Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Tutorial: Simple origami bat

This simple origami bat is fun and quick to make and makes great decorations for Halloween. All you need is a square of thin-ish paper.

Remember, with origami you need to fold neatly and crease each fold firmly as you make them.

  • Start with the square of paper in a ‘diamond’.
  • Fold in half horizontally, bottom corner to top corner.
  • Fold in half vertically, bringing the left point over to the right point.
  • Open up the last step.
  • Fold the bottom edge up, but not all the way – just so there’s just a small triangle of the underneath layer showing.
  • Fold this little triangle down, over the edge you folded up in the last step.
  • Pick the model up and fold in half, backwards along the central crease, wing tip to wing tip.
  • Now you just need to fold the wings up! Fold the top wing only, by taking the outside point towards you and up, so the bottom edge is now in line with the central crease from the previous step.
  • Turn the model over and repeat the last step with the other wing…
  • …open out the wings slightly and you’ve got yourself a bat!

You can experiment with adding more folds in the wings to make different bats. Made this model? Share it on social media and tag me in your pics.

Categories
Lunchtime Lusting Notebooks Stationery Stationery

Ahoy there, stationery fans!

Hands up if you love stationery. Me too. So let’s not waste any more time with this section and get right to it!

Do you use washi tape? I absolutely LOVE it. So versatile, so pretty and so practical – you can use it for journaling, wrapping, decorating notebook covers… plus it’s made from natural fibres, so can be recycled. Winner! Joanne Hawker has just added her own designs of washi tape on her website and, like the rest of her range, it is just delightful. 

Have you heard of bullet journaling? Is it still a thing? What even is it? Well, it’s primarily a type of diary-journal-planner, most often done on dotted paper or something that helps create sections, bullet points, trackers etc. The more ambitious use plain paper journals and create their own grids & patterns. People use them for well-being, tracking habits, or just general planning. Personally I think half the fun is customising and decorating the pages! Here are some ideas for if you’re just starting out, and some more adventurous ones.

Did you catch my last blog? Take a look through these 5 signs you’re a stationery addict. From hoarding notebooks to not using pencils because they’re too nice; how many of these do you identify with? 

Categories
Craft Gifts Inspiration Lunchtime Lusting Stationery Stationery

Kawaii crafting, Ghibli life lessons, Mothers Day inspo

If you’ve found yourself doing more craft things during lockdown, you might be on the lookout for some new equipment. But why go for bog-standard when there are things like this available? These Miffy scissors might not be up to much hardcore cutting, but they’re great for simple paper and card tasks and darn it, they are cute.

I am a massive Studio Ghibli fan. Their films are fantastically animated, moving and just downright magical. Creator Hayao Miyazaki has a penchant for strong female leads: “…brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a saviour.” Here are a few favourite inspirational quotes:

  • “Just follow your heart, and keep smiling” ~ Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • “Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear” ~ The Cat Returns
  • “You cannot alter your fate. However, you can rise to meet it” ~ Princess Mononoke

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Whether you’re after something big, small, a keepsake or something edible, Modern Guy has you covered! This fabulous gift guide showcases 34 small businesses for you to support. 

New in the Etsy shop!

Categories
General Stationery Stationery

5 ways to organise creative clutter

Organise your creative clutter

Do you find your creative clutter soon gets out of hand? Being a maker myself, I have lots of different tools and materials and I need them all within reach; which quickly leads to having stuff everywhere. I have found a few things that help, though, so I thought I’d share them with you.

  • Recycling or rubbish? I’ve got a bin for both. I end up with lots of scraps of paper and keep them all together to recycle, or for turning into handmade paper (a constant future project).
  • Upcycle and repurpose. Got an old chipped mug? Use it to keep your pens and pencils in. If you’re like me and have LOTS, you can keep a particular collection in each mug; felt pens in one, fine liners in another etc. You know those little glass pots you get delicious desserts in? They are GREAT for keeping small bits and pieces in.
  • Make the most of desk tidies. A purpose-built desk tidy has plenty of room for larger items and can happily accommodate your bulkier stationery. These wooden houses are the perfect home for big brushes, scissors and chunky pens.
  • Store your bits & bobs. A shallow tray or dish is the perfect place for anything that you need to hand, but that’s too small for a tall holder. Use them so you’ve got easy access to things like pencil sharpers and rubbers, or any small bits of string/wool/beads that may usually accumulate on your desk.
  • Stash your stationery. If there are things you need tidied away, the classic pencil case is the way to go. They’ll keep all your creative tools tucked away until you need them.

