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Tutorial! Vegan leather necklace

We have these really cool packs of vegan leather in stock, but what can we make with them?! We put the question to the super talented Laura Howard and this is the final of four tutorials she’s written for us! Find all of the tutorials in the series here.

Take it away Laura…

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Use a chain from an old necklace, or a length of ribbon, to make a bold geometric necklace. Use the templates provided or get creative and draw your own design!

To make this necklace you will need:

* A synthetic leather kit
* A sewing needle
* Sewing scissors
* An air-erasable fabric marker pen or an ordinary felt tip pen
* The necklace template sheet – click here to download and print the PDF
* Matching felt (I used baby blue) and sewing thread
* A necklace chain or a length of ribbon

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

 

To make the necklace:

Use the templates provided to cut out pieces A to F from the synthetic leather. Place the paper templates on the back of the leather, trace around them using an air-erasable fabric marker or a felt tip pen then cut out the shape using sewing scissors.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Sew the pieces together using whip stitch and matching sewing thread (I used blue thread throughout). Start with the smallest pieces, sewing piece A to piece B then piece B to piece C and so on, so you’re only stitching through two layers of the leather at a time.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Once you’ve sewn all the pieces together, use the leather shape as a template to cut out a matching piece of felt for the back of the necklace.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Place the felt and leather together then use sewing thread (in the same colour as before) to sew along the top edge, joining the layers together. Place the middle of your necklace chain (or ribbon) between the two layers, so it will be held in place when you sew around the rest of the necklace shape. Make sure there are even lengths of chain (or ribbon) sticking out from each side of the necklace.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

Blanket stitch around the rest of the necklace – making sure you don’t let the chain or ribbon slip out as you sew.

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Necklace Tutorial by Laura Howard

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A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the December wreath (so sorry this one is a little late) in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her embroidered snowflakes wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here! Take it away, Laura!

Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

The final wreath in this seasonal series is a little bit late (sorry!) but hopefully worth the wait. You could make it as a winter wreath to add a bit of sparkle to these dark and gloomy days, or stitch it ready for next Christmas!

This month’s wreath features embroidered snowflakes, silver sequins and seed beads, and some fabulous metallic thread. As well as making the full wreath, you could also use the snowflake embroidery patterns to sew felt snowflake ornaments, stitch a snowflake in a small embroidery hoop or sew snowflakes onto anything you fancy!

You will need:
*The pattern sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Dark blue yarn to wrap the wreath (I used 2 balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Navy)
*Navy blue wool blend felt
*White stranded embroidery thread
*Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread (shade 41)
*Assorted silver sequins and beads
*Sewing thread (any colour)
*Tissue paper
*A biro or other fine point pen
*Sewing scissors
*A sewing needle and pins
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips

To make the wreath:
1. Start by embroidering the snowflakes: one of each design included on the pattern sheet. Trace the snowflake patterns onto tissue paper with a biro or other fine pen then cut them out as shown.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

2. Tack each paper pattern to a piece of dark blue felt, using sewing thread and a few large stitches. Keep your stitches clear of the pattern so they’ll be easy to remove later.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

3. Stitch the snowflakes with white stranded embroidery thread, using backstitch and three of the six strands. When stitching, take care not to trail threads near the edges of the pattern and across gaps where you’ll be cutting later.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

4. Remove the tacking threads and carefully tear away the tissue paper to reveal the stitched designs. Use a pin to remove the smaller pieces of paper from the stitches – this is a bit fiddly, so take your time.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

5. Wrap the wreath base with dark blue yarn. I used two balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Navy.

Secure the yarn with a knot at what will become the back of your wreath. Begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath base, passing the ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside. Hide the loose yarn end under the yarn as you wrap, and make sure that you’re not leaving any gaps where the white wreath base shows through. Continue wrapping, gradually covering the whole of the wreath base, and switch to the second ball when needed. Wrapping the wreath takes a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or some episodes of your favourite TV show.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

Once the whole wreath base has been covered with yarn, tie a knot securely at the back and carefully trim the loose end so it won’t be visible when the wreath is hung up.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

6. Now it’s time to add some sparkle! Tie the loose end of the metallic thread to the wreath base, knotting it securely at the back. Then wrap the thread around the wreath, creating a pattern of silver lines on the dark background. I worked my way around the wreath twice, adding a second set of lines between the ones shown in the first picture but you can add all the lines in one go if you prefer. When you’ve finished adding silver thread, tie a knot securely at the back and trim any loose ends of thread.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

7. Cut out the embroidered snowflakes.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

8. Arrange the snowflakes on the wreath base, as shown, and pin them in position.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

9. Cut a long piece of the metallic thread. Tie one end of the thread to the wreath base close to one of the outermost snowflakes, knotting it securely at the back.

