Tag Archives: craft

Shake Your Pom Pom

Making Pom Pom’s…it’s my new obsession. Ever since stumbling upon a local knitting circle, where this wonderful Granny was making them in abundance and amazingly quickly (quite something to behold I must tell you), I have been hooked. Though I am not quite sure what I am going to do with the dozen’s I have made, maybe an elaborate head-dress or giant cat toy, I do think there is so much fun to be had with these gorgeous little creations.

Therefore I thought I would share with you a step by step guide on how to make these bundles of joy.

Firstly you are going to need to purchase a Pom Pom maker (you can make your own like you used to at school out of card, but this tutorial is based on the Pom Pom Maker’s available to buy). I purchased the Clover Pom Pom maker from Hobby Craft, which is available in various sizes – depending on what size Pom Pom you want. Pick your yarn and you are ready to go.

Open the Pom Pom maker on one side, with both arms folded out. Start to wrap your yarn around the arms holding one end of the yarn firmly, so you can keep it tight as it is continuously wrapped.

POM POM STARTING POINT

pom pom STEP 2

Ensure you keep the yarn even and tight as you wrap it around the arms. Make sure that the yarn covers the arms completely from the very ends and back again. Keep wrapping the yarn until it sits level with the ends of the arms, almost creating a semi-circle as pictured.

POM POM STEP 3

Once this is done, push the arms back towards the center of the Pom Pom maker and trim the two ends of yarn. Repeat the same process on the other side.

POM POM STEP 4

Now for the fun and rather accurate bit. You have to manoeuver your scissors in-between the two arms and underneath the wrapped yarn. It can be a little tricky to make that first cut, but persevere. Make sure you cut all of the yarn on both sides. You will start to see the Pom Pom starting to form.

POM POM STEP 5

POM POM STEP 6

Now cut a single piece of yarn about 20-30 cm and pull it tight between the two circles, encompassing all of the yarn. Make sure you pull this as tight as you can and tie a knot. This is going to be hard to judge as you won’t be able to see the knot behind the circles.

POM POM STEP 8

Once this is done you can open the arms of the Pom Pom maker and separate it at the middle.

POM POM STEP 7

POM POM STEP 9

Before your very eyes you should see a Pom Pom. It might need a bit of a shake out to get it a little more rounded. If there are any longer ends sticking out them just trim them off.

POM POM STEP 10

And there we go. I promise you, that you will make loads of these!

It’s been a while…

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well I think the past 8-9 months have definitely proved this to be the case.

Back in April when Chris and I moved into our dream ‘fixer upper’ home, I fanatically wondered over the many projects that we would undertake to build what would be our perfect house…both inside and out. Lists upon lists were written of what we needed to finish each and every room, magazines were thoroughly leafed through and pages torn out for creative reference, conversations over the differences of 50 shades of light grey were had and also what seemed like personal financial investment was given in places like B&Q, Wickes, Farrow&Ball and the local reclaimed Wood Store. However, it was what we always wanted. A project, something we could mould to reflect who were are and something we would fall completely in love with.

So, here we are 9 months down the line and I can safely say that we are on our way to achieving just that. With the main rooms of the house done (apart from the bathroom…we are still deciding between the wet room option or the traditional bath/shower combo…oh how our lives have changed), I am finding myself missing my smaller, more personal creative projects. Decorating a house is a challenging project in so many ways, that I have found myself craving my sketch book, staple gun and sewing machine.

I decided a step change was needed, therefore I took to our basic wooden chest with an idea to give it a bit of a make over. 

Wooden Chest

Inspired by a recent trip to a Flea Market in New York, I wanted to see if I could give this tired looking piece of furniture a trans-Atlantic makeover. The overall look for the chest was to be a more worn out, shabby chic look with a bit of an urban twist.

I firstly painted the wooden panels of the box with my trusty Annie Sloane chalk paint in three different colours – Grey, Off White and an Olive Green shade. After which I decided to add a numerical detail to the front of the chest using a stencil I made myself (the numbers turned out to be a bit wonky, which I kind of liked).

annie sloan paint

painting panels

sanding chest

painting numbers

After the paint was dry, I cut some upholsterers foam to size to fit on the top of the chest and softened it around the edges with some wadding. This was then covered with additional wadding and a large piece of cotton to ensure a comfy finish for the seat. I managed to buy some old sacks from the Saturday Market in Brighton and used these as my upholstery fabric layering an additional printed sack over the top as a design feature.

with seat foam

seating covered

I then used some thicker thread to hand sew the patterned sack into place and stapled all layers to the reverse of the chest lid, finishing by covering the messy edges with a neatly cut and sewn square of sacking.

finished product

The chest itself has already found pride of place in our study/creative space where I hope to use it as a perch to sit a doodle away in my sketch book, dreaming of more creative projects to undertake.

