Monday, November 28, 2011

Gift Wrap in a Tin. The Tutorial

Welcome to those of you directed from Gaslight and Gilt.

I thought I'd better describe this process as best I can.  Please be aware that there are abundant opportunities for puns here, so, whenever I can, I will make one. See?

. This is how to make a small decorated tin can, sealed up, with an object of your choice inside.
The recipient will need a tin opener, or, if you're crafty, this can be made with a ring pull can, for instant access. Obviously, this kind of gift wrap isn't for people who shouldn't be around sharp metal.
You know, small children, my uncle, your brother-in-law..

It is only suitable for small items, as the size of tin you can use is dependent on the size of base disc you can find. It might be an idea to check out the sizes of chilled  biscuit (UK) dough or croissants or biscuits (US)
 I use the silver discs on the top of a frozen juice tube, so my tins are all rather small..

Tin with ring pull lid
Tin. Just a tin can

And the loose lid from one of these.

You need one of these

The brands all seem pretty similar. When you open a frozen juice, one of the lids just pops off, That's the one you want. If you can pry the cardboard out of the other end, more power to you. That gives you two bases.

Test the disc base against the tin. 
You need it to be an exact fit. 
Do this in Tesco's or Wal*Mart if need be. 
It will give people something to stare at...

Measure the tin can around its circumference and from top to bottom in between the two metal rims. Extend the circumference a little, to allow for a neat seam at the back, and open an image document in any software you want/have the same size as your measurements, plus a tad more on the circumference. So. my tin measured 8" by 2.5 ". so I increased the width to 8 anna bit inches. All very scientific

Now make your image. It can be anything you want. I wanted pink and pretty, because my theme for Christmas is Marie Antoinette's Candy Shoppe, interpreted any way I please.

Here is my image..
 You're welcome to use it, if you want it, 
but check the sizeof the image 
against the size of your tin.
 It might need some adjusting.

Assemble all your equipment. The graphic, the clean, empty tin, the gift, the lid and some glue. 

Got all that?

Cut out your tin label.

 Glue it carefully onto the tin, between the two small metal rims. 

Glue it on UPSIDE DOWN. 
In other words,  when you attach the image,  the top of the image 
will be against the side of the tin that still has an end attached. 
See above if my explanation makes no sense at all.
If you're used to decorating tins for pencils or paintbrushes, 
you need to attach this label the other way around
 or you'll have to print out a new one and start again .

 Put in the gift. 
You do have a gift, don't you?

Don;t put in anything alive. 
No scorpion surprises. 
 Because of the glue I'd advise against food. 
Whoever would put food in a tin?

Put in the gift UPSIDE DOWN. 
Pack some kind of decorative packing around it, like tissue paper, if you don't want it to rattle. 
A cupcake liner might be just the right size for your tin and look pretty, too.
Make sure the packing is pushed in, away from where the base will be glued on.
 But packing might not be necessary for some items.

Then, glue on the base. Use a good, non-drippy glue and leave to dry.

Essentially, you're done. 

For a more masculine version, ideal for cuff-links,
 flash drives and pocket chronometers, see my blog here.

I'd like to extend a warm thanks to all those who provided the graphics for the label. 

Thank you to Karen ,of the Graphics Fairy
for the angel wings and the Victorian scraps and cards.
Thank you for everything you do.

Thank you to Plush Possum Studio 
for the background 
and the pretty painting of the Infanta,
 which she sourced specially for me.
Thank you, dear Possum.

Thank you to Valerie B at The Sum Of All Crafts
and thank you  also The Vintage Moth.

This would be a much less interesting internet without you. 
Merry Christmas and happy crafting!
May all your gifts have glitter.


This is linkied! To here, at Brag Monday! My first ever!

And here, Ivy and Elephants Linky Launch party. Go and visit!

Now linkied here, on Project Queen's Blog Hop, Gifts and Ornaments for $10 or less

And to here, at the wonderfully named Rook No.17

Merry Jingle!

 It's getting closer!

Coming Soon: Pretty tin gift wrap tutorial

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible
Meanwhile here is a pretty picture.

Oh my fur and whiskers!

  SUCH a giveaway, my dear bunnies!

Isn't it glorious?

Here is the fab frock!
I've got just the right little shoes and 
a row of pearls.

