Hooray – I have decided to re-start my Friday Finds posts. This means that I provide a list of tutorials that you can use to make your own handmade whatevers. (That is a technical term we bloggers use.)
Today I am cheating a little. In my monthly newsletter (have you subscribed yet? Why not! Go on – over there on the right hand side!) for this month I included a list of links to tutorials for making iPad, lap-top and other gadget covers. I was motivated to do this after I made my own laptop bag for my new laptop, affectionately named Reeba Toshiba. I have roadtested the bag a few times now and am very happy with it.
Front of my Lap-top bag from re-purposed denim, leather and cotton
Back of the lap top bag
I plan to prepare a tutorial so that you can make your own, but in the meantime wanted to share some of the tutorials that I have gathered to gain ideas and inspiration on how to make your own gadget covers.
A felt envelope case with a difference Purl Bee adapts to gadgets of different shapes and sizes.
Nancy’s Notions has a tutorial for making an Ipad cover that folds over the tablet to protect it.
A great tutorial that can be adjusted to fit a variety of tablets and gadgets is found in a guest post by Lindsay from Inspiring Creations on U-Create.
Jessi from Practically Functional has a tutorial for making an iPad stand and cover using a hard cover from a binder folder.
A different take on making a cover from a book is found on the V Spot blog in their free tutorial.
Creative Home Expressions has a tutorial on how to make a sleeve for a Kindle that closes with a loop and button.
Sew for Home have a pattern for an iPad or tablet case with a difference – it has pockets and room to carry a mobile phone along with the tablet.
Dollarstore Crafts have a tutorial on making a gadget cover from a pair of old jeans. (And you know how much I love repurposing denim!)
Laptop covers and bags
A tutorial on Curbly uses placemats to make a laptop cover.
On the Handmade Wagon you will find a tutorial for a laptop case that has a gusset (you know – a seperate piece that goes around the sides).
The Crafty Kitty has a tutorial for making an organice canvas laptop sleeve that closes with a button and loop.
Craft Habit has a tutorial to make a lap top bag with a strap.
If you haven’t found something that you love in any of these links, then you can have a look at the list I have gather on my Pinterest board – Gadget Cases DIY or look at these lists that other sites have put together.
This series of posts provides a place for me to share tutorials I have found online where other crafters have shared their ideas on how to make handmade for whatever occasion, outfit, home decoration need that you might have. This post focusses on Easter. This has to be one of the best holiday seasons around – religious meaning, chocolate, cute bunnies and chicks, a four day weekend – not a lot more you can ask for in a holiday really!
The number of crafts available for Easter is, of course, endless. I have collected some of my favourite sewing tutorials here, and have pinned many other links to tutorials for all sorts of other crafts on my “Holidays” Pinterest board if you are looking for other inspiration.
I am not especially good at changing my décor to suit the holidays – but with cute cushion covers like these, I think I could be tempted!
There are pages and pages of wonderful ideas for children’s Easter craft, free Easter printables, delicious recipes and fantastic ideas for decorating eggs out there on the net – I have captured a very small selection here, and a few more on my Pinterest Holidays board. My final piece of inspiration however, is this decorated egg byRed Ted Art – a wonderful site full of inspiring ideas.
The summer school holidays are stretching on in a haze of heat, sunburn, bushfire warnings and crankiness at being told to drink more water and stay in the shade. And that means that it is time to think about pushing the little bodies back into uniforms and shoes to see if they still fit (because it is a well known fact that amazing feats of growth happen over the summer school holidays every year – especially if you have stocked up on their school uniform at the end of last year!) It is also time to think about what they need for going back to school. Which is the basis of the following list of tutorials.
Each of these has been found on the blog of another crafter who has also been faced with the back to school dilemma, so I present simply a gathering of their ideas so that you can think about some projects to help the back to school process begin!
While some schools require a uniform bag, complete with school logo, many still allow students to bring along a bag that reflects their individual personality. That is where the following patterns come in. With the amazing range of fabrics available the possibilities for individual fashion statements are endless!
The lovely people at Plaid have already collected a lovely selection of tutorials with their collection of 5 DIY back to school bags
There are so many bags that children need for back to school. Library bags are a definite need, especially in the junior school. (The librarian at our school is constantly pleading for parents to remember to pack books in bags to protect them!) They can be as fancy or as simple as you like.
Of course, in addition to the books and pencils there are also nutritious lunches and snacks to be thinking about and if you are packing them in these lunchbags or snacks bags they are going to look good as well as tasting good!
A Kids Lunch box pattern from Crazy Little Projects guest posting at Skip to my Lou is a good place to start.
And for the ultimate collection of patterns for lunch bags, over at fresh juniper she has collected 50 patterns together for lunch bags and totes with tutorials!
I hope that you find some inspiration in this collection to assist you with the back to school requirements! (I can tick ‘new school shoes’ off my list, but have found post it notes from the eldest chick stuck to a pillow on my bed, and the screen of my computer, that list her ‘stationary’ requirements. Think a trip to the office supplies store is in order – plus a quick lesson on the difference between things that don’t move, and things that are used to write on and with……)
If you have ideas to add to the list, please feel free to add them in the comments!
While I was reading the Gifts for Geeks list of Handmade Holiday gifts posted at Sew Mama Sew I realised that the chicks and I like a lot of geeky things! Which prompted me to pull together the following list of ideas that I have collected for gifts to make for the people in your life who love geeky things! Our geekdom stretches beyond Dr Who, Star Wars, and Lego but I have stuck to our favourites!
Dr Who Being a woman-of-a-certain-age I remember watching Dr Who in my teens, when it was a BBC production, when Tom Baker was the Doctor and when, having a choice of only 2 television channels at the time (it was North Queensland in the early 80’s) we regularly were in trouble with the nuns for being late for dinner, as Dr Who finished a few minutes after the dinner bell went. Now my eldest chick watches it and it is slick and shiny and has a much bigger budget, but the basics are still there! Time Lords, TARDIS time machines, travelling companions, and the occasional Dalek. Luckily the resurgence of it’s popularity means that there are piles of tutorials on how to make things for fans!
Although I haven’t had any luck finding ‘licensed’ Dr Who fabric, there are quite a few “police box’ designs available through Spoonflower that can be used to make great gifts, like the messenger bag I made!
Once again my age is an advantage in understanding Star Wars. I remember going to the cinema to see the first movie. We went into the city, and it was very exciting. When the next two movies came out we were living on an island in the Pacific that didn’t have a cinema with proper movie releases (although there seemed to be an abundance of Kung Fu movies available to watch in a shed near the beach!). When the next three were released I was busy with babies and didn’t see them. Despite that I have developed a great knowledge of all the movies as my son is quite taken with them, and all things related to them!
If none of thesetutorials grab your fancy, there is a great range of Star Wars fabric available and you can use it to make bags, hats, skirts, pillowcases, etc!
Lego was an important part of my childhood. My grandmother would always bring some back from any trips to the Netherlands (there were only a few grandchildren at that stage – now it would break her bank!). My mother still has all of our Lego and it has been used by all the grandchildren too. Now my children love Lego. They have the themed sets – Star Wars, Chima, Harry Potter, City, Ninjago, Pirates of the Carribean, the Hobbit (not ALL of them obviously) but they also have just general bricks and it is rare for them to use the patterns – they build using their imagination. The tutorials below include ideas to store Lego bricks, ways to use bricks to make things, or making other items that look like Lego bricks.
