Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Craft Tutorial: Irish Euro Shamrock Pendant

Transform a foreign coin and shamrock into a keepsake necklace

Ireland is a lovely country. We visited back in 2005 and had a delightful time. The people are friendly, the countryside is green (a stark contrast to life here in the desert), the food was savory, there are plenty of castles and historical attractions, and the woodlands are magical.

After our trip, I had a couple Euros left in my pocket. I didn't really think about them much until this year. Somehow, even though we live in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, I have a large patch of shamrocks that have taken over one of my flower beds. It seemed to me that my Irish Euros would be the perfect background for a shamrock pendant.

Materials




Directions


The first step is to collect and press some small shamrocks. If you are not lucky enough to have a shamrock patch, many nurseries carry indoor shamrock plants in the spring.

The pressing and drying process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks.
Once your shamrocks are ready, tear off a piece of packing tape that is long enoug to wrap around the edge of your coin about 1 1/2 times.

Cut a strip of tape about 1/2 inch wide.
Wrap the tape tightly around the coin. You can fold down a small edge of the tape so it is easier to remove later.
Make sure to press the tape firmly down around the edge of the coin.

The tape makes a sort of bezel that can be filled with resin.
Tiny dried shamrocks are very delicate. Tap a cotton swab on your tongue then use the swab to lift your shamrock.
Place the shamrock onto the center of the coin.
Use a toothpick to slide the shamrock into position if necessary.

Make sure your coins are on a protected work surface before you begin using the resin. I like using parchment paper to cover my surface, although a plastic plate will also work.
Mix the resin in a disposable cup according to the package directions. Stir the resin gently to minimize the formation of bubbles.

Resin is very sticky, messy and hard to clean up so again, make sure your work surface is protected.
Carefully pour the resin onto your tape-wrapped coins.
The resin should be approximately the same thickness as the coin.
After about 20-40 minutes you may see that your shamrock has floated to the surface of the resin. If this happens, carefully use a toothpick to gently submerge the shamrock halfway between the coin and the resin surface.
Now the hard part. Do not move or touch your resin covered coins for 24 hours. The shiny resin surface is irresistible but keep your hands off.

After 24 hours, remove the tape from the coin.
You will notice that the resin is very smooth across the center of the coin, but there is a ridge along the edge.

Use a scissors (at about a 45° angle to the resin) to trim away the excess resin.

Don't worry if it looks a little uneven at this point.
Use a piece of very fine grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth out the edge of the resin by holding the coin at a 45° angle to the paper and rubbing the resin on the paper.

This process takes a little time and patience, but is well worth the effort.
The coin on the left has been sanded, the coin on the right has not.

There is still a slight lip around the edge of the resin, but we’re going to call that a design element.
Once you have smoothed down the resin edges, it's time to attach the bail to the back of the coin with G-S Hypo Cement.

Again, work on a parchment covered surface.
Fill the depression of the bail with G-S Hypo Cement and wait for about 15-30 seconds. Position the coin onto the bail.

And then, the hard part, again. Do not move or touch the pendant for 24 hours while the glue cures completely.
Once the glue has dried, simply slide a chain or cord through the bail and your necklace is ready to wear.

Transform a foreign coin and shamrock into a keepsake pendant

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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Sewing Pattern: On the Go Backpack

DIY Sewing Pattern and Tutorial: How to make an On the Go Backpack.Whenever we travel I swap out my purse for a more roomy backpack so I can carry my tablet, a magazine, wallet, keys, travel documents and of course at least one knitting project. Of course I also like to have a water bottle or two handy because sight seeing makes me thirsty.

This backpack is my new favorite. It's 11 inches wide by 16 inches deep. It closes with a drawstring that is covered with a flap. There are two generous pockets on the outside that have a stretchy elastic top and two generous, elastic-free pockets inside.

The construction is a little unconventional because that's the way my engineering mind works. Hopefully the method makes this bag easier to assemble than other backpack patterns you may have tried.

Materials



Tools


  • sewing, cutting and measuring tools
  • lighter
  • pliers
  • hammer

Directions


This pattern uses 1/2 inch seam allowances unless otherwise noted.

Cutting out the Pieces

Begin by washing, drying and pressing your fabric.

Print the pattern pieces. Make sure you "print actual size" and do not scale the pieces to fit the page.

Cut out the paper pieces. You will need to cut 4 lower strap holders, 2 bag bottoms and 2 strap connectors.

Tape the two bag bottom pieces together along the dotted line to create a single bottom piece.
With tissue paper or a large roll of paper, cut out:
     2 - 14 1/4 x 17 inch pieces (bag front and back)
     1 - 14 1/4 x 19 inch piece (pocket)
     4 - 3 x 15 inch pieces (straps)

From the lining fabric cut 1 bag front, 1 bag back, 1 pocket, 1 flap, 1 bottom, 2 strap connectors.

You may need to position the pieces different than shown depending on the width of your fabric.
From the outer bag fabric cut 1 bag front, 1 bag back, 1 pocket, 1 flap, 1 bottom, 4 straps, 1 loop, 4 lower strap holders.

You may need to position the pieces different than shown depending on the width of your fabric.

The Little Things

Cut the nylon strap in half and carefully use a lighter to fuse the ends so the strap will not fray.
Press a 2 x 2 inch piece of interfacing to a scrap of fabric. Cut 4, 1-inch squares. These pieces will be used later to reinforce the snaps and grommets.
Fold the loop in half lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch along the long edge. Turn right side out. Press so the seam is at the center back of the piece. Stitch lengthwise 1/4 inch from each side.

