Posts Tagged ‘paper craft’

I think in hindsight that this week’s offering should have been entitled, ‘The Dick & Liddy Interlude’ or maybe, ‘When Chalk met Cheese’.

To be fair, this week’s highlighted craft and myself make for a couple of unlikely bedfellows; On the one hand you have the rather delicate, feminine and stunningly beautiful embellishment and decoration of parchment vellum, which is basically what pergamano is ……. and then you have me! And whilst countless people have chosen some rather well placed adjectives to describe my very good self over the years, I can honestly say, with a fair deal of certainty,  that very few would have applied words such as delicate and certainly NEVER feminine! Stunningly beautiful… maybe…. but only ‘coz they’ve wanted a ride in the bus!

Parchment Craft - Pretty much everything I'm not!

So, after pulling my head out of the engine bay and scrubbing my hands with a nail brush and the best part of a tub of Swarfega for half an hour, I resolved to sit down and get to grips with acting ladylike and being sedate…. And I found it was a very hard thing to do!

Pergamano is all about using techniques such as embossing, perforating, stippling, cutting and colouring and it comes with it’s own range of tools needed for the task.

The tools for the job - lethal in the wrong hands!

I used just three; the embossing tool, an ‘I’ needle and a Dorso crayon. All work is done in reverse and once you’ve secured your piece of vellum in place with a few paperclips it’s a matter of  ‘tracing’ out the chosen design using the various tools and techniques. It all works by applying pressure which stretches the semi-transparent paper until it becomes opaque and white, which, when turned over, has an embossed effect. Colour can also be added by using special crayons which you smudge and blend with your fingertips.

In fairness, I found it a bit fiddly and probably would have benefited from wearing my glasses as it was quite close work. But I persevered and came up with a vellum overlay for a Valentine’s card.

The fruits of my labour - Valentine's Card by Big Blue Bully Bus

I even managed to add a blush of blue to the heart – which ensued in a further bout of handwashing before I grabbed the camera to record my efforts!

Now that I’ve had a go I must say that I’m glad I’ve tried parchment craft; It is a bit of a faff though and I think if I decide to revisit it at a later date I’ll make sure that I dig out my glasses AND sit in a well lit place to do it – But for the moment it’s another craft I can strike off of my 52 week long list!

Next week sees the changeover to the second theme of the year – Jewellery; And I’m looking forward to the challenges that that will present already 🙂 I’m going to start the proceedings with some bead making so if you want to join in you’ll need to collect some felt scraps, a beading needle, thread, seed beads, a skewer and a pair of scissors.

Happy crafting! xx

It’s the third week of my challenge and this time it’s all about origami.

Skull & Crossbones by Quentin Origami

Deriving from the words ‘ori’, meaning ‘folding’, and ‘kami’ meaning ‘paper’, origami originated at some time during the seventeenth century in Japan. It’s the art of transforming a flat sheet of paper into a three dimensional art form by the use of various folding and sculpting techniques – no glueing or cutting is involved; That would be ‘kirigami’. Then, of course, there’s ‘kokigami’ which I suppose is best described as ‘packaging’ – but more of that later… 😉

Paper Cranes – A Symbol of Peace

In truth, I’m no stranger to the gentle art of paper folding – In the past I’ve folded many a crane in the name of Peace and taught countless classes of Primary school children how to turn a paper square into something amazing. But you don’t really need me to show you how to do this in person as there’s oodles of fantastic websites, books, video tutorials etc out there that’ll take you through everything step-by-step.

This site’s great – video tutorials, lots to make and you can even print your own paper!

Anyway… I chose to have a go at some VW themed origami for this week’s challenge (of course!!!!!) , based on the classic Charles Esseltine VW Beetle design:

Origami VW Beetle Design by Charles Esseltine

Really, it’s not for beginners at all, so if you want to try this one out I’d definitely have a go at getting the more basic stuff under your belt first – There’s a rather lengthy tutorial on YouTube that you can have a go at following if you desperately feel you need to have a go – it’s in two parts so you’ll have to make sure you view both bits):

The fruits of my labour – a bit rusty as I haven’t indulged in a few years…

Pink VW Beetle by Big Blue Bully Bus

A tad tricky when an over enthusiastic bull terrier wants to help! 🙂

And Kokigami… I said I’d get back to it didn’t I?

