Monday, 1 September 2014

Two | a Birthday Giveaway

Happy Monday!  Today, TTSM is two.

This is a perfect excuse to eat cake all day, which I am.
Last year, for my first blogging birthday, I set some resolutions which I think I kind-of, sort-of kept to.  I bought myself a camera [you probably didn't notice] and I have tried to improve my photography, but where this has happened sometimes, I think this might be down to luck and fluke, rather than skill.  I've also tried new crafts [paper cutting and more recently honeycomb] and this is something I intend to focus even more on for my third year of blogging.  Finally, I set myself some consistency challenges, trying to find a balance between setting goals to make more and regular blogging.  Around the New Year, I started blogging three times a week and this became a little personal goal, which I've managed to keep to [give or take one week or two] until today.  I have to be honest, this hasn't been easy - but I've enjoyed having this self-inflicted goal to focus on.  So, here's to year three!
I mentioned in my first ever post that TTSM was not my first [nor second or third] attempt at blogging and the reason I have been able to keep this one up, I think, is due to the fab online community.  Thank you so much for your comments, tweets, emails and for every time you share my posts.  
Raising my coffee/cocktail [depending on your time of day...or maybe not as far as the cocktail is concerned] to you xxxx


Finally - GIVEAWAY TIME!  I thought I'd offer something to celebrate and this is the online version of taking cupcakes in to work/school for your birthday.  

Ever fancied making Papercut artwork, Honeycomb decorations, bracelets, pinboards, tote bags or stationery toppers?  Now is your chance to win the project materials - the winner of this giveaway will win everything required to make the TTSM DIY craft project of their choice!  Any craft project DIY on this blog - if you fancy giving it a go but don't have the materials - you can win them! [If I have set the Rafflecopter form correctly - let me know if you have any problems!]

These are the mandatory entries:

Leave a blog comment, telling me the craft DIY you would like to win

Follow @ThingsSheMakes on Twitter  [if you don't already - tut! ;)] and then

Tweet: "I want to win the TTSM DIY craft post of my choice giveaway! #TTSMgiveaway"

Optional extra entries are to:

also like The Things She Makes on Facebook, Bloglovin and Pinterest

I'd like to open this up to all areas of the internet - so here is the small print:
  • It cannot be a food/baking post - unfortunately, this would rule out overseas entries, so please make sure the project you want to try is craft :)
  • The giveaway will close on Sunday, 28th September.  Make sue you get your entries in by then!
  • Of course, you can change your mind if you are the winner and find a different craft project you would like to try than originally posted!  If i am unable to send you part of the project materials due to shipping regulations, I will contact you to let you know, or offer you the chance to choose a different project.
  • The value of the project materials will not exceed £50.
  • If I am unable to buy you the same materials as I have used, I will find you the nearest alternative I can.
  • Rafflecopter will do the honours in choosing a winner, which I will announce back here, on the 29th September.
  • Any questions - please do ask!
Good Luck!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Diamond Honeycomb

