Projects so far

Saturday, 31 December 2011

52nd Project Completed - A 'Gilded' Panel

Well here we are, the 52nd and final project of the Challenge! 

I decided to go out with a bang and produce a totally textile inspired piece, more along the lines of my normal work. I hope you will find it interesting.

A panel inspired by a Russian icon made from sweetie wrappers and wrapping paper!

I have been meaning to get round to stitching a Russian style panel for ages as I have always admired them as an art form, and I feel it is quite apt for the time of year. Originally I thought of making it from fabric, but since starting this challenge I have decided to make it more 'multimedia' in make up so grab your glue spray, paint, paper and sewing machine and off we go!

Materials required:

  • Left over Christmas wrapping paper
  • Left over sweetie wrappers in Jewel like colours
  • A small piece of synthetic fabric (I used a scrap of Evolon which I was sent as a sample)
  • Adhesive spray suitable for fabric such as AD505
  • Sewing machine
  • Threads
  • Computer and printer
  • Freezer paper
  • A piece of fabric to use as a base, this can be anything - I used an old pillowcase
  • A stretched canvas ready for covering - luckily I had one lurking in the loft left over from my college days!
  • Fabric paints
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Scissors
  • An old chiffon scarf (the darker and finer the better!)
  • Staple gun

1. The very first thing to do is to measure your canvas, mine measures 30cms x 40cms so my backing fabric will have to be 46cm x 56cm to allow for wrapping around the canvas and attaching at the back. Once you have the measurement cut a piece of fabric this size. 

2. Now to getting all the pieces of the 'collage' together. The first step is to iron some freezer paper to an A4 sized piece of fabric and print out an image of your icon the correct size (I used an image from an old Christmas card. I played around with my image, cropped it down to just the figures and printed it out to get the size I wanted). 

3. Cut out your image and spray the reverse with some fabric adhesive spray, place it in the centre of your backing fabric and smooth it down. Now paint in some detail if required with some fabric paint.

3. Start to build up a frame around your image with torn pieces of wrapping paper and other shiny bits like chocolate and sweetie wrappers. Attach them using the spray adhesive The aim here is to achieve a worn, distressed look so don't be too precise!

4. Now add some Halos around the figures, again with torn paper.

5. You will find that the panel is now very gaudy, to knock it back and make it easier to stitch, spray the panel with a coat of the adhesive spray then smooth an old chiffon scarf over the top. The darker the better as this will not change the colours too much. Mine was a really dark blue scarf.

6. Now to the sewing machine...Thread up with some metallic thread and drop the feed dogs. Now embroider away to your hearts content. Try a meandering stitch around the frame, straight stitch around outlines and Halos etc. Change colours of thread and add detail to the figures. You may find it helpful to wind a few bobbins beforehand so you don't have to keep stopping to wind some. 

7. Once you are happy with your stitching, wrap it around and staple it to the canvas on the reverse.

And there we are the end of the challenge, 

I would just like to say a big thank you to all of you for supporting me along the way. I hope you have all enjoyed the projects as much as I have creating them. I also hope that I have come up with something that you all could have a go at. I have tried to keep the projects varied so that they appeal to all levels of skill and interest. 

Do pop into the Blog from time to time as you never know what I may be up to in the future - my next project will be a wearable art piece for the National Quilt Championships 2012 (hopefully) so keep an eye out for me there. If I do make any more recycled items, which undoubtedly I will, I will pop them on the blog for all to see.

The website will be available all year should you wish to download any more projects and I will get the last couple up there this week for you all. 

Anyway, this is me signing off and wishing you a very happy and crafty New Year!


Sunday, 25 December 2011

52nd Project announcement

Well thats Christmas day done, the dinner went well (thank goodness) and we have all eaten far too much! Everyone is now snoozing and the house has gone very quiet . This has given me a chance to come out to the office to write this, the last project announcement of the Challenge. 

I still can't believe I am at the end of my mad idea, it only seems a few weeks ago that I started but here we are number 52 so I felt it was apt to finish with some materials that I started with, and boy don't we have a lot of them left over from today!.....

Sweetie wrappers and used wrapping paper

I have a really special project in mind this week as a finale, so join me next Saturday night (If you can) for a New Year's Eve reveal!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

51st Project completed - Festive place holders

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

I hope that those of you who are celebrating Christmas this weekend are all nearly ready for the big day. It is always so much work but good fun when it does arrive. The house is, at last clean and tidy (not that anyone is expected to visit but at least I know it's done! The food is pretty much ready for tomorrow and tonight's dinner is ready to go into the oven so.....

Onto this weeks project - this is the last of the festive ideas so I hope you all enjoy it!

Festive place holders inspired by the napkin rings and matching centre pieces that I already own.

