Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Paper-Punched Paper Chains Tutorial

Trad-with-a-twist paper chains, made in a jiffy with Tonic Studios products.
Here's a variety of poinsettia-accented paper chains and buntings, all made using Tonic Studios products. The looped chains are made using Simplicity Pattern strip punches (a Petal Pairs poinsettia conceals the join). The Scandinavian-style woven hearts are made using the Daisy Border punch. And the frilly fan bunting was made with the Simplicity Daisy Circle Die. Just in time for the holidays - get punching now! 

Here are pics of the chains and the products used to make them:
Top: Simplicity Pattern Punch Doily Strip (Item 966e); Bottom: Simplicity Pattern Punch Daisy Strip (Item 940e).

Top: Simplicity Pattern Punch Daisy Border (Item 941e); Bottom: Simplicity Daisy Circle Die (Item 229e).
Petal Pairs for the poinsettia: Flower from Petal Pairs Box Set 1 (Item 880e); Leaves from Petal Pairs Box Set 3 (Item 882e). The flower center is a punched circle.

Now that you know which punches to use, here's how to make your
festive garlands:

To make the lattice, punch 7 units for each strip. I have used Inspire Me paper for all the chains and buntings, in traditional Christmas colours. Cut the strip out of the paper. Overlap the ends to make a loop, gluing with tacky glue applied with a cocktail stick. Glue the chain links in the usual way, to the desired length. Conceal the join in each loop with a Petal Pairs poinsettia: two interlocked flowers, two cut leaves glued underneath, a white dot glued onto the flower centre.

Next up, the Broderie Anglaise (Eyelet Lace)-look links. Punch 9 units for each strip. Cut a strip of coloured paper 8mm-wide and lace it though the punched lace strip. Lace under, over through the daisy-shaped holes; glue the ends of the coloured strip down. Glue the strip into a loop, matching scallops. Make a paper chain in the usual way, alternating red- and green-laced links. Glue on poinsettias to camouflage the loop joins when you are done.

Scandinavian Heart bunting next. This is an update of the woven hearts you may have made as a kid. 

First, cut a strip of paper 12cm (4-3/4in)-wide. Fold it in half (as shown above). Punch a border along the open edge, punching an even number of scallops. Make sure you use the Daisy Border Punch (not the Daisy Strip punch that you used for the lacy loops paper chain).

Next, cut the punched paper into crosswise strips, as shown. Each strip must be two scallops wide. Snip down the middle of each strip, dividing it in two - but stop short of the scallops at the top.
For each heart that you make, you will need two strip units - in contrasting colours.
 Weave the first loop under, over: inside one loop, over the other.

Weave the second loop over, under: over one loop, inside the other. Pre-opening the loops helps. The woven loops make a pocket. You can make a mini-basket by gluing on a handle strip at the top.

To make the woven-heart bunting, make a bunch of hearts, alternating the colour combinations. Decorate each heart with a glued-on Petal Pairs poinsettia. String the hearts side-by-side, tying a bow through the adjacent daisy holes. Tip: when you tie the bow, knot it around the centre to stabilize it. I've used soft embroidery cotton for the bows, but you could use Baker's Twine or ribbon. For each bow, you need 25cm (10in) of string or ribbon. 

Finally, it's time to make the frilly fan bunting. For the bunting, cut a bunch of die-cut Daisy doily circles in contrasting colours. Cut an equal quantity of each colour.

Prep each doily: mark the centre of the doily with a pencil dot. On the back of the doily, glue a 2.5cm (1in) paper circle, centred - this acts as a reinforcement. Next, remove a wedge from the doily circle, two scallops wide, from centre point to edge. Use an embossing tool and a metal ruler to mark lines that divide the remaining shape into pie wedges. Each daisy scallop makes a wedge.

Pleat the doily as shown, crease the folds, scrunch the doily. Do this for each doily. 

To assemble the bunting, glue the doilies into the formation shown: fan up, fan down. On the flip side of the bunting, trim the flaps into a triangle. Glue a poinsettia over the apex of each fan. That's it, you're done. 

You can, of course, make individual fans as hanging ornaments. Just tie on a loop at the fan apex, then glue on a pretty poinsettia.

That's it. Have fun playing the chain game. You can make these up pretty quickly, especially the Scandi Hearts. Fun as a group project - set up an assembly line (don't forget the snacks). Enjoy the festive season!