Make your own unique buttons using shrink plastic and permanent ink!
Its not like I don’t have enough buttons already, but sometimes you just need something special. These shrink plastic buttons are perfect for all kinds of craft projects, and as they use permanent inks can even be used on clothing*. Read more
It is fast approaching spring here in the UK and it’s also nearly Mothers Day (or Mothering Sunday) so I am celebrating the two events in this tutorial to make a floral brooch, a perfect gift for your Mum!
This brooch uses a technique called French Beading, which despite the name, is thought to have originated in Venice in the 16th Century. The method uses fine wire strung with tiny glass seed beads to form 3d flowers. It became especially popular in Victorian England, but fell out of favour due the technique being associated with the creation of funeral wreaths! Now French beading is often used in making bouquets and favours for weddings, as well as for all year round floral arrangements. I mean, flowers you don’t need to water? Sounds good to me! Read more
This updated version of string art uses bakers twine or embroidery thread stitched onto card, makes a wonderful Valentines card or frame-worthy piece of art!
As a kid, I remember a piece of string art hanging on the wall in our hallway. In string art, thread is wrapped between pins that have been stuck into a wooden or cork surface. Made by my uncle Charlie, it was a wonderful seventies number, all orange and brown sparkly threads. It always fascinated me, so I’m so glad I have found this type of paper embroidery is so similar, but much easier to display! And less seventies….
You will need:
-Bakers twine (or Embroidery Floss)
-Washi/Masking/other low tack tape
-Piece of thin foam or felt
1.Print out this template. If you print out on A4 without altering the scale, it will be just the right size for a A6 card. Trim template down to approx 1cm smaller than the front of your card. Temporarily hold in place with some washi or low tack tape.
3.Place the card onto your foam or felt surface and use the pin to punch a hole through each dot.
3.Thread your needle with 1metre of twine.
4.Leaving the paper template in place (you can rip it off later after all the stitching is finished) stitch from the back of the card to the front at point 1, leaving a 10cm tail. Hold the tail in place on the back of the card with a bit more tape.
5.Insert your needle in at point 2 and come out at point 3.
4.Take the needle in at point 4 and out a point 5. Follow this pattern of counting six points along clockwise to take your needle in and bringing it out another point along, going back in six points and out the next. After a few stitches, the pattern will become easier to see.
5.From point 13 you will be going through holes that already have twine in them (these points are numbered on the outside of the heart), just keep the pattern going.
6.Keep going until your needle goes in point 34 at the bottom of the heart.
7. Turn the card over and weave in the tail. Re-thread the start of the twine and weave this in too. Trim off any excess.
8.With another 1m of thread in your needle repeat the process on the other side of the heart, this time working anti-clockwise. So coming out of point one, counting six points along and taking the needle in, one along and stitching back 6, etc.
9.Weave the ends in as before and rip off the paper template.
-Thick brass wire, minimum of 1.2mm to 1.5mm
-Thin brass wire, 0.4mm to 0.6mm
-Household wire cutters
1.Cut 40cm of the thicker wire. Bend in half and use something like a Sharpie pen or similar at this mid-way point to create a smooth curved teardrop shape.
2.Take the chainnose pliers and grip one side of the wire just below the point where the two wires cross and bend it straight up.
3.Repeat on the other side
4.Cut a short (20cm approx) length of the thinner wire. Create a right angle bend about 1cm from one end. Hold this short end along the length of the thicker wire and begin tightly wrapping around the bangle, moving towards your hand.
5.Wrap about 5 times before tucking the end under the wrapped section, pulling tightly and cutting off the excess. Use youe pliers to make sure there are no sharp ends poking out
6.Use a cylindrical object (I’m using my craft storage stacker!) that is slightly smaller than your wrist to form the shape of the bracelet.
7. Measure the bangle around your wrist allowing an extra 1.5cm to create the hook. Cut off any excess wire (use household pliers on thicker wire so not to dent your nice jewellery pliers!). Use another piece of thinner wire to create another wrapped section approx halfway around the bangle.
8. Use the chainnose pliers to bend the end of the bangle back on themselves, creating the hook. You might want to use a nail file to smooth the ends.
