Decorative Candles

Funny story my partner bought these candles thinking they would smell nice and they smell of nothing but wax so rather than feel they’re wasted I decided to decorate them so they can be gifted instead.

I chose 3 methods but only ended up doing 2 types. Grab yourself a plain candle they can be any colour but white is best, napkins with a nice print on, dried flowers and a pen or two.

I started off with the napkin simple peel layers so you’ve only the top layer of the tissue. place it print side down. Place greaseproof paper on top and heat. This is same method you will use for the pen but you will draw your design onto the paper before placing on the candle and heating.

Youre aiming for the design to go darker, wetter. This means the wax has melted through it and you can take the paper off to reveal your design. I found the pen did work but my pen wasn’t very good and it ran.

The flowers work a little differently I did try with the greaseproof paper but it made the colour in the flower run. The best method is to heat the inside of a spoon over a candle or other method to heat it through. then place the back of the spoon over your design gently to melt the wax make it stick down and coat the flower a little. You need to heat one side because your spoon will go black and then be transferred over.

You have to be gentle you don’t pull any petals off or burn your petals. I found coloured flowers best as white ones would sink into the wax a little and the design gets lost.

Here’s the finished result:

Home Made Loo Fizzers

So I have the worse loo going 3 males using it plus its from the 70’s and we have hard water so gets limescale too which were still fighting to get rid of from last tenants 5 years ago…. yuck!!

So I had high hopes when saw these so decided to give them a go here’s what I did:

They are meant to harden overnight but I found after an hour they were solid.

I have found them underwhelming I can only think I need more bicarb although I was lead to believe it is same as baking soda. They haven’t fizzed in my loo at all and one didn’t create any sort of smell at all. I will be trying 2 next time.

There are many more combinations to try so I will report back when I’ve tried more. Let me know if you’ve tried them and what worked.

Triceraptop Head Mount Pattern- Crochet

Bit late posting my blog today but I’ve been experimenting with whether theres more traffic if I post different times.

Today is a free crochet pattern for a triceratops taxidermy style head. This one is done in quite funky colours so its more fun than real. You can now make your own by logging into Ravelry and downloading : Triceratops Head

Alternatively you could buy the completed item by buying here

Although this pattern is free if you feel like supporting me you can buy the PDF file on Etsy


Fabric Fish – Pattern and Tutorial

So my youngest is obsessed with fish. It’s easy to say and the most common animal he will see in water which also fascinates him so I decided he needed a fish.

I took an image off google and adapted it into a pattern for sewing (original source is linked on the file) Start off by cutting 2 of every piece: fabric fishREMEMBER to mirror them or cut on folded fabric so you have 2 opposites of each. I used cotton for most the fish and felt for piece 3 due to size.

  1. Pin under the curved edge of fish head (piece 1) and pin into the main body of your fish (piece 7).
  2. Top stitch fish head in place then position number 3 fin and stitch along straight edge.
  3. Again remember to sew these on opposites. I’ve shown the fish pieces the same way but they don’t match due to being mirrored. Sew the rest of the pieces in pairs and turn out.
  4. Using original image as a guide pin all your pieces on to one fish section as shown.
  5. Place other piece 7 on top and sew round leaving a gap for turning ( I left my gap at the bottom) Turn out and stuff full. Using a ladder stitch close up your fish.
  6. You’re done. You can add eyes at step 2 or leave it as it is to reduce small parts.

It’s always better to over stuff than under as it gives a better shape even when it’s flatten from being handled, sat on or thrown around. This was a simple make for my son with no small parts. He is 2 and I supervise his play however if you are giving as a gift or selling please consider looking into CE testing.

Rip Stop Makes- game bag and wet bag

Rip stop is a great strong fabric that is thin enough to be flexible, water resistant but also super easy to wash even on a hot wash. It is also cheap at about £3-5 a metre.

I have used this fabric to make small drawstring bags, sling covers, bags and many more things. Today I’m going to show you have to make a bag for playing games and a large wet bag.

  1. Start off with 2 squares 31×31 cm. Placing them right sides together pin in place.  From the bottom corners mark up 10cm and the same across the bottom. Do this for both corners.
  2. Start sewing from the top using a 1 cm seam allowance. When you reach the first pin start to curve around the corner to the second pin along bottom then do same for other pins to create a curved bottom. Trim and turn bag right way out
  3. Cut  5 strips of webbing at 8cm long. I used 2.5cm wide webbing and sealed the ends with a lighter.
  4. Fold around D-rings a suitable size and pin.
  5. Fold over the top edge inside 1 cm and pin in place
  6. Pin the webbing around the top edge so the top of the webbing is level with the edge of the bag. I placed mine approx. 8 cm apart.
  7. Sew around the bag securing the 1cm turn over and at same time securing the webbing. Then sew crossed squares onto each strip. This helps secure it well and strongly
  8. Now place a ball inside and thread rope through the rings and knot.
  9. This is a perfect group game- stand in a circle with one side holding the rope. Swing around so it should hit the legs of the circle but the goal is to jump as you spin it round and if you get caught you’re out.

