Archive for the ‘How-To’ Category

Paper Covered Nightstand

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Hi all! This week, I decided to tackle one of those I’ve-been-meaning-to-get-around-to-it-for-ages projects that has been plaguing our apartment for the 3 years we’ve lived there.

We all have pieces of furniture that we inherited when we were students, or got from that friend of a friend and just never got rid of. For my boyfriend and I, it was our nightstands…

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These very boring, very scratched, very faded nightstands have floated around with us every time we’ve moved, and are currently occupying space on either side of the bed. They add nothing to the room, and it’s high time these babies got some serious DIY love.

I’m not a huge fan of painting furniture. I am an inherently messy person (a.k.a. there’s always paint everywhere) and the paint never ends up looking as good as I want it to. Enter the beautiful black and white Scalloped Nepalese Paper (only $5.00 for a 20×30 sheet!).

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 Both my boyfriend and I love this patterned paper, and I’ve been looking for a use for it ever since I purchased it, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. And so we arrive at the title “Paper Covered Nightstand”.

This DIY is relatively simple and quick (it only took me 2 hours) and requires minimal equipment:

Nightstand Collage_1

-Screwdriver
-Patterned Paper (enough to cover the surface area of the doors and drawer faces)
-Xacto Knife
-Large Cutting Mat (not pictured)
-Neutral PH Adhesive or PVA glue (available in store for $11.95)
-Glue Brush (only $1.50 in store!)
-Bone folder (also available in store for $9.95)

Step 1:
Use the screwdriver to remove the doors and drawer faces of your nightstand. Give them a wipe with some warm soapy water to give the paper a clean surface to stick to, and dry them thoroughly.

Step 2:
Using your Xacto, trim the first sheet of paper around your door, leaving about 2″ of overhang (if you have very thick doors, you might need more overhang and thinner doors will need less).

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Step 3: Pour the glue directly onto the surface of the door (this will prevent it from drying too quickly) and spread it with the brush to coat the surface evenly. Making sure the paper’s pattern is lined up straight, lay it down on the door, and press down firmly. Hold the bone folder sideways and use it to smooth out any creases or air bubbles that form.

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Step 4: Lift up the edges of your paper and add glue to any areas you may have missed, then go over the edges with the bone folder to make sure they’re firmly glued down. If your door has a beveled detail, like mine does, run the bone folder along the bevel so the paper sits flush in the crease.

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Step 5: Poke a screw or the screw driver through any holes you need for hardware. It is important to do this while the glue is wet because it will plasticize when it dries and fill the hole, and you don’t want to have to drill a new one.

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Step 6: Carefully flip the door over so that you are now looking at the inside and the 2″ paper overhang. With the Xacto knife, make two cuts at the paper’s corner, one straight and one diagonally, to create a right triangle. Do the same thing to the adjacent corner, making sure the triangles mirror each other (the 2 straight edges should be paralell). Repeat the process on the other side of the door, and when you’re done, you should have 2 straight flaps, and 2 trapezoidal flaps (see below).

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Step 7: Brush glue onto the edge of the door adjacent to one of the trapezoidal flaps, and carefully fold the flap over, going over the edge with the bone folder. Lift the paper and glue down any sections you missed. Repeat this process on the opposite edge. If you get glue on part of the door that’s not covered by paper, don’t worry! Just wipe it with some warm water while its still wet.

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Step 8: Brush glue to the edge of the door below one of the overhanging corners. Carefully tuck the edge of the corner in on itself, then cover it with the remaining paper (see below). This process gives you a neat, hospital corner, and guarantees that no white will peak through your paper. Repeat this step on all 4 corners.

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Step 9: Apply glue to one of the remaining edges and fold over the rectangular flap, going over the edge with your bone folder. Lift the paper and apply glue to any spots you missed, pressing down firmly, and wiping any excess glue with warm water. Repeat the process on the last remaining edge.

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Step 10: With your knife and screwdriver, carefully cut and poke the holes needed for your hardware while the glue is still wet. When you’re done, set this door aside to dry, and repeat steps 1-10 on the remaining door and drawer faces.

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When you’re finished and all the pieces have dried, put the hardware back on and reattach them to the body of your nightstand. Now it’s time to stand back and admire your handiwork!

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I’m super happy with how this project turned out. My only problem now is restraining myself from covering every piece of furniture in our apartment! It’s very addicting…

Nightstand Collage_9

Good luck with all your paper DIYs!

Cheers!
Emma

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Pattern tracing

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Every now and then, I come across a pattern that I love, but maybe not in a colour scheme thats going to work for me. I found a lovely paisley chiyogami that was a touch loud for what I wanted it for.IMG_1636For starters, I picked my transfer paper, in this case, it was one of our solid colour nepalese papers. I find them to be a fairly robust paper, great for book covering ( I happen to be using this paper for a new sketchbook cover).

