Archive for the ‘how to’ Category

How To… Make an Amigurumi (Crochet Animal Friends) Guest Post

  

I am VERY excited to bring you Clara from amieggs and her most adorable Amigurumi or Crocheted Small Things. She makes wonderful creations, that are normally available for purchase. But she has decided to be VERY generous and share two of her patterns with you. Below you will find the most adorable teddy and then hop over to her blog for a bunny (get it – “hop over”? ahem). She has inspired me to learn to crochet. I have never been interested before.. but now, my crochet hooks are on order! Woohoo. Over to the lovely Clara and her fabulous creations:

Hello! My name is Clara and I run the amieggs blog over at http://ami-eggs.blogspot.com/ =)

I love crocheting, and dedicate my blog to all my creations. The name of the blog, amieggs, comes from the name I’ve given my own little creatures:
Amieggs are little crochet eggs dressed up as a bunch of things… from animals to food! Here are some of my favorites:
The fox, the penguin, the elephant and the corn on the cob!
I also enjoy crocheting furniture. My first project was this tiny living room:
And I further on moved to slightly bigger furniture like the following armchair, in a 1:6 scale to fit my Blythe doll =)
I sell my patterns and eggs in my etsy shop, you can visit it here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/nayami
Today, I would like to share a free pattern with you all!!! It is part of the newest patern in my shop, the toy chest! 

As you can see, in my patterns I draw diagrams to explain the difficult parts of a project and include many pictures to make your work as easy as possible!!!

While the toy chest pattern is available in my shop, you can get the teddy bear pattern here totally for free and the bunnies pattern on my blog! Hope you enjoy it, and I love to see all your finished creations!!! Feel free to leave a comment on my blog (http://ami-eggs.blogspot.com/) or even share your pictures with me on flickr!!! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/clara_amigurumi/)
Teddy bear
You will need:
Tan cotton yarn
A number 5 crochet hook
A yarn needle
Head:
1 – make a ring with 6 stitches
2  – inc each stitch (total 12 stitches)
3 – sc 1, inc 1: repeat 6 times (total 18 stitches)
4 – sc 3, inc 1, sc 2: repeat 3 times (total 21 stitches)
5 – sc 1, inc 1, sc 5: repeat 3 times (total 24 stitches)
6 through 9 – sc 1 on each stitch (total 24 stitches)
10 – sc 1, dec 1, sc 5: repeat 3 times (total 21 stitches)
11 – sc 3, dec 1, sc 2: repeat 3 times (total 18 stitches)
12 – sc 1, dec 1: repeat 6 times (total 12 stitches)
13 – dec 6 (total 6 stitches)
Stuff and bind off
Body:
1 – make a ring with 6 stitches
2 – inc each stitch (total 12 stitches)
3 through 5 – sc 1 on each stitch (total 12 stitches)
6 – sc 2, dec 1: repeat 3 times (total 9 stitches)
7 through 8 . sc 1 on each stitch (total 9 stitches)
Bind off leaving long tail for sewing, stuff and sew to head.
Nose:
1 – ch 2
2 – ch 1 to turn, sc 1 on each stitch and one on the ends (total 6 stitches, see diagram)
3 – sc 6
Bind off leaving a long tail for sewing. Embroider nose, stuff and sew to the head.
Arms:
1 – Make a ring with 4 stitches
2 – sc 1, increase 1: repeat 2 times (total 6 stitches)
3 through 6 – sc 6
Bind off leaving long tail for sewing, stuff and sew to body.
Legs:
1 – Make a ring with 4 stitches
2 – sc 1, increase 1: repeat 2 times (total 6 stitches)
3 through 7 – sc 6
Bind off leaving long tail for sewing, stuff and sew to body.
Ears:
1 – ch 1
2 – ch 1 to turn, sc 3 stitches in 1 stitch.
3 – ch 1 to turn, increase 3 (sc 2 on each stitch)
4 – ch 1 to turn, sc 6
Bind off leaving long tail and sew onto head.
Finally, attach a brown ribbon around the teddy bear’s neck and cut the edges into a V shape.

