How to make Pompom Animals

how to make pompom animals

Whew it’s been while since I managed to get anything up on here. Between the summer holidays and technology failing it’s all been against me. But I’m back today with a tutorial that’s perfect to keep you and the kids occupied as the light draws in and the days get increasingly cold. Learn how to make pompom animals and you have hours of activities at your fingertips. They can be themed (robins & snowmen are great for Christmas) made large or small and the range of possibilities is limited only by your imagination! Today we’ll be making a bird pompom animal (actually inspired by our Quail).

pompomanimals

What You’ll Need

Pompom maker – of course you can make these the old fashioned way with circles of cardboard but these little machines are super cheap and easy to use, I’ve even seen them in the pound-shop.

Wool

Scissors

Glue

Felt

Googly eyes

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Step 1

Take your pompom maker and open up the sides completely. Begin winding your wool around one of the arms until it’s nice and thickly covered. Do the same with the other arm, for our bird we used a lighter coloured wool on the second side.

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Step 2

Fold both arms back into the centre of the pompom maker. Cut between the gaps in the arms (see pic) do this for both sides. Using some extra wool tie all the way around the pompom through the same gap where you just cut with the scissors. Tie up tightly.

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Step 3

Open up both arms again, your pompom should stay put. Pull the pompom maker apart and you should have a lovely squishy pompom. Trim off any excess wool until you’re happy with the shape.

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Step 4

Cut out felt shapes for the feet, if you’re making a bird a small square folded in half makes a great beak. Glue into place on the pompom (fabric glue works very well). Then stick on a pair of googly eyes and you have one happy little pompom creature.pompomanimal5

 

 

How to Reuse Coffee Sacks and make a coffee sack bag

coffee sack bagIt’s been quite a while since I last posted a tutorial and with the summer holidays in full swing that (hopefully) means extra time on your hands for getting crafty. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to reuse coffee sacks and make a coffee sack bag!

I love old coffee sacks with their rustic charm but finding a use for them can be harder than you think. They’re made for strength which means the material can be quite rough with a largish weave. They’d make great looking cushions but you might not enjoy leaning against them but their hardwearing nature makes them perfect for a shopping bag tote!

What You’ll Need

1 Coffee Sack

Colourful/patterned fabric to use as lining

Fabric to make bag handles (needs to be reasonably strong, not a lightweight cotton)

coffeesack1Step 1

Give the sacks a good wash, it’s easiest to do this in a rubber tub outside if you can, then peg up on a washing line to drip dry.

coffeesack2Step 2

Once dry cut out two large rectangles from the sack, both the same size as each other. The actual size you cut will depend on the design printed on your sack and how large a bag you want to make. As long as both rectangles are the same size it doesn’t really matter.

Step 3

Using your lining fabric cut another two rectangles the same size as those made from the coffee sack.

coffeesack3Step 4

Now take the fabric you have chosen for the bag handles and cut two identical long rectangles of fabric (length is dependent on how long you want you handles). Fold each long rectangle in half and iron to make a centre crease. Unfold the rectangle, fold each of the cut edges into the centre meeting the ironed crease, iron into place and then refold in half. This should enclose the cut edges. Sew along the open side.

coffeesack4Step 5

The handles can now be sewn onto the right side of each coffee sack rectangle along the top short edge.

coffeesack5Step 6

Next sew the top edges of the lining fabric rectangles to the top edges of the coffee sack rectangles (right sides together). The handles will hang between these two layers.

coffeesack6Step 7

You can now sew the whole bag together. Unfold the lining and coffee sack piece that you sewed together in the last step. Lay with the right side up onto a table, then lay the other coffee sack/lining piece on top so that the right sides of the fabric are together. It will make one large rectangle which you sew all the way around leaving a gap at the bottom of the lining.

coffeesack7Step 8

Before turning the right way we’re going to give the base of the bag some structure. To do this you need to squash each of the four corners to make a triangle and then sew straight across (see pic), do this to each of the corners. If you’re unfamiliar with this technique then check out this tutorial on the sewing directory.  Trim off the excess fabric.

coffeesack8Now turn the entire piece the right way out through the gap left in the lining. Sew closed the gap in the lining and push inside the bag.

