Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere to share the ups and downs of starting a craft business, with plenty of tips, mishaps and the odd glass of wine!

Monday, 30 June 2014

How To: Christmas in July Felt Candle Tutorial

I know, I know.... it's the middle of Summer (and yes, it even feels like it here in the UK!) but it is July and that means only one thing..... Christmas In July!

This is an American 'thing' that's become quite big, especially for us designers and makers of handmade goods.

For the last couple of years I've taken part in the the Etsy-wide Christmas In July sale and this year I've also teamed up with a lovely bunch of ladies for a tutorial link-up, run by the fab Deby at So Sew Easy and this is what I'll be showing you how to make:

You will need:

1 Piece of White Felt 10cm x 18cm
2 Pieces of Yellow Felt 2cm x 3cm
2 Pieces of Orange Felt 3cm x 4cm
Seed Beads
Embroidery thread to match the felt
Pins, Scissors, Templates


1. Using 2 strands of yellow embroidery thread, sew one yellow flame onto one orange flame, with a simple running stitch. Repeat with the other yellow & orange flame.

2 & 3. Place the ribbon in between your orange flame pieces (with the yellow flames on the outside of your sandwich) so that the loop is at the top and the tails are both at least an inch below the bottom of the flame sandwich.

4. Sew up the orange flame pieces using 2 strands of orange embroidery thread. Again use a running stitch.

5. Fold over one of the short ends of the white felt rectangle, about an inch in and pin the ribbon to one end.

6. Sew the ribbon into place with a couple of stitches. These won’t be visible when you are finished, so don’t worry about colour or neatness.

7. Then roll up the white felt piece as tightly as possible. Pin it together to stop it unravelling while you sew up the edge with a single strand of white thread. Sew it using a neat whip stitch. Then tie off the thread, but don’t cut it.

8. Then using a very slim needle, thread seed beads along the white thread until you have enough to wrap around the candle in a spiral. Wrap the seed bead thread around the candle in a spiral and sew the end of the thread tightly to the bottom of the candle. 


This tutorial is for personal use only, but please feel free to make as many of these candle decorations for friends and family as you would like. If you would like to reference this tutorial anywhere online or in person, please feel free to borrow a picture, but please do link back here for the full tutorial.

Happy Christmas (In July!)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Teaching Pre-School Sewing

Just a quickie today as I'm putting together a Christmas in July Tutorial (I know - seems FAAAAAAR too early to think about Christmas!!)

But last week and the week before I went into my son's nursery class to teach them some sewing - they LOVED making their creations. (You may remember that I did this last year with my daughter when she was in the pre-school class)

The first week was quite simple, they just sewed a heart onto a background using a simple running stitch:

I then added their names, using a sharper needle as I'd had to punch holes in the felt for the kids to sew using plastic needles.

The the following week they made piggie finger puppets, which they LOVED doing and according to all the Mums & Dads, they were incredibly proud of their puppets, which made my heart sing!

Patrick's Girlfriend :-)
Just like his Mummy, Sewing & Chatting!!

Can't caption the two pics above, but they are Patrick's best friend and his girlfriend!! It's SO cute how much these 4 love each other!

Anyway, I digress.... for the pig finger puppets, I made up the faces & ears and punch the holes in the puppets and then the kids sewed them up, using plastic needles again and with a whip stitch (mostly!!)

What's also really fantastic is that the nursery owners have asked me to go back next year, when I won't have any children at the nursery! Will be so nice as this age are SO excited to be doing new things and show such joy when they do it well!

Now.... for me, back to Christmas decorations!!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Superman How To - Father's Day Felty Tutorial

I was thinking about Father's Day the other week, late as always in this household! And I realised that there aren't many things that I make that my husband would be that into receiving... but something made by the kids, is always a hit.

As I was trying to think what I could do a little tutorial on, I over heard my kids playing a make believe game. Seren was Bat Girl, Patrick was Spider Man and Daddy was Superman... because as Patrick pointed out - he can do ANYTHING! So sweet. Also, so helpful when designing this:

This will join the others on my Tutorial Page and is a nice easy one, so plenty of time before Father's Day this year (or SuperDad's Day as it's now going to be known in our house!)

You will need:

2 pieces of royal blue felt (15cm x 10cm each)
1 piece of red felt (15cm x 20cm)
1 piece of yellow felt (12cm x 9cm)
Embroider thread in royal blue, red, yellow and black (2 strands of each colour)
1 piece of ribbon (optional)
Templates (at the end of this tutorial)

NB: If a younger child was making this you could omit the sewing at each step and use glue instead. They would just need a bit of help with the embroidering of the word 'Daddy'


1. Cut out the red 'S', the yellow background and the red back ground. Pin the 'S' onto the yellow background.

2. Blanket stitch (or whip stitch) the 'S' onto the yellow felt. Don't do the outside edges of the 'S' as they will be done in step 4.

3. Embroider the word 'Daddy' or 'Dad' (your choice) in black thread onto the 'S'. If need be you can use a pencil or disappearing ink pen to mark the letter placement and then sew over the writing.

4. Blanket (or whip) stitch the yellow felt onto the red background. This is where you can sew up the outside edges of the 'S'

5. Pin the whole lot onto both pieces of the royal blue felt and cut out leaving a 1/2cm boarder around the edge.

6. Blanket stitch (or whip stitch) the red felt onto the blue felt, all the way round.

7. If you are using a ribbon, place the ends between the two blue felt layers, pin in place and then stitch up. If you're not using the ribbon just pin the two blue layers together and blanket stitch together.

8. WELL DONE - you're finished!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial - obviously you don't have to use the Superman colours, it would look great in any colours and could be adapted for a SuperMum or SuperGran or anyone Super!

Please feel free to make as many of these as you'd like for personal use, but please do not make them to sell or reproduce this tutorial/templates without referring back to this blog - thanks.

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