My Creative Space … no-sew applique

On Christmas Day when I saw the gorgeous little top (below) that my clever sister in law made for her one year old daughter, I loved it!  The words certainly suit my little niece!   

What impressed me the most was the no-sew aspect.  I thought that maybe without sewing that it would easily come away or fray, but she showed me one that she’d made months ago and had been through many wears and washes and it looked just the same!  I’ve always been a little daunted by the technique of applique – seemed far too time consuming and fiddly –  imagine sewing around all of those small letters!  Needless to say, I was inspired and of course I just had to have a go! 

On New Years Day we attended a fourth birthday party of a lovely little friend which seemed like the perfect time to try out the no-sew applique for her gift.  I didn’t have any t-shirts on hand, but I had some bags left over from when we did our apple printing.

With the help of my trusty four year old designer, we really enjoyed the process and couldn’t stop with one.  They were so quick and easy, we may now be slightly addicted!   My box of fabric scraps is of epic proportions, so I’m always glad to find a way to use them up! 

I followed her instructions and just typed the words into my computer and reversed them.  Then I printed them out and stuck them onto some paper-backed fusible webbing.  The same stuff that I use for my fabric covered cards.  Then I ironed them on to scraps of fabric and cut around them with my fabric scissors, peeled off the backing and ironed them very securely on to the bag.

For the images, I just googled free applique images and found some great ones!  The ballerina and deer image came from here. I then followed the same process as I did with the letters.

A year ago, I put together a series of posts under the heading of ‘Simple Handmade Gifts for Girls‘…. I’ll be adding this post to the list.  Have a squiz if you are interested in finding some quick and easy last minute handmade gift ideas for girls and if you have any ideas to add to the series – do let me know!

Joining in, belatedly, with a whole bunch of clever ladies over at my creative space.  


Christmas cards finally written & sent.  

This year, I used the same card making method as last year.  Ironing fabric onto card.  Simple, yet stylish I think.  Do you do Christmas cards?  
This year I did a big run and made 50.  I sold most of them at a fundraising market at my friends kids school, which left just enough for me to use myself.  I tend to only send to those who I don’t see regularly and live interstate & overseas and then use a few more to add to a Christmas gift or two.
If you’d like to give this method a try, this is what I do…

1.  Fold a piece of card* in half.  

2.  Round the corners with the corner punch if you’d like, or just leave it.  Up to you.

3.  Trace around your card using a pen onto Vliesofix giving a border of less than half a cm.  You’ll only need to cover the front of the card, with a few cm overhang on the back of the card.

4.  Cut around your pen mark giving about a centimetre border.

5. Place the Vliesofix onto the wrong side of your fabric, paper side up.  (wrong side to rough side) 

6. Glide iron evenly across the paper side of fabric for approx 10 secs. (longer for thicker fabric) so that they stick together.  Use a dry iron on a low heat setting.

7. Cut fabric to size, along the outlines of the Vliesofix.

8. Allow a bit of time to cool before peeling off paper carefully.

9. Place the folded card on top of the fabric, wrong side of fabric up.  You’ll be able to see the pen marks now ironed on to your fabric so line the card up inside the pen lines.

10. Keeping your card closed, iron the fabric onto the card.  Start by lifting the small bit of fabric over the back and ironing that on first, then turning the card over and doing the front of the card.  Always iron on fabric, never on card.  Make sure it is a dry iron with a low heat setting or the card will warp.

11.  Let it cool down for about 30 secs and check that it sticks really well everywhere.  If it doesn’t – iron some more.

12.  Trim the excess fabric from around the edges with fabric scissors.  Et voila!

*The card needs to be quite thick or the heat of the iron will warp your card.  I use 300gsm and it seems to work well.  You’ll also find that your fabric will adhere better if your card has some kind of texture and is not too smooth.

**Vliesofix is a double sided heat bonding material commonly used in applique.  The brand that I find the easiest to work with when making cards or notebooks is called ‘easyfix’ which I purchase from ebay, but I’m sure you could find it from an online or local fabric store.

Do you make your own Christmas cards?

1/12/12 – tutorial updated.


