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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Decopatched Valentines Gifts Made With Mod Podge

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As some of you who visit the blog may have already guessed, this girl loves hearts, and what with it coming up to valentines day, its the perfect excuse to get crafty with hearts. Today I’ve decided to make some pretty sweetie jars with matching heart magnets.

The Jar is one I’ve had ready to decorate for some time. I brought a few of them on a bric a brac stall at a bootfair last year.

The hearts are made of paper mâché and already have the magnets attached. They are of a good size and once papered, look amazing on the fridge or a magnetic notice board. These can be brought from Hobbycraft and are available both in store and online.

So for this project I used 2 large heart magnets and 1 jar. (Pairing a jar with a magnet to make a gift set)

Both the gift set and Individual magnet have been decorated differently but were both extremely simple to create.

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The first Tutorial is for my Retro Heart Magnet and Jar Gift Set.

You will need…

Medium size jar (the type with a glass stopper lid)

Large sized paper mâché heart magnet (Hobbycraft)

Funky heart Decopatch paper (Hobbycraft)

Ultra fine baby blue glitter

Mod podge (Gloss)

Thick – Satin blue ribbon (Baker Ross)

Bright red ribbon (Thin)

Dark red ribbon (medium thickness)

1 Red & 1 blue self adhesive button (baker Ross)

White acrylic Paint

Sweets or other items to fill jar

Tools…

Craft Knife
Scissors
3 Paint brushes (painting, mod podge, glitter)
Small sponge (to wipe excess mod podge)
Ruler
Pencil

First the heart magnet….

1) Give your heart magnet 2 coats of white acrylic paint as abase. Allow to dry in between coats and be careful not to get any paint on the actual magnet as it may affect how magnetic it is.

2) Take a sheet of your Decopatch paper (comes in a packet of three) and cut in half using a craft knife and ruler fir support. Place one piece aside for your jar. Now with a craft knife and ruler cut paper into squares so that you can easily piece them back together like a jigsaw.

3) With Mod Podge or Decopatch glossy glue get Decopatching. I’ve explain the art of using Decopatch to decorate almost any object or surface in numerous post here before. So, without going into to much detail I’ll explain in brief… Basically cover the heart in mod podge, lay the paper onto the heart and apply another layer of glue over the top. For this project you will want the pattern to be perfect (not all mix match) So join the paper together to form the pattern (like wallpapering).
Tips… Only apply the glue to the area you wish to cover, instead gluing each section as you go therefore avoiding any areas starting to dry and becoming tacky.

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If you have small areas in need of covering, then patch them up with small strips of paper.

Now leave to dry.

Note. Decopatch Glossy Glue & Mod Podge (gloss) can both be used as a glue sealer and finish. Both glues dry clear and are both easy to use. I’m using mod podge as its much faster when drying.

4) Once dry add another layer of mod podge and leave it for around 20 minutes to dry.

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5) Once dry take the dark red ribbon and run it around the sides of your heart starting at the tip. Cut any excess ribbon and then use the mod podge to add the ribbon to the sides of the heart adding a layer of mod podge over the top of the ribbon too.

Leave to dry for 20 minutes or so.

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6) Once dry stick your self adhesive buttons to the front of your heart like so. Now place to one side.

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Now for the jar….

7) Bring forward your other half of Decopatch paper and wrap it around your jar. Start around 5 centimetres down from the neck of your jar so that the paper stops 3/4 of the way up leaving a small area unpapered. Only once you are sure its right add mod podge directly to the jar applying the paper as you go. (Apply the paper as a whole by rotating the glass, gluing and papering as you go). You will notice that you have a little excess paper at the bottom of your jar. Don’t worry! This will be removed soon. Now, add a top layer of mod podge over the top of the paper (ignoring the excess paper) and leave to dry for 20 minutes. Once dry add another top layer of mod podge and sit to dry for the same amount of time as before.

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8) Once your jar is papered and the mod podge is dry the paper will be stronger and look very glossy. Now use you scissors to remove any excess paper from the bottom of the jar as to tidy it up.

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9) apply mod podge around the top section of paper like a boarder. It only needs to be as thick as your thin red ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the top of the paper and wipe any excess mod podge quickly with a sponge, to avoid it drying. Now apply mod podge over the top of the ribbon again wiping away excess as you go. Leave to dry for around 15 minutes.

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10) Now mix some mod podge with lots of the baby blue glitter. Apply this to the inner section of the jar that is still visible. Also apply some around the neck and top rim of your jar. The mod podge will dry clear leaving a crystallised glittery effect. Drying time is longer as the glue is thicker and no paper is applied. Mine took a few hours to dry fully.

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11) once dry tie your blue ribbon around the neck of the jar into a pretty bow.

Dried Mod Podge Mixture

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12) for the top section of the lid, place the lid face down on some heart Decopatch paper and with a pencil lightly draw around it. Once done carefully cut out the circle with a craft knife. Decopatch your cut out circle to the top of the jar again adding two top layers of mod podge to the top of the paper. Leave to dry for 20 minutes.

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13) Fill with Sweets or anything else you like (tea lights, makeup, pamper goodies, cookies) and fit lid.

Now just use some pretty tissue paper to wrap your heart and jar, place in a pretty gift bag ready to give as a gift.

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Fabric Flower Power Heart Magnet

You will need…

1 Large paper mâché heart magnet (Hobbycraft)

Some funky flower fabric (enough to cover heart) Mine is from eBay

Medium thick orange ribbon (Baker Ross)

3 Self adhesive buttons that coordinate with your fabric (I used red, yellow, baby blue) from Baker Ross

White acrylic paint

Mod podge

Tools…
2 brushes (for paint and mod podge)
Scissors
Craft Knife
Ruler

1) Paint heart in white paint as before.

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2) use a ruler and craft knife to cut fabric into two pieces one 3/4 in size and the other 1/4 in size. Use ruler to support fabric as you cut. Remove any frying.

3) cover 3/4 of your heart in mod podge placing the 3/4 piece of fabric on top at an angle so that only a 1/4 of the heart is left to cover. If fabric comes over the edges trim or just stick down as I have done. Add mod podge to both the heart and the top layer of fabric just as we did the decopatch paper.

4) Mod podge other 1/4 of heart and add the other half piece of fabric joining the pattern. Again add a coat of mod podge to the top layer of fabric working in the same way as the first piece. Leave to dry for around 20-30 minutes.

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5) Once dry add the ribbon to the sides of the heart as we did for our retro patterned heart above. Leave to dry for 10-15 minutes.

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6) Now stick on your three buttons like so and you’re heart magnet is set to go.

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So… There you have it. Some fantastic Valentines handcrafted inspiration.

Have you made anything for Valentines Day?

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Crafting With Decopatch – Make Vintage Inspired Frames

I really enjoy crafting with Decopatch. I’m forever on the lookout for things to cover in Decopatch paper.

I’m currently awaiting some great paper mâché Christmas decorations which I plan to Decopatch in some beautiful new Christmas papers I brought from eBay, but in the meantime I’ve been busy making things pretty in my bedroom.

Below is a pretty little frame I decopatched and decorated this afternoon.

I’d be lying if I wrote that working with Decopatch was really easy. In theory Decopatch is relatively simple, however, in reality it is much more tricky than one would expect.

You see, its rather messy to start with and its also a bit of a fiddle when layering the pieces of paper. If your wanting your design to look complete in terms of the paper design you need to patch it together like a jigsaw. I never worry to much about this part! As long as the patten doesn’t look to odd its fine by me.

For this frame, I used an A5 piece of Decopatch paper cut into small pieces. I then covered a small square frame in Decopatch glossy glue (normal glue is no good, Decopatch glue dries with a glossy finish). I then layered on the pieces of paper adding a layer of glue over each piece as I went.

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This time I was sure to allow the paper to crease as to give it a more aged effect.

Once I had covered the frame I took a corsage cream flower I had made previously and glued this to the top left hand corner. I covered the flower in the same glossy glue as to give it that same glossy finish.

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I than left it to dry for 3-4hrs.

This frame could actually do with a few more layers as you can still slightly see the lines from each piece of paper. I would normally do this once the first layer or two have fully dried. However, I kind of like the effect and have therefore decided to keep it this way.

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