Free printables are now a regular feature of this craft blog and this week…

…I am pleased to bring you a colorful design depicting the sun, moon and stars.

Made with the two largest sizes off this week’s free sun moon and stars free printable.

Free printables are very easy to use (as long as you have access to a printer of course!)

Each week, I create a new page on here with a new free printable for you.

The page is always password protected, so you will need the password to get in.

This week’s free printable – Sun, Moon & Stars

To get that free printable password, you need to watch the YouTube tutorial that shows how I used the images.

In that video I will give out the password and all you need to do is write it down, come back here, follow this link and put in the password.

Simple! There is no catch to getting the free printable, the only thing I ask in return is that you watch the video and if you like what I do, perhaps subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel – that’s it! Not a bad deal really😍

Once you have your free printable, you need to print it off on good paper.

But should it be on glossy or matte paper?

Well that depends on how you are going to use your design.

If you intend putting a glass dome over the top using a medium such as Diamond Glaze or Glossy Accents, you will need to use a matte finish photographic paper.

Glass dome/cabochon
A glass dome fixed to a circular design with Glossy Accents – the design was printed onto matte paper.
Glossy Accents and Diamond Glaze are brilliant for sticking glass domes to designs printed onto matte paper.

As you can see above, using a special medium like Glossy Accents to stick the design to the glass dome is very effective when your design is printed onto matte paper.

But if you like printing onto glossy paper, as I do, what happens if you try to use a wet medium to stick the glass dome on?

The pendant design on the left was printed onto glossy photo paper and stuck to the glass dome with Diamond Glaze.

The same pendant design on the right was stuck to the glass dome with a special, crystal clear double sided tape designed to be invisible.

In all the years I have been making glass pendants, this is the fastest, easiest, least messy way I have found to fix glass domes in place on my designs for pendants.

When I first decided to experiment with using double sided tape to do this, I had all sorts of disasters. Most double sided tapes have lines in them that you don’t realise are there until you use the tape on something transparent, such as between a glass dome and a design.

Every single ordinary double sided tape I used from the craft store had marks in it.

And then I discovered a company online called SK Tapes and I found the perfect tape to stick the glass domes to my designs.

Design was fixed to glass dome with crytal clear SK Tapes double-sided tape.

This tape is made for commercial use for companies making signs and nameplates etc, however, listed in the description on their website, it does also say for use in arts and crafts.

It’s not as straightforward ordering this as it would be if you were ordering, say, on Amazon for example. You can’t just go and make a few clicks to order.

Don’t be fooled by the red appearance – that’s just the transluscent liner – the tape is crystal clear.

You have to go to their website and go to the products drop-down menu and click through to double-sided tapes (it’s at the top of the menu). Once you are on the double-sided tapes page, click on the one that says, Butt Cut Double-Sided.

On that page is an enquiry button and I sent them a message from there.

When they came back to me, I told them what I wanted, the 25mm one, paid over the phone and they sent it straight out.

It is expensive, but, this is a quality commercial product. Last year, I paid £12.96 for my roll but that included postage and Sales Tax. And it will last me absolutely ages.

USA readers may know of similar products stateside that we don’t have here.

And if you do, please scroll down and leave a comment to let people know what it is called. Or you can leave a comment under the video over on YouTube.

If you want any of the other items I used in my tutorial, such as pendant trays, glass domes, paper punches or ball chains, you can visit my Amazon shops and have a look through the items I have listed on there.

Paper punches do make life easier when cutting any shape accurately. And pendant trays (right) are ideal for making unique gifts for friends and family.

Here are the links to my Amazon shops:

https://www.amazon.com/shop/rainbowlane

https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/rainbowlane

Next week my YouTube tutorial will be showing you how to use the smallest design on the sun, moon and stars free printable to make a dainty little pendant that will appeal to those who prefer smaller, more delicate necklaces.

Come back next week and join me for that. And if you like my free printables, please consider subscribing to this blog and also my YouTube channel. In the future I will be giving free printable designs to my blog subscribers only, so make sure you sign up now so I know who you are.

It’s really easy to subscribe and I do not share your email address with anyone.

Enjoy your sun, moon and stars free printable – and see you next week.

