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Monday, May 10, 2010


Snow in May.  
It feels as though we should be pulling Christmas decorations out.

Taken from our front steps.

Just day before last I could be found plucking Lilacs and wild flowers from obscurity
for an upcoming Spring Nut Cup Tutorial.

Whether it be Winter or Spring
My heart sings

I taste a liquor never brewed, 
From tankards scooped in pearl;
 Not all the vats upon the Rhine Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I, And debauchee of dew, 
Reeling, through endless summer days,
 From inns of molten blue.

When landlords turn the drunken bee 
Out of the foxglove's door, 
When butterflies renounce their drams, 
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats, 
And saints to windows run, 
To see the little tippler 
Leaning against the sun!
Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tutorial: How To Make a Crepe Paper Rosette Prize Ribbon

I've promised for some time to include crafting tutorials in the Novelties & Illuminations blog.  Ladies and gentlemen(drum roll please), I'm proud to present my very first craft tutorial!   And who wouldn't want to make these little lovelies?

These are rosette prize ribbons.  One of the best things about this project is that all you will need is a roll or two of crepe paper streamers, some card stock, and a tiny amount of decorative paper.  I'd venture to guess that most crafters will have these materials handy...so no running to the store to purchase more supplies to add to your already 'bursting at the seams' craft room!

Other positives about this project:  It is relatively neat and does not require much space.

These prize ribbons are perfect for gifts, celebrations, prizes and more.  They are slightly delicate, so I wouldn't
 recommend them for wearing.  I have, however, added directions on adding a loop hanger on the back for wall display.

Difficulty Level:   This is an intermediate level craft project

Age Range:  Teens to adults

Crepe paper streamers in one or more coordinating colors(I'm using two).
5 - 2" sturdy card stock circles
2 - 2" decorative paper circles

Special Note:  I'm using vintage crepe paper streamers that I aged and distressed.   These will be available in my Etsy shop soon.  

glue(any kind that works well with paper)
decorative edged scissors(I'm using old pinking shears)
double stick tape
2" circle die-cutter(optional, you can cut the circles out with scissors)
hot glue gun(optional, I use this just for attaching the loop hanger on back)

Optional supplies:
glitter and glue writing pen or glitter glue(for edges of rosettes)
tinsel, ribbon or twine(for hanger loop on back)

Step 1:  Prepare Center medallion and backing

Apply glue to two of your card stock circles and carefully attach a decorative paper circle on top of each one.  You will end up with two pieces, each with a decorative paper top and card stock bottom.  Set aside and let dry.  We will come back to these later.

Step 2: Preparing a rosette

Apply double-stick tape to one side of a card stock circle.

Tip:  For best result, make sure it is completely covered.

Step 3: Trimming excess 

Using scissors, trim excess double-stick tape from around the edge of card stock circle.

Step 4: Applying crepe paper
Choose which color  crepe paper you will be using for your largest rosette.  This will be the tier furthest back when it is complete.  Fold a small amount of the edge under before you apply it to your circle.
With the sticky side up, press your crepe paper(with folded under edge) to your card stock circle(about half way between outer edge and center of card stock).

Now start pleating the crepe paper following the curve in the circle.  It doesn't have to be pleated into a perfect circle because the edges will be trimmed later.

Step 5: Ending rosette pleat

Once you've pleated all the way around your card stock circle.  Fold your end edge under, apply a small piece of double-stick tape to underside of end edge.

Step 6:  Completing a rosette
Now try to line up beginning and end edges and lightly press into place.

Step 7: Trimming rosette

To trim your rosette edges, you will need a pair of decorative edged scissors.  I'm using an old pair of pinking shears.  This is where you can add some of your own personality, so feel free to use your imagination.  There are a multitude of edging scissors widely available for very reasonable prices.  You can also leave the edge plain and do your trimming with regular scissors.

This will be your largest rosette, so you want to shape it neatly into a circle, but try not to take too much of the edge off.

Tip:  I find it easier to turn my rosette upside down with whole circle showing.  This way I can use the circle as a guide while I'm trimming and shaping.

Step 8:  Finish remaining rosettes

Now make two more rosettes repeating steps 2 through 7.  Make sure to trim each rosette slightly smaller than the previous.  This way, when they are stacked onto each other, they will appear layered.

Special Note:  If you want to add glitter to your edges, you should do so now.  It will be more difficult to do this after the three rosettes are stacked and attached.

