Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Daisy Jumper Refashion

A quick and easy way to brighten up a plain old jumper or sweater.
Daisy Jumper refashion
I've seen a few cute embroidered jumpers in the shops this autumn and came home from a shopping trip feeling inspired to give one of my old plain jumpers a bit of a makeover.

I started with this marl knit black and white jumper.
Daisy Jumper refashion - before
It's a good fit and not too worn or bobbly, just a bit boring so perfect for an embroidery experiment.

To make your own daisy jumper you will need:
  • A plain old jumper
  • Scraps of yarn, mine was UK Double knitting but you can use whatever you have
  • A large needle
  • Scissors
First take a long length of white yarn, about an arms length. That's quite long for sewing with but will mean you can get a whole flower done in one length.
We are going to make the flowers using a lazy daisy stitch which is really simple. If you don't already know it, here's how:
Lazy daisy stitch tutorial
  1. With the right side facing, poke your needle down into the fabric and come up where you want the daisy to be, leaving a tail which you will secure later.
  2. Form a loop and put the needle back in the same spot it's just come from, then up about 3/4 " away.
  3. Pull the thread through until the loop sits flat on the fabric (don't pull too hard or the petal will bunch the fabric up)
  4. Insert the needle back in just the other side of loop you just made, forming a tiny stitch. Come back up about 1/4" from the base of the first loop/petal
  5. Repeat for all the petals, I did 4 as shown first.
  6. Then fill in two more petals between each.
  7. On the back, tie the two ends of your yarn together in a double knot to secure
  8. Ta dah! 
Next fill in the centres with a contrast yarn.
Daisy Jumper refashion

  1. Make a few little stitches on one direction
  2. then repeat in the opposite direction covering the original stitches.
  3. Tie the ends as before in a double knot
  4. Trim all the ends.

Dot these daisies all over your jumper, as many or as few as you like. I covered the back and sleeves too as I have this thing about clothes that are all fancy on the front but plain on the back. I like an all over fanciness whenever possible!
Daisy Jumper makeover
To help with the placement I did about 5 on the front then tried it on. I could then add safety pins to the spots where I thought more should go. This way I avoided any unfortunately placed daisies (you all know what I mean) and could get that even spread I was after. I just found it was easier to tell when it's on the body.
Daisy Jumper refashion
I did consider doing the flower centres black, but I went for the brighter yellow in the end as I can't resist a bit of colour. I think black would look good too, especially on a coloured jumper.
You could do the flowers in any colour, or even all different colours and really use up some tiny scraps of yarn.
You could do way more flowers than I did, or way less ... they could just be round the hem, or round the neck, or in a line from the shoulder down the centre of the sleeves. Oh the possibilities! 
Daisy Jumper refashion
You might also be interested in:
Stripy T-shirt Refashion
Stripy T-shirt Refashion
Star Stitch Sweatshirt Refashion
Star Stitch Sweatshirt Refashion
Evening Cardigan Makeover
Evening Cardigan makeover
Too tight at the top hem fix
Too tight at the hem top fix
I'll be linking up to all these great link parties

read more

Friday, 21 October 2016

Fun Cheap Birthday Traditions

Making birthdays special without spending a fortune, it's the little things that count!
fun, easy cheap ways to make birthdays special
In our family we have quite a few birthday traditions. The list has grown over the years, once you do something for one, you have to do it for everyone every year apparently! Some of these are starting to drop off now the kids are older, some we will do forever I think.

Homemade Cake

First up is home made cake. Always. A birthday is not a birthday without cake and homemade is just the best. Even before we had kids my husband would always make me a homemade cake, when they were young he would have them "helping" with the mixing and decorating. 
You can see lots of cakes we've made over the years here, if you are after some ideas. I also have a board on pinterest of cakes I dream of being able to make someday. 
If you have never made a cake before I have an absolute beginners 101 guide to making a simple sponge here.

Birthday Breakfast

This all began when the kids were little, and had to go to school on their birthday. We would all get up a bit earlier than usual, and the birthday person would come down to find the table laid nicely and their presents waiting for them.
Their chair has a birthday balloon tied to it and cushions on the seat and back so they are super comfy!
We eat Croissants and Chocolate Pastries and drink Tropicana from wine glasses ('cos we know how to live large!)
The kids also have a birthday placemat which I must have made about 13 years ago! It's just laminated paper but because they are only used for 1 day a year they are still in pretty good condition - we still get them out now!

The Birthday Banner

This all started when our youngest was about 5 and his big sister made him this beauty. 
I do have his permission to publish this awesome photo!