Optional Step: Once the bag is complete you can top stitch around the top edge of the bag to give a good finish and extra rigidity.

Unique Craft Idea for New Year – Promise Pot Tutorial

pots1a The New Year is seen as a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. As we say farewell to the old year we pledge to leave behind traits that we no longer find desirable. Unfortunately many people, myself included find that keeping resolutions is harder than we might have thought. Rather than viewing forgotten resolutions as a mark of failure, my family decided to make the whole experience more positive from the outset with this unique craft idea for New Year. It was with this in mind that the ‘Promise Pot’ was born. Instead of resolving not to do certain things, the idea is that you pledge to do something positive for yourself or your family. This could be anything you like, perhaps you dream of visiting a new country and this year you promise to make that wish come true. Or maybe your needs are smaller and this year you pledge to read more books. The only condition is that your promise must be positive. So if you have a very particular goal such as weight loss, rather than vowing to loose a set number of pounds, perhaps you could resolve to treat yourself more healthily over the coming months instead.

This tutorial was originally created and written by myself for the Boden community in 2011 (hence the date on the flags 🙂 ).

Promise Pots can be large or small. A large one can cover a whole family and be kept the year round as a reminder. Smaller pots are perfect as place settings which guests can take home.

6finishedSmall Promise Pots

Pots

Florists Oasis

Organza Fabric

Ribbon

Decoration (such as ribbon or lace)

Disposable Kebab Sticks

Thin Card

Glue

 

1flowerpotI made the smaller pots using tiny flowerpots bought from a local garden centre, I believe they are intended for small cacti.Oasis

Once you’ve chosen the pots you’ll need to fill them with florists oasis. I find the easiest way to do this is to take a big chunk and slowly shave it down using a kitchen knife.Organza

Once the oasis fits snugly into the pot it needs to be covered with fabric. I like to use gold organza, it’s thin, sparkly and perfect for the job. Gather the fabric around the Oasis and tie at the bottom, trim off any excess fabric. Turn the Oasis over and push into the pot.

Next it’s time to decorate! I used red lace, but ribbon, sequins and glitter all look fabulous stuck around the edge of your pot.6stick-in-pot

Take a Kebab stick and cut in half. Cut a small piece of card 1½cm wide by 9cm long. Fold the card in half and write the year on both sides. Glue the folded card around the top of the cut kebab stick, then push into the centre of your pot.

Next cut a square of Organza fabric, approximately 28cm square. Place the pot into the middle of the fabric and pull up the corners towards the centre stick. Tie the fabric in place around the stick using a piece of ribbon.

Take some more kebab sticks and cut in half, make more cardboard flags to attach to the top. Put 4 flags into each pot. Your guests can now write their promises onto the flags and keep the pots to inspire them.

shot-glassShot Glass Promise Pot

Using a shot glass is a quick and simple variation for individual pots. The only difference is the Oasis is not covered with fabric, it is pushed into the glass and then a small circle of kitchen foil used to cover the top. Then glue some ribbon around the glass to hide the Oasis. The flags in this picture already have some promises written on.

large-potLarge Promise Pot

To make the large version for your family or to give as a gift, use a larger Terracotta flowerpot. In my example here the Oasis is only covered at the top using a couple of pieces of Hessian fabric. Any fabric will do but it must have a loose weave to allow the sticks to be pushed in. I then used some cocktail sticks to secure the fabric at the edge of the pot. You will need to cut off one pointed end to do this, thus creating giant pins. Glue some ribbon around the edge of the pot and then fill the fabric with sweets to add a bit of colour. The flags are made in the same way as before but will need to be longer in length.

I hope you all have a fabulous New Year with many wonderful times ahead of you!