19 December 2015

Paper Fabric Christmas Fun

One of the many materials that I enjoy working with is what I call paper fabric. It's not paper and it's not fabric, but a combination of the two. The basic technique is pretty simple: you saturate a piece of cotton with diluted PVA glue and then add papers to it. Thinner papers work best, and I like to combine papers that I've bought or found with papers that I've decorated myself.

A selection of tissue paper with stamped and hand drawn patterns

It's wise to prepare all the papers in advance, because the technique is quite messy and it's difficult to tear paper with sticky fingers...

The most difficult part is waiting for it all to dry...

A sheet of paper fabric ready to be used. It's difficult to describe: it's a bit like card stock, and a bit like artificial leather or plastic and a bit like birch bark. It's stronger than paper and you can sew it by hand or machine.

When I first started making paper fabric I used it mainly for card-making:

but later I've discovered all sorts of other uses for it. This time I set myself a challenge to use it for a variety of Christmas decorations.

I cut it into strips and made a Froebel star

As I realized that both the front and the back of the paper fabric would be visible, I painted the back with white acrylic paint. The star looks quite different when you turn it around.

I also made a woven heart basket, and realized that weaving thin strips like this is pretty challenging.

If you want to make life easier for yourself, you can skip the basket and make the heart two-dimensional instead.

This round little ornament is quick as well as cute.

But my favourite has to be the pod! (I made a pod last year too. Perhaps I should make a new one every year?)

I thought it'd be fun to make a filigree candle wrap too, but of course this is only for LED candles. I wouldn't want to start a fire!

And then I made a filigree ornament.

Finally, I made a little garland with hearts on a string

and festive bunting for the Christmas tree:

Of course you could use ordinary paper or card stock for these objects, but I think it's a lot more fun if you can use a material that you made yourself. I hope I've inspired you to make some festive decorations yourself!

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