11

DIY Ghost Family

My most recent Halloween decorations are these ghostly visitors! Ghosts, bats and pumpkins are probably my favourite Halloween characters. I like that these ghosts are so mobile and you can prop them up anywhere. If you have a garden by your front door, you could stick them into the lawn like scarecrows! I think one by itself would also be cute, but I thought if I was making one, I might as well make four. Don’t forget to make them different sizes, if you want a ghost family like me 🙂

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You will need:
4 Balloons
Kitchen towel
PVA
Paint brush
4 Jam jars
White bin bags
White mesh / gauze / net (as long as it’s cheap and a little transparent!) I used 4 metres
4 sticks
Gardening wire
Wire cutters
Masking tape
Black Card

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Step 1: Blow up your balloons and cover them in paper mache! If you haven’t done this before, just fill a jar with half water and half pva, dip strips of kitchen towel into the jar and smooth them, overlapping, onto the balloon. Do two or three layers, and put the balloons in jars so that they stay upright. Leave to dry overnight.

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Step 2: Wrap wire around the top half of the stick to form ghost arms. If your wire is sliding down the stick, tape into place.

Step 3: Once your paper mache is fully dry, tape it onto the top of the stick to form the head!

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Step 4:  Cut the handles off the bin bags and pull them over the top of the ghost. Secure the bin bags around the neck by tying with a bin bag handle. For larger ghosts, you might want to chop up the bin bags and tape them together to get a bigger ghost body!

Step 5: Drape your transparent fabric over the top of the ghost body and tie with a strip of fabric

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Step 6: Cut out eyes and a mouth from the black card, and glue onto the ghost face.

ghost scarecrows 8There you have it, a nice family of ghosts to welcome you home until Halloween. Mine are currently inside lurking in dark corners, as it’s been rather rainy… I will put them outside for Halloween and hopefully we’ll get lots of trick or treaters!

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7

Spooky Decorations Pt. 1

I’m so happy that I have my first Halloween decorations up! These flying bats for my room are the first things I made. I think they’re fun – they’re simple and not too tacky and super easy to make. This DIY is as simple as cutting and sticking. By Halloween my house will be looking pretty spooooooky!

halloween decs 1You will need:
10 sheets of black card
Pencil
Scissors
Blue tack

Step 1: Draw on your bat shapes. I did four sizes of bats – the biggest were the length of a sheet of A4, and the little one’s I cut from the space under the big bat’s wings. Fold the card in half and draw on half the bat  – that way your bat will be symmetrical, and he will look like he’s flapping his wings when you blue tack him to the wall! Then cut out your bats.

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Step 2: Blue tack your bats to the wall!

I told you this was a quick decoration 🙂

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I also carved my first pumpkin! This guy is a “monster” pumpkin. I carved the witch and James carved the ghost. I’m not sure if it’ll make it all the way to Halloween, but if not at least I used the insides to attempt my first pumpkin pie (I think I need a little practice…)

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Have you put any Halloween decorations up yet? I have big plans for the rest of the house but I’m pretty pleased with my decorations so far. I’m hoping to host a Halloween get-together at my house which will give me lots of opportunity to create some spooky concoctions!

8

DIY Tree Stump Vase

I have finally sorted through every last cupboard, box and drawer in my room, and I’ve banished everything I don’t need to the attic or a charity bag. My next project is to make it look pretty and homely! I saw this pin of a tree stump vase by Martha Stewart a while ago, and I desperately wanted to make one but I couldn’t find an existing DIY. I knew I wanted to make it in a way that anyone could do at home (i.e. without a lathe). This is the resulting vase!

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You will need:
A log! I found mine when I went for a walk in the woods… If you’re less country than me, try the garden center.
A jam jar
A drill
An auger drill bit
A pencil
An old paintbrush
Wood varnish
Sand paper

In case you’re wondering, my log measure 15 inches tall and 6 1/2 inches wide, and my jar measures 3 inches wide and 4 3/4 inches tall.

Step 1: Use the pencil to draw a circle around your vase (if your vase is larger at the middle than the top and bottom try drawing around the lid).

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Step 2: To make the hole that your jam jar will fit in, first drill a series of holes within the circle that your drew. Make sure you drill a little bit over the circle that you drew to give your vase some wriggle room. Then, to get rid of the wood between your holes and the scalloped edges of your circle, put your drill in each existing hole and angle the drill to one side. Wiggling the drill around in the hole also seemed to work (I’m sure that’s the technical term for it). If, like me, you are not very experienced in using power tools, get someone who is to help you! (Thanks a million dad, you’re a superstar). The hole should be deep enough so that the jar doesn’t poke over the edge – my jar is an inch shorter than the hole.

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Step 3: Break off any loose bits of bark, and give the log a light sanding to remove splinters and such on the surface.

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Step 4: Varnish your log! I just used the one coat because I wanted it to retain it’s organic look.

