Tutorial Thursday: Embroidered Notebook ♥

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Hi guys! I’m excited to be here today to share a simple embroidery DIY for Alice’s blog.

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Here’s what you will need to get started:

• A moleskin notebook

• Embroidery thread and needle

• Pencil

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On the inside cover of your notebook, sketch out your design using a pencil. I went for a simple raindrop.

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Using your needle, make holes a long the lines of your design, around 0.5cm apart.

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Take a length of embroidery thread (I used all 6 strands) and sew around your pre punched holes using a backstitch. This video shows you how to make the stitches.

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Once you have sewn around your design, fasten off with a knot on the inside cover of the notebook. Snip the ends of the thread and you’re done!

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What I love about this DIY is you can change the design and colours to suit you. You could try a monogrammed notebook or flowers perhaps!

Thanks again to Alice for having me on her blog today!

Claire x

I have loved having Claireabellemakes with us this week. Her work is so delicate and gorgeous to look at. I do hope you will all continue to follow her work and do check out the interview she did with us on Tuesday. Coming up next week we have Lindsey Portas, who I am VERY excited about!!

Thank you Claire and HAPPY THURSDAY!

Tutorial Thursday: Getting Started with Embroidery ♥

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There is a slight change of plan this week. Emily, who shared her interview with us on Tuesday, couldn’t do a tutorial for us today due to spending some time away. However, I didn’t want to leave you lovely readers without a project.

I can’t say I thought about this project for weeks. It was definitely a last minute idea, but a sweet one at that. Also, how fitting is it, what with Great British Bake Off last night?
As Emilys interview was about her life as an embroidery artist, I thought it only appropriate to carry that theme on this week. Today, I am sharing with you how to do a simple but cute embroidery project. Some people are instantly put off embroidery as its fiddly or time consuming or ‘what do you even stitch?!’. Well, I hope after this today, you will be inspired to pick up a sewing needle, grab some thread and do some sewing!

tutorial supplies 

For this you shall need these following supplies:
Fabric
Embroidery thread (I use Anchor)
Hoop (mine is 6inch)
Needles
A design to sew onto the fabric
Pencil/fabric pen

measuring fabric

Completely lay out your fabric onto a flat surface and place your hoop in the corner. I suggest the corner as you then have the rest of your fabric to use, for other projects. You want to make sure that you have enough fabric for the hoop to work with, as when the fabric is placed in the hoop, the fabric will bunch. Always cut a little more than you think you will need. My fabric is roughly 9 x 8 inches for a 5/6 inch hoop. If unsure, always put the hoop together before you cut your fabric, to give you an idea of how much you need. Also, when you take the hoop off, you’re left with crease marks as a guideline.

tracing design

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Once your fabric is cut, grap the design you wish to use and find the right placement. This really is a ‘should it go here? or should it go there?’ step. Once you are happy, place the design under your fabric and trace. I used a pencil, as my fabric is quite thin and didn’t want it to leak through. If what you are using is nice and thick, go ahead and use a washable fabric pen!

sewing the design

When you’re ready, put your hoop in place. You want the bigger hoop to be at the top of your fabric, and the smaller hoop underneath. However, I have seen it the other way around if that works better for you.
Now, begin stitching! For a neater stitch, I find that a backstitch works best. This way you have no gaps in between the stitches and it follows your work nicely.

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As I finished sewing the delicious looking biscuits, I felt it was lacking something. So, I added some text to go with it. This is freehand, but can always trace another design.

biscuit anyone?

And ta-dah! There you have a one of a kind embroidery project! Something like this would look perfect in the kitchen as a decoration or if you know someone who has a bit of a biscuit addiction, it would make a perfect gift!

Thank you for joining me today and if you wish to see Emilys interview, you can click here. Next Tuesday, we will have Kate Marsden, who is a textile designer and fibre artist.

Until then, happy dunkin’!

Tutorial Thursday: Marimekko Stool ❤︎

Marimekko stool (finished, closer)

Following up from the interview, Kirsty is sharing a beautiful DIY Stool today. I feel the flowers are definitely very prominent, what with the WW1 events happening in  London this week. So, without further a do, I pass you over to the lovely maker herself! 

I’m a little bit wary of describing this project as napkin decoupage, even though that’s exactly what it is. So many of the projects which usually employ the same technique are . . . well, not really my cup of tea. Lots of country florals, cutesy animals and the kind of finished items my partner describes as dust-catchers. If you feel the same way, I’m hoping this mid-century inspired idea might change your mind. When I found these beautiful Marimekko table napkins a couple of weeks ago, I knew I didn’t just want to keep them stashed away for the rare occasions when we have people over for dinner. My original plan was to use them to decorate a large block canvas and hang it as a piece of wall art, but then I spotted this white stool-slash-side-table in Habitat, and it was a done deal. Check out the instructions below to see how it came together.

Supplies:

Stool, table or other surface to decorate
Paper table napkins
Scissors
Iron + ironing board
Decoupage medium (e.g. Mod Podge)
Paintbrush
Craft knife
Fine sandpaper or nail file

Notes:

+ Bear in mind that as you’ll only be using the very thin top layer of the napkin, the colour of the surface beneath will show through and effect the way it looks. As a general rule, it’s best to go with white or a very pale, neutral shade. If you need to paint your surface to make this work, be sure the paint is thoroughly dry before you start.

+ Decoupage medium is a magnet for fine pieces of dust, fluff and hair. It’s SO frustrating to have to keep wiping them off your work, and even worse if you don’t notice them until it’s dry. Where possible, work over a clean, smooth surface (I used my wooden desk), keeping away from things like fans and open windows, and shut out or distract any pets until you’re finished.

