Amazing articles on just about every subject...

Party Prizes

( Originally Published 1932 )

Of all the necessary requisites for a successful party, the proper prizes to give one's guests usually turn out to be a problem. Any hostess with an unlimited pocketbook can purchase beautiful and expensive prizes, but what of the girl who must watch her pennies? The only answer to her problem is to make her own.

Beautiful lamps which breathe an individual charm all their own can be easily made by- any girl. Their cost is so trivial, the art so fascinating, and the results so satisfying that they should prove of interest to all.

The entire lamp, ready for use, costs less than a dollar, and practically all the materials used in it can be purchased at your nearest five-and-ten-cent store. The base of the lamp consists of any odd-shaped bottle or decanter. Such a bottle can often be found stored away in the basement, or is obtainable from your drug, grocery, or five-and-ten-cent store. It should be about the size you wish your lamp to be, and its bottom should be wide, so that it cannot be easily upset when used as a lamp base.

Colored glass bottles make attractive bases, al-though clear glass filled with colored water gives the same effect. If solid bases are desired, the bottles may be painted any desired color, or if varied tone effects are wanted, they may be filled with stones, shells, or sifted sand.

The electrical equipment consists of a light socket, cord, wall plug, and the fixture for holding the socket in the bottle, all of which can be bought at any fiveand-ten-cent or hardware store.

The necessary wire frame for the shade can best be obtained by purchasing a five-and-ten-cent store shade, and removing its covering. Care should be taken to choose one of proper size and shape for the base used. If your bottle is square, choose a square shade, etc. See that the fixture on the frame is of the type that slips over an upright bulb.

The shade is now covered, and as this work results in the most important part of the lamp, great care should be exercised while doing it. A raffia-like shade done in crępe twist with button-hole stitch at top and bottom, and strips of contrasting color for decoration is used.

This covering may also be made from string, al-though the crępe twist can be obtained at most stationery or department stores, and is inexpensive. Color combinations should be carefully chosen to blend into the surrounding color schemes, and if color has been used in the base, those in the shade should correspond.

The results obtained from this method of covering give a splendid French-Colonial effect, while the straight lines of the twist blend well with the latest modernistic effects. Two color combinations are given the novice merely as a guide by which to work, al-though any blending colors may be obtained and used.

The ground or predominating color is woven around each corner of the shade, while contrasting color strips are woven between these corner sections, as shown in the photograph. With a ground color of sand, weave strips of jade, flame, orange, and blue-bird. The second combination recommended consists of a ground color of Nile green with strips of brown, jade, green, dark amber, and brown repeated. All these colors may be purchased by their color names, as given.

They are supplied in hanks, or the twist can be made by purchasing regular crępe paper, and twisting it into long rope about the thickness of a heavy string. If string is used in place of the crępe twist, it should be of a heavy type, and any colors which can-not be bought can be obtained by dyeing the string in a strong solution.

The weaving of the shade is quite simple if the instructions are carefully followed. The four steps are shown in Figure 15. Prepare the frame for covering by wrapping the upright or perpendicular wires first. This is done by simply wrapping the twist around and around them, until they are fully covered. All other wires on the frame are left bare. When wrap-ping these uprights, use twist of the ground color. The frame is now covered by weaving the twist from the top cross-wires down to the bottom wires. Button-hole stitches are used for holding the twist to the frame. Start this work on the top cross-wire next to an upright wire.

Fold a long length of the ground color in two. If possible, this should be about ten yards long. Starting with the folded center place the double twist over and in front of the frame, with the loop hanging below the top cross-wire. Holding the loop in position, wrap the twist around the wire on the left side of the loop. Pull the twist tightly over your index finger and make another loop.

Pull the knot tight, and stretch the twist to the bottom cross-wire. Here, it is allowed to pass over the front of the wire, up under it, and again over the top of the wire and out on the left side of the twist. Another button-hole knot is made on the bottom cross-wire, and the twist again stretched to the top cross-wire. (See Diagram 4.) Repeat this process until the desired distance along the frame is covered with the ground color.