In a few weeks time the boy will be turning 7. Oh my! My baby is really not a baby anymore. And then it is a month until Christmas. (Now I need to lie down!) So it is time to start thinking about gifts. Again! I do love handmade gifts for my kids. Last Christmas the boy was very upset when he opened his Christmas Eve present and found a pair of pjs I had made him. “A fabric present?” he spat in horror. Once I had him calmed down I explained that I had made the pyjamas for him with my love, so that when he slept in them he was surrounded by my love. He has embraced the concept with relish and joy and is so excited to wear or use things that I have made him now, and reminds me that it means that he is carrying my love with him. But…… there is a limit to the number of gifts that you can sew for a boy, even one as gorgeous as mine, as they get older. And to be honest, for a girl too! But I am determined to find special things to make for my special boy, to complement the Lego I will no doubt give in and purchase for him……again.
This list is designed to work in the same way that the one for 9 year old girls worked – to help me filter through ideas and distill some of my own to suit my boy. (With the girls list I took the concept of a reading nook and adapted it to make curtains for the middle chick’s top bunk to give her a space of her own.) And hopefully it will help some of you with the holiday season creeping rushing up on us!
My boy may be extra energetic (truly hyperactive!) but I think that all boys this age need the ability to run around and make noise, and burn off energy. So I have been thinking of gifts that will enable that.
I also think that a satchel, with an adjustable strap to be worn across the body, with lots of external pockets would be great for carrying Nerf guns and bullets, or going on an adventure, or a variety of other outdoor activities. There are a number of patterns you could adapt to this by just adding pockets, but here are a couple of suggestions.
Of course if they are going to be outside, then a hat is a must. Being able to personalise it will help. (I am thinking that a Star Wars hat might be just the thing to encourage my boy to keep his hat on!)
Some games for indoors are required too. I need to accept the reality that my chicks are going to play with their electronic games, in the mix of all the things that they do. So a cover for a DS, and/or an iPod touch are always useful.
to try and emulate this picture (which despite much searching I cannot find the originator of to give credit to.)
If I ask my boy what his favourite games or Lego are at the moment he will answer with one of the following – Star Wars, Ninjago, Chima, Spiderman, or Minecraft . So this pillowcase might go down well!
I also found this great idea on Pinterest – but cannot find the source. Under the photo it says
“Science Experiment Tool Box! Made an 8 year old boy birthday gift with ingredients, supplies (all from the dollar store), & instructions for 4 experiments: make a lava lamp, balloon inflator, foam fountain, & gak (dragon slime). I had some 7 year old help with the labels ☺. Thank you Science Bob!”
In addition to the links that I provided in my post on the Science Party, the site referred to, Science Bob has a great list of experiments!
Ideas that have already been successful for him, but might be useful for you to consider:
I have also previously made him a Jedi Knight cloak – and it is the source of much envy by his friends who visit. I didn’t do this from a link, but used a pattern that I had already purchased and used to make Harry Potter robes (of course!). Oh – that is another idea, as he does love his HP robe. The pattern I use for these and other costumes is Simplicity 1583 – I just adjust the sleeve width depending on the character!
And finally, many of the ideas that I used for his sister in this List, would also work for him – just with different colours or fabric.
So – I hope that you can find some ideas in here for the young men in your life. Now to narrow down the options for my boy, in time for his birthday!!
Oh dear. The middle chick turns 9 next week and I am drawing a blank about what to make for her (let alone buy for her!) Last year I made her bunting with her name on it, and a creativity suitcase. This year? I am just not sure! So I decided to prepare a list of the links I find and share them with you in an effort to find inspiration for myself! Let’s hope it works!
These days my nearly 9 year old is very fashion conscious. She puts together her own outfits with more style than many adults – layering colours, textures and different fabrics to create her own ‘look’. I think that some hair accessories to assist in her styling wouldn’t be out of order!
Part of developing her own style means that my nearly-nine year old is a ‘tween’. So it is time to update the bedroom décor and let her have her own space to express herself. Some of these accessories might just do it!