Hope these hints and tips have helped to get you a bit more organised! What are your top tips for staying on top of creative clutter?

Find my full range of handmade stationery in my Etsy shop.

Categories
Craft Gifts Inspiration Lunchtime Lusting Stationery

Stationery, portable dinos, street art, blog on fire

Have you seen? I’ve brought out a new range of handmade stationery! Fitting nicely alongside the journals and notebooks, you can now get rescued leather pencil cases, wooden stationery holders, slogan pencils, fun clips and stickers for your planner or diary. These are available from The Emporium, Nene Court in Wellingborough, or peruse a selection in my Etsy shop.

Stegosaurus bags. The kind of bag you’d want at the start of a new school year, but were never allowed. Well, now you’re an adult and guess what? Having a dinosaur bag would still be cool. Rawr! Dino bags from Pordein.

Do you see faces or shapes in everyday things (this is called pareidolia! Every day’s a school day)? Or look at a crack in the wall and think it could be… something else? Well, maybe it could be turned into the thing you see; these clever street artists have done just that. Next time you’re out and about, take a look around and see what you can spot and imagine what you could turn it into…

Bonfire Cherry is run by the lovely Megan, who specialises in linocut printing, producing things like prints, tote bags and badges. I’m a big fan of her art which has a very distinctive style. Along with selling her work, Megain is a prolific blogger, posting every Friday. You can read the latest Cherry Post here! Prefer a podcast? No worries. Check out Bonfire Banter, run by Megan and Dene.

Categories
Craft General Inspiration Lunchtime Lusting Stationery Tutorial

Desk tidies, creative inspiration & crafting for self care

Ahoy there! If you’ve not already signed up to my newsletter (and why not? It’s THRILLING! Check out the handy pop-up and stick your email address in there!) then this is for you to peruse. A little of this, a little of that, just some stationery, fun and creativity. Enjoy!

Like a dress with pockets and a wallet with enough slots for your cards, having a desk tidy with ample spaces for all your different stationery essentials is a much searched for item. But is there such thing as the perfect one? I think this one comes pretty close. Plenty of places for pens and pencils, plus a couple of drawers to hide all those bits you’re not quite sure where to put.

Creativity is great when it’s running free, but how do you motivate yourself when your mojo is running low? Here are a few hints and tips for you to try out:

  • Brainstorm your ideas – just go with it and write down everything that pops into your head.
  • Carry a notebook with you, to capture all those on-the-go random thoughts.
  • Take a break from social media! It can be a great source of inspiration, but try and mix up your input. 
  • Try something new – break out of your comfort zone.
  • Listen to music – how about something completely different to usual?

It’s been proven that craft can be great for your mental health, and I think everyone could do with a little boost at the moment! Why not take a break and try something simple? Pinterest is a goldmine of ideas for fun crafts to try, often using just a few items you can find around the home. You can find a few over on my ‘Craft Tutorials & DIY‘ board. Go get your make on!

Categories
Craft General Inspiration Origami Paper Tutorial

Coffee.Cake.Create: Craft Club

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Coffee.Cake.Create. Last time, I was talking about how it would start running on the last Thursday of the month- which is what’s been happening for the past year! Now, it’s a craft club with a twist; you can just come along, bring your own project to work on, and chat with fellow crafters. But, if you want to have a go at something new, each session there’s the option to do the Monthly Make – a different project every month. All tools, materials and tutorial will be provided; plus of course there’ll be hot drinks and sweet treats on hand for refreshments!

I’m amazed that this is in its second year; thanks to everyone who’s come along and kept it going. We’re a small group of hardcore regulars, with a few who keep an eye out for a particular craft they’ve always wanted to try. We’ve done leatherette purses, scrap fabric pin cushions and crepe paper flowers to name a few, as well as getting through a fair few festive makes in the Christmas session.

Want to keep up with what’s going on? Join the Facebook group for updates. Here’s what’s coming up over the next few months:

Coffee.Cake.Create. Craft Club takes place on the last Thursday of the month at The Emporium at Nene Court, 19:00-21:00. It’s £5 for the basic craft club, plus an extra £5 (sometimes less!) if you’re doing the Monthly Make.
Book & pay in advance on 07747 029400, call into the shop or pay via PayPal to secure your spot.

