Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Thanks a Bunch Novelty Card

I'm guessing that you are in need of thank you cards. Tired of same-y stuff? Here's a fun interactive thank you. It's a flowers-in-a-vase thaumatrope mounted on a presentation card. 

Perhaps you played with thaumatropes when you were a child. They are novelties from the golden age of papercrafts - Victorian times. A different part of the pic appears on opposite sides of disc. When the disc is twirled, your eyes combine the pic to make a whole image. (A bird in a cage is a popular thaumatrope pic.)

Here is your free novelty thank you card:


Thanks a Bunch Card

Assembling the thaumatrope is counterintuitive. Yes, you stick the discs together back-to-back, aligning the holes... but the vase on the flip side belongs at the top - upside-down (bunch of flowers directly underneath on the other side - whodathunk?). Now tie a loop of baker's twine (30cm/12in) on to each side of the disc.

Insert the thaumatrope under the tabs on the card front for presentation. I like to wrap the twine around the disc to make things more compact.

Enjoy having a twirl... and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Calendar Banner 2017

Here's a fun reversible calendar bunting. Display January - June, flip over for July - December.

Free printable calendar banner:



To make up the banner, simple fold each pennant in half - soft fold at the top. A strip of double-sided tape across the pennant top holds the layers together. Thread the ribbon through the loops, pennants in January-June sequence. You need about 35cm (32in) of ribbon. Flip bunting over for the July - Dec!

Happy crafty 2017 to you all. May your year be a paper-y delight.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Puffy Pouch Grab Bag Wraps

These small containers come in very handy this time of year. They are ideal for very small gifts, treats - or grab bag surprises. They have cool juggling ball-type construction - fascinating to make up. This design has an opening - so you don't have to tear them open.

Here are your free treat bags:
Making up notes: I use double-sided tape for these. You can glue the reinforcements on to either side of the pouch - your choice whether you want them to be a design feature. Insert the ribbon ties (16cm/6in of narrow ribbon for each) through the holes with a tapestry needle before assembling the pouch. When assembling the pouch, take it slow and easy - and do not crease the sides.First, fold the bottom flap up. Apply tape. Fold the base, then fold the other short bottom edge on to the base. Next, carefully join the long centre seam. Fill with contents and tie the pouch shut.

You can, of course, enlarge these on a photocopier for bigger gifts.

Enjoy these containers-with-a-built-in-twist!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Quilled Mandalas, by Alli Bartkowski. Review.

By Alli Bartkowski
30 Paper Projects for Creativity and Relaxation
Lark Books 2016
Paperback £16.99 UK/$17.95 US/$20.95 CAN
ISBN 978-1-4547-0901-5

Star rating: ****

You’ve probably clocked that mandalas are a craft trend.  A very big craft trend.  Contemplative circles with whorls, swirls and arabesques – it was only a matter of time before somebody designed quilled mandalas.Yes, the art of paper filigree is a natural for crafting mandalas.This new book of 30 mandala  designs at various skill levels is by Alli Bartkowski, appropriately, a quilling guru. Alli Bartkowski is the mastermind behind Quilled Creations, the very lovely company that brings innovative quilling gadgets to eager crafters (Dome Molds, Quilling Crimper, Border Buddies, combs – all are  cool quilling tools marketed by Quilled Creations).(Despite the tempting gadgets, quilling is a very cost-effective hobby – little is needed to get started besides quilling strips, a quilling tool, a few toothpicks, and glue.)

First of all, full marks to the publisher for making this a large format book – the jumbo pages show off the magnificent mandala creations in full-colour photographic splendour. These are accompanied by same/size line drawings to facilitate placement of the quilled components. 

Surprisingly (expecting ornamentation overload?), there’s plenty of variety in the 30 designs – some are representational, others purely pattern – but all are awe-inspiring crafty achievements. A Rainbow of Fishes is a clever design of interlocking swirling fish (carp?) – very cleverly constructed in a colourful vortex. Golden Circles makes use of crimped quilling and golden gilded quilling strips – it really has an Art Deco ambience. Butterflies – this pretty mandala creates the illusion of movement – butterflies moving outwards from centre to edge.  Mandala designs include Snowflakes (6- or 8-pointers), Tree of Happiness,  the exquisite Henna Design, Lotus Flower – all are bursting off the page, begging to be made. All the designs look very modern – no fusty granny quilling here.

As for the how-tos – well done. At the start of each project there’s a diagram showing the required quilling shapes and the required size of circle templates for precisely-sized coils (if any) – very handy. Step-by-step how-tos follow, accompanied by the previously mentioned full-size charts.

You may ask – what to do with the finished mandalas? They would make fun wall decs – but that is not the point – the joy is in the making as well as in the contemplation.

If you are seeking a crafty gift, this book would make a fab one, especially accompanied by a few packs of quilling strips and maybe a quilling gadget or two. 

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this book.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Slotty Perpetual Calendar

Here's a fun, minimalist 2017 calendar complete on one A4 sheet of paper. Print the sheet, cut the slots. The month slots into top, and a slide-in marker indicates the date. Easy-peasy! There's a choice of marker to liven things up.

Here's your freebie printable 2017 calendar:
Glue the reinforcements over the holes, tie on a ribbon hanging loop.
Tie the month labels onto a piece of string - then tie them on to the ribbon at back. The extra slots at the bottom right provide storage for extra markers. You're good to go!

Have a busy and creative 2017!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Paper Collage Chinese Style. Review.

Zhu Liqun Paper Arts Museum

Better Link Press 2016

Hardcover $25.95 USA

ISBN 978-1-60220-023-4

Star rating: ****

Paper collage – creating picutures from layered and glued pieces of torn paper – is an often overlooked corner of papercrafting. This superb new book by Chinese  papercraft  expert Zhu  Liqun (he has his very own museum in Shanghai) and his team reveals how to finesse your approach to the craft.

