Monday, 23 December 2013

Beautiful Bells Tutorial

Two styles: Fancy (top); Simple (bottom).
Fun in patterned paper.
Today's project is a bit last-minute for Christmas - but you never know. Rainy weather is great for crafting. Plus, these papercraft bells (dead ringers for the real thing - see what I did there) would make classy decs for a New Year's Eve party. Ring in the new. In addition to the star charms (shown), I have also included heart charms, so you can make the bells up as wedding/anniversary or Valentine ornaments.

There are two styles: Simple (they look a bit like Daleks), and Fancy (more curvaceous!).

Each bell has a real jingle bell as a clapper:
Here are your free downloads:
FancyBell.pdf
SimpleBell.pdf 

FancyBell.svg 
SimpleBell.svg 

Tut follows. It's much easier than it looks! You can easily make these up in quanity as party favours or decorations.

Beautiful Bells Tutorial
1. Above, the bell pieces cut out and prepped. Clock the direction of the folds. Note that the handle centre fold is shaped, not creased. I am demonstrating the Fancy Bell. The Simple Bell is assembled in a similar manner. I have used Canford cardstock in Frosted Silver - the weight is just right. Patterned paper for the decorative bands. You also need a bit of craft thread and a jingle bell. 
2. Assemble two half-bells. Simply glue together the ajacent tabs. Tacky PVA glue does the job well. Note that holes have been pierced in the centre of each top hexagon.
3. Next, join the two halves of the bell together.
4. Next, glue one top hexagon on top of the other, sealing the bell top.
5. Join the decorative band into a ring. Apply glue (or d/s tape) onto the underside and lower onto the centre section of the bell. This is what you now have (the bell is taking shape!):
6. Next, it is time for the jingle bell:
Pass a thread loop through the top loop of the jingle bell. Make a half-hitch knot and tighten it:
Thread the craft thread tails through a needle.
Pass the needle through the hole in the top of the bell. The jingle bell cord should extend to the bottom of the bell.
Knot the craft thread at the top. Trim it off close to the knot.
7. Time to make the handle. Bend the handle into a loop and glue the
straight section near the base together. The decorative band is wrapped around the straight section, like so:
Glue the band in place. Wrap it around the bell handle, creasing the folds:
Glue the band in place. Trim off any excess paper:
The bell handle is now complete. 
8. Time to attach the bell handle to the bell body. Open out the bell handle - spread its "wings". Apply glue to centre section only (two halves of a hexagon). Glue this onto the bell top, aligning the hexagons, like so:
Next, fold the "wings" downwards and glue them ont the top section of the bell. The sections will align perfectly:
Your bell is now complete, apart from the addition of the decorative charm!:
9. The charm. Half-hitch the craft thread though the top loop of the charm.
Tie the charm around the throat of the bell handle:
All done now!:
You can tweak the appearance of the bells by making the handle out of contrasting cardstock. Add a bow if you wish.

Have a Happy and creative New Year!