Friday, 8 November 2013

Crafting - Make Your Own Gorgeous Twist Ties!

These are awesome! I came up with idea when I saw some red and white candy striped twist ties on a party site online. I didn't need several thousand of the same ones so decided to try and decorate some plain twist ties I already had. Now I can have them in any colour I like! They are so easy to do even the kids will enjoy this activity. They are perfect for decorating small gift bags or tying up a biscuit or two for lunches.


Plain twist ties - plastic or paper (leave them attached together)

Markers -  Permanent markers are best for plastic, almost anything works for the paper ones (I used sharpies and bic pastel permanent markers)

Ruler - if you prefer not to draw lines freehand


Draw stripes on the front first, then copy the lines in the same place on the back. My twist ties are slightly transparent so that makes it easy to follow the same pattern on the back. Diagonal and horizontal stripes work really well. It does not matter if the lines are not perfect as you won't even notice after the ties are separated.


I decorated this  lot of twist ties with alcohol inks. (The Tim Holtz Ranger inks are the ones I have. You can purchase them at scrapbooking stores.) These are much quicker to make than the marker ties above and don't even matter if the front and back do not match.

These new twistie ties are perfect for tying up party bags or even add a little fun to school lunches or tiny gifts placed in a small gift bag.

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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Recovering a Childs Chair

After many years of being loved this child's chair really needed recovering. I put it off for ages as I knew it was going to be a project that once begun it needed to be finished or it would never get done. So much work needed to be done to restore this little chair.

Here are some photos of the before, during and after process.


Fabric and padding had perished or torn in many places due to all the love it has received in its time.  At one stage our two little chihuahuas had even claimed it as their own. Much of the chair was originally just nailed together and this would not work if it were to survive another decade or so, and one chair leg was broken with another at an awkward angle.

As we pulled the perished fabric off the chair I took photos in case we needed to refer to them when putting the new cover on. We found all sorts of kids small toys and pencils that had been lost inside the chair over the years. There was even a pair of scissors! Yikes! I don't want to even think about that one.

The arms of the chair needed to be removed to allow easy access to the rest of the chair for recovering.
They were only nailed on so this was an easy job with a mallet and some muscle.

We added new padding before stapling on the new fabric covers. 

The feet have now been fixed and screwed into place. Hopefully they will stay in place longer than they did being nailed on.

The fabric for the arms needed a little sewing to fit properly, but the rest was stapled before we attached the arms back on the chair, with screws.

A new back on the chair, I photographed this upsidedown as we then added a base to stop any critters making their home in the bottom of the chair.

 The finished Chair!



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Monday, 7 January 2013

How To Tutorial - Printing and Organising My Cricut Cartridge PDF Handbooks

Printing and Organising Cricut Cartridge Handbooks

I have had a number of requests for more details on how I print and organise my cricut handbooks, so I have put together a tutorial on how I did this for you. (Click on the images for more detail)

I only wanted to print out the pages that showed all the different cuts on the cartridges and did not want the instructions or different languages. There are two methods of doing this, the quick method and then my preferred method. My preferred method includes the title of the cartridge and allows you to choose the orientation of the pages and how many pages you want to a sheet.



These files have already been organised in a handbook style but many do not always include the title of the cartridge of the first page when you print them out.

Printing and organising cricut cartidge handbooks

1) Visit the cricut message board to this link here. Find the cartridge you are after and locate where to download it from. NOTE: this method automatically print 6 pages per sheet

2) Download and save to your computer, then simply print out.



1) The cricut cartridge library is no longer available on Provocraft's website. However, if you go to cricut website shop you can download the handbook there with a few steps. Search the cartridge you are looking for, click on details link, at the end there will be a "digital handbook" link to click and download. Save it to your computer.

Click on image to enlarge.

NOTE: Some cartridges either do not have a handbook or are not made available. The handbooks are now watermarked to protect provocraft's copyright.

2) Open the pdf handbook you need. NOTE: For printing the handbooks Do not look at the page number on the actual handbook pages but rather the page number of the actual pdf file at the top as the title is really page1.
Note the page number for the title page (page 1), then search through the handbook for the first page where the cut images begin (note this) and the last page number (note this too)

Printing and Organising Cricut Cartridge Handbooks

On this example here for Teardrop the first page number we need is 24 but on the handbook pages itself it is noted as 23.

Printing and Organising Cricut Cartridge Handbooks

The last page of images we need is page 74.

Printing and Organising Cricut Cartridge Handbooks

3) To print multiple pages per sheet. Choose to PRINT PAGES then enter the pages numbers you took note of in the previous step.

PAGE SCALING - choose multiple pages per sheet
PAGES PER SHEET - I choose 2 by 4 to save paper but you can 2 by 3 if you want to.

Printing and Organising Cricut Cartridge Handbooks

I print my handbooks in portrait mode but you can do them in horizontal mode if you want to make the pages larger and easier to read but that will use more paper.

Check the preview is correct then click OK to begin printing.


Place all the handbook sheets into clear pockets and then put into a file in alphabetical order. I always begin the first page of each cartridge in a new pocket then then place the following pages back to back.

Printing and Organising Cricut Cartridge Handbooks

Cut the tabs from Tags, Bags Boxes and More it is cut at 1 and 3/4 inches. It is the mirror tab shape on page 34 of the handbook. I used my gypsy but you can use your cricut to fill the page, Design Studio or Cricut Craft Room. I cut as many as I could fit on a 12 x 12 sheet of each colour:

I colour co-ordinated mine to match my cartridges

Orange/peach tabs are for font cartridges

Blue for shapes cartridges

Green for lite and seasonal cartridges

Printing and Organising Cricut Cartridge Handbooks

If you label the tabs like on my photo here and then tape or glue to the first page of your handbook, you will be able to see the names from both sides as you browse through your file.

Printing and Organising Cricut Cartridge Handbooks


Print out your own Cutting guide sheet with your own cricuts settings to keep in the front of your folder. You can find it here. I use mine all the time as the settings on my cricut varies from the standard settings.

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