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

Posts tagged ‘make do and mend’

Vintage Knitting

VINTAGE-KNITTING

I came bought this humorous cartoon at a car boot sale earlier in the year. It dates from the  beginning of the First World War (1914), but anyone who has struggled with a knitting pattern will recognise the sometimes strange results that stem from ambitious intentions!

VINTAGE-KNITTING-CARTOON

“That looks easy enough…”

KNITTING-CARTOON

“I’m sure tension doesn’t really matter…”

WARTIME-KNITTING-CARTOON

“Well, I suppose that it’s the thought that counts!”

PUNCH-KNITTING-CARTOON

“I can honestly say that I did wear them…”

Easy DIY Project: Making Mittens from Socks

GLOVES-FROM-SOCKS

After accidentally slightly shrinking some wool socks in the wash, I thought I’d give them a new life as a pair of fingerless mittens.

This easy upcycling project would also work using the sleeves from a wool jumper.STRIPY-SOCKS

All you need is a pair of wool socks (or a pair of jumper sleeves), a needle and thread, and a pair of scissors.

First cut your socks to the desired size- you will be using the leg section, not the foot section.

UPCYCLING-SOCKS

I thought I’d take advantage of the length of these socks, and make cosy mittens with a long wrist/arm section- they can be worn long, or bunched up at the wrist. The original cuff of the socks will form the cuff of the mittens.

Next, using your hand as a template, cut a small horizontal slit where you would like the thumb hole to be.

FINGERLESS-MITTEN-DIY

Now try the mitten on, and enlarge the thumb slit if necessary. Decide how long you want the hand section to be and trim accordingly, allowing approximately 1cm extra to turn under for the hem. Take the mitten off, and sew the turned-under hem in place.

STRIPY-MITTENS

At this stage you could just hem the thumb hole using a blanket stitch, but I chose to add a thumb section using a piece cut from the foot of the socks. I sewed a small tube that comfortably fit my thumb, and then attached the tube to the mitten.

HANDMADE MITTENS

Now the mittens are ready to be worn… probably ensuring the swift arrival of warm spring weather!

FINGERLESS-MITTENS

MITTENS-MADE-FROM-SOCKS

Monday Mood Board- Some Lonely, Unloved Stamps…

coloured-ink-pads

This lovely wooden box of letter (and number) stamps was a lucky find at a car boot sale last year- the set only cost 50 pence and didn’t appear to have even been used!

letter-stamps

So far I have only used the stamps to label a couple of Christmas gift tags, so hope to come up with a few more uses for them, starting with a spot of printing on fabric.

One advantage of only having my current craft stash to use this year (see my crafty New Year’s Resolution for 2016) is that I have started taking a good look at what I already have, rather than being distracted by shiny new purchases. I have actually felt a little uncomfortable coming across a few lovely items (like this one) that I have hardly used, and hope that I will be able to rectify this over the coming year.

wooden-stamp-set

I’m looking forward to stamping my mark on some new projects…!

New Year, New Goal

faded-wild-flowers

I can’t believe that 2016 is already underway! After a busy Christmas I have started to think a bit about New Year’s Resolutions, and future plans of the creative type.

First of all I plan to repeat a resolution I followed in 2014:

Not to buy any craft materials/supplies during 2016!

Unlike 2014 I will not allow myself to buy or acquire any second-hand materials either (I find a lot of my craft supplies at car boot sales), in an attempt to make a serious dent on my craft stash over the course of the year. In order to make this resolution slightly easier to keep, I will still be allowed to buy glue if required.

faded-flowers

I hope that this resolution will help me to be more creative with the materials that I have, and encourage me to complete projects that I have been planning for a while. I expect to engage in a fair bit of upcycling and Make do and Mend as well. I am looking forward to a creative 2016, and a smaller craft stash by the end of the year!

faded-tiny-flowers

Christmas Present Pom Poms!

pompom-present-topper

Pompoms can make great decorations, but are ideal for topping presents too…

pompom-wrapping

Big or small, and whether you buy them in a shop or make your own, pompoms can be used to add a bit of colour and fluffiness to any present! And if you make your own, then pompoms are an ideal stash-busting project: a way to use up lengths of yarn left over from knitting/crocheting projects. You could even upcycle yarn unraveled from an old scarf or jumper.

I’m off to add these beauties to a few more Christmas presents…

christmas-pompoms

christmas-present-pompom

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!).

suitcase

Weaving

HAND-WOVEN-SCARVES

I stumbled across a second-hand loom at a jumble sale recently, so have been experimenting with weaving. The loom is a small table-top one, so I have started by weaving a couple of scarves.

SMALL-LOOM

The loom was really easy to get to grips with, and I enjoyed the weaving process. It was definitely quicker to weave a scarf than to knit one, although I think I still find knitting a more engaging process. The woven scarves felt finer and more ‘fluid’ than a knitted scarf, with a nice, smooth finish.

BLUE-WOVEN-SCARF

The blue and white scarf is a slightly looser weave than the green and purple one, and is woven using cotton and wool yarns. The green and purple scarf is woven from wool yarns.

