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FREE tutorial: Upholster a sweet tin to make a foot stool!

Posted on December 10, 2015 by The Makery | 0 comments
 sweet tin upholstered foot stool make your own diy
This is one of my favourite projects, and it's the best use excuse to buy a Christmas tin of sweets!
make your own foot stool
Here's what you need:

Sweet tin (or biscuit tin)
Fabric: 50cm x 110cm
Bias binding: 1m  
Piping cord: 1m  
Wadding: 50cm x 1m
Toy stuffing: approx 50g 
Newspaper or large sheet of paper
Pins & Needle
Sewing machine with zipper foot
And here's how you do it!
1. First make the bottom pattern piece: Place your tin on top of the paper, draw around the tin and cut out to make the bottom pattern piece.
2.  Make another copy of your pattern, this time leaving a 1cm margin all round the edge. This will make the top pattern piece.
3. Measure around the side of the tin to find the circumference, and measure the height of the tin.
4. Mark a rectangle on your fabric that measures the circumference plus 5cm x the height plus 5cm. Cut out this side strip.  
5. Lay the bottom and top pattern pieces on the remaining fabric. Pin in place and cut out.
6. Mark a rectangle on your wadding that measures the exact height x the exact circumference of the tin, and cut out. 
7. Fold the remaining wadding in half and pin the bottom pattern piece onto it. Cut out, so that you have two wadding pieces. 
8. Cut a piece of piping cord to the length of the circumference of the tin plus 6cm. Cut a piece of bias binding to the same length. 
9. Open the bias binding out flat. Place the piping cord in the centre on the wrong side, and fold the bias binding in half over it. Pin together to hold the cord firmly in place. Attach the zipper foot to your sewing machine and machine stitch down the length of the bias binding, close to the piping cord. 
10. Lay the top fabric piece right-side up and pin the bias-covered piping all around it, matching all the raw edges together. Overlap the piping at the start and finish.  
11. With the zipper foot still attached, sew all the way
around  the edge on the flat bias binding, close to the piping cord, to attach the piping to the fabric. Begin sewing 3cm in from where the piping overlaps and finish 3cm the other side of the overlap. 
12. Trim the ends of the piping cord so they butt up against
each other. Trim the bias so it overlaps by 1cm, then fold over the piping cord. Pin in place and stitch the gap closed.
13. Take the side strip of fabric and, with right sides together, pin it around the edge of the fabric top piece, matching up the raw edges. The bias-covered piping will be sandwiched in between.  
14. Using the zipper foot, stitch all the layers together, close to the piping. Leave the first 1cm of the side strip free, and stop stitching when you reach the point where you began. 
15. Stretch the long piece of side wadding around the side edge of the tin. It should be a taut fit. Hand-sew the ends together. 
16. Place the wadding top piece on top of the tin and sew the side wadding to the top wadding, all the way round the edge. 
17. Turn the tin over; place the wadding bottom on the base of the tin and sew this tightly in place, too, to encapsulate your tin with wadding!
18. Put the stuffing on to the wadding top, spreading it out roughly – don’t worry if it looks like a lot, as it will be compacted in a moment. 
19. Take the fabric cover, turn it right-side out and pull it down over your padded tin, catching the stuffing inside. 
20. Hand sew the ends of the side fabric piece together, pulling tight (it’s really important you get a tight fit).
21. Turn the tin upside down. Working your way around the tin, pull the raw edges tightly up over the bottom and pin to the wadding base. Go round several times, pulling and re-pinning, until you have stretched the fabric as taut as it will go. (Just think how much use this foot stool will get – you don’t want the fabric to go baggy.) 
22. When you’re happy with the stretch, hand sew the fabric to the wadding base with a few large stitches, just to hold it in place. 
23. Take the bottom fabric piece, turn over a 1cm hem to the wrong side of the fabric all the way around and iron in place. Place the bottom fabric piece on the base to hide all the raw edges. This will leave a 1cm  gap all the way around the edge. Stitch in place.  
This project and many others is in my second book 'Makery: Sewing'. It's a collection of lots of sewing projects including our infamous Flying Ducks, a Clasp Purse, PJ Bottoms and lots more! 