Upper Strap


Fold the strap connectors in half lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch along the long edge. Turn right side out. Press so the seams are at the center back of the pieces. Stitch lengthwise 1/4 inch from each side.
Pull a strap connector around the upper bar of the strap adjuster so the wrong sides are together.
Position one piece of strap fabric on your work surface, right side up. Center a strap connector on a short edge of the strap. Position second piece of strap fabric, right side down over the first. Stitch along the long side of the strap, one short side (securing the strap connector), and the other long side.
Stitch short, diagonal lines on each side of the strap from the short edge to the long edge on either side of the strap connector being careful not to catch the strap connector in your stitches.
Trim the strap and turn right side out.
Repeat the process for the second strap and press both.

Stitch 1/4 inch from the sides around the straps.

Lower Strap


Place two lower strap holders, right sides together. Stitch one of the short sides of the triangle.
Position a nylon strap between the triangles so the long edge is against the first seam and the short edge is aligned with the unstitched, short side of the triangles. Stitch in place.
Turn right side out and press. (Be careful not to press the nylon strap or it could melt.)
Trim the excess fabric.

Stitch 1/4 inch from the seams. Repeat the process for the second lower strap.

Bag Lining


Fold the pocket in half widthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Stitch 1/2 inch from folded edge. Mark the center of the pocket (7 1/8 inch from either side).
Position bag lining front, right side up, on your work surface. Place the pocket on the lining front and stitch along the center line of the pocket.
Place the bag lining front and back, right sides together and stitch side seams.

Turn right side out and press seams toward the bag lining back.

Outer Bag


Fold the outer pocket in half widthwise, wrong sides together and press. Mark the center of the pocket (7 1/8 inches from either side).
Center the elastic between the pocket fabric so it is against the fold and pin in place. Stitch across the pocket 1/4 inch below the lower edge of the elastic being careful not to catch the elastic in your stitches.
Position the outer bag front, right side up, on your work surface. Place the outer pocket on the bag front and stitch down the center line of the pocket.
Pull elastic so 2 inches is exposed on either side of the pocket. Pin elastic to pocket on each side and trim the exposed pieces.
Place lower strap holders, as shown, so the lowest corner is 1/2 inch from the bag bottom and the straps point up towards the top of the bag. Place the outer bag back and outer bag front right sides together and stitch side seams.
Turn right side out and press seams toward the bag back.

Flap


Position the flap lining wrong side up. Center the snap disk so its lower edge is 1 1/2 inches from the lower flap edge and mark the side slits.
Press a 1 inch square of interfacing over the slit marks and use a sharp scissors to cut the slits. Push the thinner snap legs through the slits, right side to wrong side.
Center the disk on a square reinforcement piece. Mark and cut the side slits.
Slide the reinforcement square over the snap legs. Slide the disk over the snap legs.

Use a pliers to bend the snap legs over.
Place flap fabrics, right sides together, and stitch around leaving the top edge open.

Turn the flap right side out and press. Stitch around 1/4 inch from seams.

Bag Hardware


Center the snap disc on wrong side of outer bag front fabric so the lower edge of the disk is 1 inch above the top edge of the pocket and mark the side slits.
Press a 1 inch square of interfacing over the slit marks and cut slits. Push the snap legs through the slits, right side to wrong side.
Center the disk on a square reinforcement piece. Mark and cut the side slits.
Slide the reinforcement square over the snap legs. Slide the disk over the snap legs. Use a pliers to bend the snap legs over.
Make marks on the wrong side of the bag front, 1 3/4 inches from the top edge and 6 5/8 inches from each side. (The two marks will be one inch apart.)
Press a 1 x 2 inch piece of interfacing over the marks.
Use the grommet tool and a hammer to punch holes on the two marks and at the center of two reinforcement squares.
Press grommets through the bag, right side to wrong side. Place a reinforcement square over each grommet. Use the grommet tool and a hammer to tightly secure the grommets.

Attaching the Bag Bottoms

Fold the bag bottoms in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
Pin the bag lining bottom to the bag lining, right sides together. The pressed center line on the bottom should align with the side seams. It is best to pin around the curved edges first, then the straight edges. Stitch the bottom to the bag. Repeat for the outer bag fabric.

Straps,  Loop and Flap


Place the upper straps, side by side, right side up.
Center the loop ends on the top edge of the straps, wrong side down and pin in place.
Center the flap on the top edge of the straps, lining side up, and pin in place. Baste across 1/4 inch from the top edge.
Center the straps/loop/flap piece on the right side of the outer bag back and pin in place. Baste 3/8 inch from the top edge of the bag.

Finishing


Slide outer bag into lining, right sides together. Pin in place, aligning side seams. Stitch around leaving a 4-6 inch opening at the front of the bag.
Turn bag right side out through the opening. Press around the top edge of the bag. Stitch around the bag 1/8 inch from the top edge.
Create a channel for the drawstring by stitching around the bag 3/4 inch and 1 3/4 inch from the top edge of the bag being careful not to catch the straps or flap in the stitches.

Pull the drawstring through the channel and through the cord stop. Knot ends and trim if desired.
Pull nylon straps around the lower bar of the strap adjusters.
Fold the ends of the nylon strap under 1/2 inch, twice, and stitch to secure.
Fill your backpack with your favorite travel essentials and you are ready for an adventure! Bon voyage!

DIY Sewing Pattern and Tutorial: How to make an On the Go Backpack.

DIY Sewing Pattern and Tutorial: How to make an On the Go Backpack.

Happy sewing and happy exploring!


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