Beak Up Crafts

I'll craft anything once


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How to… Crochet an iPad Mini Cover

This is a really nice and simple crochet project and something I made a few months after first picking up a hook and some yarn for the first time.

I thought it would be a nice project for the sunny spring days as you can use pretty bright colours.

I was struggling to find an iPad Mini case that I loved so I decided to make one for myself! My first effort was a bit wonky but for my second try I made a pocket-like pouch which worked perfectly, so I made another one for Wayne too!

IPad Mini covers

You can either choose to make the case in the same colour or mix it up with stripes. The pattern I’ve written below is for both, but if you want to make one in a block colour simply ignore the bits where it says to change yarn and keep on going!

What you will need:

Aran wool/yarn in one or two colours
A crochet hook – 4.5mm
Two buttons
A darning needle

Stitch description:

Ch – chain
Hdc – Half double crochet
St – stitch

Pattern:

Ch 27 (This should be long enough for the width of an iPad Mini, but if your tension is a bit tighter you may want to add extra stitches and adjust the numbers for the rest of the pattern accordingly).

R1: Using yarn A, Hdc in the 2nd ch from the hook. Hdc across in the outside loops only.
When you get to the end of the row instead of turning, continue around, working into the other loop of the starting chain. This is where you are creating the bottom of the pocket. This will bring you all the way round to the first Hdc (54).
At the end of the first round, crochet your next stitch in the first Hdc you made to join and finish the row, then mark this with a stitch marker. Move the stitch marker up with each completed round.

For the plain case:
R2-30: Hdc in each st around (54). Go to R31.

For the stripey case:
R2-3: Hdc in each st around (54). At the end of the third round change to yarn B in the final stitch.

R4-6: Hdc in each st around (54). At the end of the third round change to yarn A in the final stitch.

R7-9: Hdc in each st around (54). At the end of the third round change to yarn B in the final stitch.

R10-12: Hdc in each st around (54). At the end of the third round change to yarn A in the final stitch.

Repeat alternating the colours until you have completed round 30.

R31: At this stage, your iPad Mini should fit the in cosy (check!) but if not, you may wish to add extra rows to ensure a snug fit. This all depends on the tension you are crocheting with. Now you will make the flap for the case on one side only. Hdc in each st (27) then turn.

R32-33: Hdc in each st (27)  then turn.

Fasten off.

Fold the flap over and position the buttons in the right place before sewing them to the cosy.

Ch 8. Make a loop and stitch this to one side of the flap so it loops over the button to close the cosy. Ch 8 and repeat on the other side.

And that’s it! You have made a cute, bright and cheap iPad Mini cover!

I hope you enjoy using this pattern and I would love to see any iPad Mini crochet covers you make! If the pattern doesn’t make sense or if you have any questions please ask and I will be happy to help!

Kate x

 


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The Wily Fox

Crochet fox

I started on a new crochet project the other day – making a fox for my pregnant friend Nicola, who is a bit obsessed with woodland creatures at the moment and asked me to make one for her new nursery.

I was excited to start and she gave me a pattern she liked from xmoonbloom on Etsy, so I got cracking! I didn’t have any orange wool/yarn so I’m making a test fox (no animals were hurt in this testing, though!) in a burnt red yarn which I had leftover from a red blanket I made my parents for their ruby wedding anniversary.

Big Plans

In other news, I have got my thinking cap firmly on at the moment about where I want to take this blog and what I want to do with it. I have to say I’m pretty excited about the future – I’ve just got to get all of my ideas down on paper and then make them a reality!

So what are you working on at the moment? Have you made any woodland-inspired amigurumi? I would love to see them!

Foxy updates to follow soon…

Kate x


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How to Make: A Rainbow Granny Square Blanket

Hello everyone,

I recently finished my first ever granny square blanket and thought it would be nice to pass on how to make one to anyone who is looking for help.

As a beginner in crochet, a granny square was the first thing I ever learned how to make. Practice makes perfect and I used it to help me get used to keeping the right tension while making something small that I could finish pretty quickly. However, making granny squares turned out to be quite addictive, so I carried on and soon had enough for a baby blanket!

This post will show you how to make a granny square, how to put granny squares together and how to make a rainbow border for your blanket.

