Monday, 23 December 2013

Friendship Bracelets for Beginners! Pt 1: Equipment

A lot of people look at the friendship bracelets that I make and think that I'm extremely clever and talented. I mean, they're not wrong (just kidding!), making friendship bracelets isn't actually difficult, once you learn the basic technique! In this blog post, I will only be covering what equipment you will need to make the bracelets. Please keep checking back for when the following parts come!

Here's just a selection of bracelets I have made :)

Friendship bracelets never seem to go out of fashion and been around for centuries. BraceletBook.com has a very good history of friendship bracelets, which I will link here for anyone who's interested. This type of bracelet are heavily associated with Native American culture, although BB explains that knot-tying crafts have their origins in all corners of the globe!

Friendship bracelets tend to be made with embroidery thread and they use a basic macramé knotting technique to create the intricate patterns and you can use as many colours and threads as you like!

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

I suppose the most important thing that you'll need is embroidery thread. This can be purchased relatively inexpensively, if you shop in the right places. Many craft shops will have high-quality thread, which is great, but can be pricey. Once you learn how to make the bracelets and know it's something you want to do a lot of, treat yourself to some high quality thread! For beginners, I would recommend buying cheaper thread. You're going to go wrong, you're going to throw your bracelet across the room and chop the top off. It's going to happen!



It is necessary to use the same thickness of thread within one bracelet to achieve the even surface.

I live in the UK, so I can speak with confidence about where to buy cheaper thread for from here! PoundLand sells a pack of embroidery thread for £1. I think that there are 12 skeins of thread in each packet, so that's a definite bargain! The Works also sometimes has embroidery thread, although it has a shinier finish than the PoundLand thread. Just keep an eye out for it! I guarantee that you will very quickly build a mighty collection!

I recommend getting a little box like this to keep your threads organised:

otherwise you'll end up with something like this, which is difficult to detangle:



You will want your threads to be taught as you make your bracelet to ensure tight, even knots. There are a couple of ways to do this. I find it easiest to use a safety pin through the knot, pinned onto a cushion. Some people prefer to use a clipboard or just Sellotape on the table to keep the bracelet still. Have a play around and see what works best for you.

  Source
This is how I make my friendship bracelets :)

Scissors are naturally going to be necessary to cut the threads with!

Those are the basic "ingredients" you will need to make a friendship bracelet, but believe me, you can do all sorts with them! You can attach beads onto the bracelet as you go for a different finish, or you can add your creation onto a split ring to make a keyring!


Stay tuned for the next parts of Friendship Bracelets for Beginners :D Feel free to ask any questions and I will be more than happy to answer them.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Pattern Herd: Last-Minute Crochet Christmas Decorations!

So your house may be decorated by now. If it's not, you'd better get a move on! There's less than a week to go until the big day!

If you received a surprise gift from someone and don't know what to give back, these decorations won't take long for you to whip up for panic-presents or even labels for presents!!


These little gingerbread houses are gorgeous and will look at home on most Christmas trees! They don't require a lot of difficult stitches so you'll be able to make them without too much concentration. The free pattern by Ursula Markgraf can be found here.


I made these for one of my friends who lives abroad because they're so lightweight. I managed to get it down to making one in 10 minutes. The pattern uses basic stitches and also doesn't require a lot of concentration. Perfect to do while watching a Christmas film! The free pattern by Marianna can be found here :)


Look at how cute these little sockies are! These could be hung on the tree with little chocolate in for your guests. The stockings are easy to make, but they will require a little more concentration to make the first one than the other patterns I have written about! They are very easily customisable by adding different embellishments. The free pattern by Le Monde de Sucrette can be found here.


These's little bells are adorable! They'll make any tree look that little bit more Christmassy! There is both an English and a Spanish pattern for these bells. If you keep scrolling down, you'll get to the English version! Free pattern by "Crafteando, que es gerundio" can be found here.


This little guy will take a little more time and dedication than the other patterns I have posted. It's worth it though; look at his little face!! He looks so snuggly and warm with his stripey scarf too. The free pattern by All About Ami can be found here.


