Decoration

Upcycled Plastic Fairy Lights

I’ve been itching to show you the new fairy lights I made.

I love lighting. Great lighting can make such a difference to a space, and particularly at this time of year. It can create a comforting feeling of warmth and coziness. I can’t get enough of fairy lights. Such is their positive effect on me, I left some up from last Christmas… and they’re still there. They’ve certainly helped lift my spirits in these past 6 months of very strange pandemic times.

So what’s so special about these lights?

Apart from giving off a lovely warm glow, the interesting thing about these lights is that the shades are made from upcycled plastic waste. They’re made from something some of us normally just use once and throw away.

So what exactly are they made of?

the humble roll-on deodorant bottle. Can you see now?

So why use this material?

I’ve always been quite fascinated by this simple but clever mechanism with it’s little ball fitted neatly, moving effortlessly in it’s socket. There’s something quite beautiful about these perfect little spheres. I would aways take them out and be amazed at their velvety flawlessness and feel sad that I had to throw them away – so i didn’t, I kept them, and saved them. They’re perfect little fairy light shades, light, durable and have just the right degree of tranlucency, when, attached to a fairy light bulb, to diffuse the glare and produce a soft pretty luminescence. 

How many balls would I need to make these?

As many as you want. It would very much depend on the lights you want to cover, which incidentally MUST be LEDs and low voltage 

I managed to amass 50 of them – it took me a while, and I just happened to have a spare set of 50 LED fairy lights in a lovely warm orangy/yellowy/white tone. Perfect.

How are they made?

I carefully measured the width of the stem of each light, about 5 millimetres below the bulb and with a corresponding drill bit, just ever so slightly larger, drilled a hole in each plastic ball. This is cleaner than using heat or a soldering iron but the ball will need to be clamped and held steady. I got my partner to do this – he’s more skilled at using a drill and, to be honest, I don’t think he like me using his tools

Using a flexible glue from the local Pound Shop and a wooden cocktail stick ! worked on just a few at a time to keep them as still as possible and prevent  tangles. I applied a generous amount of glue around the rim of each opening and slipped the ball over the bulbs just enough for it to sit neatly in the centre. The glue takes about an hour to dry properly and I’t’s a slow process so you need to be patient – but it’s so worth it. If you’re not so patient you could use a hot glue gun, but it’s a lot messier.

It’s single use plastic, of course so it’s best not to buy them in the first place, and I try not to used them any more (thats a whole other story post), but so many people do. Thousands of these bottles are used and thrown away each year- and it’s not hard to get hold of them.  You could easily ask friends and family to save them for you.

I’d used different deodorants  so they varied in size. This worked really well. I placed the smaller balls randomly among the larger ones, and one at each end of the lighting chain.

I think they look great. If any more happen to come my way – I think a coloured set would be nice too.

Still Remembering? Make A Poppy Pompom

Make A Remembrance Pompom Poppy

 Halloween’s over, trick or treat’s done, costumes are back in the dressing up box and the shops are filling up with all things ‘Christmas’. Fireworks last weekend – great fun, and let’s not mention what’s going on over in the USA. SO MUCH happening at the moment.

Here in the UK, one-by one, people are beginning to wear a Poppy… on their lapel, bag, zip-pull… wherever. Remembrance day is here again, and have you noticed? Something interesting is happening. That old paper Poppy that you pick up from the nice chap at the tube station; whilst they’re perfect for some – for others they’re just not enough. They want something a little MORE – more fancy, more durable, more flamboyant, perhaps even bit glitzy. More….let’s just say… noticeable. And why not?

It’s no bad thing. We live in  a materialistic world, and I can’t pretend that I’m pleased about that, but let’s face it, it looks like it’s not going to change any time soon. If there’a way of tapping into this to help raise money for the Poppy Appeal, I’m all for it. The kids are wearing them too, in one form or another. They’re bright, they shine – their mates have got ’em. Catch them young – educate them, whatever way we can.

There are some great brooches, wristbands, earrings bracelets, necklaces  – for all ages over at the British Legion Shop. All good value. Check them out HERE

As well as this, people are making them, and selling them, or the patterns – to go towards the appeal. Knit, Crochet, Felt, Paper – there are so many great ones out there.

A couple of years ago I published THIS crochet pattern.

That year I made a  big blousy one in DK wool yarn, and last year I made a much finer Poppy in cotton using the same pattern.

This year I fancied a bit of a change. I’m channelling my current obsession with pompoms. Yes – you can actually make a Pompom Poppy, and you don’t even need to be able to to knit, crochet, sew or fold in a straight line.

 It’s a good way of using up those odd few balls of yarn lying around and a great project to do with the kids. HERE’s how you do it. You might not want to stop – this stuff is addictive.

With the addition of a felt leaf I think they look great – and very different. 

