card making, how to, papercrafts, tutorial

Creative Process – A Teenager’s Birthday Card

When I make birthday (or anniversary or get well soon or whatever) cards, I don’t just make a load of generic cards and choose one for the recipient (though maybe I should, it would be far less time consuming), I really make themย forย that person; with them in mind. Their tastes, their aesthetic. And so on.

This card was for my eldest niece, for her fourteenth birthday. Being fourteen she needed something grown up enough, but also not too grown up (did that make sense? Probably not!). I chose the First Edition ‘Sweet Nothings’ paper pad by Trimcraft to make this card, as it has some seriously pretty papers in it.

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And the paper I chose for the base of my card is one of the textured papers with this beautiful wood and floral pattern on. I made the card 6×7″ (it needed to be slightly taller than 6″, you’re about to see why.

So I wanted to stitch my niece’s name onto the card. I printed off her name in one of my favourite fonts to stitch with (‘Beyond the Mountains’). This font does however often do this strange thing where it cuts off the bottom of some of the letters when you print so I filled in those bits with pencil.

I lined the template up to where I wanted it on my card and poked in the holes. If you’re new to paper stitching you can read my how-to on it here. Words are a little harder than shapes but it’s the same basic principle. Just make sure you have your printed template handy so you can use it for reference, sometimes all you can see is a load of holes and it’s hard to know what’s what.

I chose to stitch in white, as the cream thread I have is a bit of a yellow cream and so wouldn’t work with this card. But this turned out to be a bit of an error too as once the word was stitched it was quite hard to see. It shows up better on the picture above but in real life you had to squint to read it!

To solve this problem I decided to fill in the letters with some colour, using this ‘tea dye’ varnish, so that it would be a fairly subtle colour. As you may be able to see I did accidentally paint some of the thread, I don’t have a very steady hand, but it doesn’t matter too much!

Once that was all done and dry it was time to do the rest of the card. Whenever I’m doing a project like this I have a little root through my ephemera packs to see what I have to match, then throw it all into a little basket so it’s handy.

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Then, well, I stuck it on! I had a play around first, seeing what I wanted to put where, and I usually take a couple of photos on my phone to see what I like best. This is what I ended up with:

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It’s a mix of pieces from the cut-apart sheet from the Sweet Nothings paper pad, and some punch outs from it too. Then some random things I found in my ephemera root around!

The paper you can just see behind the card is what I used to line the inside. Because of the stitching on the front I had to cover up the mess of washi tape and knots that was behind it!ย IMG_3991

Being a teenager, my niece wanted money and make up for her birthday. I’d already wrapped the make up I’d bought her but I also made a little cash envelope using my WE R MEMORY KEEPERS 123 punch board. Which I stuck down with a velcro dot on the inside of the card so it would be easy for her to remove.

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I also wrote ‘for you’ on a black label with an embossing pen and embossed it with gold powder.

On every card I make I emboss this ‘handmade with love’ stamp too for something to put on the back of the card.

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The last thing to do was to make an envelope, again using my 123 punch board. I chose what I thought was a suitable paper from the First Edition pad…IMG_3999

…and once it was punched I also did some simple decoration on the front of the envelope, adding her name with alpha stickers. Which I forgot to take a picture of, woops!

So there it is, one of my homemade, personalised cards. Because of the stitching, which can take an absolute age, the whole thing probably took me about 90 minutes. But I love making my cards really special for my family and close friends.

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Oh I forgot, I added some flat back pearls too! That’s it… I think!

Thanks so much for reading, let me know if you’d like to see more card making posts ๐Ÿ™‚

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Grace โค @ms.paperlover

 

how to, printables, sticker kit

Free Printable Sticker Kit – Summer Garden

Hello!

I promised you guys free printables on this blog and here is the first! – a simple sticker kit for your planner (or journal or scrapbook or whatever).

There is both a main kit with full boxes, half boxes, quarter boxes, etc.

FLORAL STICKER KIT - MS.PAPERLOVER JPEG

And a sheet of washi strips:

FLORAL WASHI - MS.PAPERLOVER JPEG

The photos in this kit are my own – so there’s no issues with copyright. The only thing I ask is if you use the stickers and share on your blog, instagram, YouTube, whatever, then you link back to me either with my web address or by tagging me on instagram ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus I’d love to see how you use it!

The files you need are at the bottom of this post. There are cut files for silhouette users, and then pdf or jpeg files for non-silhouette peoples. I’ve made all the shapes really simple for those who don’t have a silhouette so they’re easy to cut. So just print out onto sticker paper and cut away! – and remember if you don’t have sticker paper to print on then it’s not too much more work to print on normal paper and then use glue!

note – I realise not everyone’s printers get along so well with photo files, I plan to have some printables in the future with my artwork which will be easier to print, so look out for those!

If you’d like to see how I used my kit then you can watch the Plan With me Here:

 

Ok, enough preamble, here are the files:

Silhouette Main Kit

Silhouette Washi Strips

FLORAL STICKER KIT – MS.PAPERLOVER pdf

FLORAL WASHI – MS.PAPERLOVER PDF

(for the jpegs right click on and then save the pictures above)

If you have any trouble with the files please feel free to email me – but please remember I am by no means a technical expert so I may not be able to answer everything.

Thanks so much and happy sticking!

