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

Archive for the ‘Vintage Ephemera’ Category

Inspiration: Lovely Old Lace

There is a cabinet of lovely old lace fragments at my local museum, which always serves to remind me that it is good to tackle a more complicated craft project every now and then, and that it is amazing what craftsmen and women could make with their hands before machinery started to do it for us.

These pieces of handmade lace are so delicate and intricate, and must have taken an immense amount of time to complete: they certainly show the benefits of patience and dedication.

Gallery

Monday Mood Board: Colour-Matching

Natural History Inspiration

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A recent museum trip provided lots of inspiration- I particularly enjoyed looking at the textiles and natural history exhibits. As you can see here, there were some interesting bird displays, with a wide variety of species from all over the world displayed together.

Monday Mood Board

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Bright greens make me think of spring- which is hopefully on it’s way!

Monday Mood Board: Bunnies!

I seem to have acquired quite a few rabbit-related bits and pieces, including jewellery, stationary and small ornaments, some of which are shown here. I think I’ve always found the motif appealing, and can clearly remember particularly liking a picture of a black and white dutch rabbit in a Ladybird book when I was about three years old. Rabbits also make me think of spring, despite there being no shortage of them in the UK year-round!

I made the necklace and knitted rabbit shown above (the knitted rabbit is a great quick Easter gift); the ornaments and buttons are vintage; the blue wooden brooch is by a modern designer-maker (I am embarrassed to say that I can’t remember her name); the gold charm is modern.

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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