Gingerbread Village Decorating

We had family visiting this Christmas and I decided to choose a variety of fun, creative tasks for us to share on the kitchen table on Christmas Eve. Alongside some mince pie baking and puzzle making, I bought a ‘Create A Treat’ gingerbread village decorating kit. This was so enjoyable and I was so pleased with the results, I just couldn’t wait to share the finished village with you!

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The kit came complete with everything needed to assemble and decorate all of the (five) mini buildings within the gingerbread village. The gingerbread pieces were all flat packaged and were all carefully snapped into individual building pieces, later to be assembled with the use of the (rather yummy) icing. There was more than enough icing and plenty of very tasty sweeties…. (some of which didn’t quite make it onto the house, of course). The sweeties (Canadian) consisted of Jelly Hearts, Pucker Ups, Multicoloured Mini Beads and Jelly Beans… How yummy?!

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Above, you will see a ‘Toy Shop’, ‘Chalet’, ‘Regular House’, ‘Gabled House’ and a ‘Building’ all lovingly assembled and decorated by myself and my lovely family on Christmas Eve. I think I’ve started a new Christmas Eve tradition and I hope to do the same next year with a different kit. Do you have any similar Christmas Eve traditions? Did you manage to do any Christmas Eve crafting? I’d love to know and I really hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our village. If only all villages were as sweet at this one!

Paper Doily Makes: Crocheted Gifts

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Mother’s Day has recently passed in the UK and I felt like crocheting my Mum something special this year. Whatever the occasion, whether it be birthdays, anniversaries, small celebrations, I always like to gift handmade items of some sort. If you’ve ever read my blog post about my wedding, or my recent feature in Homemaker Mag, you’ll know how much I love handmade gestures. Over the next few months, I’m actually planning to write a lot more craft tutorials for handmade party favours and gifts, as it’s quite clear just how much I love parties!

This year, I decided to make my Mum a crocheted scarf. Some could say that it’s the wrong time of year to give somebody a scarf, but the weather here in Somerset doesn’t seem to be getting any warmer despite the changing seasons, so it felt like a lovely gesture.

This particular scarf is on the large side as my Mum does a lot of walking and I wanted it to be super snuggly and toasty. I’ve only recently taught myself the stitch I used for this scarf and I’m also making a blanket out of it for my lounge. It’s called the ‘V-stitch’ and after trying out a few online tutorials, I found Girly Bunches YouTube video to be the most helpful. The technique was very easy to follow and I adapted the instructions myself to make the scarf. I have a lot of wool in my craft room, so rather than buy new supplies, I used a mixture of pink cotton and cream aran yarn. This was the result above and I was super pleased with it, as was my Mum. Yay! It’s lovely when handmade gifts are appreciated.

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I gave my Mum a few other special but non handmade items, including this gorgeous keyring. Isn’t it adorable? The wrapping paper was perfect for Mother’s Day, especially with Easter on the way, don’t you agree?

I hope I’ve inspired you to make your own handmade gifts, particularly if you have a special occasion on the way. Have a lovely day wherever you are in the world!

My Craft Swap with RubyRedcrafts

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a craft swap with the lovely RubyRedcrafts. It was the first craft swap I’ve ever participated in and it was so much fun. I’ve been following Rachel from RubyRedcrafts on Instagram for some time and after seeing all of her beautiful makes, I was able to gain a real sense of what kind of things she liked. Here’s what I made:

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Anybody who knows me well, knows that I absolutely love crochet. I taught myself to crochet several years ago and have been happily ‘hooking’ ever since! I just find it so incredibly therapeutic (unless of course I’m following a very tricky pattern) and I love how easy it is to add colour. I run a local, fortnightly crochet group in a cafe, so a lot of tasty cake and warm hot chocolate was consumed whilst this was made. As Easter is coming up, I thought it would make the perfect garland. I’ve made quite a few crocheted party decorations similar to this and I always have so much fun with them.

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Pastel felt flower gift tags with pink twine, need I say any more? Rachel spends a lot of time in her craft room and plans to use these as organisational tags for all of her crafty bits. The felt flowers were all cut by hand by myself. I drew a brief outline of each flower on thin paper to start with to use as templates. After choosing the felt and cutting out each shape, I used a mixture of hand sewing and hot glue gun, with some added embellishments. The brown gift tags came from my local craft store and were the perfect colour, as the pastel colours really shine through against the background colour.

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Rachel and I agreed on three items, the third being these tall, patterned heart cake toppers, perfect for decorating beautiful cakes with at special parties and events.