I know I've already done a pattern-herd of snowmen, but we're just going to have a slight overlap! This happy bunch can be made in no time and you can give each one its own personality. Perfectly customisable for your recipient! Living The Craft Life provides this free pattern.


These bundles of deliciousness are the creation of Twinkie Chan, who is renowned for making food-based crochet items! Using a polestyrene ball, these crocheted sweets are oh-so easy to make! They consist of a square, which you then shape into the sweet. This free pattern, complete with video tutorial, can be found on Twinkie Chan's blog, here.

Well I can't exactly write about Christmas decs without Father Christmas (or whatever name he is known by in your family)! This cute FC will stil proudly on any Christmas tree! The free pattern, which isn't too difficult, is by Pebie and can be found here.

I hope that this post has given you some last-minute decoration ideas! Let me know what your go-to pattern is for an unexpected present!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Earrings!

I am very new to making jewellery and I am the first to admit how bad I am at it. I have recently started a new job that sells beads and the bits and bobs you need to make jewellery. Since starting at this shop, I have learnt so much!

I decided to make a pair of Christmas tree earrings for my mum for her birthday present!


I'm not very good at photographing something that's so small! These earrings were made using Swarovski crystals. First, you will need to slide a 4mm cube bead (I used a siam-coloured bead) onto your head pin. Then thread on the sew on flowers in 10mm, then 8mm and finally 6mm in Emerald green, or whatever colour you decide to use. The final bead you will need to thread on is a 3mm Xilion bead. I decided to use a Golden Shadow bead to represent the star on top of the tree and I think it goes nicely with the gold plated fishhooks and headpins I used!

After you have threaded all your beads on, you will need to make a loop above the Xilion bead. There are many ways to do this so check out some YouTube videos (and once I improve, maybe I will make a tutorial!) Finally, attach your trees onto the fishhooks and ta-dah!! You have Christmas earrings!


I hope that you enjoyed this post. Let me know what you'd like to see in future posts on this blog :)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas In The Corner of Craft House pt. 2!

I cannot take credit for the masterpieces you see underneath! It is my very talented housemate who is a fan of Star Wars! I saw these snowflakes on Tumblr and knew that he'd love to have these as our decorations! You can find them here and they are designed by the very talented Anthony Herrera. The template has a shaded in section in the snowflake outline so you know which part to cut out.



I am a fan of Star Wars but I'm not geeky about the characters in Star Wars, but the ones I recognise, I realise how talented the artist is in designing these snowflakes. The templates are not free. You are required to give a voluntary donation to access the PDF download, but I think that's very reasonable! The amount of time and experimenting Anthony Herrera must have done is incredible!



I'm sorry that the photos are so bad. I'm no photographer and it's difficult to take pictures of things on windows!

How does your house look at this time of year? Let me know!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas in The Corner of Craft House pt. 1!

It turns out that the people who live in TCOC's house are quite crafty! Our decorations aren't too extravagant but they're festive enough to get us in the Christmas mood :)

Let's start with the tree!

Here is our little tree :) My boyfriend won the battle and bought a real tree! It's not massive, but it's lovely! We have the standard lights, as there really needs to be lights on the tree! I don't think we can say that we went for a colour scheme! We used paper chains from Wilkinson's to bulk out the tree and baubles from Asda.


My housemate is South African and was deeply affected by Nelson Mandela's passing earlier this month. We thought it only fitting that he was the star on top of our tree! My housemate was the artist behind this masterpiece! He used yellow and orange paper and cut out two star shapes. He made a tube from card and decorated it with washi tape from Paperchase. Ta-dah! 


Some of you will be fans of The Big Bang Theory and will know that Christmas Day is also Sir Isaac Newton's birthday! My housemate, the creator of the star, saw that it was only fitting that we had a decoration dedicated to the birthday boy! Once again, decorated with festive washi tape!


My boyfriend is a big fan of lego! We have so many Lego mini-figures in our house and Star Wars characters! We used thread left over from the baubles to make some little Lego tree decorations! 