For the next few birthdays we made a fresh one each time. Then we wised up and I printed this dinosaur one and we used that for several years. 
On our respective 40th's my husband and I were lucky enough to have these beautiful things hanging on the front of the house!

We have even had some sophisticated Bunting style banner's in recent years.

Home made cards 

Everyone in the house makes cards for each other, I can't remember the last time anyone bought a card. The kids used to paint, draw, cut and stick etc. Nowadays they mostly use the computer and do something terribly funny in publisher, often involving a photo of the birthday persons head cut out and stuck on the head of a film, tv or game character. Wordclouds from Tagxedo and Wordle also appear quite often as they are easy and free. My husband usually rustles up something lovely involving an old photo.
You can see some of my card ideas here, here, here and here.

The idea to share our birthday traditions came when I read this lovely idea from One Creative Mommy

Birthday Pizza - How brilliant is that?!

For someone whose Birthday comes right after Christmas how about this clever idea from The Writer Revived?
Turn the Christmas tree into a birthday tree with a quick decoration swap!

Leanna from All Done Monkey has a lovely idea of making a Milestones Birthday Book, which you fill in each year on your child's birthday ready to present to them when they finally fly the nest. Leanna has provided a free printable to get you started or you could easily adapt the idea, add whatever things you'd like to record each year.

Jamie from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom shows us how easy it is to make a balloon avalanche to surprise a birthday person.

In the house of I Heart Naptime they kept things simple one year for a 3rd Birthday but still had lots of balloons and these lovely streamers on the bedroom door.

Over at Sa Sea Living they have a lovely tradition of taking a photo of the birthday person ever year. One you need to start from year one I guess but really beautiful if you can remember every year. (they also have homemade cake too and they look amazing)

Growing a Jeweled Rose have a whole load of fun birthday traditions, from balloons and streamers to a special birthday bath to end the day!

What birthday traditions do you have?

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Saturday, 15 October 2016

Origami Christmas Tree Ornament

It's my turn to share in the 31 Days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments Blog Hop today. It's such a pleasure to be a part of this fun Blog Hop again this year, 31 creative bloggers bringing you a handmade Christmas ornament idea each day in October.
It's not too soon to think Christmas if you want time to make your own ornaments. You need time to check out all the ideas, decide which you want to try and then gather your supplies!
Origami Christmas Tree Ornament
I've been playing with a bit of origami recently and have made these easy and inexpensive diamond shaped ornaments from paper and then had loads of fun making them pretty!
Origami Christmas Tree Ornament
All you need to make a basic origami Christmas ornament is a sheet of paper and some embellishments - whatever you have or whatever takes your fancy! I used embroidery threads, yarn, an old tassel, beads, a gold pen, colouring pens & mini pom poms, I'll explain each one as we go along.

First you need to make your basic diamond shaped (octahedron - that's an 8 sided shape to you and me!) origami. I'm not going to show you step by step here, I used this brilliant You Tube video from Jeremy Shafer. There is no point me showing you how to make them when Jeremy's video is SO good. 
Go and watch the video and make a few practice ones from scrap paper, the pages of old magazines are good, then come back when you are an octahedron making expert! It's not a difficult shape to make so once you have made 3 or 4 you will be able to make them without instructions.

Now you are ready for the real thing, let's start with these white, gold and pastel geometric ornaments.
Origami Christmas Tree Ornament
To make one you will need:
  • A sheet of white paper (mine was 120gsm which is quite thick for origami but worked great)
  • A gold pen (mine was a Pilot Gold Paint Marker)
  • Colouring pens/felt tip pens
  • Embroidery thread
  • Scrap card
  • A kebab skewer
  • A needle
  • Sticky tape
  • Beads (optional)

Trim the paper to a 8" (20cm) square and make it into a diamond/octohedron origami shape as you have just learnt. From a 8" square it will turn out approx 3" (8cm) x 2.25" (6cm).
Using a gold pen draw a line on all the edges of your origami shape. Make them as thick or thin as you like, just make sure you don't smudge the lines you have drawn as the gold paint pen takes a few minutes to dry.

Colour in a few sides to your shape, as many as you like, whatever colours you like.

Now you need to make a tassel.

making a tassel
  1. Take a piece of scrap card and lay a 28" (70cm) length of thread across it
  2. Wrap thread round the card about 16 times
  3. Tie the first length of thread in a double knot at the top
  4. Slide off the card, lay on another length of thread and tie in a knot
  5. Wrap round a few times and tie again. Then to lose the ends, thread them onto a needle and poke them inside the tassel as in the photo
  6. Trim the end and you are finished
Thread any beads you are using to the long ends then tape the very ends of those long threads to the kebab skewer. It's easiest if you tape right over the ends of the threads, stops them getting caught up inside the origami.
This is to make the needle long enough to poke right through your origami shape. If by some fabulous luck you have a super long needle just use that!

