Thursday, 17 October 2019

Making tree decorations.

The idea is to make Christmas tree decorations, but they could be used at any time of the year to decorate anything. A branch out of the garden, stuck in a pot would show them off nicely.

Susan Lenz, a blogger and textile artist on my sidebar made some of these. She made hundreds using old cotton reels, or spools as some call them. It inspired me to have a go, but I only had three wooden reels, and found two plastic ones, so what could I use instead. Susan has used vintage postage stamps, and constructed hers using a hot glue gun. I try not to use glue, and look for other ways to make things. Everything is hand sewn on mine.







Some of mine are plastic bottle tops. Stuck together with tape. 

First I made two Suffolk puffs, circles gathered around the edge and pulled tight. The felt is a bit bulky but it works. I have made some with other fabric, doesn't matter if it frays because the edges will be covered up.
On the left is a small plastic container that the gloves came in, from a box of hair colour. Slightly bigger than a spool, but it will do the same job. A hole top and bottom is needed to poke the hanging thread through with a sturdy needle. 
I could have made these puffs a bit smaller, but they will be ok. Spread the gathers evenly and pull the thread tight.

Susan wrapped wool around her spools, which works well. I have made sleeves with felt which can be embellished before attaching it. I use blanket stitch.

I made a video. If you want to have a go and have any questions, just ask.



Here is a link to Susan's blog post, in case you missed it. With her instructions and mine, you should be able to make some, if you so wish.

Looking like a sunny day, so I'm off outside. Toodle pip. Ilona

24 comments:

  1. These look smashing and really appeal to me. I love the way you used the bottle tops. Now my brain is buzzing.

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  2. I love those very creative.........now to find time in the day to do something like that.

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  3. I love this idea. Thinking about using a Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh theme...

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  4. Absolutely love these and a wonderful use of old wooden spools. I have a gallon size plastic bag full of some and was wondering what I could do with them besides the usual string them. Using bottle tops is quite clever and a way to keep them out of the landfill and water.

    Kirsten

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  5. You are the queen of recyling for sure, and I love how colourful and cheery your creations are.

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  6. I like these....now I have to find someone who needs some more decorations! Just finished a walk (only 7.5 miles!) from Fridaythorpe and passed the bench where we stopped for coffee - only 4 weeks ago but both equally beautiful days although everywhere was a lot muddier today. Vicki

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  7. These look great. I have also made felt beads rolled around a kebab skewer and decorated.

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  8. These are really good for a school craft idea. The children are very hot on recycling , so your using plastic bottle tops stuck together is brilliant. Also as we have next to no budget in our schools (!!!!) its fabulous seeing something so nice that we could actually afford to do with oddements of felt. I agree they don't need tobe called Christmas decorations, they are so colourful they could be used anytime.

    DEf going to make these in school craft club, thank you !!!!

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  9. You never cease to amaze me with what you can do with a few odds and ends that most of us have got knocking around the house.Even uses for those small pieces of material that are left over from other projects!.I do have a box of vintage stamps and even my stamp album from when I was 9 years old.So instead of them just being buried away in the cupboards,this has given me some thoughts of using them.xx

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    1. Have you got a favourite book you could cover with the stamps. Just need some PVA glue. Cheap from £ shop.

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    2. When you mentioned sticking them on with glue,it brought up a slide from my memory folder that lives in my head,lol.Like a jack in the box toy they just pop up!.It is 1964 and I am sat at my parents New Dining Table,that they had bought from Lewis,s.A big department store in Leicester.Paid cash..we didnt have a table for years because they wouldnt have anything until they could pay cash for it.It was beautiful and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to stick my stamps in my album with Bostick,whilst I sat at the table....The fumes from the glue took the varnish off part of the table and it didnt help that I had dropped tiny spots of it....It didnt go down well and cost them a small fortune to get it back to looking how it was...Brand New!!....Then a few weeks later...I did it again!.Thought that I was being more careful this time.But no..it took the varnish from an area the other end.I was mortified and went n hid in the toilet!.So it cost them another small fortune to get that revarnished on their Brand New Table...I think by this point they were convinced that I had been swopped at birth cause no one could be that stupid!..Thing is I was born at home so that theory went out the window.I never did it again!!,xx

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    3. My mum and dad used to go there too Debi.I remember my mum showing dad a pine dresser in store and he measured it.Later they bought a plain chest of drawers and dad put thicker wood on the drawer fronts,brass knobs,and he made a dresser top.I think this was done to save money x

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  10. what a clever idea. They are beautiful.

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  11. Ilona, your talents know no bounds! You truly are an inspiration for the 3 R's! I can't wait to see what you come up with next, thank you for sharing.
    Gail

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  12. You can do anything Ilona! Everything looks so beautiful.I think your Heart art is very special and I wish you were on the tv more often.It's all I can do to pickle a few onions and make sure no dog hairs get in - ugh x

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  13. Patience and Saint come to mind when I see your craft work 👏

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  14. These are really lovely Ilona. what great recycling too.
    Jacquie x

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  15. How lovely. It cheered me up justlooking at them when I came and checked in yesterday. I agree. heery at any time of year. :D

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  16. They are loveky Ilona. Like you I save all bits and pieces surprising what you can do with them.
    Have a nice weekend the sun is shinning what more do I want.
    Hazel c uk

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  17. I really like these!

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  18. That button art heart is just beautiful!! The addition of colored threads/string sewing each buton on in different patterns adds so much to the beauty!! Yhank you for showing it to us.

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  19. I use a old bottom half of a plastic powder box ( the kind that is about $2 for the powder at Walmart over her in the States) as a tray for all of my skincare. Works perfectly and keeps everything together. Also if you have an old flat bilfold unused (the ones that have the clear plastic window for a cell phone and the snap closure will work perfectly for this as well) and you have some of the flat sample packs you could put them in there as well. and that way you get a two for one. one they will be neaty out of the way and you get another use out of an old wallet, and when you open a sample pack up you can store it upright and not worry about it spilling out and making a mess on your vanity. Think of a pair of bookends and the "book" between them is the wallet.

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