This honeycomb decoration making malarky is addictive.  Here's the third and final [for now] honeycomb experiment - a diamond honeycomb decoration.
Following exactly the same method as the traditional honeycomb decoration, however; I only had three sheets of gold tissue paper to make this version - but this honeycomb design was only to sit on top as an embellishment, rather than fold all the way out to create a hanging decoration.  If you would like to create this style, you will need at least 8 sheets.  Fold the sheets four times to create your layers:
...and then cut the four sides off to remove the folds and create your pile of tissue paper sheets:
Using the template created for the traditional honecomb decoration, I created my diamond template
 over the top to keep some of the glue line markings the same [they'd worked before, so I wanted to keep them!], with only an alteration for the top part of the diamond. I wanted to experiment with a tighter honeycomb design, so added 3 additional lines.  For the diamond, the alternate glue line sets followed this pattern: set 1: line 1, 3, 1, 1 and set 2: line 2, 2 [photos below will help make sense 
of this a little later - apologies if I'm losing you!]:
I also decided to use this DIY to test out some alternatives to the trusty glue stick.  With tighter, closer glue line patterns, a glue stick sometimes creates lines too thick, that then loose the honeycomb design, so a uniform line of glue can help - I tried both a glue tape and double-sided tape to test:
Lining one sheet of tissue paper and using the guide for the lines to glue, I started with the glue tape [lines 1, 3, 1, 1]:
..the glue tape adhered well and was simple to apply - holding the tissue paper taut helped an even application and you can easily see where it has applied.
Add a second sheet on top [as the metallic tissue paper is only really coloured on one side, I alternated this also, having the colour facing up on one sheet and down on the next] and add your glue to the second set of lines [line 2, 2]:
...add your next sheet and go back to lines 1, 3, 1, 1 and continue until your pile of tissue paper has all been glued together.  Leave to dry fully [this wont take long and a heavy book may also help]:
Cutting the diamond shape from the glue lines template, I lined it up on my tissue paper pile and used a craft knife to create neat, precise lines and cut my diamond:
Finally, I added a loop of thread at the bottom and top [as this is not a hanging decoration, cut away
 the excess after the knot], loose enough that the tissue paper diamond can be opened fully:
I then added double-sided tape to the top layer:
...and adhered the diamond half to my surface.  I then added the tape to the second half and opened
 the diamond fully, sticking in place:
...adding a ribbon, it makes a pretty awesome present embellishment:
...and shows the design of the tighter honeycomb at the top and wider honeycomb along the bottom:
At this stage, I enlisted the help of the double-sided tape again to tidy up any areas that become unstuck once the tissue paper layers were pulled apart:

P.S - If I'm totally honest, I could have done with a few extra sheets of tissue paper and I think this is where the double sided tape saved me - it was strong enough to take the strain of the pulled sheets - something glue sticks and the glue tape couldn't hold.

P.P.S - craft glue, pva glue or glue of any runny consistency [even my beloved glue gun!]  What it will do is run through the thin tissue sheets and glue every sheet together,
 just so you know:
have a great weekend and see you next time x

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Honeycomb Wrapping

Yesterday, I posted about my first attempt at honeycomb decorations.  Strangely therapeutic and therefore, I made more.  Today, here's how to create fabric versions to embellish and dress up presents.

To create these little half-pom pom embellishments, I used a sheet of A4 felt, scissors, 
a round template and my favourite friend, my glue gun [you can read more about why it's ideal 
for this project here] - but fabric or strong glue will also work:
I used a small plastic pot lid as my template and used this to cut 11 circles in total.  I then cut 10 of these in half to create 20 semi circles, which would form my honeycomb decoration: 
 The method to create the honeycomb was exactly the same as the decoration post.  I drew around my template on to a sheet of paper and divided the shape into two sets of lines, the first set creating the first, third, fifth and last line and the second set creating the second, fourth and sixth lines:
Placing one semi circle into the lined template, I used my glue gun to glue following the first set 
of lines [one, three, five and seven]: 
...placed the second semi circle on top, and then followed the lines of set two [two, four and six]: 
...added the next semi circle and continued in alternate sets: set one, next semi-circle, set two etc..... 
...continue this until your pile of 20 semi circles are all glued in place and leave to dry:
Once dry, the full circle, which will act as the base, can be attached.  Cover the top semi circle in glue: 
...and fix to one half of the full circle base: 
Once dry, pull the opposite end round to meet the base: 
...and fix in place.  I found that doing the second half in stages worked best - add a line of glue 
to the centre of the base and fix the end in place.  Once dry, you can then glue the rest, safe in 
the knowledge that it cannot move out of place:
 Once fixed, your honeycomb embellishment is complete:
 ...and creates a perfect ribbon embellishment for present wrapping:
Create different effects and designs with other fabrics, varying the width of the template lines to 
create tighter or wider honeycomb patterns - I think these have *Christmas* written all over them:
see you next time x

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Honeycomb Decoration

 Bringing the 70s back.

