Easter egg cosies/hand puppets
These cute little egg cosies can also make hand puppets and are great little craft projects.
You will need:
- craft glue (for fabric)
- different coloured threads
- various coloured embroidery thread for details like mouths and paws
- Trimmings for embellishment (e.g. pom poms, ribbon)
- Cut your felt shapes using the pattern below. You could make all kinds of different animals using the basic shapes, but we’ve got a chicken, a lamb and a bunny for Easter. You could easily turn one into a reindeer with some antlers for Christmas!
- Glue all the elements (ears, noses etc) you can which won’t interfere when you sew the two main body sections together. It’s much easier to stitch and glue them on before you sew the two sides of the body together but it won’t work for some things. e.g. the lambs ears will get in the way, so they need to go on last.
- Sew the two sides together. For the chicken and rabbit you’ll need to sew the bodies on inside out, so careful to pin the ears and chicken’s comb on facing in so they pop out the right way when you turn it back the right way. The lamb can be sewn together without being turned inside out otherwise the woolly shape won’t work.
- Once you’ve turned it back around the right way, add any last elements and embellishments.
***keep away from small children as bits of the hand puppets/egg cosies could be swallowed if they come loose***
Hot water bottle covers
Get some nice cosy hot water bottle covers made in preparation for those chilly nights.
You will need:
- approx. 2 x A3 size sheets size of fluffy/fuzzy materials e.g. polar fleece. Careful to choose a fabric that doesn’t shed too much and leave fluff everywhere
- approx. 2 x A3 size sheets of cotton for the lining
- some velcro strips (approx. 12cm will do)
- cut out two hot water bottle covers – one in each of the fabrics using the patter below.
- sew the two sides of the back of the hot water bottle together inside out.
- then turn them around the right way and pin and sew the velcro sides on making sure they will match up nicely.
- pin the two sides of the hot water bottle together, fluffy fabric facing in and once again, line up the velcro so it all matches up. Sew together once and then again to edge the fabric so it doesn’t fray. This means that loose threads and fluff won’t keep coming off when washing the cover later and refilling your hot water bottle and it will last longer.
- turn around the right way and hand stitch any embellishments on.
Make a Flowerpot Handbag
This flower pot handbag is really comfortable on your shoulders and you can fit vast amounts of stuff in it! You can also use a single fabric or mix it up.
- Decide on the size of your handbag and create a pattern which includes: two handles, a circular bottom and rectangular piece for the sides which slightly tapers in at the bottom and allows you to fold over the top. Otherwise you can use the attached pattern.
- Get some lovely strong fabric, without much stretch and cut out the fabric pattern, allowing two pieces for both the round bottom and the sides for lining.
- Pin together and stitch the two sides first. Don’t forget to hem, especially for linen which frays very easily.
- Pin and stitch the round bottom pieces onto the sides (it can be tricky because of the round bottom).
- Stitch the two handbags together at the top. You will then need to unpick a small section at the bottom of the inside lining in order to feed the handbag body through. You can then hand stitch this back together.
- Pin and stitch the two handles.
- To turn the handles the right way in, use a large pin and feed it back inside itself. Then iron the handles flat and stitch the ends together.
- Iron your handbag and the pin and stitch you handles on, allowing for the top of the bag to be folded over.
Dye a dress!
Have you got some lovely piece of clothing but it’s got a mark on it? It always happens to white things! It happened to my treasured honeymoon dress which I bought when I leapt of the ferry in Amalfi on my way to Positano for dinner. I loved it not because it was expensive (it cost about 20 Euros), but because of the memories I have wearing it! It was white, but got stained yellowish by sunscreen so I decided to try a home dying kit.
I chose “iDye” in turquoise (JID 1418) because I figured you can’t go wrong with blue!
Basically it involved getting a very large saucepan that you don’t plan on using again for food, dissolving the dye packet in the water (with either salt or vinegar) and simmering it for half an hour, stirring frequently. Wear gloves and DO NOT let it bubble and boil as you’ll have a speckled blue kitchen! Also, make sure you know where you’ll rinse out the dye (laundry sink) as it could stain a sink if it’s not metal. Rinse and rinse repeatedly with mild detergent then wash in the washing machine twice to get rid of any excess dye.
It came out brilliantly! No splodginess or weird tie-dyed effect to be seen! Highly recommend trying it. Now you won’t have to throw away your beloved piece of clothing just because of a small mark!
Postcards from art galleries are an untapped resource for covering your walls in the great masters with a teeny, tiny budget!
Grab some frames from your friendly thrift shop, Ikea or $2 shop and go browsing the amazing postcard aisles of places like the Art Gallery or New South Wales or the National Gallery of Victoria. Once you’ve found the right sized frames, get some sticky hooks and get creative with your display lay-out! A stand-out single portrait? A “saloon hang” (pictured) where all the works are hung one above another, or cluster them in a aesthetic hodgepodge fashion! So cheap and so much fun! Collect your postcards on your travels and do the same! Enjoy xxx
Galleries to find some great postcards:
Renovate a chest of drawers
Hard rubbish is a suburban treasure trove of potentially adorable pieces of furniture just waiting to be adopted! Turn shabby hard rubbish into a cute centrepiece with a little help from TW’s (and probably more from Bunnings):
- Find a piece of hard rubbish made from reasonable quality timber and check for borers (wood-eating insects) and major chips. Remove any handles or knobs so they don’t get ruined during sanding/painting.
- Sand your piece of furniture so the paint will adhere nicely to it (ensure any greasy stains are sanded off completely). Then pop down to Bunnings or your local hardware store to get some paint for timber surfaces and apply several layers, ensuring you allow the timber enough time to dry between each layer.
- Hop online or to a homewares store, like Provincial Home Living, and buy some decorative knobs to match your paint – or mix them up for a quirky look. If you feel like going all-out, buy some pretty wrapping paper or scented drawer liners to place in the bottom of your drawers to protect delicate silks from wood splinters.
- Screw in your knobs or handles and add your drawers liners and voila! A rescued, rejuvenated and adorable unique piece of furniture!
Recover a footstool
I found an old, cheap and rather nasty looking foot stool on the side of the road, much to my husband’s dismay. I covered it in some lovely striped fabric and now it’s so smart looking! The cover is also removable, so you can wash it too : )
- Find an old, but clean, piece of furniture, such as a footstool or armchair to recover. Granny might have one? Don’t worry about the cover, but the shape is important and make sure there aren’t any mice living in it ; )
- I make patterns using newspaper and this will assist you to work out how much fabric you will need. I place pieces of the newspaper over the piece of furniture and pin it in place. Then I cut it out in newspaper and then use it as a pattern to cut it out of material. If you are using thinner fabric or linen which could stretch a little, it’s good to also include a non-stretch backing fabric to hold it in place and protect it. I got my fabric from no chintz in Balmain.
- Pin the fabric together over the furniture to make sure it fits snugly then tack sew together. Make sure that once you’ve checked your cover fits perfectly turning it the right way around, before you hem your edges. Some fabrics can fray very easily and your cover will need to put up with some wear and tear if it’s going to be sat on all day so hemming helps with this.
- Lastly pin then stitch on any trimmings. Pom-poms and fringes look particularly delicious on fat little foot stools and armchairs!
- If you think your cover might move around with lots of people lounging on it all day, you can sew some ties under the chair/foot stool where you can’t see them to hold the cover in place.
Cuteness ahoy! (just don’t put your smelly socks on my foot stool Henry!)