5 crafts you can try at home

PUBLISHED: 00:00 01 May 2020

Daisy-Daisy/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Daisy-Daisy/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Put your isolation period to good use and have fun learning a new craft. Here are five for the whole family to try, from our resident crafter Dee Park.

Decoupage kicia_papuga/Getty Images/iStockphotoDecoupage kicia_papuga/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Decoupage

What it is: The art of decorating an object by gluing cut outs onto it.

What you can make: Decorate bowls, walls, boxes, chairs, tables, china.

What you’ll need: The top ply of a printed napkin yields the best results. But magazines and thin printed paper can also be used. For the glue/varnish use watered down PVA glue but Modge Podge or Decopatch varnish works best, this needs to be applied with a small flat brush.

What to do: Apply a thin layer of glue to a clean hard surface. Position the image onto the glue and cover with another thin layer of glue or varnish. Allow to dry.

Next step: You could add a sprinkle of glitter.

Felt flowers Getty Images/Photick/Michele ConstantiniFelt flowers Getty Images/Photick/Michele Constantini

Crafting with fabric glue

What it is: Not strictly a craft but with one bottle of fabric glue (priced at less than a fiver) the world of fabric can be yours without stepping near a sewing machine, and many fabric glues are even washable.

What you can make: Lavender bags, tote bags, scrunchies, aprons, motifs on clothes and cushions.

What you’ll need: Fabric glue, scissors and fabric, and a tea towel and iron to press and set the glue.

What to do: To make a rose scented bath soak. On a piece of paper cut out a 15x12cm rectangle and another 12x7cm. Cut two pieces of fabric using the larger rectangle (cotton voile works best). Centre the smaller rectangle on one of the pieces of fabric and outline three sides with a thin line of glue. Place the second fabric on top and allow to dry. I then like to press with a tea towel and iron to set it. Fill with rose petals and for a creamy Cleopatra-style bath add dried milk powder as well.

Next step: Try making your own Swedish blinds: start by making a rectangle and applying Velcro at the top. Two pretty ribbons can hold the blind in place when it needs to be raised.

Pressed flowers in an old book Eskemar/Getty Images/iStockphotoPressed flowers in an old book Eskemar/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Flower pressing

What it is: Printing using a tile of lino which has been chiselled into.

What you can make: Cards and pictures.

What you’ll need: You can use a polystyrene pizza base, a biro, thick paint (emulsion might work well) and a small foam (decorators) roller. Home linoprinting kits start at around £20.

What to do: Here are instructions for the pizza base version. (Elizabeth Harbour has a wonderful video on her instagram account – there’s a link on my website followthehare.co.uk). Mark the design on the smooth side of your polystyrene - you could initially press through tracing paper, if you’d rather not do it freehand.Then cut the design out - the area you leave will print to form the background. Put a blob of paint on a plate and evenly cover the roller in it. Make sure the roller sponge is covered but not gloopy and saturated. Then roll this onto your polystyrene tile. Keeping the tile flat on the table, lay your paper onto the paint and apply light pressure by smoothing with the flat of your hand to ensure contact is made with the whole tile. Do not press down too much otherwise this will condense the polystyrene beneath. Peel off the paper and leave to dry.

Next step: Once you are confident with this technique, try acrylic paints (or a gloss paint) which will give a better finish but do note they will not wash out!

Liinocut vividvic/Getty Images/iStockphotoLiinocut vividvic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Lino-printing

What it is: Printing using a tile of lino which has been chiselled into.

What you can make: Cards and pictures.

What you’ll need: You can use a polystyrene pizza base, a biro, thick paint (emulsion might work well) and a small foam (decorators) roller. Home linoprinting kits start at around £20.

What to do: Here are instructions for the pizza base version. (Elizabeth Harbour has a wonderful video on her instagram account – there’s a link on my website followthehare.co.uk). Mark the design on the smooth side of your polystyrene - you could initially press through tracing paper, if you’d rather not do it freehand.Then cut the design out - the area you leave will print to form the background. Put a blob of paint on a plate and evenly cover the roller in it. Make sure the roller sponge is covered but not gloopy and saturated. Then roll this onto your polystyrene tile. Keeping the tile flat on the table, lay your paper onto the paint and apply light pressure by smoothing with the flat of your hand to ensure contact is made with the whole tile. Do not press down too much otherwise this will condense the polystyrene beneath. Peel off the paper and leave to dry.

Next step: Once you are confident with this technique, try acrylic paints (or a gloss paint) which will give a better finish but do note they will not wash out!

Papier Mache Ina Fischer/Getty Images/iStockphotoPapier Mache Ina Fischer/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Papier-mache

What it is: An ancient art of creating which uses a mixture of fibres such as paper and glue.

What you can make: Pinatas, masks, models and puppets.

What you’ll need: Watered down PVA glue is the best (ratio one part glue: two parts water). Flour and water (ratio one flour: two water) can be used but can be gloopy and therefore a lot of fun for younger ones.

What to do: Rip newspaper into roughly 5cm squares (ripping gives better adhesion than cutting). To make a pinata, cover a balloon with two or three coats of pasted bits of paper, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Once dry, pop the balloon and fill with goodies and left over paper bits, then cover the hole with a square of card with a string attached for hanging.

Next step: Have a go at model making, Use a wire coat hanger to create a frame, create form and bulk with tinfoil, secure by wrapping with masking tape. Then cover with papier-mache.

For more craft ideas and tips, go to Dee’s website followthehare.co.uk

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