Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas Bauble by Alan Scott

This is a very quick and hopefully easy project that can be done with all those helpers we have that want to join in no matter what skill level they are at. It is also I think my only Christmas project this year. It is also a project that some can say is built upon my years of teaching crafts in Local Community Centres and at Youth Centres. It's one that can also be done with younger members of the family that want to be creative but still under your watchful eyes. The end results can then be saved and brought back each year. Even after several years when your greeted with 'Oh why are you bringing that out AGAIN!' 

I have tried to keep this a simple project where there is little chance of a pot of glue or glitter can be tipped over or spilt. As we all know, getting glitter back into a pot is almost a thankless task and it normally ends up on you, all over the place (some still found weeks later when you're out and about!) and not in that tub that it originally came out of. 



Pages from an Old Rescued Book
Zyron Creative Station
Rubber Brayer
White Gesso
Large Brimmed Brush
Spray Booth/Colour Catcher
Collection of Tim Holtz Distress Stains
Collection of Tim Holtz Tag Layering Stencils and Masks
Collection of Cosmic Shimmer Mist Sprays
Crafter's Workshop 12 inch Stencil or any mask you have in your collection (here I have used Swirley Garden)
Spellbinders Circle Scalloped Edges Die (approx. 4 inch diameter)
Bakers Twine or Wool
Small Scor-Buddy (or scoreboard)
Set of Christmas Themed Stamps and Acrylic Stamping Block (I have just given you a direct link to the stamps section of the web site so that you're able to have a good look at what's in store from all the stamp producers currently in stock)
Collection of VersaMagic and Brilliance Dew Drop Ink Pads
Tim Holtz Festive Berries Ink Pad
Ink Blending Tool
Craft Mat
Coloured Glitter Pens
Glitter Pen
White Marker Pen
Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Glue
Small Gem Attachments
Strong Double Sided Tape
Tombow Glue Stick
Metal Clip
Bow/Tassel Maker



We can split this project into 3 sections. The first can be one that you prepare in advance - the construction of the basic paper. Then the 2nd phase, when it come to the decorating of the segments, this is where it can then be passed over to 'fellow crafter's' who can then use their imagination to decorate. Finally if you're feeling that the level of the skills set with your fellow crafter's isn't advanced enough to construct the segments, this is something that you can then do later that evening or at least supervise while the segments are being secured together.

I have used a circle scalloped metal die for the basic shape. There is nothing saying you HAVE to use this shape. It works with a circle which can be made using almost anything at hand or a metal edged ruler and a craft knife/card cutter to make square shapes. The principle is the same, all you have to remember is that the shape has to be able to be folded in half and is equal when folded.

The first thing we need to do, is get our paper surface sorted out. To do this, I selected some pages from an old book that was approx. A5 in size.
As I was going to throw some wet materials at the paper, I decided not to use a wet glue. I could have used a spray glue, however I decided that I should find uses for my Zyron. It's something that I bought (both this and the smaller one) but I have not got the best out of it. I think we all buy 'The Latest Thing', use it, then it gets pushed back to make space for the next NEW MUST HAVE crafting item.  
To make sure I had a good connection between the cream card and the paper, I used a 'Printers' brayer. This is a solid hard plastic and not the one that's used for creating creative surfaces where for instance, ink is used to build up layers.  
Then yes, you got it, we have to make the surface of the paper ready to receive colour on it. I always use a Gesso based product, as this will enable your colouring medium to go further and the paper will not act as a sponge and just collect medium in a spot and not let you manipulate the colouring medium.
The left bottom picture shows the finished papers. I did 2 sheets so that I had a 'spare' in-case something went wrong.. as if that's not or never going to happen when making a How 2 Make Project!

I decided to treat myself and have splashed out on a new Spray Booth. These are just made from cardboard, easy to assemble as it's all in one piece and the folds have all been made for you. I just strengthen the base by putting some clear tape along the side part and the base. You will see what I mean when you build your own. This is today's crafting must have - or is the 1st on the list?

