Paper, Prints, Pen & Paints

{Just a reminder that today is the last day to vote for FIMBY. Thanks}

You might categorize a post like this under "gifts you can make for Christmas". The projects I'm sharing are not all necessarily going to be given as gifts, though some are. 

This crafty themed post is all about paper. Making paper, painting paper, gathering paper into journals, coloring paper. Most of these projects we have done ourselves, one was purchased and a couple others were gifts. All together they make for a perfect paper-themed post.

Paper Making

For a couple years now I have wanted to make paper with the kids. But first I knew I needed to make the screens and that was an extra step I didn't feel inspired to do.

Then this past August at the kiddo's portfolio review I noticed that the certified teacher who does the assessment had a stack of paper making screens. We borrowed them and finally last month put my paper-making dream into action. 

These are the tutorials we used for instruction:

I would add that paper making is a day long process, at least it was for us. The videos make it look like it takes four minutes. It doesn't. And it's messy. But a whole lot of fun if you can just go with it, which we did.

We each made our own batch of slurry using recycled and colored papers. My batch even had leftover oatmeal. My favorite addition was the hydrangea petals. Brienne and Laurent added dried roses and essential oils.

This activity was a great hit and I would do it again in the future (I can't say that about all the crafts we have attempted together).

Our handmade papers, we made 3-5 pieces each, will be appearing as Christmas gifts and one was recently given to an eight year old friend for her birthday. I think these would make great gifts for paper-people in your life (you know, the ones who collect papers and love stationery stores - don't tell me we're the only ones!)

Nature Journals

These gorgeous journals came our way from Shawn. She created these journals specifically for our three children. We were blown away, and really blessed by how intuitively she captured their individual personalities and preferences in the cover paper and embellishments she used.

What a wonderful gift. Thank you Shawn.

These would make a great gift for a child and you can find instructions for making them here at daffodil lane. The ones she sent us are wonderful quality, beautifully made and just so pretty to look at.

Brienne's painting for her nature journal

Painting & Pens

Laurent is always drawing. Ok, not every single minute but nearly. He always has a sketch, or many, on the go. This is a sketch he decided to turn into a painting (it was a painting kind of a day) and that he will give as a Christmas gift.

We will make a laser copy at the copy center and frame it. Thanks Maryam for the framed art inspiration in her contribution to Handmade Holiday Grab Bag. We got this idea from her post.  

I'm not quite so gifted at sketching (to put it kindly) so I'm enjoying this free coloring page from beauty that moves. I don't think it will become a gift, though it could. It might just end up being a gift for me and a gentle reminder that yes, everything will be ok.

More Pretty Paper

I absolutely love the Christmas season and I love recording details about family life so when I saw this Gadanke Christmas Journal by Katie @ Making this Home I just had to buy it. I very rarely make impulse purchases, this was one. But it's an impulse I feel good about. Supporting a small home business whose values I appreciate and identify with.

I wish Katie lots of success in selling her lovely handmade journals. I can't wait to start chronicling our Christmas 2010 in this sweet little journal.

And very lastly to seal this post, so to speak, I have this photo.

Brienne's birthday is next week and we are all busy preparing for that. This is the sealed invite (the same seal and sealing wax we used for our wedding invitations) to her Victorian Tea Party going to a friend in the mail. But her birthday and all its crafty preparation is a whole different post in the works. I hope to share about that after the actual day.

Have you done anything pretty with papers recently?

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  • Francesca

    Francesca on Nov. 18, 2010, 1:24 p.m.

    I LOVE the idea of making paper and decorate it with hydrangea! It will be something we'll try during Christmas holidays - I don't think we'll have a whole day for it before then. Thank you for all the amazing inspiration, Renee.


    • renee

      renee on Nov. 18, 2010, 2:17 p.m.

      Francesca, when I say whole day I mean whole day with other stuff. Like cooking and eating.

      We started the slurry in the morning, that blending process took maybe one hour with all of us taking turns, we made four separate batches. Then we let it sit till after lunch because I heard somewhere to do this (let it sit awhile). Then it took us a couple hours in the afternoon of doing the actual "paper making" and clean up. So what I call a full day is actually only 3-4 hours but with the rest of life (cooking and clean up) it turns into a whole day - at least in our home. Have fun!


  • Maryam

    Maryam on Nov. 18, 2010, 2:18 p.m.

    whoa, that is one beautiful owl! these are such great ideas, thank you. we made paper at the nature center while camping this summer, and i've been meaning to do it again (using a picture frame with an old bit of window screen staples to it). reading about it here is just the inspiration i need to get to it :)


  • Naomi

    Naomi on Nov. 18, 2010, 4:46 p.m.

    I remember making paper with my mom when my sibs and I were being homeschooled - lots of fun! And I love the journals, I've toyed with the idea of making a few for the journals I keep for my kids. My latest paper project is a Christmas present, which I can mention here but can't write on my blog about yet :0) It's the paper mache bowl in Handmade Home. I had help from Nemo and Daphney but they lost interest after a while so I finished it up. That was so much fun I think I'll be making a few more for other family members' Christmas presents! Thank you for Amanda Soule's book!!


    • renee

      renee on Nov. 18, 2010, 5 p.m.

      You're welcome! Isn't paper mache fun. But just thinking about it makes my wrists itchy. That paste is so itchy when it dries!


  • Kika

    Kika on Nov. 18, 2010, 4:57 p.m.

    Shawn's journals are gorgeous. We've always used small sketch books (no bigger than 4x6") as our nature journals so they were light to carry around with us. But these are very pretty and artsy looking.


    • renee

      renee on Nov. 18, 2010, 4:59 p.m.

      The other cool thing is you can take pages out and add them in. So if you don't want to carry the whole book you just remove a page and take that along wherever you want to do the sketch/artwork and then add it back when you're done. Her journals are 6"x 9"


  • Jen

    Jen on Nov. 19, 2010, 1:29 a.m.

    I haven't done anything with paper but I sure want to now! Thanks for all the links. I'm definitely bookmarking this post. I would absolutely love to make those journals!


  • Kelly

    Kelly on Nov. 19, 2010, 3:35 a.m.

    I love the idea of keeping a journal for the holidays, or maybe of all family celebrations...that would be fun to look back on. Laurent's painting is wonderful!


  • Claudia

    Claudia on Nov. 19, 2010, 10:53 a.m.

    We just made paper a couple of days ago, and again yesterday it was so much fun! It will be turned into notecards for the grandmas for Christmas presents, along with the fabulous homemade knitting needles that Laurent posted about! :)


  • Katie @ Making This Home

    Katie @ Making This Home on Nov. 19, 2010, 5:47 p.m.

    Renee, I feel exactly the way you do about impulse purchasing. So to hear that the Gadanke Christmas journal was something that so quickly struck you just absolutely touches me. I'm so glad you like it!

    This roundup of ideas and projects is so fascinating. Thank you for including me. Katie


    • renee

      renee on Nov. 19, 2010, 6:43 p.m.

      I have been watching you talk about your journals wanting for some time to buy one but none seemed right for me. I also had been thinking about writing thoughts during the christmas season as a way to record and savor our days. When I saw your christmas journal I knew it was perfect. So although it was an impulse purchase, ie: I didn't think about it for days and days, I already knew what I wanted.

      Normally, it takes me a long time to make purchasing decisions and I usually would just rather not buy things to avoid making a decision! For that reason and others, Damien does most of our shopping (on-line) and I just manage the budget. 


  • Pamela

    Pamela on Nov. 20, 2010, 3:36 p.m.

    I love it when two of my favorite blogs intersect - FIMBY and Making this Home!! Great minds think alike!


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