Categories
Craft Gifts Notebooks Origami Stationery

News Of The New, Find Me On Folksy, Origami Necklaces Ahoy!

Bring on the trumpets, my Folksy shop is open once again! You can find my range of hand bound leather journals and mini book necklaces there, plus… something completely new for me. Origami jewellery is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time, but couldn’t really think how to get the results I wanted. Paper is so delicate and needs reinforcing or coating if you want to make it durable enough to wear repeatedly. After going through a few different options, I finally hit upon the answer – setting the origami in resin is the perfect way to preserve it!

 

I’m so pleased with the results. To start with, I’m doing 3 animals, just to see how they do. I’ve chosen a crane, a butterfly and a fox. Which is your favourite? Are there any other animals you’d like to see?

You can find these in the jewellery section of my Folky shop and they’re also on Etsy, too.

Next up something not quite new, just a little improved: ‘Once Upon A Time’ book necklaces.

 

These are made, as always, from upcycled leather – the section used for the cover was rescued from a shoe factory. For the insides, I’ve used ivory paper; I think it just goes with the whole feel of the mini books. I’ve also added an extra stamp at the bottom, a kind of swirly flower – and of course there’s a little key charm.

Well that’s about it for news. Let me know what you think: anything new you’d like to see? A particular origami piece or a certain style of journal? Let me know! As always you can get in touch at ahoythere@thecraftfantastic.co.uk or via the contact page.

See you next time,

The Captain

 

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Tutorial: Upcycled paper bags

I’ve made gift bags similar to this from old sheet music, but they are great made from old magazines. 

You can easily make this simple upcycled version yourself, all you need is an old magazine page and some tape. If you’re after something fancier, you can use any nice sheet of paper you like (A4 works well) and instead of taping, overlap the edges slightly and glue them down for a neat finish.

 

  • Lay your page out landscape
  • Fold one side in to the middle (you needn’t be exact) and run your thumb over the fold to crease well.
  • Fold in the other edge so that it meets the first one.
  • Tape it up, right the way from top to bottom (or overlap slightly and glue).
  • Fold up the bottom – roughly a quarter, but again, it needn’t be exact.
  • Open up the bottom section you’ve just folded over…
  • …then squash each corner down in turn, so they make triangles.
  • Fold the edges of the bottom section to meet each other in the middle.
  • Tape it up! Again, you can overlap slightly and glue at this point- just make sure you’ve glued the edges well, as this forms the bottom of the bag.
  • Ta da! Done! Stick your hand in (carefully) to open it out; the bottom should make a nice flat base.

Once you get going, they’re really quick to make. They make great bags for small gifts instead of using wrapping paper; they look so colourful!

Categories
Craft General Paper Stationery

Behind the scenes: On board The Craft Fantastic

Intrigued about life aboard The Craft Fantastic? Fancy a peek inside the captain’s quarters? Here’s a behind the scenes look at craft HQ!

 

Where do I work?

I live in Northampton and work from home, in a studio/workshop/creative space that I set up in my teeny box bedroom. Like all good craft rooms, it’s full to bursting with supplies, materials, tools and projects on the go, which cover most available space – including the desk.

Despite the lack of space, I love working in this room. It looks out onto the back garden, so I can always see the birds flitting around in the hawthorns.

 

What kind of setup do I have?

Very little of my desk is actually used for making. I like to have everything to hand for whatever it is I’m working on, so there’ll always be tools, templates and materials lying about.

As what I do is very hands on, though, I find myself picking things up and moving them around while I’m working, sometimes holding things between my knees to get the right angle!

Tools live on my desk, with rolls and rolls of paper above. Everything else is generally packed in my handy IKEA shelf unit, or shoehorned onto an old set of shelves. There’s a lot of furniture in there for such a small room.

How do I work?

One of the most time-consuming things is turning ideas into a finished, polished product. As I use a lot of upcycled materials, I usually go through what I have and that’s often the first point of inspiration for me; certain papers and leathers will be crying out to be used together.

I have a brainstorming session, sketching and writing out ideas in a big blank book. Then I go over them, making a list of the materials I’d need and figuring out how to make them; really getting an idea of how feasible they are! I usually make my own templates, so I need to check and double check all the measurements and figure out what order I need to do things in; this is generally what takes the longest.

After I’ve gathered the materials and sorted the process and templates, it’s time to get to work. Here are some finished products from the past few months. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!