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Paper beads are a great way to keep on crafting when you can’t get out to buy supplies.

There is no doubt we are living in the most difficult times that most of us born since the last World War can remember.

The video clip below was shot yesterday in a town near where I live. I was forced to go out to deal with an urgent banking issue and had to venture into town.

It would normally be packed with people just before lunchtime on a Friday but this was the scene that met me – very eerie.

We are all living in very worrying times, times that many people are finding extremely hard to deal with on many levels.

What should have been a busy UK town centre has been reduced to a ghost town.

Crafting is one way to try and stay occupied and keep our minds off this awful situation that worrying will not change.

So I have been trying to think of ways people can craft if they don’t have everything they need.

One of the projects I came up with is making paper beads without a bead rolling tool.

As you may know, I designed a paper bead rolling tool many years ago and have been selling it online and at my classes for a long time.

My tools and templates do make paper bead making much easier, if you are in a position to get them now.

Uk readers can get my paper bead supplies here.

US readers can get them here.

paper beads
The paper bead tools and templates I manufacture and sell online.

But what if you don’t have the tool for rolling paper beads?

And what if you are in a situation where you can’t get one now?

Can you still make paper beads? The answer is a resounding YES!

If you want to make paper beads but you don’t have the tools or paper to make them, watch my YouTube tutorial.

You will be surprised at how easy it is to make paper beads with two household items you probably already have.

And if you don’t have a template, you can still measure out long triangles on the paper and cut them out. Where there is a will there is a way!

You will be surprised at how I made these beads! You can easily make them too wth no bead rolling tool.

Our main craft stores in the UK are closed as they are not considered essential.

https://www.amazon.com/shop/rainbowlane

https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/rainbowlane

Amazon Affiliate statement

I’m not sure I understand the thinking behind that, especially as stores selling alcohol, (or Off Licences, as they are called in the UK), are.

It’s a very strange situation when, during a national crisis with most people like prisoners in their own homes, alcohol is considered more important than the very art and craft supplies that could keep people from going quietly mad in isolation.

Escapism through art/craft is much healthier than using alcohol.

I just don’t get it.

Keep busy everyone – crafting is a great form of meditation because it helps us forget the world for a few hours.

Hope you find my paper beads YouTube video useful in developing ideas for crafting without many supplies – see you next week.

Tissue paper light shades are quite simple to make and you don’t need lots of expensive supplies.

Tissue paper light shades are only for use with battery operated tealights or battery operated candles – they must never be used with naked flames.

tissue paper light shades
Some of my easy to make tissue paper light shades
Please note these tissue paper light shades are for battery tealights only. Never use them with a naked flame.

You can find the full tutorial on how to make your own tissue paper light shades on my YouTube Channel.

All you need is coloured tissue paper and lots of white glue. The trick is being able to cover the sheets of tissue with PVA glue without losing your patience!

In the tutorial, I show you two easy ways to do that without using too many swear words.🤪

When I was making my tissue paper light shades, even I had a couple of teeny problems.

It wasn’t all plain sailing – these are two failed tissue paper light shades.

The hardest part of making these shades is getting the glue onto the delicate tissue evenly and then drying it without it all sticking to itself or to the drying surface.

You will see my easy methods in the video.

You can see by the above screwed up pieces of tissue – I had two mess up on me. I use waxed paper taped down to a glass cutting mat as a base on which to work and then I just let the sheets dry right on there.

But even then I had to keep moving the sheets around a little throughout the drying time to stop the tissue from sticking in places.

Once you see the basic technique for making tissue paper light shades, you can start exploring ways to decorate them using your own ideas.

For these purple ones I used some round gold cord I had. I sandwiched it in between the sheets of tissue.

I used lace strips for another one and fancy wool on a third.

But you could do stamping or doodling on the tissue with Sharpies before you put glue on.

When you put battery operated tea-lights or candles inside these lanterns it gives you room a cosy glow. NEVER use naked flames in them.

Hope you have fun making lots of lovely lights to brighten up these strange times we are all living through.

If you aren’t sure where to get any of the supplies and tools you see me use in my video, do check out my Amazon storefronts by clicking one of the two Amazon links below.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

My Amazon Affiliate statement

If you made these tissue paper light shades, let me know how you got on by leaving me a comment on my YouTube channel.

