Abstract Art DIY

I don’t know about you, but my house always looks so bare and soulless after taking down the Christmas decorations. The lack of pretty sparkly things on my walls makes the dark and usually miserable British winter seem even more intolerable, so this year I decided to create some now artwork to hang up!

DIY Abstract Art

And trust me, you don’t need any special artistic talent for this, just pick a couple of paint colours that work with together (purple and pink, yellow and green, red and orange etc) and follow the steps! Read more

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DIY Pearl Stud Earrings

These DIY Pearl Stud Earrings are so simple to make, and only require beads and some wire!

Simple DIY Pearl Stud Earrings-1

Pearl Studs never go out of fashion. Making your own normally requires gluing special half drilled pearls and stud fittings with a cup base and pin together. But with this easy tutorial, you can use any pearl beads and just some basic plated wire. Read more

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Beginners Drawing Tutorial

This weeks post is a bit different – I’m getting back to my Fine Art roots with an art tutorial! A quick series of 4 drawing exercises to help you begin to draw.

Beginners Drawing Tutorial

I have wanted to do this for ages and decided that as October sees the Campaign for Drawing organise The Big Draw (with events all over the world to encourage people to draw) this was the perfect time to get around to it!. The first thing people usually say to me when they hear I studied Fine Art is ‘ooh you must be very good at drawing!’ Well, I’m not. I actually find drawing really difficult,  and much prefer to paint or take photographs. But I CAN draw. In fact everyone can. Read more

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How to Needle Felt

What is Needle Felting? Its the technique of taking fluffy wool roving and stabbing it with a special barbed needle to create felted objects. It is similar to traditional wet felting were you felt wool using hot water and soap. Both methods tangle the loose wool fibres to make a solid felt fabric. Needle felting allows you create 3d shapes a lot easier and because there is no water involved, doesn’t need time to dry.

How to Needle Felt Read more

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Simple Bookbinding Notebook DIY

Simple Bookbinding Notebook DIY

Learn a simple bookbinding technique to create your own notebooks or sketchbooks!

Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

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!

Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

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
-binder clips
Optional
-bone folder, awl,

Preparing the Paper
Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

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

Sewing
Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

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

Gluing
Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

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
Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

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!

Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

Simple Bookbinding DIY Tutorial

 

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Tutorial – 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

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