 

Clara @ amieggs
I can’t wait for my crochet hooks to arrive… and to get learning!
 
Previous How Tos:
 

How to… make easy Coasters & Learn to Work with Clay (Guest Post)

 

The very creative Jane at Fired4u is fabulous at making crafting easy for everyone – of all ages and abilities. Make pretty things in a wonderfully accessible way – if you ever feel you want to get carfty but “can’t” on your own, just visit her fabulous pottery store and get stuck in! Here she shows us how to make clever little coasters – out of anything like Fimo, Saltdough or Airdrying clay. There is lots about clay I did NOT know, so this is a really useful reference post on how to work with clay!!! I will definitely be making some with Red Ted as Christmas gifts from him to family (Pssst, family, stop reading now!). I also love that you can incorporate the seasons – e.g. leaf printing, which Red Ted adores… enough from me, more from Jane:

Hi, I follow Red Ted on twitter and love the crafts she does with her children. She asked me if I would write a project using clay. My normal work is with pottery if you click here – you’ll see what I do in my day job.

 So after weeks of thoughts and ideas here is one thought on what to do with clay – now when I mention clay I am talking about clay to be fired in a kiln as it’s what I work with. However this project can be done with air dry clay (make sure you get the good kind with plastic type fibres in it as it’s much stronger) or Salt dough or other craft ‘clays’ such as Fimo and Daz.

Items needed for 5 coasters

  • ½ kilo of firing earthen ware clay (or salt dough or air dry clay or Fimo etc)
  • Old pillow case or smooth cotton sheet / old T-towel
  • Wood board or baking tray covered with cling film
  • Wood planks about 1/2cm thick or similar – thin books etc – just cover with a bag to keep clean
  • Wooden rolling pin
  • Scone cutters/ other round shapes
  • Items to push into clay to make interesting patterns
  • Little tiles or 2p pieces (weights to prevent curling)

When working with any of these products the trick is to get it even in thickness, this is so it dries out at an even rate; this reduces the risk of cracking. [comment from Maggy: AND if these are to be Coasters, you want a lovely even surface so your glass of wine or mug of tea doesn’t topple!!!!]

1) So we need to roll the clay out flat, place it on cotton ideally (I use old pillow cases), or paper or some people use Hessian (gives a very textured effect on clay surface).

Place 2 pieces of wood (1/2cm) either side of the clay and a dry wooden rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to roll the clay; it’s important you roll all the way forward to the end of the clay then all the back towards you to the end of the clay each time you roll the rolling pin. 

While you do this keep turning the piece of clay over and turn it round – clay does not roll out smoothly – an overhang occurs (salt dough won’t do this). This stops the over hand at the edges.

Then take one piece of wood away from each side and continue to roll the clay and remember to turn it over until the pin rolls on the wood again.

2) I used a ‘scone’ cutter to cut my coasters; I chose the largest one so a mug will sit on it comfortably. You can cut random shapes out by hand or etch around a bowl or mug etc.

After cutting 2 coasters I squashed my clay up again – if you don’t squeeze all the air out or mould it to itself until its smooth again you will get joins showing in the clay. You can see the crazing on the coaster with sequins on it where I haven’t smoothed the clay.

3) Once the shapes are cut place them on a wood board to dry (or a baking tray with cling film over it ).

4) So to the fun creative part – you need to find interesting items with grooves or patterns on them to press into the coasters to add design. I used an old butter pat, real leaves, sequins, buttons, pasta and peppercorns. At this point you could have a fun hunt about the house if it’s a wet day or a garden hunt on a dry day. You could hunt all sorts out of the garden – bark, leaves, flowers, stones etc or materials with texture, lace or beads in doors etc

Press them firmly into the clay to make an impression a few millimeters into the surface. Do not leave the items you use to make the impressions in the clay as when the clay dries as it shrinks it will get stuck against the items and cause the clay to crack. Items such as leaves and sequins – place onto surface then gently roll the rolling pin over to push it into the clay without rolling the shape of the coaster away.

