Projects so far

Sunday, 29 May 2011

22nd Project announcement

Evening all!

I hope you have all had a good day especially if you have spent it crafting! I have spent the day up at Hollycombe steam collection today working with my two favorite men: my Dad and my other half. Which made it my favorite sort of day.

We are all back home now, a little grubby and tired but happy with the day's work so I am just having a cup of tea and updating the blog before a well earned shower and bed!

So what am I going to be playing with this week?

An old pair of tights!

Join me on Saturday to see what I have made.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

21st Project completed - A felted cuff

Hi all, well I have got back at last. As I said in my last post the technology gremlins have been out in force this last week. Very annoying but there we are, i suppose you can't expect every thing to go smoothly all the time!

Here it is, this week's project, a nice fun one......

A felted cuff made using an old coke bottle, some scraps of felt left over from Christmas and some left over scraps and fibers!

Materials used

  • An empty 2L bottle of coke (other brands are available!)
  • Scissors
  • Left over scraps of fabric, threads and silk fibres
  • A scrap of felt
  • An embellishing machine or needle-felting tool


1. Cut the top and bottom off your bottle, then cut up the side of your bottle to open it out.  Cut a strip approx 5cm wide around the bottle. Fold in half and cut so you have two identical strips. Glue one inside the other and set aside to dry. Save the bottom for another brooch?


2. Mark out on a piece of felt felt, a strip the same size as your plastic piece plus 5mm all round as a seam allowance . Now lay threads, scraps of fabric or silk fibres / fleece if you have any on top.

3. Using an embellishing machine or needle-felting tool, attach the fibres to the felt and felt in well.


4. Cut out and glue to the outside of your plastic strip. Cut another strip of felt which is the same size as your plastic strip and glue to the inside.

5. Now, carefully fold in the outside edges to the inside and slip stitch into place neatly.

6. To make a closure, knot one end of a piece of decorative cord several times and thread between the layers to the outside at one end, repeat at the other end. The cuff can now be tied around the wrist with a bow.

There we have it, a colourful felted cuff join me tomorrow evening for next weeks project announcement - all providing the gremlins have moved on for good!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

21st Project announcement

Better late than never?

I must apologise for the late arrival of this announcement, the technology gremlins have been having a great time all week!

However here it is the photo of what I am playing with this week.

An old 2L coke bottle

Saturday, 21 May 2011

20th project completed! A photo album for a friend

Well here we are again and already at number 20! I just can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. A friend from work was 21 the other day, she was 17 when I started there! We all went to celebrate this milestone last night, and I thought I would make a small gift to take with me.

So this week I have used the retrieved items to make a photo album - Kelly is very into her photography and she took the picture that I have used on the front herself. With all the photo's taken last night I am sure she will need more than one album but it's a start!


Materials needed:

  • Old washing powder box
  • Glue
  • Newspaper
  • An empty Tomato Puree tube
  • Craft knife
  • Black Sugar paper
  • A left over piece of wrapping paper / handmade paper


1. Start with the empty tomato puree tube. Cut off the top and bottom and slit open the tube to make a flat sheet.

2. Rub the sheet gently but firmly with the back of a spoon to 'iron' out any creases.

3. Now cut a frame from the sheet using scissors and a small tab. From the wrong side emboss a pattern into the frame whilst it is placed on a towel or some newspaper, just as I did in the frame project (project 7) back in February. Also, emboss a name / age into the tab (don't forget this needs to be reversed as you are working from the back!)

4. Now print out a picture to fit the frame. This can be on paper or fabric (using freezer paper as in project 18). Cut out and set aside.

5. To cut the pages, fold 6 pieces of A2 paper into quarters you can trim to size if needed later. Using a blunt knife cut the bottom edge. You can make as many page sets as you like I chose 6 as that was all I had stashed in the loft! Stack these neatly and follow the instructions below to sew them together.

Sewing the pages together

1. Take your stack of pages and using a chalk pencil, make 6 evenly spaced lines across the stack. These marks will be the stitching holes so take care to ensure they line up correctly.

