A different creative project each week…from children's parties to sewing curtains

Saturday, 25 May 2013

5 Mod Podge Projects

Mod Podge is the American's answer to PVA glue. It can be bought at Hobbycraft and costs £7 for a medium jar. I bought it to see the difference and really do like it when needing something slightly more robust than regular PVA glue.

Here are five projects for you to try, the first of which could easily use PVA glue instead!

I absolutely LOVE a beautiful book or journal that I can write in. I think it is one of life's little pleasures, and here I am showing you how to transform a cheap notebook from a PoundShop into something delectable!

You will need a hardback book and enough fabric to cover it. Iron the fabric to create a really smooth look. (I am no ironer but it really is important on this project!)

Spread the Mod Podge sparingly over only one side of the book. If you do all sides at the same time you will get sticky and your book will not get the same high finish. It is important not to put too much glue on. You don't want it bleeding through the fabric.
Make sure the fabric pattern is facing the table when you lay it out and then gently lay the glued side of the book down onto the fabric leaving a margin around the book.

Now apply glue to the spine of the book and roll the book over onto the fabric. It is tempting to lift the fabric onto the book, but trust me, you will get a much neater finish if you do it this way. If you have ridges in your spine, like I do, then gently use your finger to stroke the material into the ridges. But do this after you have rolled it over.
Repeat this on the final cover of the book and then leave to dry.

Once it has dried (1/2 hour) cut triangles into the margins. If you need to make the margins straighter then now is the time.

Glue the margins into the front and back of your book. If your fabric is very light you may need to wait until the glue is dried on the front before doing the back or you may find the pages stick to the fabric.

I do find that Mod Podge stiffens the fabric so you don't need to worry about fraying edges. If you use PVA glue and you find the edges are fraying you may want to get piece of card to stick over the top of the margins covering the entire inside covers of the book.
Finally you can see the inside of the spine. You should have a piece of fabric left to glue. Don't be tempted to cut it off. The longer this is the easier you will find it to stick. Apply a small amount of glue and then whilst holding the pages of the book allow the front and back cover the bend backwards opening the hole behind the pages.

Now with a scissors or a pen insert the fabric as deep into the hole as you can manage.

Here are two finished books. I am so pleased with how they look. I finished it off with a felt flower and a button that I stuck on with Mod Podge.

These took 10 minutes to make (plus drying time).
I bought these little wooden disks ages ago and have wondered what to do with them.

Very simply I covered them with a light layer of glue and stuck them onto some pretty wrapping up paper.

Once they were dry and turned it over cut around the paper using the disk as my guide and then glued over the top of the paper to create a varnished look.
Once dried I applied Mod Podge to these brooch backs from HobbyCraft  (£1 for 4) and stuck them onto the back of the disks to make pretty badges.

My children are delighted to use them to jazz up plain t-shirts and coats, and I was even thinking I could make boys badges out of magazine cuttings of their football club…watch this space!

These coasters from Wilkinsons were £2 for four. I have used the same technique, as mentioned above, to add my own flavour to them.

Add glue to the coaster then stick onto the fabric. Trim the fabric once dry and reply glue to the top of the fabric which will add a varnished feel.
This vase was an experiment and whilst PVA glue would work on most of the above projects I'm not sure it would have been suitable for this one.

I loved the little shape of this glass drink bottle and so I came up with the idea of covering it with a pretty off cut of fabric.

Firstly I glued the jar, then quickly wrapped the fabric around it.

I used a slightly stretchy fabric which helped in moulding it around the neck of the bottle. Once in place I was able to trim the fabric to join and overlap a little (see below) and then glue the bottom of the fabric underneath the bottle.

I made sure there was enough fabric on the top to glue it inside so that it looks like the fabric covers the inside too. I did this by gluing the neck of the bottle and folding the fabric into it.

Alternatively you could just trim it around the bottle top.

End your project by putting another layer of glue over the bottle. I found this easiest using my fingers which allowed for a much smoother finish. As you can see from the photo above the finished bottle looks bright and cheerful and the fabric has set so hard that it is incredibly durable.

And finally I used Mod Podge to decorate this little stool. We have had it since our first child Billy was born and use it all the time. But since he goes by the name Billy rather than William he has little ownership over the stool…so I nabbed it!

Someone has pointed out that this stool would look even cuter if I had painted it in chalk paint before hand. For more information on Chalk Paint see here.

I measured the circular top by using a plate which I then drew around onto the fabric I wanted to use.

Cut it out with a sharp pair of scissors and trim around so you don't have any stray lengths of cotton.
Now add glue to the stool, lay your cotton circle on and then cover the fabric in glue to seal.

Unfortunately I didn't take a final picture of this but it has worked well. And if you want to change the finished look in the future you can simply add a different layer of fabric to the top.

