Wednesday, 31 August 2011
To make a Christmas Robin Scatter Cushion you will need...
Scraps of left over fabric,
Stuffing and the Christmas Robin Scatter Cushion pattern - Print it for free here.
First cut out the pattern, and then cut out the fabric pieces leaving your self with a seam allowance around each shape.
Once you have all your pieces, lay the Robin's front main-body piece out flat, and align the Robin's red breast in place on top of it. Turn the edges of the top of the Robin's red breast under itself to make a hem. To make this easier, sew running stitches across the top of the Robin's red breast before folding the fabric under itself. The tacking thread can be removed at a later date. There is no need to hem the sides of the Robin's red breast, because these will be tucked underneath the wings however, if you are using fabric that is prone to fraying, you may want to zigzag along these edges. Once you have turned the hem down, stitch the Robin's red breast onto the main body; you can either do this by hand, or use a sewing machine.
Next, place the Robin's wings in place - remember, they cover the Robin's red breast a little, so do not worry. Make a small hem along the inner edge of the wing. There is no need to make a hen on the outer sides of the wings. Once you have done this, sew them down, again either by hand or machine.
To prepare the Robin's inner eye, sew running stitches around the edge. Slightly draw the running stitches up so that the edges turn in. Squash the ball shape flat to make a disc and put a couple of stitches in to hold the shape. When you are drawing up the inner eyes, you must make sure that the two are of an equal size. Pin onto the Robin's outer eye, and then stitch this into place. Then, use running stitches on the outer eye, pulling the stitches and making a hem in the same way.
Turn the edges of the Robin's beak inwards to make little hems, and tack down. This will hold the beak in place while you sew it onto the Robin's main body.
Pin the features to the Robin's main body part, so that you have a pleasing expression on the Robin face and sew them in place.
Zigzag or overlock, all the way around the edge of the Robin's front and back main body pieces. Then, with right sides together, and sew them both together, leaving a gap at the bottom for stuffing. Then, turn the right sides inside out, and fill the Robin cushion with stuffing until pleasantly plump. Finally sew the opening closed.
Monday, 15 August 2011
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Such an unfortunate but catchy name, bath bombs or bath fizzies make a great homemade gift idea because they are one of those luxurious indulgences that people often do not buy for themselves, but love to receive as a gift. They will certainly appreciate them when they realize that they are homemade gifts. You have probably seen them at bath boutiques, but basically bath bombs are balls of baking soda and citric acid that when dropped in water dissolve, effervesce, and releases the scents or other ingredients you put in them. Its kind of like bathing in bathtub full of seltzer water. It can be a soothing and therapeutic experience.
There are a couple of ways to make them. Here is the method based off a tutorial from teachsoap.com:
Citric Acid... A powder that you can find here at brambleberry.com. You also might be able to find it at a local winemaking/brewing shop.
Baking Soda... Should be easy enough to find, check in your cupboard or refrigerator.
Witch Hazel... You can find this at here at brambleberry.com, otherwise you might find it at your local health food store or pharmacy.
Fragrance or Essential Oil... You can find this at, yep, you guessed it, brambleberry.com, or your local heath food store..
Clear Spherical Molds... There is quite a selection at soapequipment.com. They have molds and bath bomb kits at brambleberry.com but no plain spherical ones. I have also heard of people using ice cube trays.
You can tint them with food coloring, but I think they look fine as is. It's a matter of preference. If you do use food coloring make sure you only use a few drops per batch, otherwise it might stain someone's tub.
It is a bit tricky at first. You might have a bad batch or two in the beginning, or a have few bath bombs that fall apart, but don't get discouraged, you will get the hang of it..
- Thoroughly mix 1 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of the citric acid. Make sure it is mixed well and there are no lumps.
- Add your fragrance and color. Fragrances are your preference, but I enjoy essential oils like lavender or peppermint. If you are using food coloring, make sure to only use a few drops.
- Lightly spray on the witch hazel while mixing. You want to spray enough on so the mixture just starts to stick together. Too much and the mixture will start bubbling and reacting.
- Just after the mixture starts to stick together, press into the molds. Make sure you squeeze the mold halves together hard.
- Wait a few minutes, then tap them out of the molds.
- Let sit a few hours or overnight, and then they'll be ready for wrapping.
I used clear colored wrapping and raffia ribbon for the presentation of the gift. They make a great addition to other homemade bath products in a gift basket. Counting down 100 homemade gift ideas at http://100homemadegiftideas.com
Thursday, 4 August 2011
Owl cushions are very popular at the moment and for children they make a great soft toy as well as a useful cushion. I found this easy to follow Owl cushion pattern on the internet. I wanted to make a gift for my grandma, she loves owls and I was able to make this cushion in just a couple of hours from old scraps of material from the left over fabric bag. Brilliant!
Click the image to download the Free Pattern
Monday, 1 August 2011
I did however find websites offering to make personalised cake toppers with prices starting from £150. What I did like about this idea was that the bride and groom are based on you; your colours, your costumes and your design. This sounded perfect except for the price.
After further searching I found a blog that customised salt and pepper pots to make personalised bride and groom cake toppers. This is where I got my idea to make my own bride and groom based on the salt and pepper pot shape and simple-ness, made from air drying clay.
To make a personalised medieval bride and groom cake topper you will need ..
A block of DAS air drying clay in white, Air drying clay doesn’t need firing.
Humbrol enamel paints,
Stick on daimante gems and maybe some Organza or fabric from your dress.
DAS is the original non cracking air drying clay; it can be drilled, sanded, painted and varnished, so it is perfect to make your medieval wedding cake bride and groom.
To start with I created the basic pepper pot shape. The bottom is a short stubby cone shape with the point cut off. If you start off with a chunky sausage, and then roll one end to be a bit slimmer. Stand it with the slimiest end up.
Then I rolled a ball for the head, and fixed it on top.
This is the basic shape for both the bride and the groom.
From there I rolled smaller sausages for arms, and slimmer sausages still for the hair and crown.
For the knight’s helmet, roll some clay out flat with a wooden rolling pin. I cut a strip of clay, with some slight shaping at the mouth. Wrap this around the head, and cut out a circle for the top of the helmet.
The knight’s cape was also cut from a rolled out piece of clay. I ‘gathered’ the cape a bit at the back so that it gave the appearance of cloth.
The shield is also cut from rolled out clay.
The sword I made from slightly squashed sausages.
I did have problems getting all the clay to stick together and as it dries some parts did break off. Don’t worry about this if it happen to you. Simply use some super glue to stick back together when the clay has dried.
Because the bride and groom are quite chunky, they do take a week or so to completely dry. Once dry you can paint. Painting your medieval bride and groom is time consuming because you have to keep waiting for the paint to dry, and you can only really paint one colour at a time.
After painting you can other embellishments to make the toppers look more like you. I stuck on daimante gems to the bride where I would be wearing a crystal necklace, and I also added daimante gems to my toppers crown.
With a small piece of organza and fur fabric I made the bride a cape which was similar to the one I was going to wear on the day.
One thing to bear in mind if you are making your own personalised bride and groom is that you need to prevent the real groom from seeing your cake topper bride, otherwise they will know what you are going to wear for your big day, and you don’t want to spoil the element of surprise.