Categories
Craft Origami Paper Tutorial

Paper Flower Workshop: test run

Origami workshop creations

 

Over the Festive season, tucked in between Christmas and New Year, I ran my very first workshop. It was just a small group at a friend’s house and I knew everyone there, so I figured it would be a good way to test things out. Check out my team of paper folders ūüôā :

Happy workers!
Happy workers!

The main project I wanted to try out was the origami kusudama flower: a modular item made up of five petal units. These are the same flowers I used to make the wedding flowers I did recently. The folds are fairly straightforward, but not so simple that there’s no challenge, and the end result is very satisfying!

Step 1: I made sure I brought along everything we’d need. This is one step I got right first time – squares of practice paper, squares of pretty paper, glue, glue pot and enough sticks/brushes for everyone, paperclips, sparkly beads on wire, pearls, sticky gems… ok so I forgot a table cloth and had to borrow an old sheet, but I still think I did a pretty good job.

Flowers in the making
Flowers in the making

It being my first time, I had trouble trying to gauge who needed help, who wanted help, and who wanted to be left alone to figure it out for themselves. Everyone is different and works differently but we all got there in the end- apart from my husband, who gave up after one petal, but I’m ignoring that.

Someone's done this before...
Someone’s done this before…

Overall the workshop took about an hour, which I think is a good amount of time. We were all there for the evening though, so carried on and did some teeny cranes and butterflies!

Ta da!
Ta da!

The experience was really good fun and I would love to do some proper workshops in the future. There are definitely things to improve on though, and I’ve come up with some¬†useful hints and tips for anyone thinking of running their own workshop:

  1. Make sure you have EVERYTHING with you. I know you say you think you have. But maybe just double check?
  2. Have an example of whatever you’re making to show people – on a large scale if possible.
  3. Explain the fundamentals of the craft you’re about to demonstrate; the basic techniques, maybe a bit of history, uses in today’s society.
  4. Write out step-by-step instructions FOR YOURSELF. Really, do it. I’ve made well over 500 flower petals but when it came to showing other people, I had a block on the basic steps. I just couldn’t think if I was doing it right. So write yourself a how to!
  5. ¬† Before doing the workshop, talk through the steps you’ll be showing to someone you know well. Someone who will butt in and tell you if what you’re saying doesn’t make sense. Somethings are easy to do but not explain. “Just fold this bit here… no this bit… yeah… fold it to that other bit over there…”
  6. Talk clearly, explain fully, demonstrate as neatly as possible and keep looking round at everyone to make sure they’re all up to speed. As I mentioned before, it is hard to gauge how much help people want and need, but I think this will come with time.
  7. Time your workshop!

I think that just about covers everything ūüôā Till next time x

Close up origami

Categories
Craft

Online Craft Supplies – 6 Sites To Try

While there are many craft stores of all shapes and sizes littered around the UK, you can’t always get to them when you need to, or find exactly what you’re looking for. And though I do love the thought that everyone shops locally in unique little boutiques, I know this isn’t always feasible. Thankfully, there are some online sites out there that stock everything your crafty heart desires. From chain brands to independent store sites, these are, in no particular order, my top picks.


 

A lot of Paperchase shops can be quite small, full of fun looking pencils and stocked with¬†greetings cards. But venture¬†to the 3-storey epic that is the Tottenham Court Road store in London and you’ll see just how much this chain can offer. You can find a good range of art and craft supplies on their website, too, which is good news for anyone who only has access to one of their smaller shops.

Best for: Paper and card stock, stationery


 

One of the most well-known chains I should think, but they certainly do have a good range of supplies. You can find pretty much anything you need to start your craft project, plus the site offers lots of hints, tips and tutorials.

Best for: Starting out and stocking up


 

I highly recommend following the link and checking out this store¬†for yourself. It’s a beautiful looking site which gives you the history of how the physical store¬†(located in Manchester)¬†started up, waaay back in 1886. It’s a passionate, experienced and knowledgeable company that offers supplies for some of the more uncommon crafts.

Best for: Cane work supplies


 

Yep, that’s right – not only can you sell all the wonderful things you’ve made via Folksy, you can get supplies on there too! There’s a plentiful hoard¬†of makers who are selling craft supplies via Folksy – often handmade. You can get buttons, beads, tags, yarn and charms, among other things.

Best for: Unique items


 

This is a site I found while trying to source some inexpensive book cloth, when I was first testing out making hardbacks. They have a really good range and cover the basic supplies you’d need for a really wide range of crafts, from candle making to jewellery to modelling and pottery. They also have a decent ‘inspiration’ section and a place where you can share what you’ve made with other crafters.

Best for: Bargains and deals on delivery


 

Oh, how I mourn the fact that this lovely shop¬†moved! I used to be able to walk to it in my lunch break, but now it’s located near Victoria it’s just too far to trek. So it’s a really good job their online store is so¬†well stocked. The prices are a little higher than your bulk-buy sites, but the standard¬†of the products is superb and it is most definitely worth the extra cost.

Best for: Bookbinding supplies and quality paper

 

 

 

Categories
Craft Inspiration Knitting Paper Tutorial

Pinterest Picks

Everyone knows Pinterest is a great place to find craftspiration (sure, it’s a word… just go with it…) and I often find myself pinning project after tutorial after project¬†on my craft board and not doing a single one. I’ve decided to try and narrow my picks down to a few a month, and take the time to actually try them out – and then post my findings! So, here are my first lot of Pinterest Picks:

  • Paper Feathers. They look so delicate and would make great displays or table decorations:

Paper feathers

  • Pom pom bouquet. I bought a pom pom maker just before Christmas and *might* have got a little carried away. Making these pom pom flowers will be a great way to make use of any extras I may have:

Pom pom bouquet

  • Nail varnish flowers. This looks like it would be so simple to do but I’m wondering if it will work that well in real life. We shall see!

Nail varnish flowers

 

 

Categories
Craft Inspiration

Top autumn crafts ideas

Well, the weather has finally turned and it looks like autumn has settled in. The cooler weather is the perfect time to stay indoors and try out some new crafts! Here are my favourite inspirations for autumn:

  • Pumpkin carving This doesn’t just have to be for Halloween night. There are lots of ideas out there for seasonal patterns that would make a great display for your home at this time of year. These ones using punched-out or drilled holes look gorgeous:

Hole punched pumpkins

  • ¬†Wreaths¬†There are so many ways to create an autumn wreath, apart from raiding the garden for leaves and twigs. Why not try making one from fabric or paper? As always Google is your friend here! There are some fantastic examples out there so get looking for ideas.
  • Leaf bunting¬†A a simple but effective trick for all the surplus of leaves at this time of year is to turn them into bunting to decorate your home. You can simply string them together for an instant rustic look – win! Bigger, thicker leaves work best for this. Check out this post from sea, field and tribe, who make it look utterly fab:

Autumn Leaf Bunting

  • Filled vases¬†You know those little glass pebbles and things you get to put in the bottoms of glass vases/candle holders? Fill them with conkers and other autumnal finds instead, and it makes for a very seasonal display:

Autumn-chestnuts-in-bowl-of-water-with-floating-candles

Conker filled vases

That’s all from me – I’ll be trying out some of these this weekend I think! What have you been up to? Let me know if you have any unusual autumn craft ideas ūüôā

 

 

 

Categories
Craft Lunchtime Lusting

Lunchtime Lusting- Things with keys

I do not think there’ll ever be a time when I don’t want most key-related things I see. I think I can trace my love affair with keys back to Clarks Princess shoes. I would totally still wear them now. Remember the advert?

Clarks Magic Steps

Currently lusting after these cute key earrings:

This oh-so-cute key ribbon:

This lock & key necklace:

All available from the wonderful crafters of Folksy.

Categories
Craft

Button-Eyed Owl

Pinned it:

Sewed it:

Buttoned it:

Categories
Craft Origami

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Started on the stock for the Christmas craft stall. Cards first!