In my never ending quest to attempt to better ourselves and limit are impact of the environment it is nearly always better to find reusable options. In this case kitchen roll.

As with most project these days, the first came across the idea on Pinterest. Find an example here

Seems simple enough.

The ones made in the link are made with ‘birds-eye cotton’ which is suppose to be very absorbent but I couldn’t’ find any locally so when I saw some microfibre tea towels (for less than £1.50) I figure they would probably do just as well.

So I had my first proper craft day to my self in a while and got to work on these (I’m not avoiding all the other projects I’m part way through or waiting for me).

First I worked out how big the towels would be when cut into quarters then cut the towels and some cotton fabric I have in the stash to the same size.

Note to self: Microfibre cloth sheds/frays something rotten at raw edges (got bits everywhere)

I sewed them together pattern side in (leaving a gap) then inverted it so the pattern was on the outside.

I then turned it inside out again to trim the seam and corners (only with the first one as I remembered to do this before turning the right way round with the rest)



Once turned the right way out I use the machine to sew another seam to close the gap and hold the edges together neatly.


I made 8 in all at the moment, out of 2 tea towels. I need to wash them before we use them to get rid of the excess fluff that came off the raw edges of the microfibre cloth.

Many of the tutorials for these include tabs to hold them together in the same way as a kitchen roll or in the link I have included she has made button holes to hang them on a hook. Me, I’m just going to put them in a little plastic basket I have, it seems so much simpler.



All jobs done eventually

When my littlest moved out of our bedroom and into what was the guest bedroom, I told myself and my eldest that we would decorate it for her. I had this wonderful idea (probably originating from Pinterest browsing) to make a feature or paper butterflies across one wall. I just had to cut some out and stick them on… not a big job.

So anyway nearly 2 years later I offered to put my die cutting machine to good use and cut out 100 or so circles to save someone else having to do it by hand. As it happens the Bigz die I was using for this job was also the die with the butterflies I was planning on using for E’s bedroom wall. So having made a selection of the paper I prepared for cutting big enough to cover both areas of the of this dies I finnally had my butterflies. I just had to get round to actually sticking them on the wall. This, thankfully, only took a further 3 weeks (because I wanted to do it while E was out of house).

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Some of you with keen eyes may also spot some small (glow in the dark) stars peppered in there. These were also waiting for me to put them up (after buying them during half term, so not so long ago) so I thought it would be nice to incorporate some of them into the feature.

I’m quite please with the final result and most importantly she likes them.

Sewing practice

This week I have been mostly mending, which in fairness uses pretty much the same skills as some of my crafting but never the less is much less glamorous.

My sewing course has started again so my main crafting time is in use, so will probably get a few smaller projects for the next few weeks.

I had a bonus free evening this week so decided to make a little project to practice the skills I had been taught on my course this week. Being, French seems, corners, reinforced corners and curves.
I thought I would make a little pocket bag just to practice (as I dislike doing things without an end purpose).

Used some fabric quarters I had picked up for the charity shops. Picked this one as it had a nice rounded pattern that made a decent curved shape for the flap. On actually getting round to cutting it I realised it was not a very even curve so used a plate as my template.


Quite pleased but clearly need much more practice…and maybe a proper pattern next time.

Super hero day

R class is doing a super hero theme for the term so of course they have to have a super hero day.

I’m not going to go out and buy a costume just for a day event but I will adapt previously made items to make up a super hero outfit.

R had had a super hero themed birthday party (as requested) earlier this year and I had made a few super hero items including capes and masks (see previous post). So asked R to pick a cape and a super hero logo (had given her the option to make her own up but she chose the “S” from Superman). We then when through my fabric stash and she picked out the colours she wanted the logo in.

First to make a template. Since she had chosen a pre-existing shape I simply looked it up. I used the ones found here:

I used a graphics programme to copy out the superman logo on to its own page then enlarged one for the back of the cape and shrank one for a belt buckle. (both printed on the same A4 sheet)

I ironed on some wonder web to my fabric pieces then drew and cut out my templates. Cut the insides first, as these were the most likely to go wrong, then used may snazzy new rotary cutter to do the edges in a snap.


I ironed the cape logo directly on to the cape but the buckle logo I ironed on to another piece of fabric.


