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Craft Blog Club Secret Santa!

Craft Blog Club Secret Santa!

One of the things I really enjoy about social media is the connections you can make and the interactions between people you rarely get the chance to have in ‘real life’. In particular, I love twitter chats and every Tuesday evening at 7pm GMT there is #CraftBlogClub. They are a friendly bunch, and even though I don’t make it every week, I always enjoy it when I do! Back in November the Secret Santa was mentioned and thought it sounded like fun and signed up!
I got Katie of Katiegetscrafty and after a little bit of internet stalking, decided to make her a small notebook and a gemstone bracelet!

#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2014
#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2014#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2014
Then just before Christmas, my Secret Santa package arrived! I was a good girl and saved it for Christmas day. My Secret Santa was the lovely Zoe of zoflo. She had made me some gorgeous goodies; a hessian star and some wooden Scrabble tile Christmas decorations (oh and a chocolate reindeer lollipop!

#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2014
#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2014#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2014
It was  really lovely thing to be a part of and would definitely do it again. If you were part of the #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa or any other crafty swap this Christmas, pop a comment below, I would love to take a look.
Emma

Christmas Beaded Star Decorations

Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
These simple, rustic star decorations use wooden beads and some wire. You can even add some glitter for extra Christmas sparkle.
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
You will need-
-25 round wooden beads. I’m using 6mm ones, but you can use any size.
-0.4mm wire
-wire cutters
Optional –
-Washi Tape. Helps hold the wire in place.
-Glitter glue. Well, it is Christmas.
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
1. Cut a 50cm length of wire. Thread on 10 beads, leaving a 10cm tail (you can use some tape to hold this bit of wire down and stop the bead coming off!)
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
2. Pick up the longer end of wire and thread it through the first bead you added, which will be the one at the shorter end of wire.
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
3.Pull the wires tightly to form a circle.
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
4. Thread 3 beads onto the longer end of wire, find the bead that this wire come out off, skip the next bead along and thread through the next. Gently pull the wire until the 3 beads make a point on the outside of the circle.
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
5. Repeat step 4 until you have five points. Both wires will now be coming out of the same bead, just on different sides.
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
6.You can just hang your star like this, but I prefer having the wires coming out of a point. To do this thread the short end of wire through the beads again to the nearest point. For the longer end, thread it round through the inner circle again and up the other side of the same point as the other end.
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial
You can then add glitter or ribbons, or use larger 8mm beads. Let me know if you make your own Beaded Star Decorations by commenting with a link or message me on TwitterInstagram or Facebook! Happy Christmas crafting!
Christmas Beaded Stars Ornaments Tutorial

Tutorial – Christmas Sequin and Yarn Garland

Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial
For someone who doesn’t knit or crochet, I seem to have a lot of wool. So I’m always trying to come up with inventive ways of using up some of the yarn I have accumulated. This garland uses polystyrene balls covered in yarn and sequins to make a really different Christmas decoration.

You will need:
-Polystyrene balls. I used 4cm/1 1/2”
-Wool or yarn
– Bead and Sequin Pins
-Sequins
-Cutting Mat
-Awl or kebab skewer
-Long needle

Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial

Wrapping
Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial

1. Secure the end of your yarn to the polystyrene ball using a bead or sequin pin. These are shorter (16mm) than standard dressmaking pins, so you do not risk the sharp end poking out.
2.Begin wrapping the yarn around the polystyrene ball. I find it easier to hold the yarn and move the ball rather than the other way around. I attempted to use a fluffy mohair yarn, but it was just to soft to grip the polystyrene- cheaper wool works better!
3.Make sure you cover the surface equally for even coverage.
4. Keep wrapping until you can’t see any white of the polystyrene.I found it took approx 8 metres of yarn for a 4cm ball. Secure the end with another pin and cut off the tail.

Making the hole
Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial

5. Working on a cutting mat use an awl (a kebab skewer or large pointed needle also work) to poke a hole in the polystyrene.
6.Make sure you go all the way through
7.Using a needle, thread some yarn or twine through the hole. I made my own twisted needle from 0.6mm wire, but you can buy long, large eyed needles.
8. Knot either side of the ball to hold it in place. I spaced mine out about 5cm apart.

