Selfless Sewing: Baby Boy Rompers

Baby Boy Rompers | Pattern . Paint . PanTwo of my closest friends (who’s wedding I made this dress for) recently welcomed their first child, which of course is the perfect excuse to make more tiny clothes.

Annoyingly I didn’t have access to a printer, so I spent a while drawing out a pattern from a downloaded PDF on my tiny netbook screen. I based my pattern off this baby boy romper by Melly Sews, which is available as a free download (if you sign up to her newsletter or have a Craftsy account) in age 0-3 months, and in her shop in larger sizes. I did make some changes though:

  • Rounded the corners of both front and back straps
  • Eliminated the side seam between the front and back leg pieces to make a single leg piece
  • French seamed the front and back crotch seam
  • Added a doubled over strip for the snap closures instead of turning the edges under
  • Finished the leg hem with binding

The construction is simple enough, not that I read the instructions. I was pretty worried about the sizing because they simultaneously looked too small and too big, but my sister half convinced me they were ok.Baby Boy Rompers | Pattern . Paint . PanThe first fabric is Jungle Animals from the Makower Jungle collection that I bought from the Remnant House in Bude last summer. The shoulders fasten with buttons, and the crotch with snaps.

Baby Boy Rompers | Pattern . Paint . PanThe second fabric is A Musical Affair by Fabric Freedom in the blue colourway, from Mo’s Fabric and Dance in Rugby, my new local fabric store. I wanted something slightly less traditionally baby-ish, and had seen this guitar pattern months ago in Birmingham, but unfortunately could only find the burgundy colourway in Rugby, so ended up with the musical notes instead. I added some coordinating teal for the pocket, initial tag and leg binding. The shoulder straps are also closed with snaps.

I used sew on snaps, which is probably my only regret; I should have been organised enough to get some hammer on ones as I think they look much neater. Plus I kinda wish I’d redone the topstitching on the front pocket. But overall, they’re pretty cute. Though not as cute as their recipient!

Christmas 2014: Pyrography Coasters

I’ve split my handmade Christmas gifts into a few posts (all with equally dodgy photos taken too late at night before my mad wrapping session).
This post involves burning cork.

For two of my sisters and their families, I made these pyrographied (is that even a word?!) coasters as part of their presents.Pyrography Coasters | Pattern . Paint . Pan

These are cork coasters from Ikea which annoyingly are too soft to use graphite transfer paper on. So I had to cut out each of my printed out template letters (EcuyerDAX font) and draw round them with pencil before burning. The cork obviously was quicker to burn that wood, but it didn’t burn so quickly that it was hard to control, as I feared it might be. Also, the divots in the cork didn’t really cause a problem, so altogether, I was just worrying for no good reason beforehand! You can see where I messed up the meant-to-be horizontal lines on the first ‘S’ and I just noticed there totally should be a line through the tail bubble of the ‘J’. Oh well. I totally love them, even if they are slightly flimsy.

Christmas 2014: Knitted Gifts

I’ve split my handmade Christmas gifts into a few posts (all with equally dodgy photos taken too late at night before my mad wrapping session).
This post involves my new-found love of knitting multiple strands of DK yarn.

Owl Mittens

Owl Mittens | Pattern . Paint . PanThis was the first ‘complicated’ pattern I knitted last winter/spring, and I love mine so decided to knit each of my sisters and my mum a pair as part of their presents. I love that they are almost just extensions to your jumper/cardigan sleeve and so are totally acceptable to wear inside and out! Plus the owl is cute and the pattern is just the right level of complicated. I used 2 strands of DK yarn instead of what the pattern states. The first pair (blue) was knitted on 4mm needles and ended up a little tight for my (fat) hands (but still fine for smaller women’s hands) so for the subsequent 4 pairs, I switched to 4mm for the rib and 5mm for the rest. I also added 2 extra rows of ribbing to the top end of all the pairs. The only other change (which had no effect on the result) was where I put the stitch marker on the right hand glove, but that’s just personal preference. The bonus is that these hardly take any wool when using DK, so there’s plenty left for me to make more for myself in each of the colours I used!

Cowl 

Cowl | Pattern . Paint . PanThis was a ridiculously simple knit while rewatching old seasons of Scandal. The most tedious part was splitting the 2 balls of yarn so I could knit with 4 strands of DK (buying 4 balls would have been way too easy!). I added 3 sparkly buttons to match in with the headband flower and owl eyes, and tacked the two sides of the ‘v’ together. I didn’t write down how many I cast on but it’s just garter stitch with stockinette stitch accents, knitted until it was long enough to wrap around my neck and overlap.

