Cheri-I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season so far.
These are two ornament that I made from paper clips.
Large paper clips
Round nose pliers
Small gauge wire
I first started by experimenting with different paperclip bends. I knew that I wanted to make a snowflake so I made sure that I would have a way to connect them to each other. After I had a pattern I liked, I began to work on the connection. The grommets worked great for the 2nd snowflake as I had a loop to affix it to. The top one I decided to wire, after I wired it I put a drop of E-6000 on each wire. This stabilized the connection.
Hope you are enjoying our Christmas countdown and again Happy Holildays.
Cheri-This tree was very simple and if you have an old Erector Set you can make as many trees as you want.
I adore Erector Sets and when I was little, my brother would build me little doll carriages out of his set. I thought he was the most awesome brother that ever existed. Too bad he doesn’t have them anymore.
These happen to be some odds and ends that I picked up at a sale, they have the most amazing patina. I ran screws down the center to create a color contrast.
My only regret is, these were the only ones I found.
I don’t think anyone will need detailed instructions because it really is self explanatory.
Hope you like it. And, you can never have too many odds and ends. Merry Christmas!
Lynne : This is my second ornament for our 2013 countdown. I am in love with trees right now and have been drawing them over and over so it seemed natural to find an ornament that looked like a tree. I was browsing through google images and I found this article from Just Something I Made by Cathe Holden about how to make bottle brush trees. Since I do not have much need for bottle brushes any more I was delighted to find that she uses rope and wire for her trees and shapes them with scissors. And as a bonus I could use my Copic airbrush system to color the trees.
Cathe Holden website:
Just Something I Made by Cathe Holden
Here is the tutorial:
Handmade Colorful Bottle Brush Trees
You will need these things:
Rope (sisal, jute, or any twisted fiber)
Hook (shaped from a wire coat hanger or from a small S-hook)
Vise (or something that will hold the wires securely when twisting them with the drill)
Copic airbrush (optional)
I already had some jute, but when I untwisted the fibers I thought they were too fuzzy and too fragile. I made a trip to the hardware store and found some thick rope that is used on farms. (I remember swinging on the hay ropes as a child. When my grandparents weren’t looking of course.) I cut my rope into lengths of 3 to 4 inches and then began to untwist the fibers. When I had an amount that looked like it would make a full Christmas tree I laid the fiber between the wires as described in the tutorial. It is so nice that you can make two at once by cutting on the diagonal.
I didn’t have a wire coat hanger to make into a hook for the drill because I don’t like the sound they make rattling in the closet. So I took an S-hook and straightened one end so that it would fit into the drill. You can see it in the drill in the photo. I put the wire ends in my vise and inserted the hook in the top of the wire and the wire began to spiral just like it was supposed to. I noticed that the fiber also tangles and you do need to spend some time straightening and combing the fibers to approximate the shape of your tree. Then I used small scissors to cut the final shape. It’s best to do this over something you can throw away because the fibers are very small and sticklish.
When I had the shape I wanted I looked for something to hold them while I spray painted them and found an empty Kleenex box. The wires poked in easily and the setup worked, but I think I’d rather have had a piece of styrofoam. I’m sure we’ll have some after unwrapping presents and I intend to save a piece for a painting stand.
To color the trees I used mostly blues and yellows and finished with a dark green. I start with the lightest yellow and spray the whole tree. Then I concentrate yellow on the ends of the branches using what yellows look good on the fibers. I then use blues from the lightest to the darkest making sure that the lightest yellows remain as free as possible of the blues. The yellows and blues make a lovely variety of shades of green as they are sprayed one on top of the other. I use a dark green to deepen the shadows between the branches to create more depth in the tree. I touch up the yellow and the tree is almost done.
I bent the stem wire with pliers into an X-shape for the bases, but you could use cork or wood or just about anything for a base.
These trees look so good and once you have everything laid out, they work up very quickly. I hope you have as much fun making them as I did.
The other day I was looking through pages and pages of Google images of origami figures for some new ideas when I saw this terrific dragon. Red Dragon Origami from Papercraft
I was keenly interested in how it was made and I began to search for instructions. I found that the process was called 3D origami and involved folding small rectangles of paper into triangular pieces that could be interlocked to build figures of amazing complexity.
Of course I turned to youtube and began to look for instructional videos. I find that I can learn better by watching than by reading complicated directions. So I will give links to a couple of videos that were very helpful in the process of making these intricate Lego-like pieces. There are many other videos and each one has something different to show. Watch as many as you can.
