Sweet Paper Crafts is the new how-to for paper crafting enthusiasts, written by Mollie Greene, proprietor of the Etsy shop Royal Buffet. The 25 projects Greene demonstrates are all lovely and would bring a hand wrought, cozy feeling to any occasion. The complexity of the projects varies; a few are simple gift tags or garlands that could be thrown together for a holiday party or shower, while others might take an afternoon.
The extra effort involved in projects like “Gentle Rabbit Taxidermy” aren’t so bad when you think of the charm that sweet little rabbit would add to a nursery or playroom. Sweet Paper Crafts comes with online templates to help you conquer some of the more challenging projects, but it doesn’t come with all the fabulous paper you’ll need, so start stockpiling now.
Final verdict (Buy It, Borrow It, Skip It)? Buy it!
To give you a taste of what Sweet Paper Crafts is all about, we’re sharing one of our favorite projects from the book today: the “Percher Bird.” Click below to see the full project step-by-step!
—Ellie & Melissa
from Sweet Paper Crafts by Mollie Greene
Let a flock of these little birds alight around your house for cheerful company and eye-catching decor. Working with papier-mâché is easy when you use the templates and instructions here. You can enlarge or reduce the templates to make chirpers of different sizes.
Percher Bird templates
Scissors for cardboard
20-gauge straight stick floral wire
Thin liquid glue such as Mod Podge
2 foam brushes
1. Download the Percher Bird templates at www.chroniclebooks.com/sweetpaper. Open the cereal box and lay it out flat. Using the pencil and templates, trace two bodies, two wings, one breast, and one tail feather on the box. Cut out the pieces with the cardboard scissors. Holding the two body pieces together, attach them along the head and back with a piece of masking tape. Keep applying masking tape where the bodies meet to secure pieces.
2. Slip the breast piece between the body pieces, inserting the pointed end at the head and curving the breast piece slightly so that it aligns with the bottom of the body pieces. Use masking tape to secure the breast piece along the edges where it meets the body. Stuff a little newspaper inside the body to fill out the bird and make it a bit stiffer. Tape the wings in place on either side of the body. Bend the wings a bit so that they come away from the bird. Reinforce with tape as needed to keep the wings in place. Fold the tail feather piece in half to create a crease. Tape in place at the back of the bird. Cover the entire bird with masking tape, using plenty of tape to make the bird stiff, especially in the wing and tail feather areas, but be careful to apply the tape evenly so that the bird is not front or back heavy.
3. On the underside of the bird, at about the center of the bird’s belly, make two marks with the pencil, each about ¾ in/2 cm from either side of the underside of the bird. Using a piece of scrap wire, punch holes for the legs. Widen these holes with your cardboard scissors. Using the wire cutters, cut an 8-in/46-cm piece of floral wire, then cut it in half. Hold the two pieces of wire together (as if you have one piece of wire) and push them into one of the leg holes. Push the wires through the bird and out through the other leg hole. Pull until you have an equal length protruding from each hole. Bend each end to make feet about 2½ in/6 cm long. See if the bird will stand. If the legs are in the right location and the feet are big enough and the right distance apart, the bird should support itself. It may take a few tests before you get the placement right. If the bird is front or back heavy, you may need to make cuts into the belly and move the legs back or forward until the bird stands on its own. Once the bird stands, secure the legs at the entry and exit points with masking tape.
4. (I recommend spreading newspaper on your work surface before starting this step.) Pour a small amount of glue into the dish. Tear your chosen papers into strips of varying lengths and widths. Pieces 3 in/7.5 cm long are easiest to work with. One at a time, dip the pieces into the glue, covering them entirely, and then use a foam brush to wipe any excess glue into the dish. Apply the pieces in over-lapping layers all over the bird, going around and behind the wings and under the breast and tail feathers. It is important to wipe away excess glue from each piece and to use a light hand to avoid creating bumps and wrinkles in the paper. Let the bird dry standing up. The first layer should take at least an hour to dry thoroughly. Check for places that need more coverage, apply more paper as needed, and let dry again.
5. When the bird has dried and you don’t need to add more layers, apply a final coat of liquid glue or, if desired, a layer of polyurethane, using a clean foam brush. Allow to dry overnight.
Many thanks to Chronicle Books for the review copy, and permission to post the tutorial.