Saturday, February 14, 2015

Paper Panda Stamp Valentine's Card




I thought I'd share a little step by step on how I made this Valentine's card using the new Paper Panda rubber stamps. If you haven't heard of Paper Panda, she's an extremely talented paper cutting artist and you can see her work here.  My other half knew that I'd been coveting these stamps for a while as I've been dropping massive hints that I'd like them for Christmas... (OK, maybe I might have sent him the link showing him where he could buy them from...)

I'm not a massive collector of rubber stamps, but being an admirer of Paper Panda, I couldn't resist these. Take a look at my post on my first attempt at paper cutting.

I thought I'd use my favourite stamping technique of using a Versamark watermark stamp pad, combined with chalks, to get a kind of watercolour effect.

If you wanted to make a similar card you would need: -



Attach your bike stamp to a clear stamping block and cover the stamp in Versamark watermark ink. With your card stock landscape, stamp the bike image in the bottom left corner of the A5 sheet.


The rubber stamped image is virtually invisible on white paper, but the magic happens when you rub coloured chalks over the watermark stamp.  You could of course just stop there, but I wanted to create a little landscape for Bunny and Bird.


The card is going to be an A5 sheet, folded long ways to give a wide, top folded, landscape card.  I want my design to fade gently towards the right of the card so I filled the bottom left quarter of the card with coloured chalk and then tried to create a gradient on the right by rubbing the chalk edges with a clean pom pom.


I created the suggestion of a road by rubbing a mixture of brown and grey chalks along the base, again trying to fade the colours to nothing on the right edge of the design.


To give the picture a bit more depth, I added a second blue/green to the sky and then dotted the top of the sky with a mixture of reds and oranges. 


To create a trail of balloons behind the bike I dotted where I wanted my balloons to finish and then sketched 3 curving lines in pencil from the back of the bike and ending at my dots.


If you have a scoring board, mark the fold line and fold the card in half.  As you can see, my chalk marks carry on to the back of the card.  I think that this adds to the hand made charm of this style of card. 


I created an acetate overlay to cover the front of the card, with my sentiment printed on.  If you'd like to use mine, here it is.  I love the professional finish an acetate cover gives to a card, it also helps to protect the chalks from being smudged later on.  

With inkjet acetate you always print on the rougher reverse so don't forget to mirror your image if you're creating your own overlay.


I wanted to use the bird heart stamp as balloons trailing behind the bike and I thought they would look great shrunk down onto shrink plastic.  I used the same technique of Versamark ink and chalks on the shrink plastic.  You can see how much the shrink plastic shrinks from the image above.  The four large hearts show the shrink plastic before shrinking and the tiny one in the middle shows how small they became afterwards.


Just heat the hearts in the oven at about 175 degrees C for about two minutes, or until they've shrunk down and flattened out almost completely.  You may need to flatten them slightly by sitting the base of a glass on top of them for a few seconds and pressing down.


... and here are Bunny and Bird off on a little adventure.



Happy Valentine's Day!
  

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Up House Mobile




 

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Cat from Cut out and Keep, asking if I'd like to be on their Craft Test Team.  The idea is that we get sent a free craft product to try out and then write a tutorial about something we've made using that craft product.  How exciting is that!? 

Anyway I got sent a Multipom, which is a new way of making pom poms - so new in fact, that they'd rather I didn't show you the Multipom, or how it works, just the crazy amount of pom poms that I made using it.


I don't think I've made as many pom poms in my entire life, as I made over the space of two weeks!  

Image copyright Disney Pixar

As I was making the pom poms, the image of Carl Fredricksen's house from the film "Up" kept popping into my head.  How cute would it be if I could make a stuffed felt Up house, with pom poms for the  balloons?!

Image copyright Disney Pixar

First, I found this image of the house in the film, which I thought about recreating out of different colours of felt.  To be honest, I considered it for about a minute as I'm sure it would have just been too hard! 

After a bit more Pinterest searching, I found a gorgeous little paper house pincushion made by RadMegan.  She'd made it from a scaled down PDF that the kind people at Disney had created so that you can print out and make your own "Up House."  Wow, that makes things so much easier!

