Friday, June 6, 2014

Festive Paper Keepsakes :)

Happy JUNE! .... and Happy Summer VACATION!!! 
(for those who happen to be lucky enough to get Summer vaction.) ;)

We're going to be working with paper this month, and I'm going to do my best to channel the paper-craft-queens in my life. 
**Christina and Maria-- please don't laugh at my mod podge skills!

Paper is one of the most fun materials... it's inexpensive, incredibly varied and has a million and one possible applications!

Need to decorate some cupcakes? Done!

Need some Valentines for the sweet people in your life? Sure thing!

Need some quick decorations for a party?  Of course! 
**But you can make this one... please don't spend $13 at Target. :)

Today we're going to celebrate whatever you want.... graduations, weddings, birthdays, you name it!

This idea came from an amazing friend who made me cry with the ornaments she made using my wedding program.

Since it's graduation season, today I'm going to make an ornament keepsake using a graduation announcement from a pretty fantastic Clemson graduate.  (She's the only person I'd use orange and purple ribbon for... even if it hurts.)

Ok, ready?

-Clear craft Christmas ornament (you can find these in the glass section at Hobby Lobby any time of the year, but they're starting to bring out Christmas decorations now, [ridiculous], so you shouldn't have any trouble finding them!)


-Scissors or paper cutter

-Mod Podge (optional)


Here we go!

Your ornament can be big or small, depending on how much paper you want to put in it, or how you want it to look.

First, you'll need to cut the paper you're using.  Be intentional about what you want the recipient to be able to see... specific words, phrases or colors/patterns from the paper?

Once you have enough paper cut, you're ready to twirl it!  You could also just put straight slips of paper in the ornament for a different look, it's up to you!

I use a crochet hook, a pencil, or my finger to wind up the paper.  How well the paper will retain this shape depends on the thickness of the paper.  

Once you've wound up the paper, remove the top of the ornament and insert the paper.  

Replace the cap, and you could stop here. If you attach a ribbon for hanging, you're done!

Because this was a graduation announcement, I decided to cut out the school's seal to use as a "charm" on the outside of the ornament.  

To make this piece of paper a bit more substantial, as I hope it will adorn a Christmas tree for many years, I used Mod Podge.

If you haven't used Mod Podge for a decoupage creation before, think of it as a thicker white glue that can seal and solidify just about anything.  Check out this website for more information and awesome ideas:

Mod Podge comes in glossy and matte finishes, but I chose glossy.  
I just like a little shine in my life. :)
For me, the easiest and most effective way to apply Mod Podge is with a foam brush, which you can find in any store's craft section.
Follow the instructions on the bottle, and you're all set!

You should place the paper you're sealing on something that won't stick to it, and that you can bend to peel it off easily.  I used a sheet protecter, but you could use clear food wrap or wax paper.

I applied several coats to the front of the paper, then did the same for the  back.

Once this piece is dry and ready, you can use a screw punch, or even a needle/thumbtack to make a hole in it.

Once that is done, you can use some string to tie it onto the ornament.  Then tie some pretty ribbon for hanging...

And.... Done!

Think of the possibilities... save the wedding invitations that come in the mail, and you can create a special, beautiful Christmas ornament as the wedding or first Christmas gift for the sweet couple!
I imagine you could do the same for a 1st Birthday invitation, birth announcement, or whatever you like!  Be creative!

This is a good idea to keep handy.  I know I'm incredibly sappy and sentimental, but the sweet ornaments I received make me tear up every year when I put them on the tree. :)

Congratulations Emily!!!

Have fun, and stay tuned for more paper fun next week!
Thanks for reading!

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