WOVEN-SCARVES

The ease with which you can change colours (and neatly too) means that this is a great way of using up leftover lengths of yarn. I am now thinking of other potential weaving projects..!

Decorated Clothes Pegs DIY

decorated-clothes-pegs

With the (mostly) summery weather in England at this time of year, it is nice to hang the laundry in the garden to dry. The humble clothes peg comes in to its own in the summer, a very simple tool that does the job perfectly! I decided to make some old wooden pegs look a little more interesting with this VERY easy and quick DIY project.

MATERIALS:

Woven cotton fabric- a non-stretchy fabric is easier to use than a stretchy one

Wooden clothes pegs- they are easier to glue fabric to than plastic pegs

A ruler- if you arent using helpfully geometric-patterned fabric!

Glue- I used Bostik All Purpose Glue, which dries quickly

Sharp scissors

covered-clothes-pegs

Measure the top and bottom surfaces of the clothes pegs, and cut out two fabric rectangles for each peg.

   red-clothes-pegs

 Next, glue the strips into place on each clothes peg, and leave the glue to dry. And that’s it. Really, it is that quick and simple!gingham-clothes-pegs

I apologise for no lovely pictures of the clothes pegs at work, securing washing on the line in a summer breeze, with pretty garden flowers and buzzing bees… I made the pegs yesterday evening, and today it is raining for the first time in several weeks. I think I tempted fate…

This is a great ‘make do and mend’ or upcycling project, as you can smarten up tired-looking old wooden pegs using scraps of fabric left over from other projects.

Leather and Diamonte Cuff DIY

I was looking through some scraps of brightly coloured leather and came up with this easy DIY project. As only two small strips of leather are required, this is a good way to upcycle part of a damaged vintage leather article such as a glove or leather jacket.

leather-and-crystal-bracelet

MATERIALS REQUIRED:

  • Two leather pieces long enough to reach around your wrist
  • Two rectangular end caps/crimps with integral loops
  • Diamontes/crystals (either individual or a strand)
  • A jewellery clasp (I used a lobster clasp)
  • Snips/wire cutters
  • Flat-nosed pliers
  • A leather punch
  • Scissors
  • Glue

making-a-leather-bracelet

First cut two strips of leather the same width as the end caps. When deciding on the length you need to take into account the extra length added by the clasp, jump rings and end caps.

Two strips of leather are used to hold the diamontes securely, and to make sure that the bracelet is comfortable to wear. At this stage leave the bottom strip of leather a little wider than the top piece, it can be trimmed after the diamontes have been set into the leather.

cutting-leather-strips

(yes, I have to label my nice sharp fabric scissors so that I don’t absent mindedly blunt another pair by cutting paper, wire etc!)

leather-strips

On the back of the top piece of leather mark where you want the diamontes to sit (you can see the blue dots that I marked on the back of my piece of leather below). For my design I found it easier to start in the middle of the strip and work outwards.

leather-hole-punch

Next, cut the holes using a leather punch. Piercing round holes for the square diamontes helps them to be held securely, but the outer edge of the holes must be no wider than the outer edges of the diamontes and their settings (slightly too small holes are better than too large).

punching-holes-in-leather

For my bracelet I used individually set diamontes/crystals that came as a strip, and I cut off each one that I needed using wire cutters. To set the diamontes into the bracelet, push them through the holes from the back of the leather, and then glue the top strip of leather to the bottom strip.

For the design that I used it was easier to only set one or two diamontes at a time, glue that section of leather to the bottom strip, and then set the next diamonte, and so on from one end to the other.

cutting-crystal-strands

Now trim the bottom piece of leather so that it is in line with the top strip.

leather-and-crystals

Next place a small amount of glue on the short edge on one end of the bracelet, and using flat nosed pliers squeeze an end cap closed around the end of the leather. Repeat with the other end of the bracelet.

leather-bracelet

The final step is to attach one jump ring to one of the end caps, and use the other jump ring to attach the clasp to the other end cap.

blue-leather-bracelet      blue-leather-cuff

Et voila, one finished leather and diamonte bracelet/cuff!

leather-cuff

blue-leather-and-crystals

 

Simple Jacket Re-Styling

Tweed-jacket

I recently bought this (very reasonably priced AND in the sale!) wool jacket,  but felt that it needed a bit of jazzing-up. The lining is a lovely bright pink, but the pink woven stripes of the tweed are quite pale making the outside of the jacket look a little dull.

With the help of some pink velvet ribbon and a bit of hand sewing I livened the jacket up. As the jacket was already assembled, spending the time on hand sewing meant that the stitches were invisible from the other side, which was particularly important where the ribbon runs down the inside of the jacket fronts.

Apologies for the poor pictures, I got a little very over excited that I had finished the sewing and couldn’t wait for some decent light for proper photography…

upcycled-jacket

This was a really easy project, and I was able to reduce my ribbon stash by using a piece that I already had. Projects like this are great for upcycling old trimmings, and the ‘make do and mend’ ethos can make a lovely garment out of two items that weren’t quite so fantastic on their own!

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