Our tree is such a jumble of themes and colours but I love it! It makes the decorations seem more authentic and homely :) I personally don't like to have a tree that looks like it belongs in a catalogue!

Stay tuned for part two of our festive decorations!



Wednesday, 11 December 2013

My Experience With Needle Felting!

In celebration of Small Business Saturday, which was Saturday 7th Dec, I was asked by my new place of work if I'd like to do a needle felting demonstration. I said I'd love to but the small problem was that I'd never needle felted in my life before! I'd seen masterpieces by various very talented crafsters on Etsy and I'd wanted to give it a go for ages!


So needle felting begins life as roving, or wool before it's been spun into yarn. It's extremely soft and very easy to pull apart. I love just feeling the softness of the roving! You can buy it in such an array of colours, you'll never be short of inspiration!


The needle used when needle felting is very different to a sewing needle! It is much longer in length and is thicker than a lot of sewing needles. When you look at it closer, the felting needle has little barbs on it to catch the roving and to make it felt quicker.


To start making a bead, roll the wool around on itself as tightly as you can. The tighter you make the initial shape, the less stabbing you have to do! Wrap the roving around the first roll, alternating in direction so you have a nice spherical shape. It's so tempting to add a lot of roving to get it done quicker, but it ultimately means you have to felt it more!

Before you start to stab, ensure that you have some thick foam, like upholstery foam, otherwise you'll damage the surface that you're working on!

Holding the roving ball between your thumb and first finger, stab the ball with your needle in between your finger and thumb. You're almost guaranteed to stab yourself a couple of times as you needle felt! It's more of a shock than a pain and it doesn't bleed much so don't worry. If you stab between your finger and thumb, you're less likely to injure yourself! Be sure to move the ball around a lot so you get a nice, smooth shape.


Here is my little needle felted bead! If you want to make it into a bead, read on. If not, decorate by however you want by sewing on seed beads or sequins and a normal sewing needle!

To make your little ball of felt into a bead, you'll need a shape stick. I used a metal kebab skewer but an awl would probably work better. Force the awl (or whatever you're using) through the felted ball to create the bead-hole. I left the bead on the skewer as I sewed on seed beads so I knew I wasn't sewing through the bead-hole.

Thread beads onto elastic and voilĂ ! A lovely needle felted bead bracelet :) To make sure all your beads are the same size, you can weigh the roving before you start rolling and felting. This will ensure they're all the same size!

Here are some great examples of needle felting!





I hope you're all sufficiently inspired to get needle felting now :) It's so therapeutic and soothing! 




Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Corner of Craft Is On Pinterest!

I did it. I made the leap. I decided to set up a Pinterest account and it's been eating away at my time ever since! I didn't really see the point in it originally as I already had Tumblr (http://thecornerofcraft.tumblr.com/) and thought that Pinterest was pretty much the same thing. Well it is really but it's a wonderful place to get inspiration and ideas!

I'm still very new to it so I haven't "pinned" many items yet. I tend to enjoy just browsing! If you're interested in following me (or whatever it's called) on Pinterest, you can find me here! http://www.pinterest.com/cornerofcraft/

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Exploring Etsy - Christmas Ideas Under £10!

I've decided to include a new segment to The Corner of Craft's blog in which I explore Etsy and find pieces that I enjoy and share them with you all!


This gorgeous necklace from ArtemisBridalJewelry is a lovely addition to any jewellery box! It only costs £6.27 so will make the perfect stocking filler. Available here :)

What better present than dinosaur crayons!? Perfect for children and those big kids that we all know :) These amazing crayons are from IvyLaneDesigns and cost just £5.61. Available here


This is a nail varnish ring! A ring that's been painted with nail varnish to give it this sparkly, magical colour! Such a brilliant idea by xSparklesMakeMeHappy and only costs £6.90! Available here


You can make your own Christmas minion for a loved one with this downloadable pattern by JAMigurumi. The pattern only costs £2.28 and is available here.