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This wrapping paper I used to wrap the gifts in was perfect, as it felt so seasonal. The Spring like colours and delicate flowers stood out to me whilst choosing the wrapping paper and the pink twine was the perfect addition!

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These fabulous handmade gifts were Rachel’s craft swap to me. How stunning are they? I love each and every one item Rachel sent and was so overwhelmed that they were created with love especially for me. I’ve now placed the gorgeous padded heart garland in my kitchen. The patchwork needle case is displayed proudly in my craft room next to my sewing machine. It will definitely be used as I’ve been thinking about teaching myself to make patchwork quilts and accessories for some time now. Rachel also included a beautiful handmade coaster for all of my lovely mugs and look at that little rosette!

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Last but not least, Rachel has an adorable dog named Wilson, so I couldn’t leave him out. I have two miniature poodles named Felix and Mabel, and they both love Lily’s Kitchen bedtime biscuits. They are the perfect treat for lucky pooches!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and do get in touch if I’ve inspired you! Have a lovely week.

 

Paper Doily Makes: Christmas Tree Cupcake Liner Garland

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As my regular readers may know, I moved house in July of this year and have just taken the festive decorations out of storage. This house is a brand new build, so it’s the first time it’s been decorated for Christmas. How special is that? I’ve loved giving it lots of festive cheer over the past few weeks.

I’m still getting to know where certain decorations are best placed and I’ve moved the Christmas tree twice already. Yes, really! I happened to have a really bare wall in the hallway and thought I’d make something bright and colourful to cheer it up a little. I enjoy hand making at least one decoration each year, as it feels much more unique and special than purchasing, doesn’t it?

Anyway, with that ramble over, I just wanted to let you know that I had so much fun making this christmas tree garland that I decided to make a tutorial for you. Excited? Once you’ve found the materials below, you’ll be good to go. You’ll need:

Materials:

  • A selection of your favourite cupcake liners/wrappers
  • Double sided selotape
  • Clear selotape
  • Scissors
  • Star paper cutter (optional)
  • Twine, thread or ribbon
  • Glitter Paper, or other complimentary decorative paper

 

Method:

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First of all, take 3 of your cupcake liners/wrappers and fold them in half, and in half again, like so.

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Cut three small strips of double sided selotape and attach them to the inside of all of your cupcake liners/wrappers, like so. After you’ve done that, turn your trees over to their reverse side.

Place them together exactly where you want them (in the shape of a tree) and take two strips of clear selotape. Place the selotape on top of the middle and bottom pointed edges on the reverse side. Turn your tree over to the correct side and you should have something similar to the image above.

I used different sized cupcake liners/wrappers for my garland which created a beautiful layered effect. I had some mini cupcake wrappers in the cupboard, similar to what you’d use for making truffles, petits fours etc. These worked very well in giving the garland a bit of interest/uniqueness.

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If you have a star shaped paper cutter, now is the time to cut out stars for your Christmas trees. You can either use a small piece of double sided selotape to attach it to the tree, or some glue. I used glitter paper for the stars, but any paper that works well with your theme will do the trick.

If you don’t have a star paper cutter, it’s not a problem. You can just draw the outline to a star on the reverse side of the glitter paper and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut it out. You also don’t have to use star shapes, heart shapes would look nice, as would most other decorative shapes.

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Once you’ve made enough trees for your desired garland length, take your ribbon or twine and your trusty clear selotape. Turn your Christmas trees onto their reverse sides, with the twine laid out in front of you. Cut a small strip of clear tape per tree and attach them together by placing a small strip of the clear tape in between the twine and the back of the paper star. Voila!

You now have yourself a beautiful Christmas tree garland made out of inexpensive materials and plenty of love and care. Enjoy and do let me know if I’ve inspired you to make your own!

Paper Doily Makes: DIY Christmas Gift Wrapping

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Happy December all! It’s that time of year when Christmas shopping becomes a priority for many of you, as do copious amounts of toasty hot chocolates with marshmallows, right? I absolutely love gift wrapping, so I usually wrap the gifts as immediately as possible after getting them home. However, I do realise this isn’t normal and many people leave gift wrapping until the last minute.

There is such an incredible selection of gift wrapping available, the choice can be overwhelming. I personally like to have one specific theme, so all of my gifts look beautifully styled and uniform under the Christmas tree. Brown paper, available from most stationery shops and supermarkets is my favourite wrapping paper to use. If you’re anything like me and happen to have a very large patterned paper stash, you can really go to town with the personalisation. The brown paper gives the gifts a fabulously blank canvas, meaning you can use any colour, theme or style of paper on top of it.