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DIY Light-Up Letters Made Easy!

Posted on November 24, 2015 by The Makery | 0 comments

Oh my, have you seen our lovely new light-up letters?! They are seriously so much fun to craft with, we're all hooked.
They're perfect for special occasion gifts such as weddings, birthdays and newborn babies or even a gift to yourself to spell out a name, initials or anything you like! 

decorated light up letters

Each letter comes with the lights and a template so you can decorate your letter if you like!
You can keep the letters white or go crazy with colour by painting them, using glitter, covering them with washi tape or using paper. We've played with wallpaper, glitter paper, wrapping paper etc. But you could use anything! There are also stars and ampersands to choose from, so the options are endless!

Glitter paper arrow Ingredients to decorate light up letters

It's so simple - you cut around the template onto your paper, then poke the bulbs through to hold everything in place. 

Watch this space for a video of how we personalised our Light Up Letters to inspire you! In the meantime, have a look at our collection and see what you can spell out with these beauties!

example of how to decorate light up letters

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Farrow & Ball Paint Workshops at The Makery

Posted on November 17, 2015 by The Makery | 0 comments

We love Farrow & Ball! Not only is our front door painted in their gorgeous 'Babouche', but we painted our way through their tester pots in decorating our rainbow stairs!

Painted rainbow stairs

We also use Farrow & Ball in all our painting workshops. In our Shabby chic workshop you'll learn how to give tired furniture a new lease of life working through a range of techniques including painting, colour-washing, distressing, decorating and varnishing.shabby chic painting workshop furniture revamp

And our Print your own wallpaper workshop provides a fantastic alternative to buying off the shelf wallpaper, and can do wonders to unloved fabrics and wonky walls. 

print your own fabric workshop painted roller workshop

And at Christmas, we've even been known to print our own wrapping paper! 


print your own wrapping paper

These workshops could make the perfect Christmas present idea for a DIY enthusiast, someone who loves to get crafty or simply as a treat for yourself if you’re thinking of revamping your home!

See all of our workshops online: Workshops at The Makery 

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Come to our US fabric swap!

Posted on August 19, 2015 by The Makery | 0 comments

If you're fabric mad you're going to love our free Fabric Swap we're hosting at The Makery in Bath.

The drop-in event is organised by American crafty divas Kelli and TJ, who are visiting our beautiful city in September. They are bringing with them a whole host of fabric stash and would like to meet some like-minded crafty folk for a swap shop!

Fabric Swap's are HUGE in the US so this is a great chance to bundle up some of your unused stash (clean and pressed please) and bring them along to swap with other beautiful bundles that might take your fancy. 

We love TJ's beautifully tied Halloween bundle

To take part all you need to do is choose from the following themes, Halloween, Christmas or if you prefer, a general selection. Just bundle them up and tie something round them like ribbon or twine to keep them together. 

1. Three fat eighths - Halloween
2. Three fat eighths - Christmas
3. Three fat eighths - Whatever you like!

*NB: A Fat Eighth = 25cm x 55cm

Kelli has her bundles all ready to pack!

Then drop in between 11am - 1pm on the day, bringing your fabrics with you. We'll have some tasty treats for you to munch on whilst chatting craft and swapping your fabrics!

If you are reluctant to part with your stash feel free to purchase some fun new fabrics in The Makery when you come in.

PLUS Swappers get 10% OFF in our shop on the day!

Book in today!

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Tutorial: how to crochet a tek-tek yarn basket

Posted on July 17, 2015 by The Makery | 0 comments

Lately we've been obsessing over a wonderful new product called tek-tek we've just started stocking in The Makery shop. 

Available in a wide range of colours and designs the material yarn is perfect for chunky crochet, knitting and macramé and is made from the waste products of fast fashion factories in Europe. So not only is it soft, lovely, durable and perfect for all your projects but it's good for Mother Nature too!

Here is a brilliant tek-tek crochet tutorial by The Makery's Emma to show you how to make your own crochet storage baskets.

Emma says: "The great thing about this yarn is that it's perfect for learning to crochet with as it works up so quickly and easily, you'll be hooked before you know it! (excuse the pun!)".

