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Tag Archives: paper crafts
  • Posted on December 6, 2016

    5 Projects You Need To Make This Christmas!

    Taking a cursory glance at social media over the weekend, it seemed as if all of our friends simultaneously put up Christmas trees and started decorating their houses. Well, yipeee! We are fully embracing the holiday spirit here at RPS and CICO Books towers, and if there’s one thing we like even more than Christmas decorations, it’s handmade Christmas decorations. Here’s 5 of our favourite projects that will ensure you have a lovely, unique home this year!

    Decorate your tree with Elspeth Jackson’s rag rug Christmas baubles. These are so cute, we’re considering keeping them up all year round…we won’t tell if you don’t! There's a video tutorial here.

    We shared this cute reindeer decoration to make with the kids last week over on instagram stories, and you all loved it so we popped the instructions up on our MAKEetc. blog. Check them out here.

    A garland of these silver stars would look lovely slung across a mantelpiece, or you could hang single stars in your tree to just catch the light like Juliet’s done here. Find the project here.

    This Succulent Wreath looks super effective, and you’ll stand out on a street of holly wreaths! Find the instructions here.

    Jazz up jam jars as tea-light holders with this project from Hester van Overbeek’s first book, Furniture Hacks. You could even use sparkly beads for an extra party feel!

    For more inspiration, check out our book Handmade Christmas and make sure you keep an eye on MAKEetc. for a free project or two over the next few weeks.




    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, News, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with christmas, christmas decorations, christmas craft, handmade, paper crafts, activities for kids, winter living, winter, 2016

  • Posted on March 1, 2016

    Flowers that last forever

    We’re all about the homemade gift here at CICO Books Towers, and with Mothers’ Day just around the corner (for those of you in the UK at least), we thought it was time we shared some ideas. These lovely tissue paper flowers are taken from our new book Let’s Get Crafty with Paper & Glue which is part of a new series aimed at introducing even the littlest children to crafty fun! With just some lovely brightly coloured tissue paper, and pipe cleaners, you can make a bunch of flowers for Mum that will last forever!

    Tissue-paper flowers

    Delicate and pretty, these delightful tissue-paper blooms make lovely gifts when bunched up into a colorful bouquet. Look out for multicolored packs of tissue paper in art stores, or collect leftover pieces from presents and packaging to have on hand when you need to say it with flowers.

    What you will need

    Sheets of tissue paper in different colors



    Pipe cleaners


    1. Layer tissue paper: measure and cut 10 pieces of different colored tissue paper, 9½ x 12in (24 x 30cm). Lay them on top of each other.

    2. First crease: fold all the layers of paper over together by about 1.in (3cm) and make a crease.

    3. Make a concertina: continue to fold the tissue paper until the whole thing resembles a concertina.

    4. Shape the strip: cut both ends of the strip into either a curved petal shape or snip it into thin strips using scissors.

    5. Wrap the layers: take a long pipe cleaner, fold it in half, and twist it around the middle of the paper strips.

    6. Make petals: carefully pull each layer of paper out to form the petals.

    7. Attach to twig: twist the pipe cleaner onto the end of a twig. Add a leaf shape if you like.

    Let’s Get Crafty with Paper & Glue is available here. We have also published Let’s Get Crafty with Fabric & Felt, available here.


    For more Mothers’ Day gift inspiration, check out our Spring Flower Pot, Felt Tulips and Origami gift box video tutorials.

    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with handmade, Mother's Day, Book Launch, crafts for kids, kids, paper crafts, activities for kids, 2016

  • Posted on September 25, 2015

    Rosette Fans

    The autumnal chill is starting to settle in, post-Handmade Fair tiredness has finally hit us (though you can read about how much fun we had here!) and payday is yet to show his friendly face (has it been a long month for anyone else?!); so we're thinking of having a lovely weekend in with some budget-friendly crafting and a good cuppa. We've chosen these rosette fans from the beautiful book by Juliet Carr of Paperpoms, which was one of your favourites at the fair this weekend! Try using some pretty patterned or coloured tissue paper to create your fans, or even newspaper sheets glued end-to-end if you'd like a graphic urban look. Perfect to decorate a party or just to jazz up your home, we love how Juliet has given paper crafting a stylish make over with her pretty projects!

    Paper Rosette Fans

    You will need (makes one 20in/50cm diameter rosette)

    4 sheets 20 x 30in (50 x 75cm) tissue paper

    Glue stick

    Narrow ribbon or fishing line (for hanging)


    Clear all-purpose glue

    Paper clips


    1. Lay two of the tissue sheets together, short end to short end. Overlap the edges by ¾in (2cm). Glue along the overlap and press down so that the paper is smooth. Make sure that the paper is fully glued down, with no gaps. Leave to dry while you repeat with the other two sheets. You should end up with two long sheets, approximately 59in (148cm) long.

