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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. Once a week, I help out at The Emporium, Nene Court; it’s a shop full of locally made things (including mine!) and upcycling old craft magazines to use as little paper bags in the shop just made so much sense!

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, as above.

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…

…squash each corner down in turn, so they make triangles…

… like this.

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 Origami Paper Tutorial

Origami heart tutorial

A while back, I shared this tutorial for origami heart cards as part of a DIY wedding post – here it is again, on it’s own!

If you’re looking for something simple to make with inexpensive materials, I’ve got a tutorial here for you – origami heart cards. They’re very quick to fold once you get the hang of them, and can be used in various way. Hover over the pics in the gallery below for step-by-step instructions:

These would make nice simple (and cheap to post!) save the date memos:

P1040401

You could use these to decorate the tops of your favour boxes (simply glue together if you don’t want to use as a card):

Favour box decorationOr, use them for a place setting – or a place setting/box topper combined. You could even write a personal message on the inside:

Place setting

The nice thing about these is you don’t need to get special origami paper – you can even cut down bog standard printer paper into squares. This is great for getting the exact size you want – just experiment!

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

New week, new skills: Origami butterfly tutorial

This pretty origami butterfly doesn’t have many steps to it, but it can be quite tricky to get right first time. This picture tutorial will guide you through the process.

First of all, you’ll be creasing some guideline folds. Start with the square of paper sat so it looks like a diamond:

Fold in half top to bottom (point to point), crease and unfold; then do the same in the other direction, folding one side point to the other then opening up.

    

Turn the paper over and position it so it’s square in front of you:

You’ll be folding the paper in half again, top to bottom then side to side. Do one fold at a time and crease firmly before opening up:

    

Ok, now that’s done – tricky step number 1! With the creases you’ve made, the square should collapse down into a triangle. Pick the paper up with your thumb at the middle of one edge, like this:

You can see that the horizontal crease is going down, while the diagonal ones are popping up; just encourage this to happen! The centre should come up in a point while the sides fold in on themselves:

Lay this triangle down so the long edge is at the top and go over the creases. It should look like this:

You’ll notice there’s now a top layer and a bottom layer – for this next bit, we’re working with the top layer only. In turn, take each of the top corner points and fold the down to meet the bottom point in the middle:

    

Crease these folds well, then turn the model over:

Right – tricky step number 2. See that point at the bottom? The top layer? You need to bring that up towards the middle of the top edge, so it overlaps a bit:

The two flaps underneath will pull round a bit; that’s fine, just let them come along. It’ll probably be easier if you pick the model up now. So, take that bottom point up past the top edge a little and fold it over, turning the whole thing over again at the end and firmly crease the fold so it stays in place:

        

You may find you need a spot of glue to keep that last fold in place.

All that’s left to do is fold the wings up. You’ll sort of be folding it in half, which may feel a little odd, but once you’ve got going you should see how it’ll bring the wings up to stand out. Push down in the middle with one finger and bring the wings up on either side, pressing that middle bit together:

    

    

That’s it! The more you fold this butterfly, the easier it will become.

Happy folding! x

 

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial Weddings

2018: Workshops & Wedding Fairs

Happy 2018! I hope you all had a fantastic festive season. I certainly did; despite being thwarted by the weather a couple of times, we managed to get all the family visits in.

For the past week I’ve been getting The Craft Fantastic HQ sorted for the year ahead, plus writing lots of lovely lists and plans. So, what will I be up to? Well, this year, along with maintaining my etsy shop, I’ll be focusing on weddings.

Large origami bouquet
Turquoise & music paper bouquet – £45

I’ve got 3 wedding fairs lined up for all you brides and grooms looking for something a bit different for your wedding flowers:

  • Abington Park Museum (NN1 5LW), Sunday March 4th, 11:00 – 14:00. This beautiful building has only quite recently been licensed for marriages, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look.
  • Grendon Lakes (NN7 1JW), Sunday April 15th, 11:00 – 14:00. A fabulous marquee wedding fair in a gorgeous setting.
  • Rock Your Wedding Fair, Old White Hart (NN4 8BS), Sunday May 20th, 11:00 – 15:00. Northampton’s first alternative wedding fair! I cannot WAIT for this one.

