Monday, 31 October 2011

Easy Christmas Stocking for Non-Sewers!


This is the Christmas stocking that I made for my daughter, Poppy. I'm not a very good sewer as you can see!! However, it is very easy to make something similar even if you can only sew in straight lines.

First I drew an outline of a stocking on some baking paper. Then I cut two of the stocking out and sewed a very rough 'P' on to one of them using different material. Then I put the right sides together and sewed. I wanted the different material at the top of the stocking as well, so I cut out two rectangles that I thought looked like they would fit at the top of my stocking, and sewed them to it. Everything was pretty rough!

Then I just added some ribbon for decoration and for the hanging bit. Poppy loves it even though it's very basic! Just have a go - use pretty materials and you'll surprise yourself and make something that looks really nice!

Happy making!


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Sweet Christmas Bird Decorations

Craft/Sewing/Home Decorating:

Following on from Em's gorgeous Christmas wreaths I have these sweet little bird decorations for you to make for the Christmas tree.

These birds are a really simple little decoration to make to brighten up your Christmas tree, hang in a row on the wall or could even be tied to a present as a personalised tag.


  • I used iron on interfacing to make the body of the birds a bit more sturdy.
  • You can also attach the ribbon to the bird after you have made the bird by threading the ribbon through the top of the bird with a sharp needle with a large eye.


There are so many things you could add to this basic bird - so try a few out and make the bird your own! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
  • attach a small bead for the birds eye
  • attach a small wing to each side of the bird to give it a more 3D feel
  • tie a little ribbon around the birds neck

Finished dimensions: 5cm x 8cm 

x Caity

Monday, 24 October 2011

Two Low-Cost and Easy-to-Make Christmas Wreaths


We've started our Christmas projects now so that we can get them all done in time! (it is November next week!)

I wanted to try and create some Christmas decorations that can be made at home easily, cheaply, quickly... and use materials that can be accessed anywhere.

So here's my first Christmas Wreath:Isn't it pretty? I made it out of cardboard, which I took from the side of a throw-away box, and these mini cupcake papers, which cost me about $1.20. Front on (and on a background of white), these cupcake papers have lovely pastel colours.

I used two plates (one large, one small) to draw the wreaths, and then I cut them out using a serrated knife (it was quicker than using scissors).

Then I painted both wreaths, using white for one, and charcoal for the other. I glued each cup cake paper on using craft glue.

A close-up photo of my first wreath:

... and here's my second wreath, which I made more in the style of a Christmas bauble!

After I painted this one, I used cloth sticky tape to attach some material to the back, and then made a hole in the top and made a tie with some jute string. It looks really nice hanging on my wall!

Happy making!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Gathered Clutch


How sweet is this?

In my mind there are just some things you can never have too many of. I think these clutches fall firmly into this list!

They are so versatile. I need one to organise all my make-up in my hand bag, one to keep control of all my sewing goodies when I go to sewing groups, one to carry my jewellery when I'm travelling, one to use as my little going out bag and the list goes on....

Like most of my sewing projects, I have a massive wish list of things I want to make. I've had this pattern for a while now and I finally found a bit of free time this afternoon to have a try. 

Inside clutch
I have used a cute little Joel Dewberry in Opal from the Heirloom collection for the band across the middle, Orange Wildflower Field, Far Far Away III, by Heather Ross for the gathered outer fabric and Spotty Nagative (yes nagative) in navy from Sugar and Spice Textiles.

This pattern is really well written, easy to understand (it even helped my get my head around inserting a zipper!) and is broken down into perfect little baby steps for me (with a great photo for each step). 

So I did what I always do when I find something I can make - I make more. :)


Close ups 

I just love these so much I'm putting these away for Christmas presents - did you realise Christmas is only 9 weeks away

Gosh - I really must get organised!!!

x Caity

A Bedhead Makeover for a Spare Room Using Fabric

Home Decorating:

Last week I started to update our spare room so that it looks a bit more attractive for guests. The room is small - it only really just fits a single bed and a bedside table.

I had an old bed stored in one of our sheds. The bed itself was fantastic, really solid, but the bedhead was past its prime style-wise:

I wanted to give it more of a luxurious look! So I thought I'd pad it a bit and put some material over it. So I got out my staple gun, some standard toy-stuffing wadding that I'd purchased from Spotlight, two types of fabric... and I got going!

I arranged the wadding over the front of the bedhead as evenly as possible, then stretched some hardy curtain material that I had over the top of it and stapled the material to the back of the bedhead. This is how it looked from the back (above, with my little daughter as helper), and this is how it looked side-on (below).

I didn't worry too much about how it looked from the back, as you can see...

Once I'd finished the stapling of the first material, I stapled the next and final layer of material straight over the top. This is how it looked from the back when it was finished.

And this is how it looked from the front.

... and this photo shows you how the corners look close-up. I didn't fuss too much about them.

And here's the final photo... all finished and looking good with the bed put together. I have also added a couple of no-zip cushions that I made up to go with the bedhead. It looks fantastic!

Happy making!


Black and White Alphabet-Design Canvas


This is a really simple design for a canvas painting, and it looks really effective once it's up on the wall. I chose to use the alphabet for my design, but you could actually do whatever you like... a favourite saying, poem, song lyrics, the names of your family members... whatever suits your personality. Just make sure that you also paint your design along the sides of the canvas - it looks so much better and finishes it off nicely!