Poke the skewer right through the diamond shape, just go slow and it's pretty straightforward, just twizzle it a bit if it gets stuck.
Pull the skewer right through obviously, I just stopped for the photo! Add more beads if you want too. 
Ta dah! Your ornament is ready to hang.
Origami Christmas Tree Ornament

I played with this idea and made an ornament with beads and a little bell saved from a Lindt Easter Bunny.
I coloured a few sides in gold on this one instead of just the edges too.
Origami Christmas Tree Ornament

This next one is made from more Christmassy scrapbook paper with an old tassel from my stash and a few beads. You can see here with the patterned scrap book paper that it is good to use one with no directional print. You have no control over what way up it comes out on the different sides so you could have upside down trees or Santa faces, better stick with something that works all ways up.
Origami Christmas Tree Ornament

And this is probably my favourite #pompomallthethings
Make a scrap book paper origami shape and add mini pom poms with a strong pva glue.
Once that is dry make a small pom pom over your hand (this video show how) leaving nice long ends for tying it up. Sticky tape the yarn ends to the kebab skewer and poke through the paper shape as before.
Origami Christmas Tree Ornament
These ornaments are quick and easy to make once you have mastered the basic origami involved and you can decorate them however you like with whatever you have.
Have fun!
My Origami Ornaments are part of the 31 days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments blog hop, a new ornaments idea every day of October.

Here are all 31 Bloggers in order of their appearance:

Here are all 31 Bloggers in order of their appearance:
Day 1 - The Silly Pearl :: Day 2 -Yesterday on Tuesday
Day 3 - Cupcakes and Crinoline :: Day 4 - An Extraordinary Day
Day 5 - Knick of Time :: Day 6 - Pet Scribbles :: Day 7 - Simply Kelly Designs
Day 8 - Town and Country Living :: Day 9 - Petticoat JUNKtion
Day 10 - The Everyday Home :: Day 11 - Up on Tippy Toes
Day 12 - Remodelando la Casa :: Day 13 - DIY 180 :: Day 14 - 504 Main
Day 15 - Sum of their Stories :: Day 16 - At Home with Jemma
Day 17 - The Kim Six Fix :: Day 18 - Shabby Art Boutique
Day 19 - Morena's Corner :: Day 20 - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Day 21 - Our Southern Home :: Day 22 - Domestically Speaking
Day 23 - The Crafting Nook :: Day 24 - Sweet Pea
Day 25 - Dukes and Duchesses :: Day 26 - Heathered Nest
Day 27 - Lovely Etc. Day 28 - Stone Gable Blog :: Day 29 - Mod Podge Rocks
Day 30 - Running with a Glue Gun :: Day 31 - All Things Heart and Home

I'm looking forward to seeing At Home with Jemma's ornament tomorrow.
You might also be interested in:
Christmas Windows
Christmas Windows
Scrabble Christmas Sign
Christmas Scrabble Sign
Wooden Christmas Gift tags
Wooden Christmas Gift Tags
Papercut Christmas tree Picture
Papercut Christmas tree Picture
I'll be linking up at all these great link parties, pop over and have a little look round at all the lovely ideas.

read more

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
With Halloween looming I've been a bit nostalgic for the days when my kids dressed up and went Trick or Treating. Most years they decided what they wanted to do a maximum of 24 hours before, sometimes even on the afternoon of the 31st October, so most of the things we've done are pretty last minute! 

So I've trawled the archives of our family photos to share our awesome (and less than awesome) ideas - they might just help if you are a bit like us. All these photos are just pre-blog family snaps taken just before the kids went out Trick or Treating so forgive the grainy, poorly lit quality (and the mess in the background!)

The main things I learnt when my kids were small and dressing up for Trick or Treating are:
  • In the UK at the end of October it can be pretty chilly so the costume needs to be warm. Layers underneath are your best bet. (Of course if you live somewhere hot you have no problem with this, maybe even the opposite )
  • Personally I much prefer face paint to a mask. Masks are just too scary for me, but I know some kids are allergic to face paint so I guess that's your call.
  • Assuming you have time, the Charity shop/Thrift Store is your best friend for costume materials, otherwise you can usually do something with stuff from the wardrobe of someone in the house.
  • Really young children's costumes need to be simple, prop free and close to normal clothes. They will loose/drop/remove anything that gets in their way after about 5 minutes
  • If you have several kids save everything that's not broken and reuse each year
  • Beware mixing fake fur and rubbery masks, it can get pretty sweaty in a mask and fake fur can moult - we had an unfortunate Chewbacca incident, enough said!
So here are some of our masterpieces, I warn you now, these are not dazzeling ideas, but they might come in handy if you have to come up with a costume in next to no time.