Fancy paper beads are a step ahead of the usual triangular shaped bead strip that make a fairly standard paper bead.

fancy paper beads
Standard paper beads made from triangular strips.
Diablo shaped beads made from a more adventurous paper bead strip shape. As these strips are quite hard for beginners to make, I sell the pre-cut diablo bead strips online. They are currently only available as part of a kit. See further down for details.

Making these fancy paper beads in the diablo shape is easy.

I have created a pre-cut diablo paper bead strip in plain white, to make it easy for beginners to make basic diablo paper beads which they can paint and decorate in their own style.

In the picture above, you can see the diablo beads I made in my most recent film and they are painted with metallic pink and green paint with a sealer/glaze on top.

I have added some tiny gold and silver spacer beads to set off the colours.

Two bracelets I made with my pre-cut diablo srips.

If you want to see how to make these fancy paper beads, watch the video over on my YouTube channel.

I have made a short film showing the technique for rolling the strips. When you first see the strips, especially if you are a beginner to paper bead making, they can look a little intimidating and complicated.

But they really are not difficult to roll and the fancy paper beads they make are a lovely change from standard paper beads.

I show you very clearly in the tutorial over on YouTube how to roll the diablo strips with ease to make perfect diablo shaped paper beads.

If you want to get hold of these pre-cut paper bead strips, I am selling kits with enough strips to make three bracelets

The kit – a 3mm paper bead rolling tool, 36 diablo strips and 100 3mm metal bead cores.

And while stocks last – I am giving away a free glue stick with every kit.

A free glue stick while stocks last.

UK, European and other worldwide customers can buy my diablo paper bead kits from my Folksy shop below.

In my Folksy shop, the postage costs are separate. I have set this shop up especially for UK customers but I do ship worldwide from here for those who want to use Folksy.

PaperBeadToolsAndSuppliesUK

USA, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Customers can also my diablo paper bead kits in my Etsy shop below.

In my Etsy shop, the postage prices are included in the item price and are set for the costs to send items to the USA/Canada/Australia/New Zealand.

I therefore recommend that UK and European customers buy from my Folksy shop, above, instead of Etsy.

This is because the new Etsy postage policies are making the overall cost of items more expensive for people in the UK and Europe.

ImagesForCrafts

Hope you enjoy the video.

And if you have any questions, please drop me a comment on here or in the comments section on YouTube.

Have fun making your fancy paper beads!

Easy Christmas Crafts Alert!

Last year, I published a blog post and YouTube video (recently updated) showing how easy it is to turn bread into durable Christmas decorations to use year after year.

easy christmas crafts for children
easy christmas crafts for children

Turn bread...

Into Christmas decorations!

Easy Christmas crafts that are fun and original are always a hit when the results are fast and amazing!

And it doesn't get much more amazing than turning plain old bread into colorful Christmas decorations that can become family treasures.

These are great for making as beautiful presents too because, what is more special than having someone give you a unique decoration to hang on your tree?

To see my original post click here. To see the full instructional video on YouTube click here.

easy christmas crafts for children

Making Easy Christmas Crafts Is A Great Way To Spend the Dark Nights of November & December!

We all know that those living in some parts of the world have short days and long dark nights to contend with in the run up to Christmas.

So these fun Christmas decorations are a great way to while away the dark damp evenings with friends in the warm and an early bottle of Christmas wine!

 

 

Paper pendants made from discarded cereal box cardboard are super easy to make!

Add your own abstract artwork - as I have done with the ones pictured above - and you have exciting, bold and beautiful one-off pieces of jewellery to wear, sell sort give away as presents.

These paper pendants were all made by me, using a discarded cereal box to create the jewellery form that I mounted my artwork on.

Continue reading


Why did I make a paper bead tool?

Making paper beads from junk  is one of my favourite crafts. I have always loved transforming mundane pieces of paper into beautiful jewellery.

I also love creating my own artwork to use. But my enjoyment was spoilt by not being able to roll the paper bead strips very easily.

I wanted something that gripped the paper well enough to get the bead started easily.

I also wanted something that would allow me to slide the finished bead off quickly, smoothly and without pulling the middle out of it.

