Posts Tagged ‘tips’

It’s March! A new month and a new theme; Retro crafts will be my focus for the next few weeks where I’ll hopefully introduce a few cool gizmos that’ll make your crafting life much easier as well as creating at least one really nice accessory for my camper van and the odd, gorgeous household item in the process!

Let’s kick the proceedings off with something steeped in 70’s nostalgia – Flower Looms.

All the rage in 1974!

For the best dressed gal in town – A Flower Loom Stole

How positively delightful! Floral, feminine and flouncy – I’m sure you’ve probably come up with a few f-words yourself already ūüėČ Let’s look at a few more examples and really get to grips with this whole flower thing……

This screams out to be made and take pride of place in my house somewhere.

I’m taking bets that something like this ends up in Kath Kidston!

I could actually see this sort of thing coming back in a big way in 2012! I feel a summer collection coming on…!

RONCO – Bringing gizmos and gadgets to the crafting world. May the Lord bless ’em and keep ’em safe!

Right! That’s enough of that – Here’s a tutorial…..

First of all you’ll need a flower loom; I’m using one with movable pegs as my weapon of choice where different configurations will yield different styles¬†and sizes of flowers.

Loom with movable pegs – Set up in a kind of Stonehenge configuration.

Look closely and you’ll see that it’s numbered at the edge – This shows you where to start and which direction to take.

Now are you ready?

1. Take a ball of DK weight yarn in the colour of your choice and grip the end firmly between your fingers. Pull the yarn out to arms length, and measure a tail that reaches from your extended arm to your nose. It’s important to remember to do this – Your going to use this ‘tail’ to secure everything in place when we reach stage 4.

2. Starting at the peg nearest position one of the outer edge of the loom, wrap the yarn in a figure of eight loop between this and the corresponding outer edge peg on the other side. Do this about four times before moving on to the next set of pegs, repeating the process all the way round until you arrive back at the beginning.

So far, so good? Here’s a tip – Once you’ve started wrapping your yarn, pull that long tail through to the other side of the loom so that it doesn’t get in the way

3. Using a second ball of DK yarn in a contrasting colour, virtually the same process is repeated all over again with the inner ring of pegs. Please note that you don’t have to measure out an arm to nose length of yarn in this step – 6 inches of excess yarn is ample at this stage.

4. Now we’re going to secure everything in place. Thread the end of your tail of yarn through a nice big darning needle. Starting at peg one, bring the needle through from the back of the loom and in between the outer ‘petals’ of your flower and stitch in to the centre. Following the direction of the arrows, use a simple backstitch to secure all the wrapped yarn in to place.

5. Bringing the yarn through from the back of your work again we’re going to work one more round of stitches to make everything look pretty. But still using a backstitch, we’ll work over a span of three petals each time until we get back to the beginning.

6. The flower is pretty much complete – Just remove the pegs to release it from the loom.

7. Give your flower a little ‘fluff’ to release the petals. Thread any loose tails of yarn through to the back of your work and secure. Bury any ends in the centre of your flower.

All done and dusted – Now I just need to make a small mountain of these to join together for my latest bed throw in the camper van!

Ain’t they lovely!

I’ve usually made them into quick brooches; Here’s one of my lovely nieces modelling a few from late 2010:

Poor Sash! Dragged all over the place to model for the Big Blue Bully Bus – This time it was just down the road from me at Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds. She’s a trooper, bless ‘er!

But this time, I’m going to make a huge stack of them to turn into a new bedspread for the bus!¬†All thanks to the lovely lady behind knitting-and.com –¬†http://www.knitting-and.com/small-looms/index.html¬†and the oodles of hints, tips and inspirations she’s gathered together. She lives around and about the environs of Wollongong, Australia – possibly just round the corner from my lovely sister in law and her husband who love our Dak Dak (1963 splitty) to bits. Please take a few moments to visit her website if you can – it’s just brilliant!

