Bedroom FANdango

I’m sure you’ve seen something like this all over the internet. I was *going* to make this originally for the back wall in my partner’s office but now that he’s gone I had to save it all for myself.

Bedroom FANdango 24

When we moved into the Tower, for the first time ever, we actually had enough wall space to display every single one of our framed pictures. We even had some blank space, and one of those spaces was in the bedroom behind our bed. We needed something big. I already put up that odd abstract painting, which is growing on me and is next to my side of the bed. And then I put up those lovely milk art watercolours, on the Pie’s side. But there was a giant space in the middle, directly above the bed. Just a big expanse of gray.

Bedroom FANdango 16

So I’m going to fix it, and for cheap. And easily. You can do it too, if you have a big space that needs filling. All you need is some regular weight copy paper (A4, US Letter, it doesn’t matter), a stapler (with staples), and a bone folder for crispness.

Bedroom FANdango 1

The bone folder is optional but I find it really helps. You’re going to want to go ahead and fold your sheet (long side or short side) into a fan.

Bedroom FANdango 3

I find it easiest to simply fold the paper in half, then  half again, and then backwards on itself …

Bedroom FANdango 4

… and then take the half that doesn’t make a nice zig-zag and fold it backwards. That way all the sections are even.

Bedroom FANdango 6

Then grab your little accordion and bend it from the centre so the ends touch.

Bedroom FANdango 7

Crease that fold as much as you can. Don’t worry if it’s a little wobbly.

Bedroom FANdango 8

Pinch together the two edges in the centre of the fan and shove a staple in there to hold it together. You can use tape if you want, but staples are more expedient.

Bedroom FANdango 10

Now do that whole thing with two more sheets of paper.

Bedroom FANdango 11

Next, take one of the open ends of one fan and staple it to one of the open ends of another fan.

Bedroom FANdango 12

Use the third fan to close the circle.

Bedroom FANdango 13<

When you flip it over you should have all the staples hidden.

Bedroom FANdango 14

I did this a million more times, sometimes folding the long side of the paper and sometimes the short end, and I ended up with two different sizes of bunting, in four different colours: light blue, dark blue, gray, and white.

Bedroom FANdango 15

To put it up on the wall I decided to use simple sewing pins, because they didn’t leave a big hole in the wall and because they were long enough to give the circles some movement and allow me to layer them on top of each other. I used a thimble to push the pins carefully halfway into the wall.

Bedroom FANdango 17

Then I stuck up some more.

Bedroom FANdango 19

And some more. I didn’t worry about pattern or where things were. I kind of winged it and went for something assymetrical and disordered.

Bedroom FANdango 23

I’m quite pleased with the final result, and both the Pie and I are happy to have that big blank space finally filled.

Bedroom FANdango 26

Fold ‘Em to the Wall

Fold 'em to the Wall 16

I’m redecorating my office at work so it less resembles a prison cell and more resembles a place where I spend the majority of my non-traveling time. I’ll show you the big before-and-after when I’m completely done but until then I’ll keep you updated on the cheap and easy things I’ve done in order to make the room a little bit more ME.

Fold 'em to the Wall 7

Here’s the first one. For this you need some origami paper, some tape (I used double-sided tape), some foam board (or poster board), a bone folder (optional), a pencil, and a ruler. I used some large scale origami with plain colours, but this would easily work on a smaller scale with the tiny pieces of patterned paper on a smaller board.

Fold 'em to the Wall 2

I started by matching up two sides of the sheet of origami and gently pinching the outside edge of the fold, just so I could see where the centre was.

Fold 'em to the Wall 3

Then I did that in the other direction.

Fold 'em to the Wall 4

Using those markers as guidelines, I folded each corner of the paper into the centre of the page. It doesn’t have to be perfect; I think it looks a little better when it’s all irregular.

Fold 'em to the Wall 5

I did that with every colour I had, one each, for 20 squares total. You can obviously do as many as you like.

Fold 'em to the Wall 8

Then I did some figuring to sort out how I wanted them to look and where I wanted them to be.

Fold 'em to the Wall 9

I had to do some math to figure out how they were going to fit on the foam board I had.

Fold 'em to the Wall 10

In actual fact they were going to fit across two boards. So the pieces that fit across this divide between the two I was going to leave off until I’d mounted the boards on the wall. That seemed easiest.

Fold 'em to the Wall 11

I decided it looked best if I had them in touching columns with a bit of space in between. I measured carefully to make sure they were evenly spaced and made pencil marks to show me where to stick things.

Fold 'em to the Wall 12

Then it was just a matter of applying some tape. And some dog hair. But that goes without saying.

Fold 'em to the Wall 14

Here it is, on my ugly green office wall (not to be confused with my ugly white office wall and my two ugly red office walls).

Fold 'em to the Wall 15

It’s already become a conversation piece. My team leader calls them “Grumpy Envelopes” and enjoys putting her tiny elf-like fists in the folds.

