For those of us who always seem to have scrap fabric around, there are many different options to use these scraps, no matter how small they may be. One of the best and easiest crafts is to make cute greeting card embellishments. Regardless of the amount and size of fabric you have available, there are endless things you can do with them:
A bow is simple, cute, and can be combined with other things for any occasion throughout the year. The first thing is to cut out a large rectangle or smaller rectangles from the fabric. Set any leftovers aside for extra decoration later. Next, fold the fabric accordion style, pinch and secure the middle. You can use staples, twist ties, thin ribbon, clear tape or make a small stitch to keep all of the pleats together. Finally, attach it to the card with hot glue, double sided tape or another stitch through the paper and bow. Now, you are free to add any other details that you would like. Create a present with the bow on top, draw a tree with bow decorations, add it as a hair tie for a little girl, on a kite string, balloon, make a butterfly and so on… there are hundreds of things you can do!
Shapes and Textures
Fabrics come in a wide range of textures and can generally be cut into any shape imaginable, so why not get creative and cut out rough shapes and arrange them as a collage, a puzzle or add one larger shape to frame or layer another decorative piece. No matter how plain a card may seem at first, just adding one single piece of fabric with some decorative touches using a metallic pen, a card will instantly have depth and visual appeal. One simple example is to cut out a few squares and rectangles, arrange them around the card (front and back) then quickly draw in a little bow above each shape. These instantly look like wrapped gifts, making them the ideal handmade card for Birthdays Anniversaries and holidays like Christmas.
Other great extras that can add depth to a card and help create a fun unique card is to add little decorative items like sticker, buttons, pins brooches and so on. Look through old jewellery boxes or old junk drawers to see what can be used. It’s incredible the amount of crafting materials we can find when looking through forgotten drawers and boxes around the house!
As I always say, play around with the fabric and get creative with what you have on hand. Try to get inspiration from sites online or try to create something unique. Not only will you make something from the heart but you will also help out the environment by keeping items out of the trash!
Painting on canvas is not as simple as purchasing the first canvas you find and painting whatever you like on it. You must prepare your canvas before you paint. Before you paint, you must choose the appropriate product for painting based on the sort of paintings you want to produce.
Following some simple steps will help you to prepare the canvas properly and allow you to purchase the paints that will work best for you.
1. You must purchase a canvas that is the size you need. Only you can determine the perfectly-sized canvas for your current project. However, you have to take greater measures after purchasing the right canvas.
2. Any canvas that you purchase will likely have a coat or two of gesso already applied. Gesso allows for a good painting surface for just about any project. You will need to get a good acrylic gesso that you will apply to the canvas with a cake icing knife or similar spate. It will take a few coats to get a perfectly smooth surface to paint on.
3. When you are ready to paint, you should begin by drawing light sketches onto the canvas. You are not, by any means, painting by numbers but you are certainly giving yourself a template to work with.
4. Choose the paint that is going to work best for the painting you want to do. You have to decide whether you’re painting still-life like people and buildings or nature scenes like tress and waterfalls.
5. Still-life paintings that involve people and structures are best painted with acrylic paints. The paints go on pretty strong and they allow for strongly-defined lines for the buildings, furniture, and bodies in each picture.
6. Watercolors and oils work better for paintings that involve nature scenes involving water or trees and bushes.
7. The final step in painting on any canvas is patience. You have spent the time to gesso the canvas and assure that there is a smooth surface. You worked to draw on the picture as best you could so that you would have a template to paint over. Then, you must put as much time into actually painting the canvas as you can. Do not attempt to paint the entire picture all at once. The finest artists in the world spend as much as they need to produce quality work.
Take your time and allow the painting to grow organically. You may change your mind as you paint, and you don’t want all that you’ve invested in the canvas and paints to go to waste. With a little bit of patience, you can produce paintings that art galleries will want to show and people will want to buy.
Rachel is an arts and crafts lover, creating many of her own pieces for sale at her local market each Sunday morning. One of her secrets for canvas painting is to use exterior paint that is used on houses as it provides a weather-proof and strong solution for large pieces that may come in contact with naughty children or crazy pets!
I simply didn’t have the time to make an effort for Halloween this year -in Japan, people don’t trick or treat….and I suppose I temporarily forgot I’m back in Canada (oops).
I went down to the local convenience store to grab a few little sweets in case children do come along but wanted to make it look more fun and festive than sad little chocolates, so I went to one of my favourite sites for free printables: Disney’s Family Fun (familyfun.go.com)
and quickly printed out these cupcake toppers. Cut them out and stuck them on the candies. The total time to complete was 5 minutes max.
Since we live in a condo with just a few families, I also wasn’t sure if they would trick or treat here (I did when I was little and living in an apartment), so I quickly grabbed some pictures online and used my beloved photoshop to replace the “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas” writing with “Trick or Treaters are Welcome!”
Now to finish up last-minute work and get those movies rolling!
Kirigami is a great way to create fun and inventive works of art. It’s the kind of craft that can recycle different materials like paper from many of the common items that are found around the home.
Here’s a great project for a kirigami mobile where you can hang special messages, poetry or even a child’s favorite story.
You will need:
First, choose a few passages from a poem or story or write your own. (I chose passages from Romeo and Juliet)
Next, draw or print the first word (or one of the first words) from each passage in your favourite font on paper you would like to cut out from, making sure there is enough room above and below it to write the rest of the passage. (I chose the words “Juliet” “Romeo” and “Heaven”)
*If you have paper that can’t go through a printer, simply print the words on a plain piece of paper and then layer it with the piece you would like to cut out.
Next, cut the words out on a cutting mat with a scalpel knife. If you’ve layered the printed paper, make sure it’s on top of the paper you would like to use in the mobile so you can follow along those lines. Once you’re done, toss the cut out printed sheet or think of another craft project.
Next, you can punch a hole at the top of your passages or just thread the ribbon through the cut outs. If you would like to add some pop colours, just place colourful paper to the back of the kirigami cut out. (I used red behind my kirigami words to match the ribbon)
Finally, tie the ribbons to the dowel or bamboo and hang with a loop or a screw in hook at the top.
You can create home decor for yourself or give these as a gift for special occasions. Enjoy!
I don’t like throwing away junk mail or scrap paper but I also hate hording it…..I suppose the show “Hoarders” scared me….. so I decided to use the paper to make simple money envelopes when paying for deliveries like Mama Earth Organic Food Deliveries
To make your own: