There’s a different theme for every anniversary. I just Googled it to see. It’s CONFUSING. Who’d have thought? There seems to be UK/USA/traditional/modern…
Now, I’ve been married 5 years, and I’ve tried to get something appropriate for each year; and to be honest, I pick and mix from all the lists I’ve found. However it does seem that out of the various suggestions, paper is generally the winner for the first wedding anniversary.
It’s an easy one to do yourself. A couple of the easiest ideas would be:
Make a card! Handmade is lovely to receive, and if you’re ever going to do it, this is the occasion for it.
Write a letter! Everyone loves post, and a letter to your other half celebrating a year of marriage would make an amazing gift.
…and if you’re not up for that, then of course the lovely crafters of the world have got your back.
I put together this treasury on Etsy to give you same idea of what’s out there:
If you don’t already know, paper is my main medium! And, as it happens, I’ve just launched a range of handmade first anniversary gifts over in my Etsy store. I’ve made origami coasters/vase mats, miniature hardback books with coloured pages and some paper bead necklaces. I’ll be adding to my collection over the next week or so – look out for more paper bead jewellery, origami flower keepsakes and more!
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 🙂 :
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.
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.
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!
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:
Make sure you have EVERYTHING with you. I know you say you think you have. But maybe just double check?
Have an example of whatever you’re making to show people – on a large scale if possible.
Explain the fundamentals of the craft you’re about to demonstrate; the basic techniques, maybe a bit of history, uses in today’s society.
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!
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…”
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.
Time your workshop!
I think that just about covers everything 🙂 Till next time x
It’s been a while since I’ve updated my progress on the handmade goodies I’ve been working on for my friend’s wedding. I’ve lost count of the number of kusudama flowers I’ve made, but it’s well over 100! Things are nearly finished, though; buttonholes are all done and delivered, bouquets so very near. At the weekend I fully completed one of the bridesmaid bouquets – what do you think?
These beautiful flowers are quite simple to make – a little time-consuming but well worth the effort. I’ve made a couple before, just because they’re so pretty, but a good friend of mine recently got engaged (whoop!) and wants a lot of things to be handmade, so I have been enlisted to help out! I’ll be making lots of paper flowers: one bridal bouquet, six bridesmaid bouquets, six buttonholes and maybe a wrist corsage or two! Oh, and being queen of notebook making, I’ll be doing the wedding guest book, too. I’m looking forward to the challenge enormously and have been practising making these origami kusudama flowers. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
Following on from last week’s post on origami and art (yes! I actually followed up :D) I decided to have a go at some larger origami models. I have a few old rolls of wall paper which I thought would be ideal for this, as the paper is thick and sturdy; note for future reference though, take time in cutting as precise a square as possible.
Starting with something I’d made before seemed like the best plan, so I folded a Kabuto (Samurai helmet):
Then transformed it into a goldfish!
Not quite sure what I’ll do with this chap now but I’m sure I’ll think of something! It’s definitely inspired me to try more.
It is said that origami (from the Japanese ‘ori’ (folding) and ‘kami’ (paper)) is the art of folding paper. Without getting too philosophical, does that make all origami art?!
Well, no, but some of it certainly ticks that box. Personally I like making things that either look pretty or are functional (flowers, hearts, boxes – the usual, in fact); while other people have actually challenged themselves. Go them! Note to self: challenge accepted.
Of course there are some really great articles to be found already on this subject- see here for one such article from the Huffington Post.
Here, though are my favourite finds and inspirations from the wonderful world wide web.
This awesome Parisian street ‘graffiti’:
This cosmic 3D project, using folded paper, tape and lights:
This epic elephant, folded by Sipho Mabona (with a little help!) from a specially-made single sheet of paper:
So far, so good; this is the first of my Pinterest Picks that I’ve actually attempted to make for once!
I’d seen a few tutorials for paper feathers, it looked pretty easy so I just got my stuff together and tried it out. Here we go!
Firstly, I cut some feather shapes – two for each feather – from some old sheet music:
Next, I tightly rolled some paper, for the end of the feather:
Then I made sets of the feather components. Paper shapes, a thin bit of wire to go up the middle (this really helps with shaping the feathers!) and a snip of the rolled paper:
I covered the back of one of the feather shapes with glue, positioned the wire and end, then placed the second shape over the top:
At this point I smoothed it as much as possible and left it all to dry. The last thing to do is snip along the edges to create the feather effect. I found the more of a downward angle I cut at, the better the effect; also, snip as close together as you can. These are my finished attempts:
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:
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:
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!
Football on TV last night (yawn) so I spent some time trying out different paper and origami crafts for the festive season! Some folded paper stars and Christmas trees, done from sheet music – both very simple, I’ll post tutorials soon. Also started on a lovely delicate paper flower but have run out of paper!