I hope you enjoy gluing as much as I have!!!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Casserole Carrier

When families in our community have a baby people in our church like to provide meals for them to ease them into the first few weeks of parenthood.

This Casserole Carrier was an idea I read about on an American website which I have adapted for this blog.

Since making it I have turned up on grateful parent's doorsteps armed with hot food thanks to the this cute and insulated carrier…why not follow these steps to make your own carrier.

You will need two lengths of fabric, the first should be 50cm by 100cm. Fold it in half length ways and lay a length of wadding 25cm by 100cm on top.

You can see from the photo on the left that I pinned around the open edges but left a 10cm gap in the centre of the long seam. You should sew across the top and down the side to the gap, and again from the gap down the side and along the bottom. As the other length (left on this picture) is the fold you won't need to sew down this side.

Once you have sewn this turn it all out through the 10cm gap. This gap will be covered up later so you don't need to sew it.

Now for the second piece of fabric which should be 35cm by 130cm. Fold it from top to bottom and measure a piece of wadding (35cm by 65cm) to cover over the top.

Pin along the bottom and top of the fabric and wadding.

Now for the complicated part! Insert the first rectangle you made into the unfinished second rectangle (see the photo).

You should insert one third of the finished rectangle through the two layers of fabric as seen in the photo with my hand. Pin this into place firmly before sewing across the top of the rectangle, the side with this inserted finished rectangle and along the bottom.

Now tightly fold the remaining two thirds of the finished rectangle over the wadding and pin down. You will not be sewing this into place just yet, but you will need to sew down the top and bottom of the final length on your rectangle.

It is important to pin the fabric and wadding (as pictured here) up to BUT NOT INCLUDING the folded finished rectangle. Once pinned now sew remembering not to sew the finished rectangle or the wadding/fabric directly underneath it.

You have created an envelope and should be able to turn the entire thing inside out to reveal a cross shape.

This photo pictures my hand revealing the hole you turned it all through, which will also be the final seam that needs to be sewn up.

Pin all the layers of fabric together and sew the envelope closed (as marked with pins in this photo). I did this with the sewing machine and it is the only seam to be seen. If you would rather then hand sew both sides closed which will make a neater finished product.

You will need velcro to sew into place on the top of one side of the fabric and on the back of the side it will join.

I found it easier to pin into place before sewing through the velcro and all the other layers.

Now for the fun parts...

Iron two small rectangles of fabric (9cm by 14cm) around a 5cm by 10cm rectangle of card. Creasing the fabric around the card means you will get a crisp finish and it will make it considerably easier to sew into place later.

You will need 150cm of strapping. Most haberdashery shops have strapping in an array of colours, so find one that matches your fabric.

Firmly sew the two ends together and lay the loop of strapping over the middle of the carrier. Make sure this is as equal as possible otherwise you will find that you have a wonky carrier!

Next lay the pressed rectangles over the middle of the straps, pin and sew around the edges. This will be enough to hold the straps into place, and by sewing them into place you create a lovely quilted effect.

So, here is the finished carrier ready to be used.

This design allows for a variety of sized dishes as the side rectangles expand around the dish. If you find it is too large for your dish you can add another strip of velcro to top and bottom panels.

This photo shows the same sized carrier but with two very different sized dishes.

Next month three ladies in our church are expecting babies…I shall look forward to arriving on your doorstep with hot food!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Button Necklace

In the current financial climate it is a challenge to find cheap, yet meaningful, birthday presents for those we love. And surely there is nothing lovelier than a homemade gift that can be worn proudly by the grateful recipient.

This necklace was made for £1.25 using 1 meter of thong (45p from a haberdashery shop) and the buttons (from Wilkinson) were 80p for the pack. This made 1 necklace.

You can see I have left a gap of 30cm in the middle of the thong and threaded two buttons onto each side of the 30 cm gap.

The photos show that I have simply threaded the buttons on using two opposite holes of each button going up through one hole and down through the next one. Once the thong is pulled tightly the button is secure.

Alternate the size and colour of the buttons on each side of the thong. It doesn't matter which way the buttons are facing and you don't need to have equal gaps between them. The haphazard placing of the buttons leaves the necklace looking beautiful from every angle. If you perfectly positioned the buttons then the necklace is likely to have only one side that looks good.

One you have created two 20cm lines of buttons then knot the bottom together as close to the buttons as possible.

Then tie a bigger button onto the bottom of the thong to cover up the knot.

To finish the necklace add a few more buttons to the bottom of each end of the thong and once you are content with the length of the necklace tie the ends and cut.

These necklaces used to cost £15.99 in White Stuff. It cost me £1.25 and about 10 minutes to make.