Monday, 5 September 2011

Newbie crafting extravaganza!!!

Good Afternoon All.............................

So here are the new crafts mentioned in my last post which I have been playing with over the weekend....... My attempts are a little futile but I'm going to continue playing with these techniques as I think both have a great deal of crafty potential...........

Craft 1) Needle Felting 

One of the classes I had a go at at the SCC craft show was needle felting - this was ran by 2 lovely older ladies from the Bury Craft Club who were a brilliant pair of teachers. This is brilliant way to embellish your sewing projects or just to create lovely felted items (jewellery etc).

We (me and my mum) paid just £3 each to take a seat with about 10 other people around a large table.  We were then introduced to the materials and equipment - the wool roving, a natural fabric (offcut of a  100% wool blanket) a barbed felting needle and a block of foam - nothing too fancy (or expensive)
Once we were clear about the equipment and their uses, the ladies explained how the process involved 'locking' natural fibres into each other in order to produce a felted product.

Taking shape
Step 1 = Laying out thin layers onto the natural fabric whilst resting them on the foam block (I chose greens and browns)
Step 2 = Jab away at the wool, poking it through the fabric to interlock the fibres with the barbed needle
Step 3 = Keep jabbing! (watch out for fingers)!
Step 4 = Build more layers/colours and repeat the jabbing (great to take out a bad temper on!) I chose to integrate strands of wool within my finish at this stage amongst the roving to add additional texture)
Step 5 = Cut out desired shape (I chose a leaf)
Crudely embroidered veins!
Step 6 = Embellish further with embroidery, sequins, buttons etc.... (I have not finished this fully as yet on this leaf but have started to add veins to my leaf with embroidery threads)
Step 7 =  Cut out a backing for your shape out of a complementary colour felt.
Step 8 = Sew onto the back of your felted shape using a blanket stitch or similar
Step 9 = Sew on brooch/badge pin/hair slide etc and wear with pride

The following how-to video is a must see for anyone who has never had a bash at needle felting before:
Recommended Supplier of all materials for Needle Felting (as per the Bury Craft club ladies)
Some seemingly good starter kits:

Craft 2) Decopatch
This was a totally new craft experience although it does remind me of making papier mache things as a kid :O)  At the show I saw a gorgeous giraffe (!!!) which was brightly coloured with a patchwork of colours and patterns.  It reminded me of the 'Cow Parade' which was all over Manchester in the early 00's (and has
'Cow About Town
been copied in many guises all over the place since) The Congleton Bear Mania  Parade would also be a good candidate for this craft!

Anywho (or should that be anymoo)....... I bought a cheap MDF heart trinket box a while ago from Hobbycraft with the intention of decorating it to keep loose earrings, change etc in and was just waiting for the right thing to pop up really when I came across Decopatch at the show.
Heart trinket box ........ mid Decopatch-ing!
This craft is really simple (good for kids too) and simply involves laying cut-up or torn pieces of coloured/patterned decopatch sheets onto a lightly glued surface and then pressing the sheet flat whilst coating it in a thin layer of the same glue.  The paper is thinner and tougher than standard tracing paper, comes in a variety of lovely designs, is really easy to do and transforms the object it is going onto.  

I asked the sguy on the Decopatch stand if the glue is just PVA but was told that although similar, this glue does more than just stick, it also adds a glossy finish making it more effective (and tougher) than PVA would.  Now that I have tried this glue I defo think PVA would not leave as good a finish so would not recommend cut out this glue if attempting this craft and going for the cheaper PVA alternative. 

The Glossy glue cost £6.00 for a 180ml pot and each paper sheet (apx A4 size) costs £1.00.  Cheap furniture from IKEA was on the stand which had been covered with this and they were lovely - great for kids rooms especially :O)  Click here to visit the Decopatch Website

These projects are still ongoing so I'll update over the next few days with my completed projects ..... in the meantime, happy crafting


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