Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Crafty Creatives Box 5

Hurrah it's that time again when the Crafty Creatives box arrives on our doorsteps (or rather in my case at the local sorting office!). This month I've tried to get stuck in straight away to show you my makes from the box rather than just talking about the contents. I hope you find some of these ideas useful!

cratypainter: Crafty Creatives art card
Here's a quick breakdown of the Nostalgic theme box contents (the art card this month has a beautiful illustration by Jo Askey):
  • The kit: a crochet mouse
  • Printed fabric
  • 1.5m festive ribbon
  • Vintage style Alice in Wonderland postcard
  • Jingle bells
  • 3 carousel pendants
  • Mini tea cup and saucer
  • 2 card layers
  • 2 wreath rings
  • Wooden girl and bunny
  • Edging scissors
  • Bunch of cinnamon sticks
  • Sheet of Christmas scraps
First up I got started on the mini wreath rings, using just thin strips of fabric about an inch wide I got wrapping, once I had wrapped all the way around I tied some ribbon tightly to hold in place, adding the carousel charms and finishing off with a bow. 

craftypainter: mini Christmas wreaths
Next I used some of the Christmas ribbon to make these festive gift tags. The strips are glued onto ready-made plain tags using the wonderful Fabri-tac glue from Box 1 (actually I'm on my third bottle already). Once dry the ends are snipped off and the glue prevents any fraying.

craftypainter: Christmas gift tags


I glued the cup and saucer together to make a cute little charm (I just need to get my hands on a simple silver bracelet to attach it to).

craftypainter: tea cup charm

And then I got started on the crochet mouse, perfect activity for my day off when I needed some distracting. My first attempt was a bit of a disaster, I think the instructions were written in US terms and I've only used British but once converted it was really straight forward, here he is with the Candy cat. 

craftypainter: Craty Creatives kit - crochet mouse
Finally, I strung the little jingle bells onto some 3mm ribbon to make a jingly festive garland. I glued the end of the ribbon first and rolled it to make it pointy so that I could thread the bells on. Once finished I snipped of the glued end and knotted it to stop the bells coming off. I distanced them equally along the length (about 3m) and the ribbon is just think enough that the bells stay in place without any knots.

craftypainter: bell garland

Of course I haven't used everything yet but I do have some plans... the cinnamon sticks will be made in to decorations with slices of dried orange and ribbon, and the beautiful wooden girl and bunny will become tree decorations and I think the printed fabric will look great as part of a quilt.
craftypainter: Crafty Creative Box 5
I'd love to hear your ideas for any of the items or let me know what you have made with the things in your box.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

DIY Upcycled Coasters

I've wanted to do a proper craft DIY for ages and have one in the pipeline for a rug made from recycled t-shirts (it's taking months to make though so no DIY post just yet!)

craftypainter: Up-cycled coasters
This one uses the same technique as the t-shirt rug but takes a fraction on the time, although we are still talking a few hours for a full set of coasters.

You will need old cotton shirts or something similar (I used pijama bottoms!)
Scissors
Tape measure
Needle and thread
Safety pin
Lots of pins
Sewing machine

Start by cutting the material in to strips approximately 3cm wide. Take three strips of different lengths and join them together at one end with a few tacking stitches, these don't have to be perfect as they wont show later on.
craftypainter: DIY upcycled coasters
Begin braiding the three strips and once you reach an end it's time to join the next strip, by using different lengths at the start you can stagger the joins, otherwise you may end up with a bulky section.  Joining the strips is super easy but tricky to explain. Here goes....

Cut a small slit in to the ends of the strips to be joined. I'll call them A and B (where B is the new strip that need to be added). Thread the cut end of strip B through the slit in A, then bring the tale of B through the slit in B and pull all the way through. Gently work both strips until they are neatly secured together.

craftypainter: DIY upcycled coasters

Carry on braiding (and adding new strips when needed) until you have approximately 120cm of braid with a couple of centimetres spare. Secure the end of the braid with the safety pin for now.

On a flat surface begin to coil the braid around making sure to tuck the starting end underneith. Use plenty of pins to hold everything in place and stop with about 10cm of braid to coil.

craftypainter: DIY upcycled coasters
Carefully un-do the last section of braid and taking one of the ends, flaten out the material and pin in on the bottom. With the remaining two strips twist them together and pin into place to finish off the coil.
craftypainter: DIY upcycled coasters
For the back of the coaster, cut a circle of fabric with 0.5cm allowance. Cut small slits 2cm apart all the way around the edge. Pin the slited circle to the back of the coaster tucking in the edges all the way round.

craftypainter: DIY upcycled coasters
Using a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine stitch from the centre in a spiral along the edges of the braid in order to join them together. I find this bit really tricky as it can be hard to see where to stitch, just take it slowly especially at the start.
craftypainter: DIY upcycled coasters
Finally add a straight stitch around the edge of the backing fabric to neaten it off! Then just make a few more and give them away as house-warming or Christmas presents (or keep them for yourself!)

