Tag Archives: gift

Simple skirt and matching hair bows – Yo-Yo flowers Sewing project idea

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I had lots of the fabric leftover from the dress project. So I figured a skirt wouldn’t go a miss! Nor would a matching hair bow! Check out the pictures below. Super simple elasticated waist. For a 14 Month old I had a 19″ waist and 7″ length for above the knee. I’ll be posting another project that I have done putting more of this fabric to use. It was originally bought to match a custom made cloth nappy my niece had. One metre of fabric has gone a long long way, and there is still more of it left!

Black Swan Theme Hair Band Accessory – Using Vintage Buttons, Beads, Felt and Embroidery

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Sooo pleased with this!

Alice Band Black Swan

A little project just for me. I just couldn’t resist making myself this cute head band. The swan itself was drawn by myself, transferred onto felt and embellished with a lace ‘half’ yo-yo’, then decorated with seed beads. Other decorations I added were some little vintage black buttons, bugle beads and faceted glass beads. For the eye I used a vintage green Mother of Pearl button with a fish eye design. I embroidered a simple trellis on the chest too.

I’m so pleased with this, I’m going to make a few more animal designs. Next I want to try an octopus, I think this will look great too in those white and dirty vintage creams and off pinks. *squeals* can’t wait!

Oh, and to top it off.. I’m going to the NEC in Birmingham to the Sewing for Pleasure Craft Event at the end of March! Will be buying loads of fabric goodies and crafting essentials.

Let me know what you think of my head band below! Happy Crafting. =]

Black Swan

Front view

Felt Bookmarks with Embroidery detail and Applique Gift idea

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Gift for an avid reader!

Veteran Remembrance Poppy

Jacobean Peony Flower

These 2 bookmarks were made for my Grandparents. My Grandad is a WWII veteran and his father was in WWI. So a gift to show we still remember what they gave was lovingly received. My Nan, she just loves her flowers. At a risk of being boring or predictable, I designed a Peony flower in a Jacobean style. I guess it could also pass for a rose too. However, I thin it worked out looking nice. Let me know what you think below in the comments!

I want to share some tips with you about working with felt. Although I’m a relative newcomer to felt. I have taken some time working with it. Especially embroidering. It’s not too hard to embroider onto, altho if you tug at the work the felt will, over time distort. The worst is, you probably won’t notice until it’s too late and you’ve done all the hard work. Soooo.. my tip is to work with a piece larger than you intend to use for the end result. That way, the edges you’ve been gripping during any sewing will be trimmed off and you’ll have a lovely neat finish.

If your felt is thin or the acrylic type. You might want to strengthen the overall design by sandwiching a light card in between another piece of the felt. Sew close to the edge of the card. so that it’s trapped inside. A thin layer of PVA glue between the layers is a good idea too.

To finish I topped them with a button, and on my Nan’s, a bit of ribbon from my stash. These are around 6.5″ x 2.5″ in size. The poppy design ended up being a smidge taller due to the script.

The stitches used are, running stitch, satin stitch, back stitch, heavy chain, trellis, split stitch, french knot and fly stitch.

Any questions about these bookmarks are welcome, please comment below!

Appliquéd

Poppy close up

Baby Born Chou Chou 17″ Doll sized mitten Free Knitting Pattern

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Free Knitting Pattern for a Doll 17″ Tall

Doll Mittens

3mm Needles – 4 ply yarn

Make 2 c/0 34sts

k2, p2 to end
p2, k2 to end
k2, p2 to end
p2, k2 to end
(Knit Row, Purl Row) x 5
k4, k2tg, k8, k2tg, k8, k2tg, k5, k2tg, k1
Purl Row
k4, k2tg, k4, k2tg, k6, k2tg, k4, k2tg, k4
Purl Row
k2, k2tg to end
Purl Row
k2tg to end
Purl Row
Cut yarn leaving 6 inches of thread, use this to thread through the loops remaining on the needle using a darning needle. Pull Tight and knot. Fold to join edges right sides together and sew up the seam. Additionally you, so they don’t get easily lost. Braid, or using a crochet hook create a chain long enough for your doll and tie to each wrist of the mittens. Thread through the clothing of the doll, just like you would for a child.

Hope you have fun knitting these easy cute mittens! They make a lovely gift, I will be posting more patterns for 17″ dolls soon.

Suitable for Chou Chou, Baby Annabell, Walk and Learn Doll and dolls of similar size.

Doll Mittens

Winnie the pooh themed wall hanging nursery decoration personalized

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Handmade Gift

Front - Click to enlarge

I’ve been quite busy over the winter months, especially before Christmas. So I have a backlog of stuff I need to post. Most of the things you need for this are tools most people and almost definitely frequent crafters’ will have already.

