this blog is essentially an online diary of my little creative projects - if you can't fix it, throw some glitter over it and add a lacy edge and everything will be alright.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

pom pom cheat tutorial and pom pom bugs (bee, ladybird and caterpillar)

everyone knows how to make pom poms - you wrap wool around a ring for aaaaages and then cut around the edge, tie, and neaten up. i'm just not quite patient enough for that, also i work with small children who's attention spans might not be big enough for that just yet. so! i've made up a pom pom cheat, and it goes like so:

first up, wrap wool around your fingers:

then once there's a fair bit of wool on there, stop, and tie loosely in the middle :

next, slip the lot off your hand and pull your knot tight, and then double/triple knot it in place:

now you just treat it like you would a normal pom pom - cut around the edge and then even it out with scissors:



of course, once you have your pom pom, then you have to decide what to do with it. i opted for bugs (planning stuff for my next group of home-school kids), which turned out to be super easy! just glue googly eyes to something furry and it looks like a cute animal thing : ) add more pom poms, felt etc to be more specific in terms of animal...


Friday, 26 April 2013

comic book crafts: key rings and hair bobbles

it's superhero saturday! this saturday! and if you find yourself in aberdeen's town centre then you can drop by hobbycraft and get your face painted/your costume judged/get a photo taken in our awesome superhero photo area/make superhero crafty things! also, there'll be some very cool and/or yummy things made by the staff which you can pick up for a small donation to together for short lives. i made hair bobbles and key rings:

we sell key ring blanks at work for £2.99 (pack of 12) in the kids area, so i spent this morning going through some cheap comics (3 for £1 in the forbidden planet sale bin) and cutting out the good pics of super folks and putting two and two together. for the hair bobbles you make yoyos, glue gun those to hairbands, cover a button in an image from a comic and glue gun that to your yoyo. alternatively you can pop down and give something in the region of a pond to charity and pick one up ready made : )

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

superhero saturday at hobbycraft aberdeen! also, fashion week...

there's a lot happening this saturday - it's superhero saturday at work which means it's all go on the fancy dress/face paints/charity crafts/raffle front : D and on top off all that it's fashion week. union square (the shopping centre my branch is attached to) has given us a glass box in the centre to display some of our stuff in for the event, and i was the one chosen to make the stuff! woo hoo! the only problem is that i had to somehow combine the two....this is what i came up with:

it's a pretty simple set made from neon and black polymer clays, ribbon, cord, and findings. i'm pretty chuffed with them. the only think i will say against polymer clay is that if you roll this stuff too thin it will be super frail once it's baked! so thicker is better (i learnt this the hard way....there were twice as many lightning bolts to begin with). 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

homemade bow ties!

a couple of days ago, to my horror, i realised that i had never tied a proper bow tie before! for shame!! so i set about making a couple (i needed a bow tie to practice with). there are some really good free patterns online, i used this one from angela osborn, it's got loads of instructions which are really clear. here's how mine turned out:

and here's how my first tying attempt went:

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

the flash! applique top

we're having a superhero saturday at work this weekend! (the aberdeen branch of hobbycraft) we're raising money for together for short lives with face paints and selling crafts and whatnot. i was going to be wonderwoman, but then i realised that hot-pants might not be work appropriate! so i sewed felt shapes to my red top (previously meant for wonderwoman) a la the flash:

i just drew around a saucer onto white felt for the round, and then drew a lightning bolt free-hand onto yellow, then back-stitched them both with embroidery thread onto the top. super easy! the top cost £2ish from primark, and the felt (on 3for2 at work at the mo) is 50p a sheet. so my top cost like £3 in total : ) win!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

petal headband step-by-step : )

look what a boss at work gave me!!!:

it's all the fake flower heads which have fallen off their stems since the last time that area of the shop was tidied properly. naturally i cut them up and made them into hair things. it's a pretty simple process: get some hair bands:

then pick some flowers you like the look of and chop off their petals:

then start glue gunning them to the band (make sure you know where you're ears will be in relation to the band so you know where to start and finish your petals):

then, just keep layering up until you're happy : )

i'll be listing a couple of these on my etsy shop sooooon! 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

lady grey tea cookies

a while back i was in need of cheering up, when i spotted a recipe for earl grey tea cookies on pinterest, they turned out to be from the website of martha stewart but that's ok! i made them anyway, and i made them replacing earl grey with lady grey and making them mini cookies. the were so crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth, and could be a sweet or a savory depending on what you fancied having with it. they're a bit odd in that you feel like you're eating a cup of tea, but that totally does it for me : ) here they are:
....i say i was in need of cheering up, but it wasn't just the cookies that were were making me happy, it was the discovery of the pinterest challenge on the blog of sew scrumptious and the knowledge that this totally counts as an entry! woohoo! 