Next up is a large wet bag.  Cut out 2 large rectangles to size you want. I used the rest of my fabric pieces were around 30x50cm.

  1. Place one side of a zip onto the top edge of one piece and then using the other side place along top edge of other piece and sew into place.
  2. To sew past a zip stop about 5 cm away from the zip, ensuring needle is down lift the foot.
  3. Turn your work so its horizontal and gently push zip open so when you continue sewing it sits behind the foot and you can continue sewing without it getting in the way.
  4. Once in place find both hard stopper ends. Place needle back in at the top so the hard end is to the right of the foot and more importantly the needle then sew down 1cm. Keeping needle down and foot up turn your bag so youre sewing away from the zip. Sew along top, side, bottom and other side.
  5. Once you reach the other corner make sure your zip is open so when you finish you’ve not accidental sewn it shut. Repeat step 2 and 3 to sew across the opposite side of the zip but in reverse.
  6. Turn out the right away and bingo you have a large wet bag. This is fab for swimming, for the beach or for cloth nappies. You can throw it into wash just open the zip and throw it in.

Janome XS50 sewing machine review

After a hellish few days my machine decided to also give up! I can’t cope with not sewing and had orders to complete so it was the dreaded credit card purchase. I have spent the last 5 years paying it off so was  hard using it again but for sewing it’s worth it.

I chose the Janome XS50 due to the stitches it provides, its computerised, a great make and out of the 2 I liked it was the cheaper one. So after a week of using it here is my review.

It’s a simple looking machine with no complicated buttons and controls. There are about 50 stitches which normally I don’t use all of them but I like the option and when you get a machine with less it doesn’t have the stitches I like to use on it which is 24 mainly. (2).

The plate has more seam allowances marked on it then I’ve ever seen (5) and this is fab news for me. I love the option to make bigger seams without needing to sew perfectly straight and hope for the best. I also like how they are marked on the bobbin cover as allows me to see more comfortably.

I have a couple of gripes the ‘extenstion’ table which is usually something that is used for all sewing and not an extension as such is tiny. I’m used to a draw I can use but this is no good for storing anything in as have to remove to get inside and usually everything flies out when try (3&4)

It comes with 2 spool holders and unusually the stand up one is at the front of the machine which isn’t something I’m used to but doesn’t effect the sewing one bit. (9) The bobbin winder however is naff its the worse thing going and needs tightening left to wind it goes loose, winds around under the bobbin and wastes a lot of thread. I combat this by holding the thread as it winds to give it some tension.

The digital display shows your stitch number, length and width (7). Underneath is a speed control and handy button to have needle up or down at end of sewing. The width and length isn’t always able to be changed but for some stitches it can and is very simple. The speed button is great but not something I find myself using much.

The machine also features a start/stop button so you can actually sew without the foot pedal should it break, you hurt yourself or are unable to use a foot pedal. I gave it a go and preferred using my foot.

It also comes with accesories such as a dust cover, seam ripper, bobbins, feet and needles. The zipper foot is one I’ve never encountered before and I love it (8). Depending on what side you want to sew depends on if you pop it onto the machine on the left or right. This saves picking a stitch and needle position that won’t smash into the foot and it holds down well unlike some I have used.

Other all its a great machine for the price and the service at Sewing Machines Direct is fab. I emailed a question got a reply within hours with an extra note that the machine I was asking about had good stock should I wish to go ahead with an order. This was all outside of opening hours too. I ordered and it came next day so no extra waiting. I am still getting used to it and miss my old machine a lot ( which is getting repaired) but I would fully recommend this.



Granny Square Hot Water Bottle Cover

After the first hot water bottle cover I decided to make a traditional granny square one that seems to be all over place but I wanted to create my own easy peasy one with a nice cosy look to it .

I went with  a drawstring top to make it super user friendly, eliminates buttons and although requires joining up the squares requires no sewing so is perfect for any ability crocheters.

I used the giftees favourite colours which I think look a little Christmassy however this would look fab in any combination of colours or all one block colour.

Download now on Ravelry.