Simply Bunting

Last time I made bunting was for a very specific occasion…a summer of Britishness, and what a summer it was! I think I am still dreaming of mobots and Jubilee street parties. But now that 2012 has left us and we have 2013 to look forward to, I thought I would take a bit of inspiration from one of our (be it wetter) Summer holidays and some really simple yet gorgeous bunting.

It’s really easy to do and looks great as an easy decoration in the house and not just for special occasions.

Firstly you need your cardboard template. I wanted my bunting to be a bit smaller than last time so I measured it out at 10cm across the top and 13.5cm from top to bottom.

template

As before in my Very British Bunting blog post, I used a cardboard template to trace around. I picked a heavy canvas in Navy and in White to create a bit more of a nautical feel. Well, we do live by the beach. Anyway, after tracing around the templates on the white and then the navy canvas 6 times each I cut the pieces out.

triangle template on fabric

 

cut out fabric template

After all of the templates were cut out I used my herringbone tape and folded it over the top part of the bunting. The great thing about this bunting is that it is really easy to do in that you don’t have to sew two triangles together each time. It’s simplicity creates a great raw feeling that I love – it doesn’t matter if a few strands of the canvas comes loose around the edges, that just adds to the whole look.

fabric tape

Use your sewing machine to stitch along the tape making sure your canvas triangles are correctly inserted into the tape.

sewing of bunting

Instead of leaving a gap between triangles this time, I decided to sew them side by side in order to create a more compact look. I actually put my new bunting up this morning and it’s already made me feel like spring is on it’s way.

I’m dreaming of a beaded Christmas

I blooming love Christmas! It always gives me the perfect excuse to rummage through my craft cupboard and whip up a Christmas thing or two. Every December, I always start out with the best intentions of sitting in front of a much loved Christmas movie, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows on whilst I make my Christmas cards. Christmas bliss right?

However and I don’t quite know how, but 2012 seems to have run away with me and before I knew it December was upon me and I hadn’t even unpacked my Christmas decorations, let alone even begun to think about how I was going to make this years Christmas cards.

Therefore, I needed something that I could make quickly as I did have around 45 cards to make, but also looked seasonal, fun and put a smile on people’s faces. The answer came in the form of picture beads. After looking for some inspiration online, I found some great images on a beautiful blog called craftandcreativity.com. Using this as inspiration I set about buying the materials needed to create my Christmas cards.

I already had some seasonal red and green card and envelope sets left over from last year, so all I needed to purchase were the picture beads and Hama boards themselves. After speaking with the staff at hobbycraft they told me that the best board to make snowflakes (my chosen Christmas shape) was a circle. A circular board in hand, plus a star shaped one (just because I love stars…), some red and white beads and some ironing paper I was ready to start making some picture bead shapes.

Templates

Always starting from the center of the board, build your snowflake outwards. Remember to make it symetrical by counting the beads as you build each stem outwards. The fun part about these beads are that you can really experiment with these shapes and be as creative as possible. Mix your colours if you like or keep it simple like I did. I needed the shape to fit easily onto the front of the card so I kept my snowflake quite small.

snowflake forming

After you have made your shape and are happy with it, you need to cover the board and the beads with the ironing paper. Then heat your iron on the hottest setting. Once ready to go, gently iron over the shape, slowly melting and fusing the beads together. Be careful not to press too hard and keep the iron even, as I learnt quite quickly when I ended up ironing the board as well as the beads. Lets just say I bought a couple more boards the next day, just in case.

ironing

Once the beads are fused together, leave them for a couple of minutes to cool down. I placed them in between two books to keep the shapes quite flat.

melted snowflake

I then placed the cooled snowflake onto the front of my card and sewed it on with a contrasting coloured thread. It added an extra hand crafted dimension to the card that I really liked. I actually enjoyed the ease of this process so much that I got a bit carried away and made several decorations, some gift tags and a star for the top of my tree! Easy peasy and quite effective.

card

 

close up snowflakes