Thursday, June 16, 2011

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

That's what the mister always tells me when I'm facing a big project that seems never ending or overwhelming. The point is if you just take it one manageable piece at a time you can accomplish anything.

This weaving project is the epitome of that saying.

It seemed so daunting when I started that first lonely little row- I had so much more to do! Even a dozen or so rows in it felt like this project was going to be huge.

But I put that thought and of my mind. Instead I've been picking this up each evening to weave a few rows before I turn in for the night. And look-

I'm a quarter of the way done!

Now that I have some built up I can really see how the colors are starting to mix and line up with each other to form patterns. I love watching that random aspect unfold before my eyes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cookie Cutter Banners for 4th of July

4th of July is one of those holidays I can't quite get motivated to decorate for. (Maybe it's because in truth I'm already excited about Halloween... yup Halloween).

I usually have a few ideas that I never quite get around to doing. Settling instead for just watching fireworks and grilling outside. This year however, I'm determined to have some sort of decorations.

Which brings me to cookie cutter banners!

I use cookie cutters for a lot of crafty things- polymer clay, tracing templates for paper, and as decorations themselves. (Turns out you can even make cookies with them!)

But I never thought of using them to make 3D shapes. The simple easy to recognize outlines of cutters work perfectly as iconic shapes for banners.

To make these stars I first started with a strip of 1.5 by 12 inch paper and a star shaped cookie cutter.

I wrapped the paper around the edge of the cutter. Scoring with my fingernail wherever an inward fold should happen and folding over each point.

Make sure to fold one extra segment so there's a place for the beginning and end to overlap.

When your done you'll end up with something that looks nothing like a star- but don't worry, it'll come together.

Re-fold the paper to sharpen each of the creases. (Here I've gathered the paper and will sharpen each of those points.)

Now using glue or (my personal favorite) a roll on adhesive tape, stick the ends together. Trim off any excess paper.

Ta-da! A finished star.

After you've made a bunch of them use a small paper punch to make a hole through one of the star's arms. String them together with ribbon or twine into a banner.

On this one I also used the cutter to trace a flat star.

For this one I used a set of nesting cutters. I made one of each different sized stars and hung them inside one another.

Tip- If the circumference of your cutter is larger than your paper, no problem. Just glue a few strips together to make a longer piece and fold as usual.

These banners are fun and easy to make. The kids can join in by folding stars and picking different ribbons or strings to hold them together.

I'm already thinking about what other holidays this would be good for. Maybe a stocking banner at christmas. Birthdays, Valentines- I have TONS of heart cutters. And of course Halloween. I have a great bat cutter that I think would make a perfect banner!
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