Summer is upon us! Let’s celebrate with a beachy craft. First enjoy collecting shells, driftwood, sand and inspiration on your next trip to the beach. Then let’s put it all together in this cute mini diorama!
Supplies you’ll need:
Round lid with edges. I’m using the cardboard packaging from Brie cheese.
Pencil, scissors and a hole puncher.
Watercolor paper and brush
Watercolor paint – a blue green, turquoise, and brown. You can mix blue and yellow to create the blue green.
Ribbon, fabric, or paper to line the inner and outer rims.
Twine or ribbon (or in my case the handle from a shopping bag)
Glue gun, craft glue, and double sided tape.
1. Trace a circle on your watercolor paper using the lid as your guide.
2. Paint a simple seascape overlapping your circle shape.
Seascape painting tips:
Determine the position of the horizon and mark lightly with pencil.
Starting at the pencil line, paint with the blue green color. (Leave some areas white for breaking waves.) Lighten the blue green by mixing it with water as you move lower, leaving the bottom 1/3 of the circle blank.
If desired – add darker strokes to the ocean for waves.
Paint the bottom of the circle a very light brown (brown mixed with water), leaving a thin gap between the ocean water and the sand.
Using a light blue or turquoise, paint a fade from the top of the circle to the horizon line by adding more water to your blue as you paint.
3. After the painting dries, cut inside the circle. Adjust until the paper fits inside the lid.
4. Tape the painting inside of the lid using double sided tape.
5. Hold up your diorama and with the horizon straight determine what the top is. Poke a hole through the top of the lid or use the hole puncher. (If you are using a plastic lid skip this step. Instead use the glue gun to glue string to the back of your lid.)
6. Glue ribbon around the inner and outer rims, putting seams at the bottom. (You can also paint your lid – I recommend acrylic paint for this.)
7. Thread twine through the hole and knot.
8. Use a glue gun to add all of your beach treasures. Use tacky glue to add sand. Once dry shake off excess sand.
Back in 2014 I saw a paper quilt in Country Living magazine. I thought it was such a great idea, especially because I can’t really sew and have always been drawn to quilts. I was inspired to create my own.
St. Patrick’s Day Paper Quilt
I wanted to create a St. Patrick’s Day themed paper quilt. The weather was horrible, so I avoided a trip to the craft store by using patterned papers I had at home and by designing some of my own.
I created a template so I could achieve a diamond quilt design. Each square on the template was assigned a letter. I also created a key so I knew which paper went with each letter. I thought it was interesting that if I changed which paper was assigned to the letters on the key, I would end up with a different quilt.
I had so much fun creating that first paper quilt. I thought others would enjoy making one too and wouldn’t it be convenient if they could print everything from home – the template, key and four patterned papers? I also thought it would be a great craft for other holidays. So that’s what I did! To date I’ve designed six printable paper quilt making quilts.
St. Patrick’s Day Paper Quilt Making Kit
Valentine’s Day Paper Quilt Making Kit
How to make a paper quilt
Print the kit – four patterned papers, template and key, and instructions
Cut the four patterned papers into squares using the trim marks and following the instructions
Cut the key off the template
Assign the four papers to the key (gluing the squares onto the key)
Following the letters on the key, glue the squares one patterned paper at a time
Your done! Make another quilt – Print another set, assign the papers differently, create a different design!
By switching up what papers are assigned to the key – many quilt design variations are possible! Have fun!
The best part about creating a paper quilt is there is no sewing! Just print the patterned papers and the template. Cut squares out of the patterned paper. Assign the different papers a letter in the key. Then follow the template. You can create several different quilt designs with one printable kit. Just assign the papers to different letters in the key.
Wood burning – I love this wood burned acorn by Italian Artist Liliia of SorrisoDesign. “The design is hand drawn, then carefully and lovingly burned into the solid wood bead with pyrography technique.”
You know when you have an idea and you’re like, “This is such a great idea.” But then you don’t get it done in time? Well last March I had the idea to create a paper quilt printable kit. The idea was based on a paper quilt I created back in the early days of my blog. I designed the paper quilt to look St. Patrick’s Day-ish, with shades of green and shamrocks. Every year before St. Patrick’s Day this post is popular. A paper quilt is a fun project, especially for non-sewers like me!
