Mini Holly Wreaths

Paper wreaths are perfect for holiday decorating

I love the look of multiple wreaths holiday decorating. There are many pinterest pins of beautiful kitchens with each cabinet door adorned with a tiny, perfect boxwood or rosemary wreath.

I’d love to do this in my kitchen, but I know making that many of the same item will tire me out, and not be as much fun as I hoped. Plus I’m not sure how fun it is to have a wreath swinging around as you open and close the doors to make meals. Especially breakfast, before you’ve had any coffee 😉 .

However, a set of 4 small holly wreaths made from paper are within my funzone, and are perfect for hanging on a stair railing.

Supply List

To create your own set of mini holly wreaths, you will need:

  • 3 Sheets (8.5 x 11) green lightweight cardstock. They can all be the same color, or vary them as desired.
  • 1 small scrap of red lightweight cardstock. (Or if you save all your paper weeding shapes, you might have enough red dots in your stash to skip cutting this part)
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Ribbon, twine or yarn for hanging
Cut the files

I’ve created a Silhouette Studio file that contains the holly leaves, the wreath shape with the hanging holes and the circles for creating the berries.

Cut the two different sizes of leaf shapes and the wreath backer out of the green paper. Cut the circles for the holly berries out of red paper.

Cut pieces for the mini holly wreath

Assembly:

Each wreath needs 7 large holly leaves and 7 small. Fold the leaves in half before gluing them down to give the wreath more dimension. To keep the dimension, don’t glue them flat down – just apply the glue in a center stripe and refold them as you push them down to adhere. I glued the large leaves down first, and then added the small leaves in a second layer.

mini holly wreath with first row of leaves

Add the red circle berries as desired.

Assembled mini wreath

Thread yarn/ribbon/twine through the loops and hang. On my stair railing, I added a plaid ribbon bow at the top to hide where I tied them to the baluster.

Mini Holly Wreath ready for hanging

 

Create a set of mini paper holly wreaths perfect for holiday decorating with the free files in this post. | suzerspace.com

Holiday Light Paper Garland

Mini Gift Tags to match!

The first week of December is always holiday decorating time at SuzerSpace. We especially like outdoor lights, but because we both don’t enjoy being on the roof, we never hang them there. We go the easier route of wrapping the bushes and putting up some oversize lights in the flowerbeds.

A Holiday Light Paper Garland fills the back window nicely, and the way the files fit together, there’s room to create a bunch of matching mini gift tags.

Supply List

To create this holiday light paper garland and matching gift tags you will need:

  • 1 sheet (8.5 x 11)  each of Yellow, Green, Red, and Blue light weight cardstock (so four sheets total)
  • 2 sheets of Black Card stock (8.5 x 11)
  • Black yarn/twine/string
  • Stapler
  • Glue, glue stick or glue dots. Or a really tiny stapler
Cut the files

Download the cutting files – I’ve saved them as Silhouette Studio files and as a PDF in case you want to cut them by hand

Holiday light paper garland cut pieces

Cut the Light Bulb shapes on each of the colors of the cardstock. And then cut the two different bulb ends on the black card stock.

Assembly:

For the garland, fold the each bulb end in half and sandwich a colored bulb piece at the end. Staple them together, being sure to catch all three parts in the staple, and try to keep the staple straight since this will determine how the bulb will hang on the string.

One assembled light from the holiday paper light garland

When all the bulbs are complete, thread your yarn/twine/string through both slots on the bulb end and then spread the bulbs evenly across the length of the string. I attach my garland to my back window by tying a loop at each end and putting those loops over two push pins I have stuck in the top of the window frame. The pins nearly invisible at that height.

For the mini gift tags, the assembly process is the same, except I used glue dots to adhere the bulb end assembly to the light piece. If you have a tiny stapler, that would work, tool.

I will thread them onto the ribbon on the gift packages as I wrap them, and add the person’s name in Sharpie on the colored bulb part.

Holiday paper light garland matching gift tags

Paper Holiday Light Garland with matching mini gift tags (free cutting files included!) | SuzerSpace.com

 

 

I was featured at Handmade Monday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week, most people are taking a short week at work, wrapping up on Wednesday for the holiday. So at SuzerSpace, I’m doing the same thing, posting my normal Friday post on Wednesday. That will give me more time to enjoy the holiday, and I wanted to squeeze these two crafts in that are Thanksgiving themed.

