Wednesday, 22 May 2019

New in My Shop: 3 Easy Felt Flower Patterns - Make Sunflowers, Dahlias & Layered Flowers

I've just added a new PDF pattern to my shops... well, three new patterns, actually!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/
 https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/
 https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/

My latest listing is a bundle of 3 easy-to-sew felt flower designs: sunflowers, dahlias and layered flowers.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/
 https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/
 https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/
 
You can use the tutorials to make brooches or headbands, and there's also a template for making poinsettia brooches for the Christmas holidays.

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/
 https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/

When you buy any patterns from my shop you can of course make lots of things for yourself and to give as gifts, but you can also sell the finished items at craft fairs or in your Etsy shop, etc, as long as you credit me as the designer.

You can buy the printable PDF patterns from my Etsy shop (where you can download the patterns immediately after purchase) or from my Big Cartel shop (where I'll email the patterns to you within 48 hours). Shop before May 29th to snap up the flowers at the bargain launch price. 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/
 https://www.etsy.com/shop/lupin/

P.S. I've got lots more patterns in progress at the moment - subscribe to my newsletter for all the latest updates from me and my shop.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes... With Blu Tack!

If you've ever had trouble cutting out small and fiddly pattern pieces from felt then today's blog post is for you!

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

ADVERTISEMENT: This tutorial is sponsored by Bostik, and is part of a series of crafty projects I'm creating to promote their range of adhesives. Click here to see all the posts in the series!

This is the third post I've shared using Bostik's products this week. On Monday I made fantastic festival hairbands using Bostik's Power Repair glue, then on Wednesday I made fun travel-themed notecards using their PVA Glue, Glu Dots and Micro Dots.

Today I'm sharing a Blu Tack Hack: a new way to use that sticky blue stuff we all love using to put up posters!

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

When you're using a small paper template to cut out a tiny felt shape, I always recommend cutting out a bit of felt slightly bigger than the template. This is much easier to work with than handling a large piece of felt.

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

When you go to cut out the shape though, how do you hold the template in place?

For larger pattern pieces you could use pins, but not for a little shape like this. You can hold the paper onto the felt with your non-dominant hand, but this takes practice and the paper can slide about a bit as you're cutting and make your finished shape much less accurate.

I've sometimes recommended using a bit of clear sticky tape to hold shapes in position but, of course, your scissors will get sticky from cutting through the tape and you can't re-use the template more than a couple of times before it'll start getting bulky from too many layers of tape.

So... why not try using a tiny piece of Blu Tack to hold the paper template in place?

Make a little ball of the Blu Tack...

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

... then press it as flat as possible onto the back of your pattern piece, making sure that none overlaps the edge of the shape. 

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

Press the template firmly onto the piece of felt...

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

... and the Blu Tack will hold the template in position as you cut around it!

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack
 Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

I always use embroidery scissors for cutting out small felt shapes: look how much smaller and narrower the blades of the small scissors are compared with my sewing scissors! Using embroidery scissors will give you a lot more precision and control when cutting small or detailed shapes.

 Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

Once you've cut out the shape, peel off the template then carefully remove the Blu Tack and discard it. Easy peasy!

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack
 
If you're worried about the Blu Tack leaving an oily mark on your felt or pulling away a few of the fibres as you remove it, simply add the Blu Tack to the front of the template so it'll be attached to what will become the back of your cut out felt shape.

DISCLOSURE: this post is sponsored by Bostik, who also provided the Blu Tack for my #BluTackHack.

P.S. Fancy some more free crafty goodness? Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.

Cutting Out Small Felt Shapes With Blu Tack

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

Today's crafty project is inspired by travel and all the holiday snaps we take on our phones then share online!

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial
Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial
 
ADVERTISEMENT: This tutorial is sponsored by Bostik, and is part of a series of crafty projects I'm creating to promote their range of adhesives. Click here to see all the posts in the series!

This is the second of a trio of Bostik-themed posts I'm sharing this week. On Monday I made fantastic festival hairbands with Bostik's Power Repair glue, on Friday I'll be getting creative with Blu Tack... and today I'm making cards with PVA Glue, Glu Dots, and Micro Dots.

 Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

These fun travel-inspired cards would be great for sending to your social media loving pals! You can use the templates and printable provided to replicate my beach and mountain scenes or design your own travel scene then use the blank phone printable to sketch a mini version.

As well as making notecards, these designs would also be great for decorating a notebook cover to make a travel diary. You could also easily adapt this project to feature one of your own holiday photos! Simply print out a full size picture for the background, then trim a smaller version to fit the phone screen.

You'll find the links to the PDF templates and printable at the bottom of this post. The templates are designed to be used with 5 x 7 inch card blanks. You can make bigger or smaller cards, of course, by printing the templates at different sizes, but remeber that you'll need to stick to the same proportions.

Summer Holiday Beach Scene Notecard Tutorial
Summer Holiday Mountain Scene Notecard Tutorial

To make the cards: 

1. Use the templates provided to cut out all the pieces from coloured paper or card, using the photos as a guide when choosing colours.

Turn each paper template over and draw around it with a pencil. Once you've cut out the shape flip that over so the pencil marks will be hidden at the back.

For the very small pieces (the shells, the starfish, the flag, and the trees) just use the drawings on the template sheet as a guide and draw your own shapes directly onto the coloured card/paper.

2. Begin building up the picture by sticking the largest pieces in position with PVA glue. Apply the glue evenly on the back of each card/paper shape and press them down firmly. PVA is quick and easy to apply and will allow you to reposition each paper piece slightly before the glue sets so you can make sure the edges line up neatly with the sides of the card.

For the beach scene, add the sky and the sand...

