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Paper Crafting: Skills and Technique

Lesson 16 of 22

Photo Backdrops & Lanterns

Robert Mahar

Paper Crafting: Skills and Technique

Robert Mahar

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Lesson Info

16. Photo Backdrops & Lanterns

Lesson Info

Photo Backdrops & Lanterns

In our imaginary event space, we've got all of these at our tables were wearing our lovely boot in years. Now we want to add a little something that's become very popular as of late, and that is photo backdrops. We see these at all sorts of parties, and it really just kind of gives you a perfect spot for your guests to stop snap a picture of one another added to their instagram account, tweeted, tweeted on twitter, and put it up on their facebook and it's, a nice memento in a memory from the occasion. So I'm going to set these aside, and the lovely miss kate is going to bring in one of our works in progress, but essentially, what you're going to be doing is starting with a large piece of foam core gonna hold this up partially so you can see it. These come in various sizes. Um, our guy here is roughly what are we were about thirty three, uh, probably close to forty inches. What I've done is I've taken this, and I've measured five inches along all four sides and cut out the center sectio...

n, so it looks like a photo frame. Once you've done that, we can then apply flowers to the exterior of it, and it basically becomes a large, ornamental floral flame that you can then suspend from the ceiling allowing your guests to stand behind it you sort of make a little room here for this big guy so I could get him up on top so I did a little head start on this fella and I'm going to lay it down flat on my work surface it usually sorry let me rotate it here around it's a little unwieldy but it's typically easiest to construct this on ah flat surface rather than hanging it up and and doing it vertically on lee because it allows the glue to set and gravity does its job and everybody kind of stays in place. So to do this I have created a siri's of flowers that are a little bit smaller than the giant ones that we have created earlier. The exact same technique I created the temple it's the exact same way they're just on a smaller scale now these medium size ones I was still able to use this staple during the course of construction. I think I had mentioned to you earlier I also did some smaller, more diminutive scale ones the's guys, it was a little tougher to get the staple in there and secure it in that manner and so I did end up using the hot glue gun to put all of those together, so you just want to be mindful I did do a lot of, um pressing the pieces together, using the erase or end of the pencil just to save my fingertips, although those did not remain unscathed. So with the leaves, the leaves allow you to create a few fewer flowers and cover atmore of the frame you can imagine. This is this is a little bit of work. This is a couple of movies, you know, sitting in front of them, cutting out your flowers and constructing them, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a specific pattern where you're matching colors on other side, you can choose to have it a little bit organic, mix up the colors with your palate, but I'm going to go ahead and start glowing these guys on. I'm gonna have my extra glue sticks at the ready, but you can see how you could absolutely leave the the foam court uncut into a solid background and hang it so that your guests could stand in front of it, but you'll see when we hold this up it's kind of sweet to be able to stand behind it and have it frame you all together. So what I'm doing here is I'm really sort of guesstimating the position of my next flower and sort of using some leaves to frame it, so I'm applying the leaves to the foam core first, and then I'm going to go to my flower and just at a healthy amount of hot glue on the back of it and press that right down into place and personally, my goal is really to obscure any of the whites if you want to embrace that and maybe you're doing flowers that are all sort of like whites and creams and you're doing this for a wedding, it might be aesthetically pleasing toe leave portions of it where you can see this, the white foam core that's not out of the question and all okay? And I've got what kate was bringing in for me is I also created leaves and a little bit smaller scale you can see these were the big giant guys that we created that we're on the same scale as the ones that we used in our centerpiece is and then these air just a little bit smaller I did for the smaller leave switch over to a text wait paper a little less heavy than the cover waits and really what I'm doing here is and just kind of like filling it in spaces now I do have to say that before I actually started gluing these down onto the surface of the foam core, I did kind of do a little trial run and I gathered up all of my flowers and I just sort of started setting them around to kind of figure out, um, not necessarily specific arrangement, but more to make sure that it felt a little balanced and to make sure that actually had enough to cover the entire surface. Um, and I will likely end up with a few extra here today, which there's no harm in having a little few extra flowers. Um, if you do find that is the case for your event, you can always nice to talk some of those on cabinets or shelves. Any place you want to add a little pop of color, and you can see I'm really working on the leaves first kind of giving ah, base and a surround for the positioning of my flowers. And I do like having the various size leaves. I just think it adds a nice, um, variation and, uh, level of interest. Hey, I'm also gonna be talking some of these smaller little flowers in here as well. So have any of you ladies attempted a project like this of this kind of size knows this is a new thing? Yeah, some of the events that would have been great because people don't like to take their photos on absolutely one. The other thing, too, is that it really ends up being relatively inexpensive. As far as decor is concerned, believe me, I love fresh flowers, I really dio, um but if I'm in a pinch or on a budget it's really nice to know that I can go to the office supply store, get a couple reams of children standard crepe paper and make some of these big, beautiful blooms. Um, it's sort of a quick and simple mikel solution. You can see I'm narrowing down the amount of space that is left here let's find a few more leaves, even out side of an event that would be really adorable on my daughter's truck right now. Yeah, well, I have to say it's it was really flattering, but one of the event planners that I do these four on a regular basis she said, I have to send you a picture of something and she texted over a picture she had taken one of the backdrops that I had created for her particular event and ended up hanging it up in the entryway of her home, which I just was like, that was the nicest compliment ever, um to know what's that it becomes our it does become arts, you know, and it's it's a nice thing to live with on a regular basis. It's true having