Super simple DIY Tea towels

Hey there! I’m super excited that my tea towel samples have arrived from Spoonflower. I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you all how dead simple it is to sew up a pretty tea towel to colour up your kitchen! And it only takes about one or two hours to complete.

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All you need is an iron and a sewing machine that sews straight(ish) lines. They are great for presents with a personal touch – you can even do as the Japanese do and wrap gifts in small squares of material, which the receiver can then reuse however they wish!

You’ll need:
an iron
a ruler (preferably metal)
a sharp pair of scissors
a bolt of pretty cotton/linen material about 16″x24″ (41x61cm) with an extra 1.5cm on each side for seams
a sewing machine threaded up with some cotton in a complimentary colour

Let’s go!!

  1. Cut the fabric to size and trim off any fraying threads – generally you should prewash your fabric before sewing it as cotton and linen shrinks.

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  2. Now we’re going to press the seams to make it easy to sew. Put the fabric print-side down on the ironing board and, using your ruler, fold one edge over 1.5cm (you can pin this in place if you like, I tend to fold as I go.)
  3. Press with a hot iron for a couple of seconds, mind your fingers! Do this for all sides so that there is a definite crease along each fold.

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  4. Now to make those seams really neat and professional looking. Unfold the material you have just pressed. Fold the edge of the material over so that it sits on the line of the crease made by the iron. Then refold it over on itself at the original crease. You are basically folding the seam allowance in half so that all the raw edges will be hidden in the middle of the seam.

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  5. Press again to hold the double fold and repeat the process on all sides of the tea towel.

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  6. With all that folding the corners are going to be very bulky. Cut a small amount off the corner to get rid of the extra bulk – you could do this before pressing but I think it’s easier to gauge how much to cut off once you have those crease lines in place.

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  7. Now, finally, you get to sew!! The pressing should hold the fabric in place but if you’re nervious you can pin the seams down. Choose a side and sew along the outside edge, using the foot as a guide to keep the seam straight.

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  8. Now for the clever bit! Once you get to the bottom corner, slow down until your needle lines up with the seam running perpendicular to the one you’re sewing now – use the big knob on the side of your machine to get needle accuarately in place. Position the needle so that it’s piercing the fabric (have a look at the pic). Then, with the needle still in the material, lift the foot up, turn the fabric around so that now the new, unsewn seam is lined up for sewing, and place the foot down again. You can now continue sewing, and the seams will look really neat at the end! Keep going until each side is completed, release the machine foot and trim off the threads.

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Done! How easy was that? If you would like to make your own tea towel like mine, you can buy the fabric from my Spoonflower shop here (there are two other colourways as well). Or, if my design isn’t your style, there are plenty of tea towel designs to choose from on Spoonflower. You can even get a piece of cheap calico and go to town with stamps and fabric markers to make your own unique piece!

I’d love to see what you come up with so post pics and questions below! 🙂

Vintage crafting with Perler beads

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One day during my regular Amazon browsing for random art supplies and crafty things I came across something magical. Something from my childhood that I had completely forgotten about until that moment. I found a bucket of perler beads. You know perler beads, the colourful little plastic bits that you make into a design and iron over to magically make a melted plastic picture? I LOVED doing this when I was little, I could make little melty flowers and hearts and stars for hours and hours. The actual finished product was not the point – I mean how many coasters and fridge magnets do you really need? – but the act of painstakingly placing each colourful bead onto a spiky tray and watching with joy as Mum transformed it into something solid was just the best – and somehow amazingly satisfying!

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The urge to relive the glee of that childhood past time was so strong that I found myself adding it to my virtual basket and going to the checkout before I even knew what was happening, and oh what fun I have had! What colourful coasters I have been able to create (though seriously if anyone knows of anything else I can make with perler beads please tell me!)

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My set was party themed so I got a rainbow selection of colours and trays shaped like cupcakes, so naturally I had to make a few. Like a kid I happily spent a whole afternoon trawling through thousands of colourful beads to make citrus slices and cupcakes to my heart’s content. I think they’d make a fun little handmade gift for friends, or maybe to stick as a removable design on a thank-you card. All round an excellent (and actually rather cheap) way to fill a rainy day!

 

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I’d love to see some of your amazing perler bead creations! Post a pic below and share your creativity!

New Etsy Shop!!

Oh wow. Can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I’ve posted anything! So bad of me, however I have got a new job (yay!) which is taking up a lot of my brain space at the moment. So far though I’m really enjoying it and I’ve met some really great people.

I wanted to announce that I have just launched a shop on Etsy! So now you can get greeting cards and notebooks featuring some of my pretty patterns…HOW EXCITING!! 😀 Click the link above to have a look, I will also be adding a tab to my menu so that you can go straight there from my website.

Even better, for the rest of July 2016, I’m giving anyone who uses the coupon code BLOGREADER will get 10% off as a thank you for being my first customers! Hope you’ll take a peek and thanks so much for tuning in!

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Arm-knitting adventures

After over two months of travelling I find myself back in my cosy little room in Melbourne, with my big comfy bed and my own bathroom and tea collection…and with absolutely nothing to do. Work is quiet, and I find job hunting so soul destroying that I’ve been putting it off as long as possible. Thus for the last week or so I have really been doing nothing except watching Homeland and playing Lego computer games and feeling guilty about how unproductive I am. Finally I decided I should be using this time for good and I’ve started trying out all the various crafty projects I have been putting off for ages! For my first creative procrastination adventure, I attempted arm-knitting.

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I have wanted to do this ever since I saw a YouTube tutorial link on the Frankie website – it looked so ridiculously easy to do and you can complete a whole infinity scarf while watching an episode of Game of Thrones – score! This appealed to me first because I love doing arty stuff with my hands – smudging charcoal onto paper, kneading dough, making little models, fun fun fun! And I suck at knitting with needles, it all just ends up in a big knotted blob of wool! Turns out I’m much better with my arms, even if I did have to unpick it the first few times.

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The tutorial video was made by a crafty group called Handimania and it goes through the steps slowly and clearly. And if infinity scarves aren’t your thing, just don’t do the final steps! I’d love to see what else I can make with arm knitting, maybe a loose shawl or a shabby chic style blanket. I reckon a lot of people will be getting scarves as birthday presents this year, it was really fun to do, and makes my days of tv marathoning feel so much more productive!