Just like the previous posts of simple handmade gifts for girls, this craft is quick and easy and uses up your fabric scraps.  Perfect for a bit of last minute gift making.
Fabric yo-yo’s

I borrowed my sister Lou’s yo-yo maker to make them and they were so quick and easy.  A couple of minutes each.  You could purchase one at your local craft store, but they also sell them here or here for around $10. They even come in other shapes like hearts, butterflies & flowers.  
Here is a link to a tutorial on how to make them using a yo-yo maker, and 
here is a link on how to make them without one (also quiet easy).
You can add them to a t-shirt like my sister Lou, who made these cute green & yellow numbers.  Frog has one of these gorgeous t-shirts (gifted to her by her Aunty Lou) and it is one of her absolute favourites!

I think they might also become as addictive as the fabric covered buttons.  Actually, I have combined the two and have been making headbands with a yo-yo and fabric covered button on the top for Frog and a few of her friends for their birthdays.
As well as embelishments for headbands and tshirts, you could add a brooch back, or sew onto a hairclip or a hairtie, put them on a card or even sew them together and make a cushion, a bracelet or a garland.  I have even heard of people sewing them together and making whole quilts out of them!

For more creative inspiration I’ll be heading over to our creative spaces today.
If you have made some simple handmade gifts for girls, I’d love to hear about it.  I’d love to include a guest post or two if anyone is interested?


Got a bit distracted with birthday parties and the like over the last couple of weeks, but I’m back on board continuing with a little series of posts on quick and simple handmade gifts for girls.  Click here to see parts one and two.  There will be more to follow.  There are just so many ideas out there!

Part three – Fabric Covered Buttons

Once again, a fantastic way to use up scraps of fabric and are very quick to make.  You will be surprised how ridiculously simple they are to make and also how ridiculously addictive they are too!  They also make great party favours.

There is a very easy to follow tutorial here.  

There are many places where you can purchase the tools required to make these buttons.  I purchase mine from here and there is another supplier mentioned in the tutorial link.

Once you have the hairties down pat you can move on to using the same technique to make buttons to add to hairclips, bobby pins, headbands, brooches, necklaces, bookmarks, rings, magnets and even drawing pins.

This photo was taken of Frog when she was younger wearing a gorgeous fabric covered button headband made by her gorgeous aunty Lou - who is the button queen!  Incidentally it also happens to be her birthday today – Happy Birthday Lou!

Now go and give it a try – you will not be able to stop once you do!

P.S. Just don’t give them to kids with not enough hair to put up in a ponytail (I have done this three times recently! three!).  The headband would be a better option in that case… I think I might try that next time!


I think I would like to rename the ‘silly season’ the ‘insanity season’. My life is a little crazy and overwhelming at the best of times, but then add the coming of Christmas and it nearly sends me under. Obviously I have not had a lot of time to blog my friends, but I have been missing it so much that I had to make time to come and share just a few of the Christmas crafty things we’ve been doing over the last few weeks.
I really don’t have time to do be doing these things and even had a minor meltdown a couple of weeks ago almost deciding to have nothing handmade at Christmas including no advent calendar, but after sleeping on it I awoke realising that I just couldn’t do it. After all it’s these things that I remember holding most of the excitement of Christmas for me and I just couldn’t bear not doing just a few things with my own kids. Mind you – ultra easy versions of things that kids can join in on too. Sometimes you just need to make the time to do the things that you love to keep sane and these things in themselves can help rejuvenate you. Not to mention that when you are looking after kids, unfortunately folding clothes and washing dishes doesn’t always cut the mustard.

I’m a little behind with Christmas. I’m a little over reading others blogs hearing how they have finished their Christmas shopping. Me – nowhere near! But I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.
These Christmas cards, modelled by the gorgeous Frog, were last years idea that didn’t quite eventuate but this year, to make sure that they did happen, I organised a craft night at my house every Monday night in December (you are most welcome to join me) to make myself allow the time. A bit of fabric ironed on to card while chatting over a glass of wine – perfect.

My cards certainly aren’t perfect, but if you’d like to buy Christmas cards that are perfect and perfectly handmade, Melinda makes perfect fabric covered cards much better than the ones that I made. She even has 20% off her stock until Friday!

How are you going this Christmas – feeling the pressure or loving the ride?

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