Script Thanksgiving Banner

Creating a banner of separate letters with holes for stringing isn’t too hard once you get a system down. I’ve done it for New Year’s, and for no reason at all, and then I’ve done some heart and bicycle shapes that used the same treatment.

So of course it was time to try something new. I wanted a “Happy Thanksgiving” banner that was in joined script letters. I knew it wasn’t going to be as easy as just setting the type in script and welding it together and putting the circles at the top and stringing it. Unless your string is exactly level, doing it that way would make the two words dive down in the middle at awkward angles.

But I wasn’t sure how I was going to figure out how to gracefully space the letters so they’d hang evenly.  There’s science to how things hang on strings. It’s gravity, and -gulp- Calculus.

I’m very crafty. But not really mathy. But Adobe Illustrator is, in disguise. (Other software will do this too – I just have years of Illustrator experience so it’s always my go-to).

I measured off my window, and measured the low point of the garland that was hanging there at the time. I then created an Artboard in Illustrator the same dimensions as my window, and added a guideline at that low point. I then drew a oval that had the bottom part of the curve meet that low point dimension.

happy thanksgiving banner

Then I set my type use the Type on a Path tool, and used the Type on a Path options window to set the baseline to Center. I fiddled with the spacing and then converted the type to outlines and ungrouped it so I could move the letters higher or lower on that path so that I’d have good spots to put the holes for the string.

happy thanksgiving banner with holes

Because of that pesky gravity thing, you need to keep watch that more of the heavy part of the garland is below the line, otherwise it will flip over when it is hung. I learned this the hard way last Christmas, when I created a garland of reindeer that unfortunately hung upside down because of where I placed the loop holes.

Finally I used the Pathfinder tool to weld the letters together. I exported this file as a DXF since the basic version of Silhouette Studio won’t work with an AI or EPS file.

After merging in my DXF file, I moved the words around to get the best fit on my sheet (don’t always lock yourself into cutting things in reading order – diagonal often words best since it lets you cut more than the width or the length).

thanksgiving banner

“Thanksgiving” was too large for my paper any way I spun it, so I did it in two parts, and then glued the overlap of the “s” and the “g” together.

happy thanksgiving banner cut letters

I then threaded twine through my holes, and put the garland up, adjusting it to where the string reasonably looked like the curve I had set up in Illustrator. And it worked. Just like I planned it!

Thanksgiving Turkey Placeholder

My second Thanksgiving craft is based on this one. I didn’t do mine exactly the same way (I have a great stash of googly eyes), and because I used cover stock for my accordion fold it so it isn’t exactly level, but I love it anyway. If you make one, consider using lighter weight stock for that fan so it sits better. This could also be a great kids craft while they wait for dinner on Turkey Day.

happy thanksgiving placeholder

Since the original post has a great tutorial, I’ll just share my photo of my finished version, and then let you enjoy your holiday!

Batty Chandelier

Free print and cut file to make your own!

This craft is kind of a full circle for me with this artwork.

Last fall, I printed these bats on heavy cover stock, and cut them out with actual scissors for several nights while watching television. This was before I had heard of the Silhouette. The bats were larger, and I was making a garland for my back window. It was slow going, and my hand was getting sore but I really like to decorate that back window, so I kept going.

On one of the nights, on one of the shopping channels*, they were having a craft event, and they were demonstrating a cutting machine. It wasn’t the Silhouette, but I thought that this was something I really might want.

Even Mr. SuzerSpace quickly realized that it would be super helpful for my crafting.

“Call them and order it” he said. “No, it’s too expensive” I replied.

I’m not good at spending money on myself. But seeing that thing in action stuck with me, and by the weekend, I had Googled all the machines and all the reviews and pondered all the Amazon bundles and made a decision.

And so that was the last garland I cut by hand.

For this year, I wanted to make tiny bats to hang from a light fixture I have in my dining room. I never would have attempted this with just hand cutting – too tiny and too many were needed.

But the Silhouette? Easy peasy. It’s a simple Print and Cut project, although I amped it up by double side printing my bats so they could be viewed at all angles.

The steps are simple –

Set up your artwork in the drawing program you like.

Bat drawing for batty chandelier

 

Import it into Silhouette Studio.

Either trace the artwork with an offset, or import a dxf file for the cutting lines.

Turn on the registration marks

bats with registration marks for batty chandelier

SAVE YOUR FILE. You will thank me for including this as an actual step. If you don’t save your file, and you get distracted opening and closing windows, and close it without saving after you have printed but before you have cut, you will be sad.

