Diverse DIY

A craft with jeans

It is already the 7th week of the Crafts Marathon organised by In my closet, which I am following this summer. This week’s task is to create something made by jeans. The idea comes from Serial Crafter Family. And for this week, I attempted something with sewing.

My craft with jeans: a sewing etui

It is the second time I participate in a Summer Crafts Marathon by In my Closet. The first time was a few years ago, while I was staying in the Netherlands. There was again a task with jeans and I found a brilliant idea for a sewing etui from jeans in a book. It was a cute way to upcycle old jeans and a brilliant organiser for my simple sewing kit, that I have been carrying around with me ever since.

Well. that etui does not look so good anymore and it was never perfectly done, as I sewed it by hand and I was an amateur 🙂 So I decided to make a new one this year!

My old etui, It is about four years old, if I am not mistaken.

I am not a skilled sewer, but the past year I have been trying it a bit and I think I have improved a lot. So this time I decided to use the sewing machine I have available.

The idea of the etui is simple. It looks like a book. You just need two pockets that are going to be the covers and then several pieces from the leg of the jeans that are the inside pages.

I sewed the two pockets each on a piece of jeans, so as to make it a bit rubuster, in order to have a bit more fabric for forming the final shape and because I did not like the colour of the jeans fabric from the back. I then cut big pieces from the leg of the jeans, so as to make several pages. I had figured out from my old etui that I like the thicker part where the two parts of the leg are sewed together. My needles can be organised much nicer through that part. So I made sure that I cut the “pages” in such a way so as to have that thicker part in different places. It is a good idea not to align these thicker parts in the “pages”, as it will be more difficult to sew through them. Don’t try to cut the “pages” in shape yet, as it is easier to do it in the end.

The different components ready for the assembly

Once you have two pockets and as many “pages” as you want, assembly the etui. I managed to sew with my machine through the seven “pages” I made, but it became far too thick to sew the “covers” too. These I sewed by hand. It is better to have a bit of space from the top, so that you don’t miss any of the “pages”. That was what happened to me in the first etui I made and I had to correct it afterwards, something that is far too difficult.

Once your “book” is sewed together on the top, start forming your shape. Make it as you want. I left a bit more space this time at the edges, as they tend to fringe with time . For that reason I sewed them with zigzag stitch too.

And here is a look into my finished seweing etui:


A frozen fruits recipe for warm summers

We are currently during the 6th week of the Crafts Marathon I am following this summer. This week’s task is to create something cool for the warm summers. The idea comes from the original creator of the Summer Crafts Marathon, In my closet herself! And for this week, I prepared a rather fast frozen fruits frappé. It is something between a sorbet and a frappé, really.

Apricot – Banana frappé

But let me start with the ingredients. For two portions you will need:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 apricots
  • 1 spoon of lemon juice
  • 50 ml almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp liquid honey or according to will
  • some raspeberries and blueberries for decoration

Cut the banana and the apricots in pieces and freeze them overnight, paying attention that they do not stick together.

The next day, take the fruits out of the freezer, let them defrost for 7 to 10 minutes and put them in a blender together with the lemon juice, the almond milk and the honey. You can use as much as honey as you prefer, depending on the sweetness of the fruits too.

Blend them all together until they are homogenised and serve them in a bowl decorating them with a few blueberries and raspberries. Eat with a spoon as long as it is still frozen!

Diverse DIY

A craft where summer shoes are getting a new life

The 5th week of the Summer Craft Marathon I am following is over! The task this week was to modify a pair of sandals or flip flops. and it was inspired by Provato me kaskol. By the way the name of this greek crafter means a Sheep wearing a scarf 🙂 It sounds totally Native American to me and it is brilliant!

Anyway I started with an old pair of sandals that I haven’t wore for more than two years now. You know this pair that you liked some time ago, but now not that much, but you don’t get into throwing it. We all have such a pair of shoes no? Anyway, this is how my sandals looked before I started making them over.