in your daughter's bedroom, creating these for a nursery I think would be really sweets um, I could even see I loved some of the beautiful bug stamps that you were creating the other day, I can imagine combining those with some florals on the leaves for maybe a little boy's room, um, wear in the home stretch here with this guy, I'm going to get one more of the dark colored leads and have that end it's crazy. The amount of a hot glue you will run through, though I'm just saying by it in the bulk pack, have it at the ready, you will always use it. All right, so I've got a room for a few more here, but I want to add in uncle color lines, we're going for this guy. You got my talking in their swell, maybe just take off and again, don't be shy with the amount of hot glue on the underside of these. Um, you want to be a little bit generous because obviously you want it to be quite secure, especially knowing that these are going to be hung vertically and will not be sitting flat. I'm going to give this just a second to dry, but in addition to the center pieces that we just created, you certainly could especially if you're working with say, smaller cocktail tables have a single flower because they've got these beautiful flat bases so it's going to keep them from rolling around you don't even necessarily need a vase you would just want to add a number of leaves to the underside to kind of ornament the edges of it but I think having that by itself on a small around side table or a cocktail table could be really lovely so let me clear a few of these flowers off to the side and I think what I'm going to do maybe um madeleine and phyllis, if I could impose upon you perhaps to help me hold this up and we're going to do a little momentary photo up ok? Ok, so we're just gonna go ahead and stand it on its side there we go so you can see you get a pretty good vantage point there actually let's hang it down just a little bit lower and then you know you give yourself a space still pulling off a few of those little strands where you or your guests khun stand behind it and you know mug for some really cute shots ladies do you want to come up and we'll kind of get a group shot I think that would be nice. There we go. Yeah. Here. You screwed in with me. Some of this might be on the sides of the frame. I have a feeling we'll all gideon. I don't know. Yeah, you can get it in writing. How we doing? Everybody in frame. All right. Ready? One, two, three cheese. I love it. Thank you. Thank you. So thank you, ladies so much. So you can see it's incredibly lightweight. You will have to dio depending on your space. How you hang it is really going to be up to you. I'm not really even sure where to put it. I'm going to set it right here. For the time being. There are certain removable adhesives that work really well with interior walls. I know three command hooks and that product line allow you to hang materials of this way up on your wall and remove them at the end of your event without damaging the paint, which is really a nice thing. So all right, now that we've got our centerpiece is our boot nears and kearsarge is our event backdrop. We're going to end up with some lovely hanging lanterns, and this is really just another very simple way for you to apply these flowers to your event. Decor there are a couple of different paper style lanterns that are available the ones that have been around the longest and perhaps where all the most familiar with are the chinese or the bamboo style lanterns they have ridges all the way around the top they expand vertically and they usually have a metal structure that you slipped down inside and that kind of keeps them open and full. The yes, of course the flowers because people are asking how what's the best way to store these and transport these because they are neck sturdy but they also say are really well, I'll tell you once you have constructed them into that backdrop formation, they do become a little bit of a storage challenge when you're transporting that toe event it's really nice if you've got a van or a annette suv or are larger vehicle that you can put down the back seat and obviously set it on the inside and transport it flat would be my recommendation storage wise as if you've got flat attic space or the top of a cabinet in the storage room that's usually a good idea otherwise you might even want to consider at the end of the event if you're not going to be reusing it perhaps just to cut that foam core, cut it down into sections and you could send little pieces of that home with your guests as well as another little added souvenir or favor? So the style of paper lanterns that we're going to be using here today, our accordion style and I just love them because they open, they open around, the frame is built into them, they come together at the section, the frame forms into a little v that is a hanging aid, and they usually come with a little piece of metal twist tie so you can simply secure those two pieces together and hold it open. Now occasionally in handling these, you will notice that it'll get dinged or pressed in like that, you can simply press it from the inside to open it back up. They are relatively sturdy in that regard. Now I have found with these paper flowers, um, they're not super small, but they're definitely smaller than the flowers that we have been creating for the center pieces. They do still have a little bit of weight and is much as I think I would like tio hang them all over. I have found that hanging one or two up near the top of the hook really works best balance wise, eso that when you've got them hanging there, nothing is sort of like lopsided or hanging at an odd angle, but again, for these, I'm just going to be adding a little bit of hot glue and pressing it on, so simply taking see if we can keep that guy from rolling away on me. Gonna add a little bit of hot glue to the underside here. I'm just going to take a position up towards the top and hold it there for a second. Obviously, because this is already constructed, I can't fit my hand in through the little top of the lantern to press on the back side, so I just want to hold it stable for a few seconds in order for it to dry enough to feel like it's set up and is not going to go anywhere. Now, if it is a concern, you certainly can take perhaps a ruler or a longer implement like a wooden spoon, perhaps slided in through the top of that opening and just give a little pressure on the back side. Um, it would be the inside of the lantern in the backside of the flower, but it's just a nice way to kind of pull those in and coordinate with all of the floral day cores that we've been creating during the course of the class. Now, I think what I'm going to do here is I'm just going to empty out this little bowl and use that stand that going to do it. Yes there we go excellent one thing you may want to consider if you're going to be having paper lanterns at your event is to add a little illumination to the interior of them there are relatively inexpensive lantern sets you can purchase that are either led lights most of them are battery packs some of them hang on a string that you can slip down into them but