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Grace โค @ms.paperlover

 

 

 

how to, tutorial

HOW TO – Paper Stitching (Simple)

I donโ€™t know about you guys but I often find within the papercrafting (or crafting in general) world there are some things people just presume you know how to do. Things that may seem simple to some but if you donโ€™t know howโ€ฆ then you donโ€™t know how!

One of those things is paper stitching ย by hand (or sewing). Something that is, yes, relatively simple, but something that is assumed that you just KNOW what to do. For those who have a background or even basic knowledge of sewing or cross stitch (such as myself) it seems easy and straightforward. But to some people itโ€™s not; and thatโ€™s ok.

Itโ€™s ok to not know how to do stuff, stuff that seems so simple to the rest of the world. I guarantee you there are more people than you think wondering how to do it.

So Iโ€™m going to show you how to paper stitch by hand. I am by no means an expert, but Iโ€™ll make it simple and wonโ€™t use fancy-wancy words (or if I do I’ll explain them).

So first, what you’ll need:

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First you’ll need a pointy tool of some kind to make holes in the paper. You could, I suppose, use a large needle, but your hands and fingers won’t thank you for it. Search on eBay (or your website of choice) for a ‘paper pricking tool’, or get an awl. Technically an awl is for beading and jewellery making type stuff but it does the same job. The Tim Holtz Retractable Craft Pickerย ย is a popular choice, but not the cheapest.

Then you will need some sort of mat to do your pricking on (don’t laugh!). You can get proper pricking or piercing matsย from all sorts of places, but I’m cheap – so I use this foam heart covered in felt I bought in Hobbycraft (in the kids section!) for less than ยฃ1. Sure it won’t last as long as a ‘proper’ mat, but it does the job! You could also use foam mats or corrugated cardboard from an old box. They won’t be as easy to use, particularly the cardboard, but if it’s your first time you don’t want to really splash out on the equipment.

Next you’ll need a needle, ideally an embroidery needle that doesn’t have a sharp end (ouchies!) but really you can use whatever. Just as long as the eye is big enough for the thread to go through and it’s not too wide to go through the holes you pierce!

Last is some thread, obviously. Most people, including yours truly, use embroidery thread/silk. I buy mine from eBay in bulk (I only really need cream and white) but you can pick the stuff up from all sorts of places.

Oh, and I nearly forgot – some paper! Well, card or cardstock really – paper is a little flimsy. I’ve just punched out a 3″ heart from a random bit of cardstock I had lying around for the purpose of this how to as I wanted it to be a simple shape.

Ok, let’s get started. Step one – PRICK!

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I don’t think there’s too much to explain here. Don’t push the tool too far through or your holes will be too big. Space them however you want, except don’t goย tooย close or they might tear and leave you with one giant hole. And don’t make them too near the edge of the card, you want a few millimetres or when you start stitching the thread will fall out the sides – ย one thing to remember is card is not as sturdy as material, and is way more likely to tear when making holes in it!

Step Two – thread dat needle!

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Two things to say about this: one, embroidery thread/silk is made of six very small strands. You do not want to do this with all six strands, so split it into two strands of three. Don’t go too fast or you’ll end up with a big knot.

You can actually use however many strands you damn well please, but I find three to be the best.

I forgot to picture it, but it will save you lots of stress and frustration if you use a needle threader with that embroidery silk. Those multiple strands can be an absolute pain to get through the eye.

Step Three – start stitching! With your first stitch start from the bottom through to the top, then underneath secure with some washi.

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If you’re old school or simply inclined to do so, you can of course make a knot or two instead- or if you don’t have washi to use (in which case we need to have words). But securing your thread down with washi is just SO much easier.

Step Four – continue to stitch!

Now, there’s two ways we can go about this, the first is the simple up-down-up-down stitch, which is fine, but doesn’t look as nice. To get the traditional ‘paper stitching’ look, you need to back-stitch. Many of you will be thinking ‘DUH, I know how back stitch!’, but as I said at the beginning of this post, not everyone does, so here goes:

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Bring your needle through from the bottom/underneath of your card, then instead of going forward, goย backward,ย when you bring the needle back through the card. Then from underneath, skip over a hole when you bring the needle back through to the top.

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Then just do the same thing again. Up through, go backwards a hole to pull it down through the bottom, skip a hole underneath, and bring it back through the top. Repeat ad nauseam.

And that’s it!

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When you’ve finished and snipped off the excess thread remember to secure down the last little bit with washi again. If you’ve run out of thread at any point during it’s fine, just start again from where the thread ran out! The backs of my paper stitching projects are always a mess of washi because I’m hilariously terrible at estimating how much thread I’ll need!

I very quickly did an example of how the stitching would look if you did the very simple up-down stitch rather than the back-stitch:

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I got away with these due to the dots on the paper making it look from a distance like I’ve done more stitching than I have. But I definitely think the back-stitch looks best.

So there we go! A, hopefully, very simple guide on how to do paper stitching. I chose very simple shapes for this post but you can stitch any shape you want to. I do lot of word stitching, which is a smidgen more complicated as it just requires a bit more attention. I may do another post on how to do that in the future, so look out for that!

For now, I shall leave you, and wish you the best for all your paper stitching projects!

If there’s any papercrafting related thing you’ve always wanted to know how to do, but been afraid that it’s too ‘simple’ to ask about, or that people might laugh at you for asking, please ask! I’d be more than happy to do a tutorial on it.

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Grace โค @ms.paperlover