Wednesday 24 December 2008

thrifty handmade gift tags

handmade gift tags

The airwaves have been full of economic doom and gloom recently. This has given rise to more and more people talking about thrift and making your own Christmas gifts and wrapping.
So I decided this year to save a bit of money and make my own gift tags.
I used an ink stamp I bought from a 'sale bin' in a craft shop for £1
The gold ink was free as I got in from the Etsy UK swap group. The ink was kindly donated by Sally of tinkering textiles
I cut the bright red card using my vintage pinking shears (they don't work very well on fabric, so I save them for using on paper and card)
I then punched a hole in them and threaded some white sating ribbon through
Perfect, they look Christmassy and are very thrifty!

handmade gift tags

Friday 19 December 2008

recycled paper gift bows

gift bows

I found this simple tutorial for gift bows on Craftster

It's a great way to make some pretty additions to your presents this Christmas and because they use recycled paper, they are ecofriendly and thrifty too!

gift bows

These are my first attempt, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. I think they differ from the ones on the tutorial as I used thinner strips and made the loops looser.

gift bows

All you need is some scissors, paper of your choice and shiny brads to hold them together. I used some sheets of music from a vintage book and the coloured ones are made from the glossy outer pages of magazines. I looked for adverts that had lots of color, but virtually no text.

gift bows, what you need to make them

I'm going to have another attempt and try and make some exactly like the tutorial ones, I think I need to cut the strips thicker!

gift bows

These are simple to make and a good relaxing-in-front-of-the-television activity, but be warned, they are very addictive once you start making them!

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I also sell a range of handmade goodies, including vintage fabric cushion covers, lavender filled rabbits and owls and a gorgeous range of vintage trims see my work here

Tuesday 16 December 2008

new listing: two tone blue denim reversible purse

two tone blue denim reversible purse

This is a robust, eco-friendly mini-purse
Made with 2 types of recycled blue denim fabric and fully lined with vintage cotton fabric in shades of golden yellow, mustard yellow and burnt orange

two tone blue denim reversible purse

This mini messenger bag has no visible seams, so it is reversible – making this two bags in one!
The top fastens with a vintage duck egg blue button on the outside and a vintage pearl-effect button on the inside

two tone blue denim reversible purse

two tone blue denim reversible purse

Monday 15 December 2008

vintage find: craft book

vintage finds: St Michael craft book

I picked up this vintage craft book from a charity shop in Clifton, Bristol. It's packed with ideas to create colourful crafty items ranging from customised clothes to lino print cards.

vintage finds: St Michael craft book

The book is published by St Michael, a UK based high street store. This book was published in 1977, but it's obvious that Marks & Spencers have always been ahead of the game with eco-friendly ideas, check out the fruit print reusable tote featured in this book!

vintage finds: St Michael craft book

Although it's aimed at children, but I still found it a good read! I am always trying to think of new ways to brighten up the recycled envelopes I use to post sold items in. There's plenty of colourful printing ideas to try out in this book.

My creation

Saturday 13 December 2008

new listing: vintage fabric belts

Vintage tropical fabric repurposed belt

These are two of Pouch's latest listings, a pair of vintage fabric belts.
I love to use vintage fabric which look as vibrant as the day they were first made. Considering these fabrics are over 30 years old, they still pack a visual punch.

One belt is made from vintage bark cloth featuring tropical flowers in shades of bright orange and yellow.
The other is made from vintage crepe fabric, it features a gorgeous oriental pattern of flowers, trees and blossom on an orange background.

Vintage tropical fabric repurposed belt

These belts are made from repurposed vintage fabric and recycled belts and would make a great eco-friendly gift, a perfect stocking filler!

Vintage orange crepe fabric repurposed belt

Vintage orange crepe fabric repurposed belt

Friday 12 December 2008

Homegrown craft & design feature: Kirsty New

I have started a new series of interviews with eco crafters from across the globe. I decided that I also wanted to feature homegrown talent from the UK. There are so many talented people on the UK craft scene that I could feature a different person everyday!
First up is Kirsty New. She runs 3 shops on etsy, including a fabulous, colourful Christmas shop which I love! Kirsty's enthusiasm for what she does and crafting in general shines through in all her work and her blog always makes me smile :)

kirsty baubles

Kirsty J New

Shop Name(s)
PaperFish (my crafty inspirations, badges, bunting, brooches)
SnowFish (Christmas Handmade)
BigFish (colourful supplies)

Shop Link(s)

Rural England on the Northants / Oxfordshire border

Ships To
The entire planet

What do you create?
Anything that pops into my head but i am inspired mainly by my local customers and the lovely brooches / accessories they suggest and comission.

