Saturday, 22 June 2013

Knitted Bows Tutorial - Free Patterns

I have been trying to think of ways to dress up different accessories lately and flowers keep on coming to my mind. But I know that not everyone loves flowers so I wanted to find other little decorative ideas to finish off special gifts and projects I have been working on. I was browsing Pinterest one day and seen a little bow made from t-shirt material and it seemed so simple to make. I am always looking for ideas in which I can use up my scraps and be thrifty, especially since I have a few t-shirts left over from my bangles from bottles project (click to go to the tutorial post).

Then I realised I would have to sew. I do not really like sewing at all. I do not own a sewing machine (I want to buy one, they just really scare me as I don't know what to do when something goes wrong) and find hand sewing a little tedious so I usually avoid it at all costs. I temporarily put the project on hold, til I was feeling a little more brave and patient. Then I got to thinking, I have recently just finished knitting a little flower to try to accessorise a few little things for my daughter, why not try to knit a bow as well? So I took the same idea and created my own knitting pattern. I couldn't stop at one, I have made 3 different designs in 3 sizes which I will share with you here. The first bow is a simple garter stitch bow which is great for those who can follow basic knitting steps. Then there is the rib stitch bow and finally there is the stockinette bow with selvage edges.

It is perfect knitting weather at the moment as it's a little chilly at night so I can sit on the lounge with a blanket on my lap clicking my needles away.

NOTE that you will need to know how to knit for this project, if you do not know how then you can always ask someone to teach you (my wonderful mother taught me years ago) or teach yourself by watching videos from the net. Youtube has alot but so do some of the other knitting sites. If you find a video that is not clear, google to find another. I find it easier to learn whilst watching someone showing me and by doing this online you don't have to bother them to show you over and over again. I might teach myself to crochet this way soon, there are so many cool patterns out there that I just can't make as I don't know how to crochet yet.


  • Double knitting yarn in your choice of colour/s
  • Knitting needles in size 5mm
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors


GARTER STITCH BOW (perfect for beginners)
This pattern here is for the large garter stitch bow (pink) which measures 15.5 cm total length and 10.5 cm height (when finished). Keep reading below for other designs and measurements or experiment to create your own.

Main part:
Cast on 20 stitches (knitwise). Leave a long tail at begging.
Knit across all rows for 100 rows.
Cast off (knitwise). Make sure you leave a longer tail as you will use this to sew up the bow shortly. Otherwise you will have more loose ends to hide.

Middle strip:
Cast on 5 stitches (knitwise). Leave a long tail at the beginning.
Knit 20 to 25 rows, you will want to stretch this part over the middle of the bow and have it long enough for the two ends to just fit so measure this as you go. Cast off (knitwise) and leave a long tail.

Now you have knitted the two pieces that you need to make the bow. Next you will need a yarn needle to put them all together.
1. Sew the ends of the big piece together using one of the tails (using any joining method you want). Knot to secure but don't cut the ends off just yet. This will make a tube shape.

2. Pinch the middle of the main part together to form the bow shape.

Take the tails and wind them around the centre of the bow firmly once or twice. Tie at the back.
 Now you can cut the tails off.

3. Now stretch the second piece of knitting  over the middle and sew the ends together at the back.

Knot to secure. You can cut the tails off if you want now or you can use them to secure the bow to another object if you want.
Now you have completed your pretty bow  :)

The second bow I created was a ribbed bow which measures 8.5 cm total length and 5 cm height (when finished). I will give you the pattern of this one, you just have to put the bow together using the above method.

Main part:
Cast on 10 stitches (knitwise). Leave a long tail at begging.
*Knit 1, Purl 1 (repeat from *to end of row).
Repeat for 40 rows.
Cast off (knitwise). Leave a long tail at the end.

Middle strip:
Cast on 2 stitches (knitwise). Leave a long tail at the beginning.
Knit 10 to 15 rows, you will want to stretch this part over the middle of the bow and have it long enough for the two ends to just fit so measure this as you go. Cast off (knitwise) and leave a long tail.

The third bow I created was a garter stitch bow with selvage edges which measures 13 cm total length and 8 cm height (when finished). I used the selvage edges to prevent too much curling as the stockinette stitch pattern tends to curl quite alot. Put the bow together using the method above.