If you’re looking to book wedding flowers for this year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m happy to go through options and prices; I know how expensive weddings can be and try to offer something to suit every budget. Email me at ahoythere@thecraftfantastic.co.uk or use the form on the contact page.

Alongside weddings, I’ll be doing some craft workshops. This is something I’ve been planning for a while and have done a couple of test runs on small groups to see what works and what doesn’t. I can offer simple, mess-free paper folding or something more full-on involving pots of glue!

Happy workers!

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be running a papercraft and origami workshop at the lovely Bay Tree Cottage in Towcester, Northamptonshire. This will be a full-on evening, where you’ll get to try your hand at a few different things, including gift tags, coasters and flowers. This is an evening class and includes a light supper. It will be held on Wednesday May 2nd – find all the details you need to book here.

If you’d like to book me for a workshop at your event space, please email me for details – ahoythere@thecraftfantastic.co.uk.

 

Categories
Craft Craft fairs Gifts Notebooks Origami Paper Weddings

christmas Christmas CHRISTMAS! The run-down to the run-up.

Well, that’s it for another year in terms of fairs. I’ve now attended the last of the craft and wedding events for 2017. However, I’ve already got things in the pipeline for 2018, including alternative wedding fairs and papercraft workshops – watch this blog for details! You can also follow me on Facebook for up to date info on future events.

Right now I’m winding things down a bit. My Etsy shop is fully stocked with a wide array of notebooks & journals, book necklaces, and handmade Christmas decorations so it’s time to wind down a bit, look back over the past year and sort things out in readiness for the year ahead.

I count 2017 as my first full year of business aboard The Craft Fantastic. While I set up properly at the start of 2016, that year was spent getting things off the ground. I’ve been really pleased with how the year has gone, taking bookings for an awesome range of weddings, producing custom orders, developing new product ideas and taking part in local craft and wedding fairs. Phew! I’m so grateful to everyone who’s supported me this year and for every single purchase, no matter how small.

During the run up to Christmas I am of course still taking orders via Etsy but you can also contact me here for queries on wedding flowers and custom orders. My last UK posting date is December 18th; if you order after this date, your order will still be processed, but it might not make it before Christmas.

To finish off, here are a few of my favourite makes from 2017!

Categories
Craft Craft fairs Gifts Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

Autumn aboard The Craft Fantastic – new Etsy additions & upcoming fairs

As the year rolls into autumn, I thought it was about time to talk about the latest happenings here at HQ.

I’ve been busy working on some new ideas (sometimes this involved sitting in my craft room staring at piles of paper and scraps of material). A while back I got a set for stamping letters into leather, so I’ve been using that to create some mini books. This is my favourite – with ‘OFF WE GO’ stamped on the cover and the inside pages made from an old French road map. It’s one-of-a-kind!

I’ve also got a few blank mini covers, so personalised book necklaces are up for grabs. Had to make myself one to practise, of course!

You can find these minis and more in The Craft Fantastic Etsy shop.

Now, onto upcoming fairs. It is getting towards the end of the year and my next craft fair will be a *whispers* Christmas stall. I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be exhibiting at the wonderful MK Handmade & Vintage Fair, which is held in the middle of Milton Keynes shopping centre. It’s always full of amazing stalls, so if you’re looking for something a bit different then this is the place to do your festive shopping.

As well as my usual stock of notebooks, book necklaces and other papercraft items, I’ll be making up some origami flower sets for Christmas displays and centrepieces, plus there’ll be a selection of origami and paper tree decorations. Here’s a sneak peek!

Hope to see you there! Don’t forget, you can shop for all my products on Etsy or you can email me if you’d like to talk about a custom order.

