Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: recycled crafts

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Showing posts with label recycled crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recycled crafts. Show all posts

Jul 3, 2012

Junk Mail Stellated Icosahedron


I wanted to make something patriotic, which made me think of the red and blue mirror I made from tubes rolled from magazine pages,
starburst mirror
which made my think to look for some interesting things made from drinking straws.
Also, you all probably know I'm a sucker for anything based on a Platonic solid, right? So first I saw these constructions, and then I found my project in an old LIFE magazine: the stellated icosahedron.

It's really hard to see, from the picture, what the star looks like. If it were solid it would resemble this one.
Stellated Icosahedron.
To make this project you will need
--90 paper tubes or drinking straw pieces: 30 3" tubes and 60 4" tubes
--2 skeins of embroidery floss (or other thick thread or thin twine that knots well)
--a long thin piece of wire to make into a "needle"
The LIFE magazine project starts on page 85. I also used these directions but I tried to work out a threading pattern that was a little more efficient--not just stringing and tying each individual straw.
If you scroll down on the NMSU site to the icosahedron, there's a flat construction pattern for the inner shape. You would have to back-track through some pieces with the thread, but it looks fairly straightforward.

How to make the paper tubes


Decide on a color scheme and tear pages from your recycling bin: magazines, or coupon inserts, or ads. Most of the blue I used came from a P&G coupon insert, and the red came from a Macy's ad insert.
For the inner portion you need 30 tubes, which is 7.5 pages. For the star points you need 60 tubes--15 pages.
Cut pages into quarters (which I will refer to as "squares", but they won't necessarily be square). You don't have to be too precise about this as you are going to trim the tubes to size.
If you want to choose your colors very precisely, cut your pieces with your chosen color on two adjacent edges of the page, as that is what will show. If your page has a frame-like outer border you get a candy stripe! (Time Magazine covers make candy cane striped tubes.)
starburst mirror
Flip a square wrong side up.
starburst mirror
Turn the square on the diamond with the point where the two "best" colored sides meet (marked with an X) furthest from you.
Rub a glue stick on the point furthest from you (X marks the spot), and along the two sides that meet at that point. Also run a stripe of glue somewhere between the right and left points (horizontally). You don't have to be too exact about this.
starburst mirror
Roll the paper around a knitting needle (I used a size 5) or dowel or whatever you have. Start with the point closest to you and roll tightly toward the far (glued) point.
starburst mirror
As you roll the "best" edges will wind down the tube toward the center.
starburst mirror
Cut off the ragged (pointed) ends of the tubes, then trim tubes to size. I made the inner (red) tubes 3" long and the star points (blue) 4".
Here are some photos of the stringing process.




Once all the tubes are strung and tied, trim excess thread ends and tuck them into the straw ends, securing with a drop of glue. I neatened all the places where the straw ends came together and puts drops of glue there, too.




Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.

Sep 22, 2010

Recycled Mail "Gum Wrapper Chain" Woven Bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

This bracelet is a neat variation on the gum wrapper chains that we used to make years ago--when gum came in sticks, and the sticks were wrapped in paper.

I made mine from old magazine covers. There's a bit of a learning curve to that. You want shiny, coated magazine covers, but they're not all the same. Martha Stewart Living is too thick. Time is too thin. Yankee is perfect, but I don't imagine a whole lot of you subscribe to that. You'll have to experiment with what you have.

gum wrapper bracelet

The triangle twist pattern adds interest and also makes it easy to attach the chain into a bracelet without having to pull the beginning of the chain all apart. I've never been happy with the join on a regular gum wrapper chain bracelet.

The design is by Inna at Inna's Creations. To me the directions have you construct the bracelet sort of backwards--you have to estimate how big a loop to make for the next piece to slide through. I ended up pulling it apart and assembling it from the other direction. No guesswork, as the loops form automatically by being wrapped around the previous piece!

How to make a woven paper strip bracelet

Curl your hand as if you were about to put on a bracelet. Measure around the widest part. On me that's across my hand where the bottom joint of my thumb is. My bracelet needed to be 8 inches around, but I have relatively small hands.

Cut paper strips, 4.5" x 2". If you cut 3 strips for every inch of bracelet you will probably have enough. (I used 22 strips for 8" of bracelet.)

How to fold the strips

Fold strip in half lengthwise and unfold.

gum wrapper bracelet

Fold each half of the strip again, lengthwise, meeting the cut edges to the center fold.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Close the strip by folding at the center fold. You now have a folded strip 4.5" long and .5" wide, with the long cut edges enclosed within the strip.

gum wrapper bracelet

Fold the strip in half width wise. Now you have a V shape.

gum wrapper bracelet

How to create the woven pattern

Start with three strips. One is going to be a "loop maker" that will be removed once you get started.

