Tutorial: Gift Bags

These are easy to make and chances are you will be able to make them from things lying around the house. I particularly like the effect when they are made out of magazines or newspapers and another benefit is that you often have these things anyway so they are FREE! As Christmas is quickly approaching I will be making for Christmas presents.

You will need:

Wrapping paper - I'm using the left over from last year

Ribbon - I'm getting some from my stash however if you do not have any you could use string, twine or even wool. If its too thin maybe you could cut several lengths and plait it for added effect.

Card: I have taken this from some junk mail that came through the post

Ruler, glue or double sided tape, pencil and hole punch and scissors (although I've forgotten to take a photo of the scissors and hole punch).

 

Once you have gathered all of that you can then get started.

Step One

You need two rectangles of the paper that measure 39cm x21cm. If your paper has a directional pattern try to make sure it is going in the correct direction. Use my picture below to help you do this.

 

 

Step Two

Stick together the two pieces of paper back to back. This will ensure that the inside of your bag is patterned and add to the strength. If you want it to be blank on the inside stick plain paper onto the back of it.

Step Three

Make a fold 1cm from the right hand side.

Step Four

Make another fold 11cm on the left of the previous fold. This will make either the front/back.

Step Five

Make another fold 8cm on the left of the previous fold. This will make one of the sides.

Step Six

Make another fold 11cm on the left of the previous fold. This will not only make the other front/back but also will leave 8cm for the remaining side.

Step Seven

Make a fold 3 cm deep from the top.

Step Eight

Make a fold 5cm from the bottom.

Step Nine

Cut out two piece of card 11cm x8cm to fit below the top flap (see below). This will add strength to the top of your bag. The fold down the flap and stick it down to make a neat edge.

Step Ten

Put glue on the 1cm flap and glow the four sides together.

Step Eleven

Turn the bag upside down and push down one of the 8cm sides. The fold along he flaps to make half triangles (see below)

Step Twelve

Repeat with the other side.

Step Thirteen

Stick down the flaps to make the base of the bag.

Step Fourteen

Next glue down a rectangle of cardboard into the base of the bag to strengthen the base.

Step Fifteen 

Finally make holes and thread ribbon through to make the handles.

 

Now it is ready to put your presents in and give to your nearest and dearest. The best things about it though is that each one can be made to suit the person you are giving it to and they are cost a fraction of what they are in the shop.

I hope you found this tutorial was helpful. I welcome any comments and thoughts you have.

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Ta Daaaaaa!

This is just a quick post to show off my newly re-upholstery chair that was re-upholstered by yours truly. I have recently brought it home from college and am currently trying to solve the dilemma of where am I going to put it? So as a result it is now sat in the living room waiting for one of the rooms in my house to magically become larger to accommodate for it or for when we do eventually move house.

BEFORE

AFTER

Trimmed corner

I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. I was unsure about the white trim against the cream wood but I quite like the look of it now. I think it sets the purple of beautifully. Plus it was super hard trying to find a shop that stocked purple trim to match the fabric. I am now going to make a nice comfy cushion out of the fabric leftovers to lean my back on when sitting on it to make it extra comfortable.

 

Ebay Addict Strikes Again!

I have recently been buying furniture from eBay. In particular, I’ve been looking at furniture that it battered, unfashionable and basically unwanted. I love the idea of breathing new life into otherwise unwanted furniture…making something beautiful again.

On Saturday, during one of my usual eBay browsing session I found this bedside table and realising it only had 15 minutes left I, of course, couldn’t help myself and impulsed bidded on it. I then found myself winning it and the lovely lady that was selling it asked me if I wanted to pick it up straight away. Anyone that knows me can imagine just how much of  a buzz I got from winning something and it was this excitement that made me immediately agree to collect. So Saturday evening I dragged my long suffering boyfriend along to collect my new project.

Since then I have been priming, sanding and painting and I now have the before and after photos. Although I am thinking about doing a little bit more to it.

