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Wedding Papercrafts – Free Project!

February 24, 2016, 11:00 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 
Invitation from Wedding Papercrafts

Click to enlarge

In celebration of the upcoming release of Wedding Papercrafts, we’re offering a free download of the Paper-Cut Garden Vine Invitation template from the book.

With just a craft knife, some sketch paper, and a backing cardstock in a color to match your scheme, you can create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind keepsake wedding invitation to impress your guests. If you don’t currently have a wedding to plan, consider making these invitations for an “It’s Finally Spring!” get-together.

Find the instructions and template for creating the invitation below, and pre-order your copy of Wedding Papercrafts at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or IndieBound.

 

 

 

Materials & Tools:

• Download: Paper Cut Invitation Template

• One sheet of regular copy paper

• One sheet of colored cardstock, at least 9 x 9 inches (22.8 x 22.8 cm)

• One sheet of white sketch paper

• Craft knife

• Metal ruler

• Cutting mat

• Craft glue

• Small, soft paintbrush

• Tape

Instructions:

Wedding Papercrafts Cover1. Copy the invitation design template onto regular copy paper. Cut the template outline from the copy paper and lay it over the white sketch paper. Use tape to affix the template to the sketch paper to keep it in place as you cut. Be sure to use a cutting mat to protect your work surface.

TIP: If you’ve never used a craft knife before, practice working with the template, cardstock, craft knife, and cutting mat first.

2. Cut along the lines of the design template, using firm pressure to ensure that the blade is slicing through both the thin copy paper and the slightly heavier sketch paper. Take your time and be sure to keep your fingers away from the blade. You can rotate the paper as you go to make cutting in different directions easier. As you move from piece to piece, position the blade below the surface of the two layers of paper on the last cut to “pop” out the paper pieces.

3. When you finish cutting the entire template, gently move your hand over the copy paper to feel the grooves made by the blade to make sure you haven’t missed any lines before removing the design template.

4. Lift the copy paper template from the sketch paper. If a few pieces of the cutout still remain, rescore the lines with your craft knife and gently pull the pieces out. Clean up any jagged or unclean lines with the blade of the craft knife.

5. Using a metal ruler to guide the craft knife, cut the colored cardstock backing 7¼ x 5 ¾ inches (18.4 x 14.6 cm).

6. Brush a thin layer of glue on the back of the paper cutting and affix it to the colored cardstock. Let the card dry, then place it beneath a stack of heavy books to ensure it lays flat.

 

 
 
 
 
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Lark Crafts DIY: Latvian Easter eggs

April 03, 2015, 15:00 pm  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

My favorite Easter activity is coloring eggs. My father’s side of the family is Latvian, and every year I make traditional Latvian Easter eggs with my sister, great aunt, and grandmother. This year, I had a special kitchen buddy—Ernie. My sister’s 9-month-old Australian Shepherd is, like most dogs, very interested in any and all food prep, but Ernie seemed particularly fascinated by the Latvian Easter egg preparations.


ERNIE 2

 

Latvian Easter eggs are colored using dyes derived from all-natural materials—we color ours usingonion skins. It’s a really popular Latvian Easter egg-coloring method. The onion skins give the eggs a really beautiful earthy, rusty-red color and dried spices, herbs, leaves and/or flowers, wrapped or pressed around the egg and covered and held in place by the onion skins before boiling,  can result in really interesting shapes and patterns. You can also scratch the eggs after dying to create intricate designs.

 

What you’ll need:

Onion Skins

Nylon Stocking, Cheesecloth or, in a pinch, paper towels

Vinegar

Rubber bands (if using cheesecloth or paper towels)

Scissors

 

Optional:

Sharp tool for etching

Leaves, flowers, or other natural materials to create extra patterns on the egg

Vegetable oil or butter

 

First, collect a good amount of yellow onion skins. We bought a whole bag from the local grocery store, but some stores actually sell bags of just the skins.

 

Onion Skins

 

If you’d like to experiment with creating patterns using leaves and flowers on the egg, wrap them around the eggs first. (My sister and I dripped a little hot wax onto the egg to help keep the flowers and leaves in place before wrapping with the onion skins.)

 

Flower on Egg

 

Next, wrap the entire egg in onion skins (you can wet them first to make it easier to wrap them around each egg), then wrap each egg tightly with cheese cloth or paper towel and wrap each with a few rubber bands to keep everything in place while boiling. You can also use nylon stockings to create little bags for each covered egg. Simply cut pieces of the stocking big enough to cover each egg, place the egg in the stocking, pull the fabric tight around the egg to keep the onion in place and tie the stocking off at both ends.

 

Wrap onion skins around the egg

 

Place the eggs in a pot, add cold water and a little vinegar, and bring to a boil. Cook the eggs for 10-15 minutes. You’ll notice that the water will turn a red/orange color as the dye from the onion skins is extracted.

 

When the eggs are done, let them steep in the water for a few more minutes, then remove them from the water and let them cool. Use scissors to remove the rubber bands and the cheesecloth/paper towel/stocking and onion skins to reveal the color and patterns created by any plants. Peeling back the fabric and onions to reveal the color and patterns is the best part of the process. Use a sharp tool to scratch patterns into the egg if you like, then rub the eggs with vegetable oil or butter to give them a nice shine.

 

Dyed Eggs

 

Our eggs ended up with a lighter color (we could have used more onion skinsto make them darker) and a few of the leaves and flowers we added made interesting designs. We started to add a few etchings to the eggs with the point of some small scissors as well.

 

Ernie approved. Happy Easter!

 

Ernie with Eggs

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Artful Christmas CoverThe elegant yet easy-to-make projects featured in Susan Wasinger’s Artful Christmas are all beautiful, but my favorite project from the book has to be the Pressed Clay Wreath (pictured below).

 

I was really surprised to see how such an ornate and elegant wreath could be made using widely available materials and in just 4 simple steps. Easy to make, yet sophisticated and beautiful, the projects included in Artful Christmas are perfect for those of us who are usually scrambling to pull everything together during the busy holiday season.

 

I’m currently in the midst of an apartment move, and with the usual hustle and bustle that inevitably accompanies the holidays, plus a new apartment full of unpacked boxes on my hands, I won’t be able to spend a lot of time and energy on decorations for the holidays. With this in mind, I definitely plan on scratching my creative itch and making a few of these projects to decorate my new place this Christmas.

 

Check out the Pressed Clay Wreath project from the book below and consider making your own to display as a table centerpiece or decorative wreath.

 

Pressed Clay Wreath - Artful Christmas (4)

 
 
 
 
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Paper Monsters and Curious Creatures

August 12, 2014, 14:16 pm  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

I couldn’t wait to try my hand at a few of the projects in our new August title: Paper Monsters and Curious Creatures: 30 Projects to Copy, Cut, and Fold by Hiroshi Hayakawa.

 

The book contains an array of delightfully cute and spooky paper monsters and creatures that would make a perfect craft project for Halloween. I really enjoyed making the Baby Alien, Black Cat, and Trash Can Robot projects (picture below!) and look forward to making more to use as table decorations for Halloween parties this fall.

 

The project instructions and templates for the Baby Alien, Black Cat, and Trash Can Robot projects, plus a few others, are available on our FREE STUFF page. Try some out and share a picture of your projects with us in the comments section!

 


Get your copy of Paper Monsters and Curious Creatures today by ordering here, and get a jump start on your holiday decorating!