Hold loop maker horizontally. The first strip is added vertically, with the crease at the bottom and the open ends at the top. Open up the first strip and slide it around the place holder, one half of the strip under the loop maker and one half on top. Pull the crease tight against the loop maker.

Open up the second strip. With the crease at the right and the open ends at the left, slide it around the first strip.

In the picture below the white loop maker is at the bottom. Strip one is green. Strip two is white.

gum wrapper bracelet

Fold strip one on the diagonal, as shown. The bottom edge of strip one (green) will line up exactly with the top edge of (white) strip two.

gum wrapper bracelet

Fold the little triangle down, making the crease right at the top edge of (white) strip two.

gum wrapper bracelet

Flip the piece over and fold the back side to mirror the front.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Turn back to the front side and remove the loop maker.

gum wrapper bracelet

Add third strip, vertically, with the crease at the bottom and the open ends at the top.

gum wrapper bracelet

Crease second strip (white) at a diagonal and fold across the third strip, front and back.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Continue adding strips until you reach the length you need. You must always use an even number of strips!

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Joining the ends

It's helpful to fold in the blunt ends that have to go through the loop. (Seen on the long white pieces in this picture.)

gum wrapper bracelet

The long ends of the last piece, and the tabs of the folded triangles of the next-to-last piece both need to go through the joining loop. It's something of a juggling act to push the long ends through without having pieces fall off as you do it!

gum wrapper bracelet

Joining the ends takes a little effort and sometimes tools, like tweezers.

gum wrapper bracelet

Be sure to push the ends together on both the outside and the inside of the bracelet.

When the ends are all tucked in, unfold the blunt ends. Now fold the last triangle, inside and outside of the bracelet, and tuck the tails under. Again, tweezers are helpful.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

The tail is tucked under the other white piece.

gum wrapper bracelet

gum wrapper bracelet

Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.

Jan 8, 2010

Magazine Page Mirror Frame

starburst mirror

I got this idea from Jason, of Rag & Bone, who made a starburst frame/wreath from rolled paper.

The paper tubes remind me of those beads made by rolling up paper triangles.

After I had rolled up a bunch of magazine pages I realized that they would make something too large for any space I had. Magazine pages rolled on the diagonal create a tube about 11" long. That's means your wreath, or frame, or whatever you want to call it, would be more than two feet across. Let's see....no.

I ended up whacking my tubes in half. I suggest starting smaller to begin with!

I think Jason anchored his paper rolls to a wire wreath frame. Well, I didn't have a wire wreath frame, and I wanted something in the center, so I found a little mirror to attach the tubes to. (I wish I had bought a wire frame, but more on that later.)

How to make the paper tubes

Decide on a color scheme and tear pages from magazines.

Cut squares from the magazine pages. If you cut a magazine page into four squares (there will be a strip left over), each tube will be about 5 1/2" long.

starburst mirror

Specifically, cut your squares with your chosen color on two adjacent edges of the page, as that is what will show. If your page has a frame-like outer border you get a candy stripe! (Time Magazine covers make candy cane striped tubes.)

starburst mirror

Flip a square wrong side up.

starburst mirror

Turn the square on the diamond with the point where the two "best" colored sides meet (marked with an X) furthest from you.

Rub a glue stick on the point furthest from you (X marks the spot), and along the two sides that meet at that point. Also run a stripe of glue somewhere between the right and left points (horizontally). You don't have to be too exact about this.

starburst mirror

Roll the paper around a knitting needles or dowel or whatever you have. Start with the point closest to you and roll tightly toward the far (glued) point.

starburst mirror

As you roll the "best" edges will wind down the tube toward the center.

starburst mirror

How to make a frame for a mirror

Arrange the tubes in a pleasing manner around the mirror.

(The mirror I used was 4.25" in diameter, which took 42 paper tubes.)

Attach the tip of each paper tube to the mirror with a glue dot. Start by attaching four tubes: top, bottom, left, and right. Then fill in the quadrants.

starburst mirror

I wired the tubes to each other.

Here's how I did it.

starburst mirror

Cut a long piece of thin wire and fold it in half. Loop the fold of the wire around any tube and give the two wires a twist.

Slide one of the wires under the next tube, and the other wire over the top of that tube. Twist together on the other side of that tube. Continue around the frame, making a closed loop around each tube. Be careful to keep the tubes evenly spaced as you work.

Here's where I realized why you might want to get a wreath frame. It would have been much easier to have a firm base to attach the tubes to.

If you had a wreath frame you would attach your wire to the frame, loop up over a tube, twist around the frame, up over the next tube and so forth around the frame.

Add a hanging loop and you're done.

Extreme Cards and Papercrafting: pop up cards, movable and mechanical cards, digital crafts and unusual papercrafts.