I hoped that I could use this folding technique in our Christmas challenge and I found this video on how to make a snowflake with a little less than 50 pieces. It’s a good way to learn how the process works and still have something creative to show for your time. The video is well done, but I found that I did not pay enough attention to the position of the pieces as they were interlocked. The second color is placed differently than the first. If you look closely you will see that how the pieces are shown is how they are attached to the model.
3D origami snowflake
I made my first snowflake using two colors of copy paper as shown in the video to help me understand what I was doing, but I wanted a subtler change of color on my model. I have recently discovered the Copic airbrush system and on my second effort I used that system to achieve the color and effect I wanted. I really like using markers for airbrush painting. It is easy to switch colors quickly and there is very little mess to clean up. Here is a link to a video of the air spray system in action.
Copic airbrush system
I attached a button to the front of the star and then used a light coating of spray adhesive to adhere some glitter for a reflective shine. I used some fishing line to hang the ornament but ribbon or string would work just as well.
I hope you have fun as much fun making these snowflakes as I did and I will post again in four days with another project.
Cheri-Okay, I do have to admit, it was hard. It was really hard to try to top the purse I made last year. It may not be as nice, but it does fill my needs.
Pillow shams make great purses. The shams are often quilted and they are normally the right size.
Wash and dry the sham, and lay out flat. Cut off the back fabric and lay a coordinating fabric on top. Cut the fabric to fit. Put the fabric and sham right side to right side and sew around the entire sham leaving a small opening so you can turn it right side out.
After you have turned it right side out, put the fabric together again with the right sides together. Sew up each side to make a sack. You could make a tote by just adding handles at this point, but I like to make my bag a bit more interesting.
When I am at sales I have a tendency to pick up webbed belts. Not only is the hardware handy but I like to use the fabric on purses. I took a belt that was wide and sewed it all around the purse. I used the clasp part for the purse closure. I also used what I had cut off to make loops to hold the handle.
In the end I am really pleased with the finished product. I would like to make an organizer to put inside of it. This would make it even more functional.
Lynne: I liked using scraps of wrapping paper to make my last ornament and I decided I would try to use up more of the pieces I have lying around. I found this tutorial on design and form with these terrific paper ornaments, but I don’t have that precision in my paper-cutting skills. Thus I drew a very loose, cartoon type tree and used that for my pattern.
You will need:
a 6 x 6 inch square piece of paper for the pattern
approximately 10, 6 x 6 inch square pieces of wrapping paper
a glue stick
When you draw the pattern, draw it full size and then fold it in half. This will be easier to do instead of trying to think of how one half of a tree will look. Don’t worry too much about how it looks. You will be surprised how good irregular lines will look in the finished ornament.
Glue the unprinted sides together and then start gluing to make a stack. Be sure to keep the folded edge straight so everything matches when the ornament is opened. I used a weight for a few minutes to make sure the glue would hold.
I traced around the pattern onto the stack and then began to cut. It seemed that more than three edges were too hard to cut, so cut what you can and then retrace the pattern from what has already been cut. When every edge has been cut, glue the two outside edges together and adjust the 3d figure until it is evenly spaced.
I added glitter and stuck an old hat pin in the top, but feel free to decorate any way you wish. I used a loop of fishing line for a hanger, but these ornaments will stand on their own if you want to use them in a centerpiece.
Happy Holidays and just one more ornament!
Cheri: My boys and I try to keep a standing date on Saturdays. We like to go and have lunch at a Chinese Restaurant in the small town where we live. I keep the fortunes as a keepsake. This is one of my favorite projects to make with them.
Fortune Cookie Fortunes
Glue or tape
Color a line around the slips with gold marker to dress it up a bit, and then glue/tape the fortunes into a circle, (make sure the fortune is on the outside). Attach them together and you have a great chain for the Christmas tree. I plan on continuing the chain throughout the year. Merry Christmas!
Lynne: I was hoping that since we had Teri Partridge as a guest author today with the Champagne Cork Angel, I would not be required to have an ornament. After some discussion about fair shares and obligations, here is my ornament.
While I was cruising the net this morning for an idea for our Ornament Advent, I found an origami Christmas Star that used wrapping paper scraps. Since most of my wrapping for Christmas is done, I have lots of small pieces of paper lying around and was eager to try it.
You will need 2, 6 x 6 inch squares of wrapping paper and this tutorial by Nikki, in Stitches. And that’s it. These are the clearest directions I’ve seen for origami folding and I was able to make 2 of these ornaments in about 30 minutes.
Once I was done with the origami figure, I added glitter and then hot-glued some vintage buttons to the front and back. I had these buttons stashed in a jar, but you could use whatever you have on hand. I added some fishing line to hang the star and marked off another day on the calendar.