Category Archives: DIY & Crafts

How To Create A Garden Fit For A Queen… On a Budget

Everyone wants their garden to look like it belongs at Buckingham Palace. But, the reality is quite different. Most people have good intentions, but those intentions fade when they start to realize how much transforming a garden costs. It is undeniable that creating a garden fit for a queen is expensive. So, it is important to find alternatives if you are on a budget. No one should have to settle for second best just because they don’t have the cash as there is always another way. Here are some thrifty tips that will help you create your dream garden on a shoestring.

Feed Lawn With Supplements

The lawn takes up a huge area of your garden, so you need to take care of the lawn before you move onto the next job. If you lawn looks messy and untidy, your garden will look messy and untidy too. The key is to keep it full of nutrients so that keeps its classic lush green color, which is where supplements come in handy. Adding fertilizer is the best way to add nutrients to the soil and make sure it is rich with life. Big bags of fertilizer only cost a couple of pounds, so they are never going to break the bank.

800px-Buckingham_Palace,_London_-_April_2009.jpg

 

Source Some Freebies

Nothing is cheaper than a freebie. For everyone who is not aware, a freebie is an item that you get for free. By definition, it is the cheapest possible option for your garden, especially if you are on a budget. And, you will be glad to hear that freebies are just as stylish and pretty as the items that cost a fortune. As the saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. So, get on the phone to your friends and family and see if they have any spare parts that they are willing to give away for free. Or, you go to the scrapyard and look for garden items that are still in good nick.

Buy Quality But Affordable Furniture

The truth is you are not going to be able to create a garden fit for a queen without all of the right elements. And, when it comes to your garden, garden furniture is essential. Why? It is essential because your garden is not just there to look pretty. It is also there for functional purposes. The problem is some suppliers can be very expensive, which is why you need to find a good middle ground. Rattan garden furniture is about as affordable as they come and it is all good quality. Just like you don’t want to spend too much, you don’t want to spend too little either. Otherwise, the furniture could break within a matter of days or weeks.

Light Up The Darkness

Light is a great interior design trick, and it also works outside too. Lights add contrast and show off the best areas of your garden, which makes your garden shine. A couple of lamps or lanterns scattered around the garden area will transform the entire style and tone.

See, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make something beautiful.

3 Coloured Tissue Paper Ideas

tie-dye-tissue-paper

Smitten with coloured tissue paper? Can’t seem to get enough of the many wonderful things you could create out of scrap of brightly coloured tissue paper? Here are some tissue craft ideas to get your creative juices moving:

PAPER BAG WRAPPER

Coloured tissue paper adds that nice bit of elegance to your gifts when you use a paper bag. Instead of letting the item inside just roll around inside, the tissues don’t just add a beautiful, festive touch, they also add some much needed padding, keeping your gift secure.

GIFT WRAPPER

Ever found yourself hesitating over those slivers of coloured paper or tissues you’ve got left after you just finished a project? You’re thinking you probably won’t get to use them anymore but you just can’t seem to throw them away for good either. So you collect it all, stuff it into one of your drawers, convenience that one day, you’ll find a use for them. Well, from Best Design Options, one way to use scraps of coloured tissue paper is to fix them together as wrapping paper. Now, you won’t have to toss aside the leftover pieces you’ve hoarded for years. Give them a new lease on life by turning them into wonderful wrapping papers. Another plus? With the creative and ingenious wrapping, your gift is sure to stand out against all the other boringly-wrapped presents lying around.

POM-PONS
Another idea, this one from BuzzFeed and One Little Project, is to create tissue paper pom-pons out of it. It’s quick and easy to do, once you get the hang of it. Plus, the colours and textures really work to add that pop to a room. From aqua and forest green to lilac, hot pink and scarlet red—along with all the greens and blues in between—these colourful pom-pons bring the fun vibe to anywhere. If you’re planning a party, these will be a hit.

