I could write about the fight M and I had this morning about going to karate. Or about my frustration with the fact that the report prepared by the psychiatrist the school board requested we send M to contains numerous factual errors. There’s plenty of bloggy fodder in my life.
But today, I am going to mix things up and talk about something I do just for me.
Yes, I am closet crafter. And craft blogs are my secret vice. I particularly like tutorials – step-by-directions (with photos) on how to make a bag, scarf, necklace, etc. I will never make most of the projects, but they are fun to read – creative escapism after an argument with M, a meeting at the school, long day at work, etc.
Sometimes I actually do make something. Lately, it is birthday cards for friends and family. They are quick and easy – using simple techniques and basic materials, I can start and finish a unique birthday or special occasion card during an episode of “What Not To Wear.” And when I am feeling stressed, just that little burst of creativity is enough to recharge my batteries.
So here’s a card I made for my niece’s birthday.
I decided against doing a tutorial on how I put the card together – my photography skills are still a work in progress. But here’s a quick run-down of how I put it together.
Since my niece’s gift this year is cash, I decided to make a card with a “pocket”. I cut a piece of card stock into an 11 by 6 inch rectangle and folded up a 2 inch section along the shorter side. Then I folded the card in half. A little glue on each of the edges of the “pocket” and voila – a money holder card (would also work for a gift card).
I decided to decorate the front of the card with little bunting flags (or pennants) – a popular project in craft magazine’s and on craft blogs. But I needed something to hang the flags from. I didn’t have any skinny ribbon or baker’s twine (currently one of the “in” things in the crafty world) to match my (purple) colour scheme. But I did have embroidery thread in different shades of purple. Plus some white glue.
How hard could it be to make my own baker’s twine?
It was surprisingly easy. The end result was a bit stiffer than regular baker’s twine, but it worked for my purposes. I don’t have “how-to” pictures – my fingers were covered in glue – but here’s what I did:
- Cut two lengths 12 – 18 inch lengths of embroidery thread (I used light and dark purple)
- Tie a small knot in one end
- Pour a small amount of white glue into a small bowl – dilute with a small amount of water (it should still be thick, as opposed to runny)
- Starting at the end with the knot, twist the thread and apply glue with your fingers – keep twisting and spreading the glue along the twisted thread, so it doesn’t separate. I wanted it to look like baker’s twine – equal amounts of each colour showing, so I twisted mine fairly tightly
- When you have finished twisting and applying glue to the entire length, remove any extra glue with your fingers. Hang it up where it can dry.
(I hung the “baker’s twine” up using a thumb tack and let it dry overnight. I think you could use it the same day – you just want it dry enough so it won’t stick to your fingers).
The rest of the card came together fairly quickly and easily.
I used pinking shears to cut out the pennants. I didn’t measure them (too much work), so they aren’t necessarily identical. It’s a home-made card – it’s not supposed to look perfect.
To attach the “baker’s twine” to the card, I cut a piece about 2 inches longer than the front of the card and taped the ends to the back. As I was putting it together, I decided I didn’t like the look – the ends made the card look lumpy. So I took off the tape and cut the ends short – I just glued top layer to a slightly larger piece of printed paper in a coordinating colour, glued to the card.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I had actually glued the rectangle with the bunting to the rest of the card before I decided I didn’t like it. So I pulled up the edges, took off the tape and re-glued the edges. This is why I prefer to use a glue stick, as opposed to other adhesives – way more forgiving, as well as bring amenable to my “trial and error” method of crafting.)
A bit more glue for the pennants and the “baker’s twine” so it would lie flat, a couple of glittery stickers to jazz up the pennants, and a couple of stamps (to add birthday wishes), the front of the card is done. Very cute, if I do say so myself.
I finished off the inside of the card by covering the” pocket” with a piece of printed paper. Because the card itself was a dark purple colour, I added a little rectangle so we could sign our names (so my niece would know who had sent her such a lovely card) and decorated with some stickers (same ones I used for the bunting on the front).
It did take me a bit more than an hour to complete the card – picking my colour scheme, finalizing the design, etc. But an easy project to finish during a “What Not To Wear” double bill.
I will be posting this to a “linky” party on another blog. This wasn’t my primary motivation for starting a blog. But it is something I have thought about doing, as part of my new philosophy of “living in the moment.”
Linked to Get Your Craft on Tuesday at Today”s Creative Blog