Monday, 30 June 2014

Eight & Sixteen Projects... June

eands june 14

June is almost over and that means Eight & Sixteen has completed it's first month! Thank you to everyone who has followed the blog, left comments and supported our new venture in any way. We really appreciate it hope you are enjoying the content!

Here's a quick recap of the DIY/craft projects & recipes I've shared over on Eight & Sixteen this month...
If you would like to advertise your craft blog, business or website with us over at Eight & Sixteen please drop us an email - we would love to hear from you!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

DIY Hexagon Keyrings

patchwork hexagon keyrings sewing diy crafts tutorial

A little while ago I discovered that I enjoy making paper pieced hexagons but stopped making them when I realised that I didn't have any project ideas to use them for. In an attempt to think up more projects that would use up my ever-growing pile of fabric scraps I was originally planning on sharing some circular DIY keyrings with you today until it occurred to me that this was the perfect opportunity to make a few hexagons and still use up the scraps! Here's how to make your own...

patchwork hexagon keyrings sewing diy crafts tutorial

You will need: floral/patterned fabric, felt, a small strip of ribbon, three hexagon templates - two 2" and one 3", scissors, erasable pen, a needle & thread, an iron, iron-on hemming web

patchwork hexagon keyrings sewing diy crafts tutorial

1. Fold your piece of floral fabric in half, trace around your large hexagon template using an erasable pen and cut out

2. Lay your first hexagon patterned side down and place one of your small templates in the centre of the fabric

3. Pin through the centre of your template onto the fabric then fold over the edges around the hexagon and loosely stitch in place. There are lots of ways to do this but as I used plastic templates I just stitched over the corners. If you are using paper you can use three large stitches right through - as this tutorial shows

4. Repeat for your second hexagon

patchwork hexagon keyrings sewing diy crafts tutorial

5. Carefully remove your templates and press the fabric hexagons flat with your iron if necessary

6. Take your scrap of felt and one of the smaller templates, trace around it and cut out. You should now have two floral hexagons and one felt one

patchwork hexagon keyrings sewing diy crafts tutorial

7. Now its time to join all of the layers together. Usually it would be best to pin the layers together but because this project is so small I chose to use a little iron-on hemming web to hold the layers in place and keep them from moving around

8. Place your first hexagon (floral side down) onto your ironing board then place on a couple of strips of hemming tape on top followed by your felt hexagon and iron in place. Remember not to iron directly onto any of the hemming web as it will melt and stick onto your iron!

9. Place on your ribbon strip (folded in half to create a loop as shown below) followed by a couple more strips of tape and finally your second floral hexagon (floral side up) and again iron in place

10. The last sewing step is to stitch around the edge of your hexagons joining all of the layers together. There are several ways you can do this, two of which are shown in the examples below. If you would like your stitches not to be visible try a ladder stitch (shown on the left), or if you want to make them more of a feature try a blanket stitch (shown on the right)

11. Finally, thread on your metal keyring and add to your keys!

patchwork hexagon keyrings sewing diy crafts tutorial

If you want to personalise your keyring why not add on your initial? I made this 'E' keyring by cutting a small felt E and stitching it onto the hexagon before joining all of the layers together - these would make great personalised gifts!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - if you enjoy them please subscribe to my blog via Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss any posts! :)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

June Reads & Reviews

june reads cress marissa meyer lauren conrad sweet little lies the 100 society

Cress, Marissa Meyer (2014)
Cress is the third book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series which takes inspiration from classic fairytales and places new versions of their famous characters into a futuristic setting. In the first book we met Cinder (Cinderella), in the second Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood) and in this instalment we are introduced to Cress, Meyer's version of Rapunzel. A hacker trapped alone in space, Cress longs to escape and live a normal life. Her wish is fulfilled when she joins the rest of the gang on their mission to stop the wedding of Prince Kai and the evil Queen Levana.
So far this series has been a little bit of a rollercoaster for me as I wasn't completely sold on Cinder, quite enjoyed Scarlet and overall loved the concept of the series enough to read on. For me Cress was a good little read with some interesting new characters and a whole lot of adventure. Although not one of my all time favourite series I'm looking forward to finding out the conclusion when fourth book Winter is released. Definitely one to pick up if you enjoy modern re-tellings like TV show Once Upon A Time - this might be the series for you! ✯✯✯

