Handmade Flowers on Altered Box

Altered Box
         My regular readers will have realised how I love to alter objects! Well this altered box is very special to me as the original box was a lovely fabric covered box that was gifted to my daughter by a crafter blogger friend Tanvi.Since it was a very special gift I wanted to protect the fabric covering from getting soiled.We gave a generous coating of matt Mod Podge over the fabric covered box and the fabric covered notebooks inside!!
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Altered Box
Its difficult to see in the photo but I added 2 embossed and die cut Spellbinder sentiments “friend” and “inspire” at the corners of the altered box.I am sure you will agree that our Crafty friends inspire us so much!!
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Handmade flowers
The heart,musical note and love are wooden embellishments which were gifted to my kiddo by my crafty friend Priya of the Craft Shop.In.In keeping with the pink- green color scheme of my project,I inked the edges of all the wooden pieces with green and the centers with pink pigment ink and applied a generous coating of glue and gloss [similar to glossy accents] for a shiny glossy finish
Handmade flowers 2
Altered Box
I used  2 shades of pink cardstock to make the pink roses and also added some super soft white feathers, creamy colored fringed flowers and quilled buds .Here is how I made the double shaded leafy frond:Leaf tutorial.
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Handmade flowers
The lacy heart and the lacy arched borders of the box are also Spellbinder die cuts all inked  with a dash of green and pink pigment ink.I loved making the lid of my altered box!!
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Handmade paper flowers
Some of my crafter friends Yvonne and Suganthi had shared on my post on Mod Podge tips that they didnt like the stickiness of Mod Podge .For this project I used matt Mod Podge even on the inside fabric lining of the box lid and so far the lid has not got stuck to the box!! [Fingers crossed!!]So maybe its the gloss or satin variety which is more sticky!! I also read that using acrylic sealer solved the sticky issue [I haven’t used it]
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Altered Box
I am so thankful to have discovered the joy of crafting, blogging and especially the crafty friends I have made along the way!!!
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Altered Box
And this altered box  which will remind me of the love and generosity of the crafting community will be treasured for life!! Crafting and blogging go hand in hand for me and its only recently I have ventured into pinterest and facebook .I somehow feel crafty friendships are built and nurtured best in blogosphere..what do you say friends?
Supplies Dies -Spelllbinder rose creations,floral oval: Crafters corner, Marianne leaf-Priya craftshop.in,Spellbinder Sentiment die, heart,lacy border,key ,Mod Podge ,Pigment Inks,Feathers, Pearls,feathers - All from  Itsy Bitsy.Quilling Fringer-Devi and Co


Easy Paper Flower Tutorial

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Handmade flower tutorial 
Dear friends Thank you so much for the warm support on my tooth model.Its been a while since I shared a paper flower making tutorial .This is a simple tutorial with some nifty tips to make easy handmade flowers like the big yellow paper flower on this recycled CD case.
Flower tutorial 1
Recycled CD Case
The CD case is a notebook holder similar to the teachers day gifts I had shared earlier[See link How to recycle CD cases].The silver bow is handmade with silver ribbon and a pink glitter paper strip.The purple roses are quilled roses and the tiny yellow daisies are punchcraft flowers.The big yellow flower is relatively easy to put together and is made of just 6 flowers.
Materials Required
  1. Paper-Some handmade flowers [like the roses in this altered project ]are better made with thick card stock while some like the roses in this Punchcraft Rose tutorial require thin punch craft paper.This paper flower tutorial  will work well with all kinds of paper! So use easily available chart paper like I did  or  thick card stock or  thin punchcraft paper.
  2. Adhesives- White PVA glue [Fevicol MR].Optional :Glue gun, Double sided foam tape
  3. To Cut flowers : Paper Punch ,Die or plain Scissors.[if you want to cut free hand check this link : No tools paper flower tutorial ]