My sandals as they used to be

I was searching in the internet for ideas and I thought I will try crochetting around it. Well it didn’t stick nicely to my eye, so I abandoned the idea. Then I saw some ideas with ribbons and they looked really nice. So I went through my ribbons and found a really nice blue one that kind of fits the colour of the back strap of the sandals. But making it all blue was lacking something, so I found a silver one that fitted nicely with the blue.

The two ribbons, the blue an the silver one before I sewed them together

I started folding the ribbons around the straps, so as to see how it looks. They were moving around and I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I decided that the best idea in order to have the same exactly continuation of blue and silver is if I sew them together. Unfortunately I left the sewing machine at my mother’s in-law, so I had to do the sewing by hand. In the end it proved to be good I didn’t use the machine, because I cut the sewed ribbons in four pieces and since I had used a running stitch and I hadn’t fastened off at the top, I could just drag the string a bit down at each cut and make a new knot. Does this make sense to you?

Anyway, I sewed the ribbons and ironed them so that they look nice. I roughly estimated how much I need per strap and I made four more or less equal pieces out of my long double ribbon. And then the disaster started…

I used a bit of hot glue to stick the edge of the pieces at the bottom of the strap and then started rolling it around the strap. The first round was fine, but in the second one they started overlaping and in the fourth one silver was disappearing! Did I already mention I am a perfectionist? So I unrolled and tried with a working knife to remove the solidified hot glue from the inside of the strap. Let’s do it again this time paying more attention to the angle of the ribbon versus the strap in the beginning. That improved the overlapping slightly, but not a lot. Then from the other strap, the problem was reversed: the silver part was overlapping the blue… Last Thursday I spent the day sticking, rolling and then unrolling and unsticking, until I got bored and annoyed and I quitted.

Ribbons, hot glue, rolling, unrolling,rolling again… Absolutely frustrating!!!

We have to complete each task until Sunday midnight. On Sunday afternoon I started panicking… The deadline will finish and I will be still sticking rolling and unsticking… I closed my eyes, took a deap breath and decided that oh well, the width of the colours is not so important. I also replaced the hot glue with a fast drying repear glue from my husband’s tool box.

I started the same way, putting the ribbon horisontal to the sole and sticking the edge of it folded to the inside. I then proceeded sticking a bit every time I was rolling the ribbon on the top of the strap. As I mentioned I had decided that overlapping is not a problem anymore, so nothing is symmetrical in this craft, except from the original strap. At the end towards the connection of the right and left strap I used only blue ribbon and I stuck it around the vertical part of the straps too. Because the middle always looks a bit messy, I found two nice dark metalling buttons and I fixed them around the connection of the straps both with string and with hot glue.

And I wore my new sandals:

The final result

Well, admittedly, it is not one of my most successful crafts, but I think they do look better than before. At least they gained another active year of life, instead of being closed in a box.

Have you tried modifying shoes yourself? Did you enjoy it? How did you do it?

In any case, thanks Provato me Kaskol for the inspiration and motivation, but I am sorry I don’t think I will try it again!

Diverse DIY

A craft using wood pieces

Yesterday was the end of the 4th week of the Crafts Marathon I am participating. The task for this week was to make something using pieces of wood you can find at the sea side inspired by Fountes Rountes . Unfortunately, there is no sea side in Switzerland, so I asked for an alternative, so if we couldn’t find wood from the seaside, we could use wood pieces we find in a forest or by a river. And this is what I made:

My small LED candle light Teepee

For my craft I was first planning to go along the Birs, the river that is closest to my home and find something. But the weather has not been the best and when I tried my harvest was poor. Towards the end of the week, time was pressing, so I asked my husband to go for a walk to the forest. With his help and after a bit of an adventure as the soil was muddy and slippery, my harvest of sticks was amazing!

The sticks we collected

So now I had to find something to do with them. I was brainstorming (thanks Pinterest!), when I saw this interesting craft: a small teepee by Blue Bear Wood for small LED candles.