This month I also read...
  • Sweet Little Lies, Lauren Conrad (2010) ✯✯
  • Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods, Jeff Lemire (2010) ✯✯
  • The Bunker, Vol. 01*, Joshua Hale Fialkov & Joe Infurnari (2014) ✯
  • The 100 Society*, Carla Spradberry (2014) - review to follow on Blogger's Bookshelf in August
  • Stitch It Simple*, Beth Sheard (2014) - review to follow on Eight & Sixteen in September

Reviews posted this month...
Books marked with a * c/o Netgalley, cover images via Goodreads

What did you read in June?

Sunday, 22 June 2014

DIY Fabric Bows

diy bows 09

There are lots of variations on how to create your own bows and today I'm going to share one of them! You can use these cute little creations to embellish anything you like from hairclips to purses. Here's one way to sew your own...

You will need: a piece of fabric at least 4" x 6" (small/repetitive prints work best for this project), scissors or a rotary cutter & mat, a ruler, sewing machine, iron, a needle & thread or glue gun, a fabric marker

diy bow 1

1. Carefully cut your pieces of fabric - one 4" x 4" square for the main bow shape and one 2.5" x 1.5" rectangle for the middle strip - put the smaller strip aside for later

diy bow 3

2. Fold your square of fabric in half with the printed sides facing each other - you can then pin or iron the fabric in place if you want to

3. Stitch around the three open sides (as shown by the dotted line above), leaving a gap in the centre for turning out

4. Carefully turn the fabric inside out so that the print is now back on the outside. Take a fabric pen and ruler and draw a vertical line down the centre

diy bow 4

5. Accordion fold the centre of your fabric and carefully place under your sewing machine foot

6. Use the line you drew in step 4 as a guide and sew through all of the layers - sew both forwards and backwards a couple of times to make sure everything is secured in place

diy bow 5

7. Next you'll need to create a strip to wrap around the centre. Take your smaller piece of fabric, fold in half with the printed sides facing and stitch along two sides (as shown by the dotted line above)

8. Turn the fabric so the print is back on the outside - this can sometimes be tricky with such small pieces of fabric so if you don't like the look of it alternatively you could use a piece of ribbon or grosgrain to wrap around the centre instead!

diy bow 6

9. Wrap the smaller strip of fabric around the centre of your bow, making sure the end of the strip is on what will be the back of the bow

10. Glue or hand stitch the fabric strip in place around the centre, covering the stitching from step 6, and your bow is complete!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - if you enjoy them please subscribe to my blog via Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss any posts! :)

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

DIY Ear Pins/Ear Sweeps (Part 2)

ear sweeps

ear pins 2

As mentioned in Sunday's DIY post I wanted to share a second part to my ear pins/ear sweeps tutorial, this time showing how to create custom pins to fit around multiple piercings. Here's how I did it...

- To create an ear pin to fit around my piercings I first needed to know how they are spaced out so that I could work around them. To find out I used a strip of washi tape and marked up where my three earrings sit so I could use the tape as a guide when bending the wire

- Unlike in my previous simple version, this time I worked backwards and started by creating the back part of the ear pin first. I then worked along from where the ear pin would sit through my first piercing

- The trick to making sure it would fit was to carefully bend the wire into little semi circle shapes, matching up with where I had initially made the marks on the washi tape. I chose not to add beads to these sections however if you wanted the whole ear pin to be beaded you would just have to adjust the semi circles slightly so that there is enough space for the beads to fit around your earrings

- I also made this ear pin/sweep longer than the first design to show how you can extend them beyond the lobe by bending the wire to fit the curve of your ear creating more of a statement piece!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - use the links below to share your photos with me!

Happy DIY-ing!


Monday, 16 June 2014

Top 5 Reads Of 2014... so far!

