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This section of my site is dedicated to a range of tutorials that I have developed and posted on my blog over the years.

- How to cover a lampshade frame
- How to create a reversible notebook cover
- How to make a tissue box cover
- How to print a repeating pattern using a Print Gocco

How to cover a lampshade frame

Equipment

- Lampshade frame (these can be tricky to find - I buy mine from Handworks in Prahran, VIC)
- Fabric (anything that can hold it's own when the light is on - you want to be able to still see the pattern!)
- Some sort of base stock to support the fabric - this can be card or flexible polypropylene.
- Spray Adhesive (this will be your best friend throughout the process - don't even bother trying without it)

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Process

1) Firstly, cut the base stock to be the same height as your lampshade frame (H), so the top just meets the top horizontal bar and the bottom just meets the bottom horizontal bar. (if your shade is conical you'll have to do that fancy thing where you lie the frame down onto the stock and roll it along, tracing the top and bottom as you go - you'll get a kind of arc shape).

The width of the stock should be enough so that there's about 2.5cm overlap after you've wrapped it around your shade.

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2) Lay the base stock down on your fabric. Cut the fabric so that it's about 7mm taller than your base stock at the top and bottom, and a little bit wider (you'll trim this extra width off afterwards).

3) Put your base stock and fabric face down on some newspaper, and spray both completely with spray adhesive (depending on your spray adhesive you might only need to do one or the other, but mine recommends both surfaces). Wait a couple of minutes till the glue gets "tacky" then place the sticky side of your base cloth down centred on the sticky side of your fabric. Note: if you're not confident you can do this accurately, I'd recommend doing step 2 after step 3 :)

4) Trim off the extra fabric width neatly so that the fabric is flush with the base stock. Leave the extra height - you'll need this later!

5) Wrap your fabric & base stock around the frame. Glue the overlap down and wait for this to dry (or just secure it enough so that it doesn't move around).

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6) Now for the fun bit - rolling the extra fabric around the top and bottom of the frame. Firstly you need to make this fabric tacky. I use spray adhesive again for this because it's nice and strong yet still "forgiving" in the early stages - ie you can move and restick things if you don't get it perfect the first time. I roll up a piece of scrap paper and place it inside the frame (to protect the inside from glue spray) and then spray around the inside of the fabric where it's sticking out - just the top for now. Wait a couple of minutes till this gets tacky.

7) Working your way around the circumference, carefully roll the fabric around the top horizontal bar and tuck it underneath. (if you've got a particularly thin or thick lampshade frame, you might need more or less than the 7mm extra fabric suggested). Also, depending on how your frame is constructed, you might have to cut slits in the fabric to make space for the vertical supporting rods.

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8) repeat steps 6 & 7 for the bottom horizontal bar.

And that's it - you're done!

 

How to make a reversible notebook cover

Part 1: Measuring

1) Measure the height of your journal. Add 2cm. We will refer to this measurement as "H".

2) Whilst closed, measure around your journal, from the outside edge of the front cover, around the spine to the outside edge of the back cover. Add 2cm. We will call this measurement "L".

3) Measure how deep you want your cover pockets to be. 3/4 of the cover width or more is good. Then add 1cm to this measurement and double it. We will call this measurement "P". (eg: if your pocket depth is 12cm, then P = 13*2 = 26).

Part 2: Cutting

4) Cut your cover and lining fabrics, both the same size - H x L.

5) Cut your pocket fabric, two pieces, both H x P. Once cut, fold each piece in half widthways, with the correct side of the fabric facing outwards.

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Part 3: Stitching

6) Lay the 4 pieces of fabric on top of one another and pin together like this:

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7) Sew each of the sides of the cover and lining fabrics to the adjacent side of the pocket fabric, leaving a gap in the middle of one of the sides. I use an overlocker and trim about 2mm off the edge as I go. If you are sewing with an ordinary machine then stitch about 7mm in from the edge.

