Handmade bunting, pink and girly for a baby girl

Coming soon to the Hours of Fun website – handmade, personalised bunting made to order.  Hours of Fun can make bunting for any occasion – new baby or baby shower, birthday present or decoration, congratulations, party decorations and much more.

The brief for this order was pink and girly which is always fun to do.  I used fleece for each flag, cutting them out using pinking shears to give a zig zag finish on the edges.  (This also stops any fraying of the material).  Each letter for the name was machine sewn onto the flags and a button was added to each of the loops at the end of the bias, once the bias was sewn onto each flag.

Wrapped in pink tissue paper, with a ribbon and tag it was ready for the baby shower.  I hope the mum to be likes it 🙂

 

 

Handmade bunting pink new baby girl (4) Handmade bunting pink new baby girl (5) Handmade bunting pink new baby girl (6)

Packaged and ready to go
Packaged and ready to go

Decorating mission – new curtains

Decorating part 4

Our new colour scheme meant that most of the walls were painted with white, with teal on one wall in each room. As we had reduced the colour on the walls I was keen to get some lovely curtains to make a feature of them and to bring more colour to the rooms. As I mentioned in the last post we have unusually sized windows, so ready-made curtains always need altering to fit. I headed to the local material shops and priced up some fabric I liked, I made a note of the name of it too and when I got home I did a search on the internet to see if I could find it anywhere else for cheaper. It worked out around £10 a metre and we needed a lot! It was quickly adding up to well over £100 and this was before I even started making them and buying lining material.

Whilst I was out and about I kept an eye out for curtains and spotted some on sale in Tasker. I checked the measurements and the largest curtains would fit, they would just need taking up as they would be too long and cover the radiator. I couldn’t believe our luck as they were reduced to £20 a pair and matched our colour scheme.

Curtains before being taken up
Curtains before being taken up

 

They needed taking up about 15-20cm on both sets of windows, I even hand stitched the new hem using an invisible stitch whereas normally I would use the machine – I was feeling like I should for the best finish and I had plenty of time as I didn’t have to make them from scratch, plus my mum always says I should!

When picking out curtains it is worth checking both ready-made and material prices. Depending on what colour and material type you want, if you can find some ready-made it is always worth comparing prices.

We also needed a new pair of curtains for the middle of our rooms, as we have the option of closing the curtains in between our lounge and dining room, which then makes the lounge cosier. We needed new curtains in the right colour as I had taken the old ones down as they were red. This time it worked out cheaper to buy the material and make them as I picked up material that was perfect and was only £3 per metre and they didn’t need a lining.

Middle curtains

I did do some research into dying curtains, however with the original curtains being quite a deep red, to get them to dye teal or grey we would need to colour strip them first and then dye them. Even after that there were still warnings about colour matching and the difficulty of dying something that is already a dark colour.

 

 

A little homemade gift given to friends for their trip to New Zealand

Our friends have recently jetted off to New Zealand, they have gone with their two boys for an amazing adventure for a couple of years to live, work and explore the country.  To start their adventure off they obviously had a mammoth journey to complete.  This done with two young boys could have proved to be an interesting challenge!

We wanted to make something for them that may help a little with the long journey, even if it only provided an hour or so of entertainment!  I decided to make draw string bags with their names on and fill it with a few treats to keep them occupied.  We included a magazine, some chocolate and sweets and a little toy.  The magazines had puzzles, games, pictures and colouring pencils in which we hoped would keep both the adults and the kids happy for some time on the plane!

 

 

charlie and sams travel bags (1)  charlie and sams travel bags (2)charlie and sams travel bags (3)  charlie and sams travel bags (4)

 

The bags were made from dark grey textured material cut into rectangles, then sewn together using black cotton thread.  Ribbon was threaded through the bag and sewn into place to allow the boys to wear them on their backs.  They were decorated with felt pieces.

 

Fun with felt, making lavender animals

I bought a pack of lavender a while ago and have not used much of it so I decided to make some felt animals and stuff them with some lavender and give them as gifts.  I love working with felt and I have a good selection of colours in 100% wool felt which is super soft, strong and fab to work with.  I got it from Blooming felt which is a fantastic online felt shop – visit their website here

I decided to make an owl first and followed a pattern I found on the internet (click here for the website)

Felt lavender owl hours of fun homemade (2) Felt lavender owl hours of fun homemade (3)

I then made a cat which I made using a picture of a felt cat someone had made that I found on Pinterest – click here to see it on pinterest

Felt cat

I then thought about making a felt dog, however I couldn’t find a design I liked so I decided to make another owl using a different design that had I seen a few times, where the body of the owl was made up of lots of different coloured pieces of felt.

felt owl

They were all filled with toy stuffing and a pouch of lavender, with a piece of string attached to the top of the animal so it could be hung up.