BEFORE

It’s made of MDF and has that horrible plastic coating and was very scratched and battered but I really like the curved shape of the drawer and base and it has a really pretty door knob.

AFTER

It took me a while to get this photo as it seems my dog loves to get in the way of photos. So now my digital camera is full of photos of his nose! Anyway, I have kept the door knob because I think it looks really nice against the greeny blue of the table. You can just about see the distressed edges and corners of the table but they can be seen a lot better in the photos below.

Distressed corner

Distressed edge with door knob

I’m thinking about painting trailing roses across the front of the drawer and base. I think this will add to the shabby chic-ness of the table. Although I am unsure about whether to paint them as kind of border of the door.

What do you think? If you have done something similar I would be really interested in seeing pictures or of hearing your opinions.

Nearly finished!!

I have now nearly finished my chair. Tomorrow should be the last day I need to work on it. As it currently stands it looks like this…

I had originally intended to do some crazy patchwork to cover it but after talking to my tutor I decided that this wasn’t the best project to do that on (the seat just isn’t really big enough) so I went to the fabric shop and managed to pic up a lovely soft piece of plain purple upholstery fabric for 50p!!!! I was able to get a couple of pieces so I will be able to make a matching cushion cover. Love a bargain!

I have been using the traditional method of upholstery so instead of using foam (which would have probably been easier) I used fiber held down with twine and several layers of wadding and different fabrics to smooth it over.  As you can see I have been getting plenty of practice with the magnetic hammer and during my last lesson at college I managed to only hammer 1 tack into my finger (quite an achievement for me). I don’t think I’m a natural at D.I.Y but as they say practice makes perfect. During tomorrows lesson I will be adding my fabric and trim and hopefully getting started on stripping my next project…a footstool. I can’t decide whether to upholster it to match my chair or in keeping with my living room. Decisions decisions.

I found it at Newalk antiques fair. I managed to get it for £20 which isn’t bad because it has real wood legs. I had been hoping to find something a little cheaper and have been trawling ebay without much luck. As you can see from the pictures below it is quite battered but that’s the way I like them.

Even though the fabric is really manky I really like the shape of the legs and the size of the footstool…perfect for my next project!

Before finding this stool I have to confess I did find another one at a local carboot sale although I don’t like it as much.

It makes a good back up project and for the price of £4.00 it was truly a bargain. However, even though the shape is good I really don’t like the horrible plastic orange (meant to be wood effect) legs and I bet you inside its all mdf. So I’ve decided this is going to be a cheap at home job and I will hopefully sell it on for a bit of a profit. I think I’ll go for a shabby chic effect because that usually sells quite well. We will see how it goes!

Fabric Doorstop

I have been lucky enough to have been given some curtains. If a year ago someone had told me that being given a free set of curtains would have made my day I would have laughed. However, now I don’t just see them as a free set of curtains…I see them as a whole range of possibilities.

Once I had finished another block for my quilt I decided to give myself a break by making something small so I decided to make a doorstop using the curtain fabric to stop the door from slamming whenever I have a window open somewhere in the house. I found a tutorial on the internet and set to work.

My doorstop

It was pretty easy! It was just a matter of making templates for the four triangle sides and the square base, putting these on the fabric, cutting them out, sewing them together, adding dry rice inside of it before finally sewing it up. I then added a ribbon and a heart shaped button for decoration. I’m going to make more using some patterned fabric from my stash for different rooms in the house. That is once I have been to the shop to buy more rice…it’s a good job I don’t need any for dinner tonight :-p

Speaking of tonight I am lucky enough to have been able to get myself onto a glass workshop where I will be learning to make coasters from…surprise surprise…glass! I can’t wait. We are in desperate need of coasters because at the moment we are just making do with whatever we can find to put our cup on. Tomorrow I will hopefully have pictures of the coasters as I make them, although not pictures of the finished products because they will need to be fired! It will be interesting to see the results.