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?

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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: 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!

Projects: Feathery Birds

birds1  As I mentioned before I’m a co-organizer of the La.Meko Filmfestival. Among others (like making the collage for the print products), it’s my task to make the decoration (or actually, I insist on doing it). Since we decided to do kind of a spring theme this year, I’m currently experimenting with different DIYs matching this theme. One idea were these birds – on the one hand I love birds and on the other hands, I absolutely associate them with spring.

birds4I made birds out of paper before, but since I get bored doing the same over and over again, I wanted to come up with another way.bird2The yellow one is looking a little bit tousled. It was the first one I made so it was a lot of trial and error.

birds3

After I was finished I nearly looked like a very tousled bird myself, since little feather pieces were sticking all over me!
I’ll show you how I made them on Wednesday, although I’m not completely satisfied (again), I think they are a little bit trashy….what do you think?

Have a good start into the week!

Projects: Yes, I’m keeping this old kitchen clock!

clockAs I told you before, our kitchen was renovated last week and as part of this we did a little bit redecorating, too. I guess there won’t be much difference since we kept our (mostly slightly shabby) furniture, but at the moment it’s looking much more organized, clean and bright (because the clutter isn’t back in, I guess).

I also thought this would be a good time to get back to a project I wanted to do for a long time and to convince myself that it’s really reasonable to keep everything and not to throw anything away.

I’m a little bit exaggerating here, I am able to throw things away, but what I tend to keep is old clothes, old magazines, things that I don’t really like anymore but which aren’t broken, every kind of paper I stumble upon and somehow like, scraps of fabric, old books, and so on. Mainly it’s the stuff I think I still can make something of. And while I sometimes think it’s silly, I actually reuse a lot of these things and very often I am happy I kept them.
A lot of times I can start immediately with my projects because I have everything I need. Also, it saves me a lot of money to use (at least partly) the material I already have. I guess it’s keeping me more creative to think about a way how I can use the things I have than just to go out and buy new stuff, too. And finally, I like the idea that the things I reuse aren’t wasted and that doing something myself using materials I already have is an easy way to sometimes take a step back from consumption (which I find a lot harder when I see these jeans I really really have to have).

What I kept and what I’m talking about is our old Ikea kitchen clock. When I bought it I painted the frame because I thought it was boring before and we try to keep a kind of red and white colour scheme in our kitchen (at least I do). But the paint has started to chip of and the clock hands couldn’t move anymore because the clock face has crimped, so I decided to give it a little makeover. Due to the whole renovating I didn’t have as much time this week, so the clock isn’t finished yet – that’s why today I leave you with a before picture and a little bit more talking than usually. I will show you the finished clock on Wednesday, so until then you can take a look at former projects I made using materials I already had, like Notebooks, Paper Birds, the button bracelet shown in this post and the button earrings shown here.

Thanks for reading!

I would love to know your opinion, do you rather throw stuff away or keep it? Which projects have you made with things or materials you already had or didn’t throw away?

Projects: Fabric Flowers

fabric-flowers-allFabric flowers can easily be made of scratches and single buttons. I think single ones look cute, but I especially like to make several of them with matching colours or patterns, like the ones pictured below.

fabric-flowers-2My favourite project using fabric flowers was a brooch for which I combined several of the flowers, leaves and stems in plaid and striped fabric in different shades of blue, but it was a gift and I gave it away without taking a photo.
Another project I used fabric flowers for was a headband, onto which I sewed two fabric flowers next to a few buttons.

fabric-flower-4 The next one was actually made by my mother. I made several of this kind, too, but again, I gave them away and didn’t take any photos before.

fabric-flowers-4This one is made a little different from the ones above, but the basic technique is the same.

Fabric flowers can be used for a lot of different things. Next to brooches and headbands they would look cute along the neckline of a shirt or a dress, you could add them to barettes or hair ties and  they would spice up a plain bag or even shoes!

On Wednesday I will show you how you can make some of them, too!

What would you use them for and what kind of fabric would you choose?