Print the file. There’s an icon for that:

Print using the Printer Icon in Silhouette Studio

In my case, I then flipped the sheets over and printed a mirror of the image to get the second side. This can be fussy depending on your printer, and you need them to line up to each other very closely to work.

Put a printed sheet on the mat, being sure to have the little registration square in the upper left of the mat, just like the screen for cutting shows it.

bats on mat to cut for batty chandelier

Set up the cutting specs for your paper, and send the job to cut. Repeat for all the sheets you need.

bats with registration marks for batty chandelier

 

For final assembly, I threaded silver thread between the loops and then made bigger loops of thread to tie them on to my light fixture.

bats strung together for batty chandelier

As with many of my crafts, it’s hard to get a good final picture, but you’ll have to trust me, this looks great in my dining room.

batty chandelier | suzerspace.com

If you’d like to make these yourself, click here to download the Silhouette file.

*We watch the shopping channels sometimes like the characters Waldorf and Statler from the Muppets – we heckle the presenters the entire time. It’s good fun 🙂

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Hot Air Balloon Garland

Up, Up and Away!

For August, I wanted a garland for my back window that was very cheery. There isn’t really a holiday associated with August, so it’s kind of a free form craft month.

I decided on a hot air balloon garland, and there were a ton of inspirational ideas out there. Most of them used the same folded and glued technique that I used for the Tulip Flowers mobile and the Paper Cactus. There’s nothing wrong with that, except I wanted to do something different.

So I kept looking, and found this super cute hot air balloon mobile. It was designed for a nursery, but nothing about it really screamed “baby” to me. What did stand out was the paper weaving technique, which is something I never had tried before.

And down the rabbit hole I went. This site is full of amazing creations, and the instructions, patterns, downloadable files and videos you need to make them.

I’m not going to lie – this wasn’t really easy. But it wasn’t impossible. It was just really amazing to me to go from these two flower/spider looking things …

Hot air balloon garland beginning cut file

To an actual hot air balloon!

Hot air balloon garland assembled balloons | suzerspace

There is no way I can explain how to do these better than the site does. Once you get one done the rest are pretty easy, but the learning curve is a little steep. So if you want to create these, I highly recommend you follow their instructions.

I do have a few tips:

  1. Watch the videos. before you start assembling. And then do the first one near a device where you can replay bits of the video so you can really see what you are supposed to be doing.
  2. Definitely use the paper clips as clamps to keep it all from unraveling as you go.
  3. I used tacky glue instead of glue stick for the gluing of that last row. It was easier for me.
  4. Consider assembling the basket before you do the weaving of the balloon. Here’s why – the basket is really fussy, and if you give it time to dry between the two parts that need assembly, it goes better. And if you have the baskets done, then adding the balloon on it easy. If you go the other way, if you are like me, you will be impatient to get the balloon finished and rushing the basket assembly means a crushed basket assembly.
  5. If you are going to create a garland out of these, poke holes and thread loops into the balloon BEFORE you add on the basket. I nearly cried when I realized that I hadn’t thought that step through and it was very difficult to get the loops in when it was all assembled.

I was really happy with my balloons when there we finished, and I made some quick clouds to go between them on my garland. For this, I did use that fold and glue technique to get the 3D pieces.

First I drew up a simple cloud. And in reality, I didn’t draw anything, I just kept making circles of different sizes until they globbed together to make a cloud shape. These need to be perfectly symmetrical side to side to work, so plan that out as you go.

Hot air balloon garland cloud drawing

Hot air balloon cloud drawing

Using the Pathfinder tool in Illustrator, I welded those together to get my shape, and then exported the file as a DXF format, because the standard version of Silhouette can’t work with an Illustrator file, but it can import the DXF file with no problem.

In Silhouette Studio I duplicated that cloud shape until I had nine on a page (each cloud requires three pieces), and then sent that to cut on some smooth white 80# cover stock.

hot air balloon garland cloud to cut

Once they were cut and weeded, I folded each one in half, and then glued two halves together for each cloud, and let those dry a minute before gluing (and wiggling) in the third folded piece.

hot air balloon garland clouds

Before I added in that last piece, I slid in a loop of dental floss to serve as the hanger for my garland.

hot air balloon garland cloud assembled

Once everything was dry, I strung them all on twine and hung them on my hooks the back window. Since that window faces the sun, it’s impossible to get a decent photo, so the feature shot at the beginning of the post is that garland on my dining room wall.

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