Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crafty Christmas Gift Making

Every Christmas I find myself getting excited about making at least one handmade gift for the special people in my life. The gift options are endless, but usually fall into a handful of categories. Today I wanted to share with you a few of my handmade gift giving ideas.

Christmas Stockings - I wanted to make my little one a Christmas stocking. The added touch of the holly was inspired by a stocking project I found on Martha Stewart's website. You can also find other great stocking projects on the website. Click here for some added inspiration.

Scented Sachets - Scented sachets are easy to make and are great gifts that can be given on their own or in combination with other items. Check out our sachet DIY project  and make your own.

Book Cover - Making a book cover, for the avid reader on your gift giving list is a fun project. You can dress-up your book cover or keep it simple. Include an interesting book and you have a gift that is sure to please.

Pyjama Pants - One of the projects that our beginner sewing students make is a pyjama pants. They can be supper easy to make and there a lots of fun flannel prints you can choose from, for a fun winter or holiday theme. Great patterns are available via Burda or Butterick of example.

Teacup Pincushion - A Vintage teacup can be transformed into an ornate pincushion, for the sewer on your list. Check out our DIY instructions on how to make one.

Votive - Add a little Japanese tissue paper, and transform a plain glass votive candle holder or hurricane holder into something more dramatic. You can play with this and have lots of fun using a world of interesting paper.

Earrings - I love making jewellery as a gift. It you have a sense of the person's style then go for it. It is amazing to see your gift worn all year long, not just during the holidays. If you do not think you can make one, then give the gift of how to, by gifting a copy of this great jewellery making book.

Crochet Hat - I love making crochet hats and they can be made in a wide range of yarns in countless colours. If you are new to it, start with a simple pattern and go from there. There are many amazing yarns available at specialty yarn shops; however, an inexpensive and accessible place to start is online. Good sites to visit are Bernat and Lion Brand Yarn, their yarn is also available at craft and yarn shops and the websites have great tips and patterns available.

Fabric Handbag - Giving a handmade fabric handbag, is a gift that I never get weary of giving.

Scarf - Consider natural dyes for the creation of an original scarf. You can check out our post on making natural dyes, for some helpful tips on how to get started.

Join me over the next couple weeks, as I provide some great DIY projects that will make wonderful gifts for the special people on your list.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Creative Stamping

Stamping is a fun craft that can be done with a number of materials, paints, inks, and other pigments. I have enjoyed stamping for many years, and like many of you was introduced to it as a child. Growing up in the Caribbean, I can remember using potatoes, okra and other materials to make stamps. About eleven years ago, I took a stamping workshop in Toronto (beaches area), and I had so much fun that I dove into stamping for several years. I used it on mostly paper craft projects and made custom invitations and albums. I also incorporated it into my Verona Collections, silk scarf designs. I now use stamps in scrap booking and other craft projects, and wanted to share a quick method for creating a potato stamp. I also wanted to share a great little project using rubber stamps.

First you start by selecting your design. You can draw your design onto your potato or you can use a prefabricated shape such as a cookie cutter. You can also use an apple as an alternative to a potato.

Press the cookie cutter into the potato so that it cuts into it by about a quarter inch. Leaving the cookie cutter in the potato, use a knife to cut away the space around the outside of the cookie cutter.

When you are finished cutting out the shape, remove the cookie cutter. You will then be left with a  raised shape.

Apply paint or pigment to the surface of your design. I used an acrylic gold paint with a metallic finish. You can dip your stamp into the paint or use a brush to apply.

Press your stamp onto the surface of your project and lift off gently. It is a good idea to test your design on a scrap piece of paper or fabric before printing on your final project piece.

As you can see with the three examples I did, each time I used the stamp I got a slightly different result. This depends on how much paint or pigment you apply, and how much pressure you use when you press the stamp onto the surface of your project. You may want to play with your stamp to see what effects you get.

I added some gold glitter to this piece, along with a satin ribbon on one end. I also cut the corners with a decorative cutter. This will make a great GIFT TAG!

I also used two rubber stamps to show how much fun you can have with stamps. You can transform a not so attractive piece into something interesting and decorative.

This plain black lamp and lampshade, has been given new life with some gold fabric paint and my two rubber stamps. It looks a lot more interesting and ornate. I wanted the effect to be slightly faded, so I did not press firmly in some areas.

Well I hope that this little project will give you some inspiration for making your own stamp or for trying a stamping project of your own. There is lots you can do with stamps and this is just the tip of the iceberg. You can add decorative elements to cushions, curtains, walls or furniture. With the holidays just around the corner, you can even make your own gift bags, wrapping paper or cards using this great craft technique.

Have fun stamping!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...