Want to know how to make your own? Here are detailed instructions on how you to create your own tissue paper pom-pons:

  1. First, buy your coloured tissues. You’ll want to go with as many colours as you can get. Carrier Bags for Sale offers an extensive queue of coloured tissue paper in different shades. It’s got a lot of the shades you want—plus the ones you don’t normally see in stores—lime green, sunflower yellow, aqua blue and violet, among others.
  1. Make it a balanced palette. Pick your colours carefully. You’d want to go with shades that stand out along with ones that do really well when they’re put alongside other colours. But you also want to mix a few neutrals in there. You never know what kind of project you’ll come up next. You might even be able to surprise yourself. So keep those greys and ivory shades in reserve.
  1. Now that you’ve got your tissues, get 10 sheets and lay these on any flat surface.
  1. Fold the end to about 2 or 2.5cm. Then flip it over. Then fold it again. And flip…do that until the entire roll has been folded, accordion style. Worried that the folds aren’t strictly the same size? Don’t be. The material is flexible so you’ll have some room to adjust these in a while.
  1. Next, fold that in half. Find a wire. A thin jewellery wire works great in this case. Wrap that around the middle. And secure it with a knot. It’s important to remember that you should do all this without letting go of the bent tissue in half.
  1. Once you’ve got that wire in place, you can let the folded paper go. But only to reach for a pair of scissors. Then start rounding up the edges of the roll. Go for shallow cuts since that will make the petals come out more.
  1. After that, you’ve got something that looks like a paper ribbon. Now, pick an edge and pull one piece of tissue paper from the rest. Don’t break it. Pull it gently until you can see the layers being pulled apart. Once you’re done on one side, do the same on the other. Fluff it all up until you get a good, round shape. Ta-daa! You’ve got a tissue paper pom-pon in your hand!
  1. If you plan on hanging these from the ceiling, all you need is a little fishing line and some good adhesive or tape and you’re good to go. For more contrast, try to make dark and light coloured balls. So if you’ve got pink, mix it up with a little violet or hot pink, if you’ve got those shades available.

Aside from these, you could also make tissue paper flower toppers for paper bags, garlands and tissue paper tassels to add fun and cheer to any room. Or go big with giant tissue flowers, flower wreaths and cute, tiny pom-pons perfect for treat boxes. So start folding those papers up and discover the many ways coloured tissue papers can be useful and fun.

How To Make Money From Crafts

If you’ve ever been good at crafts, you’ve always wondered what it’s like to make money off it. The skills take years to hone but have a relatively little monetary reward, right? That might not be as true as you think.

It used to be that selling crafted wares could be realistically done only at market stalls. Now with the internet you can open up your online storefront. You can reach people globally who are hungry to buy crafted goods.

Here are some of the best things you can craft to make a little money.

crafts-289536_1280Image credit

Decorative Items

We all have little things around the house. Small decorations that we either picked up somewhere or made ourselves. A knitted doll, or a sewn ornament. People like to have these things to add a bit of character to their homes.

If you’re good with the intricacies of crafting, making things like this and selling them could net you a good earning.

tailorImage credit

Clothes

Bespoke clothes are all the rage right now. High street clothes stores still have the advantage, but sometimes people want something a little more unique. It does involve a little extra design work though.

Being good with a sewing machine and being good with a pencil are on in the same here. To get a following making bespoke clothes, you need to know what people want. Serve a niche market.

Be sure to keep account of your costs though. If the cost of fabrics and shipping aren’t reflected in your prices, you won’t make it a profitable venture.

3077398_d8059eecImage credit

Patches

Patches can brighten up some items of clothing. Especially custom embroidered patches. Again, this requires as much design skill as it does with actually doing the embroidering.

Made to order patches may already come with a design. This still means you need to do a little work to ensure you can fit it onto the patch size requested.

The good news is you may sometimes get bulk orders. If a motorcycle club is looking to give patches to members, they’ll likely be ordering by the boxload. Bulk orders can take a while to get through, but turn a good profit.

Costume_jewelry_MaterialsImage credit

Wood and Metal Working

This is more on the skilled end of crafts. Not everybody will have the tools or training available to them. If you do though, it can be very lucrative.

Custom jewelery and ornaments can be made from both wood and metal. While rings and necklaces are obviously going to be made of metal, ornaments may be wooden for that rustic feel.

You may find yourself getting orders from businesses rather than individuals. This could range from special gifts for retiring employees, to helping design props for a film or television series.

It’s hard to say where the big money is though. Some of it will be very creatively fulfilling though.