Materials needed:
  • Plastic milk bottle
  • Permanent marker pens
  • Crisp packets
  • Clean Tin Foil
  • Beads
  • Wire
  • Card (For Name cards)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
Instructions (to make 4 place holders):

1. Remove the top and bottom of your milk bottle and cut it open so you have a flat piece of plastic to work with. Mark and cut out 8 rectangles approx. 2" x 4" in size. Cut an aperture approx 1" x 3" in 4 of them to make frames the other 4 rectangles will become the backs. Now cut 4 strips 1/4" x 1" for stands. Colour the frames if desired with permanent marker pens. Glue the frames to the backs around 3 sides, just around the edges so you leave the inner edge free to hold the name cards.


3. Cut out some holly leaves from the foil, crisp packets and milk bottle plastic and glue around the edge of your apertures to decorate. 

4. Glue on some beads to simulate berries.

5. Now write out some name cards measuring approx. 11/4" x 31/2" these should slide into the frames from the open edge.

6. To finish glue your stands to the backs of your place holders so they stand upright.

There we have it the finished place holders seen here with the napkin rings that they were inspired by and some of the other festive projects I have produced over the last few weeks!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

51st project announcement

Well what am I going to use for this, my penultimate project?

Milk bottles and crisp packets of course!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

50th Project completed - recycled wine glass charms!

Don't you just hate it when you can't remember which drink is yours? Well no longer, jazz up your Christmas glasses with these cute little charms! I have made a set of 4: A Christmas tree, A snowman, A Christmas pudding and Father Christmas himself! All made from the plastic bottles and paper clips I found whilst tidying up last week!

Materials needed

  • A couple of white plastic bottles
  • Multi purpose Glue
  • Super Glue
  • Seed beads in different colours
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • China-graph pencil 
  • Sharp, thick needle
  • Thick knitting needle or similar
  • 4 small jump rings / metallic thread

1. Remove the top and bottom of your bottle then cut open so you have a flat piece of plastic to work on. Now draw out your designs using a china-graph pencil or similar.

2. Cut out the basic shapes and spread glue all over the front. Using tweezers, place seed beads into the glue to make the design. Then run a layer of super glue over them to seal.

3. Allow to dry thoroughly, whilst you wait straighten out the paper clips using the pliers. Then wind them around a thick knitting needle or similar. Trim off any excess and make an open loop at one end. 

4. Make a small hole at the top of each charm with a sharp, thick needle an attach a small jump-ring to each one. If you don't have any jump-rings you can make a loop with metallic thread.

5. Now thread a small number of beads and your charms onto your rings. Finish by making an open loop at the other end so you can interlock the loops to close

There we have it, a set of wine glass charms for your festive party!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

50th Project announcement

Good evening!

Welcome to the 50th project announcement, we are getting so close to the end of the challenge now I am actually beginning to feel a bit sad, I'm not sure what I will do without it!

Anyway lets get on with this week's announcement. What have I selected for this week's challenge?

A couple of white plastic bottles and a handful of bent paper-clips! 'Can you tell what it is yet?' - No nor can I !!!!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

49th Project Completed - A Victorian style tree decoration

Hi there, 

So what did I make with the plastic lids? 

A Victorian style tree ornament. 

I thought I would go a little more traditional this week, these are great fun and you could always combine a few together to make a garland. You could also use this idea to display family photos or miniatures throughout the year if the style suits your home. If you don't want to make the lace you could always buy some (but where's the fun in that?).

Materials needed

  • Plastic lids - screw in bottle tops work well for small 'frames' or go bigger with gravy / sauce granule tubs (as I did)
  • Scraps of white medium / heavy interfacing or tear away stabiliser
  • Sewing machine 
  • 'Wing' needle - we sell these at July Textiles if you have trouble finding them locally
  • White thread
  • Multi-purpose glue like UHU
  • A length of matching ribbon

1. Start by measuring the circumference of your lid, this will determine the length of lace required. Cut a strip of interfacing to twice this length.

2. Cut a suitable picture to size (I used a traditional 'Christmassy' picture) and stick it inside the lid.

3. Now, with the wing needle installed, select one of the 'forward, back, forward' or heirloom stitches such as those shown above.

4. Stitch in rows on the interfacing whilst holding it taut.. As the wing needle goes in and out of the fabric it will cut small holes which appear  as old fashioned 'drawn work' stitches. Clever Huh?

5. Once you strip is complete, make two lines of gathering stitches along one side with long running stitches. Draw these up to fit around the lid. Glue into place.

6. Add a hanging loop by glueing it to the back of the lid. 

There we are, a traditional style Christmas tree decoration and a new technique!

Join me tomorrow for next weeks materials announcement.