Showing posts with label easy to make gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy to make gifts. Show all posts

Monday, 2 September 2013

Rustic String Bangle


This lovely Rustic String Bangle would have to be one of my simplest and quickest projects yet! It also fits nicely with my other low-cost jewellery projects on our blog.

I’ve always loved the natural look of string, and this week one of my balls of string was down to its last few metres. I suddenly had the thought that my remaining bit of string would make a funky bangle!

The project was so quick and easy! All you’ll need is a pair of scissors to cut the string if required, and some good spray glue.

My string was pretty much already shaped exactly how I wanted it to be. I simply changed its size slightly to fit over my wrist (don’t worry too much about the size though because it is still very flexible even when the glue has been sprayed onto it).

Once your bangle’s size is a good as you can get it, it is then just a matter of spraying glue all over it – give it a good coat.  
Tuck in any ends and smooth down the bits of string in the inside of the bangle so that it doesn't scratch your skin when you wear it. Mine is very comfortable to wear.

Let it dry for an hour or two. And there you have it!

Happy crafting, and enjoy your week!


Monday, 10 June 2013

Easy-Sew Plaited Fabric Scarf


This week I was flicking through a lovely book that my mother gave my daughter Poppy for her recent birthday. It’s called Little Things for Busy Hands by Katie Evans. In it is a ‘Little Mat’ sewing project. 

I love the look of those plaited mats, and it gave me the idea to make a scarf in the same way. I also thought that a belt or bangle would look fantastic too, but unfortunately I ran out of time for that this week!

As with all my projects… this was very simple to do! The only time-consuming part is sewing the plaits together. No sewing ability is required though! My sewing is pretty rough as you’ll see, but it just seems to take lots of thread and can be a bit slow. I did my sewing on and off over a couple of days. I just kept it near my kitchen bench and did bits when possible in between the washing up, cooking etc.

All you’ll need for this project is some material (you can use scraps), scissors, a needle and thread.

Firstly, cut some strips out of your material. For my scarf here, my strips measured about 135cm each in length, and a couple of centimetres wide. I cut enough strips for 5 plaits.

Once you’ve got your strips, tie them together at one end and start plaiting! 

Plait down to the other end and then tie off again. 

I didn’t plait tightly, but it’s not loose either. I know that sounds a bit vague but you’ll know what I mean if you give this project a go!

Then it’s a simple matter of sewing each of the plaits together. Don’t worry if your sewing is rough, it all adds to the nice rustic look of the scarf!

I thought that this project would also be lovely if you used three strips of different material. I have some pretty floral ones here and I thought I’d make a scarf for my daughter Poppy, seeing as it was HER book that gave me the idea!

I hope that you enjoy this project if you decide to try it out.

Happy making!


Monday, 13 May 2013

Funky Hanging Mobile For Your Garden


For some time now I have wanted to create a few items for my garden which are hard-wearing, simple and cheap to make. 

My garden at the moment consists basically of lawn and trees… no time for anything else with little children! I am gradually adding eye-catching items of interest such as waterbowls, pots, sculptures and other things. However, as I’ve been shopping around, I’ve found that so many ‘outdoor decorations’ that you find in garden shops are either out of my price range (i.e. usually the really nice things!) or are just a bit too busy and ornate for my home.

So, for my project this week I wanted to add to my garden’s collection, and I came up with the idea of making something out of corflute. Corflute is a very hardy plastic material and is perfect for use outdoors.

My garden mobile really was very easy to make. I firstly purchased a sheet or two of corflue from Bunnings. It cost less than $8 per sheet. I used about half of one sheet for this whole mobile.

I worked out a simple design in my head, and then I just started cutting out the corflute straight away – no drawing shapes on or anything. 

I found that it was easiest to cut the corflute by putting my knife on an angle (use a serrated knife too!)

Once I’d cut everything out, I worked out the placement for hanging each piece together. 

I used a meat fork thing (don’t know what it’s called) to make holes in the corflute for my bits of wire.

I used tie-wire, chopped into small-ish pieces and doubled over.

I threaded them through each of the pieces and then folded the wire back around so that all the pieces will be secure in the wind and weather!

Then I simply added another piece of wire at the top for hanging the mobile up. VERY EASY!

It looks fantastic hanging in lots of different locations around my garden! Here are a few examples:

For next week’s project I’m going to try a few other options for using corflute outdoors… I’ll see how I go!

Happy decorating!


Monday, 12 November 2012

Christmas Medicine-Bottle Vases


I spend a lot of my time at my kitchen sink, as I’m sure all of you do! While I was there the other day, I was thinking that it would be nice to have a small-scale Christmas decoration to put on the window right in front of my sink, so that I’d see it all day!

I usually have a small geranium cutting in an old-fashioned glass bottle sitting on my window in the kitchen… so I thought I’d work with that theme and I came up with these Christmas Medicine-Bottle Vases!

This project was very easy and relatively quick too. Firstly I chose three sizes from my collection of medicine bottles that I have been saving for some time. I’m concerned that soon all medicine will come in plastic bottles so I’m keeping all the glass I can get my hands on!

Then I painted each of the bottles a different colour. I just used leftover house paint colours that I already had. The white is Dulux Natural White, the brown is Dulux Rolling Pebble and the red is a Haymes paint called Geranium.

I didn’t worry about any undercoats or anything on the bottles – I just did about four coats on each.

I discovered that it is very easy to rest something on non-stick baking paper, especially when you have to paint the top and bottom of something.

Then I chose something to paint on them. I wanted them to look a bit Scandinavian, so I used some designs out of this book: Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs.

It’s a lovely book and continues to give me loads of ideas… and I’ve not sewed anything out of it yet! I ended up painting a tree, wreath and snowflake design on my bottles.

Then, once the bottles were completely dry,  I filled them with water and put a sprig of box hedge in each to complete the Christmas look. And now it’s very nice to see them 470 times a day when I’m at my kitchen sink!

Of course you could put these vases anywhere you wanted – they don’t have to go on a window sill. They look lovely next to a bed too. And you could do them in any colour, any design… there are lots of options.

Last year I made another Christmas decoration that is ideal for use in a small space – you may like to check it out - it’s my really easy Mini Christmas Mobile.

Happy making!


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Pretty Painted Coat Hangers


Looking for a simple way to  update your wardrobe (without buying new clothes)?... These are really simple to make and you can just use existing timber hangers from your wardrobe and any leftover paint you have lying around.

For my coat hangers I used some leftover blue paint from when I updated an old vintage chair and the yellow is from a repaint of my bathroom, it's called Happy by Dulux.

So here are the basic steps for you to make your own:

1. Choose your base colour and paint with a single coat and hang up (preferably outside to save your floor from any drips). If the colour isn't strong enough or giving enough coverage, paint another coat and leave to dry. I painted 3 coats for each of my hangers to make sure the bright colours really came through.

2. Once dry, choose a contrasting colour and dab random spots all over the hangers. I used a very small bristle brush to do this, but you could use a cotton bud if you don't have a small paint brush. Make sure you spread the spots evenly over the coat hangers to get a nice balanced look. Then hang and leave to dry.

3. Once the spot layer has dried, you can paint a clear varnish over the paint which will help protect both the hangers and your clothes and give them a lovely sheen!

These Pretty Painted Coat Hangers would make a great present too!

X Caity