My Covered Bridge is an amazing blog I was happy to follow.
 She has some pretty wonderful make-overs, 
and pretty amazing tutorials.

Pop on over and say Hi!

To Kristen
 and everyone involved in the giveaway;
 thank you, thank you!

I'm going to look so glam!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I won a giveaway!

I won a giveaway! Yes I did!
I entered this one here, on the wonderful
Trash to Treasure Art's third Blogaversary.

What did I win?
 See here, all beautifully wrapped in sheet music.,
 tied up with seam binding ribbon, all soft and pretty...

Then I opened it and oh! inside were stamps!
Easter stamps including, oh joy of joys, a rabbit!

Now, I'm very much a stamps newbie, 
but I know we're supposed to keep track of the stamps we have,
 so I put these in my little stamp catalogue.
Aren't they gorgeous?

I also stamped an egg for my Easter Tree and put on a bow.
So, I'm not ready for Christmas but I have an early start on Easter.

Thank you, thank you to Lynn at 
for the giveaway and for my stamps.
 Congratulations, too, to the other winners

PS. I need help, being such a  stamp newbie. 
What do I clean stamps with? 
And can anyone suggest an ink pad
 that stamps on pretty much everything?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dollmakers on Thanksgiving Thursday: The Prim

This is possibly a big cheat (because I just grabbed pictures and ran) but if you're in the USA, today is a big and busy day, and if you're not, this is a fine example of one of the most American of crafts.
 Prims and the Prim doll.

Prim Plain Jane
A Prim doll is a sewn figure which is made in a simple way,
 from homespun cloth and calico and printed flour sacks,
 which is then antiqued and aged.

Jesse Doll

 It's not intended to be a child's toy, rather, it's designed to look as if it's decades old, and is placed with other rustic objects to evoke an feeling of times past.

Primitive Pilgrim
 Its simplicity is its charm.

Happy Thanksgiving

Prim Turkey

If you are a Prim dollmaker, or you know one, feel free to add links and blogs in your comments. 

I'm off to have Turkey Dinner!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I caught a fairy!

I caught a fairy,

 by the toe!

But then, of course, 

I let her go...

What kind of monster
would I be

to keep a fairy,
just for me?

That's enough of Pantomime
(I really must stop this rhyme)
But I must say 'thank you' to you all
Your support isn't something small.
It helped me put this doll together
When she broke and  I thought 'Why bother?'
 So, Thank you, Thank you, Gentle Friends
And with that, this rhyme ends.

So, yes, she's done. I have a pack of this kind of sculpey going rock hard in the bottom of my craft stash, and I'll never use it again. And yes, even with dolls this small I will use an armature! I promise!
The Pink Fairy will adorn my Fairy tree, which will be a Christmas tree very soon. She's made of the aforementioned nasty sculpey, an odd scrap of lace, lambswool hair, silk ribbon and a pair of real cicada wings. No, I didn't kill the cicada. Yes, I had to pull the wings off its huge, crumbling body...

Feel free to comment in rhyme...

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Well, it was another grey day with no water, so I ploughed onwards with my fairy make-over. 

I blushed her with rouge(actually artist's soft pastels) and then, to set it, I sprayed her with acrylic seal. The varnish has the effect of smoothing out the lumps, softening the paint and making the skin look translucent.

And I walked around with a fairy on my hand with her hair in a shower cap, for about an hour until she wasn't sticky any more.

The I really considered the clothed/naked options. I know fairies should be naked, but I wanted something like the Christmas Tree fairies I'd seen and ached for as a kid  So I rummaged around in my lace heap and found something suitable

So far, so pink, right?

But then, disaster (and If you're of a sensitive disposition, you may need to turn away.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Just Hair

Well, she doesn't look much different, but at least she now has hair.  It still needs arranging and she still needs some colour in those pale cheeks. And wings. And, possibly, clothes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Be advised. Tiny painted doll boobies *rolls eyes*

So, I made this little fairy, about three years ago. I sculpted her from that flabby white sculpey  and was a little disappointed. I didn't know I was working in completely the wrong kind of clay for this kind
of thing. Anyway, I made her, slapped on some fuzzy hair, glued on some dead bug wings and hung her on the fairy tree. I'd found the whole thing a little disheartening.