If you’re in the Northampton area, I also have a stall on December 2nd in Great Brington. It’s a lovely intamate affair with a good selection of quality local makers – and there’ll be cake! More info here.

 

 

Categories
Craft Gifts Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

Wanderlust: make an adventure to remember

Summertime is upon us and the world is calling. Whether you’re taking off for far off places or exploring closer to home, why not chronicle your adventure in a handy handmade travel journal? Blank books are fantastic for planning your holiday, making check lists for what to take and where to go, plus you can take as much space as needed to write about your travels. I love looking back over my old holidays and the check list I write helps me remember what I need to take on the next trip 😀

Over at The Craft Fantastic’s Etsy store you’ll find a wide variety of hand bound blank notebooks for all your journaling needs. Here are some map cover books to help inspire your wanderlust:

Ready for an adventure – A5 – £14
Ready for an adventure – A6 – £9
Off we go – A5 – £14

There’s also a range of miniature books– they’re set on chains to wear as a necklace, so you can easily take it with you on your travels. All the pages are blank, too, so it can be used for jotting down a few things while you’re on the go. Small writing required 😀

*First wedding anniversary = paper! These items make great gift ideas. For more inspiration, take a look at this article from The Wedding Secret.*

Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Friday folding: Origami Samurai helmet tutorial

The first origami I remember seeing was something my mum folded. She’d been going to Japanese classes in the evenings and brought me back a gold paper samurai helmet one time. I kept it for ages; in fact it’s probably still around somewhere.

It’s something that’s really simple and fun to fold – plus you can use them as page markers! Here’s a set of pictures to help you fold your own.

  • Start with a square of paper, with the main colour/pattern-side face down. It should be set in a ‘diamond’ position, with a corner at the top like this:

  • Fold in half, bringing the top corner to meet the bottom corner, and crease along the fold. You should end up with a triangle:

    

  • One at a time, bring the side points down to meet the bottom corner, creasing each one well after you’ve folded it:

    

  • Next, fold each of the top layers in half, taking the points you’ve just folded down up to meet the top:

  • You should now have a square ‘diamond’ shape, with layers on the top half, that looks like this:

  • Fold, crease and unfold each of these top layers in half; you’re making a guide line for the next fold:

    

  • See the crease you made in the last step? Fold each of the top of the front layers so the edge lines up with the crease and smooth down firmly:

        

  • Now it’s taking shape! Nearly done! Going to the bottom corner, take the front layer only and fold it up to the place shown here:

  • Then fold the bottom of this layer upwards to form the base of the helmet. Crease these new folds well:

    

  • Last step! Take the remaining bottom layer, folding in half (taking the bottom corner up to the top) and pressing the fold firmly – then tuck this layer inside the helmet:

        

  • Ta da!

    

I hope had fun with this origami Samurai helmet. Happy folding 🙂

Categories
Craft Craft fairs Origami Paper Weddings

Wedding Season 2017

Wedding season 2017 is in full swing! The Craft Fantastic HQ is full of origami bouquets and paper flowers. I’ve been hard at work over the last couple of months finishing orders – and I’m still going! This is my first full year doing weddings and I’m loving it; my brides are really creative and it’s so much fun putting together their perfect flowers for the big day. Here are some sneak peeks!

 

I’m pretty much fully booked for summer 2017 – just taking small commissions – but there are spaces for autumn/winter and of course 2018! You can find The Craft Fantastic at the upcoming wedding fair at the Double Tree Hotel, Stadium MK.

 

If you’re not sure whether paper flowers are for you, this will give you a chance to take a look at the bouquets in real life. You’ll be able to try out the different sizes, view the matching buttonhole options and see what you think of the new range of headdresses. There’ll be pomanders and wands for flower girls, small posies and large bunches, table decorations and garlands.

As always, I’ll have a range of hand bound guest books to choose from, all of which can be personalised. There’ll be a good selection that can be purchased on the day.

Hopefully I’ll see you at the Milton Keynes Wedding Show, Sunday 2nd July!