Friday, May 08, 2009

Use What You Have Paper Craft

Paper Bag Plant or Flower Wall Vase

This is a fairly easy way to make a wall pocket or gift tag, without a pattern or without expensive papers. It can be made from brown paper bag material or card stock.

The strongest, thickest, and best brown paper bags are made by Weyerhauser or International Paper, which are used in most grocery stores. The worst are from Safeway grocery store: they tear too easily and fall apart when they have to carry something. Just look at the bottom of the bag to see where it is made.

Fold a piece of brown paper and draw half of the shape of your choice. This one fits over a door handle. IF you are not certain, just hold it up to a door handle and try to estimate the size. You do not have to have a perfect pattern. Any mistakes can just be covered up with decorating.

After you make your pattern, cut another piece the same size, minus the handle, and glue three sides. I've used hand made flour paste. To keep the handle from being too flimsy, just cut another piece and glue it on top of the other one.

Hold it together with clothespins til it dries. Make some other varieties while waiting for it to dry. If you like a rustic or primitive look, you can leave it like and add some appropriate decorations, such as clip art, buttons, string, fabric.

Here is a really large one, about the size of a large vase. I have cut a small notch in the handle to make it hang better, and have also cut a little dip in the front piece so that flowers will display better.

To make your own flowers, cut stems from paper, white or colored, and make 5 petal flowers to glue on top. Add a set of leaves to each one. Place each stem inside the pocket. Though they do not look like much right now, when colored with crayons, they look fabulous.

Here is one of the wall pockets left as brown paper, with stickers and buttons applied, and some fake flowers.

This is the small one, and it is one layer, as it is only a gift tag made of card stock. You could make it from anything you have, though, including cardboard from any box you have in your kitchen. Just cover it with the paper you like.

If you don't have fancy paper, cover it with white construction paper or any plain paper and add your own clippings.

Here is the other size, which also fits a business size envelope, if you want to make a card out of it. It has been painted with craft paint, and a rose sticker added, from the dollar store. These come in sheets of about 24 stickers for a dollar.

This is the pattern for the one above. Highlight it and see if you can put it on another document on your computer and print it out.

Unfortunately, there are some lines showing from the other side of this. The one you copy is the darker lines. This is the tag and the other size of wall pocket or card, plus the flower pattern. The stem is on the other page.

Now for the wall pocket on the top of this page: It has been painted with a craft paint, and let dry. After that it was brushed with clear glitter glue and let dry. Then, an oval was cut out of an old calendar page (Janet Kruskamp was the artist). A faint decoration was made above and below the image, with a rubber stamp.

If you do not have a stencil with ovals and squares and circles, you probably have things in your house you can use: the bottom of a glass or cup, a salt shaker, a spice jar, or, remember all those "windows" that are on boxes of spaghetti, or in some other box, such as a box of soap? Use those for your ovals and squares and circles. Just collect the pieces and trace inside them when you need a shape.

Rick rack trim from my sewing stash was glued down and held with a clothespin til it dried, and the oval was outlined with tee shirt paint, which is sometimes only about 50c and lasts for a long, long time. I've had some of that paint around for years and found out you can use it on paper crafts. It gives you a chance to use up some of your craft supplies. To make your own rick-rack or decorative edging, just use special shaped scissors and glitter paper or craft paper. If you don't have those supplies, you can draw your own on paper and cut them out and glue them down. You do not have to buy things to be creative. You can find a lot of things at home from old cards to pictures on boxes. If you have a sticker-maker, you can cut things from magzines and make your own stickers.

If you want to put a living plant or a bouquet of real flowers in this wall pocket, here is how you do it:
Dig up your plant, or pick your flowers.

Put the stems or roots inside a plastic sandwich bag or any plastic bag, and add water.

Put all that inside another plastic bag, such as one of those white grocery bags.
Slip it all inside of the wall pocket.

Paper Bag Cover

This project is incredibly easy. It is a dome to cover a meal or snack on a tray, to give to someone special. Make tea and toast and take it to someone who is recovering from illness, and just leave it with them as a gift.

Lay out a heavy paper grocery sack and cut across just where the fold is at the bottom, like this. This craft will not work as well with thin bags, but you could also just use a a large shoe box or any other kind of box.

Roll up the lower edge all around the bag, about 1/4 inch , twice, to make it sit upright.

Then flatten it again and apply your favorite papers. Thin papers work much better than the luxury papers or cardstocks. You can also use magazine clippings. Gardening pictures work well. Turn the project over and decorate the other sides.