5) Now patience is required – if you have used firing clay these need to be left to dry out for 2-3 weeks before firing in my kiln. For the other clays mentioned at the beginning of this follow the drying instructions on the packets. I rest small tiles over the edges of the clay to stop them curling upwards when they dry out or 2p pieces do the same job.

6) Once my coasters have been fired I will paint them with under glaze paints, then glaze them and fire them. If you are using air dry clay poster paints or acrylic paints can be used.  A water based varnish can be used over the top once dry to seal the surface if you wish to use these coasters.

I hope you have fun doing this project and hope you send your results to Red Ted art.

If you live local to Fired 4 U in Preston Lancashire (Great Britain) you are welcome to join us for a clay session any time.

 

 

 

 

 

Wow! Isn’t Jane clever?! I have to say, I didn’t know that clay was quite so tricky to work with… so there are some fabulous pointers here and a great way to learn about clay! Needless to say, everything is a little easier with Saltdough or Fimo, great mediums to with when getting crafty with children!

Adding this to Visit thecsiproject.com

This was featured on UndertheTableandDreaming How lovely!

Previous How Tos:

No Sew Tee Rescue, make a new Tee out of an old one (Guest Post)

Super Cute Flannel Cupcake (Guest Post) – stocking fillers, baby showers or new home gift!

Tactile Felt Donuts

Delicious No Sew Lavender Bags

Make Scented Playdough

From T to Halterneck (Guest Post)

Felt Strawberries & Gingerbread Men (Guest Post)

How to make a No Sew Tea Towel Kid’s Apron

Easy & effective Fish Pinata

Simple but effective paper frames (vlog) 

How to make a Flower Pom Pom (guest post) – simply gorgeous – use as wedding decor! 

How to make a Paper Envelope  

How to make a No Sew Bib (out of an old shirt)  

How to make a Fabric Mâché Bowl (from old scraps of fabric!)  

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)  (guest post)  

How to make a Paper Boat (vlog)  

How to make a Paper Cup (vlog)  

How to make Swedish Hearts (Paper Baskets) (Guest vlog)  

How to make No Sew Bunting   

How to make a Balloon Poodle (vlog)  

How to make Seedling Pots (out of newspapers) (vlog)  

Funky comic party bags   (Guest vlog)

How to.. make a No Sew new Tee out of an old favourite Tee! (Guest Post)

 

The lovely Helen from Ickle Babe makes a range GORGEOUS gifts, from baby quilts, to bunting, to Aprons and New Home gifts. You simply have to pop over and check it out! I knew that ANY Guest Post from her would be a winner and a winner it is! Ever had your child grow out of a favourite t-shirt that tearfully had to be packed away? Look no further, re-use key features and make a new one. Not only is it clever, cut and fun, it is NO SEW! Hurray!

Recycled Tee Project!

This make was inspired by the lovely Milly, at a year and a half her most favourite thing in the world is her Lola tee. She Loves “yoya” (lola) as she calls her , and wears this top constantly, patting her belly as she runs about, as if Lola is actually playing with her. Its very cute! But unfortunately, we all knew the day would come… it’s getting to small.

So I have decided to re-cycle it, it was super easy and Milly LOVES it, maybe even more now that she did before. I figure I can just keep doing this until “yoya” falls apart or when Milly gets bored of her and wants a boyfriend instead ;P So here goes…..

You will need…

  • A sharp pair of scissors Pinking shears (optional)
  • An old t-shirt
  • A plain new t-shirt
  • A sheet of BondaWeb (like big sheets of wonderweb, John Lewis or Ebay always has it )

1) First roughly cut around the pieces you want to feature . I used two old jumpers for this. One had Lola on it and as she looked like she was running away on the pic I cut a little bee and some flowers out of the other one to create a little scene. Find a background piece, this can be new fabric like mine or another recycled piece, you could even use the back of the old tee, as long as its in a co-ordinating colour from the new tee your putting it on to.

