Ok, I don't know about the rest of you but I find it very difficult to craft for my brother. I refuse to make useless stuff or dust collectors and the mere fact that he's 19 just adds to the difficulty.
So after an unhealthy dose of brain storming I came up with these ideas: sheet set ( he has a king size bed and no linen so he and his poor girlfriend sleep on the bare mattress - eeeewwww) - I found a brand new set still in packaging in the local op shop for $22, woot! bedspread/blanket - so not going to pay $100+ for store-bought photo frames - once again, I'm not paying $20 + each for those funky leather covered ones I had my eye on pinata - what guy doesn't like brutally beating a paper mache idol on Christmas?
So here is the bedspread (my bed is modelling and is only a queen) it should throw nicely over the bed
black cotton, grey textured knit and backed with gunmetal grey polar fleece. Black satin ribbon detail at the top and bottom. Fleece and cotton $15, webbing $4.50, all other materials on hand.
Bottom and back detail
The frames before - random plain wood from the op shop
I'm really pleased with the outcomes, they are what I envisioned even if I had trouble getting them that way!
The frames have fake leather glued on then stapled to the back and inside frame perimeter. The leather was then coloured with black acrylic paint, tacks added for detail and ribbon glued to the inside frame perimeter to cover the staples. Backs painted with a few coats of black acrylic and the front given a final buff with beeswax furniture polish. Frames $4 total, all other materials on hand.
I will update when the pinata is finished. And I'm thinking of whippinf up some matching pillow cases too.
Things I learnt: Attaching stretchy polar fleece to cotton is difficult at the best of time but on this scale, it totally sucks! I ironed on webbing to the back of the fleece and still had a little trouble attaching. When colouring leather with paint don't use paper towel as it leaves fluffy bits behind. When hammering tacks into wood, don't do it on the dining table cause you leave indents in the wood
Ok, so I figured I should make some new pillow cases to go with the bedspread so the whole lot matches. Front
Tie used to keep the case closed cause I hate it when my pillows escape and I didn't have enough fabric to make super deep folds
All remnants of the same fabrics, I didn't have enought black so I had to add grey to the front but I rather like it that way.
Comments welcome, I hope this inspires other crafters with difficult brothers .
Hi all, here is my contribution to the advent calendar madness...
I wanted something fun, colourful, not based around traditional Christmas fabrics and that folds away to nothing as I have very little storage space. This is what I came up with:
Each tag is a pocket that will hold a gift/chocolate. I used green tie-dyed panne velvet for the background (I sooo love this fabric, I have a bunch of it but am still reluctant to use it cause then it will be all gone ), each tag is on a felt back with a variety of fabrics for the tag itself - red and green chillis on a black background, red flower, red tie-dyed, green stripe, black satin asian-print and a special swatch of purple embroidered fabric for Christmas Eve. Ribbon is glued over each tag to make the squares look like gifts and the rounds look like baubles. The numbers are hand-written with fabric paint straight from the squeezy bottles. It is backed with plain white cotton and hung with a green bamboo garden stake and purple ribbon with little bells.
In all the only thing I had to buy for this was the green and red cotton fabrics and chillis, and I still have plenty left over for the stockings I need to make (coming soon...) It has no batting inside (it really is heavy enough to not need it) so it folds nearly flat, especially since the stake comes out and can go back in the garden. It's 64cm (25") x 71cm (28").
I made this a few years ago and am still really proud of it. My husband has oodles of Magic the Gathering playing cards that he collected before discovering World of Warcraft and abandoning everything else...
This is a folder cover for a large a4 folder that holds his cards. I actually made two, one in colour and one in black outline I gave him the outline one as a gift then showed him the 'reject' which he actually preferred! Unfortunately I can't seem to get the other one to photograph and still show the detail, I'll keep trying though.
I picked up a cheap plain brown fake leather and aged it with thin black acrylic paint, the details are done in acrylics also. It has held up really well over the years even without a clear coat. I drew a large copy of a Magic card and transferred the image onto the leather using tracing paper
What do you think? Eve
Ok, here's my hi-tech Paint tute
This is just a slip cover so you have the front made from faux leather and two 'pockets' (one either end) made from another fabric that the folder slips into.
