Paper strip heart garland

After making a garland of 30’s for my husband’s birthday last year (mentioned here) and then a 3D paper star Christmas garland, I really wanted to make another garland which could stay up in our apartment all year round! I saw some beautiful paper strip heart garlands on Pinterest (such as from here) and decided that was exactly what I wanted to do myself. I’ve seen them made from books, comics or maps, but I used some plain and patterned paper that I already had.

paper strip heart garland

Aren’t they pretty?!

To make this, all you will need is some paper, a ruler and a pencil to mark your strip widths, scissors or a cutting knife to cut your paper into strips, and a stapler. You could use paper strips instead of sheets of paper to make this a very quick craft.

Firstly, I cut my paper into strips 1″ wide and then I had to choose the length. I had seen some hearts which used 4″, 6″ and 8″ length strips but I felt like that made the insides too small. So I made a trial heart with 5″, 6.5″ and 8″ length strips. I quite liked it but I wanted bigger hearts as they were going to hang from the ceiling.

This is the trial heart:

yellow paper heart

To make my heart bigger, I used 6″, 8″ and 10″ length strips instead. You need 2 strips of each length for one heart. I used plain coloured paper with some scrapbook patterned paper for the inside of the hearts. I thought that the plain paper might look a bit boring so I drew a pattern on the outside strips with a white pen. I cut my strips from A4 paper, and the cut-off from the 8″ strip was just the right length for a hanging piece! (it was something like 3″ in length)

paper strips for heart garland

Once your strips are ready, all you have to do is to line up the ends of the strips and staple them together, and then bring the free ends round to make the heart shape and line up those ends together and staple them together too. A word of warning: if your paper is only patterned on one side, check very carefully which way round the strips are before stapling. I had to take apart at least 2 hearts and re-do them because I got this wrong!

I also punched a small hole in the hanging piece to hang it on some ribbon. And there you are, a finished heart!

scrapbook paper heart

paper strip heart

Of course, I wanted a garland so I didn’t stop at one… (I made 10 in the end)

coloured paper hearts

pretty pastel hearts

And here is the garland all hung up :)

pastel colours paper strip garland

heart garland hanging

green blue yellow paper hearts

I’m really pleased with it, and it was so easy to make. If you already had paper strips ready to use and you didn’t decorate them by hand, you could whip up a long garland in half an hour! Let me know if you have a go at one yourself!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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3D paper star Christmas garland

Our Christmas decorations this year are a fairly minimal affair. For a start, we don’t have a tree because the twins would just pull it over and try to eat it! (I’m very much looking forward to the time when they don’t put everything in their mouths) All decorations have to be out of their reach, so we hung some tinsel over the picture frames and we have some baubles hanging from the ceiling. And I decided that what we really needed was a pretty garland! After looking at some of my pins on Pinterest, I decided to go with a garland of 3D paper stars.

3D Christmas paper star garland - Little Koo

I used this tutorial for my stars (mine are a little less blingy than theirs!), and I made my stars from large sheets of fairly heavy plain red and green coloured paper. I wouldn’t say I have much to add to the tutorial, other than the fact that I scored all the folds before folding them because I found it difficult to accurately fold otherwise (although it might be easier with thinner paper).

Papercraft 3D stars - Little Koo

I made my stars as big as I could, which meant the template just fitted onto a sheet of A4 paper. When I was glueing the back pieces together, I thought that I would overlap the two sides as much as possible, but I found this made a very pointy star, and it actually looked better when the sides were about halfway across each other. I used tacky (PVA) glue to stick the back pieces together and held them in place with paper clips while they were drying. N.B. make sure your star is the right way out when you start glueing – I didn’t realise this with the first one I made and ended up with an inverted star!

3D Christmas paper stars - Little Koo

I stamped gold and silver motifs onto the stars before folding them, but you can’t really see it all that well. Oh well!

Stamped 3D stars - Little Koo

I think the 3D shape is quite effective for what is a very simple papercraft, especially when the light is not shining directly onto it so some of the sides are in shadow. What do you think?

Christmas garland - Little Koo

Let me know if you have made any of your own Christmas decorations, I’d love to see them!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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DIY papercut name bunting

Apologies for the lack of posts last week, I really wanted to have this craft ready much earlier but the twins aren’t napping well at the moment so that means my “blogging time” is much reduced! However, finally it is done :)

Let me introduce my tutorial for papercut name bunting!

handmade name bunting

I’ve been planning to do name bunting for the babies’ room for a while now and over time it’s taken different forms in my head, but after seeing this picture (below) on the Heart Handmade UK blog I decided to do a papercut version!

