26 July 2016

Papering by the book

Along with crafts, I have another great love in life...

"I'll be by the books"

Matilda called it. However, while she's flipping pancakes, I'm turning to another 'p'... Paper! I'm all for maximising happens, where I can, so my latest project has seen me combine my two loves in true bibliophile style. With some faith, trust and a little bit of Pinterest dust, my latest designs are all inspired by the humble book... 

This blog post also sees the arrival of another 'p'... meet Penny! My Olympus Pen and I love her so much! bet Before now, pretty much all my photos have been taken on an iPhone; I do get anxious using my proper camera, as I worry I'm not "good enough" to use it - gotta love the 'logic' of anxiety. But I am making a resolution that I will use my camera and gain confidence, starting today! Omg the magical places we'll go...

Etch and Sketch

When starting any paper project, your design is the most important part. As I said in my first craft post, don't go into it blind! Do your research, whether it be craft magazines or the world wonder web. For me, nothing says winning quite like pinning, so build those boards and get browsing. You can combine templates and use silhouettes/sketches or even photos. Take your time to sketch out different designs, until you find one that works for you.

Leave with a trace

Now is the fun part - choosing your book covers. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover; however, my debit card is in trouble if I spy a beautiful hardback in a bookshop. So, naturally, my card covers had to be pretty as a picture. Enter my latest craft bargain: a Falling Leaves paper pad from The Works.

This shop is a crafter's treasure trove! The pad was £3with 16 different designs;  far more economical than the fancy-shmancy wrapping paper I used to get! So select 4-5 colours that compliment each other - obviously - but aren't too similar. Nothing says drab quite like 50 shades of beige.
Once you have your cover patterns, now you need to cut them out; this is where tracing paper comes in. Place it over your original sketch and trace, making sure you shade in the areas that are going to be cut out. Once you've done this, you can finally start paper cutting... 
Select your first cover pattern and place it underneath the tracing paper. Using a craft knife, cut out the first book cover shape - you should end up with something like the cutout below... Now you just repeat this process for each cover, alternating round the colours so that you never have the same one touching. If you want, you can have different covers for all the books; I decided to stick with four patterns that I felt worked well together.

Once all the cover templates are cut out, use good ol' Mr Stick-It to place them on the original sketch. You can buy a stick-it tape in a range of places, but my latest one from Hobbycraft is so easy to use. This may also be a good time to rub out the original design, to ensure no pencil marks sneak through. I also use the craft knife to lightly indent the leftover white space, which will eventually act as the book pages. In the photo below, you can see occasional holes in the paper; this was where I pressed a little too deep into the paper, so don't do this! 

A final word

Calligraphy is the pixie dust of any craft project. Whether it be labels for crochet gifts, or calender quote bunting, words always find a way into my heart. For the two cards in this post, Harry Potter formed the base of my inspiration! You can always count on Dumbledore for some words of wisdom, which compliments my Deathly Hallows Deer design on the other side. 

The stag head is possibly my new favourite design, yet was surprisingly straight-forward to do! I found a base template for a stag, which I drew first, then cut out the DH symbol. The trick here is to keep all the pieces you cut out, as you'll have to stick them back on.
"A favourite book is like a best friend
it will never let you down"

Please share any ideas you have for my next project! 


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