Saturday, 27 December 2014

Elephants -- Christmas

This month's elephants are of course ... Christmas elephants!

Well I have to say it was a bit of a challenge to find elephants with a Christmas theme. I'm not surprised - they're not the first animal you associate with Christmas, but here is my selection of Christmassy elephants.

1. This really is an embellished elephant ornament

2. Cuddly felt Elephant with Christmas blanket
3. Origami elephant in gold paper can be made into an ornament
4. Elephant ornament made from an old fork
5. Christmas elephant print fabric
6.  Elephants in santa hats = Christmas
7. Christmas tree bauble
8. Wooden 'First Christmas' ornament
9. Felt elephant ornaments

For more images of elephant visit my Elephants board on Pinterest.

All links above are to Pinterest as a number of the items pictured are no longer available at their original link.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Felt tree Christmas cards tutorial

This is great project if you want to make a Christmas card with a simple clean design.

I first made these cards about five years ago, but wanted a quick handmade card so dug out my box of felt and got designing.

You will need:
Pencil, ruler, paper, scissors - for the template
Blank card, felt, double sided sticky tape (or glue dots) - for the card

First produce a template.

Use the template to cut out the felt shapes, you can either do this this by holding tight, pinning the template or drawing round the template. On a small item such as this just holding it tight is often the best choice.

Lay out the trees on the card making sure they are cented and evenly spaced. Use double sided sticky tape or glue dots to stick them into position.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Felt Holly Garland

This comes from the 2014 edition of Prima Christmas Makes magazine. I knew the minute I saw the project that this is one I would make - it is such a simple idea but it looks great.

All you need to do is cut the holly leaves out of a range of different green felts and then stitch them together with some red felt berries.

There was a template for the holly provided in the magazine, but I didn't want all my holly leaves identical so I started cutting them freehand. The easiest way I found of doing this was to cut a strip of felt then holding folded in half lengthways cut the holly shape out. I also cut the berries freehand as I wasn't worried about having them too round in shape.

When stitching them together I decided to hand stitch them. I used some crochet cotton - about 2m in length. I stitched running stitch and tied knots either side of each felt shape just to hold it in place.

And this is the finished garland all hung up.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Crochet reindeer

I initially found this pattern from Lion Brand last year, the pattern is free but you need to sign up.

Source: Lion Brand

My version.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Crochet robin bauble

I've been following Toft on Instagram since I bought their book at the Handmade Fair. When I saw their post about a free robin bauble pattern I was straight off to download it. I don't know how long the pattern will be free for but I accessed it here. You have to sign up and go through as if you were placing an order and you end up getting a PDF emailed to you.

Source: Toft
Although the pattern was for chunky yarn I used DK and a 4mm crochet hook and ended up with a robin about the size of a squash ball.

It was a quick and easy make and looks great.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas fabric hearts

I picked up this little kit from Tiger stores.

It provides everything you need (apart from pins and needles).

The fabric hearts were precut and you could mix and match the fabrics if you wanted but I decided to just go with the front and back the same fabric.

The instructions that came with the kit were brief but I didn't need anything more detailed.  You just sew the two parts of the heart together leaving a gap for stuffing.

I love the combination of red, white and wood - very Scandinavian.

I think they look amazing and for just a few pounds they are well worth a purchase.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Beaded Christmas card tutorial

I'd bought some lovely Christmas cards already for this year, but then I saw this on Pinterest and was inspired by the simple and effective idea. Here's how I made my version.

You will need:
Plain card and envelope I used A6 size
Thickish yarn/cotton - I used about 1m on an A6 card
Beads/sequins or other embellishments such as stickers
Tea towel (or similar to rest on whilst you pierce the holes)

Start by drawing out your design on paper, making it the size of your finished card.

Lay the design over the card blank, making sure you open out the card first to avoid putting holes in both sides. Use a paperclip or two to hold the two paper template and card securely together. Rest the card on the tea towel or similar to protect your surface, pierce the holes. Remove the paper template.

Knot your thread neatly, thread the needle and pass the thread through from the reverse side. Stitch out your pattern adding the beads as you go.

When you get to the end, tie off securely, with appropriate tension on the reverse side and snip off the ends to neaten. 

There are a few different designs you can make with the same template.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Crochet Christmas wreath tutorial

Source: Pinterest

Another Christmas craft inspired by these crochect Christmas Wreaths from Pinterest.

You will need:
some card (such as a cereal box)
scissors/craft knife
something round to use as a template
crochet hook
green yarn
embellishments of your choice (eg sequins, beads ribbon).

Start by drawing out your template on the card and cutting it out. 

If you are using scissors rather than a craft knife when cutting out the inner part of the circle, make a hole and then snip to the edges before cutting round the edge. 

The larger the distance between the inner and outer circles the wider your wreath will be. You should also think about the size of the inner circle and how you want your wreath to look.