Thread a sewing needle with the loose end then gradually wrap this thread around the wreath, filling in the gaps between the lines of thread already in place and adding beads and sequins to the thread as you work. I added 1-3 embellishments per line, covering the front of the wreath with an even but random-looking spread of beads and sequins.

When the thread is running out use the sewing needle to sew into the yarn at the back of the wreath a few times to secure the thread, then knot it securely and trim any excess.

Repeat this process to gradually cover the wreath base with sparkles.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

Once you reach the snowflakes again, wrap the thread underneath the snowflakes and add just a few beads and sequins in the gaps between them.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

10. One by one, glue the snowflakes to the wreath. Begin by moving the pin to one half of the snowflake, lift the other half of the snowflake up then apply glue underneath it. I added glue to the snowflake itself but you could add the glue to the wreath base instead. Carefully press that section of the snowflake in position on the wreath, remove the pin then glue the other half.
I glued my snowflakes so they curve slightly around the shape of the wreath base. For a different look, just add one dab of glue to the centre of each snowflake so the edges remain unattached.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath by Laura Howard

Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath Tutorial by Laura HowardHang the finished wreath directly from a hook or a nail, or hang it using a leftover piece of the dark blue yarn.

Thanks Laura!

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Tutorial! Vegan leather lightning bolt brooch

We have these really cool packs of vegan leather in stock, but what can we make with them?! We put the question to the super talented Laura Howard and this is the third of four tutorials she’s written for us! Find all of the tutorials in the series here.

Take it away Laura…

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

This bold lightning bolt brooch would look great pinned to a black coat or sweater! You can also follow these steps to make brooches using the star templates, or any other shape you fancy.

To make this brooch you will need:

* A synthetic leather kit
* A sewing needle
* Sewing scissors
* An air-erasable fabric marker pen or an ordinary felt tip pen
* The brooch template sheet – click here to download and print the PDF
* Matching sewing thread
* Coordinating felt
* A brooch clasp

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

 

To make the brooch:

Use the template provided to cut out the bolt shape from yellow or metallic leather. Turn the template over and place it on the back of the leather, draw around it with a pen then cut it out with sewing scissors. Then place the bolt on a backing piece of contrasting leather.

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

Use whip stitch and matching sewing thread to sew the bolt to the backing leather.

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

Cut out the bolt, leaving a border framing the shape.

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

Use the shape you’ve just cut out as a template to cut a matching piece of felt. Turn the felt shape over and add a brooch clasp. Sew the clasp in place securely with a double thickness of matching sewing thread.

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

Place the front and back of the brooch together and sew the edges together with blanket stitch and matching sewing thread.

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

DIY Vegan Leather Lightning Bolt Brooch Tutorial by Laura Howard

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DIY Christmas cards with Laura Howard, part two

The super talented Laura Howard has been busy crafting up some really cute Christmas card designs for you all to get creating. We love how many possibilities there are with card, washi tape and stamps! 

This is part two of her inspirational tutorials. You can find part one here. Take it away Laura!

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
Today I’m sharing more ideas for making Christmas cards using this gorgeous festive paper pad. The coordinating sheets of paper and card work so well together, and the gold foil details are just fabulous!

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
I also used some lovely rubber stamps, washi tape from the same range, shiny gold tape

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
… and this set of ink pads which includes fab metallic ink.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
I also some large blank cards in Christmas colours and these small blank cards in tropical colours.

Follow the links to find the exact products I used, or click here to see the full range of paper crafting supplies available in the Village Haberdashery’s online shop. Click here for the PDF template sheet that accompanies these projects.

