Monday, 25 March 2013

Three Easter projects

Hello there!
With the cold unseasonal weather here in the UK recently it really doesn't feel like Easter will be here at the end of the week! But if you haven't made anything for Easter yet don't worry, today I have three projects to share with you that you can still complete in time.
There are lots of different Easter/ Spring themed wreaths out there on the web, many of them beautiful, time consuming creations that I doubt I will ever truly get organised to make in time for an Easter (unless it's one of those really late ones!), but I did want to make something along those lines. I already had the perfect twiggy wreath shape to use as a base, mine came from Hobbycraft but I think florists often sell them too. I bought a packet of 24 small white polystyrene eggs and some ribbon & then went up to the loft in search of paint. It turned out I had given the kids poster paints away a few years ago when I was having a big clearout of things they had grown out of using (reinforcing my belief that clearing out is bad!) so I ended up using some of those tins of odds & ends of paint left over from painting rooms at various times. I chose only the water based paints so they dried really quickly. Here's a quick tip on how to paint a small polystyrene shape using old pins & blue tack - bury the head of the pin in a small blob of blue tack...
...insert sharp end of pin in bottom of shape & paint all over, leave to dry...
 When my eggs were dry I used Promarkers, sequins, ribbon, & tiny gems to decorate them...
In the absence of a glue gun I used glue dots to stick the eggs onto the twiggy wreath, added three store bought baby chicks, a ribbon bow, & a length of ribbon for hanging & taa dah!!
 
One Easter wreath!
If you wanted to save some time (mainly waiting a few hours for the paint to dry) you could use ready decorated eggs from a store, the actual "putting it all together" bit didn't take long at all. I painted my eggs in the morning & was hanging the finished wreath up that evening. 

The second project has the cute factor :-) I fell in love with these bunnies when I came across them here & decided I would make a couple for my nieces for Easter. The free tutorial is excellent & I also used Betz's free template (link included on her tutorial page). I rummaged around my fabric stash & substituted fleece & an old peachy soft sweatshirt for the cashmere used to make the bodies & backs of the ears...
  
I used scraps of cotton print fabric for the insides of the ears... 
...and scraps of pink velvet to make the hearts, sewing them on with blanket stitch. 
As the recipients of these bunnies are 11 & 9 years old I figured buttons from the button tin would be perfectly safe for eyes, but if giving to a young child the eyes could be easily embroidered on instead. Instead of pompoms I cut out small circles of white fur fabric, sewed a double thread of running stitch around the edge, & pulled to gather it into a little ball for their fluffy white tails...
These were really quick & easy to sew, I made them both in one afternoon sitting on the couch watching a film - a little bit of easy hand sewing can be very therapeutic and makes a change for me from keeping my place on a cross stitch chart! 
The bunnies were a hit with  Hubbie & the young people later that night so I decided we needed to have some to keep. (I warn you if you start making these they are addictive!) I made a couple of small changes to our ones; as they were going to be ornamental rather than cuddlies I used some polyfil plastic beads in their paws along with the regular stuffing to help them stand up a bit better, and I used the same fabric for the hearts as for the inside of the ears. Here's Flopsy...
and Mopsy...
 

 ... and finally Cottontail...


 They were having so much fun on the top of the piano that some little chicks hopped in to see what all the fuss was about!

The last Easter project took a happy afternoon of playing with fabrics & my sewing machine. I have been going through my fabric stash & using my machine a lot more this past month & have recently discovered some really inspiring sewing blogs! I now have loads more projects I want to find time for (and a couple I have still to share with you)... 
For this one I used Amy's free Easter templates available here to make up some Easter/Spring bunting. I picked a plain green & a neutral linen effect fabric to cut the triangles out of. I used pinking shears to cut the two long sides of the triangles and then top stitched about 1/4" in from the edge to prevent fraying using green thread on the tan fabric & cream thread on the green. I used fusible web with a paper backing to make the appliqued shapes. This was the first time I had used this product (when I made girls' appliqued cushions here I could only find fusible web without the backing paper locally & it was a bit of a time consuming fiddle transferring the letter shapes onto it). Wow! What a difference that bit of paper makes! It was a breeze to trace round the templates onto the paper backing & in no time at all I was ironing the various shapes onto the reverse side of an assortment of cotton print fabrics. I cut the shapes out, peeled off the backing paper & ironed the shape onto the fabric triangle, then I slowly top stitched around the shape to add some definition. The last step was to pin & sew all the fabric triangles along a length of cream bias binding & voila!
 



 I am fairly pleased with the results, but I learnt a lot that I will put to use in future bunting projects:
1 - some prints work better with certain shapes than others, Hubbie is convinced the yellow chick is a frog - once you see it you can't "unsee" it!
2 -  the cream bias binding that toned in with the overall pastel look on my sewing table just looks dirty next to the white ceiling! 
3 -  the top stitching I took my time over is barely visible from a distance so I would use bolder, darker colored threads next time... 

Well you live & learn!!! 
Thank you for visiting my little corner of Blogland today, I hope you have a lovely, productive week ahead!
  













10 comments:

  1. I always plan to make Easter decorations but am always caught out by how quickly it comes round! Your projects are fab - especially the bunnies. I can see some moving in here soon (although I'm supposed to be finishing projects rather than starting new ones!!)

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    1. Thank you, this is the first year I have gotten around to it Allison! I have loads of Easter cross stitch designs I want to get around to some year too... yes I also should be finishing things rather than starting more new projects - too many "want to makes" not enough time lol ;-) Hapy crafting! Helen

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  2. WOW what beautiful decorations Helen! They are all absolutely stunning :-) Laura x

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    1. Thanks Laura, hope you had a lovely Easter? Must hop over to visit your blog & see what you've been up to, have a great week,
      Helen x

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  3. Love all your projects helen they are stunning x

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  4. Ooh! Such beautiful things! Love the wreath and the bunting...those bunnies though! Gorgeous! A very happy bunny post ^_^
    xox

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    1. Thanks Steph! It's hard to beat a bunny for cute ;) Will need to hop on over see what you've been up to... Helen xox

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  5. Ooooh, i love your little bunnies & the banner!! Well done & Happy Easter x

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    1. Thank you! I hope you had a lovely Easter too, have a great week, Helen x

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