    Handmade flowers
    Paper flower tutorial 
  • Punch, Die cut or cut freehand  6 paper flowers .
  • Use your fingers to crease the petals of the flower as shown .Using your fingers rather than an embossing tool tremendously cuts down the time taken to make your flower!
Flower tutorial 4
Paper flower tutorial 
  • Layer 3 flowers atop each other staggering the petals.Using double sided foam tape makes this a super quick step and lifts up the layers of the flower for a beautiful dimensional effect ! Though many crafters vouch for silicon glue for dimensional flower making it is not my favourite glue as I feel it eats up more time!
Handmade Flower tutorial
Flower tutorial 
  • Cut a slit between 2 petals ,apply glue on one petal and stick the adjoining petal atop to make a 5 petal flower.You can optionally chop off the pointy base of your flower later to make gluing it easier while making your 3 D paper flower
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Flower tutorial 
  • Chop off one petal and stick adjacent petals together to make a 4 petal flower.
Handmade Flower tutorial
Flower tutorial 
  • Cut up a single flower into 3 , 2 and one petal as shown above.
  • Make the central flower bud by sticking  the single petal inside the double petal and wrapping the 3 petal part around it.Use white glue or the glue gun
Handmade Flower
Flower tutorial 
  • Stick all parts atop with white PVA glue or the glue gun and your quick and easy paper flower is done!
    Flower tutorial 2
    CD case recycling
    You can further jazz up your flower by inking the petal edges and even adding a bit of glitter.
    I know its a very simple tutorial but I hope some of the tips come in handy to make your own paper flowers. Do tell me how it is.
    Here are links to more handmade flower tutorials .


    How to make a Tooth Model

    Dear friends I hope my title has not chased you away but made you curious enough to drop by my blog with a smile on your face!
    Tooth model 2
    Tooth Model
    Recently my 7  year old studied the topic "Tooth'” in school and imagine my surprise when she came home reciting “enamel,dentin,pulp”[they are parts of the tooth]….boy that was stuff I had learnt during my medical college days!! The standard of education these days is amazing!
    She wanted to take a “3 D Tooth model” to class [to show off actually!!] After unsuccessful googling we hit upon the idea of making our Tooth model with play-dough.
    Here is how we made our Tooth Model

    • I had to refresh my medical college knowledge to draw a rough sketch of a tooth section on thick chart paper [had to be quite sturdy to take the weight of the play-dough]
    • We used Amos play dough [ my favourite  brand as its very light weight and does not crack on drying unlike cheaper play dough] to make parts of our tooth model
    Tooth model 1
    Clay Tooth model

    • We used the tooth drawing as a guide and placed different colored play dough on different layers of the tooth.[White for  enamel,yellow for dentin,pink for the gum and the blue and red ropes for the blood vessels in the pulp]
    • We added textures by poking and scratching with a plastic knife

    Tooth model 3
    Tooth Model School project

    •  I cut out the tooth model and glued it on white cardstock embossed with the Spellbinders wood grain embossing folder.
    • Inked parts of the “wood grain” with pinkish red ink and I was thrilled I could achieve the appearance of the bone in which the tooth was embedded!

               It was extremely fun to make and sharing it so that anyone else having to google up “how to make a tooth model” can get some ideas plus the clay idea can be adapted for any 3 D school project chart
    Hope my crafty friends are super sweet and leave me some loving comments on this one!
    Here are links to more School Projects
    Here are links to more clay crafts :
    Supplies : Spellbinders wood grain embossing folder [Priya of the craftshop.in]


    Mod Podge Tips and Secrets

    Dear friends being a passionate crafter I often feel one of the best things about living in Bangalore is that the largest manufacturer ,importer and seller of Craft supplies in India, Itsy Bitsy is right at my doorstep!
    Tissue box decoupage  11
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    I have guest designed for Itsy Bitsy challenges thrice in the past [Recycled Shadow Box tutorial ,Castle shaped Slider card tutorial ,Origami Basket]but was especially thrilled when Itsy Bitsy owner Rashmi Closepet called me up recently and asked  me if I could showcase any newly launched Itsy Bitsy product!
    Mod podge tutorial  4
    Decoupaging with Mod Podge 
    Mod podge is a product so many crafters rave about and I had been very excited that Itsy Bitsy now stocked Mod Podge + a beautiful range of MDF products just begging to be decoupaged so I chose to work with Mod Podge in a trice!
    I am not a professional crafter and most crafty lingo sails right over my head so these tips  are a small attempt to demystify Mod Podge and share a beginners travails!

    What is Mod podge? Is it a glue?

    Yes Modpodge is a glue …and more!
    It can be used to
    1. firmly stick paper,tissue paper,beads,cloth etc to surfaces such as wood,cardboard,metal,terracota clay,glass [Plastic is a bit difficult but I’ll come to that later]
    2. give a protective coating
    3. give an attractive shine and feel to your product
    If you have crafted with paper you ‘ll know how fragile the object is..you have to be so careful the paper craft doesn’t accumulate dirt as it literally cant be cleaned!And if you have children then your project is often declared a “no touch” object! [Breaks my heart if I have to tell that to my daughter]
    The best thing I like about Mod Podge is you can actually wipe it clean! You may not get away by chucking a mod podged item into a bucket of water but it can take on handling by kiddy hands and some spilled juice!
    And I love how mod podge transforms the look and feel of a surface!

