I have always wanted to make my own fabric so wrote it into a course as a module for the women I work with. Which means actually learning how to do it!
Design your rubber stamp. You can draw your design straight onto the rubber and then carve out the negative space around your lines.
Carve out your design using lino cutting tools.
Using a roller for a consistent cover, roll fabric paint or ink onto the rubber stamp and stamp your design onto fabric. The paint I used seeped into the fabric and then you had to heat set it with an iron to make it washable.
As I was up-cycling this patchwork denim cushion I used whichever zipper I could find and it happened to be orange. But how cool does it look?
Part of my work is to create a sustainable enterprise engaging marginalised women. A number of our supporters have been donating their used denim to me and so I spent a bit of my holiday time playing with denim possibilities like this patchwork pillow. (Just as an aside, the lovely Jessie from St Kilda Mums suggested I pop down to Spotlight and grab some of their generic branded feather pillows for cushion inserts. Oh. My. I squashed the insert in so the pillow is smaller than a standard bed pillow, and it feels so plush and posh.) Also just surfed Pinterest and uploaded a bunch of very awesome and imaginative products made out of recycled denim. Take a look!
So, the truth is, even though I said I would hand make my Christmas presents and that sounded all ethical – low transport miles, lovingly home made, non materialistic – in this season of hope and joy, and I did, the real reason for hand making is I am pretty skint this year. Broke-ish. I just used what I had. But how cute are these mini Japanese origami paper garlands? And the mannish wheat bag?
I thought I would compile a collection of images off the internet of the beautiful Handmade Christmas Decorations people are making. Most of them look do-able for the moderately capable. I am not a very ‘blingy’ type of gal, so I hope you enjoy a more pared down selection.These little Christmas Trees have been made as part of my social enterprise project, working with very marginalised women who engage in street sex work in Melbourne, Australia. We have been selling them to retailers, at markets, on-line and to our supporters. Retailers have been gobbling them up. One said to me, and she was truly indignant, “Andie, I keep telling people about your women and the social enterprise, but they don’t seem to care. They just want the trees without the story.” She reported though, that one of her customers was buying a tree and after she told the customer the story behind the tree, the customer went back and bought five! I was rapt! If people love the product, and buy because they love it, then it is only a bonus if they also read the swing tag story and feel good about helping a worthy cause.