Show and Tell: Paperclip Feet Birds

A craft project from another blog

These little cuties came to me via my Pinterest feed.

Charcoal and Crayons’ post even featured a downloadable template (yay! I love templates!) that was easily traced into a Silhouette cutting file.

And I have had these super cute black and white paperclips for quite some time.

They were a little tricky to assemble as directed – trying to fit the two “legs” between the two bird halves was very fiddly, even with hot glue.

If you cut a third body piece, and then sandwich that between the other two body parts, you then have a more stable center for the legs to be glued.

Show and Tell: Daisy Flower Tea Light

A project I tried from another website

When I first thought about purchasing a Silhouette Cameo, I worried about the cumulative cost of the craft. I could see what the machine’s price was, and I had a rough idea what paper would run me, but I wasn’t sure about the actual cutting files.

I was reasonably sure I could create my own, and initially I thought I’d need to upgrade to the Designer Edition of Silhouette Studio. But then I ran across the tip somewhere that the basic, free edition would accept DXF files, and I knew Adobe Illustrator (which I already own) could export those files, so that was good.

So I bought my bundle, which even came with a generous download credit at the Silhouette Design store.

Turns out I never should have worried though, because there is a wealth of free cutting files out there. Some are from generous craft bloggers, but even more are from sites that sell cut files. Obviously, they are hoping you’ll love their files and you’ll come back when you want to purchase something specific.

Case in point – this super cute Gerbera Daisy Tea Light. The 3DSVG site has tons of files for purchase, and a very nice stash of free files to try them out. And what I really liked was the super easy to follow video. (Disclaimer time – I was not compensated for this post. I googled “free cut files” and stumbled upon them. In exchange for my email info when I signed up for an account, they gave me free files. You can do the same!)

I made two of these – one actually following the video directions and using the appropriate color card stock. But as anyone who knows me, I don’t really like to be told what to do, so for the second one I made some changes.

I still used tacky glue to adhere the points from the round top piece to the first row of inner petals, but then I switched to double stick tape to adhere the other colored petals. I found that was easier to get a tight wrap around the tea light, although the trade off was you don’t get a second chance with the tape – when you glue, you can squish something into better alignment if needed.

I also cut the second version out of yellow and brown stock to make a Brown Eyed Susan instead of a Daisy. In case the reason for the flower version switch isn’t obvious to you, why yes, I DO have brown eyes 😉 .

Show and Tell: Paper Swallows

A craft I tried from another website

Three dimensional paper projects are high on my list of fun things to make. Often I don’t even have an intended use for them, I just want to see how they go together.

Pinterest is on to me, and early last week a pin for these paper swallows landed in my feed. Originally, I ignored it because they looked a little scary. But I liked how quick they appeared to come together, and I figured if I cut them from colorful paper, they’d be much happier looking.

And I was right on all counts.

Continue reading “Show and Tell: Paper Swallows”

Show and Tell: Tissue Paper Flowers

A project I tried from another blogger

Tissue Paper Flowers from Hey Let's Make Stuff

One glance at Pinterest or Instagram will tell you that paper flowers are in right now.

Rolled paper flowers are the most popular, and everyone is offering their tutorials on them. I’ve referenced one version before, which I liked, but wasn’t sure I could commit to the entire project.

Another blogger (Jennifer Maker) has offered up a whole series of these, and with her encouragement (and her videos) I’ve been pretty successful in making some pretty flowers. I have a few project ideas in mind for spring decorating that will use those.

You know when you start looking at one thing on Pinterest it keeps on serving up more pins in that genre, so it wasn’t long before I saw a pin that landed me at Hey Let’s Make Stuff, on a post where she makes Tissue Paper Flowers four different ways. In it, she describes how she turned to paper crafting for decorations for her wedding. And she made 500 flowers for table pieces.

Yup. 500.

I have a vague memory of making these before. Maybe with a babysitter? Anyway – I searched the craft bags (I store my craft supplies under my desk in Chipotle paper bags), and turns out I do not have any tissue paper.

Bummer. But I do have a bunch of shoeboxes that I was getting ready to cut down into good cardboard squares. And inside? Tissue paper!