You don’t have to languish in poverty if you like to do a craft. Some of this work can be done alongside a steady job. While only supplementary income, it’s the expression of creativity you should be doing it for.

Tips On Learning How To Crochet

IMG_5074

So, you’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet, but you just aren’t sure how to go about it? Besides, all of your family members are knitters and say they couldn’t figure out how to crochet. Does that mean that it is too hard to learn to crochet? Actually, many people who knit aren’t able to crochet easily, but if you don’t already knit it is quite easy to learn. Take a look at a few of these crocheting tips and you will soon be chain stitching with the best of them.

The first thing you should do when you are trying to learn to crochet is to use the right tools. Don’t worry about finding a tiny crochet hook and crochet thread. Instead, look for the largest crochet hook you can find and a smooth cotton yarn. This way, you can see what you are doing as you try to learn the steps. Once you learn how to crochet, you can easily move to real crochet thread and a small hook, since you will simply be following the same steps on a smaller scale.

Next, don’t be afraid to use a whole skein of yarn to practice the basic chain stitch, the single crochet stitch, and the double crochet stitch. After all, you can only crochet beautiful things if you know these stitches. Besides, you can always unravel your yarn and reuse it after you’re done practicing.

Once you know how to crochet, it is time to shop for some permanent crochet hooks. While plastic hooks are cheaper, you should always choose metal or bamboo hooks. These hooks are durable enough to literally last forever. You should also look for crochet thread. A good cotton thread is best. Be sure you don’t use someone else’s old thread, especially if it has been stored in the attic for ten or fifteen years. There is nothing more frustrating than putting a ton of work into a beautiful piece and then watching it break apart because the thread has actually dry rotted.

Finally, if you just can’t seem to pick up crocheting techniques from books or instructional videos, you may want to find someone who is already a great crocheter and can demonstrate the techniques for you. This can be especially important if you are a left handed person and can find another left handed crocheter, since most instruction books are geared toward right handed people.

Quick Roof Repair And Maintenance Tips

RoofRepair

Things are looking up for homeowners who want to stay on top of roof repairs.

Following a few expert tips for ongoing roof maintenance and repair can help you prevent mold intrusion due to water leakage and avoid extensive roof repairs.

Experts recommend starting your roof check with a visual inspection. Most minor problems can be detected before they get to be major ones. Inspect for cracks, splits and tears-any you see can result in a leak.

Inspect all roof penetrations including skylights, chimneys and roof vents to see if the cement around them still adheres. Any separation can allow water to get through.

Look for shingles that are not properly adhered or loose, apply a quarter-size amount of roof cement with a brush under every shingle tab that is lifting and secure each in place.

Take a look at the flashings for areas that have suffered damage or have become warped. To repair flashing leaks, apply plastic roof cement between the adjoining materials and secure in place. If you are making the repair under wet or colder conditions, use a high-quality product such as Henry 208 Wet Patch Roof Cement to ensure the repairs are permanent. This roof repair cement can be applied if the roof is wet or even if it is raining.

Purchase and keep a canister of roof repair cement on hand and make minor roof repairs immediately when it is safe to reach the damaged area. High-quality roof repair cement is inexpensive, easy to use and ideal to use for most minor roof damage.

Henry 209 Elastomeric Roof Patch Cement is a better choice when making general roof repairs in dry or sunny weather. For repairs to gutters and downspouts, be sure that both are kept free of debris.

Wind gusts exceeding 40 mph can cause minor roof damage, including loss of shingles and holes from flying debris, and drive moisture into cracks around chimneys and skylight flashings. Homeowners should make repairs using a high-quality roof cement, such as Henry 208 Wet Patch Roof Cement, which can be found at hardware stores and home centers.

Project ideas for Decoupage

Decoupage-Bowl

Here are some varied ideas for new decoupage projects. We’ve even included some children’s projects as well.

Boxes

Boxes provide interesting results when done with decoupage. A variety of boxes are available in craft stores. A box should be given two or three thin coats of an oil based paint as a base and at least three coats of varnish to finish. The final coat can be rubbed with dampened emery cloth for a fine, soft, matte finish.

When lining a box with fabric, put the seam at the front of the box. When the box is opened, you can see the back “wall” of the box but not the front one where the seam is.

If lining a box without overlapping the fabric onto a piece of cardboard, glue the pieces of fabric on to the sides and then glue decorative braid along the top edge to hide the raw edge.

