Tuesday, 21 January 2014

DIY chain & Charm Hat

Looking stylish in winter is no easy feat for me. I'm often left feeling like the Michelin Man as I pile on the layers to keep me warm often opting for function over fashion. But one thing that doesn't have to be compromised is your headwear. Whether it be a Fedora, Beanie, Ushanka, Bowler, Ear Muffs or Knitted Headband...there are loads of options to jazz up your headwear. This DIY is a quick and easy update for a hat that you may already own or an idea for one you can pick up.

For this DIY you'll need:
A fedora or floppy brimmed hat
2 different thicknesses/types of chain long enough to go round your hat
A necklace charm
Jewellery pliers like these from Beadsmith
2 Jump rings in the same colour as your chain
Needle and thread

I picked my Per Una  hat for £4 via a Cancer Research Charity Shop.
It already had some hat decor on it that I wasn't too keen on so I just snipped that off.
Measure around your hat and cut your 2 pieces of chain to this length.
If you're adding a charm to your hat, remember to factor this into your measurements as you want the chain embellishment to fit snugly to the hat.

Lay your chain out flat and attach them to the charm using your pliers and a jump ring

Once you've linked up both sides, you should have a necklace or a 'hatlace'.

You're nearly done! You just need to slip this onto your hat. 

Position your charm and make sure that the chains are as flat as you can get them.
Then just add a couple of stitches around the hat, through the chain to hold it in place.

Et voila! Your new Chain & Charm hat.


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Friday, 17 January 2014

Re-Purposed Frosted Bowl

This is a quick and simple DIY utilising a glass door bowl from an old washing machine. It's a great way of showing how anything can be re-purposed if you use your imagination.

For this DIY you will need:

A washing machine glass door bowl (any shape or size)
Sticky back plastic/Plastic film
Frosted glass spray

To produce something like this:

Instead of frosted spray you could use a product like Armour Etch but after doing some research into the composition of the glass bowl, it appears to be of a similar properties to Pyrex and Armour Etch doesn't work on this type of glass. If you already have this product or similar at home, there's no harm in giving it a go.

You'll need to create a stencil for your bowl if you want a design or pattern. I used a sticky back plastic film from Wilkinsons which was 75p for a roll. I wanted a simple geometric design and opted for triangles.
If you want your design to be frosted then you need to cut this away from your stencil, but if you want the background to be frosted and your design clear, then simply cut out the design.

I simply drew an assortment of triangles onto the paper side of the film and cut them out

Start to arrange your stencil(s) by peeling off the backing and sticking to the glass (they peel of very easily after frosting is complete and dry)

Once you're happy with your design it's time to start the spraying. Simply follow the directions on the back of your can. I used Rust-oleum Frosted Glass spray. I applied 3 light coats a few minutes apart. 
This was the result after 1 coat.

It was touch dry in about 10-15 minutes but I left it a good hour before removing my stencil pieces, just to be sure it was completely dry.

I used the tip of a Stanley knife to help ease the triangle off the glass.
Here's the finished result: 

You could literally use this bowl for anything. 
Emergency salad bowl when you have extra guests to a BBQ
 Popcorn bowl
 Fruit bowl
Jewellery/Accessories bowl
 Centre piece on your guests tables at your wedding
Use it as a garden Cloche or as a food cover

I decided to showcase mine filled with scented candles: 

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Friday, 10 January 2014

New Beginnings

After a (longer than intended) hiatus, I'm back at the whole blogging thing. A lot has change in this time away and I'm writing this 409 miles away from where I wrote my last post.
My husband got a well deserved promotion with his company and we now live in a town just outside of Newcastle. Whilst we've been getting settled in and exploring our new surroundings, I've been making a few 'new' bits for the house, to make it feel more homely. We've brought all our stuff from our old place, but I fancied 'sprucing' things up a little and thought it was about time to put some of my fabric collection to good use...seeing as I'd insisted on keeping it for the move (even though some of it had been in storage for many...many years).

Although this is not strictly a DIY for home furnishings, I've written a little detail for each in case you'd like to know how to achieve something similar.

New cushions and pads

The cushion at the back (with the gold flowers) was made from a fabric remnant I picked up from John Lewis for 50p and a zip I picked up from a car boot for 30p
The snowflake looking fabric to the left and right was fabric given to me by my Mum, which I believe was my Grandmother's before that. I love the colours and print of this fabric, and actually chose to use the reverse side to have on the outside.
The buttoned cushion in the middle was also made from a John Lewis fabric remnant which was 90p.
The front cushion was made from a 30p fabric remnant and vintage lace and ribbon. I simply added neat little pin tucks to the front of the cushion using my sewing machine then further embellished with the lace and ribbon.

Digital Print Cushions

There are actually only 2 of these cushions but the photo shows the designs on either side.
I designed and digitally printed the fabric for these cushions a long time ago and my good intentions of making cushions of  it was only met a few months ago. Each cushion has 2 designs which were based on photographs of our Honeymoon in Morocco. Tiles and delicately and intricately carved doors were the basis for the deigns.

Moroccan style pouf

This is a little Ironic as the fabric is actually from Indonesia, but I think they work well together.
This fabric was brought back from Java, Indonesia back in 2009 and was left in the pile with the others as I found the 'perfect' use for it. The fabric is made using the traditional craft of Batik. The pattern and tutorial for the pouf can be found here . I adapted it slightly as I didn't have any fabric to use as a lining, so I simply reinforced the fabric using Fusible Interfacing. I found that this worked really well and also helped to give the pouf shape, as is slightly rigid. Instead of having the stitching visible, I simply hand-sewed the top and bottom hexagons in place.
I used the stuffing from old cushion pads and fabric scraps to fill the Pouf.
It was a bit of a labour of love but I think it was totally worth the effort.

I'm currently working on some new DIY projects which will be up soon....so don't stay away too long!

Happy Crafting!
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