Wednesday, 8 August 2012

I have loads to share this week!

Hi everyone! I've been so busy once again and I've got lots of craft things to share with you that I have come up with in an effort to use use all this excess fabric I have! I still have scrap bags for sale and this will be listed on the website soon in 300g bags for £2 and 200g bags for £1.50. They are rammed with lots of fabric and all bags have at least one very large piece in. See www.simplydivinethings.co.uk to purchase.


My first try and using up scraps was something I have been meaning to do for ages - coasters. Not just plain, sewn together coasters, oh no! Braided ones! As a trial I just used random strips of what I came to first, and that is used for my afternoon cuppa! Any length of fabric is fine, but I have found 1-1.5 inches wide is best. Simply pin three pieces together at one end and start plaiting. As you get towards the ends, feed in more stripes to the plait. It can take a bit of practice putting in more strips but you will soon find a way that works for you without having sticky out bits! Once you have a decent length (I used approximately 90 inches of each strip) you can start to roll it up.

Keep it tight as you roll and I put E6000 glue on to secure every bit together. As it got bigger I found that sticking pins in the sides to hold it in place while you roll, very helpful as it can start to slide out of shape until the glue is dry. When it was all done and I had a width of 3.5 inches, I put 4 pins in round the edges, pushed in as far as they would go, and left it to dry over night. When it's dry, pull out your pins and voila! A unique coaster. Once I got to grips with them I made beige and white ones, black, grey and white ones, and now I'm making lots of other colours too. If you don't have enough spare fabric to make your own, you will soon be able to buy them in my shop for just 99p each!


 I also wanted to make a braided headband with my scraps. For this I used strips around 1.5 inches wide for a thick (ish) band. I braided three together to fit round my head with a 3-4 inch gap between the two ends. I then got an old elastic hair bobble and wrapped the ends through the bobble and sewed it tight to hold in place. That was literally it. The whole process took no more than 15 minutes!






Next up, storage. I have a small house, and my lounge is rammed with craft stuff. It needs organising and the sooner the better before my other half kills me! So, first off I need boxes to keep things in. I am starting with boxes for photos and paperwork. A few months ago I was eying up some magazine files but they were expensive. I have been looking at all the cereal boxes that get thrown out for recycling and I kept three to make magazine files. I got some old and plain curtain lining to cover the boxes by wrapping it round and securing with pva glue. This was fiddley and messy but after three layers, the boxes were covered. After leaving them over night to dry, I took some scraps of Prestigious Maple fabric in Teal, that I had used to make my bin (guide in an earlier post). As I only had a little left, I cut strips 1" wide and put them on the boxes on the back which would be cuddles. That was it really. Very very easy and it just looks so much tidier than piles of Craftseller magazine and bank statements! I have no idea why all my photos end up on their sides on here!





Yesterday morning, while enjoying a relaxing Sunday morning in bed, I was going through yet more guides for using scraps. I've done the braided bracelets before but I wanted bracelets that were a bit different. I came across this guide http://sewcraftcreate.com/2011/05/rope-bracelet-tutorial/ that I liked the idea of. I had time to whip up a very quick prototype yesterday before we headed out for the afternoon, and I liked the principle. The only mistake at that point was using a 100% cotton fabric. It didn't work and was just thick and kept fraying to the point there was no fabric left! This morning I decided to have a proper go at it with some polycotton strips I had in my scrap box. I must say, I'm super happy with the result. I love my new bracelet, it cost me pennies to make and around 30 minutes of time! Here I am in my scruffy clothing that I craft in (I have a tendancy to get glue on my clothes!) and I have insisted on keeping the bracelet on my wrist. I'm definitely going to make more as I have loads of strips of polycottons that I'm glad I kept. There were a few things I decided to do differently. After messing up the slits yesterday and only doing two across not three, I drew lines on my widest strip to divide the fabric onto four. I also did my slits with 1" inbetween them going down as 1/2" wasn't enough. I finished the ends by covering them with hemmed plain fabric and putting a button on one end and a little hook on the other to fasten round the button.


















On Friday a customer got in touch with me about making a lampshade. This is something I have looked at in the past but the kits are so expensive, so I never did it. I'm now thinking that covering an existing shade might be an option. I have a shade on a lamp in my bedroom that's really outdated, so watch this space for a revamp! I can't wait. I just love finding new craft projects that I've not done before. Making things by hand is so satisfying, and I always get a warm happy feeling when someone buys something I've spent hours making.


Last but not least, there has been some developing going on and I am proud to announce that we now offer shabby chic lightswitch plates handcrafted by my own fair hands using Cath Kidston, Clarke and Clarke, Tanya Whelan, Harlequin and many more fabrics. The front can be cleaned and there is no fabric inside the plate as this could be a fire hazard. How amazing do these look?! They are available to buy at www.simplydivinethings.co.uk. 
I have finally got round to sorting my Pinterest albums properly so I can share the things I want to make and guides on there. You can find my albums at www.pinterest.com/simplydivine1.

So, that's all this week folks. I'll speak to you soon and hopefully have some more fabric scrap stash busting, and unique ideas to make!




 Kirsty x









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