Lining a box finishes it well, especially a jewelry box or a trinket box. To line a box cut a piece of sturdy cardboard to fit into the bottom. It should fall in and out easily, without catching on the sides. Cut a piece of wadding the same size as the cardboard. Cut a piece of fabric about an inch larger on all sides than the cardboard. Put the fabric face down on the table with the wadding and then the cardboard on top. Cut the corners off diagonally so that you don’t have a bulge at the corner. Pull one edge of the fabric up onto the cardboard and glue it down. Bring each side of the fabric up onto the cardboard and glue down. To glue this padded shape into the box, run a line of glue on the box bottom close to the sides. Push the padded shape down into the box and press firmly.

Soft flock can be used to give a box a soft, flocked interior and comes in a variety of colors. It’s a good idea to paint the inside of the box a similar color.
Soft flock comes in two parts. There is a colored glue in a bottle, paint this inside the box. Sprinkle the flock pieces generously into the box. Close the box and shake vigorously. Pour out any excess onto a piece of clean paper. Use the paper as a funnel to put the excess back into the bottle. If you want to flock the inside of the box but not the lid of the box, insert a piece of cardboard between the box and lid, close the lid and shake. When you remove the cardboard, the lid will be clean and the box will be flocked.

Picture Frames

Picture frames make ideal gifts. Or you can use decoupage to brighten up a cheap frame. As you need to see how the frame will look once upright, it’s a good idea to attach your cutouts with tiny pieces of masking tape to work out their positioning.

Remember to remove the back and glass before beginning work. Use your fingers to wrap your cutouts over the edges of the frame. To ensure that you cover your frame completely with varnish, you may want to prop it up. You can use dowels rods as a frame and balance your picture frame across them. Make sure that you have newspaper below to catch any drips and gently wipe drips from the underside with a cloth. Leave it in position for a couple of days to dry thoroughly.

Candles

Mark your design on the candle. If the candle is wrapped, remove the wrapper to a quarter inch more than the design area. If it isn’t wrapped, mask off the area to be left plain with paper and fasten with tape. Lightly sand the area to be painted and remove dust with a cloth. Apply two thin coats of oil-based varnish to the uncovered area. If you’re placing images on a painted background, sponge on a couple of coats of gesso. Don’t sand and allow to dry between coats. Sponge on background colors and allow to dry. Finish with up to five coats of varnish, lightly sanding between the last two coats. Using a craft knife, remove the wrapper and tape. Finish the cut edge with ribbon or braid.
Children’s Projects

Decoupage is a craft that is easy enough for children to be involved in. With their small fingers, children are often capable of very fine work with practice. However, depending on the age and ability of the child, you may want to make a few allowances. It’s best to think it through so that they can work with your guidance, but actually perform each step themselves.

Boys as well as girls can enjoy decoupage, and as many young boys are fascinated with small and fiddly items, they can be particularly adept at this sort of work. Decoupage can be helpful in developing hand-eye co-ordination as well as powers of concentration. Once they have been introduced to the techniques, most children can be left to do projects alone, so long as someone is available for advice if they run into problems. If you aren’t yet competent at decoupage yourself, you can learn together.

Children will usually prefer decoupaging different types of items to adults. A serving tray is likely to have little appeal, but a lunch box or moneybox would get lots of use. For a first project, it’s best to start with something small, and many children enjoy decorating blown eggs, and are fascinated with the process of blowing the eggs.

For very young children, you can use safety scissors with rounded ends. As these scissors make it more difficult to cut small areas accurately, you will need to choose simple images and shapes to work with. Comic books can make a good supply of images and, generally, the bold pictures will be easy to cut out.

As many children get bored easily, it’s worth taking a few moments to plan how the project is going to be done so they spend as little time waiting around as possible. Instead of cutting out all the images first and then after painting a surface, sitting around waiting for it to dry, paint the object first and the cutting can be done while it’s drying. Or you can have two projects on the go at once so that they can switch between them.

Getting rid of air bubbles can cause the greatest problems and the easiest tool for most children to use will be the back of a spoon. Rather than using varnish or lacquer to finish, it’s safer to use glue. Keep varnishes and paints out of reach of small children.

