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Piping Cord: A Journey

We’ve only recently started stocking piping cord in the shop, essentially because no one had asked for it until about a month ago. (Top tip: if you want us to stock something, just ask! We like knowing what we’re missing).

I’ve fancied having a play with it ever since, and have been noticing more and more people making piped cushion covers lately. Having just moved house, my current pillows are looking really sad in my new room so I thought this was a perf opportunity to try it out – which is why this is a much bigger pillow size than I normally would make!

Note: I don’t think I’ve ever actually used piping before, though I do remember doing homework about it in GCSE textiles amazingly. This was vaguely tricky, (probably on the same level of pom pom cushions, which we all know are life) but if you’re willing to give it a go and it not be 100% perfect then go for it! I basically mashed mine though the sewing machine and it came out pretty good, if I say so myself. (I’ve written this before I’ve actually taken it home and seen if it fits the cushion, so might not be so pleased with myself later.)

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Before I started I read through this tutorial, and used it to work out my measurements etc.

You will need:

Front fabric (equals the size of your cushion, plus 1.25cm on the height & width)

Back fabric (the length of your cushion, plus 18cm on the width, cut in half to make two rectangles)

Piping Cord (I used size 4, and you need enough to go around the entire edge of your cushion, plus a touch extra for safety)

Bias Binding (you can make this yourself, if you’re a better person than I am. You need the same amount as the piping cord….)

Sewing Machine, unless you really really love to hand sew

Scissors, Pins, Iron

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First things first, fold down one of the long edges on your back fabric 1cm, then 1cm again, hiding the raw edge. Press into place with an iron, and pin into place if you need to. (Reasons you might need to: you didn’t actually iron it, like me).

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Stitch down with your sewing machine, and repeat on the other piece of back fabric.

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Now the piping fun begins.

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Starting about 5cm from the top of the binding, lay your piping along the middle of your bias, wrap the binding around it and pin together. I started doing this, decided it was too thin and went back and opened the binding out before pinning it. I have no idea if that was the right thing to do or not, but it seemed to work out ok.

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You binding should have wrong sides touching

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This is a representation of how my brain felt during this

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Now, sew this together, but don’t sew the 5cm you left at one end.

This was where I started to get in a faff, because I realised that the foot on the machine would stop me getting that close to the piping. So I stitched it down, but quite near the edge.

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 Now, what the other tutorial I read said to do next was to pin this around the edges of your front piece (piping facing inwards) and stitch it into place, clipping your corners as you go to get it to sit better.

I obviously ignored this, and decided that I knew better and that I should just skip right to the end. THIS WAS AN ERROR. Do not do this. It was really difficult  and the piping kept moving around all the time and the corners were super hard.

At the point where your two ends of piping meet, you’ll hopefully have a little bit extra. Trim the piping so it meets perfectly, and then tuck the 5cm end of binding over the other end, meaning you’ll have two layers of bias binding over a small section of piping.

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So hopefully if you have taken my advice you now have a beautifully attached piece of piping cord to the front piece of your cushion, in which case all you need to do now is lay your 2 back pieces face down, overlapping in the middle.

I don’t, so what I’m doing here is laying the piping cord around the edge of the right side of the front piece, then laying the two back bits face down so they overlap in the middle, and the pinning this all into place. Sigh, hindsight…

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All you have to do now is sew around the outside of the cushion. I used my zipper foot instead of the standard one so that I could get a bit closer to the piping cord, because I didn’t want it to be weird and gappy.

Once you’ve done that, flip it right side round, clip the corners and give it a good press with the iron. And that’s it!

 Update: through some sewing miracle, it fit my cushion! Woop woop. Now I just have to make 2 more matching ones…IMG_0809

I’d love to hear if you’ve given this a go – let me know!

Don’t forget to befriend us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for nice photos and shop updates…

xx

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How to: Rain Drop Necklace

You might notice we love working with these tiny glass beads, and the blue/white/yellow combo is one of our favourites for the summer months. This tutorial uses similar tools and techniques to last week’s eyepin necklace, but this one we make with craft wire instead of ready made pins, as it bends a bit better and gives us more length!

You will need:

42 x 3mm blue beads, 32 x 3mm yellow beads, 22 x 3mm white beads (or whatever colours you have/like!)

3 x 12cm strips of 6mm craft wire

Flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters

Chain in your choice of colour and length

1 x 8mm ring

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Firstly, using your round nose pliers, grip the end of one piece of wire 1cm down from the top and bend at a right angle. Turn your hand up and over, wrapping the wire around the pliers and making a loop. Don’t panic if it’s not right first time – keep practising!

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Thread 42 blue beads on to the piece of wire, and then trim down so you have 1cm left on the other end too.

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Repeat the earlier steps to make a loop here. You can then bend this into a rain drop shape – pretty!

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Repeat this all with your yellow and white beads to make decreasingly smaller rain drop shapes.

Grab your flat nose pliers, and gently prise open one of the loops on your blue drop by bending it towards you. Now hook the other loop through the open one, and close again. Repeat with the yellow and white drops.

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If your 8mm loop is a jump ring that can be opened, use your flat nose pliers to open it and thread all 3 of your drops on through one of their loops. If your ring doesn’t open (like mine!) you’ll need to reopen your loops, hook on to the ring and close them again.