Headband

Beaded Headband | Pattern . Paint . PanA moss stitch (totally my favourite stitch ever) headband, knitted flat with 2 strands of DK until it was long enough to wrap around my head and then seamed. I drew out the flower on matching felt and then hand sewed various beads and sequins on before hot gluing a felt back to cover the stitches. It’s attached by brooch pin to the headband.

Cowl, headband and mitten set | Pattern . Paint . Pan

Minecraft Hat & Mittens

Minecraft Hat & Mittens | Pattern . Paint . PanThis set is my first attempt at writing a pattern that involves more than knitting a square/rectangle. I used the internet for help with how many stitches to cast on and then spent too long on OpenOffice Calc figuring out the rest of the pattern. I decided to forgo any research into how to knit with two different colours of wool, so I’m not sure if how I did it is an actual method or just my own way. Basically, I just twisted the colour I wasn’t using behind the colour I was inbetween each stitch so the back was all neat and didn’t have loose loops of the colour not being used.

Minecraft Mittens | Pattern . Paint . PanAnyway, these are the mittens from the outside and inside, knitted using 2 strands each of green and black DK yarn and 3mm needles for the rib and 3.75mm needles for the rest. It is knitted flat and then seamed. The fit is good (for an 8 year old) and I’m happy with how they turned out.

The hat is less of a success as it needs more width and length. I ended up knitting another ribbed band and sewing it onto the bottom (hiding the seam with a folded up brim) to add length. But it fits him at a squeeze and perhaps wear and some aggressive tumble drying might stretch it out a little. It was also knitted flat and seamed, using double strands of DK on 5mm needles.

If anyone is interested, I can put my pattern up (plus alterations for the hat).

Fox Hat

Owl Hat | Pattern . Paint . PanThis is another made up pattern that needs some tweeking design-wise but the size is fine. It’s knitted flat as a long rectangle from back to front and then seamed at both sides, with the square corners forming ears when the hat is worn. Basically, after casting on, K1P1 rib and lots of stockinette, I put the 5 stitches at either end onto stitch holders and worked decreases (k2tog and k2tog tbl) with the remaining middle stitches to create the nose. I then transferred the held stitches to my needles and used white yarn to K5, cast on 32, K5, then moss stitched for 12cm before switching back to orange wool and K1P1 ribbing. After seaming the sides, I tacked the white and orange together at the top of the nose and added buttons. If I did it again, I’d make the nose wider, it’s a bit evil looking now!

Christmas 2014: Painted Gifts

I’ve split my handmade Christmas gifts into a few posts (all with equally dodgy photos taken too late at night before my mad wrapping session).
This post involves various paints and tiny brushes, and ended up all being gifts for boys.

Stark Hoodie

DIY Stark HoodieMy (not-so-little) brother has been desperate for a Game of Thrones hoodie with the House Stark sigil on for ages, but they’re pretty expensive, so I decided to stencil the direwolf logo onto a RTW hoodie (I did debate sewing the hoodie as well, but in the end took the easy route). Basically, I then took the super long route and printed out a black and white line drawing found on a google images search, then converted it into a stencil, but I could’ve just used this free stencil. And then realised I couldn’t stencil it because my spray glue was at my sisters, so I drew round the stencil holes with silver metallic gel pen and then hand painted it with black Dylon fabric paint. I could’ve done a second coat in places to completely even out the amount of paint, but I think the slight variation kind of goes with the image and the edges are very defined, so I’m really happy with how it came out (and might have to make myself one to wear round the house!).

Minecraft Hoodie

Minecraft Hoodie | Pattern . Paint . PanMy oldest nephew is massively into Minecraft and after a fruitless search to find a RTW Minecraft hoodie (sold out in every store I went to due to my last minute shopping) and a frantic search for a plain green hoodie (who knew they were so rare), this came about. I drew the design onto the back using a ruler and gel pen, then hand painted it with the same black Dylon fabric paint, as it seemed quicker than faffing with cutting out a template or even using masking tape along the edges of the squares. It’s a bit giant on him (there was only one size of hoodie left) but at least it’ll fit him for more than a couple of months.

