Tips for Stamping with Foam Rubber

bird printFor my first home project for the new appartement I did some experiments in stamping with foam rubber. I really like this technique, because it’s easy and cheap.

Basically, you just cut out the desired shape from the foam rubber, glue it onto a piece of cardboard and use this as a stamp.
I printed quite big pieces of fabric with a bird pattern, so I had some time to practise and figure out what works and what doesn’t.Here are a few tips for stamping with foam rubber:bird print1

  • Use a rather thick and sturdy kind of cardboard to glue the foam rubber on. It won’t bend as much and you will have less smudging.
  • Carefully lay the stamp onto the fabric and roll over the cardboard with a roller. This way you can evenly apply pressure and the print will turn out more even, too.
  • Take your time to find the perfect amount of colour to put on the stamp. If you apply to much it will smudge, if you take too little, your print won’t be bold.
  • Clean the cardboard arround the foam rubber from time to time or let it dry to avoid smudging.
  • You can always touch up the prints with a brush.
  • Don’t be worked up if it doesn’t turn out perfect. An a little bit messy look makes half the charm of printing.bird print2

I will share the project I used the fabric for, soon. If you have any questions or tips, please let me know!

Projects: Painted Mug

tasseThere’s still a lot to do around our new appartement, so I didn’t have much time for blogging this week. But at least I wanted to share a project from my archives.

This was a present for my Mum, too. I transferred the image to the mug by cutting the bird from paper and taping it to the mug, than I outlined it with pencil. The inner lines I drew freehand. Afterwards I dotted the lines with porcelain painter and burned it in the oven.

The hardest part was to transfer the picture, but all in all it was really easy! The idea was inspired by this Dot-Painted China. I also made one for my Dad, but since the motive refered to a family joke it doesn’t make sense to share it.

Since than I painted quite a lot of mugs, I think they make great presents since you can personalise them easily and everyone needs a favourite mug (in my opinion). The only problem is that the paint often doesn’t last as long as promised, especially if you put them into the dishwasher.

Have you painted mugs before? Have you any tips for a long-lasting porcelain paint?

Projects: Fabric Baskets

stoffkörbeWhile I was separating out my things during the last days, I thought a lot about ways to organise all the small stuff. What works best for me is gathering small things in boxes, baskets or else – so even if its chaos inside, at least  it looks tidy from the outside.

One of my favourites are these little fabric baskets. I made them for my mom some time ago, but will surely make some for myself as soon as we have moved.
I chose different patterned fabrics in red and white, alternating the patterns between the outside and the inside of one basket and between the baskets.
I sewed a big, a small and a little one, if they aren’t used they can be stacked inside each other or they can be folded together.stoffkörbe5

stoffkörbe2 stoffkörbe4I found the pattern or more specifically instructions how to construct the pattern somewhere on the internet, but I just can’t remember where. But there are lots of tutorial on the internet for these.stoffkörbe3

How do you organize your small stuff to keep the room tidy?

Projects: Placemats

setsThese placemats were also a present I made for my parents. On the upper side I made a patchwork, it’s slightly different on each placemat.

sets1  The back is all in red and white polka dots. I doubled the back with iron on interfacing (is this the right term?) to make it more sturdy. To create the border I folded the margins of the back piece twice and over the front piece. I remember this to be the hardest part, because the corners just wouldn’t fit exactly and I had to redo it several times.

sets2

This is also another great project to use fabric remnants for, as you can see some of the fabrics I also used for the fabric flower brooch I showed you last week. The dark blue one actually is from a shirt. It was an XXXL shirt I sewed into a dress and there were some scraps left. I still have the dress. Perhaps I will post about it some day.

What do you use fabric remnants for? I would love to hear your ideas!

Projects: Sixties Dress

kleidvornehintenI finally finished the sixties dress I showed you while in progress. It took quite a while since it includes a lot of pattern pieces and has lining underneath. Obviously I don’t feel comfortable posing and being photographed…And by the way – it’s not the dress that’s uneven, it’s my posture.I did some changes to the original pattern. First I fitted it at the waist – I like baggy clothes and dresses but this was too much even for my taste. It looked like a children’s dress. The border at the sleeves was originally some centimetres wider, I reduced the width to about one centimetre.aermel I also changed the position of the pockets. They were sitting completely in the patterned part, which looked a little bit strange in my opinion and was impractical,too. So I moved them up a few centimetres. taschenI really like how the collar turned out. Here it is in the front…kragen-vorne…and here’s the back view.kragenhintenLuckily today’s the first nice day in weeks, so I actually am able to wear the dress today. And since I don’t like to feel too dressy I’ll pair it with my oldest shoes.

How would you wear it?

First two images by fabyphotography.

Projects: Fabric Flower Brooch

broscheA lot of the things I made in the past years were gifts for my Mum. So when I last visited my parents, I took the chance to take pictures from all the self-made stuff to share it with you. Among others I  photographed the fabric flower brooch I told you about in this post. In my opinion it was one of the most successful gifts I gave her, I love how the different blue-shaded fabrics match and how the checked red leave adds a little pop of colour.

brooch1I saw something similar in a book, but they sewed the flowers directly on a shirt. But since I wanted to make it a little more practical and flexible, I sewed the individual flowers, stems and leaves onto a piece of fabric, which I adhered to a brooch needle. It took some time to complete it, but I think it was totally worth it. The flowers were made a little bit different from the ones I shared a tutorial for, so if you want to learn how to make this kind of flowers, leave me a comment!

By the way, I finally finished the sixties dress – I’m just waiting for better weather to take some pictures.

