Blog makeover and Thrifty Tuesday

Howdy! If you’re reading this, you are seeing my brand new blog theme!  I love the subtle handmade look — the notched ends of the pages bar reminds me of ribbon and the dividing lines on the sidebar are perfect pinked edges! I also added a new header combining my love for craft, photography, and writing.  Yes, that’s my handwriting (hehe) and it is an excerpt from my favourite poem, “The Walrus and The Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll.

What do you think of the new look?

T1Today is Thrifty Tuesday. Which simply means I’ll be showing you my weekly haul from local charity and thrift stores.  I scooped the vintage thread spools, wooden buttons, and ribbon rosettes all for 50p.  Absolute bargain and great craft room decor!

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This is my absolute favourite find of the week — old postcards. From all over the world.  At 10p each I grabbed 19 of those with the most interesting  photos, handwriting, and subject matter.  The oldest is dated 1939.  With a few strips of washi tape I created a collage out  of some of the nicest ones above my mantle. Each time I glance at them I get a wonderful sense of nostalgia and feel a bit privileged to have a sneak peak into the personal correspondence of people I’ll never meet.

PC3I also love trying to decipher the handwriting.  My former job as an archivist comes in handy for this — I used to spend hours poring over historical documents and updating databases!  This one was easy to read:

Thank you so much for the photo, we think it splendid Mr. Wright is a very good amateur; you are on the mantlepiece of our new dining room…

Lovely.

canAnd my final thrifty item is actually something I made rather than bought.  A soup tin, some patterned tissue paper, and a few dabs of watered down pva glue created this sweet little holder for my crochet hooks (or pencils, or scissors, or paintbrushes…). It was simple, took 5 minutes to make and cost me nothing at all.  My kind of crafting!

Have you scooped any thrifty finds lately? Send me a link below!

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How to Make a Fabulous Fabric Flower Clip – Tutorial

Recently I’ve been collecting fabric like a mad woman.  Remnants, and trimmings, and offcuts, oh my!  All the lovely colours and patterns have inspired me to create loads of cute projects and this fabric flower clip is one of my favourites!

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This tutorial includes an extra special touch as it uses embellishments from a broken necklace I found in the bottom of my jewellery drawer.  If you’re like me, you’ll have the odd earring whose match has gone missing or a necklace with a broken clasp.  Time to UPCYCLE!

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I grabbed a gem from this necklace (hence the gap between the bird and the bead) and used it as the centre for my flower.

Here is how you can make your own fabulous flower!

You will need:

  • gem or bead from an old/broken piece of jewellery
  • fabric of your choice
  • sewing machine and thread (or needle and thread)
  • elastic thread for bobbin (if using a sewing machine)
  • hot glue gun
  • alligator clip

How to make your clip:

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1. Cut a strip of fabric 2 inches wide by 9 inches long.

2. Using your sewing machine with elastic in the bobbin, sew all the way down about 1/4 inch in from one edge. This makes the fabric ruffle nicely.  If you don’t have a sewing machine, simply sew a wide running stitch all the way down one edge.

3. Grab the loose end of elastic (or thread if hand stitching) and pull gently to create the ruffle and bring the two ends of the flower together.

4. Stitch the two ends together

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5. Grab your lovely jewel/gem/bead

6. Place a dab of hot glue on the back

7. Attach jewel to the centre of your fabric flower (I pulled a few of the loose threads from around the flower to create a frayed look)

8. Place a generous dab of hot glue along the length of your alligator clip and attach to the back of the flower

All done!

Now you are ready to clip your flower to anything your heart desires! The possibilities are endless:

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Hair clip

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Headband (simply clip onto a plain headband)

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Handbag clip (my personal fave!)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial — if you make a clip please come back and share a link so that I can see your gorgeous creation!

 

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How to make a Summer Bunting – Tutorial

Today was a glorious, sunshine-y day.  I sat at my dining (aka craft) table in front of the sliding glass doors that lead out into my garden. With the smells of cut grass and BBQ floating in on the breeze, I was inspired to make something quintessentially summer — a lovely, bright bunting.  Perfect for dressing up the mantle or for quick and easy garden party decor, I absolutely love how versatile they are!