If you are going to make your own, or if last years is so fabulous that you want to wear it again (don’t just chuck it away for the sake of it), please make sure you donate to the Poppy appeal. After all, that’s the whole point.

Wear those Poppies with pride, and don’t forget

Make Pompom Roses For Mothers Day

I’m not going to say anything about Mothers Day this year.


I think that Laura, 

                                                                                                           HERE

 at the blog 

Mothering Spirit

 does a far better job than I could.

 


 pompom rose,


 

Instead, i’m making Pompom Roses.


pompom rose, make a rose pompom

 

woolcraft,yarn craft, stash busting

 

pompom decor, flower pompom

 

Want to have a go?

 

…..or perhaps just put your feet up.

Happy Mothers Day..

Fun With Pompoms.

I love pompoms.
Did I ever tell you how much I loved pompoms? No?
 

pompoms, holiday projects, cheap and easy craft projects, cool kids projects

The great thing about pompoms is they couldn’t be more simple. You can make them easily. You don’t need to be able to knit, crochet, or even sew – just wind some yarn around a piece of specifically shaped plastic or card, tie and cut.  Craft for all.
There are various ways ways of making pompoms in all sizes (see below).
So I found myself with a pile of them. I’d had an afternoon of creative ‘holiday project’ fun with my daughter, and was wondering what to do with them. 
 

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They’re perfect for brightening up any space – particularly a little one’s bedroom.
 

pompoms, holiday projects, cheap and easy craft projects, cheap luxury decor

 
Strung up and hung across the mantelpiece around the fire or against the wall?  I’ve done that before and it’s a great simple effect. (Take care, if the child is very small that they are nicely out of reach.)
 

pompoms, holiday projects, children bedroom decor ideas, cheap luxury decor

Then there was the new pair of curtains I’d recently made, I’d been wondering for a while if they just needed that something extra.
 

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Yep, I think they did.
 

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Such a cheap and easy way to inject some extra colour and texture. Pretty cool I reckon .
And if you’re like me and have a good few odd balls of yarn in your stash – it’s stash-busting heaven…. and pretty addictive.
 

christmas decoration, easy christmas garland, stash busting, Easy christmas project, make a cool christmas garland

I even made a Christmas garland with the extras. The colours were perfect.
Go on –  make some pompoms – You’d be surprised at what you can do with them.
Stuff you can do with Pompoms
 

 

Make Your Own Christmas Candle Gifts.

Soy candle, christmas spice, scent of christmas, scented candle
Christmas is fast approaching ( I know! Where did that year go?) It’s the end of term and time for teachers to have a well-earned break. I can’t bear to get involved in all of that competitive gift-giving – it really does bring the worst out in some folks – but I do like to show our appreciation for all the extra time and work those hardworking teachers put in. No pressure here. Something small and handmade usually does the trick. 
We’ve made cookies, we made soap…  we like to keep it varied.
This year we decided on scented candles. Now who doesn’t love one of those? Especially when they’re made with natural essential oils
make your own scented Christmas Candles, Soy candle, christmas spice, scent of christmas, scented candle
I’d never done it properly before, but I knew that I wanted to use soy wax. I’m told that soy candles are cleaner burning, longer lasting, biodegradable, and leave no nasty grey residue.
I found a great little tutorial here on Clare K Creations. Thanks for sharing this Clare.
At this time of year it just has to be those seasonal scents that instantly conjure up Christmas.
Soooo…. Out came the Sweet Orange, Bitter Orange, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Ginger and Clove essential oils.
Decorating it can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.
Smells gorgeous
Christmas in a jar!

If you’re a little stumped for some last minute christmas pressies, have some old condiment jars lying around and can get hold of some soy wax pellets and essential oils, there’s still time – have a go! It’s not difficult, it’s inexpensive and if you like making stuff – great fun.

Merry Christmas.

Here Comes Christmas…… Fluoro Flakes

crochet snowflakes, modern crochet, cool crochet snowflake pattern,
Did anyone just mention Christmas?….. Yes it’s nearly here….. and, believe it or not,  I’m pretty organised this year, for a change…. At least i think I am.
Just one little thing though – my tree’s looking a bit bare… still. Every year i try to make new ornaments for it, but this year I’ve been too busy getting organised.
 I needed to give it a quick boost.
 Here’s what I came up with….

Funky crochet Christmas decorations, make your own 'Conran Shop' style tree decorations
… a slightly different twist on the crochet snowflake that, let’s face it, is everywhere these days. 
This one is has a more modern, slightly ‘Scandi meets Conran Shop” inspired twist and instead of traditional white is, yes, you guessed it…..fluoro. 
It still has that handmade quality and sits nice and quirkily on a real tree but also works with something more contemporary.  
Nice and simple, and those colours are fab. Crochets up in just two rounds. You can make a good few of them in one evening, easy peasy – and it’s still not too late. As a special Christmas treat I’ve included a free pattern.
 HERE’s how to make them.
Happy decorating.