Painted ShoesPainted Shoes | Pattern . Paint . Pan

These are super cheap Primark pumps that I painted with regular acrylic paints. They’re pretty simple to make, although there’s a few steps due to using dark coloured pumps, with drying time in between. For all except the Minecraft pumps:

  1. Design, copy or trace your logo onto thick paper or card.
  2. Cut out around the outside to create a template.
  3. Use a metallic gel pen to stencil the outline onto your shoe.
  4. Use white acrylic to paint inside this line to create a base (I did 3 or 4 layers, waiting for each to dry before the next).
  5. Cut out the subsequent layer of your design (eg: for Batman, I cut out the bat logo, for Spiderman I cut out an eye, and for Superman I cut out the S).
  6. Transfer this outline to the white base layer using a pencil.
  7. Paint the rest of your design from lightest to darkest colour.

For the Minecraft pumps, work out how big your grid squares can be to fit in the Creeper face (mine were 1cm x 1cm) and use a metallic gel pen and ruler to draw the grid onto the shoe. Mark which squares are black, then fill in the other squares with various shades of green before painting the black squares.

Painted Shoes | Pattern . Paint . Pan

I did end up outlining the Superman logo in black (which was super annoying to do) and I really wish I hadn’t used such dark green right next to the Creeper face. But the kids liked them!

Christmas 2014: Sewn Gifts

Apologies for the complete lack of posts recently; life, and a dodgy internet connection have gotten in the way, but hopefully I’ll be better at posting now.

I’ve split my handmade Christmas gifts into a few posts (all with equally dodgy photos taken too late at night before my mad wrapping session).
This post involves needles, thread, fabric and lots of buttons.

Heart Cut-Out Girls Dress

Heart Cut Out Dress | Pattern . Paint . PanI told my only niece that I’d make her whatever dress she wanted, and this is the (slightly toned down) result! I self drafted a bodice and added a heart cut out at the back, slightly squared off neckline and flutter cap sleeves with a scalloped skirt hem to make a dress that’s wearable for more than dressing up!

Heart Cut Out Dress | Pattern . Paint . PanThe main fabric is a cotton and the skirt and sleeve lining some kind of poly, both from a visit to Tahim’s Drapers in Coventry (online store here), with a scrap of pink cotton from my stash for the bodice lining and hem, and a navy scrap for the waistband and sleeves. I used pearl-ish flower shaped buttons on the full length button placket at the back.

Berkshire Blazer

Velvet Berkshire Blazer | Pattern . Paint . Pan This is my 4th Berkshire, and it’s definitely my favourite yet! However, it’s been over 6 months since I last sewed this pattern and I had totally forgotten how annoying the pattern is. Seams don’t match and there’s so much ease in the sleeve cap. Anyway, I’ll draft my own pattern next time. This is navy cotton velvet from the same trip to Tahim’s Drapers, with navy and white striped polycotton lining and some ancient store bought navy satin bias binding trim. I decided to use the bias binding as I thought it would make the welt pocket easier as it’s so much thinner than using velvet for the welt flaps, and it worked; I think it’s probably my best welt pocket yet. I added the bias binding to the top of the patch pockets and at the sleeve hem too. Velvet Berkshire Blazer | Pattern . Paint . Pan

Campervan Shirt

Campervan Shirt | Pattern . Paint . PanAnother nephew is campervan-crazy and saw this cotton fabric while we were at the Birmingham Rag markets back in the autumn. I didn’t buy it then, but found it again when I visited Tahim’s Drapers. The pattern is a RTW rub-off I made for the first time last Christmas but that still fits now. I tried to make it easier for myself by not having a proper button placket and didn’t add a back yoke or front pocket as I thought they’d just get lost in the print.

Campervan Shirt | Pattern . Paint . PanThe underside/inside of the collar, collar stand and cuff, and the cuff placket is plain blue from some ancient Ikea fabric, and the button placket on both sides and bias hem is a scrap of cream polycotton. I really thought it’d be way too crazy, but I think it’s actually quite cute, and I’m quite happy with all my pattern matching, despite the headaches it gave me at the time!

Personalised T-Shirt

Personalised T-shirt | Pattern . Paint . PanThis was meant to be a super quick make to use up some iron on letters my sister bought years ago, but due to my serger refusing to serge more than 2 layers of fabric, it turned into one of the most rage-inducing projects ever! I nearly chucked out the whole thing since I was pretty sure my sister had totally forgotten about the existence of the iron ons, but I eventually persevered, mainly because I really liked the personalised back yoke. I used grey jersey scraps and a navy t-shirt in my up-cycle box, so essentially this was a free project!

