I blame Doris Day. And Julia Roberts.

Little gift bags. Don’t you love them? I do, slightly to the point of obsession, in truth. I think it is due to all those movies where you see someone out on a shopping spree. We watch a montage bit, with nods and smiles to the shop staff, an impromptu catwalk show for one and some uplifting ‘what good fun this is’ music. Then the immaculately dressed star appears tripping daintily along with an unwieldy haul of beautifully presented packages, boxes and bags.

Real life isn’t like that. Doris and Julia didn’t shop in the rain, having forgotten their umbrella, thus ending up with lank hair plastered to their heads and a whiff of damp wool or anorak about them. Or with a streaming cold that made their nose go red and render them nearly incomprehensible to the assistant. They didn’t have to lug badly made plastic carrier bags that, once stuffed with your practical purchases, weigh a ton and cut into your hands. Only you didn’t realised this was happening because your hands are so darn cold (your gloves are with your umbrella, at home, in the warm) you have lost most of the feeling anyway. Doris and Julia didn’t have to choose sensible shoes over kitten or stiletto heels because the hours of tramping the aisles or pounding the pavement would make their pretty ankles swell like swiss rolls. Theirs was a very different shopping experience, one I am yet to emulate.

Aaaaanyway, back to the reason for the rambling. I have made a simple card and gift bag using the same stamp. I have had this La Blanche stamp for years and love the fine detail of it, but am not much of a one for the traditional sunflower colours so decided to go for grey and black.

sunflower-bag-and-card-1

My fabulous WRMK Gift Bag Punch Board was used to make the bag from plain white card, which I punched and scored to see where the panels would fall, but did not assemble. This meant I knew where I needed to position the stamp to get it bang on the front. I also die cut ovals to make the handles, then a larger oval frame from black to reinforce them. And to make the bag fancier! Then I went mad and blinged up a small wooden peg with holographic gold tape from The Works. Doris and Julia don’t get all the fun!

To make the card a bit more interesting I just cut a section of the image from the bottom and layered onto black mats. An old trick but it works a treat! The oval shape for the stamped sentiment is the one I cut from the gift bag, to tie everything in, hopefully nicely. And a few pale orange Nuvo Drops for a tiny splash of colour.

 

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3D Thursday: Brew-tea and the Box’d

Sorry, Mr Disney…..

Once upon a time, whilst foraging for craft supplies, PaperPuff came across a small cardboard curiosity. “WTH (polite version) is this?” She thought. On further tentative inspection it appeared to be a kind of favour, or gift wrap for those cute little individually packaged tea bags. The mists of wine time cleared and PaperPuff remembered the box, and how it came to be. She had seen it many moons past on Craft telly and made one quick, before she forgot about it. Then she forgot about it. Silly PaperPuff!!

tea-bag-holder-pair

Don’t you just love it when a plan falls apart?!

I honestly don’t know if these are faithful replicas made from measurements supplied, or whether I employed good old Brain to work it out. However, to be honest, some basic measuring is all we need to do. I hope I am not doing anyone an injustice.

So, I thought it might make a nice 3D Thursday project and set about re-measuring and making another. There are I believe many versions of this kind of holder out there: this one is super-simple and requires a minimal amount of tools.

If you want to have a go, here is what to do:

I used Twinings individually wrapped tea bags which measure 6.5cm wide x 7.5cm high. If yours are different you will of course need to take this into account.

1. Grab a piece of decent weight double-sided card and cut it to 8 x 25cm

2. Score this at 9, 11, 20 and 21.5cm, fold and burnish the creases. If you want you can round the corners of the top flap (the 3.5cm panel). I couldn’t find my corner rounder (I know, find one thing, lose another!!) so went for a WRMK scallop Chomp instead. I expect this too will have disappeared next time I need it.

Tip: if your card has a one-way pattern, remember that as you are basically making a wrap, at some point the pattern will be upside down. Obviously the back is the best place for this (and you can always cover it over with another panel if this bothers you)! If you make your first score at 9cm from the top of the pattern (think of it as a roll of wallpaper) this should work out fine and your top and lower flaps at the front should both be the correct way up. If your one-way pattern repeat is going to be on the inside you will need to flip this, so your first score (9cm) will be at the bottom of your piece. Or, make life easy and just choose a non-repeat patterned paper!

3. Next cut 2 pieces of card 11 x 8cm. These are going to form the pleated side sections. You can go crazy and choose another pattern here for extra interest. I did on the first holder I made (the spotty one) but figured I had enough going on already on the second one with the birds.

Score these pieces at 1.5cm, then again at 1cm intervals until you get to 9.5cm, leaving a last section of 1.5cm again.

