Yesterday, I mentioned BARC paper, a wood veneer paper that looks like traditional wood veneer but handles with the ease of paper. I found it because I had the idea of making a "snowflake" chandelier out of rosettes and I really wanted to do it with wood veneer. Unfortunately, even the thinnest veneer tended to crack when I tried to loop it. But thank God for the Internet.
BARC paper comes in a variety of wood finishes and three weights, each suitable for different projects. For the chandelier, I used the lightest weight and it looped and folded exactly the way paper might. The Birch paper I used comes with a white paper backing, so some of the snowflakes I left with a white interior and others I painted with diluted acrylic paint, creating more of a washed paint effect that was still saturated and colorful. You can also brush the watered down paint onto the wood veneer side, which allows the grain to show through.
I can't say enough about this paper - it truly is one of my favorites this year. You can cut it with scissors and paper punches, as well as die-cutting machines. It can be painted, stamped, stained, and printed on (manual feed on an inkjet printer), which means you can experiment to your heart's content. Love. it.
And a little secret for you - If you've taken the time to visit Family Circle's website to get directions for the projects shown in the magazine, you'll find a reader's code to get a discount on BARC paper for a limited time. So get it while you can!
In the meantime, here are the directions for making the chandelier (I also think the rosettes make great ornaments or gift toppers):
12-x-12-inch birch BARC paper (lightest weight)
acrylic craft paint in desired colors
paper trimmer or ruler and scissors
quick-setting gel glue (I prefer Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive)
circle punch for middle
12-inch and 9-inch wooden embroidery hoops
string for hanging
1. Put acrylic craft paint in a small dish and thin with a little water. Place the BARC paper on the scrap paper and tape the edges to the paper. Paint either the front or the back of the paper with the thinned down craft paint; let dry. Once paint is dry, remove the BARC paper and cut into ½-inch strips. For the largest snowflakes, leave the paper strips at 12 inches, for medium cut to 10 inches in length, and for smallest trim to 8 inches in length.
2. Fold each strip in half so ends meet; unfold and place a little glue on each side of the crease. Loop each piece inward so that they meet at the crease in the middle. Clip with a clothespin until glue sets. Once glue is dry, add a dab of glue to the bottom edge of each looped set and glue 6-8 of the sets together to form a rosette. Glue circle cutouts to the center of each.
To assemble chandelier, tie the hoops together as shown. Hang snowflakes at varying heights.
Resources: BARC paper from ARC Crafts (www.arccrafts.com); all other supplies available at craft supply stores.