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Almost there! Choose whichever length and colour of chain & thread you like and simply pop through the ring.

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Voila! One rain drop necklace all finished. Do in many different sizes and colours for much fun and jewellery making joy.

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How to: Drop Earrings

Earring making is one of the most useful and gratifying forms of jewellery making, and once you’ve mastered the basic techniques you can whip up all sorts of beautiful designs mega quickly! Below you’ll find a tutorial to make some lovely & simple drop earrings, that require basic earring making skills (I’ll do my best to describe these below!).

You will need: 4 x drop flower beads, 4 x headpins, 2 x earring hooks, 2 x jump rings, flat nose pliers, round nose pliers. wire cutters.

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First of all, pop one of your beads on to one of your headpins. Use your wire cutters to trim a little bit of excess off the headpin – how much is up to you!

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Using your round nose pliers, pinch the wire about 1cm down from the top, and bend to the side to it’s sitting at a 90 degree angle. Then, using the same pliers, grab the wire right at the end and turn over to make a loop. Repeat on the other pin.

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Use your flat nose pliers to open up one of your jump rings, pop both of your dangles on, and close again.

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Now use the same pliers to open up the bottom of one earring hook, pop the jump ring on, and close. Repeat for your second earring, and voila! All done.

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You can make a huge array of lovely earring designs using only this technique – time to get practising those loops!

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How to: Crystal Drop Necklace

We love these beautiful crystal drop beads! Popping just one on a thread is a great way to show the sparkle off without going too bling-tastic. Follow the instructions below to make one for yourself, and you can follow the link at the end to buy everything you need too. Easy.

You need: 1m of thin beading thread, 1 x eyepin, 1 x crystal drop, 2 x jump rings, 1 x lobster clasp, 2 x fold thread ends, a pair of flat nose pliers, a pair of round nose pliers, and some wire cutters.

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First of all, thread your crystal bead on to your eye pin, and use a wire cutter to trim the excess down so there’s about 1cm left on the other side of the bead.

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Use a round nose plier to turn the wire over and into a loop.

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Cut your piece of thread into two equal lengths. Loop one end of one piece through one of the loops made on your crystal, and position so it’s in the middle of thread. Tie a normal overhand knot to secure into place, and repeat for the other side too.

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Cut your thread down so that the necklace measures your preferred length. Grab your flat nose pliers, and squish a fold thread end on to each end. Make sure you trap both ends of thread!

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Using your flat nose pliers again, use one of the jump rings to attach a lobster clasp to one side of the necklace. Pop the jump ring straight on to the other, for the lobster clasp to clip in and out of.

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And that’s it! Wear your pretty necklace in lots of lovely colours.

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This can be done with pretty much any bead – as long as you can get an eye pin through it!

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Be Our Valentine

Valentine’s Day

It’s finally getting too near to deny it anymore. This Sunday. It’s happening. We’re not overly keen on the celebrations here at Bunyip, since we’re all working or away entertaining the extended family, so we’ve put together a collection of wonderful things you can make for yourself, or a loved one, or your cat. We’re not here to judge.

Wooden Heart Hanger

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For the minimal effort enthusiasts – we sell these awesome cut out wooden hearts in loads of beautiful bright colours. String one on a pretty piece of thread and hang in the window for instant prettiness.

Button Hearts

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One of our favourite things to make ever, button hearts are easily whipped up out of your button stash. You need some craft wire (we go for 0.6mm silver plated, grab some here) and lots of pretty buttons of a similar size. Lay them out first so you know what you’re doing, and then cut yourself a nice long piece of wire – exactly how long depends on the size of your heart. Start by threading on your button that’s right at the bottom of your heart onto the middle of the wire, and then thread your others on evenly to either side, shaping nicely at the top into an attractive heart shape. Once your buttons are meeting at the top, twist the two ends together, snip off any excess and tie on a nice piece of clear nylon or thin ribbon.

Felt Hearts

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What better way to fill those lonely hours than cutting out loads of felt hearts, popping them all through a sewing machine and making yourself some lush felty garlands? Pro tip: make these in black and grey to curb your romance induced nausea.

Heart Charms – Earrings

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For instant jewellery making gratification there’s always earring making too. We have lots love and heart based things you could pop straight on an earring hook – just use a flat nosed plier to open the loop at the bottom of the earring hook, pop your charm of choice on, and close it! Note: we also have charms with skulls on. Just saying.

Beaded Hearts

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Not enough heart shaped wire fun for you? These beaded hearts are so sweet – a bit more complicated to make, but luckily we’ve whipped them up in lots of lovely colours already so you can just grab them straight from us. You’re our valentine really, lucky thing!

Heart Charms

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Another fun and easy jewellery make is just to pop one of these amazing charms on to a matching chain or sturdy piece of cord – then keep it for yourself. You’re the best.

There you have it, a whole host of things you could do this Sunday that don’t involve going outside or even opening the curtains. Add a large glass of wine and you’re kind of having the best day ever – win!

(P.S – we do have some secret actual Valentine’s cards to buy in the shop too – just don’t tell anyone.)

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