The wall hanging is made from 2 x A4 chipboard (cardboard), cotton fabric, acrylic yarn and felt. Held together with fabric glue I used PVA glue as it does a good job, also I used some cotton embroidery thread. You’ll also need scissors, a hole punch suitable for heavy card and hammer, pencil, embroidery needle or a large sewing needle, iron, and last but definitely not least a decent craft knife/Stanley blade.

Made for my niece as a Christmas present. I wanted to include her name, Summah. The name is cut out using acrylic felt because it was what I had in my stash. But you could use any you have.

Directions
Draw out yourself a cloud design. To make it as even as mine you can cheat like I did and draw around something =] .

I used a plate  and something else small I can’t remember, maybe a cookie cutter to draw the rainbow. You could just use a rectangle though instead of a rainbow shape. Cut both out with a blade.
At this point make sure you mark evenly according to the weight balance of your shapes the wholes and don’t punch them too close to the edge as it will not work very well. Important – Keep the bits you punch out. You’ll need them afterwards! Read the rest of this entry

My Mission – Minnie Mouse Cake Pops – Birthday Gift

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Not as easy as they look!

Cute and tasty!

I made it my mission to make some Minnie mouse cake pops. However, I didn’t anticipate this to be as frustrating as it was. With the overall waiting for the cake to cook, fair enough, but there was soooo much waiting for things to cool, set or cook. I was getting rather tired of doing them.

I followed instructions from another website that sounded like they had it in the bag. I started out with 20 cake pops. After lots of hassle with them staying on the stick I went through several techniques in coating these little babies in chocolate. I knew I couldn’t just dunk and pull it out all fresh-as-you-like. Cause the weight of the chocolate would rip the cake ball apart and stay put in your nice bowl of melted chocolate.

In the end the best technique I found was to use a heat proof silicone pastry brush and slowly coat the balls supporting the ball underneath with your hand so it didn’t shift down the stick. Place on its head on grease proof paper and don’t move it until it’s set. You won’t need to refrigerate for it to set. Plus it attracts condensation if you do.

Once I had a thin layer on and it had set and could be peeled from the paper. I was able to coat allot easier due to the chocolate acting like glue and it (mostly) stayed put. Your next layer of chocolate should include placing the ears on. I used chocolate buttons. Don’t bother trimming the side off like some websites tell you. This only inhibits the attaching part, which frankly is quite important! =D Push the ears in after the second coat of chocolate, as this will soften the previous layer just enough to help with that. Otherwise they just break up! These are then to be stood up on their sticks to set, a block of Styrofoam is useful here. A useful tip I did pick up is to make use of a cocktail stick. Just to pick define areas like the ears and to move the chocolate and to remove any excess. I coated mine until I was happy with them. Or at least, not so disappointed!

You only need to make them around 1 inch diameter at first, as the chocolate layers bulk them out. I was worried I wouldn’t get them inside the cellophane bags I had that were 3.5″x5″ I bought from Ebay. I chose 4.5″ lolly sticks or the plastic variety, if they don’t come with, you will need some plastic coated wires too to seal them. On my travels around my local town of Cannock, I picked up some lovely ribbon the I thought was just right, at 20p a meter I wasn’t complaining!

I just cut the ribbon a few inches long and tied once tightly. You could, with thinner ribbon tie a bow. But at this point in the baking and making process, I was ready to give up altogether. In the end, I managed to salvage 11 decent looking Minnie silhouettes. They didn’t taste bad at all either. My 2.5yr old son was happy to eat any disaster pops. Although to be fair they were very rich, so don’t worry if you don’t make a lot. I probably wouldn’t eat more than one at a time.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Overall, I’m happy I gave it a go, but I won’t be in a hurry to try this again. Maybe plain round ones with decoration on top to disguise the dodgy coating of chocolate. Let me know if you have tried this and how it worked out.

Knitted Cowl / Buttoned Scarf – How to – using super chunky wool

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Knitted Gifts Fast

Fast knits!

This super chunky knitted scarf took less than a day start to finish. Including figuring the style and making the buttons. The pattern was one I thought of that would work best for this project.

You can use any alternatives but these are what I used and would bode best for this pattern. Plus the quality of the yarn speaks volumes on this project. Ideal as a winter time gift.

