Whip Up Tutorials

Kirsten Johnstone is an Architect based in Melbourne, Australia who uses the mediums of built form and interior space to create refined designs. She also uses yarn, fabric and photography to explore her modern aesthetic on a smaller scale. She has an eye for flattering forms that are deceptively simple yet frequently transformable, designs with a distinctive urban edge yet elegantly wearable. Find her online at assemblage.


Here is a super sweet linen skirt with top stitched appliqued circles randomly scattered across the skirt. This Tutorial provides instructions for a simple elastic waist skirt for your favourite little girl.

petite pluie d’ete : French for Little Summer Rain, the circles and fabric colours provide fond memories of gentle rain showers to relieve the summer heat.

SIZES: Made to Measure

FABRIC: 1m x 1.3m wide linen, approximately, washed + pressed and 0.2m x 1.0m wide medium weight fusible interfacing


  • Scissors
  • Chalk Pencil
  • 3 x circle templates (or use different size crockery like I did!)
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread, matching + contrast
  • 25mm wide non-roll elastic
  • Needle, for handsewing


  • Other fabrics would look fantastic but not as ‘summery’ – I think fine pinwale corduroy works brilliantly with the textural contrast but I would suggest keeping it to plain colours ie not using fabric printed with patterns
  • Using this method for circles across the skirt of a tunic dress would be gorgeous.
  • And yes, definitely, a skirt for yourself would be beautiful!
  • I choose to machine wash my skirt on the “handwash” setting to limit fraying although it is certainly a design feature of this skirt.
  • Find the full tutorial and pattern details on this 6 page PDF download.


Stefanie Fail makes her jewelry and crafts in Brooklyn. When she’s not playing dress-up in her creations, she’s working on her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and making the world more user-friendly. Read her blog and find her creations at A common thread.

This is a tutorial for a pom pom garland, great for adding a little DIY decor for a party, kid’s room, or just to add a bit of color around the house. This is a great project for kids or adults, and an excellent way of using up those bits of leftover yarn. I really love a mix of different colors and yarn types — fuzzy, plain, fat, skinny, metallic and bright.


  • Scraps and leftover balls of yarn.
  • Scissors
  • Cotton thread yarn (or string or baker’s twine)
  • 2″ x 3″ piece of cardboard (or any length you’d like. The length = the diameter of your pom pom; width doesn’t matter)
  • Yarn needle

1. Fold your cardboard in half and wrap your yarn lengthwise. You’ll want to wrap it until it’s nice a think. The number of wraps depends on the thickness of your yarn but about 100-200 wraps should do it. Cut your yarn.

2. Cut about a 6″ piece of yarn and thread it through the middle of the cardboard. You can use your yarn needle to make this a bit easier. Bring the piece of yarn up to where the slit in the cardboard is and tie a tight knot around the bundle of yarn.

3. On the opposite end of your knot, cut through the bundle of yarn.

4. Fluff and trim your little puff. And repeat for each of your pom poms. I like when the pom poms are a bit different, so experiment with different cardboard sizes to get different sized pom poms.

6. Thread your yarn needle with the cotton thread, and string it through each of your pom poms.

Hang your garland and enjoy!


Rachel Wolf lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and two children. Rachel spends her days living her bliss in a swirling cloud of living, playing, homeschooling, mothering, writing, crafting, and work-at-home-mama chaos. Visit her blog Clean or her organic body care business, LuSa Organics.

Felt Crown Tutorial

A felt crown is required play equipment for any young child. With the right crown you can be the queen, the king, the prince, the knight, or the ruler-of-all-that-you-see. We love crowns for birthdays in particular. Nothing makes a child feel more special than birthday fuss plus a special crown (though we tend to wear them daily in our corner of the world as well.)

A homemade crown is something to be cherished and easier to make than you can imagine. I have not provided a proper pattern because I think each crown is best born of your own creativity. You don’t need me to draw the lines for you. (Really. You don’t!) I cut mine free-hand, but if you want to be more precise, cut a sample from paper first to get a feel for it. It’s a crown. For your kid. Don’t over think it and you really can’t mess it up.

The crown below is sized for a child ages 3-6. For an older child just add a pinch of extra length to the elastic.

Ready? Let’s sew.


