“Using What You’ve Got” – #4 Washi Tape

To make the same kinds of tape as me you will need:

  • Masking tape (low tack tape)
  • Ink pads
  • Stamps
  • Permanent markers
  • Tissue Paper
  • Acrylic paints
  • Mod Podge or PVA glue
  • A peelable surface that you can lie your masking tape on. I used a polythene pocket with a piece of card inside
  1.  I started by sticking the masking tape down onto the peelable surface in rows, leaving plenty of space between the rows for overspill of the different mediums

2.   For the first tape I used neon Sharpie markers to create stripes of varying widths and angles

3.   For the next row I made a background by directly printing distress ink pads onto the tape, and then stamped over the top with black archival ink. I used an acrylic stamp without a block so that the stamped pattern would be uneven and more distressed looking

4.  Next I emperimented with using acrylic paints and just smeared them using my fingers

 5.   With the last piece, I used Mod Podge to stick down torn prices of brightly coloured tissue. Once the adhesive dried I peeled the overlapping edges of tissue so that it would create the faded, torn look

Now all I need to do is try them out on some of my projects!

“31 January Crafts” – Week 1

After publishing my “31 January Crafts” post, I quickly realised that I hadn’t put much thought into the order of my projects. For example, the first one on the list was to decorate some plain mugs. According to the list this should have been done on the 1st January but I had no mugs that were suitable to decorate. I couldn’t even pop out to buy some because it was a bank holiday so all the shops were closed. So instead I decided that the order didn’t matter and I just scanned the list for something which I already had the supplies for. This happened to be the candle holder as all I needed was tissue paper, Mod Podge and a glass jar.

The next craft I produced was “A Machine Sewn Double-Sided Baby Blanket”. This was so easy and satisfying to do. My baby is due at the beginning of March this year, and I can’t wait to use the blanket. I did one side in orange jersey fabric and the other side in white jersey fabric. It is so soft!

Orange and white receiving blanket for baby H

Orange and white receiving blanket for baby H

DSC_0047

After a trip to Tesco to get some plain white mugs, I tried and failed to produce some attractive “Alcohol Ink Watercolour Mugs”. I saw the idea for dip-dying mugs using nail varnish as the colourant and I thought to myself that alcohol ink should probably work just as well. I was wrong. The ink just wiped off, even after drying it with my heat gun. Instead, I tried with the nail varnish. It worked much better but the result was still very ugly. Here…see for yourself!

  
I used nail varnish remover to take the scummy stuff off and decided to leave the mugs for the time being, until new inspiration hits me.

Next I decided to try making the “Fabric Covered Button Book-Marks”. Another ugly result I’m afraid. The paper clips I used were too big so I had to try and cluster the buttons to make a more attractive focal point. It still looked terrible and to make things worse I attached the buttons to the wrong end of the paperclip so that the sharp ends were protruding. I binned the result.

  So in conclusion I managed to complete 4 crafts, 2 of which were scrapped. I also started a couple of the others but I will write about those once I have completed them this coming week. I’m excited to having more success stories to share with you! 

My 2016 Journal

Happy new year everyone!

There is something so satisfying about starting a new journal on the 1st January. Ever since I first saw Bridget Jones’ Diary I have been obsessed with the idea of starting one at the very beginning of the year and finishing it at the end. Every year since then in fact, I think I have started a new diary with the intention of doing just that, however every single year the project has fizzled out to nothing by February!

This year may be no different, however I am currently feeling rather positive about the one I’ve got set up ready for 2016. Hopefully it’ll make me more committed. I got an A5 kraft ring binder from Paperchase, as well as a supply of plain, lined and kraft papers. I also got some plastic pockets for photographs etc. and some paper pouches for ephemera. I wasn’t happy with the kraft cover so I painted it with some pink pearlescent paint and then a layer of pink glitter paint. It’s so girly! I feel that this kind of journal will keep my options open and prevent me from wanting to change to a different kind of journal part way through the year. I’m hoping that it will be a mix-up of all my favorite visual styles. There will almost certainly be periods of time when I stop journaling altogether (e.g. when my first baby makes it’s appearance in March) but I will still be able to tell the story of what happened during those periods by adding photographs and Smash Book style layouts.

   
    
  

31 January Crafts

Sometimes January can leave me feeling deflated after the big build up to Christmas, so this year I have decided to remedy this feeling by spending as much time crafting as I possibly can. Making things is my therapy – it helps me relax my mind and soul by giving me something productive to focus on. Over the past few years I have developed quite a large list of things that I want to try and this is the perfect opportunity to get to work. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, so I am going to say right now that I may not get through every single craft on this list, but I will do my best to work my way through and I will share my progress on this blog. So, without further ado, here it is.

I am going to try making:

  1. Alcohol ink watercolour mugs
  2. Personalised embroidered tea towels
  3. Candles
  4. A glass jar candle holder
  5. A machine sewn soft toy
  6. A stamped birthday card
  7. A transformed photo frame
  8. A machine sewn infinity scarf
  9. A recycled trinket box
  10. Fabric covered button book-marks
  11. A money box out of air-dry clay
  12. Painted beach pebble sewing weights
  13. A pair of customised leggings
  14. A choker
  15. A photograph washing-line display
  16. A machine sewn double-sided baby blanket
  17. A baby mobile
  18. A dream catcher
  19. Pom-pom coasters
  20. A hairband hair-tie
  21. A shopping bag
  22. A pair of earrings
  23. A nice dress from an ugly piece of thrifted clothing
  24. A patchwork baby quilt
  25. A keyring
  26. A hat and a pair of mittens from old knitwear
  27. A zipper handbag pouch
  28. A tealight holder out of air dry clay
  29. A transformed top
  30. A notebook
  31. Hair slides

I hope to inspire others to create though my blog, so if anything on the list gets you crafting I would love to hear from you!