Talking-Table-Fiesta-Mexican-Paper-Banner

I have to admit that my previous attempts at papercutting haven’t been particularly amazing, so I was definitely keen to keep it very simple this time! Even so, it ended up taking me quite a long time. I chose to draw the outline of each flag in Photoshop Elements before cutting it all out by hand. I think you could do this craft an awful lot quicker than I did if you either know how to use Photoshop (I am very much a beginner) or drew the letters and shapes out by hand. For the really sophisticated among you, you could cut out the letters with a Silhouette or similar papercutting machine and then it would be a really quick craft!

Anyway, this is how to make your own name bunting using the method that I did…

For this tutorial you will need:

  • Photoshop Elements
  • Printer
  • Coloured paper
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Ribbon
  • Glue (I used dry roller glue)

1. Choose your pattern design. I chose to have a zigzag cutout on each letter, so I found a jpeg of a zigzag pattern on Google to use as my background pattern. The pattern was larger than I wanted so I created an A4 size image in Photoshop (as this is the size of the paper I want to print onto) and repeated the pattern to fill the image. Save as a jpeg and name this Photoshop layer ‘Fill layer’.

fill layer

2. Create a new layer in Photoshop and draw the outline of the bunting triangles. Keep this layer at the top at all times. I used the ‘snap to grid’ option and the rulers to make sure that the triangles were the right size. My triangles were 12cm wide and 12cm high. I added a 1.5cm tab to the top of each triangle for attaching to the ribbon to make bunting.

bunting triangles

3. Use this tutorial to create letters in Photoshop Elements with the zigzag pattern in (ignore step 7, we don’t need this). I used the font Tondu from dafont.com which created nice, simple, bold letters.

bunting letters design

NOTE 1: In order to position each letter separately within each triangle, I quickly discovered I needed a separate layer for each letter, and consequently a separate (repeated) fill layer.

NOTE 2: The tutorial above uses some sort of grouping function (Ctrl + G) to make the patterned fill layer only show through where the letters are. I found that once you have applied the grouping function, even if you un-apply it, you cannot reposition the letters – so make sure they are where you want them to be to start with! If you are going to do what I did, and make several versions of the same image with different letters (if you want more than 3 letters in your bunting), find your widest or largest letter (in my case ‘k’, but if you are using an ‘m’ this might be the one to use) and use this to determine the position and size of your letter in each triangle. The snap function and rulers make it easier to consistently place letters in the same place in each triangle. Then change the letters to the ones you want.

4. Save the Photoshop image as a jpeg and then edit the letters in the Photoshop file to create additional pages of letters, saving each one as a jpeg when you are done. I wanted my letters to be a mix of colours so I selected certain letters for certain pages (I needed 11 letters in total). I found the best way to edit each letter was to:

  • Click on the associated fill layer to select it
  • Click on the eye on the fill layer to hide it
  • Press Ctrl + G to ungroup the layers
  • Edit the letter
  • Click on the fill layer again and press Ctrl + G again
  • Click on the eye on the fill layer to unhide it

5. Print out each page of letters on coloured paper.

printed bunting letters

My bunting was destined to be hung against a wall so you won’t be able to see the back of it. Therefore, I printed the image backwards so any visible print lines will be hidden on the back of the bunting. Luckily Photoshop has a nice feature for printing an image in reverse: Print > More Options > Iron-on Transfer, then check the box which says ‘Flip Image’.

Photoshop printing in reverse

Annoyingly, after carefully sizing my triangles, I didn’t realise that Photoshop had re-sized my image for printing so they came out slightly smaller! To avoid this, check the setting ‘Select Print size’ is set to ‘Actual Size’.

6. Using a craft knife, first cut out the patterned letters on each page (this makes it easier to cut the fiddly bits).

cut out patterned letters

Then cut around the bunting outlines, leaving you with a bunch of triangles with tabs.

cut out bunting triangles

7. Score along the line between the triangle and the tab on each piece, and fold. I used the back edge of the craft knife for scoring but a bone folder or similar might be better.

score tab on bunting triangles

8. Leaving a nice long end to hang your bunting with, start gluing your triangles to your ribbon. I used a dry roller glue as this will not crinkle the paper. I firstly glued the ribbon to the top of the triangle, and then glued the tab down over the ribbon. Be careful to glue the triangles on the right way round – I started gluing mine on backwards and had to start again!

glue ribbon to triangleglue triangle tab down

Be sure to keep the spacing between your triangles even. I used a gap of 1 inch between each triangle.

9. Once you have finished gluing the triangles in place, cut your ribbon to length and hang your bunting!

papercut name bunting

papercut triangles

papercut patterned letters

I was really pleased with how it turned out! I think my bunting is pretty cute, and it looks great in the babies’ room. I hope you like it too! Let me know if you have a go at making your own. You could write any word or phrase with it. It would be great for a wedding or a party, don’t you think?

Thanks for reading!

Rachel