The color strips are attached in the same way. If the twist should break in the process from too much pressure, its end can be pasted lightly to the adjoining strand, and another length started. If it is found that the length of twist you are working with is not long enough to cover as much of the frame as desired, its end can be pasted to its adjoining strand and an-other length started.

The best way to determine whether each section is of the same width is to tally the number of knots.

That is, if your blue color has fifteen knots, then each section of the other colors should have fifteen knots, etc.

The neck of the bottle can also be covered by wrap-ping the twist around it after applying a coat of paste. Here is an opportunity to make really useful and beautiful prizes, and their cost is within the reach of every girl.


Intricate leather-like designs and textures, as well as elaborately carved wood effects, which transform modest little paper and wooden articles into gifts of value, can be achieved easily and inexpensively through this craft. Portfolios, note books, book ends, waste baskets, book covers, and stationery holders can be decorated by this method.

The raised effects are obtained by gluing card-board, mat stock, strawboard, or paper doilies to the surface you wish decorated and then covering the en-tire surface with crępe paper. Trace on the card-board, or whatever material you decide to use to obtain the relief, the desired design. Cut this out with a razor blade or sharp knife. Assemble the pieces on the surface to be decorated, gluing each in place. Paper lace doilies make splendid designs. About six or eight of these will be needed to gain the necessary thickness. Glue one in place, allow it to dry thoroughly, and then add the second by gluing it on top of the first. Make sure that it is placed directly over the one beneath. Continue this process until the doilies stand out sufficiently in relief. For large surfaces, the entire doily is used. If the area to be decorated is small, the doily may be cut and only parts of it used.

For the best leather effects, brown crępe paper should be used for covering the raised design, al-though blue, green, and red paper may be utilized. Stretch the paper with the hands until it is about a fourth longer than its original length. Apply a fairly thick coat of paste over the surface to be covered, and press the crępe paper down smoothly. It is well, though not absolutely necessary, to roll the surface with a small rubber roller to iron out any wrinkles and to bring out the design.

To obtain sharper relief, go around all the outlines of the raised portions forming the design with a crochet hook, knitting needle, or the bottom of a tea-spoon. If a single piece of the crępe paper is not sufficient to cover the surface, care must be taken with overlapping seams, as they show up plainly after the finishing coat of shellac has been applied.

When the entire article is covered, it may be given a protective coat of thin white shellac. This completes the process. When choosing articles to be decorated by this method, care must be taken to see that they are constructed of materials heavy enough to resist warping. If strawboard is used, it should be given a coat of shellac on both sides before being worked. In the accompanying photograph, a few articles are shown to give the reader an idea of the various things which lend themselves to decoration by "Boston-craft."


One can hardly imagine giving a dog as a party prize, but this little "rough neck" is considered quite proper, and can be counted on to please any guest. With a personality all his own, he is quite smart and sturdy, and is guaranteed never to annoy one by excessive barking. He always obeys, never leaves home, and eats surprisingly little.

For his construction, the materials are easily pro-curable at any stationery store. Let's make the dog shown in the photograph. We need six folds of white crępe paper, one of black crępe paper, six No. 15 wires, each thirty-six inches long, and a jar of any good paste.

Crępe paper comes in folds twenty inches wide and ten feet long. It should not be unfolded when being cut. Merely slip the protecting paper band from around the fold, and with sharp scissors make the cut through the entire thickness of the package. Cut in this manner two strips each two inches wide, which are used for bandaging. The remaining sixteen-inch width is cut into two eight-inch wide strips. These are used for padding our dog. Open them and stretch the crępe paper thoroughly. Fold each strip over five times. The paper is now ready, and we may proceed with the skeleton of our dog.

The wire foundation upon which the dog is built consists of double wires shaped for each part. Two wires are used instead of one to obtain greater firmness, as the slight spreading of them assists in holding up the framework.

Holding two wires together, shape them according to Diagram 1, Figure 16. These form the legs on one side of our dog. Two other wires are now shaped exactly alike to form the legs on the other side. The dimensions given should be followed accurately to pro-duce a well-balanced figure.

