Tutorial – Vintage Inspired Gift Tags & Keepsakes

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I love giving vintage gifts and when doing so I always make sure that my packaging fits in with the whole vintage theme.

Recently I gave a friend a very pretty vintage boxed perfume bottle that I wrapped with layers of thin pink and blue tissue paper and finished with one of these awesome vintage inspired wooden heart tags that could be kept by the gift receiver as a keepsake.

This was quite simple to create and is done so using the decoupage technique. To try it yourself you will need…

Flat Wooden Heart (with two small hearts either corner)
Various Decopatch Papers
Lace Trimmings (blue and off white)
Old Victorian Portrait Image (I had one but you could easily find something similar on the web)
Decopatch Glue
3x Flat backed blue crystals
Pretty ribbon in baby blue
Baby blue mini bow
Mod Podge Shimmer Gold

Tools
Brushes for glues
Scissors

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I brought my heart in a blue colour, if you want you can paint yours for the same effect.

Firstly cut a few small squares from your Decopatch papers, then cut down your lace trimmings into different size pieces. Lastly cut around your Portrait image So that it fits nicely in the middle not taking up to much room.

Now start sticking down paper like so using Decopatch glue..

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Layer with ribbon as you go. As mentioned I’m using pale blue and ivory that I’ve trimmed pieces from.

When adding these different pieces don’t worry if they lap over your heart as once dry the edges are easily trimmed.

I’ve added my image at a slight angle for added effect.

I’ve then randomly applied 3 flat backed crystal in a green/blue colour using the Decopatch glue to secure

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Everything now on the heart has been added using Decopatch glue. This dries clear giving it a smooth glossy effect.

I left my heart for around 30 minted to dry before applying some mod podge shimmer gold. I applied this to random areas of the heart (the whole thing) therefore giving more subtle hints of golden shimmer.

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I then gave this a further 30 minutes to dry before adding my small blue bow to the bonnet worn by the little Victorian girl now featured on my heart.

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The last step is to thread some thin baby blue ribbon through the holes in my heart and then tying in a bow to secure.

Doesn’t it look pretty?

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Tutorial – Easter Baskets With A difference

I love Easter, Spring is in the air and Daffodils can be seen sprouting from the ground beside that of the Bluebells. Its the day you’re technically allowed to scoff our faces with chocolate and not feel so guilty about doing so!

However, lets be honest, it isn’t the healthiest tradition is it? And as a woman, I always beat myself up a little following the Easter Binge. Nonetheless, there are many other cute gift ideas that can be given at Easter, ones that don’t actually involve any chocolate at all! Whats more, you can actually craft many of these gifts yourselves making them that bit more personalised and special.

I made a cute Easter basket that I filled with decorated eggs and then shared here on the blog last year.

Today I’m creating an Easter basket of a different kind! One a bit different from the norm. I guess you could call it a bag, though its Easter themed all the same.

So here it is!

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A very cute Box bag decorated with spring and Easter in mind, then filled with cute little treats for my daughter.

To make your own its really very simple, all you’re need is…

1x Paper Mâché box bag (Hobbycraft)
1x Sheet of decorative paper (A4)
White String (Ikea)
1x Birdie tag with button detail (dotcomgiftshop)
2x Cute paper jar lid covers that are identical to one another (dotcomgiftshop)
Mod Podge Gloss (Hobbycraft)
Pink Paint (pastel pink is best)
1x Sheet of yellow felt ( Baker Ross ltd)
1x Sheet of yellow tissue paper
A few glue dots

Tools…
Paint and glue brushes
Scissors

Other items include gifts to place in your box bag. I’ve filled mine with little bits like bath lotions and bubbles, mini nail polishes and bangles.

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First paint the sides of your box in pink paint. Also paint the edging of the box. Leave to dry and then apply a second coat.

Cut off the boxes paper handles and discard.

Next cut you’re decorative A4 paper in half (I’ve used a nice sheet of pastel Polkadot paper in A4 size). Now line it up to the top edge of the box, roughly trim excess paper but be careful not to trim too short. Once you have applied the paper we can then trim of any remaining excess. To apply the paper, paste on a coat of mod podge gloss and apply the paper to the boxes front. Add a second coat of mod podge over the top and leave for 30 minutes to dry. Don’t worry about applying the paper over the holes that housed the paper handles, this is fine, we will address this later.

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Once dry repeat the entire process on the opposite side of your box.

Once you have papered both sides of the box and it is dry, hard and shiny, trim off any excess paper to make your box tidy.

Now take one off the jam jar covers. You should have two identical paper covers, one for either side of your box (mine has this cute birdie in the centre and came in an assortment of jar preserving labels from dotcomgiftshop). In the same way you applied your paper to your box (glue both on the surface and over the top off the paper) repeat for both sides and leave for half an hour to dry.

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Once this has completely dried use the point of a thin paint brush to push through the paper and expose the holes for the handles. As the inner section of the box has not yet been covered these are easily located. Do this for all four of your holes.

Now cut some yellow felt and lay it at the bottom of the box. Repeat for the two larger inner sides only this time secure with a few glue dots on each.

At this stage don’t worry about the remaining two sides (smaller inner sides)

Now take a sharp pointed craft tool, the point of a sharp pair of scissors or even a sharp pencil to push through the exposed holes penetrating the felt lining on the inner section of the box.