    What are the types of Mod Podge and how do you choose one?

    Mod podge tutorial  5
    Mod Podge types
    The Mod Podge official website has an impressive though rather intimidating chart of Mod podge types : Plaid Mod Podge Types
    Here is a link to a more user friendly  write up :Amy’s Guide to Mod Podge Types
    I agree it can still be difficult  to decide which type to use or buy as its expensive and tempting though it is ,one cant buy every Mod Podge variety on the shelf!
    The secret to deciding is understanding that the different Mod Podge types just vary in the 3 basic properties of Mod Podge I have numbered above!

    Choosing Mod Podge type based on what you want to stick

    • To stick paper or tissue paper [see napkin decoupage]on MDF/cardboard/glass- choose Matt [Yellow bottle]
    • To stick paper /other objects in a scrapbook choose Paper Mod podge[blue bottle]- as its acid free and dries faster.
    • To stick fabric to fabric or other surface choose Fabric Mod podge as it also prevents cut fabric from fraying if you apply it and let it dry before cutting.If you are not going to wash it you can also use Matt Mod podge like I did on the lace of my tissue box

    Choosing Mod Podge type based on Protective Property required

    • Regular decoupage decorative item-Matt Mod Podge
    • Furniture-Hard Coat Mod Podge[Purple]
    • Project which will be used a lot-Hard Coat Mod Podge [Purple]
    • Project will be outside-eg clay pots,furniture – Outdoor Mod Podge[Green]
    • Paper Quilled jewellery- Matt,Gloss,Satin Mod Podge

    Choosing Mod Podge type based on final appearance/finish required

    Satin , Gloss ,Sparkle, Glitter ,Brushstroke,Antique,Glow in the dark – can be applied as top coats on your project to get the effect their name suggests.

    Tip : If you are just starting out and want to buy just one bottle

    Get either a Matt or a Satin Mod podge.

    Secrets to Succeed in your first Mod Podge Decoupage project

    Decoupage is not the easiest or quickest of crafts as it requires quite a bit of patience!There is a bit of a learning curve in decoupage as most of us tend to rush things and in decoupage you wont realise the mistakes till the project is nearly done !
    Here are some secrets to be super happy even with your first Mod Podge project.

    Choosing what to stick

    Mod podge tutorial  6
    Mod Podge tips
    • Paper is the easiest medium to work with
    • Type of paper -Pattern Paper is the easiest to decoupage. Yes I am a recycling fan and would love to Modpodge with magazines and newspapers but the inks on these papers can bleed when you apply the top coat of your decoupage medium!
    • Thickness of paper –Medium thickness pattern paper is the easiest to decoupage –will stick more easily and wrinkle less.Try napkin decoupage only after you’ve got the hang of decoupaging normal paper!
    • Pattern paper design- a busy design or a natural textured design such as I have used here will hide mistakes beautifully and you can get away with a bit of wrinkling on your project!
    • Pattern paper colour-Choose a pattern paper design with dark or bright colours. If your pattern paper colour is of a light shade you need to go the extra step to paint the surface you are going to decoupage on plus wrinkles and bubbles show up clearly

    Choosing what to decoupage

    • MDF products are the easiest to decoupage as the surface is smooth and even and you dont have to waste time sand papering the surface
    • An object with straight symmetrical sides and flat surfaces like a square or rectangular box is the easiest to decoupage .It will be easier to accurately cut your pattern paper as well as stick it !Believe me negotiating curves and corners is tricky!