Sock Monkeys – fun to make and fantastic gifts

It has been a few months since I made a sock monkey so I was very happy when I had a reason to make one and even happier I had a fantastic theme for it – Batman.

A friend of ours is a massive Batman fan and therefore we decided an Hours of Fun homemade batman sock monkey would make the perfect gift.  We already had some batman themed socks in so these were used for the Monkey, combining two different styled socks, one for the body and one for the arms, tail and mouth.

The monkey was sewn together and stuffed using toy stuffing.  The cape was made out of black cotton material and the Batman mask was made from a spare sock toe piece.  The Batman sign on his front and the belt were made from felt.

Handmade sock monkey batman by Hours of Fun

For instructions on how to make your own sock monkey click here, or if you would rather let Hours of Fun do the crafting visit our shop to place an order for your own personalised sock monkey.  You can help design the monkey, providing information on colours, style, theme etc and we will craft your sock monkey – made to order.

 

Homemade bunting – made to order any colour, design or theme

We have made lots of bunting to order whether it be green and white congratulations bunting, pink and purple butterfly bunting or square flagged minecraft bunting.  We made lots of Christmas bunting with super cute reindeer on and gold bells.

Hours of Fun can design and make the perfect bunting for your room or occasion. We can personalise the bunting with names or messages and make it extra-long or to fit a particular length.
Our standard bunting it approximately 12 flags which equals a length of approximately 2 metres (sometimes varies slightly depending on the design). It can be single sided bunting or double-sided and comes with hoops at each end ready for easy display.
The bunting can be made from material or thick paper/card, with embellishments made from material, felt, buttons, ribbons and much more.

Why not order a matching lampshade to go with the bunting for the perfect gift idea.

 

Making cushions and inserting zips

I have made a few cushion covers over the last couple of years, mostly out of felt and fleece, using quilting techniques and button fastenings. This time I was making a simple zip cushion using chenille material to match the curtains and dining chair seat covers.

I started the cushions in my soft furnishings class, I didn’t have the zips with me at the time however I followed instructions and cut out the cushion shapes adding 2.5cm for the seam allowance and 4cm for the zip side.

I then machine stitched the cushions together on 3 sides and only stitched approximately 10cm in on each side of the zip edge. I then used the over-locker machine to go over all edges to tidy them up. Following class my mission was to buy zips for the cushions and we could finish them off in next week’s class.

However, I was unable to attend the next class and I needed the cushion covers to be finished before the following week, so I had to take on this challenge myself.

When doing something a new it is always worth having a search on the internet to see if you can come across any videos or instructions you can follow. When I searched for adding a zip to a cushion they all showed the zip being adding before you sew the cushion pieces together – well I had already done this and didn’t really want to have to unpick four cushions. I therefore decided to be brave and attempt to add the zips using my own initiative and gut instinct!

I managed to sew all four zips into the cushions and at first glance they look ok, however I used slightly different techniques for each one and by cushion three I was happier with the result. I definitely need practice at this and will be taking the other two cushions I have to make for a different project to class this week – one already has the two pieces sewn together and the second is only cut out. I am going to leave them like this and ask the teacher to go through two methods – one for adding a zip before you sew the pieces together and how to add the zip afterwards.

By the time it comes to making cushions with a zip for our own lounge I will be a master at it!

 

 

 

Kellys curtains (1)sewing kellys curtains

Making or buying curtains – always worth checking both options

As part of the recent decoration mission new curtains were required. I was hoping to make them and whilst we were out shopping I got a good feel for what they would want, going for a type of chenille material in a purple to match one of the shades of the wallpaper.

I set to it visiting my local fabric shops and having a look online, however when I started to cost it up it was working out rather expensive as I needed 14 meters of material to do both the lounge and dining room windows along with cushions and enough to cover four dining room chairs. The cheapest I found the material was £10.99 a meter, plus lining material, header tape and threads etc it was quickly adding up. The sale material was no use due to the amount I needed as sale fabric is often end of the role or no longer available.

