- Box Frame
- Background Paper
- Mini wooden craft pegs
- Baker's / Natural twine
- Yuzen / Chiyogami Paper
I bought some pretty Japanese Yuzen Chiyogami paper when I first came to Edinburgh in 1999. Well, that art shop has long since closed and 18 years down the line, I have finally made something with those oh so pretty papers!
Here's the tutorial I followed, it really is very easy, not like the bow or crane ones which make my eyebrows knit!
So, even if you've left it late, there's still time to whip up a pretty card or to make a framed washing line of these cute little origami dresses. I promise they are super easy to make - I even taught my pal from memory using a napkin in a restaurant!
I bought an A3 laminator from Aldi a few months back to use in conjunction with a laser printer for the purposes of foiling. Now, foiling has been a rollercoaster ride of a craft hobby, so I'll cover that separately, but I just had to share with you the fabulous, consistent and easy results I've had using my laminator with fabric and heat transfer vinyl (HTV) cut with my Silhouette Cameo.
I tried applying gold chrome HTV to card ages ago and it worked well, but when I used it with an iron, the card curled massively and no amount of time under heavy books would fix it.
Well, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. I was having a drama with a leaving card that I designed to be foiled and I needed it for the next day. I had no self-adhesive gold vinyl, but I did have some in heat transfer vinyl. I decided to give the HTV a whirl and as my laminator was already up and running, I figured I would run it through and see what happened.
I was chuffed, it applied perfectly with just one pass through the laminator and unlike with foiling, I was able to use very thick, textured card too, which I thought suited the sheep!
Why Not Just Use Regular Vinyl?
It seems barmy to use a laminator when you could just use regular self-adhesive vinyl , but I find it is actually a good option for a few reasons:
Using my Liberty London Fabric Stash
I have already attached fusible stabiliser to my Liberty Tana Lawn fabric for my applique onesies , so cut out some more shapes to use on cards. For the mother's day card, I applied the fabric directly on the card. As the sentiments above and below were done with sketch pens, I also drew on the card where the fabric MUM letters should be placed. I made sure the pen would be covered by using a 0.1cm internal offset. The word MUM uses Clarendon font and the wording above and below uses the Sketch Serif Font from the Silhouette Design Store
For passing through the laminator, I held the fabric in place with a piece of HTV carrier sheet that I kept from my last project. If you don't have any, kapton (sublimation) tape would also work - eBay and Amazon sell it for a few pounds.
Try adding dimension
I normally like to have a little dimension in a card, so decided to apply my fabric to some brown Kraft card. As the fabric and Kraft card pieces were small, I fed them through the laminator sandwiched in some plain copy paper and then attached to the card with foam squares. The Kraft card was cut with a 0.25cm external offset to the fabric L.
Fabric with a HTV Border
Just as I combined fabric with a HTV border for my applique onesies, you can do exactly the same for cards. I used my favourite elephant design, and the bloom font to make a new baby card.
I couldn't bare to waste the elephant shape that I weeded from the HTV, so decided to make a second card. All I needed was the wording and water splashes, so used up a scrap strip just 3 by 9 cm and got a totally cute card made out of scraps and waste!
I plan on making big versions of the Kraft card and Liberty fabric letters strung together to make pretty bunting for a new baby gift.
I was also thinking that I could make a baby mobile, with lovely fabric shapes. I plan to cut a front and back piece and give it a nice plumpness by sandwiching a smaller piece of felt inside or maybe use some wadding. If I was using wadding, I'd maybe use a pair of straighteners instead of the laminator to nip the edges closed, like a very pretty Cornish pasty!
As my laminator is A3, I can do some nice big wall art for my hall that I'm currently decorating too :)
I LOVE letterpress. I love the old-school style embossed finish, the beautifully engineered machines and hot foiling, well, common the name speaks for itself! So, when I happened upon an introductory workshop around the corner from me on Leith Walk at Dot and the Line, I decided to give it a whirl.
Overview and Demo with Lou
Lou keeps the classes small, so it was just me plus one other, which means there is plenty of time for questions and no queuing. After intros and a cuppa we got down to work, with Lou demonstrating how the letterpress is set up and the printing process. We were using the Adana table top press which I immediately wanted to take home.
Letterpress Lingo - Reglets, furniture and quoins
One of my favourite parts of the workshop was learning all the awesome letterpress lingo. We started with a frame, called a chase and arranged our type on a composing stick, separating the lines with strips of metal lead.
Geeky fact - Leading (line spacing) is pronounced led-hing not lee-ding!
The strips of lead are where the term 'leading' describing the distance of line spacing comes from. I'd always assumed it was pronounced lee-ding as 'in leading the way', but no it's led-hing as in 'lead piping'.
Once done, we slide the composed text off the stick onto a metal tray called a galley. We then tightly packed out the empty space with wooden spacers called furniture. Smaller slivers of wood are called reglets and finally we use a quoin which is an expanding wedge to lock into place.
The Adana Table top Press in Action
We cut out our bookmarks from come Colorplan cardstock with a kick-ass guillotine and got to printing.
The Finished Product
I chose the quote from Little Women author Louisa May Alcott 'She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain'.
In my first attempt, I accidentally put my 'i' in brain upside down. I kind of wish I'd kept it as it's cute and plays into the quote
The most common mistake is mixing up b's and d's or p's and q's, as seen in my classmate's quote from The Great Gatsby:
The workshop was £30 (concessions available) and lasted three hours. Lou also runs other courses on screen-printing and book binding that sound fun.
I decided to etch a scrap piece of brass with Edinburgh etch recipe and see how it would look when rolled through my Big Shot craft mangle. I'm somewhat pleased with this first attempt. It impresses nicely, and whilst it's a shame that the edge of the brass makes a line, I'd just choose to incorporate that into the design by picking a circle or cut shape next time. I think inking up could be messy - I'd defo need a briar and guides to stop it going everywhere. I've blurred some parts of my address to avoid nutjobs!
Polymer Letterpress Plates
An easier option is to make or buy a polymer letterpress plate. They can be used with the at home kits such as this one demonstrated on YouTube. I do owe my buddy Danielle a massive apology though, as I thought these polymer plates might be the same as the polymer stamps. Danielle gave it a go and in the process ruined her lovely stamp, so please don't make the same mistake folks!
Embosser Seal Press
I think I'm going to get a handheld embosser seal thingy. You can get the contraption, plus plates with your own custom design for about £35. I'll keep you updated when I finally get around to ordering mine.
Blog about craft, design and interiors. Includes DIY tutorials for gifts and the home, often using my trustee Silhouette Cameo.