  • Cotton fabric for casing, 3″ x 10″
  • Wool felt (mine is 60% wool), two pieces 15″ x 5″ each
  • 6″ length of 1/4″ elastic
  • safety pin
  • fine glitter (optional)


  1. Sew an elastic casing from cotton. You will sew the seam along the long side. Stitch, turn, and press with seam to the center.
  2. Insert elastic as follows: Fasten a safety pin to one end of elastic. Pull elastic through casing until the elastic tail is even with first opening. Stitch.Pull safety pin, gathering casing, and align the other end of elastic with casing opening. Remove pin and sew.
  3. Cut your crown. Determine which color felt is your background and which is your main color (the front). Fold your background color in half and cut a basic crown shape, with a peak in the center.
  4. Cutting freehand with your shears, shape the basic crown into something more artistic. Wing it. Whatever you create will be lovely! Just let it flow. I folded my fabric in half and cut through both sides at once. (Save your scraps. You’ll need them in a minute.) Hold this modified crown shape up to your child (or even your own head, looking in the mirror) and adjust height and shape as needed.
  5. When you are satisfied with the shape of your crown cut an identical piece out of your second piece of felt. (Lay the already cut crown over the second piece and trace or cut around it.)
  6. Trim off 1/2″ from bottom of the second piece of felt. This will make it smaller and you’ll be able to see the background color all around.
  7. Cut out any embellishments you’d like from the background felt scraps. I prefer to keep it very simple to allow the child to create all the extras in their imagination, but follow your own intuition. Circles, gems, stars, or other simple graphics are ideal.
  8. When you are satisfied with placement, topstitch embellishments into place with matching or contrasting thread onto the main color crown piece.
  9. Pin background crown to main crown panel and carefully sew across top and bottom seams. (Leave sides open for the moment.)
  10. Insert elastic casing with right side facing frontward. Sew. Repeat on second side, being careful not to twist. Your crown is done! For added bling rub with a bit of extra fine glitter. That’ll take it right over the top.


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website
Jenny Bartoy is a mama of two little boys in Seattle, Washington and a former project manager with a passion for sewing, drawing and crafting.  She blogs about her handmade projects on Stumbles & Stitches, a creative conversation with her friend Angel. Jenny sells fabric art and other handmade items in her new Etsy shop.
Hello Whipup.net readers! I’m so excited to be here and share a favorite project of mine: burlap art. I love repurposing materials, it’s such a fun and eco-conscious way to create. For this project, I used part of a burlap coffee sack as my canvas and small fabric scraps to create my picture. Inspired by nature, this design features two birdies calling to each other through the woods at sunset.
You can often find used burlap coffee sacks on Craigslist and Ebay, or if you’re lucky, through a local coffee shop where they roast their own beans. While stamped and distressed coffee sacks look pretty cool as a background, other perfect materials can be linen from thrifted curtains, canvas from a painter’s drop cloth, a vintage napkin… The possibilities are endless when repurposing!
The finished size of this fabric art is 9 x 9 inches. For this project, you will need the following materials:
  • Printed template [link to “Calling Birdies Template” PDF]
  • Background: burlap or other fabric, 15 x 15 inches (includes extra material to wrap around stretcher bars)
  • Lining (if using burlap): muslin, 15 x 15 inches
  • Trees: one piece of fabric, 10 x 7 inches
  • Birdies and leaves: dozen small fabric scraps
  • Fusible web appliqué paper (double-sided iron-on adhesive)
  • Thread, needle, scissors, pen, sewing machine
  • Canvas stretcher bars, 9 x 9 inches
  • Nails/hammer or staples/staple gun
1. Let’s start by prepping your fabric. If using burlap for your background, you’ll want to line it with a square of muslin.  Pin your two layers together and stitch all the way around. I do a straight stitch, then a zigzag stitch around that. Burlap has a way of coming undone if you don’t secure its edges!
I’m using the inside of a coffee sack here, where the ink has seeped through from the stamping.  The letters are backwards, but I like that it’s a more subtle print than the bold black characters on the front of the sack.
2. Select your fabric scraps for the trees, birdies and leaves. For my version, I imagined these birdies at sunset, so I chose scraps in warm colors like yellow, orange, red and purple. To contrast and create an impression of shadows, I selected a grey solid for my trees and white/beige checks for my birdies.
Choose a color scheme that speaks to you! You could do sunset, or autumn or spring, or even completely neutral on a colorful background. Iron your fabric scraps onto fusible web (please follow manufacturer’s instructions).
3. Print out my template at 100% on 8.5 x 11 inch letter size paper [link to “Calling Birdies Template” PDF]. Cut out the shapes and trace them onto the paper side of the fusible web, on the back of the fabric scraps you’ve prepped. You’ll need to trace 3 tree trunks (draw them backwards!), 2 birdies (one in each direction) and 12 leaves.
Cut out your fabric shapes. I like to cut an excess of leaves from a variety of scraps, then play with the color arrangement until I’m happy.
4. Place your fabric shapes onto the background fabric. You can follow my template, or change it up! Face the birds away from each other, move the leaves around…  Remember to keep all the pieces within a central 9 x 9 inch space, your finished project size.
At this point, I like to snap a digital picture of my layout. It allows me to see it from a different perspective and notice what may need to be tweaked. It also helps me remember exactly where I placed each piece before the next step.
5. Remove the birdies and leaves, set them aside. Peel the paper backing from the trees and fuse them onto the background fabric (please follow manufacturer’s instructions for fusible web).
6. Stitch around the trees with your sewing machine, or a needle and thread. Your thread color choice depends on whether you want the stitches to contrast or blend into your appliqué.  I used dark grey thread on everything to create overall cohesion.
I outlined each appliqué piece with a straight stitch, roughly 1/8 inch in from the edge – it adds texture to the finished project. Since the fusible web is adhering your pieces to the background fabric, you can skip this step if you prefer. Or you can zigzag stitch around the appliqué, try a blanket stitch, or go crazy with embroidery floss and a needle. Have fun with it, it all contributes to the finished artwork!
7. It’s time to add the birdies and leaves! Follow the same steps as for the trees. When you’re done top-stitching, add legs for the birdies by stitching 2 little sticks under each bird’s belly. You can either machine-stitch or embroider them.
8. Carefully press your fabric art one last time, cut off any errant threads and make sure you’re satisfied with the overall look and details – it’s your last chance! Then it’s time to attach your fabric art onto the canvas stretchers.
I recommend googling the proper technique for attaching fabric onto stretcher bars. My method is to lay the fabric art face down on a clean flat surface, then center the stretcher bars on top. Begin by folding over each edge of the fabric art one at a time, and sticking a nail/staple in the middle of the bar. Taking turns with each side, gently pull the fabric taut and secure it evenly around the canvas with nails/staples. Finish by neatly folding the corners in and nailing/stapling those down.
Ta-da!  You are done!
Thank you Kathreen for inviting me to post on WhipUp! I hope you’ve all enjoyed this tutorial. I can’t wait to see what you make and hope you’ll come share it with me over on Stumbles & Stitches. My talented friend and blog-mate Angel is working on her own version of this project and will be showing it off too!
Note: The template shared here is for personal use only. Please do not sell it or any projects made from it. If you share your project online, please credit the design to Jenny Bartoy of Stumbles & Stitches. Thanks in advance and happy stitching!


