6

Elephant Plantpot with Thermomorph

When Thermomorph first contacted me, I thought the product sounded a little like a character from a superhero movie. It’s not actually a type of transformer, but a box of moldable plastic! Think play dough for grownups, you pour the little plastic balls into a bowl of boiling water and you get a lump of plastic that you can mold into whatever you like. Because this stuff sets very quickly (I’m talking a minute, maybe two tops) I wouldn’t recommend using it for anything intricate. I cut shapes out of the thermomorph with this miniature elephant cookie cutter, which I used for this cute elephant plant pot! I painted the elephants yellow, obviously, because yellow is my favourite colour and I’m very predictable. Here’s how!

You will need: A pot of thermomorph (which you can buy from amazon here)! A cookie cutter, a plantpot, some PVA glue, a knife, a chopping board, a rolling pin, paint and paintbrushes.

Fill a bowl with boiling water and add a handful of thermomorph plastic balls. / Once the plastic is transparent, use a spoon (or tongs) to remove a chunk of plastic. Use your rolling pin to roll it flat, with a depth of a cm or two. Cut the thermomorph with the cookie cutter, and wiggle around! / This stuff is pretty sticky so flip the cutter over to pull away most of the excess plastic. / To remove the thermomorph from the cutter, submerge it in a bowl of cold water. Because the plastic sets quickly, go through this process one elephant at a time! Add more hot water if the bowl cools down before you’re finished.

My elephants were still a little imperfect around the edges, so I dunked them back into the hot water for 5 seconds to soften them, before cutting away the extra plastic and shaping them around the curve of the pot. / Use PVA to glue your elephants down! / Paint your pot. I did several coats of white acrylic first, and then used yellow acrylic to pick out the elephants.

I’m not sure whether this plant pot is sophisticated or if it looks like a pre-school project, but either way it’s cheerful and it has elephants on it so you can’t go wrong! I’ve been pinning lots of plant-filled rooms onto my home inspiration board and longing for a jungley home, it’s just a shame I’m not very good at keeping plants alive. You can’t kill cacti though, right?

*Thermomorph was sent to me for free, but all opinions (and my addiction to the colour yellow) are my own.

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7

Handmade Letter Writing Paper

There’s nothing better than receiving a hand written letter in the post, am I right? Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to contact people immediately on social media, but letters are much more intimate and they demand your attention in a way that a tweet cannot. One of my favourite parts of writing a letter is the decoration. Here are four ideas for decorating your own letter paper. Are you and a long distance friend in need of a catch up? You should write them a letter this weekend 🙂

I wanted to use recycled paper, and the paper I used comes from the Exotic Paper Company. I chose to buy recycled banana paper, but you can also buy paper made from elephant poo. How cool is that!

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You will need: Paper, Ink or watercolour paint, paintbrush (small and large), jam jars, rubber, craft knife

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Rubber print paper

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To make this rubber stamped paper, first put a little ink in a jar and add the same amount of water • Use your craft knife to carefully cut a shape out of the rubber. The simpler your shape, the better! • Paint the rubber with your water/ink mixture and use a spare piece of paper to dab off the excess • Use your rubber to print onto the paper. Don’t worry if it’s uneven, it adds to the charm!

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Bordered Paper

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If you want to border your paper, you can use any illustration you like, but the most effective designs are simple and abstract. I just used a combination of curly lines, swirls and yellow dots! Before you paint onto your paper, experiment with different amounts of ink and water on your brush, different sized brushes and a variety of pressures to decide which marks you like the most!

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Ombre paper

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Fill two jars with water, and add a couple of drops of different coloured ink to each jar. • Make sure you wipe the excess water off your brush before painting – you don’t want there to be puddles on your letter paper! • Roughly paint a different colour wash on each end and blend in the middle

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Illustrated paper

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First paint a background onto your paper by dabbing a watered down ink onto your paper with a large brush • Use a small brush, and black ink straight from the bottle to paint a simple design in the corner. If you paint your design whilst the paper is wet, the ink will bleed a little, which I think looks cool. If you want a crisper line, wait until the paper is dry.

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So there are some ideas for decorating paper! Which is your favourite? Do you write letters to your friends, or do you have a penpal? I’d love to hear how you decorate your letters!

13

Experimenting with Fabric Paint: Painting a Scene

Last week I shared some potato printing I did using fabric paints, and this week I’m going to show you my jungle t-shirt! This was a complete experiment but I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. The fabric paint was hard to paint on because it was difficult to control – the paint kep bleeding through the fabric – but I adjusted my method to make up for that, and I’ll show you what I did in case you fancy a go yourself 🙂

paintying a scene 1

You will need:

Something to paint on (e.g. cotton t-shirt)
Fabric paints
Paint brush
Paint Palette
Water jar
Pencil

Step 1: Pencil on your design. I find it easier to do big bold designs rather than small fiddly ones. Since the paint doesn’t always stay put, it’s hard to get the sharp lines required for small fiddly details.

