Category: Home Decor

Flower Pot Cover

For slightly mad reasons I decided to make a cover for the flower pot of out (boyfriend’s) Yucca tree. Boyfriend is planning to fill the living room with greenery apparently, he has not though.  I didn’t like the horrible brown plastic flower pot the Yucca is in, so decided to make a simple cover for it.  It is essentially, a rectangle of fabric (isn’t everything?) with elastic in the top.

I measured the flower pot, 29cm high and 79cm diameter. So I cut my fabric approximately 31cm x 84cm to allow for the hems.  I was using some left over fabric so I couldn’t quote get a bit enough piece, and had to add in a little bit on the corner.  I cut the jagged edge off to give a nice straight edge, then cut a triangle out of some off cuts.  The tricky part was getting the pattern to line up.  I’m pretty pleased with the result.

Once I had my beautiful rectangle, I folded over the top about 1cm to create a tube for the elastic.  Given that my elastic was so skinny, and it’s always a ball ache to pull elastic through I decided to put the elastic in first and then sew.  At full stretch my elastic was about 81cm.  I pinned one end of the elastic to the end of the fabric to keep it in place.  It meant when I got about half way along I ran out of elastic, so I stretched the elastic to its limit and pinned that end to the other end of the fabric.

I kept the elastic pinned into place for the time being.  Then I hemmed the bottom edge of the fabric (much easier to sew a straight line, then trying to hem a skirt).  Then I folded it in half right sides together, and sewed the two pieces together.  And it was done!

 

Holiday Scrapbook

After my trip to America (New York and Washington DC) I thought I would try my hand at scrap booking.  I’ve kept a scrap book before but then lost interest in it, and it sits half-filled on a shelf somewhere.  For this project I chose a smaller scrapbook that would be dedicated just to this one trip.

Whilst I was there I kept hold of receipts, tickets, restaurant business cards, food packets etc  Anything really that I liked, that summed up the USA to me, or that reminded me of the trip.  I have the Rishi tea bag wrapper from my birthday lunch.  I kept the baggage check tickets from the very rude staff member (fond memories).  And I have the flattened Milk Duds box that kept me sustained for the first few days of jetlag in NYC.

I took a lot of photos with my phone, and a bunch with my digital camera.  So I could start planning it all out as soon as I got back. I did a lot of notes when I was planning it out- that’s how my brain works!  I listed the photos I wanted to use, the items I had to include, and also what we did each day to remind myself.  I still manged to mess it up and get two of the days the wrong way around!

But I also used film cameras (Canon Ixus and Diana F+) as well, and had to wait to get them developed before I could see if I wanted to use any of them.  So it dragged a few weeks annoyingly.   Below you can see a an image that boyfriend took with his phone (left), it’s off me with my film camera.  And you can see the photo I took of him with my film camera (right).  You can also see how much better digital cameras adapt in lower light levels!

It’s not perfect, some pages look a bit messy or odd.  But I’m pleased and plan to do it again when I go away in October to Riga.

Homemade Net Curtain

I have made a net curtain for the downstairs toilet.  I am slowly trying to improve my new house (which for a long time was just boyfriend’s, then I moved in).   It’s quite nice that we have a downstairs toilet, although not really that essential.  The decor is quite dated, so I’m trying to spruce up the least exciting room of the house.  There’s no point in investing large amounts of money or time into it, so I’m just trying to add some little touches.

I’m making us a home.

The blind in there below was brown and let in no outside light.  It was also pretty dusty, and at one point I think it rolled up and down but no longer. The net curtain I made also does not roll because I couldn’t quite figure that out.

curtanin

 

It’s just a simple rectangular piece of fabric and I cut to fir the window.  I allowed an extra few cm on each of the long sides for the hem. I also added an extra 15cm to the length.  Hemming the long sides was both simple and fiddly, as the fabric was a bit curled under already.  I folded it over twice, pinned, then sewed.  The same with the bottom hem.  I was going to make the bottom hem bigger and include curtain weights but they just looked weird when I tried it.  The weights ensure the curtain hangs straight down, but they’re not crucial.

At the top I created a loose loop through which I could feed the curtain rod.  I used a tension rod so I didn’t have to have a proper curtain rail or drill into the wall.  For this one you just unscrew it to make it longer and then it wedges in place, but without damaging the wall.curtanin1

The net curtain is still fairly see-through, so I may embark on a proper curtain if I can figure out how to get it to work.

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Creating Pictures from Pokemon Cards and Stamps

Pokemon Cards

I’ve had a pile of pokemon playing cards knocking about for a few years. I picked them up at Play Expo, which is worth a trip if you’re into games and what not (I met Pikachu)!  I just bought a random pile for about £3 so there aren’t any shiny ones, or valuable ones, or Pikachu ones!  And there are  some duplicates within the bunch, but I do like them and wanted to display them some how.

I bought a cheap frame, I knew the cards wouldn’t fit in without showing some of the background which at the time was just bare wood.  I laid down a layer of upside down cards so the Pokemon logo was the background. I had to glue them in place, and trim around the edge.  This was fiddly as they kept coming unstuck and moving around.  I then arranged the good cards on top that I wanted to display.   Again, I used some pritt stick to keep them in place too.

I like the overall effect.  And I like that I’m using from my stash, I keep hoarding things!  Boyfriend even let my hang it up, although not in the living room where other people would see it.

