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Upcycling Challenge - from Bricks and Wire to Chic Lamp and Shade!

Claire at Clairabelle Makes blog has teamed up with trade and construction training provider AbleSkills to run a super fun and creative upcycling challenge to make something for your home using old building materials.

Introducing The Brick Chic Lamp!

I knew I wanted to make a lamp... because we actually needed one (always the best way!) and sadly I have no budget after our recent house move and my car quite literally dying, to buy anything new - always happens at once, feeling pretty chipper though after this make!

The brief was to use old scrap building materials, we had a hunt around the garage, then the garden and soon found a pair of old bricks, they've been outside and they are rather beautifully aged with little spots of moss, I love them!

The bricks would be the base!

This was the sketch idea...

I amassed all the various bits and bobs we would need!  With a significant element missing still as the shade had still not been decided on...

The 'donor' lamp worked still but the base was damaged and the shade mangled, so it had been in a 'to fix' pile for some time.

I have masses of old coffee tins - they look amazing if you spray paint them and use them as pen pots etc so I make sure I drink at least 17 cups a day - I always have a few handy, so they had to be included!

In this project I used the base of two coffee tins riveted together to hold the bricks apart and to give it a little industrial chic look - any old metal pipe would have worked too but we didn't have any. I had to scrub of the print with some wire wool, doesn't take long.

Next I cut the bottom off the tins - it's easier if you add some tape.

I got my other half involved too and asked him to drill some holes through to create space for the wire from the donor lamp and to secure the tins (we used plugs). It hurts me to say this but he's just better at drilling holes than me...  whyyyyyy??

Holes are looking good!

These are the rivets, which are just aesthetic - I think they look great, it gives a strong look to the tins which you need when you're holding up bricks.

Sorting out the shade was the hardest bit by far, the sketch idea was before we'd even considered what we'd make it out of. We scratched our heads and searched through the garage for some time before we had a eureka moment.

When we moved in we had to dog proof the garden and luckily had a strip left over - with a little added fabric for the shade this fitted the bill perfectly, the compromise was making the shade oval not rectangular - but I think it looks amazing!

I got to do some sewing!  I made a rectangle of fabric and just hemmed the raw edges.

This was the clever bit - bending the snipped edges of the wire in order to grab the fabric and create a shade - pliers needed!

Don't you think the shade looks good - the wire we found has been wrapped twice to contain the fabric so you get the fantastic check effect when the light is switched on.  The fabric is just a very cheap and thin grey cotton I had, but with the wire shade it looks expensive!  I was hunting for linen but I think this actally gives more light.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at the steps to make this upcycled lamp - here are a few more pics of the finished lamp, we are so chuffed with it!

My beautiful pink socked, pink nailed daughter - happy to model for pics :)

I really hope you like the lamp! Would love your feedback :)

Pine Cone Christmas Decorations

Christmassy Pine Cone Garland

In my new house I have some lovely Victorian fireplaces so I'm really excited about decorating them for Christmas.  Here's where I found these beautiful pictures - Pine Cone Garland

I've also been making a new Pinterest board full of Pine Cone Christmas decoration ideas, my mother has quite a few trees with cones and I'm planning on grabbing a few bags full!

Follow the board here -
Follow Craft Blog UK's board Pine Cone Christmas on Pinterest.

Oink Oink Egg Cozy - Felt Giveaway worth over £35!

I have a big bundle of 100 sheets of felt to give away to one of you via the lovely people at Viking Direct - see the details of what you will win here - Pack of Coloured Felt


Entry is easy - leave a comment on the blog with a link to your favourite felt tutorial or make from a craft blog! (it can be your own tutorial or can be from a blog you like, just paste the link in and let me know why you love it)

NB If you'd like to be entered into the draw TWICE please also share this post on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook and be sure to tag me +Craft Blog  @craftbloguk and Craft Blog UK on Facebook (although you must leave a comment too!)

The winner will be notified by email (entries close 17th October)  Good Luck!

Felt Egg Cosy Tutorial

Make a Pig Egg Cosy!