2) Using a hot iron, fuse the bondaweb to the pieces. All you have to remember here is to place the rough side on the wrong side of your fabric and iron for 4-5 secs using dry heat. Use the wrong side and you just end up with sticky bondaweb on your ironing board!

3) Cut around them carefully, I used pinking shears for an extra bit of texture, but you don’t have to if you don’t have any, normal scissors are fine.

4) Peel the back off the bonda webbing and arrange your “collage” on your new tee. Place a damp tea towel (make sure its a plain one, I did this with a red one once and dyed the t-shirt pink) over the piece and iron down. I find it easier to just put the iron on sections and leave for about ten seconds at a time and then move to the next. As if you just sweep your iron around you can disturb your pieces underneath.

5) Remove the wet tea towel, Give it a final good iron and leave fused pars flat to cool for about 20mins.

And there you have your new fully washable original *designer* tee!

 You could customise it further with buttons (I have some cherry red vintage ones to add to Milly’s) or ribbons. Very easy but very fun, you can let your imagination go wild. I have even saved some of the other jumper for customizing some jeans too, the possibilities are endless!

I think Helen came up with a fabulous way of recycling AND keeping little people happy! Fabulous!

Previous How Tos:

Super Cute Flannel Cupcake (Guest Post)

 

Tactile Felt Donuts

Delicious No Sew Lavender Bags

Make Scented Playdough

From T to Halterneck (Guest Post)

Easy & effective Fish Pinata

Simple but effective paper frames (vlog) 

– How to make a Flower Pom Pom (guest post) – simply gorgeous – use as wedding decor! 

How to make a Paper Envelope  

How to make a No Sew Bib (out of an old shirt)  

How to make a Fabric Mâché Bowl (from old scraps of fabric!)  

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)  (guest post)  

How to Make a Cupcake from a Flannel (Washcloth)

 This was featured on UndertheTableandDreaming Lovely! As well on  Hurray!

Remember the gorgeous Guest Post that the wonderful Anjie from Pom Pom Emporium did for us a little while back – well if you don’t, simply head back in time and take a look at these beautiful Pom Pom Flowers.

Anyway, she is BACK and with yet another fabulous idea – these Flannel Cupcakes! How simple and yet how gorgeous are they!? Perfect baby shower gifts or stocking fillers or a “just like that” present. Inexpensive, fun, FABULOUS! Here we go:

cupcakes made from washcloths/facecloths/flannels

To get started you will need

  1. washcloth 
  2. Paper cup 
  3. Rubber band 
  4. Lollipop 

For the cupcake wrapper I cut a paper cup down to the required size. I estimated my paper cup should stand about 5cm (2″) tall. Resting a pencil on a box, of the desired hight and with it touching the cup, I turned my cup slowly to give me a perfect line. I cut the excess paper away. Alternatively you can find printable cupcake wrappers on the internet to download, but I decided my idea using paper cups was easier and held the washcloth really well.

To form the ‘cake’ from the washcloth just follow the photographic tutorial below or watch this very good demonstration video I came across by Jonathan Fong How to make a cupcake from a washcloth What a star!

I think these cupcakes would make a really nice ‘thank you’ gift for a teacher or alternatively a very easy project for a class to make. You could buy white paper cups and let children design and colour their own cupcake wrappers

paper cups, washcloths, rubber bands and lollipops

Resting a pencil on a box, of the desired hight and with it touching the cup, I turned my cup slowly to give me a perfect line.cut the excess paper away

Folding the washcloth to make the 'cake'  

Folding the washcloth to make the 'cake'

Rolling the washcloth to make the 'cake'

Rolling the washcloth to make the 'cake', put the rubber band in place to hold it together

Squeeze the base of the 'cake' to push out the centre to form the icing swirlPut a lollipop in the centre of the swirl to form the cherryFinished cupcake!

Gorgeous! Please do go and visit Anjie and check out all her other wonderful things!

