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Any monkey can make curtains!

Ferne started school this year and luckily she loves it. Otherwise I might have sat around moping after the school run instead of using this valuable time for some freelance graphic design and the odd craft project for myself before the new baby arrives… VERY SOON!

My to do list has been fairly ambitious (for me anyway). So that brings me to lounge room curtains which have been quite overdue. I had some ulgy cheap rail and curtains up there for about a year after we moved in.

I can’t seem to find the type of curtains I want in the shops and am too tight to pay someone else to make them. I also find most curtain poles I have seen rather garish so it took me alot of time to decide what I wanted for the lounge.

I’d seen something online where someone had use a copper piping for a curtain pole. Love copper, off to homebase I go where I found them along with rail holders and copper spray paint so they match.

Pulling out the sewing machine again was exciting. Until I realised I had forgotten how to use it completely. It took me 20 minutes with the instruction manual to thread the machine and wind the bobbin. BUT! The next time I needed to do it, only about a minute. So it’s a quick learning curve.

Heres rough instructions, there might be better ways and are countless tutorials online how to make them. Am really a self-taught-work-it-out-along-the-way-curtain-maker.

The material I used is Heavy 100% Cotton Drill for about £5 a metre. After washing and drying the material (to allow for shrinkage) I ironed all 5 metres (recommend doing this in front of TV to ease the ironing boredom!).

Then measure up, allow for seams and cut to size needed.

I started sewing in the side seams, folded over twice so you don’t see fraying. Instead of pinning, I ironed seams down before sewing.

Then I cut the curtain tape off the back off the old cheap curtains to use on my new ones. (No one will see if it looks a bit rough!). Fold over another hem at top and pin onto the top of your curtains, then sew away.

I found perfect copper rings online to use that just clip on so you don’t have to worry about those annoying white connectors things. If you are using the clip on rings, make sure you sew the top line of the curtain tape low enough so the ring actually has room to clip onto it.

Then I hung them up and worked out where I wanted the hem and again, folded the hem twice using the iron and sewed my straight(ish) lines.

Repeat steps for other curtain!

I had them hanging up for a few days and although I was fairly happy with them, I felt the need for some pom pom tape going down the sides. Pom pom tape is always a good idea. Although someone stop me if it is somehow incorporated into my next 5 craft projects. Have cushions coming up so watch this space…. I doubt I will get sick of it anytime soon.

I love the natural material I used. It was cheap and has a heavy curtain look. I didn’t feel the need to put backing on it. You could also dye it any colour using a washing machine dye. You have to wash it anyway so its not really an extra step. I decided to keep it natural as it might be fighting with all the other colour in the lounge room.

Must say I am quite proud of these curtains. My husband says they look expensive too!

 

 

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Stale baguette tote bag stamping.

Its been a while between craft projects. This is an easy one but I felt so inspired today making these bags, I got completely ahead of myself whilst doing it and thought of at least 4 other craft projects I could be doing next.

One. Thing. At. A. Time. Rochelle.

For this one, you will need

  • roughly 92cm x 72cm piece of cloth. I used unbleached calico, its cheap and I like the natural texture to it.
  • fabric paint
  • thread, I bought mine the same colour as the fabric paint to match it
  • A3 thick paper or card
  • Baking paper
  • 2 x 62cm x 2.5cm leather handles. You don’t have to use leather, could be anything you like the look of really.
  • Pom pom tassels, enough to go round the top of your bag. (optional)
  • scissors
  • an iron and ironing board
  • sewing machine
  1. Fold your piece of cloth in half so the fold makes the bottom of the bag and iron.
  2. Sew the sides together, turn inside out and iron the sides again.
  3. The the stamping, I would recommend using a potato to cut your shape. But really its whatever you can get your hands on! Hence the use of the stale baguette…. but hey it worked a treat when I cut it into the shape of a triangle with a bread knife.
  4. Put some fabric paint into a tray and test out your stamp onto a spare piece of cloth.
  5. Put a piece of thick paper or card inside your bag to stop it going on the back piece. I found an A3 size worked well.
  6. If you are happy with the result, get stamping! I liked it how some triangles were darker and some were more faded.
  7. Leave your bag dry to touch.
  8. Put your bag on the ironing board with the design face up and the baking paper over top. Give it a good iron to set the paint.
  9. Fold down the top of your bag for the top hem inside of your bag and iron in place then pin it as well.
  10. I choose a criss cross sewing pattern on the machine to do this hem. Try and sew in the straightest line possible across the top. Don’t forget to remove your pins before you get to them!
  11. Pin your handles into place, then sew a square box ape shape with a cross in the middle for added support.
  12. If you are using the pom pom tassels, pin these into place at the top of your bag and then sew round, I used a cream/white cotton for this.

And there you have your lovely handmade bag! I’m giving this one to my friend Daisy, so have stencilled her name on the back of it for an added personal touch.

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Myrrh and Lime Lip Balm.

Winter is well and truly here in the UK, and for me, when the cold weather hits so does the cracked lips.

I had been reading a lot about the benefits of myrrh, with it being anti-fungal (which can help with those cracked corners of the mouth) and is all round fantastic for chapped or cracked skin. [NOTE: Please avoid Myrrh if you are pregnant, just leave it out rather than replacing it with anything as there is still lots of goodness in this recipe to hydrate your lips.]

Lime and Myrrh Lip balm
(makes two tiny weeny pots of lip balm)

• 2 teaspoon coconut oil
• 1 teaspoon beeswax
• 2 drops of vitamin E
• 2 drops of myrrh essential oil
• 3 drops of lime essential oil (you could also try lemon, orange and mandarin)

Take a small bowl or jug and add coconut oil, beeswax and vitamin E. Put in microwave for 1 or 2 minutes. If you don’t have a microwave, place in a heatproof bowl or jug and pop it on top of a pot of simmering water… which is what I usually do, but hey for an amount this size the microwave worked a treat.

It should now have all melted and look like oil with no hard bits in it. (if it isn’t melted completely, put back in microwave for another 30 secs) Leave to cool for 2 mins, then add your essential oils, stir well and pour into your little pots.

Label your pots with a date. It should last for 3-6 months.