    Rosette Fans Step 2

    2. Lay the first sheet over the second and stack neatly. Holding the two layers firmly— but not so tightly that you scrunch the paper—fold over to make a ¾in (2cm) wide crease. Then, instead of flipping over the sheets, we use the “double fold” concertina technique as follows: hold the first fold that you made (thumbs under the paper and fingers placed on top), raise the paper up toward you by around 2in (5cm) and push a parallel line and fold under with your thumbs until the midpoint of the paper meets the line of the first fold that you made. With each double fold that you make, press the creases down so that you form a nice, sharp, clean line. Try to keep all of the lines straight and even, as it can be easy to skew the folds.

    Rosette Fan Step 3

    3. Repeat until all your folds are completed. (When you get to the glued parts of the paper, you should be able to continue folding without any problems.) Tie your ribbon or fishing line around the center point and secure in place with a double knot.

    4. If you find that the tissue paper is uneven at the ends of the concertina folds, all you need to do is trim them flat with scissors. Alternatively, cut petal shapes into the ends if desired.

    Rosette Fan Step 5

    5. Move the knot in the ribbon so that it is placed in the middle of the last fold. This will ensure that the rosette will hang vertically rather than horizontally. Fan out the first two halves and make sure that the ends meet; if they do not, re-trim at this point. Using clear all-purpose glue, run a line of glue along one side of the last fold. Lay the ribbon on top of the glue—this way it will be sandwiched between the two layers. This will be the top of your rosette.

    Rosette Fan Step 6

    6. Pull both fan sides down until they meet and carefully press down together. Now fan out the opposite side and use paper clips to secure the folds of paper at the ends of the rosette.


    Paper pom-poms and other Party Decorations

    Paper pom-poms and other Party Decorations by Juliet Carr is available here.

    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, UK, What's new and was tagged with homemade, paper crafts, 2015

  • Posted on June 25, 2015


    Have you seen Jurassic World yet? We LOVED it and our favourite was the T-Rex (obviously). So, we came home and decided we'd have a go at making a T-Rex of our very own. And just look how cute he is!

    Make A T-Rex

    Dinogami by Mari Ono & Hiroaki Takai is available here. The book comes with patterned paper for each dino-pal but you could use plain, coloured paper and decorate it yourself!

    If you want to see Rex come alive, check out our little video here!

    Origami T-Rex Video

    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, UK and was tagged with kids, origami, paper crafts, dinosaur, 2012

  • Posted on March 11, 2015

    Make a Mother's Day Tea Card!

    With Mother’s Day only a few days away, there’s still time for the kids to hand make a thoughtful card to surprise mum on Sunday morning. So today we have a video tutorial showing them how to make a card that is perfect for tea loving mums. This fun card can be personalised with their favourite colours and stickers, and is really simple to make! Simply click on the video below to watch the tutorial.

    Video Tutorial for Kids: How to make a tea card!

    Polly and I had great fun making several of these tea cards and have sent them around the office to the biggest tea drinkers! So if the kids are enjoying the cutting, sticking, colouring, and stickering, then they can always make a few to send out to their grandparents, teachers, and friends, whenever an occasion arises! Have fun kids and we hope you make it a very happy Mother’s Day!

    Photo of Polly and Jen's tea cup cards

    More fun activities for kids!

    This project was taken from the new book, More Boredom Busters, by Caroline Fernandez, which includes over 50 awesome activities for children aged 7years +. The ideas all use simple materials found around the home or classroom and include great step-by-step instructions so that they are super easy to follow!

    Caroline is officially launching her book with a Twitter chat, including lots of fun ideas to keep the kids entertained over Spring break (or in preparation for the Easter holidays in the UK!) and a chance to win a copy of the book, so make sure you're there to join in. Details:

    Thursday Mar 12

    12-1pm ET (4-5pm GMT)


    TOPIC: How to keep kids busy during Spring break

    More Boredom Busters by Caroline Fernandez

    For more information about the book and to see what other sorts of crafts and activities there are for kids to get stuck into, then please click here.

    This post was posted in Craft Projects, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with handmade, Mother's Day, gift, school holidays, cico kidz, crafts for kids, kids, simple, video, paper crafts, 2015

  • Posted on September 16, 2014

    Make your own Paper Flowers!

    With the summer fading away and all of our beautiful plants surrendering to autumn, we wanted to find a way to enjoy flowers around the office and in our homes right through the season! So today we’ve got a craft project from Paper Flowers by Denise Brown, a book full of lovely ideas using everything from tissue and crepe paper to giftwrap and pages torn from glossy magazines. These Faded Roses are reminiscent of our favourite summer blooms, yet their stylish vintage colours will match any home décor so you can set them on your table or in a little vase to brighten up the room!

    Faded Roses

    There are origami versions of this folding method that are very precise and beautiful but I prefer the quirkiness of casual blooms made with crepe paper. You can make larger roses using a bigger paper strip but a cluster of tiny ones looks fabulous as a wrist corsage. It may take a while to master the technique but it gets easier the more you make.


    Watercolors and paintbrushes

    White crepe paper



    Plastic sheet or waterproof surface

    Absorbent kitchen towel


    White (PVA) glue

    Thin wire

    Wire cutters

    1 Make a strong color first by dipping a paintbrush loaded with color into about three tablespoons of clean water. Test the color out on some spare paper, remembering it will look very different when dry. When you are happy with the strong color, transfer some to a new container and dilute it with more clean water. Then in a third container dilute again to achieve a very pale version.

