Felt Scrap Alphabet and Drawstring Bag

bag alphabet and drawstring bag DIY

I have a tremendous amount of scrap bits of felt and fabric that lie in a box waiting to be used. After having a Spring clean I decided to use up my scrap felt to make an alphabet for my Little Button, along with its own fabric bag.

To make the alphabet you will need:

  • Enough scrap felt to make 52 letters
  • White thread
  • Pins

To make the bag you will need:

  • Scrap fabric measuring 16 inches x 12 inches
  • 30 inches cotton tape
  • Safety pin

1. Begin by deciding what size and font you want your letters to be, and printing them out. My letters measured 3 inches high. I used Arial bold font in Microsoft Word and printed out a template.

felt alphabet diy

2. Next, pin each letter onto two pieces of felt and cut them out.

felt alphabet diy

3. Pin them together and sew. Trim the excess threads and neaten up the edges.

felt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorial

4. To make the bag you will need 2 pieces of fabric cut to 8 inches x 12 inches. Begin by placing your fabric right sides together.

felt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorial

5. Sew the fabric together. Begin down one side starting 2 ½ inches from the top. Sew and backstitch at the start and sew down one side, along the bottom and up the other side, stopping 2 ½ inches from the top on the other side. Backstitch to secure.

felt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorial

6. To make the drawstring part, iron your seam closed and sew. Repeat on the other side.

 felt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorial felt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorial

7. Next, fold the top over twice making sure the tie can easily fit through. Sew along the bottom of this section to secure it in place. Repeat on the other side of the bag.

 felt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorial felt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorial

8. Using a safety pin, thread the cotton tape through the top and secure with a knot.

This project was as easy as…well A-B-C! The bag is also perfect for storing a few toys in.

felt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorialfelt alphabet and drawstring bag tutorial

 ~ Laura xx ~

Life In Pictures

Life in Pictures is our weekly mini-gallery of what our Little Buttons have been up to over the past seven days. This week we’ve been hanging out on Brighton Seafront and enjoying our little city. Unfortunately it’s been a tough week for one of the Buttons as she got struck by chicken pox, the poor little thing.

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kings road playground brighton 5 kings road playground brighton 4kings road playground brighton 7  brighton carousel 2 coombes farm 2 coombes farm 1

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Paper Weather Garland

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This colourful garland is a nice quick make and will make any boring white wall awash with colour (and weather!). We used Spectrascope card from Paperchase to create this garland as part of their ‘Play With Colour’ paper craft challenge.

For this project you will need:

  •  Card in an assortment of colours
  •  A stick of glue
  •  Fishing wire or thread
  • Needle
  • sellotape

1. Begin by cutting out your weather shapes. We made various clouds, rainbows, a sun and a hot air balloon (yes, we know that is not weather. But looks nice and it’s in the sky, ok?!). Our pieces were about 7cm high. Cut out hearts in different colours to go in-between each piece.

paperchase weather garland 9

2. For the rainbow, make a template and use this to cut a piece of red card, then trim a small amount off the template (about 5mm a time) to make each of the colours. Use this method for the hot air balloon too, but make sure you fold the template each time you trim a bit off. Cut a square for the basket and attach it by sellotaping fishing wire to the back.

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3. To make the raincloud, sellotape the fishing wire to the cloud and droplets and then add weight by putting a small blob of blutack on the back of each drop.

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4. With all your pieces cut, use a needle and fishing wire to thread the pieces on. Starting on one side of each piece, thread the needle from the front, around the back and then back through on the other side. We alternated heart pieces with weather pieces. Leave a good amount of wire at the end so you have enough to adjust the pieces. Finally, hang the garland and admire!

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 ~ Tia & Laura xx ~

 

Make Your Own Baby Wipes

diy baby wipes from little button diaries 1

… because you can! And they’re easy. Only three ingredients and ten minutes required. The good thing about making your own is that you know what goes in them, you can choose to add baby friendly essential oils and you can tailor them to your own child’s delicate little bottom. I found this tutorial from Ouroutofsynclife.com which I used for inspiration. Heres how you do it:

Materials:

  • Kitchen roll (go for a nice soft one, like Bounty)
  • 2 tbsp Baby oil
  • 2 tbsp Mild baby wash
  • a few drops of chamomile or other essential oil
  • plastic bag
  • A tissue holder or suitable container (I bought this one)

1. Place the baby wash and oil in a jug. Add 1.5 cups of hot water

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3. stir it all up with a whisk to combine.

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4. Take a roll of kitchen roll and saw it in half with a bread knife. Surprisingly satisfying. Place it into a large bowl and pour the mixture over the top.

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5. Leave for a few minutes then pull the cardboard tube out from the middle – it should be easy now that its wet. Place the roll into a plastic bag.