I thought a make up a little felt tutorial myself! I made a cute little pig egg cosy, these would make lovely gifts for kids (although I gave this one to my mum!) 

I actually used Pi today when sewing up an egg cosy!  I had to work out the circumference in order to ensure the little template I made covered the egg cup properly.  

I made a really simple template egg cosy shape ensuring it was big enough to fit the egg cup when sewn up, basically just an elongated semi-circle and cut two out of the pink felt and then cut out a pair of ears - I just did this freehand.  Then I sandwiched the ears in and sewed up the edge.

The ears popping out as I turn it right side out!

I made the ears reall oversized so it would look more fun!

I found a big wooden button for the snout - needs to be a two hole button, the bigger the better in my opinion and stitched it on with some dark pink thread.

Next I embroidered on some piggy close set eyes.

The ears needed a little definition so I stitched a little tuck at the bottom of each to give them some shape.

and voila a super quick project that a child could sew up!  I'm going to make a little set of farm animals egg cosies as a gift!

I can't wait to see all of the tutorials you share in the comments - don't forget to say a little about them!

Fingernail Art - Impractical but Awesome!

Thought you would love this crazy fingernail art from Alice Bartlett!  A bit impractical maybe but brilliant all the same - a little community on her fingertips! :)

amazing nail art little people on nails

amazing nail art little people on nails

amazing nail art little people on nails

Sewing Vs Throw Away Fashion - Interesting Infographic

London Fashion Week starts today! Take a look at the infographic in this post that challenges UK buying habits, prompting people to reassess their throw-away fashion lifestyle, and instead, look to sustainable methods such as sewing, handcraft and upcycling - Hooray.

Should this tweet actually say "UK Sales of THROWAWAY online fashion" We are buying more clothes than ever...  and throwing it away when the next trend arrives. 

The stats are quite scary - 1 million Tonnes of textiles sent to landfill every year in the UK alone and a big proportion of that waste is from used clothing.  Take a look at this infographic "Sewing vs Throw Away Fashion"

Infographic via Plush Addict, online fabric retailer in the UK 

This is a mini protest banner created by Sarah Corbett of the Craftivist Collective last year to highlight the inequalities of the fashion world - take a look at her website - The Craftivist Collective if you are interested in finding out more.  Not all of us are talented enough to make our own clothes but we can make more responsible decisions about the clothes we do buy.

And a tweet she posted this morning! "Don't mention the garment workers" - why not retweet it!

Autumn Crafts - Embroidery Hoop Art

I love this embroidery hoop art from The Lily pad Cottage - the text is actually written on with a fabric pen rather than embroidered but it still looks lovely - Autumn is such a fantastic time for craft, long evenings and the amazing autumnal colours for inspiration all around - I can't wait and now I have moved house finally I can get out all my crafty stuff - it's all been in boxes way too long!

I like hoop art and I think it would be fun to have a hoop on the wall in a prominent place (or maybe on a door) that changed with the seasons, a new hoop to celebrate the new season and a great reason to take some time out to reflect while you stitch up a design.

There are a few more beautiful examples of autumnal embroidery hoop art I found too.

Beautiful Autumn coloured threads  - over on Bettinas Treehouse

This is a very fun and simple idea from Shaken Together - I've just been given some felt and have a giveaway coming up to win a big bumper pack here soon, so will be thinking of felt projects I can make up this weekend to share.

These are french knots and seed beads - must take so long - I love the ombre effect and mossy colour. This is available to buy on Etsy from The Chest of Drawers.  Well worth a look at her other work!

This pretty hoop art is by another Etsian - Sometimes I Swirl - I particularly love the choice of fabric and the rustic hoop - would look beautiful on a wall.

I'd love to see any hoop art you have produced please share it on my facebook wall

My own efforts are not quite so accomplished, but it still makes me smile - determined to make something else and add it to my new office :)

Beautiful Crochet - Acorn Pine Cone Brooches

I spotted these from Portugese crochet artist Vera Joan Espinha over on the Flow Gallery Blog.  they summed up how I'm feeling, Autumn is coming and I want to get my crochet hooks and cotton out!

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