tutorial

TASSEL trashy glittery Dec2014

I’ve been looking at a LOT of Pinterest images in the last few days – there are some very pretty things out there!

Specifically I’ve been hunting for things to hang around the house instead of on a Christmas tree since we probably won’t have a live one this year.

I LOVE the smell of pine trees – it reminds me of childhood Christmases and really brings the season into the house like nothing else. I might put a few sprigs around to do the job, but our house is way too crowded with stuff to manage an actual tree. In fact, I’m not sure we have wall space enough to trace a tree on the wall or hang anything at all. Really, I should declutter. After Christmas maybe…

Christmas tree 2008- Jane Schouten - atlitwIngrid Jansen tree 2012 via atlitw

I’ve seen some wonderful alternatives to Christmas trees. The two above come via the photostream of Jane Schouten (of All the Luck In the World). Thanks Jane for letting me share these images!

The first was made by Jane in 2008, a tree-shaped hanging of  (useless but pretty) objects  to use Jane’s description.

I certainly have a lot of useless but pretty, even useless and quirky, or weird, or where-did-this-come-from objects collected over the years. If I had enough wall space I could have a pretty fabulous tree and feel vindicated for collecting (um hoarding) them all this time.

The second tree, made from salvaged recycled timber is by Ingrid Jansen of woodwoolstool. This particular one was made in 2012, but Ingrid has some similar assemblages in different colour themes available from her Etsy shop – along with some other gorgeous things to drool over…

There are hundreds of non-traditional Christmas trees out there in Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, but I haven’t yet found my tree – the one that’s taking shape in the back of my mind…

In the meantime I am busying myself with making the ornaments and hanging thingies that will eventually be my tree. One such hanging thingie – a tassel really – is featured at the top of the page. It’s made from that shiny plasticized packaging that crackers and biscuits, crisps and chips come in. That stuff is FABULOUS to make sparkly glittery things from. I tried to describe my process over on my occasional blog habertrashery, but I’m not sure I was very clear. So I’m posting here as well with a few pics:

  1. Get your shiny plastic packaging, open it up and cut the stiff seams off – these can be used for making another hanging thing later.
    Christmas2014-bag seam hangy 1 low res
  2. Roll up your piece of packaging longways and then snip it up into strips – about half a centimetre or quarter of an inch wide.Trashy glittery tassel - cutting Making2-Dec2014 copy
  3. Unfold the strips and lay them together in parallel. Using some thread – sparkly is always good – tie the strips securely together about half way along the bunch. Looks like a big glitzy spider or a scrappy bow tie.Making-3 -trashy glittery tassel Dec2014 copy
  4. Fold all the strips down so they are hanging down vertically and use some more thread to tie them together near the first knot – the top of the tassel. Now it looks like a proper tassel – or a shiny person in a big sparkly dress. I’m now finished – TA DA – but you could add some wings by using a wide ribbon instead of thread for that last knot and make an angel.TASSEL trashy glittery Dec2014
  5. With the leftover stiff seams of the packaging I tied bows together for another hanging thing. Trashy glittery hangy thing Dec2014
  6. And finally all those left over scraps of packaging and sparkly thread was cut up into DIY glitter for future emergency glitter projects!  Trashy glitter Dec2014 low res

That was a lot of fun to do – but I have a lot more hanging stuff to make before I have my tree finished.

Back soon!

 

 

 

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Recently I’ve started working with little children after a long time out of the classroom. It is exhilarating and exciting and exhausting and so much fun. I want to work with the children to make finger puppets, we are going to design puppets based on the children’s drawings.  Wish us luck!

In the mean time, here are a collection of links to tutorials and patterns for some finger puppets I love very much.

paperkittens

Paper Kittens by Laura at Cupcakes for Clara, published in Mindful Parenting Magazine

gnomefingerpuppets

Gnome finger puppets by While wearing heels

fingerpuppets

No sew finger puppets by Crafty Gemini

alienmonsterfingerpuppets

Alien Monster Finger Puppets by Whispered Whimsy (pattern on Ravelry)

sotosoftiesfingerpuppets

Finger puppet tutorial by Maritza at Soto Softies

Which ones are your favourite? Have you made any finger puppets that you’d like to share with us? Comment below or send us an email at vagusvenus [at] gmail [dot] com.

:::

If you have an idea for a post, or would like to submit a tutorial for Whipup, email vagusvenus [at] gmail [dot] com

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For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Hobby Horse        9. ladybug

Picture-18       bottles1forweb

There are so many fun tutorials on Whipup, I can hardly keep track of them all.  Here are a few fun soft toy tutorials that you might have missed.

Hobby horse by Abby Glassenberg

Ladybug by Lisa Ramsay Whitesell

Felt mouse puppet by Delia

Felted milk and juice bottles for pretend play by Katie Startzman

 

 

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Katie grew up in Ohio and now lives in Boston, so she knows the value of a good double-layer mitten. She has been known to draw diagrams to illustrate her point. To read more about her creations, visit her blog: Foxflat

How to make Convection Mittens

Convection Mittens are serious handwarmers for serious wind and cold! They’re for when whimsical winter accessories just don’t cut it, and for all the times your hands can’t be shoved into coat pockets (carrying grocery bags home, pulling a sled, holding a dog leash).

When I saw how much fleece-lined wool mittens cost in stores, I tinkered with a pattern that could be made quickly and cheaply. Convection Mittens are sewn from felted wool with a fleece lining. They can be made in a couple of hours using repurposed thrifted clothing, and the pattern can be enlarged or shrunk on a copier to fit your whole family’s hands. Give them a try – I’d love to see how they turn out!

Pattern: 
DOWNLOAD PDF: includes illustrated instructions and a printable pattern for making your own pair of Convection Mittens.

Materials: 
Sewing machine, shears, needle, thread :: 1/2 yard (metre) each of felted wool and thin polyester fleece

Notes:
Felted wool and polyester fleece can both be purchased new, but they’re easy to find at a thriftstore. For the fleece, pick out a thinner weight pullover or a pair of pajama pants. Black fleece is always classy for adults, but for kids you could pick out something in a fun color or pattern.

For the felted wool, find a lightweight, 100% wool sweater with a care tag that says “dry clean only”. It’s going to thicken significantly when it shrinks, so it’s important to start with something lightweight or the felted version won’t be pliable enough to go through your sewing machine. I chose a tweedy solid, but you could also pick out a fun pattern like snowflakes or fair isle. Felt the sweater at home in your washing machine. If you haven’t felted a sweater on purpose before, The Magic Onions has a nice photo tutorial. The one thing I would add is that I always shave the final product with a disposable razor to remove extra fuzz.

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Linky love

by kath_red on 20/08/2011

in Features, Link Love

Whether its emails with interesting links or trawling through my rss feeds for cool things – here are some lovely links to explore this week.

If you would like to send press releases or submit your own project please send to submit[at]whipup.net.

You can get more goodies delivered right to your inbox with our newsletter – read our newsletter archives online and subscribe.

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