4. Concertina fold these score lines. Add strong double-sided tape (or glue if you prefer) to the outside of the 1.5cm tabs and fix them inside the ‘wrap’. I found it easier to stick each of to the back first, then the front, and you want the raw edge (not a fold) of the 1.5cm sections to be on the inside. If you butt the pleated sections up to the score lines and the base, and just keep the sides square with your hand, it happens really easily. If this is at all confusing, look at the images below for the positioning. Much better than me trying to explain!! The slideshow I planned would have been even better, but it is refusing to work for some reason I cannot fathom.

5. To make your dividers, just cut more patterned card into 7.5 x 8cm rectangles – you will need 3 for this configuration. Slide them into your pleated sections and ba-boom, instant little pockets!

The fastening can be whatever you want. I had used baker’s twine on the first one and ribbon this time. Cut enough to wrap around and tie in a bow – I snipped a length a little under 60cm to give enough to play with and trimmed the excess. I used a die cut for one closure and fussy cut an image for the other, and punched a small hole at the bottom. The ribbon or twine was glued centrally on the top flap, close to the edge, and then fed through the hole and tied.

 

What did I learn second time around? Well, because my one-way pattern repeat was quite large I wasn’t happy with how it looked where the top and bottom sections met at the front, so I just cut a panel the same size from a closer pattern repeat and covered the offending top tab completely. Really, smaller, or massively larger patterns would probably be better options. The spots I chose initially were a good way to go if you want to keep it simple.

You don’t need double-sided card, it just makes it more interesting if the inside is also colourful. I want to make a stamped version too, with a teacup as the fastener, which I think will be kind of cute. Time is always an issue though!

These little pouches could be for gifts, showers, favours, or a small thank you, perhaps. You could leave out the concertina folds in the sides and just make a small unpleated section to create a simple single pocket. But something about pleated paper makes me happy…..

Supplies: both holders are made from Tilda Winterbird paper pad

3D Thursday: not Teas-day then?

Gift wrapping is an obsession for me. Not to the extent it used to be before I got into paper crafting, but still, any present I am giving has to look good or I, and it, cannot leave the house. I don’t always go to these lengths for every gift, but I do like to have a small stash of interesting and/or pretty bags, boxes or other containers on hand. Things that will hold a couple of those hand creams that look like tubes of paint, maybe a pot or two of nail colour or some makeup. Or even tea, come to think of it! Things that are a pain to wrap, or seem more like a pampering gift if they are presented together.

This tea cup was made using my new-ish Cricut. I still haven’t played with it all that much so I’ll do a mini review some other time, but as I had the Tags, Bags, Boxes & More 2 cartridge I figured I would browse through that for a suitable 3D project. This cartridge is jam-packed with exactly what it says – boxes, bags and tags, and I chose the tea cup.

There were a couple of teething problems (and three wasted sheets of good cardstock) before I got the cutting achieved. I will say here and now that I did not help this situation. I don’t have things set out very well at the moment: you need to use your pc/laptop with the Cricut Explore and currently my Cricut is positioned behind my desktop screen, so I keep having to walk between the two to follow the steps. Once I sort this out I expect it will go a lot more smoothly! Another issue was that this image required use of a scoring tool first, but I couldn’t actually see that mentioned on the screen anywhere. I may have missed it in all the wandering about of course. Anyway eventually I worked it out and I got what, I have to say, is a great cut, and in my opinion much better than I achieved on my old Cricut. Cue the happy dance.

Construction is pretty obvious, although you have two different sized circles and had to work out which was for the cup base and which for the saucer. The physical cartridge came with an assembly guide, and again I couldn’t see this on my screen anywhere, but I am sure you can get help with the more complicated shapes from Cricut’s site or YouTube if you need it. For my plain white test run version (should really have done this first rather than waste pretty card) I used the large circle for the saucer and smaller for the tea cup, but it should have been the other way around. Obvious, really, but there you go…

When I felt I knew what I was doing I moved on to a spotty Tim Holtz paper. It was a bit of a struggle to get the larger circle to fit the tea cup properly and in the end I just stuck it on and trimmed it down once dry. This worked fine and has given a neat finish so no worries.

Now for some decoration. I have cut into some doilies and snipped out the centre circle to give me a curly strip. This is stuck to the inside of the cup and underside of the saucer using double sided tape, pleating it as I go to make a frill. This also helps to ease it in and cover up where you join the next strip.

If I had more time I might have added flowers or something, but the deadline is upon me and 3D Thursday cannot run over to Friday. It’s the law. I made do with a little tea cup shaped tag I cut from the reverse of the Tim Holtz paper with a Spellbinders nesting die set.

Typically the only tissue paper I could find was spotty red, but actually I like the contrast. Sorry it is a bit wrinkled but I don’t crave blogging photographic perfection enough to get the iron out.

These are great for favours, or a shower, or work colleagues for Christmas, and they look really cute if you make lots in different colours and patterns and pile them together. Cellophane or large cello bags (the kind we put cards into) are also really handy if you want to have them all enclosed but still want to show them off. And of course you don’t need a cutting machine to make paper or card tea cups, there are plenty of templates available.