The steps to make it are simple:

  1. Choose five sticks that are as long as you want your teepee to be and not too curved. Mine were a bit long , but I just cut them.
  2. Take the three of them and tie them together with your yarn. Then choose something appropriate ( I used a small espresso cup), so as to put it between the sticks and open them up at the bottom, so as to stand.
  3. Cut a cycle out of carton, with the diameter you have opened the sticks. It is better to cut notches where the five sticks will go, but before you do so, decide where the entrance of the teepee will be, so have bigger space at this point. It should be enough, so as to insert or remove the candle.
  4. Then glew the sticks to the carton. Start with the three that are already tied and then tie the other two to them too by rolling a bit of yarn around all five of them. This will help you glew the remaining two too. You can use any glew you think best. I used an epoxy glew.
  5. Then start rolling yarn around all five sticks. Continue at least until the point the two sticks around the entrance start separating, or until you would like your entrance to start. From that point on you don’t go all around the five sticks, but you roll the yarn around the entrance sticks and change orientation of rolling the yarn. That’s why it is better to have smaller pieces of yarns, so as to be able to pass the excess through the sticks. On the bottom part the yarn will be a bit thicker, as the middle of the back side fills faster than the entrances of the teepee.
  6. The trickiest part was to finish the rolling. When you are close to the carton, it won’t be so easy to put the excess of the yarn threw the hole between the sticks and the carton. I used a needle, so as to finish the covering of the teepee. Make a knot in the end so as to avoid unravelling.
  7. Get an LED tea candle and enjoy your teeepee. You should never use a normal candle, as there is high possibility of the whole teepee to burn down and that would be a disaster no?

I enjoyed this craft. It became a bit of a family activity, as my husband helped me a bit with the glewing and as I was making it after dinner with our parents, they also participated in choosing the colours of the yarns.

The teepee from the back

I think it came out quite nicely. What do you think?

Diverse DIY

A craft using something from a refreshment or its packaging

I mentioned already last week that I am participitating in a Crafts Marathon that In my closet, a greek friend of mine is organising. She is sending us a task every Friday and we have a week from Monday to complete it and post a photo of it. The third week just finished last night and its task was to create something using a refreshment (either the liquid itself or something from its packaging). The idea of the task came from Alleycraft, another interesting blogger.

I was brainstorming about what to create. My mind was stuck at the craft of the second week, where I created sunglasses for our mascot Lukas, using the brown bottle of a common Swiss refreshment. Last week was quite warm in central Europe and I spent quite some time on our roof terrace, enjoying the sun and drinking a lot of water. Until one afternoon I was sitting with my husband, consuming a local refreshment, called Flauder, and we noticed the beautiful label on the bottle!

Flauder is a swiss sparkling water flavoured with elderberry flowers and lemon balm, produced in East Switzerland, in the canton of Appenzell Innerhoden. Its name comes from the local word for butterfly and the special about its label is that it has a nice picture inside, as the sparkling water itself is slightly yellow to transparent. Probably no surprise that I like this sparkling water, as you may have noticed that I like elderberry flowers.

So I decided to cut the cute picture from the label and make it into a postcard, typical of Appenzell!

In the process of creating it

I had a couple of white cartons cut already for postcards and after sticking the part of the label, I thought that it doesn’t look so interesting with the white background. So I complemented the background, trying to follow loosely the label’s scene. I used coloured pencils and sketched a few small details to make it more interesting. I have to admit I am not so good in drawing, but I think the result doesn’t look that bad. It is definitely something new for me, as I avoid drawing.

The finished card

Thank you Alleycraft for the motivation to overcome some personal barriers!

Crochet · Diverse DIY

Lukas is getting ready for holidays!

This summer I am participating in a Crafts Marathon that In my closet, a greek friend of mine is organising. She is sending us a task every Friday and we have a week from Monday to complete it and post a photo of it. The second week just finished last night and its task was to think of a song that comes in our minds when we hear summer and get inspired by it so as to create something. The idea of the task came from Iwanna be xara, another interesting blogger.