Fold 'em to the Wall 18

Coasting On By …

Shaddup.  It’s a bad pun.  A terrible title in total.  YOU try coming up with lovely alliterations and pithy puns on a thrice-weekly basis.  That involve baking and making stuff out of magazines.

Magazine Coasters 16


We needed some coasters.  Because, uh, we didn’t have any.  And I forgot how much cold beverages SWEAT in the summer in Ottawa.

Magazine Coasters 19

I like all the cute cork DIY coasters you see on the internet but I don’t have any cork at the moment.  I do, however, have an issue of National Geographic that I’m currently finished with.  And a paper cutter.  And a pair of scissors.  And a bone folder.  And some time.  You can do this too, with any magazine.  Bone folder and paper cutter are optional, though handy.  The inspiration comes from the late lamented How About Orange but the concept is pretty straightforward and I did it a little differently.  I’ve also seen this done with plastic drinking straws.

Magazine Coasters 2

Tear your pages out of the magazine that you want.  Pick ones with bold colours that cover most of the page.  For my coasters I used a 6 x 7 grid, so I needed 13 strips, therefore 13 pages from the magazine.  Cut off the ragged edge (I trimmed off enough that the page measured 6″ wide).  After trimming the edge, cut your pages in half again lengthwise.

Magazine Coasters 1

Now take one of those half sheets and fold it in half again. We will not mention that I am using the Pie’s Dark Souls II User Guide as my folding surface.

Magazine Coasters 3

Then take the two open edges and fold them inward about a third of the width of the strip.

Magazine Coasters 4

Fold the folded edge inward, too, so you’ve hidden the outside edges by folding the whole thing in three.

Magazine Coasters 5

Then take your strip and fold it in half lengthwise.  Sorry for the blurry stars — I was losing the light.

Magazine Coasters 6

Grab one strip and hold it together in its folded position.  Take another strip and tuck one side of it between the two flaps of the original strip.  So one side will be sandwiched inside and one side will be out.  Do the same with the next strip, but this time put the opposite side into the sandwich, like so.

Magazine Coasters 7

Do this until you have it as wide as you want it, with alternating half-sandwichy strips.  Man, it’s really hard to do a play-by-play for this stuff.  Mine was 7 strips wide.

Magazine Coasters 8

On your next row, start from the opposite direction, weaving one side of the folded strip in and out of the sandwiched other strips.  Make sure to check both sides of this as you’re going along, because sometimes you can miss one, like you can see in this photo.

Magazine Coasters 9

Keep going with more strips.

Magazine Coasters 10

Make sure to stop occasionally to shove all the strips tightly together so your weave is solid and even.

Magazine Coasters 11

Because of the thickness of my magazine paper, my coaster ended up being more square using 7 strips wide by 6 strips long, so this is where I stopped.

Magazine Coasters 12

So now you have lots of tabs sticking out on three sides.  Well.  For the tabs that are sandwiched between other strips, you can just cut those straight off.

Magazine Coasters 13

Then you can tuck the opposite tab from the same strip into the space where the cutoff tab is sitting.  You may need to trim the edge of the strip so it will fit properly and not stick out on the other side.

Magazine Coasters 14

Just keep doing that until you’re all done!

Magazine Coasters 15

You can see the edges are all tucked under here.

Magazine Coasters 17

I think I will spray these with some form of sealant or paint them with Mod Podge to keep them from absorbing too much moisture.  But they’re kind of neat, and a nice thing to keep your hands busy while watching TV in the evenings.

Magazine Coasters 18

Make Your Mail Literate

Card Holder

When I saw this project on Curbly a while back, I thought it would be the perfect gift for one of the older members of our family to keep cards and pictures and memories fresh and out in the open.

Card Holder

It’s a very simple trick.  You take an old hardcover book (again, being a law librarian, I have tons of these), and working in batches you fold all the pages in the book in half towards the spine.  You can use as many pages as you want in each batch (you want enough that the fold will hold itself but not too much that you have trouble folding it).

Card Holder

Use a bone folder to get a sharp crease.

Card Holder

It gets harder to get a good fold the further in you are in the book.  You really need to jam the edge of the page towards the spine as hard as you can.

Card Holder

Card Holder

When you hit your last section, fold the pages in the opposite direction, so that all the edges are tucked inside.

Card Holder

And then you’re done.  It can hold all your mail that needs to be looked at.  It can be a compact way to display holiday greeting cards or letters from friends.  It can also act as a photo stand so you can look at your whole family in one go.

Card Holder

Then I decided to dress it up a bit.  I used newspaper to cover the covers of the book and stuck a roll through the spine to protect it and then spritzed some copper spray paint on the page ends.  This way you can still see the words on the pages, but they have a gilded appearance.

Card Holder

Actually, it looks kind of like a heat sink for a computer.

Card Holder

Then I masked the edges of the covers.

Card Holder

And used chalkboard paint on the white part.

Card Holder

Card Holder

So now it’s also a message board as well as a mail holder.

Card Holder

Not a bad little organizer for a book and a bit of paint!

Card Holder

%d bloggers like this: