A quick fix for an awkward size plastic pot

quality paper cut to form a tube to fit snugly around the plastic pot (if you want to taper the tube see glass lampshade post from this time last year for cutting angles)

drop tube over plastic so it can be removed for watering but doesn’t gape

cut strips of contrast paper and concertina them before sticking the folds to the top of the tube, I overlapped three strips to get all the way round and used quick grabbing liquid glue so I only had to hold the concertina strip in place for a few seconds

a final strip was cut in half lengthways with decorative scissors and taped to the bottom of the pot

Gel candles experiment


I found a kit in a charity shop so had a go using some old spare glasses

start by dissolving a little gel in a saucepan then soaking the wick, cut to an inch or so longer than the depth of your chosen glass,  in the gel then let it dry on some paper towel

fix one end of the wick to the base of the glass with a little blu tak or plasticine, have to hand a skewer or matchstick long enough to balance across the centre of the glass later

dissolve more gel in the same pan, you can reheat the excess from the priming exercise if it has set by now

carefully pour a little dissolved gel into the glass and swish it around to coat the sides then sprinkle in glitter or sequins of your choice. You can see here my sprinkling was a bit heavy handed

holding the wick upright with one hand pour in some more gel then a little more glitter and repeat until the glass is nearly full. I used too much glitter on the topping up stage which gave a layer effect I hadn’t intended

now balance the skewer across the rim of the glass and drape the excess wick over it while the gel sets

once set trim the wick

tip: wash the pan by hand to avoid coating other stuff in the dishwasher with gel

Brown paper packages for christmas


I am using brown paper for lots of my wrapping this year with scan n cut embellishments and stamping for most parcels, but these simple sewn packets are a joy to make and look very classy

fold your paper in half then trace the shape you want to end up with one side ( I used a frixion pen in case I needed to erase it but light pencil would do as well).

then choose a decorative stitch to sew around all but one side of your image. I used a white thread here but Am inspired to try lots of threads from the sewing basket now.

I had my walking foot on the machine so nothing slipped but you might want to help the paper through if using a standard foot

trim the paper close to the stitch line to tidy it up (pinking shears would add a good effect, but too much use on paper might not be good for your expensive scissors)

pop in the present then sew up the final side

tip: make the packet larger than the contents or you will struggle to sew the final side closed and don’t want to sew through the contents

if you want to decorate the paper or write on the addressee details you will need to finish it all before you put the gift inside

some people keep old machine needles for their paper projects, I will just dispose of this needle before I start my next fabric project as the paper will blunt it.

Christmas wreath for friends with pets


A bonio bonus as we now have a dog and have many friends with dogs that we want to include in Christmas fun.

I cut the hoop form from cardboard packaging using a dinner plate as a guide for the outside and a side plate for the inside of the ring then wrapped long strips of fabric round and round to cover the cardboard.

I then took bias binding, (this one is of the same as the base fabric) and left a long tail before wrapping the rawhide bones firmly in place around the wreath. Once all the way back to the beginning of the circle, I tied a knot with the beginning tail and then made a hanging loop with the spare length of binding.

later versions use more colourful tape on hessian backing and different types of treats are bound in but all were made without glue, string or embellishments just in case the dogs get unsupervised access to the wreath.