How-to:

Marimekko stool (1)

1. Cut out the shapes you want to use from the napkin, leaving a very narrow border around the edge. If the background of your napkin is a contrasting colour (i.e. not white), you might find it’s more effect to cut right up to the outline.

2. Peel away the backing layers of paper so you’re just left with the top, coloured piece. Use a warm iron to smooth out any wrinkles or creases (turn off the steam setting first).

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3. Brush a thin layer of decoupage medium or Mod Podge onto the surface of the stool, covering an area slightly larger than your first paper shape. Place the shape on top of the adhesive, tapping it very gently into place. Dip your brush into the Mod Podge again and spread a layer over the whole of the shape, working from the centre out. The paper will retain some wrinkles, but brushing over the top helps to smooth it out and make sure it’s fully adhered to the surface.

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4. Add more paper shapes in the same way. I used the original print (it’s called Unikko) as a guide, but you might prefer to create your own, more random design instead. Allow the shapes to overhang when you reach the edges; the paper napkin pieces are very fragile while wet, and really prone to tearing.

TIP: If you do tear a piece as you’re working, the best thing to do is carefully remove it with a damp cloth or baby wipe before it dries, and try again.

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5. Once you’ve covered the whole piece, set it aside to dry, and then use a craft knife to carefully trim away excess paper from the edges. Tidy up any rough edges by gently rubbing with a fine-grit sandpaper or soft nail file.

6. To seal and protect the finished surface, brush on a couple of extra coats of decoupage medium or some clear varnish (matt or glossy, as preferred).

Marimekko stool (finished)

That’s it! Pretty straightforward, right? If you’re at all daunted by the size of the project, have a go at working on a smaller piece first. I used the same technique to decorate a couple of painted jam jars (you can find the project in Paperie). It’s a really inexpensive way to try out the idea before committing to something bigger.

I hope you might feel inspired to give your own napkin decoupage project a go, or maybe just to look at paper projects in a different way. Scrapbooking and card-making are fantastic, but the possibilities definitely don’t stop there!

And, if you want to know a bit more about Kirsty Neale herself, then take a read of the interview she did here on Tuesday 5th August. Next week, we have Emily, owner of Fawn and Peach, sharing an interview with us. You can catch Emily on Tuesday 12th August. 

Tutorial Tuesday: Handmade Treasures ♥

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My room is filled with tiny things, craft embellishments, random art supplies, those things I bought from Hobbycraft that I felt I needed but actually didn’t, and so much more! I always find them when I’m looking for something else and feel bad that I never put them to use. Here are just a few ways I decided to use them for and I hope you can get some inspiration to dig round your craft box (or in my case, a caravan) and make the most with what you already have!

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Who said dollhouse furniture was good for just decorating a room? Why not make a ring? There are so many dollhouse supplies out there these days. You can find tiny icecreams, hot dogs, cups, shoes, hobby equipment… and I think they are great for adding a personal touch on something. Here I have a cup, saucer and a silver, adjustable ring. All I used for this was super glue to hold all the items together and a very stable hand!

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These adorable earrings are so easy! I bought the earring attachments on Ebay ages ago. With a pair of jewelry pliers, slightly open the attachment hoop and hook your item on. Once applied, close up the hoop and you’re done! Always make sure that they are facing the right direction, so you don’t have two ‘lefties’ or two ‘righties’… It can be a simple mistake, trust me. And lastly…

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This idea would make a lovely embellishment on a tote bag or a garment! ie. a denim jacket. What you can’t see here, is the part that the popper would pop into, is on the back of the saucer. You would then sew the actual popper part onto where you wished it to be placed. I have to admit, I had trouble keeping the popper to stay in place, but it was nothing super glue couldn’t sort out!
The ‘with love’ is a scrapbooking embellishment I found, a long with a rose. However, the rose didn’t fit quite right so I went with the text instead. It already had a peelable sticky back, meaning I didn’t have to worry about how to apply it.

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Whatever you find in your house and say you don’t need, always double check with yourself and really think of how you could use it. Even with things already used, why not try and re-use them? Turn them into something else! When it comes to the imagination, anything is possible!

Tutorial Tuesday: Summer Bunting! ♥

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Summer is on its way with a heatwave this weekend! So, whats the best way to make the most of the sun? Garden parties, BBQ’s and good ole’ fun! Today, I’m going to show you how to create a simple bunting to give your garden that summer pick me up!

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For this you shall need as many fabrics as you wish! (A perfect way of using up scrap fabrics). Ribbon or lace to place your triangles on and a bunting template.

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Place your template on fold of your fabric, and pin. By placing the template on the fold, when you cut you shall get a lovely folded triangle, which you will need to keep it in place once hanged.

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Cut carefully around your template.
Do this step and the previous for all your fabrics. You can cut using straight scissors of funk it up a bit by using patterned shears! Give it a bump effect or a pointy effect!

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Once you have cut all your triangles, you need to start putting your ribbon/lace in the middle of each triangle. Be sure to measure the space in between each triangle to get a even finish. Pin down the ribbon.

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Time to start sewing! Simply start from the top of the edge of the triangle and sew round. Do this for each of your triangles and they will all be safely kept in place.

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And there you have a beautiful bunting, perfect for all your garden occasions and looking wonderful in the sunshine!

If you wanted to personalise, you could add letters to each bunting, creating a name or word. You could embellish it a bit more with pegs and hang photos/decorations off of it or for the night time, wrap little fairy lights around it – giving your garden a summery glow!

paper: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: Two Tutorials :: Floral Headbands and Paper Pinwheels

Floral Headbands was the first project I did for shimelle.com. The idea is I do a practical project, whether it be fabric, stitching, photography… and the lady I work with re-creates the project but in papercraft. It suits all types of lovely crafters out there!

paper: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: Two Tutorials :: Floral Headbands and Paper Pinwheels