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How to make owl bunting when you're a crafting failure

Thursday 15 November 2012
Not the best picture. But, in fairness, not the best bunting.

I really hope that some proper crafty people find this post, and then weep at the state of it. Because as much as I'd love to be one of those people who can make amazing things at home, I have to admit -
I'm a little bit shit.

I can see things clearly in my head, the same way I can see what my hair would look like if I brushed it, or what my bedroom would look like if I cleaned it.

But things just never work out quite as you imagine, do they?

One of my bestest and oldest (and, at the moment, fattest) friends is having a baby in a few weeks. As it's generally agreed that I am already the baby's favourite person, it was only fair that I threw a baby shower.

I live far away from my friend at the moment, so I couldn't wait to spend the weekend with her. I figured it was the perfect time to have a few people over, give her a few presents and eat cake.

I spent the rest of the time following her around making tuba noises whenever she tried to walk up the stairs...

But back to the baby shower. When I first had the idea for the party, I saw a post on Liberty London Girl about a shower she'd been to in Switzerland. That looked like the kind of thing I could pull off! I'm crafty! And my name is also Nicola! It was meant to be.

I had to get crafty. So I thought I would start with bunting.

I love a bit of bunting. I know a woman who makes amazing ones, that I actually got for another friend when her baby was born. Though I thought it was a great gift, she didn't seem so enthused. So I thought I'd make an idiot's version this time.

I started by pulling out the duffel bag under my bed, which is filled with half finished craft projects from over the years. Really, the fact that I have a half finished crafts bag is a sign that I shouldn't have bothered.

How To Make Owl Bunting

You will need...
2 contrasting fabrics
2 contrasting sheets of felt (I used white and maroon)
Wondaweb and Bondaweb

1. Firstly, prepare your working space. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of creating a clean, clear area with flat surfaces.
Or, you know, just f*ck it all on your bed.
2. Cut out the shape of your bunting triangles from a piece of card. Then proceed to cut these patterns out of your fabric, using paper scissors. Get pissed off when you realise that these scissors cannot cut fabric, and you're cut jagged, misshapen triangles. Please note that this stage will give you an honest to God HAND INJURY. 

A brief aside - I used two contrasting fabrics from my Bag of Forgotten Crafts. I got this dress years ago in an old thrift shop for about a fiver. I adored it, but it was always a little big, with weird pleats on the chest that made me look like I had super pointy nipples. I took it to a class for adjusting clothing, where I unpicked everything and then... got bored. So I decided it was time to use this mangled dress for the greater good.

3. When the stress and LITERAL strain becomes too much, take a quick fudge break.

4. Swearing quietly, lay out all of your triangles, taking in their odd shapes and deciding to label them 'rustic'.

5. It's time for the owls! Draw a little owl pattern on some paper, then trace this onto your felt, fitting as many in as you can (I ended up with six owls in each colour) Remember to trace with the drawn side down, as your drawings are always a little wonky, bonky and unsymmetrical.

6. Got the owl bodies? Right, onto the eyes. Cut out the shape of the eyes and wings, and then trace these onto your fabric. Use contrasting felt for the eyes, and contrasting fabric for the wings.

7. Onto the sewing. Ha! Only kidding. Use little bits of Wonder Web tape to stick on the eyes and wings. You could do this properly with the Bondaweb I'm about to tell you about, but really, that just adds time and effort. Do it this way.

8. When you've placed the eyes and wings on, cover with a tea towel (being careful not to shift the shapes) and press a hot iron over each owl for about 10 seconds. Carefully check that everything is stuck on, and leave to cool before moving.

9. Have another little chocolate break. Add whiskey to your tea if it's all getting a bit much. No one will be able to tell.

10. Now, to the Bondaweb. This stuff is amazing. You'll never need to sew again! Originally I was planning on gluing everything together, but then I realised that the glue would seep through, make weird blotches and generally look pretty shitty. Then I remembered Bondaweb, from a craft class I took last year. I was the worst in that class, by the way. All of my stuff looked appalling, and the teacher agreed. I glued a holly leaf to a jam jar to make a candle holder. It was... dire.

But I digress. Bondaweb comes in big sheets, and you basically iron it to your fabric, peel off the backing paper, and iron it to something else. I think you use it for decoupage. Is that a thing? Probably. Anyway, I won't bore you with the instructions for that.

Just stick your owls to your triangles.

11. Finally, you need to attach your triangles to your ribbon. Wondaweb is the perfect thing for this. Put a line of it at the top of each triangle, and then iron onto the ribbon. Then, and this is a very important part of the process, realise that your orange fabric is MELTING ONTO THE IRON, THAT IT'S NOT STICKING TO THE RIBBON AT ALL, AND THAT EVERYTHING IS WRONG.

At this point, it's a good idea to cry "THE PARTY IS RUINED!" while insisting that the orange polyester gloop stuck to your friend's iron will "definitely come off, oh yeah, definitely, absolutely"

12. It's too late to do anything but sew the bastard, I'm afraid. So hunker down in front of the TV, attach the ribbon to the triangles with huge inefficient stitches, and, at some point, drop a safety pin, later finding it stuck precariously in your crotch.

And you're finished! Congratulations! Hang it up at the baby shower, and try not to kill the girl who comes in and says

"Ah, that's so sweet! Are they cats?"

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