You will need:

  • Different colours of wool/yarn. I used Aran yarn and had eight different colours, but the number is up to you depending on how you want the squares to look.  I had white, yellow, purple, fuschia pink, turquoise, charcoal grey, dark blue and mid blue.
  • 1 x crochet hook (I used a 4.5 (7) hook, but this depends on the type of yarn you use)
  • Time and patience!
Granny squares

My first granny squares!

  1. Make your first granny square. I looked around for the best videos on YouTube showing how to make these small woolly squares, and the best I found were by Bethintx1. They are really easy to follow and take you through every step and I would really recommend them to anyone here.
  2. Once you have made one granny square, if you would like to make a blanket the same size as the one I did you will need to make 29 more! That will make a blanket of 5 squares x 6 squares, although of course you can go bigger or smaller if you wish! Have fun with the colour combinations and maybe try to make 30 different colourways if you have enough different shades of yarn.

    Granny Squares

    Lots and lots of granny squares

  3. Fasten your squares together. After asking for some help on this blog, I was recommended Attic24‘s method of crocheting the squares together using a simple slip stitch method. I can confirm that this was a really easy way to put them all together.
    Border and no border

    Border and no border

    As my squares were in a variety of colours, I decided to single crochet a white border around each one before putting them together using white yarn to make sure the stitch colour was neat and uniform. If you don’t know how to do a single crochet you can find out how here, while Attic24’s granny square method is here.

  4. Finally, make the rainbow border! I picked out colours from my blanket for the border but you can choose any colours you like. I did mine in rainbow colours, starting at the bottom of the rainbow with white, then blue, working through turquoise, yellow, purple and finishing off with hot pink. To do this, I did rounds of half double crochet – one round in each colour – fastened off and crocheted over the fastened end with the next row. For the final row, I weaved the tail in using my hook. I chose to do half double crochet stitches for a bit of height so you could see each one of the colours while keeping the rows solid. If you don’t know how to do a half double crochet stitch you can find out how here.

    Blanket corner

    Blanket corner

And that’s how to make a granny square blanket with a rainbow border!

I hope you find this tutorial useful, but if not please let me know and I will try to help/change the instructions to make it clearer.

I would love to see any blankets you make so if you do make one please leave a link to some pictures in the comments section!

Kate x


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The Completed Rainbow Granny Square Baby Blanket

It’s finally finished! After a year-long gap when I had made all of the granny squares but failed to do anything with them, my colourful granny square baby blanket is now finished!

I decided to leave a straight edge on the border (made up of rounds of half double crochet stitches in rainbow colours) as I think it looks nice and neat and as there’s already enough going on with the bright granny squares!

So what do you think? I know it’s not perfect but it’s my first attempt made with granny squares I made when I first picked up a crochet hook. I don’t think it’s that bad!

 

Onto the next project, but I will post a quick How To… for this blanket soon!

Kate x


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End of the rainbow

A quick update on my blanket…

I’ve finished stitching it together and have started to add the border now. I’ve decided to work backwards in the colour of the rainbow in the different yarns I have used in the blanket. This means I will have blue, turquoise, yellow, fuchsia pink and I plan to finish with purple (as I thought the colours would look nicer this way!)

Here’s the beginning of the end of the rainbow! I am doing the stitch in half double crochet to give them a bit of height so the rows are visible:

Granny square blanket border Granny square blanket

What do you think?

In other news, our wedding presents arrived yesterday. It was like Christmas only better! All we need now is to get our photos back (hopefully next week) and we can get some thank you cards made.

Kate x


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How to make… a Teapot table plan

Hello again everyone, I hope you have had a lovely and productive week! So what have you been up to in the past few days?

With a slight fear of causing you to drift off into a snooze, I have to admit that yep, I’ve been doing a bit more wedding DIY. It’s nearly done, I promise!

Die-cut teapots

This week Wayne and I have been very productive on the wedding front (just over a month to go!). We wrote some personal poems to go in each of our favours (well, he wrote most of them), then wrapped them up. I’ve been confirming payments with suppliers while Wayne has been sorting out timings and music choices for the bands and DJ. I’m hoping we will have everything done by the end of the month so come February we can just relax!

Anyway, I have also been working on creating a table plan for the wedding. With our budget stretched to the max, I have made this using things we already had around the house, plus some cute die-cut teapot cut-outs I bought from eBay for £1!

Teapots (and tea) is a bit of a theme at the wedding, but without giving too much away, having them feature on the table plan fitted in really well.

