Saturday, May 21, 2011

Paper Garlands - For the Graduate!

I've been a big admirer of paper garlands, and my niece's graduation party was the perfect reason to give this craft a spin.  Of course, I wanted to add Mommy Chicken's touch, so I thought why not use some of her old term papers to make the decor that much more personal?  Here's how!

Beg and plead your student to take his/her precious time away from their studies to root through their junk and retrieve and deliver some old exams (not an easy task, I'm sure my niece was shaking her head thinking "what is my crazy Aunt up to now?").

Brew up some strong, black tea.  I used 4 standard size Lipton bags for a quart of water. Here's a thought, if you use a stronger tea you could cut down on the soak time.
Soak paper for as long as 1/2 hour. 
Lay out to dry.  I laid my paper in the rock garden in the shade.  I used rocks conveniently located to weigh down the pages so they wouldn't blow away.  I even think the warmth from the rocks helped speed the drying process.
Now you're ready to start punching.  I bought one of Martha's Paper Stamps awhile back, on sale, just for this occassion.  I've always gone the cheaper route, but let me tell you, the price is worth it.  This is one powerful punch. 
I also used some pretty tissue paper to add a bit of color.
Before I knew it, I had a slew of paper circles to work with.  From here, I fed them into my sewing machine along with wax paper.  The wax paper helped give it the right weight, and helped prevent any tangling (sorry no photo for this, no one was around to take one!)  Just before using, I stripped off the wax paper. 
I love this craft and have plans to use it in the future.  I hope you find a great reason to use this craft as well!

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