Make your very own personalised Passport cover – the ultimate travel essential! It’s easy to make and looks fantastic! FIMO leather-effect has a similar look and feel to leather even after baking. Designed for you to mix colours, create textures, cut, emboss, braid, pierce and sew. It also makes a great gift for your jet-setting friends!
1. Make a card template for the passport with 2 pieces for the inside pockets.
Note – the size of pockets allows for trimming approximately 5mm from the edges after they have been glued in place.
2. Press 2 blocks of FIMO Leather Effect between your thumbs and fingers to make rectangles approximately 6cm x 10cm. Stack the 2 rectangles together.
3. Flatten the FIMO with a rolling pin to make the rectangle bigger, approximately 10cm x 15 cm. The edges can be carefully pulled with your fingers to stretch the FIMO.
4. Roll the FIMO through the clay machine on setting 1 (or use the widest setting, on some machines this may be ‘0’) OR use the rolling pin to carefully roll the FIMO to 3mm thickness.
5. Fold over the rolled FIMO, in half, then in half again to make 4 layers.
6. Flatten the FIMO again with a rolling pin into a 12cm x 15cm rectangle, then roll it through the clay machine on setting 1, then 2, then 3. OR roll out to approx. 2mm If necessary, trim the edges into straight lines each time the FIMO is rolled.
Note: The number settings are for the FIMO Clay Rolling Machine.
7. Carefully place the FIMO onto a large tile or baking tray and trim the uneven edges into straight lines.
8. Check the rolled FIMO is roughly the same size as the template, or up to 5mm smaller on each side is OK. If it isn’t big enough, carefully lift the rolled FIMO and stretch it into shape.
9. Repeat steps 1-7 using another FIMO Leather colour to make a matching rectangle. Place it onto a tile.
10. Lift up one of the FIMO rectangles and place it on top of the other colour. Gently press over the top with a rolling pin.
11. Roll the 2 colour layers through the clay machine on setting 1 to flatten them or roll out to approx 2mm with a rolling pin. Trim any uneven edges then roll it again on setting 2, then on 3 or approx 1.5mm with a rolling pin. Save the offcuts to make the pockets.
12. Place the rolled FIMO onto a sheet of baking parchment on a tile, with the colour for the outside facing upwards. Cut around the template to make an accurate shape with curved edges.
13. To add a surface pattern, press a Texture Sheet into the rolled FIMO. Check the size of the FIMO with the card template, trimming or pressing the edges if necessary.
14. Press stamps into the surface of the FIMO to add a name, lettering or an image. To help position the stamps, draw around the card template onto a piece of paper with guidelines. To prevent the stamps sticking, they can be lightly coated in bicarbonate of soda before pressing into the FIMO surface.
15. Use a small strip of card or plastic to press stitch marks around the edge of the FIMO.
16. Use the baking parchment to carefully lift the FIMO onto a piece of thick card placed onto a tile or baking tray. Peel away the parchment, place a strip of card on one side inside the cover then fold it over. Add another strip of card to add more depth if you need to. Check the corners and edges line up, if you need to adjust them, do this by moving the card rather than touching the FIMO.
17. Gather up the left over FIMO pieces into a ball.
18. Flatten the FIMO with a rolling pin to make a marbled effect. The width needs to be about 12-14cm.
19. Roll the marbled FIMO through the clay machine, on settings 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, to make a thin sheet, or roll out the clay with a rolling pin to a thickness of roughly 1.5mm.
20. Place rolled the FIMO onto on a tile. If it’s too big, trim the edges. Re-roll the clay through the machine again for a more granular pattern.
Wherever you travel, you shouldn’t be without a luggage tag, and not only does this one looks fantastic – it’s super easy to make yourself from FIMO leather-effect modelling clay. It remains flexible after it has been hardened and can even be sewn. Stamped rose gold lettering gives the tag a touch of elegance, the perfect gift for your globetrotting friends. So, roll on the next trip!
