Archive for Fabric and Needlework

Indian Block Printing

We made these beautiful Indian Block prints using acrylic paint and printing blocks.

First we tried printing with an ordinary black stamp pad,

which worked fine, but we wanted some colour…

We didn’t have any block printing ink, but I had heard you could use watered down acrylic paint:

We made a sort of ‘pad’ using folded kitchen towel in a little dish

and watered the paint to a creamy consistency.

The dish needs to be big enough for your stamps or blocks.

After a while the colours started mixing together on the blocks, which gave a really nice effect…

Sam painted the larger blocks, partly because they wouldn’t fit in the dishes and partly to get better coverage.

We put a folded old tablecloth under the fabric to provide a cushion and help to get a better impression.

If you don’t have any carved blocks, you could use old bottletops and other found objects instead. In fact I think we might try that next time too as it sounds really fun!

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Recycled Glove Puppies


This little chap is called ‘Pink’. We made him from a pair of gloves using this book, kindly found and donated by my Mum.

This is a great book, with loads of other animals you can recycle from gloves and socks, and they’re very cute! The author’s website is here. It’s in Japanese but even if you can’t read it you can see photos of more of her animals in the gallery section.

We had to turn one glove inside out…

…cut two fingers off, sew up the hole, then turn back the right way…

…then stuff!

Arms are made from the leftover fingers.

It’s starting to look recognisable now!

The other glove makes the head, with two very gorgeous, floppy ears!

Nearly there…

And now for faces…

By evening, Pink was securely ensconced in our family, best friends with Kitty Cat.

This is a beautiful book which I would definitely recommend. I think you could have hours of fun and a lot of new friends on your hands (instead of gloves – get it?!)

Here is Amazon’s description:

‘Sock and Glove’ presents thirteen delightful softy projects that are quick to make – and certain to amuse and delight. Full of individuality and mischief, these stuffed creations are all pieced together from ordinary socks, gloves and mittens. Step-by-step illustrations and instructions make it easy to craft and dress a whole menagerie, including monkeys, elephants, piglets, bunnies, and even an insouciant fish. Endearing to adults and children alike, these whimsical creatures make perfect gifts and inspiring companions.

If you can’t get hold of the book, you could just play around cutting up and stuffing your old socks and gloves and see what happens. This could be very inventive and fun for children to do – I’m sure they will come up with some interesting new breeds!…

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Fun with Felt

Here’s a cute little chap we made at our craft group this month. These are all felt brooches, and the templates are designed by me. There are ten designs, and they are all available (free of charge)¬†for you to print out and make your own. Here are the links to the PDFs: Owl, Bird, Heart, Turtle, Butterfly, Ladybird, Trefoil Flower, Fish, Starflower, Daisy.

You will need A4 paper to print out the template (just white copy paper is fine, it doesn’t need to be great quality). You will need a few different colours of felt, some buttons and maybe some beads, some embroidery thread or sewing thread, and a safety pin to attach to the back to form the brooch.

First cut out all the black pieces from the template sheet (the coloured one is for reference to show how the layers fit together). Next cut all the pieces from felt. You can use pins to hold the paper while you cut it, but we found we didn’t really need them, you can just hold it in place with your fingers while you cut. For the young children, they chose all the colours but we did the cutting. For older children though, they might want to use pins to help them do their own cutting.

Next layer the pieces, little ones can help with this, and can start to see their creature or motif emerging…

The templates are all designed so that they require minimal stitching. Once the children have chosen buttons for all the positions shown on the coloured image on the printed sheet, you can help them to sew their own buttons in place, through all the layers, and this holds the whole thing together.

Sew a safety pin onto the back…

…and wear with pride!

Twit Twoo!!

I hope you enjoy. Do let me know what you think…x

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Peg Doll Fairies

For our last Crafty Tuesday of the year, we made solstice fairies from pegdolls:

These days you can buy specially designed pegs with a more rounded head shape than the old fashioned clothes pegs used to have. I got these from a craft shop, along with some quarters of patchwork fabric, ribbons, sequins etc… whatever you have in your sewing basket really…

Wrap double sided tape as tightly as you can around the bodice area of the peg.

Scrunch around a ‘skirt’ of fabric or wide ribbon, then put some more tape over the top of the bodice area, and wrap a small piece of fabric or ribbon over the tape and the top of the skirt to hold it all in place and cover up the tape.

Wrap a pipe cleaner around to make the arms. Add wool for hair, feathers for wings if you want them, and let the children embellish away…

Lots of different personalities emerged….

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Turtle finished!


You may remember I starting knitting this for Sam in March, and here it is finished! It took AGES, but was totally worth it! And he’s now called Thomas.

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Sheldon Turtle

Started knitting this today for Sam. He chose the wool and the pattern:

It’s knitted in the round on four needles, something I haven’t done before, but it’s occurred to me is really good practice for knitting socks, something I’ve been wanting to try my hand at for ages…

…better finish Sheldon first, before I speak too soon!

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