My new toys

by clumsylawyer

DIY wedding projects have given me a great excuse to buy myself two new crafting toys.  Whilst it might seem like a poor attempt at justifying the expense, I really will use them again!  They are…

Paper trimmer and hot glue gun, both from amazon.co.uk.

Really, I wanted a rotary trimmer but didn’t want to spend the extra money.  The trimmer I’ve bought is fine, but has a tendency to shift the paper slightly, meaning that the corners aren’t actually right-angled so it’s taken a bit of practice to get it right.  I’m really pleased with the glue gun.  Although it does drip a little, it’s not too bad and the flow is even when using it.  As the stand is built in (rather than a little flip-out wire thing) it’s pretty stable, and it takes 7mm glue sticks which are easy enough to come by.  The best bit, however, is the tiny precision nozzle which is fab for the tiny areas I need to be able to glue.  Score!

So, what have I been creating with my new toys?  Remember my discussion regarding allergy-friendly flowers?  I came to the conclusion that I was going to try my hand at an origami bouquet, with these pictures as my inspiration.

Purple bouquet from etsy.com; buttonholes from onlyverysmall.com; multicoloured bouquet from capitolromance.com.

Kusudama flowers are pretty easy to make, just time consuming.  I used this tutorial from foldingtrees.com and won’t bother re-writing it because it’s easy to follow.  I’ve also made some other types of flowers, but most of them are kusudama.  To save time, I started by doing lots of folding, placing the flat shapes in ziplock bags.  I highly recommend doing it this way if you’re going to make lots, as the gluing is much easier and faster when done all at once.

As an aside, I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to friend C who, with the assistance of her friend T in Japan, located some single-colour origami paper for me and then refused to accept payment for it.  I’m very much looking forward to folding even more flowers once I’ve finished putting the first bunch together!

Gluing the petals together with the necessary addition of a glass of cider. Wiltshire College’s Part Time Courses booklet may have been totally useless by only containing daytime courses, but it was very handy as table protection :) Personal photo.

The reason hot glue is so great for this is because it dries so quickly.  Prior to its arrival, I had tried used various other adhesives to keep my kusudama together, but they had a tendency to spring apart.  One solution was to use paperclips to hold them together until dry, but that didn’t work particularly well for the smallest flowers (and was also even more time consuming).  I added a length of 20 gauge floristry wire before gluing on the final petal.  If I were to buy more wire, I’d go for something with a slightly heavier gauge, but what I’ve got works fine.  In order to try and prevent them from being squashed, I placed the completed flowers in a vase.  Please ignore the lack of arrangement – I’m hoping they’ll look better when I’ve actually thought about each one’s proper placement and have added some more made from the paper C sent me.

Personal photo

Have you bought yourself any new toys using the wedding as an excuse?  Have you started any DIY projects well in advance of the wedding to make sure they actually get finished?