Today,  thoroughly discouraged by the fact I have no water, and will be unlikely to have any for a month or so, I thought I'd take her down from the fairy tree and 
see if I couldn't cheer myself up by giving her a make-over.
She'd long since lost her wings 
and the frizzy hair hadn't done her any favours,
 so I thought, why not?
 I decanted some of my precious bottled drinking water into a jam jar 
and dug out my brushes and paints.

I pulled off what I could of the nasty nylon doll hair and clipped the remainer buzz-cut short.
I painted the fairy in a light peachy colour and got a squint from painting her tiny little face, which is somewhat smaller than my fingernail.

She needs some rouge (don't we all?) to contour her face and limbs and Hubby has decided she's a redhead, after seeing her in various wig options. I hope to post her, more or less finished but undressed, sometime tomorrow. After phoning plumbers and diggers and engineers and the bank

Could I possibly use your bathroom?

Thank you...

Dollmakers on Thursday: Teresa Terry Churcher

This time I'm waving the flag for a UK Dollmaker, 
 Teresa makes adorable dolls; realistic babies and children 
with wistful expressions and sweet, pensive faces. 

These are cloth dolls, 
with cloth-over-paper-clay faces,
 painted and shaded.
They have little rounded limbs, carefully proportioned clothes 
and a wonderful sense of self-possession and character.

A lot of Teresa's dolls treasure their own dolls, 
a charming conceit that adds to the realism of the doll, 
and gives each little figure its own imaginative world.

The quality of modelling in these dolls is stunning. 
Look at their chubby little fingers, their round knees, the soft turn of their wrists.
Here is an unpeeled one,  a 20 inch tall cloth doll, to show the construction,

Teresa makes these cloth dolls from  large babies, as seen above,
 to older children, standing at about eighteen inches tall. 
Here is a marvelously stoical Alice, 
holding onto the poor baby piglet in a bonnet.

There are also polymer babies, 
really  lovable little bundles all of six  and a half inches long, 
with sweet baby faces and clothes and tiny toys to match.
Here is a solemn little girl with her doll

And here is a sleeping baby boy, with his rabbit (couldn't resist this one)

You can find Teresa on Facebook and Deviant Art. 
She has an Etsy shop, as well as her own website.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dollmakers on Thursday: The Steampunk Fairy

This week, I'm bringing you a flight of fairies. Little steampunk fairies, with tiny top hats, goggles and wings embellished with cogs and sprockets. if you're interested in Steampunk, please pay a visit to Steam Tea Travels, for a elegant Airship ride to Paris. bring your links to the Linky party. 

The steampunk theme is very attractive to the fairy dollmaker. It dilutes some of the spun sugar and adds a brassy edge to the sparkle. There is such a large collection of steampunk fae on the internet I've limited my choice to polymer clay creations, with one or two exceptions.

This gorgeous creature is by  Elvenelysium on Deviant Art. See the cute little bloomers, the de-constructed crinoline and wings made of brass tubing and watch gears?  She is a 12" poseable doll and she is simply  wonderful.

This is a steampunk fairy by Amanda Katheryn on Deviant Art. Polymer clay. I love the eyelash skirt trim and the watch.

 This pensive creature in the top hat is called Jolie and she's by Nenufar-Blanco on DA. The quality of modelling on these figures is awe-inspiring. I love her pose.

This sweet creature is Solice and by a dollmaker I admire a lot,  Roxanne 74 on DA. Her cute little boots and the silver mounts on make her Steampunk. And she's cute enough to be here anyway.

 This is a close up (let me get this right) of  Steampunk Princess Angel Face, from cdlitestudio  She tips her top hat in greeting. I love the knitted cuffs and the devil-may-care attitude. I know she's not a fairy, but a steampunk princess angel is pretty close.

Time flies. The themes of time and flight are common in steampunk. Here we have them with the peacock feathers and  top hat on Lu Lu  a new doll by Wren's Fairy Realm.  I love her slouchy pose; clearly she has all the time in the world.

This? This isn't a fairy. Does it matter? He's an ugly but cute  steampunk doll by Bob Basset. and I'd post a link, but I can't find it.

The glorious Marina Bychkova touched upon steampunk themes and, although this isn't a fairy, the character of Frankenstein's Bride is clearly a suitable subject. Here, a curious headdress keeps Doctor Frankenstein's creation alive as she poses in her white lace dress.

And, finally, a Steampunk Cinderella coach. Why?
Why not?.