These little purses are so easy and quick to make but are a useful item and a lovely gift. Using felt means no tatty edges and no seam allowance. The contrasting blanket stitch adds a simple but stand-out detail.
- Decide what colour felt to use and cut any size square/rectangle you like (the set of 3 shown measure 8.5cm x 6cm, 7cm x 12cm and 7cm x 7cm)
- Fold and press with a low-heat iron
- Choose a contrasting wool and, starting from the bottom right corner of the purse, blanket stitch all the way around – making sure you’re stitching through both layers of the purse
- Use self-stick velcro dots to close the purse – you could also use a button or a popper
I have made these purses for a few friends and they have been used for makeup, coins and pens – just remember, for a coin purse, to make the blanket stitches a bit closer together so nothing can slip out!
I received lots of lovely gifts for Christmas this year, my family know me so well.
Most of my wool and crochet supplies are in a big canvas box in the lounge, so I needed a more portable craft bag to take projects with me if I’m away from home. My mum made a lot of different presents this year, most of which I’d seen as she is currently living with me. This one, however, mum managed to make in secret whenever I was out at work or uni:
Its the perfect size and the fabric is just beautiful. The cross stitch panel makes it even more personal and I love the bobbin-print lining too.
My brother’s girlfriend bought me this little acorn felting set:
I haven’t tried felting before but the little instructions included in the box seem pretty straightforward. The wool is angora and is so soft and the colours are stunning.
I love the Great British Bake Off and I love recipe books. This was from my parents’ good friends and clearly they know me as well as my family do!
The book also ties in well with the gift from my aunt and cousin:
I love to bake and anything which makes cupcakes prettier has a place in my kitchen.
Finally, this book from my aunt and uncle is great. Such inspiration to recycle and upcycle things for around the house.
I really have been so spoilt this year and my family as ever knew exactly what to get me. Let me know if you’ve received any fab handmade or craft gifts this year, I’m always interested to see what’s out there.
My parents live abroad so gift size is an important consideration when making things for them. For Christmas (and more recently for a friend’s birthday gift) I made A6 size notebook covers from felt. These can be taken off and put on another notebook so their practical use is extended.
Felt is easy to work with as it doesn’t fray so there’s no calculation for seam allowances and no hems to fold and sew. It evens glues together well so if sewing isn’t your forte then just stick it instead.
I used a blanket stitch to edge the notebooks and the contrasting wool helps the stitches stand out. For an easy-to-follow tutorial on blanket stitch head across to the beautiful site by Cherry Menlove.
To make an A6 notebook cover (you can use any size but I like A6 as its pocket-sized but not too tiny):
- Cut a long rectangular piece of felt – measuring 30.5cm x 15.5cm
- Fold in 4cm from each short end of the felt – iron on a medium setting to crease the folds
- Blanket stitch (with about 1cm between stitches) along the top and bottom edges of the folded felt – hide the knots at the end of the wool inside the folded ends of the felt
- Use white craft glue to add any decoration or adorn with buttons, sequins etc
- Notebook fits into the folded ends
Christmas is always an exciting time for me as I always make loads of things in a short space of time to give to my family and friends.
This year there were, as always, crocheted items but I also decided to use felt to make some notebook covers and purses and for the first time in years used Fimo (oven-bake clay) to make keyrings.
This little Fimo beanie hat keyring was a little stocking filler for my avid-skier brother:
Fimo is an easy and fun material to use – it comes in every colour imaginable and isn’t too expensive (I buy it from HobbyCraft for £1.99 for 56g). Break off the size piece you need, warm it for a few minutes in your hands and then its ready to be shaped and moulded. Once you have your design it gets baked in a low-temperature oven (110 degrees C) for a maximum of 30 minutes and then when it cools, the clay hardens completely.
I also made a keyring for my dad, engraving his name into the clay (with a toothpick). Once the piece had come out of the oven and cooled, I painted the whole thing with white acrylic paint which I then let dry before brushing it off with the scourer on a kitchen sponge. This gives an antique-look to the keyring as the paint catches only in the engraved text and in any other little blemishes on the clay. A really simple technique which gives a different but effective new look to an item.
I haven’t used Fimo for years but I really enjoyed making the keyrings and definitely think I’ll use it again over the next few months. I made a couple of buttons from the excess clay I used for the keyrings so they’ll be sure to feature in a later project too.
Happy New Year everyone. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and received lots of wonderful pressies. Bring on 2012!