Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello, tute. How you doin'?

Upcycled Page-Corner Owl-Inspired Bookmarks :

Okay guys, I'm going to do my first tutorial so I hope I don't derp all over myself. It's a pretty easy project, one that's good for any reader from the lovers of fiction to the students using a textbook and all that's in-between. It's also a good project for kids, I'd guess; one that would give them a smile when they opened up The Very Hungry Caterpillar or their Roald Dahl fantasy.

I'd say as long as they were familiar with scissors and had a responsible person helping them out it would be downright fun. I found this instructional over a year ago when I was Stumbling the internet. The actual instructional I used was one to make little monster bookmarks out of scrapbooking paper and when I saw them I knew that owls were the way to go for me. I also knew that I wouldn't be wasting my money on scrapbook pages when there are more than enough interesting papers coming to my door on a daily basis that are FREE.

After you get the hang of things you could totally take these and make them your own, in fact I downright encourage it. Get creative people, it's fun! Use scrapbook pages if you'd like, use actual cardstock if you wish, just know the options are as plentiful as the trash in your can.

Okay. Now to get started you will need the following:

* paper towel roll
* glue stick
* a firm flyer (or cardstock), I used the 'take' flyer because it was the stiffest but you could easily use the cardboard from the paper towel roll
* writing utensil
* scissors
*flyers/newspaper/or as I used, Ikea catalog

Step 1: would have to be making the pattern (or one of the patterns, I should specify)

I cut the the paper roll in half horizontally so I had two toilet paper roll sizes, then I cut it vertically so I had a square sheet of cardboard (which also makes a mini canvas if you ever ran out of real canvas).

Then I folded over the corner and cut it out.

All this was to make a perfect(?) square. I don't worry too much about exact measurements but if you wanted to use a ruler, by all means go for perfection. Just know that you don't NEED a ruler or anything else to make a square. A good source of square measurement is if you can fold it in half diagonally and there are no overhanging sides, then fold it diagonally again the other way (forming an 'X' crease) and still NOT having any overhanging sides.

This is my square which I did not do the 'x' on because I am too awesome to need it:

Once you have your base pattern for the bookmark you want to use the cardstock or firmer flyers to cut out as many as you wish to make. I made six which took me about 4 hours. Want to spend less time? Making one wouldn't take you much longer than half an hour, I'd guess.

I don't know because I've never made just one.

After you have your 'boning' for your 'mark you need to take a regular piece of paper from your source and outline 3 squares, using the same pattern. I don't recommend using your cardstock as a pattern because if you've ever tried making a copy of a copy you'll know they don't always work out the same.

After doing that you will make a line from one point to the other, like so:

Again, a ruler really isn't a necessity when it comes to this project.

After you've got your lines you should cut it out, skipping the left and right apex:

After you have this design you need to glue your cardstock square on the diamond in the center.

And then you will fold the top flaps onto one another, glueing them together but NOT to the diamond itself. You want a pocket, not just one diamond:

The next step is something that can be done at almost any time, you can do it waiting for the bus (if you have a ziplock baggie and your supplies of scissors, pattern and pen) or waiting at the doctors office. This is the most time consuming step; you go through all of your flyers, papers and images and using your pattern, trace out the designs you want for you Owl-Marks.

Once you've collected enough patterns for your liking, averaging one for the belly, one for the back, one for the face, one for the eyebrow, one beak and whatever looks the most like eyes to you (about 6 patterns in all per owl) you'll need to create a few other patterns. This could also be done at any time beforehand.

This is a new square pattern made from the original. With it I freehanded the eyebrows, trying to make them as symmetrical as possible. Do a line down the center if you need to or fold in it half, only do one side and cut it and that will REALLY be alike. Like I said before, I'm not much for perfection because it's so hard to attain so I choose to draw it on and admire the differences.

As you can see, the eyebrows will come out of the book because that's the way I like it. Make it your own, if you think it'll bug you seeing these little guys popping out and getting bent with wear, make them smaller. Skip them altogether and make something else. The ideas for something this simple are really infinite.

Using a third cardboard square from the same pattern as before, you'll make the face. This too could be the same on both sides but I freehanded it as well. Try the folding technique again if you need help, just fold the new square in half, draw the semi-circle pattern on one side and cut. Voila, you have symmetry.

When you have your cardboard patterns ready you can start using them on the designs. Just trace around them and cut 'em out. For the eyebrows I also use cardstock for added firmness so they don't get crazy-bent on the first use. Since the brows are visible on the back and the front I cut two designs, one for the back and one for the front and glue the cardstock in the middle.

Here you can see that I've glued a belly on the my original (bottom left) diamond. The pocket is still there. The black barred square will be his back, the popcorn-with-raisonettes-looking image will be his face, two 'o's from a word I don't remember will make perfect eyes and hardly recognizable from this far away is some cheese slices that will be his beak.

You can see with the eyebrows I have the pattern at the top, the cardstock above the eyes and the two checkerboard designs to go on the back and the front. The next step is easy and I'm pretty sure you don't need to see it. It's also the best part in my opinion.

It's the process of glueing them all together and watching your little critter take shape.

And here's a few others that I made that same night:

I love him in blue:

'Who' says owls can't come in green?

This crazy little dude for some reason reminds me of the Doctor; perhaps it's the time eyes. Maybe it's the multicolored belly in similar shades to his 15-foot scarf? It could be the all-out oddness of it:

So I would say this is the end of my first tutorial. I hope it's informative enough without it being too much. Like I said, get creative. Don't like owls? How about an elephant? Tiger? Monster? Lady? Try it out, see how it goes. Who know, maybe you'll be sending me a link to your instructional telling me how to make a snake page-corner bookmark?

 Remember, you don't have to follow my recipe, you can use almost anything. I just like to prolong the life of everything I can and using up your scrap paper for a project like this is gold to me.

Well, aside from my actual 18kt.

What do you think of this project? Is it something you'd do with your kids? Nieces and nephews? The children you stole from the bus stop?

Do you think it's worth making with recyclables or are you going to use scrapbook paper? Are you going to skip the trendy owl and try for a flamingo? I'd love to see the creations you guys come up with!

What? Don't feel like making them? Too tired from work or just not the crafty kind of humanoid? Why don't you just buy them? See one you like? After tonight they will all be available in my shop. Not there yet? Try again tomorrow and they will be.

Can't find my shop? Check the bottom of the blog near my about me. Still can't find it? Try this:

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