There have been many bead rollers for sale for many years but they were made from bamboo that has been split into two and then bound with paper to make a handle.

They were ok and I made quite a few of my own over the years. The problem that I found was the bamboo could sometimes snag the paper making beads hard to slide off.

So I created my own tools.

Learn to Make Gorgeous Paper Beads In Minutes!


Once you have the tool and have practiced on a few strips of paper, making beautiful beads is really easy.

 

With the paper bead tool, you will never get mad at junk mail again!

Instead, you will be saying thank you for all the wonderful free paper you are getting.

And think of the thrill when you make a really beautiful bracelet out of something that used to annoy you! Make unique presents that have cost you next to nothing.

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Or create your own art work and make some really colourful beads that are truly unique and cannot be copied.

The possibilities for creating paper beads of all different shapes and sizes is endless with the paper bead tool.

I really enjoy colouring designs on plain paper and then making beads from it. If you add several coats of glaze, they look so amazing, no one guesses they are made from paper.

After experimenting with lots of different materials for many years, I came up with a paper bead tool that I absolutely loved using.

The design was nice and simple and very easy to use. It rolled nice tight beads that were easy to slide off and I was happy with that.

I eventually made the tools in two sizes, 3mm and 5mm.

The 3mm size allows you to make beads with a smaller core for threading on finer stringing material up to 2.5mm thick.

The 5mm size allows you to make beads with a larger core for threading on thicker stringing materials such as leather or Pandora style bracelets.

After the paper bead tool issue was conquered, I set about making myself templates to use over and over again so I didn\'t have to measure every time.

For many years I used my drawn out templates with carbon paper because I had no printer or computer in those days.

 

Eventually, I refined my templates to sell to other people that I was teaching in craft groups.

In recent times, I extended that further to create downloadable templates for sale online that people can print off and stick onto their craft paper with removable glue tape while they cut with a craft knife.

And then I designed a set that can be used with electronic cutters such as Silhouette Cameo.


 

paper bead tool

 

For easy cutting of paper bead strips without all the hassle of measuring and drawing lines, I have designed some templates you can download from my etsy shop. 

They are very easy to use. Click here to find out how you can use my templates to cut quick, easy strips and then use the template paper to make more beads so there is no waste! You can also use the templates in image editing software such as Photoshop to overlay onto printable  designs.

paper bead tool

The one inch electronic template printed onto a design for easy cutting.

easy beady tool

There are two ways to use the downloadable templates. You can print the template, fix it to your chosen bead paper with removable adhesive tape and cut your strips along the lines with ruler and craft knife.

The picture to the left shows strips cut with that method. As you can see, this gives you the strips cut in your chosen paper and the left-over template strips. You can hand colour those with Sharpies and make more beads. No waste!

Or you can overlay the png file onto an image on screen (see the blue design above), print it and cut along the printed lines with ruler and craft knife or a guillotine. Visit my etsy shop today to get your downloadable templates.

Please note - we have now changed the handle design of the Easy Beady Paper Bead Tool back to the original one I used when we first began making paper bead tools for my students to buy.

The bead tool demonstrated in the video is the one that we produced to sell online to be lighter weight and easier for posting all over the world.

There is an updated video here showing the new tools in action.

The original handle we used was bigger and heavier and pushed up postage costs. However, my workshop students who have tried both handle styles over the years preferred the heavier, more curvy handle on the 5mm tool and most people said they found the grip better on the curvier 3mm tool handle.

So we took the decision to sell the online paper bead tools with the old style handle. The straight handle tool is available on request.

 

paper bead tool
paper bead tool
paper bead tool
The new paper bead tools with the old style handles.
The new paper bead tools with the paper bead strip stencil.
The old style paper bead tools with the straight handle.

We have also released our Easy Beady paper bead strip stencil templates for sale on Etsy.

You can see the stencil in the picture above. It can be found on Etsy by clicking here.

At the moment, when you buy both the new 3mm and 5mm curvy handled bead tools together, we are giving you the paper bead strip stencil template free at a saving of £5.99.

Click here to go to the offer on Etsy.

We ship all over the world.

If you would like to start using a paper bead tool to make your crafting life easier - order my paper bead tools and templates today - you will be glad you did!