Handmade Chicken Doorstop

A handmade chicken doorstop, made from my left over navy and white spot dress fabric! I found the pattern and instructions for this doorstop on the Guardian website. I needed some fast sewing therapy last night – this fit the bill, and it’s useful too! Splendid. Wouldn’t it make the most perfect present?

Chicken Doorstop Handmade

Chicken Doorstop Handmade

 

Chicken Doorstop Handmade

The tutorial is relatively simple for an advanced beginner. I did a couple of things differently. Instead of using felt for the eyes, I used some nice shiny buttons and, instead of using rice as a filler, I used stuffing with some baking beads. Pretty and practical, it’s making a clucking fun statement in my living room. Love it!

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Sssssssnake Make!

Meet Cecil – George’s new favourite snake! Thaaat’s right my friends!!! I made a sssnake!
DIY SNAKE

Cecil was a quick present whipped up for a one year old’s birthday! I didn’t use a pattern, just kind of winged it. Inspiration struck me when I saw Henry playing with his snake and my only thought was ‘how hard can it be to cut out a snake shape?!’ Well – turns out it’s really quite hard when you have no drawing skills.

DIY SNAKE

Ummm yes George, of course snakes have square heads!! Anyway, forget about his square face for a minute… Let’s talk about his minky soft belly and those shimmery eyes? Cecil is the ultimate toy, he pulls off incredibly snuggly and scary at the same time! Here he is slithering through the grass before his trip to North Devon.

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Soooo cute. I had an absolute blast making him and I’m pretty happy with the way he turned out. Simple and fun, I want to make lots and lots of snakes… Do you want to make one too? Of course you do! Then watch this space for a Cecil snake how-to.

Drawstring Travel Bags

DIY Drawstring Shoe Bag

These little beauties are for a family planning a mega-marvelous holiday to America. They are perfect for keeping dirty shoes in or using as a small laundry bag while you’re away. Simple but stylish, with a serious dose of all-American awesomeness thanks to the funky star fabric.

Drawstring Shoe Bag

Fabulous, right? But can you guess what’s going to make this gift that much more fabulous? (Wait for it!)

DIY ZIP POUCH

Yes my friends…a matching zipper pouch!

DIY ZIP POUCH LINING

And it’s lined too. Fancy, eh? The lining material was hacked from a piece kindly donated to my stash by a friend. Thanks Emma, I’m getting new life from your old clothes!

If you fancy making your own travel bags, you might want to check out this post, it contains five different ways to make one.  For some zipper pouch action, here’s the how-to I followed by The Purl Bee. If you have a question or something isn’t clear just ask! I hope you find the posts I’ve shared helpful and I promise you won’t stop at one if you do decide to make any.

A Trio of Handmade Peg Bags (Clothespin Bags)

Yes my friends, I’ve made some more peg bags! What can I say? I just love, love, love giving these away as gifts! They are super duper easy to make and look so lovely. If you would like to make one/some, here are the instructions. Okay, let’s take a look at the trio…

Bright red with white polka dots made for Marieclare:

Handmade Peg Bag

Dogs with green and white polka dots made for my lovely step mum, Ellen:

Handmade Peg Bag

Baking with green and white stripes made for Jayne:

Handmade Peg Bag

What was that you said? Not quite enough peg bags for you? Well, you can feast your eyes on a ‘cats and spots’ version here and an ‘elephant’ version here.

Alright, I’ll give the peg bags a rest for now or at least until after Christmas anyway!

What Do You Make a Hairy Biker? (AKA Dad)

It’s my Dad’s birthday soon. The thing is my Dad is no ordinary Dad. My dad is seriously cool. He is 65, lives in a house he built himself from salvaged materials and cruises around on a Triumph Bonneville. Thinking up handmade gift ideas for men is usually hard but I knew exactly what I wanted to make for this dude…

Homemade Gift Hairy Biker

I found an excellent free tutorial and pattern for a half face mask, which I adapted slightly to make the perfect biker’s mask. I used a skull and crossbones cotton for the main fabric but, instead of using a flannel or cotton for the lining, I used a black fleece. That should keep him nice and warm on the bike during the cooler weather. And there you have it, a brilliant gift for a bad-to-the-bone biker dad…

Homemade Biker's Mask

Have some great gift ideas for hairy bikers? Let me know in the comments.

Make it Yourself: Peg Bag (Clothespin Bag in America)

How to Make a Peg Bag / Clothes Pin Bag

Yes, I’ve made another one. But this time, I made a note of each step to bring you this little how-to, which means you can make your own peg bag too. Hooray. The ‘Roses & Spots’ version pictured is my third peg bag, you can see number two ‘Cats & Spots’ here and number one ‘Elephants’  here. OK, let’s get started.