Previous How Tos:

Tactile Felt Donuts

Delicious No Sew Lavender Bags

Make Scented Playdough

From T to Halterneck (Guest Post)

Easy & effective Fish Pinata

Simple but effective paper frames (vlog) 

– How to make a Flower Pom Pom (guest post) – simply gorgeous – use as wedding decor! 

How to make a Paper Envelope  

How to make a No Sew Bib (out of an old shirt)  

How to make a Fabric Mâché Bowl (from old scraps of fabric!)  

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)  (guest post)  

How to.. make felt donuts! More felt food!

 

I am on a mission to make a whole grocery bag full of Felt Food for Pip Squeak’s 1st Birthday – so far I have one Gingerbread Man, 8 gorgeous Strawberries and 3 donuts (or doughnuts, depending from which side of the pond you are visiting)! I am yet to make some Cream!!! Here I will show you How To Make Felt Donuts – 2 with sprinkles and 1 with icing.

The basic donut is always the same, the only thing that differs, is the decor! I am also pretty certain you can follow my steps below and use a sewing machine, I chose to hand sew!

Here we go:

Materials: 2 circles of donut colour (cream or brown), 1 circle of icing (blue, pink, brown), thread to match circles of felt, beads or embroidery thread for sprinkles, extra thin strips of felt for icing donut, stuffing (I used plastic shopping bags), stencil of sort – cut out of card, or I used a lid slightly smaller than a CD and the thread bobbin

Step 1) Cut out three circles the same size. Cut out three holes in the centre. I used once a tupperware lid for the circle and a thread bobbin for the centre. Make sure centres are aligned. You may find it easier to make a card stencil first to make sure they all match perfectly

Step 2) Fold single colour (i.e. icing) into a quarter and cut a wiggle line. Open, trim a little if needed, but don’t cut away too much.

Step 3) For sprinkles sew on beads/ “nuts” first,then attach the icing onto one of the donut pieces (cream felt) with a running stitch. For the Choc& Nuts: Do French Knots – shown how to here. I LOVE the French Knot Donut the most as it is VERY tactile and safe for my one year old (better than the beads, which are dangerous, she will not be allowed it at first). For the swirly icing, I found it easier to sew on the pink first and then add the swhirly bit: A very thing strip of felt sew on with a running stitch. The felt may break, so be very gentle.

Step 4) Put the wrong sides together. I found it helpful to use pins to hold the central hole into place – avoiding any skewing/ misalignment. Sew all around the edge, leaving a 1-2inch gap

Step 5) Turn inside out

Step 6) Sew centre, I used a blanket stitch, but I am sure any stitch will do

Step 7) Stuff

Step 8- Sew gap shut. Again, I used a blanket stitch

Like I said, my favourite is the “Choc & Nut” Donut, as the French Knots are very tactile and safe for 1yrs olds!

Enjoy playing!

I am linking this to Visit thecsiproject.com 

I was featured! Simpsonized Crafts and

Previous How Tos:

Delicious No Sew Lavender Bags

Make Scented Playdough

From T to Halterneck (Guest Post)

Easy & effective Fish Pinata

Simple but effective paper frames (vlog) 

– How to make a Flower Pom Pom (guest post) – simply gorgeous – use as wedding decor! 

How to make a Paper Envelope  

How to make a No Sew Bib (out of an old shirt)  

How to make a Fabric Mâché Bowl (from old scraps of fabric!)  

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)  (guest post)  

How to… make No Sew Lavender Bags/ Pillows!

 

Love the beautiful lavender around this time of year? Think it is a shame when it all goes to waste in a few weeks time? Don’t have the time (or inclination) to sew a lavender bag or little lavendar pillow? Look no further. No Sew Lavender Bags are here.

This is so ridiculously easy, that I am not even sure it is “worth writing a tutorial” about. If you have seen my no sew bunting or no sew apron, you will know what I am on about and hopefully agree with me.