For these gifts here, I used the brown packing paper as a base and then simply cut several strips of patterned paper, attaching them to the present with double sided sticky tape. (Remember not to use too much of this though, given as though they need to be relatively easy to open on the big day). I’ve been rather guilty of making presents too hard to unwrap before, sometimes wrapping them in several layers of paper to add to the anticipation. I’ll be quiet now, shall I!?

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I bought a star paper cutter from Hobbycraft some time ago. This isn’t a sponsored post, I just happen to love using them. I have them in all shapes and sizes and decided to make little star wands and star embellishments for the gift tags.

The star wands were made by cutting two stars out of equal size. I then took a bamboo skewer and some double sided selotape. (Selotape becomes a lifesaver this time of year, doesn’t it?) I turned both stars over onto their reverse side and attached several strips of double sided tape to them. I then placed the skewer on top of one of the stars and finished the wand by placing the remaining star on top of it. The beautiful thing about the star wands, is that they can also be used as cake or cupcake toppers or placed in clear jars as table decorations, meaning the theme can run through your house this Christmas.

You may have also noticed a patterned peg in one of the images above also? This is a washi tape peg and can easily be created at home and used for your Christmas gift wrapping. You can see my earlier washi tape peg tutorial here.

The brown gift tags were purchased from Amazon some time ago. I used my small star paper cutter to cut out several silver glittery stars and attached them to each gift tag with a small strip of double sided selotape. I left a space for writing the recipients name. A gold pen would be perfect for this. You can also handstamp the gift tags like I have done here. (scroll down to number three).

I had some beautiful, sparkly gold sewing thread left over from a previous project. This was wrapped around the present horizontally and threaded through the gift tag. I cut a second, smaller piece of the gold thread and used it to attach the wand to the gift tag and main piece of gold thread. Alternatively you can use decorative ribbon or twine, the choice is yours entirely.

Voila! I’m so happy to show you the final result above, which I am very pleased with! I really hope I have inspired you to start your Christmas gift wrapping earlier than usual. Do let me know if you decide to use my tutorial as a basis for your gift wrapping, I’d love to know.

 

Paper Doily Makes: Crochet Rose Garland

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Hello all! Do you remember my crochet rose cake toppers blog post which I posted earlier this week? Well, I still have the crocheted rose bug and haven’t stopped making them ever since. Have you experienced that feeling when you’ve crocheted something so many times, you’re able to memorise the pattern? Yes, that! If you’d like to take a peek at the pattern, you can follow the blog link above to the original post. I warn you though, it’s addictive!

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I’m very impressed at how versatile these crocheted roses are. If you’ve visited Paper Doily Party Shop you’ll know that I’ve made my fair share of garlands over recent months. I just love the fact that they can transform any space into something beautiful, particularly when used for a special occasion. I just had to share my recent creation with you. This particular garland was made for a special friend who wanted to brighten up her home. Obviously I couldn’t let it out of my workroom before taking some gorgeous photographs of it. 

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What are your thoughts? Have I inspired you? Garlands are one of my favourite party decorations and I absolutely love making them. I’m definitely planning on making more. Would you be interested in seeing some DIY party garland blog posts? Do let me know if so, as it’ll be very enjoyable task. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Paper Doily Makes: Paper Rosette Cake/Cupcake Topper Tutorial

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Hello all! Before I start this off, I’d just like to say a HUGE thank you to you, my lovely followers for coming back for a read after a fairly long absence on my part. Paper Doily was put on hold over several weeks whilst my lovely husband and I (and our furry animals) moved into our new home. Now we are all settled in, I’m absolutely thrilled to be back in business alongside planning and writing lots of crafty blog posts for you!

I’ve been meaning to work on this paper rosette cake topper tutorial for some time. They were such an enjoyable make and they really cheered up my workspace. If you have a special celebration coming up which calls for a fun, vibrant cake decoration which requires minimal effort but happens to look fabulous, go and make a large mug of tea, find a comfy chair and read on. You’ll be pleasantly suprised how easy and effective these are.

To make these paper rosette cupcake/cake toppers, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Patterned paper (Mine was patterned on both sides, but this isn’t essential)
  • All purpose glue
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Sharp pair of scissors
  • Pencil, ruler and eraser
  • Double sided sticky tape

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Take your chosen paper/s and divide it into 4 straight, equal strips. Once measured, use your scissors to cut them. There isn’t a set length or width to work by, this is entirely dependable on the size of the paper rosettes you are planning on making. Large/wide strips make for a large rosette and smaller strips make for a small rosette. You can experiment with this.

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Fold the strips in half lengthways and cut them in the middle. You should then have 8 pieces of paper to hand.

