CRAFT IDEAS TO INSPIRE
In her seasonal series, Elizabeth Harbour shows how to create a collection of beautiful handmade decorative accessories, each with its own original charm THIS MONTH: CHRISTMAS MAKES
Continuing her seasonal series, Elizabeth Harbour shows how to create beautiful handmade decorative accessories. This month: Christmas makes
YOU WILL NEED
Selection of small paintbrushes Acrylic paints: white, yellow, red and black Wooden dolly pegs White paper-covered florist wire (20 gauge) Small wire cutters/pliers Pencil Fabric scissors and pinking shears 8cm-wide cream sheer ribbon (40cm per fairy) PVA craft glue Sheet of white tissue paper White or cream thread Sewing needle 1cm-wide cream satin ribbon (12cm per fairy) Thin white card Gold paint Thin ribbon, to hang
1 Mix together a base colour for your doll’s face using white, a little red and yellow. Paint the top half of the peg on all sides.
2 When it’s dry, use black acrylic to paint on hair.
3 Using slightly watered-down black acrylic and a fine paintbrush, dot two eyes halfway down the face and two smaller dots for a nose.
4 Paint on lips in red acrylic. Mix together red and white acrylic to make a soft pink and paint small circles for her cheeks.
5 For the wings, take a 36cm piece of the paper-covered wire and bend the left end round in a loop to make one wing (one third). Secure by wrapping the end of the wire where it meets.
6 Repeat with the right side to make the second wing. There should be a longer length of wire left hanging down from the middle (see far right) – wrap this around the middle of both wings once or twice to secure in place. This should still leave a small amount of straight wire between the wings.
7 On the sheer ribbon, draw around both of the wings and then cut out and glue to the front of the wire wings. Trim when dry if needed.
8 Position the wings in place on the back of the peg and neatly wrap the remaining wire (from the wings) around the waist of the fairy to secure. Finish by wrapping it around the base of the wings.
9 Cut another piece of wire into three 12cm pieces (this will be enough for three fairies). Take one piece and turn both ends into a small loop to make hands. Cut strips of white tissue paper to wrap and glue around the wire to neaten the hands.
10 Twist the arms in place around the back of the wings and glue to secure. Allow to dry.
11 To make the skirt, cut a 30cm length of the sheer ribbon; sew together the two ends using a running stitch. Turn it inside out so the seam is on the inside.
12 Gather the skirt with a simple running stitch around the top edge, 1cm down. Gently pull the two ends of the thread to close and gather the skirt around the fairy’s waist. Tie a knot and glue in place with the seam at the back.
13 Cut a 12cm piece of satin ribbon. Drape it around the fairy’s neck, cross over the chest and glue in place at the back. Cut away any excess.
14 Cut a 2.5cm x 1cm strip of thin white card with pinking shears. Wrap it around the end of a small paintbrush and glue end in place to make a crown. Allow to dry, and paint gold. Alternatively, use gold card. Glue in place on the fairy when dry.
15 For the finishing touch, tie thin ribbon behind the wings to make a hanging loop.
YOU WILL NEED
A pack of white Sculpey (oven-bake clay) Old rolling pin (no longer used for food) Plastic mat A medium Dala horse cookie cutter, available from Amazon (amazon.co.uk) Wooden skewer or knitting needle Baking tray Baking parchment Craft knife Fine paintbrush Red Liquitex Soft Body Acrylic Paint, available from Cass Art (cassart.co.uk) Blue butcher’s twine
1 Take one sheet of Sculpey and roll it out evenly on a plastic mat to 0.5cm thick (any less and the decorations will be too fragile and break).
2 Cut out several horses using the cookie cutter. Press the excess clay together and roll it out again to make more horses. Repeat with another piece if needed.
3 Work out where the hole for the ribbon should be on each horse. Prior to making a hole, hold each horse between your fingers to simulate it hanging from a ribbon to ensure each one will hang level.
