Sunday, November 12, 2017

Quilling with Corrugated Cardboard

A view of the corrugated cardboard supply and the 5x7
photo mat I used to measure the cardboard backers
for the frames.
I am a Girl Scout leader and everyone knows it. Having a propensity for crafting has brought me all kinds of free stuff. Sea glass, jars, cardboard, corrugated flower printed cardboard, vintage pre-cut felt craft kits, and bags of yarn. These supplies have been arranged and re-arranged into two cabinets and a variety of bins. I've also got an extensive supply of field day games and fencing for a garden. So, occasionally, our troop crafts are planned with use of a certain ingredient in mind more than a specific outcome.

Such is the case with corrugated cardboard quilling. In a Pinterest search, I couldn't find much to do with this floral printed cardboard. I've got two giant bags of the stuff and when my first big idea (pawning it off on a preschool teacher) failed, I figured it was time to either hot glue it together or pitch it. I've found those are the two basic crafting options.

Fortunately, I found a way to use a whole lot of corrugated cardboard without glue. Even though the Girl Scouts are twelve and thirteen, it's best to avoid stickiness when possible. 

All of the Pinterest-y tutorials for this type of cardboard picture frame were written in foreign languages. Some languages were so foreign, they didn't even use our alphabet. This left me to figure out a plan of attack based on a few images. Since my materials are a bit different, I've created an all-new work of art:

Multi-Color Quilled Corrugated Cardboard Display Frames

A finished frame with seven others ready to be quilled by the Girl Scouts.

I'd estimate it took about six hours to complete one sample frame and prep seven others to be adorned by the troop. Here's what I did (in English):

Step One: Cut two small boxes into pieces and then over the course of several hours, hot glue said boxes back together to make them.... once again boxes.

The insanity of this operation occurred to me during the assembly of the third box. I used a 5x7 photo mat as a template and cut flat pieces of cardboard to make the front of the frame. Then I cut 3/4" strips of cardboard to create the sides of the quilled area. A piece of the floral print corrugated cardboard served as a backer and another wider strip of cardboard made a good stand.

Note: since the 3/4" pieces of cardboard give the frame support, I used the original boxes, flaps and all. 

Ready to cut that 5x7" picture frame opening.

Measuring to cut the 3/4" strips of cardboard.

Here's where I glued the corrugated cardboard onto the back.

Work in progress: two done, six to go!

Step Two: Cut the corrugated cardboard into roughly 1/2" wide strips. Cut until a bruise develops at the root of your thumb. Then cut more. Then decided the Girl Scouts can cut it on their own. (I'll let you know how that works out next week.)

I could use some scissors with a softer handle. Is that a thing?

Step Three: The fun part! Wind and coil the strips into shapes. Insert into the newly reshaped box frame. Keep jamming cardboard in there until it holds itself in place with no glue.

Note: Some of the coils did require a bit of tape to keep them from unraveling before pressure from their neighbors held them together.

This teardrop shape needed a touch of scotch tape to keep it from unwinding.

Here's a wee V-shape to fill in that opening between the two tear drops.

A strip isn't long enough? That's okay. Just add another and keep winding.

The work in progress. At this point, a sigh of relief that it actually does look somewhat nice.

Pinch the corners to make squares.

Keep pinching to make bigger squares.

Create shapes until the whole space is filled.

Our troop is working on the Cadette aMAZE journey right now. These frames are going to host some anti-bullying quotes to partially fulfill the "interact" part of the program. They can be reused at home as a Christmas decoration or as a picture frame. And the best part is that after our next meeting, I hope to be all out of floral print corrugated cardboard!