1. Roll out a block of nut FIMO leather-effect into a thin sheet. The sheet should be less than 1 mm thick after you have rolled it out.
2. Arrange the letter stamps into a suitable word, e.g. Wanderlust, Travel Time or even your own name. Press the stamp evenly and gently into the FIMO leather-effect, so that the lettering is imprinted onto the sheet.
3. Lay the FIMO leather-effect sheet on baking paper and harden in the oven on the middle shelf for 30 minutes at 130 °C / 266° F. Leave to cool.
4. Cut the tag template out of paper. Place the whole template onto the FIMO leather-effect sheet, centring it over the lettering. Draw round the edges with a pencil. Place the template on the FIMO a second time, but this time only draw round the smaller, left-hand piece. Don’t draw round the tab on the right. Cut both templates out of the FIMO leather-effect sheet.
5. Cut out the pre-drawn “U” shape from the smaller section of FIMO using a cutter blade or sharp kitchen knife, creating a little folding window. This will form the fold-open tab that conceals the address label.
6. Now place the two pieces of FIMO leather-effect that you have cut out on top of each other. Sew (almost) all around them with the sewing machine. Leave a gap at the bottom of the tag, where the tab sticks out. This will be where you insert the address label later.
7. Cut off the protruding tab leaving a 1 mm space for sewing.
8. Place the tab back on the tag and sew it down – making sure that you can still open the tag.
Top tip! Work in progress and left-over material should be protected against sun and heat and can be stored in aluminium foil, metal or plastic boxes or bags (except polystyrene) to protect it from dust and dirt.
9. Pre-punch holes as required in the appropriate places to allow you to attach the stud fastener at the place marked. Alternatively, you can use a hand drill. Then attach the stud fastener to the tab.
10. Now cut a 1 cm by 20 cm strip from the remaining FIMO leather-effect.
11. Attach the stud fastener to the strip, so that you can close it.
12. Cut a slot in the top of the luggage tag using a knife and thread the strip through it. If you like, you can jazz up the tag with another little design. To do this, simply stamp an aeroplane shape out of the FIMO leather-effect sheet using a punch, pierce a hold in it and thread it onto a ring.
13. Colour in the lettering with rose gold acrylic paint and leave to dry completely.
Finally attach the little aeroplane to the big luggage tag. And you’re done!
I’m crackers about crackers! I don’t know about you but I think crackers are one of the best things about a Christmas dinner table especially if they have been made to compliment your chosen theme, you can even add a whole lot of fun with animal designs too!
1. Choose a plain or patterned paper sheet then use the template to draw and cut out the cracker base taking extra care on the diamond shapes.
2. Use a bone folder and ruler to score where indicated then fold along the score line as shown in the photo below.
3. Glue along the tabs then roll the cracker into a tube shape and hold for a minute until the cracker holds its shape. Tie a piece of ribbon at each end of the cracker with a double knot.
4. Decorate each of the crackers with an assortment of embellishments.
How to Make a Reindeer Cracker
1. Once you have a brown cracker base use the templates to draw and cut out the tux and bow tie along with the antlers.
2. First attach both the antlers to the top then cut a strip of patterned paper to fit around the top, fussy cut a triangular shape along the edge then fix in place around the top.
3. Punch two small circles from black cardstock and draw a curved line on both using a white gel pen, attach these under the hat.
4. Fussy-cut a rounded triangular shape from cream cardstock then a slightly smaller one form black cardstock, attach the two together then from a small black line at the bottom before attaching below the eyes.
5. Fold up the bow by bending each end over and fixing in the middle with glue, adhere the tux then glue the bow on top before adding a glitter button, use the anywhere hole punch to make the three tiny black buttons and fix them to the tux front to finish.