Stamps

When we were sorting through the boxes of very important things boyfriend had hidden away unopened for 2 years, he found a little bag of stamps.  They were designed as a starter kit for stamp collection, although he didn’t last long as a philatelist, and also managed to pour glue all over his stamp book…But I thought some of the stamps were pretty cool.  So he let me take them (also walk away with a calligraphy pen)!

I cut some thick beige paper as my backing sheet, then arranged the stamps on the page.  Given that they were all different sizes the gaps between them weren’t going to be the same but that was fine by me.  I didn’t need to stick the stamps down, I think the gummy backing added some friction.    

Snoopy Play Mat

Snoopy Play Mat

play mat I found some fun fabric in a shop in Manchester a few months ago.  It was a quilt panel of Snoopy as the Flying Ace, which I thought might make something nice for my niece.  It was the wrong size for a dress unless I cut up the design which kinda defeated the point.  So I opted for play mat, as in something she can sit on while she plays.  Honestly, not sure how useful it’ll be.

Method

So, totally making it up as I went along.  I cut out the panel piece, which was a simple large rectangle.  Then I cut the same size piece in a plain red drill fabric, as well as two pieces in some quilting I had bought.  It’s quite a bit piece so it was awkward to cut out and get them all the same size.   I just eye balled it really and tidied it up later.

play mat

I pinned the pattern fabric onto one of the quilting pieces, then I sewed it in place.  I sewed around the edge, as well as picking out key details in the Snoopy pattern and sewing around them.  I wasn’t super neat, but I don’t think niece will be overly bothered, although I’m sure she’ll appreciate the extra effort I put in…  I then sewed the red fabric to the other piece of quilting, I used two to make it nice and soft for her to sit on.  Then I put the Snoopy piece of fabric and the red fabric right sides together and sewed them together.  It was difficult at times to sew through the quilting, perhaps a sign I was doing this all wrong?  Anyone know?

I left a gap of a few inches open on one side (near the bottom) so I could turn it inside out.  Actually, I didn’t, so I had to unpick a few inches first!  Anyway, I then turned it inside out, which made it the right way around really.  Then I sewed up the gap with a messy slip stitch, because how do you do a neat one?  I ironed the play mat, and then wrapped it cute wrapping with little pink cats on it.

Peg Bag

How To Make A Peg Bag

Well it’s the post you’ve been waiting for, this is it people, it’s how to make a peg bag!

The weather FINALLY turned decent (it had torrentially raining for days).  I was able to put a few loads of laundry in and use the washing line.  It was an exciting time for us.  But I realised we needed a peg bag.

What You Need

  • Fabric- I used 4 fat quaters, because I lined mine.  Without a lining you could get away with 2.
  • Coat hanger

What You Do

  1. Position your coat hanger at the top of your fabric and draw a line along the top of it.   The cut along that line, leaving some extra seam allowance.  Then figure out how long you want the bag to be and cut the fabric to that length, again leaving some extra seam allowance.  I did this in my main fabric and lining fabric.  This was the back
  2. I sewed those front sides together, leaving a gap of a few inches in one corner so I could then turn it right side out.  I didn’t bother to sew this up yet, just pinned it closed.
  3. I used the remainder of those fat quarters to make the top of the front.  Again I followed the curve of the coat hanger for the top.  The amount I had left went about a third of the way down which was perfect.   Again I sewed them right sides together, leaving my gap in the top right corner.
  4. And I used my other fat quarters for the bottom of the front, pretty simple just a rectangle for the bottom two thirds of the front.  And sewed these right sides together, with a gap bottom right.
  5. Then I put the coat hanger on the top piece again and marked on where the head went so I could leave a gap for it.  Then I sewed the front pieces to the back pieces, right sides together. The front is just left open for easy access to the pegs.
  6. Then I ironed it, and inserted the coat hanger.  And done!

With hindsight, a neater way to do it would have been to create the lining in one piece and the outer layer in one pieces and then attaching them. Also I should have ironed the fabric first but there we go.  Still it took about an hour to make, it’s pretty, it’s got dinosaurs on it, and it’s actually practical.  Win, win, win, win!

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Microwavable Rice Pack

rice-pack

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It’s bloody freezing right now, and I’m forcing myself to go outside and walk to the gym. It’s sheer madness I know.  It has forced my hand though to get on and make some microwavable rice pack because it’s cold and I’m aching.

I bought a fat quarter of fabric for £2.85, and a 500g bag of rice for 88p.  I already had a little bottle of what I thought was lavender essential oil but was actually lavender massage oil.

I cut the fat quarter into a piece that was 32 x 58 cm (I just eyeballed the size I wanted).

I folded it in half longways right side together.  Then I sewed closed two sides, and about a third of the way along the third side.

I turned it inside out, so right way out really.  Then poured in the rice, and a few drops of the lavender.  Then I hand sewed the open side using my terrible version of slip stitch.  I was worried that my hand sewing wouldn’t be strong enough and rice would explode everywhere but so far so good.

I put mine in the microwave for two mins and it came out very hot, so I think 1min 30secs might be better.  I did notice it didn’t keep it heat as long as a hot water bottle, although if you spend four hours trying to pose with it and take pictures for your blog then what do you expect?

Crafty Christmas Presents

p1040208Just a few crafty bits and bobs I got for Christmas. A new copy of Selvedge magazine which is stupidly expensive, but has pretty pictures and articles on artisanal* crafty things.  A book of 20 different fabric flowers for me to try making, and some pretty silver tape. Continue reading “Crafty Christmas Presents”