Customizable DIY Colouring Fabric.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

This isn’t quite a DIY but it is a neat little piece of info for those of you who are looking to make things that can be coloured. That’s right, fabric that can be coloured – for clutches, pillow cases, shirts… whatever you like. This is more of a step by step for how to order what you need, but I didn’t realize that this could even be done, so I thought I’d share. There’s a full tutorial on Damask Love, but this post will focus on the resources you need to get this fabric to you.

Your first step is to find a design that you like at a place like Creative Market. If you search the term “seamless” it will pull up all kinds of designs that are appropriate for a colouring item. Purchase your design and save it to an easy to find place in your computer.

Next, hop on over to Zazzle (which also has a Canadian site). On this site you can order all kinds of blank things that you can have images printed on. If you’re looking to make a tote or a pillow or clutch, I suggest searching for “twill” to order some plain fabric with your design printed on it. Note that you can also make other custom stuff, so of course, play around! All you have to do is upload the design, and fidget with the scale if you choose. Since the design is seamless, you won’t have to work with edges or things like that.

After you’ve chosen the design and the fabric, just order it and wait for it to arrive. See? Not so much a tutorial but until seeing this I had no idea that I could order colouring fabric (of course you’ll want to use fabric markers for the actual colouring), or that I could customize it, so I thought you guys needed to know too.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Designing an Embroidered Patch

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So not everyone has a fancy machine and software to whip out patches on a whim, including myself, but sometimes you want to have them for a family/business event or even to sell for your own company without having to learn an entire new vocation. Well my friends, that’s where the lovely people at Stadri Emblems come in.

They’ve created a great guide to get you started on not just what you need to know about patches, but what you need to think about when designing them. Stuff like, does your entire patch need to be made from thread or can some of it be a woven background? They also have a staff on artist on hand that get assigned to each customer so you can work one on one to get the patch you wanted, starting with a free image design and quote.

What if I’m not a designer or artist?

Don’t worry; all of our orders come with artwork set-up for free. Whether your design just needs some small tweaks or you only have a napkin drawing, we have you covered. If you don’t have finished art, here are a few tips for describing what you are envisioning to your artist:

 

1. Be as descriptive as possible! If there are any details that are important to you, let us know!

2. Feel free to send us photos or examples to help the artists know what you’d like.

3. Make a rough sketch, if possible. Even if it’s not very detailed, having a sketch can be really helpful to our artists.

If this is something you’ve considered at all getting done, I really recommend giving this company a look. They’re very straight forward and helpful with the work and the finished quality speaks for it’s self. Now if you’re looking to get into the field with your own machine then this likely isn’t he route for you, but they still offer good tips in their guide that you should take into consideration when working on your own designs. 🙂


The Cheap Dye That is Surprisingly Decent

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Dying things can be a long and expensive process sometimes. Not to mention all the steps you have to go through to prepare it so that it’ll stay. Thankfully, the internet has come to our rescue once more! Today I’ll be sharing the secrets of using the cheap drink brand Kool-aid as your all purpose dye.

I first started looking into this when I can across a post were a leather user talked about how they decided to try this just for laughs while making a drink:

I was making a drink while cutting the snaps off some new straps for my pauldrons and I got curious, so I tried it, thinking, “ok even if this works, it will just wash out.”

Nope.

It took the “dye” (undiluted) in about 3 seconds. After drying for about an hour and a half, it would not wash off in the hottest tap-water. It would not wash out after soaking for 30 minutes.

They then go on to talk about how it took boiling the dyed leather to even slightly remove the dye. O.O That’s some pretty powerful stuff there. So, what can we learn from this and apply for ourselves? Well, after some experimenting and reading on my part, I’ve found that Kool-aid as a dye works pretty well for a variety of natural fiber mediums such as leather, wool, cotton, hair, flax, jute, silk and so on. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re not just making Kool-aid proper and then adding your items to it. It needs to be the flavor only packet/liquid as the pre mixed once have sugar. The sugar will make your end product sticky and unusable down the line. That’s no good for anyone

Also, you’ll want to heat the dye water up, just like you would with commercial dyes. This helps stimulate the molecules and ‘activate’ the dye to help the color permeate. Once it’s set for 20-30mins, let it dry and then rise in cold water to remove the excess. 😀 Several people have even made charts to help others achieve desired colors! A quick google search gave me this one, but there are loads more, including yarn results which very much so appeal to me, lol.

So there you have it. Never think that dying something it out of your budget as long as you have access to Kool-aid. ^_^


A Quirky Cup Collection

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Since I can taste tannins, I’m not a big coffee. To even enjoy tea I have to add sugar and milk to it. Which is why I think I covet all my tea mugs so fiercely. I hardly get to use them so when I do they need to be something unique. Figuring I wouldn’t be alone in my mug pursuit I wanted to share my latest cup discovery.