When these are formed, the padding and bandage are applied. Take one of the eight-inch-wide strips, which has been stretched and folded, and place it around one of the leg wires, as shown in Diagram 2. This padding gives the leg its necessary size. When the strip is in place, take one of the two-inch strips and begin to bandage the leg. Start from the paw, pasting the end in place, and work up. Overlap each round, and when the top of the leg is reached, cut the strip and paste it in place. Cut away the excess pad-ding paper at this time. Continue this process until each of the four legs is stuffed and bandaged, as shown in Diagram 3. These two parts—each consisting of two legs—are now set aside until the body is built.

Two wires are held together and bent to shape as one wire, which forms the tail, body, neck, and head of the dog. Using the padding strips, wrap them around the entire structure, until each part has the desired thickness. It must be re-membered that the padding should be thinner than you wish your dog to appear when completed, as the legs and rough finishing crępe paper coat will add bulk.

With the bandaging paper, wrap the entire frame as was done for the legs. When completed, the body should have the appearance of a well-bandaged mummy, as shown in Diagram 5. The four legs are now placed in proper position against the body of the dog. The top uncovered wire should come at the center of the body, as shown in Diagram 6. These pieces are now firmly bound to the body with strips of the bandaging crępe. Wrap the crępe around and around until the legs are firmly held in position against the body. At this stage of the construction, the dog should be able to stand on his own feet, and have a firm well-knit body.

Cut strips of white crępe paper direct from the fold one and a half inches wide. Fold the crępe into eight thicknesses, and cut a fine fringe about one inch deep along one lengthwise edge of the paper, which will be with its grain. To make the fringe look more realistic, roll it between the palms, which will roughen it, and give the desired appearance of a dog's coat.

Paste the end of this strip on the foot, as shown in Diagram 7. Note that the fringe points down. Wind the strip around and around the leg, working up to-wards the body, and overlapping each circle of fringe. No bare spots must show through this coat. When the body has been reached, paste the end in place, and cut. The tail is now wrapped in the same manner, al-though the fringe must point up, as shown in Diagram 7. Starting with the lower portion of the neck, the fringe is wrapped around it, over the head, ending at the tip of the nose. This fringe must point toward the tail. The body is wrapped in the same way with its fringe pointing toward the tail also. There will be some small places that will be bare, and these should be patched. No matter how skillfully you wind, these are unavoidable, but small pieces of fringe can easily be added with a little paste.

The black fold is now cut in the same manner, and fringed. These fringed strips are added with paste to the points which you wish black. The same effect may be had by using black ink on the white crępe, and if this is done, no black crępe paper need be purchased.

Cut a pattern of light-weight cardboard for the ear. Such a pattern is shown in the illustration. Strips of black fringe, or white fringe colored black, are now wrapped around this. Begin at the tip of the ear and wind around so that both sides will show a fringed surface. Paste should be used on each winding. When completed, the ears are pasted firmly in place on the head.

The nose is formed of black crępe, which has been stretched, and then molded into the shape shown in the diagram drawing over a small wad of paper. A coat of shellac is given it as a finish.

The eyes may be made from two circles of crępe paper—a large white one for the iris, and a smaller black one forming the pupil. Two upholstery tacks may also be used, and serve splendidly. A gay little collar adds the finishing touch. One can be purchased from any five-and-ten-cent store, or rolled crępe pa-per makes a good one, as shown in the photograph.

This completes our dog, and all we have to do now is to name him.


The sewing corsage makes an interesting and useful prize, and quite appropriate for any girl's party. It is a bouquet consisting of five small spools of thread of various colors, a spool of darning silk, one of silk twist, two pairs of shoe laces, two brightly colored pincushions, a needle-cushion, a thimble-holder, an emery, and a bit of bright crochet in the form of a leaf to hold safety-pins.

Soft wire covered with green crępe paper is threaded through the spools and allowed to. extend down about three inches to form a stem. Green leaves are cut from the same paper and placed here and there in the corsage.

A small silk bag filled with sand forms the emery, while the pincushions are silk filled with cotton. The thimble-holder, made of softened wax, is molded in the shape of a finger-tip. Each piece is given a wire stem, and all are drawn together and bound with wire. An ordinary lace-paper doily forms the base, while green crępe paper is wrapped around all the stems, making one large stem.

When all is fastened together, arrange each piece attractively, and your corsage is finished.

Home | More Articles | Email: