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Archive for the ‘Fun With Paper’ Category

Books and Materials

These pretty little handmade notebooks are made with collage paper, newsprint, embroidery floss, and greeting cards.  You can use blank greeting cards or used cards to make your notebook covers, giving you a great way to re-use your latest pile of birthday or holiday greetings.

First, take your greeting card and your collage paper and plot out how you’d like to arrange the paper.  Try to cover every bit of the card.  If you’re using a used greeting card as your base, make sure that the paper you are using to cover the card is thick enough to hide any pictures or text.  They will look fugly when they show through.

Scheming the Fold

Next, use your favorite paper glue to cover every bit of the card with your collage paper.  I use a glue stick, since I find school glue or mod podge gets my paper too wet (then it warps!).

Glue Time

Carefully trim the cover after it has dried to make sure all of your edges are even.

Snip Snip Snip

Measure your card, then cut 15 – 20 rectangles of blank newsprint in a slighty smaller size than your card.  I would suggest going at least 1/2 inch smaller on all sides.  You can cut these by hand, but if you have a real paper cutter, it will make your pages come out much more evenly.  As you can probably tell, mine were hand cut.

Fold your pages in half and place them inside your cover.

Using your favorite punching tool, poke holes through the center fold of your pages and cover simultaneously.  I’m crazy, so I use a dremel with a drill bit.  I’ve seen folks use awls, heavy duty paper punches, and a huge variety of other things to poke these holes.  Just choose your favorite and go for it.  Just make sure your holes are all lined up nicely, or stitching it will be a huge pain, maybe even impossible.

Holy Moly

Now take some string and thread it onto a nice big sewing needle.  A tapestry needle would be ideal.  I used embroidery floss to bind my notebooks, but you can use any kind of sturdy thread or string.  Some good ideas would be twine, hemp, or very strong yarn.

Stitch through the holes in the book in one direction, like so:

Stitch Stitch Stitch

Then, turn around and stitch in the other direction.  While you are going this direction, slip your needle through the next stitch over every chance you get, this will make each stitch more even and secure.  See what I mean?

A Close Look at the Stitching

Tie a knot when you get back to the beginning.

Tying the Knot

Fold the notebook back down.  It won’t want to stay closed very much, so you should press it under something really heavy for a few hours, or maybe even overnight.

All finished!

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During a move a couple of years back I found myself packing up hundreds and hundreds of CD cases.  The numbers were staggering, but their sheer volume, once in front of my face, was hard to handle.  After I’d filled a box (or three) I started to doubt the sanity of packing and moving the insane collection into my new home.  So, I decided to toss the cases.  One by one, I packed my discs into humongous CD binders.  In no time I had condensed the size of my music collection by 3/4.   Though I was relieved to see my burden shrunk, I felt a pang of sadness at letting go of the cases for all of my favorite albums.  How many countless hours had I spent pouring over each and every one of those liner notes?  I knew and loved each one.  How could I just chuck them into the garbage bin?  Being crafty, my mind fashioned a strange compromise.  I pulled the liner notes from the CD cases and stashed them away in a plastic bag in anticipation for the day that I figured out how to make something creative with them.

I used the stash as a sort of paper buffet for some time.  I used the pictures and text inside the liner notes to make buttons, magnets, and collages, but it wasn’t until much later that I came up with the greatest use for my old CD books ever, the Album Bouquet!  One day I got my hands on a flower shaped paper punch, some beads, and a spool of floral wire and it all came together.  Here’s what I made:

RadioHead: Kid A

The Misfits: Static Age

PJ Harvey: Is This Desire?

Here’s how you make them.

You’ll need:

  • CD Liner Notes
  • A Flower Shaped Paper Punch
  • A Mini Hole Punch (1/8 inch)
  • Floral Wire
  • Medium Sized Seed Beads
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Floral Tape

Directions:

  • Start by carefully removing the cover of the album and setting it aside.  This will be used as the vase, or wrapper for your bouquet.
  • Cut the remainder of the liner into strips that are just a little wider than your flower shaped punch.
  • Punch as many flowers as you can from the liner, then put them together into pairs of two.
  • Now punch two tiny holes into the middle of each pair of  flowers using your 1/8 inch hole punch.
  • Cut several 5 inch lengths of floral wire.
  • Line up a pair of flowers so that the holes in the middle align, then carefully thread a piece of wire through one of the holes.
  • Slip a bead onto the wire, then thread about 1 inch of the wire through the other hole in the flower so that the two ends of the wire are underneath the flower.  Carefully twist the two ends together.
  • Repeat the last two steps until you have tons of flowers.
  • Arrange the flowers into a pretty bunch, then secure the stems together using floral tape.
  • Roll the album cover into a cone and secure it from the inside with a piece of double sided tape.  Curl the edges on the outside cover down a little to make it extra pretty.
  • Place your bouquet of flowers into the wrapper and present it to your favorite music lover.