Dimensions 7.5″ x 28″

What you need
1 x ball of  Sirdar Denim Ultra Wool (super chunky)
8mm Knitting Needles
3 x 15-18mm Odd but similar sized buttons with preferably 4 sewing holes.
Small piece of colour coordinating Wool Felt to cover buttons
Needle and thread

Directions
Using the 8mm knitting needles
Cast on 18 sts

(Rib pattern row)
[Row 1 -K2, P2 until last 2 stitches, K2]
[Row 2 -P2, K2 until last 2 stitches, P2]
knit Row 2 of rib pattern
knit Row 1 of rib pattern

(Body of scarf)
(right side row)Knit row
Purl row
P2, K14, P2
K2, P14, K2

Continue scarf body pattern until you reach 26″ ending on a wrong side

Knit Row 2 of rib pattern
Knit Row 1 of rib pattern
Knit Row 1 of rib pattern
Knit Row 2 of rib pattern

Cast off and tie in any ends not weaved in.

How it's fastened

The buttons were made using a simple technique. With leftover yarn from the scarf. There should be more than enough if you have good tension.

Cut 3 lengths of yarn at around 8″
3 x 2″ diameter felt circles, or big enough to cover the buttons as pictured.

Tie knots in the centre to make a bobble. Split the yarn so you have 4 tails (see picture below) and thread each through the 4 eyes of the button.

Using small stitches, make a running stitch around circles of felt. Do not knot yet.

Pull slightly on the thread so that it creates a slight dome shape. Place in the prepared knotted wool and button. Pull the thread and make sure the thread covers the back of the button centrally. Tie off the thread after sewing over the felt and yarn to secure the back, as these will be pulled at when used.

Using the picture to help you with placement, use the tails of the buttons to tie onto the rib of the scarf. Making sure they line up with the natural holes created by your stitches.

The three stages of covering the buttons

Threading Technique

Finishing the button

Fondant cake design – jewellery box

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You can’t argue with cake

Jewellery Box Cake

I can’t let a birthday pass without having a bit of cake! I really treasure my Aunt so I thought I’d try something I hadn’t done before and just go with it. She loves a vintage look and feel, so I tried to get that feel. It didn’t turn out as I imagined, or aimed for as I’m not an overly experienced cake decorator. But I was happy with the end result non-the-less. But needless to say, it went down a treat, as it was filled with high quality chocolate butter cream with a vanilla sponge.

To get a box and lid look, you need to use two cake boards. As my cake was 6″ in diameter the ‘lid’ needed to have a matching size of 6″. The one that holds the whole cake should be at least 1″ bigger than the cake so it’s easy to carry. ‘Glue’ the cake to the base with a touch of frosting and cover it all in your fondant base, board and all so it’s hidden.

Pre mix your colours and wash your hands really well as that dye gets everywhere if you’re not careful! You can use a pair of latex gloves if you have some. Let your coloured fondant cool back down as it will stick to your roller if it’s too warm. But don’t let it dry out, cover it with a cup or wrap it in foil. Don’t try to refrigerate it to be quick as this will only make your fondant go horrible! Just be patient, it doesn’t take long to go back to temperature on a cool surface like a chopping board.

I use gel food colouring to dye my fondant. I have only ever used supermarket fondant as I find it perfectly fine to use and it tastes good as well. To get the paisley look I used my round pastry cutters with the fluted edge usually used for mince pies and tarts. I dotted holes around the edge of the shapes to give it some detail and brushed it with gold shimmer dust.

To get a satin inlay inside the box just roll out a sheet of coloured fondant. I folded mine inside to get a luxury feel of fabric, dust with a white shimmer to give it luster. Of course, to make it look like a jewellery box, you need jewellery draping out of the box. I used some strung pearls that you can buy per meter, you only need one meter. I also used some nice sheer ribbon too. Get them to stay put by putting the cut ends between layers of fondant.

Click to enlarge

A tip I like to share when trying to transport your tasty treats, especially ones you’ve worked so hard on! When you only have a container that is just about big enough. Use a triple folded piece of baking paper underneath as pictured – that will go above the sides of your cake to retrieve your cake once inside the tin. Or else you’ll never get it out in one piece!

Happy baking everyone!

Yarning around! – knitted toy dinosaur

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Yarning around! – knitted toy dinosaur

Knitted Gifts for Kids

Smile!

I made this dinosaur from a magazine pattern, I forget which one, in September. It’s taken me a while to post on here as I’ve had a few distractions keeping me away. The magazine also features another dinosaur and can be knitted in any colours you like, even girly pinks and purples. My dear son loves this dino, and takes it to bed with him!

You can buy poly stuffing quite cheaply. This was an easy pattern, however it did seem like an eternity sewing up all those ends for the back plates. But was fun and glad I gave it a go.

Remember to always be extra careful sewing up toys for toddlers as they can be quite rough and tough on your knitted gift. Use a crochet hook to pull all the loose ends into the toy and firmly into the stuffing.

