Projects so far

Sunday, 25 September 2011

39th project announcement

I have always been a bit of a womble, especially when I am dressmaking. Supplies are really quite expensive so I save anything I can, especially things like zips. I always remove them from garments that I am getting rid of. The trouble is I end up with some that I never use. So this week I am going to try and use some of the less useful ones up in a creative way

38th Project completed - a gift box

Welcome to the 38th completed project in the challenge. Firstly I must apologise for being a few hours late with this one, I had completed 3/4 of the project and had put it to one side when the pup decided she required a snack and decided that it looked good enough to eat! So I had to begin all over again!!!!!

Anyway here it is, a paper mache gift box.


  • Empty gravy tub
  • Cereal box
  • Multi purpose Glue
  • PVA Glue
  • 1 Sheet of tissue paper
  • Decoupage flower
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Scissors


1. Cut your gravy tub  down to the desired size, you need to end up with two sections, a base and a lid. Cut a circle from the cereal box to make a top for the lid and glue into place.

2. Cut a strip from your cereal box that is the same height as the inside of your base plus 5mm x the inside circumference of your base and glue it inside your base so that it lines the inside of the base and creates a lip for the lid to fit onto.


3. Cover your sections inside and out with a layer of tissue paper. Try not to build up too many layers around the inside if the lid and around the lid as this will make fitting the lid more difficult!

4. Add some decoration, I used a flower that I removed from a handmade decoupaged greetings card that i was given, and there we have it a great little gift box ideal for any small gift!


Sunday, 18 September 2011

38th Project announcement

Good evening, for this week's project I have decided to use a couple of cardboard sauce tins. I'm not sure what they will develop into yet. So join me on Saturday night to find out!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

37th Project completed - A metal work pendant

Hello again!

Wow this week has past quickly, last time I looked it was Sunday evening and now it is Saturday already. As you will know from the previous post, I decided to play about with an old metal paste tube. 

I knew that as the metal was nice and soft it could be easily embroidered on a machine but I must admit to never having tried it myself. I have discovered that I love it. It was so much fun to do! So here it is a metal work pendant made from a purée tube! 

Materials needed

  • Empty purée tube
  • Small scrap of felt
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Ball point pen
  • Multi purpose glue
  • Spoon


1. Open out your empty purée tube by cutting off the top and bottom then cutting up one side. Clean thoroughly and place onto a folded towel, iron out any wrinkles with the back of a spoon. Mark out a rough design with a ball point pen.

2. Cut a small piece of the tube to the desired size of your pendant and back with a piece of felt, then with your feed dogs lowered and an embroidery foot fitted to your machine start stitching in random small circles. I used 3 colours of thread separately: yellow, orange, red and merged them together.

3. Returning to the towel, working from the rear colour in the motifs with the ball point pen to emboss the design. Then trim.

4. Cut another piece of felt to cover the back of your work and glue into place with the multi-purpose glue. Trim into the finished shape once the glue has completely dried.

5. Securely stitch a jump ring to the top of your pendant, it is now ready to be threaded onto a piece of cord or a chain ready for wearing.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

37th Project announcement

I have had a few requests for more ideas for using purée tubes in projects. I have pretty much used up this tube so I am going to have a play with it!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

36th project completed! A felted mobile phone sock

Last week's project started me thinking about the stuffing left over from the pillow. A saw no reason why the filling couldn't be used as a backing for needle-felting and with embellishing machines as a ground to work on. I have been meaning to use one of my favourite photos of my daughter when she was little in a project, so I had a play and came up with this. A felted mobile phone sock for her to keep her phone safe.

it is a reasonably quick project and one for those of you who are looking for an excuse to experiment.

Materials needed

  • Stuffing from an old pillow
  • A small amount of merino wool tops
  • Small shell beads
  • Sewing machine
  • Embroidery threads
  • Embellishing machine / Needle-felting needle and pad
  • A small piece of lightweight water soluble stabiliser

1. Pull out a section of stuffing and flatten out to about the size of an A4 piece of paper. using an embellishing machine or needle-felting tool and pad, felt the fibres together until you have a stable base.
Before felting                                                        After Felting

2. Lay some wool fibres on top of your base as above then using the embellishing machine or needle-felting tool, felt together the fibres until they make a stable background. Put to one side

3. Using a small piece of water soluble stabiliser, trace off your motif (in my case, my Daughter). And pin in place onto your background

4. Using straight stitch and with your feed dogs lowered carefully fill in the motif. 

5.Once finished tear away the stabiliser to leave your embroidered motif on your background.

6. Fold your 'panel' in half lengthways, checking that the position of your motif looks OK and trim to the right size for your phone plus a little for a seam on two sides. Stitch with right sides together then carefully turn the right way out.

7. You can now add some beads etc. for detail. I had some small shell beads lying around so I added those. There we have it a lovely mobile phone sock and a lot of money saved by using stuffing rather than lots of wool tops!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

36th Project Announcement

Well what a long day, unfortunately not a good one. I've spent all day up at the Accident and Emergency Department of the local hospital with my other half after he got a piece of metal in his eye. Despite many attempts by the staff, they were unable to remove it so another trip is required tomorrow to see the Eye Specialist. 

Consequently I have not had a lot of time to decide what I am going to use this week. However I did start to wonder if there was anything else I could do with the pillow filling left over from last week's project so I think I will have a go with that.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

35th project completed - A Quilted Penguin bag

Well what do you make with an old pillow?

A quilted Penguin bag of course!

Some of you may be wondering how I come up with the ideas and the process I go through to decide what to make each week. This weeks challenge is a prime example.

The first step is to work out what the item to be recycled is actually made of. In this case the pillow was made up of some poly cotton fabric and some polyester hollow fibre filling. Quilting obviously came to mind as a way of turning the raw materials I had into something new. 

A very similar process happens every week for example; a plastic bottle is just a thin sheet of plastic. We all know that plastic melts when exposed to heat, it is easy to cut and does not fray. Equally, a tomato purée tube is really just a thin piece of metal once opened out, and can be cut and embossed easily. It is a very soft metal so it can also be sewn through with care. 

So why not take a look around the house for things to use rather than using something new?


  • An old pillow - well washed of course
  • 2 x A4 sized inkjet Tee-shirt transfers
  • An inkjet printer
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • 2 x A4 sized pieces of felt
  • 1.5m Wide ribbon

1. Print out 2 x Tee-shirt transfers with a design of your choice

2. Cut open the top of your pillow, remove the filling and cut out 2 pieces from the case about A4 in size. Iron on your Tee-shirt transfers.

3. As your pillow has been washed, no doubt the filling will have bunched together a bit. Pull out a thin layer and flatten out to use as a wadding.

4. Layer up 1 x printed piece of fabric and a piece of felt with the wadding in the middle.

5. Take one 'sandwich' and using your motif as a guide, lower the feed dogs on your sewing machine and using straight stitch sew through all three layers to quilt (Quilting purists look away now!). Repeat with the second 'sandwich'.

6. Once both sides of the bag are quilted, place right sides together, pin and stitch about 1cm from the edge down each side and across the bottom. Zig-zag over the edges to protect the edges.

7. Now turn down approx 3cm to hem the top and stitch. Turn the bag right side out and set to one side.

8. To make the shoulder strap, fold your length of ribbon in half and stitch the sides together using a zig-zag stitch over the edges. You can then add a few extra rows of stitching to add strength and a decorative touch.

9. Sew the strap to the bag and there we have it a cute little bag. I am going to keep the rest of the filling to use as stuffing and other projects.

Other ideas - You could add a fringe (as I did) or tassels to the bottom of the bag or use some extra printed fabric to make the strap.