This 3D Christmas Tree Card is a must if you’re looking for a showstopper make to send to extra-special recipients. The card folds flat which makes sending it off in the post super-easy, if you’re hand delivering your card why not decorate the front of the envelope with a few embellishments and a brush lettered name?!
1. Start by trimming three 6 x 6” panels in Kraft cardstock then score each one diagonally through the middle.
2. Glue each panel on top of each other at the diagonal score lines ensuring they fold freely.
3. Fold the score lines and bend the card around to form the card base, one outer edge will sit under the opposite outer edge forming a triangular shape.
4. Trim four patterned paper panels slightly smaller than each side fixing in place with glue.
5. Decorate three of the sides with stars, flowers and leaves ensuring to leave one outer panel for tucking underneath.
6. Glue two lengths of twine behind flowers and attach each one at the edges where the two side meet to form the tree shape, tie a bow to keep the tree upright.
7. For the envelope take a 12 x 12” piece of Kraft cardstock and score at 4” 4 ¼“ 10 ½“ and 10 ¾“ turn 90 degrees and score at ½” ¾” 9 ½“ 9 ¾“ and 10 ¼” cutting along the 10 ¼“ discard the remaining strip.
8. Cut out all four corners where all the score lines cross over then fold along all of the lines burnishing with a bone folder.
9. Trim a 3 x 8 ¾” panel of matching cardstock, round two of the corners then glue to the shorter end.
10. Punch four small holes using a anywhere screw hole punch, ensure the holes meet up when the envelope is closed. Add some twine though the holes as a closure.
It’s so simple to create a vibrant, put together kids’ birthday party with only a few craft supplies and a bit of imagination! Here Becki Clark shows us how to create fun ice cream party bags, mini flag toppers, sprinkle plates and a decorative garland that do just the trick!
1. Using the circular craft punch on the coloured card, create a selection of coloured card circles. These will be your ice cream ‘scoops’ so if you wanted you could draw some sprinkles on with the Posca pens or get the birthday boy or girl help with some drawing onto them!
2. Cut a tall triangle out of a yellow card to use as your cone.
3. Using the white Posca paint pen you can draw diagonal lines down the cone in both directions to create the grid effect on the cone
4. Stick your cone onto the bags and then add the coloured circles to create your ice cream stack!
1. Begin in the centre of your plate as the paint pens smudge quite easily so its better to work outwards from the centre
2. Draw rectangles and colour them in at different angles to create a sprinkle effect. I found it easier to draw each sprinkle alternating the colours rather than drawing all the pink first, this way I could make sure the colours were even across the plate.
3. Don’t be too worried if your rectangles aren’t all exactly the same, as long as they are all working in different directions and colours they will create the sprinkle effect
4. When you’re happy with your design pop the plate in the oven for 20-40 mins on 140 degrees to bake and secure your design, this will make it washable. You could varnish your plate to make it food safe however it would be best if these are used as decorative items rather than for food.
Shaker cards make perfect Christmas cards, the dinky compartments are ideal for housing faux snow or twinkly gold star confetti – just like this card! This design even comes with a removable shaker star, that can be hung on the lucky recipients Christmas tree.
1. Begin by matting the front of a 5 x 7” card blank with navy blue geometric patterned paper, leaving a 5mm border.
2. Trim a sheet of texture white card slighter larger than the matted layer, but still leaving a border of 3mm from the card blank. Die cut two star shapes using the mini decorative star die. Place the centre of die about 5.7cm up from the bottom edge for the lower star, and about 7.7cm placement for the higher star. Keep the lower star die cut to one side.
3. Cut a sheet of acetate to cover the reverse of both star apertures. Fix in place using tacky glue. Use 3D foam tape and squares to fully surround each star on the reverse. Also add foam tape around the outer edges to support the whole panel piece.
4. Die cut the star from a sheet of white textured card leaving plenty of spare card around it. Mark the star arm that is the top point, and use this to create a template for the larger shaker star. Draw in pencil a larger star shape 8mm bigger than the die cut aperture star. Use a craft knife and ruler to cut away the larger star making a template.