Main part:
Cast on 15 stitches (knitwise). Leave a long tail at begging.
Row 1: Knit to end
Row 2: Knit 2, Purl to last 2 stitches, Knit 2.
Repeat these 2 rows for a total of 70 rows.
Cast off (knitwise). Leave a long tail at the end.

Middle strip:
Cast on 4 stitches (knitwise). Leave a long tail at the beginning.
Row 1: Knit to end
Row 2: Purl to end.
Repeat these 2 rows for a total of 15 to 20 rows, you will want to stretch this part over the middle of the bow and have it long enough for the two ends to just fit so measure this as you go. Cast off (knitwise) and leave a long tail.

I am already working on more designs and patterns as I just love how these bows turned out. I find that the bigger the bow the better it turns out. Let me know if you try any of these patterns, I would love to see them :)

Monday, 3 June 2013

Rainbow Chunky Knit Lace Scarf

My young daughter keeps wearing my scarves whenever she sees them, including when there is one around my neck. She usually wears them and puts them somewhere in her room instead of putting them back away so I never know where they are. So I thought I would make her a new one of her own, hopefully one that she would want to wear instead of mine. I mean, it would be lovely to be able to wear my own scarf on those chilly mornings when I leave early for university.

I went to my local Lincraft store and seen a rainbow yarn that I loved straight away, I knew my daughter would too. It was a chunky yarn and so I thought about knitting in a plain pattern, but I have been wanting to knit a lace pattern for a little while. So I did an internet search and came up with an easy and cute pattern. I tried it out and it looked great.

You can find the "Old Shale" pattern that I used for this project HERE. (Keep scrolling down the page to find it).
NOTE that you will need to know how to knit for this project, if you do not know how then you can always ask someone to teach you (my wonderful mother taught me years ago) or teach yourself by watching videos from the net. Youtube has a lot of video tutorials but so do some of the other great knitting sites.

I followed the pattern exactly and loved it so much, it was so easy. I bought 2 x 100g balls of "Veronica" wool but only used about one and a half balls. I am planning on making another item with this wool for her so will use this and buy some more shortly. I used size 7 needles (as the label of the wool suggested) but I am a very tight knitter so I probably should have used a size or 2 bigger. It would have made the lace pattern a bit more visible as well I guess. I didn't block this piece as I have read that acrylic wool doesn't always need it and it wasn't a piece that needs to be an exact size. Plus my daughter just would not have been very patient for that sort of thing to take place.

And here is the finished scarf. The pattern is slightly different on both sides which I think is unique, I like both the right and wrong side look of this pattern. The finished length was ... and the width was.....
It was a simple pattern to follow and it took me only a few hours, my favourite kind of project.

I really wanted to add a fringe but my daughter was not so patient, she wanted me to finish it up and give it to her quick smart. She loved it and I think it turned out wonderfully. My daughter loved the curved pattern, she thought it was fitting in rainbow yarn as the curved lines looked like rainbows all over the scarf  :)

Here is a quick tip for stopping your ball of wool from rolling all around on the floor as you knit. Place a small box or container (a shoe box is ideal) either next to you or on the floor by your feet. Place your ball of wool inside and knit as normal. The ball will roll around in the box instead of on the floor, keeps your wool clean and in reach at all times (I know that  I absolutely hate it when my ball of wool travels across the room all of a sudden).

Let me know what you think, especially if you try it out for yourself  :)
Don't forget to check back often to see what I will knit next. Thanks for reading  :)

Monday, 27 May 2013

Earring Insert For Jewellery Gift Box - Tutotial

In my last post, I showed you a cute little gift box that I made to give to my mum for mother's day. I wanted to put a gorgeous pair of earrings inside that I bought from my friend at Janey Jewels but I didn't want them to just sit in the bottom of the box. I got thinking and came up with a simple design for an insert that would display the earrings nicely to make a lovely gift.
The tutorial for the gift box can be found HERE if you missed it.
Janey Jewels specialises in handmade jewellery featuring one-off and custom designs. You can check out the Facebook page here and the etsy store here, I recommend you check out the gorgeous designs, my favourites are the 'Lauren' earrings  :)


  • Earrings
  • Rubber backings for earrings (optional)
  • Empty cardboard food package
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler 
  • Lead pencil

1. Firstly measure the inside of your box so you know what size you need your insert to be. I took 1 mm off the top and 1 mm off one side so that it would fit in snugly but not get stuck.

