Friday 2 December 2011

How To: Wallpaper Snowflake Curtain or Mobile

My plans for ten weeks of Crafty Christmas projects unfortunately had to be abandoned because of my unexpected move, etc this autumn... but I do have a few more festive bits and pieces to share with you this winter!

To start us off, here's a decorating project for the Christmas season - a curtain or mobile of paper "snowflakes" made from wallpaper and silver paper.

This tutorial originally appeared in the winter 2009 issue of UK Handmade, a fab free online magazine celebrating the UK craft scene.

You will need:

- Cups, saucers and other circular objects to use as templates
- Plain textured wallpaper, available from most DIY stores or you might be able to find a bargain roll in a charity shop
- Silver wrapping paper
- Thin cardboard, e.g. from cereal boxes etc
- White knitting yarn and a sharp darning needle
- Scissors, a pencil, and a glue stick or other craft glue


1. Using a selection of different sized items from your kitchen cupboards draw lots of circle shapes on the back of your wallpaper and cut them out (the largest circles in my curtain were drawn using a dinner plate). If you’re using a mix of different wallpaper patterns make sure you cut large, medium and small circles from all your patterns so they can be evenly distributed through your display.

2. Take your circle cut outs and glue them to the back of more wallpaper. Leave them to dry, and then cut out again so you’re left with an assortment of double-sided circles.


3. Now use cups, saucers and small items like spice jars to draw circles on thin cardboard - e.g. cereal packets and other similar card from your recycling bin. You will need to pierce the card with your darning needle, so make sure it’s not too thick. Aim to make approximately a third of the amount of circles as you made earlier.

4. Cut out all your card circles, and glue them carefully to the back (plain) side of some silver wrapping paper. When they’ve completely dried, cut them out again and repeat this stage so you end up with double-sided silver circles.

5. Spread all your circles out on a large flat surface, like your dining table or a clear bit of carpet, and play around with their arrangement until you’re happy with it. You want to aim for a nice natural-looking mix of circle sizes (and patterns, if you’ve used a selection of wallpaper samples) and for the silver circles to be scattered among the white ones quite evenly.

6. When you’re happy with the arrangement, you can start threading your strands together. Cut a long piece of white yarn for each strand, making sure to include some extra for hanging your curtain, and knot one end. Thread your darning needle, and starting at the bottom circle of the first strand, sew 1-3 large stitches through each circle leaving a small gap between each one so they can spin easily. Repeat this until all your circles are threaded into strands, and use the extra yarn to hang them in your window - tied to a curtain rail/wire or secured with pins.

To adapt this design into a smaller mobile:

A. Follow steps 1-6 above but use much smaller items for your circle templates and thread all your circles onto four long strands of yarn.

B. Use a dinner plate to cut out a “base” from stiff corrugated card, and cover it with silver paper. Punch four holes in the base with a very sharp pencil, about one inch from the edge and at north, south, east and west on the circle. (Alternatively, you could use the wooden circle from an embroidery hoop as your mobile "base")

C. Thread one of the strands of yarn through one of the holes, make sure the circles are hanging at the height you want them and loop the yarn through the hole several times and tie a knot. Do not cut the yarn at this point! Repeat this for the other three strands.

D. Hold the loose ends together until the card circle is level and the mobile is hanging straight, tie a knot in them (knotting all four together) and use them to hang your mobile wherever you fancy.

Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

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Archie The Wonder Dog said...

Thanks for another great idea! I got your book yesterday and it's fabulous - so many ideas, I can't wait to get started!

Manu said...

this is lovely! p.s. just saw your birds on today's etsy newsletter ;)

jason @ Gold Work Embroidery said...

Absolutely mental idea _ I love it.

Me and L'il Ted will be on to that this weekend.

Can't wait! He's going to love it.

Decorations a-go-go!

Unknown said...

I love this snowflake curtain!

Please accept this award as I'd love to know more about you: Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to reveal seven secrets about yourself and pass the award on to 15 other bloggers you admire. :)

Good luck with your upcoming move!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Archie - yay, glad you like it! hope you have lots of fun sewing things from it :)

Manu - thankyou! it is always so nice to be featured by Etsy, I have had lots of very sweet messages from people about my bird ornaments this week because of their newsletter.

Jason - yes, very mental but sooo much fun to make :D

Okifolki - that's very kind of you, thankyou! x