2. Take your first set of 4 pages, open them out onto a cutting mat. Using a needle, punch holes through the chalk marks. Repeat with all the other sets.

3. Now sew as follows:

  1. Take the 1st set, using a Strong thread, make a running stitch in and out of the holes you have made. Leave a tail of thread to connect to the second set.
  2. Take the 2nd set and line it up with the 1st set. Sew into the top hole and out of the 2nd, then in through the 2nd hole in the 1st set and out of the 3rd hole (in the 1st set). Now sew in through the 3rd hole of the 2nd set, this sews the 2 sets together.
  3. Sew out of the 4th hole of the 2nd set of pages into the 4th hole of the 1st set. Then out of the 5th hole in the 1st set and into the 5th hole in the 2nd set, finally sew out of the 6th hole in the 2nd set.
  4. To secure the ends, loop the thread through the thread on the 1st set using a kettle stitch
  5. Continue adding all the sets in the same way. Tie off using a couple of half-hitch knots at the top and leave a 3" tail at the end. This will all be hidden in the spine later.


6. Now for the washing powder box; Cut off the front and back of the box to form the front and back of your album and cut a strip for the spine. The cover boards need to be 1/4" longer and 1/8" wider than the pages. The strip should be the width of your stack of pages once stitched together.

7. Now take your cover paper, on the reverse side draw a line 1" from the bottom of the paper. Use this line to place the boards in the following order: FRONT  SPINE  BACK leaving a 1/8" gap in between each and mark. You need to be quite precise with the gaps or your cover will not fold properly!

8. Remove the boards, apply a thin layer of glue and stick the to the cover paper at the marks. Fold in and glue each side of excess paper and glue into place, mitering the corners. Roll with a rolling pin to make sure everything is really stuck well and set the cover to one side to dry. You can then decorate the front with your picture, frame and tab.

9. Now attach the pages to the cover by gluing the 1st and last pages to the inside of the cover making sure to hide the loose ends as you go. 

And there we have it a lovely gift for a friend all made from recycled materials and some bits and pieces from the loft! By the way you can also use this cover technique to recover notebooks etc. that you don't like the cover of. Just cut the middles out, make a new cover and stick the 1st and last of the remaining sheets to the new cover.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

20th Project announcement

Good evening!

Well the start of another project, the twentieth in the challenge (yes already). The kids have Radio 1's Big weekend on and are watching Lady Gaga. I must say I love all her outfits and feel she is doing such a great job at promoting fashion and wearable art. Which can only be applauded. So while she is on wearing a very tame (for her) shiny PVC number, I will let you know what I will be playing with this week.

So this week I have......

A large soap-box, a newspaper and an empty tomato puree tube (I have another one which is very nearly finished so I may add that one in too).

See you Saturday night for the result.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

19th Project completed: A shabby chic thread / momento box

Hi all!

Well this week seems to have been a really long one. My Step-son has been doing his AS Level art exams this week so alot of the week has centred around keeping him working. At last here we are, Saturday. Time to see what I have been up to this week.

As you know I have been trying to sort out the workroom over the last couple of weeks. I have been grabbing a bit of time here and there to do small sections in between working on the websites, answering customer's queries and housework looking after the kid's etc. I am nearly there now and the room is already easier to use and hopefully keep tidy in the future.

Like most embroiderers, I have a few favorite threads that I use all the time and I like to keep them handy. They need to be kept dust free and not be allowed to 'spool off' the reels and get tangled. So I have decided to try making a small box which I can leave out handy for the sewing machine to store them in. This type of box could also easily be made to hold momentoes or jewellery instead.

Materials needed:

  • Strong cardboard boxes
  • A newspaper
  • Paint
  • PVA Glue
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • A Laminator sheet
  • Laminating machine
  • Craft Knife
  • Packing string


1. I decided to use a small washing powder box as the main box. The first step is to stick down any flaps so you have a solid box without any openings.

2. Cut around one side of the box to form a lid (as shown in picture above). Leave one edge attatched to make a hinge.

3. Cover the entire outside of the box and inside the lid with a layer of newspaper to add strength and create a better surface to paint on.

