Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chalk cloth placemats

Christmas project No.2!

It's my turn to host the Christmas dinner this year and I know I'll be running late with the cooking as usual so I thought what better way to keep the kids happy and amused at the dinner table than some chalk cloth place mats. I was amazed by how simple they were to make, all you need to know is how to sew.

What you need:
Chalk cloth
Oil cloth or some other material of choice
bias tape
sewing machine

First of all you will need to decide on the size of your mats, then cut out a piece each of chalk cloth and your other material, I chose to use oil cloth so if any food gets spilt, it can easily be wiped up. Next you will need to prep your chalk cloth before you use it, luckily this step is super simple! Just grab a stick of chalk, turn it on it's side and run it over the whole piece of cloth, wipe the chalk off with a damp cloth and you are done! Now place the two pieces of material back to back, place your bias tape around the edges and pin it , just be warned that any holes that are made in the material will be there permanently so when you pin it make sure to do it very close to the edge. Next you want to place your ribbon in the middle of one of the short sides of the mat. First cut your ribbon to a good length, you want to be able to roll your mats up and tie a bow around them with the ribbon, mine ended up being about 30 cm long. Fold your piece of ribbon in half and pin the folded edge in under the bias tape. Sew the bias tape to the mats. If you don't know how to sew bias tape there are a lot of great online tutorials that can take you through it step by step. I decided to machine sew in one side, then hand sew the other for a neater look but doing this is time consuming and hard work on the fingers! I think I need to buy a thimble!!! Now you're almost done! Here is how mine look, excuse the wrinkles, they have been rolled up for a few days now but the wrinkles do drop out again. Now all that's left to do is to roll the mats up, throw in a box of chalk and a duster and tie up the ribbon.You can always throw in a pretty little Christmas tag as well if you want :)

All I want for Christmas is a felt board and lots of felt!

I can't believe how busy I have been this week, not that I'm complaining because it's all involved Christmas projects :) Seriously fun ones to! It all started when thought I'd do a pre Christmas toy cull in the girls bedroom and it suddenly dawned on me just how many toys they actually have. Lets just say it's a ridiculous amount and most of them don't even get played with. So instead of spending a small fortune on overpriced toys that will no doubt be played with for a week before being dragged to the depths of a dark toy box, I thought I'd make the girls a few gifts, ones that I think they will use over and over again and that will encourage a bit more learning that the usual whizz bang, flashing light, noisy toys they get.
So idea number one on my to do list was a felt board. I'd been looking for one for a few months but the only ones I have found have been rather small and came with very limited pieces and only had one theme, like a farm yard or ballerinas. I wanted something that had lots of themes and lots of pieces so my kids wouldn't get bored. That's when I decided I would have a go at making my own and boy am I glad I did! I will admit this has been a very time consuming project but it will be so worth the time and effort spent in making it. The easy part is finding a sturdy piece of board and gluing a piece of felt to it. Place the felt under the board, cut the felt so it's around 3cm longer around the edges than the board, snip the corners of the felt so there isn't so much bulk in the material when you fold the sides over, then glue the edges down...simple :) Now it's time to decide on a few themes and start cutting and gluing! I cheated a bit and googled a bunch of images to use as templates, unfortunately my drawing skills leave a lot to be desired! Anyway, here's what I've done so far...
On the Farm.

Under The Sea!

The Alphabet { I plan to add some lower case letters and numbers soon and even some math symbols }


I've also started making a Mr and Mrs Potato head with accessories and some simple shapes. If you have older kids you could even give them a bunch of felt and some glue to make their own scenes. And the best's never ending fun, as long as you have felt, you can always make new bits to play with, the only limit is your imagination :)

Project No.2 coming soon......


Christmas banner

I had so much fun making the Christmas placemats so I decided to make a matching Christmas banner. I love how it turned out! Basically I cut out a bunch of triangles from the hessian that I had left over, stenciled them the same way I did the placemats and linked them together with some binding. Super easy, just how Christmas should be :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

No sew Christmas placemat tutorial

I was happily chatting away with my cousin the other day when she mentioned Christmas....eeeekk did you know it's only 100 days away! My Nan, Mum and Aunties have always hosted Christmas but for the last few years the Christmas dinner tradition has been handed down a generation and last year my cousin had it at her house so this year I offered. I must be mad considering I have my daughter's 4th birthday 3 days later!!! Anyway, to stop me from hitting the panic button I thought I'd better start preparing now. And guess what, so far I have done nothing but craft projects for big surprise there, I don't do the whole 'organized' thing very well :) Project No.1 was 8 Hessian/Burlap Christmas placemats. I was so happy with how they turned out that I thought I'd share a tutorial on how I made them.

First of all you will need to gather your supplies:

Enough hessian/burlap material to make as many placemats as you want. I bought 1 metre and it made 8 mats with some left to spare (project No2. to be posted soon)

Fabric paint

Mod Podge for fabric

Freezer paper


Craft knife


An iron

You might also want to use an old towel and some junk mail for the painting/ironing parts

Ok so first of all you need to cut your material into placemats, I did mine 31cm by 40 cm but you can make them any size you want. Next grab 3 or 4 strands from each side of the mat and pull them out to give the edge a pretty frayed look.

Next up you need to cut out some stencils from the freezer paper. You can choose any design you like. I decided to write Merry Christmas in a different language on each of my placemats by printing off the words in a font I liked and tracing it onto the freezer paper. Now if you are a lucky lady and own one of those fancy scrapbooking paper cutting machines, I suggest you use it! I don't own one ( it's now on my Christmas wish list! ) and had to do all my cutting by hand with a craft knife and it was a major pain and rather time consuming.

When your stencils are cut out place them on your mats, once you are happy with their position you need to iron the freezer paper to your material.

Grab your fabric paint and paintbrush and paint over your stencil. Once the paint is dry you can peel off the freezer paper. The fabric paint I have says to iron the paint to make it wash resistant so I suggest you read the instructions to see if you need to do the same.

Now this last step is rather boring but it needs to be done to stop your mats from falling apart. Flip each mat over so the back is facing up and paint a thin line ( about 1 cm wide ) of Mod Podge along the edge of each mat. It dries clear so you don't have to worry to much about neatness.

Once the glue is dry you can flip your mats back over, throw them on the table and warn everyone there will be hell to pay if they dirty your nice new placemats ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I {heart} pillows!

I can't help it, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE cute pillows and cushions! So when I started sewing my first ever quilt, for my daughters toddler bed, I decided she just HAD to have a cute pillow to here it is.
...apparently I have a new addiction! I already have plans for a few more, one with ruffles and one with a cute owl applique and one I might try spray painting with her name. Now I just need to find some time for all this pillow making madness :)


Friday, September 10, 2010

A lick of paint, a piece of fabric and voila!

It's taken me almost two weeks (due to sick kids and only being able to do one coat of paint each night) but I finally have a snazzy looking bookcase for Amber's room. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about taking on a furniture revamp since I've never done anything like it before but I'm really happy with the outcome. I think I might be hooked! It was so much fun that I'm on the look out for an old tallboy to vandalize next haha.

Here's the BEFORE...
and the AFTER...

I think it scrubbed up pretty good for a $20 second hand beat up old bookcase...and best of all Amber loves it!