Sunday, 15 November 2020

Crochet Baubles

One of the things I spent lockdown (the first one...) doing is building up my stock of these crocheted baubles. 

I had bought a big box of red and white baubles in the January sales from Poundstretcher which were perfect for these decorations.

The first stage was to paint the baubles a base colour so the original colour wouldn't show through any gaps in the crochet.

As you know, my Mum is the crochet wizard, not me, so during a doorstep drop off of some groceries to my parents I handed over a box of painted baubles with drawings of extra pieces I needed like ears and scarves. Then a couple of weeks later I picked them up; all crocheted and ready to decorate. Probably in exchange for some bread flour or yeast that I'd managed to get hold of.

Most of my designs were straight up Christmassy - Rudolph, Christmas pudding, Elf etc - but I also tried some other things like these animals. They were all made by cutting out felt pieces which I sewed to the wool.

My favourite design is this BB8. It took a lot longer than the others but I think it looks awesome. I must try making a Yoda next...

Friday, 6 November 2020

3 Ways to Decorate Wood Slice Ornaments

Today I'm sharing three ways to decorate wood slices to make Christmas ornaments.

First up is an old favourite; painting a winter scene. I've made many decorations this way which you can see here. I just search 'winter scene' into Google to find pictures for inspiration and then get to work with acrylic paints.

Next up I went for some word art. I used black ready mixed paint on the background, which allowed the wood grain to show through, and then used a gold Sharpie for the words. Watch the video below to see how I got the writing so neat!

For the third design I made an image transfer using a gel medium and a photo from my wedding. Any excuse to use those photos!

Check out the video below for a detailed how-to of how I made these ornaments.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Custom Order Book Covers

I recently had a request from an Etsy customer to make fabric book covers for her pet's medical records, after she saw the notebooks I have in my shop. This customer had already bought some felt keyrings of her dogs so she wanted the books to match.

 I sent her a photo of all the fabric I thought would be suitable for this project and she picked this blue and white striped fabric with embroidered hearts.

To make the covers I cut out a long rectangle of the patterned fabric, as well as a matching one in plain white which would be the inside. I cut out the animal faces and sewed them to he patterned fabric. The two dogs were based on existing patterns I had, just with a few colour changes, but the cat I had to design from scratch. 

With back sides of the two pieces of fabric facing I sewed along the top and the bottom and one of the sides. I turned them right side out and inserted two pieces of card to give the cover some sturdiness. I then sewed up the remaining open side

I made the fabric pieces extra long so that I could fold in the sides, and sew in place, to create pockets for the covers of the medical records to slide in to.  

Making these covers involved a bit of trial and error but the customer was so pleased with them and said the records fit perfectly.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Miniature Food Made of Salt Dough

Do you remember when I made a tiny table full of miniature salt dough food? That was 9 years ago!

So I thought it was about time to give it another go and see what other food I could create (and see if my skills have got any better).

I decided to focus on pastries and made croissants, pain au raison, cinnamon swirls and Danish pastries.
Check out the video at the bottom of this post for the how to!

After baking the salt dough I painted the pastries with acrylic paint and used PVA glue to give them a shine.

I also made a little wooden tray out of lollipop sticks because presentation is everything. This is a tiny brunch I'd like to go to!

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Handmade Baskets

Today I'm sharing how I made baskets out of newspaper. Legit baskets! Out of paper!
I'd seen this project a long time ago on Pinterest and lockdown finally gave me the opportunity to try it out.

I looked at a few different tutorials and I suggest you do the same if you want expert advice! This is the tutorial that I followed. It's just pictures so there were some bits I had to figured out for myself.

I started by ripping sheets of newspaper in half along the long side, and then rolling them at an angle into long tubes, secured with a bit of Pritt stick at the ends. One end will be wider than the other and that's meant to happen and will be useful later.

Once you have a bunch of tubes you need to sandwich them between two pieces of cardboard with a lot of PVA glue, which will be the base of the basket. You need an odd number of tubes +1 around the edge so the weaving works. I learnt this by having an even number in my first attempt which messed up my over/unders. The +1 is the tube you start off weaving with.

Once the glue is dry fold the tubes up and secure them to a box with pegs. It helps to choose your box first and then cut the cardboard bases to fit it.

Then get your weave on, starting with the extra tube you stuck in the base. When the tube you're weaving with gets too short, stick the thin end of a new tube into the end of the first tube.

When you've reached your desired height, fold and tuck the ends of the tubes in a way that I can't explain but you might be able to see in the picture. Now would be a good time to check those other tutorials online.

Then there's some more folding and tucking to finish the top.

I then painted my baskets white with house hold emulsion, but most paints will do; acrylic, pre-mixed bottle paint etc.

I decorated one of my baskets by painting a gradient/ombre effect using turquoise paint mixed with different amounts of white.

For the other basket I managed to sew a lining which fits inside.

And that's it! I now consider myself a basketeer!

I can't wait to make more in all different shapes and sizes. I never need to buy a basket again! 

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Bunny Dolls

I'm definitely spending more time on Pinterest at the moment. One thing I keep seeing is cute, and often quite stylish, animal dolls. So I had a go at making my own.

This is the first one I made. A little bunny in a knitted jumper and jeans.
I found some cotton fabric that looks just like patterned denim, which is perfect to use as it looks like jeans but isn't as thick as real denim so it easier to work with.

I made the jumper by knitting four squares; one for the front of the jumper, one for the back, and one each for the arms. I sewed them together directly on the doll. I only had two balls of wool at home; black and sparkly pink. It wasn't hard to decide which one to use!

My second bunny is wearing dungarees and boots. Putting this one together was a bit more complicated than my first one.

I used more of the denim-looking fabric to make the dungarees. The waist band was a later addition to cover up the tricky time I had connecting the trousers to the top!

Both bunnies have black boots made out of this leather-looking fabric. I really like having a mix of textures to replicate real life clothing, rather than making it all out of cotton.

A trick I got from one of the examples on Pinterest is to use lace as a layer on the ears for added texture, which I did for both of my bunnies. One of this bunny's ears got a little wonky during the sewing machine stage, but I think it just adds character.
I also made a headband from ribbon and felt and a flower embellishment. Cute!

I'm loving having time to try out new things and make things just for fun.
What other animal dolls should I make?

Monday, 15 June 2020

DIY Fabric Baskets

In another attempt to use some of my fabric stash I made these fabric storage baskets. Who can resist a storage basket!

I didn't take many photos of the process as the tutorial I followed does a much better job at showing how to do it. I used this tutorial by Fabric Mutt as a guide for making my baskets.

I altered the size of my baskets and did something different with the tops, but that tutorial is a great starting point. I also added a piece of card to the base of the basket, underneath the lining, so keep it square and add some strength.

I also tried out different things for the handles. For this one I made a strip of fabric and sewed the ends to the baskets with two buttons.

Shout out to my sister for this awesome unicorn fabric!
This fabric is a bit thinner than the navy florals so I added some interfacing behind it for some added support.

Now that I know how to make these baskets I'd love to go bigger and make a whole range of baskets.

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