raori

living handmade


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Gold and silver garland from cake box paper

bar garland

Sometimes we have relatives coming over, and they always bring cakes. Inside the boxes they bring from the bakery are of course the creamy pastries topped with all kinds of jellied fruit, marzipan or Belgian chocolate, but it is what you find in the bottom of the box that interests me: a thick paper with one side gold, one side silver. All you need to do is: wash it up, cut small triangles and stitch them together on the sewing machine (or by hand) into this pretty little bunting!


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Cardboard TV – why not?

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We cancelled our TV subscription a few years ago. We we’re just fed up with the constant stream of never-ending advertising and brainless TV-shows, so we stopped. Especially concerning our kids: when a movie is finished you can turn it off and do something else, but on a tv-channel, there are no breaks. Ever. We thought we would miss having a TV, but weirdly enough, we don’t. Instead of watching TV at night, we found ourselves with a lot of free time to do what we love, create. And the kids use their imagination much more.

However, we are still really in to video games and movies, so the TV stayed on for that reason. We always wanted to do something fun and creative to our old TV-set, so last week, my clever husband finally figured out what to do with it. The result is an original TV made out of cardboard, with matching cardboard speakers. I love the way it looks!


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DIY – Dip dyed fireplace basket

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Isn’t this nice? I’m crazy about dip dyed stuff at the moment, so when my fireplace basket needed an update, I bought some spray paint, some masking tape and got to work. Just tape where you want the color to end, put the basket upside down on some newspaper outside and spray away! This could be such a pretty decoration for a wedding, to store gifts or confetti. Or perhaps you could use it in the garden or as a pretty basket to take along to the Farmer’s market. OR imagine how great it could look on one of those beach bags… endless opportunities…

 


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DIY – Memo board and washi-tape clothes pins

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It was a rainy stay-in-bed Saturday morning, a few years ago. I had just returned from the kitchen, ready to serve my little family breakfast in bed, when I  tripped and managed to tip over, not just the breakfast tray fell to the floor, but also the huge mirror that was leaning against the wall… No! Seven years of misery! Lucky for me, I don’t believe in superstitious nonsense, however a waste of a perfectly good mirror, darn. The frame has been standing since then in our garage, waiting to be fixed. Last week I finally figured out what to do with it!

 

How I made it:

After several years in a humid garage, I decided to roughly paint it white, to cover the humidity stains. I added metal string between two screws at the top back for hanging. I added some metal string that I attached between evenly divided nails vertically and finally hung it up. It’s really great as a board in our bedroom and with the washi tape clothes pins I made to match the frame, I can pin/hang some jewellery, pretty pictures and my favourite art, drawings made by my daughter. The picture hanging there at the moment is a portrait of me and my man. I love how realistic she made his messy wild hair! The fab broken mirror earrings are made by my friend JustineJustine. I thought it fitted the occasion 😉

 

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DIY – All natural heating pad

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Did you know that heating pads are CRAZY easy to make by yourself? You can do them in any size you want and using any scraps of fabric you might have lying around, even old and broken clothes, which is why this project is perfect for recycling. You could also make very small ones for you children and have them decorate them with textile pens. Any kid will love a warm little bag on their bellies before bed time, especially if they helped making it.

Here is my version of a microwaveable rice (sweet lavender-smelling) heating pad that you can use for your neck, belly, leg or head! Or just to cuddle with 😉 Heat it up by putting it in the microwave oven for about 5 min on full speed.

 

 

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What you’ll need:

 

* Cotton or linen fabric (if you use anything else, it might melt!)
* 1 kg – 2,2 pounds- of any kind of rice from the supermarket
* matching thread
* sewing machine
* scissors
* lavender oil (optional)

 

 

How to do it:

 

1. Iron your chosen fabric. Cut out as much as you need, following the grain line of the fabric. A good size to start with could be 20×40 cm (7″8 x 15″7).

 

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2. Fold the fabric right side to right side and pin the edges. Leave an opening of about 10 cm (4″) on the short side. (I always mark out my openings with double pins so that I don’t miss them 😉 )

 

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3. Stitch around (remember to leave the opening open!) with normal straight seam, about 1 cm from the edge. Zig zag the edges. (again, not on the opening!)

 

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4. Get help from someone to fill the pad with rice (my daughter is always my extra hand!). A good trick is to “hook hold” the opening with your fingers and then carefully pour in about one kilogram of rice (2,2 pounds). If you want to add lavender oil, now is a good time to do it. A few drops will be enough. Drop the oil into the rice, close the opening with your hand and shake so that the rice will mix with the oil.

 

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5. Close the opening: Fold down the seam allowings of the opening with an iron or with your fingers and pin the edge nice and neat. Stitch on top of the pad, from the right side with a normal straight seam, about 3-5 mm (0,2″) from the edge.
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Finished! Now you can go and warm up that aching belly of yours. Good luck!


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Lace heaven in a basement

 

 

I found a treasure the other day! I was given the opportunity to go through a basement full of old lace, night gowns and table cloths from the 50s and 60s… The least to say is that I was in paradise!

My favorite find was a beautiful shear night gown, but the sad thing with night-gowns are this: to use the gown as a dress is almost impossible as it really is a night gown and however we style it, it’s hard to get away from “the pajama-look”. So my second thought was to sleep in it … But it’s too pretty to sleep in! And such a waste only to show it to my family. The truth is that lace-loving freaks certainly feel gorgeous sleeping in grandma’s old vintage dress, it is indeed romantic and beautiful, but definitely not sexy in any way ….

So I was left with one scary choice: to cut this beautiful piece in two and make something wearable out of it. And so it was that I got my sexy open back lace top (will look stunning with boyfriend jeans) and my daughter a gorgeous lace skirt with a silk belt.


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DIY – Moon pillow

 

I can look at the moon forever. I love the surface: how it’s been beaten up and scared over time … it’s a great pattern to duplicate as a print on fabric: all you need is something round to print with, a plain pillow case and some white textile color.

 

What you’ll need:

– a plain pillow case in a darker color (brown, black, blue, dark grey – all will do well as the night sky)

– fillings ( I always use left overs from my fabric waste basket, see this post: http://raori.blogspot.be/2013/06/storage-inspiration-in-my-studio.html

– White screen print color

– a plastic lid to print with (I used an 8 cm wide lid for a toilet cleaning flask!)

– thick paper or cardboard (to help avoid the color going through to the other side)

 

How to do it:

1. Start by ironing your fabric / pillow case.

2. Put the paper/ cardboard inside the case, lay down your project on a working surface and make sure the whole thing is lying flat.

3. Decide your pattern: diagonally, next to each other, in rows … you can use a fabric chalk or marker to guide you when printing if you don’t want to “eye it”.

4. Most of the time, textile print color comes in a small and handy bucket. If it doesn’t, pour some color out on a plate or in a small bowl and start printing by dipping your plastic lid in the color, try to get the color surface as un-even as possible – lumps and thicker areas will form “the craters” of the moon. Alternatively, you can put something un-even inside, like that when you print, the color will not print the entire area and leave some parts of your moons un-printed. Just make sure the fabric is without pleats- the moon is certainly not striped, which will happen if your fabric is folded.

5. Put your project away to let it dry for a while, 4-5 hours should do it.

6. Fabric color is washable unless ironed, so make your color permanent by ironing it all over as hot as possible. Avoid steam.

7. Once dried and ironed, start filling the pillow with all your old socks (washed) and cut to pieces, your fabric left overs, your old threads, your overlocked cut-aways etc. Or you can just buy fillings (the one that looks like synthetic cotton) in any fabric store.

 

To make your own pillow case, please follow this simple guide.