# Lay down your open folder on the wrong side of your leather fabric and trace around the outside. # Mark on the leather where your inner fabric pockets will need to finish - about 1 cm from the fold on the right side and about 1 cm from the rings on the left side (obviously if your rings are mounted in the middle, both side pockets will be the same) Leave a seam allowance and trim to size. # For your inner fabric you want something light but sturdy, I used a light denim. Lay the left side (front cover) of the open folder on the fabric and trace your measurement for the left side only, leave a seam for all edges. # Repeat for the other side ( this side will use less fabric if your folder has the rings mounted on it) # Hem the inner fabric on the open edge for both pieces # With right sides facing, pin the inner fabric peices to the cover and sew together about 3mm outside the marked line where you traced the folder # Trim seams and turn right way out # Pop it on your folder and check that it fits and is just a little roomy. Remove # Right side out, sew a seam about 2mm in from the edge all the way around. Not super necessary but it helps to keep the shape and looks nice # Check the fit - should be all good so on to the painting!
* To age or colour your leather (handy if a not so good colour is on special) put the cover on the folder and mix up a blob of black paint, half a blob of brown and a little water. Rub onto leather with a lint-free cloth, and buff with a clean lint-free cloth (you are rubbing the colour into the creases and lightly colouring the rest). Wipe with a wet rag where normal wear and tear would occur - edges and folds. Allow to dry (it's pretty quick) and repeat until you like the outcome. * If colouring, paint (or use leather dye) the leather the colour you want first, allow to dry and then age it. * Print or draw your outline on an A4 page, rub the back with white pencil for a black leather or charcoal or a dark pencil (eg. 2B pencil) and align on your folder front. Tape it down and transfer image. * Paint in the design with acrylic paints (artist's acrylics give better coverage and are longer lasting) and add black details and outlines with permanent markers * When dry buff the whole cover with a beeswax furniture polish or similar. The design will take some wear and tear but mine has held up really well.
Let me know if this doesn't make sense or if I missed something. And get creative with adding pockets and other cool stuff!
I made this for my mum as a Christmas present. Her beautiful King Charles 'Chester' sadly passed away last year and she still misses him terribly. I cannot give her back the real thing but I can give her something to cuddle up to at night.
Originally I was going for a really life-like look but soon realised just how difficult soft sculpture is! Instead, I severely altered an existing pattern, creating my own face and adding the duel colour to his back by imitating Chester's own markings. I originally had him with eyes closed but I didn't like the look so I added 18mm plastic eyes with felt eyelids.
Sorry about the bad lighting, this is an old photo-of-a-photo of Chester
Sorry guys, I posted this late last night and forgot to add some important details...
Firstly, I am aiming for a crafty Christmas and put that together with one income and a baby, you get thrifty crafty Christmas.
I picked up these large teddies from the local op shop for about 10 bucks (for all) and dismembered them. I tell you it was kinda creepy cutting them open at the seams and plucking out their innards, one of them I basically cut the front fur from the back and it all peeled off leaving him furry on the front with all the polyfill still in the shape of him - ewww flayed teddy. Bonus: I reused the polyfill for my toy.
I looked everywhere for a King Charles pattern - even checked the op shops for the right style that I could cut up and make a pattern from - without luck. I eventually bought this 'Lovable mutt' pattern from ebay, it is really easy in its original context and I so love Marylin Jensen's patterns and soft sculptures. I kept the body the same, except for making it duo-toned but made my own head to get the shape I wanted and to make it duo-toned also(not easy but I got there eventually)
My 'Chester' is completely hand-sewn (easier than trying to get it through the machine) and is 41cm (16") long x 20cm (8") high x 31cm (12") wide.
What I learned from this project: plush fur + me = messy, hairy disaster. I vow never to use this stuff again unless art overrides my common senses
I saw one of these sock reindeers many years ago and really liked it, after failing to find an online tute or even a picture I decided to wing my own with one major difference... Instead of just hanging a lovely Rudolph head up for Christmas, I would mount him on a plaque just like any self-respecting Christmas-hunter would.
Now for a matching Santa head.....
I kept it happy enough to not traumatize my 6 month old son when he gets old enough to understand what a reindeer actually is.
I will be posting the rest of my Christmas decorations and presents as individual posts too. Being our first year with a child it's very special and I'm off doing all that sappy Christmas stuff
The little plaque above his head says 'Rangifer tarandus rudolphis' the first part being the name of the reindeer with the 'rudolphis' to identify the specific rare breed
He's 28x44cm and uses a man's sock. He has hard plushie eyes with felt eyelids and felt ears, and his antlers are stuffed, with stretchy polar fleece on the front and plain black cotton on the back (luckily gives his antlers a nice shape). The mount is cardboard-lined with tie-dyed corduroy on the front and black cotton on the back and the little plaque is a scrap of curtain fabric that I wrote on with fine marker. I added a jingle bell to one antler cause I thought it added to the feel of the season.
