Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Archive for October, 2015

DIY Decorative Hair Clips


I have made a few decorative hair clips this year, and really like using feathers mixed with something sparkly. The ones shown here are rather dressy- the two mainly blue ones were made to wear to weddings. It isn’t very clear in these pictures but the clip with the peacock feather is backed by a fluffy white marabou feather, adding some width to the clip.


The brown, gold and black clip in the centre (in the picture above) is a more subtle design, and I made it to wear to work on bad hair days! It consists of a row of diamontes sewn onto a piece of black patent leather, with feathers glued to the back of the leather. To the back of this was then glued a second piece of leather, onto which had been sewn a metal hair clip.


Decorative hair clips are a definite stash-busting project, and they are so quick and easy to make. Vintage brooches or earrings can be up-cycled to provide a sparkly base for a decorative hair clip, and all sorts of haberdashery bits and pieces can be added. I plan on making a couple of clips to give away as Christmas presents…!

DIY Ribbon Key Ring


I needed a bright and easily-spotted (i.e. hard to loose!) key ring for keys for a cabinet, hence this quick and easy project!



Wide embellished ribbon

Leather hole punch

Coloured leather

Fabric scissors

Rivet pliers

Brass rivet

Key ring




Cut a length of ribbon twice the desired finished length of the key ring tab. If applicable, remove any beads/sequins at either end of the ribbon (where the leather will be glued on top of the ribbon).


Next, fold the ribbon in half length-wise, and glue the ends together (extending the glue approximately one centimetre down the ribbon). Cut a piece of leather to cover the ends of the ribbon (it will be folded in half over the ribbon ends).


Cut two holes in the piece of leather, making sure that the holes line up when the leather is folded in half.


Next fold the piece of leather in half, and glue in place over the ends of the ribbon. Make sure that the two holes in the leather line up, and fix a rivet in place in the hole.


Trim the sides of the leather if necessary, and add the metal key ring.


This quick and easy idea could also be used to decorate a bag, to make a Christmas decoration, embellish a wrapped gift etc…

Monday Mood Board- Christmas is coming…


I can’t believe Christmas is only two months away; I’m trying to feel inspired so that I can start making presents!




Autumn Knitting


Now that autumn has officially arrived I am spending more time knitting again. My latest project was this knitted shawl, a simple pattern that somehow takes ages to knit, thanks to the fine-guage yarn and 3mm needles! Self-striping yarn is a blessing though, meaning no ends to weave in when the knitting is finished (apart from the cast-on and cast-off tails of course).


Monday Mood Board: Sketch Book

I’ve been having a flick back through some of my sketch/scrap books for inspiration…Sketchbook- Plant Drawing

They contain a mixture of sketches, material samples, scraps, magazine articles and artists cards- in fact, anything I find interesting! In the picture above I had glued a (dried) pressed plant stem on a page next to a sketch of the living plant.

Sketchbook Page 1-001

I try to arrange individual pages around a particular theme, often exploring an idea for a project (in the picture above and the picture below I was looking at the theme of wings and feathers whilst developing a jewellery design).

Sketchbook Page 1-002

In contrast to my slightly obsessive quest for a neat finish when crafting, I quite like the slightly haphazard nature of my sketchbooks, and enjoy spending time adding new ideas.

Vintage Sewing Items

 Vintage Sewing Box (2)-001

I do love vintage haberdashery, both to admire the lovely packaging, and to use the (generally) good quality products. I also have a vintage leather suitcase full of hand-embroidered linens, which I have been saving to use in a future craft project (or several projects!).


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