First of all – it really does EXIST!!!!! It’s not a spoof. It would probably be wisest to do a Google search on this – or look it up in the Urban Dictionary. I can’t fully explain it without blushing!

Basically (and this is the story I would tell my Mother), many moons ago (the early nineties to be precise), I bought a lovely little book about this particular art form that had the most amazing pre-printed templates and easy to follow instructions, advice on taking accurate measurements and even scripts for role play etc. I believe that even now it’s long since gone out of print, that it’s still available to buy from the likes of Amazon; A tome I’d heartily recommend for your craft reference shelf if nothing else…..

All I can say is…….  if you found any of my links at all useful, and you’ve had a little go at a few folds etc……… and you’ve got access to a little bit of PVA glue, some scissors and a tape measure…… you’ll possibly LOVE this little book and it’s amazing projects; I’ll say no more 😉

The Kokigami Horse – Stuff of Nightmares?

Well maybe a little bit……

The best online reference I can find to the art itself and the particular book in question is here (it’s in Spanish but there’s an optional button to translate – hilarious in itself):

Have fun! Speak to you next week about something much more sedate, Debby xxx 🙂

OK. It’s week one of my take on the ’52 crafts in 52 weeks’ project and I’ve chosen to start with something I’m fairly familiar with; albeit a bit rusty at the moment.

This month’s theme is of course ‘Paper’, so I’m setting the ball rolling with a spot of decoupage. For those of you who may never have heard of this before, it’s basically centred around the creative art of cutting out, assembling, pasting and (sometimes) varnishing paper to make decorative objects. With it, you can give furniture a new boost of life, create fabulous greetings cards, 3D pictures etc and generally make all sorts of wonderful stuff for your home .

Fantastic results can be obtained fairly easily and it’s also a great activity to carry out with children when the weather’s vile outside and they’re climbing the walls inside 😉

Here’s a few examples of it in it’s simplest form, but you can make it as complex as you wish.

Bangles courtesy of Becky Decoupage 

Mickey Mouse Side Table by Bombus

In the past, when I’ve had a go at decoupage, I’ve tended to use it to make 3D pictures and greetings cards. This involves using multiple repeat images to build up layers which are then stuck one on top of the other. In each layer, you focus on different elements of the image and cut them out to build up the final piece – Silicone glue, or foam sticky pads also help to give depth to the image and this really helps to make it ‘pop out’ from the page once everything is stuck in place.

Sound difficult? Opt for a technique such as pyramage and it’s simplicity itself!

Here I’ve cut a series of graded rectangular pieces from repeat images of a gorgeous flower powered bug and used sticky pads to hold everything in place and give a raised pyramid effect.

Flower Power Beetle by Big Blue Bully Bus

And here, I’ve used graded squares which gently twist round to create a slightly different effect.

Twisted Pyramage VW Beetle by Big Blue Bully Bus

Here’s an example of a more traditional piece of decoupage that I’ve just created – you can buy ready printed, pre-cut sheets if you want but I prefer to make my own. Only thing is I still need to find time to cut the pieces out and stick it all together!

Email me at and I’ll mail the full PDF to you if you’d like to have a go at making it too 😉

VW Bug PDF by The Big Blue Bully Bus

Phew! Blog post and first craft nearly over – just another 51 to go!!!!

Finally, here’s a little list of things that I’ve copied from Wikipedia that you might find useful if you want to have a go at decoupage for yourself:

  • Something to decoupage onto. Examples include: furniturephotograph albums, plates, ceramics, shelving, frames, mirrors.
  • Pictures to decoupage with. These can come from myriad sources: newspapersmagazinescatalogues, books, printed clip art, wrapping paper, greeting cardsfabrictissue paperlace.
  • Cutting utensil. Scissors, craft knife (X-Acto) or razor blades can be used.
  • Glue. Standard white glue works best if it is diluted with a little water. Specialty glues can be found in most crafting stores.
  • Smoother. Popsicle sticks work well. A brayer is a specialized tool like a miniature rolling pin designed to help remove wrinkles, remove excess glue and smooth pictures.
  • Glue spreader. Many things around the house can be use for this: cotton swabspaint brushes, sponges.
  • Rags, sponges, tissue paper to help wipe up glue and other clean up.
  • Sealer. Glue or other decoupage medium can be used as a sealer. Alternatively, polyurethane, spray acrylic or other lacquers are usually used.

Why not have a go yourself? It’s fairly inexpensive and great fun!