Monday, January 31, 2011

Fabric Hearts

Catherine Kline Postcard

Using the card stock pattern from the original heart post, you can make fabric hearts with loops to hang or place them in a bowl as pretty give-aways at your next tea. They can also be scented by spraying a vanilla or cinnamon room spray from Dollar Tree on the filler just before you sew up the opening

With right sides of fabric together, put the cardboard template in place and draw a pencil line around it. Then, cut a fourth to a half inch larger, as you see here, marking two places on the straight side of the heart, where you will leave an opening.

Back stitch to secure the stitching, and then go all the way around the heart, pivoting at the points, until you get to the other mark. Back stitch and forward stitch again to secure it. Clip little wedges on the curved areas to make it smoother when you turn it inside out.  This can easily be hand stitched.

Turn the heart so that the right sides with the pretty print is out, and press out the points and curves and seams with the tips of your scissors. gently. If you prefer, you can press the heart with the iron before the next step.This is a new spring cotton from Walmart. Click on for a larger view. I have already cut a dress from it, and hope it won't take me another year to get it sewn!

This picture is blurry, but I am trying to show you that you can press down the opening one fourth inch, even with the sewn seam, on the opening, with a hot iron. It will make it easier to stitch it together.

This is what it will look like after you press it. By taking the first stitch inside the heart and pulling through the seam on the outside, you can hide the knotted end. Then, overcast or use a buttonhole type stitch. I use a special invisible way of stitching openings, but any stitch will be fine, and if you use matching thread, the stitching will not show.

Now fill it with the fiberfill or cotton or wool or whatever you want to use. If you do not have stuffing, you can substitute something else such as cotton balls or fabric scraps.

This one is made from fleece fabric. Some sources say that when doors had keyholes, little pillows like this were hung on the inside the door to cover the keyhole, for privacy and warmth. I have seen some very nice heart pillows with keys attached to them, on various blogs this season. 

I found this lovely pin cushion at JoAnn Fabrics. If you do not intend to use your 40 or 50% coupon for any large item, you can always buy something like this.

The pincushion has a solid bottom and the pins are pink and white. I have a couple of pin-cushion tutorials here, if you want to make your own. You can order graphite from the web to fill it with, which sharpens your pins and needles.

 This is some new cotton fabric I found at JoAnns. I got a yard of it and I really like the feel of it. It is very soft but closely woven. I would sure like to get more of it. I am not sure what I will use it for, but like all fabriholics, it is just nice to have it in a little stack with other samples, to look at.

Easy Valentines

These paper hearts consisting of only cardstock, paper and clip-art from old cards take very little time. They are only one layer and the greeting is written on the other side. They look as though the roses are printed straight on the card, but they are cut out and glued on with ordinary glue. Click on for a more detailed view.

This has to be my favorite, made with a piece clipped from an old card. Cardstock, on which it is  glued, can be cut with any kinds of scissors, including children's scissors.

No, this is my favorite. It is just a little card on a white background, glued on.

The large rose has been cut out of a scrapbook paper, and the handle for hanging comes from a scrap left after cutting the shaped edging. Just two pieces, plus a dot of liquid paper-glitter, makes this very easy.

The pattern for these hearts are in the previous post. You can also use fabric to decorate with, by tracing around your card template, cutting it out with fabric scissors, and applying the cloth shape to the cardstock heart with a glue-stick. The liquid glue does not work as well with fabric-on-cardstock as well as the office glue stick. I've used a punch to make holes to insert ribbon for hanging.

I have changed my mind about my favorite, for I believe the above is really my favorite, and it is very simple. Just cut the edges with deckle scissors (sometimes available at dollar stores and discount stores), then cut out a piece of clip art with scissors that will cut details, glue on, add liquid glitter, and there you have it. Please be sure to click on for a larger view. This one is cut of cardstock, like the others.

You can either clip out the rose in detail, or leave it as is and apply to the card as you see above.

