Archive for January, 2011

{week 34} glass etching

I look forward to every weekend knowing that I’ll be trying out a new crafty project and I was particularly excited about this one: glass etching.

Do you want to have a go too? If you do you’ll need etching compound (I got mine here) plus you need an old brush and some gloves as well as something to etch – I decided to use an old jam jar and turn it into a pretty candle – and a way of creating a template. You could cut a design out of contact paper or sticky back plastic but I used vinyl and my Silhouette to cut a fancy heart shape.

First you need to stick the design firmly onto the jar. Put on gloves and paint the compound on liberally. Follow the instructions and leave it on for as long as it suggests. Then rinse it off (wearing your gloves still please, it’s acid) and remove the sticky template. Light a tealight and there you have it, a romantic candle.

Glass etching

Let me know if you’ve tried glass etching or you if plan to give it a go.

subversivesuburban asked me a question on last week’s post that I promised I’d answer once I’d given it some thought: “which crafts that you’ve tried are ones you’d like to do more of?”

After 34 weeks it’s hard to remember all the crafts I’ve tried – I have to come back and look at the blog to remember sometimes. But the one that sticks in my head is week 2 – freehand machine embroidery. I loved how easy it was to end up with such a pretty and effective result – I have the finished framed flower sitting on my mantelpiece so I see it every day. I definitely want to play with the technique more. I’d also like to do more candle making and papercutting. The problem with this project is that there’s always another week and another craft just around the corner so I don’t have time to go back and learn and master a technique more. Maybe in week 53…

If you’ve got any questions please ask in the comments or you can email me: 52crafts52weeks[at]


{week 33} appliqué

I have a craft book addiction – you should see them all! In fact, you can, here you go:

I have a lot of craft books...

So the last thing I needed was another craft book. But that didn’t stop me buying this one:

It’s a lovely book – it’s spiral bound, which I always like in an instructional book, and the full size patterns are all included in a pocket in the back. I hate it when you have to enlarge a pattern – it’s a real barrier for me to attempting a project. As well as all the instructions you need to learn the basics of appliqué it has lots of inspiring projects and ideas for you to try. I really want to make the coasters as soon as I get some batting. But this week’s project utilises supplies I already have: plain tote bags and fabric.

If you want to join in, you will need:

– plain tote bag
– fabric scraps in patterns and colours that make you happy
– matching or contrasting embroidery thread
– embroidery hoop
– needle and small scissors

I’m using the reverse appliqué technique for this project. I’ll try and explain it as we go along but if you have any questions just ask.

1 ) Draw a circle on the bag of a piece of fabric – I used a small jar as a template.
2 ) Cut squares out of the fabric scraps a centimetre or so larger than the circle.
3 ) Turn the bag inside out. Pin one piece of fabric to the bag – right side facing down. Turn the bag back the other way.
4 ) Draw around the circle template on top of the two layers of fabric.
5 ) Put the bag in the embroidery hoop – only the front of it, if you sew through it all you won’t have a very usable bag!
6 ) Embroider around the circle using a running stitch.
7 ) Remove the bag from the hoop.
8 ) Very very carefully snip away the bag fabric a few millimetres inside your stitched line – don’t cut the fabric underneath. A small sharp pair of scissors work best.
9 ) Repeat as many times as you like. You can tidy up the inside of the bag by trimming the squares down to circles if you like.

Reverse appliqued book bag

If you need any help, let me know in the comments. Happy crafting. x

{week 32} marbling

Marbled papers are often used in stationery and as book endpapers. I have some beautiful marbled paper I bought in a bookbinders in Rome (I must dig it out of my craft room to show you). I didn’t have a clue how to make my own though.

When I’m not sure where to start with a technique I obviously turn to google but I also look around for any starter kits that I can pick up for a few pounds. I found this one on Fred Aldous and although you only get a small amount of ink it’s a perfect size kit to try the technique for the first time.

All you do is put water in a tray (it’s worth noting that whilst this kit uses water, others use something called size so check the instructions before you get started), drop on the ink (I just used two colours at a time) and then I used a cocktail stick to draw the inks together. I then laid a piece of cotton rag paper on top for a few seconds. I left the paper to dry and then cut a heart out of one piece to frame.

Framed marbled paper heart

It could be a pretty valentine’s day gift or maybe a wedding present.

Pretty paper

I made a rainbow collection of papers to use in future projects – what would you use them for?

{week 31} corsage

Every new year my thoughts turn to how to reduce lots of things: my weight, my spending, my mess and waste. So this week’s craft helps with at least two of those.

Remember Mr.Rabbit? Well I had quite a bit of wool left over from making him so in the spirit of spending less and recycling I thought I’d use some of it this week. And I’ve written a little tutorial for you so you can make one too.

Finished corsage

1 ) Cut out six circles from your felted wool (or whatever fabric you have to hand). I used a teacup as the template.
2 ) Thread a needle with a piece of strong white thread and tie a knot in the end.
3 )  Fold one of the circles in half and half again.

4 ) Then fold each flap out on to itself. Hard to explain this in words so have a look at the photos but leave a comment if you need more explanation.

And more folding
5 ) Pull the needle and thread through all the folds.
6 ) Then fold the next circle. And sew through that too.

Sewing together
7 ) Keep going until you’ve sewn together all six.
8 ) Secure it all with a few stitches until you’re happy with how it looks.
9 ) Attach a brooch bar or safety pin on to the back and you’re all done.

Attaching the pin

Hope 2011 is going well for you so far – happy crafting!

{week 30} earrings (inspired by snow)

I’ve been to quite a few ski resorts but I’ve never found anything remotely crafty at any of them. Breckenridge was an exception – I found a lovely little bead shop nestled amongst the North Face and Spyder-type shops.

Bead shop

And I couldn’t resist the teeny tiny snowflake beads – what could be more apt on a skiing holiday?

I also picked up some bits to turn them into earrings and as soon as I got home I made these…

Snowflake earrings

An easy craft to ease the post holiday blues!

(I’m posting twice this weekend to catch up after the holiday, week 31 coming shortly.)

{week 29} crochet (at altitude)

Happy new year! I may have had a bit of a blog break for the festivities but I didn’t stop crafting.


I spent the Christmas and new year period in beautiful Breckenridge in Colorado skiing with my husband and friends. However one day I had to stay home alone as I was sick so it was the perfect day to try to learn to crochet.

View from our house

It was reminiscent of week 11 (gosh was it really that long ago?) in that I tried to jump straight into a pattern (a flower) without knowing the basics so much unravelling ensued.

In the end I managed to get a wireless connection and found these brilliant instructions – I never got further than making the chain stitch friendship bracelets but at least I know the basics now so I can try a flower or a granny square soon.

Crochet friendship bracelets

I even managed to show my husband how to do it!

Ben learning to crochet

I’m looking forward to a 2011 full of crafting. Do you have any crafty new year’s resolutions?


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All images and text are © Christine Evans unless otherwise stated.