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Next you’ll need to fold your shapes into concertina’s as shown above, trying to make the folds as even as possible.

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Take your double sided sticky tape and place a strip of it on one end. You will then need to fold each of the concertina’s in half, pressing the double sided sticky tape together as you go.

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Your concertina’s should be looking like this and you should finish with eight. (This was a work in progress shot).

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Once finished, place a strip of double sided sticky tape on each end of your concertina’s. Once you’ve peeled the backing off of the tape, you’ll be able to place each concertina together, attaching them all together in a circle. Once finished, you should have a beautiful paper rosette looking similar to this one below.

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At this point, you can leave the paper rosettes as they are and simply use them as decorations, either on a wreath or as a garland, or to embellish party bags or special gifts. They also make wonderful table decorations. The possibilities really are endless with these beauties!

If you’re making these to decorate a special cake or set of cupcakes, you’ll need to take your bamboo skewers and glue at this point. If you’d like to vary the height of the rosette cake/cupcake toppers, take a sharp pair of scissors and trim the bamboo skewers down to your desired length at this point. If you’re planning on decorating a cake with them, I think they look very effective when they are cut to varying lengths as it allows each one of them to stand out.

Turn the paper rosette over to the reverse side and place some glue in one of the concertina folds. Take your bamboo skewer and place it over the glue. Leave to dry completely.

Voila! Feeling impressed and inspired? I very much hope so. I’d love to see your finished results if you decide to make them! If you’re feeling in the mood for more craft tutorials, you can check out my full collection here. Enjoy!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. ©Paper Doily Party Shop

Let’s celebrate with crochet!

Anybody who follows me on Instagram or Facebook may have noticed my love for crochet. It’s been a serious hobby of mine for many years now and I really don’t know how I’d be filling my spare time if it wasn’t for crochet. I run a fortnightly crochet group in Bath, UK where I live (and love) and it’s been fabulous so far. We gather at a local coffee shop with our crochet projects and fill ourselves silly with tea, cake and other yummy treats, so much so I’m usually far too busy trying to decide what my next yummy treat will be to even contemplate counting stitches! I recently finished this blanket for a lovely Mummy-to-be who attends the crochet group (pictures below) and it got me thinking… I haven’t done any crochet related blog posts at all since I started blogging. This needs to be changed immediately!

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With this in mind, I thought I’d round up a few of my favourite celebration crochet pieces, perfect for party decor.

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I absolutely adore this cake topper bunting, by MadebyElina. I’m a big fan of colour and I can definitely imagine this being used on a beautiful celebration cake. Little touches like this are adorable and it makes me want to throw a fun, vibrant party.

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We all know how difficult macaroons are to make, right? I haven’t been daring enough to try them yet, although I could be tempted to grab my crochet hook and wool and opt for these ones instead! They would certainly add a special touch of handmade to any party table, as long as you’re offering some edible treats for the hungry guests of course. In addition to these, feast your eyes on this crocheted birthday cake below, beautifully made by One Sheepish Girl. Tempted by these crocheted treats yet?

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Last but not least, this beautiful crocheted chain link garland by Creative Jewish Mom is a fantastic alternative to paper chains. Obviously a party wouldn’t be a party without these, right? I’m glad we are in agreement there.

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I hope I’ve inspired you. Happy party planning….or crocheting and hope to see you again soon!

Paper Doily Makes: DIY Gift Wrapping Bunting Tutorial

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It’s always lovely to receive a beautifully wrapped present isn’t it? As you’ll know, there are so many wrapping paper designs to choose from, the choice can be rather overwhelming sometimes. I recently bought some brown paper for wrapping parcels and happened to over estimate how much I needed… (typical!) Every time I pack orders for my shop, the paper sits in my cupboard looking very sorry for itself. I’ve finally given it a new lease of life which you’ll see throughout the post (Yay!)

Having seen so many inspiring photographs through my hours on end of Pinterest browsing, I have been itching to experiment with gift wrapping ideas. Admittedly I cannot take all of the credit for this tutorial. I purchased the Flow Book for Paper Lovers several months ago now, and have been looking for the perfect projects to use the incredible papers for, for a long time! The papers are designed by a number of incredibly talented designers and offer SO much print and pattern inspiration. I’d highly recommend it for personal craft projects.

If this sounds like something you would love to have a go at, then make yourself a large mug of hot chocolate and go and find the following materials:

Brown Paper, Patterned Paper, Bakers Twine, Glue Stick/PVA, Pencil, Ruler, Scissors, Clear Selotape, Eraser, Hole punch/ small circle paper cutter.