These are all made with red construction paper and they look great on a plate for a centerpiece at a table. A slightly smaller white heart, the same shape has been put inside the large heart, and then a picture of a rose put in the middle. The one on the right has a glittered foam heart, applied with white liquid glue.  The clip-art is all applied with Elmer's liquid school glue. The only card that uses the sticky glue stick is the fabric one. I found the liquid white glue to work better with this kind of simple project, but it only needs a tiny bit outlining the piece, and then pressed firmly with your fingers.  These pretty hearts fit inside the long business style white envelopes.

Some of the clip art is available on Victorian clip art sites.

Simple Valentines

Friday, January 28, 2011

Easy Heart Cards

Here is a very easy way to make Valentines using  paper and clip art from magazines or ads that come in the mail. The heart has a special country style shape, so if it does not suit you, just make your own shape by folding paper in half and cutting a half-heart shape, and using it for a pattern.  This one is designed to fit in the long business envelopes, as you see below:

I bought these envelopes at WalMart when they had a special pink office supply promotion.

This heart is made of white cardstock and a simple rose is glued on. Without much fuss, and no embellishments, it is still really pretty.


In the photograph above I have sketched a simple little scene of a path leading to a house surrounded by trees, with hills in the background and a clear sky,  which you can print and use to make the card like those old post cards.  This one is just done with crayons and a rose sticker is added at the lower end of the heart.

All you need is construction paper or thin scrapbook paper, or cardstock if you prefer. The clip art can be anything you have, such as stickers or pictures. The only equipment you need are scissors and white glue. Deckle edge scissors and glitter glue is optional. For children, this is very easy, since they only have about three things to put on the card. I've added stick-on diamonds and ribbon to some of these.

A long stemmed rose is included in the pattern. Just cut the entire rose on green paper, and then cut out the rose bud in another color and glue over the stem, clipping where necessary. A white card with the rose on it would look just fine. I have used glittered puff-paint by Polymer and Scribbles to outline the above card.  The template provides a small rose shape to glue inside the larger heart. This one is made with a small heart from glitter paper.

This is done with a clip-art tag and a hand made feather, which can be made just by drawing a feather shape and clipping the edges. Shade the tip and make it look like a quill pen.

Print the template, above, on cardstock or glue to cardboard. Cut out the pieces and trace around them on various types of paper, for your heart cards.  These are just one layer. The personal greeting is written on the other side. 

If you sell things from your home, this would be a very easy and quick project. Line up all your supplies and get everything in order before you begin, and it will go fairly easily. The white cardstock hearts on the left are made only with cardstock paper and stickers. Just two ingredients are simple for children and still make a lovely impression.

Take a second look at the things that come in the mail and you'll find some good clip-art. The bookmark from Country Living magazine promotion is made of good quality cardstock, has a beautiful scene of roses on it,  and is just the right size for the business envelopes I am making these cards for.

Here is what the junk mail clip-art looks like on cards. The bookmark at the top of the picture made a lovely card, tied with coordinating ribbon. 

Look at your business-reply cards inside of magazines, too. This is one from a Victoria magazine, pasted on a piece of paper made with a special craft punch that makes it look like lace around the edges.

The smaller heart shape makes perfect little tags, which can be attached to gifts or gift bags. The construction paper comes from the dollar store.

If you do not have enough envelopes, just open a business size envelope from any mail you have, or use a new one, and glue it on to cardstock. Cut it out and use it as a pattern on thin scrapbook paper, putting the white side on the outside and the print on the inside.

To make a book or letter-card, just punch holes on the straight edge of the card and thread ribbon through it. Cut out extra pages but make them slightly smaller all around.

This one has a length of silver beads to tie it and is outlined in silver glitter-glue. I've made a guest book out of this one, just for one day. You can get quite a few pages in it for one postage stamp, for writing letters.

You can also trace this shape on fabrics, cut them out and glue them on the cards with a glue-stick.  The liquid white glue does not work as well with fabric.

