Friday, 30 August 2013

Hand-Painted Magpie Tee

Hey Kids,

Satch here. 

Before we get started, the Bestie Bucket List half marathon is on the 8th of September and Salt needs sponsors! She's running for the Hannah Chamberlain Foundation, so pop on over to her donation page and do a good thing. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to run it this time, due to bloody health problems, so it's probably a bit cheeky to ask you to give money to the charity I was running for. However, it is a very nice charity, so if you did fancy checking it out and giving them money - just because you're lovely - you can do so here. (Anyone else notice how brilliant I am at hyperlinks now?)

Right, now that's sorted, onto crafts! A few months ago I was in a bit of a sketching mood, and ended up with this picture of a magpie: 

Ever since I decided to include a character called Magpie in a book that I'm never going to finish writing, I've been a little bit obsessed with them, and see them ALL THE TIME. I think it's God's way of telling me to stop procrastinating and just write the damn thing already, but instead I decided to turn it into a craft-pportunity. #Priorities

I love this sketch in black and white, but the original image was so colourful I couldn't help but get a bit creative with the fabric paints! 

You may get a bit of deja vu if you've read my bleach tee blog, or Salt's bold slogan tees, but let's be honest, you're reading this to procrastinate, not judge, so we'll move on.

For your hand-painted magpie tee you will need: 

A white tee (Mine was from a charity shop)
A flat board (I used the board from the back of a big picture frame.)
Chalk/Oil Pastels
Black Fabric Paint
Blue Fabric Paint
Green Fabric Paint
A Fine Black Fabric Pen (fine as in thin, not "Damn, girl, you looking fine.") 
A Clean Tea Towel
An Iron

The first thing you need to do is stretch your tee over your board and peg it in place. The tighter it is, the easier it will be to paint. 

Then, draw on your design in chalk (don't worry, it will wash off). It's quite a time-consuming design so I couldn't be bothered to redo it once the whole thing was on, but now it's done I kinda wish the design was about an inch to the right, so make sure you're happy with the layout before you start painting. A clever person would have tried it on before painting but, alas, twas not to be. 

When you paint a new section, use a stiff paint brush to outline the edge before you fill it in. This will help you to do it more neatly. I got excited when I realised that adding a drop of water helps to spread the colour, and so ended up going somewhat over the lines, so be careful when you get to the edge. 

The head of the magie was pretty straightforward, as it's just solid black, but I really love how the colours change on the wings and tail. To make the green gradient like that, I started at the right end of the tail, and then gradually added a bit of black as I went along the tail. Again, spreading it with a watery brush helps to blend it together, just be careful! As the wings have more obvious blocks of different shades of blue, I roughly drew where the colours change in chalk before I painted. Again, start with the lighter shade, add black to get the darker colours, and then blur it together with water. 

Before you can go over any layers, or outline the wings, you need to leave the paint to dry and set the first layer with the iron. To do this, simply cover your tee with a clean tea towel, and iron on a hot setting for one to two minutes. It was at this point I tried to "paint away" the mistakes I'd made with bleach, but it just didn't work. It might be worth trying when the paint is still wet...

Once the first layer is set, go over any patchy paint jobs, and outline the design with your fabric pen. I then hand-washed my tee but threw it in the machine after that anyway because I suck at hand-washing. It came out fine, so I wouldn't bother hand-washing next time! 

I really love how it turned out (minus the mistakes). Next time I'm thinking of doing a tortoise, as they're the best animals ever. What do you guys think? Anyone know how to get rid of fabric paint mistakes? If you could comment below, it would be much-appreciated! 

Until next time, 
Satch x

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Cute Jam Jars for Any Emergency

Hello children, 

Satch here. It was recently our friend Anna's birthday, which made for a perfect craft-pportunity! To understand this present, you have to understand three things about Anna Jacklin: 

1. She can never say no to a challenge. 
2. She will never admit when she's ill. 
3. She would rather wear old clothes with holes in/patch things up than buy loads of new stuff. 

With this in mind, I thought I'd give Miss Jacklin everything she needs to cope with her ridiculous lifestyle. Enter, Anna's Supplies for Any Little Emergency: 

I got the idea from another blog, which turned a jam jar into a mini sewing box and made a little pin cushion for the lid. There are different things in each one, so I'll go through them individually. 

For your "Sewing Emergencies" Jam Jar you will need: 

A jar (I keep calling these jam jars but actually the ones I used are mini jars of Dolmio sauce!) 

Cotton wool 

Material slightly bigger than the lid

A ribbon/piece of lace 

Cream Paint

A label - make it pretty!

Supplies (These can be personalised to fit the sewer in question. Anna has a lot of basic sewing stuff anyway so I just threw in fun things, and a couple of pins, needles and spools of thread. On the right you can see a few different pretty ribbons - wrapped around an old wine cork and a bobbin - buttons and scraps of material). 

If you're using an old sauce jar like me, you'll need to soak it in warm water to get the label off. I stuck mine in the dishwasher, because I'm lazy. 

Start by painting your lid cream. I had to do two coats to cover up the dark green Dolmio logo.

To make the pin cushion, glue your cotton wool balls to the top of the lid (I used cotton pads and it didn't work as well, so go for the balls). Then, cover the wool with your material and glue it down. To hide any messy glue bits, tie your piece of ribbon/lace round the edge of the pin cushion.

Once you've done that, fill the jar with your supplies and stick the pins in the cushion, so the recipient knows what the hell it is! Finish it off by glueing your label on the side, preferably over any sticky residue left by the original label! 

The other jars are a lot easier than the sewing one! The next one I did is full of medical supplies, as Anna can't admit she's ill and so will not have any of this stuff in her house. When she wakes up in the middle of the night with the runs, she'll thank me! 

For your "Medical Emergencies" jar you will need: 

A jar 

A Label (Preferably in the same style as the others) 

Green paint 

Medical supplies (Just make sure you're not giving out dangerous drugs or anything like that!) I used
- Lemsip
- Three kinds of plasters (Plain ones, peppa pig ones and ones with tigers on - plasters should always be fun!)
- Immodium 
- Fybogel (which is the opposite of an immodium!) 
- Paracetemol
- Ibuprofen
- Feminax 
- Antacids
- Soothers  

The process for this one is much the same as the last, just paint your lid, fill you jar and stick on your label!

The last jar is loosely termed "DIY Emergencies" mainly because Anna has been known to do silly challenges in the past, and so will need general build-it fix-it supplies for when she breaks something in the process! 

For this one, you will need: 

A jar

A label 

Blue paint

DIY Supplies. I went with
- Post its
- Elastic bands
- Paper clips
- Tooth picks
- Batteries
- A pencil
- String
- Matches 
- Super glue
- Blu tak
- No more nails strips
- You can't see this, as I ordered it on Ebay and it didn't arive in time, but I also got her a multi-tool thing, kind of like a pen knife, which makes this look a lot more DIY-esque! 

You know what to do! Lid, label and fill her up! 

After I had my jars I decided to put them in a nice box, which I made out of a piece of cardboard and covered with tissue paper. Et Voila!

What do you think? The thing I love about these jars is that they're so cheap to make. The only thing I spent money on was the mutli-tool thing that didn't arrive on time, and the rest I just got from around my house! Ok, so this may not have been a cheap present for my parents...

Plus, there are so many things you could fill them with. If you have a friend who likes to make cupcakes, you could make a jar of little decorations and writing icing pens. Or you could fill jars with someone's favourite sweets or different kinds of tea bags. I also thought of doing ones of hair things/make up, but that would up the price tag a bit! What would you fill yours with? 

Until next time, 
Satch x