Sunday, July 25, 2010

Details on "Read" banner and some cool paper flowers

This post starts with a look at some re-purposed book pages and a disclaimer. The public library in my town has a little cart in an undisclosed location that has books on it with a little sign, "FREE to a good home". I discovered the cart one day when I had wandered down the hall by the library's used book store. On the cart that day I saw some old textbooks, a few Nat. Geo. mags, some outdated travel books, and the discovery of the day....really aged, out of print books with wonderfully yellowed pages that were crying out for a useful purpose. I took one of the books off the cart and flipped it open. As I ran my fingers across the pages, I about gasped. Suddenly lots of crafty ideas were creeping into my brain. I snapped the book shut and looked behind me. No one was around. I held the book in my lap and looked on the shelf for more. I only found one that day that was truly useful. Now, I have to say that I'm not really sure that I was taking the book home to a "good" home since I fully intended to cut the thing up once I got it home. However, in the spirit of all things "green" and re-purposed, I KNOW that I've done a "good thing". At least, I think Martha Stewart would agree with me.

So, on to the banner and cool paper flowers. Here is a look at the pages of the book that I started with. Just use your craft knife as close to the binding as you can go and begin cutting out the pages. If you need to have a moment of silence before you cut, go ahead and do so. Once I had cut my pages out, I placed them on the Sizzix Pennant die and ran it through my Big Shot machine. You can see in the picture below that the die cuts two sizes of pennants as well as scalloped circles. I used the smaller size pennant for the book page element on my "read" banner. For the larger pennant, I used a lunch bag. I crumpled up the lunch bag, smoothed it out, folded it in half and then ran it through the machine. After I did that I wanted to add more texture, so I ran the paper bag pennants through the machine again with the texture plates. It was difficult to get photo detail on that, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I have not tried heavy duty grocery bags yet. The lunch bags are smaller and of lighter weight paper and work nicely. If you try it with paper grocery bags, let me know how it works for you.
I used eight scallop circles of book pages to make the paper flower embellishments. Take the eight circles, line them up and then poke a hole through the middle of all of them. You can use a piercing mat and poke the hole through all eight at once if you like. Put a brad of some kind through the hole of all eight. I used a mini brad, but I think you could use any kind of brad you like; one with some bling would be really nice.
Now you will begin to make the flower. Take the top layer of book page and crumple it up as you can see in the picture. Proceed to do that with all the layers until you get to the last one.
Crumple the last layer too. Some people like to crumple the paper first and then punch the hole in the middle. I tried that and didn't like those results as much as I did when I punched first and then crumpled. I think it was just easier to manage the papers when they were already joined together. A side note about papers: these flowers are lovely to make with the old book pages because the paper is somewhat thin, and really flexible making it easy to crumple. If you want to make these flowers with card stock, you can use the same steps. However, (and this is important) before you crumple the paper you might want to mist it with some water first. If you have some misty stuff that has sparkle in it, use that. If you just have water, that works well too. The water will help the paper crumple more easily. Or, if you know how to do faux suede, do that first and then crumple. At any rate once you have crumpled all the layers, your flower should look like this:

Now comes the fun part. Begin to uncrumple the flower bit by bit until you come up with something like this:
On my final banner I took a glue pen and dabbed it around the edges of the flower and then smooshed it in some glitter....looked really pretty! Once you get the hang of the steps on these flowers you can let your creative juices flow and come up with really pretty things. You can ink the edges of the scallop circles before you crumple to give some depth to your flower. If you ink the same shade of ink in darker intensity on each layer you'll end up with a sort of ombre flower. All kinds of possibilities for these beauties! Just let your mind wander and see what you come up with. Remember my favorite crafty mantra: "There are no mistakes, only creative opportunities!"

A second variation on this flower is shown in the picture below. There you'll see a flower that I made with just the lunch bags, it's on the top right hand side of the picture. Next to it on the left is a really big flower. I made that one with the book pages as the center of the flower, and then I added some crumpled strips of paper bag on the outside of the flower. I've got the instructions for that bit just a bit further down in this post. The third flower is one that I made with a scallop circle base, and then a torn strip of book page. That one is made just like the paper bag strip flower that I'll show you next. The picture of it turned out a little bit flat. However, if you are going to make these flowers for a card that you want to send in the mail, you might want to go with that option or you'll be paying extra postage.

Now the instructions for the simple paper bag strip flower. Begin with a circle of card stock in any size. The size that you begin with will determine the size of your final flower. A smaller circle will yield a smaller flower. The big flower above used a 2 inch circle to begin with. My example below is a 1 3/8 inch circle. Oh, and by the way, you can do this with other shapes too, squares, rectangles, whatever you want.
Once you have determined the size of your circle, all around the outer edge of the circle put adhesive. I used tape type adhesive, but you could use liquid glue, or whatever you have on hand.
To make the strip of lunch bag, I cut open a lunch bag, cut the bottom off and then crumpled and crumpled. It's a great way to relieve stress! :) After I did that I smoothed the bag out enough to use my paper cutter on it to cut strips because I really can't cut straight at all. I cut strips of about 1/2 inch.
Begin to stick the strip of paper to the adhesive on the circle, working it all around the edges.

When you reach the place where you began the strip of paper, just rip off the excess paper from the strip. You may want to flip the circle over to the other side to see what it looks like before you rip the strip off.

Now just flatten the circle out a bit and you've got the base of the flatter strip flower. You will add layers on to this with more lunch bag strips. You can either apply more glue to the center of the circle and add the strip there, or punch out another smaller circle and do the same thing over again and then attach that to the center of the first flat strip flower you made. It is kind of addicting to make these. They are lovely in tissue paper too!

Now we've got the embellishments for the banner, so back to the banner itself. As I mentioned, I cut the pennants out of book pages and lunch bags. Here they are:
I assembled them with the paper bag on the bottom, book page on the top, glitter on the edges of both. I stamped the letters "r","e","a" and "d" on scallop circles in a neutral color ink. Then I took a white gel pen and highlighted the letters a bit. I attached the letter scallop circles each onto a strip flower and then put those on the banner.
The rosettes in between each letter are the paper flowers that I showed you at the beginning of this now very long post. To attach them to the top of the banner I used mini clothes pins which I put a stripe of sticky strip, also known as "red line tape", on the clothespin and then pressed the flower onto the adhesive. These clips will be removable from the banner so that when I'm done with the banner I can use the clips as a pretty pin on a gift bag or even on the lapel of a blouse.
If you didn't see the post from yesterday go check it out because it has a nice picture of the banner en situ.
I have a feeling that I've only just begun to play with these flowers. I'd love to see what you come up with! Have a happy day!

1 comment:

Kim said...

I just came acros your tutorial and LOVE it! The flowers are so fun and cute!! Thanks for sharing!!