I am really proud of this and wanted to share, I had all the materials except the sock and that cost me $1.00 for the pair at an op-shop. Woot! .50c decoration!
Basically, I live in Australia where pumpkins are now $4.00 per kilo but watermelons are only $1.30 per kilo, plus I don't really like pumpkin but i love watermelon. So thus the Jack'o'lantern was born!
Full of glowy red goodness...
In the making...
Front - face...
Back - bats with moon...
I love this much more than my previous pumpkins and it was sooo much easier to carve! And the red insides just jump with Halloween spirit. There was some debate about whether the candles would work but they go great and are slowly drying out the inside. I tipped out all the excess water first and packed it full of paper towels for a few hours.
I hope this inspires some other Craftsters to carve various fruits and veggies, I would love to see some other melon types too.
Hi all, I just wanted to let you all know these great bead packs I picked up on the weekend. Now I'm in Australia and I often check out the craft section of the local toy shops, they often have some great packs and kits and are really well priced. Anyway, I picked up this weekend two packs called NOBLENESS BEADS...
Here is the big bead set ($14.99 AUD):
* the flower, heart and tube shapes are actually adorable acrylic containers with lids (the tubes are actually little test tubes!) and the box in the centre is acrylic too and has a lid * most of the beads are glass and are all really high quality * it includes earring wires, clasps, nylon thread, coloured thread and head pins * the silver thing in the bottom left corner is a scoop!! it's metal and soooo cute, I want to drill a hole in it to use as a pendant!
As you can see I bought the blue set, here is the back of the box which shows the other colours:
Here is the glass bead set ($9.99 AUD):
*ALL glass beads, and some lovely focal beads too * includes earring wires, clasps, nylon string, hemp string and black faux leather string * the box is acrylic and has a lid
Once again I bought the blue set (bummer, there were no green in sight) but here is the back of the pack showing the range:
Now I thought these packs were so cool, I checked them out online, unfortunately I cannot find an Australian site which offers the range, but here is the site that shows you all the products: http://www.prosperity-ind.com.hk/product_index.htm. I'm sure somewhere out there is a nice toyshop that would order in some of the other products...
Anyway, I hope you enjoy, not only are these packs a great affordable idea for the craftsters of the world but I think they would make great gifts to our brother and sister craftsters too.
P.S. no, I'm not a rep for the company or anything like that
I made this clock from scratch, or at least I swiped the innards of an old clock and made myself a new face
It's MDF painted with acrylics and the workings are from a cheap old plastic wall clock, I strongly urge all budding clockworkers to harvest the organs from old clocks and remake them to your liking!
Front (please excuse the cropping):
Back, pretty plain but hey, noone sees it:
Closeup of the details:
If anyone is interested I can give a tute
1. grab some paper and a pencil and choose your shape, I literally put pencil to paper and just started scribbling. think of the style and size you want. I wanted something oversized and unusual, thus the curvy spikes.
2. for mine, I used MDF (medium density fibreboard) but try pine sheeting, masonite or any other scrap timber. my mdf was 6mm thick.
pencil a mark which will be the centre of your clock, this is where the hands will turn from. for a strange shape like this i marked a circle around my centre point,
(**if you do not have a large compass, tap a nail lightly into the centre mark, tie a piece of non-stretchy string around the nail and wrap around a pencil on the other end, hold the string taut and draw your circle.**)
free-hand your shape around this circle.
3. now, grab your old clock and remove the workings, don't be intimidated. you will probably find that the hands are held on the front of the clock by being pressed into the centre spike. I just needed to pull mine off (be sure to hold the very centre of the hands, not the hands themselves) with a little persuasion they came off and left me with a centre spike held on with a small nut which i removed with pliers. you will probably find the back just falls off the old clock now, if it's glued on, slide the blade of a craft knife under it until it pops off.
4. cut out your shape with a jigsaw
5. leave the hands to the side and eyeball the centre spike to see what sized drill bit you will need to make the right hole in your new clock face. if in doubt always start smaller! drill your hole and see if the fixture fits through snugly.
you can either glue on the clock back but i made a small niche for it to sit into so i didn't need to glue it, also i can remove this fixture and use it on another face if i want!
to make the niche, insert the workings (if your clock is an odd shape make sure the backing is in the right position. my backing had the battery on the bottom so i inserted the spike through the hole and turned the back until it sat in the right position) and draw around the square back of the mechanism. remove the mechanism. chisel out your niche, make it just deep enough for the backing to fit into and not move around.