Christmas Pyjamas

Boys Christmas Pyjamas | Pattern . Paint . PanThese weren’t a Christmas present as my sister bought the brushed cotton stag fabric and asked me to make my nephews new pyjamas for Christmas Eve. My guestimating on how much fabric I needed (£3 per metre from Birmingham Rag Market back in the Autumn) meant I needed to add contrasting panels using some dark grey jersey I’d bought to make myself another Lady Skater variant, but I think they actually look better with the stag pattern broken up a bit. I drafted a cross over neck design into the front yoke, and a matching back yoke. I learnt my lesson and serged all my pieces before sewing them together so my serger couldn’t have a sh*t fit. The sleeve hems are finished with self fabric bias tape, and the leg hems are turned up twice and machine stitched. The trousers in the photo are pre-elastic which is why the waist is so straight. Apparently they are the most comfy PJs ever, so that’s a definite win!

DIY Pinata

DIY Pinata | Pattern . Paint . PanYesterday was my oldest nephew’s 8th birthday, they were here in Cornwall on holiday and my sister had mentioned how he’d like a pinata, so to avoid packing for my very imminent house move I decided to DIY one. Lots of tutorials use paper mache, but that seemed like too much mess, so I went with cardboard and tape. Lots of tape.

You will need:

  • cardboard – I used 2 cereal boxes
  • sticky tape – I used brown packing tape for the construction and regular tape to attach the tissue paper
  • scissors
  • string, yarn or ribbon – length depends on where you’re hanging it, but a finished length of 2-3m-ish. Mine was 6 x 3m lengths of yarn.
  • sweets/chocolate – preferably things that can’t get crushed. I didn’t think about that and the chocolate bars and chewy bars were a bit squashed/broken, whereas the jelly sweets were fine.

What to do:

  1. Cut the narrow sides of the cereal boxes off the front and back pieces of the box.
  2. Overlap these narrow strips and tape together to make one long strip. This will become the sides of the pinata.
  3. Using a front piece of a box, draw the shape for the front/back of your pinata. Cut out 4 pieces.
  4. Using the packing tape, stick 2 of the front/back pieces together and repeat for the remaining 2 pieces.DIY Pinata | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  5. Using the packing tape, stick the long cardboard strip to one of the front/back pieces. Leave a gap so you can fill the pinata later.
  6. Repeat to add the other front/back piece to the pinata, again leaving a gap.DIY Pinata | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  7. Fill your pinata with the sweets/chocolate.
  8. Tape the gap shut.
  9. Make your hanging string: double/treble/quadruple or more your yarn/string, and tie a knot at each end to keep the strands together.
  10. Find the centre of your yarn/string, and tape this to the bottom of your pinata. Add more tape on either side. I stopped taping at the widest part of the top.DIY Pinata | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  11. Cut your tissue paper into5cm strips and cut fronds into each strip.
  12. Tape a rectangle of tissue paper to the bottom of the pinata.DIY Pinata | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  13. Add the frond strips around the pinata using regular sticky tape from the bottom up, overlapping by 3-4cm. I put tiny bits of tape at each corner and in the middle of the front & back pieces.
  14. Cut the fronds shorter just above where the string is.
  15. Hang, bash and eat!DIY Pinata | Pattern . Paint . Pan

I was a bit worried that my pinata would explode after a couple of hits, but it lasted for over 15 minutes of kid-hitting before the grown-ups gave it a couple of whacks to help the splitting. We did use a foam-type bat though, so using a wooden one would speed things up.

Mosaic Letters

Mosaic letter | Pattern . Paint . PanI suppose I’m a bit of a craft butterfly, flicking from one type of project to the next depending on what I’ve not been able to pass by without buying, what random things I’ve been given/upcycled or what I’ve seen on Pinterest/blogs. This project is no exception being a combination of the above. My Nan had bought a load of random, colourful plates from car boot sales years ago to make a mosaic for her garden but never got round to it. I thought it would be fun for us to do some crafting together, and when I saw this project at the end of last year after a google search, I really wanted to try it. I originally made a ‘G’ back at Christmas for my niece’s bedroom door, along with a mosaic-ed jewellery box, and then an ‘N & M’ for my sister and her boyfriend back in the spring (plus a sequined ‘&’). Mosaic Letters | Pattern . Paint . PanAt the same time I started a ‘B’ for myself, but it sat half finished until this week when I decided that with my imminent house move, I should get all my half-done projects completed.