PinAddicts Challenge

childish fascinator headbands: fox, bee, mouse and octopus

i got it into my head that i was going to make millions selling these silly things on etsy...but then ended up wearing them myself! so i guess they're not for sale:

they're really quite simple to make - wrap two embroidery threads around a thin band to get the stripe, securing with a little pva glue at the ends, then glue gun/sew netting to that, then pop a creature or anything else on top! the mouse and the bee are needle felted with seed beads for eyes:

the fox is made from sheet felt, glued together with buttons for eyes:

and the crochet octopus, well he had his own post a while back, but i trod on the head band and it snapped, hence the reincarnation here.

sorry there's no step-by-step with these, i made them aaaaages ago, and only just realised that i hadn't blogged about them yet : )

Monday, 8 April 2013

super easy diy tassel tutorial and neon tassel necklace

i've been eying up tassel necklaces on pinterest so decided to make some of my own. there are LOTS of tassel making tutorials online, each one very similar to the next, mine's only a little bit different to the others, but i like it as it leaves you with a tassel that has a wider 'head' bit than some of the others.

you will need: embroidery thread and scissors, i have found that one skein of embroidery thread makes about one and a half of these 1 and 3/4 inch tassels.

first up, take your thread and wrap it around your index, middle and ring finders like so:

until it's about that thick. then pinch this group of threads together at the top (of your index finger) and slide/inch it off your hand, so that you're left with this:

now, take some more of your thread and tie it about half an inch or so down from where you're pinching it, around the whole thing so that it looks like this:

make sure you tie that knot tight! lastly you need to cut that bottom loop open and trim it until the bottom edge is even. hopefully you should now have a tassel! woohoo!

and now that you have a tassel, you can make cool stuff with it like this:

to make this neon tassel necklace i made three tassels; one yellow, one green and yellow, and one green. made two braids, you know, the ones you do in each others hair when you're a kid, where you make a thin plat and then wrap embroidery threads around it? yep, two of those (only with cord instead of hair running through them), add beads and findings and ta dah! a necklace : )

Saturday, 6 April 2013

ribbon feather tutorial and headdress

there's a sale on ribbons t work at the mo, like half of them have gone down to 50p or even 25p per metre. naturally i bought loads! but then i was stuck with what to do with them...that's when i saw a post on feather crafts on pinterest which lead to a blog featuring handmade feathers made from washi tape. i just took the idea and made them using ribbon instead to make these:

to make one feather you will need: a tooth pick, ribbon twice the length of the tooth pick, wet glue (pva or similar), something to apply the glue with and scissors. note!: i found that satin ribbons or satin-like ribbons worked best as they don't just soak up all the glue like cotton-type ones.

ok! start with two bits of ribbon, each the length of your tooth pick, and get your glue and applicator (in my case a brush) ready:

then, spread the glue on one of your bits of ribbon, lay the cocktail stick on top so that it sticks out the bottom by half an inch or so:

put a little glue on top of the stick as well and then place the other bit of ribbon on top - pick it up and make sure everything is stuck together nicely:

wait a bit for the glue to dry, then cut the ribbon to make it look like a sort of long leaf shape:

last up; make small cuts into the sides of your feather at an angle, to make it look more like a feather and less like a long leaf:

yay! you're done! now of course you're left with a feather that you may not have an immediate use for...i made a load more of them and turned them into this cool headdress:

just add strong glue (i used my glue gun), thick ribbon (in my case grosgrain) which is long enough to tie around your head with a fair amount left over for a generous bow at the back, and then some. using the glue, stick your feathers to your ribbon, stick a bit more of the ribbon on top of this (so you don't have bits of cocktail sticks poking you in the forehead) and embellish with whatever you fancy - i used some fabric covered buttons. : )