If you gave this pattern a go, let me know how you got on, I’d love to see the different colours you used. I used Hayfield fantasy in the green tones with orange and yellow toy yarn for the plates and spots.

Stegosaurus - Click to enlarge

Fathers Day – Modern Embroidered Hand Silouettes gift idea Update

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Fathers Day – Modern Embroidered Hand Silouettes gift idea Update

Personalized Fathers Day Gift

Overview of Embroidery

I said I’d update you all on my Father’s Day project for my hubby from my 2yr old son. I started the embroidery yesterday afternoon. I was surprised how quickly it grew. It’s pictured here with the mount i intend to use. I used two shades of a silvery grey. The canvas I used is slightly off-white. But that’s ok, it’s not as contrast as it looks in the picture.

Below is a picture guide to how I went about this. Any suggestions for the bottom right hand corner would be good. Or even if this should be filled in. I did want to reference the year and a father son quote that relates to the hands.

Please let me know what you think below.

Draw around hand cut out with light pencil

Check the composition of the hands with your frame or mount.

Using a large embroidery hoop, choose one hand to start with and move the hoop accordingly.

I used backstitch for my son's hand and outline stitch for my hubby's hand.

Embroidered and Appliqué Purse – using wool, silk, cotton etc

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Embroidered and Appliqué Purse – using wool, silk, cotton etc

A Birthday Gift for my Mother

Pink and Silver Theme Bag - Click to Enlarge

If you remember an earlier post about me going to the craft fair in Birmingham. I posted about purchasing lots of wool roving, silk and embroidery threads along with a few other things. Well, this is one result of this shopping spree. Let me know what you think below with a comment. I love to hear peoples opinions!

I was inspired by some of the work created by the people who run 21st Century Yarns. I created my own bag pattern to work from, and for anyone who knows me, would know how much of a perfectionist I am when it comes to planning and executing my craft projects. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted it to look. In the end I was very happy with this design. Although if I could change one thing I would have added even stiffer interfacing. I did think it would be heavy enough though. Something to learn from I guess.

As you can see by the pictures, I used my machine to fix the threads that I layered over the cotton fabric. I took time to make sure the placement was right. I used a wide silver coloured ribbon as an added accent which I really love. The background layer is calico that has been dyed in different tones. The colours are subtle but really work well. It’s lined with a silver coloured hand woven silk that I picked up from a different stall.

I am going to make a cushion in this similar fashion. Except I’m going to work in wool felt to add a bolder texture. This will be in a red/plum and a selection of greens. Any questions about my crafts are welcome! Happy Crafting!

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Click to Enlarge

Fathers Day – Modern Embroidered Hand Silouettes gift idea

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Personalized Fathers Day Gift

For Dad

For Fathers Day, for my husband, I’m going to try something different. I will be making something sentimental rather than purchasing something already gift wrapped from the store.

So, my idea is to mount and frame an embroidery of my husbands and my sons hands using the contour lines. One inside the other. With an appropriate quote like ‘always close at hand’ or ‘in safe hands’… You get the idea. I would like it in a black and white theme with the mount painted with finger marks in a grey/white.

I will post my results a bit later on in the week. Whether this ends up exactly as I’ve described is another thing. I do tend to tweak as I go along. So come back here soon to see what it’s like. Can’t wait to start. Leave a comment if you have any ideas for fathers day. Would love to hear them!

Patchwork Square Pincushion – Ideal Gift

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Make a pincushion

Click to Enlarge

I was asked to make a pincushion for my Aunt. Her favourite colours are black and white so that gave me my starting block. I think choosing fabric, is sometimes the hardest bit. I knew how I wanted it to look, so I winged it from there.

This is a rough guide to how it was made. It really is a simple design tho, let me know if you try this.

What you’ll need
½ metre (roughly) Ribbon
1 or 2 Buttons
2-3 Different Patterned Fabric (I used quilting cotton)
3.5″ square of Felt (any colour, but try not to be too contrasting if you can see it through the fabric)
Coordinating Sewing thread
Toy stuffing
Quilting Square (optional, but easier)
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Home Baked Gift Ideas. Printable Free Butterscotch and Gingersnaps Cookie Recipe

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Gingersnap and Butterscotch Cookie Recipe Gift Box

Yum!

This is a super cool way of giving home-made cookies as a gift. You can recycle containers or gift boxes you have received. If you have the budget you could use a mixing bowl as your ‘basket’ and line with tissue paper. See below for more ideas for your ‘basket’.

To pad out a very deep bowl or basket you can roll tissue paper into flattened balls and stick them with very small pieces of double sided tape just to anchor them. Cover with shredded tissue or a raffia and layer your cookies on top.

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