Seeing stripes in the laundry

A little while ago I was thinking out loud on this blog about how I should go about making my own washing basket, crochet style. After lots of research into patterns, craft techniques and the fabric materials I should use, I settled on a making a DIY rag rug style basket with a giant crochet hook and second hand sheets. I’m pretty pleased with the finished result as you can see here!

crochet washing basket

I couldn’t decide on a particularly intricate pattern especially as I’ll be moving and probably redecorating pretty soon, so I stuck to a simple yet striking design of purple and white stripes.  I used a size 12 crochet hook and 4 double bed sheets (2 white, 2 purple, bough cheaply from eBay), ripping the sheets into strips of fabric about 1 1/2 inches thick. 4 sheets sounds like a lot of fabric, but it gets used up very quickly! The finished basket was pretty stiff but not completely upright, if you wanted a more rigid structure I’d recommend making the strips 2 inches thick. 4 sheets makes a basket about 20 inches tall and 14 inches in diameter, which manages to squeeze well over a load of washing into the basket, with a little fabric left over to make a lid, or maybe some mini baskets.

The pattern was inspired by this basket pattern on the Crochet in Color blog, but a little simpler. I used double crochets throughout the pattern, but the line definition was created by only putting your fabric through one of the loops on every other row. Super easy for any crochet beginners looking for a new project, but a willing to put in a bit of muscle into a new project!

Crochet washing basket

I think this basket is definitely going to be the start of a new motto to stop buying things I don’t like, and keep making things I love instead.

Have you made any household crochet items with a giant crochet hook? Be sure to share in the comments, as I’ll need some more project inspiration soon!

 

 

How to turn an old folder into a handy (and cute!) stationery organiser

geometric stationery folder

Letters. Bills. Bank statements. They all end up in piles littered across the flat, never-ending and never tidied. That is until now! I’ve always been a bit jealous of my boyfriend’s correspondence folder, with handy compartments to divide up all that essential filing. But I wanted one that was a bit snazzier.

folderorganiserlowres-1905

So when I came across this tutorial on the damask love blog, I knew I had to make one. But (as always) I didn’t have all the essential bits of craft kit to make it, but managed to do so with some old materials I already had in the flat. So here is my tutorial to make your own stationery folder, you’ll never be disorganised again!

YOULLNEED

 An old lever arch file with the metal arch removed (You can do this with a hammer)

Old A4 card file dividers, at least 15 (the more colours the better)

A3 wrapping or patterned paper (mine was from Ohh Deer)

Normal and double sided sellotape

Scissors

STEPS

Steps

1) Take 4-5 of your file dividers and fold them horizontally into zig-zag strips, about 2-3 cms wide. You can measure them with a ruler if you like to be super precise, (or you’re making this as a gift) but it’s not essential. Pick colours that will compliment the pattern of your paper, as these will be visible on the outside. Then cut your strips horizontally, so you are left with a folded V shape, a guillotine will help here if you have one. You’ll need two strips for each divider (minus 2 overall). So if you have 10 dividers, you’ll need 18 strips.

2) With the normal sellotape, start attaching the your V strips with the rest of the file dividers, so that the V is facing out rather than in. Your folder pocket should be bigger than A4 so there’s room for all your documents.

3) Put the double-sided tape on the outside of your folder and tape your patterned paper. Do each section at a time and not all at once, remembering to bend the folder when you start sticking to the spine. Make sure you leave about 3cm as a border and stick it down on inside of the folder. If you’re using an A3 sheet, save the excess paper, cut it in half and you’ll find those two sections is just enough to stick on the inside – just like magic!

4) Using the double and normal tape on the top, bottom and sides, attach your divider sleeve to each side of the inside folder, leaving a 1cm gap at the spine. The more tape, the better.

Geometric stationery folder

DONE! Mine took me 2-3 hours to make, so it’s a great evening project that costs nothing to make and no mess to clear up. You can use a ribbon to tie it up, or just put in all of your letters and stack it on a bookshelf, mine fits in perfectly next to my pink crepe paper roses. And no-one needs to ever know what horrors(or pretty things) might lurk inside… Thanks to Amber at Damask Love for the inspiration – check out her blog for more card crafts.

Let me know in the comments what you think of this project, or if you have any tips in sorting out your stationery!