With a little forethought, decoupage is one of the safest crafts children can be involved in and it’s simple enough for them to produce pleasing results.

Making Your Own Bead Jewelry

charm_5

Creating your own bead jewelry is a creative hobby that allows you to produce unique pieces for yourself, family and friends. Here is how you can get started.

If you ever asked yourself “couldn’t I do that myself?” as you looked through rows of bead bracelets, necklaces or earrings at a trendy boutique, the answer is “yes”. Beading is a creative and entertaining hobby that not only will have you produce unique, handmade items of jewelry, but will also be a great source of gift ideas for family and friends.

The first step would be to find a good local bead shop. While there are wonderful mail order catalogs and websites that will sell you all the supplies, nothing substitutes for the support and advice of experienced sales personnel. Ideally, this store would also offer a number of beginners’ classes that would help you learn basic techniques (if there is no bead shop in your town, some introductory books such as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beading will have to do).

Start with a simple project, such as a bracelet or basic necklace, and do not go overboard with expensive beads and findings (clasps, hooks, etc.). You might be wanting to use Swarovski crystal, sterling silver and semi-precious beads right now, but you can work up to that later. Some stores will even offer packaged starter kits that include a beading board (which helps you with project layout and measurements), some basic tools, beads, wire, findings and a how-to-book.

You should then set up your “beading space” – preferably an uncluttered, well-lit area. You might have to invest in a good lamp, maybe one combined with a magnifying lens. Remember, you will be stringing some rather tiny objects! Make sure you have plenty of containers to keep different types and colors of beads separate – nothing will spoil your joy of beading like having to hunt for a single bead in a jumbled pile. Beading stores will sell you various storage systems (including beading bags for the beader-on-the-go), but you can also experiment with inexpensive plastic containers meant to hold small hardware or fishing tackle.

Well, there you are ready for your first bead jewelry project! Don’t forget to protect your beading space from curious cats and toddlers. Happy beading, and have fun waring your hand-crafted jewelry!

Lost Your Cell Phone? The Benefits of Cell Phone Lanyards

cell-phone-sock-with-cord-lanyard-3-1250-301671

As the use of cell phones becomes increasingly popular, so does the use of cell phone lanyards to keep them from being misplaced. The cell phone lanyard is also a great way to keep a cell phone readily available without having to physically carry it. The lanyards are typically made of cord, rope or wire. They can be connected to a backpack, belt loop or purse. To keep a cell phone easily accessible it may be most convenient to wear a cell phone lanyard around the neck, keeping the hands free.

When worn around the neck, the typical cell phone lanyard, measures 36 inches long but can be custom designed to any length. To secure the cell phone to the lanyard, simply pull the lanyard through the lanyard hole that can be found on most cell phones. Other cell phone lanyards have a nylon cord attached to the end that can be pulled through the lanyard hole.

Although born of necessity, the cell phone lanyard does not have to be boring. There are many styles, colors and materials to choose from. Custom printing can display a favorite slogan, symbol or saying.

Many talented artists will design you a unique beaded cell phone lanyard to coordinate with a favorite outfit, pair of shoes, as well as your automobile. Choice of beading includes gemstones, pewter beads, Swarovski crystals and even diamonds.

Learn how to make a knitted doll

Betsy-Button-Knitted-Doll-Pattern

Many times, you have some free time to spend and you are confused as what to do then? There are many great ideas to utilize that time efficiently and creatively. One of them is making or designing some craft work. Craft is the art or skill of doing something in an artistic way. There are lots of craft ideas such as candle making, scrap booking, fabric painting, painting projects, knitting etc. Among these, knitting is the most favorite craft work for women and many of them love to knit soft toys such as dolls.

Requirements for making a knitted doll
The knitted doll is very soft and simple to make. You can make it with any soft yarn kept for baby clothing that will really make it a gift for your kid. For making this, you need to have scissors, darning needles, ruler, knitting needles of size 8, cream colored ball of yarn or nay other color of your preference, a piece of 5/16 blue sheer ribbon, 5/16 blue elastic.

Steps to make a knitted doll
1. You need to cast on 34 stitches with the help of soft colored yarn but remember to leave a 5 inch end that you will sew later.

