Category: paper crafts

gift card wreath

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (2)

My memory is horrible…. I thought I had already posted this back in June, when I made it for my youngest son’s teacher as an end of year gift. The students in the class donated money for gift cards to the teacher’s favorite shops and restaurants. I purchased the gift cards in small amounts so that we could have many cards instead of a few larger ones.

On a large piece of foam board I cut out a circle and an inner circle. The largest was 12 inches in diameter. I used different sized bowls to trace the circles. My goal was to have the width of the ring the same size as the length of a clothes pin. I then traced this circle onto two sheets of 12×12 card stock (different patterns) and glued those onto the foam board. I put the paper on the front and the back, just to give it a nice look no matter where it was hanging. I then glued thin ribbon to the outer and inner edges, using hot glue.

On the clothes pins I used washi tape. My obsession with washi tape is bordering on insane, so I had plenty of patterns to choose from.

I then used hot glue to attach the clothes pins to the ring.

A ribbon finished off the wreath.

Added the gift cards, and voila! The gift was ready to go!

twisterfishcrafts gift card wreath (1)

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homemade cards — house

twisterfishcrafts welcome home card (5)

I received a “we’ve moved” notice and I wanted to send them a “welcome to your new home” card. This is what I came up with.

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Advent Calendars

twisterfishcrafts advent calendar bags (1)



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After years of Lego advent calendars, it was time to do something different.

I decided to make an advent calendar so I did a little online searching for ideas — I liked the ones that had an activity to do each day.

Using blank business cards I had leftover from another craft, I printed an idea for each day. I used a large font and printed them in red.

At a big box store I found packs of colorful paper goodie bags in the clearance section. Some of the packs were only 90 cents each while a few were almost $2. I purchased a few different colors and patterns. All totaled less than $10, and there are enough left over to do another set for next year.

With my star and snowflake paper punches I took scraps of paper in white, green, and gold, and punched out a bunch of these shapes.

Using scrapbook paper with numbers on them, along with a few number stickers, I was able to find enough numbers from 1 to 24.

Assembly was easy: I put a card in a paper bag and sewed it closed using my sewing machine, sewing the number and some of the snowflakes and stars along with it.

I was careful to put easier activities (such as “make a card for your grandparents”) on days I knew we’d be busy with school and piano practice and other obligations, and more complex activities (such as “make a bird feeder for the winter birds”) for the weekend days when we’d have more time.

Tied the stack of these bags up with a ribbon, and now they’re ready for December 1st!


But …

My almost 9 year old told me that advent calendars must have chocolate. I don’t know where he got this idea since the advent calendars he’s had in recent years (Lego) didn’t have chocolate, but he was insistent.

So I made a second advent calendar using a 24 mini muffin baking tin. We put 2 chocolate kisses in each of the 24 spots. Then we numbering circles I punched from card stock and used glue dots to adhere them to larger circle tags. I put ribbons on those tags, and two small pieces of sticky-back magnets on the back of each one, to keep the chocolates in and the numbers in place.

Ta-da! Advent calendar #2. With chocolate.

twisterfishcrafts advent calendar tin

woven art

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After making cards by weaving strips of maps, photos, and pages from books, I set out to weave a larger art piece. This summer I was explaining my plans to my sister-in-law and she asked me to make one for her. So I did.

It took me a few months because I was creatively stuck. I knew this piece of art would include a map of the area where she lives, and a page from a thesaurus. But which page? Which word, or words, would go well for her? And what else to weave with it? Maybe a photo, but which one? Weeks went by before I could start. Then months. Then I decided just to get started and see what happens.

As I gathered the map and the thesaurus, inspiration struck. In the drawer I keep the thesaurus I had put all the items I gathered from our summer vacation. There were maps, brochures, paper gift bags from museum gift shops, and lots of other mementos. One museum we went to is very near and dear to my sister-in-law, and I had a brochure and a gift bag from that one. Perfect! And while flipping through the thesaurus, I came upon words associated with family and lineage and knew those were the pages to use.

I cut horizontal strips from the map, the thesaurus, and from the museum shop gift bag. Vertical strips were cut from the cover of the museum’s brochure, which features a famous painting on display at the museum, and a picture of the museum grounds.

I started by arranging the horizontal strips. Unfortunately, after cutting the map the pieces fell on the floor and it took me quite some time to piece them back together. It was important to me that the map was in order in the piece. Good thing I know that area well and am familiar with most of the town names! But, wow, it took a lot of time to set it right before I could start weaving.

I used Washi tape to secure the left side of the strips. As you can see from the pictures, I made the mistake of not lining it up with the lines on my cutting board. Silly mistake. If I had done that, the process at the end to square it up would have been much easier.

Then I started weaving. I was careful to not cover names of towns that were important to my sister in law. Her hometown and the town she currently lives in are in sight, as is the town she works in. And I did the same for certain words from the thesaurus.

Looking at the final piece, it may not be obvious what the vertical strips are, but if she looks closely, and spends some time examining the piece (which I hope she does!), she may notice bits of the reflecting pond from the museum grounds, and the eye of the woman in the painting that was on the cover of the brochure.

After the weaving was complete and squared, I chose a piece of textured card stock to mount it on. Using my sewing machine threaded with white thread, I stitched around the piece to secure it to the card stock.  Then I cut the strips that were too long. The piece was then inserted into a frame I purchased, and boxed up and mailed to my sister-in-law.

Below are the pictures I took as I did this project. It was a lot of fun and turned out exactly as I had hoped it would. Definitely will be making one of these for myself very soon!

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Warning: When you notice a piece of fuzz on your very sharp cutter, do not wipe it off using your thumb.

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homemade cards — flowers

More homemade cards! This one was done using only petals made from the Shakespeare play. A small piece of colored card stock was cut out and glued to the center.

twisterfish crafts paper flower

I must say, this was so much fun to do! I did quite a few cards with this weaving technique. Some used only pages from a Shakespeare play (purchased an old, faded copy at the thrift store for less than a dollar). A few had pages from that book along with colored card stock. Some used strips cut from a small book of maps (also from the thrift store). And one included a photo cut into strips as well.

Once the weaving was complete, I sewed it onto the blank card using my sewing machine. On the reverse (inside front cover) I glued a solid piece of card stock to cover the stitching.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of each of the cards I made. Here are two I did remember to take pictures of before sending them out.

twisterfish crafts woven card twisterfish crafts woven card 2

Here’s another card that uses Washi tape to make flowers. I made small flowers, and used a piece of card stock paper for the center of each flower.

twisterfish crafts washi flowers (2)

I’ve been having so much fun making homemade cards lately. Here is one I made today.

I started with a white card I purchased as a pack of 8 at the craft store. Using an old thesaurus I purchased for 25 cents at a thrift store, and a roll of washi tape from my huge washi tape collection (oh how I love washi tape!), I cut out petal shapes. The washi tape helped to hold down the larger paper petals in the back, and then the center (a different washi tape) held down the smaller petals in front. Then I used my sewing machine to sew them on, to give it more depth and interest. I love that it’s not perfect (notice the center — the thread didn’t stay in some of the stitches for some reason)…. Flowers aren’t perfect!

twisterfish crafts card

On the inside of the card I covered up the stitching by making another flower, but this time without the paper. And I reversed the washi tape that was used for the front flower. I like that the stitches give it texture.

twisterfish crafts card inside

Couldn’t finish this off without adding another flower to the envelope. This one was also made using washi tape — one with the same color but a different pattern.

twisterfish crafts card and envelope