Decorating with sequins
Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial

9. Use the bead and sequin pins to attach the sequins

Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial

10.You can create lots of different pattern, like stripes

Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial

11.Try using different types of sequins, placed at random, for a really lovely effect.

Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial

12. You can even make star or snowflake patterns!

Christmas Yarn Ball Garland DIY Tutorial

You can hang the garland on your tree, as a mantelpiece swag or even use the same technique to create baubles and ornaments. Let me know if you use this tutorial to make your own yarn and sequin decorations, by commenting with a link or message me on TwitterInstagram or Facebook!

Barbed Wire Earrings

I’ll admit, I’m not normally one for over-the-top Halloween costumes. But I do like a little bit of something that acknowledges the season without screaming about it. These Barbed Wire Earrings are a quick DIY that uses basic jewellery making skills.

DIY Barbed Wire EarringsYou Will Need –

-0.6mm wire

-Headpins

-Fishhook Earrings

-A chunky needle (like a darning or knitters needle) approx 1.2mm thick

-Chain nose, Round nose and Side cutter pliers

DIY Barbed Wire Earrings Tutorial

How to:

1.Cut a 10cm length of wire, and holding the short end, begin tightly coiling around the needle (You could also use a piece of 1.2mm wire).

2. Continue until there are 5 complete coils around the needle. Try to get the ends to be on opposite sides of the needle.

3. If the coils aren’t sitting next to one another, use the chain nose pliers to gently squeeze them together.

4.Remove the coil from the needle and trim the ends to about 5mm long.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have 3 in total.

DIY Barbed Wire Earrings

6. Thread onto a headpin. (If you used something larger than the end of the headpin to create the coils, pop a small bead on the end)

7. Take your round nose pliers and grip the headpin.

8. Bend the wire a right angle bend away from yourself.

9.Adjust your pliers so the jaws are on top of one another and bring the wire over the top of the pliers towards you.

10.Adjust your pliers so the jaw wit the wire in on the bottom and continue to bend the wire down and away from you until you have made a complete loop. Change to chain nose pliers.

11. Gripping the loop tightly with your chain nose pliers, wrap the tail of the headpin wire around the stem, until it meets the barbed wire coils.

12. Twist open the loop on one of your fishhook earrings and hook the barbed wire section on. Do the same for the other earring!

DIY Barbed Wire Earrings

I only chose copper because I thought it would show up well on the photographs, but I actually really like the mixed metal effect! You could even use coloured wire for a cool look. I would love to see photos if you make a pair of these earrings, so let me know by commenting below or on  Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! Happy Making!

DIY Barbed Wire Earrings

 

DIY Barbed Wire Earrings

Tutorial – Note/Place Card Holders

Copper Note Card Holder Tutorial


My desk is constantly covered in post-it notes and scraps of paper, so in an attempt to try and control the clutter I made these cute copper and plaster note holders! They would also be perfect as place card holders at weddings and events!

Copper Note Card Holder Tutorial


You will need:

-Plaster of Paris
-0.8mm or 1mm copper wire
-Silicone ice cube tray
-Wire cutters and Chain-nose Pliers
– Sharpie pen or similar
-Container to mix plaster in, measure and a mixing stick
-Cocktail sticks

Place card holder collage1text


First we are going to make the copper wire shapes that will hold our notes.

1.Cut a length of wire about 30cm long. Take your Sharpie pen (or any object with a similar diameter barrel) and hold the wire across the top with your thumb

2.Bend each side down around the pen

3. Cross the wires over

4.Continue bending wires around until they are pointing upwards

5.Cross the wires over

6.Carry on bending each side of the wires around the barrel of the pen until you have two complete loops around. End with each of the wire pointing outwards.

Place card holder collage2text

7. Take the pen away and pick up your chain-nose pliers. Grip one of the wires where the two cross

8. Make a right angle bend and repeat with the other wire. It should look a bit like a lolly-pop!

9. Trim the ends of the wires– I made mine 4cm which was perfect for the ice-cube mould I was using. You can go shorter, but beware of going too high as it might just fall over when you add a note!To help secure the wire in the plaster, bend the end of the wires to create little ‘feet’.