Lettering
Simple words cut from patterned paper look great! I opted for a large JOY but you could cut out smaller letters to spell words like XMAS or MERRY or YULE. Draw your own letter templates (you’ll find the templates for JOY on the PDF template sheet), print out large letters from your favourite font or use alphabet stickers.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

To cut out the letters, turn the paper over and place the template face down on the back. Trace the shape with a pencil then cut it out and turn the paper over to reveal the finished letter.
For this card I just added a single strip of gold tape to “support” the lettering.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

For this design I created a background with overlapping paper and tape, positioning the lettering in the centre of the card.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

Christmas Trees
For these cards, use the Christmas tree templates provided to cut out lots of tree shapes then use them as the focal feature your designs. There are three different templates to choose from: simple trees, mini trees for small cards, and fancy trees.
The minimal shape of the simple tree means you can go bold with the patterns:
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
Instead of using a blank card for this design, I used half a sheet of card from the paper pack – cutting it then folding it in half, and pairing it with a brown kraft paper envelope. I used the tree template to cut out a patterned green tree then glued it to a piece of white paper. I then carefully cut around the tree, leaving a border of white to frame it and help it stand out from the background pattern, and then stuck it to the card.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
For this card I used two of the small stamps and the white ink pad to print a pattern on the blank card – the white ink stands out really well against the red! Then I added the tree shape and a handwritten “Merry Christmas” on a small strip of white paper.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
To make the stripy tree, I cut out a tree shape from white card and covered it in washi tape stripes. I used gold tape for the tree’s trunk then used the coordinating patterned tapes to cover the tree. I then cut a piece of brown paper as a simple frame for the design and positioned the tree leaving space to write “Merry Christmas” underneath.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
For small Christmas tree cards, use the mini tree template provided. These are so quick and easy to make! I decorated one card with a stamp and silver ink, one with three strips of washi tape, and made the third from a sheet of patterned card from the paper pad.
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

The fancy tree shape is a little more time consuming to cut out, but it’s totally worth it!

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

The first card shows off the tree’s shape, with a simple bit of paper to frame it – I chose a pale pink to make the dark tree really stand out. You could add a festive message at the bottom of the card, but I quite like the design as it is.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

This is another simple design: I used four pieces of washi tape to make a frame, added a small piece of gold tape to the tree’s trunk then stuck the tree in the centre of the card.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

You need a bit of patience to make this stripy card but the end result has a lot of wow factor. Decorate a white card with stripes of the Christmas washi tape designs, leaving a small gap between the tape. Start in one corner and work your way across the card, trimming the excess tape as you go. Glue one of the fancy tree shapes to a piece of white paper or card and cut it out, leaving a narrow white border to frame the tree. Then glue the tree to the centre of the card.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

Baubles
Finally, instead of Christmas trees how about topping your cards with a bauble? I’ve kept my baubles pretty simple but you could decorate yours however you like! (This would be another great way to use up crafty scraps!)

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

For this design I used the fir branch stamp to decorate the blank card, placing the card on some scrap paper so I could stamp over the edges without making a mess. I wrote “Merry Christmas” on a bit of white card and cut it out, then cut out a bauble from patterned paper and added a bit of gold washi tape for the bauble cap. Finally I framed both the bauble and the text with contrasting rectangles of paper then stuck them in place on the card.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

I did more stamping for this card, covering a piece of brown paper with gold acorns. I layered this over two strips of gold washi tape to create the background for my bauble. Instead of adding tape to the bauble cap, this time I added a decorative stripe across the middle of the bauble. I cut a small bit of ribbon and tore a piece of washi tape to attach the ribbon near the top of the card, then glued the bauble on top – holding the ribbon firmly in position, and making the bauble look as if it’s hanging from it.
If you’d like your bauble to actually hang from the card make the bauble from patterned card, punch a hole in the cap then thread it with a piece of yarn, baker’s twine or embroidery thread.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

I decorated my final card with a symmetrical design of stripes (like the fancy Christmas tree card earlier) – I just can’t get enough of those lovely washi tapes! I decorated the bauble with a bit of gold washi tape on the cap, and a patterned strip of tape across the middle then glued it to a piece of white card. I then cut the bauble out again, leaving a border of white around the shape, and stuck it in position on the card.
Tip: if you’re doing vertical stripes like this, start in the centre and work outwards. I started at one side and ended up with a slightly lopsided pattern!

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

Thanks Laura! We are all super inspired to make all of our own cards this year now! Happy crafting guys!

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DIY Christmas cards with Laura Howard, part one

The super talented Laura Howard has been busy crafting up some really cute Christmas card designs for you all to get creating. We love how many possibilities there are with card, washi tape and stamps! Here is part one of her inspirational tutorials (you can find part one two here). Take it away Laura…

Can I tell you a secret? Christmas crafting is my absolute favourite kind of crafting!

DIY Christmas Card Ideas with Laura Howard!
Today I’m sharing some ideas for making Christmas cards using this gorgeous festive paper pad. The coordinating sheets of paper and card work so well together, and the gold foil details are just fabulous!