Cori’s post about making Tissue Paper flowers is easy to follow. The photos step you through the folding, and while it isn’t rocket science, it is a little tricky to get started. I really liked how she showed how changing the cutting on the edges totally changes the flowers. And I love a forgiving craft – if you pulled too hard and tore the sheets a little, the flowers just ended up a little more rustic.

I made three in about three minutes. And then made myself stop.

Because suddenly 500 didn’t seem that weird after all.


Show and Tell: Pocket Pack Tissue Cover

A project I tried from another blogger

Pocket Tissue Cover from Sum of their Stories

My mom is great seamstress. She makes clothes, some complete with matching doll outfits. Her quilts are just amazing.

Me? I never really got beyond the one-yard skirt with an elastic waistband. Although honestly, that pattern served me very well my first year in an adult job.

I’m more of a utility stitcher. As a short person, I’ve got a very good grasp of how to hem. And take in waistbands. But I know my limits (topstitching/zippers/buttonholes).

And I’m going to tell you something that will make anyone who sews for a hobby cringe. About three years ago I decided to rearrange the office/exercise room and I moved my sewing machine into the basement. Which of course means …  I haven’t used my sewing machine in more than three years.

So when I saw this little project for sewing Pocket Pack Tissue Covers, I knew I had a decision to make. Drag the machine upstairs and set it all up, or do it by hand.

After looking at the pictures and the technique involved, I knew that I could attempt this one by hand. All of the stitching is hidden.

Does mine look like Julie’s at Sum of their Stories? Nope.

Is my stitching so crooked that the ends are uneven? Yup.

Did I check three times to make sure I had the right sides in where they were supposed to be but still somehow get the back on inside out? It’s like you know me 🙂 .

I really like this little craft. The measurements are easy, the stitching technique is super simple. It would be way faster and much straighter if I used a machine, and when I get brave enough to see if it’s in working order, I will definitely put this one on the top of my list. Until then, my little wonky version is going straight into my backpack to be used with pride!

Show and Tell: Paper Lanterns

A project I tried from another craft site

Houseful of Handmade had a great looking feature a few weeks ago where the blog owner (Kati) created paper lanterns that look like they are heavy metal versions. (Ha – Heavy Metal – I didn’t mean it like that).

I’ve been making tea light boxes since the first weekend I owned my Silhouette Cameo so I knew these were going to be fun.

And HOH has a digital download library that’s free if you’ll sign up for her newsletter (which you should, because it’s also good).

Continue reading “Show and Tell: Paper Lanterns”

Show and Tell: Winter Letters

A project I tried from another craft site

3D letters cut with a Silhouette Cameo
The test letters came out great. The final version for the actual craft? Not so much.

I really love 3D paper art, and I’ve been wanting to do something cool with letters for a while. I saw this craft post that looked like a good starting point.  It’s on a craft supply website, so naturally they are using pre-made letters. Not my thing. I sourced around and found a few options for using my Silhouette Cameo 3 to cut letters, as well as some printable versions, and morphed them up to make my own patterns.

I test cut  and assembled an “S” (for Susan, naturally) and a “P” for my better half. They went together pretty well (a few glitches in my pattern but I fixed them).

I even found a green bottle brush on super reduced after Christmas sale, so I figured I’d be set.

Continue reading “Show and Tell: Winter Letters”

Show and Tell: Rolled Flowers

A project I tried from another craft site

Testing a cut file to make a rolled paper rose wreath
I almost always test cut projects out of 80# white smooth coverstock.

This project came to me from my Pinterest feed, and landed me at Unoriginal Mom’s post on Paper Rosette Wreaths.

She credits another crafter for the inspiration. (Side note: I totally love the craft blog community. It doesn’t feel competitive as much as it feels cooperative.)

In her post, Unoriginal Mom is even friendly enough to give away her cut file.

Which works perfectly. I test cut several flowers of various sizes. They are easy to assemble. And I can see how her process of making all the flowers and gluing them while binge-watching TV and then assembling the wreath would work.

But I can also see I’m not going to follow through with this one.  I’m sure it would be worth it, but I don’t want to end up with a big paper bag of roses that never become anything.

I do have visions of cutting them out of pastel paper and making magnets or gift wrap toppers.