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Now, I have to admit that this is my very first sewing tutorial and I am an absolute beginner — I took tons of photos to try to show every step and I am sure there are probably faster/easier/better ways to make a bunting but this is my own little home-made version and I quite like it. 🙂

You will need:

  • Four 8x8in squares of fabric each in a different colour/pattern
  • A ball of jute twine
  • A safety pin
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sewing machine, thread
  • Iron

To make the bunting:

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1. Lay your first square of fabric out and fold in half with wrong sides together.

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2. Fold over into quarters and turn the square around so that the fat folded edge faces you.

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3. Cut a simple triangle shape from the cardstock. Mine measured 4 in across the top and 4 1/2 in along the sides. This is your bunting template.

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4. Place the top edge of the template against the folded edge of your fabric and cut out.

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5. Remove the template and open out the fabric. You will have 2 diamond shapes.  Fold these in half with wrong sides together. Now you have two double sided bunting flags!

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6. Repeat steps 1-5 with the remaining squares of fabric and give your bunting flags a good press with an iron.

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7. Pop a flag into your sewing machine and sew a zigzag stitch down the long sides (not across the top, that comes next). Repeat with all flags.

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8. Now stitch a straight stitch across the top of each flag, leaving space between the top of the flag and the stitching — approx. 1/2in.  This will allow you to thread the jute twine through each flag.

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9. Grab your safety pin and hook into one end of your ball of twine.  Thread the twine through the top of each flag, spacing them out neatly.

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10.  Continue to thread all of your flags onto the twine.  Leaving about 12in on either side, cut twine and tie two loops at each end.

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Hang and enjoy!

Note: I did not bother to secure the flags to the twine — they can slide along freely. However, the rough edges of the twine help to keep the flags in place and they don’t easily move around.  If you plan to use this bunting outdoors or in a way that it is likely to be touched, you can always stitch or hot glue each flag in place.  I was just too lazy to complete this step and couldn’t wait to display my newest creation! 😉

Please do let me know if this tutorial is helpful to you or if there are any adjustments/suggestions.

Thanks for reading!

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2 minute hairclip – Tutorial

My girls go through loads of hairclips, headbands, bows, etc.  Most often I will send Emilie off to school with some beautiful adornment only for her to return home with it broken in 3 places or simply gone altogether.

I needed a fast, cheap, hair-holding solution.

I came up with this:

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Things you need:

  • snap clip
  • half a pipe cleaner
  • button
  • hot glue gun

This sweet little clip literally takes about 2 minutes to make — a seasoned crafter might even be able to get one done in under a minute!

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Here’s how to do it:

1. Curl your pipe cleaner half up into a neat little circle, tucking the sharp end underneath

2. Apply a dab of hot glue to the end of your snap clip

3. Attach your pipe cleaner circle to the snap clip

4. Add another dab of hot glue to the centre of the circle and apply your button — all done!

5. Stand back and admire your work. 🙂

My girls love these clips and I don’t have to worry if they lose them — I can whip up a new set in no time at all!

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This is a basic clip.  You could always dress it up by using coloured snap clips, covering the clip with felt, adding a sparkly button, or even using metallic pipe cleaners for a different effect.

Let your imagination loose!

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Yarn-bombed fabric holder

The Easter holidays were manic to say the least. Carting the kiddies around to visit swimming pools, parks, soft play, and a museum with a T-Rex so lifelike that I had to physically carry a petrified Emilie away from it.

I barely got a moment to myself.  Until yesterday.

The sun came out! After weeks of endless rain, hail and snow flurries, the first signs of spring were here! I flung open the door to the garden and let the kids make mud pies while I caught up on some crafting.

I had in my possession a rather dull “basket” that I found in the clearance section of T.K Maxx (T.J Maxx in the US) for £3. It was actually some sort of giant outdoor candle holder but I decided it would make a great holder for my growing fabric stash.

But it was ugly.

So I yarn-bombed it…

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I love the idea of yarn-bombing. In my town I’ve come across yarn-bombed trees, park benches, and most recently a yarn-bombed roundabout.  Lovely, fuzzy “graffiti”.  It makes me smile.

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I crocheted around the spokes using the technique in this video.  It was a bit fiddly trying to crochet in such a tight space, but I like the way it turned out.  Still a bit ugly but alot less dull!

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And my fabric fits snuggly inside! 🙂