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Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Bunny Place Cards

Looking to incorporate your creativity into your Easter table?  I made these place cards several years ago for Easter and I still think they are so cute.  I think I found this idea in Family Fun magazine.  They are a great example of paper piecing:

These are not too hard to make, although they take a bit of time.  Hopefully, you are not having too many people to Easter dinner - I had 12 that year :)

You need scrapbook paper in two solid colors, one in a patterned color and some white for Mr. Bunny.  You also need vellum paper, brads, a little ribbon and some 3-dimensional adhesives - like sticky foam squares.

Because I made these several years ago, for this tutorial I used slightly different colors.  First cut your card (background paper) into 3"x 5 1/2" rectangles and fold in half.  If you have a scoring tool, this will make your fold cleaner.

Next, cut your front square in a contrasting color.  Mr. Bunny will sit on this square.  I used pastel green because it matched my china pattern.  Cut the squares 2 1/2"square.

Next cut the patterned paper in a rectangle about 2 1/2" x 1".  This will be the background for your vellum name.  I used a pink gingham, but you can use any pattern.  

Now comes the part that many might find intimidating but it's pretty easy.  Take the white paper and draw a head (like a fat pear), two ears and two fat feet (look like elongated circles).  You might want to start by drawing them, but once you feel comfortable, you can probably cut them without patterns.  Remember, each Mr. Bunny is unique.

Next, draw two big dot eyes close together, a long skinny pink nose, a little line below the nose and whiskers on the face.  You also need to draw paw marks.

Using your computer's printer, pick a fun font and print the names of your guests on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of vellum.  A thicker, paper weight vellum does great in a printer.  Once you print all the names, cut them in rectangles just a little smaller than the patterned paper.  Get some tiny ribbon and tie little bows.  Add a little hot glue drop if you are nervous about the bows coming apart.  Now you are ready to piece.

Start with the background paper and glue the square onto the front half.  Piece each piece of Mr. Bunny on top of the paper, with the head on top of the ears and feet which are glued first to the paper.  You may want to use a 3 dimensional adhesive to make Mr. Bunny pop (or in his case, hop).  You will want his feet to slightly overlap the patterned paper and his ears to stick up above the fold.  A pair of tweezers will help immensely.

Now you want to layer the patterned paper (in purple above) over the green and then the vellum with the name over the patterned paper.  You are going to hold them together with metal brads.  (Here's a bonus tutorial on how to apply a brad.)  A brad is a small piece of metal you drive through your paper to attach papers in a decorative way, or, in this case, attach a piece of vellum.  It's very hard to glue vellum without it showing.  I also like brads because they come in a variety of colors.  On my sample I used a pastel green brad, but here I'll show metal brads.

That silver cylinder thing is a brad tool.  Notice that the end is not flat, but has a tiny point that you insert in the brad to hammer it.  I like this tool set from Making Memories.

Put the brad, smaller side down, over the papers you want to hold together.  In this case I'm driving the brad through 4 layers - the vellum, the pattern contrast paper, the square for Mr. Bunny and the top of the place card.  Use a hammer (see the one above) to pound the brad tool down, driving the brad through the papers.  PLEASE make sure to use a hard surface - the harder the better (granite countertops, tile floors, heavy wood furniture) - AND a self healing mat (or plastic cutting board in a pinch) under the papers.  If you don't, you WILL have a mark in your surface underneath the papers.  Once you hammer the brad through the papers and turn over the papers, it should look like this.

Take the same brad tool and insert it over this side of the brad and pound it down.  It will force the brad shaft to spread, "grabbing" the paper.

You've done it!

Your guests will be so impressed at your craftiness and that you cared enough to make beautiful place cards.  Depending on the colors you pick with your dinnerware and tablecloth, they can also make an attractive addition to your table.

Happy Easter!