14 thousand rectangles of tissue paper, 10 microscopic paper strips, 1 tiny bobbin and 2 very tired eyes. Welcome to Rachel’s crazy paper carnival.


This has to be one of my favourite creations ever to be constructed from these nifty fingers.

A few months ago, one of my friends asked me to create a miniature sewing machine to give to her Mum as a birthday present, complimenting her amazing talents in patchwork mastery. I was pretty excited. I absolutely LOVE a good challenge.

Of course I dove headfirst down the path of the classic vintage treadle “Singer” sewing machine because they are just so beautifully rustic and steampunk-esq.

Building the foundation was a simple enough task, but trying to re-create the smoothness of the machine proved frustrating, to say the least. Twine helped me get the curves happening and then I just wrapped it all up mummy-like in my trusty tissue paper, one little strip at a time (which took a gazillion years, and I spent most of that time getting fed up with it and procrastinating instead).


The Bobbin and thread is probably one of my proudest achievements. Cutting the paper 1/2 a millimetre thick was a feat in itself, requiring a good eye, a steady hand and a determined resolve. This almost-microscopic piece of paper was then painted black and then – precariously – wound around a very very very very tiny bobbin-holder which was not sturdy by any means. This of course meant that every wind of the thread bent the bobbin one way or the other until enough thread had circled it.

An abundance of teeth-gritting, swearing and exasperation later, the little bobbin appeared in all its glory.


The other major challenge with this little guy was the word “Singer”. I considered painting it on, but the fact that my ability in this department is VERY limited meant I steered away from this idea. Of course I decided to use paper.

So there I was again cutting out paper almost too thin for the naked eye. At least I’d had practice this time. I need to give my quilling tool at least 80% of the credit for this one. If I didn’t have such a fine needle to help me curl, bend and manipulate the paper to form those words, it would have been a total dog’s breakfast.


That said – it took a good hour and a half – in which I almost pulled all of my hair out, muttered every expletive under the sun, dropped each letter at least twice every 10 seconds, stabbed myself about 14 million times and practiced the fine art of talking to inanimate objects.

This is why I am crazy.

But – despite the torment, those little letters came out just beautifully, and I had reached the level of authenticity I had wanted in the first place. It was a satisfying moment.

I’m very proud of this little piece, and was so chuffed when its lucky owner loved it too. It’s one of the reasons why commissioned art is so rewarding; to be able to create something that means something or is unique to someone is a damn cool thing.

Do you have a sweet idea you’d like to see in miniature? Throw me a curve ball – c’mon I dare you! I’d love to help you make it a reality. Visit my Etsy shop – https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/APaperCarnival and send me a message or request a custom order.



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