I was discussing the task with my husband during the previous weekend and we agreed immediately to the song that means summer for us! It is the song “Ab in den Süden” from the german reggae group Seeed. At least, we thought that the song was from them. It seems that if I look for the song in youtube, it appears that it belongs to a guy called Buddy and has really really awful videoclips, so here you can hear the song without any videoclip.

Anyway, back to the Crafts Marathon, we have been discussing for maybe even a couple of years now, that Lukas (our mascot) needs to enrich his clothes. So this was a good opportunity, to prepare Lukas for his holidays to the south of Europe!

What is the first things you need when you go for holidays to a warm country? Of course swimming suit, flip-flops, shirt, hat and sunglasses.

Lukas waiting patiently while his swimming suit is being prepared!

The first addition that he got is a new pair of shorts (his swimming suit, as technically he is not really waterproof) and a new shirt. These were easy, as I created the patterns for his clothes three years ago, before our move from the Netherlands. This time I decided to make them a bit more colourful than his old set, For his shorts, I chose a bright and summery orange shade from King Cole Pricewise, called Sorbet (3102), and for his shirt the interesting reddish shade Claret (1123) by Stylecraft Special DK. I usually use Stylecraft Special DK, but as they are getting more difficult to find them in Switzerland, I am trying other brands too. I combined both of them with a bit of Black (1002) by Stylecraft.

His summer shirt and swimming suit

Then he needed some flip-flops. Well, this was a bit tricky. Lukas needs his shoes so as to stand. Already from the previous pair of shoes I did for him, I used a bit of reinforcement so as to make him a bit more stable. So I crocheted two identical soles which i sewed together after including an equal size of carton in between. Surpisingly, the carton is not destroyed yet, after three years of use, but I wanted an improvement in the material I used. So I used pieces of hardened plastic from a packaging and cut it at the size of his soles. The tricky part was how to make the bands of the flip-flops. Lukas can’t hold his shoes and it is a common problem that sooner or later he drops them and if we don’t pay attention he can lose them. With flip-flops the problem would be even more imminent, as they don’t hold on a big surface of the foot. I solved the problem by using hair bands! I crocheted around it while creating the upper part of the sole (I used Black (1002) by Stylecraft) and then attached it two point to the back of the flip-flops, while attaching the two parts of the soles with the plastic reinforcement in the middle.

The three parts that are needed for each flip flop: two identical soles, the top one of which has the hair band attached and an equal sized strong plastic piece

Lukas liked his new flip-flops! Unfortunately his toes are a bit small, so he has to wear them in the middle of his four toes and they can have two modes:

  • the safe mode. It is the mode that they hold a bit better on his foot and he doesn’t risk losing them, but it doesn’t look so nice.
  • the fancy mode. It is the normal way of wearing flip-flops or sandals and he likes this way more.

Now it was time to prepare his sunglasses. In Switzerland, we have a refreshment that comes in a brown PET bottle. What better first material! I got a bit of help in this task from my husband. We cut a round from the bottle and we tried several widths so as to fit around Lukas’ head. Then we shaped it, so as to fit over the nose and around the ears and we used a white marker to make it look like sunglasses. In the end we painted the white part with a watercolour that we liked. This was a really funny process! We were laughing quite a lot!

Lukas’ sunglasses

What else should he pack for his holidays? He already has a hat and a backpack and he needs a passport! In order to make a notebook, all you need is some pages, a piece of carton for the outside, a needle and some thread. I used a dark red coloured carton (close to the shade european passports have) and I cut pieces of paper at a size so that folded they would fit in Lukas’ backpack. I sewed the paper and the carton together and voila!

And now that all the components were ready, Lukas had to have a bath and do a bit of sunbathing. We can’t wear the new clothes without washing first, right?

And now he is ready!!! Doesn’t he look more summery than before?

P.S. Lukas is a bought pattern, but his clothes I am making alone with my own patterns. If somebody is interested in them, I can share them.