• Tutorial: Bookmarks made from scraps of fabric

    Tutorial: Bookmarks made from scraps of fabric

    I made these bookmarks earlier today using my never ending supply of fabric scraps.

    I don't like wasting fabric or any other craft materials because they're so expensive and this usually means that I tend to keep every little bit of fabric, felt, paper, wool, etc.

    These bookmarks were fun and easy to make although a little time consuming but I think the end result makes it worth it.

    I used a long strip of old curtain fabric as my foundation piece and lots of small strips of fabric. These should be wider than your foundation piece.

    Starting at one end of the foundation piece place 2 pieces of fabric righ sides together and sew as shown in the picture below.

    Tutorial: Bookmarks made from scraps of fabric

    Fold up the top strip and press the seam with a warm iron.

    Tutorial: Bookmarks made from scraps of fabric

    Follow this method to cover the whole foundation strip making sure you press each seam before adding the next strip of fabric.

    Once the foundation piece is covered, trim the sides and press again to make everything neat.

    This is what mine looked like.

    Tutorial: Bookmarks made from scraps of fabric

    When this is done create a bookmark template the shape and size you want and use this to cut out your bookmarks (I used freezer paper to do this).

    Tutorial: Bookmarks made from scraps of fabric

    Place each bookmark on thick felt or denim (why not use old jeans for this?) and sew all the way around with a zigzag or blanket stitch to avoid fraying. Trim the felt or denim with pinking shears and you're done.

    Tutorial: Bookmarks made from scraps of fabric

    Aren't they pretty? I'm very happy with how these turned up.


  • New fabric and felt bunting

    Nothing says Spring or Summer like a length of colourful bunting fluttering in the breeze, don't you think?

    I made a few of these recently for the library and they've been selling well. The photos don't do them justice as they're a lot prettier in real life. I find this a good way of using up lots of bits of fabric/felt I have.

    The bunting in the 2nd picture is entirely made of felt remnants; these are cut into flowers, circles and leaves and then sewn on to a felt strip. It couldn't be easier and it looks so pretty.

    BuntingFelt bunting

    I need to go and cut a few more flags to make some more bunting :-)


  • Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué

    I made a couple of these crochet ladybugs the other day and plan on making a few more for a yarn bombing project happening at the library in a couple of weeks time.

    Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué

    They are my own design and as I've been asked for the pattern I decided to share it here too in case anyone would like to make them. I hope the instructions are clear but please bear in mind I'm not a crochet designer, usually I make things up as I go along. I took some progress pictures too, I hope you find both instructions and pictures useful. I used DK acrylic yarn and a 4mm hook

    Here we go then.

    Crochet ladybug appliqué

    With red yarn

    Round 1 : Into an adjustable ring crochet 10 treble stitches. Join with slip stitch to close round.

    Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué

    Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué

    Round 2 : Chain 3 (counts as treble) and crochet 1 treble into same space, then 2 trebles in each treble of previous round (20 trebles). Join with slip stitch to close round. Fasten off.

    Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué

    With black yarn

    Round 3 : In back loops only crochet 2 slip stitches in each treble of previous round (40 slip stitches). Join with slip stitch to close round.

    Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué

    Round 4 (head) : Chain 1, in same stitch from previous round make 1 double crochet, 1 half treble, 3 trebles, 1 half treble, chain 2 and join with slip stitch. Fasten off. To make the antennae chain 4 and then slip stitch back down the chain. Chain 4 again, turn* and slip stitch down the chain. Join with slip stitch and fasten off. Weave in all the ends.

    Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliquéTutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué

    * When making the antennae I found that you need to turn so each antenna points in opposite directions.

    Thread a tapestry needle with black yarn and stitch the centre of the ladybug and the spots as shown in the pictures below.

    Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliquéTutorial: Crochet ladybug appliquéTutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué

    I liked the texture on the wrong side best so I decided to stitch the spots on that side which means the right side of the crochet became the reverse. I hope this makes sense to you.

    And here it is again, a cute and easy to make ladybug.

    Tutorial: Crochet ladybug appliqué


  • Felt scraps make pretty bunting

    If like me you collect small pieces of felt left from previous projects here's a suggestion, cut them into different shapes (flowers, stars, circles, etc.) and sew them together to make some very pretty bunting.

    I made these 2 buntings recently using only scraps of felt. All shapes were cut using the Sizzix Bigshot and Sizzix dies but you can also very easily cut them by hand.

    These measure approx. 150 cm in length and were quick to make.

    Felt buntingFelt bunting


  • Tutorial: From plain to cute Alice bands

    These Alice bands have proved quite popular at the craft fairs we've attended to help raise funds for our community library.

    I thought I'd share how I made them in case anyone wants to have a go themselves. Hope you enjoy this tutorial.

    Gather your Alice bands. I use plain, cheap, plastic ones bought online.

    Tutorial: Alice bands

    Crochet a strip just wide and long enough to cover the Alice bands snuggly. I used fine cotton, a 2mm crochet hook and a double crochet stitch.

    Tutorial: Alice bands

    To determine how wide your crochet strip should be measure the middle of the Alice band as sometimes it's slightly wider there than at the ends. Leave a long tail at the end to sew the strip when finished.

    Start with a few stitches at the end of the crochet strip so you have a tube. Insert the Alice band into this tube and sew it all the way up, not forgetting to sew the other end too. Weave in the ends. You should have something like this.