This necklace by FourSeasonFair is perfect for any Harry Potter fan! In a gorgeous antique gold colour, this necklace only costs £1.18 and is available here :)


No Christmas tree is complete without bacon! These delightful tree ornaments are by OlechkaDesigns. They're only £4.39 each and are available here :)


Gingerbread man soap! These will smell amazing and also look adorable in your bathroom. These soaps are by SymbolicImports and costs only £3.31. They are available here.

This is just perfect for any Christmas hairstyle! These clips are also perfect for children and toddlers, not just for adults! These are by the very talented Avabowtiquee and only cost £2.35. They are available here


These mugs of hot chocolate are absolutely gorgeous! They would look perfect on a necklace and just look at their little faces :) These are handmade by CheekyCharmz and only cost £3.13 each. They are available here.

Nativity finger puppets! They're so cute and look at those moustaches :) These creations are by dolllady237 and are £7.52. They are available here.

I hope that you liked this first "exploring Etsy" and please let me know if there are any improvements I can make! Also let me know if you'd like to be featured :)

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Pattern-herd: Snowmen!

You are going to sense a theme with the pattern herds in the run up to Christmas... I am a big fan of the holidays and I have been in a Christmassy mood since October! Oh the curse of being in a choir and practising Christmas songs!

There are so many cute snowman patterns on the internet! It's another great and simple way to decorate your house and lovely presents for people that will be loved and kept for years :) This pattern herd will feature more knitting patterns than last week's.

1) Snowman in Grandma's Favourite Dishcloth by Miriam Giles



This dishcloth is so gorgeous and creative! I wish that I'd thought of this. I think this dishcloth will add a lovely wintery touch to any kitchen. This knitting pattern (with a crocheted border!) is available for free

2) Snowman Jar Cozy by Doni Speigle


Look at this jar cozy! It's so cute and will make any jar (hopefully full of sweets) look adorable. You could also make it in orange and have a jack-o-lantern jar cozy instead for halloween. This fun crochet pattern is available for free on Whiskers and Wool blog.

3) Snowman Stocking by Bernat Design Studio


This knitting pattern will require a lot of patience and counting but it will be completely worth it! A perfect present for a special someone and is guaranteed to become an heirloom and tradition. This pattern is available for free on Yarnspirations.

4) Snowman Ornament by Audra Brown


Ah they're so cute! Look at their little bobble hats :D These little guys will look great on any Christmas tree and make a lovely gift. This crochet pattern is available for free as a free Ravelry download.

5) Cabled Snowman Mittens by Jean Gifford


These knitted mittens are so adorable and look so warm! I want a pair in every colour so will have to send the pattern to my mum and talk to her nicely. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

6) Snowman Mug Hug by Michele Wilcox


This mug hug will make anyone smile :) A lovely accompaniment to a hot chocolate or a cup of christmassy tea :) This crochet pattern is available for free on Red Heart.

7) Socks with Christmas Pattern by Drops Design

I'm wishing that I was more talented with knitting. I just don't have as much patience with it as crochet! I'd knit Christmas socks all year so I could have a different pair for each day in Advent. This knitting pattern is available for free on Drops Design.

8) Melting Snowman by Renske de Busschere


It's such a sad thing to make but his happy little face makes him irresistible. Maybe this little guy will be good to make after Christmas :) This pattern is available for free as a Ravelry download. 

9) Crochet Snowman Hat by Sarah Zimmerman


I'm definitely going to be making some of these hats when my orders are all caught up! I think they're gorgeous and look adorable on children. This pattern (in sizes from newborn-adult!) is available for free on Repeat Crafter Me. 

10) The Abominable Snowman (Yeti) by Elin Tjerngren


Time for something a little bit different to round off this pattern-herd!  The abominable snowman may not be the ideal symbol of Christmas, but this guy just looks a bit sad, lost and confused! This pattern is available for free on CraftCravings on Tumblr.

I hope that you enjoyed this pattern-herd! If you have any ideas of any patterns that you'd like to be "herded" or you'd like your pattern to be featured, don't be afraid to get in touch!