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Same costume, different years, different kids
This is just black school uniform trousers, white shirt, a strip of red fabric for a tie, fake plastic teeth and a cape made from a black bin bag and black duck tape. They are wearing long sleeved t-shirts under the white shirts for warmth. 
I seem to have varied the face paint a little over the years, here is our very theatrical son showing that off a little better.
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
3 different kids, 3 different years
For this they wore white clothes (or grey when no white was available in their size - it looked better in real life, I blame the flash) and we ripped up an old white sheet to make bandages. They were just pinned on with safety pins and a very simple bandage face paint finished it off. White socks make good white gloves at a pinch too! On the left here was the year when we discovered how cold you can get if you go out in thin white summer trousers - layers people, it's the way to go! I still have the bag full of "bandages" just in case someone ever wants to do this again.

The Grim Reaper
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Black clothes, including something with a hood and a plastic scythe prop (we bought one for next to nothing in a supermarket and it lasted several years) On the left here we revisited the black bin bag and duck tape cape idea too. Again I seem to have varied the face paint a bit over the years but it's pretty straightforward.
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids

Black clothes, black cape (bin bag and duck tape of course!), witches hat, maybe a broomstick if possible. The only thing that has varied here over the years is the face paint.

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Not to blow my own trumpet or anything but this is probably the best face paint I've ever managed! It's not that complicated when you look closely though, just a white face, black round the eyes with a sponge and on the cheeks, then a little red under the eyes and mouth with a little paint brush.
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
This was such a easy costume, just take some clothes that they have almost grown out of and chop 'em up! Then attack them (the clothes not the kids!) with felt pens and/or paint. The hair was sprayed with some white colour hair spray.

Mad Scientist
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
This is probably my favourite. We had the doctors coat from an adults fancy dress outfit from years ago so I just took up a massive hem with tape. You could just put them in a man's white shirt. Then it's just swimming goggles, washing up gloves and white colour hair spray. To finish off we made the test tubes by running laminating pouches through the laminator with just a small piece of bright paper, cutting out the test tube shapes and then taping them to a piece of string. 

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
I can't find any great photos of this but they have all taken a turn in the pillowcase ghost costume. It's a white pillowcase with the top rounded over on the sewing machine and an oval cut out for their face. 
This was one of the first Halloween costumes I ever made when the kids were really little. To start with I just popped the pillowcase over their heads without rounding the top, 2 seconds in it slipped to the side and the corner pointed to the ceiling (very KKK and scary but not at all what we were going for) After rounding the top I though we would be able to just cut eye holes - NO - not for little children, this did not work AT ALL, the oval "whole face poking out" was much more practical.

And now for something a little less scary:

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
Red coat, Santa hat (you probably can't see but that is a Santa hat, just a very fluffy one), black belt and a white face painted beard. If I remember right he finished it off with welly boots.

70's Hippy
Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
That's a wig, but I guess it depends on your hair. The head band is the same strip of fabric as the Dracula tie at the top of the page. A plain old t-shirt with the design just drawn on quickly in regular felt pen and a cardboard and foil pendant.

Last minute halloween costume ideas for kids
This was Dad's old long sleeved sand coloured T-shirt that had gone all out of shape. I drew the "folds" on the front in pen, we rolled the sleeves up a bit and added a belt and light saber. Job done. He had to wear a T-shirt underneath as the V neck was a bit low but it did the job.
We've also done but not photographed:
  • A Pumpkin, just an old orange t-shirt with a face drawn on in felt pen, and a couple of cushions tied round the waist underneath
  • A Cinderella with a summer dress, apron, headscarf and feather duster
  • A Pirate from a stripy top, the same trousers in the zombie photo further up the page, a headscarf, eye patch and a little parrot toy from MacDonalds pinned on the shoulder
  • Peter Pan from a green shirt cut in a zig zag round the bottom, green trousers, a belt, a cardboard dagger and paper hat
So, if you need a last minute costume and don't have time or money to go to the shops maybe you will feel inspired to create something yourself from stuff you probably already have. If you have more time to be creative I have a pinterest board full of DIY costume ideas I've found and liked to give you much more inspiration.

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