2. Open up the sides of an empty cardboard food package (eg: cereal box) and lay it flat. Mark out your insert with a ruler and lead pencil. You want it to be as accurate as you can so you might need to use a set square to check the angles (I just used a piece of copy paper straight from the ream to check).

3. Cut the insert out carefully along the lines. Check if it fits nicely inside the box. If not trim slightly til it does fit. (please disregard the second piece of cardboard in the second pic, I was going to use a second piece but didn't need to).

4. Now cut some scrapbook paper out which is about half a centimetre longer on each side than the insert. Glue the scrapbook paper on, folding the excess over the back and gluing the flaps in place. You can leave the insert as it is now (because you wont see the back when it sits in the box), but I wanted to make the back look tidy as well. I cut another piece of paper out just a little bit smaller than the insert and stuck it on the back.

5. Time to make the holes for the earrings. Mark the spot you want your earrings to hang from with lead pencil. I decided that I didn't want mine to sit exactly side by side, I thought it would look more interesting to have one higher than the other.
Using a sewing needle, pierce holes in the 2 spots you marked out. You will need to be careful about what surface you use when doing this, you don't want to mark an expensive piece of furniture. I actually used my  chopping board to make sure that I didn't stab myself in the fingers, you could use a thimble as well if you are worried about this (I am a little accident prone so I try to be careful about these sorts of things).

6. Thread the earrings into the insert and place rubber backings on the back if you have some (this will keep them in place in the insert). Sometimes earrings will come with them, if not you can buy some from ebay for a  small cost. I find it handy to have a bunch of spares, I often lose my earring backs and the rubber ones don't irritate my ears like metal ones. Put the insert and earrings aside for now.

7. Since the insert is flat, you don't want to place it directly into the bottom of the gift box, it will sink down into the bottom and look less desirable. I was sitting on the lounge room floor with my daughter helping her make a cute 3D flower card (A project I will be posting soon) with scrunched up crepe paper. Inspiration then hit. I got out some tissue paper and cut a sheet into small pieces, about 3 x 5 cm. I then scrunched them up into balls. Don't scrunch them too tightly or you will have to do twice as many. If you get bored doing this take a break and come back to it later or get the kids to give you a hand.

8. Place the tissue paper balls into the bottom of your gift box, you want to aim to have it filled up a little over two thirds of the way. Gently press the tissue paper balls to smooth them out so they are level. Now pop your insert on top and you are done. Place the lid on top and give to someone you love.

I had so much fun making this and always love when a project in my head comes to life and is completed. I love it even more when I can create a lovely handmade gift the I can give to someone I love.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below  :)

Friday, 24 May 2013

Personalised Jewellery Gift Box Tutorial

Hello everyone. This post is a little late, I have had a bunch of uni assessments due all at once so it took over my life for a short period of time. I am trying to organise my time better so I can craft and blog more often, those assessment just sneak up on you sometimes though, not to mention the many adventures that life throws your way, especially with 2 kiddies at home.

Today I am going to show you how I made a personalised jewellery gift box. I used it to hold some gorgeous little earrings that a friend of mine made that I gave to my mum for mother's day. In my next post I will show you how I made a simple insert to hold the earrings inside the box nicely. The friend I was talking about is the designer at Janey Jewels, they specialise in handmade jewellery featuring one-off and custom designs. I highly recommend that you go and check out the gorgeous designs while you wait for my next post. Personally I love the Lauren earrings so much, I'm sure you'll love them too!!! Here is the Facebook page for Janey Jewels and here is the etsy shop link. Let me know what you think  :)

You can use a variety of different materials to make this box and change the design however you like, just think about what coordinating colours you want to use and either hit your local craft store, jump on ebay or search through your stash. My partner accompanied me to the craft shop to buy the items for this project and he actually picked out the bling sticker and paper flowers, he has a good eye that's for sure, I love the way they all look together.


  • Small box
  • Acrylic paint 
  • Thin ribbon
  • Bling letter sticker
  • Paper flower
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Paint brush

1. Paint the box with acrylic paint in your choice of colour. You will need to use 2 coats all over and make sure the paint dries between each coat.
TIP: Use a plastic covering to put over the surface you are working on, if you put your painted items down to dry on newspaper they will stick and be difficult to remove. If this does happen try using sandpaper to remove the bits stuck in the dried paint, you may need to repaint that side or area.

