Simple sewing projects for beginners

Interested in taking up sewing but not sure where to start? Just got a sewing machine and looking for inspiration? In this article, we’ll run through some simple sewing projects to help inspire you and develop a passion for all things sewing. So without further ado, let’s look at some sewing projects that anyone can tackle, regardless of skill or equipment.

Fabric pillow cover

One of the easiest projects around the humble pillow or cushion cover makes a great starting point for anyone just beginning. There are many types of pillow and cushion covers to choose from with some of the easiest designs using the envelope style which requires no closures such as buttons or zippers. Common skills you’ll learn include basic straight stitching, seam finishing and hemming, and all skills that you’ll use on more advanced projects.

Tote bag

Another beginner-friendly project is a tote bag. Not only are they incredibly versatile and useful, now that the majority of people are eschewing plastics, but they also make a fantastic gift item. Using similar skills to that of a cushion cover, a tote bag is the next natural progression and will help teach you about different shapes.

Pyjama Bottoms

Everyone loves a comfy pair of pyjama bottoms and if you’ve mastered the first two projects then these should be well within your comfort zone. One of the great things about pyjamas is that they are designed to be a forgiving fit, which means that you don’t have to be overly worried about the sizing of your garment. Elastic waistbands or drawstrings are a great way to add an element of flexibility and help create a nice comfortable fit.

Zipper purse/pouch

Zippers are one of the things that most people get hung up on the most and seem to have trouble with when it comes to sewing. One of the easiest projects to tackle is a zipper pouch or purse as it involves attaching the zipper to a seam that is open on each end. Unlike a skirt or a dress, an open pouch lets you practice working with zips without needing to sew the ends into a seam.

Like anything the more you sew, the better you will get and the more comfortable with different techniques. All of the projects above can be completed without any special equipment other than a good pair of sewing scissors, needles, material and threads. Of course, a sewing machine will help speed things up, but it is not necessary for the majority of beginner projects.

Great personalised gifts that you can make for loved ones

We know how frustrating it can be trawling through shops and the internet to try and find a personal gift for a loved one. Thankfully, with a few simple craft skills, you can create the perfect gift for a loved one and the good news is that it needn’t cost the world. In this blog, we’ll look at some great ideas for simple haberdashery gifts that you can easily make yourself.

Bookmark

A classic gift idea and one that is still incredibly popular, a bookmark will be appreciated by book lovers of all ages. Choose from felt, fabric, leather, card, paper or even metal and tailor your bookmark by giving it a theme. You could even give them a brand new book to enjoy and include the bookmark as part of the gift.

Memory Jar

This is the ideal gift for your other half and provides a great way to celebrate a big occasion such as a wedding anniversary. Write down all your good memories that you’ve shared together over the last year and cut these out before placing inside a jar. Decorate the outside of the jar and give your loved one a highlight of your memories together.

Bunting

Personalised bunting can be used to announce special occasions and help loved ones celebrate and remember. From the birth of a child to a wedding or new house, bunting will bring back happy memories whenever it is used.

Gift hamper

The great thing about a gift hamper is that you can fill it with anything you want. Think gastronomic delights like artisan biscuits, continental cheeses and cured meats or how about scented candles, perfumes and a set of pyjamas. A gift hamper can be completely personalised with the only limit being your imagination.

Indoor plant

From orchids and bonsai trees to rubber plants and peace lilies, there are a great range of indoor plants that are easy to look after and make great gifts. Another advantage of choosing an indoor plant is you can decorate the plant pot by painting it, wrapping it in fabric, glueing photos to it or personalising it any other way you want.

Photo frame

In the digital world, it’s all too easy to forget how nice it is to have a printed photo in a frame. For a great gift idea why not buy a plain photo frame and decorate it to match the personality of your loved one. Shells, crystals, beads, felt and fabric are all great options for customising a photo frame.

Customised coasters

Coasters and placemats are the perfect gift for those who have just bought a new home or even a newlywed couple. For coasters, you can paint ceramic tiles, use scrabble cork boards, crochet your own or cut out felt shapes. Placemats can be made from bamboo, pieces of slate or floor tiles and can be wrapped in fabric or wallpaper to make them more tactile.

