecaps, I didn’t seal the paper well enough (I used packing tape), nor did I glue it down.  So the resin soaked into and discolored the edges of the paper and the paper kept floating up to the top.  I had to push it back down with a toothpick a couple times and then blow away the bubbles.  (You’re supposed to use a heat gun, but breath does the trick, too—as long as you don’t inhale near the resin!)  A magnet from that batch is on the right.  For the second try, I sealed the paper with three coats of Mod Podge and glued it down, which worked well.  However, for some reason, the resin became cloudy.  A magnet from that batch is on the left.  Maybe I didn’t mix the resin correctly?  Not sure.  I’d like to perfect this process, because I think it’s a cute idea, with so many possibilities.

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My elementary school would do these themed events once a year when each grade level would learn all about the culture of a country.  I can’t recall if it was one day or full week, but students could dress up in ethnic outfits and we’d sample food from that country and listen to its music.  In second grade, we learned about Japan, and one of the activities was origami.  I loved it and I asked my parents for origami books and paper.  I recall making many origami boxes and little paper cups that actually held water. But the crane eluded me.  I could never quite fold it right.  And eventually, the seven-year-old me gave up and moved on to a different hobby.

For “thing” number twenty-five, I decided to take on the crane.  Dum-dum-da-dummmmmmm.  I raided my little sister Lindsey’s supply of origami stuff (the same sister who has pastry supplies—she’s a Reinaissance woman), and among her things, I believe I found my old origami book.  And on my lunch break today at Taco Bell—because who doesn’t think origami goes well with Mexican food?—I set to folding a little bird.  I quickly learned that my seven-year-old brain was no match for this book.  It is the most poorly written instruction manual I’ve ever read!  It alternates between illustrations and photos, and they’re taken from different perspectives—sometimes from the origami-folder’s perspective, sometimes the opposite direction.  And the fragmented style of the captions is nearly impossible to follow.  I stumbled through with many a quizzical look and furrowed brow, but after a mere 10 minutes, I had a damn-near perfect crane.  Oh yeah.  Crane: conquered.

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When looking at the above photo, please ignore two things: 1) My utter lack of photography skills, and 2) The health of my hibiscus plant.  But do take in the lovely “thing” number seventeen.  It’s a paper pinwheel.  I felt like learning how to make pinwheels this week.  They seemed very spring.  So, I googled some how-to’s and kinda sorta followed this one.  I modified mine to be non-moving.  I didn’t have wire or other tools on hand, and I also wanted something that could easily be used on cards or scrapbook pages.  I used a sheet of 8×8 scrapbooking cardstock (the Old World Stack by DCWV), a half-dozen Zots adhesive dots, an old button, and some embroidery floss.  Cute and springy!

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For “thing” number fourteen, I followed LollyChop’s video tutorial on how to make delicate little paper flowers. (Her blog is packed with dozens of übercool craft ideas, so check it out.) I absolutely love how these look! And they’re really easy to make. I used patterned scrapbook paper for three of the flowers, and solid red cardstock for the fourth. All you do is cut (freehand) a swirly shape out of a circle, and then wind it up tight with tweezers, leaving a small base at the end for adhering all the layers. Lolly suggested Zots clear adhesive dots, which I’ve never used before. They’re great—incredibly sticky and strong. Seriously, I wouldn’t try sticking one to your skin. The leaves are cut from a linen-textured cardstock, and I added little ribbon curls to amp up the “cute” factor.

The whitewashed wooden frame is a cheap, $1 guy from JoAnne Fabrics & Crafts. The dowel it came with for support is about twice as big as the hole it’s supposed to go in. Hehe… oops. But that’s okay. I think this frame would be better hanging on a wall with red ribbon (maybe with white polka dots) stapled to the back and tied in a bow.

I love, love, love these little flowers. I want to put them on everything!

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Forget flowers, I’m going for a whole forest for “thing” number nine. I had seen these spring-themed paper trees on Paper N Stitch, but when I went looking for the link again to make them, I couldn’t find it.  So, these were made from memory.  Of course, I then found the Paper N Stitch photo only moments after I completed the project—I’d copied it to my desktop.  Pretty dang good from memory, I must say!  Though mine definitely have more of an autumn feel, don’t they?  Okay, I promise no more paper foliage for thing ten…

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Now that I’ve made a felt flower, I couldn’t resist making a paper flower for “thing” number eight.  Flowers, flowers, all kinds of flowers!  I modeled this off the newspaper flower I saw on the DCWV Diary blog, though I used magazine pages and cut the petals freehand.  It was super easy to make and looks quite cute.  I could see this embellishing a greeting card, or a series of them decorating the corner of a bulletin board.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying much attention to the stories behind the magazine pages I was cutting and totally maimed an article I hadn’t yet read.  Um, VIA, I’ll have to catch your Hollywood article online later…

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