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.

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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).

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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.

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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.