Last week, Blog Society and Unleash Creative teamed up to host the Etsy Craft Party – a one-day global celebration designed to connect crafters, makers and anyone else who wants to push their creative boundaries.
Of course, as soon as I heard ‘Craft’ and ‘Party’, I signed up. Happily, the theme was ‘Recapture: Bringing New Meaning to Old Photographs’ and I was extra excited as I had just digitised albums worth of old family photos – and was waiting for an excuse to do something special with them.
We were asked to bring photocopies of one or two photos that had a special memory (I rocked up with 15. HA!) we set ourselves up on stations that were piled high with all sorts of wonderful things like needles, embroidery thread, double sided tape, baking paper (?) cardboard and most excitingly, paints and glitter pens. Oooooh.
Crafting can be a lonely sport – unless you’re with a gaggle of girlfriends to bounce ideas off and chat away while you create. What I love most about events like this is the opportunity to do just that – I was lucky enough to sit next to the inspirational JJ who is a recipe developer, writer, photographer, and blogger at 84thand3rd (go check it out) and also makes the most delicious guilt-free coffee doughnuts (never thought I’d see those words together!). I also don’t mind admitting I got a teeny bit star struck when I met Jacyln Carlson from Blog Society who organised the event. She’s like the Oprah of the Australian creative blogging community.
Anyhoo… the technique they showed us crafters-slash-creatives is one of those ideas that you’d wish you’d been smart enough to think of yourself first – simple yet beautiful. It should come with a warning because it’s so addictive. Two hours flew by and I spent a happy weekend finishing the project off. I ended up choosing a photo of my Nana on her wedding day, I think it was taken sometime in the 50s. I’ve always loved it.
Here’s how to embellish your own family photos to create your own hand-made heirloom!
1. First, Photocopy your photo. You can use the original, but if its a precious photo that you can’t replicate, photocopy it to practice first.
3. Place your photo on some thick cardboard. Lay over tracing paper, and use sticky tape to hold it together. Using a pencil, trace some designs.
4. Then, using a thumb-tack or pin, press holes where you would like to sew. This makes it easier to push through the needle and also prevents you from ripping or damaging the paper. Take off the tracing paper, but leave your photo on the thick cardboard.
5. You may find it’s easier to split the embroidery thread in two, depending on the thickness and the eye of your needle. Then, it’s time to embellish. I decided to accent the beautiful flowers in the bouquet and her hair. You could also do shapes, lines or boarders.
6. You can also use a glitter pen and paint to accent different parts. The hardest part is knowing when to stop!
7. Use your newly created heirloom as a card, or frame it and give it as a present (or keep for yourself!)
Here are some of the inspiration boards from the night to get your creative juices fired up!
Thanks to Etsy, Work-Shop, and Blog Society for hosting this year’s Craft Party!! OH and here is a picture taken by In An Instant Photo of me wearing my new FAVOURITE dress and fancy hat from Bowerbird Vintage and a kitty mask (!?).
The pink helmet (I think!) is my new friend Chester from Work-Shop – these guys run all kinds of amazing craft and creative workshops in Redfern, Sydney. Check out what’s coming up at www.facebook.com/WorkShopAustralia