To make your own mosaic letter, you will need:

  • Cardboard letter (mine were £0.99 at Trago Mills)
  • Plate to smash up (check out charity shops, car boot sales or ask your family/friends)
  • Old towel to cover plate while smashing it up
  • Hammer (I used a cross-peen hammer for accuracy – that’s the one with a wedge shaped hammer head)
  • Safety glasses (optional but advisable)
  • PVA glue (or other glue that doesn’t set too fast)
  • Glue spreader (I used a piece of cardboard!)
  • Tile grout (available at DIY stores, my small bag was £1.19 and still has some left after 5 letters)
  • Disposable container to mix grout (yoghurt pot etc)
  • Old spoon to mix grout
  • Sandpaper
  • Paper towels
  • White paint (I used some gloss paint as I like the shine, but emulsion, acrylic or poster paint could also work).
  • Paint brush

And this is what to do:

  • Decide if there are any motifs you want to keep whole on your plate. Mine had a flying bird so I made sure that I was more careful when breaking around that area.
  • Wrap your plate in the towel and (wearing your safety specs) break your plate with the hammer so the pieces are around 1cm or smaller. I tried to get a range of shapes and sizes and sorted them by size to make arranging the mosaic easier.
  • Select pieces with right angles for any corners, and decide where you want any specific motifs to go.
  • Cover part of your letter in PVA glue (I did about 1/4 at a time).
  • Starting with your corner/specific motif, place your mosaic pieces into the glue. As the glue takes a while to dry, I found I didn’t need to plan where each piece would go (and I can never transfer the pieces into exactly the same place anyway).Mosaic letter | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  • Once the whole letter has been covered, allow the glue to dry fully.
  • Mix your grout according to the directions on the packet in the disposable container with the old spoon. Mine was 3 parts powder to 1 part water, and I ended up using 4 tbsp of powder and 4 tsp of water).Mosaic letter | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  • I found it easiest to use my finger to squish the grout into the grooves but I did get some little cuts from the sharp edges, so maybe a flexible spatula would be better. Make sure you grout the edges of the letter too, but don’t worry too much about getting grout onto the cardboard. Use your finger to straighten the edges of the grout and remove any excess grout from the crockery pieces.Mosaic letter | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  • Once the grout has completely dried, use the sandpaper to remove any excess grout from the cardboard and remove any bumpy bits around the edge.Mosaic letter | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  • Scrap off any excess grout from the crockery pieces (I used a bobby pin hair clip, but on previous versions I just used my fingernail as there wasn’t as much to remove) and then a dampened paper towel to clean any dust off.
  • Paint the cardboard white, leaving to dry between coats.Mosaic letter | Pattern . Paint . Pan
  • Admire your handiwork!

I really love my letter and think it’s a great cheap project as I only had to buy the cardboard letters and grout, so approximately £1.20 per letter, but I’ve seen strong PVA in the DIY section of pound shops, as well as different paints, so even if you had to buy these it wouldn’t be too expensive.Mosaic letters | Pattern . Paint . Pan

The Tiniest Clothes

Little Geranium Dress & Perfect Diaper Cover | Pattern . Paint . PanI’m one of 5 girls and 2 boys, but that trend seems to have been reversed in the next generation as I so far have 5 nephews and only one niece, who I was 9000 miles away from when she was a baby.

So when one of my closest friends had a baby girl, my plans to make burp cloths from some Makower jungle animals fabric went out the window when I realised I finally could make tiny dresses!Little Geranium Dress | Pattern . Paint . PanI settled on the free Little Geranium dress by Made By Rae and Perfect Diaper Cover by Dana Made It, with some mini blue and white floral cotton from Trago Mills. To be honest, it was a bit of a mission choosing fabric, trying to take into account my taste, my friend’s taste, my friend’s husband’s taste and suitability of colours and patterns for a tiny baby, but at least I’m happy with it!

I followed the directions for the dress despite my normal construction method for a lined bodice being different, and next time I’ll go back to my old way as I just find it easier. My skirt gathering was a little crap as I stupidly didn’t mark half and quarter points to line up with the bodice. I used sew in poppers instead of button holes as apparently they are easier to un/fasten than buttons. Overall, it wasn’t as fast to sew as I thought it would be, but this was down to the fiddliness of sewing something so small when I’m more used to sewing for at least an age 5. It’s a great basic pattern with big potential for variations, and is also available in larger sizes (0-5 and 6-12years) for $10 each size group.

