All posts filed under: Tutorials

Star Garland DIY

It’s been a while since my last craft tutorial, and I thought it would be fun to share the method behind this make – a little garland of stars and moons, perfect for adding a hint of magic for Halloween. In different colours and perhaps without the moons, this would also be a great decoration for Christmas… Things you’ll need: pencil or pen scissors glue paintbrush paper/card in a variety of colours (I used paper from my stash of damaged vintage books) string/thread ribbon/fabric/lace sewing machine and thread/needle and thread glitter (optional) Step 1. On the wrong side of the papers, draw star and crescent moon outlines in different sizes. Cut out these shapes. You can do as many or as little as you like, depending on the size of garland you need (I ended up with 20 – 16 stars, 4 moons – for a garland approx. 80cm long). Step 2. Cut a length of your string/thread for each shape and glue one end to the wrong side of the paper. I used Mod …

Upcycled Tea Card Tags Tutorial

Last year, I discovered the world of vintage tea cards. I had never heard of them or noticed them before, but ever since I first realised they existed they’ve been popping up all over the place. My favourites are the ones illustrated with flowers or birds, so when I see a bundle for a reasonable price I snap them up for my crafty purposes. And that crafty purpose is usually upcycling them into tags…I like to have a stash of them for pricing items for shows and markets, packaging my Etsy sales, and wrapping gifts. Made in big batches, they’re well worth the time. They couldn’t be simpler to make. If you’d like to make your own, here’s how… What you’ll need: Vintage tea cards Reasonably thick paper, or not-too-thick card (You want enough thickness so that the writing on the backs of tea cards doesn’t show through, but not so much that it makes it difficult to stitch.) Sewing machine (I have a needle set aside for stitching paper as it blunts the point, …

Recycled gift bags, made with old book pages. Craft ideas for vintage book pages. Recycled packaging.

Old Book Page Gift Bags

In a few weeks time I will be doing my very first solo craft fair. The organisational reality of this dawned on me (reality never seems to dawn at a convenient time) at one o’ clock in the morning yesterday, forcing me to get out of bed and write a few things-to-do/remember down. At first I was struck by how much I needed to remember, then confused at how my handwriting was neater at one in the morning than it usually is at one in the afternoon, and then I had a little idea. Because although reality dawns at inconvenient times, ideas have a habit of doing so as well.Gift bags from old book pages! Really simple, really quick, and – even if I do say so myself – really pretty.The number of books that get dumped at our local tip (i.e. the recycling centre) is disheartening. People throw them in the paper skip, and when the skip is full it’s taken off to be pulped (it’s best not to think about how many beautiful …

Kitchen roll tube notebook. Craft project for cardboard tubes

Cardboard Tube Notebook Tutorial

Cardboard and crafting go hand in hand. It was what I was let loose on when I was little, and I built everything from a pencil holder to a fairy theatre (which I left at the bottom of the garden for the fairies to stage their own plays, watch films, and heckle fairy comedians). More recently, an Etsy team I belong to set the challenge to upcycle an old cardboard tube. This little notebook was the result.Things you’ll need: Cardboard tube Scraps of paper Lace or string to tie Sewing machine and thread Glue Scissors Flatten the cardboard tube and cut down one side. Shorten the tube so the notebook doesn’t turn out too long and thin. Cut a scrap of paper to fit it and glue to the inside (this is optional, but helps to make it a little sturdier – and looks nice!).Sew a border round the cardboard. Tie and cut loose threads. Cut a heart shape from scrap paper, and sew to the front of the notebook cover. Sew lace to both …

Heart bunting, made with recycled paper (old sheet music, paper bags, old flower illustrations), and lace.

Paper Heart Bunting

Blundering around the local market on Saturday morning (why do markets have to be so morning oriented?), I came across a book of garden flower illustrations for 50p. As usual, I had no clue what I would do with it, but I was pretty sure an idea would come to mind. After staring at the pages for a while (panicking that I’d taken apart a perfectly good book), an idea surfaced. There may already be a lot of bunting in the world, but there’s probably room for just a little more.*It was really easy to make, so I thought I’d write out what I did rather than a step by step. If you want to make some heart bunting of your own, just follow the basic outline.* I made a stencil, drew round it onto a few sheets of illustrations, and cut these hearts out. I used remnants from a paper shopping bag and a piece of old sheet music for the individual flags, and glued a heart to each of these. Then, I stitched …

Finished bluebird of happiness pin cushion.

Bluebird of Happiness Pin Cushion Tutorial

I don’t know why, but bluebirds, to me at least, seem like the epitome of niceness. So, after spilling pins all over the floor, and then deciding that I really needed a pin cushion, I thought that I’d make one that looked (at least a little bit!) like a bluebird. Using it the first few times felt a little voodoo-ish, but I think I’ve just about got over it now… It’s quick and easy to make, and perfect for using up little pieces of fabric from other projects. Things you’ll need: Fabric scraps, in a variety of colours Button or bead (for the eye) A craft feather Pins Fabric scissors A needle Thread that compliments your fabric Sewing machine A craft feather Wadding (you could use scraps of yarn or fabrics, even wool, to fill the the bluebird instead) * To make a stencil, I found a picture of a bluebird, traced round it, and transferred the pencil onto some scrap card. I made the outline more simplistic, and also made it a little bigger, …

Finished baking apron

Waist Apron Tutorial

In a charity shop a few weeks ago, me and a friend found some Christmassy fabric that we both loved, and so, trying to think of an excuse to buy it, we decided to make some “Christmas baking aprons”. We only had a limited amount of fabric, so after searching online for some apron patterns, we thought it’d just be better if we winged it. After an afternoon and evening of umming and ahhing, cutting out, sewing, cups of tea, umming and ahhing again, hot chocolate, and then some more sewing, we had some lovely little waist aprons with which to bake (chocolatey – always chocolatey) goodies. I promised to make my little sister one out of some black and white fabric, and I thought that it’d be a great opportunity to take lots of photos, keep a note of the steps, and write up a tutorial. I hope it makes sense! Just to add: There’s no limit to the amount of ribbon, lace, or other trimmings, that you can sew on to your apron …

Old Picture Frame Earring Display/Holder Tutorial

After a few weeks of searching (not very hard) for an earring display to use on a stall at a local craft and vintage market, I decided that I was probably capable of making my own. As most of the stall is made up of vintage patterns, old sewing machines, buttons, knitting needles and the like, I wanted something small and of a similar style so that it would fit nicely in alongside the other items. A frame felt like an ideal starting point as it is free standing, and the lace both looks good and is a perfect structure to hook earrings through. I used white and cream coloured laces and fabric so that the earrings stand out. Things you’ll need: An old frame Scissors Off cuts of lace (must be relatively strong) Glue (PVA worked well for me) Cotton thread A sewing machine A pencil Sewing pins Light coloured cardboard A paintbrush Fabric Firstly, take apart the pieces of the frame. You’ll need the glass to start with, but not for the finished …