While I think of it, I discovered something to share: Sidewalk chalk (that odd looking piece on the edge of the chalkboard) works really well on old chalkboards. Normal chalk seems to slide and not stick on the board when it gets older and worn out, but children's  sidewalk chalk is great, and you can get it at the dollar store. It erases a lot more easily too, and  it comes in large sticks in many different colors,  or in shapes like bunnies and ducks, etc. If you are not able to refurbish the black boards with chalkboard paint, cannot get any, or do not want to spend the money, this sidewalk chalk makes them look fresh and new.

Have a look around at things you normally would throw away and you will find quite a few things you never noticed before. For example, in the picture of all the hearts, the last card on the right of the top row has a rose on it made with a green stem cut from part of a brown paper grocery bag. Part of the bag was green.  You might find a little rose on your tea box or floral stickers from your junk mail, that you could use to brighten up a card. 

Although there are high quality products widely available today for crafters, it is always good to understand how to be creative and resourceful and to use what you have on hand,  to make something beautiful for someone else.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Make Your Own Paper Cupcake or Muffin Wrappers


These lace paper wraps come in many different styles and colors, suitable for any occasion, but they can be quite expensive. Some are sold in a package of 12 for $12.00, making it a dollar for each lace wrapper.

You can get them cheaper at Wal-Mart in the Valentine supply section of the store:  $1.88 per package of 10,  in red, white and pink glossy paper.

Let's suppose, however, that for some reason you cannot find them or afford them, or maybe you do not have the time or the transportation to go shopping. I have created a pattern for you here so that you can make them with any paper and in any style you like. I have two styles here: one is for the cupcake shape and the other is a straight edge type for a small cake that is made usually with a cookie cutter. It is the same size as a cupcake but the sides are straight, like a cake.

All you have to do is copy the pattern on cardstock from your printer (or paste the pattern on heavier paper or cardboard), cut it out, and trace around it on the paper of your choice.

After tracing the outline from the cardboard pattern, use your rubber stamps to decorate the paper, or add stickers to suit the occasion.  Pick papers that suit your taste, from primitive and country, or shabby-chic and elegant. 

Cut around the upper edges of the paper with deckle-edged scissors, for a lacy look.

The two papers that I used here were construction paper, above, and printer paper, below. Scrapbook papers will lend it a more upscale, professional look, so try whatever you have on hand and see what you like best.

Place the wrappers around the cake or cupcake and tape the ends together with clear tape. Paper hole punches or any shaped punches can be used on the edges, as you see on one of these wrappers.

This is a cupcake pan liner, which goes in the cupcake pan. After the cupcake has cooled, do not remove this wrapper. The decorative wrapper which we are making, goes around it.
Cupcake baking pan. Line the little sections with the cupcake liners shown in the previous photo.

Trace and cut out your wrapper. This is the straight-sided one.

Fold the strip of paper in half, and then in half again. Fold it once more if possible.

This is the circular cupcake shaped liner cut from the pattern. Fold it in half, matching the curved edges, and in half again, and maybe once more.

Use the deckle-edge scissors to trim off the top edge, and then cut half hearts into the folded side edges.

Unwrap to see if you like your design. If not, start over with a new piece.

This is how the curved cupcake design looks when unfolded.

Above: the two kinds of muffins: one a cupcake shape, and one made with straight sides with a cookie cutter, in cupcake wrappers.

Muffin and cupcake wrapper pattern.

It would be interesting to see this done in checkered scrapbook papers or gift-wrap paper. The next time you have to get a little treat made quickly and need to make it extra special, try making your own cupcake wrapper for it. If your cakes are not the same size as my pattern, just make your own.  Look here for a google list of cupcake wrappers and templates, and see what others are doing. 

There are some beautiful styles of these wrappers here.
You can make just about anything you want, when you become innovative and resourceful. It is a wonderful way to live because you do not have to wait til you find something or wait til you can afford the little luxuries. This might also be a good enterprise for those who sell paper crafts in their own online stores or from the home.