Tutorial: Orange Pomanders

Orange Pomanders are lovely festive decorations that smell wonderful and are so easy to make! I’ve made these every year since I can remember and they never fail to brighten up the house. There are two main types of pomander, ones you can hang up and ones used for centrepieces, both of which can be made with the same simple supplies.

You will need:

  • Whole Cloves
  • Large Oranges
  • Festive Ribbon
  • Needle/Pin
  • Lino Cutter (optional)

First you take your ribbon and tie it around the orange (it helps to secure the ribbon with a pin whilst you’re tying it) once or twice depending on your preferred design. If you’re making a hanging pomander, ensure you leave enough ribbon to make a loop at the top.

Next, if  you’re using a lino cutter you can carve designs into the peel. These can be as intricate or as simple as you wish. Make sure you do this gently so the white pith is still visible after you’ve removed the peel.

orange-carving

After you’ve finished carving, you can add your cloves. I find it helps to pierce the orange with a needle where you want to place a clove as it makes it much easier to push the clove in and prevents the stalk from snapping.

adding-cloves

When you have finished adding your cloves your pomander is done! If you want to preserve your creations you will need to let them dry out in a shady spot. It can take several weeks for them to dry completely, but you can speed up the process by putting them in the oven at a very low heat for a few hours. If your pomanders start to lose their scent you can add a few drops of clove oil to them and they’ll be as good as new!

pomanders

Happy Crafting!

Advertisements

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee on 23rd October 2016

Thanks for joining me for this Weekend Coffee Share, created by Diana at Part Time Monster!

If we were having coffee today, I would invite you over to my place. I’ve recently discovered Beanies Flavour Coffee so I can offer you a choice of Cinder Toffee, Gingerbread, Cinnamon Hazelnut or Amaretto Almond as well as the usual tea or coffee… which do you like the sound of? I’ve always been a huge fan of anything Amaretto flavoured myself.

1335352586311912582_194287569.jpg

After having such a hectic week last week, I’m relieved to say that this week has been much quieter, which is just as well as I’m feeling rather under the weather at the moment with a bad cold. Aside from catching up with all of the housework and jobs that built up whilst I was away, I’ve also been able to finally sit down and work on my Lilac Fairy which I’ve not touched since April last year! I’m making really good progress with it and I’m roughly 3/4 of the way though now. Are you working on a project at the moment?

1367334422604730773_194287569

Speaking of 3/4, my husband and I decided to do some shopping in Cambridge yesterday. It’s just over half an hour away from us and such a beautiful place to wander around, so when offered a choice between there or our local shops it wasn’t hard to decide which we were going to visit! I was surprised at how much Harry Potter merchandise was for sale (not that I was complaining) and couldn’t resist buying a Platform 3/4 sign to go in our Harry Potter themed guest room/craft room.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you if you’re planning on decorating your house for Halloween and if so, how soon do you decorate? I’m planning to put ours up sometime this week, which I’m excited about… I absolutely love Halloween, it was always my favourite holiday growing up (even more than Christmas) because my mum and dad always made it such good fun, with fabulous decorations and amazing food. We used to host a Halloween party every single year up until I moved down South. I really miss them, but hopefully in the future I’ll be able to host them myself.

It’s such a lovely autumn day that I think I’ll go for a walk now that I’ve finished my coffee, care to join me? Don’t forget to visit my fellow bloggers for a cuppa and a catch up!

Save

Z is for Zippers

This Blog is taking part in the April 2016 A to Z Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the other Blogs taking part HERE and follow #AtoZChallenge on Twitter!

What are they?
Zippers (or zips) are commonly used to fasten edges of clothing together, using interlocking teeth. You might be surprised to know that they’re not just limited to clothes and bags, there are a variety of crafts they can be used for!

A2ZZ1 John X

Zippers by John X on Flickr, CC 2.0

Where can I buy them?
You can purchase zippers from most craft shops and haberdasheries. Hobbycraft has a good range of lengths and colours you can buy.

What can I use them for?
Zippers can be used to make hair accessories, jewellery, ornaments, purses and embellishments. Crafting a Green World shows you 7 Crafts You Can Make Using Zippers and Pinterest has loads of ideas and inspiration!

Why do you like it?
I love the fact such a mostly overlooked everyday object can be used to make such a range of quirky and beautiful items! I’d love to become good enough to make broaches and intricate necklaces.

Have you used zippers in your crafting before? What’s been your favourite make?

Y is for Yoghurt Pots

This Blog is taking part in the April 2016 A to Z Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the other Blogs taking part HERE and follow #AtoZChallenge on Twitter!

What are they?
Similar to jars, yoghurt pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be very useful after they’ve fulfilled their purpose as a yoghurt container!

Where can I buy them?
Supermarkets, shops… basically anywhere that sells yoghurt! Just rinse them out and dry thoroughly after you’ve eaten your yoghurt.

What can I use them for?
Yoghurt pots can be uses to grow seedlings, made into bird feeders, used as pen holders (which you can decorate with Washi tape) and they’re fantastic for kid’s crafts to make animals, puppets and ornaments. There are lots of ideas over on Pinterest you can try!

