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.



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.


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