Next week I’ll be introducing another gizmo that I think every crafter should have in their arsenal and also hopefully be giving you an idea for an ultra quick and easy to make Mother’s Day present – You’ll need a needle and thread and some scraps of fabric…… amongst other things. I’ll say no more, ¬†I’m planning a trip out with the dogs and Mr Other Half in the bus before I spill the beans……. until then, Happy Crafting!

Advertisements

OK. It’s week one of my take on the ’52 crafts in 52 weeks’ project and I’ve chosen to start with something I’m fairly familiar with; albeit a bit rusty at the moment.

This month’s theme is of course ‘Paper’, so I’m setting the ball rolling with a spot of decoupage. For those of you who may never have heard of this before, it’s basically centred around the creative art of cutting out, assembling, pasting and (sometimes) varnishing paper to make decorative objects. With it, you can give furniture a new boost of life, create fabulous greetings cards, 3D pictures etc and generally make all sorts of wonderful stuff for your home .

Fantastic results can be obtained fairly easily and it’s also a great activity to carry out with children when the weather’s vile outside and they’re climbing the walls inside ūüėČ

Here’s a few examples of it in it’s simplest form, but you can make it as complex as you wish.

Bangles courtesy of Becky Decoupage 

Mickey Mouse Side Table by Bombus

In the past, when I’ve had a go at decoupage, I’ve tended to use it to make 3D pictures and greetings cards. This involves using multiple repeat images to build up layers which are then stuck one on top of the other. In each layer, you focus on different elements of the image and cut them out to build up the final piece – Silicone glue, or foam sticky pads also help to give depth to the image and this¬†really helps to make it ‘pop out’ from the page once everything is stuck in place.

Sound difficult? Opt for a technique such as pyramage and it’s simplicity itself!

Here I’ve cut a series of graded rectangular pieces from repeat images of a gorgeous flower powered bug and used sticky pads to hold everything in place and give a raised pyramid effect.

Flower Power Beetle by Big Blue Bully Bus

And here, I’ve used graded squares which gently twist round to create a slightly different effect.

Twisted Pyramage VW Beetle by Big Blue Bully Bus

Here’s an example of a more traditional piece of decoupage that I’ve just created – you can buy ready printed, pre-cut sheets if you want but I prefer to make my own. Only thing is I still need to find time to cut the pieces out and stick it all together!

Email me at bigbluebullybus@yahoo.co.uk and I’ll mail the full PDF to you if you’d like to have a go at making it too ūüėČ

VW Bug PDF by The Big Blue Bully Bus

Phew! Blog post and first craft nearly over – just another 51 to go!!!!

Finally, here’s a little list of things that I’ve copied from Wikipedia that you might find useful if you want to have a go at decoupage for yourself:

  • Something to decoupage onto. Examples include:¬†furniture,¬†photograph albums, plates,¬†ceramics, shelving, frames,¬†mirrors.
  • Pictures¬†to decoupage with. These can come from myriad sources:¬†newspapers,¬†magazines,¬†catalogues, books, printed¬†clip art, wrapping paper,¬†greeting cards,¬†fabric,¬†tissue paper,¬†lace.
  • Cutting utensil.¬†Scissors, craft knife (X-Acto) or¬†razor blades¬†can be used.
  • Glue. Standard white glue works best if it is diluted with a little water. Specialty glues can be found in most crafting stores.
  • Smoother. Popsicle sticks work well. A¬†brayer¬†is a specialized tool like a miniature¬†rolling pin¬†designed to help remove wrinkles, remove excess glue and smooth pictures.
  • Glue spreader. Many things around the house can be use for this:¬†cotton swabs,¬†paint brushes, sponges.
  • Rags, sponges, tissue paper to help wipe up glue and other clean up.
  • Sealer. Glue or other decoupage medium can be used as a sealer. Alternatively,¬†polyurethane, spray acrylic or other¬†lacquers¬†are usually used.

Why not have a go yourself? It’s fairly inexpensive and great fun!