Things To Do With A Cardboard Box – Part One

posted by Gina

I am inspired to write about cardboard this week for three reasons. One (1): There is a stack of boxes outside my apartment door, patiently waiting to be recycled, since I have gone a little bonkers decorating for Halloween. (AMAZON HAS EVERYTHING Y’ALL.) Two (2): My cat’s favorite thing to do is to sit in a box. He is doing so as we speak. And Three (3): This fabulous photo from my esteemed colleague Beret:

small-box
copyright Beret Olsen 2014

Continue reading “Things To Do With A Cardboard Box – Part One”

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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Paper Marbling

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©2013 Beret Olsen

Ages: 4 and up

I’ve done paper marbling many times, occasionally with satisfying results. Unfortunately, it required a checklist of fussy materials, as well as a sizable chunk of time. Something called ‘size’ had to be mixed ahead of time and allowed to thicken, but not so far ahead of time that it got moldy. Paper had to be pre-treated with mordant and allowed to dry. Who has time for all of that?

I also noticed that I was getting a little precious about the supplies–i.e., I had a hard time sharing them with my kids. That’s because up until a week or so ago, I thought the only way to marbleize was to buy the kit off Amazon, or drive around town trying to find ingredients like alum and methyl cellulose.

Full disclosure here: those are the materials and methods you need to use if you want those amazingly delicate Martha Stewart-y results. If you want to create papers that precisely resemble the endpapers found in old leather-bound books, and if time is not an issue, then by all means go and do it that way.

BUT.

Marbling is fun. And cool. Why not try it with cheaper, more easily accessible supplies? That way, you might be more likely to do it with a group of kids, or with your own, on some random rainy day when you are desperate to squelch the endless bickering. Not that my kids ever behave that way.

So, here it is: the cheap and easy method for marbleizing paper.    Continue reading “The Quick and Dirty Guide to Paper Marbling”

How to glue stuff like a crafty mofo

posted by Beret

IT’S SPECIAL ADDED BONUS TIME!

For those of you who would like to amaze your friends and family members with some mad gluing skills, this post is for you. Not interested? You still may want to take a peek down at step #5, which has a link to make a book press out of two cutting boards.

The techniques outlined below could apply to a myriad of different projects involving paper. In the demo, I am gluing the accordion book from a previous post into its attractive cover. If you’re looking for something else to make, try ‘crafty mofo.’ There you will find a boatload of interesting things to make–plus a few ugly ones, to be sure.     Continue reading “How to glue stuff like a crafty mofo”

Ridiculously Simple Bookmaking Part Deux: The Accordion Book

@2013 Beret Olsen
@2013 Beret Olsen

posted by Beret

Age Range:  anyone who can fold a piece of paper

You may be wondering: where is Gina?? Well, Gina is taking a moment to figure out some big life questions. I have tried to explain that the answer is 42, but for some reason, she insists on figuring things out for herself.

So I am back with another ridiculously simple bookmaking idea. The pages of an accordion book are made from one very long piece of paper, folded like an accordion. Hence the name.    Continue reading “Ridiculously Simple Bookmaking Part Deux: The Accordion Book”

Ridiculously Simple Bookmaking Part One: The Stick Journal

@2013 Beret Olsen
@2013 Beret Olsen

posted by: Beret

Ages: Three and up, though the very young will (of course) need assistance.

I love to make books.

I was going to do a very thorough post including all kinds of different bookmaking ideas. But then I realized the enormity of the challenge. There are a million ideas out there, and I am not to be trusted endlessly surfing the web. Somehow or another, I always end up on Youtube watching a couple of nimrods having a staple gun fight. In light of this, I decided to narrow my focus and introduce one project at a time.    Continue reading “Ridiculously Simple Bookmaking Part One: The Stick Journal”