Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, wherever you may be.

Easy Christmas Decoration DIY

Preparing for Christmas has felt a bit hectic this year, and most of the crafting I have done has been making presents (so I can’t post pictures here or they won’t be a surprise!), with less time than I would like to make decorations etc. This paper garland, however, is a quick and easy project, and the same method can be used to make diamond-shaped decorations or delicate-looking paper stars.

MATERIALS:

  1. Paper (you could use coloured paper, wrapping paper, old sheets of music etc).  cardboard or tissue paper won’t work for this project.
  2. Thread or ribbon for hanging
  3. Scissors
  4. Glue

First cut the paper into squares- one square will make one diamond-shaped decoration, or six of these can be joined to form a star.

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Next fold the square in half to form a triangle, and then fold it in half again.

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Now make a series of straight cuts across from the edge with one fold, to the edge with two folds, stopping the cut approximately 1/2cm from the edge. The number of cuts required will depend on the size of the paper squares that you are using, and how you want the finished piece to look, so you may need to experiment first (the cut lines shown here were approximately 1cm apart).

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When you open up the paper square it should look like this:

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Now to start the gluing. begin by gently curving the two points in the centre of the square and gluing the tips together. Inserting a pencil whilst you glue can help to prevent the paper from creasing.

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Next turn the square over, and curve the next two points towards you and glue the tips together.

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Continue gluing the opposite points together- remembering to turn the paper before gluing the next section- until you reach the outside edge. You will now have a completed diamond.

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The diamonds can be hung as individual decorations, or you can make several and form a garland or a star. The garlands can have other decorations hung between the diamonds (I used gold baubles), or you could make lots of different coloured diamonds.

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The stars are easily made by gluing six diamond sections together in the centre. They look quite intricate and delicate but are in fact quick and easy to make, and fairly robust.

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I love these paper decorations, and the fact that they are made from materials that most of us have easily to hand: they are also environmentally friendly, particularly if you upcycle paper that has had a previous life (like the vintage music sheets I used to make this star). They are also easy to personalise, or to make in colours to match your other Christmas decorations.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is Coming!

I don’t feel at all Christmassy until at least November, but have decided that it is definitely time to start thinking about making Christmas cards!

I am planning to use up materials that I already have (sample shown here), including some lovely creamy-coloured old music sheets. I just have to decide on the layout now…

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Christmas Present Pom Poms!

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Pompoms can make great decorations, but are ideal for topping presents too…

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Big or small, and whether you buy them in a shop or make your own, pompoms can be used to add a bit of colour and fluffiness to any present! And if you make your own, then pompoms are an ideal stash-busting project: a way to use up lengths of yarn left over from knitting/crocheting projects. You could even upcycle yarn unraveled from an old scarf or jumper.

I’m off to add these beauties to a few more Christmas presents…

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christmas-present-pompom

Christmas Gift Tags DIY

gold-and-silver-tags

I always have some cardboard off-cuts lying around from a previous project that are ideal for this purpose! A wide variety of decoration can be used; here I have used washi tape (decorative, adhesive paper tape), making this a very quick project.

One of the advantages of making your own gift tags, is that you can make them any size (or shape) that you like.

paper-tags

For these tags I used a decorative hole punch in the shape of a raindrop, but any shaped hole punch of a suitable size can be used.

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These tags were simply decorated by applying a strip of washi tape across the bottom edge. I continued the tape around onto the back of each tag too, so that both sides are decorated.

As you can see, washi tape lends a stylish edge to a very basic craft project, resulting in some smart-looking gift tags!

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These tags were quickly made in the middle of a present-wrapping session when I needed them to finish the wrapping (yes, if I was organised I would have realised I needed more tags before I started the wrapping!).

This project needn’t be limited to Christmas either, a change of decoration/design makes them suitable for other gift-giving occasions too (see previous post here).

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Getting in the Mood for Christmas: Wrapping and Decorations

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I have made a few simple Christmas decorations lately, that can also be used to embellish wrapped presents. These tissue paper flowers are quick and easy to make, and look lovely on top of a gift. Using larger pieces of tissue paper (and more layers) this technique can also be used to make big paper pompoms.

The only materials required are a pair of scissors, some thread and a sheet of tissue paper. The flowers shown here are approximately 8cm across, and I made each one from a piece of paper that measured 50cm x 9cm.

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First cut your strip of tissue paper into four equally-sized pieces.

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Lay the pieces on top of each other and fold them (together) into a concertina. The folds for my flowers were each approximately 0.7 cm wide.

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When the paper has been folded all the way across, tie a piece of thread tightly around the centre of the folded strip.

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Next, round off each end of the folded paper- this will create the flower’s appearance of individual petals.

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Open up one end of the concertina into a ‘fan’, and then gently start to tease apart the separate layers of paper. Begin with the top layer, and then separate each of the other layers in turn. Take care with this stage, as the tissue paper can easily tear.

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Repeat with the other end of the concertina and you have one finished flower, ready to adorn a stylish gift or to be hung from a Christmas tree!

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The flowers are so easy to make that it takes no time to whip up a few!

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Crochet Christmas Gifts

amigurumi

I have made a start on a few of the smaller presents that I am making for Christmas with these crochet amigurumi. The rabbit is for a work colleague, and the alien and elephant were requests from two small children I know, who were intrigued to see me crocheting!

The patterns are my own designs; using a few basic shapes/forms it is amazing how many different animals/creatures/aliens you can make! The elephant is only just over three inches tall, making these quick projects too (always a bonus in the run up to Christmas!).

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