If you are wondering what to do with the empty jewel cases themselves, you will be happy to learn that they can be recycled.  However, your local recycling center is unlikely to take them, as they are made of a material that is notoriously difficult to recycle.  But fear not, the internet has come to the rescue.  Visit GreenDisk.com to learn how you can have your cases ethically disposed of.   Or, if you are feeling crafty,  check out the Top 14 Ways to Reuse Unwanted Jewel Cases.  Yet another option is to call up your local used CD store to see if they’d like to take your cases.  Second hand music stores are often in need of extra jewel cases, so your local shop may be happy to take them off your hands.

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You may remember a post several months ago which explained how you can create paper versions of your friends to take out on the town with you when you can’t all be together in real life.  My sisters and I began making flat friends the last time that we got 3 out of 4 of us together for a big fun time.  We really were sad that Caity, our youngest sister, couldn’t be there to share in our good times.  We McNally girls are big on making lemonade out of lemons if you know what I mean, so we created “Flat Caitlin” from paper and popsicle sticks, and took her with us throughout the day (and night’s) shenanigans.

My sister, Heather, just moved to Austin, Texas.  I helped her move, so I’m here for a few more days.  Sarah, another sister, is arriving tonight,  just in time to grab dinner and hit a Camera Obscura concert.  Fun times are definitely going to be had, but how can our joviality be complete when we are missing one sister?  That’s right.  It’s Flat Friend time.

We decided to go with a new photo this time. Mix things up, you know? Keep it fresh.

Caity's High School Graduation

Unfortunately, this photo mostly just shows her head, and we really need a good portion of body in order to get the Flat Friend just right.  Plus, we need somewhere to stick the popsicle stick.  Not a problem though, with the wonders of Photo Shop, we can easily create the facade of a torso.  Just a few clicks of the mouse, and VIOLA!

Ready to become a Flat Friend!

Isn’t digital imagery amazing? Now to print her out, attach her to a stick, and hit the town!  Yippee Kai Yay, Texas!

Update: Here are some photos of the fun we had with Flat Caitlin in Austin

The Four McNally Ladies in the Bluebonnets

Flat Caitlin Enjoying the Sunset Over Lake Travis

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Random Collage



Collage, originally uploaded by MHorama.

One of my favorite collages. 🙂

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My test dress for the wedding left Whirling Turban today! I already received my black petticoats from Memphis Vintage. I can't wait to see how this looks! Also, I can't wait to go shoe shopping for this little number. Black, or red? Hee hee hee.

Leopard test dress

In other news, Michelle & I whipped out a whole boat load of Thank You cards the other night. Originally, I had carved this crazy stamp out of rubber, and wanted to stamp out the cards.  After many less than stellar stampings we were inspired to approach the cards a different way.  We wound up tracing over a stamped image with a black marker (to clean it up) then having it reduced and photo copied onto card stock 125 times! We then cut the images out to create cute little thank you note cards. I'll need to order special envelopes, but so far these have cost a total of five bucks. Score!

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Sometimes our friends cannot always join us when we want them too. Perhaps you have a favorite buddy, sibling, or pal who can't make it to your big party or special event?  Don't fret.  There is a great alternative to having your real friend with you for all of life's precious moments.  In just 3 easy steps you can create your very own Flat Friend version of your stick in the mud buddy.  Your Flat Friend will actually be MORE fun than your real friend since you can do almost anything to or with them for the sake of taking funny pictures.  Being mostly paper, they are pretty much powerless to stop you.

Step One:
Print out the funniest/worst picture of your friend and cut them out.
HowTo1

Step Two:
Glue your friend to a stick of some kind.  I used a foam paint brush here, but you can also use a chop stick, a popsicle stick, a pen, or even a fly swatter. Pretty much anything tall, slim, and stiff. I'm sure you can find something appropriate. (Or depending on how far you want to take this joke, something inappropriate.)
Howto2

Step Three:
Embellish your friend.  On their own a Flat Friend is, well, kind of FLAT.  Try jazzing them up with some glitter, buttons, or brick-brack. 
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My sisters and I recently made a Flat Friend out of our youngest sister, Caitlin, when she wasn't around to help us do silly wedding crap.  Doesn't she look fabulous?  Now that your Flat Friend is ready, go out on the town and have some fun.  Don't forget a camera!  You'll need it to take tons of embarrassing pictures of your new and improved friend, and then upload them onto Facebook, lovingly tagging each one to your 3D friend's account.

FlatCaitlinSushi

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