Sydonie Baldissera of The Quirky Cup Collective is a 23 year old South Australian artist that loves painting her own custom teacup/mug designs. I’m a sucker for all things Alice in Wonderland so they immediately caught my eye, lol. She of course makes designs that cover a wide range of tastes but it was the exquisite attention to detail that really drew me in. Her line work is wonderfully clean and unless you knew going in, you likely wouldn’t be able to tell they were hand painted at all! I recommend giving her shop a view, as well as looking in her past sales history to see all the amazing previous designs she’s done. 🙂


Color Scheme Assistance

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Taking a break from just posting awesome things or DIYs, I wanted to share another tool for all you artist/artisans out there. When designing a piece, one of the hardest things to do sometimes is color. Now I don’t mean color for something you know or recreating, but picking color from scratch for something new and unique. This can be for anything from a website to a new fantasy creature and it can take hours of slight adjustments to get something the eye sees as ‘right’. Thankfully in this age of the internet, kind people have developed palette designers to help us with this task.

This is a site called Paletton. It’s an easy click and drag way to get you making a color scheme quick and easy. You start with a main color you know you want and then let the program to the work for you, or completely pick out lots of shades and get a fast mock-up of them to see if they work. Great if you have a starting point and just need a little push to get your colors together, but what if picking color schemes is a slog for you? Well I’ve got something for that too. Coolors makes it even easy with randomly generated palettes you can cycle through or explore ones generated by other users.

Both tools are completely free and allow you get the design info you need and get back to work on your beautiful art piece. 🙂


DIY Fall Floral Arrangements

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Happy Monday, Hackers!

My favorite season is now upon us and most people seem to be super-duper excited about Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I, however, most look forward to two very important things related to fall: Fall decorations and Halloween (my favorite holiday so be forewarned…my October posts will ALL be Halloween-related).

I usually put up fall decorations right around Labor Day and most of these I procure at Dollar Tree because they are cheap and easy and well, we all love cheap and easy. But there is one thing that I do every single year not only because they add lots of those beautiful fall colors to my apartment but they are also really cheap and easy and FUN to make. Floral Arrangements!

Using fake leaves and flowers are a wonderful way to dress up your space without having to maintain a plant. It’s also beneficial for those of us who have furry friends and family (since many real plants can be toxic to our beastly brethren). You can customize these easy arrangements to your specific decorative vision. Unlike real bouquets and plants, you can create something that you know you’re going to love.

All the supplies I gathered for the small piece I made for this post were obtained at my local Dollar Tree. They always have a pretty broad and diverse selection of flowers and leaves to choose from and it’s an inexpensive place to find the foam forms and floral moss you’ll need to stick the pieces into and dress up your arrangement. Other stores that you can find great and usually inexpensive supplies at are Michaels and Joann Fabrics. But also check out your local craft stores, especially those independently-owned ones. Support local businesses!

 

For this piece, I wanted something small for the little table by my recliner so I chose this lovely white ceramic bowl with a festive fall leaf design around the rim. I then placed my foam form into the center of the bowl. You’ll want to find a form that is just slightly smaller than the dish or basket you are placing your arrangement in. It should almost fill the space, leaving room for you to dress with moss around the edge and over the top. There are also large forms that can be cut down and shaped to whatever you need.

 

I like to choose a center focal point for my arrangement. This gives me an idea of what colors I’ll want to use, the different levels I’ll want to achieve and where the rest of the flowers and leaves will be placed. While you don’t necessarily want your arrangement to be perfectly symmetrical, you do want to have a sort of uniformity to the piece. Using a focal point helps to accomplish this.

Then, I put my floral moss around the edges and over the top of the form to hide it. Once you have that finished, let your creativity flow. Play around with what flowers, berries, or leaves you want where. Use different lengths to the stems when you cut them (you can use a regular scissors to cut them but it is a little tough to get through the wire stems so I recommend having a wire cutter handy). Poke the stems into the form to place the flowers; don’t be afraid to angle the stems, bend them to place the flowers exactly where you want.

 

Move the pieces around as you go, play with the arrangement until each item is exactly where you want it.

Once your arrangement is complete, all you need to do is set it out in whichever room you want to display it. Don’t forget you can also redo them anytime you like. Just take the flowers out and rearrange them or add new ones whenever you feel like a change. You can make small arrangements, like the one I made here, or you can make them as large as you like. I made this slightly larger one last fall and still love it. It will definitely be a part of my fall decorating tradition for years to come.

The best part of this fun and simple DIY is that it is not season or holiday specific. You can use any color or type of fake flowers, add touches like holly for Christmastime or eggs for Easter. You can make them with school colors for graduation parties or as gifts. The possibilities are endless.