You can make this! Button Bracelet Tutorial

bracelet-tutRemember my collection of self made bracelets I showed you before? One of them was an easy button bracelet. Now I made another one for my best friend’s birthday and took the opportunity to prepare a tutorial for you. This is a great DIY to use up all the single left over buttons you have.

You need:bracelet-tut-2

  • Buttons of your choice; I used different buttons in turquoise, a mixture of old and new ones
  • Elastic thread; here I used a fancy one especially for jewellery making, but it’s quite slippery and hard to knot. An elastic thread usually used for sewing works at least as well
  1. Lay the buttons out in the order you want the finished bracelet to be.bracelet-tut-3
  2. Cut of a piece of elastic thread, a few centimetres more than twice as much as you want the finished bracelet to be. Take the thread in half and thread the doubled thread from the back of the button through the first button hole. Than thread it back through the second whole. Push the button over the thread until there are only a few centimetres left to the end of the thread.(Is there another word for thread and threading?!)bracelet-tut-4
  3. Add more buttons in the same way, go from the back through the first hole and return to the back through the second one.bracelet-tut-5
  4. Push the buttons really close together, so they overlap.bracelet-tut-6
  5. If you think you reached the needed length, lay it around your wrist and check. The thread should be filled with buttons tightly. If you’re satisfied, knot the ends and cut any excess. If you used the slippery kind of thread, to prevent the knot to open, cover it with glue or heat it with a lighter very very carefully. This way the band will melt together a little bit.bracelet-tut-7
  6. Spread the buttons evenly, thereby covering the knot.
    And your finished! Easy, hm?bracelet-tut-8

It also works with buttons with four holes. If you have only few of them in between buttons with two holes, just split your doubled elastic band and thread one end each through two holes. If you have buttons with four holes only, I would recommend to use two doubled threads.

As always, if you have any questions or tips, please let me know in the comment section – as well as your other thoughts on this project (other topics are ok, too :)).
Happy crafting!

Projects: Work in Progress – Sixties Dress

dress1Currently I am sewing a sixties dress, I wanted to do so for a long time, so when I discovered this dress in the autumn 2012 issue of Burda easy fashion, I decided to give it a shot. I really like the pattern, especially the collar, but I don’t like the fabric they chose. I bought two simple cotton fabrics, one in plain blue and the other one with little circles.

DSC00031Although the pattern is from an easy fashion magazine, I have to admit that I found some parts to be rather difficult. But the advantage is, that you don’t have to copy the pattern pieces onto tissue paper and that they provide  step-by-step instructions. Also there’s no zipper, which makes it easier since zippers can be tricky some time. By now I have learned to sew in zippers quite well, so it wouldn’t have been a problem, but I like that it’s a dress you just can slip on.

dress2Today I worked on my least favourite part, inserting the sleeves. Although I have sewn clothes with sleeves quite a few times by now, I always struggle to get it right. So far I have sewn in one sleeve and it turned out surprisingly well, although it was a challenge to include the lining, because I haven’t sewn something with both sleeves and lining before.  All in all I’m quite pleased how the dress turned out so far. I will show you pictures of the finished dress as soon as it’s complete.

Which is the part you struggle most with when sewing clothes? Any tips for inserting sleeves?

Projects: Paper Daisies, Mother’s Day Card and Daisy Hair Clips

flowers2As you know I’m doing a lot of spring decoration DIY’s these days for the La.Meko Filmfestival (which starts today by the way!). One of them are these easy paper daisies, inspired by this kind of daisy. In German they are calles “Bellis”, but I just can’t find out the proper English term. Can anybody help?

flowersThey are one of my favourite flowers and I plant them every spring on my balcony. In fact, there are some of them blooming outside right now.

flowers3I made them as scattered flowers for the tables, but I can think of a lot of other ways to use them. Since they are bound together by plated fasteners, you could adhere them to anything with holes or anything you could cut holes into, like this mother’s day or birthday card….flower-cardor these hair clips.flower-hair-clipsWhat else could you imagine to use them for?

I will show you how to make the flowers, but I’m not sure if I will manage to do the tutorial this week, since the next days will be very busy because of the festival.

Have a great week!

Changes

changes1Once again, I have to make some changes on my blog and especially on my blogging schedule. While I love coming up with new projects and writing tutorials explaining how to make them as well as I love designing all my other posts, I noticed that it’s putting some pressure on me that I have to do it  at a particular time. I’m getting stressed out when I know I have a project post scheduled for the next day, but my project isn’t really finished and the post isn’t written yet. And since blogging is a hobby but not my job, I can’t afford to make it first priority, even if I wanted to. But I want blogging to be fun and not another obligation that’s stressing me to fulfill. So I’m going to cut myself some slack by doing posts according to what I’m in the mood for instead of following a strict weekly schedule. I will keep my categories and posting days for the most parts, but will allow myself to mix it up a little.

I guess I just have to figure out what works best for me. But I still love blogging and am so glad I started this blog!
This is also a great opportunity to say thanks to all of you who stop by, read my posts, like my posts or even leave comments or follow. I really appreciate it and hope you will continue doing so even if there are some little changes.

changes3And to put my plan in action, today I just share some pictures with you. Yesterday I painted paper for some lanterns and loved how the colours turned out. This would also make a great background for an art journal page. It’s a simple wet in wet technique and a part of the effect comes from the paper – I painted on coated paper bags which are thought to hold your break time snack.
Also I’m very happy with the close-ups my new camera is taking.changes2How do you plan your blogging schedule, have you made changes to it in the past and what works best for you to keep blogging fun? Please leave a comment!