I put a line of purple stitching just inside the edge of the purple to make sure everything stayed attached.

For the belt buckle I cut a piece card to (roughly) the right shape, then wrapped the fabric around and stuck it down with glue. I had planned to attach it over other belt I had that fitted her but it has been lost, possibly thrown. So I had to improvise. I had a length of the purple fabric that was just too short to get around her waist which i sewed into a strap with a few pieces of elestic at the back filling the gap and giving enough so it could just be pulled over her waist.


She seems very pleased with it


Advent calenders, match box tower

As I do I came across another wonderful “I can do that” project on Pinterest not too long ago.

Advent calenders made out of matchboxes. Admittingly I have seen a few different styles of these but none of them have particularly taken my interest until this one. So I went to my local nic nac shop and picked up some craft matchboxes (pack of empty blank matchboxes designed for silly crafters like me.

I dutifully didn’t bother looking at the instructions and stuck them all together. (Although I did first check they were not wonky and all opened and closed properly)


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I appear to have lost my in the process photo’s 😦

Got another on to finish will update once I have

Upcycled wool holders

I recently read a blog about reusing fruit nets for making new things.

The main idea that stayed in my mind was using these meshes as bags (especially for sandy and wet toys).

So a while back when I happened to have a such a bag, that had come with some toy the kids had.

So I used some spare ribbon.

Folded the top few layers of the mess bag in on itself and wove the ribbon through.

So now I have a little mess bag ready for use.

Well I didn’t use it for the kids toys as originally planned, as i found it just the right size to fit my wool while doing my crochet.

It stops the wool running away while I’m using it and stops the kids too (possibly just look less tempting)


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I have since made a few more with the mesh bags that oranges come in from the supermarkets (on the left in the picture).

A little bit fiddly but effective.

Now the kids what me to make some for them too!

Upcycling some more with left overs


A couple of months ago I main a small cutlery holder for the girl’s bit using some cereal boxes as the base. well I came across the left over parts of the boxes used the other day and had another brain wave to put these bits to good use.


So I used various glues to reshape the boxes (had been folded flat)  and stack them together.

And I bet now your thinking OK she has done this before. It is going to be a paper stacker. But no, these boxes are too small for that anyway… maybe A5…


Anyway on to decorating

As a side point if anyone sees one of these gift wrap cutters anywhere let me know as I want another one, it is great for cutting pages out of magazines in a neat way


Isn’t it pretty, strange how something seem much pinker after you have made them… still wait for the last picture



Add some plastic tubs left over from fresh raviolli pasta in the Supermarket and look I’ve made a chest of drawers

Brilliant right?



OK I thought it was pretty awesome anyway



Toilet roll cross

Once again I found an awesome idea on pinterest.

I’m not sure how many have yet discovered the amazing things people do with all those toilet roll tubes that get left hanging around but I found one project  I couldn’t resist.

DIY room Decoration: Cross Wall Art (using toilet rolls!)

What do you think for a first attempt?



Colouring the strips of tubes is definitely the tricky bit and I think on the next project I try I will spend a little more time on that.


Paper stacks

A couple of months ago I was sitting down with R doings some painting and thinking, we could really do with a paper stack to put all your work on to dry (save covering the kitchen with paper)

So while R was working hard painting the box we get our juice cartons in it struck me that I could probably make a paper stack using these boxes.
And so I did!

I used one box whole (albeit with the glued bits pulled apart) and spit a second box into three parts along the folds



Next layered it up using a strong glue (being very descriptive I know)

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Have to admit first attempt is not a pretty sight … but it does the job.



Realising it would be just the right size to store my card blanks. I made another one, this time using 2 and a half boxes so that all my shelves were the same size. I also used some extra cardboard to neaten and strengthen the sides.


Sadly the juice boxes are not quite A4 size so the papers have to go in length ways and stick out a little.

I found a blog entry that used old cereal boxes glued on top of each other  instead. (below)


It does look nicer (mainly because I decorated it with wall paper samples,) but using cereal boxes was much more of a faff to cut out and stick together and the final result was not very strong. I added extra outer support to this when constructing it by glueing cardboard to the top and sides as this one is in R bedroom and things will be (and have been) put on top of it.


As yet to make one of these for the kitchen where we do the painting, but I have a plan.

Time will tell and if it worked I shall post it up.