The book teaches basics – choosing appropriate papers, preparing paper (crumpling or splitting to create texture and torn edges if required) and how to go about assembling the compositions (which are representational rather than abstract). Apparently, there are two basic styles of paper collage – component tearing – in which you tear the desired finished shapes to order – or scrap assembly method, in which the finished shape is constructed from smaller pieces.

The how-tos instruct you to use glue stick to adhere the pieces – a bit vague. A few technique tips would have been appreciated.

A truly fun aspect of the book is how it teaches how to craft paper collage in various painterly styles – Abstract Expressionism, Watercolour Style, freehand brush style (as in trad Chinese brush painting), Impressionism. The results are impressively painterly – yet paper-y!

For teaching purposes, specific compositions are taught in photographic step-by-step sequences. This is paint-by-number-y... but the goal is to be able to eventually create original compositions.

Paper Collage Chinese Style provides an excellent intro to a niche papercraft, and a fascinating insight into Chinese papercrafting and artistic traditions. 

I note that there are two other titles in the series – Paper Quillin: Chinese Style, and Paper Relief Art: Chinese Style. Based on the quality of this title, they are worth a look.

Note: I was provided with a review copy of this book.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Free Snowflower Cards + Envelopes

Free cards + envies - just what you need right now - my seasonal gift to you. Enjoy!

The card can also be used as a gift tag or ornament - multipurpose!

Here are your free Snowflower cards and envelopes:


 Season's Greetings from The Papercraft Post! :)

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Snowflower Gift Tags/Ornaments

Are you planning a wrap session sometime very soon? Here are pretty snowflower gift tags to decorate your parcels. The tags are double-sided, so they can be used as ornaments. Big them up as party decs - or use as greetings cards that double as decs!

Here are your free snowflower ornaments/tags:


If cutting out by hand, you will need a hand-held 1/8in circle punch for the hole, and a craft knife to cut the half-moon notch - take care.

Have a good wrap session!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Snowflower Cascades

Here's a different sort of decorative chain link - no gluing required. The links slot together. This chain is not very bendy, so works best as a cascade. It also makes a pretty giftwrap decoration - a band of links on a parcel.

Here is your freebie design:
Enjoy making your Snowflower Cascades! 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Ski Sweater Paper Chains

More festive paper chains! Today I have cigar band-style links in a ski jumper motif (channelling all the hygge hype!). You can join them link-to-link (bottom) or use the spacer links provided so that the designs face front.

Here are your freebie paper chains:

Have fun making your Ski Sweater Paper Chains. Bring on the hot choc! :)

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Snowflower Paper Chains

Here are paper chains with snowflower motif - look like snowflakes - look closer - it's a flower medallion! You can join the links side-to-side (bottom pic) or use the spacers so that all the medallions face front.

Here are your free printable paper chains:

You can glue the links with tacky PVA glue or use double/sided tape. To make the snowflake link into a loop, overlap the end sections, matching the curved ends.

Have fun!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Toast Rack Card Racks 2016

Continuing on the hygge theme, here are this year's toast rack card racks. Looks like they have been influence by two things in the news - the hygge trend... and Toblerones! These card racks are handy for storing greetings cards, especially if you get too many to display them all - some people prefer to browse.

As always, I was also influenced by Christopher Dresser, the Victorian industrial designer. Toast racks? He had a million of them (all genius):
Here are your free toast racks:



As you can see, there's one card rack body and a choice of two side panels.

Toast Rack Card Rack 2016

1 Print and cut the templates by hand or Silhouette machine. (By hand: you will have to use a craft knife, against a metal ruler, over a mat to cut the slots - take care.)

2 Score the folds at base of body and around side edges. Crease the folds.

3 Use double/sided tape to assemble the card rack. First, stick the side panel bases onto the base of the card rack body. Then, work around the side units, joining them to the card rack body. Finally, seal the join at the base of the card rack body.

4 Gently shape the rack body into the "organic triangle" shape.

Good to go! Have happy, hygge holidays!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Snowflowers Mug Hug

This project is ideal for gifting! It makes a lovely presentation and has a life beyond giving - as a desktop storage container. The Snowflower Mug Hug (look closely at the snowflakes!) has five pockets, plus, inside - a square box and a milk carton. There's also a gift tag.

This project is fun to make and give. The mug hug consists of a base (to wrap around the mug), the pockets, a milk carton, mini-box, and gift tag. Fits an 8cm (3-1/4in)-diameter mug.

Here are your free designs (pdf or Silhouette Studio): 




Snowflowers Mug Hug

Here's how to pimp your mug :)!

1 Print and cut out all the pieces. You need five pockets for the mug "apron" - two of one design, three of the other. 

2 Score the fold lines on the pockets and boxes.

3 To assemble the "apron" - glue the reinforcements on to the holes in the base. To assemble each pocket, fold the creases, accordion sides. The tabs go on the outside of each pocket. Make five pockets, two of one design, three of the other. Stick a pocket onto each compartment marked on the mug hug base - I use stripe of d/s tape. Alternate the designs. The "apron" is now finished. Tie it on to the mug at the handle. Wrap the apron around the mug, thread ribbon through the holes - lace an 'X', tie a bow. You must tie the apron on to the mug in place - you can't lace it first (d'oh) :)

4 The milk carton and mini-box are basic box assembly. Fold and stick the side tabs.

Note: mugs may vary in size - you may have to tweak the sizes of the templates by enlarging or reducing a smidge.

Enjoy crafting for the festive season! Give a mug a hug: