Monthly Archives: December 2011

recycled paper & fabric alternative Christmas tree

So, I don’t have a Christmas tree. I am ok with that, my one year old would love one though just so he can pull it to pieces! Anyway, I was given some maps yesterday so I wanted to make something out of them, which led me to this tutorial by Everyday Mom Ideas for a paper tree centrepiece. I made one this afternoon after collecting some sticks on our walk, but I used black and white magazine pages instead of scrapbook paper, and I also  made some  feature leaves out of scrap fabric (which I have way too much of). I think it turned out ok, and will do for an alternative Christmas tree – no plastic, completely recycled materials, and free!

Easy project: upcycling magnets using fabric scraps

This little project was so quick and easy. I got to use some of my scrappy bits of fabric, plus make some ugly fridge magnets covered with advertising look so much better. I also recycled magnets which were stuck to the back of some calendars which had appeared in my letterbox (have since stuck a ‘no junk mail’ sign on it, so I probably won’t get any more now).

First thing I did was remove the magnets from the back of the calendars, and peeled the top layer of paper off the advertising magnets. Next, I covered the top of the magnet with PVA wood glue, attached a fabric scrap and trimmed it to fit with a pair of scissors. Then I just applied more glue to the top of the fabric, spread it around evenly then let it dry. That’s it! Used some scraps, recycled some unwanted magnets, and now my fridge looks so much brighter. 

Learning the hard way

I am finding out the hard way how to be organised. I had planned to list a new range of softies on my store, so after lots of thinking and comparing supplies, I ordered all the bits I needed online, drew up some patterns, and spent hours sewing. This was all a few weeks ago, I had planned to have the toys all finished off ready for the Christmas shopping weeks. What I hadn’t taken into account was the possibility that the suppliers had a pre-Christmas rush (probably due to people being more organised than I), and my bits not arriving on time. As it is, my bits are still not here, with only 21 days left until the big day. That’s only a week or two shopping time, taking into account the extra time people allow for postage when shopping online. Oh dear. Hoping a nice big package of crafty stuff arrives for me tomorrow, I have lots of things to finish off, photograph, list online, then hopefully, to tag, wrap and bundle up, and off to the post office..   

My new banner using GIMP, and how I did it

Yesterday I spent some time creating a new banner for my shop using GIMP. It was quite simple, I used a photo of my fabric and added text to create a very simple but colourful header for my store. It’s a bit ‘fresher’ than the one I had previously, so I’ve added it to my blog as well. GIMP is a free photo processing software which can be downloaded here

I usually have trouble getting the sizing right, but with this software it was so easy. Here is how I did it (I use windows):

Open GIMP, Click ‘File’, then ‘New’, and there you can select your image size. Click OK

Next, open your Pictures folder which contains the image you want to use. Drag this image into GIMP.

Select the ‘move’ tool in the GIMP toolbox (a cross with four arrows). This will allow you to drag the image around, so that the preferred section of your image is shown.

Then it’s time to add your text. Click the ‘A’ in the GIMP toolbox, then click on the image where you would like the text to go, and type your text. You can select your font, size, colour etc in the bottom section of the toolbox.

When you have your text in the right place, and you are happy with the way your banner looks, click ‘file’, then ‘save as’ and give it a name. Also you may have to change the file type to a jpeg before clicking save.

I hope that makes sense! Here is mine. Next thing I need to work out is how to give my text a shadow so that it stands out a little better against the pale section of my pic.