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  For the next step you’ll need a light source of some kind. I happen to have a light table attachment for my desk, but you could just as easily use a reading lamp and a glass coffee table or even a window on a sunny day, anything to backlight your patterned paper.

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After securing your pattern to the surface, tape down your solid paper so you don’t have movement, this could be especially important with a more complex pattern.

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IMG_1642Using a marker of your choosing, trace around the pattern it can be as loose as you want at this point, nothing needs to be perfect. Once you’ve finished you’ll have a new variation of paper that even we don’t carry, congratulations.

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In case you don’t want to transfer patterns, but love to colour them, try the secret garden series. They offer wonderful line work for you to personalize.

Have fun with it.

-Michael-

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Christmas Tree Light Garland

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

I love Christmas and I love Christmas crafting projects.  There’s no better time to start something than when it’s cold and snowy out.  If you’re like me there’s always a trade off between practicality and holiday festivities if you live in a small space.  I love real trees, but unfortunately I don’t really have room for one.  This year I decided to put my tree on the wall!  Seen here with the Christmas garland I made last year.

light garland tree

I cut the lights from four different coloured cardstocks we carry and added the end bits out of our Titanium cardstock.  I used about one 8.5×11″ size sheet for each colour .  I strung them on our twine and topped it with one of our great Dresden Trim stars.  I used washi tape to hang it up on the wall.

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The perfect thing if you don’t have any floor space to spare.

Jax

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Printed Washi Cards

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

I recently went on a family vacation to Quito and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.  It was truly an amazing experience.  Everything was so beautiful.  Using some of the papers from our Natural Washi Sampler (available instore) I printed out some of the pictures I took. I then mounted them on the Photo Frame Die-Cut Cards we carry instore (8 cards and 8 matching envelopes to a pack).  A perfect way to send out some easy cards when all you wanna do is recover.

Packs

I was able to get some great results printing on the Washi, but I would always test print before committing to any paper.  Every printer is different so it’s hard to say what will work best for you and your project.  The Natural Washi Sampler is great to play around printing with because they’re already cut to 8.5×11″ sheets.  If you wanted to test out different papers, than are in the sampler, you could always cut them down yourself as well.

Cards 1

I printed a picture from the Cloud Forest in Mindo on the Gampi Smooth (left) and of Darwin’s Lake in Targus Cove on Isabela Island on Kozuke (right).  I loved the texture the fleck in the Gampi Smooth gave the picture of the forest floor.  I really wanted to work the beautiful nature of the paper into each picture.

Back Detail

On the back side of the print you can see the natural fleck in the paper a little better.  I thought this would be a great pairing and add another layer to the photo.

Cards 2

I think the thing I loved the most was the Lava Fields, there was so much raw texture everywhere you looked.  I printed a picture of the Lava Fields on Santiago Island on Usu Kuchi Heavy (left) and Elizabeth Bay on Isabela Island on Sekishu Tsuru Large (right).  The photos almost look three dimensional printed on the light paper and then mounted on the cards.  Again you can see the natural fibre inclusion in the clouds (right picture).

Hope your printing projects work just as well as mine did!

Jax

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Adventures in Marbling

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Like many others this past long weekend I was fortunate enough to escape the city and get back to nature at a friend’s cottage. I knew going up there that it would be the perfect environment to do some material exploration so I brought along with me our Suminagashi Marbling kit and decided to try my hand at some floating ink marbling.

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Our store owner Heather had created some really beautiful samples using our Usu Kuchi Heavy, so I brought some of that along with me as well to test out along with a couple of sheets of our wood veneer. Being someone who enjoys working with natural and found materials I also harvested some birch bark from the woods surrounding the cottage to experiment with.

 

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Heather’s marbling samples using the Suminagashi Marbling kit and Usu Kuchi Heavy.

 

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The marbling kit works by filling a clean shallow pan with water and then dropping the high-grade cosmetic pigment ink onto a small circle of float paper that helps keep them on the surface. The ink can then be swirled and manipulated using a stick or your finger before you place the material (paper, cloth, hide, wood, etc) face down on the ink to let it sink in.

 

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I’ll admit that my first time cottage attempts at marbling didn’t turn out as well as Heather’s samples, but the process of doing it was really fun and I found the contrast of the bright marbled ink on the natural birch to be a really interesting juxtaposition even though the details of the marble didn’t come through as strongly as I had hoped.

 

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My first attempts on paper and wood veneer (which be warned, will curl in the water, but really soaks up the ink nicely).

 

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As far as cottage activities go the Marbling kit was both relaxing and meditative and fun to share with my friends. I can see it being both a great tool for artists wishing to create their own one of a kind patterned paper and a fun activity for kids to experiment with during craft time (the inks are non-toxic so safe for kids 6 and above to use). I’m definitely looking forward to more adventures in marbling and have a newfound appreciation for artists such as Robert Wu, whose prints we carry and sell in store, who have clearly mastered the technique.

- Justine

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