To lay down colour and interest, I'm going to be using good old faithful Tim Holtz products. There are some wonderful tag shaped masks that are now on the market. These are a new addition and I'm impressed with them. If you're into making larger tag projects, then these are a must have. I also pulled out a collection of Distress Stains. It doesn't mean I'm going to use them all, I just like to see what combinations I can use.  
The top right picture show the first layer of colour. This is always the hardest step. This then leads you on the journey of creativity.
The same thing happened when I wanted to bring in some 'glimmer or glitter', it's been a while since I have used these. The new crafting space I have, has enabled me to see what stock I have at my disposal. Due to relocating, I was able to see EVERYTHING!
Once again I brought my selection down to 3 colours and I was going to use a 12 inch mask called 'Swirly Garden'. Its' a very open mask but enables you to build up layers of colour.


The finished papers now, that they were left to dry. This time I didn't use a heat gun as I was not sure how the glue would react when I did the paper sandwich right at the start.  
This is where you can opt to make your shapes anything, as long as they are able to be folded in half and then matched up with a 2nd segment.

As I was going to also be making a tassel, I brought out the Bakers Twine and some wool that I had.


This is where the segment must be equal. Using a small Scor-Buddy, I was able to make a mark right down the centre of each segment and then have a nice crisp fold.

Okay this is where I have to hold my hands up and say 'What on earth am I making a Christmas Project when all you have in your stamp collection are these 2 sets?' They are both by Hero Arts and are over 4 years old. So as it's being told time after time, if you look after your stamps they will be there for years. 
These ink pads do look small but they are very very juicy, they will also last a long time.  So if you're short of storage space then these are highly recommended. They are a very nice price and there is also a large collection of colours and finishes.

As you can see, I have used 3 ink pads and the segments have all been stamped on. Only 1 side has wording on, 2 have a modern tree on which will later have some 'Bling' placed on them. 
The edges are coloured with a nice bright red ink called Festive Berries from Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad collection. 
This is where I decided not to go down the glue and tub of glitter road. By using glitter pens you're able to give a glitter finish. While not highly glittered, it will still give the impression when the light hits it and the other advantage is that glitter is not going to get EVERYWHERE!
So using a coloured glitter pen, I went round the edges leaving a small gap between the edge and the pen mark. Then using a clear glitter pen, I marked the edge area in a circular motion keeping between the pen line and the edge.


To give some extra detail and interest on the tree segments, I used a white pen marker and added some snow.  
The top right picture shows the finished segments.. well almost just need that Bling!  
Using a good strong clear glue and some Borealis styled flat bottomed gems, I secured one on each of the two outside trees. A greener coloured one on the green stamped image and a red one on the other.

'Blinged' up and ready for the next part.

Using some strong clear glue double-sided tape, I went around the edge and placed some wider strips in the centre.  
This is where Tombow comes into its own. A wonderful strong paper glue stick but also allows you some 'Wiggle' time when constructing.  
The bottom left picture show how 2 segments look when constructed and the bottom left picture shows after I had constructed 4 of the segments. To help the glue set, I used a large metal clip to hold them together.


To make my tassel, I used a plastic Bow/Tassel maker. To secure the tassel and the 4 part segment to the last segment, I used a strong clear glue.  
Making sure that the tassel top was placed into the centre of the 4 segments as shown in the bottom picture. 
Finally the last thing to do was to secure the 5th segment and then open out the segments so that it's can be ready to hang. 
There you have it, a simple quick project that you can enable younger crafter's or people who have not a great deal of interest in crafting at the moment but might get into the flow of things as it's for the 'Season' lol.
Another idea is maybe to make 6, box them up and then give out as a present. I can only speak for myself but a hand made gift is way more valuable to me, as the person has given me their time and effort in making this gift. I do feel that now a days, money is tighter and we are giving other people things we have made as a way of saying 'Thank-you'.
Any questions please send me a message and i will get back to you a.s.a.p.

1 comment:

  1. Great project Alan, such lovely colourful baubles.
    Fliss x


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