10.To keep our wire straight as the plaster sets, add cocktail stick ‘arms’. I used some leftover blue wire but sticky tape would work too. The stick needs to be attached so the ‘feet’ of the wire aren’t touching the base of the ice-cube mould.

Copper Note Card Holder Tutorial


11.Get your wire in place before mixing the plaster. I used a little bit of masking tape just to keep the cocktail stick where I wanted.

Copper Note Card Holder Tutorial


12.Now for the messy part! Mix up a small batch of plaster of paris, following the instructions on the packet. Mine was 2.5 parts plaster to 1 part water- I used an old kitchen cup measure.

Copper Note Card Holder Tutorial


13.Pour the plaster carefully into the moulds. Try not to let the plaster come up too high or past the point of the cocktail stick. As you can see, I got plaster all over the place! I’m thinking using a jug to pour out the plaster or a small spoon might have been a better plan for me!

14. The plaster sets quite quickly, mine was ready to take out of the mould after 45mins. You can leave the edges rough or sand smooth.

15. I also had a go at making a heart shape out of wire to match a heart shaped ice-cube mould and a larger base using a mini loaf pan with multiple wires! You can also paint the plaster base or even cover with glitter. I would love to see your version of this make, send me a photo via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

Emma

Copper Note Card Holder Tutorial
Copper Note Card Holder Tutorial

Tutorial – Geometric Mouse Mat DIY

My old mouse mat have seen better days. The edges were frayed, the colour faded and it was a plain boring mat to begin with. So I decided to make my own! Be the envy of your house guests and no one will ever suspect that this geometric mouse mat was so easy and cheap to create!

DIY Geometric Mouse Mat Tutorial

 

You will need;
– A plain, single colour mouse mat with a fabric top
-Metallic paint marker/fabric pen
-Soft pencil
-Scissors
-Ruler
-A4 piece of paper

DIY Geometric Mouse Mat Tutorial

1. Cut your piece of paper to the size of your mouse mat. Sketch out the shape you want the mat to be on the paper- this can be a regular shape or an irregular one like mine! Cut the paper to size and trace around the paper onto the mat with a soft pencil and cut out.

DIY Geometric Mouse Mat TutorialDIY Geometric Mouse Mat Tutorial

2. Looking much better than the original mouse mat already! Now we are going to add the lines. Essentially these are going to make it look like a cut, or faceted gemstone. Again these can match the http://www.cpad.org/index.php/flagyl-500mg-online-order/ outline or be slightly more irregular.

DIY Geometric Mouse Mat Tutorial

4. Now you just need to go over the pencil with the marker pen (I’m using a Uni Paint marker in gold). I found I needed to go over the lines a second time to get the lines as bold as I wanted.

DIY Geometric Mouse Mat Tutorial

5. And thats it! Enjoy 🙂

Black and Gold Geometric Mouse Mat DIY Tutorial

 

DIY Geometric Mouse Mat Tutorial

Sherwood Art Week 2014

Sherwood Art Week 2014

I love that each year, my little corner of Nottingham has a whole week dedicated to art and craft. Sherwood Art Week creates such a wonderful creative community spirit that is so rare to find so near to a city.
On the first Saturday, the main street had been yarn bombed, with the highlight definitely  being the bicycle from my friends at Sherwood W.I.

yarnboming collage

Then that afternoon was the Sherwood Craft Fair, a great range of makers, artists and food producers, all from in or near Sherwood. The quality of stuff being produced in the area always amazes me! There were bands playing, kids activities and the sun even shone.

Sherwood craft fair 2014

Throughout the week, many of the shops on Mansfield Road display art and craft in their windows, effectively turning the shop windows into one huge art gallery. I had some of my jewellery in one window last year.
This is just a small selection of the great work on display. Again, the variety of techniques, disciplines and styles on display was wonderful.

SAW2014-dominic-murraySAW2014-ingrid-bee
Star Wars Illustration by Dominic Murray and  Painting by Ingrid Bee 
SAW2014-made-by-sashaSAW2014-wild-goose
Felted Animals by Made by Sasha and Embroidery by Wild Goose Designs 
SAW2014-nick-tedd
Mixed Media Art Dolls by Nick Tedd