Just a quick post today to let you know that whilst Ria is away on her trip to NY (and I'm at home feeling very jealous!) she kindly asked me to fill in for her with a guest post.

As we run Blogger's Bookshelf together for my post I unsurprisingly decided to talk books! Since we are now six months into 2014 I compiled a list of my top 5 favourite reads of the year so far - head on over to Wishing For Chanel to find out which books have made the cut!

Don't forget to follow Ria's blog whilst you're there! :)

Sunday, 15 June 2014

DIY Ear Pins/Ear Sweeps (Part 1)

diy earpins 1

This week's project is one that I'd been hoping to try out for a little while now; ear pins, aka ear sweeps! These cute and clever little earrings give the illusion of multiple lobe piercings without having to commit to the real thing and are a pretty accessory for summer.

After seeing so many beautiful ear pins over on Etsy & Pinterest, and sadly finding that most wouldn't fit my ears, I wanted to have a go at making my own version. As you may know from previous DIY posts I actually have more than one lobe piercing in each ear and therefore this simple 'straight line' style pin doesn't really work for me, however I wanted to share it for those of you who would love to fake the look of multiple piercings.

With that in mind I have also written a second part to this DIY for those who already have multiple piercings. The second post shows how I created another ear pin to custom fit around my existing piercings. Make sure you keep an eye out for that post on Wednesday, but for now here's the step-by-step for these super simple ones...

You will need: wire (preferably sterling silver), seed beads, jewellery pliers (round nose), wire cutters, a file and jewellery glue

Tip! Alternatively use an eyepin or headpin in place of the wire to create your ear pins!

diy earpins 2

1. Cut a short length of wire (approx. 2.5") and create a loop at one end using your pliers

2. Thread on beads until you reach the desired length you wish the ear pin to be

diy earpins 3
diy earpins 4
diy earpins 5
diy earpins 6

3. Take your pliers and bend the wire to a right angle just under where the line of beads ends

4. Leave a small gap and then repeat this step as if you are creating a wire rectangle

5. A little over halfway along the wire use your pliers to make one final bend this time outwards, away from the beads and at a smaller angle

6. Cut off any excess wire and you should be left with something that looks like the photograph above

diy earpins 7
diy earpins 8
diy earpins 9
diy earpins 10

7. Now its time to glue the beads in place. Lift up the last bead you threaded on, add a small amount of jewellery glue to the wire and push the bead back down over it. You can also then add on an extra little blob of glue on the end of the bead if you want to just to make sure it is secure!

8. At the other end of the earring use your wire cutters to trim off the loop you created in step one

9. Remove the final bead, again add on a small amount of glue and place it back onto the wire. Add another small amount of glue onto the end to make sure it is secure and leave it to dry as per the instructions on your glue

diy earpins 11

10. The final step is to gently file down the end of the earring so that it is not sharp, and your ear pin is ready to wear!

diy earpins 12

To wear the ear pins just push the wire end through your lobe piercing as you would with any other earring, then rotate it around so that the row of beads is sitting along the lobe. The plain wire part of the ear pin should sit nicely on the back of your ear and keep it in place!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

New In At Sawyer & Scout - Jewellery

This week I've added a few new bits to the revamped Sawyer & Scout website so today I thought I would share some of the jewellery items with you. Looking back through the archives I apparently haven't done one of these posts since May 2012 (!?) so it's about time I gave you an update! Although I've been concentrating more on sewing recently I have also managed to come up with a few new jewellery designs as well. Here's a little peek at three of my latest creations....

upcycled monopoly bunting necklace

First up are the finished pieces made using the Monopoly bunting flags I shared a sneak peek of in a recent post. The patterns and colours found on the Monopoly notes are perfect for a unique piece of jewellery and I love how each one is completely different. The flags for the Upcycled Monopoly Bunting Necklaces have each been made using notes from a vintage version of the iconic game and I've had a lot of fun making them!

