This weekend I’ve been having lots of fun creating gifts of Victorian-inspired ornaments, using vintage French postcards I recently purchased in Paris. The finished pieces are small enough to hang on the tree or to send in the mail as very special gifts, yet big enough to decorate the front door as a cheery greeting for holiday guests.
The three ornaments shown in this post were relatively easy to make, but they did take quite a bit of time. Still, they are well worth the effort, and the results are really stunning. I’ll provide a few notes about elements used in each project, just in case you’d like to create something similar.
Because of the complexity of the background behind the two girls in the postcard above, I bordered it in monochromatic, textural layers. The end result is easy to look at, and brings the focus directly to the beautiful faces of the girls. I used embossed scrapbooking paper as the base layer, and scalloped the edges using an antique edge trimmer. The middle layer is metallic gold giftwrap, adhered to card stock. I used ivory satin ribbon, 3/4 inch wide, for a touch of elegance. For accents, I used a vintage pearl button, vintage velvet flower, vintage French newspaper, and a vintage rhinestone cabouchon.
I wanted to create a shadowbox effect for this project. Beginning with double-sided heavyweight paper from my Peppermint Twist Speciality Paper Pad, I cut out a piece that was 3/4 inch larger than the postcard, on all four sides. I scored and then folded it to create the sides of the box. The half-circular fan at the bottom was created by cutting a strip of paper, 1½” by 6” and then edging it with pinking scissors. I folded the paper at 3/16” inch intervals, alternating the direction with each fold. Next, I spread the paper into a fan shape and adhered it to the box using a glue gun. The silver metallic pipe cleaner was curled into a decorative shape and adhered to the top of the box with hot glue.
The frame for this darling image needed to stay informal and playful. I rubberstamped a floral image I designed for Inkadinkado in white ink, then I applied clear glitter. The result is an enchanting, diaphanous layer of sparkly stardust. I used pearl buttons around the perimeter, and adhered each of them with a dab of hot glue. I love their pearly sheen and reflective quality, and they give the ornaments a substantial weight and dimensional feel. For a metallic border accent, I used inexpensive florist’s foil from a local floral supply shop. Sold by the roll, it’s usually double-sided, embossed, and comes in an array of brilliant colors, like this hot pink foil.
Below are a few general paper crafting tips that may be helpful in creating the holiday ornaments in this post and for other holiday crafting projects. Click here to review additional tips for paper crafting.
• When working with vintage paper ephemera, I almost always use color copies of the originals. I scan the originals at 300 dots per inch and print on good quality card stock so that they look and feel just like the real thing! I use Epson Matte Paper Heavyweight paper to get reliable results every time.
• I run all prints, giftwrap and decorative papers through my Xyron and then adhere them to heavyweight archival cardstock, which provides a more substantial and durable finished product. The finish is very smooth and perfect (difficult to achieve with liquid adhesives).
• I use a glue gun to adhere layers of card stock to each other. I also use a glue gun to add accents like ribbon, flowers, buttons and pipe cleaners. Once the glue is dry, the positioning cannot be changed. The upside is that it won’t fall apart…ever!
• To add dimension between layers, I use foam dots.
• For tiny jewels, I use Adhesive Rhinestones from my Peppermint Twist, Neopolitan, and Maison Collections. Because these rhinestones are already adhesive backed, they’re very easy to use and available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
• For glitter, I prefer the superfine variety, available at many craft stores . I prefer to use superfine glitter because it’s great for small, detailed areas, as well as larger border areas.
• In addition to making the front of your holiday ornament sensational, you can also do something special on the back - cover it with vintage newsprint or decorative paper. Attach a glassine envelope and enclose a note to the recipient. I love the idea of a special message that might not be discovered until some later date.
To view some very creative holiday season projects created with Peppermint Twist, click here.
Have fun, and please send me photos of your own work. I always enjoy seeing what other paper crafters create!
'Tis the season for giving, and this month I'm hosting a giveaway of goodies from my new holiday collection, Peppermint Twist. To enter, simply leave a comment on any post, dated between November 25 and December 10. The winner will be announced on December 11, so that I can mail the prize to arrive well before Christmas. Happy Holidays!!