Some of the best decorations found in any 70s photo I've seen of my parents celebrations are honeycomb decorations.  Some have survived and they are Awe.Some.  I'd never really thought about whether they were easy to recreate or not - so had a go at creating a simple, classic version before trying something a little more modern - here is the result [spoiler: so much easier than you think].

What I Used:
Tissue Paper [4 sheets]
Glue Stick
Paper / Ruler / Pencil / Scissors
Needle and Thread

As long as you have tissue paper and a glue stick, you are good to go with this DIY, but this is definitely a case of the more tissue paper, the better.  4 sheets was the minimum I would use to create a full honeycomb decoration, however; if you want to create intricate or 'tight' honeycomb designs, you will need to add more accordingly - which is easily done and I'll mention it a little later on in the process.

To start, you can approach your decoration from two ways - creating as many layers as possible and then creating a template to fit the paper, or drawing a template and folding the tissue paper to fit. I hope that makes sense - for this DIY, I'm folding my tissue paper 4 times and then drawing my template to fit the paper:
Once your folds have been made, cut [scissors or craft knife would be perfect] around the outsides to remove the folds and create a pile of equal tissue sheets that you are about to spend a fair amount of time with........
On to a sheet of paper, outline the size of your tissue paper sheets to create your honeycomb template.  You need to create [at least] two sets of alternate lines - each set at an equal measure for a uniformed look - and preferably with the first line set also being the last line:
I went for a simple two sets [marked '1' and '2'] to start and illustrate the above, but you can hopefully see that you can easily start to add other sets to create tighter and more intricate designs [I'll hopefully try this out soon and post the results]

The basic method of creating the honeycomb is to layer the tissue paper, gluing in turn the template lines of set 1:
...and then adding a new sheet on top, before gluing lines from set 2:
...and continuing this until every sheet has been glued in alternate lines.
It takes some time, your back might ache a little, but it will all be worth it in the end.  Leave underneath something heavy, just to make sure that all the glue fixes the sheets and is fully dry:
....before having a quick check of the design - pulling the top and bottom sheets apart gently to reveal the honeycomb design.  turn the sheets towards each other in a circle to check if they meet neatly and without any strain - if you find this difficult, add more sheets, continuing the gluing pattern until you are able to make them meet easily.
Now, we can cut the circle design.  I went for a simple ball for my first attempt, so created a semi circle that was around 1cm shorter than the length of the tissue paper at either side to allow for any mis-alignments and used a side plate as my guide:
Line the template with the edge of the tissue paper and 
cut this [if you have one] with a craft knife - I found that this gave precision and helped line 
everything up when you cut the semi-circle with scissors - cut in stages and this should minimise any movement between the sheets that misaligns the cutting:
Once your shape has been cut, create a hanging by threading trough one end and tying to secure with a loop that will allow the decoration to open [a good guide is to tie the knot around your finger]:
Repeat this step at the opposite end, but cut the excess thread to hide the thread.
Now, you have two option for the finish - and it will depend on whether you intend to reuse the decoration and want the option to pack it away and bring out when needed, or if you are like me and don't bother with that and still have decorations hanging around from birthdays and celebrations over a year ago......[but seriously, if you fancy a re-usable option, cut two pieces of card using the same semi-circle template and glue these to the top and bottom layer.  when you create the decoration, bring these two card ends together and hold in place with a paperclip].  For this DIY, I coated the top layer with glue and then opened the decoration to meet the bottom layer and glue in place:
Press between the layers to hold in place and use some paperclips to help if needed - then you are ready to hang!  If any layers haven't glued, you can easily fix these up - but if these are as the sheets are having to pull away to make the top and bottom layers meet, try adding some more layers to remove the strain [hopefully this would have presented itself earlier]:
I need to stock up on some sheets to make giant versions of these.
Let me know if you have any questions - 
do give it a try if you want to add some party decor with impact!
I'll be back tomorrow with an idea of how to adapt these for embellishments - see you then x