Cat Mecha Kitty Condo

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Since cats are clearly the superior pet (see all of the internet), I had to share this adorable bit of engineering Japanese toy Designer, Kuramochi Kyoryu, designed for his fur babies.

Sadly I cannot read the twitter feed to know why he decided to build this adorable play house for his cats, but he went the extra mile when he did, making a to scale design sketch for it. Not to mention the fact that it’s made entirely out of cat product card board boxes. 😀 He also shared a short video of the cats playing with each other as one tried to overtake the current mech driver. ^_^ Really this is all proof that with sound engineering you can build anything for your pets out of cardboard, lol.


Rowe’s Fashion: Unique Canadian Designs.

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I present to you a clothing company that designs, cuts, sews and patterns from Canada. As someone who does the same and feels that businesses have a responsibility to contribute back to their own economy, this alone is a hugely attractive quality. When you buy a piece of their clothing, it means not only are you spending your money on a quality product which is supervised by those who have developed the company, but the money you spend is also going to pay your fellow Canadians, if it isn’t the same people who made it.

Rebecca Rowe is the founder of Rowe’s Fashions, and she not only worked throughout the retail industry, but also went to study first in New York City and then in Paris. She came back to Canada to start her own business with the help of her family. She works closely with the varying aspects of the company, working closely to have a good connection with her employees and also with the quality control of the clothing that is produced.

Having seen her product, I can tell you that they are designed for women, and for women of varying body shapes. She cuts curves into her patterns so that a fitted skirt is not just a sheath, it’s a piece that is cut to curve to your curves, giving shape to a piece that is so often without it.

Her styles are creative but wearable. I love that this is a designer who has thought about usability to build into the garments so that you’re not left with something that you don’t know how to wear or have no where to wear it. This is possibly one of my favorite qualities in a clothing designer, as, if I buy a piece of clothing or jewelry, I plan to wear it. And as often as I can.

Rowe Fashion has a website where you can purchase her wears and peruse photos. You can also read the full history of the designer and company in the About Us section. You can also find hand follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pintrest.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading about this designer and happy crafting, and happy shopping!

~Megan


Couth and Nail: Unique Jewels.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have for you a jewelry designer who specializes in the unique and slightly macabre when it comes to jewelry. She had her work purchased for the tv show Winona Earp and creates some really interesting pieces to sell.

Skeleton key encased in quartz.

She started making interesting jewelry and trinkets out of leather and fabric for friends and family and then moved into making things out of metals, gemstones, wood and the remains of small insects and animals. All of her materials, however, are responsibly and ethically sourced and collected, and that means that her pieces are unique and that the same item may not be available at later dates.

I absolutely love the little touch of darkness to her work combined with the delicate flowers, the sparkle of gold leaf, or the shine of gemstone. It is such a beautiful and unique combination that you don’t see anywhere, and that will set her pieces apart from others.

A mink’s tooth set in a wristwatch – inspired by Victorian mourning jewelry.

She has so much to look at and she keeps producing all kinds of new things. You can peruse her wares available now at her Etsy shop, and you can also find photos and keep up to date with her latest creations on, Pintrest and on Facebook as well.

Check her out. There’s lots of stuff to look at from the dark to the light. Not only does she work with bones and small animals, but flowers as well.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Hand Made, Personalized and Teachable: About Face

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Good morning Crafthackers!

This Thursday, I’ve got a really cool vendor to show you. He is a jeweler out of Fergus, Ontario, and he makes all kind of amazing hand wrought or cast things. This is About Face. I say things because not all of it is jewelry. And the best part is that he teaches classes!

I met Tony at the Craftadian craft fair, here in Hamilton, and I was amazed by his workmanship, and quite enjoyed listening to him explain the different methods he uses to make his pieces. He’s very well versed in many different ways to make all kinds of different pieces, and they can range from necklaces to rings, bracelets and brooches to reliquaries. If you’re not sure what a reliquary is, it is a piece of jewelry or sculpture, made to hold some of the remains of a loved one. They are beautiful and let me tell you, at least around here, they are hard to find.

He works in precious metals, golds, silvers, along with really almost any gem you like. and you can not only buy something from his fabulolously whimsy collection, or you can have him design and make something for you himself.

Best of all, and I say this about many hand made artisans who I feature here (I can’t help that I meet supremely talented people), is that the quality is amazing, and his detail work is spot on.

Probably my favourite thing that this artisan does, is that he teaches classes. Now that’s fabulous in and of itself, but let me tell you the best part. He holds classes for couples to design and make their wedding rings. I know. I just about fell over with how fantastic I thought that idea was.

 

So, now that you’re definitely hooked, take a look at his website, and you can follow him on Facebook as well as Instagram to see all the new and great stuff he’s putting out. Don’t hesitate to contact him with an idea for a special order. He’s creative and can design just what you’re craving.

 

Happy crafting!

~ Megan