    2 For each flower, cut a strip of crepe paper 18 x 3in. (45 x 7.5cm) with the grain vertical to the strip. Lay the strip on a waterproof surface and dampen by brushing all over with clean water. The paper may stretch a little and it will be fragile so take care. Pick up excess water by dabbing with a piece of kitchen towel if necessary.

    3 While the strip is still damp, load a paintbrush with the lightest color and paint onto a third of the strip. Painting with the grain is easier.

    4 Load the paintbrush with the medium color and paint onto the rest. Use the dark color on one end of the strip, which will make the center of the rose. Let dry. If the color is too pale when dry you can dampen the strip again and add more color.

    5 Lightly fold the dry strip in half lengthwise; do not make a firm crease because the petal edges should look soft. With the strip fold at the top, turn over one end toward you at 45 degrees and make a light crease so that the lower edge is just over halfway down the folded strip. Turn the strip so the new fold is now vertical and place a toothpick along the 45-degree crease right up to the top point, which will be the center of the rose.

    6 Pick the toothpick up in one hand and begin to roll it into the strip. Just as the top gets covered, fold the top of the strip away from the toothpick at an angle with your other hand. Fold it over only a little—the idea is that the top of the strip is still a little higher than the central point of the rose.

    7 Continue to roll the strip up the toothpick, folding the strip over and away from you as you go. This does take a little practice but you can unravel and reposition the petals if necessary. Try not to make a triangle shape each time but vary where you make the petal folds.

    8 If you are happy with the shape your folds are making, add a dab of glue every now and then to hold them in place. Let dry.

    9 Remove the toothpick from the rose and trim the base of the rose at an angle to approximately ½ in. (12mm) long. Cut a 6in. (15cm) length of wire, put a dab of glue on the end and insert it into the base of the rose.

    10 Color some crepe paper in a subtle muted green and cut it into strips ½ in. (6mm) wide and approximately 16in. (40cm) long, with the grain vertical to the strip. Glue one end around the back of the rose and wrap the strip around the stem at an angle of 45 degrees, adding a dab of glue every now and then to hold it in place. Let dry and trim off the excess paper.


    So, keep summer sticking around that little bit longer, and happy crafting!

    Paper Flowers by Denise Brown is available here.

    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Craft Projects, Featured, Featured, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with handmade, origami, flowers, 2014, paper crafts

  • Posted on January 30, 2014

    Get crafty for the Chinese New Year!

    As celebrations for the Year of the Horse get underway, we have a little origami project to get you in the mood. Taken from Mari Ono’s lovely craft book, Origami Farm, this is one of the more difficult makes, but don’t let that put you off because by following these simple steps you can make your very own Chinese New Year Horse!


    origami horse

    Although it is tricky to make, this origami horse is a delightful model and, when running around its paddock, gives a true feeling of a working farm. Make the body first, taking care when expanding the paper in the middle. Folding the head may also be hard because of the many sheets of paper that lie on top of each other, but do your best.

    You will need:

    Two sheets of 6 in (15 cm) square paper

    Paper glue


    Fold the sheet that makes the horse’s body in half both ways to make creases, opening it out each time. Turn in the sides so that they meet along the central crease, then turn in both ends so that they also meet.


    Open out the lower flap and push the corners of paper out from the object, refolding so that they form triangular flaps on either side. Repeat at the top.


    Turn the object over and fold the top and bottom over so that they meet along the central crease of the object.



    Turn the paper over again and gently open out the model, folding the edges over so that they lie flat.


    Fold the object in half across itself to form the basic shape of the horse’s body.



    Make new folds on the insides of every leg, creating crease lines from the ends of the legs to the middle of the top edge of the model.



    Fold over the top left-hand corner of the object, then open up the model and refold the corner inside, reversing the direction of the creases. Put the body aside till later.


    Fold the other sheet in half from corner to corner through the design to make a crease, then open it out and fold the lower edges in so that they meet along this central crease.


    Turn the paper over and fold the object in half, then fold in the upper diagonal edges so that they meet along the central crease.


    Carefully open up these new flaps and refold them so that the diagonal fold is removed and the long edges run down the center. You will end up with a diamond shape.


    Turn the paper over and fold it in half lengthwise.


    Fold over the pointed tip at right angles to the main body of the model to make a crease. Release the end, then lift the paper up and carefully refold the outer layer of the creased end, reversing the direction of the folds to make an outside fold.


    Turn back the tip, then refold it inside the head to form the horse’s nose using an inside fold.


    Fold down the remaining part of the top point, making a crease inside the neck below the level of the head. Carefully open up the back of the neck and refold it, this time reversing the creases using an inside fold.


    Fold forward the back of the neck on both sides to reveal the design of the horse’s mane.


    Using a little bit of paper glue, join the two parts together, sliding the neck around the body inside the flaps of the legs.

    And there you have it! You're very own origami horse to celebrate the Chinese New Year!

    Origami Farm by Mari Ono is available here.

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with New Year, chinese new year, Mari Ono, origami, celebrations, paper crafts

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