So all I had to do was to work out how to get the image from the PDF onto some felt. I've been very intrigued by iron-on heat transfer paper and I wondered if it would work on felt. As you can see, it does!

How to make an Up House pom pom mobile

Materials - 


  • 2 sheets of heat transfer inkjet paper. My favourite UK supplier for all things printable and crafty is Crafty Computer Paper, but you can find it here too.
  • 1 or 2 sheets of felt large enough to fit all of the cut house pieces on
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Wooden board
  • Tea towel
  • Parchment paper 
  • Needle
  • Grey, pink, light yellow, brown and ecru embroidery thread
  • Soft toy stuffing 
  • Eyelet punch and eyelet
  • lots of little poms poms
  • An 8cm polystyrene egg
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Small brass screw in loop
  • Glue
Download the PDF of the Disney PIXAR Up house here.  You might like to print it out onto paper first to get an idea of how it all fits together.  If possible, enlarge your images before printing.  I managed to enlarge mine by 20%


Print the first two pages out onto heat transfer inkjet paper. You don't need to flip the image, just print it as it is. 


Leave the printouts to dry for a few minute and then cut them out. 


Carefully peel off the top layer of each section of the house and position them on the felt.


The instructions say not to use an ironing board, just a hard surface covered in a tea towel. I found an old sheet of MDF, sat it on my ironing board with a tea towel over and this did the job perfectly.


My heat transfer paper came with a sheet of parchment paper which you place between the iron and the transfer paper.


Using the hottest setting and without using steam, iron your transfer paper over the parchment paper, making sure that each area gets at least 20 seconds of direct pressure from the iron.


Cut out all of the pieces, creating seam allowances wherever possible.



Follow the instructions attached to the PDF to form the house, but instead of glueing it together, use a tiny blanket stitch to attach all of the sides of the house together.


Fold all of the seam allowances in as you work so that the edges of the design meet perfectly. Secure each side with a blanket stitch that passes through the edge 1 or 2 mms of both adjoining sides.


Change the colour of your embroidery thread depending on the main colour of the side you're working on - so grey for the roof, pink and yellow for the side walls and brown for the base.


Once the upper part of the house has been stitched, stuff it with polyfil or soft toy stuffing.


Attaching the base is a little tricky, so I found it easier to tack it in place first...


... and then work a blanket stitch all the way around the base in brown


The chimney is a little tricky too as it is so small.  I found it easier to fold over and then sew down all of the seam allowances first and then stitch the sides together to form a tube.


Then sew down the top of the chimney.


To make it easier to thread through the strings for the balloons I attached an eyelet to the top of the chimney.


Thread through as many strings of natural coloured embroidery thread until you can't get any more through the eyelet.  My strings were about 50 or 60cm long.


Knot all of the ends of the embroidery thread together, push them up inside the chimney and then stuff the rest of the chimney with polyfil.


Finally sew the chimney on.


To begin the balloons, screw a brass screw in loop to the top of the polystyrene egg.  Glue it into place.


To create the look of balloons hanging from strings, wrap double sided sticky tape around the egg a couple of times and evenly stick the thread all the way round.

I used a standard double sided sticky tape to attach the strings so that the strings were repositional, but a much stronger one later on for attaching the pom poms.


The very bottom pom poms need to be squeezed in between the strings so that they can be stuck to the very bottom of the egg.  To do this, use little squares of double sided sticky tape and attach 5 or 6 pom poms to the very base of the egg.  



Once your very bottom pom poms are in place, you can start covering the rest of your egg in lots of strips of double sided sticky tape.
Stick your pom poms on as close together as possible, trying to keep the same coloured pom poms apart, with an even spread of colour over the whole of the balloon.


Once the whole of the egg is covered in pom poms, stick quite a few more on using squares of double sided sticky tape to fill it out and make it look less perfect.  You want to create the effect of lots of balloons all out of control.



To finish it off, thread some clear nylon thread through the brass loop and hang it from the ceiling.  I used a Command decorating clip.

Enjoy your Up House!

Copyright information - the Up House PDF remains the intellectual property of Disney Pixar and is kindly provided by Disney Pixar for personal use only.


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