Monday, 31 December 2012

A Practical Idea To Help You Fulfill Your New Year’s Resolutions

Creative Ideas:

After seeing Caity's lovely New Year’s Eve-themed post this week, I thought… what a great idea! So I thought I’d do something NY related too!

I started thinking about New Year’s resolutions, as many of us do around this time of year.  We all have no trouble MAKING the resolutions…. but sometimes it’s the FULFILLING of the resolutions that causes the problems! Many of our good intentions fall by the wayside once the New Year gets into its usual swing and we all get busy again.

So I tried to think of a practical way to help fulfill my own resolutions… and I came up with this week’s project – the personal messages in a jar.

For me to keep my resolutions, I need to be constantly pushed (either by myself, or someone else!) I need to keep reminding myself WHY I made the commitment to the New Year’s resolution in the first place, and I need to keep checking that I have actually DONE something towards achieving something.

I've written little ‘push along’ notes to myself on each piece of paper, and then folded them up and put them in a jar. I've made all the notes relevant to MY resolutions as I know exactly what I need to be doing about achieving each resolution and, more importantly, I know EXACTLY where I usually waste time.

(Blogger has decided again that this photo should go THIS way, instead of the RIGHT way - so sorry about that!)

I’m going to pull out a piece of paper every time I feel I need a bit of motivation. The most exciting thing would be to pull out a note about something that I have already done!!! That bit of paper will go straight into the bin! (and then I’ll sit down and have a cup of coffee because I’ll DESERVE IT!)

And of course, I can ignore my jar of messages whenever I choose to. I do find that my enthusiasm for achieving stuff comes and goes, depending on what else I’ve got on - just like everyone else.

But hopefully, this little jar will help me get a few more things achieved in 2013.

Good luck!


Thursday, 27 December 2012

New Year's Eve Glitter T-Shirt


Have you got yourself an outfit for New Year's yet? I didn't - until last night. 

Thom and I are having a relaxing New Year's this year - we are heading to a friend's place for a BBQ, a swim and a couple of drinks (that's for me not Thom!) so I only needed something casual - but I still had to be sparkly for New Year's.

I had some left over glitter from when I made my glitter play dough and plenty of left over silver fabric paint from my batman tshirt..... combine them and you get a glitter t-shirt - oooohhh joy!

So if you'd like to have a try at making one, it couldn't be easier. 

I had a plain pink t-shirt which I hand drew a heart onto with a water soluble marker. 

Next I mixed the silver fabric paint with the glitter (you need to use a fair bit of glitter to ensure you get a nice sparkly result).

Simply paint onto the heart shape (remember you need to place some plastic or cardboard between the front and back of the t-shirt so the paint doesn't stick them together).

Leave the t-shirt to dry - preferably overnight and you have finished.

Caity x

Monday, 24 December 2012

Pretty Scandinavian-Style Christmas Decorations Using Blu-Tack


If you are busy putting up some last-minute Christmas decorations, then this project is for you!

I was noticing recently what a pretty colour the original Blu-Tack actually is… and then I thought that it might look good up on a white wall in the shapes of Christmas decorations!

I used Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs again for inspiration for some designs (see more about this book in a previous post of mine).

Then I simply cracked open a packet of Blu-Tack and got shaping and sticking! (sorry about the orientation of this photo - you'd think Blogger would know it should be the other way around!)

I did a pear, a Christmas tree, a snowflake and a heart. It really was very easy. Once I had my designs worked out, the whole thing took me about 15 minutes to complete.

I can’t believe that we’re at the end of another year of Christmas projects here at thom haus handmade.

Caity and I love every minute we spend doing our projects for our blog… and we’d like to genuinely THANK YOU for continuing to read our blog, and for all your comments and other positive feedback.

We wish you all a very enjoyable Christmas.

Happy creating!


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Scrappy String Block Oven Mitt (and other simple gifts to make)

Sewing/Home Decorating:

Just finishing up the last of my Christmas sewing now. Though with 6 days to go I still have 1/2 my modern Christmas tree quilt to get finished!!! :0

Anyway, I got a couple of little gift done today. I made this simple oven mitt using some string blocks I made a few months ago. 