Perfect Diaper Cover | Pattern . Paint . PanThe instructions for the nappy cover are equally easy to follow, but this time I did ignore them for the leg binding. I did try it Dana’s way with folding the fabric in on itself to make a tube for the elastic, but I couldn’t get over how unpretty all the wrinkles were. Instead I made some bias binding, sewed it to the wrong side and folded it all over to the front. I actually prefer the look of this as then the inside only has a row of stitches and no ridge of fabric that could rub the skin. I french seamed the side and crotch seams. I’m not sure how what size little I is now, but her birth weight was about average, so I used the amount of elastic given in the instructions.

I’m really happy with how my gifts turned out, and I’m just hoping they fit for at least a little bit. I don’t know how practical they are really, but every girl should have a pretty dress, even if she’s not yet 3 weeks old! Now to find more baby girls to sew for…

(Apologies for the dodgy photos, these were the trial ones to find which background was best, but I was so excited to get it in the mail that I forgot to take proper photos the next day, duh.)Little Geranium Dress & Perfect Diaper Cover | Pattern . Paint . Pan

Another Wedding Anniversary Pyrography

Wedding Anniversary Pyrography | Pattern . Paint . PanAfter I finished my parent’s wedding anniversary chopping board, I had a bit of a pyrography bug, and made something similar for my sister and brother-in-law.

This time I used a what was labelled as a frame, size 11.5cm x 8mm thick, with a curly screw hook (that’s it’s technical name!) and twine loop, but I can’t find anything similar on google or ebay, which would probably suggest I’m using the wrong search terms. It was in the section with the other wooden items for decoupage and crafting in Trago Mills, and was a bargainous price, no joke.  Wedding Anniversary Pyrography | Pattern . Paint . PanI originally was going to edit my original graphic with new names and date, but then decided it would be just as easy to start again, this time making it the right size from the start. It was definitely much quicker this time around.

Due to the lip on the frame, I cut a circle of graphite paper to fit inside the ring, and traced on the design as before.Wedding Anniversary Pyrography | Pattern . Paint . PanThis wood was much easier to burn, although that also presented problems with having to avoid burn spots if I held the pen too long in one place. Despite making an effort to avoid the lip, I managed to get too close once and the heat from the pen barrel made a burn mark. I tried to sandpaper it off, but although it made it less obvious, it was still visible. My white acrylic paint had run out so I grabbed some oil paint, and then wondered why it still hadn’t dried days later. Duh. So, the oil paint got wiped off, leaving a slightly paler edge, and that burn is still visible, grrr.

I’m happy the result and as a bonus, it’s light enough to be held up by some tape (classy!) so they don’t have to bother with nails in their rental until their house hunt is successful.Wedding Anniversary Pyrography | Pattern . Paint . Pan

 

Wedding Anniversary Pyrography

Anniversary Chopping Board | Pattern . Paint . Pan My parents celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary this week, and although we don’t normally do presents for anniversaries, I thought it’d be a good excuse to bring out my pyrography pen, plus it seems to be a lot easier to think of gifts rather than something to burn for myself.

So, after a bit of googling for inspiration, I attempted to create a design in GIMP (too much brain power required), Paint (too simplistic) and Inkscape (first time I’d used it so too much effort to figure it out), before finally using OpenOffice Draw. I didn’t think about sizing until I’d virtually finished, so ended up having to export as a PDF from Draw, convert to a jpeg in GIMP then copy, paste and resize back in Draw.Anniversary Chopping Board | Pattern . Paint . PanI printed out my design, then used a sheet of this graphite paper I’d found the day before at Trago Mills for £1.25 to transfer it onto the chopping board, which was way easier and produced a better transfer than my previous DIY graphite paper. I also used a ruler on any straight lines to hopefully prevent wobbliness.Anniversary Chopping Board | Pattern . Paint . PanThe pyrography took longer than I thought, as everything but the crosshatching had to be outlined then filled in, but I’m pretty impressed with the results! I ended up not burning the two horizontal lines as I liked it without and thought I might be pushing my luck to get two perfectly straight, long lines! I totally didn’t pay attention to the grain of the wood until I’d finished, which is now super annoying.

Anyway, congratulations Mum & Dad, 32 years and 7 children is a rarity these days! May there be many more happy years to come (and no doubt more grandchildren!).Anniversary Chopping Board |Pattern . Paint . Pan