Using patterned paper strips to create a colorful silhouetted wall hanging

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Once I had completed layouts with all the patterned paper in this month’s Back Porch Memories kit, I used the scraps to create something pretty for our home. Here’s how I turned my offcuts into a colorful seasonal wall hanging.


The tutorial

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My final project will be 8×8 inches, so I started by cutting down a sheet of cardstock to that size. This will be the base for my design. Then gather all the patterned paper remnants together.

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Cut 3-4 ¼-inch strips from each.

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Apply your adhesive of choice (I used a tape runner) liberally to the base. Begin laying down strips on the diagonal, butting each snugly against the last so there’s no cardstock showing through.

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Fill the whole base with strips. Cut off the excess.

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Cut out your chosen overlay design from black cardstock, either with a digital die cutter or by hand. For my project I chose a fall-themed design from the Silhouette store, sized it to 7.25 inches and centered it within an 8-inch square before cutting. I suggest the design you choose should both work well as a silhouette and fill a good bit of your square. That way lots of the patterned paper can show through.

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Adhere the silhouette to the patterned paper (I used repositionable adhesive so I can change out the design later). If there are any inner pieces to the design, as there were in mine (under the maple leaf, down the centers of the side leaves and on the acorn), adhere those as well so that the design “makes sense” to the eye.

What I think is so great about this project is that it allows you to use scraps of paper that you love in a completely new way, but it doesn’t use very much of it so you still have lots left for making cards, mini albums or cards for your pocket scrapbooks—however you usually put your scraps to work.

I can also see myself using this as a go-to seasonal home decoration. I can either cut out a different silhouette design and lay it over these same strips or use scraps from another kit to create a new background as well!

Three of my many blessings

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My Mind’s Eye has issued a challenge to create a page about gratitude, and I am certainly grateful for these three women.

Friends are such a blessing.

I met these women when I became an officer in the Ladies’ Club at church last year. Luanne, Debbie and Janet are just the nicest, most loving people, and I’m happy to count them as friends.

Product/technique notes

I created this page using products from the My Mind’s Eye “Indie Chic,” “Quite Contrary,” “Now and Then: Dorothy,” “Follow Your Heart” and “Vintage Nostalgia” collections. I created the title work on my Silhouette and followed this sketch from Paper Issues.
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You may have the universe if I may have Italy

You may have the universe if I may have Italy

I am proud to be guest designing this month for Back Porch Memories, and this layout features part of their November kit and photos of my grandparents from 1967.

My paternal grandmother was a first-generation American born to Italian parents, and my grandfather (her second husband) was born in Italy. So it was a very big deal when, in August 1967, they took a long-awaited trip to Italy together. They saw Italy, but more importantly they reconnected with family they hadn’t seen in many years. Papa was separated from his brother when they were young boys—one sent to America and the other to France—and this was to be their only reunion.

I took my title from a quote attributed to Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, who was responsible for many of the greatest operas of the 19th century, including Il trovatore, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, Don Carlos, Aida and Otello.

Product/technique notes

The November Back Porch Memories kit includes papers from Imaginisce’s “Perfect Vacation” line, which worked so well with these vintage 1960s photos of my grandparents leaving on their big adventure. Every part of this layout is from the BPM kit, plus I cut the title on my Silhouette.

Thanks to Back Porch Memories for having me as a guest designer!

Student of the month

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This is a story from first grade that holds great significance for me. And it starts with a special announcement over the loudspeaker from the school principal.

Mom says I arrived home from first grade on this day in 1974, and with a gleeful smile demanded, “Guess who you’re talking to.” She played along and asked. So I flung open my coat to reveal the badge pinned to my dress and proudly stated, “The Student of the Month, that’s who!” I wore that pin to school on my uniform every day that month.

So that was a big day for me. It still is, obviously. I learned early to enjoy doing my work well and that when and if I am complimented for it, it makes me feel spectacular. It doesn’t take much to make a kid feel special…and clearly some words of praise can last a lifetime.

Product/technique notes

I created this layout based on the following sketch from Stuck Sketches and am entering it in their October contest. I had such a difficult time finding papers that went well with this vintage photo. I mean, the couch was brown and light blue, the framed art had browns and oranges in it and my dress was either deep navy or purple. Ugh! I finally came upon these papers from quite deep in my stash, an old collection by TPC Studio called “School Days.” I think they’re just perfect. The banner is from BasicGrey, the ribbon is by American Crafts and I designed the title on my Silhouette Cameo.

I also added some crochet stitches along the edge of the circle because the collar of my dress in this photo is crocheted. If you didn’t see it before, here’s a tutorial on how to add crochet to the edge of page elements.

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Silhouette tutorial: How to add crochet to the edge of page elements

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To add the lovely crocheted detail around the circles on this page about our 17th anniversary, I turned to my Sihouette Cameo.

I wanted to create a really special look for this photo of us on our 17th anniversary, so I decided to crochet around the edges of all the circles. Crazy, I know! But it’s really not that hard, and I just love the soft, feminine look. I thought a tutorial would be helpful to any of you who want to try this on your own layout.

The tutorial

For me, it almost always starts with a sketch. In this case I chose to use this circle-filled Paper Camellia sketch. If you want to base the shapes you will crochet upon a sketch then you need to start by placing the sketch image in the Silhouette design software:

Step 1: Open sketch in software

Step 1: Go to File :: Open :: Folder holding your sketch :: Open sketch. Size the image to fit the 12×12 Cameo mat in the Silhouette software.

Start drawing the shape(s) to be crocheted:

Step 2: Draw the shape

Step 2: Use the ellipse tool to draw a circle and adjust it to match the size of the circle on the sketch.

Copy/paste the first shape and reduce it:

Step 3: Make a second smaller shape

Step 3: Select the circle and CTRL + C to copy then CTRL + F to paste on top of the first circle. Use the scale tool to reduce the top circle by 0.25 inches.

Turn to the rhinestone tool to create holes around the edge of the shape:

Step 4: Use the rhinestone tool

Step 4: Step 4: Rhinestone tool settings: Rhinestone Effect = Edge; Rhinestone Size = 6ss; Rhinestone Spacing = 0.112

Cut out the shape(s) and crochet!

Step 5: Cut and crochet

Step 5: Follow these steps for each of the shapes you want to crochet around. Cut on your paper of choice and crochet using crochet thread and a size 7/1.65 mm hook.

Product/technique notes

The patterned paper I used is from Crate Paper’s “Close Knit” 6×6 paper pad. I also used my Silhouette to design and cut my title.

I really hope you will try this technique on a page of your own (and that it’s fun for you)! If you do, will you leave a comment with a link to your page because I would LOVE to see it.