miniature terrarium necklace

Next up is another design I recently shared a sneak peek of. The Miniature Terrarium Necklace came about after I recently created a couple of terrariums for my workspace windowsill. After this I remembered that tucked away in my craft supplies was some dried moss - perfect for creating a wearable 'terrarium in a bottle'. To complete the design I added gemstone chips and a few faux rocks and am really pleased with how they turned out!

watermelon bunting necklace

Finally we have this cute Watermelon Bunting Necklace. A refreshing twist on my other bunting necklace designs this colourful and quirky version was inspired by the summer sunshine! Perhaps I should try out some more 'fruit slice' bunting flag designs?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

10 Books... I've Read Because Of Blogging

Today's short post is all about books, more specifically books I've read because of the blogging community!
The titles featured below are those that, on premise or cover alone, I don't think I would have picked up at a bookshop or library if it hadn't been for online reviews or recommendations from my blogging pals. There are of course many more but today I've picked out ten of the most memorable to share with you and as you would expect some of these 'book gambles' worked out better than others. Here's a star rating rundown of all ten titles...


The 'I really liked it'... 4 star reads
  • The Name Of The Star, Maureen Johnson
  • Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell

The 'I liked it'...  3 star reads
  • Delirium, Lauren Oliver
  • Let It Snow, John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle
  • The Selection, Kiera Cass
  • The Fault In Our Stars, John Green
  • Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

The 'it was okay'... 2 star reads
  • City Of Bones, Cassandra Clare
  • How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff
  • Cinder, Marissa Meyer 

*Cover images via
Are there any books you never would have picked out if it weren't for the blogging community?

Sunday, 8 June 2014

DIY Adjustable Wire Bangles

adjustable bracelet 1

This week's project was inspired by K.L of awesome Youtube channel SecretLifeOfABioNerd who created a video tutorial for similar bangles after being disappointed in the lack of adjustable ones available. As someone with slim wrists who finds it impossible to buy bangles that fit I noted down this idea on my to-do list and today I wanted to share the results!

For the step-by-step I'm going to show you how to create the simple version of the bangle shown on the left of the picture above, but you can also easily create a more embellished bracelet like the one on the right. I have included a short section with more information on the embellished design at the end of the post!

To make your own adjustable bangles you will need: wire, beads, jewellery pliers, wire cutters
Optional: additional beads, headpins, charms, jump rings

Tip! Make sure you choose beads that will easily thread onto the size of wire you have chosen, you don't want to find that the holes in the beads are too small to thread onto the wire!

adjustable bracelet 2

1. Start by measuring around your wrist to determine what size the bangle should be. Cut a length of wire that is approx. one and a half times the size

2. Take one end of the wire and use your pliers to bend it into a right angle. Then use pliers to turn the end into a loop which locks around the main circle of wire - remember not to make the loop to tight otherwise you won't be able to slide the wire through it to adjust the bracelet

adjustable bracelet 3

3. Thread beads onto the short section of wire - you can add as many or as few as you like!

4. Repeat step two with the other end of wire, again creating a loop around the main circle of wire and your basic beaded adjustable bangle is finished!

adjustable bracelet 4

Embellished version
  • For this example I threaded on additional beads before creating the first loop so that there would be decoration all of the way around the bangle not just on one side
  • I added on two leaf charms using small jump rings which can easily be opened/closed using jewellery pliers
  • Finally I created my own charms using some extra beads, including those that may not have been the correct size to thread onto the wire. To do this simply thread your bead onto a headpin and then use pliers to create a hanging loop

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Handmade Marketplace (2nd Edition)

*Review copy c/o Netgalley, image via Goodreads

handmade marketplace
Find it on Goodreads

The Handmade Marketplace (2nd Edition) is an informative and inspiring book all about selling your own crafts and handmade goods. The book is well thought out with the chapters following topics in an appropriate order for those starting out on a new business venture.

Amongst the chapters is advice on topics such as branding, pricing, working with others, hiring help, dealing with customers and marketing techniques (including blogging). The book also talks about how to find inspiration for your work and how you can turn your ideas into a reality that could become your source of income. Scattered in between these sections are profiles on successful small businesses and quotes from fellow crafters sharing tips and advice based on their own experiences - The Handmade Marketplace certainly stresses the importance of community and working with others to improve your own skills.

