Simple Paper Strips

I am trying to get ahead for a session with Creative Stitch in September so am making some surfaces from torn paper strips, which can then be cut and used for cards, notebook covers or even backgrounds for other projects.

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I make one large piece, made up of the decorative papers, add all the stitching and braids, and then chop it up into smaller strips. The papers look best when torn, they have a much softer edge and then you can make them look less obvious by adding some of the automatic stitches that hardly any of us use! I find that applying the paper strips on to iron-on vilene (or pelmet vilene and bondaweb) makes an ideal surface for the machine stitching and also makes it easy to chop up with the rotary cutter.

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I use all types of papers, but usually start with one I really like and then organise the colour scheme accordingly. I often collect lovely papers when I see them (Paperchase in Tottenham Court Road is a favourite!) but all sorts of everyday materials can be used. Paper bags are often saved as are old bits of music manuscript and interesting text. In the examples you can see that I have also incorporated some of my own painted papers that I have made over the years. Wallpaper is also useful and it often has an interesting texture.

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You can see that I add braid and sparkle ribbon and in further examples below sometimes strips of sequin waste. I like the way you can get different effects with the colour combinations, the example below showing much more muted shades as I started with the marbled paper, which was a special purchase from Venice. There’s also some strips of old wallpaper from our cottage when we were renovating years ago – just proves you should never throw anything away!

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I also tried to think ahead for Christmas! I’m not at all sure this has worked but I have made one card to see if it’s worth chopping it up at some stage. You can see that I have used music manuscript and bright red sequin waste, plus some gold doily!

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Here is the finished card – a one off, I won’t be sending these out in bulk – but the finished surface may come in useful for something else.

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