Mollie Makes Felty Fox Brooch

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I’m ashamed to say that I abandoned my blog for a little bit while things got crazy busy, but I’ve finally found some time to share the projects that I’ve been working on.

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I love Mollie Makes, but I usually end up forgetting about the projects that come with the magazine each month.  I finally got around to making one of the cute little felt fox brooches from Issue Thirty-Two.  He’s so cute and was super easy to make, even for those of us who aren’t great at sewing.  I’ll hopefully get around to making him a friend sometime soon!

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DIY Dip Dye Shoes

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It’s getting colder in Scotland, and the change in the weather is getting me down.  Not that I don’t love Autumn, but I’ve been stuck inside working all summer and would have appreciated enjoying some of the lovely sunshine.  To cheer myself up, I decided to spend a morning dip-dying a pair of shoes, so even if it’s dull outside my feet can look bright and happy.

There are a few great tutorials for this already on the internet.  My method was a combination of these tutorials: Frankie exclusive diy: dip-dyed shoes and iLovetoCreate’s Ombre Tie Dye Sneakers

What you need:

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  • A pair of plain canvas shoes (Primark sells them for only £3!)
  • A packet of dye
  • Salt and warm water to make the dye mix
  • A cloth
  • A paintbrush
  • Vaseline

How-to:

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1.  Prep the shoes:  Remove the laces and set aside (if you have removable inserts take them out as well, my cheapo pair didn’t, so I’ll just have to live with the insides being pink as well).  Cover the soles and rubber bits with a tin layer of Vaseline to protect them from the dye.  Then throughly wet the shoes to help the dye spread.

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2.  Mix the dye:  Mix the dye according to the instructions on the packet (dissolve in warm water and add salt), be sure to do this in as deep of a container as possible for dunking the shoes.

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3.  Dip the shoes:  Dip the tips of the shoes into the dye and hold them in for a while depending on how dark you want the colour to be.  Take out of the dye and dip again, this time letting to dye spread further up the shoes.  Repeat as many times as you like until you’ve got as much colour as you want on the shoes.  I also dipped the heel into the dye to make it darker as well, leaving the shoes lighter in the middle.

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4.  Add more colour:  To get a really bright colour on the darker areas, use a paint brush to add some more dye to the shoes.

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5.  Blend the colour:  Using a damp cloth, gently pat the dye to blend the colour more evenly.  You can even dip the cloth into the dye to add more colour or spread the dye to areas the dipping missed.

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6.  Allow to dry:  Once you’ve achieve the colour you want, leave the shoes to dry for 5-10 minutes.

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7.  Rinse:  Rinse the shoes under running water until the water coming off the shoes is clear (hopefully this means that they won’t turn my feet pink).

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8.  Leave to dry:  Remove the shoes from the water and leave to dry overnight and rub off the Vaseline.

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These are bright and cheery, just what I need to lift my mood when the weather gets cold.  I forgot how fun using dye is.  Keep a look out for some more tie-dye projects as I can’t get enough of it!

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DIY Wrap Bracelets

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I made a ton of these bracelets using Honestly WTF’s tutorial during the summer and wore them so much that the coloured linen faded.  As my training day was cancelled today because of the snow, I figured it was a good time to make some more.  I wish I had more silver chain as I would happily wear these in every colour possible.  Erica has written a great tutorial with clear instructions and pictures.  As I ran out of chain I used some bead trim instead, not sure I like it as much, but it worked.  I also used hemp cord instead of waxed linen as it’s all I could find, but it seems to work just the same.

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Here’s the finished result:

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DIY Tote Bag (take 2)

When I was in the craft shop looking for a plain tote to use for my moustache tote bag and discovered that they were only £1, I ended up buying several.  This one has been my sitting-in-front-of-the-television-on-a-rainy-day project, but as I’ve had so much else going on, it’s taken several months to complete.  This is also why there isn’t a picture for every step (sorry!).  I’m so pleased with the final result though.  Here’s how you can make your own:

What you need:

  • A plain tote bag
  • Sheets of felt in different colours
  • Several colours of embroidery thread and a needle
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • A scrap of paper and pen
  • Cellotape
  • Black puff paint

How-to:

1.  Iron the bag to get rid of any wrinkles.

2.  Draw your design onto the scrap of paper and cut it out.

3.  Place the template onto the felt and tape around the edges (this makes it easier to cut the felt).  Repeat a bunch of times.  The template will probably grow with the amount of tape used on it, so you may need to cut it back to the original size once or twice.

4.  Thread the needle and sew wings onto the birds (I’m no expert at sewing, I just went over the same spot until the lines looked thick enough.

5.  Using the puff paint, dot eyes onto each of the birds (you could probably sew on a single black bead instead to create the same effect).

6.  Decide on layout and arrange the birds on the bag.

7.  Place a dab of glue into the middle of each of the birds (don’t spread it out to the edges or you will never be able to get the needle through to sew on the outline and attach them to the bag.

8.  Secure birds properly by sewing around the edges.

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!