I hope all of that makes sense but if there are any questions please let me know.

Now pop on over to Handmade Monday and check out the other lovely blogs!!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Autumn in a nut shell

I haven't been very good recently at keeping up with all of the blog posts that I want to write. I've been so busy spending my evenings crafting that I have struggled to keep up to date on blogging and some posts have fallen by the way side. So instead of stressing about it I've decided to write one post to round up everything I've missed and then I can move on. It also means I'll be able to share some of things that would never have made it in to a blog post of their very own. I'm not a huge fan of really long wordy blog posts so I'll try and keep it succinct but we are going all the way back to September!!!

SEPTEMBER

Autumn treasures from around the garden.

craftypainter:Autumn Garden
In September I opened my Etsy shop and in October I made my first sales of gift tags and Christmas decorations.  It's really exciting to think that people are prepared to pay real money for the things I make and means I can buy more ribbon and fabric!!
craftypainter: craftypainterShop on Etsy
I also made these up-cycled coasters made from old shirts cut in to strips and braided, and I have a tutorial that I WILL finish writing soon so you can make some too...
craftypainter: Up-cycled coasters
At the end of September, The Mike and I went to stay for a few days with his parents.  On our first day by the sea, we cycled down to the beach and I came home with a bag full of treasure!!  I just love the bright orange shells although I haven't decided what to do with them. Perhaps another driftwood mobile?

 craftypainer: beach treasure
I had a 10km race coming up and had done no training so I needed to do some cramming. I ran to the beach every morning before breakfast, it was chilly but beautiful!
craftypainter: Hill Head beach

OCTOBER

While trawling the Internet to try and find new ways of using some of my button stash I came across an idea for making a button garland.  For this one I was trying to use up some of my plainer coloured buttons, the garland is made with crochet chain stitch and every few stitches a button is worked in to the chain. I have a tutorial for this coming soon too!!!

I also worked out a way to use up all my tiny felt scraps by stitching them together to make pretty felt brooches.
craftypainter: October makes

At the start of half term I went to IKEA with my friend Ro, I was looking for inspiration for sorting out my craft supplies but only came home with a few bits and pieces (I was very restrained). However, I did spot this idea for decorating a lamp shade with strips of fabric, great for using up scraps!

craftypainter: Ikea scrappy lamp

At the end of half-term I went for a beach day to Wells in Norfolk with my mum and her dog, Zebedee. Half-term beach trips are a bit of a tradition although it's been a couple of years since we last made it. It was freezing and I didn't wear enough clothes but it was a beautiful day and despite the chill the beach was packed and there was an amazing atmosphere.

craftypainter: Wells beach and woods
I didn't bring home too many many treasures this time, but there were one of two special finds. The spikey sea urchin, and whelk shell that is broken down the middle were my favourite finds. Although the sea urchin is now in the garden because it smells.

So that's it, September and October all wrapped up (although I seem to have left myself with two more posts to write!)

Happy autumn everyone! (Or is it Winter now?)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Crafting with Katie

craftypainter: Bunting

My friend Katie is getting married next year and her preparations are well underway. As part of her wedding theme Katie wanted to make some bunting and asked me to give her a hand. Last Thursday we managed to get ourselves organised for some after work crafting.

Katie had a lovely bundle of Cath Kidston fat quarters and we decided to choose three patterns for the bunting with two different sizes of flags.

craftypainter: Cath Kidston fabric for bunting
There was minor craft fail when I accidentally screwed up our paper templates and threw them away: it was only on my second search through the bin that I found them. We flattened them out and got cutting, pinning and stitching our triangles of fabric together. Katie hadn't used a sewing machine since school but did a brilliant job of stitching along the lines and we ended up with lots of beautiful flags.
craftypainter: bunting flags

The trickiest bit by far was pinning the flags into position along the bias tape, the flags wouldn't stay in place while we pinned!!
craftypainter: bunting
After about 3 hours, a few pinning injuries and plenty of Pringles & dip the beautiful wedding bunting was finished!!  
craftypainter: Bunting in Cath Kidston prints
What craft projects have got up to recently? If you've been blogging about them share your links!!

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