Bite-size bookcase

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EVERYTHING looks cuter on a smaller scale. So how about making yourself a 10cm-tall bookcase filled with tiny books to boot?

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What you’ll need: Small cardboard box, miniature book cutouts (from magazines), wood-grain wrapping paper, foam sheets in red and beige, scissors, pencil and glue tape.

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1. Cut off the front surface of the cardboard box. Set the piece aside; you will need it later.

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2. Position the wood-grain wrapping paper patterned-side facing down. Now you’re going to trace all the surfaces (except the bottom end) of the box onto the paper like this. There should be nine sections in total.

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3. Cut out the entire piece, making sure to cut only along the perimeter.

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4. Make creases along the lines.

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5. Position the paper like an upside down “T”. Roll some glue tape onto the back of the box and align it with the rectangle space at the bottom centre of the paper.

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6. Apply glue tape onto the sides of the box and smooth the wrapping in place.

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7. Do the same with the top.

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8. Continue on to the insides.

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9. Next, make the shelf inserts – retrieve the cardboard piece that you cut off earlier and trace the bottom of the box onto it, but make it slightly larger. Make two.

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10. Cut the pieces out. Wrap each piece with wood-grain paper. Secure with glue.

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11. Roll some glue tape onto the edges (except the front) of each shelf insert. Decide where you want each insert to go in the wrapped cardboard box. Fit them into the box and hold in place for a few minutes. If the shelves threaten to fall off, add some craft glue to the edges and hold in place again till their positions are secure.

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12. Next, trace the miniature book cutouts onto the red and beige foam sheets. What you’re making is essentially a book cover, so remember to trace double the size of each cutout – just trace the cutouts twice side by side.

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13. Cut the pieces out. Fold each of them in half lengthwise. Cut a smaller piece of foam to fit inside each of the book covers and glue it in place. This will help thicken the miniature books to make them look more realistic. Now close the books and secure with some glue.

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14.  Paste the book cutouts onto the front of each book jacket. To help the glue set, place a heavy item over the tiny books and let it sit for a few minutes. Once that’s done, you can start filling up your very own miniature bookcase with itty bitty reads!

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* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on July 17, 2013.

Paper posies

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Fresh blooms are great, but paper posies last through the year. Make a bouquet for mum; she’ll love the fuss-free factor. Warning: these crepe flowers can get addictive to make!

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What you’ll need: Crepe paper, floral wire or pipe cleaners, scissors and lace tape (optional).

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1. Cut the crepe paper lengthwise – the width should be about 21.5cm. Make two more.

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2. Cut the strips you just made in half – you should now have six pieces of crepe paper measuring 21.5cm X 25cm.

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3. Stack the pieces on top of one another. Fold the stack accordion-style. The height of each fold should be about 2cm.

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4. Twist a floral wire (or pipe cleaner) across the centre of the folded stack to secure it in place.

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5. Snip the edges of the folded stack into rounded points.

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6. Very gently, fluff out the folded crepe paper.

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7. Peel the layers upwards one by one, making sure not to cause any tears in the paper. Practise makes perfect – go as slow as possible and as gently as you can as the layers tend to stick to one another.

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8. To give your flower more shape, pinch the stem and secure it with some lace tape.

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9. Experiment with different colours. Add a leaf-shaped card if you wish.

* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on May 8, 2013.