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As you’ll see from the photographs above, the incredible Flow Magazine included a set of beautiful templates for use as paper bunting. This made my life a whole lot easier. However, it isn’t essential to use the templates above, as you can follow my guidance below.

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If you don’t have access to the magazine templates, simply take a pencil and ruler and draw a simple flag and triangular bunting outline on your chosen papers. This will make your template, which can be used for cutting out all of your other bunting and flags. Be sure to erase any pencil marks and also measure the width of your gift, to establish how many flags are needed.

Take your gift/s and measure the brown wrapping paper. Once you’ve wrapped the gifts, take a glue stick. Simply glue the bunting in a long line as shown below. If you’re wrapping more, then that’s your first present done. Doesn’t it look adorable?!

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For the next gift, you’ll need your bakers twine. Cut out enough twine to wrap horizontally around the whole gift. You can secure the twine on the back of the gift, by joining both ends of twine together with clear selotape.

Once you’ve done that, turn the gift over so it is front facing. Take your PVA glue and dip the top of each flag into it. Place each flag one by one, on top of the twine until you have something like this below.

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If you’re wrapping a third present, then complimenting stickers are a perfect option at this point, along with some mini paper circles. Perhaps something like this below? For the tiny circles, I used a mini circular paper cutter, which is available in most craft stores. I chose some plain, complimenting shades of paper for those bits. Feeling inspired?

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Gift wrapping is definitely all about having fun and showing your friends and family how much you love them. This seems like an absolutely lovely way to put a smile on their face too. If you happen to use my tutorial then do let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, then you may also like my DIY Envelope Liners Tutorial for complimentary envelopes? I also have a yummy, scrumptious Vanilla Cupcake Recipe which may be right up your street.

Enjoy and thank you so much for reading. See you soon!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. ©Paper Doily Party Shop

Paper Doily Makes: DIY Envelope Liners

Beautiful envelope liners seem to be cropping up everywhere at the moment and I can definitely see why. If you’re anything like me and love print and pattern, they provide the perfect opportunity to compliment your cards, letters or invitations. They are perfect for extra special party or wedding invitations. In fact, I received a beautiful wedding invitation last week which contained an envelope liner. It created a very large smile and just felt so much more interesting and personalised than using plain envelopes.

I’ve created a tutorial for you, which I hope will be very useful if you have any special mail to send within the coming months. It’s one of those tutorials which is very simple, yet extremely effective which is always a bonus for me.

You’ll Need:

An envelope in any shape or size

Paper of your choice

Ruler

Scissors

Glue or double sided selotape

Pencil

Eraser

Blue Tack

Method:

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Place your envelope on top of the paper you have chosen and draw around it using a pencil.

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Take your scissors and cut out your template. One finished with the scissors, use an eraser to remove any pencil marks. Slip the liner into the envelope to assess whether you are happy with the shape. You will notice that the liner is covering the adhesive part of the envelope, which we do not want. This is where the next stage comes in handy.

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Take the liner and position the top of it directly underneath the adhesive seal, ensuring it’s in line with all sides of the envelope. You’ll need to turn the envelope over, so you can use some blue tack at this stage to temporarily keep it in place. You’ll notice the excess paper at the bottom of the envelope. This needs to be trimmed off. Take your ruler, measure the excess and make yourself a straight cutting line. If you’re unsure about the measurement, just cut small amounts of paper off at a time and continue to place it into the envelope to check the size. Erase any pencil marks and remove the blue tack.

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Once you’ve trimmed the excess paper off from the bottom of the liner, place the liner into the envelope and position it. It should look like this. If you’re making a lot of envelope liners, then I would suggest making a template out of plain paper at this stage, which you can use for the rest.

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Step 5

Keeping the liner secure, fold the envelope over as if you are sealing it (but don’t). You can use a ruler to score it at this point. Your liner should now have a sharp fold. Take your glue stick (or double sided selotape) and glue the envelope as shown above. Position the top of the envelope liner over the glue and it should all match up nicely. Rub your hands over the paper and fold the envelope over and back again just to make sure everything stays where it should.

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Voila! You have yourself a beautifully patterned envelope liner. Don’t feel like you have to use the same paper either, you can experiment with different pattern and colour combinations and go wild! You may have seen my earlier post on illustrated stationery? If so, these envelopes are made for this kind of thing. At present, I have a small range of illustrated cards and I’m really considering offering custom designed printed envelope liners as an extra option. How amazing would that be?

Do let me know if you decide to get creative and use my tutorial. I would love to know! Do you have any special mail that you’ll be sending within the coming months? If so, have fun and I hope you enjoyed reading.

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. ©Paper Doily Party Shop