I wanted to show you a really simple work around using little battery operated tea lights now these obviously do not give off an enormous amount of light but if you're hanging these up say on your patio and it's an evening event you're getting excuse me you're going to get a really lovely little glow from them and the way we're going to go about doing that is I'm going to take a little length of floral wire and I'm going to guess to mate let's see let's go about this is probably about roughly between fourteen and sixteen inches and I'm going to give it a little snip they're and I am basically going to form a little bit of a u shape now if you do have floral wire stems left over that could be another application for them you can just kind of make a u shape with that as well the floral wire a zay described earlier that we were using during flower construction is a much thinner gray this is a little bit sturdier flora wire that comes on a spool, it's just a different format, and this is also not cloth wrapped, like the floral wire that we were using for the flowers doesn't really matter either way is great. What I'm going to do is I'm going to take the little battery operated t light and kind of crooked around the bottom here give it a little twist on one side, and then I am going to secure that with some of our masking tape here, tear off a little bits. This doesn't have to be pretty, because it's going to be inside the lantern, no one is ever going to see it, and then basically folding this up, I'm twisting these wires together a little bit, and I'm creating a little bit of a hook, and the idea behind this is then you can simply feed it down into the top of your lantern and hook that over that wire structure, the battery operated lights, they vary in the amount of time it will tell you on the packaging, how long they'll actually last for, um, but it's almost guaranteed to be the length of your events, you know, most events or what for five hours and there's, no way that battery is going to die before then, these guys, you confined all over the place, I've even found them at the the dollar store, you can find it at the hardware stores your home decor store on dso. Once I've done that, I want to be ableto hang it up, and what I'm going to be used is some really it's, inexpensive polly ribbon. I got it at a floral supply store, it's less expensive than, say, some of the finer satin ribbons you might be using for gift packaging or what? Not. Um, well, we've got a lovely strands hanging here, and I'm just going to slip one of them through the metal top, and then we'll just give those two sides and not I really do like having it where the tales of the ribbon are facing downward because I think it's nice to have them trail over the side of your lantern. It gives like, a nice little added to mention that you just want to give them a little trim. Now I would say that you do not need tio if you're if you're doing a grouping of thes there's, no need necessarily to put flowers on absolutely every single one. I think they would look lovely, sort of like strong intermittently, with just regular ones that have the ribbon trailing down over the side one thing you might even want to consider to kind of carry through. This floral motif is taking some of the smaller leaves that you have made and perhaps hot, gluing them onto the tales of the ribbon just kind of is if they were, say, trailing vines, let's, go ahead and attach one of those guys on there just to kind of get a sense of what that looks like when you think they're sweet and if you had these, especially in mass, I think all of these decor, all of these active items, really looked great when they're in groupings. I also wanted to say that if you don't have a situation set up in your home or your event space, where you can suspend them directly down from the ceiling, as we've been doing here, you can put together something of a paper lantern chandelier and the way you might do that is gathering together all of your oh, thank you, kate, gathering together all of your lanterns and instead of having them individually hung, you see, I know I have it here somewhere. You might string them all through one central hoop, so what they end up doing is arresting against one another, and it kind of forms almost this a big chandelier, it's, a really nice focal point, foreign events on dh this can, then just if you have just one place that you might be ableto hanging from the ceiling and you want to be mindful, obviously, of the height of these, when you're hanging them in an event space, if they're going above, say, a buffet table, you can hang them a little bit lower if you're going to have them in a more public space where your guests are wandering around want to just keep him a little bit higher. So the no one's bumping their heads on them? Yeah, have you ever attempted to make these lanterns yourself? They do look fairly complicated, you know what? I have not, and they are really for that expensive, and so I have, uh, just chosen to purchase them. That would be really challenging project get with you to find d I y project to tackle one very last thing I want to show you quickly is the crowning touch for your dining table is a very simple way to pull together a napkin ring if you just take some card stock eight and a half by eleven, cut it down into I think these are two inch wide strips that we've created. You've got your napkin for your events folded over you can't just simply wrap it around the center, figure out the best place for that overlap, snip off some of that excess. Apply a little bit of hot glue again. This is a really inexpensive way to add a little bit more color to your table top, and also to pull in the floral element that you have been working so hard on. I'm going to overlap those I think I did it here just about an inch, pressing those two pieces together, just momentarily allowing it to set up. But you see, a knight creates a nice band on the top, and then all we're going to do is add a little bit of hot glued to the back of this flower. And again, this is another lovely thing to send home with your guest. They could just tear away that band that wrapped around the napkin and take this diminutive little flower home and set it on top of their fridge or their dress, her just as a lovely home accent who we have covered a lot. All right, we've got now boot nears. Oh, and I should say kate pulled up some boot near pins for us, so we've got our lovely boot nears. We have our floral centerpieces, we have our photo backdrop, we've got our hanging lanterns, and we have got our napkin rings and I think, honestly that's going to be a pretty rock and party, maybe one of the electronic. Um, tea lights in the land. They do have some that are actually built specifically for the lanterns, which work quite well. And I think some of the led one's might even be a little bit brighter. So that is something to consider when you're shopping for those tea lights. Really, the purpose of me showing you how to do it with the floral wire is just to have an inexpensive work around. If you don't have access to those sets that are made specifically for the lanterns.