Amy Adams is a Designer and Crafter who blogs under the name LucyKateCrafts where you can see more of her softies and patterns. Her first book was published in April 2011 by C&T Publishing as part of their imprint range, Stash Books, and is full of cute and quirky softie patterns for all sorts of wildlife including a swan, otter and hedgehogs. There are other insects, such as a dragonfly and bumble bees, to go along with the ladybird, in the book.

Lady bird felt softie

You will need:

  • 1 piece of fabric 3” x 6” (7.5 x 15cm) for the body
  • 1 piece of craft felt 3” x 4” (7.5 x 10cm) for the wings
  • 1 piece of craft felt 1” x 2” (2.5 x 5cm) for the eyes
  • 2 small buttons
  • sewing thread
  • stuffing
  • small pebble to weight the ladybird
  • plus the usual needle, pins, scissors etc

Making the body

  1. Cut 2 body shapes using the template provided from your chosen fabric, place them right sides together and pin.
  2. Sew round the edge leaving the turning gap open.
  3. Turn the body right side round, stuff with a little of the stuffing, then pop in the pebble to give the ladybird a little bit of weight. Continue to stuff until it is almost full then fold in the raw edges of the turning gap and sew it closed.

Adding the eyes and wings

  1. Cut 2 eye circles from the smallest piece of craft felt. Hold one in position on the body (the opposite end to where the turning gap was), and anchor in place by attaching it on with one of the small buttons.
  2. Repeat for the other eye.
  3. Cut 2 wings from the other piece of craft felt and attach one to the body using small random straight stitches along the short straight edge. Flip the other wing and attach in the same way so both wings line up as indicated on the template.

Embroidery embellishment

  1. Add some french knots dotted around each of the wings. To do this, anchor your embroidery thread to the ladybird’s body with a knot underneath one of the wings. Bring the thread up through the wing, wrap it round the needle 3 times and then take the thread back down through the body, coming up where you want the next french knot to appear, pulling the previous knot tight as you go.
  2. Add some antennae by passing a short length of embroidery thread through the head from one side to the other, just above each eye. Remove the needle and tie a knot in each end of the thread, trimming the length if need be.

Your ladybird is now complete. If you have any trouble getting hold of small buttons for the eyes, here are some ideas of other alternatives.