Always make multiples

If you are going to make a card make multiples. It makes sense even if you give away the spares. Most time is spent gathering supplies and planning layouts rather than the assembly, so three takes hardly any more time than one.

Here I used some ancient craftwork cards antiqued papers matted on some papermania textured cardstock (bought in a handy A5 colour block). I cut the sentiment – dovecraft– and Sheena botanicals flowers from the mat before sticking it on the card base. Only the edge of the mat shows and the paper is good quality – plus this keeps the impact subtle, just what I want for a sympathy card. Two cards were embellished with Candi buttons, but not sure if that makes them too fussy.

House of cards

Inspired by the consistently innovative ‘mixed up crafts’ site, this house-shaped gift box is a great way to present a selection of home made cards I am giving. Any combination of cardstock could be used for flowery, plain or sparkly houses but I really love this geometric paper ‘mandala dreams’ from paper addicts.

This is a basic box made from two sheets of cardstock scored and cut to make the walls of the house 8 x 3.75 inches by with two additional pieces offset and stuck over the top flaps of the basic box to form the roof. To decorate with windows, door and chimney – and a few little tulips – I used white card and scraps from the same paper pack.

Use what you have wreath

A huge donation of crafty stuff set me up for months of playtime so I decided to use some of the flowers in a decor wreath

I cut a disc of cardboard from the recycling bin and wrapped it with wool before hot gluing flowers around. To keep balance I visualised the wreath as a clock face positioning flowers roughly at the hours but clustering them in odd numbers.

I kept going until the wreath felt full then gifted it to the lady who gave me the wool stash in the first place. Happy 90th!

Transparent gift bags

Use what you have for quick make bags…

I have a roll of book covering plastic doing nothing in my stash, so cut rectangles from it and headed to the sewing machine

I folded copy paper (yes I also have a lot of coloured copy paper to use up) over the short ends and stitched it in place with a long zig zag.

The covered ends were folded together and the open sides zig zagged together to make a bag. I even boxed the bottom of the bigger one shown but am not sure it was worth the effort.

Two tips: use an old blunt needle as the plastic will ruin a new needle and long stitch lengths will minimise problems with the plastic slipping.

Mind your head, dangler

A low newel post is a peril for taller visitors to our home so I tend to dangle seasonal ‘creations from it to avoid bumps. This month’s version uses one of my less used die sets.

The pirate ship die alone is 4 inches square (about 10.5 cm) so works well as part of a dangler.

Each element from the set was cut from card two or three times and stuck together to give it some stability and to sandwich in the thread hanger. I tried to use most of this fun Docrafts die set but couldn’t quite work the palm tree, desert island or octopus into this version. Next time maybe.

The lost art of the pillow box

With all these wonderful papercraft tools it can be easy to overlook the basic pillow box for those little (in size, not necessarily value) gifts.

Rescue a humble empty loo roll or paper towel tube from recycling, flatten it lightly and cover it with your choice of lightweight paper- wet glue is fine if it doesn’t soak your chosen paper. (Some people sterilise their tubes in the microwave before crafting with them)

Take a round object, such as the tape roll shown here. Lay it so you can score an arc from side to side of the tube on each ‘side’ of the flattened tube and at each end, four scores in all.

Gently push each scored arc towards the middle to create the pillow effect.

Decorate and maybe add a tag to finish.

Paper tassels

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A quick, fun embellishment for wrapping and home decor wreaths …

Cut an A4 sheet into three long strips. Stack the strips and cut a deep fringe all along one long edge (much quicker than cutting each fringe separately.

Stick a strip of red liner or strong double sided tape along the unfringed long end

Cut twine or thread to chosen length, loop it and stick the raw ends across the tape at one end of the strip

Roll the strip tightly starting from the end with the loop, so the loop is encased in the roll.

Fluff the tassel up when finished!