Class Description

From making your own paper to marbling and stamping to sculpting hand-crafted objects, paper crafting is an incredible way to express yourself. Join Robert Mahar to explore everything this simple, sophisticated art form has to offer.

You’ll embrace your inner recycler as you learn to create paper pulp and form it into sheets of handmade paper. You’ll also explore the Japanese art of suminagashi and use this centuries-old technique to create gorgeous, marbled paper. You’ll learn basic stamping and patterning techniques that add extra flair to any project. You’ll dive into creating three-dimensional paper crafts as well, from hand-crafted flowers to papier-mache projects to other decorative and functional objects.

Whether you’re looking to create handmade gifts to share with friends or to add new paper craft goods to your Etsy® store, you’ll leave this course equipped and inspired to create dozens of new projects.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Robert Mahar - Paper Flower Directions.pdf

Robert Mahar - Paper Garland Directions.pdf

Robert Mahar - Paper Marbling Directions.pdf

free bonus materials

Robert Mahar - Course Supplies List.pdf

Robert Mahar - Syllabus.pdf

Robert Mahar - Letters Sample.PDF

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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user 1400000665814257

This class if filled with new and fun ways to use the paper that we have in stock. In addition, the paper technique that utilizes Suminagashi Ink is mind blowing! Anyone who loves to create beautiful things will enjoy this class. Robert is one who is an exceptional instructor, in that when he is demonstrating a new technique, he has an ability to use clear concise language. I have enjoyed the class, and plan to use the gorgeous floral pieces in my studio and home, along with creating a lovely party. Thank you!

a Creativelive Student

Really enjoyed watching this two day Paper Crafting course with Robert Mahar. It was full great paper techniques and inspiration. Roberts has such a calm and positive teaching style. Watching him work through step by step of each project you really pick up lots of wonderful tips and tricks of the trade. Highly recommend it.

Holly Herick

Robert Mahar is an excellent teacher with many great examples on paper crafting. Robert has encouraged me to continue working on my sculpted watercolor paper flowers—now I have a bunch of new tips and tricks to try. This class is well worth the price