Category: Sewing and Craft

Chevron painted spool holder


Hi Guys,

I have been busy trying to tidy and organise my study/sewing room/dumping ground/office. And since I have been busy sewing and going to markets and stocking my shop. (which you can visit It has taken me a while to work on. But I have finally finished working on my new spool holder! First I didn’t want to spend any money, so I had use what I had laying around in the garage. So I found a piece of laminated board and got started. I chose blue and red, not to be patriotic but because I had to use spray paint for the laminate and thought mixed together it would be purple, not some other hideous combination!

So – here is what I used, 2 cans of spray paint, laminate board and masking tape, (This was to paint) and long nails and a hammer.

supplies for spool holder
Supplies for spool holder










To make it into a spool holder, I also brought a packet of long nails.

1. First off I cleaned the board, as it had been in the garage for a long time, but also before I painted so the paint stuck to the board.

2. And the decided on a design, I chose chevron but afterward thought that a saying or quote would also be effective. I taped the chevron pattern onto the board.

Taped down pattern
Taped down pattern










3. Once the board was taped off, I went outside to paint. I put down newspaper and the board. I chose a still day as I didn’t want to paint anything and everything. One of my friends paints in an old giant box her fridge came in, which I think is the best idea ever!

4. I painted in long strokes to create a mixed affect. Using blue and red paint so where the colours mixed it made purpleish colour. Allowing to dry for about 4 hours I then carefully moved it inside, so over night it didn’t get possum foot prints all over! Then allowed it completely dry about 24 hours.

First layer of spray paint
First layer of spray paint










Second layer of spray paint
Second layer of spray paint










5. I took off, the tape and realised it probably would of been better to measure my chevron design. But I decided to live with it as once I added the spools of cotton it wouldn’t be overly noticeable!

After tape has been taken off
After tape has been taken off












6.  I then nailed in the long nails.  I nailed then as far as they would go to make sure they could take the weight of the cotton spools.  I started doing this in my study/craft room but because it is upstairs in out house the floor was too bouncy so the nails would start to come out when I started to nail in the nail next to it.  But once I went downstairs the went in very easy.  I nailed them in close together up the top, and the further apart down the bottom for my overlocking thread.

7.  Once I popped all the thread on, it’s done!




How to make you own wedding dress – 15 HOT TIPS

15 hot tips to make you own wedding dress!

Tips to make your own wedding dress
Tips to make your own wedding dress

A couple of years ago I got married, YAY! and I wanted to make my own wedding dress.  I looked around and couldn’t find the exact pattern that I wanted, so I knew I would have to make the pattern and the dress…. A little daunting! And then a good friend told me how her grandma had made her own dress and hadn’t finished it so she wore it down the aisle with pins in it!  This story I knew was going to be me!  So I by a stroke of luck found a very similar dress I wanted in a store closing down in Melbourne after they had been on Project Runway Australia! So I bagged a eBay bargain and altered it to become my dream dress :-)

However I always was a little miffed i didn’t get to make my own dress – however my time has come!  Kind of… My brother is getting married and the always amazing JESS has let me make her dress!  So this is my guide to making your own wedding dress at home.  Even if your aren’t a pro, which I am definitely not!

1.  Find a pattern that is close to what you want.  You may need to use your imagination on how it will look in the white lace number you are wanting, I used a very attractive McCalls bridesmaids pattern from the the 90’s, and both the bride and I are pretty happy with the results.  I brought the pattern off eBay in a bulk pack of a nice older lady Ethel who couldn’t sew anymore.  I got 20+ patterns for $15 and Ethel the dear sent her husband round to hand deliver the goods on the same day! Talk about service, I even got a postage refund!

2.  Make yourself a toile.  A practice run out of cheap fabric, if you are really on a strict budget you could even make it out of your lining.  Cut it out, sew it up (no overlocking), try it on.  Make alterations until it is your dream dress and them unpick it and use that as your pattern when you are cutting out your expensive fabric.  It will take your blood pressure down a bit when you know for sure it is going to fit!  Traditionally the toile would be make out of calico or 100% cotton but I made mine out of poly cotton as it was cheaper and that was the reason we were doing this!  My mum came up with a great idea afterwards, a bed sheet would work well and be cheap!  THIS BY FAR WAS THE BEST THING THAT I DID – DONT SKIP THIS STEP!

3. Be realistic – don’t think you are going to make a dress in a weekend!  You will snap a needle or run out of thread or a million other things, give yourself heaps and heaps of time.  It has taken me about 4 weekends of about 10 hours sewing from start to finish.  You don’t want to be my friends grandma!

4. Buy yourself new machine needles and change them before start sewing so you know they are sharp!  Not sure which ones would be best?  Check this out first –

5. Buy yourself new pins so you don’t accidentally create a run in the $50m satin or worse silk!

6.  Take off your engagement ring if you are using delicate fabric and/or lace.  We don’t want you to become distracted by the amazing rock and dreaming about how much better it will look with your wedding ring BUT also you really don’t want it to snag the fabric or lace, trust me I know the horror!

7. Practice on the fabric before hand. My tension wasn’t right for lace and it looked terrible, I little turn of the dial and it looked pro!  Its worth reading your book or googling it! Mine went from a 2 to a 1 and it made all the difference. (I have a Janome.)

8.  Learn and practice french seams!  A french seam is when you sew you fabric wrong sides together, then trim the fabric seam and turn it again and sew so that the seams are on the inside, but incased.  A great technique if you are using sheer fabrics and don’t want a nice bulky overlocked seam running down the middle of your gown.  It looks great but also makes to more durable and doesn’t rub on the person wearing it – so very popular with babies clothes.  My mum made her wedding dress back in the 1960’s and used french seams on the whole gown, no overlocker in sight.  Even now that dress is still looking like it has another 40 years left in it and mama can still fit into it!

9. Buy your thread and then fill up at least two bobbins – you do not want to run out and not realise.  Then have to unthread your machine to fill a bobbin! A nightmare – be a girl scout and be prepared!!!

10.  Go crazy and use the good scissors – the sharper the better.  If you have to get them sharpened than do that – this is your dream dress and deserved to be treated with respect.

11.  Try it on and then try it on and try it on again.  If I have Jess with me everyday I think she would be trying it on every half an hour – better to try it on too many times and it fits.  Than think you don’t have time, sew it together and it doesn’t fit so you have to make besties with you unpicker.  Or if your lucky enough use a dress model, if your trying to keep costs down – you can make one like here –

12.  Clear out the sewing room/office/laundry/garage where ever you sew.  Don’t take on any other jobs like hemming you husbands jeans.  I don’t care that you have had them for 3 months – you have worn them un-hemmed for that long one more weekend won’t kill you!  Have full concentration on the dress, changing tension and thread and foot etc is unnecessary things that you could forget to change back!

13.  Enjoy it!  It is suppose to be fun, don’t stress, people will think that you are beautiful even if you turn up in a brown paper bag with a safety pinned hem!  Just give yourself a cut off – mine is 4 weeks before the wedding to have it finished by.  That way you can finish it and enjoy everything else without constantly feeling guilty for not hemming this or unpicking that!

14.  Keep your scraps!  Wedding dress fabric scraps make awesome christening gowns or ring pillows.

15. Ask for help!  Don’t think that you have to come up with all the answers.  I have asked all the girls I work with and my mum heaps of questions of what they would do when this or that happens.  Even if they aren’t big sewers a different approach is sometimes all you need.  When in doubt google it!

16. BONUS ADVICE – when your finished put it away.  You don’t want to be staring at it for the following weeks and either get sick of the sight of it or find all the faults in it.  You did the best you could and you will look amazing on the day – trust me!  Every bride does.  Or make yourself a garment bag to store it in (plastic ones aren’t great for long term storage as the fabric doesn’t breathe) out of sight out of mind! Here is one that I made for Jess if your interested in making your own

Keep on the look out for the dress – coming after the big day on the 26 October!  Wish us luck now I have to make my own dress!  Good Luck if you are making your own dress – let me know how it goes!
Check out how I made the dress here –


Painting for our bedroom!

Transferred the printed type onto canvas and painted it!

Transferring type to be painted


For some time I have been working on this picture for our bedroom wall. I found this picture on Pinterest, and thought I could do this!

Out of all the moments in my life... The ones I've spent with you are my most favourite
Out of all the moments in my life… The ones I’ve spent with you are my most favourite

I found it here, but I couldn’t find any more details.
So I wanted to make my our for our bedroom, originally for valentines day but as time got away its now a late anniversary present to us!

