Tag Archive for Tips

Christmas Wreath

Ever since I got my own place I’ve had a Christmas wreath on the front door. It’s been the same one for well over ten years and it’s become very tatty in those years. Ornaments kept falling off and the whole whing changed colour. So last year I decided it was time for a new one.
But apparently it’s hard to find a nice Christmas wreath which can go outside. I haven’t been able to find a nice one at a reasonable price.

A few days ago I was scouring the internet again and found a nice one made from ornaments, mainly balls. I thought I could make something like that myself.
Today, I had a go at it. And I think it looks really good.

Lights on

What you need:

  • Straw wreath (mine was 30 cm diameter)
  • Ribbon
  • lots of ornaments, both mini and midi (I used about 140)
  • String of beads (about 6 meters)
  • Battery powered LED lights (20 a string)
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks

Begin with placing the ribbon around the wreath and glue it in place.  Place some ornaments on the outside, spaced at regular intervals. Then, begin filling it up. Place the lights in where you want as you are placing the ornaments. I kept turning the lights on to see if I liked the placing of them. Try to fill most of the holes with balls or other ornaments you like. Don’t worry about the smaller holes. The can be filled with beads.
Glue the beads to the ornaments to prevent them from dropping off when you hang your wreath. The last thing you do is glue the batteries to the back of the wreath.

It’s really that simple. I love how my wreath has turned out and I’m amazed that I can make such a lovely thing as I’ve never been this creative before…

lights off

You can also use this as a table decoration. You can make it as big as you want, simply by using a bigger wreath. But make sure you’ve bought enough ornaments. I’ve ended up driving back to the shop a second time, as I didn’t even buy enough for half of the wreath…

What I’ve learned sewing.

I’m not an advanced sewer just yet. I’ve only bought a sewing machine last year. I’ve done sewing before, but I always had help. Preventing me from making silly mistakes.
So when I bought my first machine I made some mistakes, some silly, some not that silly.
What have a learned?

 Buying fabric

Make sure you buy enough fabric. Nothing is more frustrating than finding out you bought too little fabric and have to go back.
This goes for scraps as well. Make sure you got enough for what you are making. Many stores sell the last few centimeters/inches of their rolls as scraps and won’t get new rolls of the same fabric. If they have more than one roll, make sure they’re the same batch. Otherwise you can end up with slightly different colouring.
Buy more than you need. I always find myself going back for more. So now, when I need one meter, I buy two, just to be sure!

Ironing your fabric

So you’ve made sure you’ve got enough fabric? Wash and iron it. As soon as you get home. Of course you can choose to not wash it before, but the fabric might shrink a bit. And your project can get wonky if that happens.
Ironing is necessary too. For my first project I thought ironing was stupid. You won’t believe how wonky that sewing machine cosy is…
Make sure your fabric can be ironed. I’ve made this mistake twice and ended up having to clean the iron with nailpolish remover and a piece of wood…

Patterns

Make sure you look at the pattern before cutting. I didn’t with the sewing machine cosy and ended up with one piece wrong side up and one piece on it’s side…
If you use stripes, make sure they line up.

Cutting fabric

Map out the pieces you need for your project on paper first. Then decide how they can best be cut out of the fabric. Trust me, you won’t end up with weird scraps…
I didn’t do this with the first bag. And while the piece of fabric would have been big enough for two bags, I ended up with a weirdly shpaed piece of fabric which has almost no use.
On the up side, I got to buy new fabric!

fabric scraps

I think that’s what I’ve found out so far. I’m sure there are many more great tips out there. But these are the ones I wanted to share.

photo by heatherknitz.

Just some tips

I really like to get tips from people on how to do something, make something or even how to save some money. Over the years I’ve gotten quite a few good tips, so I thought I’d share a few here.

  • Every store has a rotation plan for it’s items of offer. It’s usually every 6 weeks, but some stores do every 8 weeks. Keep a close eye on the leaflets and you’ll soon work out how long it takes for an item to go back on sale. This way I always buy expensive items for daily use (shampoo, conditioner, make-up, shower gel). Lots of stores do BOGOF sales. I buy enough to get me through to the next sale where I buy them again.
  • Are your drains clogged up? Don’t go out to buy those expensive drain unblockers. They’re bad for your drains. This happened to a friend who put in a drain unblocker. Just buy some washing soda instead. Put 5 spoons full on your drain and pour one kettle of boiling water on top. Works like a charm and it won’t cause leaks.

  •  Is your tube of toothpaste empty? Grab it tightly and swing it towards the ground a few times. When that doesn’t help, cut it open. You’ll be surprised at how much there’s still left.
  • My scissors are always on the run. I’m not sure how it works, but whenever I need them I cannot find them. So I bought a bunch of cheap scissors and put one in every room of the house. No more searching up and down for scissors. They’re always in the room where I’m looking.
  • And to make sure your husband or kids won’t use your very expensive sewing scissors to cut through something hard lock them.

  • Use empty tictac boxes to store ribbon, or small items.
  • Cut open toilet paper rolls and use them as a cuff for wrapping paper. This will keep it from unrolling.
  • Clean out an old lotion bottle and use it to store your car keys, your money and your phone while you’re at the beach. No thief will steal a lotion bottle.
  • Are your boots floppy? Don’t waste money on a pair of boot supports. Make your own from rolled up newspaper. Easy and cheap.
  • Freeze gravy in ice cube holders. When you need some, get them out with a knife. You can do this lots of things like wine or tomato puree. I deal if you don’t need it all and wouldn’t want to waste what you’ve made/bought.
  • And last but certainly not least, get an Pinterest account. There are so many great tips out there it’s hard to find them all. Pinterest is a great way to find tips with pics.

These are just a few tips. I hope they can help you too.