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Step 2: Paint on your design! I went for a jungle scene with flowers, leaves, bamboo, a frog and a parrot! The paint did blend together well so I did a little bit of blending on the leaves and flowers.

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Step 3: To make my shirt look a little fuller and more colourful, and also to hide some of the fuzzy edges, I mixed some green paint with water and I painted grass onto my shirt. I also  used some kitchen towel and potato prints to blob flowers around the top of the shirt.

Step 4: Leave your shirt to dry overnight, and then iron it underneath some greaseproof paper for a couple of minutes to fix the paint.

Phew, all finished!

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Archie’s stealing the limelight in my photos again.

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What do you think? As you read this, I will be in Paris for my boyfriend’s 21st! I’m so excited. I’m lucky that we like to do the same things on holiday (wine, art and food) and I’m sure I’ll be squeezing in plenty of vintage shopping.

p.s. If we usually keep in touch but you haven’t heard from me for a while, don’t worry I’m still here but my laptop won’t let me comment on any blogs with capatcha. Grrrr.

19

Experimenting With Fabric Paint: Potato Printing

Since I’m not doing anything else at the moment, I bought a set of fabric paints to play around with. My mum asked me to liven up one of her white t-shirts, and I decided to attack it with potato prints! This was actually a really fun and quick DIY, and I will definitely try it again! Next time I might use vegetables like apples and oranges that don’t need carving because they have such cute shapes already. You might notice that I’m wearing disco pants in these photos. I read in a magazine the other day that you shouldn’t wear disco pant because they are “out” and for some reason it made me really cross – I love my disco pants! So, I’ve decided to wear them all the time (even in the daytime!) in retaliation. Take that bossy fashion lady. Maybe I’ll even treat you to a disco-pants focused outfit post.

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(Yes I am posing in my mum’s shirt, I hope she doesn’t mind!)

If you want to try potato printing, you will need:

A potato!
A shirt to print on
Fabric paint
A knife
A paint palette

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Step 1: Put something under the first layer of your shirt (like newspaper) to prevent paint from leaking onto the back.

Step 2: Carve your potato! I did three circles of different sizes. Cut your potato in half, carve your shape into the flat side of the potato, and then carefully go around the edge with the knife to remove some of the potato outside of your shape (so that your intended shape is raised.)

Step 3: Pour some paint on your palette, dip your potato in, and print onto your fabric! Make sure you wipe the excess paint off the potato first, so that you get a clear print. I had some blobs of paint where I didn’t want them to be, so I covered these up with smaller circles.

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Step 4: Wait for your paint to dry, and then cover your shirt with greaseproof paper and iron for 2 minutes. This will fix your paint so that you can wash it!

I really like how this turned out, I think simple patterns work the best! What do you think?

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I am STILL in the process of sorting out my uni things since moving back home. I have literally twice as much stuff as space, and deciding which things to store or get rid of is tiring! What are you up to this week?

11

Experimenting with natural dye

I’ve been trying to use natural dyes for a while now, but it’s never quite worked out right. I’d been trying to dye sheer fabric, but I think this was a mistake – cotton took the dye SO much better! Natural dye is so much fun because you can just use left over veggies and spices or leaves from your garden. It’s cheaper than chemical dye AND it’s better for the environment. Yay! I used turmeric which gives a lovely yellow colour, but I would love to try blueberries, beetroot and onions. There’s some great resources about what you can use as dyes on these websites.

natural dye 2To make your own tumeric tie dye socks, you will need:
Cotton Socks
Vinegar
Tumeric

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Step 1: Pich sections of the socks and wrap elastic bands tightly around them.

Step 2: To fix your fabric (so that you can wash it without the colour coming out) boil your socks in a pan with 2 table spoons of vinegar for an hour.

Step 3: When your socks have cooled down a little, rinse them through. Then boil them in a pan full of water with one tablespoon of tumeric for an hour.

Step 4: Put your socks in the washing machine on a “rinse” setting for ten minutes, then undo the rubber bands and let them dry out.

Ta da, your socks are ready!

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Look at Archie hiding behind my socks! I’ve done tie dye becase I love it so much, but I think these would be cute with all over yellow too.

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I’m spending this weekend relaxing at my parents house and helping them out with their various projects. It’s been so much fun having adventures at uni post-deadlines, but sometimes you need a couple of evenings to come back home, watch trashy telly and going to bed early! I hope you have a fantastic weekend 🙂

EDIT: These have been tried and tested, and the colour did stay in the wash!