Simple Handmade Craft Guide: Spiral Earrings

December 9th, 2014
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Jewellery is the ideal gift, either for yourself or for someone else! Erin shared with us this easy to follow tutorial to make a pair of spiral earrings; once you’ve made the earrings, why not try making a matching bracelet and necklace?

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This tutorial will show you how to use basic wirework techniques to create a pretty pair of earrings – a perfect project for beginners! This method can also be used to make a charm for a matching necklace, creating a lovely gift set.

What you need

Materials

sterling silver wire (0.6-0.8mm diameter works well), six Jade rondelle beads (tutorial uses 4x6mm), wire cutters, round and flat nose pliers, a pen & a small file (optional)

Steps one and two

Step three

Step 1: First up is creating the beaded charm for the earrings. Start by cutting a piece of wire approximately 2” long then use your flat nose pliers to bend the very end of it round into a small loop – this will be the centre of your spiral.

Step 2: Take your flat nose pliers and clamp the centre loop still with one hand then begin to wrap the length of wire around it with the other. After two or three complete wraps you should be left with a small spiral.

Step 3: Use your pliers to bend the wire at the end of the spiral at a right angle away from it then thread on the three beads.

Step 4

Step five and six

Step seven

Step 4: To turn this into a charm bend the remaining wire at right angle just above the top of the last bead then use your round nose pliers to create a small hanging loop completing your first charm. Repeat this process to create one for the second earring then set aside whilst you work on the earring wires.

Step 5: To make an earring wire take another 2” length of your wire and use round nose pliers to create a loop at one end just like the one created in step 4 – this will allow you to attach on the charm.

Step 6: Bend the length of wire around a pen or other small round object to create the curved shape then use flat nose pliers to bend the other end of the wire outwards slightly. Again, repeat this process so that you have two earring wires. If the cut ends of the wire are sharp you may wish to file them down slightly.

Step 7: Use pliers to carefully open up the loop on your first earring wire and thread on your charm, then use the pliers to close the loop securing the charm in place. Repeat this for the second earring and you’re done!

To see more of Erins lovely crafts and creations visit her website, e-eliseetc and you can follow Erin on twitter @eeliseetc.

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Simple Handmade Craft Guide: Penguin Finger Puppet

December 9th, 2014
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Finger puppets are so much fun, no matter your age and creating them is even more fun! Why not try out this easy to follow tutorial to make a penguin finger puppet? Once you’ve created the penguin why not try other animals and create a whole zoo of finger puppets? They’re fun to make and fun to play with!

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What you need

Materials

How To

One to four1

 

Step 1: Draw a template of your penguin onto a folded piece of paper and cut it out to create two penguin shapes; one for each side of the puppet. Use this to create a template to make sure that the puppet will fit your finger by pinning the sides of the paper template together and placing it on your finger.

Step 2: Pin the paper templates to your black felt and cut out around them to create the front and back of your penguin.

Step 3: Take one paper template and draw the white part of the penguin on to it and cut this out to create a template for the penguin’s body. Now pin this to your white felt and cut around the paper template to create the white part of your penguin’s body.

Step 4: Use your orange felt to cut out a beak and two feet.

Five to Seven1

Step 5: Pin the white body onto one of your black shapes and sew into place, then sew on the beak and feet.

Step 6: Pin the two sides of your puppet together. Begin stitching from the inside out of your puppet to ensure that any knots used to secure your thread will be hidden on the inside of the puppet. Remember, don’t sew along the bottom of your puppet – otherwise your finger won’t get in!

Step 7: Once your penguin is stitched together, fix the googly eyes in place with super glue. Your puppet is now ready to play with!

For more craft tutorials by Kate visit her blog, Crafts On Sea. You can also follow Kate on pinterest, instagram or like her page on facebook.

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Penguin Finger Puppet

 

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Simple Handmade Craft Guide: Fabric Bow Keyring

December 9th, 2014
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This craft for a fabric bow is super simple and easy to customise. Once you’ve created a keyring, why not try out different fabric patterns and fastenings to create really unique pieces? You could attach them to zip pulls, hair clips, necklaces or anything else your heart desires!

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What You Need

1.017

Fabric, scissors, fabric glue, a key ring and iron (unpictured)

How to

Step one and two

Step 1: Cut three lengths of fabric measuring 15cm x 4cm

Step 2: For each piece of fabric, neaten the edges and provide structure by making a 1cm fold on either side. Run small dots of glue along the centre of the fabric to stick the folds in place. Leave to dry fully. To further bond the fabric, run a hot iron over the seam.

Steps Three to Five1

 

Step 3: Take a length of fabric, raw edges facing up, and mark the centre with a dot of glue. Bring each end to meet in the centre and hold in place to secure. Allow to dry and do the same with a second piece of fabric. These will be the bows.

Step 4: To create the bow tail, cut 4cm off one end of the remaining length of fabric to make it 11cm long. Keep the bit you cut off as this will be used to hold the design together.

Step 5: As an optional final detail, create triangular cuts at either end of the tail length of fabric. Run glue across the raw edges to neaten and prevent frayed edges.

Steps six and seven1

Step 6: To assemble the bow, layer the two fabric bows on top of the centre of the bow tails. Hold in place by wrapping the final piece of fabric across the centre, leaving a small loop at one side, then fix it in place with glue.

