Monday, 22 January 2018

Geometric Faux Leather Necklace Tutorial

The final faux leather tutorial I designed for The Village Haberdashery is now up on their blog: how to make a geometric necklace!

https://www.thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/blog/2018/tutorial-vegan-leather-necklace

I loved working with the sheets of faux leather, especially the metallic gold - doesn't it look fab with the turquoise blue?

https://www.thevillagehaberdashery.co.uk/blog/2018/tutorial-vegan-leather-necklace

Click here for the step-by-step necklace tutorial.

And here are some handy links to the faux leather tutorials I wrote earlier: a star headband, a mini notebook,and a lightning bolt brooch. The headband, necklace and lightning bolt would also be fab made with felt!

Friday, 19 January 2018

New in My Shop: Felt Primroses and Auriculas Tutorial

I added another felt flower pattern to my Etsy shop this week: primroses and auriculas. 

Felt primrose and auricula brooches

You can sew lots of cheerful spring flowers with this pattern!

 Lots of spring felt flower brooches

Along with the main tutorials for sewing trio and solo primrose and auricula brooches...

 Felt primrose brooches
 Felt auricula brooches

... I've also included instructions for making simple-but-lovely circle brooches.

You can change the felt and thread colours to create a whole assortment of pretty primulas...

 Felt primula or primrose brooches

... and I've included examples of ways to vary the auriculas, too!

 Felt auricula flower brooches

As well as making felt brooches, you could use this pattern to add spring flowers to anything you fancy (hair clips, statement necklaces, lavender sachets, purses, cards, etc). Sew flowers on everything!

Click here to find the tutorial in my shop.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

October, November & December in Pictures

Time to catch up with what I got up to in the final quarter of 2017!

In October...

... I ummed and ahhhed about what colour to use for the quilting thread and binding for my scrappy quilt. I started this project in my teens, finished the quilt top a few years ago and have now promised to (finally) turn it into a quilt as a gift for my mum. But what colour(s) should I use to finish it?? I still can't decide.


... I had a studio clear out, listing a whole bunch of craft supplies and other bits and bobs over on Instagram. I quite enjoy these sales, they remind me of the days when I used to sell craft supplies in my shop and the sometimes-tediuous but often quite soothing process of photographing, measuring, weighing, listing, packing and posting.

https://www.instagram.com/lauralupinsells/

... I took a quick trip to Burnham-on-Sea, walked along the esplanade, ate some delicious chips, and fell in love with a wall (isn't it a fabulous wall?).

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/a-quick-trip-to-burnham-on-sea.html

... I blogged about the dolls clothes I've inherited which were handmade by my grandmother, and October's kitty-themed addition to the A Year of Wreaths tutorial series.  

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/handmade-dolls-clothes-clothes.html
http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/a-year-of-wreaths-october-cosy-cat-felt.html

... and I won a fabulous stationery bundle from Roger La Borde!

https://www.instagram.com/rogerlaborde/

In November...

... My first two faux leather craft projects were published on The Village Haberdashery's blog: tutorials for making a star headband and a mini notebook.


... I unpicked a section of my mini squares blanket (that sticky-outy dark red block just didn't look right!) which took ages but was totally worth it.


... I stitched a custom order of snow globe ornaments, which then proceeded to get lost in the post for months (argh) but finally turned up (phew!). (If you want to sew your own snow globes, you'll find the free pattern here).

http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/how-to-felt-snow-globe-ornament.html

... I finally found a use for these paper snowflakes which had been in my craft stash for almost a decade (because they were just too nice to throw away after the Christmas I made them), using them to decorate an Advent "calendar" of small gifts for my parents.


... I gave myself a slightly lopsided DIY haircut (all my haircuts are DIY haircuts, some more lopsided than others!)
 

... and I also started blogging about my trip to Liverpool, shared a tutorial for making a novelty Christmas jumper, and finally started a weekly email newsletter after literally years of thinking that I should probably get round to starting a weekly email newsletter.

Then in December...

... I blogged about my Holly Wreath tutorial and lots of DIY Christmas card ideas, and shared a gorgeous tutorial for making leafy paper snowflakes.

... I wrote about the lovely treats I got from the dotcomgiftshop for being a terrible blogger (it's a long story).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcwRkwVDpIf/

... I posted an old behing-the-scenes pic which I don't think I'd posted before, of the "making a mess designing things" stage of making this doll.


... I made lots more mess working on a secret project (there's a desk under there somewhere!).


... and I shared the weirdest thing I achieved in 2017: writing a very silly joke about losing a sewing needle which ended up going slightly viral on Tumblr!

http://leonardslee.tumblr.com/post/164930472506

Finally, I ended 2017 working on something very colourful and very relaxing: adding a few more blocks of colour to my ongoing using-up-my-leftover-scrappy-threads cross stitch project.


Quite delightfully, this snap ended up becoming my most popular photo of 2017 (albeit not actually in 2017 itself) as it got shared on January 1st by mega craft blog A Beautiful Mess... which was a very fun and really rather exciting way to start a brand new year.

Here's to another twelve months of colourful, crafty goodness!


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Monday, 15 January 2018

Tutorial: Use Leftover Yarn Ends to Make Colourful Stripey Cards!

If you knit or crochet, you probably end up with lots of scrappy bits of yarn left over at the end of each project. It feels kind of wrong just throwing them away (especially if they're lovely colours)... but what do you do with them?

Today I'm sharing one idea for using them up: making stripey notecards!

 Notecard decorated with yarn stripes

These cards are easy to make and I think they look rather fabulous. The yarn stripes are simple but textured, and you could have lots of fun choosing colour combinations for each card.

You will need:

- Blank card (I chose black, but any colour will do), cut and folded to the size you want (I made an A6 size card, folded from a piece of A5 card)
- Yarn, in assorted colours
- A ruler
- A pencil
- Sewing scissors
- A large, sharp sewing needle
- Optional: a pencil eraser

Handmade card decorated with lines of yarn

To make each card:

1. Select some yarn in a colour palette you like. Each piece should be at least 20cm long.

2. Open up your blank card, and use a ruler and pencil to draw two horizontal lines on the inside of what will become the front of your card. One line an inch (2.5cm) from the top of the card, and the second an inch (2.5cm) from the bottom.

3. Use the ruler to measure the central point of each line, marking it with a small pencil dash. Then mark seven dashes either side of these central points, each 5mm apart. You should now have 15 points marked along each line.

4. Use a large, sharp needle to poke a hole through the card at each one of the points you've marked. Place the card on a pile of scrap paper to protect your workspace as you poke the needle through!

If you want, you can now erase the pencil lines. 

5. Choose your first piece of yarn, and thread the large needle with it. Pass the yarn up through one of the holes at the bottom of the card and then down through the corresponding hole at the top of the card. Leave the yarn ends dangling (they should stay in place due to the small size of the holes), then repeat this step to add all the yarn stripes.

6. Knot the yarn ends together to secure the stripes, and carefully trim any excess yarn. You could add a piece of tape to cover the ends but I quite like how mine look!

Knots on the inside of the card to secure the yarn

And that's it! Your card should now look something like this:

Minimal modern card decorated with leftover yarn

For lots more DIY card ideas and other free crafty projects, visit my tutorial archive.

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