Next up is the crocheting. I've used UK terms followed by US terms in brackets. 

ss - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
tc - treble crochet
htc/hdc - half treble/half double crochet

Join your yarn to the card with a dc (sc) and work dc (sc) around the wreath. 

Take this bit slowly and make sure the tension as you crochet is even to give a good finish. Hold the loose end close to the card and crochet over it for a few centimetres to secure it and avoid the need to weave it in at the end. Push the stitches as close together as possible to ensure the card is covered.

Once you've crocheted around the whole wreath the next step is to add the shell pattern.

Repeat the following stitches all the way round - dc, htc, tc, htc, dc, ss (sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc, ss)
If you find that the shell pattern doesn't quite match up when you've worked all the way round, don't worry you can cover that up the ribbon hanger.

Once you've worked the shell pattern all the way round snip a long tail, 20-30cm and secure. Make a loop securing with a knot and weave the tail in to the backside of the wreath.

Next up the embellishments. You can choose whatever embellishment you want. I went with a mix of beads and sequins in red and yellow.

I used some red thread as I loved the contrast with the yellow sequins and little gold stars. I tried to space the sequins and stars evenly out around the wreath, placing six of each at regular intervals. The seed and bugle beads I stitched in a more random order. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Candy cane reindeer tutorial

I love this Christmas make. It's so quick and easy and is a lot of fun to make and give.

Source: Pinterest
You will need:
Brown yarn for the body
Red yarn or pre-made pompom for the nose 
Sticky eyes (or white stickers and a black pen)
Glue/glue dot/double sided sticky tape
Yarn needle

Start by tying the brown yarn round the candy canes. Wrap the long end of the yarn round and round and round, making sure you wrap over the short loose end. 

Wrap as far down as you wish. When you get to the desired length cut off a tail of about 20cm and then on the reverse side knot the yarn and weave in the end, trimming off any excess.

Make a mini pom pom (or take a bought one) and sew or stick onto the body. If you have pre bought eyes stick these to the body too. If you are using stickers cut some oval shapes with a flat bottom and colour the eyes with a black pen.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Retro bauble decoration

This was the free gift that came with the most recent edition of Mollie Makes Magazine.

The templates in the magazine were half size but I decided just to make the bauble at this size and it turned out great. I stitched rather than glued the elements as in my experience glued items don't last as long.

And this is what it should have looked like.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Elephants -- Necklace charms

This month's elephant inspiration are ... elephant necklace charms. I spotted a few of these coming up in my Pinterest feed so got exploring and found quite a number of lovely little designs, here is my selection.

1. The cut out ear of this design makes it that little bit different from the others
2. A round design with an antique feel
3. This one is a bit chunky and the chain goes through its ear
4. Mum and baby elephant together are very cute in this charm
5. The simple wire design of this necklace is really effective
6. Another antique style design but this time combined with a teardrop bead
7. This gold elephant just looks so happy
8. A little flower charm adds something to this necklace
9. Sea glass elephant - love the colour of the sea glass but also the simple lines that define the legs and ears in this design

For more images of elephant in art & crafts visit my Elephants board on Pinterest.

All links above are to Pinterest as a number of the items pictured are no longer available at their original link.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas crafting inspiration

After really enjoying making these felt gingerbread men I thought I'd make some other Christmas decorations in the run up to the big day. These are 9 great projects that I plan to try.

1. Wooden beaded stars
2. Felt Robins
3. Paper Christmas Trees
4. Crochet Christmas Wreaths
5. Pompom pud
6. Colourful bead star
7. Paper bauble
8. Embellished felt snowflake
9. Cross stitch gift tags

For more Christmas makes have a look through my boards on Pinterest.

All links above are to Pinterest as a number of the items pictured are no longer available at their original link.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Renegade craft fair

Yesterday I headed to The Old Truman Brewery off Brick Lane for the Renegade Craft FairA lot of Designer/Makers I've bought things from in the past/follow on social media were there and I picked up some beautiful things.

Map notebook from House Of Ismay

Biscuit mug from Martha Mitchell Design

Cat in a Christmas Hat from Woah There Pickle

Christmas Card from Birds in Hats

Birthday Card from Oh Squirrel

Alphabet book for my niece from Eightbear

Copper necklace from Pikku Potin

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Felt gingerbread men

This was the free kit with the recent edition of Prima Makes Magazine.

The gingerbread men shapes were pre-cut in the felt, which took some of the magic  out of making it yourself (or hassle depending on our point of view). The white detail was sticky backed felt which I'd not used before, and seems like a great idea, although the stickiness wasn't sticky enough so I also stitched these in place.

The hardest bit was stuffing the arms and legs, I ended up using the bobbly end of a knitting needle to push the stuffing into the appendages.