If you are just starting your own craft business, or are considering the idea, this would be a great title to pick up for tips on how to get set up. This book is not just for beginners though - as someone who has been selling handmade online for a few years I feel that there is always more to learn and I definitely found some great tips within The Handmade Marketplace! The addition of advice from successful sellers was particularly interesting to read as they provided a real insight into the reality of selling handmade.

Information aside, the book is laid out is an easy to read format with a pleasant colour scheme and overall nice appearance perfect for a reference book.

The only real downside for me was one that unfortunately couldn’t be helped. As the author is based in the US for some topics such as self-employment and taxes she is only able to provide information relevant to that area of the world. Of course, this is totally understandable as it would be impossible to include information for every country where someone might read the book (!) but this small section of information didn’t apply to me as a UK resident so I skipped over it. Having said that this small detail shouldn’t put you off of picking up this useful title and I would still recommend this book if you sell, or want to sell, handmade wherever you are based.



Tuesday, 3 June 2014

New Blog - Eight & Sixteen!


Over the last month or so I've been working away on an exciting project... a new collaborative blog named Eight & Sixteen!

Eight & Sixteen is a DIY & Craft blog created by myself and the lovely Skye of even artichokes have hearts, and will feature tutorials, recipes, challenges and other crafty things. As well as our own projects we are looking to create a little community where our readers can share their ideas and creations too. So, if you enjoy being creative we'd love to see you over there :)

If you want to find out more about Eight & Sixteen you can read our introductory post which went up yesterday and follow us via Bloglovin' as well as our social media accounts - Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest

Sunday, 1 June 2014

DIY Fabric Bracelets (Adventure Time Print)

diy fabric bracelet adventure time 1

Today's project is another great one for using up fabric scraps, particularly long thin strips. With just a few supplies you can turn them into these cute bracelets that would make a great gift. For this tutorial I've used a cute and colourful Adventure Time print ribbon but you could choose any design you like!

You will need: a small strip of fabric, a printed ribbon (find Adventure Time ribbon here), a small strip of lightweight interfacing, a sewing machine, a tape measure, an iron, a clasp, jump rings, ribbon crimps (the same width as your ribbon), scissors, clear nail polish, pliers, pins

diy fabric bracelet adventure time 2

1. Measure around your wrist or a bracelet that fits you well to determine the length of fabric you will need to cut. For the width remember that it needs to be wider than your chosen ribbon, so a good way to work out what width you need is to just double that of the ribbon.
Example: the Adventure Time ribbon I used measures 2.5cm wide so I cut my fabric strip approx. 5cm wide

2. Fold over the edges of the fabric and press flat with an iron. You don't have to be completely precise with the measurements here however you do want the main strip of fabric to be slightly wider than you ribbon so that you get a slight border. To make sure it is wide enough make sure that when you fold the edges over they do not meet in the middle

Example: I folded over around 1cm on each side leaving the fabric strip measuring 3cm wide (meaning it was still 0.5cm wider than my ribbon)

3. Cut a strip of iron on interfacing and tuck it inside the fabric, under the folds you just created and iron in place. If you have any scraps of interfacing these work perfectly for this project!

diy fabric bracelet adventure time 3

4. Cut a length of your ribbon the same length as the fabric strip, again using the measurement of your wrist

5. Add a dab of clear nail polish, glue or something similar to the ends of the ribbon to stop it fraying

diy fabric bracelet adventure time 4

6. Pin the ribbon onto the centre of the side of your fabric strip where you folded over the edges

7. Sew the ribbon onto the fabric using a simple running stitch on your sewing machine.

As this ribbon design has a border I used this as a guide to stitch a straight line however if your ribbon design does not have a border and you aren't confident with sewing you can always use an erasable fabric marker and ruler to draw on a guide line

8. Use jewellery pliers to attach on a ribbon crimp to each end of the bracelet, then add on a clasp and your bracelet is ready to wear!

Happy DIY-ing!

diy fabric bracelet adventure time 5
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