9. Create a final wrapped section just before the hook. Adjust the bangle to fit.
Let me know if you use this tutorial to make your bangle, by commenting with a link or message me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! Happy Making!
These simple, rustic star decorations use wooden beads and some wire. You can even add some glitter for extra Christmas sparkle. You will need-
-25 round wooden beads. I’m using 6mm ones, but you can use any size.
-Washi Tape. Helps hold the wire in place.
-Glitter glue. Well, it is Christmas.
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!)
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.
3.Pull the wires tightly to form a circle.
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.
5. Repeat step 4 until you have five points. Both wires will now be coming out of the same bead, just on different sides.
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.
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 Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! Happy Christmas crafting!
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
-Awl or kebab skewer
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
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
9. Use the bead and sequin pins to attach the sequins
10.You can create lots of different pattern, like stripes
11.Try using different types of sequins, placed at random, for a really lovely effect.
12. You can even make star or snowflake patterns!
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 Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!
Learn a simple bookbinding technique to create your own notebooks or sketchbooks!
I always carry a notebook or sketchbook with me and when I was at art college I often made my own. In fact a lot of my artwork during that time was based around the idea of artists books. I had pinned a few bookbinding tutorials from the web on Pinterest and noticed they were getting a lot of re-pins.
But I couldn’t find any tutorials for my favorite type, soft bound binding. So I decided to make my own. Soft bound binding combines stitching and gluing pages together, with a flexible card cover. I also decided to add a decorative touch with some patterned washi tape!
You will need:
-3 sheets of A4 paper, you can use any type, but a nice cartridge works well
-card for the cover
-washi or paper tape
-thick thread like a linen
-large eye needle
-craft knife and cutting mat
-PVA/white glue and paintbrush
-pencil and ruler
-bone folder, awl,
Preparing the Paper
1. Take one sheet of A4 paper and cut into four equal postcard size pieces
2.Stack them on top of each other and fold them in half. I use a bone folder to make a really crisp fold.
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2with the other two pieces of paper.You will now have three small booklets, known as signatures in the bookbinding world
4.Take one signature and using a pencil and ruler, mark 2 holes along the inside of the fold, 3cm from each of the edges.To make sewing easier, use an awl (or your needle) to punch holes at the pencil marks. Do the same for the other two signatures
5.Thread your needle with approx. 50cm of linen thread and tie a knot at the other end. I’m using black to make it easier to see, but white generally looks better. Take one of your signatures and take the needle from the outside to the inside
6.Sew through the other hole back to the outside
7. Sew back down the first hole so you are on the inside again.
8.Take the needle under the thread, pull the thread tight so it lies flat against the paper and tie a knot
9.Pass the needle through that same hole, back to the outside and gently pull the knot through the hole so its sits on the spine. Don’t cut the thread at this point
10.Using the same piece of thread (which is still attached to the previous signature) repeat steps 6 – 10 with the other two signatures
11.Tie a final knot and trim off the thread tails.
12.Use the binder clips to hold the three signatures together. I like to use some scrap paper to stop the clips from scratching the paper.
13.Spread a generous layer of PVA glue on the spine and leave until its tacky.
14.Add another layer and repeat one more time. PVA glue is flexible, making it perfect for bookbinding.
Washi Tape Binding
15.Cut the card for the back and front covers to size and use the binder clips to hold everything together. Again, I’m using scrap paper to prevent the clips from marking the cover. Cutting a piece of tape the length of the spine.
16.Attach it, making sure you have an equal amount on each side.
17.Smooth the tape down, making sure it is securely attached.
18.Cut a piece of tape for the cover, this time leaving an overlap of a cm at each end. You can either stick this alongside the edge of the spine tape or overlap with the spine tape like I have. I’m using a paper tape from Paperchase (similar here) that is slightly more opaque than standard washi tape, meaning I can overlay them without seeing the one underneath.
19.Repeat for the back.
20.An optional step is to use a corner rounder paper punch (like this one from X-Cut) to round the corners, Moleskine style!
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.
You Will Need –
-A chunky needle (like a darning or knitters needle) approx 1.2mm thick
-Chain nose, Round nose and Side cutter pliers
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!