    Mod Podge technique Tips for beginners

    Mod podge tutorial  18
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    These tips are brought to you by my 7 year old daughter who has donned the Itsy Bitsy Designer Apron for this project!
    Mod podge tutorial  8
    Mod Podge tips
    Mark out the dimensions of each side of your decoupage object
      • lightly – no need to put pressure and get indentation marks on your paper!
      • on the reverse side of your pattern paper
      • using a pencil- pen or marker inks can bleed into your paper when wet
    Mod podge tutorial  9
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    Cut out paper for all the sides of your object
    • Dont worry if you fall short for one side-If  the chosen design of your pattern paper is a busy one you can use bits and pieces and the final product wont show it.
    • Be as accurate as possible in matching the paper to the sides –I found it was better to err in cutting out a paper smaller than larger.
    • Problems if your paper is larger than your decoupage object’s side –it looks unsightly and has an irritating tendency to lift up and to salvage the situation you will have to trim it, sand it or nail file it later [all time consuming un-enjoyable processes] !
    Mod podge tutorial  7
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    What to use to apply Mod Podge – Paint brush or sponge ?
    The humble paint brush is easily available  so an obvious first choice
    • Use one with a flatter head and not the bushy type I have shown above as its easier to apply the Mod Podge and gives a more uniform stroke even in nonexpert hands! [see how messy and un uniform the strokes are with the paint brush.
    Mod podge tutorial  12
    Mod Podge tips
    • If you are a young crafter,a non artist[translate to not an expert at painting] or a decoupage beginner ,the sponge applicator is a much easier tool to work with
    Mod podge tutorial  10
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    • You can use the paint brush for the base coat but we found the sponge  gave neater covering and uniform strokes which is more important for the top coats.
    Mod podge tutorial  11
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    • Beware of hairs from cheaper brushes falling off and sticking to your decoupaged surface marring the whole appeal!
    • Sponges soak up a lot of the expensive Mod Podge and if you are a frugal crafter like me you will cringe when you go to wash the sponge brushes and see how much Mod Podge goes to waste!
    • Normal paint brushes are easier to clean[With sponges you will have to squeeze and splatter Mod Podge everywhere!]
    How to stick your paper
    Mod podge tutorial  13
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    Ha ha what’s so special about that you may ask! Well…everything!!
    • Mod Podge dries fast so as soon as you have applied your base coat stick your paper
    • Make sure you have applied a good coating of Mod Podge – too less and your paper will lift and bubble [quite irritating to see!]
    • Align the paper on the decoupage object and gently but firmly smoothen out the paper with the edge or your hand or even fingers to get a good adhesion- a key step to avoid wrinkling and bubbling .Alternatives are a plastic old credit card /a stamping brayer/local foam roller from hardware shops.
    • If your paper is of the thinner variety or you are too rough you can tear the paper!
    Mod podge tutorial  14
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    How to Mod Podge an aperture
      Mod podge tutorial  16
      Mod Podge tutorial 
    • If you are decoupaging a tissue box make sure you apply Mod Podge all around the aperture
    • After sticking on the paper make slits like above using a sharp pointed scissors or craft knife[ha ha no need to be as untidy as shown here!]from the centre to the aperture rim,apply Mod Podge on the under-surface  and fold over and stick the paper triangles . 
    Applying the Top Coats

    Mod podge tutorial  17
    Mod Podge tips

    • The most important thing in this step is to not rush to do it!Wait for the base coat to dry for at least 15 mins!
    • We are all impatient souls and yes my kiddo and I did discover what happens if you try to apply a top coat too soon…your paper will try and lift right off!!
    • Apply the Mod Podge in one direction and evenly – this will ensure a masterpiece!
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    Decoupaged tissue box
    How to Mod Podge fabric lace
    Tissue box decoupage  8
    Decoupaged tissue box
    • If you are not going to wash your project you need not use fabric Mod Podge variety to Mod Podge fabric.We used Matt Mod Podge here
    • Mod podge tips 1
      Mod Podge lace
    • You can use Mod Podge to adhere your lace but a quicker option is to stick double sided tape [also called wonder tape] on your surface, stick on the lace firmly and then apply a generous seal of  Mod Podge
    Tissue box decoupage  13
    Fabric decoupage
    Coating the lace with  Mod Podge  gives a secure adhesion , a nice seal and a beautiful shine to it.
    Tissue box decoupage  6
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    I wanted our tissue box to be truly functional so avoided fragile paper embellishments [see an earlier Altered Tissue box]and used some gorgeous Jesse James buttons from Itsy Bitsy [chopped off the backs].
    Tissue box decoupage  2
    Altered tissue box
    These button embellishments are expensive but so cute my daughter begged me to buy them!And since I am not much of a seamstress what better way to showcase them than in a 3 D project we can look at everyday
    Tissue box decoupage  3
    Tissue box Mod Podge 
    I love the little cup and saucer with the deep pink spoon!The little doggy buttons are my daughter's favourite…which ones are yours?
    Tissue box decoupage  5
    Mod Podge tissue box
    I used regular white glue to stick on all the plastic buttons and to my delight when I accidentally smeared a bit of extra glue on the Mod Podged surface I could wipe off the glue without leaving any stain—thats the magic of Mod Podge!
    Tissue box decoupage  10
    Mod Podge tutorial 
    Though decoupage is not a kiddy craft I purposely let my young crafter undertake it to see what would be the mistakes a beginner working with Mod Podge would make..I hope our tips will prove beneficial.
    Do share your own tips and decoupage aspirations
    Edited : If you face the problem of mod podged items become sticky ...apply   Asian paints Aquador Varnish
    Supplies : All from Itsy Bitsy : Mod Podge ,MDF tissue box, DCWV decoupage paper, Pearl-Rhinestone stickers,Jesse James buttons,Wonder tape,Pink pearls


