Some more lovely vintage and antique embroideries, this time in neutral white and creams. I featured coloured embroideries a few weeks ago, but felt that these understated lovelies deserved their own post! Some are destined to be sold as they are, and some will be upcycled.
Posts tagged ‘upcycling’
I recently went through the various vintage and antique hand-embroidered fabrics that I have, in the hunt for some material to make bunting for a friend’s wedding. Due to the hours of work that these pieces represent, I am loathe to cut them up, with the exception of any items that are damaged or spoilt by a permanent stain (I remove and bin the damaged area, and use the rest of the material in craft projects).
Depending on the size of the material, the embroidered fabrics can be used in a variety of projects: I really enjoy giving new life to something that someone else has put so much time and effort into, but is now ‘ruined’ for it’s original purpose (e.g. a tablecloth with a stain in the centre).
Using some fabrics that I already have (in this case by upcycling) also means that I am still managing to stick to my new year’s resolution to buy no new craft materials this year!
The few pieces that I have shown here are all undamaged items, and as I seem to have collected quite a few pieces in good condition, I have decided to sell a selection- after all, there are only so many tablecloths etc that one person can use!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now the mittens are ready to be worn… probably ensuring the swift arrival of warm spring weather!
Here is another multi-purpose Christmas decoration/present-topper. Leather tassels add a touch of luxury to a wrapped present, and can be kept and re-used by the recipient.
The tassels could also be used as keyrings, worn as pendants, added to bags or simply hung on the Christmas tree!
Using some metallic leather adds a bit of seasonal sparkle, particularly when contrasted with soft suede. Whether monochrome or multi-coloured, leather tassels are easy to make- you can find instructions in this previous post.
The tassels are so pretty in their own right, that plain wrapping paper is all that’s needed to show them off!
Pompoms can make great decorations, but are ideal for topping presents too…
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…
With Christmas fast approaching I am currently inspired by all things present-like, and came up with this idea for a craft-loving friend. The basket/wicker hamper was a second-hand/vintage bargain (only £2!), clean and in excellent condition. Using a stencil and black acrylic paint I added the recipient’s initials to the lid of the hamper.
I am filling the inside of the hamper with a variety of craft materials and haberdashery tailored to the recipient, and am really enjoying choosing things that I think she will like! This is definitely one of the quickest ideas for a handmade present (if you don’t count the time spent choosing the contents!), and it’s nice to give a personalised gift. The hamper can easily be adapted for non-craft lovers, simply by choosing different contents (e.g. baking paraphernalia, toys, food etc).
The hamper by itself is a nice craft storage idea, and a set of baskets of different sizes would look good on a studio shelf: beautiful as well as useful!
I love using wooden or bamboo knitting needles- they feel warmer than metal or plastic ones, and I find them much more comfortable when doing lots of knitting. These were plain needles when I bought them, but a lick of paint later and they are both decorative, and in easily identifiable pairs (the ones shown here all have an identical mate out of shot)!
If you saw my post on decorated jewellery-making tools then you will know that I am rather partial to having tools that are attractive (and unique) as well as useful- this is a very quick DIY project, and would also make a nice personalised Christmas present for a fellow knitter.
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…!
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!).
In between craft projects (and waiting for inspiration to strike) I decided that I fancied giving some of my craft tools a quick make-over. I use these tools a lot (mainly for jewellery making), and why shouldn’t they be beautiful (or maybe just a little more decorative) as well as useful?
It’s also nice making something that you own unique, especially when the item was shop-bought. It was rather like doodling: a calm and quiet project that gave my brain time to think of what I would like to make next…