Sunday, 4 October 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 4 and a recycled paper frame tutorial


As promised, here's my first ever tutorial! Please keep reading for details of how to gain an extra entry for my giveaway, too :-)

OK, here's a pic of a mirror I decorated using paper that would otherwise have gone into the recycle bin:

This technique works great to cover wide picture frames or mirror frames (as here); I've tried it with wooden frames, but it ought to work fine with heavy-duty cardboard or chipboard, too, which means you can cut the frames yourself to any size you like. The mirror shown here is 10" square including the frame, and came from Ikea (so was very cheap!)

To start off with, collect together some old magazines - glossies work particularly well. You'll also need double-sided tape, scissors, a skewer, a paper trimmer (or craft knife and metal edged ruler) and the frame itself (obviously!!)

Sort through the magazines, tearing out any pages which might be of use. It's up to you whether you go for colours that tone with each other, or just a complete mixture. (I did the latter, partly because it's easier - no comparing pages to check that they 'go', and I can use up more of each magazine this way too.) You'll basically be making paper 'beads' and only a small strip of each page will show, so you can probably use more pages than you might immediately think - for example, any pictures in the magazine will almost certainly be unrecognisable once they've been trimed and rolled, so you just need to look for a section of page that has an interesting colour and/or texture. Here are the pages I picked from the two magazines shown above:

From some of these, only a smallish section of the page will be of use (for example, on the topmost page of the pile, the three photos will be cut out separately to create three different 'beads'). Sometimes most of a page can be used (such as the second page in the pile, where pretty much the whole thing is pink and white - the lettering won't be readable once it's all trimmed and rolled, so I don't need to worry about that).

Now cut your chosen sections of page into strips which are about 1 inch wide. Slightly wider strips will be easier to handle and will give you slightly wider 'beads', which will also allow you to cover the frame more quickly, so might be a good option! In truth the width of the strip doesn't matter enormously, but once you've chosen a measurement, stick with it for all the strips. Here are a few I cut as examples:

Remember that only a narrow strip near the very edge of each piece will actually be visible on top of the 'bead', the rest will be rolled inside, so cut your strips accordingly. Also, as you can see, the length of the strips varies depending how much of the page was a colour and pattern I wanted to use. Longer strips provide you with several 'beads' because you can cut them to smaller lengths once they've been rolled.

Now take your first strip and decide which edge you want to be visible. Turn the strip over and apply double-sided tape along the back of this edge:

(Hope this is clear! Here I want the bottom edge of my strip to be visible, so I've added tape to the bottom edge of the back...)

Now roll the strip around the skewer, starting with the edge that doesn't have tape, and stopping just as you reach the tape:

Peel away the tape's backing and finish rolling, pressing down the end firmly. Slip the 'bead' off the skewer and press flat, making sure the seam is on the bottom (so it will be hidden when you attach the 'bead' to the frame):

(I've shown the seam on top here - I'd make sure this side was on the bottom when sticking it to the frame.)

Once you have a collection of 'beads', cover the frame with strips of double-sided tape. (Unfortunately I don't have an illustrative photo for this bit because I didn't have a spare, blank frame. I'll update this tutorial when I do get hold of another frame of some kind!)

Arrange the strips along each edge of the frame, allowing the ends to overlap slightly then trimming them to neaten:

When you get to the corners, you can mitre them as I've done here, or choose any alternative arrangement you like - I'll do a couple of varied examples when I get more frames (I feel a trip to Ikea coming on...) I added extra strips over the mitring to hide untidy ends:

And that's it! You have a decorated frame :-)

If you've read this far, well done!!

Now, as I said before, this is the first tutorial I've posted. As such, I really would welcome feedback - and I truly don't mean that I want lots of lovely comments telling me that it's great! If you do like it, please do tell me, I'd love to hear it - but if you have any constructive criticisms, I won't be offended and I really do want to know. So, anyone who leaves a comment in reply to this post, offering me feedback (good or bad), will receive an extra entry into my giveaway. (Don't forget to also visit my original giveaway post if you haven't already done so, and comment there in order to gain an entry!)

And a final Blogtoberfest note - I don't intend to add a photo of the day today, as I think I've posted _quite_ enough photos already - and they were all taken today, after all!


Anonymous said...

Oh that's freakin' awesome! Reminds me of a layout I did recently. The red, white and black one. Super cute!!

LemonyRenee' said...

That is really beautiful! I admire your patience. Thanks!

Pato said...

Wow! I will have to try this someday...

Thanks for the tutorial!

Sarah said...

Great tutorial, everything is explained really clearly and there are excellent pics to get an understanding. Now you have done your first, what other tutorials do you have to share, I cant wait to see.

Heather said...

Easy to understand. Not sure I have the patience to finsish one off :-)

melody said...

great tutorial chickie! wow..that is one kewl frame!

Grethic said...

Great tutorial, what patience you must have!

Karen said...

Well done, very inspiring with great photos. Gotta get me a frame!

Birgit said...

That's a great idea -- and now I know what to do with the one IKEA mirror I have in my cupboard. :)

Greetings from Munich,

Designer Row said...

I can't wait to try this. A friend gave me a box of acrylic sign holders and I was looking for something crafty I could do with them when i came across your tutorial. You didn't mention using anything acrylic but I'm gonna try it anyway. I especially like the tidbit about using heavy cardboard and cutting your own frames. GREAT IDEA!

Designer Row said...

Is there a certain technique to rolling the paper on the skewer. I can't seem to do it???

humel said...

Hi Designer Row,

Wider strips tend to be a bit easier to roll; with thin magazine paper I found that 1 inch was the minimum width I could handle asily, and they do tend to be a bit fiddly to start off. Maybe try rolling the strip around something wider (like a straw) first to soften the fibres a bit before going for the smaller diameter of the skewer? One other thing that might help is to try shorter lengths of strip, cutting them to be just wider than the frame you're covering?

Sorry to hear you're having trouble with it, I hope you sort it out - I'd love to see what you make :-)

Mel x