Hmmmm….. perhaps making her some things that fit her ‘style’ might work! With summer coming on she definitely needs a new hat – and is very picky about what she will and won’t wear. Perhaps if I make one with funky fabric that might work!
Like so many young people my tween has an embarrassment of electronic gadgets. A cover to assist in protecting them would be just the ticket (and in fact now that I remember, something that she has been asking for! Yes, yes – insert the embarrassed face of a forgetful mother here!) Kindle Cover – Diary of a Young Teacher
My middle chick loves to have her ‘own’ things now rather than sharing in the communal household things. She also loves to ‘borrow’ her mother’s heat pack for all sorts of imagined ills….. so maybe she needs her own!
Edited to remove links to the site WhipUp.net which has been closed.
The good news is that after spending the last hour or so preparing this list, I DO know what I am planning to make for my middle chick! Now to see if I can pull it off before she returns from her holiday! I hope that the list helped you a bit too!
Well, the suspense is over. I have prepared a list of Friday finds after all. The collection this week is a list of tutorials for making skirts. For grown ups! While many of the patterns and theories and lessons can be used to make skirts for little people, the aim of these are skirts for big people. Like me! I am so over this winter and it’s dreariness. I keep looking at my cotton wrap skirts with longing. Waiting for the day I can wear them with bare legs and sandals. A list of patterns might keep me going until the season is right to wear them again. Or I might find one for a winter skirt! Let’s see.
Something about the hint of Spring in the air makes me want to start freshening up the house. Cleaning out cupboards, sorting out piles of paper that need filing, de-cluttering shelves, sorting wardrobes. In the midst of all this I have a hankering for some fresh cushion covers. Given that I have a significant stash of fabric my challenge is to make some without buying new fabric…….could be tough but I am sure I can do it! In support of this, the list of links to free patterns this week are for cushion covers, pillowcases and ottomans. Now to move them from my ‘to do’ list onto my ‘done’ list!!
This week has flown by, with drama performances, work, and general family life keeping me very busy. The weekend is stretching before me with lots of unplanned time (when you have three kids it is never ‘free’ time!!). I have a list of projects I want to tackle – more work on the memory quilt, a bag for a silent auction at a ball I am attending next week, and thinking about baby gifts for two of my staff who are pregnant. In the process of trying to sort through all these ideas I realised that what I need is a little project – something useful and colourful and not too time consuming. Then I hit upon it! A pincushion!!
This is the one that I whipped up for myself about a year ago. While it does just fine, we have a craft stall at the school fete coming up, so making things to be sold there is next on the ‘sewing with obligation’ list….. (I will talk more about that concept another time!). So – today’s list of finds is a collection of 50 free patterns for pin-cushions (I did cheat a bit – one of the links is to 25 free tutorials!) There are hundreds more out there but here are some that appealed to me. Enjoy!
I have decided that today is a good day to make a list of the patterns for Messenger Bags that I have collected. I love messenger bags – they can be as informal and hippie, or formal and suitable for office attire as you like. It all depends on the fabric that you choose and the attitude with which you wear it! They are great as nappy (or diaper if you are American) bags, good for students, for travelling, and for carrying a large amount of ‘stuff’, if yours is anything like mine! They are good for slinging across your body when you are on your bike, or need to be hands free, and can have as many pockets as you like.
I also like the fact that a messenger bag lends itself beautifully to different forms of decoration. You can add applique, feature fabrics, and stand out linings. There are so many options!
Here is the first one I ever made, based on the great pattern by Larissa at mmmcraft. It was a birthday gift for my beautiful mother, a year ago!
This is the one that I currently use, and that often features in my photos as my ‘mascot’ when I travel!
This is one that I have currently listed in my shop, made using my own pattern (which I will one day draw up a tutorial for!! Hmmmm…. how many weeks in a row do you think I will make that promise before I actually write up the tutorial??).
And here is the list of tutorials for you to try, so that you can make a great messenger bag of your own, to reflect your own style!