embroidery floss

Beyond the Box: No-Glue, No-Sew 3D Paper Dot Garland

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3D paper dot garland Every so often, I like to share with you ways to use wrapping paper that don't have to do with, well, wrapping a present. This 3D paper dot garland — a cheerful, homemade party decoration — is made from gift wrap, sticker paper and embroidery floss, and is super easy to make. Once you get the hang of putting it together, completing the garland is mindless, repetitive work that can be done while watching t.v.

Now that I have these ones made, I'm going to have to throw a party so I can use them! Find the how-to after the break.

3D paper dot garland: materials

Materials

  • A variety of wrapping paper, either new or used; this is a great project for using up scraps of your favourite papers. I also used wallpaper for my garland; any type of paper will do, though.
  • Sticker paper. I used a selection of plain pinks as well as adhesive glitter papers, which I found at the dollar store. If you can't find a colour or pattern that you like, print your own onto adhesive sheets.
  • Embroidery thread. Thin ribbon, twine or string will also work.

How To

  1. Using a  1 1/4"  or larger circle punch, punch out lots of circles from the paper and sticker papers, keeping the paper circles separate from the sticker circles. (If you don't have a circle punch, you can also trace circle onto the back of the paper using a pencil and a round object, then cut them out with scissors, but this will take a lot longer.) You'll need 2 paper circles and 2 sticker circles to build each 3D dot. I mixed all my paper circles together and selected them at random to create a random pattern along the garland. I kept the plain pink stickers separate from the glitter stickers and used one of each for each dot so they all had a little sparkle.
  2. Fold all the paper circles in half, face to face (so the good side is "inside the book").3D Paper Dot Garland: in progress, Step 3
  3. Remove the back of a sticker circle. Attach half of one paper circle to one side, then half of a second paper circle to the second side, aligning the circles as closely as possible.3D Paper Dot Garland: in progress, Step 4
  4. Place the thread along the seam of the two half paper circles, then attach a second sticker circle, securing the thread between the four circles.
  5. Fold the sticker circles in half along the seams of the paper circles so the four wings of each dot stick out.
  6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for each dot, placing the dots equal distance along the thread until you have a garland your desired length. I placed my dots about 3" apart.
  7. Hang and party on!

3D Paper Dot Garland, detail

Variations

Adapt the design to suit any colour palette or party theme, using paper and thread in the colours and patterns of your choice. You can also use any paper — for example, try old maps, pages from books or magazines, or scrapbooking paper. For the stickers, you could print out a message or images onto adhesive paper sheets to customize the garland even further.

Easter Egg Wrap How-to

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I never think of Easter as much of a gift-giving occasion, but it inspires such lovely spring motifs and colour-palettes. These small, speckled blue styrofoam eggs, which I found at the dollar store, were my jumping off point for this package.

My first inclination was to pair the eggs with a flax-colour paper and garden twine, but that combo has been so done, I was bored before I even started. Instead of going for a soft, nest-inspired palette, why not make the blue pop against a complementary orange-yellow? Add a touch of pink and you have a trio of Easter colours, but with a little more modern oomph than traditional pastels.

I threaded the eggs onto three colours of embroidery floss to make up the bow, while three layers of tissue cut with a scalloped edge create a flower-like pouf at the top of the gift.

Materials:
  • 3 sheets of tissue paper (2 sheets of colour A, 1 sheet of colour B)
  • 3 colours of embroidery floss
  • 6 styrofoam eggs (I found these speckled blue ones at the dollar store), or other decorative item, such as beads or small faux flowers
How-to:
  1. On one piece of tissue in colour A, trace a circle  large enough so it will leave a nice pouf when gathered around the gift; a general rule of thumb is to have at least two inches above the gift. Using a scalloped-edged rotary cutter or pinking shears, cut the circle out.
  2. Cut a slightly larger circle from the sheet of tissue in colour B, then another slightly larger circle from the third sheet of tissue (the second sheet of colour A). There should be 1-4" difference in diameter between each circle. Set aside.
  3. Cut a length of each colour of embroidery floss long enough to tie around the gathered tissue, plus a little extra to allow for tying knots.
  4. Thread a needle with one length of floss, then thread through a styrofoam egg from tip to bottom. To secure the egg in place, tie a knot on either side, as close to the egg as possible. From the bottom end of the egg, cut off any excess thread. Attach a second egg to the other end of the floss in the same way. Repeat with the other two colours of floss. You should have three lengths of floss, each threaded with two eggs (one on either end).
  5. Stack the three tissue circles so they are centred, with the smallest circle on the bottom and the largest on the top.
  6. Place your gift in the centre, then gather up the tissue around the gift and tie with the three egg-decorated embroidery flosses. I tied all three pieces of floss together as one bow, but you may find it easier to tie each one separately. Adjust tissue pouf as necessary before tightening the bow.