Tag Archives | laura howard

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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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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A Year of Wreaths: January Rainbow Wreath by Laura Howard

We’re practically giddy about our new blog series with Laura Howard: A Year of Wreaths! I dreamed up the idea while sadly putting away our Christmas wreath and wishing I had something new to put up – but it’s not super common to put up a wreath in January. And why not? Wreaths are the best! And Laura’s ideas are so much fun. This happy wreath now hangs proudly on our shop door.

Read on for her January tutorial and if you’d like to take a class with Laura at our West Hampstead shop, you can sign up for her Felt Weather Mobile class on 28 January! Take it away, Laura!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Every month this year I’ll be sharing a tutorial for making a seasonal wreath. First up: a bright and cheerful rainbow wreath to banish the January blues!

These happy colours are perfect for brightening up dull winter days and I’ve added a bit of sparkle too. All the supplies you’ll need are available from The Village Haberdashery – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the January wreath kit.

You will need:
The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in seven rainbow colours: Red, Hallows Eve, Banana Cream, Chartreuse, Blue Bayou, Wisteria and Cotton Candy
*Black and White wool blend felt
*Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread #41
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors
*Sewing needles and pins
*Glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: a piece of string or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath

To make the wreath:
1. Use the templates provided to cut out 7 small felt circles (one of each rainbow colour), 7 large black felt circles and 7 white felt letters spelling out the word “welcome”.

Tip: embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out small felt shapes!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

2. One by one, sew each small circle to a backing large circle. Use Gutermann Metallic Effect thread and whip stitch, keeping your stitches as even as possible.

Tip: this metallic thread is easy to sew with, but I’d recommend cutting a shorter length of thread than you’d usually work with to make sure it doesn’t tangle.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
3. Add one letter to each circle in colour order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink. Use more of the metallic thread to sew each letter in place, sewing around the inside of the letters with backstitch as shown.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

4. Use the templates provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath. Cut 4 standard strips and 1 wide strip from red felt. Then cut 5 standard strips from each of the other 6 rainbow colours.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
5. Beginning with the wide red strip, position the felt pieces on top of the wreath base as shown. Add the pieces in colour order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink), overlapping them slightly so that none of the polystyrene ring base will show through at the edges of the wreath.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
6. When you’ve added all the pieces and are happy with the arrangement, insert pins to hold the felt in position.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
7. Turn the wreath over. One by one, wrap the felt pieces around the wreath and pin the ends in place.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
The back of your wreath will now look something like this:

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
8. Use a glue gun to secure the ends of the felt at the back of the wreath. Work on one piece of felt at a time, removing the pin(s) holding it in place and folding the felt back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base, then very carefully press the felt down into position,.

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.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
9. Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and remove the pins from the front. The front of your wreath will now look something like this:

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
10. Arrange the felt circles on the wreath as shown, spelling out the word “welcome”. The edges of the circles should touch but not overlap each other. When you’re happy with the layout, pin the circles in place.

Tip: position the circles so they help hide the join where you started and finished wrapping the wreath.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
11. Use the glue gun to attach the circles to the wreath. One by one, remove a pin and set aside a circle. Add two or three dabs of glue on the wreath then carefully press the circle back in place. Make sure to keep the letters neatly aligned as you glue them in place!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
12. If needed, cut a length of string or co-ordinating ribbon and knot it securely around the top of the wreath. Use this to hang the wreath in your chosen spot.

january-felt-rainbow-wreath-tutorial-18

 

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Tutorial! Felt Christmas Baubles by Laura Howard

We’re thrilled that Laura Howard is back with a tutorial for her lovely vintage-style felt Christmas baubles! Read on for the tutorial and if you’d like to take one of Laura’s classes you can find them here.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Sew a set of felt ornaments for your Christmas tree or to give as gifts this season! These decorations were inspired by pretty vintage glass baubles and are so much fun to sew.

Make them in classic red and greens, retro pink, turquoise and lilac, or any colour combo that takes your fancy. Mix and match the colours across the set, and decorate them with co-ordinating embroidery thread, ribbons and trims, plus sequins and beads to add some festive sparkle. You could also use things like mini buttons and mini pompoms, or even strips of festive fabric cut with pinking shears.