Step 7: Once dried, add the keyring to the loop and you’re done!

For more fantastic crafts from Sophie visit her blog, The Things She Makes or follow her on twitter.

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18

 

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Simple Handmade Craft Guide: Scented Candles

December 9th, 2014
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Scented candles are one of life’s little luxuries. They fill rooms with wonderful scents and the flames add a cosy atmosphere to any room. This tutorial from Rebecca at Really Pretty Useful shows you how to create winter scented candles easily and inexpensively.

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Who doesn’t love a scented candle – especially at Christmas? But they can be ridiculously expensive which might put you off buying them. Making them at home, especially if you want to make lots to give as presents, works out much cheaper. And while you might be worried about making a mess, if you use soy wax, which is natural and chemical free, it’s super easy to clean up.

Scented Candles

What you need

Soy wax – widely available online, it comes in flakes.
Essential oils – for the winter spiced scent use cinnamon, clove and orange
Tabbed votive wicks – also available online
Some pretty jars, votives or small glasses
Saucepan
Wooden spoon
Funnel
Scissors

How to

Step 1: To work out how much wax you need for each of your candle, fill your jar with wax flakes – it should be tightly packed – and double it.

Step 2: Put the wax into a pan and melt gently over a low heat until all the flakes have dissolved. Stir to encourage any clumps of wax to break up. Turn the heat off and leave for a minute to cool.

Step 3: Add in your essential oils – to create the ‘winter spiced’ scent, use 18 drops of orange oil, 12 drops of cinnamon and 8 drops of clove. It may smell strong at first but the smell will fade with the heat of the wax. Give it a stir before using a funnel to pour the wax into jars.

Step 4: Allow the wax to cool and turn slightly opaque before putting in the wick. Once the wax is cloudy and thick, but not set, push the wick to the bottom of the jar and it will stand by itself. Leave your candle to harden overnight and trim the wick leaving 1cm above the wax.

Step 5:  Tie the jars with ribbon or twine to give as a gift, or light the candle to fill your home with the wonderful scent you have created.

Tips

If you notice any little splashes of wax on your jar or worktop, just run the hot tap, soak a cloth and wipe the wax away. Soy wax melts at a lower temperature than paraffin wax so it’s much easier to clean.

If you have any left over wax pour it into a paper cup to either use again (cut the cup up so you can get it out and re melt the lump), or pop it in the bin. Don’t pour leftover wax down the sink or you’ll clog the drains.

You can see more from Rebecca and her stunning photography at her blog, Really Pretty Useful.

Want to see another craft? Click here to go back to the guide’s main post.

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.

Simple Handmade Craft Guide: Crochet Tablet Case

December 9th, 2014
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Much like mobile phones, tablet screens are liable to scratches especially when they’re rattling about in your bag! To help save your tablet from any unwanted scratches, why not create a crochet cover? Once you’ve mastered the basic crochet stitches, you’ll create this in no time!

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If you’re looking to make a handmade gift for the technology lover in your life then why not try out this crochet tablet cover? It’s really easy to make once you have mastered the basic crochet stitches you will be able to finish one in no time.

Crochet tablet case

What You Will Need

Aran/worsted weight yarn in three different colours. This tutorial uses Stylecraft Special Aran in Lavender (A),
Camel (B) and Black (C)
Crochet hook (4.5mm)
Two big buttons
Embroidery thread and needle
Darning needle

UK Crochet Stitches Terminology

ch – chain
st – stitch
dc – double crochet
htr – half treble crochet
tr – treble crochet
ss – slip stitch

How to

1. Using A, ch 43. This is going to form the bottom of the case and measures the length of the tablet.
2. htr into the third ch from the hook. htr to end, turn and htr back to the beginning. ss to fasten.
3. Now you are ready to begin the granny stripes. ch 3, 2 tr into same st. Skip 3 st and 3tr into next st. Repeat skipping three stitches and 3tr into next until you get back to the start of the row. ss to join, leaving a gap of three st in between the clusters. Fasten off.
4. Join B. ch 3, 2 tr into same st. Skip 3 st and 3tr into next st. Repeat until you get back to the start of the row. ss to join, leaving a gap of three st in between the clusters. Fasten off.
5. Join C. ch 3, 2 tr into same st. Skip 3 st and 3tr into next st. Repeat until you get back to the start of the row. ss to join, leaving a gap of three st in between the clusters. Fasten off.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 four times, alternating the colour in sequence.
7. Now it’s time to make the flap: Starting at one end of the cover in a gap space, join A. tr in each st across. At the end, ch 3.
8. Turn. tr back across to the end. ch 1.
9. Turn. dc across and when you get to the end ss to the previous row. Fasten off.
10. Weave in ends using a darning needle.
11. To make the fastening: ch8, then fasten off, leaving long ends for sewing. Count seven stitches along from the edge of the flap, and with the wool ends, sew the chain into place. Skip two spaces then sew the other end to the flap. Repeat on the other side. Weave in ends.
12. Fold the flap down and work out where the buttons need to be then sew them in place using the embroidery needle and thread.
And that’s it! You’ve just made a lovely, cosy cover for your tablet to help protect it from bumps and scrapes.

If you enjoyed this DIY and would like to see more tutorials and crochet patterns from Kate then head over to her blog Beak Up Crafts. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

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Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.