Summer Craftiness at Dotty Bobbin

Only a couple of weeks ago I embarked on my first Summer Crafting Workshop for adults and children following the success of the Christmas and Easter one. It is such an enjoyable day, although the preparation and clear up is mammouth!  I love crafting almost as much as sewing, and the aim of these days is to get adults and children engaged in crafts they have never tried or had the time or equipment to experience. The day ran for two hours and there were about 12 activities to choose from. We consumed 24 homemade fairy cakes during this time! Honestly I have no idea why I have a problem with my weight (I ate two of them at least!).

Making fabric wreaths kept the lovely Rebecca entertained for at least an hour! I think the result looks fantastic.

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I can never tell which activities will be most popular, but this time, by far the best was the leather work. Children and adults used metal stamps to create names, telephone numbers, messages and pretty pictures on their real leather, before stamping holes and inserting a metal eyelet and chain.

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We had lots of new wooden laser cut birds, hearts and butterflies for decoupaging, the process of applying paper (in this case single ply of napkins and old Beano magazines) with PVA glue to the wood.

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I laid out a little taster for embossing, where we used a special ink with a variety of stamps followed by some glittery powder and a special heat gun to create an embossed finish on gift tags.

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Rock painting, a simple but effective idea, using rounded rocks, some I prepared with white paint to give it a lighter background, and then they painted them with acrylic paints. Some we made with googly eyes into monsters and some into decorative paper weights. A coat of PVA glue once the paint has dried gives it a nice glossy finish. These are most useful as weights for your sewing patterns when cutting to avoid using pins. For this the better your brushes the better the results.

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Tania and Milan are trying out the needle felting machine for the first time in these pictures, an easy and relatively safe introduction into needle felting, where we join fibres, wool and felt onto a felt background to create lovely pictures and works of art! You can even use bits of old woolen jumpers! Upcycling at it’s best.

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Another big hit was the wood burning tool! Kindly lent to me by my son Sam, you can see Rebecca and Sofia creating their personalised door hanger. Rebecca used a hot glue gun to attach the shells lovingly collected from Frinton Beach by Sam & Annelies, to tie in with her girls mermaid theme bedroom!

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Summer hamma bead class covers with straw hole! A nice idea stolen from Pinterest, these covers fit perfectly over the top of a glass. I used IKEA Hamma beads, which we proved worked much better than the real ones, they are easier to melt with an iron and the oven.

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Which leads me onto our melted Hamma bead bowls! I managed to ruin a couple of Denby bowls in the process as we discovered the Hamma beads stuck to the bowls whereas the IKEA beads didn’t. Lesson learn’t buy a cheap bowl from the charity shop! Firstly we laid a layer of beads on the base of a cake tin, using greaseproof paper. We cooked these in the oven on hot, for about 15 minutes. Then we let them cool off for a few minuntes, but before they hardened we placed them over the outside of a bowl, baked it again for a few minutes and then let it cool down before removing it from the bowl.

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We also had a couple of quick activities where we glued buttons and bows onto hair combs to great effect and glass nugget googly bugs, but I don’t have any photos of those I am afriad.

With the Christmas crafting event around the corner, on the 5th December, it is already booked out, and I am now busy planning some new activities! If you have any requests or ideas for me please use the comment box.

Please let me know if you have tried any of these activities and what your favourites are.

Finally a big thank you to Isabelle for taking a lot of these photos (the good ones!) and to Aileen for helping with the massive clear up and of course to everyone for coming.

Saskia x

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