You will need:

The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)

*Three co-ordinating shades of wool felt for the baubles
*Light grey felt for the bauble caps
*Sewing thread to match all the felt colours
*Embroidery thread in co-ordinating colours
*Narrow ribbon for hanging the baubles (approx. 7 inches per bauble)
*Assorted co-ordinating ribbons, ric-rac, sequins and seed beads for decorating the baubles
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out small shapes!)
*Sewing needles and pins
*Optional: air erasable fabric marker, a ruler, toy stuffing, and pinking shears

To make each bauble:

  1. Use the templates provided to cut two matching bauble pieces from your chosen shade of felt, and two cap pieces from light grey felt. Pin or hold the paper templates onto the felt as you cut around them.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Use pinking shears to cut a contrasting strip of felt to sit in the middle of the bauble. You can cut this by eye, or use a ruler and an air erasable fabric marker to draw guide lines to cut along. You can make this felt strip as wide or narrow as you like, but it must be long enough to overhang each side of the bauble as shown.

Don’t have a pair of pinking shears? Just cut a straight edge with your sewing scissors instead.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Pin the felt strip to one of the bauble pieces and trim it to size. Using running stitch and matching sewing thread sew along the top and bottom edge, then remove the pin.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Now comes the fun part: decorating the bauble! You can use the photos in this post as inspiration, or get creative and come up with your own bauble designs. The basic design principle to follow is to add the embellishments in rows, keeping things as symmetrical as possible.

  1. Start by adding ribbon and/or ric-rac. To add each piece, cut a length slightly wider than the bauble (so it overhangs the edges by 1-2 cm at each side). Pin or hold the ribbon/ric-rac in place and sew along it with matching sewing thread. You can use running stitch, or sew tiny whip stitches along the edges. Fold the ends of the ribbon / ric-rac over and secure it at the back of the bauble shape with a few whip stitches, sewing into the felt but not through it.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

You could add one piece of ribbon or add several pieces (as shown above). Create contrast and detail by sewing a narrow ribbon on top of a wider one, or by sewing a piece of ric-rac onto a second strip of contrasting felt (add this felt strip using the same method as in steps 2 and 3, but without the pinked edges).

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Next, add some embroidery. Use co-ordinating embroidery thread, separate half the strands (so for six-stranded embroidery thread, just use three strands at a time) and switch to a larger sewing needle if necessary.

If you’re an embroidery whizz you can add any stitches you fancy. I decorated my baubles with lines of running stitch and simple patterns of Xs and Vs, each sewn from pairs of stitches.

To help keep your designs symmetrical, sew outwards from the centre of each row then fill in the second half with the same number of stitches.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard
Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Tip: If you have trouble keeping your stitched lines straight, use an air-erasable marker and a ruler to mark guide lines to sew along.

  1. To finish the decoration, add a selection of sequins and small beads. Use matching sewing thread to sew each embellishment in place – I used thread to match the felt / ribbon I was sewing onto, but you could match your thread to the embellishments themselves if you prefer.

Sew each seed bead with a double thickness of thread, using one stitch per bead. Secure each sequin with two or three stitches, depending on the size and shape of your chosen sequins. I used two stitches for the round sequins, and three for the stars.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Turn over the undecorated bauble piece. Position the two cap pieces on the top of the bauble pieces (which will become the front and back of the bauble) and sew them in place with two stitches each: one between each scallop.

You’ll see that the cap pieces are larger than the cap shape on the top of the bauble – this is so that when you sew the grey felt caps together the bright felt of the bauble tops will be completely hidden inside the grey caps.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Turn the back bauble piece over again, and add a ribbon loop to the top. Cut a length of narrow ribbon about 7 inches long, fold it in half to form a loop and sew the ends in place with whip stitch and matching sewing thread. Take care to sew into the felt, not through it.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Place the two layers of the bauble together and begin joining the edges. Start with the cap, sewing around it with whip stitch and matching grey sewing thread.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

If you want to stuff the baubles, add a very small piece of toy stuffing to the cap.

Then start sewing around the edge of the bauble, using whip stitch and matching sewing thread. If you’re leaving the bauble unstuffed, sew all the way round the bauble and finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

If you’re adding stuffing, sew most of the way round then stuff the bauble evenly with small pieces of toy stuffing and sew up the gap.

Tip: When sewing the long bauble, I’d recommend stuffing it gradually as you sew up the second side.

 

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

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