Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

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Daphne’s Diary 2017- a colorful agenda

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Daphne's Dairy 2017

Daphne’s Diary 2017

May I introduce you to the „best agenda for 2017“—and it’s true! Daphne’s Diary is a lovely detailed agenda. Playful and romantic themes in a vintage look make it your colorful companion for 2017. But you might ask yourself: who actually is Daphne?

Daphne lives in the Netherlands and turned her diary-entries into a magazine that is published in several languages all over the world. From crafts to recipes and garden-tips, everything can be found in Daphne’s world. She uses mostly nature-based products such as flowers or wood, and a lot of color and patterns.

The agenda dresses up the usually boring pages in amazing pictures that change weekly and adapt to the seasons. It has enough space for notes and lists and, additionally, entails stickers and cards. Recipes make you want to try them right away and crafts-ideas inspire you to start new projects. I love the motivating sayings appearing at the start of every month. My personal favorite: „Eat less sugar, you’re sweet enough!“. If you hang that one on your fridge, your diet will be a piece of cake 😉

The general structure of a weekly view is nicely explained with comments, because there are some special features that are rather unusual for agendas: a mood-o-meter, water bottles and fruits to check your daily intake, as well as a line for planning your vespertine tv-program. Everything is taken care of….well, almost, because one thing is missing: a space to note addresses and phone numbers. Although it is nearly unnecessary to write down phones numbers in today’s smartphone-universe, it might be helpful to have the most important numbers handy in case technology fails you. Daphne’s Diary is quite big and heavy, so it is even more uncomfortable to carry an extra address book. Still, you will find a space to write them down, even if there is no separate address-category.

beautiful artwork

beautiful artwork

As I said, the book is a little heavy, which is why it is almost better and more decorative on your counter at home than in your handbag. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop the calendar from bringing you joy and inspires you to live out your own creativity. It’s almost a pity that there is no week left to design yourself. The (slightly too corny) coloring pictures are not enough to fill that need. But, it is so much fun to peruse the agenda and discover new patterns and themes every week.

There is a short video displaying the agenda on Daphne’s homepage, go check it out for more insight: https://www.daphnesdiary.com/movies/

Daphne’s Diary makes planning more fun and gives your year the dose of corny it needs. For me, it was love at first sight and I can’t stop browsing in the agenda. It makes a great gift for a friend, your mom, or, better yet, for yourself!

Wrapping-up crafts

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stars and candy canes

stars and candy canes

Hey there!

Christmas is almost here and you should to get going on wrapping your presents. I have prepared some ideas for you to mix it up a little.

If you are using printed paper, it is not necessary to put extra decorations on the present. In that case, a simple ribbon will do, otherwise it would be too flamboyant.

With single-colored paper there are countless options. How about some stars or candy cane-hearts?!

I found this double-sided wrapping paper, which makes any additional materials unnecessary…

double-sided wrapping paper

double-sided wrapping paper

Just fold the end in the middle of the item and wrap it all around to the back. Make sure the sides are even before you cut out the half of a tree in the folded side. Use the same pattern to create the counterpart with extra paper in the opposite color. You can also cut out the tree entirely, instead of cutting one half out of the paper and gluing the other one on. This technique works with stars or any other Christmas-themed patterns as well!

Lately, themed tape has been very in-style. I think it looks festive when you want to spruce up simple brown paper. Stickers are also a great alternative…

themed-tape and sticker wrappings

themed-tape and sticker wrappings

Ok, I admit—every now and then you need to put ribbons on a present and I combined them with ornament decorations…

Christmas ornament decorations

Christmas ornament decorations

I hope you can use some of my ideas to inspire your wrappings. Have fun crafting!

self-made X-mas cards

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folded Christmas cards

folded Christmas cards

Today, I want to show you some ideas for self-made Christmas cards in the form of postcards and folded cards. There are no step-by-step instructions because I think the designs are easy enough to be self-explanatory. My creations should motivate and inspire you to get started on your own project. Before you get crafting, draw sketches of the visions of your cards. This way you won’t forget anything and you can change little details if you need to.

There are so many ways to design your cards: you can paint on patterns and whishes on paper, craft patterns to decorate the cards with, and I used Christmas-themed paper and ribbons. I prefer the traditional Christmas colors red, white, and green, but you can use any color you like.

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polka dot tree

I made all the patterns myself by drawing the outline of the card on quad paper and fit the pattern on the card. To get the size of the card just right, I used standard postcards as patterns.

Let’s start with one of the easiest designs: a simple triangle polka dot tree. To add a bit more excitement, I encircled the tree with a black line and glued on a star on top of the tree. The multicolored polka dots make it seem like the tree is decorated. Also, the inside of the card is red.

trees trees trees card

trees trees trees card

The trees trees trees card is my very own design of crafting cards. I used scissors that cut a great pattern into the edge of the upper corner and the same scissors to cut the themed paper on the inside of the card. The pattern is also repeated on the front of the card. You could substitute the middle-strip of trees for a Christmas-whish or little cut-out trees instead.

squad tree

squad tree

This last folded card is my absolute favorite. I decided to add the frame after I made the tree, because there was something missing. The square pattern has natural lines that I used to create the frames and edges of the tree.

As you can see, none of these cards have writing on them, which gives them a cleaner and more elegant look. But with postcards, it’s totally different…

There is no Christmas without ribbons, but why should they always be on the presents?

These next two postcards have ribbons as a great 3D-look. I fastened the ribbons with hot glue. Note: Fabric-ribbons tend to dissolve on the ends once you cut them. To avoid that, attach double-sided tape on the back of the ribbon BEFORE you cut it in shape.

plaid Xmas

plaid Xmas

See you next time on pen.paper.polkadots for new ways to wrap and decorate Christmas presents!

polka dot Christmas

polka dot Christmas

Butterfly Mobile for Babies

butterfly mobile

butterfly mobile

This mobile is the perfect present for births, christenings or other occasions involving babies or small children. Usually it is hard to find the right gifts, not knowing the tastes of the parents or not knowing what they already own… with a self-made present there is no possibility of failure! The amazing thing is, you need very little materials to craft this beauty.

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materials

Material:

  • Mobile-set
  • Sheet of themed paper
  • Different kinds of ribbons /wool /thread
  • Sparkling tape (you can also get sparkling paper and glue both of the sheets together, this even makes the butterflies more solid)
  • Beads

Instructions:

1.Attaching the ribbon to the mobile-set

To make the wooden sticks more colorful, wrap a ribbon around each stick. Fasten the ribbons with a hot glue to keep them from sliding off when you attach the middle and outer wooden ends. Make sure to always wrap the ribbon in the same direction and with the same intervals, or alternate them for consistency.

2.Fashioning the butterflies

Hint: Fashion more butterflies than you need, just in case. When it’s time to balance them on the thread you probably need a few test-runs.

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butterflies close-up

3.Preparing the wool/thread

Cut the number of strings you need, depending on how many butterflies you are using. I used 12 butterflies, two to each stick (a small and a big one). Sewing thread would be a great alternative to wool since it is less visible. Fold the wool/thread into a loop and use a needle to thread the wool under the ribbon, in case you have trouble sliding it under. If you are using thinner thread it might even suffice to fasten the thread on top of the ribbon. That depends on your taste and vision of the mobile. Once secured on the stick, pull the other end through the loop and twist both ends of the thread.

4.Hanging up the butterflies

Thread a bead and a butterfly on each string. With my butterflies, it was best to place the needle 0.2 inches (5mm) from the upper middle edge. The bead will weight down the butterfly, so it looks better hanging. Do not fasten the thread underneath the butterfly yet. Once all the butterflies are on the mobile you might want to change some of the heights… I also added a butterfly in the middle of the mobile, using the same ribbon that is wrapped around the wooden sticks. This gives it a playful and more colorful look.

Watch out! Make sure to secure the beads so they cannot fall off and be swallowed by the baby. If you are using a bead above the butterfly and fasten the thread with a double knot at the end, it should be fine. The parents should hang up the mobile out of reach of their children.

mobile

mobile

5.Finishing up

Level the butterflies the way you like them best and tie up the ends of the threads right underneath each butterfly. Make sure the knots are secure before you cut off the surplus thread. Do not forget to save some ribbon to fashion a bow for hanging up the mobile.

You can bend the butterflies in the middle to make them look like they are flying.

I love this mobile and I almost kept it myself 😉 I hope you like it as much as I do and this creation will soon decorate the bedroom of a baby out there. It is a super easy present to craft and it doesn’t even take that long! Give it a try and send me your results…