2. When completely dry, glue some ribbon around the rim of the lid. Use glue sparingly and spread it lightly across the ribbon with a paddle pop stick, spare paint brush or your finger to prevent the glue from seeping out once you stick it on and smooth it down. Put aside to let the glue set.

3. Arrange the decorative items on the top of the lid to get an idea of where you want them all to sit. Next, peel the backing off the bling sticker and carefully stick it in place. Smooth down to ensure it is stuck on properly.

4. Place a small dab of craft glue in the centre of the back of the paper flower. Wait about 30 seconds to a minute then place it on the lid of the box next to the letter. Put aside to let the glue set.

This part is all done now. If you want you can use it to put a small gift in, but please remember to check in soon for my tutorial on the earring insert to go inside this box. It is super simple and quick.

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below  :)

This post was featured HERE.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tutorial: How To Make Bookmarks From Cards - Upcycling

Since it's only a few days away from Mother's day here in Australia I thought I would post a few quick and easy projects over the next few days that you could complete in a short time. So if you are pressed for ideas or time (or both) these simple ideas are great and handmade gifts really are that much more special than some store bought gifts. These are also fabulous to make and sell at Mother's Day stalls at schools.

This project is a great way to use up any beautiful cards that you have kept but don't have any room for anymore. This is the reason I threw alot of my cards out, I wish now that I didn't but never thought before to reuse them in this way.
I came across a pin on Pinterest on making bookmarks with Christmas cards which is from the blog belonging to the frugal girls .com. It had me thinking instantly that the same thing can be done with any type of card, for any occasion, providing it has a design you want to work with and it is a suitable size.
So here is my version of bookmarks for mother's day.


  • Card/s (new or used)
  • Ribbon (6mm wide, about 52cms in length for each bookmark)
  • Hole punch
  • Ruler
  • Lead pencil
  • Eraser

1. Select a card that has a suitable design (one that you have at home or one that you have bought). I bought mine for about a dollar each from my local discount store as I didn't really have any at home that I could use. The size of my cards were 21 x 8 cms.

Firstly cut the back of your card off neatly along the crease/fold. If you are only using a select area of your card for one bookmark create a template the size that you want your bookmark to be using the back of the card. Trace around the template onto the area you wish to use for your bookmark.
If your card has a patterned design all over like mine then you can probably create 2 out of each card. Mark out the area of the design that you want to use with lead pencil, using a ruler to make sure that the lines are straight. I like to use the back of the card to mark on so that there are no marks or dents on the front of the card.
I made a line directly under the happy birthday header on both of my cards and then drew a dividing line down through the middle of the cards, creating two of the same sized bookmarks from each card.
The size of each bookmark was 14 x 4 cms. You can create yours wider or longer if you wish and if your card/s permit.

2. Now cut out your bookmarks or bookmarks.
If you have unsightly pencil marks around the edges of your bookmark/s you can now gently rub them out with an eraser (only if you want to).

3. Using a hole punch, punch a hole at the top centre of each bookmark.

4. Cut 2 pieces of ribbon in a complimenting colour for each bookmark. The length I used for each piece was about 26 cms in length. You can make these shorter or longer as you wish.
Thread all of the ends (from two pieces of ribbon) into the hole in the back of a bookmark and pull through until you have a small loop sticking out at the front. Thread the end of the ribbons through the loop and gently pull making sure that you adjust the ribbons as you go to ensure that they look like the picture below.

And there you go, bookmarks from cards that took you minutes to make but look so lovely and functional. This is a great activity that you can do with kids, ask them to draw a picture or write a quick message on the back to personalise the gift and make it that much more special for the recipient.
I love these and will be making more for myself, I am in the middle of a few books and am always needing a few bookmarks to keep my place on the various textbooks I am reading for university all the time.

If you are looking for more simple but quick ideas you can check out my Mother's Day board on Pinterest, follow me while you are there as I love to pin projects that are fun and easy enough to do.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you attempt these, I would love to know how they turn out.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Tutorial: How To Make Bangles From Soft Drink Bottles - Upcycling

I have finally gotten around to posting this, sorry for the delay, I had so much uni work to catch up on so blogging took a back seat for a little bit.
As I stated in my last post I seen a picture on Facebook which inspired me to have a go at making these for myself. The original post can be found on fashion blog but my bangles were made slightly different. I have added some tips about things I learnt along the way to make them easier to create.
Why not give this project a go, I found it so fun and easy.