Materials: What you will need is some pretty fabric scraps, wonderweb (or BondaWeb in the US?), dried lavender (cut fresh lavender, place in a paper bag and hang to dry), a hot iron & two tea towels (to protect the iron and ironing board).

Step 1) Cute out two squares, but “wrong” sides together – i.e. you will not be turning these inside out. Pretty side out pleased!

Step 2) Place strips of WonderWeb along 3 sides and iron hot until it is properly sealed. Turn round and iron reverse, just to make sure it is really bonded

Step 3) Fill with lavender

Step 4) Add fourth strip of WonderWeb and iron hot. The fourth strip is the trickiest, as you will not get the central and therefore hottest part of the iron on it, so make sure you really have melted the WonderWeb. If necessary, let cool and repeat

Step 5) Trim edges to neaten.

Variations:

For him: I used old shirts and jeans

For her: Iron on a piece of ribbon (using wonderweb)

For hanging: add a ribbon “loop” to one of the first 3 edges, so you can hang from a coat hanger (only thought of this AFTERWARDS)

ENJOY! And happy smelly drawers.

(PS make these now and use as fabulous stocking fillers near Christmas or surprise someone by sending one through the post!)

Previous How Tos:

Make Scented Playdough

From T to Halterneck (Guest Post)

Easy & effective Fish Pinata

Simple but effective paper frames (vlog) 

– How to make a Flower Pom Pom (guest post) – simply gorgeous – use as wedding decor! 

How to make a Paper Envelope  

How to make a No Sew Bib (out of an old shirt)  

How to make a Fabric Mâché Bowl (from old scraps of fabric!)  

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)  (guest post)  

How to… make scented Playdough! A fail safe playdough recipe!

There are many recipes on the web for making playdough. I made three attempts, before I felt I got it right (I was making some for one of our “story + art” projects and had a very dissappointed Red Ted when the playdough didn’t come out right). So I decided, that I would write a post to show you “How to make playdough – a fail safe playdough recipe”! Thank you @nimblebee2 for your help!

When we first made playdough, I was a little worried he would want to eat it, as we do a lot of baking and he loves to lick the spoon. Surprisingly, he didn’t. Playdough is like a magic word! 

Homemade playdough tends to be softer and not “smell” as nice, but it is just as much fun.. and we add a sneaky bit of vanilla and cinnamon to make it that little bit lovelier!

And here is how:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • Vanilla essence or cinnamon
  • Food colouring, Red, Blue, Yellow

Very simple:

  1. Put all ingredients (minus colouring and vanilla/ cinnamon) in a pan (your child can help – the photo shows Red Ted on our 1st attempt, the remaining photos are the best recipe given above!).
  2. Stir over a medium (!) heat. Until smooth/ less sticky looking. If very sticky, cook a little longer. Probably a total of 10minutes? (that by the way is my finger doing a pinch test in the photo)!
  3. Let cool.
  4. Divide into three batches and add food colouring / smellies (one vanilla, one cinnamon, one plain)
  5. Store in fridge
  6. PS see Red Ted’s apron – check out the link below, but that is a NO SEW APRON! Woohoo!

 

 (My pitfalls: too little salt (misread the recipe) & then cooking it too hot too rapidly!)

 Some recipes state to put the colouring whilst cooking, this is great if you want to get a really nice strong colour, as I found if you add TOO much colour at the end the dough gets sticky again. But it does mean cooking 2 batches! Ditto if you want to add lots of vanilla – suggest you add DURING the cooking process and not afterwards like me!

Enjoy the playdough!

Previous How Tos:

Turn a T-shirt into a Halterneck (Guest Post)

Easy & effective Fish Pinata

Simple but effective paper frames (vlog) 

– How to make a Flower Pom Pom (guest post) – simply gorgeous – use as wedding decor! 

How to make a Paper Envelope  

How to make a No Sew Bib (out of an old shirt)  

How to make a Fabric Mâché Bowl (from old scraps of fabric!)  

How to make a Paper Flower (from newspapers)  (guest post)