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

... then all the overlapping wave pieces, working from the top downwards. Use the photo as a guide when positioning these pieces.

 Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

For the mountain scene, add the sky...

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

... then the mountains...

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

... then the grass.

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

3. To attach the next set of shapes, I used Bostik Glu Dots. These mess-free permanent sticky dots come on a little roll  and create a firm hold when they're pressed into position.

Because the edges of these card/paper pieces won't be stuck down (as they would be if you'd stuck them in place with glue) this helps give a sense of depth to the card.

Add the sun, boat and sail to the beach scene...

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

... and the sun and snow pieces to the mountain scene.

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

4. Now it's time to add the smallest pieces! For these I used a sheet of Bostik Micro Dots. You peel off the top sheet of plastic and press your shape onto the dots and then when you lift it off again it's become like a little sticker. Magic!

On the beach scene, add the flag of the boat and several shells and starfish to the sand...

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

... then add the river and an assortment of triangle trees to create a little mountain forest.

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

Your two cards will now look something like this:

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

5. Use a fine-tipped black pen and a ruler to add the mast of the sail boat and the line dividing the two mountains. Also add details to the shells and (if you want) little smiley faces to the starfish. Then turn the cards over and carefully use craft scissors to cut away any excess paper/card overlapping the edges (take care during this step - I accidentally cut away too much from the side of the beach scene! Oops!)

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

6. Next, use colouring pencils or felt tip pens to colour in the hands and phones. Make sure the colours on screen match up with the scenes on the cards.

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

7. Finally, carefully cut out the pictures (I left a very small bit of white all around each drawing so the outlines remained clear) and stick them in place on the cards. I stuck my paper pieces straight onto the cards with lots of Glu Dots but if I made these again I think I'd use the PVA Glue to stick them to some white card first to make them a bit sturdier, then cut them out again and use the Glu Dots to stick them in position.

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

And you're done! 



DISCLOSURE: this post is sponsored by Bostik, who also provided all the adhesives I used to make the cards.

P.S. Fancy some more free crafty goodness? Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.

Smartphone Snaps: DIY Travel Notecards Tutorial

Monday, 13 May 2019

DIY Fantastic Festival Hairbands Tutorial

Today I'm sharing a fun and easy DIY project: decorating plastic Alice bands!

 
 

ADVERTISEMENT: This tutorial is sponsored by Bostik, and is part of a series of crafty projects I'm creating to promote their range of adhesives. Click here to see all the posts in the series!

This post is actually the start of a whole week of Bostik-themed craftiness here on my blog. I'll be sharing creative ideas using all these different products:


I'll be using the PVA Glue, Glu Dots, Micro Dots and Blu Tack later in the week (on Wednesday and Friday), but today I'm getting crafty with Bostik's Power Repair glue.


According to the packaging, Bostik Power Repair Ultimate Strength Glue "provides a long lasting bond for just about anything - glass, wood, stone, metal, leather, rubber, plastics, ceramics and much more!" It "resists knocks and drops, is waterproof and works in extreme temperatures."

It's ideal for small repairs around the house, basically, but did I want to use it to repair something around the house? No I did not. I wanted to use it to make something fun and joyful and to test it out on a project that I'd normally use a glue gun for because I'm always interested in alternatives to worrying that I'm going to burn myself with hot glue.

So, I decided to decorate some plain plastic Alice bands and turn them into fun accessories to wear to parties, gigs, or festivals this summer.

 
To make your own headband, you'll need a plain plastic band to use as your base (the wide plastic ones are particularly great as they give you a big flat surface to glue stuff to), something fun to stick on them, and some Bostik Power Repair glue or other suitable strong glue.


I decorated the narrow hairband with bright felt balls, and the wide hairband with a trio of mini rubber ducks. Rubber ducks are pretty cute and the colours are fab, but I also love the idea of wearing rubber ducks in your hair to a festival where the forecast is for lots of rain! The Power Repair glue is waterproof, so you won't need to worry about the ducks sliding off your head during a downpour.

I applied the glue to the bottom of one of the ducks and the top of the wide headband using the narrow nozzle on the glue (you can also unscrew the whole cap if you're sticking something larger), then held them together for a few minutes.


The glue is "repositionable for up to 3 minutes" which means you don't have that OH NO I STUCK IT IN THE WRONG PLACE ARGH moment that so often happens when working with a glue gun but it does mean you may need to be patient while the glue sets a little. If you were sticking something flat on top of something else flat you could just leave them both sitting there but my duck would definitely have slid off the curved headband if I'd not held it in place.

The glue is quite a thick gel and applies easily without dripping, which is great. The packaging also boasts that it "won't glue your fingers together" which is always EXCELLENT news when working with strong glue (I always end up getting glue on my fingers no matter how carefully I work). 

I then left the headband propped up (between two small wooden boxes) for a while to give the glue a chance to set some more (it fully sets after two hours and will reach full strength after 24 hours).


After about 20 minutes I nudged the duck gently and was happy with how it was holding in place so I repeated the process to add the other two ducks, each time propping the headband up so the latest duck was sitting as horizontal as possible so it wouldn't slide down the curved band.

 

I used the same method for adding the felt balls to the narrow headband, just adding less glue and only waiting about 10 or 15 minutes for the glue to have taken hold. (I didn't time this exactly, just wandered off to get a few other things done while I was waiting so you may find you can add the next item to your headband much quicker than this!)

 

And that's it! Told you it was easy. Now all you need to do is go try on your hairband(s) and take some selfies :)


DISCLOSURE: this post is sponsored by Bostik, who also provided the Power Repair I used to make the headbands.

P.S. Fancy some more free crafty goodness? Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.