This year I thought wouldn’t it be fun if I designed four patterned papers, created a template, and instructions and added this digital paper quilt kit to my Etsy shop. Unfortunately St. Patrick’s Day came and went. Then I thought, “How about an Easter quilt?” Then Easter passed. “How about a Spring paper quilt?” I think you get the idea here.
I completed enough of the work with creating the template, etc. that I couldn’t let the idea die. Plus, I really think it’s a fun project for kids and adults, especially for kids with the component of matching the correct pattern with the correct letter on the template. And it looks good! A fun project that can be used for decoration or as a background in scrapbooking or matting a photo. I really believe in the idea.
Ribbon, fabric, or paper to line the inner and outer rims
Twine or ribbon (or in my case the handle from a shopping bag)
Glue gun, craft glue, and double sided tape or scrap booking adhesive
1. Trace a circle on your painting using the cardboard as your guide. Cut inside the circle. Adjust until the paper fits inside the cardboard. (Set painting aside.)
2. Poke a hole through the rim or use the hole puncher. The hole will be the top of your diorama.
3. Glue ribbon around the inner and outer rims, putting seams at the bottom.
4. Thread twine through the hole and knot.
5. Tape painting to the inside of the circle. Pay attention to the “top” (the hole) when lining up the horizon of your painting. Make sure to tape down all the edges.
6. Use glue gun to add all of your beach treasures.
7. Use glue gun to secure shell to the knot. (See image below.)
8. Add craft glue in between shells and rocks. Pour generous amount of sand on top.
9. Add craft glue to bottom of the shell (on the knot) and pour sand onto glue.
10. Wait until fully dry and gently shake off excess sand.
Extra – make a little sign with the name of your special beach to add to your beach diorama. Inspired by this post? Let me know what you make! Tag me on Instagram @eileenmckenna
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I have long admired paper flowers. I think I first noticed them in Mollie Makes, a UK craft magazine. I love Mollie Makes, even though I don’t sew, knit, or crochet. I love the look and feel of it. I’m inspired by the crafts, and love reading about other creatives. It’s crafty, with a hip vibe.
The first paper flower tutorial I tried didn’t work so well. I have to admit, I’m not the best at following directions, so it wasn’t surprising. the flower didn’t stay together, it just unraveled.
The other day I saw a post on Instagram from @liagriffith – who is amazing – and decided to check her site for tutorials. I did a watered down version of Lia’s rose tutorial. (I hand drew simpler versions of the petals, just to try it out.) I wasn’t disappointed! Using wire, you add a section of petals at a time, securing it with a dab of glue – from a glue gun.
I was so proud of my rose, I did another, and another, and then tried one with paper I painted with purple watercolors. The bright flowers are really giving life to my Easter mantle!
It was a lot of fun decorating mini gingerbread houses with the kids tonight. It’s nice to do something together especially since 2 of my 3 are teenagers. Traditions are really nice. We’ve been doing houses together since the oldest was 2 or 3.
I remember when I was home from college and my sister said we were going to make gingerbread houses with my niece – who was the first grandchild. We baked everything from scratch, and then struggled to put the houses together. Finally we were ready to decorate. My niece ate a few gumdrops, put a few on the house, and yelled, “done!” As she hopped down from her chair. I couldn’t believe it. Kids are too funny!
I was feeling guilty that I never finished a Christmas diorama, as I promised you. Posting one today or tomorrow seemed too late. But, as I cleaned up all the scraps of wrapping paper, boxes, and ribbons, I realized today is the perfect day to finish a Christmas diorama and use some of those leftovers. The rush of shopping, baking, and wrapping is over. Today is a lazy day – the perfect day to work on a project and those leftovers had inspired me. In my last diorama post, I went over all the problems I was having with my diorama. The main thing I realized was that I was thinking too literally. This time I didn’t fuss about a realistic floor – I just created and I’m so happy with the results! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!