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Place the roll and bag in the tissue holder, or another suitable container and pull the central tissue up through the top. And that’s it, all done.

Tia xx

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 diy baby wipes from little button diaries

Life In Pictures

Life in Pictures is our weekly mini-gallery of what our Little Buttons have been up to over the past seven days. This week has been filled with Peppa Pig World, Washbrooks farm & Easter egg hunting (remember these little bunny dresses we made a year ago? They still fit, hoorah!)

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Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Cake & Topper

peppa pig birthday cake topper

It was Harper’s 2nd birthday recently, and being a fan of Peppa Pig (which two-year-old isn’t?!) we decided to make her a muddy puddle cake topped with a party Peppa. The inside of the cake was a vanilla sponge with jam and vanilla buttercream. The outside was buttercream and chocolate icing.

You will need:

  • Ingredients for sponge
  • Strawberry jam
  • Vanilla buttercream
  • Ready to roll icing in pink, red, yellow, white and black
  • Chocolate ready to roll icing
  • 3 cocktail sticks
  • Small amount of glittery gold card, glue and a tiny pom-pom

peppa pig birthday cake tutorial

1. Begin by making your sponges.

peppa pig birthday cake tutorial peppa pig birthday cake tutorial

2. Once cooked and cooled, sandwich together with strawberry jam and buttercream.peppa pig birthday cake tutorial

3. Smooth a thin layer of buttercream around the top and sides of the cake to seal the crumbs in place. Place in the fridge to harden a little. Using a palette knife add a second layer of buttercream. Place a generous helping on top of the cake and use your knife to smooth out the top, smoothing it down onto the sides.

peppa pig birthday cake tutorial

4. To make the muddy puddle, mould the brown ready to roll icing in your hand to warm it slightly. Roll to a thickness of about 4mm and then, using a knife, cut out a large puddle shape. This needs to be larger than the top layer of the cake so it can go down the sides. Then cut out different-sized teardrop shapes and press onto the cake to make the splashes.

peppa pig birthday cake tutorial

5. We decided to film making the Peppa topper as it seemed easier to explain than writing the instructions down!

peppa pig birthday cake tutorialpeppa pig birthday cake tutorial

 Harper was filled with delight, and said “Peppa!” when she saw it, so we knew it was worth the effort.

~ Laura & Tia xx ~

 

How to make a Twirlywoo Soft Toy

twirlywoo toy tutorial little button diaries

I don’t know if you watch cbeebies. I mean… If you have a 2 year old, like me, you may feel like Mr Tumble is an old family friend and have a very slight crush on Mr Bloom (what!). If you don’t, you have no idea what I’m blathering on about and this post probably isn’t for you!

A new programme, called Twirlywoos, recently entered our lives and both my little ones are obsessed with it. Here they are:

twirlywoos-1

 You can’t buy twirlywoos yet, so I thought I’d make one for them. If you want to do the same, read on – its really easy.

You will need:

  • Felt – Maroon (2 sheets), pink, orange (1/2 sheet), yellow, white, black (scraps)
  • Soft toy stuffing
  • black & white embroidery thread
  • a little glue

1. Begin by printing and cutting out the template below (scale the image to A4).

twirlywoo tutorial little button diaries 9

2. Pin the template to the felt and cut out.

From the maroon, cut 2 x body, 2 x head and 4 x arm pieces
From the pink cut 2 x tummy pieces
From the orange cut 4 x feet pieces
You will also need to cut 2 white circles and 2 tiny black circles for eyes, a 2 x 14cm strip of yellow that will become the legs and a few little strips of orange and yellow felt for the hair tufts.

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 3. line up the eyes and sew to the face with embroidery thread. Stitch on a little smile too.

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4. Place the hair pieces on top, pointing inwards. Stitch along the top to secure, then sew the head pieces right sides together, with a 5mm seam allowance. Leave a 3cm gap at the bottom to turn. Snip all the way around the edge.

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 5. Place the tummy piece on the body and blanket stitch together along the edge of the fabric.

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6. Sew the arm pieces together with a gap at the end to stuff – as it is felt these will not need to be turned out. Poke some stuffing into the arms then pin, facing in, on the sides of the body piece. Roll the strip of yellow felt lengthways, pin and sew along the length of it to make the legs. Cut this in half and pin to the bottom of the body piece, again facing in.

7. Sew the body pieces together with a 4cm gap at the top. Turn out, then stuff the head and body pieces. Pin the head into the body piece and sew in place – I used a visible stitch to match the blanket stitch (although it wasn’t my neatest!).

twirlywoo tutorial little button diaries 1 twirlywoo tutorial little button diaries 2

Finally, glue the feet pieces together to strengthen them, then stitch the feet onto the bottom of the legs.

