Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Going nuts for autumn crafts

I love nature nuggets and collect them throughout the year. I also love to create art with paper and have designed a variety of nature nuggets of my own for this fall season. If you would like to create some of your own join me on my blog as I will be sharing how to tips for the next few weeks for each of the seeds and pods I have created on Lettering Delights.

The file you will need to make these creations is the Wee Gather Together Seeds and Pods cut it set on LD. The chart above shows the items (cut it files) that are in the set. The photo below shows a chart of those pieces turned into three dimensional art.

In this blog post I will be sharing information on how to make the walnuts and the cinnamon sticks.

To make the walnut halves you will need the three pieces shown below. Cut them out, choosing darker brown paper for the shell parts and tan for the nut. I did not have a brown color of paper in the weight I like to work in, so I used a tan paper from Paper Source, in a text weight, and then darkened it with a brown marker before assembling the pieces.

Make the shell by curling the piece into a bowl shape, then fold the parts where they meet in the center area to pull the edges inward. Next, use a bit of glue (I use tacky glue) for each end, overlapping the outsides to the center part slightly, and secure with a small clothes pin until dry. Do this on both ends to form the shell (it will look like a bowl). You may need to trim a bit of the tips that are slightly higher on the ends where the pieces are glued together to have a flat edge on top of the bowl shaped piece before you glue it to the nut piece. The more level the edge of the shell (bowl shape) is, the better it will stick when gluing to the other piece.

For the nut part, simply glue the nut over the scalloped shell piece, using just a bit of glue around the edge of the nut shape. Once it is dry you can glue the top and bottom pieces together. First, turn the nut/scalloped combo piece over on your work surface so that the back is facing you. Now, spread glue along the top of the shell (bowl shaped piece) and position it carefully over the nut to center it. Press gently but firmly until the pieces hold together. In the photo below you can see the steps and the completed walnut from the top and bottom sides of the nut. Refer to the “how to” chart below for helpful tips. 

To make the cinnamon sticks, which are very easy, you will need the file of the cinnamon stick paper. Simply cut out the paper in a color you like for cinnamon. After I cut the paper out in a reddish brown text weight paper, I spritzed it a bit with brown spray paint to add a little texture and darken the color. You can roll the paper up in a traditional roll, or roll from each end into a scroll. Since cinnamon sticks come both ways, try each. First curl the paper, then use a bamboo skewer or pencil to roll the paper as tightly as you can. If you roll it into a scroll you may want to glue the two ends together and secure with small clothes pins until dry. Refer to the “how to” chart below for helpful tips. 

I decided that creating an acorn out of paper will have to be left to the professional paper crafters, as I could not achieve that feat. However, I do have a few ideas for hand crafted acorns that you might like to try. First you will need to collect acorn caps from oak trees. Then you can make the nuts by felting balls from wool. I made mine the dry method way, but you can also use the wet felting method. I think you might even be able to buy wool balls at craft stores. Once you have the wool ball, simply glue it to the acorn cap.

I also have some crocheted balls that were from a neckless I had picked up for crafting. I simply used one of those for the nut of the acorn and glued it to the acorn cap. You can see both acorn options below.

I will share other seed and pod crafting in a few more days, so if you are still waiting for how to make that milkweed or lotus pod, come on back and I’ll share my secrets. Now, don’t go nuts making each of these nature-turned-paper nuggets, this is intended to be fun. Enjoy!

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