Badge on a Blog- Numbers and Shapes, Activity #4: Try Paper Piecing

If you scroll back into my blog history, I was a Hybrid Template designer not too long ago. What is a Hybrid Template Designer? Essentially, I drew shapes (squares, triangles, hexagons, etc) in Photoshop Elements and merged them into neat designs. Add some fun digital papers and print them out on your printer, or just take the outlines and print them to paper you already have in your stash.

I see the world as merged shapes. Something fun for a girl who liked math.

This may be why I enjoy paper piecing so much. It’s actually a lot of fun to transform those paper circles and squares into something cute- and it helps justify my punch purchases. However, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to buying punches. Like tools in Alton Brown’s kitchen (the Good Eats guy- the only uni-tasker in his kitchen is the fire extinguisher), my punches need to multi-task.

Which brings us to the latest activity for the Numbers and Shapes try-it- give it a go with paper piecing and punch art.

My girls LOVE my punch collection- they’d play with them for hours if I let them. So, I like to give them a purpose for the punches- this past meeting, it was making Valentines to be sent over to troops in Afghanistan. We also made adorable owl paper piecings!

The owls were a last minute addition to the programming. The Sunday before I was in the grocery store and I tripped over the February issue of Scrapbooks, Etc and this great card on the cover designed by Valerie Salmon:

I HAD to replicate  that owl, and immediately my mind was deconstructing all of the shapes involved. It was the perfect project for this try-it. I contacted Valerie, and she gave me permission to mention her work on my blog, and to break down the shape manipulation. Thanks. Valerie!! Go check out her blogРshe has lots of paper piecing patterns to download and try!

So, let’s walk through the process on how you man make an owl out of a rectangle, an oval, a triangle, 2 flowers, 2 hearts, and 4 circles. By the way, this is a great project to do with paper scraps- a fun way to “Reduce Waste” for February’s Forever Green Project. See if you can make these only using paper scraps that you world normally toss in the garbage!

Here’s how you transform the rectangle into an owl body:

The rounded edges can be done either free handed, or with the help of a corner rounder- it really depends on how round you’d like his body to be.

Then, there are the pieces you need to trim:

Now that you have all of your pieces, it’s time to put them all together:

Finally, here are some real examples. My daughter’s is on the left. I gave them pre-cut pieces, but there was no adult assistance for the assembly- my Brownies did a great job! For those of you keeping score, the patterned paper is from the Love Notes Collection by Making Memories, and the various cardstocks (red embossed dots, pink glitz, ivory smoothie) are from Bazzill. My flower, heart, and circle punches are all from Marvy.

Manipulating basic shapes is a common tool for drawing as well. Check out these You Tube videos for drawing cartoon characters:

Drawing Phineas

Drawing Curious George

I think drawing becomes a lot less intimidating when you can see it broken down into simple components of circles, triangles, and squares.

Good luck with paper piecing! This makes 4 activities that would allow completion of the Try-it. However, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve, so I’ll probably add an activity or two, just so you can mix it up a bit or have creative options for other projects. Enjoy!