Merry Christmas!

Hello Everyone!
I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a blessed new year!
In the holiday spirit I would also like to share my last three projects with you. As you know, my sewing machine is not working right now but I still had three projects to finish before Christmas arrived.

One of them was a nativity scene picture made out of scrap book papers:

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The other one was a very simple felt ornament for my Grandma. I used a smaller version from last year as a template which I made for my son for the advent’s calendar.

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The third project was pine cone owl ornaments made from felt. I found the instructions here but instead of the feet I added a bow on top of each, so I can hang them on the Christmas tree.

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Aren’t they cute? Here is one more picture of them:

owl ornamentSee you next year!

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Paper gift-bag tutorial

As I mentioned before, I volunteer in a local fair trade shop and it is part of my job to make paper gift-bags for jewelry when no customer is around. But at first I had no clue how to make them, until a couple of my colleagues taught me. It is actually not that difficult but as everything else, it needs a bit of practice.

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And as Christmas is getting closer and closer, you might want to learn how to make these adorable paper bags. You can even make 24 of them and use them as Advent calendar. So let me take you through the process step by step.

1. STEP: Choose a small box as a sample. I used a chalk box from IKEA but it is really up to you what size do you prefer or have on hand. Cut the wrapping paper according to the size of your box: it should be about 3cm/1 inch longer on the shorter sides of the box (they will turn into the top and bottom of your bag) and on the longer sides the paper should overlap.

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STEP 2: Decide which color would you like to use. My bag will be red on the outside and green on the inside. On one shorter side I folded into the paper twice (about 6-8mm wide), so the top of the bag will be neat at the end.

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STEP 3 and 4: Then I turned the paper: the red side was facing down. I put the box onto the paper (in the middle), folded the longer sides and taped it with a very little piece of tape.

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STEP 5: After that I taped along the edge. Make sure to turn the end of the tape inside, as well. NOTE: if you want to make the other version (with the little ear on top), leave out step 2 and now use a decorative washi tape!

 

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STEP 6: Now press the corners with your fingers all the way to both ends of the paper and of course on all four corners! This step is actually very important, don’t forget it!

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STEP 7: As the next step I made the bottom of the bag. To do that, you have to slide the box into the “paper tunnel” as much, so there is enough (but not too much) paper to fold. Now fold in the shorter sides and be very precise! Then fold in the “back side” of your future bag. If you are making a similar bag, that would be where you taped before. If you are using a decorative whasi tape for the front, then the back side will be the one without the tape. At last fold in the “front side”!

Papiertüte4STEP 8: Tape the bottom and then slide out the box. You won’t need it anymore.

Papiertüte5STEP 9: Press together the sides of the bag with your fingers as shown on the picture. Start from top to bottom, this way you can create a neat corner at the bottom. Don’t forget the other side!

Papiertüte6STEP 10: Now your bag should look like this:

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If you turn the bottom backwards, your bag is actually done. You can add a long piece of dubble sided tape to the top (see picture below) which is very practical when you close the bag because no tape will be seen from the outside. Very professional-looking! The only thing is left to decorate it, for that skip step 11 and go to step 12!

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STEP 11: If you are making the other version with the whasi tape, it is now time to create the little “ear” on top. For that you have to make small diagonal cuts on the front side, fold the “ear” and then cut off the rest.

Papiertüte7STEP 12: Decorating. There is no limit to this step. I made little bows and used the store’s sticker but you can draw, paint, glue etc. anything onto the paper bag. If you use this bag for Christmas, make something personalized or attach a small tree ornament to the gift bag.

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And don’t forget: the size is variable, it only depends on the box that you choose as template. You can make a small bag for a pair of earrings or a huge bag for large presents, as well.

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5 card board project for the kids

This summer we had some pretty long vacation time first in France then in Hungary. We came back to Aachen about a week ago and finally things start to get back to normal which also means that I will (at least try to) write posts regularly again.

First I would like to start with a collection of paper projects. The reason for this is that we tend to order more and more stuff online which brings us to a new problem: we have tons of boxes all the time. Mostly good quality card board boxes and I hate to throw them away although recycling in Germany is quiet good, I sometimes still try to find a second use for those boxes.

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1. Once I simply drew a map on the box for my son. But it wasn’t just any map, it was the house and garden of his grandparents! All the rooms in the house were there, the garage in the garden etc. Then we grabbed a couple of Duplo figures and started to play like we were visiting Grandpa and Grandma. My son even “went for a bike ride” with his Grandpa on the board. Then we switched to the other side of the board and the other side of the family: drew a map of the other Grandparents’ house, as well.

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I think if we played the same game with his favorite places, it will be also a big hit.

2. The other project was a doll house.

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I didn’t make it very girly, since I have a son but it still has a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom. And of course a garage.