How I made it:

To save money, I decided to use an old IKEA Ribba frame in white for the basis of the table plan, but ditched the glass. I think it’s a great idea to re-use things you already have if they fit the bill, especially if you aren’t currently using them.  The brown backing board of the frame meant I could write guests’ names on white luggage labels and these would show up great with the neutral background – I quite liked the brown as it looks a bit rustic and crafty.

I wrote the guests names on the luggage labels (pencil first, measuring the same gap between the lines) before going over them with a Sharpie.

I then attached the labels to the back of the die-cut cardboard teapot shapes. I thought they looked a bit like teabags dangling down, sort of! I did this using sticky tape.

The next stage was working out how to position them on the board – horizontally or vertically?

Wayne and I decided that vertical looked the best as it allowed the labels to hang better – but you will have to wait to see the finished article after the day. Don’t want to give anything away!

I then measured the board to work out where to place the teapots and stuck them in place using double-sided sticky pads.

And there you go!

I still need to add a bit of something to the top where I will somehow attach a message telling guests how to find their table. Any ideas how I can do this are very much appreciated! Maybe a strip of lace or mini bunting or a ribbon with the message somehow attached?

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. If you are doing any wedding DIY yourself I would especially love to hear from you!

Kate x


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Product Review: PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel

Hello again, I hope you’re all having a lovely week and have some nice things planned.

For me, I’m still in full-on wedding mode (36 days to go and counting!), which means my craft projects are still very much wedding-based at the moment. This week it’s been like a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – with spray paint!

My latest bit of DIY has seen me use product I’ve never used before, and I thought I would share a quick review in case you might be thinking of trying out something like this yourself.

The product I used was PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel, or for want of a better term – fancy spray paint. The purpose? To paint some teapots a different colour.

I needed to find some teapots in different colours for some wedding decor, but after searching high and low on eBay, in charity shops and anywhere else I could think of, the only ones I could find that were perfect for what I wanted were very pricey.

Then Wayne had an idea – we had been given some teapots by the lovely people at Yorkshire Tea (this is another story!) – and why couldn’t I just spray them a different colour? Genius!

Yorkshire Tea tepot

So after a bit of research off I went to our local DIY store, where I bought a small tin of PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel in bright yellow and one in sky blue.

The teapots I was painting were a bold red, with a black logo on the front (above) so I guessed they might take a bit of disguising. However, I had a look on PlastiKote’s Facebook page and there were plenty of examples of the paint being used for different purposes, and thought it would fit the bill.

The instructions on the spray paint say:

  • Several thinner coats of paint are better than one thick coat
  • Make sure you spray in a well-ventilated area (essential as it stinks and I imagine would give you a massive headache and would be dangerous)
  • Spray from a distance of 20-30 centimetres
  • The paint is touch dry in about an hour (when you can do a second coat) and totally dry after three hours
  • Each small tin is enough to cover 1.2 metres square – plenty for one teapot

Round one

I started off with the yellow paint, and I’ve got to say, this did not cover the old colour of the teapot as well as the sky blue did. After the first coat (where I got a bit too close and put too much, causing it to run!) I could still see the old logo peeking through.

This did not seem to happen with the sky blue, which covered it a lot better.

Round two

I let the paint dry (went off and had my dinner) then came back to do a second coat, this time turning the teapots upside down as I had missed the bottom in the first coat. I’m not sure why, but the yellow paint still didn’t seem to cover as well, and despite me now knowing how much paint to apply after my earlier mistake, it still seemed to run a lot with the yellow – but weirdly not with the blue. Maybe the yellow paint is a bit thinner?

Sky blue round two

Anyway, I left them to dry, with little trickles running down the side of the yellow teapot. Very annoying, but wiping them just caused more mess.

Round three

The final coat of the blue paint and the new blue teapot looks pretty good. As for the yellow, it didn’t turn out too well in the end, as after yet another coat, you could still see the logo and there are some really annoying paint runs. I’m half thinking about doing it again on another teapot, but it would mean buying more of the stuff and it possibly not working again. Maybe I will just have to try and find a yellow teapot after all…

Blue and yellow teapot

Would I recommend it?

Yes and no. I would recommend the sky blue paint – it covered really well, even the black logo. The yellow paint, on the other hand, did not provide anywhere near as good coverage, seemed to be runny and was much more hard work.

Kate x