I played around with the layout of the blocks trying to decide which one I liked best.. mmm this one's good..

but I like this option too..

and this was pretty cool too...

I lined it with special heat proof wadding to ensure no one gets their fingers burnt and did some very close machine quilting before binding it in a matching red stripe! Love it... might make another one for my pending new kitchen!

I also made a couple other quick gifts - firstly, a cute scented pillow. I used a hot pink painted heart I made back here and did a little running stitch around the outside before stuffing it with toy stuffing and a couple sprigs of rosemary from my garden. 

Rosemary is a great alternative to lavender if you want to try it - it's supposed to help with headaches, improve mental alertness and ease muscle aches and pains....personally I just love the smell! 

And some covered coat hangers similar to those I made back here.

Well this is my last post before Christmas -  I hope you have got lots of sewing done and wishing you a lovely Christmas with those you love.

Caity x

Monday, 17 December 2012

Make a Book of your Child’s Favourite Toys for Christmas

Creative Ideas:

This is a REALLY cheap, quick and easy Christmas present to make for your little ones. Children love to see their own toys doing all the things that they imagine they would do!

I have posted before with a  similar idea (see my Favourite-Toy Children's Book), but THIS project is more about lots of toys, not just the one.

This project didn’t take me long at all. I gathered up some of my son James’s toys before he went to sleep, and crept out into the garden and took some photos. He didn't sleep for long so I had to be really quick!

Then I simply made up a cover page, printed them out on my home printer and put them altogether into a little photo album. Done! Now I have a present ready for Christmas!

Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what I did.

I’m sure James is going to love his little book for Christmas.

Happy creating!


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Glitter Play Dough


I thought I'd make something a little different this week. I have lots of friends with  young children and have been thinking about presents I could make to give as little gifts - or to go towards bigger gifts.

Thom loves playing with his play dough - his Mama made it for him and it has just lasted forever. But I thought I might sparkle it up a little bit for Christmas and make some glitter play dough (in keeping with my current love of all things that sparkle!). 

It's cheap to make, great for kids and you can get everything you need to make it at the grocery shop! This is my Mum's recipe (plus the glitter!). To make the quantities shown in my photos, I halved this recipe and made an individual batch for each colour.

What you need:
  • 1/2 cup of salt (the standard supermarket kind)
  • 1 cup plain white flour
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar (find this in the cooking aisle)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (sunflower or vegetable is fine)
  • food colouring 
  • fine glitter (I bought mine at Bunnings)
  • Air-tight containers for storage (again, Bunnings!)

1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a pot.

2. Add all wet ingredients to the dry ingredients including food colour to your desired colour (1-2 drops is usually plenty).

3. Cook on a medium heat on the stove for 3-5 mins, stirring constantly. Mixture might look a bit lumpy for a while and then suddenly come together to a thick (almost) play dough consistency.

4. Remove the pot from the stove and add your glitter (use however much you like). I used 1 tablespoon for each batch of play dough, but I think next time I might use a bit more! Mix well.

5. Once glitter is combined you can scrape the play dough into a container. The container needs to be air-tight. 

Safety Note: Unless you use edible glitter for this recipe, make sure the kids don't eat this play dough - I know they tend to nibble at it when given the chance!

Happy crafting!

Caity x

Monday, 10 December 2012

Easy-Sew Christmas T-Shirts using Cookie Cutter Designs


As you all know, I just love cookie-cutter outlines at Christmas! I've used them quite a bit in my Christmas projects to date: My Mini-Mobile, WoodPanels, Hanging Decorations… and now I’ve used them for my Easy-Sew Christmas T-Shirts.

(Sorry about the orientation of this photo it's Blogger's fault!) I have found that most Christmas-themed clothing (in my price range) is very over-the-top and can be a bit tizzy. So I made something nice, plain and simple… and cheap!

