May 5, 2009

The Long Awaited Pleating Tutorial

OK, pleating really isn't that hard, but since I promised a tutorial, I give you a tutorial on plain old pleating. I hope to see many many examples of this technique in the gallery now :)

I am so not a measure-it-all-out-neat-and-straight kind of scrapper. I tend to just mess with something until it looks just about right. So the pleating that I've done has always been uneven and not exact at all. I'm the same way when I cook, add a little of this, a little of that until it tastes right. So I hope that I can explain these steps clearly.

For this tutorial, I've used paper and ribbon, but you can use just about anything that will fold and bend. I used the Fabrips that occasionally come in our kits, those work well because you can easily change the size of the folds and not have to deal with creases. Experiment and have fun with pleating, it adds a lot of fun texture to your work.

1. Cut a strip of paper. Any size works, just depends on the look you want.


2. I made a line at the one inch mark and the 1/2 mark following it. Then I continued to make marks one inch after the last mark, followed by 1/2. So I did not mark every inch and 1/2 inch, I just made sure to follow the pattern of 1 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 1/2 inch until the strip was all marked. You can vary the measurements to get a deeper or more shallow pleat. That is the fun part of this, play with it!


3. I started folding one way, then flipped and folded the opposite way, over and over until I had finished the whole strip.





4. Once your strip is pleated, you'll want to attach it to something, yes? I like Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive and Zig 2-Way Glue. You'll have to experiment with the best way to get the pleats to lay flat, I find that working against the pleat is best for me. If you want your pleats to go left to right, I start with the right end and work toward the left. Vice versa if you want it to go right to left. Try it both ways, you'll understand more if you just do it... A bit of glue to anchor the starting point then a bead to catch the rest works well. You could also stitch them down with a machine if you wanted.




5. You can see the pleat repeats itself every 1/2 inch, remember our measurements in step 2? You can adjust the repeat by adjusting that second number.


Another example I made up is for pleated ribbons. If you are an exact measurement person, you might want to stop reading here :) I just eyeball ribbon. I think it works best to attach with a sewing machine, glue takes a while to dry on ribbon.

1. Tuck the end of the ribbon under itself and anchor it with a couple of stitches.


2. Start pushing the ribbon under itself to form a pleat, slowly stitch over that pleat and continue pushing, folding, and stitching. You can stop any time. But if you want to turn the corner...



3. Stop stitching about a ribbon's width from the corner and fold the ribbon sideways, so it's heading in the new direction you want it to go. With the needle anchored, turn the paper as well.



4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have stitched what you've planned. In this example, I stitched a rectangle, almost. I ran out of ribbon with only an inch left.


5. No worries if you run out. Just start a new piece by slipping the new over the old and hiding the new end under the last pleat. It's nearly impossible to see where you stopped and started.


6. The finished product:


So there you have it, the pleating tutorial :) I hope I've been clear enough in my explanation. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not a measuring kind of gal, so here's hoping it works! Let me know please. And thank you for all the nice comments, I'm happy that everyone has enjoyed these little tutorials.

One more tomorrow...

14 comments:

Rita said...

Oh my goodness! I am going to this pleat on my next LO. Thank you for the how to, I now know how! :D

sue-bubbles said...

WOW this is a fab tutorial...pleats, here I come! Thankyou for nice & easy instructions, and mostly for the inspiration!
Sue x

lisaday said...

Thanks for sharing Emily! I love pleats!!

Debi said...

FUN, this may be what I needed to get my mojo going....

DonnaBD said...

Terrific tutorial! Thanks!

Houston said...

Seriously cute cards Em!

meganklauer said...

Great tutorial! Now to try the whole machine sewing thing. :0)
Awesome inspiration! Thanks!

Shanley & Greg said...

Thank you emily. This looks so cool.
shanley

Jenneke said...

GREAT tutorial!! Thanks!!
Gonna try this!

Euphoria said...

pleating is so fun! I love it with ribbons!! My fav!

Kimber-Leigh said...

thanks emily! that was perfect!

karen m. (akaliz) said...

wow! that's much more precise than how i've been doing it!

i'll have to give this a shot next time.

*reyanna klein* said...

WOW! This was great!!! And these projects were fabulous! Love that last card. I wish I had a sewing machine... and an assistant to do the sewing for me... LOL. ;)

Web Design Quote said...

Fantastic work done by the blogger.... I like the post and you explain all the things quite good.I love pleats!