2. You have to knit eight rows so that the bottom of the doll is formed.

3. Then, change the pattern to create the body of the doll and for this you need to knit one row, purl one row till you complete 62 rows.

4. Next, cast off your stitches and cut the knitted piece from the ball of yarn again leaving 5 inch that you will sew later.

5. Now thread your darning needle with any of the 5 inch end and sew the end in the closest side. This will later roll up the sides of the doll such that the stitching is not shown.

6. Again, thread your needle with remaining 5 inch end and sew it to the closest side so that you can roll up the knitted side to form the doll.

7. Once you have the knitted piece complete, you need to roll and shape it up in the form of a doll. You have to lay down the knitted piece front side down on your work surface but keep the backside facing you flat.

8. Next, roll the edges tightly starting from each end so that they meet in the middle but remember to keep each rolled side even in size.

9. Now, turn the knitted piece that you have rolled up over your work surface. This way, the rolled side should be facing your work surface and the other side with eight knitted rows towards you.

10. Then fold the rolled knitted piece almost in half and the edge of the side you have just folded should be touching the top edge of the eight knitted rows.

11. Next hold the folded knitted piece tightly with one hand and wrap elastic twice over the folded area nearly one and half inch down from the top. This will make the head of the doll and also secure the fold you made to form the body of the doll.

12. Now, partially unroll the folded over knitted piece below the elastic but you need to unroll the knitted piece till you get the resemblance of the arms on either side of the body and also knitted areas stretched between them.

13. Now, flip the partial unrolled portion below the elastic over the head. This will make a hood covering the head with rolled up arms near the elastic that divides and creates the neck and hands.

14. You need to cut 15 inch length of sheer blue ribbon and wrap this blue ribbon round the hood from back to front in same position as the elastic. You can tie a bow in the blue ribbon with the bow in front of the doll. You can trim the end of the ribbon at a slant.

 

 

How to make a candy bouquet

all chocolate thanksgiving

A bouquet is usually made just from flowers, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
You can make your bouquet more interesting by adding other items, such as candy.

Yeah, you read correctly, I said, Candy!

Candy Bouquets are fun to make, look great, and they are a fantastic talking piece. I
promise that everyone that sees your candy bouquet will feel compelled to comment
on it. Young children in particular, will be absolutely delighted when they see your
candy bouquet!

To make a candy bouquet, you will need:

  • 5 Silk Rose Buds
  • 1 Bunch of pearlies
  • 2 Thin Gauge wires
  • 1 Thick Gauge wire
  • 9 Lollipops.
  • Silk Leaves
  • Stem tape (green or white)
  • Ribbon

Step 1: Trimming the lollipops

Trim the lollipop sticks to about an inch or two in length, or just below the wrapper.
Later, we will wire and tape the sticks just like normal flowers. We do this so that the
lollipops can be moved around and positioned more easily.

Step 2: Trimming the Rose Buds

Trim the stems on the rose bud heads, and then wire and tape them.

Step 3: Wire the lollipops

To wire the lollipops you will have to put a twist in the wire around the stick of the
lollipop. You will probably have to do this twice, to make sure that the wire is tight
and wont come loose. The easiest way to do this is to use long-nosed plyers, and to
squeeze the wire around the stick.

Step 4: Wire and Tape the Pearlies

Although you don’t need pearlies in your candy bouquet, they can work well to
soften the bouquet, and make it appear more like an everyday floral bouquet.

Wire and tape the pearlies. Place the wire alongside the white part of the pearly
strand, and then stem tape in place.

Step 5: Assemble the Candy Bouquet

Now start to assemble the candy bouquet. Start the bouquet with the lollipops in a
bunch, in one hand.

Then slowly insert the leaves between the lollipops.

Fan the lollipops into a circular shape, with the leaves facing out.

Place the flowers in next, keeping two lollipops between each flower.

Fill any gaps left over at the end, with leaves and pearlies.

Step 6: Add Figure-of-Eight Bows

Make eight figure-of-eight bows, for the last layer of the candy bouquet, and fan
them around the base. You can use normal ribbons or curling ribon.

Step 7: Prepare the handle

The last step in making a candy bouquet is to trim and tape the handle.

That’s it! Simple isn’t it?

All you have to do now, is resist eating the bouquet long enough for some other people to see it!

%d bloggers like this: