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

Posts tagged ‘paper’

Monday Mood Board- Vintage Ephemera

Some vintage finds awaiting use in a collage or two…

VINTAGE-EPHEMERA

I have a collection of small vintage finds such as these that I upcycle or use in craft projects. The interesting items range from keys, watch faces and tape measures to engravings, photographs and medicine labels. Some of the finds are worthless on their own (e.g. a key with no lock, or a single domino), but can tell an interesting tale in a collage, or form a useful part of an upcycling project (for example the domino could be made into a drawer pull/handle).

The downside of collecting these little things is that I sometimes feel that there are so many things to make, and too little time!

Small Storage DIY

Small, plain wooden trays are often used as packaging for small items such as tealight candles or craft items, and are useful for organising small items. The trays are very plain, and sometimes only roughly finished, but it is quick and easy to turn them into decorative and useful drawer or desk-top organisers.

PLAIN-WOODEN-BOXES

First use some sandpaper to smooth off any rough edges. I simply decorated these trays by cutting felt inserts to sit in the bottom of each compartment- this is a useful project for using up fabric odds and ends.

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The compartments were measured, and squares of different coloured felt cut out and fixed into the bottom of each compartment using a small amount of glue.

The trays could alternatively be lined using leather or decorative papers, or be decorated using paint. I have these trays in the bottom of a shallow drawer in my jewellery bench, and they are perfect for holding jewellery making materials and semi-finished items.

FELT-LINED-TRAYS

Brush Writing

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After Monday’s post about mark-making tools I decided to have a go at lettering using a brush and ink. It was more awkward than I expected to achieve a neat result, but I quite like the slightly naive/rustic look that the technique lends itself to. I used water colours to add borders to the papers.

Monday Mood Board- Drawing

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Lots of different tools can be used for mark-making, and can produce a variety of different effects. I haven’t taken the time to do any drawing or painting for a while, so this is now on my to-do list. Sometimes just playing with different tools can provide inspiration.

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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Handmade Envelopes DIY Project

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I seem to have amassed a small(ish!) collection of decorative papers, so I decided that it was time to put some of them to good use, hence this (very easy) project. A few of these evelopes put aside can be used as an attractive, quick way of wrapping small gifts.

First choose some paper: as the ‘back’ of the paper will form the visible inside of the envelope, make sure that both sides of the paper are suitably attractive (or plain).

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Next, open up an old shop-bought envelope and use it as a template; cut out your envelope from the patterned paper.

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Now fold the envelope into shape:

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Use a small amount of glue to attach the side flaps to the bottom flap:

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Ta da, one finished envelope!

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This was such a quick and easy craft project that I got a little carried away, and made a few more envelopes to go along with the first one…

Next I plan to make a few by upcycling vintage paper ephemera, such as sheets of music and pages from (damaged) illustrated childrens books. I will make a few in different sizes too, so that I have some ready for any present-wrapping emergencies!

envelope-DIY

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