20 September 2014

Word patterned paper

I've got quite a few sets of alphabet rubber stamps, and, while I love them, it would be a bit time-consuming to use them to repeatedly stamp a word! So I've come up with a simple technique to make it much easier and quicker, and used it to create my own patterned paper!
1. Choose the letters of your word. If a letter is repeated, you'll need to use stamps from different sets. Making them all different would give a cool ransom-note style effect!
2. Arrange the stamps in order, and align them so all the stamping surfaces are in line (the tops of the stamps may be different heights if they come from different sets).

3. Using an elastic band or hair tie, bind the stamps together. If you're doing a longer word, you might need a small thin piece of wood at each side too.
4. Use your word to stamp repeatedly on a piece of plain paper or card. Rotate the paper so you can stamp at different angles. A rainbow ink pad works really well for this.
You could also use this technique to stamp your name in all your notebooks, or to stamp a short greeting in your Christmas cards. I've also used the same technique with two cherry blossom stamps, one solid and one outline, to create a repeating pattern - I aligned the outline one over the previous solid impression.

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19 September 2014

Plastic canvas and nail polish earrings

This is the final post in my series on making earrings from plastic canvas, and probably my favourite, because of the unusual substance used to make them - nail polish!

1. Cut the canvas to size.
2. Use sandpaper to smooth the cut edges.
3. Draw your design out on squared paper. I took inspiration from the Peruvian Inca cross symbol for my design.

4. Dot some nail polish in one of the holes in the plastic canvas. You may have to experiment on a scrap piece to get the right amount on the brush. You need enough that the surface tension will cause the nail polish to fill the hole, but not so much that it overflows the area you are putting it in.

5. Allow to dry thoroughly. If the nail polish you use is quite transparent, you can get a stained-glass effect!

6. Bend a loop at the end of a piece of wire, and thread the canvas on.
7. Thread a bead on, and make a loop at the other end, so you can attach it to a kidney wire.
Why not take a look at my other plastic canvas earrings:
Embroidered plastic canvas earrings
Why not try combining some of these techniques to create your own designs!

18 September 2014

Embroidered plastic canvas earrings

1. Cut the canvas to size.
2. Use sandpaper to smooth the cut edges.
3. Using embroidery thread, sew a design of your choice. I used cross stitch and a simple diagonal stitch for my design, in shades of pink and red.

4. Trim off any loose ends, and paint a little Mod Podge or glue on the back of the embroidered area, so it does not come undone.
5. Bend a loop at the end of a piece of wire, and thread the canvas on.
6. Thread a matching bead on, and make a loop at the other end of the wire, so you can attach it to a kidney wire.

These could be made in a whole host of different colours and patterns!

17 September 2014

Spray-painted plastic canvas earrings

Here's the second part of my series on making earrings from plastic canvas! This pair was actually inspired by an expensive pair of gold earrings I saw online. But my version is very inexpensive!

1. Cut the canvas to size.

2. Use sandpaper to smooth the cut edges.
3. Spray with spray paint.
4. Attach to ear wires. Add a bead if you like.

Come back tomorrow for another plastic canvas earring tutorial! You could even combine tomorrow's technique with today's for something truly original!

16 September 2014

Plastic canvas earrings

I had a sheet of plastic canvas, which I'd had for many, many years. I can't even remember why I originally bought it! But I was seized with some sudden inspiration, and these earrings were one of the results!

These earrings are really quick and easy to make! Here's what to do:

1. Cut the canvas to size.
2. Use sandpaper to smooth the cut edges.
3. Bend a loop at the end of a piece of wire, and thread the canvas on.
4. Thread a bead on, and make a loop at the other end, so you can attach it to a kidney wire.

Although these earrings are very simple, there are endless variations possible! Come back for the next three days to see some more plastic canvas earring ideas!

15 September 2014

Frayed fabric flower

Yesterday I showed you a retro hairband I made with some of the leftover fabric from the makeover of my vintage dress. Here's what I did with some more of the fabric! This frayed fabric flower was really easy to make, and didn't take long at all. You can wear it on your clothes, or pin it to the hairband for a different look!

1. Cut two strips of fabric (mine were 4cm x 20cm and 5cm x 26 cm), and fray one long edge of each.

2. Fold the unfrayed long edge of each strip over twice, and secure with a running stitch.
3. Pull the thread to gather the fabric.

4. Sew the ends of the fabric together.

5. If there is a hole in the middle, sew across it a few times in different directions to pull it together.
6. Place the two layers together and sew in place.

7. Choose a pretty button (mine was found in Mum's button box), and sew it in the middle.
8. Cut a circle of felt and sew a brooch pin to it.

9. Sew a small square of felt on top.
10. Sew the felt circle to the back of the flower.
Although there seem to be a lot of steps here, it's not at all complicated, and took me less than half an hour!

To see another style of frayed flower I've made, take a look at this post.

14 September 2014

Retro hairband

Did you see the recent makeover my mum did of a Laura Ashley dress for me? Well, since the sleeves were shortened, it left me with some fabric for other projects! This retro hairband is the first of these.

I based the design of the hairband on one I've had for years. I love the style of it, and it is really comfortable, but the colours of it are so bright that I don't wear it often (well, other than to keep my hair out of the way when I'm using a face mask!). So I decided to use this fabric to make something similar, but that would match more outfits.
1. I cut the sleeves up so I could see how much fabric I had. After measuring this against the existing hairband, I decided to cut one piece of 37cm x 20cm, and another of 27cm x 8cm.
2. I sewed the smaller piece of fabric into a tube, and hemmed the long sides of the larger piece.
3. I inserted a piece of wide elastic, about 17cm long, into the tube, pulling it so that the fabric was ruched over the elastic. I attached it with a safety pin at each end.
4. I folded the unhemmed edges of the larger piece of fabric in a concertina fashion, and inserted them in the ends of the fabric tube, and folded the ends of the tube inwards to hide the raw edges.
5. I sewed a few lines across the ends of the tube, making sure to catch the inserted ends of fabric and the ends of the elastic.

I'm delighted with how this turned out! The hairband has exactly the retro look I wanted (it looks like a scarf tied in the hair, but is a lot less hassle!). You can leave the fabric quite gathered on top of the head, like I've done, or spread it out more for a different look.

I can't wait to make more of these in different colours - in fact I've got some fabric picked out already!

Come back tomorrow to see something else I made with the leftover fabric from the vintage dress!

13 September 2014

Decorating photos with erasable pen

A few days ago I showed you my wipe-clean memo board, and mentioned that I had another related project - well here it is! This is a really fun and easy way of customising your framed photos!

You don't need a lot of instructions for this project! It's just a case of getting hold of an erasable pen (I used a chalk pen for blackboards, which needs water to remove it, but you could use a dry-erase marker if you like) ... and writing on the glass of your photo frames!
You could add names to the photos, write on them where they were taken, add hearts, flowers and stars, words describing the people in the photos, or, of course, you could add silly glasses and moustaches!
I found that the white pen I used worked really well with my sepia-toned prints. If a white pen wouldn't show up well on your photos, try another colour - I think neon pink or yellow would look amazing!