5. Die cut the star again from gold glitter card. Place back in the central swirl from the white textured star.
6. Use the large star template to cut four stars, one from white textured card, one from navy blue patterned paper, one from acetate and one from matching navy blue textured card. This star shape is handed, so mark the pieces with the same top point to keep them matching exactly.
7. Trim away the centre off the navy blue textured star to leave a 5mm star shaped frame. Fix this onto the acetate star to make the shaker top. Then fix in place the gold star with white swirl into the centre area.
8. Glue down the patterned paper star onto the textured surface of the white star, leaving the smooth side on the reverse. This is the back of the shaker star that could hold a hidden message.
9. Trim several thin strips of 3D foam tape to surround the outer edge of the patterned paper star creating the shaker compartment. Also add a double layer of 3D foam mini dots right in the centre.
10. Carefully fill the shaker compartment with gold confetti stars and a few punched stars from scrap pieces of the navy blue textured card.
11. Fix the shaker star top cover onto the prepared base to complete the removable shaker star.
12. Place some more gold and blue loose shaker stars onto the prepared card blank where the two smaller shaker stars are positioned. Fix down the prepared cover panel onto the card front, in-casing those shaker stars.
13. Die cut another decorative star from gold glitter card, and retrieve the lower white star from the front panel. Trim away the centre pattern of both stars with a craft knife to leave a star frame. Fix these onto the front panel within the star shapes on the acetate, placing the gold frame on the higher star, and the white frame in the original lower position.
14. Create a horizontal banner across the front of the card to house the Merry Christmas gold glitter sticker sentiment. Use the smoother reverse side of the textured white card. Fix this onto the card front using a double layer of 3D foam tape, leaving an area free to support the large shaker star. Place a tiny triangle of double layered foam tap behind the lower edge of the banner between the legs of the large star to prevent it from slipping down.
15. Add several gold glitter sticker stars to the design to complete the card. Add three additional stars behind the large shaker star, so that they can be seen when the shaker star is removed.
The completed card with the star decoration included.
The completed card with the star decoration removed, ready for hanging on the Christmas tree.
Create some colourful clay animals inspired by the vibrant, decorative folk arts of Mexico. Mexican popular art often has a very humorous and light-hearted tone which compliments the intensity of its colours. These characters are easy to make at home and are sure to add a pop of colour to any corner, give as a gift, or even use as a paperweight!
Francesca Tiley is a British Mexican illustrator with a love for bold colours, patterns and folk art. When visiting Mexico as a child, Francesca was always excited by the markets, toys, food and bright decorations that she would see there. This striking imagery now influences her aesthetic as an illustrator.
1. First start with a small handful of clay and knead this into a ball. It’s good to use a surface that is easy to wipe clean or which you don’t mind getting mucky as the clay may stick.
2. Start to shape the clay into the general shape of your animal. You can make up your own imaginary animal or follow the shape of a real one.
3. Next start to shape out any ears, arms or legs. Start to pinch out parts of clay, extending them from the main body. Here I am starting to make the shape of the rabbit’s ears.
4. You may want to push parts of the clay around the body to add or remove weight in certain areas e.g. I might make take clay from the top of the animal down to the base to create the impression of a head on top of a body.
5. Once you’re happy with the overall shape, add a bit of water to smooth out any bumps or creases with your fingers.
6. Leave your animal to dry in a warm safe place for a couple of days. It’s a good idea to turn the animal over during this time to allow it to dry quickly and evenly.
Top tip! If you’re making more than one animal I recommend making them all in one batch as you can think about how they will look together. I’ve decided to make a rabbit, snail and something between a pig and a bear! Don’t worry about it being realistic, the brighter and more expressive the better!