    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Dear friends Wish you a very very Happy New Year.
    The end of the year had quite a few ups and downs for me so blogging took a big backseat.I did miss my blogland friends and am so glad to be back.
    During the festive season, I was obsessed with making trees using  different media …I made a Beaded Christmas tree , a Stacked Star box Christmas tree and several different types of paper Christmas trees!
    Paper Christmas tree 1
    Paper Christmas Tree
    I had seen paper cone wreaths and paper cone flowers on the net and my little one and I tried making our version of a paper cone Christmas tree .We used squares of thin chart paper to make our paper cones and stuck them to a cardboard tube [the recycled central remaining part of an Aluminium foil roll] to make our handmade Christmas tree.
    Paper Christmas tree 3
    Paper Christmas Tree
    Used a spellbinders die to cut ornaments from glitter foam and attached it to the under surface of some of the paper cones using transparent twine and a sticky tape.Added snowtex [also used in this Christmas diorama]on tips of the paper cones and also dabbed on some festive glitter on our tree[my daughter was rather critical of the random glitter!]
    Paper Christmas tree 2
    Paper Christmas Tree
    We made the festive ribbon bow atop our tree by gluing together varying strips of ribbon.This was one of the rare times I could make a passable bow and my daughter was full of encouragement! I do so admire ladies who make gorgeous bows!
    Sharing how we made our Paper Christmas tree

    DIY Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Materials Required 

    1. Paper- Thin chart paper , pattern paper,magazine sheets,newspaper all work fine
    2. Central Support- we recycled the central cardboard tube of an used up Aluminium foil roll .You could also use a  wooden /plastic cylinder or a Styrofoam cone if that is available in your country[never seen it in Indian stores]
    3. Sticky tape – using sticky tape/cellotape is the fastest and easiest way to make your paper tree
    4. Stapler-We found using a stapler the easiest way to make our paper cones.If you are working with very young children maybe tape is a better option to prevent stapling little fingers!
    5. Base-Any plastic /glass /metal container to fix the central support of your tree.The base of this paper cone tree was made using a plastic container and play dough in a similar fashion to the base of my Beaded Christmas tree 
    We used 4 sizes of squares [6,5,4 and 3 inch] to make the paper cone layers of our paper tree.
    Paper Christmas tree 4
    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    Here is my little one rolling up her paper cones.
    Paper Christmas tree 5
    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    Rolling up the paper cones wasnt as easy as expected and my little one got it right only after quite a few trials and lots of encouragement!
    Paper Christmas tree 6
    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    Stapling the cones was the easiest and quickest way!More variations on paper cone formation and size here.
    Paper Christmas tree 7
    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    Making these trees actually required 4 hands!!..One pair of hands to hold the central support and the paper cone in place and another pair to tape the cones to the central support! So this is an ideal craft to do as  as a family or in a craft class.
    Paper Christmas tree 8
    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    Here is my young crafter all proud of her first layer of her paper tree!
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    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    We stuck our 2nd layer of paper cones about an inch above the tips of our base layer [no hard and fast rule—go by what looks good to you].
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    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    You need not be very tidy while sticking the cones to the central tube as the tip is going to get hidden by the paper cone layer you will add on top.
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    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    Our tree did manage to look quite wobbly at a certain point of time and I had to nudge some of the cones around to get a bit of order in our DIY Christmas tree!
    Paper Christmas tree 13
    Paper Christmas Tree Tutorial
    My little one made the snowman ornaments by painting and altering[with bead eyes and pom pom noses] some garish store bought ornaments.
    Paper Christmas tree 14
    DIY Christmas Tree 
    I hope you liked our homemade DIY Christmas tree…hope the idea will come in handy for the festive seasons in the coming years.
    Edited : this DIY Paper tree was featured on Artsy Craftsy and was finalist at Itsy Bitsy Festive theme challenge

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