4 Using a knitting needle or wooden skewer, make a hole 0.5cm in from the outer edge, moving the needle in a circular motion to make it big enough.
5 Follow the Sculpey instructions for baking the clay in the oven.
6 When the decorations have hardened, tidy up any rough edges with a craft knife.
7 Using watered-down red acrylic paint, paint your design; when dry, do the same on the reverse. 8 Once the paint on all the decorations has dried, thread a length of twine through each to hang.
YOU WILL NEED
Formy foam blocks, available from George Weil (georgeweil.com) Wooden skewer Pencil Cotton lace Scissors and glue Cardboard Raised inkpad in festive colours that’s big enough for the Formy block (waterproof ink is best for giftwrap) Smooth paper for printing on (this can be thin cartridge paper, brown paper or lining paper)
1 There are two ways to create images on Formy blocks – by drawing directly on them or taking an impression. If you do the latter, you’ll be able to reuse them. You can also use both sides of the block.
2 To draw your own design, gently press a wooden skewer at a 20 or 30 degree angle (to avoid tearing) into the foam to create indentations – you may want to draw a light design in pencil first. To create dots, pierce the foam and rotate the wooden skewer.
3 To take an impression from a piece of lace (as seen here), make a design from cut sections and glue them to the cardboard (see top right). Once dry, follow the ‘taking an impression’ instructions for the Formy blocks – you will need to warm the side you want to make an impression on by holding it above a toaster or iron for about 15 seconds – do not let it come into contact with the source of heat or it will burn. Press the block directly on top of the lace design and hold for a few seconds. If you go wrong, warm the foam and start again.
4 To print (a drawing or an impression), press the Formy block onto the raised inkpad, making sure the image is evenly covered with ink, and then press onto the paper.
5 Experiment with printing in different colours and by staggering the design. You could also print gift tags and Christmas cards.
These simple but stylish Christmas cards have a decoration on the front that can be kept and used.
YOU WILL NEED
Millboard (back of a sketchbook) Scalpel or sharp craft knife Cutting mat Greaseproof paper Gesso White Acrylic Covering Paint, available from Hobbycraft (hobbycraft.co.uk) Paintbrushes Fine sandpaper Acrylic paint: red, yellow, white, blue and black Bradawl and bodkin Narrow red gingham ribbon Sheets of card Stamps and inkpads
1 Draw a silhouette of a goose, dove and robin.
2 Transfer the designs onto millboard and carefully cut out using a scalpel or craft knife* on a cutting mat. Cut out several of each design.
3 Lay a length of greaseproof paper on a flat surface.
4 Using the Gesso paint, paint one side of the decoration and lay, unpainted side down, on the greaseproof paper to dry. Then paint the other side and edges with the Gesso paint and allow to dry in the same way.
5 When dry, smooth off any rough edges with fine sandpaper.
6 Mix red, yellow and white with a little blue to create a grey colour for the geese. 7 Mix white with a hint of yellow to create a warm white for the doves.
8 Mix red, yellow and a little blue to create a brown colour for the robins. Squeeze out extra red and white separately ready to paint the robins’ breasts.
9 Paint both sides of the decorations, allowing each side to dry before painting the same on the other side.
10 Once dry, mix yellow with a little red to make orange and paint the feet of the geese and the beaks of the geese and doves.
11 Add a bit more blue to the brown, used for the robins if there is any left, and paint their beaks and dot an eye onto all the birds.
12 When the decorations are dry, make a hole in each bird using a bradawl and cutting mat (working out where the best place is so they balance when hung).
13 Thread the bodkin with a 20cm length of ribbon – pass it through the decoration.
14 Cut and fold the sheets of card (scoring them first with the back of a scalpel and ruler for a neater fold).
15 Make a horizontal cut in the cards, 1.5cm from the top edge.
16 Use alphabet stamps to print a festive word along the bottom of each card.
17 Push the ribbon through the slot in the card, tie into a knot and allow the bird to hang freely on the front.