To make a small pen pot size basket you will need: 

  • tek-tek yarn
  • crochet hook
  • small scissors
  • plastic needle


First take your yarn, and leaving a tail of a 5cm. Wrap it twice around two fingers on your left hand.  Then hold the circle in your left hand and holding your hook in your right hand, pull the yarn through the circle so there is a loop on your hook.  Then do the same again, looping yarn over your hook but this time do not pull it into the circle, draw it through the loop which is on your hook.  You should now have one loop on your hook stemming from a stitch which has a base wrapped around the yarn circle. This is a base stitch and doesn't count as your first stitch.


Round 1: With your base loop on your hook, insert your hook back through the circle, yarn over hook and pull through a new loop onto your hook (two loops on hook), yarn over hook again and pull this loop through both loops on your hook.  This is your first stitch, known as a double crochet (DC).  Work 8 double crochet (8DC) in this manner around your circle.  


To crochet like this in a round is called a "magic circle". When you have completed all your stitches on the round, pull tightly on the tail that you left at the beginning to tighten the circle as small as it can go. Magic!


To finish this round, work a slip stitch into your first stitch in the circle to join it up neatly.  A slip stitch is simply inserting the hook into the next stitch as you would for a DC and pulling the yarn through both loops on your hook at once.  This is the end of round 1.



Round 2: With one loop remaining on your hook, insert the hook into the top of your first stitch in your magic circle.  From this point work 2 double crochet (2DC) into each stitch (insert the hook into the top of the next stitch, yarn over hook and pull through the top of the stitch you are working on (two loops on hook) yarn over hook and pull through both loops (one loop on hook). You should have 16 stitches by the end of this round and your circle will be beginning to grow as the base of your basket begins to take shape.  Slip stitch to finish the round.  

To make crocheting easier and to give you an even tension it can be helpful to hold the yarn as shown above.  Wrap it round your little finger, under your ring finger and over your middle and index fingers.  It may feel strange at first but you should find that it can help you crochet very quickly and evenly holding it this way.


Round 3: To keep on increasing the size of the base but at the same time keeping it nice and flat rather than to stuffed and over worked, work 2 double crochet (2DC) into every other stitch, 1 double crochet (1DC) in between for this round.  You can see from the picture above that the last round is not so "full" as the first two. Finish with a slip stitch. 

* If you're wanting to make a bigger basket, this technique is one you can use to keep gently increasing the size of your base.  Each round that you work increase the gaps between the 2DCs with more 1DCs, and every other round have a simple round just working in 1DCs.*


Round 4: 1 double crochet (1DC) into each stitch, finish with a slip stitch.  This is the last round of the base.



Round 5: Turn your basket base to the wrong side and note how on the back of each stitch there is a loop.  See the above pictures for some close ups of what you are looking for!



1 double crochet (1DC) into the back of each stitch and the loop immediately behind it. This will create the bottom edge of your basket. 



Round 6: 1 double crochet (1DC) into each stitch. Continue in this way for 7 rounds and watch your basket grow! 


Last Round: Slip stitch around the top edge to create a nice finish for the basket. 


Finishing Off: When you have worked a slip stitch around the top of your basket, cut your yarn with about a 5cm tail. Using the plastic needle, sew in the ends at the top and base of your basket.  Snip off the excess, et voila! You have made yourself a lovely basket!

Tips:  I recommend using a 7, 8, 9 or 10mm crochet hook for tek-tek yarn, matching the hook to the size of the yarn.  Generally tek-tek recommend using a size 10 crochet hook with their yarns; this is totally fine but playing around with the different sizes of hooks can give a different outcome to the flexibility or rigidity of your basket, and as a recycled product there is naturally some variation in the thickness of tek-tek yarns across the board.

If you're crocheting using natural fibre yarns then a bamboo hook would be best as this creates a lovely tension and carries natural fibres beautifully but when using yarns such as t-shirt yarns like tek-tek or even cut up plastic bags, then a metal or plastic hook will be best and easiest on your wrist!

Don't forget to share your creations on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tagging us and using our hashtag #makerymakes. We can't wait to see all your makes! 

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