I found this link on Pinterest, on how to transfer type onto something to paint the same font. And as I’m an amateur at this kind of thing I need as much help as I could get!
At Homespun Happenings, she uses a charcoal pencil which I didn’t have so I used white chalk which I though worked just as well!

Ok so what you need is a canvas, a saying printed in the font you want to copy, paint, a teeny tiny paint brush, chalk, and a lead pencil.

Equipment for painting

So I first printed off my saying because I wanted it to look fairly similar to the one I found on Pinterest but I change the colours to suit our room. I also would recommend using chunky types of fonts if this is your first attempt as this was mine. Cut it out and lay onto your canvas as you want, I used different fonts and different sizes and I think the mix looks pretty good!

Have your canvas painted and dry in your choice of background colours. When you are happy with you placement of words, start to transfer them onto the canvas. I did this one at a time. First I covered the back of the word with white chalk, as much as you can first time until you can work out how much you need to see the outline.

The back of the printed words, covered in chalk
The back of the printed words, covered in chalk

When the print is where you want the words to be you carefully trace the outline of the letter with a lead pencil, with pressure, but not too much that you pierce the canvas. Once one line was traced I then painted it, I didn’t want the chalk to rub off which it does quite easily. So work in small sections and its easier!

The chalk outline
The chalk outline

(Yes I work on my sewing room floor on carpet with paint, yes I know I’m naughty! Haha)

I stopped and started to make sure that each line was dry before I started so I didn’t smudge any wet paint. This worked well with the paint but this is also why it took me a couple of months to finish!

But overall this way of transferring type was pretty easy and effective! I think to make it even easier you could use either a paint pen like a sharpie or a chalk pen, which would make much cleaner lines than the painting.
Hope this makes it easier for you guys to make your own word art? I was thinking of making a couple for my nephews for their bedrooms with Dr Seuss quotes!
Any questions please ask!

Completed saying!
Completed saying!

Making coloured rice for craft

Last week I opened a new packet of rice, it had been in the cupboard a while, but when I opened it, there was like a spider web in the top of the packet. Weird! So like a good girl, I didn’t feed it to my husband! But I wasn’t sure what to do with the new/old packet of rice! So I poured it into a tupperware container, for a rainy day!
Today my rainy day arrived! I figured out what to do with my perfectly looking rice, that came from a weird looking packet! I decided to dye it!

Dyed rice, we use it at school all the time, for collage and for sensory activities. I had never thought about it until one of my students asked if she could make it, I let her go for it, and her results were awesome! As easy as dying pasta, but a lot shorter drying time. So being the geek that I am, I used my holidays to make resources for school! Just like every other teacher on the planet!

How to make coloured rice

First you will need,
A Chinese takeaway container (disposable plastic) with lid
A spoon
Food colouring
Baking trays (the same number as colours of colouring)
Equipment for Dyeing Rice

In the plastic container add, 2 capfuls of food colouring. More or less depending on how bright the colours you want. And one capful of water, you can alter these quantities to reflect how bright or how much food colouring you have to use. But you don’t want to have a lot of liquid.
Dye and water mix

In the container add the rice, I split a 1kg bag of rice into 4 colours so 250g each time. Place the lid on the container and slide the rice around and up and down until totally coated in colour.
White rice in dye solution
You want to use as much colour as possible, if you have extra liquid pour it out.
Drain dye

Line your baking tray with alfoil, so that the colouring doesn’t stain. But also just in case there is any liquid left you don’t want it to drip onto your counter or wherever your rice will dry. Use the back of the spoon to spread the rice out as thin as you can.
Spread dyed rice thinly onto baking sheet

Rinse out container and spoon and repeat with each colour of food colouring.

Allow the rice to dry over night, mine was dry in 2 hours but I live in QLD. Or if needed sooner, place in a very slow over (100*c) for 10 mins. The spread out again and put in the over for 10 more minutes.
Drying the dyed rice

Place in airtight container and use for craft as you please! Would be cute if you were allowed to throw rice at your wedding or as craft. Obviously don’t encourage the children it eat it!
Coloured Rice

The same method could be used for pasta, but drying time would be longer. I also wouldn’t suggest quick drying in the open as the pasta may split if in the oven.

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