Dressing up for video calls – Badge and brooch bonanza

I wear a different brooch each day – I have a collection – but wanted some extras right for the times, so made some quick pin ons for all those upcoming virtual get-togethers.

These involve clippings from salvaged thesauruses (thesauri?), quotations and discarded dictionaries that have been glued (mod podge) onto card and then stuck (glue dots) on to pins.

Sellotape and safety pins will also work as these badges will have a short, indoor life. I might also embellish with buttons or sequins at some point. Depends how much time I can find in my busy schedule!

Vinyl records upcycle

What to do with a windfall of old records?

Unplayable, unloved and now upcycled into a fruit bowl.

Pre-heat the oven to medium hot then balance the record over an upturned bowl and bake it for about 4 minutes until it has draped itself over the bowl creating the folds and contours you see here.

As you take it out of the oven you have a few seconds to manipulate the hot vinyl a bit before it cools.

Ok, not food safe and there is a hole at the bottom but it is FUN and I used the album cover to make a presentation box. Yes, some lucky person is getting this for Christmas.

Use what you have wreath

A huge donation of crafty stuff set me up for months of playtime so I decided to use some of the flowers in a decor wreath

I cut a disc of cardboard from the recycling bin and wrapped it with wool before hot gluing flowers around. To keep balance I visualised the wreath as a clock face positioning flowers roughly at the hours but clustering them in odd numbers.

I kept going until the wreath felt full then gifted it to the lady who gave me the wool stash in the first place. Happy 90th!

Felt piggy bank

A57E860C-C238-41E6-8612-288C37168DF0While  the felt and googly eyes were on the table, I remembered this Pinterest inspired ‘to do’.

In practical terms, bigger is better – this one wouldn’t hold many coins, but I was pleased at how easy it was to make from some of my Ali Express little felt squares.

I sketched the outline in pencil direct on the felt then cut it out on two matching pieces of cheap, stiff, nylon felt before zig zag stitching around the coin slot and edges. The googly eyes were stuck on with collage medium.

It might be fun to make a suitcase or flag shaped one for someone saving for a holiday; car shaped or Christmas tree shaped or …

No glue gift bags

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Exacto knife and paper is all you need to make a quick, cute and quite strong gift bag…

The pattern for this came from ohappyday.com where they are intended as brown paper picnic snack bags but they are far too cute to stay in brown paper.

I started by downloading the template from the diy picnic basket post. It makes a quarter of the template needed so should be placed on a larger piece of paper folded in four to get the whole template. You can just cut round the folded paper with an exacto knife. Or you could follow their instruction to rotate and trace the template, but I found that a longer process.

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I decided to trace mine on some wallpaper remnants – only 50pence in the end of line box at B&Q. This made for an even stronger bag and handle than a brown paper version.

Once the shape is cut, the side flaps are folded in and round and the handles are just threaded through the slits in the flap and the bag pulls together. So satisfying.

I couldn’t resist embellishing with a cheater’s ribbon made from three strips of the paper scraps – yes this was taped together and stuck on the bag. But tags tied around the handle would look good too.

The first bag was filled with shredded paper, the second one had its handles clipped together with a mini peg which pushed out the sides to make more of a handbag shape. Oh this is addictive.

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Buoyed by success I then scaled the template down to make a mini bag from a piece of unloved 12”x12” paper.image

 

Even cuter. Can’t recommend this highly enough.

 

Decorated pegs

Makes a useful,  basic and inexpensive tool just a little prettier…

Plain, wooden clothes pegs are useful in the craft room for box making, clamping glued items and stacking papers as well as storing cords and fabrics

Glued on a shelf in the utility room they are great for holding odd socks until their ‘sole mates’ re-appear or holding dog leads out of the way

And in the kitchen they keep packets and bags closed to stop spills

Functional is good but prettified and still functional is even better, so a stamping session took place this week.

Prettified, these pegs will also add a final, rustic touch to attach a tag and close a gift bag.

Maker’s tip: I used a floral stamp and placed it on an acrylic pad, took the ink pad to the stamp and then rested the peg on the stamp to get the right position. It is easier than trying to balance the peg on a work surface then tap your much bigger stamp on top of it.

Use the right ink to avoid smudges and stains- I used stazon – or découpage pretty papers with something like modpodge to keep them durable…

Lavender tub tea

Some of the french lavender that my sister harvested has been turned into bath salts thar won’t clog the plug hole.

Fill-your-own tea bags were stuffed with  a mixture of dried lavender and dead sea bath salts.

I searched for some lavender themed paper for the packaging but this was the closest I had in my huge supply pile. The reverse of this paper is however lavender polka dots so the trimmings were used to make banner ended tags for the bag ties.

 

 

Co ordinated gift bag and tag, so simple

I bought a bundle of brown food bags from the catering supplies shop for Christmas and duly stuck on panels and greetings in red, green and gold. But eighteen months on I still have plenty left, so have decorated a few simply ready to pop gifts in.

I used a stencil panel which fitted the bag front perfectly so used all the patterns rather than re aligning one of them.

I dabbed some distress ink- evergreen bough- on to a craft sheet and rubbed the ink through the stencil with a piece of cheap bathroom ‘sponge’. The back was also stencilled the same way.

The gift card and flower were cut from craft card with the scan n cut, the same distress ink rubbed on the edges of the flower and stamped on the tag. The message is ‘a gift for you’ stamped repeatedly on the diagonal, so it can be used for many occasions.

Distress ink or sepia browns work brilliantly on craft and for more masculine versions I am using rosettes rather than flowers.

Inside is a sheet of tissue paper ready to wrap a goody from the present drawer. Even so this will store almost flat until needed.