Category Archives: Tutorial

Secret Santa Gifts that Kids Can Make themselves

My son’s Year 2 teacher this year decided the class would do a Secret Santa, but with a twist. The kids had to make their gifts. There was to be a boys gift and a girls gift. Boys make for boys, girls make for girls and then it would be lucky dip on the last day of school.The lucky dip bit threw me a bit – it was hard to know what to make when you didn’t know who would be getting it. So I figured the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so let’s bake something.

It was also a project I knew my son could be involved in. So we baked some simple vanilla cookies and before baking studded them with red and green M&M’s. We then baked them, and once cooled pack them in a plastic bag tied with ribbon. It was an easy and effective gift that the recipient loved! We also packed up the leftover ones and gave them out to all the boys’ cousins.

Next I’ll show you some simple Teacher’s Gifts.

Heart Shaped Pocket Warmers Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you my heart shaped pocket warmers which I made for Mary for the last Handmade Swap I participated in. Even though Spring has sprung here in Australia, I thought these might come in handy for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are just about to embark on your cool season.

So here is the tutorial of how I made them:

  1. Cut two heart shapes out of felt. I used a printed felt for the front and a solid yellow for the back.

2. Place hearts wrong sides together and stitch around the edge leaving a 2 cm opening.

3. Insert a funnel into the opening and pour in enough rice to fill the pouch.
4. Pinch opening closed and stitch opening closed.
5. When you are ready to use the pocket warmers, simply place in the microwave for 30 seconds on  high and insert into pockets.

These are a lovely gift for Christmas tied together with ribbon and a small gift tag explaining how to use them.
If you are looking for other easy to make gifts, I am running a free 30 minute workshop at the Brisbane Craft Fair 16th – 20th October 2013 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. It runs daily at the fair at 1.30pm in Workshop 4. I will be showing you 3 easy Christmas Gifts to make in 10 minutes or less. So if you are coming to the Fair be sure to stop by and say hi!

Entries for the Royal Show

Tis that time of year again in Brisbane when the Ekka comes to town. The Ekka is the Agricultural Show when ‘country comes to the city’. It’s also the most competitive show in the State for Crafters. This year I’ve opted to enter three categories:

  • Funky Fabrics and Wearable Art
  • Christmas Decorations
  • Childrens Toy
And for once, I’m actually somewhat organised.
So I thought I would share with you what I am making. The first is the Christmas decorations. Given many people celebrate ‘Christmas in July’ now is a good time to share with you my Burlap Christmas Trees.
Here’s the final product:
If I were displaying them around the home, I would probably sit them on top of wine or champagne glasses at varying heights, but for now, they are just sitting on the table.
To make, they are really simple. Take a large sheet of cardboard (I used old manilla folders) and roll them around using one corner as the point to form a cone shape.
Sticky tape the cone shape to hold in place, and trim the bottom with scissors so it is level.
Paint the cone with PVA glue. Lay on a corner of Burlap and roll to cover. Overlap the end about 1 cm then trim the burlap. You will need to apply more PVA to the Burlap where it overlaps so it sticks together.
Trim the Burlap at the top and then the bottom leaving a 2cm edge at the bottom. Then apply more PVA glue around the inside bottom edge and fold in the Burlap and glue down.
Once dry, you can then embellish with ribbons, sequins and beads using a hot glue gun to apply them.
As Burlap comes in so many great colours, you can make trees to suit any colour scheme. And the best part is how affordable they are. So if your celebrating Christmas in July, get busy with these Burlap Trees for your centrepiece, or you may like to get an early start on some fresh decorations for this Christmas.
Next week I’ll show you my funky fashion, wearable art entry.

New Tea Cup Pin Cushion for the Studio

Whilst my studio was completed almost 3 months ago now, I still find myself adding bits and pieces to it every week. This week I decided I needed a new Pin Cushion, as I have been storing my pins in a tupperware container for the past few years so they could be stored between projects. Now that I have a permanent studio where I can leave things out, it was the perfect time to create somewhere more permanent and user friendly to store my pins. So I created this cute little tea cup pin cushion.

It was so quick and easy to make. I had found three of these cups in a box of my Grandma’s things. The  matching saucers were missing, but I will continue to search thrift stores until I find a suitable replacement.

I cut a circle of Burlap about 10cm wider than the top of the cup.

I then inserted polyester stuffing into the cup and packed it down until it reached the top, so I knew how much I needed to fill the cup. I then took is out again and wrapped it loosely in the burlap circle.
I then inserted the whole bundle, open side down into the teacup.
I then glued the burlap in place to contain the stuffing using a hot glue gun, pushing it down into the cup as I worked my way around the edge. If I had of had a matching saucer, I would have used the hot glue gun to attach the cup to the saucer as well.
And voila! One practical and pretty pin cushion. I especially love that it’s a little reminder of my Grandma in my studio everyday, making it extra special!

Burlap and Lace Table Mats make Perfect Wedding or High Tea Decor

Burlap and Weddings just seem synonymous these days! Burlap just lends itself so well to wedding decor as it is a perfect pairing for white.Kelly over at Boho Weddings recently featured a tutorial by Becki (a self confessed Boho Bride) for these gorgeous table centrepiece mats.

The table mats are made from Burlap and Lace and are so simple to make. To see the tutorial head over to Boho Weddings where Becki shows you the easy step by step instructions.

They are so simple and yet so beautiful. I think they would be lovely on wedding tables but also for a special high tea or baby shower as well. If you need an elegant touch for your table decor these table mats are perfect.

Bendable Burlap Flowers

Well it’s been almost 4 weeks now since our phone line went down, and our Telco has just fixed it. No phone line, no broadband, no blogging. So in lieu of being able to blog I have spent some time recently in the studio creating numerous things which I will share with you over the coming weeks.But to get things up and running again I would like to share with you these gorgeous bendable Burlap Flowers I found on Hani’s Blog (before loss of Internet connection!).

Hani over at Craftionary created these beautiful Burlap Flowers. The great thing is, she has used wire to give them structure so you can bend them into all sorts of realistic positions. If you want to get the low down on how to make these gorgeous flowers head over to Craftionary where Hani shares a really simple step step guide on how to create these gorgeous flowers.

Her cousin has used them to decorate a wreath, which looks fabulous. I’m also thinking unique wedding bouquet. So many uses for these flowers!

Easter Egg Lavender Sachets – An alternate Easter gift

With Easter fast approaching, Burlap comes into it’s own. Burlap is the king of Easter. What could be a better fabric to celebrate Spring, Nature and New Life than Burlap. Not to mention the meaning of Lent and going without, the humble Burlap fabric is the perfect companion.

Easter Egg Burlap Lavender Sachets

Burlap Lavender Sachets are the perfect gift when you don’t want to give chocolate for Easter. These sweet little sachets can be hung in the wardrobe to keep your clothes smelling fresh and bug free all year round – and best of all not a calorie to be seen!

To create your lavender sachets cut two Egg shaped ovals (mines about 12cm high) of Burlap.

Two Egg Ovals

On one of the ovals of Burlap stitch rows of ribbon in complimentary shades and patterns.

Place Burlap Eggs right side together and insert a 15cm length of satin ribbon, folded in half, inside the top of the egg to form the hanger. Pin in place. Stitch around the circumference of the egg leaving a 5cm gap on the side.

Stitch around the circumference leaving an opening

Roll an A4 sheet of paper into a funnel and insert in gap in Burlap, fill egg with Lavender. Stitch opening closed.

Fill with Lavender

Fray the edges back to the stitching line. Your Lavender Easter Egg Sachets are now complete.

So quick, so affordable and so easy! The perfect Easter gift.