Now you will need to cut 2 white pieces of string (mine is from Ikea). Cut these to a size that suits. I’ve opted for short handles. Simply thread the string through the holes so one piece goes from one side of the box to the other (as the original handles were before removing). Do this for both pieces only on one piece, tread through one hole and before treading through the opposite side, tread on your little cute birdie tag so the decorative side is seen when it lays flat against your box. Tie all the ends of the string so the handles are secure. Make sure the string attached to your little birdie tag is on the piece of string you’ve tied off to ensure it doesn’t move around the handle freely.

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Lastly cut your yellow tissue paper and use to bulk out the inner sections of the box while also covering the remaining sides. This will also keep your surprise gifts cushioned and ever so slightly concealed from little wondering eye.

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Cute Easter Surprise wouldn’t you agree?

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Make Your Own Shabby Chic Box Bags

A few months back I grabbed some of these large paper mâché box style bags from my local Hobbycraft.

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I was instantly drawn to them with a host of different uses and craft activities accumulating in my mind! The fact that they were reduced a little in price also made these all the more desirable.

My plan… To make storage bags that if desired, could be hung freeing up more space. The size of these boxes are perfect for makeup, craft essentials and more besides.

They look really pretty once complete, tying in with the whole shabby chic theme I’ve got going on.

Materials….

Paper Mâché Box Bags (Hobbycraft)
(I created a set of 3)
Decorative Paper (pattern/design to suit)
Mod Podge Clear Gloss
White Acrylic Paint
White String (ribbon or twine works well)
Strip of Ivory Lace (enough to cover around the bottom of box)
Faux Pearl Bracelet (big enough to go over box)

Tools
Paint & Glue Brushes
Pencil
Scissors

Here’s a demonstration on how to create these box bags.

1) First use a paint brush to give your box a few coats of white paint (just to ensure the darkness of the paper mâché isn’t seen through your paper)!

2) Use scissors to remove paper handles.

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3) section by section apply mod podge to your box and cover with your paper. Press firmly to remove air bubbles or make some tiny hole pricks with a pin. Be sure to apply the mod podge over the top of the paper as well as the box.

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4) Once covered reveal the 4 handle holes on your box by penetrating with a sharp pencil.

5) with mod podge run your ivory lace around the button of your box. Remember to add mod podge over the top of the material also.

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6) Now take your faux pearl bracelet and place it over your covered box so that the bracelet sits around the middle.

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7) Cut 2 pieces of white string or other. Now thread through holes one side to the other. Tie in a knot to secure.

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Now simply fill with treasure, display on a dresser or hang from hooks for a great storage solution.

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How Too Use Decopatch To Decorate Paper Mâché Letters

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I love working with Decopatch and always get excited when ordering new papers.

I visited one of my favourite stores last weekend… Hobbycraft! Floors and floors of crafty loveliness. Sadly there wasn’t many decopatch papers in stock as it seems everyone has taken up the hobby of late. I did buy some more rose patterned papers and a gorgeous set of funky heart papers, perfect for valentines. They also had lots of paper mâché shapes and boxes in the sale. I grabbed some more hearts, a few tiny picture frames, 3 gift boxes/gift bags, a heart embossed box and some great large Decopatch letters.

Most of the items I’ve covered in Decopatch paper have been covered in just the one pattern or colour, this time I wanted to cover the letter “A” in a variety of different paper designs to create a really funky design for my daughters bedroom. I was planing to buy all the letters to spell out the name Alice which I was planing to hang on her wall but sadly they didn’t have the letter “L” so I designed just to do the one letter that she can hang on her door or free stand on her dresser or chest of draws.

Luckily I had a nice collection of left over paper pieces that ranged from pretty shabby pink and floral prints to funky denim and bold star designs… Perfect for what I had in mind!

Here’s what I used…

Paper mâché large letter (A)
Lots of odd pattern Decopatch paper pieces
Antique cream paint (white is perfect)

Tools
Deco patch glossy glue
Glue brush
Paint brush
Scissors

I’ve spoken about how to work with Decopatch before on the blog. So with this I won’t go into to much detail here in fear of boring you all.

Basically I cut my random pieces of paper into various sizes shapes and sizes.

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Before applying these to my paper mâché I painted the letter in an antique cream colour with acrylic paint. I would have just used white but because I only had white spray paint and didn’t fancy chocking oneself I opted for the cream instead.

My reason for painting the paper mâché is because its rather dark before beforehand and some of my papers were quite light. This is why Taking the time to give your paper mâché a quick lick of paint makes sense! It may be more preparation and time but you save on papers (these are not cheap) plus its easier later on.

I find that acrylic paint is really fast to dry so I was able to get started within a an hour of painting the paper mâché letter.

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I do enjoy Decopatch but its so messy and I often end up looking like I have skin melting of the tips of my fingers. I worked on one side at a time, adding a layer of glue to my base and one over the paper to seal in place, slightly overlapping each piece along the way.

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I decided not to rush my letter letting each side dry fully before starting another. While your Decopatch paper is wet it is more likely to rip especially when the glue is drying with your finger tips stuck to it! Hence the reason patience was important.

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I worked on all sides in the same way patching up any gaps with tiny pieces of paper.

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I decided to give it another glossy coat of glue once finished and then left over night to dry.

Funky wouldn’t you say?

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