Repurpose: A bag for the crafting

Each week on a Tuesday, I go along to a local craft group. We take turns at each other’s houses and just sit around doing whatever craft project we are working on at the time and chatting. It’s great! A chance to get out of the house by myself and hang out with some lovely ladies.

I realised after the first couple of weeks that I needed something to carry all of my STUFF in. I was going to sew a bag, but then realised I had this really good, sturdy bag hanging around in the cupboard:

Sturdy hessian bagIt’s a hessian bag with a plasticy coating on the inside that my Nana got when she bought some Barker’s products. Nice and strong, and quite big too. Perfect for carrying crafting bits and pieces.

But a bag with a big ugly logo on the side? Not my style. So of course I had to add fabric. Yep, fabric is the answer to yet another of life’s questions. Love it.

I wish I was one of those people that have all different kinds of mod podge lined up ready for their individual uses. But I’m not, so I used paper Mod Podge instead, cos that’s all I’ve got. Yep, I did it. Paper glue on fabric. Hey, it worked!

Oh and this just happened to use up a few of my lovely scraps again! I’d even go so far as to say it’s another Scrap-Buster project!

So this is what I did:

After cutting out my petals and deciding on the layout, I glued them down with LOTS of Mod Podge underneath and over top.

Here's all of the petals glued down. I know you can see through the pale pink one on the left, but it became less noticable as it dried so I'm ok with that.

 

With the help of a little hot glue, I added buttons and a little lace to pretty it up just a bit more.

And then of course I had to do something about the other side because of the giant ugly logo there too. A little blue and white floweryness.

And that’s it! A crafty bag for crafty evenings with crafty ladies. Awesome.

Nicola xx

Tutorial: Ruffled Fabric Streamers

Ready for another Ultimate Scrap Buster? Good. Me too. My scrap box is thanking me.

Last year I saw these on one of my favourite blogs, MADE:

Ruffled Streamers by MADE

I was instantly in love, although it took me a while to get around to making them. But I finally got myself organised and whipped up a few for Christmas. They are so quick and easy! In fact, the longest part was cutting strips of crepe paper as the only colours I could find in the little rolls weren’t what I wanted. If you are looking for a way to make some fast and gorgeous crepe paper decorations, check out Dana’s tutorial. Actually, go check it out anyway because it will really help you follow my steps a little better. And plus, she just writes the cutest posts!

But after ruffling up some crepe paper I got to thinking, what else can I ruffle? FABRIC! I’m starting to think that fabric is the answer to all of my problems. Quite possibly.

And so, just in time for Valentine’s Day decor, I had a go at ruffling up some fabric in red, white, silver and black. I’m going to be honest, we Kiwi’s don’t go crazy with decorating the house at every opportunity (although I am totally envious of the awesome decorating ideas I keep seeing on my favourite blogs), but I thought these might help me get into the spirit.

They didn’t turn out quite as cute as I hoped, as some of the fabrics didn’t ruffle as well as the others. It seems as though the thinner the fabric, the better the ruffles. But anyway, I’ll talk you through the process and offer my suggestions later.

Now, after all of that waffling, I give you another Ultimate Scrap Buster:

Ruffles!

A little close up action.

Oh, and I also did a little pink and green. Cute right?

I know the strips aren’t all perfectly straight but I think that just adds to the charm, don’t you think? I think the scrappiness of it is cute.

Ready to do-a-lil-ruffling? Great.

Get out that scrap box/bag/pile and gather yourself a pile of coordinating strips. You want some wide, approx. 5cm wide, for your bottom ruffle layer, and some thinner than that (it really doesn’t matter how thin, as long as they are thinner than your bottom pieces) for your top ruffle layer. Don’t be afraid of the funny shaped ones. Here’s my pile:

See? All kinds of shapes in there. No problem.

Now, before you get into sewing, change the settings on your machine so that it is on the longest stitch length and highest tension. Did you read Dana’s tutorial? I hope so.

Layer a smaller piece on top of a bigger piece to start. Back stitch to secure, then start sewing and watch those ruffles suddenly appear.

 

When a layer runs out, just shove another piece right in there. My top layer ran out first, so I just stopped with the needle down, lifted the presser foot and slid in another piece.

 

When your bottom layer runs out, just add in another piece in the same way.

Keep on adding in new pieces until you have a beautiful ruffled streamer to decorate whatever you want to decorate.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned before there were problems. The thicker fabrics and the stretchy fabrics didn’t work very well at all. Stick with lightweight cottons and you should be fine. Also, if you wanted you could do a third layer at the bottom facing down so that it was double-sided. That was my original plan but I got a little lazy.

A lil more pink and green for you. I love this colour combo.

Now go and make a whole bunch in whatever colour combos you like!

Happy Valentine’s! And happy ruffling!

Nicola x

Tutorial: Scrap Buster Blocks

There are many great tutorials out there for using up fabric scraps. MANY. But they all seem to involve what I consider rather large scraps. Am I the only one that keeps all the tiny pieces? Probably. But I just can’t throw out those gorgeous little bits and figure they will be good for something one day, so into the scrap box they go.

Of course because of my hoarding, I’m always on the lookout for projects to use them up. So when I came up with this idea I was very pleased with myself! Behold, the first in what I like to call “The Ultimate Scrap Buster Projects”:

This project is an Ultimate Scrap Buster because it uses those tiny little strips that you thought were no good for anything but were too pretty to throw away. The smallest piece I used was approx. 1.5cm x 6cm (the skinny blocks in the picture above).

I made these a few months ago, so for the tutorial photos I’ve used a random piece of wood from my husband’s scrap pile. It’s a piece of treated timber (see how it’s pink?) that I definitely wouldn’t give to my child to play with. The wood I used for the actual blocks is some untreated knotty pine from Bunnings (of course you’d need to be in NZ to shop there!) that I got for a few dollars each. Also, because you are smothering these things in glue, you probably don’t want to give them to children who are likely to put them in their mouths.

Let’s get on with it!

Stuff you will need:

  • Bits of wood – any suitable offcuts you have around, or a few lengths from your local hardware store
  • Sandpaper
  • Fabric scraps!
  • Watered down PVA glue (Elmer’s glue for my American friends) – 1 part water to 1 part glue. Or Mod Podge if you have it. I didn’t, glue works great.
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors

Step 1:

Cut your bits of wood into block-sized pieces. This could really be whatever size you want. If you are like me, you pester your husband until he goes and cuts them for you. Sand the rough edges.

 

 

 

 

Step 2:

Brush a little glue on one of the faces that you want the fabric (you will do the other side later, unless you wanna be tricky and do both sides at once). Just a thin layer. Lay the fabric on top and press down. Let dry. If you are making a whole bunch, by the time you have done this step on all of the blocks, the first ones should be dry enough.

 

 

 

Step 3:

Trim the fabric as close to the edge as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4:

Brush some more glue over top,  paying special attention to the edges. Let dry.

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat for all of the faces that you want fabric on, and all of the many blocks that you want to make. After all of that hard work, you will end up with a beautiful, unique, handmade set of blocks for your child or someone elses. Or for your husband to build things while your daughter just bangs two together to make loud noises.

Enjoy!

Nicola :)