How did you get into your craft?
I was never allowed to take an art or craft class at school because i showed "such little promise"... thank goodnes for my lovely mum who always kept a 'junk box' and paints in the kitchen cupboard and never minded a mess x

kirsty ginger

Which piece in your shop is your current favourite?
SnowFish - definitely my Christmas Mini-bunting 'Made by Elves' - with spotty fabric and bells

What is the most time consuming part of your craft?
packing parcels, adding customs labels, travelling to the Post Office... but you will never hear me complain about it.

What inspires you?
Colourful and exciting supplies. I love to see what happens when i start to play with colours and fabrics and buttons. I rarely begin with an idea, i usually just sit and play in my art room and wait to see what gets made.

Is this a job for you or a hobby?
A full-time job with a part-time wage! I am a mummy too so that takes up alot of my day. I am lucky that i can fit my love of crafting into earning money and being an 'at home mummy'.

trees kirsty

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Very little else! Business has boomed for me in 2008 and my poor dog has suffered the most with fewer walks and less playtime. 2009, i plan to fit in more walks and some yoga.

Do you have any advice to share on how you have made your business grow?
Work hard at it! It is that simple. I push my days and evenings into the night and i use every spare minute i have to improve my shop or get more sewing completed. You have to make it happen for yourself.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
It is exciting times for KirstyFish enterprises... 2009 sees another new etsy shop. Potentially an independant supplies store from etsy and also the introduction of one or two 'staff'. Get me! who would have thought it when i started to sell a few handmade accessories at my local craft fair?

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Create Festive Fayre 2008

Create Festive Fayre 2008

Pouch had a stand at the ever-popular Create Festive Fayre in Bristol this year.
It is always a great event, well organised, busy and people are keen to buy eco-friendly presents.

Create Festive Fayre 2008

We met some lovely people and had lots of positive feedback from customers about the bags, owls, belts and Christmas stockings. In fact, we sold out of Christmas stockings. The fact the stockings were scented with cinnamon, cloves and star anise drew people over. The scent is so Christmassy that people couldn't resist buying one or two!

Create Festive Fayre 2008

Luckily, the sun shone down on the red brick of the bonded warehouse in which the Create centre is located. Last year, it rained all day on both days, but the weather was fantastic this year, which was a huge relief and I'm sure it helped with visitor numbers. Considering the current economic climate it was heartening to see so many people still keen to support local businesses.

Create Festive Fayre 2008

If you missed us at the fair, there's still time to grab an ecofriendly gift from our online store

Monday 8 December 2008

new listing: cobalt blue and pure white vintage fabric belt

cobalt blue and pure white vintage fabric belt

Todays new listing is a cute, eco-friendly, belt made from recycled vintage fabric in shades of cobalt blue and pure white
Perfect for creating a cinch waist look over a dress or tunic or for threading through belt loops
I just love this fabric!
The colour combination is so fresh, even though it is vintage, it is still very vibrant
Plus it is kind to the planet, what's not to like?!

cobalt blue and pure white vintage fabric belt

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Folksy Angels Competition

Pouch has entered the Folksy Angels Competition!
Folksy came up with a competition to get people making Christmas decorations using recycled materials.
The brief was:
To enter Folksy Angels, you must not buy anything new to make your decoration and the bulk of the materials used must be recycled / upcycled from things that you would usually have thrown away.

Pouch entered these maroon recycled velvet stockings
maroon velvet Christmas stocking

and a recycled corduroy Christmas stocking
recycled corduroy Christmas stocking

If you feel like voting, pop over to the Folksy blog
Voting ends midnight on 3rd Decemeber 2008, so be quick!!

Here is a small sample of some of the other excellent entries

My creation

Recycled Snowflakes
Folksy Angels: recycled star by
Folksy Angel by
Decoration by

Monday 1 December 2008

Free Shipping on totes, bags and clutches

free shipping_nov_2008

We're offering free shipping on all totes, bags and clutch purses in our etsy store from the 1st December to the 5th December

At Pouch we make unique bags from quirky, vintage and recycled material
Due to the fact we use vintage material, many of our bags are one-offs and the vast majority are limited edition.
Our bags are robust, practical and very stylish!
Individually hand crafted and skilfully sewn to a high standard.
You can be assured our bags have not been mass produced

This is a great opportunity to grab yourself an eco friendly gift for Christmas!

Visit our Etsy store to see our current range


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