Why do you like them?
I remember watching a Blue Peter episode when I was little, and they used a ‘corner’ yoghurt pot to make a witch puppet. We kept the one I made for years and I loved it! Such a simple idea but it worked so well! I will have to make a new one this year…

What’s your favourite yoghurt pot craft? I’d love to see your pictures!

X is for X-Stitch*

This Blog is taking part in the April 2016 A to Z Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the other Blogs taking part HERE and follow #AtoZChallenge on Twitter!

*Cross-Stitch really, but I had to find an X somewhere!

What is it?
Cross-Stitch is a needlework technique which uses stitches to form a picture. The X is formed by a diagonal stitch from one corner to another (for example top left to bottom right) which is then repeated in reverse (bottom left to top right). The most commonly used fabric to stitch on is linen, aida or evenweave. The easiest of these to use is aida because it has clear squares, which makes following your cross stitch pattern much easier.

Kitten 4/4

Cross-Stitch birthday card

What do I need?
If you buy a cross-stitch kit, it will usually have everything included that you need to make a particular design. If you have found a pattern in a book or online, you will need adia, needles, embroidery floss, an embroidery hoop, pin cushion and scissors. Cross Stitch UK has a fantastic range of patterns, accessories and kits.

How do I make it?
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of cross-stitch patterns and kits for every skill level, most are very easy to follow but if you’re not confident with half-stitches or French knots it’s best to start out with a basic design first. The Cross Stitch Guild has some great tips to get you started!

A2ZX 1

A selection of cross-stitch kits, pin cushion and pomander

Why do you like it?
I’m somewhat of a cross-stitch addict, I buy all of the magazines I can get my hands on and have several books and folders of patterns saved… not that I’ll ever have the time to make all of them! Over the years I’ve made bookmarks, pomanders, jewellery, pin cushions, birth announcements, cards and pictures to name but a few. My ongoing project is my Lilac Flower Fairy which I really need to start working on again!

Sewing Supplies

My suitcase of sewing supplies

What’s been your favourite design to stitch? I’d love to see your pictures!

W is for Washi Tape

This Blog is taking part in the April 2016 A to Z Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the other Blogs taking part HERE and follow #AtoZChallenge on Twitter!

What is it?
Washi Tape is decorative sticky tape, which comes in all kinds of colours, designs and textures. It has recently become so popular over here, that it now has a dedicated magazine called Simple Stylish Washi Tape!

A2ZW 1

Some of my Washi tape collection

Where can I buy it?
You can buy Washi tape in the majority of craft shops and online. I always pick up a few rolls when I’m out shopping (especially from places like The Works and Hobbycraft) and order in bulk from eBay.

What can I use it for?
You can use Washi tape to decorate gift wrap, furniture, appliances, jewellery, scrapbook pages, stationary… pretty much anything you can think of! There are SO many fantastic ideas on Pinterest you can try.

Why do you like it?
There are so many types to choose from that you’ll always find a design to fit in with your project. I mostly use it to decorate my scrapbook pages but I’ve made several things around the house with Washi tape, including this card protector for my wireless bank card.

IMG_20150408_015615

Washi tape card holder

Are you a fan of Washi tape? What’s your favourite use for it?

V is for Velcro

This Blog is taking part in the April 2016 A to Z Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the other Blogs taking part HERE and follow #AtoZChallenge on Twitter!

What is it?
Velcro is a brand of hook-and-loop fasteners, which are made of two fabric strips. One side is made of loops and the other of hooks. They’re frequently used as fasteners for coats and shoes. It comes in various strengths, as strips or dots and can be self-adhesive or sewn on.

Where can I buy it?
You can buy Velcro from most DIY stores, some supermarkets and online. Hobbycraft has a wide range of products to suit your needs.

What can I use it for?
Velcro has lots of uses including hanging pictures, holding tools and keeping cables tidy. It’s great for any sewing projects that needs an opening such as a cushion. I always add a strip of Velcro to any shopping/tote bags I buy so that I can close them securely.

Why do you like it?
It’s quick and easy to use, especially the self-adhesive type… just cut to the right length, peel of the backing and you’re done! It’s also strong enough to hold heavy items without damaging the wall, which is great if you’re renting your property and want to hang pictures.

What do you use Velcro for? Is there another brand that works better for you?

U is for Upcycling…

This Blog is taking part in the April 2016 A to Z Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the other Blogs taking part HERE and follow #AtoZChallenge on Twitter!

What is it?
Upcycling (also known as re-purposing or creative reuse) is the process of making unwanted or broken items into useful and improved ones. It’s a great way to save money and it’s good for the environment too! The most common upcycled projects are usually household items such as tables, chairs and storage.

What do I need? / How do I make it?
Any unwanted furniture or objects that you have around the house, things that you find in your local charity shop and your imagination! Upcycling.co.uk and Upcycle That have loads of ideas and projects you can try; you’d be surprised at how much you can make from things you probably already own. There are categories for the home, garden, lighting and even pets! Some of the crafts I have previously mentioned, such as Découpage and Jars are examples of how you can upcycle an object.