Whilst I was searching for chenille material online I came across the BHS website who were having a sale on curtains so I had a little look and they had some chenille heather curtains on sale and when I added it up it worked out similar in cost if not a little cheaper to buy them ready made. They would require taking up for the lounge and taking in for the dining room as there were limited sizes left, however this worked in my favour as the material I cut off could then be used for cushions and chairs – perfect.

The curtains arrived and were gorgeous, I was really happy with the fabric and colour. I then laid them out on the floor, measured the length for the lounge and chopped the excess material off and re-hemmed the curtain and lining. I then laid out the dining room curtains and took the width in on each of them, again cutting the excess off then sewing a new seam down each side fixing the lining to the curtain. The dining room curtains also needed taking up for 10cm so I re-hemmed the curtain and lining too.

The excess material was perfect for the cushions and chair covers, there is even some left over just in case they want anything making from them.
I always presume that hand making something works out cheaper, however this just shows it’s always checking shops to see if there are any sales that may make buying something work out cheaper and take up less time!

Kellys curtains (1)

sewing kellys curtains

Kellys curtains2

 

A new cushion for Lou Lou with no felt this time!

For Lou Lou’s birthday present this year I had decided I had to make her a new cushion cover.  I had made her one a couple of years ago using felt and fleece but the felt had worn away and every time I saw the cushion on her sofa I was rather ashamed of how much it had been damaged as the felt squares now had holes in and looked tatty.  I had learnt the hard way not to use felt in a cushion that would be used rather than be for decoration only.

Lou Lous first cushion
Lou Lous first cushion

This time the cushion would be made of fleece only, using a technique I had spotted on the internet.  It was a design with small squares where you leave the seams sticking out at the front as you sew them together so they add a feature to the design.  With fleece being rather thick however I was unable to get more than four layers of fleece through the sewing machine at a time without breaking the needle and getting it stuck.   I therefore amended the design to include a large purple square in the centre with the smaller squares around the outside.

I then cut out some flowers from the pattern and sewed them on to the centre piece for decoration.

I hope this cushion lasts longer than the last one!  With it being made from fleece it is super soft, perfect for resting on when relaxing on the sofa.  It washes well and I will make sure I get regular updates on how it is doing.  As well as being a birthday present for Lou, she is also being my guinea pig for fleece cushion cover making!

 

 

Lou lous handmade fleece cushion take 2 no felt close up of HoF labelLou lous handmade fleece cushion take 2 no felt the backLou lous handmade fleece cushion take 2 no felt

Fleece tie blankie with Teddy Bear made as a birthday present

For some time now I have been meaning to try and make a small fleece blanket with a teddy bear’s head coming out the middle.  You see them in shops and children carrying them around and I thought they would be fab to make and would be a special gift for a little one.  My friend’s little boy Seb, has had a fleece tie blanket from me and he has fallen head over heels in love with this blanket.  He likes to take it everywhere with him and if he cant take it somewhere then this can make him very unhappy and turn him in to an upset monster!

With his birthday coming up we decided it would be a good idea to make him one for this birthday as it would be a fab gift and also help with the situations when the tie blanket he has is too big to take places.  It would also give me a deadline  to work towards and get me finally having a go at one!

I spent ages researching it on the Internet and struggled to find instructions until I came across craftbits.com website and they had full instructions for making a blanket just like the one I wanted to do, although they use a different type of fleece and stitching for it.    I needed to ensure this blanket had tie edges as Seb spends ages playing with the tie bits on his current blanket.

http://www.craftbits.com/project/baby-bear-blanket

These instructions were simple to follow and I really enjoyed making it.  There is a real moment of truth which was rather nerve racking as you sew most of the teddy together inside out.  Once done you then have to turn the teddy the right way round and for the first time you get to see if is resembles a bear at all!  It was fingers crossed and hope for the best and I was jumping around with glee when it turned out to look like a bear!

Fleece tie blankie with fleece teddy bear

As the maker you are often more critical of your own work and I sometimes find when I have finished something I feel I could do have done better, or that part of it went wrong, or other more negative comments.  With this creation I was super chuffed with myself.  I felt a huge sense of achievement as I have never done anything like this before and I was really happy with how it turned out.  I even gave it a wash and it came out in one piece!  I am confident it will stay together and hope Seb loves it the same as his blanket.  I will keep in touch with them on the use and durability of the fleece blankie and ensure they let me know if they have any problem with it.  I am now looking forward to making more of these and trying out different blankets with the teddy bears, I  may even start selling them in my shop.

Fleece tie blankie with fleece teddy bear2