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Sunday 22 December 2013

Confessions of a New Christmas Crafter

I can't believe it has been so long since I lasted blogged.  My husband has been transferred to Hong Kong and we are moving there early next year so the last couple of months have been hectic with a trip to Hong Kong and days of serious dejunking and sorting out.  I don't often say Christmas is going to be the relaxing part of this year!  Just the two of us, packing and watching tv and videos - excellent!

I don't usually do anything fancy for Christmas but every Christmas Eve my husband and I go to a friends' place for dinner (we are the same 4 couples each year) and the host gives us all a lovely little present wrapped with ribbons and all sorts and she's not even a crafter!  I just felt that this year I needed to make more of an effort and there are so many lovely gift wrapping ideas on Pinterest that it is very inspiring.

So while surfing, I found two tutorials which would totally suit what I wanted to do.  The first was a tutorial to make a flower found at and the second was a pillow box found at

So I went out and bought some red crepe paper, some red cardboard, some gold balls on a string (for the flower hearts), some gold glitter and some gold embossing powders. 

I sat down today and thought 'do I really want to do this (sigh).  Maybe I should have just bought some pretty ribbon.'  Anyhow, too often I have gone out and bought stuff and never made what I intended to make and still I find stuff and think 'hey, what did I buy that for?' - SOUND FAMILIAR??!

Also, do you sometimes wonder if it will be as good as what you have in your head??

So here goes..  Firstly, the red cardboard was really boring and the challenge was to make it Christmassy.  I tried embossing it in my Big Shot but it just didn't feel right.  Then I got one of my stamping patterns and tried it with the gold embossing powder and thought 'yeah, this is the way to go' so here was my starting kit together with glue:

I went through the flower tutorial (see link above) but because I didn't have any round cutters I raided my foreign coin stash and found a 20 piece from Australia and a 50 cents piece from Hong Kong which fit the bill nicely!  I drew around these on the crepe paper and cut them out. 

The Flower:  one thing was clear from the start - the crepe paper I bought wasn't great quality and I decided to make each petal double.  Also, lots of glue just made the crepe paper disintegrate so I used it very sparingly not like the video!  My crepe paper also didn't stretch as much and I was a bit apprehensive about how the flowers would turn out in the end.  I made a couple more petals just in case but in the end they weren't needed. 

I wondered at this point whether it was all going to be worth it but once I had put the whole flower together I was surprisingly pleased.  Hmmm, not so bad after all.

Now the box:  I took the svg pattern into Inkscape and changed the size to suit the size of my gifts, printing it out a couple of times to get the size right.  I cut out the shape on paper first and used it as a template to cut out the cardboard.  I scored the lines using a steel ruler and quite fortuitously a cd worked well to make the circular score lines for the openings:

Once I had cut out the cardboard and bent along the score lines I then inked up the pattern stamp with the Versamark inkpad, stamped it, covered it with the gold embossing powders and then used a heatgun to finish off the embossing.

Here is the end result and I am mightily pleased.  Was it worth it??  Heck, yes.