Tie a big bow and secure it on the sides of the bag with glue. fastening with clothespins til dry. Use the bow as a handle to lift the cover from the tray. Find a very sturdy cardboard lid or box for your tray. The tray can also be a beautiful art project. If you will use decoupage glue or some kind of craft glaze over the papers, it takes on a high quality look.

The picture below is something interesting. One of the children wanted to give me something special. He knew I didn't want him to spend money, and he knew I liked pink. He made me a pink laptop. Notice how he spelled "internet." It is probably more appropriate ;-) He even included Bollywood discs for me to watch. I guess if children have paper, they think they can have anything!

This is just a piece of pink paper folded in half, with the screen on the upper side and the keyboard on the lower side.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Card Craft

It takes a little more effort to make this pretty paper napkin or gift-tissue covered card, but it is worth a try, just to get this artistic result.

Cut a card and fold it three ways, making two sections exactly the same, and the top piece smaller, as shown on the right in the picture. Just use the long side of a piece of card stock, and cut it to fit your envelope.

The materials used were scalloped tissue paper, card stock, ribbon, high quality plastic food-wrap.
Lay a piece of brown paper bag on the ironing board. On top of that, put your card, and on top of it, a layer of saran wrap, like you see in the picture.

Then put your paper napkin over the saran wrap (it will have to be separated, and just use the printed layer), and on top of that, another piece of brown paper bag.

With iron on hottest setting, press down firmly and then iron back and forth a little. Every few seconds, lift up the iron. This will melt the plastic and make a bond between the napkin and the card.

Let the layers cool a little bit and then peel back the brown paper. Press again directly on the card, just to catch any parts that did not stick to the card, and to give it a nice smooth surface.

Trim around the decorative scallops and trim off excess tissue paper.

Place a ribbon handle inside the top fold, with clear tape. Outline the edges with Polymer or Scribbles paint from a tube, and add a jewel to the middle of the flap by making it with glitter glue inside a round circle. It does have some drying time, so if you want instant results, use your gell pens or some paper trims. You can put a message on the inside.
You can do this with any patterned paper if you want to have less trouble.

I have a few more ideas coming up soon.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Art of T.C. Chiu

House on the Harbor, by T.C. Chiu from Lovely Whatevers

While there are many artists that are easily recognizable by certain aspects of their style, T.C. Chiu paints in many different ways. You cannot say "Oh, that is the man that paints the scenes of the Carribean," or "He paints hummingbirds," because his 1000 or more paintings on the web have so many color schemes and themes.

T.C. Chiu, whose homeland was China, came to America in 1974, where he continued painting his colorful scenes. This artist is as adept at painting a seascape as he is a child's room. Painted phrases like "Love Never Fails" (Ist Corinthians 13) and "In Everything Give Thanks, For This is the Will of God," (Ist Thessalonians 5:18), or "God Bless Our Home," as well as beautiful paintings of open windows or shelves of family heirlooms, show a love for the home.

This art depicts fresh scenes of flower shops in France and beautiful homes from the Victorian era in America. You can go to Lovely Whatevers to enjoy some of the paintings of this versatile Christian artist.

Art for the home does not have to be "storebought." It can consist of a child's drawing or scenery torn from a country magazine. Its purpose is to reassure the family and inspire the heart. Women at home naturally watch for the souls of their loved ones. Good art that elevates the soul will help them develop stability and a love for the home.

I recently came upon an interesting book review from the year 1837, called "The Civilization of the Human Race by Women," written by L. Aime Martin. The review suggests that the woman contributes something more important to the world when she uses her heart to guide the home and care for the souls of her loved ones:

"...her honor is most promoted by excellence in her own sphere, as a wife, a mother, the guardian of the young, mistress of the home, arbiter of society."

You can read part of that review, here on this post:

It might interest women that the same ignorance existed regarding women's purpose then, as it does today. The book warned of the folly of getting too distracted into careers, and neglecting the most important kind of education there is for a country.

This book showed one aspect of marriage: that it pevented the lesser fates for women, those of being regulated to a boarding school, or being forced to become a governness. As I have said before, marriage is a great protection from being bossed around by the rest of the world and having to go from one institution to another. It is a domain all her own, where she decides how her day will be ordered, and where she can create respect and honor.

If you are concerned about recent events, you may get some knowledge that will be helpful here:
Dr. Mercola



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