How-To: DIY Cork Stamps (Take 2)

A couple of weeks ago I shared some stationary I made using a stamp fashioned from a wine cork.  This week, while working on another project I stumbled across an easier way to make to my own stamps out of cork and thought I would share.

What you need:

  • Cork board (I used some scrap cork from another project)
  • PVA glue
  • Craft knife
  • A pen or pencil to draw your design

How to make your own cork stamp:

1.  Draw or trace your design onto the cork.  I went for something simple, a moustache, as my cutting skills are not really top notch.

2.  Cut around the design with the craft knife (be careful not to cut yourself!).

3.  Cut a square or rectangle backing from the cork big enough to act as a base for the stamp, but not too big that you can’t tell where you are placing the design.

4.  Apply the PVA glue to both the backing and the design, allow to dry slightly and then press together.  Leave to dry before attempting to stamp anything.

5.  Start stamping!

And there you go, really simple and very effective.  I found it so much easier than trying to carve anything out of a tiny wine cork.

Rhubarb, Apple and Blueberry Crumble

I’m pretty sure anyone who has spent any amount of time with me knows that I have a weakness for desserts.  While I try to love my fruit and veg, my sweet tooth always wins in the end.  To me, this crumble is the best of both worlds – featuring lots of fresh fruit in the filling and a sweet, crunchy topping.

While I sort of made this up as I went along, I used this recipe from BBC Good Food as a guideline.  The recipe called for baking the topping separately which definitely made it extra crunchy.  Here’s what I ended up putting in mine:

Topping:

110 g plain flour

30 g rolled oats

85g butter at room temperature

Filling:

400g of fruit, chopped (I used rhubarb, apples and a handful of blueberries)

30g of soft light brown sugar

30g of butter

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

 

It was definitely a success as it was all demolished in one sitting (I didn’t eat it all myself, promise!).

DIY Moustache Tote Bag

Sometimes DIYs go wrong.  I found this out today when I started what I thought would be a simple tote bag DIY.  I think I may have managed to rescue it though, which I am pleased about.  I’m pretty sure this would have turned out fine if the T-shirt transfer paper I had used wasn’t over 5 years old.  I figured I would share the DIY anyway as it didn’t turn out too horribly in the end!

The first problem was when I realised the writing on the back of the paper transferred along with the design.  I tried to fix this problem by turning the iron down a little, but only half of the moustaches I ironed on after came out complete.  I also found that using an ordinary sized iron made it almost impossible to place the separate moustaches close together.  Because of this, I burnt the edges of several of them.  Eeeek!  Luckily, I managed to scrape the bits of failed moustache off and tried again, filling in the bits that were burnt or just didn’t stick at all with a fabric pen.

It isn’t perfect, but it will do.  If I were to ever try this again, I would just paint the design on.  It was far too much hassle using the iron on transfer paper.  However, I love the design and the bag looks pretty acceptable from further away!

GiftED

This isn’t a DIY or anything that I have made myself, but I just wanted to share something exciting happening at my work with you.  The Edinburgh Book Sculptures are now touring several libraries across Scotland.

The artist, who still remains anonymous, left the sculptures to be discovered in various institutions across Edinburgh, claiming that they were a gift in support of ‘libraries, books, words, and ideas’.  If I could create anything even half as amazing as these I would never be able to keep my mouth shut about it, but I think that the artist remaining unknown brings a real sense of mystery to the works of art.  I think these sculptures are so inspiring.  They are so amazingly detailed and beautiful and perfectly capture the excitement of literature and the magic of getting lost in a good book.

If you get the chance I would definitely recommend checking them out as they look so much more impressive in person that in the photographs I’ve seen on the web.  Here’s some more information from The Scottish Poetry Library for those interested: Gifted: The Edinburgh Book Sculptures on Tour 2012

Also, great pictures available here.

DIY Heart Stationery

 

I’ve been wanting to try out The Sweet Spot’s DIY cork stamp for a while.  This sunny Sunday afternoon seemed like the perfect opportunity.  Despite being unable to find a proper craft knife, the stamp didn’t turn out too horribly.

I love the texture created by the cork and the imperfect shape of the heart.  I used the cork stamp with purple ink to decorate some plain stationary.  I was really worried that it would just end up as a purple blob, but it turned out better than I expected.  I think the stamp could also be used with acrylic paint to create a bolder design.

DIY Plant Pots

 

One of my goals for the summer is to work my way through my Pinterest board of inspiring DIYS.  I loved the look of these colour-block terra cotta pots from abeautifulmess.com and after finding the perfect plants at the garden centre I figured I would give it a go.

I followed the original how-to more or less, making a couple of changes and using my own colour scheme (I’m loving purple and grey at the moment!).

Unlike the original poster, I didn’t trust myself to paint a straight line and my original plan to use masking tape failed due to the curve of the pots.  Instead, I used an elastic band stretched around the pot to create an almost-perfectly straight line.

I’m now determined to try my best to keep these plants alive.  Wish me luck!

The Little Things…

It has really been a tough couple of weeks, so in order for the little things to cheer me up, a lot of online shopping was involved.  Call me materialistic if you will, but having a new pair of shoes (or two) always makes my day a little brighter!

New shoes with studs.  A combination of my favourite things.

A jewellery tree I received as a thoughtful gift to cheer me up.

Pretty shades of grey and purple paint for my bedroom makeover.

New sheets.  Nothing beats falling asleep in soft, new bedding especially my Urban Outfitters Moustache Pillow Set.  I could not love these more.

This adorable guy.  He’s always keeping me smiling.

Here’s hoping for better days coming my way!