Happy painting!


Monday, 17 October 2011

Make-it-Yourself Magnetic Scrabble Letters

Craft / Home Decorating:

I've seen these magnetic Scrabble pieces in magazine pictures... but I've also seen how expensive they can be to buy! So I purchased a second-hand Scrabble game on ebay for about $7 and made them myself.

The backs of the letters are hollow, so I used a couple of pieces of double-sided padded sticky tape before attaching the magnet. It took a little bit of time to do this to each one, but I just did them in the evenings when I was watching a bit of telly. This is what each letter looks like from the back:
They are great on the fridge or the dishwasher or the washing machine... and as my children grow and begin reading, the lettering will be used even more!

Happy making!


Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Odd Square Quilt


Odd Squares
This is just a simple little bub quilt for a friend’s bub (born last week - welcome Astar Cate!) - it’s made up of a single pack of charm squares of ‘Hoopla’ by Moda.

To try and break away from the standard square blocks I tried to make it a little more exciting by chopping of random sized corners of each coloured block.

A few close ups of the quilting

I just love all these bright colours.

For the quilting I machine quilted ¼ inch from each seam and also diagonally across the colours blocks. I love this quilt because it’s cute, bright and perfect for a little bub lie on the floor and discover all those lovely bright colours and prints!

For the binding I used a bright green and white spot (all my binding seems to be spots at the moment - but I love them as they really reflect the modern quilting style).

The backing for this quilt is just made up of a range of yellows I already had in my stash. It shows up the quilting pattern nicely.

Can you see the Ohio quilt pattern?

Finished Dimensions: 90cm x 90cm (36" x 36")

x Caity

Monday, 10 October 2011

Easy to Make Doll's Cradle for a Little Girl


My little girl Poppy recently saw a doll's cradle in a shop and since then had been very keen to have one! It was very expensive (as nice children's toys often are)... so I tried to think of a way to make the doll's bed cheaply at home.

We had been given a lovely wooden container years ago for a present, and it occurred to me that it was a perfect size for a doll's bed. You could also use a strong box or crate, or any other dolly sized thing you can find around the house!

Then I set about making the frame for behind the cradle. I didn't want to drill any holes into my wooden container (because I want to use it again later after Poppy has finished with her dolls), so I had to make a frame that would be stand-alone. I purchased some craft wood from a hardware, and cut it into two bits.

I made a sort of 'T' shape with the two bits, and I put one nail in the top.

For the bottom of the frame, I taped (using hard-wearing fabric tape) four metal braces on to the wood. I already had the braces - they were left over from some IKEA furniture that I had previously bought.

The frame then looked a bit ugly so I wrapped it in old sheeting and tied it using thread. Then I sewed a bow together for the end and glued it into place. I forgot to buy some netting when I was last at Spotlight, so I cut up a cheapie food cover that I had here for the netting. I simply hung it over the top of the frame. I didn't worry about getting everything perfect - Poppy and her dolls don't mind!

 Then I made a skirt for the bottom of the cradle out of old sheeting again. I threaded some elastic through and tied it behind the container, and then sewed on a bow to finish.

Then I made a mattress, sheet, pillow and cover for the cradle. Poppy's favourite doll at the moment is called 'Betsy', so I thought I'd make a personalised 'B' pillow for her too!

And this is the finished product! The only thing the cradle doesn't do is rock... but so far that has not worried Poppy (or Betsy)!

Poppy also still loves playing with her homemade barbie house too! (See Practical and Easy-to-Make Barbie House for a Little Girl)

Happy making!


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Completed Summer Happiness Zig-Zag (chevron) Quilt


I started this quilt about a year ago and finally finished the quilt top back in July this year. It turned out to be a monster quilt - but a monster I LOVE! 

Anyway thanks to the lovely Cheryl at Baci quilting who did all the machine quilting for me - we debated for ages what design we would use and I changed my mind about 100 times - the finished design is a large leaf pattern which repeats horizontally and it looks amazing!
Close up of the quilting
For the backing I used colours I wouldn't normally use - really bright and a little bit fluro - but I loved it when I bought it - although when I got home I had a bit of a panic - but resolved myself that its the backing so it really doesn't matter too much - the navy stripe in the middle is Thom's old curtains! I think it breaks up the yellow nicely.

Finished Dimensions: 183cm x 203cm (72" x 80")

x Caity

Monday, 3 October 2011

Fabric Design Painted onto Canvas


Recently I completed another painting for a friend's house which used a fabric design as inspiration. She had used a beautiful Vanessa Arbuthnott fabric (called Songbirds in Mushroom/Rasberry) for some cushions and curtains in her living room, and she liked the pattern so much that we thought it might be nice to repeat a section of the design on a large canvas that could be hung on the other side of the room. This is a picture of one of her cushions:
So, on a large canvas, I first sketched in a section of the design:

And then I painted in the beige-coloured background:

... and then I finished the design by painting in the rest of the white/cream bits and the red layer. Unfortunately the photos of the finished product are not as clear as they should be... but you can get the idea! This can be a handy way to make a picture for your home if a) your fabric's design is too small to cover a canvas in the actual fabric and as a result it won't make the impact that you're looking for on the wall, or b) your fabric is hard to get, or c) your fabric was very, very expensive and you have to use it sparingly.

Happy painting!