    Tutorial: Alice bands

    Embellish any way you want and you're done.

    Here are mine all finished and ready to go. Aren't they cute?

    Tutorial: Alice bandsTutorial: Alice bandsTutorial: Alice bands


  • Things I made recently

    I've been busy making all sorts of crafty things and here's a quick catch up. Most of these were made for sale at the library to help raise much needed funds, others were birthday gifts to friends.

    A birthday gift to a friend. You can find the tutorial for this Cottage Sewing Case here.

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    A few handmade brooches for sale at the library.

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    A pretty crochet bunting using bits of leftover wool.

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    Spectacle cases

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    Tissue holders

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    A few more needlecases.

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  • Easy peasy lavender sachets

    These must be the easiest and quickest lavender sachets I ever made, and I've made quite a few in different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures for future reference.

    To make these I used the Sizzix BigShot and the dies below. The thin metal one is part of a set called Framelits, it's actually not made for cutting felt or fabric so you may find it doesn't make a clean cut. I had to use my fabric scissors to completely cut out the central square to create a window.

    Easy Peasy lavender sachets

    Cut as many squares as you need with the big scalloped square die. Then divide the cut squares in 2 piles and cut a window out of one of them with the smaller square die. This is what you should have.

    Easy Peasy lavender sachets

    Using a zigzag stitch sew a piece of netting to cover the "window" like so.

    Easy Peasy lavender sachets

    Place this piece on top of the other piece as shown below, wrong sides together and on the inside. Sew all the way around leaving a small opening.

    Easy Peasy lavender sachets

    Fill with lavender seeds, close the opening and you're done.

    Easy Peasy lavender sachets


  • Crochet covered glass jars

    Crochet covered glass jars

    I love glass jars and always feel slightly guilty when I have to dispose of them. I also have a lot of yarn left from other projects and which I try to use as much as possible to avoid wasting it. So why not join the 2 and turn plain glass jars into lovely storage for some of your bits and pieces.

    I have quite a few of these crochet covered jars around the house, I use them to store pens and pencils, crochet hooks, buttons, etc.

    Here are some of the jars I covered recently. Don't only do they look very pretty but this was also a very quick and satisfying craft project.


  • Tutorial: Handmade bookmarks for men

    I've always found it difficult to come up with ideas for handmade gifts for men so when I was asked if I could make a few manly bookmarks to sell at the library it took me a while to come up with a design that would be easy and quick to make and that I liked. For me, these felt bookmarks tick all the boxes and they've proved popular too which is good.

    Tutorial: handmade bookmarks for men

    My material of choice is felt, again. I like that it doesn't fray and it's so easy to work with.

    Here's how you can make a few of these bookmarks yourself.

    Start by drawing a bookmark shape and then trace it on to the smooth side of a piece of medium iron-on interfacing (this is the side without any glue). Fuse the interfacing with the felt by using a warm iron (follow the instructions on the interfacing itself for best results.)

    Tutorial: handmade bookmarks for men

    Cut the bookmarks and then cut small windows out of them as shown below. You can do this by hand or using a die cutting machine if you have one. I used the Sizzix Bigshot and a few Framelits. These will be the fronts of your bookmarks.

    Tutorial: handmade bookmarks for men

    Tutorial: handmade bookmarks for men

    Pin them to a piece of felt in a contrasting colour or even to a piece of denim. I've been recycling my husband's old jeans and using the fabric as background for brooches and bookmarks. Machine stitch as close to the edge as possible.

    Tutorial: handmade bookmarks for men

    To finish off hand stitch around the small windows, trim the excess background felt/denim with pinking shears and your bookmarks are finished.

    Tutorial: handmade bookmarks for men

    Here's another batch I'd made earlier.

    Tutorial: handmade bookmarks for men

  • Tutorial: Felt pencil bookmarks

    After much deliberation as to whether or not close this blog I finally decided to give it another go so hopefully there will be lots of crafty tutorials/posts to look forward to as I've always enjoyed sharing my makes.

    I'm a volunteer at our community library (it used to be a council library but due to budget cuts it's now run by a group of dedicated volunteers) and to raise much needed funds we sell items handmade by and donated to us by a handful of volunteers. Among the items we sell are these cute pencil bookmarks made out of felt, they're very popular with the children and make great gifts.

    Felt pencil bookmarks

    Here's how these were made.

    Draw a pencil shape or get one from the Web. Trace it on medium iron-on interfacing making sure you do this on the smooth side and not on the side with glue. Cut it out (I like to leave a small border around the outline of the pencil shape).

    Iron the interfacing on to the felt. Make sure the glue side is in contact with the felt and press down with the iron for a few seconds until it's fused with the felt. At this stage I like to set my felt pieces aside for a couple of minutes for them to cool down a little.

    Felt pencil bookmarks

    Cut out the pencil shapes and pin them to another piece of felt (this will be the back of your bookmarks).

    Felt pencil bookmarks

    Machine stitch as shown below.

    Felt pencil bookmarks

    Refer to the picture below to cut and sew a small piece of felt on the "lead" part of your pencil bookmarks.

    Felt pencil bookmarks

    Carefully trim the excess felt and you're done, your pencil bookmarks are ready to be used.

    Felt pencil bookmarks

    Here's another batch I made, these are slightly longer and wider with not so much of the "lead" showing.

    Felt pencil bookmarks

    I hope you like this tutorial and come back for more as I've got a few in the pipeline.


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