Felt Poppy Brooch Tutorial

To make one you will need:
 4 x red felt hearts (I cut them with a Sizzix Original Heart die)
1 x 1" diameter red felt circle
1 x 1" diameter green felt circle
A tiny piece of polyester filling 
A brooch pin
A chenille needle 
A fine sewing needle
Black cotton thread
Red thread

Cut out two hearts 

Cut the tip off each heart

Sew a running stitch dart along approximately 2/3 of each piece

With the right side facing you sew the hearts together, gathering them as you sew

Sew a running stitch near the edge of the felt circle

Fill with a little of the fillng then pull the needle tightly to gather and close the circle

Fasten off with a few stitches

Sew 5 stitches from the centre outwards over the padded centre (sorry I forgot to take a picture)

then sew some stiches of  varying lengths on each petal

Sew French French knots on each petal (there are lots of online tutorials)

and......if you don't want to do  a padded centre and  French knots add a large glass bead (or button) and some seed beads instead

 Sew the brooch pin on to the felt circle

And, finally sew or glue the back on to the poppy

Miniature Wardrobe for Paper Art Dresses - Tutorial

I used a sheet of A4 paper to show how to make a template. 
When making the actual wardrobe I would recommend using 220gsm card - anything heavier would not give a sharp enough crease where the doors fold back

Fold the paper twice

Draw the top and bottom shapes

Cut through the 4 layers

 Undo fold 2 (you now have 2 layers with the first fold at the left hand side)

Mark the doors using a piece of card as a template
Cut along the solid lines then fold the dotted lines towards you

Alternatively you can make smaller doors with a drawer at the bottom
Add brads for handles, attach a cord for hanging a dress and decorate beautifully. I used scrapbook paper for the inside back 

Round Pin Cushion Tutorial - make from an up-cycled cashmere sweater

To make one you will need;
A piece of cashmere
Embroidery floss or crochet cotton
Polyester filling
A button
Pinking Scissors
Needles (it is helpful to use a long needle for the final step) 

Fold the fabric in two with the right sides together. 
Pin together and draw round the edge of a small saucer or plate with an air erasable pen (mine was in the loft so I used a Sharpie and made sure I cut inside the marking). I used a 10cm saucer.

Cut out with pinking shears to prevent fraying

Sew together with backstitches approximately 3mm from the edge,  leaving a small gap to insert the filling, Then cut a few nicks

Turn inside out, stuff and sew the open part with small stitches

Bring the needle with double floss up from the back to the front at the centre point, pulling gently, then over to the back again. Repeat this until you have the required number of segments* (sorry I did not take a picture)

*you may find it helpful to make a paper template and fold in half two or three times and use this as a guide for the segments. I did it without a template and it is ok for me....I always say if you want something perfect buy manufactured not crafted 

This one goes nicely with the needle case I made recently

and this lily was cut with a o, then tinted with watercolours

and this one is embellished with a tatted flower  and hand made tassel (please see my earlier post for how to make tassels)

"A throne is only a bench covered in velvet"
Napolean Bonaparte

we all love pretty things, but pretty things don't need to cost the earth........and velvet is such a luxurious, sumptuous fabric that even a small piece adds a hint of luxury! I love the vibrant jewel-like colours as well as the faded ones I dyed to use here.

all my adult life, and maybe even in childhood,  I have upcycled and the old adage "necessity is the mother of invention" was, I think, written for me

I was inspired to make them when I was given a sample of Chloe, a new perfume by Dior and also when I saw beautiful bookmarks online. Once I started making them I remembered making chokers many years ago, which were made in the same way. I think Dior has chosen a really nice way to market their perfume, they have used narrow pink satin  ribbon - it is something that can be kept in a drawer to add fragrance or could even be tied around your wrist as a bangle.

All of these things are quick & easy to make and are a great way to use up baubles, odd earrings, rhinestone buckles, buttons, charms, crystal beads and any other odds and ends you have lying about or beg, steal or borrow!

To make one bookmark you will need:

1 x 12" long piece of velvet  (or organza) ribbon -  I used 20mm wide
2 x Ribbon clamps - the same width as the ribbon
2 x jump rings
2 x pairs of flat nose jewellery pliers

Slide the ribbon in to the clamp and press with crimp or flat pliers - if the ribbon is wider than the clamp you can fold it (see the Dior one above), but I think it looks nicer unfolded

add the adornment to the clamp with a jump ring

to open jump rings:
 use 2 pairs of jewellery pliers
grip either side of the ring with the pliers, with the split in the centre 
move one hand away from you and the other towards you, until the opening is just large enough to slip the ribbon clamp and adornment on

to close jump rings:
repeat as above but
move one hand away from you and the other towards you, until the ends just pass each other
 move back until the ends just meet (you will feel them rubbing against each other). Make sure the ring is tightly closed

you can find videos on Youtube for opening and closing jump rings if you prefer to see how it is done - one of these days I will get round to uploading some videos!

To make a choker you need all of the above plus chain and a fastener.

add clamps to ribbon as above
 add a chain at both ends with a fastener (I used a lobster clasp)
add jump ring at the other end
add an extender
 hang on a charm or earring with a jump ring
 slide on a rhinestone buckle (before adding the second clamp)
 sew on something glitzy like I did (this is from a broken bracelet).

these make beautiful, unusual gifts - that is if you can bear to part with them!


  1. Dear Gill,
    I need help. I bought yards and yards of bright yellow polyester ribbon with the wire on the edges at a very cheap price. I have tried rit dye but it will not take the color no matter how concentrated the dye is. I have boiled the ribbon first and then let the ribbon sit over night in the dye. Now I have tried fabric paint and that works great but I do not have the time to paint with my finger or brush all of this ribbon. Do you think your watered down paint would work for me? Thank you so much.

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