6. the fun part... paint or decorate your clock face. be creative, paint a pattern, decoupage, glue on fabric, anything.
#6a. for the swirl effect i painted, i did this next part first. i marked out the hours and then using a ruler, drew a straight line between 12 and 1, 1 and 2 etc. i measured the middle on the straight line between the numbers and marked this.
next i grabbed a large dinner plate and lined it up so the centre hole and the mark between the numbers was connected, then traced the line, i continued this all the way around.
i pained the alternating purple and silver in light coats, re-marking the hours between coats so i wouldn't lose the position.#
with the decoration dry reassemble your fixtures and add the hands. hold the back of the clock and manually turn the hands until the clock reads 12 o'clock. mark this position with a pen or marker on the clock face. continue to turn the hands to read every hour and mark the positions. remove the clock workings again.
now you add your numbers, or spots, or stickers or whatever you like so you know what the time is. dont forget to spray or paint a few coats of varnish to protect the face.
7. with the face dry, reassemble the clock. add a hook or eye to the back for hanging, you may need to glue a scrap piece of wood where the hook will go, and then screw the hook into it if the clock backing sticks out too far.
8. stick in a battery and hand it up!
i hope this makes sense to someone, just post any questions and I'll answer them if i'm not clear enough.
Here is a project I did a while ago. I have an unhealthy obsession with renovating chairs, especially for someone who usually sits on the floor...
Sorry there are no before pics but it was just a crappy green vinyl seat.
All furry and lovely:
If anyone is interested I would be happy to post a tute.
(now fingers crossed, this is my first post with pics)
*** ok, so here goes the tute...
1. unscrew the frame of the seat (depending on the seat, you will have to see where the fastenings are, on this chair they were obvious but some furniture has hidden screws)
2. take pleasure in ripping off the old covering from the seat cushion. be careful to remove any staples, nails or pins without damaging the base.
you should be left with the old fabric cover, a wooden base and a piece of foam or some other padding that may be glued to the base.
discard the old fabric unless you have a particular like for it.
3. lay out your new furry fabric, furry side down on a table. place on top of that the foam padding and then the wooden base for the chair, this makes a nice upholstery club sandwich. you want to cut the fabric in the same shape as the wooden base, in my case round, but make the piece large enough to reach over the padding and and overlap the base by about an inch.
4. with your trimmed fabric still sandwiched under the padding and base, grab a piece and staple with a staple gun to the base. be sure to staple on the flat of the wood, not the edge... thats a whole other tutorial. with your first staple secure (you may need to tap it in with a hammer if it's not all the way in but I usually leave this until last, then I tap in all the staples at the same time) turn the seat in front of you until the first staple is facing 6 o'clock. grab another piece of fabric at 12 o'clock and pull it tight over the base before securing. you may find it easier to have someone push down a little on the sandwich so you can concentrate on stapling. the fabric needs to be taut and it will squish the padding at the sides to make a rounded seat.
5. turn the seat again so the first two staples are facing 3 o'clock and 10 o'clock and continue to pull the fabric taut and staple. remember to staple on opposite sides (yeah i know circles only have one side but u know what i mean), this keeps the fabric smooth and the tension even. keep stapling until there's only a 1\4 inch between staples. whenever the fabric folds between staples, mush the fold flat and staple on top.
6. trim the fabric to about a 1\4 inch from the staple line.
7. you can finish here and re-attach your new seat to the frame or you can line to underside, it honestly doesn't matter unless you will have people peeking at your chair's undersides.
to line the seat, place your lining fabric on a flat surface and place the seat base-down on top. mark the fabric around the seat about a 1\4 inch from the edge. cut out your lining fabric and iron the raw edges over until it fits over the base and covers the staples.
now you can either staple the lining to the base or hammer in upholstery tacks, i used tacks.
8. to re-attach the frame, push a pencil or nail through the lining into the screw holes to make a SMALL hole, this will prevent the fabric twisting when you screw through it
So thats it, don't forget, if the frame is crappy, re-invent that too. for metal or wood frames, sand the frame down to make the surface rough and spray or paint it... try chrome paint for a retro feel, fluro, matt black for a little sophistication or even glow in the dark! or what about decopage? or stickers? wind some funky coloured wire around the legs, or if the frame is suitable, give your friends permanant markers and have them grafitti it. just don't forget to spray or paint a few coats of varnish over flat finishishes to protect them.