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8) Lay the pieces down flat again, and then sew across the top and bottom. You should be sewing through the cover, lining and two layers of the pocket fabric each time:

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9) Now for the moment of truth! Turn the whole thing right side out, through the hole you left in the side. You should be able to turn it out two different ways - either with the lining fabric tucked into the pockets, or with the cover fabric tucked into the pockets. This makes the cover completely reversible.

10) Finish it off by stitching up the hole, and ironing flat. Voila:

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So there you go! Pretty easy, really. Would love to hear any suggestions if anyone has them! Personally I'd like to find a way to get the corners sharper so they're not so rounded, but I can't seem to poke them out enough. Must be something to do with the way it's all stitched together...

 

How to make a tissue box cover

The tissue box cover is essentially a single flat shape which folds up the sides of your tissue box, and is fastened at the top. This shape can be made in two different ways:

a) From a single piece of outside fabric, plus a single piece of lining.

b) From a number of pieces of outside fabric, sewn together in such a way that the pattern is always upright on all four sides of the box. Plus a single piece of lining.

These two options (and the direction of the fabric) are illustrated below:

Either method is fine - it depends on the fabric you're using and whether or not it has an obvious "right way up".

1) To create the above shape, we firstly need to figure out it's dimensions. Measure the size of your desired tissue box, taking note of the following lengths: W, H, L, X & Y:

Based on the above, this is how your cover measures up:

Don't forget to add 6mm all around for seam allowance!

2) Cut out this shape from your cover fabric using either method a) or method b). Cut out the lining fabric to match.

3) Pin the cover and lining fabrics together right sides facing. Cut two pieces of elastic each about 8cm long, and create two loops. Pin the loops in place between the fabrics, as shown:

4) Sew around the outside of the entire shape, 6mm in from the edge, leaving a gap at the end of one of the side flaps as shown above. You may like to run the machine back and forth over the elastic loops to make them extra secure.

5) Turn the piece inside out and iron flat, then hand stitch the hole closed. (Note: You may wish to test the cover on your box first, to make sure it fits nicely. If any of the flaps are too long you can always turn it back inside out and shorten them).

6) Now just position two buttons as shown below (the elastic loops should be nice and tight), and you're done!

How to print a repeating pattern using a Print Gocco

When it comes to printing anything other than small-ish cards, printing from inside the Print Gocco can be pretty difficult because the machine's hinge gets in the way. So they invented this thing called the Stamp, which allows you to use the same "stamping" print method used in the machine, anywhere you like. This is particularly handy for printing on large pieces of paper or fabric.

I myself use it when printing repeating patterns over a large area. And that's what this tutorial is all about :)

Firstly, here's what the Stamp looks like:

The stamp has a spongey base that's slightly sticky, so your (ready inked) screen sticks to it. The design on the screen here is a pattern tile that interlocks with itself. When prints are made side by side they form an endlessly repeating pattern:

Below is a piece of paper with a couple of prints already on it. Look carefully and you can see that a polyprop 'registration plate' is laid on top, with the design printed on it also. The registration plate is cut to be exactly the same size/shape as the B6 screen, (plus a little bit extra at the top and bottom - i'll explain that later). The print onto the registration plate was made whilst the plate+screen were perfectly aligned.

The stamp is then carefully placed so that it sits directly above the registration plate. The curved clippy things on the side make it so the screen 'floats' there until you push it down. The top and bottom of the plate line up with the clippy things because of that extra little bit of added height:

Carefully, the registration plate is slid out from underneath the floating screen. Then, by pushing directly downwards on the stamp, a new print is made.

And here it is:

Once this print has dried, another can be made beside it. Otherwise the ink from this print will get onto the back of your screen, and things will get very messy indeed!

For anyone wanting to print free of the Gocco machine I highly recommend the Stamp. You can get with or without the 'Stamp Kit for Cloth', nice and cheaply from Welsh Products for $36.50 USD. They're not sold anywhere in Australia unfortunately (at the time of me writing this article).