Wednesday 29 January 2014

Monogrammed Embroidery Hoop

I’m not sure why I have so many embroidery hoops, but I’m determined to use them.  If you [unlikely] have a stash of embroidery hoops, or fancy a project that can add a little colour to a space, this is simple, quick and on-sew  solution.  It’s also part of my plan to use more of the materials I have to hand, rather than thinking up new projects which need things I don’t and then go out and buy….adding to my supplies.

If you don’t have any spare hoops or any that you would like to up-cycle however, embroidery hoops are easy to come by and are available in a whole range of sizes at a reasonable price.  I’ve got a few ideas for creating little embroidery hoop artworks to hang about, but todays project is a simple monogram over a pretty fat quarter of fabric I have had, looked at and never yet used for more than 5 years.  If you fancy an embroidery project, check out my 'Home Sweet Home' project here.

To start, either from the computer, free-hand, or using something you already have to draw round, create a template of your chosen initial.  Check it fits the hoop and cut around the outlines:
Reflect the template on to the back of your chosen monogram fabric.  I decided on a dark felt - with added detail of flock embossing.  I love it.  Pin in place and cut around your template.
I then decided to colour the outside hoop of the embroidery hoop with paint, as this would be the ‘frame’.  You could also decorate this by wrapping wool, fabric, cord or ribbon, or embellish the outside with studs, gems or beads:
Whilst the hoop dried, I selected my fabric and decided to use one of the many fabric fat quarters
 I have accumulated and decided to go bold on the pattern to contrast the plain coloured felt monogram:
Once the hoop had completely dried, I stretched my fabric in between the hoops and secured in 
place [if your fabric is creased, give it a quick iron as often the stretch will not be enough to pull 
any creases out]:
[Double check your cut monogram is of the size you expected]
Cut away the excess fabric, but leave at least a 2cm hem.  Glue the inside of the smaller hoop and then fold the hem down and over the glue to hold in place and neaten the frame:
Finally, apply a layer of glue to the back [I used Hi-Tac fabric glue] of your cut monogram and fix in place on the stretched fabric:
[Not worrying if your glue spreads itself a little too well - it will dry clear!]

…and you’re done.  You could add any decoration to the front of the monogram if you want a bit of interest – buttons, beads embellishments and of course, you could create all of this with a needle and thread, adding stitching detail and needlework patterns.  It’s a really simple concept that can have some many different designs applied.
Perfect as a gift, create several to spell out a Name or word or use the same techniques using
a shape, silhouette or, whatever you like really.  Have a go this weekend, it's the perfect 'no more
than 1 hour' project.
see you next time x

Monday 27 January 2014

Fabric Paint Jumper

Hello! Today, I'm back with the second jumper transformation after last weeks sequin embellishment [you can read about that here].  Today, we are looking at you, fabric paint.  But not just any fabric paint for me, I'm using glitter fabric paint - but you probably expected that, no?
This method actually turned out to be much easier than the sequin embellishment, so if you are after a quick upcycling of an item of clothing, fabric paint is your best weapon of choice!

Firstly, you must protect the inside of your jumper - anything waterproof from a plastic bag to a cutting mat will do - so long as it will stop the paint transferring through the fabric to the back of the jumper.
I also put my jumper on to make sure I knew the area I wanted the design to be transferred.

You can go straight ahead and free-hand a design with a paintbrush or sponge on to the fabric, use a fabric pen to outline any text or shapes, or trace a design with a air-erasable fabric pen, but for todays post, I created and used a stencil printed from my computer:
[You might recognise the design of this stencil from this post]

I only had card to hand and as the design was fairly simple and wasn't going to get too wet from the paint, this was fine, so I printed my text straight on to this.  I then used a cutting knife to remove the text, keeping hold of the 'b', 'o' and 'i' details before laying out on my jumper:
I was able to hold the stencil in place with my hands, however; for some extra help, I really recommend glue dots [easily removed without leaving any residue on your fabric after], double sided tape or even blue tack.  A little paint at a time, I used a sponge to begin patting the paint over the template, small sections in turn:
...continuing across the stencil and adding more paint if needed as I went along:
Once completed, I removed the template, including 'b' and 'o' details to see how the design had transferred.  For a first layer, the outlines were visible, however; not all the glittler paint had transferred in some areas:
Taking a detail brush, I began adding and building up the paint free-hand, finding it easy to follow the lines already transferred from the template:
I added another layer of paint before leaving to dry and only adding a few minor touch-ups a little later.  The packaging recommends leaving for 72 hours before washing and then your design is complete:
...a simple design, but it has transformed my plain sweater into somehting a little more happy.

see you next time x


  • Another method of applying the glitter fabric paint would have been to start the design off with a plain gold paint, going over the top with a second coat of the glitter paint - but I found the paint dried so quickly and adding extra paint to areas that needed it no problem or more time at all.
  • If you can print the stencil to acetate - this will give a durable [especially if you apply several coats of paint] and re-usable stencil.
  • Fabric pens work just as well and will give you a little more control of the outlines - a contrasting colour would look blimmin' brilliant [wish I'd thought of this before I'd started/finished].


Friday 24 January 2014

Dip-Dyed Feather Arrows

Todays post was an experiment I had that then evolved.  Experiments like that are sometimes the best.
Last year I bought a pack of feathers to create a dreamcatcher that I ended up not creating for one reason or another and so have been wondering what to do with them ever since.
As love is the overwhelming theme around this time of year, I decided to turn them in to little arrows, with the help of a little food colouring:

Adding 4-5 drops of food colouring in to around 3cm of water, I dipped around 1/3 of my feather in to the water.  As they are rather water-resistent, I had to swirl them a bit, making the feather wrap around itself into a tighter length at the ends which I could then get to rest under the water.  Leave them for at least an hour - but I dipped mine in the water just before work and left them there all day:
The other benefit is that they dry incredibly quickly, so once they have taken to the colouring, rest them on top to drip-dry -  this will take no time at all, or you can help it along with a hair dryer :)
Fluff out the ends, untangling the tops and the spread of colour will be a beautiful ombre effect - some areas may have taken the colour stronger than others and together, it will be a subtle, pretty pastel shade:
If you are after something stronger, I would recommend painting the colouring directly on to the feather and leaving to dry.

To finish the arrow off, I removed a few feathers from the bottom and cut some white glitter hearts as the arrow head [valentines is approaching, I just thought why not], fixing in place with tape :
To give them a little function, I glued a wooden clip to the back, making them perfect love note holders:
This has started a little 'quick project' obsession with me, and I'm sure I'll have more ideas involving feathers coming your way this year.
see you next time x
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