Friday, 5 April 2013

boxy toiletry bag

i spied a few of these making the rounds of the craft blogs and thought i'd have a go at making one of my own. but rather than making it too small to fit anything i made it big enough to fit all the essentials. the finished bag measures 6" long by 3" tall by 3.5" wide. and looks something like this:

it's super simple and took less than an hour to make whilst watching tv. you'll need: 2 pieces of 10" by 15" fabric (one for the outer and one for the lining, you could just have one piece and not line it though), a zip, i used a 12 inch zip as i like having the excess, a 10" or 11" would also do, 2 buttons, a needle and thread/sewing machine and scissors.

fist off, cut out your fabric, press the 10" edges by about half an inch and top stitch these to the zip, backs facing. i hand stitched this bit as my sewing machine isn't liking zips right now, i did a long back-stitch in the same colour as the zip:

once you've sew both the outer and the lining on either side of the zip you then go on to sew your two remaining open sides; make sure your zip is in the middle when you do this bit and again, leave about half and inch for the seam, it should end up looking something like this:

to finish up you take the two corners from one end, make them meet in the middle at the zip and sew a button on top to hide the edges (check out the first photo to get an idea of what i mean here). do this on the other side two and that's it! you now should have a bag like mine : )


Thursday, 4 April 2013

felt chicken egg cosy

i'd been trying to come up with easter presents that aren't made of chocolate, and yes, an egg cosy may be a bit twee, but it felt appropriate. it was very quick and easy to make - simply pick the colour of felt you want your chicken to be made from, sketch a vaguely chicken shaped thing on it (doing so around an existing egg cosy so that it's not too small. cut out two of these and sew together with  embroidery thread. rather than using back-stitch, i used running stitch around the edge and went back on myself once i'd gone all the way around - that way both sides have a nice outline. the wing is back-stitched and the eye is a french knot. it's awfully simple, but i think it's very cute!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

little 'jelly roll' patchwork pillow

i friend at work is the go-to lady on anything patchwork related. it was she who explained to me the wonder that it the jelly roll. i didn't get at first why anyone would want to buy such thin strips of fabric, but then she explained - you sew them together, then cut up what you've sewn, often perpendicular to to the stitching, and then stitch it together again. really easy way to make chessboard-type patchworks! and that is precisely what i had in mind for my little spare pillow...only i forgot that all that cutting would require me to take into account seam allowance, which of course i forgot about. so it's a stripy pillow rather than a checked pillow, but it's still quite cute so i'm happy:

i didn't actually use jelly rolls, i just cut girly fabrics i already had into strips so i could have a bit of a play, and yeh, it worked out well enough (if you pretend that stripes was what i was going for) so i might have to have another shot at this, using the real thing, and not being scrimpy with my seams.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

patchwork quilt continued...

last august i started a patchwork quilt which, believe it or not, i am still working on. as i decided that i didn't want to buy any of the fabric for the quilt, and thus only use leftovers from other projects, it's taking longer than i originally thought it might. though as it requires 361 11cm squares, i guess i'm doing ok to only be this far:

sorry for the blurriness of the photo- it's almost the length of a double duvet now so to get it all in the photo i had to sit on my boyfriend's shoulders...despite this i still managed to cut a row of patches off the top there. it still needs to be a bit wider and slightly over twice the height, but i'm confident that i can get it finished before i leave uni in july. wish me luck!

Monday, 1 April 2013

butterfly headbands and flower hairbands

work was raising money for together for short lives at the weekend, so i made some hair things to sell to help raise funds : ) which was far easier and less scary than the face painting i ended up doing....all the children seemed to be happy with their butterfly face paints so i guess it went well, they just don't know how to keep still!!!! anyway, here are the butterfly headbands:

i was rushing slightly as they were made just before my shift - i had already wrapped embroidery threads around blank hair bands for another project that never finished, so all i had to do was cut out butterfly shapes from felt in different colours, and then cut the detailing out of black self-adhesive felt. which just leaves sticking one to the other and glue gunning the lot to the headband. for something so simple they ended up looking better than i had hoped! the flower hairbands were of the japanese-hair-flower variety, which turned out like this:

i'm pretty chuffed with these - they sold out! ...i may have bought the last one, but that still totally counts! : )