13 December 2015

UPCYCLED CHRISTMAS DECORATION (WITH PRELOVED ADVENT)


Those of you that have followed along with my blog for a while will know I am a little bit nuts about crafts and anything to do with making things. I always get the bug to create around this time of year so thought I would enter something into the Preloved Christmas Advent challenge. The challenge is to make a Christmas decoration out of things you have lying around your house, ideally for under £5, and then tweet a picture of your entry to @Preloved and/or Instagram your entry to @Prelovedofficial. I adore taking part in things like this so jumped at the chance to get crafting (and slightly sticking my fingers together with super-glue (doh!).

For me, there is something about working with paper that really interests me, I love its texture and versatility, so I set to work thinking and researching what I could make out of a large stack of old magazines. In the end I came up with this decorative bauble. Although I have only pictured one, for the sake of this post, I think I am going to make a few more in a variety of sizes and display them together so they hang at various lengths, I think that would look pretty eye-catching. Obviously, if you didn't want to make it out of old magazine pages you could buy some pretty paper, or just be more selective about the magazine pages you use; e.g. wedding magazines have a lot of pastel colours that would look very cute when folded up together.

Enough waffling from me, let's get onto how I made it shall we?!



Here's what you will need:
:: Stack of old magazines (to make one bauble you will need 30 pages, plus one extra as a template)
:: Bowl or plate to draw around
:: Marker pen
:: Scissors
:: Stapler or thread and needle
:: Hot glue gun or super glue
:: Ribbon



^^Step One^^
Take your spare piece of paper and draw around your plate or bowl. You are going to use this as a template for your bauble. Cut it out as neat as you can.



^^Step Two^^
You now need to fold your template into 12 pieces. Fold in half, in half again (to make a quarter size) and finally fold the quarter so that it is split evenly into three triangles.



^^Step Three^^
Holding the folded template tightly, chop off the two corners. You can then unfold it and lay it flat - you should then have 12 triangle shapes cut out at equal intervals around the circle.



^^Step Four^^
Now you have your template complete you can start working on the bauble itself. To start with take 15 sheets of paper stacked together (this makes one half of your bauble) and draw around your plate or bowl. Once you have your circle on the top sheet, fold your template in half and mark in a centre line through your circle. Next, open up the template and line it up in the circle and draw in all 12 triangles.



^^Step Five^^
Cut out around the circle and cut out all the triangles, so all 15 sheets are the same (hold the layers super tight otherwise they start to slip about). It doesn't have to be 100% perfect, but the neater you make it the better the bauble will look!

After cutting out everything you will need to either staple all the sheets together along the centre marking you have made, or sew two to three big stitches along to join all 15 sheets. This doesn't have to be from end to end, just through the centre area to secure everything together. I chose to stitch mine as it was neater and more secure, but staples work just as well. Once you have done this step fold all 15 layers in half.


^^Step Six^^
Now for the slightly messy part - gluing! Be very careful here - you need to glue underneath the points of the triangles (about 1.5-2cm below the point), alternating between each one.

Start by opening the folded circle as if starting on page one of a book. On my picture above I have just one sheet on the left of the fold and the rest of the pages on the right of the fold. You then need a tiny dab of strong, fast drying glue on every alternate point - on the image above you will see that is three places.

Fold over a page on the right and stick it on top of where you have glued.



^^Step Seven^^
On the new 'page' you now need to glue on alternate triangle points (see the difference in the two images). This pattern is repeated throughout the entire process, so one page you will glue three places, the next you will only glue two and so on. This took some concentration on my part as I kept wanting to glue under each triangle!



^^Step Eight^^
Once the glue is dry you should be able to fan-out this half of the bauble so it starts to take shape. If any places have come un-stuck just add a dot of glue and hold until it is set. That is one half complete - just repeat that whole process on the other stack of 15 sheets of paper!

When both halves are ready to go place a generous amount of glue on one side, line up with one edge of the other half and stick together. Repeat this to complete the bauble.



^^Step Nine^^
Attached your ribbon or string to the centre of the bauble, securing it between the two halves. Use plenty of glue and hold in place until completely dry.

All done!

The first one will take the longest but once you have gotten the hang of it you are on your way. Let me know how you get on if you decide to make something similar! Why not enter the competition yourself if you have something you want to make? Entries need to be in by the 16th December, so you still have time! For more information, and to see some other peoples entries, see the Preloved site!
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