You will need:

  • Large paper, pencil and ruler
  • A child’s coat hanger
  • One piece of lining fabric 40cm x 40cm
  • Two pieces of medium weight focus fabric 40cm x 40cm
  • Two strips of coordinating bias binding 40cm long
  • Usual sewing supplies (thread, sewing machine, etc.)
  • Optional: ribbon and button

To make the peg bag:

  1. Make a template by drawing around the top of a coat hanger (leaving a gap where the hook is). From the coat hanger measure down 25cm and square off the bottom. Allow a 2cm seam allowance all the way around and cut out your template.
    PegBag_Template.jpg
  2. Using your template cut out three pieces of fabric – one piece from your lining fabric for the inside, one piece for the back panel and one piece for the front panel from your focus fabric.
  3. Now cut horizontally across, approx. one-third of the way down, your front panel.
  4. Apply bias binding across the cut edge of your two pieces of fabric for the front panel.
  5. Place wrong sides of the back panel and lining material together and place the two pieces of the front panel with the right side facing up on top of the lining. Pin the layers together.
  6. Sew all the way around the edge using a 0.5cm seam allowance and leaving a gap (0.5cm) at the top for the hanger hook. Remove pins, snip the corners, and iron the seams neatly to one side.
  7. Then, turn the bag inside out and sew the seam again, leaving the same gap at the top, and encasing the first seam.
  8. Turn your peg bag back the right way, push the bottom corners out and press neatly. Insert the coat hanger, working the hook carefully through the hole you left at the top.
  9. Now to make it look really pretty you can decorate it with a button and a loop.

Et voilà! A pretty peg bag with french seams.
If you make a peg bag using this how-to, please send me a photo. I would LOVE to see it!

Cats & Spots Peg Bag

If you like cats and you like spots, you’re going to love this peg bag.

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This is my second peg bag, number 1 was made as a house warming gift, and number 2 has been made for my mum’s birthday. Yes, mum loves pussy cats, especially the Siamese variety, so the fabric I’ve chosen is as purrrfect as a peach. This time I experimented with contrasting fabric on the outside for a kookier finish. Now to make one for Aunt Sarah, she likes flowers…

Want a pretty peg bag? Here’s how to make it yourself.

Homemade Kid’s Apron

I made an apron as a birthday present for my nephew, Alfie. Not only will it make baking even more fun for him, but it’ll also protect his clothes from cruddy food stains. Happy nephew and happy parents = double brownie points for Auntie Kellita! And it was so easy and quick to make that I made one for Henry too. Aww, matching cousin aprons everybody. Throw in some baking supplies and this really is the perfect present for any budding toddler chef, so with Christmas just around the corner –  yep, the C-bomb already – I thought I’d show you how to make one too.

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Henry modelling his apron.

To make the apron you will need:

  • Cotton fabric 40cm wide x 42cm long
  • A metre and a half of 30mm twill tape
  • The usual sewing paraphernalia

Step 1:  Fold the fabric in half lengthways and cut a small curve across the corner, from approx. 10cm in from the top open side to approx. 23cm down.

Step 2: Fold over 1cm hem twice all the way around, press and secure with pins.

Step 3: Cut the twill tape into three lengths of 50cm.

Step 4: Tuck a strap into the hem on either side of the waist (at the bottom of the curve) and secure with a pin.

Step 5: Tuck the end of the neck strap into the hem on either side of the top of the apron and secure with a pin.

Step 6: Top stitch all the way around the apron, close to the edge, stitching through all thickness as you reach each strap. Repeat further in, so you have two rows of top stitching, and press.

Step 7: Hem the ends of the ties to stop them from fraying.

Tadah! Done!

Alfie's apron.

Alfie’s apron.

Here’s another great idea for a present and, if you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you.

Elephant Peg Bag

I hate housework. Especially washing. So if, like me, washing clothes tops your list of most hated household chores, you desperately need a pretty peg bag in your life.

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I made mine by loosely following Debbie Shore’s Half Yard Heaven ‘how to’. I did a few things differently though to make it a bit more special. For example, I used a lining in a contrasting fabric and french seams for neatness. This was a really quick and easy sewing project, ideal for a speedy gift, so I’m very pleased that I’ve added it to my repertoire. A pretty peg bag has the power to make hanging the washing bearable and can, just about, release the inner domestic goddess in anyone. Ask Louise, I made this one for her as a housewarming gift. All she needs now is a washing line…!

Want a pretty peg bag? Here’s how to make it yourself.