7. Once your animal is dry decide which base colour you’d like to paint each one. Mix in some white with your chosen colour as this will ensure that it’s opaque enough to fully cover the clay. You can use your largest brush for this part
8. You may want to make your set of animals all the same colour or varied. Mexican colours tend to be bright and bold.
9. Let your base colour dry till it’s okay to touch. Acrylic paints tend to dry quickly depending on how thick you’ve applied them.
10. You can then begin to paint your secondary colour with your medium brush. I like to choose contrasting tones that pop! Your secondary colour is used to highlight certain areas of the animal e.g. its paws, nose or tummy. These highlights will add to its overall personality.
Top tip! If you have painted your animals different base colours, you can use the same palette throughout to keep them looking as a set.
11. Once the secondary colour is dry we come on to do the detail. Use your smallest brush for this. Chose colours that will stand out against your base and secondary colour.
12. This is the point when I get stuck into embellishing the animal! You may want wiggles, dots or abstract shapes – this is when you can really define your animal’s personality
Remember to think about all sides! Front, back, top and…
13. Once you’re happy with your final design, let your animal dry for an hour and then apply a layer of varnish with your medium brush. Paint one side, allow this to dry, and then turn over and paint the other. You can always add more than one layer of varnish to ensure it’s well protected.
With the warmer weather approaching, there is nothing like a bit of crafting to get us all out of those winter blues! Wind socks are a wonderful, creative and simple idea to brighten up the garden patio and add decoration. They come in all sorts of shapes, sized and designs for you to try.
Here’s how to make your very own dinosaur and unicorn windsock!
Start by preparing your craft items and clear your surface area.
Begin painting your cardboard tube in your chosen base colour. Once completely covered, leave to dry for 15-30 minutes.
While your tube is drying, start by cutting strips of tissue paper which will act as the tails of your windsock. Make sure the strips measure at approximately 2cm wide to prevent the tissue paper from ripping.
Once your cardboard tube is completely dry you can begin by adding on your details. You can use Easy Glue eyes, Pom-poms, pens and coloured cardboard to create the features of your unicorn or dinosaur.
After you are finished adding detail to your windsock, apply some glue inside your cardboard tube at the bottom end and stick your colourful strip around the circumference of the tube.
At the top end of your tube, pierce two holes either side of your windsock. Get an adult to help you with this as this part can be tricky.
Thread a piece of string through one hole and another piece of string through the other. Tie a firm knot in both.
Attach both pieces of loose string to a wooden stick.
Create a one-of-a-kind easel card for your nearest and dearest this Christmas with a helping hand from a few papercraft essentials. This card can be recreated using any patterned papers; for this project the super-versatile Ho Ho Ho Paper Pad has been used, fussy-cutting houses to create a village scene.
Begin by trimming off 6.2cm along the length of an A4 sheet of white textured card, leaving a piece 14.8cm wide. Score and valley fold to make a square top-fold card blank with the textured surface on the inside. Repeat this with a second sheet of white textured card, but this time score a mountain fold so the textured surface in on the outside of the top-fold card.
2. Die cut a 13cm diameter circle aperture in the centre of the textured card front. Also die cut two 13cm diameter circle frames from kraft card to edge the card aperture.
3. Glue the two kraft frames together, and glue this in place around the aperture on the textured card front.
4. Trim a 14.4cm square from green snowflake patterned paper. Matt this into place on the top textured surface, inside of the smooth card blank. Trim another piece of the same patterned paper 14.4 x 9.5cm. Matt this on the bottom textured surface against the top fold, leaving a spare white strip at the bottom.
5. Use the Christmas sentiment die to die cut into a piece of spare white card. Cut again in the smooth side of a sheet of dark red textured card. Using the white die cut, fill back in the banner letters and stars with waste from the red die cut. Using the red die cut as a guide, cut two banner shaped pieces from spare white card to fix on the reverse holding the red letters and stars in place.