What you’ll need for this project:

1. Some t-shirts - I purchased some t-shirts (and a tank top for me) from BIGW – they ranged from $3 to $5 each.

2. Iron-on backing – you won’t need much of this – just enough to properly cover your cookie cutter design.

3. A needle and thread – I just used some coloured cotton that I also bought from BIGW.

I firstly chose my cookie cutters, and worked out where to put them on each t-shirt. Then I traced around the cookie cutter in pencil (it’ll wash out so don’t worry if you can still see some after your sewing). 

I turned the t-shirts inside out and ironed on the backing, taking care to make sure I had the whole cookie cutter design on the other side covered.

Then it was a VERY simple matter doing a bit of stitching around each design. The photo below is what one of my T-shirts looks like from the inside.

And don’t they look great! I look forward to wearing mine.

Happy sewing!


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Fabric Wrapped Wire Heart


This has to be one of the simplest and cheapest projects I have done for a while. I had an old coat hanger in my cupboard that was pretty bent out of shape and I had thought of using it for a Christmas wreath. But seeing as I had just made my simple fairy light wreath I came up with this idea instead.

To make this fabric wrapped wire heart you need the following:
  • Strips of scrap fabric (I used red gingham I had sitting in the cupboard) but you could use a mix of scraps which would look great.
  • Wire coat hanger
To make this heart all you need to do is bend the coat hanger into the shape of a heart (they are pretty easy to manipulate.

Start wrapping the fabric around. Wrap it pretty tightly and just keep adding more strips until you have covered the entire heart.  

Secure with either a dab of strong craft glue or a couple basic stitches (I stitched mine to make sure it was really secure.

Hang on your wall (I hung a sweet Christmas bird decoration I made last year in the middle of mine).

You could also add a lovely bow to the top.

Happy crafting!

Caity x

Monday, 3 December 2012

Baby Wrap Bedcover for an Easy Christmas Gift


The other day I was shopping in Target, and I saw these beautiful muslin baby wraps. The packet says they cost $15, but actually they were on special that day, so they only cost $12 per set of three.

I wanted to make something with them for Christmas and thought they’d be lovely as a summer bedcover for someone. A very easy-to-make and inexpensive Christmas present! So I purchased two packets so that I had four wraps of the designs I wanted.

This project was very quick, and the sewing was very, very simple. I’ve also done up a quick drawing of the process that I followed to make this Baby Wrap Bedcover: you can see it below.

Firstly, I sewed two sets of wraps together, right sides together. I didn’t bother pinning or ironing anything. A more “rustic” and imperfect look adds to the finished product in this case!

Then I held the two sets of sewn wraps together and lined up the seams of both of them, right sides together. Then I simply sewed the two sets of sewn wraps together to make four in total. Just make sure that you hold open the two seams flat before sewing them together (on both sides). They will all sit better together that way.

And that was it! The four wraps (120cm x 120cm each) makes a good sized bedcover for a king sized bed (pretty good for $24). And I even have the two lovely spotty ones leftover to go in with any future baby presents.

Happy sewing!


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Simple Sparkly Christmas Letters


I am totally loving sparkly things this year - glitter all the way I say! So when I came across some large mdf letters at my local Spotlight I couldn't resist sparkling them up a bit!

My original idea was to cover them with glitter but when I looked at the cost of a jar of glitter ($8!!) I decided that was just instead I found some great glitter scrap book paper - a lot cheaper, easier and cleaner.

To spell out the word 'noel' I bought 2 pieces of scrap booking paper (lay out the letters on your paper to make sure you have enough!

Next I gave the letters a coat of white paint. 

Next trace and cut out each of your letters from the glitter paper. Make sure you trace them on the wrong side of the paper AND that the letter is mirror image so when you cut it out the glittery side is the right way around (I traced out the first letters backwards...I swear I do this every time!)

Cover each of the letters (facing right way up) with a good coat of craft glue. Place the glitter cut out letter neatly over the mdf letter, press down firmly and leave to dry (I found securing the edges with some pegs kept the edges really flat).

Once the letters are completely dry, display your sparkly Christmas words anywhere you want!

Happy Crafting!

Caity x