Thursday, September 23, 2010

TUTORIAL: Paper Pieced Monkey

This is just one of the many embellishment tutorials you will find in my e-book titled Embellishments: Beautifully Handmade.

pattern (click here to print template)
patterned paper
specialty paper (i.e. handmade or mulberry paper)
silk &/or paper flowers
tweezers or fine-tipped scissors
spray bottle with water
pen or pencil

Print the template pieces (see link in supply list) and cut them out. If you think you'll make them more than once, I recommend transferring them to chipboard so they will hold up over time.

Lay your pattern piece, facedown, on the wrong side of your paper. This allows you to cut out without worrying about leaving stray pencil/pen marks behind.

Place your pattern into a sandwich or snack size baggie and label the bag. Don't risk losing pieces of your pattern by not bagging it immediately when done tracing. This is especially important when doing an advanced pattern that may have lots of small pattern pieces. I also find it helpful to snap a picture of the project when I am finished and include a printout of it in the bag for future reference.

Next, cut out your pieces.

Start adding character. Here are a few ways to add texture to your handmade paper or cardstock:

  • Put the paper through a paper crimper
  • Crumble your paper. Best results will be acheived if you spritz it lightly with water first to make the paper more pliable and avoid tearing it.
  • Create texture. You can make handmade or mulberry paper fuzzy by also spritzing with water and then using tweezers or fine-tipped scissors to "fluff" up the fibers.

  • paper crimping before & after:

"fluffing" of handmade paper before & after:

Before we go on, here is a detail shot of the fuzzy monkey made using handmade paper. It gives such a wonderful texture and dimension to your projects.

After adding some character, you'll want to adhere your pieces together, being careful to not get adhesive where it will show. I find that wet adhesive works best with the handmade paper and paper you've added texture to.

Then add buttons for eyes & brads for the nose to embellish your piece. A few variations are shown below---the differences primarily being button placement & mouth colors.

Add further details to personalize your pieces, including flowers, ribbon bows, hand stitching, etc. Before hand stitching, I prefer to poke my holes using my needle or a paper piercing tool making it easier (and quicker) to add stitching. You can make your monkey a male by simply leaving off the flowers and adding insets to the ears in the same color or pattern you used for the face.

You can add further character to your cardstock pieces by distressing them using the open blade of your scissors and scraping it along the edges to roughen them up.

here's an after detail shot of the roughened edges:

That's it folks! You are done and ready to adhere it to your project!

Want more detailed how-to projects as well as fun and colorful ideas for making your own embellishments? Check out Embellishments: Beautifully Handmade. The projects within are not JUST fun, unique, and beautiful: their cost is a fraction of what you’d pay for ready-mades.

You’ll make flowers from fabrics, felt, dollar store finds, patterned paper scraps, buttons and brads. I'll take you through the process of paper piecing, making the ever-popular epoxy buttons, your own journaling spots and much much more!

This e-book includes 10 chapters, 100 pages, of beautifully illustrated tutorials.

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