6. Glue the two card sections together creating an easel card.
7. Cut off about a 15 cm length of invisible thread. Trim from white paper another backing piece for the large banner of the die cut sentiment. Apply some tacky glue to the top curve of the kraft frame from 11 to 1 o’clock. Fix down the middle section of the thread into the glue and hold in place with three tiny pieces of paper. Secure the ends of the thread to the back of the large banner using tacky glue and the paper backing piece. Allow enough thread between the sentiment banner and the kraft frame to enable the die cut to hang freely within the circle aperture. Allow to dry.
8. Die cut a third kraft aperture frame, and glue in place as before.
9. Die cut three kraft snowflakes using one of the dies from the snowflake pack. Choose the one that looks most like the snowflakes in the patterned paper.
10. Punch three white stars using the palm punch traditional star cutter. Also die cut three more dark red stars from the sentiment die. Mount the red star on top of the white star, and fix onto the centre of the three kraft snowflakes.
11. Trim with scissors a row of houses from the other side of the snowflake patterned paper. This needs to be long enough to be placed inside the base of the circle aperture. Trim a second row of houses 14.4cm long, including a 2 cm base area to be folded underneath.
12. Next cut a rectangle from white card measuring 14.4 x 6cm. Cover the top surface with wreath patterned paper leaving a 1.5cm strip along the top edge. Trim a narrow strip of the same paper to cover the back section of the folded row of houses to pattern match and cover the remaining white strip on the prepared rectangular piece.
13. Tie two pieces of twine through a white wooden outline star, like you would thread a tag. Thread three red mini bells onto another piece of twine and tie this the same way to another outline star.
14. Glue the single threaded star to the back of the card at the top right hand corner. Allow the star to hang over the top fold. Cover the twine ends with an additional strip of textured white card across the back, about 2cm deep.
15. Glue the ends of the other threaded star around the back of the prepared rectangular piece. Position the star in the centre of the wider area in front of the houses, and spread out the twine to reveal the Noel words. Fix this prepared panel to the base of the card using 3D foam pads to act as a stopper for the easel front.
16. Fix the shorter row of houses inside the circle aperture with foam pads. Glue in place the three kraft snowflakes around the frame.
17. Lastly, decorate the card with foam sticker sliver stars. Place these in the top corners, over the white stars on the die cut sentiment, and one with-in the wooden outline star at the front of the card.
This sweet swallow mobile is the perfect wall hanging for a newborn nursery. The pieces are made from air dry clay which is easy to use and takes to paint really well. Why not personalise your mobile with a name, or change the theme around to suit? You could do a weather, forest or transport theme for example.
Roll out the clay on a piece of cling film to a thickness of roughly 3mm. Print out the templates and copy them onto scraps of card so you have a nice firm base to draw around. Place them onto the clay and use a cocktail stick to draw around them. Draw out one cloud, two swallows (facing in opposite directions), two butterflies and six raindrops.
Take a sharp knife and gently cut them out. Be careful not to drag the clay as you cut it out as it will distort the shapes. Remove the excess clay.
Dip your finger into water and smooth the edges of the clay. Leave the shapes to dry overnight.
Take some sandpaper and gently sand the top and edges of all the pieces to make them smooth.
Paint the birds, butterflies and cloud white, and paint the raindrops pale blue.
On the white pieces, mark out in pencil the patterns you would like. Paint the details onto the birds and butterflies. Create a graded shade of pale blue by mixing it with white. For the clouds, paint blue eyes and add a little pink mouth and cheeks.
Add a layer of gloss Mod Podge to your pieces and leave to dry.
Lay the clay shapes face down and arrange them how you would like them to hang. Once you’re happy with the arrangement, lay pieces of twine on top and glue them in place. Trim the loose ends of the twine, leaving strands going up to allow you to hang the pieces.
Tie the clay pieces onto the length of dowel, spreading them out evenly. You can add a dab of glue to each knot to secure it in place.
Tie another piece of twine onto either end of the dowel so you can hang your mobile up.