Now you’re finished! Just fill the jar with water, add some flowers, and find a good spot for your new vase 🙂

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What do you think? My new vase makes me want to pretty up the rest of my room to match, and I love having plants in the house, I think it’s good for the spirit 🙂

6

Autumn Stitching Club #3

The third smiley faced autumnal pattern I stitched for the Autumn Stitching Club is this corn shock. I admit that at first I didn’t know what a corn shock was, but it’s just a bundle of corn… I love that all the pattern’s have faces on them, I think it’s so cute! I can’t wait until I have embroidered all my patterns and I can make them into one big autumn themed pillow.

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Are you working on any projects at the moment?

7

Autumn Stitching Club #2

I’ve just finished pattern two for the Autumn Stitching Club – this cute little autumn basket! For this pattern, I learnt how to split my thread, do a back-stitch and a french knot which is really exciting, although I’m quite a slow embroiderer at the moment. I’m sure I’ll get quicker with practice.

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What do you think? I love his cute little face. I hope you’re having an awesome Thursday 🙂

P.s. don’t forget to check out my eBay sale – I’m parting ways with a lot of clothes.

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Autumn Stitching Club #1

I’ve signed up to Wild Olive’s Autumm Stitching Club, and I’m so excited to learn how to embroider! I’ll be using her embroidery basics page to learn. Each week I get emailed a pattern, and the first week was this adorable scarecrow. He’s a little wonky, but not bad for a first attempt, what do you think?

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At the end of autum I’ll have a collection of embroidered patterns that I can sew together to make a pillow. I love the idea of filling up my room with things that I’ve made, and doing a little each week means the project isn’t too daunting. Hopefully afterwards I can use my new embroidery skills to decorate homemade clothes. Are you making anything at the moment?

12

Homemade Paisley Shirt

For my boyfriend’s birthday I decided I would make him a shirt. I hadn’t made clothes from scratch in years, and this way I could pick a fabric that I knew he would love. It wasn’t until I had bought all the supplies that it was pointed out to me that sewing a shirt from scratch is not exactly beginner-friendly. This project took me a really long time, but it was worth it! I learnt a lot along the way, I feel much more confident about making more of my own clothes, and I got to give James a piece of clothing that (hopefully) will last him forever.

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I used this pattern and this fabric.

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To begin, I cut out all the pattern pieces.

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I then pinned them to the fabric, cut out my fabric pieces and used a tracing wheel to copy the pattern marks onto the wrong sides of my fabric pieces.

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I cut out the interfacing and ironed it onto the relevant fabric pieces. Then I followed the steps on the pattern instructions to sew the fabric pieces together. Each step involved pinning the fabric together, basting it together, sewing it together, removing the basting, trimming and finishing the fabric allowances and ironing the seams to one side. Phew! I had a lot of trouble attaching the collar – the instructions weren’t at all clear – but I worked it out in the end. If anyone does use this pattern and has the same problem as me, send me an email and I’ll be glad to help!

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And then it was finished! I’m so proud of this shirt, and I can’t wait to continue sewing.

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I hope you’re having a good monday! Do you ever make clothes from scratch?

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 🙂

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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?

19

DIY Tassel Rug

When my parents were cleaning out the shed they found these wonderful brown and orange coloured floral curtains. I loved the pattern so much, I figured I had to turn them into something! The heavy curtain material is perfect for a rug 🙂 Although it seems like there are a lot of steps, it was easy to make and could be finished in an evening. Now I just need to find somewhere to put it!

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You will need:
1m of a fabric that you like
2m of a cheap, thick fabric for the base
A ball of wool
Scissors
Needle and thread

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Step 1: Trim any hems off your fabric if it is second hand.

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Step 2: Cut out your base fabric so that it is a little smaller than twice the size of your patterned fabric (to make room for the hem) then fold your base fabric in half and sew the edges together.

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Step 3: Place your base fabric on top of your patterned fabric, and fold the edges of your patterned fabric onto your base fabric to make a hem. Sew the two together. Below is a step by step photos for hemming the corners. If you want extra security, you can also glue the hem together.

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Step 4: Make your tassels! I made 6 tassels for each end of my rug. Below is a step by step on how to make tassels. I wrap the wool around my hand ten times, and then slide the wool off my hands and cut. I use the loose end to tie the top of the circle of wool, and then I cut the other end of the circle of wool. Finally, I cut a seperate piece of wool and tie it around the top of the bunch. I hope that makes sense! Sew your tassels onto the rug so that the loose thread is on the underside.

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Step 5: Run the whole thing through your sewing machine, and be sure to use a wide needle and a loose tension if your fabric is heavy!

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Ta da! Here’s my new upcycled rug 🙂 What do you think? (Excuse my odd socks.) Now I just need a nice new flat of my own to put it in. And maybe some more projects to do so that I can use up the rest of the curtains. It felt great to spend some time relaxing and doing some sewing in front of the voice. I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.