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This house is called “Uncle Kalman’s house”. We named it after Kalman Kittenberger because my husband is related to him: he was a famous traveller and biologist in the early 1900s. He went to Africa six times and collected animals for Hungary’s zoo. We have a Duplo figure that we named Uncle Kalman and we sometimes play that he is travelling to Africa and catches elephants and other animals. My husband even tells family stories about “Uncle Kalman”, and my son once asked if  he was a real person. I think this is the way how to teach history at an early age.

IMGP91873. The third project would be a fire truck, unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of it. So you just have to believe me: we painted a large box red together, made wheels, lights and other important features. My son only played with it for a couple of weeks but it made him very happy.

4. The latest project was a Foosball table. To tell the truth, my son is not appreciating it as much as I hoped he would. My guess is that he doesn’t understand the concept just yet but he still tries to play sometimes with us.

DSC_0047For this project you can find a great tutorial on this site. I made a couple of details differently, as you can see and I only spent about 4€ on the wooden sticks and wrapping paper.

DSC_00505. The last project is actually four in one but it is not made of card board box. Around May there was a big sale on calendars in the local book stores and I found a great one. Of course we already had a wall calendar and we didn’t need an other one, so I cut this one up: The pictured part was used as a book. It’s kind of a “Wimmelbuch”. In German it means books like “Find Waldo”: tons of detailed picture on one single page. I didn’t even give this book to my son right away, instead I put it aside for when we are travelling by car.

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I cut down the actual calender part: we used the back side as twelve piece of beautiful drawing paper.
The big front page was put on my son’s wall above his little desk. Very nice room-deco for almost free.
The forth use of this calendar was the card board back. I cut out and created two shield for my little knight.

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“Get Well Soon” Card

In the last three months there were two accidents in our family: my father-in-law and my husband’s grandmother broke their legs. We have been sending them “Get well soon” cards, paintings of my two-and-a-half years old son, pictures etc. Once we traced our son’s hugging arms on a huge piece of paper and sent it to Grandpa which is still his favorite thing he received from us. But I felt like I am running out of ideas and our great-grandma is still in bed, so we would like to send her more things that will hopefully keep her spirit up. And then a couple of days ago I came across this idea on Pinterest and made a similar card:

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I think it turned out very nicely and my son could help me make it because he loves stickers. Fun for him and he knows it’s gonna be great-Grandma’s, so I think he made it with love. Such a cute idea, isn’t it?

(Unfortunately the link to the original card was a dead end, so I can’t share it.)

Photo-box

This year at Christmas (I mean last year, 2012) we wanted to send pictures to my husband’s grandmother of her great-grandson but I thought sending a pack of pictures or sanding a photo-album is very boring. And then I found this playful idea on this great blog (where you will find the tutorial as well). It’s actually a mini-birthday-album version what I created but I think it works both ways. And I made it one step easier because instead of covering a box, I bought a ready-to-go, Christmas-themed gift-box.

Please, take a look at the final photo-box:

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Paper hands

I started this project a year ago and according to my plan it’ll go on for 15-20 years. How is that possible? Last year around Christmas time our son was about three months old and I made an ornament that shows how small his hand was. My plan is to make the same kind of tree ornament for Christmas every year until he gets so big that he will refuse. But I hope in twenty years we will have a Christmas tree covered with these paper-hands especially if we will have more kids.

I used scrapbook-paper: put his hand on it and drew around it with a pencil, then I cut it out, made a hole, put a ribbon on it and finally wrote the name and the year in the middle. Very simple and look how big his hand has grown in one year!

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Autumn decorations

I know, it’s already November but I thought I would share this idea of mine. We don’t celebrate Halloween in our culture but I still wanted to decorate our home a little bit for the fall, so I made these paper-pumpkins or paper-globes. I used scrapbook paper which is great because it has pattern usually on both sides and for this project it is awesome. For the orange “pumpkin” I cut out 8 strips: about 1,2 cm wild and 28 cm long. I made a little hole in the middle and 0,5 cm far from both ends with the help of a pin. In the inside of the “pumpkin” runs a thin wire: I put beads on the wire at the bottom of the “pumpkin”, inside and the top, so the beads keep the globe form in shape. Starting from the bottom with two or three beads, then go through all the paper stripes in the middle with the wire, beads again, close up the paper strips on top and a few more beads. And finally make a tiny loop out of the wire. Tie a nice ribbon onto the loop and it’s done.

For the globe on the right side I used only 4 stripes. It’s a very flexible project: you can make smaller, bigger paper globes, or using different colors. Hang them on windows, doors, lamps, use them as center pieces for Thanksgiving…

Last year I created a couple of Christmas tree ornaments using the same technique but of course I measured everything to be a bit smaller and I think the result speaks for itself: