Tag Archives: paper craft

Cheap, Cheerful, Paper, Thread and Useless…

… so of course I love it.

It’s a garland made from two inch paper circles, a dab of a glue stick, it’s folded, then sewn. I don’t remember where I got the idea from, but I remember that the prototype was all glue, no thread. Any symmetrical shape works  I’m particularly fond of a 3D Christmas tree I dreamed up, but it must have rolled under a piece of furniture after being batted about by a cat.

The only tiny snag is that the paper needs to be colored on both sides to produce a truly festive object, and because two-sided origami paper is pricey I glued two sheets of foil Christmas wrap together before I cut out the circles.

If the paper’s thin, cut out seven circles — if not, five will do. Fold each in half, then stack them.

This was, in fact, made from duo origami paper. Straighten the stack and sit down in front of the trusty machine, (It was welcoming a change from aprons.)

Sew through all layers along the center fold line. Now comes the magic part. Open each leaf, and arrange them to form a paper globe.

To firm up the globular shape, glue two of the leaves together. Or, what a swell idea for a pop up card — just glue two adjacent leaves to either side of the fold.

What can I say, it’s been a quiet week here in the ‘Ville.



Filed under Art, Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, How Cool is That?, Less than 50 cents, Needlework, Paper

Handmade Cards: The Art of the Carte

I’ve always loved greeting cards —  the racks of Hallmarks at the corner drugstore or the Graphiqes de France gallic b&ws at snooty paper stores . When I was a kid I’d wait for the museum catalogues every fall so that I could con their gorgeous new Christmas cards. For most of my life I my wallet was helpless before a beautiful card.

The newish- tech advance in greeting card is the audio card, and  I regularly run the rack, giggling at the witty/deliberately incongruous musical choices. And they’re tough — I opened a birthday card sent to my father-in-law six years ago and the organ vamp followed by fans going wild sounded newly pressed.

I’m as plugged in as most middle-agers and I’ll accept well-wishes via email or Facebook with enormous gratitude — I  send them myself. But there’s something sweet about a card in the mailbox: someone actually bought it, wrote on it, had a stamp in the house, then plopped it in a mailbox. Sometimes they made it!

My sister-in-law Patty makes her own cards. I received this in the mail today and it just might be the most beautiful handmade card I’ve ever seen.

Look at all that intricate cutting and fitting, the paper choices, the design! She mentions inside that she made it specially for me, which makes it even lovelier, because she knows I too make my own cards.

I realized today  that I come from a long line of card makers. My great-uncle Dan McArthur’s cards were, literally, works of art — some hang framed in my parents’ house. They were his own letterpress or lino prints, hand-colored, of  a slip of landscape or architecture. His niece (and my aunt) Charlotte Waller’s Christmas cards are original watercolors painted on a folded sheet of copier paper. They’re art too — I regret that I couldn’t find my complete collection to show you. Here’s one I could lay my hands on quickly:

Her daughter, my cousin Kim McKellar, a woman of talents so multi that I blame her for hogging the generational talent pool, sells her own line of cards:


My daughter tweaks cards: One year she sent Wayne Thibeault postcards, with a paper present and real ribbon pasted onto them.

She and her husband designed and made all their wedding stationery — here’s an example:

I’m not in the same class as as these people — they’re artistic, have skillz, and also wit. But because of happy memories from toddlerhood of hours whiled away at the card table with construction paper, blunt-ended scissors and glue, I’ve made cards off and on my whole life. For fun.

I’m an origami head and a carver of stamps, so I decided a few years ago to start making my Christmas cards. Here are the two examples I could find in the house. (The thickness of the two cranes makes for problematic scanning — that weird shadow!)

Part of the fun is creating the stamps i use in the background:

Planning the annual card has become part of my internal calendar — I can be stumped for inspiration scarily late in November. This year I decided on my design in late February, which cuts down on the suspense, but not the difficulty: I’m still searching for the perfect paper, and the search might go to the wire and involve a trip to Japan. Please, God, don’t force me to make my own paper — that’s truly for the pros!


Filed under Art, Holidays, Less than 50 cents, Origami, Paper