As Hallowe'en eerily creeps nearer, what better time is there to crack out the stripey pipe cleaners and orange origami paper in order to create a unique and handmade Hallowe'en display.
I'm planning a little get together this weekend and, aside from the games, it wouldn't be a proper party without the themed decoration. Plus I'm me. And I've never been one to do things half-heartedly.
Last weekend I was at a loose end. When I’m at a loose end I usually dig out my Hummingbird Bakery cookbook or delve into my craft and sewing cupboard… and last weekend definitely wasn’t out of the ordinary. Alongside the pink, chocolate ganache macaroons I made (having been inspired by living in Paris, of course) I also sewed together 168 rectangles of fabric for my patchwork blanket, whipped up 10 hand-made birthday cards and folded together 6 pieces of origami paper to create this (rather stunning) paper rose. Productivity has always been my natural synonym.
If you want to make the rose for yourself – first set aside a good hour to fold all the bits of paper and work out how they slot together – load up this handy 10-minute YouTube video, turn up your electro-playlist, make yourself a cup of (green Japanese) tea and then origami yourself into oblivion. Trust me, it’s worth it. Thanks to Jo Nakashima for the video tutorial.
Alongside my cross stitch, another one of the travel-sized crafts that I’ve brought with me to France is origami. I’ve always been obsessed with the Japanese art of paper folding – I remember taking part in the talent contest at primary school, handing out squares of coloured paper and teaching my class of fellow 10-year-olds how to make origami boxes. I used to sit and make paper elephants, cranes and flowers using paper from the printer, pages out my school books or bits of till receipt at work.
When I was in my teens I had a pen-pal named Hikari who lived in Japan (and with whom I have sadly since lost contact with). She once sent me a book of proper, Japanese, patterned origami paper and I’ve still got most of the sheets left today. It’s so beautiful I hardly dare use it! Those of you who’ve seen my room at home may have noticed the cranes I have around the place made out of the cute floral designs.
I love to experiment with origami and will often find myself halfway through making some sort of forest animal before I get completely stuck. Instructions can be incredibly difficult to follow as they require a lot of imagination as to what the finished result should look like. I recently, however, came across the website paperkawaii.com and I think it may have just changed my life for the better. The girl who updates the site regularly posts how-to videos for lots of amazing origami designs – having visual instructions is so much better than written ones! The photos on this page of the paper bows and the cherry blossom inspired dish were created using the videos on her website.
The only problem is that this paper-folding habit has lead to a shortage in paper… luckily my boyfriend arrives in a few days so I’ve had chance to request that he brings me over some more supplies!
I’m becoming increasingly aware that Christmas will be with us imminently – perhaps even sooner than expected. People are beginning to queue en masse for the latest Michael Buble Christmas CD, Angry Bird speaker docks for the kids and their 14th copy of Elf on DVD.
Paper Kawaii is a blog-style website run by an origami enthusiast, currently residing in Australia, who loves to post diagrams and links to the most adorable origami I think I’ve ever seen. I only stumbled across the site by accident – I believe I was looking for patterns to make flowers at the time – and it’s now a permanent fixture on my favourites tool bar.
Flowers aside, the origami ribbon bow is my favourite find. I made the purple and blue ones below! I’ve used a couple of them to decorate a birthday present with.
These quick picture instructions show you how to recreate the design yourself…. don’t worry if you get stuck, I found it much easier to head over to the Paper Kawaii website here and follow the tutorial video. It’s 10 minutes long, but it’s 10 minutes that could easily change your life. Good luck!
As Hallowe’en eerily creeps nearer, what better time is there to crack out the stripey pipe cleaners and orange origami paper in order to create a unique and handmade Hallowe’en display.
I’m planning a little get together this weekend and, aside from the games, it wouldn’t be a proper party without the themed decoration. Plus I’m me. And I’ve never been one to do things half-heartedly. I’ve also taken a much more friendly approach to Hallowe’en this year – smiley pumpkins look much more fun and kawaii around the house than the traditional scream mask.
Using the fabulous Origami Club website for guidance, I’ve folded, creased and pressed my way to a field full of pumpkins and a sky full of adorable paper bats. Follow the logo link to find the patterns for these. Kirigami has come in handy to make the spider webs – to copy this yourself, just imagine you’re making a Christmas snowflake but make the cuts horizontally rather than diagonally to look like a web.
Love the pipe cleaner spiders? Follow this link to watch the how-to video! I’ve attached cotton to mine so I can hang them from the ceiling…
And finally (for now) is this fantastic 3D Jack Skellington from the Nightmare Before Christmas that I made today. I found the print-out pattern for it online and have pain-stakingly spent all morning cutting and sticking. This printable craft was made for children. I’m almost 23 and found it quite fiddly! Best as a team effort maybe. Now that it’s finished though, how good does it look sat on my living room mantelpiece?!
I can’t wait to show you my finished Hallowe’en display once it’s all put together. Check back soon for the photos!