4. Leaving a frame around the edge. Cut a design into the lid to reflect the items it is designed for - mine says threads.

5. Make compartments using strips of card taken from another box. Glue them into place with a glue gun. I made the compartments the right size to hold 1000yd cops of thread and some sundries, but the size of the compartments you create is up to you.

6. Paint the box inside and out. I used an old blue matt emulsion test pot that I found in the shed but you could use acrylic paint. I found that using the emulsion over the PVA glue created a crackle effect similar to that found on 'shabby chic' type furniture which is ideal for this project!

7. Run an empty laminator pouch through the laminator and stick it to the inside of your lid as a window.

8. Thread a piece of packing string or ribbon through the lid and another piece corresponding to it on the front of your box and tie to close.

There we have it a recycled box for momentoes or in my case threads!

See you tomorrow night for the announcement of next week's materials.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

19th Project announcement


Well here we are, Sunday evening again! So what am I going to be playing with this week?

A selection of cardboard boxes.

They are all good stiff cardboard so there must be something I can do with them. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

18th project completed - a desk tidy and pencil pot!

Hi all,

As I mentioned last week I have set my sights on tidying up my work room. Like a lot of crafters, I have far too much stuff hanging around as well as a bulging craft stash yet to be used. The worst area in my room is my desk. Constantly cluttered, it needs to be both a place to work and play. So this week I decided to make some storage for all the stationary I have. Hopefully then I will stop losing things!

So here it is.........

Materials needed

  • Assorted tubs and pots
  • Newspaper
  • Wadding
  • Lining type fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Threads
  • FREEZER PAPER - we sell this by the metre in our online store at:
  • Computer
  • Ink jet printer

    To make the fabric:

    I used a computer manipulated image. You can do this online on a site like which has a large number of editing tools. You need to register and upload an image. Then you can play with all the editing tools available. Once you have an image save it to your computer or you can save and print out directly from the website.

    Steps to print fabric using freezer paper:

    Freezer paper is a great product, one of it's many uses is to help print images onto fabric at home. A note of caution though, images will not be washable so unless you have pre-treated the fabric with a special solution the process is not suitable for clothes etc.

    1. Cut a piece of freezer paper to A4 size (or A3 if you have an A3 printer).
    2. Iron the shiny side to a piece of fabric the same size.

    3. Print your design onto the fabric. I printed a couple of sheets to give me enough to cover my tidy.
    4. Leave to dry and remove the paper.

    Steps to make the desk tidy

    1. Cut all rims from your pots

    2. Arrange your pots as desired so they tessellate together. I used the large cream pot as a pencil pot and made two compartments with tin foil trays (the tin trays were easily bent around the edge of the pot and then joined together with a bit of tape).

    3. Cover with wadding. I covered the pencil pot section separately as this made it easier to cover with fabric later.
    4. Make a cardboard base large enough to mount onto all the pots when joined together, this will add stability to your tidy.
    5. Cover carefully with your printed fabric slipstiching the edges together, As I said above I covered the pencil pot separately to make it easier.
    6. Now stick your pots down onto the cardboard base which could be covered or painted to match.

    There we have it, a handy desk tidy using scraps of fabric and discarded pots.

    I suddenly have the urge to add some embroidery to this as I think it's a bit plain, so I might be coming back to it later. I will update you all if I do!

    Sunday, 1 May 2011

    18th Project announcement

    Evening all,

    Another busy day playing engines at Hollycombe so slightly mucky and looking forward to a shower! I've got loads of orders from the online shop to get through tomorrow which is nice. I guess a lot of people must be getting bored with all those Bank holidays we have had lately. I really am looking forward to getting back to normal now. It is so difficult keeping the kids occupied.

    Anyway, this week I am going to carry on tidying and organising the workroom. I really like the idea of decking out the room with matching storage items, so I am going to try and make them instead of hitting the shops. Lets see if I can make a matching set!

    The materials I have managed to find this week are.......

    A selection of pots and tins