“Using What You’ve Got” – #3 Tags from Scraps

These tags make great embellishments, journaling spaces and gift tags for your projects and gifts. 

All you need is: 

  • Scrap paper or card (I used three coordinating colours but it would work with just one) 
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Scraps of ribbon
  • A button or two
  • A hole punch
  • An old tag to use as a template (you can make a free hand one, it just makes it easier to create the layers)

Choose the paper you will use for your background layer.  

 Draw around and cut out the shape of your template tag. 

  Snip off the clipped edges of your template. Once you have a rectangle shape cut off approx. 6mm from one of the long edges and one of the short edges, so that it leaves a rectangle that will fit attractively in the centre of the tag. 
  Use the new template to draw around and cut out for your second layer. 
  Glue it down. 
  Cut another 4mm or so from two sides of your template then use the template to draw and cut out your third layer. 
  Glue it down so that it looks something  like this.
  Wrap a coordinating scrap of ribbon around the tag in an attractive fashion. Glue it down. Glue (if you have a strong enough glue) a button or two into position on top of the ribbon. If you don’t have a glue that will hold it, you could sew it in place instead. Just ensure you take care when piercing the holes. 
Use a hole punch to make a hole at the clipped edge of your tag, and use a piece of string, cotton, yarn or ribbon to attach it to your project. 

You can use this method to create loads of different looks, just by changing the scraps that you use. Try using lace or thick string instead of ribbon. If you only have plain card you can try colouring it yourself with crayons, paints or inks. 

  Here is another example of mine. 

“Using What You’ve Got” – #2 Printer Embellishments and Specialist Papers

I am currently very much into using my “Clarty Journal” which is basically a blank A5 notebook that I have been using in a scrapbook/smashbook fashion. I absolutely love it! Recently I was inspired (by a Project Life post on Instagram) to do an entirely black and white layout in the book, which has thus far been extremely colourful. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted, but unfortunately it would have meant a trip to the shops to buy some expensive paper and card stock and some embellishments. That is, until I had a brain wave – I could just find exactly what I wanted on Google Images and then print it myself. So that’s what I did and I must say, I am over the moon with the results. I used glossy photo paper but normal printer paper would work just as well.

Go on your desired search engine and save the images that go with your theme. Be aware of the copyrights.

Use a search engine to save some images that match your theme. Print them. 

Cut out your images.

Cut out your images.

Draw freehand shapes or use stencils on the back of your specialty papers to create simple embellishments.

Draw freehand shapes or use stencils on the back of your specialty papers to create simple embellishments.

Cut out your shapes.

Cut out your shapes.

Try creating a frame for your pictures.

Try creating a frame for your pictures.

Either measure the center section to the desired size or use a stencil.

Either measure the center section to the desired size or use a stencil.

Carefully using a craft knife or a pair of scissors, cut out the center section.

Carefully using a craft knife or a pair of scissors, cut out the center section.

And there you have an easy frame to make your photographs pop!

And there you have an easy frame to make your photographs pop!

Here is how I used the results. I'm so pleased with how it came out!

Here is how I used the results. I’m so pleased with how it came out!

“Using What You’ve Got” – #1 Spray Paints

Hi there everyone! Welcome to my new blog series “Using What You’ve Got”.

Firstly, I would like to explain the reason behind me starting this series. Basically it all boils down to the one thing none of us ever seem to have enough of – money. I spend so much time watching videos on YouTube, perusing Instagram or Pinterest and fantasizing about all of the fantastic products that people are using, and to be honest, I just can’t afford it! What I do have is a room full of general craft resources that I (and most likely you) have collected over the years, so I wanted to give us all little refresher on the different ways we can use these items to produce some equally fabulous results.

So, without further ado, here is the first segment in the series –

Making Spray Paints

At the top of my wish list of crafty items to buy are the Dylusions Ink Sprays. The colours are so vivid and they appear to produce magnificent results. I can’t wait to get my hands on some. Until then, these home-made paint sprays are a great substitute.

Find an empty spray bottle

Find an empty spray bottle

Add some water to the bottle. For this size I filled around 1/3 of the bottle.

Add some water to the bottle. For this size I filled around 1/3 of the bottle.

Add a blob of paint. The more paint you add the more intense the colour will be, however if you use too much it will not squirt properly. You can also mix colours as I did.

Add a blob of paint. The more paint you add the more intense the colour will be, however if you use too much it will not squirt properly. You can also mix colours as I did.

Now you're ready to spray! You can use them to spray directly onto your work surface.

Now you’re ready to spray! You can use them to spray directly onto your work surface.

Or use found objects to use as stencils to create interesting textured backgrounds.

Or use found objects to use as stencils to create interesting textured backgrounds.

Anything with a cutout or interesting shape can be used.

Anything with a cutout or interesting shape can be used. I found all of these objects without getting up from my seat, with no preparation!

Use your mist to experiment with different patterns and levels of intensity

Use your mist to experiment with different patterns and levels of intensity

Lift off your objects (and wipe clean) then the results.

Lift off your objects (and wipe clean) then admire the results.

You can make several sprays and explore some gorgeous colour combinations!

You can make several sprays and explore some gorgeous colour combinations. 

Please be aware that these sprays are water-based, so they can have warping effect on your paper. Personally I love the extra texture they bring to my projects. Also the quality of the spray bottle you use can affect the distribution of the mist. As you can see from the photographs, the bottle I used created an uneven effect with heavy droplets in some areas. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of.