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I think she looks a little bit like E.T. and she isn’t quite as rotund as the tv version, but she’s a Twirlywoo, right? Lilah was very happy with her new friend. I’ll make another one for Amelie at some point (maybe…).

Tia x

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Guest Post: How to Lino Print

how to lino print

Hi! I’m Charlie Brandon-King and I work as an illustrator and print-maker in Bristol, so I absolutely jumped at the chance to write a printmaking tutorial for Little Button Diaries.

I work across various printmaking disciplines, but for my most recent project, the children’s book ‘A Cat Called Panda’, I used block-printing, so I thought a black and white, cat-themed project would be a great place to start.

Block, or relief printing traditionally uses wood-blocks, but also lino, a soft, easily carved medium. By cutting away the parts of a design you don’t want to be printed, and then applying ink across the surface, you can achieve a whole range of wonderful results, no matter how simple the design might be.

What you’ll need:

  • Sheet of lino
  • Lino cutter with assorted blades
  • Grey board or similar
  • Block printing ink
  • Printing roller
  • Sheet of Perspex or glass

print_tutorial_linoprint_tutorial_lino_tools

There are various types of lino you can buy. Here, I’m using soft-cut lino as its rubbery texture makes it easier to cut. Lino cutters have a selection of different shaped blades, each used for different details on the design. They are extremely sharp, so please take care when changing the blades and when cutting – the process of running the blade along a line on the lino can lead to slips, so always cut away from yourself and make sure fingers are out of the way. You can buy hand guards and wooden blocks that hook onto the table to keep the lino secure too.

There are various ways of using lino, but here, I’m going to create a stamp, as I think they have so much scope for craft projects.

Lino can easily be drawn or traced onto, but remember that with a relief print, it will print back to front from the design, so make sure you trace and cut its mirror image into the lino, especially with text.

I’ve designed a cat paw print, traced it onto tracing paper, then rubbed it onto the lino. I want the pencil lines to also be the inked lines, so I cut around the pencil using a combination of the thinnest angled blade and then replace it for a larger scoop blade to take out the bigger sections. You might want to keep the design a little more simple though – just the paw pads for example.

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Once I’ve completed the main part of a cut, I often use an inking pad to check it. They’re quick and washable, so you can check the design and change it quickly and easily.

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Now to turn it into an actual stamp! A good thickness of grey board or thinner MDF board is perfect as a backer for the stamp. They’re thick enough to ensure an even pressure and give you something to hold onto when printing.

print_tutorial_stamp_kitprint_tutorial_print_kit

Inks, like everything else, also come in different varieties. More traditional block-printing inks are oil-based; they have a slow drying time, great tack and in my opinion, a far better texture. However, they are not water-soluble, so involve a bigger clean-up, and also will take a few days to dry compared to water-soluble inks. I prefer a good linseed oil-based ink. They’re lovely to use, I don’t have to rush my process and they can be cleaned up easily by good old-fashioned vegetable oil!

print_tutorial_ink_roller

A little ink goes a long way, so on a shiny flat surface, like Perspex, a mirror, or thick glass, pop a splodge at the top and then using the roller, pick a little bit up and roll the roller along the glass. Roll up and down, then lift before putting it down to roll back and forward again. The action of rolling and lifting, means the roller should turn as it’s brought off the glass, so by repeating this process you get a nice even coverage.

print_tutorial_print

Gently roll along the stamp, keeping the action as even as possible so you get a print with no roller marks. Also, with stamps where you are pushing onto the paper, put something behind the paper that has a bit of ‘give’; this way the stamp has some space to push the ink down into the fibres properly.

Once you’re comfortable with the amount of ink and the technique of stamping you can experiment with all kinds of surfaces and designs. Greeting cards, stationery and wrapping paper for example. And don’t worry about the little lines and edges that might sneak into each print – these imperfections are what make block printing so unique and individual!

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I’ve had a bit of calico fabric lying around for ages, so I decided to print this and turn it into a cushion for our cat Bungle (who insists on sleeping on our pillows!).

print_tutorial_rpt_fabric print_tutorial_cushion_corner

I’m not really sure Bungle was that impressed, but perhaps with a little coercion she’ll learn to love it too!print_tutorial_cushion_bungle1

 A Cat Called Panda is available to buy now from Amazon.

Life In Pictures: Meeting the Easter Bunny

Last week we were invited to go and meet the Easter bunny for breakfast! We were greeted by Alice (of Alice in Wonderland) and sat down to a table decorated with Easter goodies. After a full breakfast, we decorated Easter biscuits and then the Easter bunny arrived with a fluffy rabbit and chocolate for the Buttons. Thank you to Wyevale Garden Centre for having us – we can’t wait to come back and meet Father Christmas!

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~ Laura & Tia xx ~