When Tania Willis and I talked about the possibility of Tania teaching classes at Get It Scrapped!, I asked her what she'd really like to teach--where her passion was--and she described to me two classes. One, "Embellishments: Beautifully Handmade," she developed and taught in January. The class was a 10-lesson tour-de-force packed with ideas, detailed how-tos, and tips for making embellishments for scrapbook pages, accessories, clothing and more. The excerpt below is from a paper-piecing lesson in which she shared templates and illustrations for paper-pieced ugly dolls, owls, and this cute monkey.
The other class Tania told me she was passionate to teach became "In Loving Memory," which started this week. A class in which she's providing prompts, sketches, examples, instructions, and support for making a scrapbook about a loved one you've lost. All of the illustrations and materials in these lessons show original, creative, and heart-felt ways to embark upon such an important undertaking. You can find out more and register for In Loving Memory here.
TUTORIAL: PAPER PIECED MONKEY by Tania Willis
originally created for her class "Embellishments: Beautifully Handmade"
pattern (templates provided)
specialty paper (i.e. handmade or mulberry paper)
silk and/or paper flowers
tweezers or fine-tipped scissors
small spray bottle with water
pen or pencil
1. Print the template pieces (provided) and cut them out. If you think you’ll make them more than once, I recommend transferring them to chipboard so they will hold up over time.
2. Lay your pattern piece, facedown, on the wrong side of your paper. This allows you to cut out without worrying about leaving stray pencil/pen marks behind.
3. Place your pattern into a sandwich or snack size baggie and label the bag. Don’t risk losing pieces of your pattern by not bagging it immediately when done tracing. This is especially important when doing an advanced pattern that may have lots of small pattern pieces. I also find it helpful to snap a picture of the project when I am finished and include a printout of it in the bag for future reference.
* Crumple your paper. Spritz lightly with water first to make the paper more pliable and avoid tearing.
* Make handmade or mulberry paper fuzzy by spritzing with water and then using tweezers or a fine-tipped pair of scissors to “fluff” up the fibers. Here is a side-by-side example of untouched vs. fluffed handmade paper.
And here is a detail shot of the fuzzy monkey made using the handmade paper. See why I love this stuff? It gives a wonderful texture to your projects.
Adhere your pieces together, being careful to avoid getting adhesive where it will show. I find that a wet adhesive works best with the handmade paper and paper to which you’ve added texture. Then, add buttons for eyes and brads for the nose to embellish your piece. A few variations are shown.
Add further details to personalize your piece, including flowers, ribbon bows, hand stitching, etc. Before hand stitching, I prefer to poke my holes using my needle or a paper piercing tool making it easier (and quicker) to add stitching. You can make your monkey a male by simply leaving off the flowers and adding insets to the ears in the same color or pattern you used for the face.
You can add further character to your cardstock pieces by distressing them using the open blade of your scissors and scraping it along the edges to rough them up.
Adhere to project.