Fun craft activities to keep the kids entertained this summer

 

Keeping the children entertained in the summer holidays can be a full-time occupation and one that will leave you trying to think of new and fun ways to keep them busy without breaking the bank. In this article, we take you through 5 fun craft activities that you can try with your kids this summer. So let’s get started and tell you what you’ll need to enjoy these craft activities.

1.     Decoupage

Transform an old shoebox into a treasure chest or a metal biscuit tin into a bank with the help of decoupage. Wallpaper, stamps, photos, magazine cuttings and wrapping paper are just some of the materials that can be used as decoupage material. The idea is to cut pieces of material out and stick them to your item of choice before finishing with a clear glue coating on top to protect and seal your work. Embellishments such as ribbons, buttons, rhinestones, glitter and charms can all be added with a final clear coat of glue.

2.     Make some slime

We’re yet to meet a child who doesn’t adore slime so this one should go down well with children of all ages. There are many recipes on the internet for homemade slime but most feature ingredients that are hard to come by in the UK. So here are the ingredients you’ll need: PVA glue, bicarbonate of soda, contact lens solution that contains boric acid, gel food colouring and glitter.

Method: To make your slime add 1 cup of PVA glue into a large clean bowl and mix in 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Next, add your food colouring – a couple of drops should be enough, and add in your glitter if using it and mix well until combined. Finally, add 1 tablespoon of contact lens solution and use an old wooden spoon to mix together until it becomes stringy, continue stirring until it no longer sticks to the bowl and then finish off by kneading with your hands.

3.     Soap making

Not only will soap making keep your kids entertained but it will also make bath time that little bit more enjoyable as they’ll want to use the soap that they made. Young children will need some adult help to make their own soap but older kids will be able to do this on their own. Things you’ll need: plastic soap moulds – cups also work, vegetable cooking spray, pure glycerine soap, microwave safe measuring jug, assorted soap dye colours, essential oils, small plastic toys or trinkets.

Making the soap is simple and involves spraying the inside of the mould with vegetable oil, melting the soap in the microwave and adding a couple of drops of your soap dye and essential oils before pouring into the mould. Toys can be embedded in the middle by pouring the soap in 2 stages and placing the toy on the first layer of soap prior to pouring the second half. Soap making is a fun activity for kids of all ages.

4.     Tin can skittles

Hands up who remembers tin can skittles from their childhood? Not only will tin can skittles bring back nostalgic memories but it also provides a great and fun way for you to pass on this fun game to your children. What’s more, you can eek out the time by decorating your own skittles using nothing more than empty food tin cans, we’d recommend using the ring pull variety as these have a smooth internal edge.

To make the skittles you’ll need 9 empty and clean food tins that have had their labels removed. You can decorate the tin cans with any standard paint such as emulsion or use chalk paint to create cans that you can write on. For those who don’t want to use paint the tin cans could be wrapped in wallpaper or wrapping paper for speed. Just line up and use a soft ball to knock them down for a game that your kids will love.

5.     Tie-dye a shirt

Have some fun on a warm summer’s day by making some tie-dye shirts and hanging them out on the line to dry. This is a great activity for groups of older kids as they can have fun with their friends creating something that they can keep and that is completely unique. It’s not just older kids who will love tie-dye as the whole family can get involved.

Method: Make sure that the kids are wearing old clothes that you don’t mind getting dye on. Mix the fabric dye in a large stainless-steel container and add a cup of salt to help enhance the colour. Tie rubber bands around different sections of your plain white t-shirt to create your patterns. Soak the t-shirt in hot water and then wring out any excess water prior to dipping in the dye bath. For multiple colour patterns hold each section in the different dye colours for between 10 – 20 minutes. Remove t-shirt from the dye and rinse with warm and then cooler water until the water runs clear, make sure you wear gloves so your hands don’t get dyed. Once rinsed just hang out on the line and admire your handiwork.