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
I also used some lovely rubber stamps, washi tape from the same range, shiny gold tape

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
… and this set of ink pads which includes fab metallic ink.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
I also some large blank cards in Christmas colours and these small blank cards in tropical colours.

Follow the links to find the exact products I used, or click here to see the full range of paper crafting supplies available in the Village Haberdashery’s online shop. Click here for the PDF template sheet that accompanies these projects.

Washi Tape

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
Washi tape comes in so many pretty designs, and it’s so fun and easy to work with!
To add neat stripes of tape to your cards, tear or cut a piece of tape longer than needed (so the tape will overhang each end of the card you’re sticking it to) and carefully press it into position. Turn the card over and trim away the excess tape, cutting flush with the edge of the card for a nice clean finish.
Tip: have a bit of scrap paper on your desk and stick the little offcuts of tape to it as you work.
The coordinating patterns of this tape set look so great together, just add three stripes to a small card for instant festive loveliness.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
Don’t forget to decorate the envelopes as well!

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

For this card I used gold ink and the small acorn stamp to coordinate with a couple of stripes of tape.
When using the rubber stamps, use a piece of scrap paper to make test prints before you stamp your cards. Make sure the ink is evenly applied and press the pad firmly to make a clear print. Wipe the stamps with a damp cloth before using a new ink colour.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
Leave a gap between the stripes to add a festive message in your best handwriting. Write in pencil first to make sure you’re happy with it then allow the ink to fully dry before erasing the pencil lines.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
For this card I used the wreath stamp, adding text underneath. I also covered the whole flap of the envelope with tape, which I kind of want to do with all my letters now!

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
If you don’t have the stamp set, why not cut out a motif from paper? I cut this wreath shape out from the paper pad and added my own message in the centre, then glued it on top of the tape.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
You can also decorate larger cards with washi tape stripes! Play around with patterns and combos of tape to create different designs.
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

Layers and Geometric Shapes
Simple shapes look great when working with patterned paper. Mix and match the Christmas papers, and add in scraps of gift wrap or other nice paper from your crafty stash. You’ll find templates for the circles and star I’ve used on the PDF template sheet.
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
To add a strip of paper stretching the whole length of the card, use a ruler to cut a rectangle slightly longer than needed. Glue the paper in place so it overhangs the card at each end and leave the card face down while the glue dries. Once the glue is dry, trim away the excess paper.
For this small card I added a strip of paper down the centre of the card, two contrasting paper circles and a line of metallic gold tape.
For the envelope, I used one of the small stamps and the white ink pad to print a festive pattern – place the envelope on a piece of scrap paper so you can stamp over the edges. You could leave the front undecorated, decorate it after you’ve written the name or address, or stamp the whole envelope then use an address label on top.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
With larger cards you have much more space to play with shapes and colours and really show off all those lovely patterns. You could go super simple or cover the whole card with pattern for a maximalist look.
For this card I added two layers of paper, three large circles, and stamped two rows using the fir tree stamp – as with the envelope, above, I placed the card on a piece of scrap paper when stamping so I could stamp over the edges without getting ink on my desk!
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
This card has the same basic design but it looks very different. I cut a strip of brown paper and used one of the stamps to decorate it. I added two lines of gold tape to the card then stuck the paper on top so the gold tape forms a lovely edging. I then added three circles cut from contrasting paper and finished the card by drawing two rows of scallops with a black pen.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
In the centre of this card I stuck a piece of patterned paper then added a line of tape in the middle and a paper star on top. I used a ruler and a black pen to highlight the central shapes (which I have to admit wasn’t entirely successful as I forgot to test if the pen would write on the tape! Oops). To finish the card I stuck overlapping strips of washi tape.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

Crafty Scraps
As well as using paper, why not make use of some of the scraps left over from your other crafty projects? Felt, fabric, ribbon, buttons, sequins, felt… they can all look great when added to Christmas cards.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
I used paper and washi tape to create the background of this card, then topped it with ricrac and felt. I cut two pieces of green felt to size (trimming the lighter green felt with pinking shears), stitched them together with some metallic silver thread, stitched a piece of pink ricrac on top and stuck the whole lot in place on the card with craft glue.

DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!
Then for these two small cards I used paper and tape for the backgrounds and cut small circles from metallic gold faux leather and red wool felt. I decorated the felt circles with simple embroidery and some gold sequins then stuck all the circles in position with craft glue.
DIY Christmas Card Ideas Tape by Laura Howard!

 

Thanks Laura!

Part Two coming soon…!

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