  • Small soft drink bottle (I used a Pepsi bottle)
  • Duct tape and masking tape
  • Stanley knife and scissors
  • T-shirt or other material
  • Craft glue (or a hot glue gun and hot glue sticks)
  • Any decorations you may wish to add

1. Stick a ring of tape around the bottle, ensuring that it is as straight as you can get it and that the ends meet up seamlessly. This can be tricky so take the tape off and start again as many times as you need to (I had to try a few times with the duct tape).
I fit one ring of masking tape and one ring of duct tape on my bottle, leaving a few millimetres of space in between. I used both masking tape and duct tape as I thought it would be nice to create bangles of different widths.
TIP: I found the masking tape to be easier to cut along using a Stanley knife, the duct tape didn't help with the guiding of the blade so it was not perfectly along the straight line, but that's ok as the thickness of the materials masks up these imperfections anyway

2. Now cut closely along the edges of the tape with a Stanley knife. Go slowly and pay careful attention to keeping to the line of the tape, it is much harder to trim precisely with scissors afterwards and you don't want any big dents out of your bangle. It's ok if you have small imperfections, these shouldn't show up in the end as you will wrap the bangle with fabric of some sort.
Once you have cut out one side it will be harder to cut the open side (please do not try to support the open end of the bottle with your hand, it is dangerous).
TIP: I have used a jar to place inside to keep the bottle firm while I cut, otherwise you might find it quite difficult and possibly even cut yourself.
If you need to you can trim the edges with scissors now.

3. For the duct tape bangle get out an old t-shirt. I used one that didn't fit my son anymore, it was pretty much brand new. You could visit your local second hand store to find something nice and colourful or do a clean out of the family's wardrobes to see if there is anything suitable that doesn't fit anymore.
Measure around the bottom of your shirt with a tape measure. If your shirt measures smaller than about a metre around, you will need to use more than one strip of fabric to cover the bangle.
Cut the hem off the t-shirt and measure a 6 cm wide strip (starting from the bottom of the shirt after the hem is gone), marking it with a lead pencil or special fabric marking pencils/textas. If you need more than one strip mark another right on top of the same width. Cut the strip (or strips) along the line with sharp scissors (preferably fabric scissors).
Cut the side of the shirt along one of the side seams (if you have not done so already) and remove any tags.

4. Glue along the end of one strip and fold the edges of two sides (about half a centimetre each side) onto the middle of the strip. 
Place the glued end into the inside of the bangle on a bit of an angle. Hold it in place until the glue has dried to prevent it from moving whilst you are wrapping.

5. Now start winding the fabric through and around the bangle on a slight angle. Pull the fabric firmly as you go so that it curls behind leaving you with a nice edge. You don't need to glue the fabric down along the way but you can if you want to. If you do, be sure to glue inside the bracelet not the outside as the glue may seep through the fabric and be visible which you don't want.

When you reach the end trim the fabric to ensure it fits inside the bangle but won't be hanging out at all. Glue along the edge and hold until dried. 
If your fabric strip was not long enough to finish the bangle, be sure to trim the fabric and glue the end inside the bangle to finish that strip off. Glue a new strip just on top of the that inside the bangle and continue wrapping it around til the end.
If your fabric strip has a seam make sure it sits inside the bangle so that you can't see it from the outside (unless you want this that is). If it doesn't then you can cut the strip and start a new strip inside the bangle so that the outside looks more seamless.

Now you have a finished bangle to wear or give as a gift. Here is my daughter modelling the finished product. She loves them so much!
You can add further decoration if you like but I think these ones are quite nice the way they are. Use materials that have a nice pop of colour to make a statement.

I then used the thinner bangle from masking tape and wrapped hot pink satin ribbon around it which was 2.5 cm in width. I used about a metre in length. I did put a small blob of glue on every second or third wrap of the ribbon just to make sure that it was secure and that it sat perfectly. I then glued a scrap of black lace on the edge and a lace bow which complimented it wonderfully.

You really can make so many different variations with these, just play around with different materials and decorations and have fun with it.

I have some cute and easy mother's day projects coming up soon so be sure to check back soon. I will be posting tutorials on hand made items that are inexpensive and thoughtful, projects that are great to do with the kids.
Thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you think  :)