Step 9: Layering rosettes

Apply glue to the card stock back of your medium sized rosette.  Carefully place it onto the top/center of your large rosette.  Next, repeat step with your smallest rosette and place it on the top/center of your medium rosette.

When you're finished, it should look similar to the one pictured above.

Step 10: Antiquing your medallions(optional)

By now, your two decorative paper/card stock medallions should be dry enough to work with.  Simply apply your favorite antiquing techniques to the top decorative sides of each medallion and let dry.

Special Note:  This step is optional.  I wanted the medallion to match my aged crepe paper and the  entire prize ribbon to look consistently aged through out.  As you can see in the picture above, the medallion looks quite lovely before the antiquing is applied also.  

Step 11: Finishing your triple-tiered rosette

Apply glue to the back(plain)side of one of your decorative paper medallions and gently press onto top/center of your layered rosette.  You will  be using your second medallion later.  Voila! You should have a completed triple tiered rosette!
Tip:  This would be a good place to take an intermission if you feel the need.

Step 12:  Choosing your ribbons

Now choose the colors you would like for the 'ribbons' that will hang at the bottom of your completed rosette.  I chose two colors, but you can use one color and it will also look really nice when complete.  You will need two sections(total) of crepe paper streamer cut to 22" length each.

Step 13:  Cutting into narrow 'ribbons'

Take your 22" sections of crepe paper streamer and cut them in half lengthwise.  This will create a total of four narrow 'ribbons' that are 22" in length.  Now fold these ribbons in the middle so they are doubled-over and make eight ends hanging down as pictured above.  They will measure ll" when folded in half.

Step 14:  Trimming ribbon tips

Take the loose tips(not the folded ends) of one of your ribbons, fold and cut as pictured above.  This will leave your end looking more like real ribbon.

Step 15:  Finish trimming ribbon ends

Repeat step 14 with remaining seven ribbon ends.

When you have completed trimming the ribbon tips, they should look like the ones pictured below.

Step 16:  Arranging and taping your ribbons

Now arrange your folded ribbons so that the loose bottom ends splay out a bit and the folded top ends are together.  I arranged mine in two layers.  It's important that they look even and balanced at this point, as this is how they will look in the finished project.

Tip:  It may be helpful while you're arranging to place your triple-tier rosette above your ribbon arrangement to get an idea of how they will look together when finished.

When you are satisfied with your arrangement, apply a small piece or two of double-stick tape sandwiched between your two ribbon layers at folded/top ends.  No need to apply tape above or below your folded/top ends as these will be glued later.

Tip:  Now your ribbon arrangement should stay together when picked up.  If not you need to apply tape between the loose portions.

Step 17:  Attaching ribbons to rosette

Turn your triple-tiered rosette over so that the back is facing up and apply glue to the lower half of the card stock circle.  Next carefully place your arranged ribbons over the glue and press lightly to adhere.

Tip:  At this point you may want to carefully pick up your rosette and ribbons and look at them from the front side to make sure the ribbons are aligned and hanging nicely.

Step 18:  Cutting loop hanger (optional)

If you want a loop hanger on the back, cut your desired material(wire, ribbon, twine, etc.) to length.  I wanted my tinsel loop to be long enough to hang on a nail or tack in the wall, but short enough to be hidden from view from the front.  I found that 2 1/2" was the perfect length for this.

Tip:  Remember to include extra length to your loop measurement that will be needed to attach to the backing as shown in image below.

Step 19:  Attaching loop hanger to back(optional)

Shape your loop leaving extra at the bottom where it will be attached to back.  Glue your loop to the back.  Make sure that is aligned directly above your arranged ribbons, so that it will hang straight when finished.  I used a hot glue gun for this step for a quick, strong attachment.  It worked very well.

Step 20:  Attaching your second medallion

 Apply glue to the plain side of your second decorative paper medallion.  Carefully place it over the back of your rosette, loop hanger and arranged ribbons.  Now press firmly onto them and make sure there is strong adhesion between all surfaces.  You may have to hold it pressed together until the adhesion is dry enough to hold by itself.

The back should look like picture above after second medallion is attached.

Here is the completed rosette award ribbon!!

I'd love to get some feedback!  Please let me know what you think about this tutorial.   Are there are any parts that need clarification?  How did your project turn out?