Friday, 25 July 2014

Shrinkies Plastic Feather Keyring

A few weeks ago I posted a pleather feather keyring DIY and after experimenting with Shrinkies in a 90s craft blast from the past, I decided to fuse the two together and see how it worked out [clue: it sort of did but by accident].

What I Used:
Shrinkies Clear Plastic
HolePunch / Scissors
Needle / Thread

 I used a feather template originally created for this post to draw my feathers, but you can create 
your own free-hand or with a printed image, or be a Shrinkies ninja and draw straight on to the
 plastic with no help.
Once your outlines have been drawn, you can turn the plastic over and get on with the detail.
This was where I wished I had the white plastic for this project, as the gold-toned Sharpies I have don’t transfer particularly well on to the clear plastic, so my colours were limited to brown, with a little detail added with colour blocks.  Don’t forget that the plastic will shrink up to 7 times smaller, so although it may not seem particularly detailed, it will all shrink together nicely:
Remembering my cutting problems from my previous experiment, I was generous with the 
outline and tried to keep the lines as smooth as possible:
I also created attachments for the feathers, using a hole-punch at the ends so that they could be
 easily threaded afterwards………….
….before transferring the feathers to a lined baking tray and popping in the oven at 170 degrees:
I completely missed the process during my experiment, so set up camp on the floor by the oven, British Bake Off-style, and watched the feathers twist, turn and curl [as expected]……..
……and then not uncurl.  
Definitely not supposed to happen:
I took them out as quickly as I could and tried to flatten the plastic out – which worked a little, 
but there were still obvious kinks.  There was also a little ink transfer at either end:
I put them back in the oven to see if it would help flatten the plastic further, but it tended to 
continue to curl, so I admitted defeat and turned the oven off.  I tried placing a sheet of foil on top, 
with a heavy dish to prevent further curling and left the plastic to cool.  

Flattening with a dish worked much better than I though and unintentionally, the curves gave the feathers some detail and the ink transfer was not as noticeable as I originally thought:
To transform this all in to a keyring, I used embroidery thread to attach the feathers [for now], but I think I might replace this with cord, or plait the floss to add a bit more detail:
I varied the length of the thread for each feather:
...and attached them with a finding:
Ready for my keys:

P.S – if you have any idea why the feathers didn’t uncurl, please let me know!
P.P.S - make a whole bunch of these in brighter Sharpies and how excellent would they
 look for this DIY?!
Have a fab weekend - see you next time x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Review: Glue Gun

Hello!  Today’s post is a little different than the usual DIY and I hope useful, as today I’m blogging glue guns.  I’m a believer [and still am] that you don’t need electrical equipment, tools and gadgets to be creative, but this small investment has not only saved me time, it’s added strength and saved many a project that otherwise would have been abandoned.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Embroidery Hoop Dreamcatcher

What I Used:
Embroidery Hoop
Colourful Embroidery Thread
Felt Feathers
Needle / Scissors

 To create your catcher, it couldn't be more simple.  Start a length of thread with a tight knot on the inner hoop and wrap the thread in lengths across the hoop in varied patterns:
Continue until you are happy with the overall look, effect of the overlapping wraps and patterns
 made with any colours you add or incorporate:
 When finished, secure the thread in place with a tight knot at the back and trim the excess:
For the hanging feathers, I re-purposed this Felt Feather DIY:
 threading the ends with a length of the thread:
 ...and them looping them from behind the hoop, over to the front:
Before securing them in place by adding the outer hoop and tightening:
 The lengths of thread attached to each feather could then be pulled to vary the length until I was
 happy with the arrangement:
 Secure each length with a knot and trim the excess to neaten the finish:
 ...before your dreamcatcher is ready to hang:
 Simple as that - a few wraps of decorative thread and some feathers is all you need - vary the look by adding beads, charms or embellishments to the hoop and thread and you can create a variety of feathers using shop made or cut your own from decorative paper or fabric.
 see you next time x

Friday, 18 July 2014

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Felt Flower Pom Poms

Today’s craft is one of my favourite kinds – a simple technique and few materials that allows you to create something with impact – felt flower pom poms.