Why do you like it?
I’m a big fan of anything unique and quirky, especially if it’s environmentally friendly and I love being able to transform something unwanted back into something that can loved again.

Have you upcycled anything recently? What’s been your favourite find? I’d love to see some examples!

T is for Tie-Dye…

This Blog is taking part in the April 2016 A to Z Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the other Blogs taking part HERE and follow #AtoZChallenge on Twitter!

What is it?
Tie-Dye is the technique of twisting and binding a piece of a fabric, dying it and removing the binds to create a pattern. The designs are usually brightly coloured with bold motifs which make them stand out. Tie-dye is commonly used to decorate clothing, especially t-shirts and scarves, but can also be used to for wall hangings and other household textiles.

What do I need?
The basics you will need are; a plastic cover to protect your work surface, an apron, rubber gloves, various sizes of rubber bands, ziplock bag, cotton t-shirt, bucket/squeezy bottles, dye fixer and fabric dye. You can however buy Tie-Dye kits on Amazon in a wide range of colours which contain everything you need (aside from the fabric) which are less hassle.

How do I make it?
Depending on the type of dye you’re working with, you make have to soak your t-shirt in a dye fixing solution. Once your material is ready to work on, you need to decide which pattern you would like to make. The tighter you wrap your fabric, the larger the white area will be.

If you want to make a striped design for example, roll your t-shirt tightly from top to bottom or left to right, then wrap rubber bands along the length of the roll at intervals which will produce the stripes. By Stephanie Lynn has some great folding techniques you can follow.

Then make up your dyes according to the manufactures instructions. If you want your design to be all one colour, you can just soak it in a bucket of the dye. However, if you want different colours you will find it easier if you fill squeezy bottles with individual colours to dye each section more accurately.

Once you have finished, place your t-shirt into a plastic bag (ziplock bags are ideal) for several hours to allow the dyes to set. The longer you leave the dye, the brighter the colours will appear. When you’re ready, cut the elastic bands away and rinse the t-shirt until the water runs clear. Finally wash the t-shirt in a washing machine to remove any remaining dye and you’re done!

Why do you like it?
I can still remember my first experience with tie-dye, even though it was years ago now! I was in Primary school and our class got to dye a square of fabric each, mine was salmon pink with circles if I recall! I thought it was fascinating and I actually used the same technique again for some of my GCSE art pieces later on in Secondary school.

Have you used a tie-dye kit before? Are there any dyes you recommend? What’s your favourite pattern?

S is for Scrapbooking…

This Blog is taking part in the April 2016 A to Z Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the other Blogs taking part HERE and follow #AtoZChallenge on Twitter!

What is it?
A Scrapbook contains pages of collages which are made with your favourite pictures and memories. Pages are usually themed, depending on the pictures you use. For example, if you were scrapbooking a graduation, you would use embellishments and paper which are related to university and graduating.

A2ZS1

Examples of Spiral Bound and Post Bound scrapbooks

What do I need?
First you need to decide which kind of scrapbook you want to work with. The main types are Spiral Bound (these have a set number of plain pages, usually with solid blocks of colour), Refillable (these can either be Post Bound, Snap Bound or Ring Bound and come with plastic wallet pages which you slide your pages into). The main album sizes are 12 x 12 inch and 8 x 8 inch, but you can also find A4 sized in the Spiral Bound style.

If you use a refillable album, you will need to buy the correct sized scrapbook paper, which comes in a huge range of styles, themes and colours. My absolute favourite place to buy my scrapbooking supplies is from Sunshine Scrapbooking, who have a gorgeous range of papers and embellishments. You will usually have page protectors included in your refillable album, but it doesn’t hurt to buy some more if you’re planning on expanding your book.

You can decorate your pages any way you like, stickers, washi tape, stamps and embellishments are great for enhancing your layout. You will also need to use an acid-free adhesive to protect your precious photographs and preserve your lovely pages, tape pens are ideal for this.

How do I make it?
Once you have decided on the theme of your page, you can select the paper and embellishments that compliment your pictures the most. Before you sick anything down, arrange your pictures on the page to suit the look you’re going for. There’s no right or wrong way to design your page, but if you’d rather follow a layout, Scrapbook.com has some great ideas you can try.

A2ZS3

Scrapbook paper, stickers, washi tape, stamps and pens

Why do you like it?
I started my first scrapbook when I was 16 and have made one a year ever since. They’re more precious to me than I simple photo album because I can add souvenirs and notes to each page which adds to the memories. My personal favourite is a 12 x 12 post bound album, because it’s a great size to fit a lot of pictures on, there are so many lovely scrapbooking papers I can use and I can rearrange the pages when I like. I also like to use the spiral bound kind for things like newspaper clippings and letters, which can be read without having to remove the page from the protective wallet.

A2ZS2

Scrapbook pages featuring my dog, Bailey

What’s your favourite kind of scrapbook album to work with? Do you prefer pages with lots going on or a single picture that stands out?