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Buying glue for a project may seem like a straightforward proposition but a glance at the glue section of our website will tell a different tale as there are so many to choose from. So which one to get?
These are great for use on paper, felt and some can be used on other non porous materials like ceramic. They are generally very useful for craft projects like scrap booking or card making but not generally good for use on fabrics, particularly if you want to wash the item after.
Glues like the PVA and school are great for kids crafts as they’re non toxic and dry fairly quickly. Though they dry clear they are white from the bottle so little ones can easily see what they’re doing.
There is also an amazing range of glues called Mod Podge which are available in store and can be used for all sorts of projects like decoupage, ceramics and even image transferring but that's a whole other blog for a whole other day!
A really good basic craft glue to have on hand is Impex Multi Purpose as it’s a great multi tasker, sticking most objects and will even do fabrics like felt or ribbons, especially onto hard surfaces like card. This is generally just a good glue to have in any crafter's arsenal and I always have a bottle on the go!
Get some cool papercraft ideas from our friends at DoCrafts, we have some of their range in selected stores if you're feeling inspired!
These are designed specifically for use on fabric which means they dry clear and don’t leave a residue on the fabric. It also means you can wash the item afterwards safe in the knowledge that the glue won’t dissolve! Check the instructions on the particular glue you choose as it may need the heat of an iron to set it. I must confess to a love of Fabri Tac, I have literally glued myself into Halloween costumes in this and survived the night, modesty intact!
These are glues you want when embellishing items with beads/ motifs. They dry clear and don’t leave a reside on fabric.
Gemtac is pretty amazing stuff as it’s washable, dries quickly and doesn’t affect the clarity of your stones. This is the one favoured by most of our “blinging” customers, particularly those “Dance Moms” out there who have spent many a night painstakingly applying rhinestones to dance costumes.
Here’s how they do it:
* Frequent embellishers may want to invest in a SILICONE MAT as it stops the glue drying out too quickly when you’re using it and also saves you using the good china!
So you've caught me - I lied at the beginning of this blog - there's really 4 types of glue, but the glue gun is kind of all the types rolled into 1. Armed with this (pun intended), you will basically be ready for any craft action. The beauty of the glue gun is that it dries immediately, so whatever you want to stick will be secured quickly without you trying to hold it all together while it dries. It's great for cool projects like embellishing shoes and making fascinators. So why would you bother with any of the others if this does everything you might wonder? Well it can have its disadvantages. For a start it can leave a residue if you're not careful with it and it can leave a bulky line underneath fabrics. My advice here is to keep your glue gun for gluing embellishments and fabrics onto solid surfaces and not to bother trying to glue fabric to fabric with it.
Now that you're in the know, you can choose the right glue for your project from our range.
Felt Flowers are a fun and relatively easy craft to follow. Some flowers can be a little complicated, but I can assure you that the pretty roses used in this project are straightforward enough and the pay off is fantastic. Who knew felt could look so pretty? As we have been gifted with the rainy weather (April Showers, give us a break!), why not bring a little piece of Spring into your home?
This would make a fantastic gift for a loved one, you could use their favourite colours to really make it personal. I added a few leaves to my wreath but really, they aren’t necessary. You can go all out and fill the whole hoop with flowers, using little and large roses, or you can go really minimal and rustic by not wrapping the hoop with embroidery thread. This craft will take you an afternoon, I personally opt for a mug of tea, dressing gown and a good film on in the background- the perfect rainy Saturday Craft!
What you will need:
Felt – 1 sheet of felt per rose, ideally. This will vary depending on if you want to vary the size of the roses.
Glue Gun - with glue sticks because you don’t want to run out half way!
Embroidery Thread (for wrapping the hoop) and separate thread to use for the flowers.
Circular Shape – To use as a stencil, Approx. 1.2-2” Diameter. I used a shot glass ?
Step One: Start by tracing around your stencil, as many circles as you can fit on the sheet.
Step Two: Cut neatly around the circles, try to not have any marker on the felt circles, trim them a little as the pigment may ruin the finished piece.
Step Three: Cut each circle in half.
Step Four: Separate your embroidery thread in half, so three threads in total. Thread your needle.
Step Five: Take one half circle and create a stitch along the edge. Don’t worry about the stitch being perfect as we will be pulling it later.
Step Six: Once you get half way (about two stitches) across your half circle, take another piece of felt and lie it evenly behind the first and continue your stitching. Repeat this, so that after covering every half piece of felt, you add another half circle to create a chain of half circles.
Step Seven: Once you have run out of felt half circles, gently pull the thread at the edge. This will create a bunching up at the front of the chain. Move the felt along the thread to even out the bunching and keep pulling. This will create a lovely petal-like look to the felt.
Step Eight: When you are happy with the bunching, tie a knot in the thread.
Step Nine: Turn on your glue gun and let it heat up. Take one side of your petal thread and in the middle of the first petal, dot a blob of glue from the gun. Gently fold the petal in on itself.
Step Ten: Repeat this process, adding a little blob of glue and twisting the petals around each other. (As you progress to make more flowers, you will be able to vary how tight or lose you twist the petals over each other, creating different textures and looks for your flowers.)
Step Eleven: Once you have finished twisting your petals, you should be left with a beautiful rose flower. Add a circle of felt (I chose green because- nature) and glue it down, creating a base for your flower. Trim the edges so it doesn’t show when you are looking at the flower directly.
Step Twelve (Optional): Get your embroidery hoop and take some embroidery thread. Add a blob of glue to the top of your hoop and wrap tightly, covering the entire hoop. I used the equivalent of two spools of embroidery thread for this hoop size.
Step Thirteen (Optional): Cut out felt in the shape of leaves and add them to the base of some of your flowers. This will just add a little splash of colour!
Step Fourteen: Lay your hoop out and take a look at where you would like to place your flowers. Add a little mark as a guide if it helps you. Add a blob of glue to the place on the hoop you would like to place a flower. Don’t add the glue to the base of the flower as it can be a bit messy and is easier to place the flower on a blob of glue, than cleaning glue off the table because you misplaced the flower.
Leave it all to dry and voila!
I was always slightly puzzled by the groups of girls on hen parties in matching outfits I’d see roaming the streets of Temple Bar on a Saturday night. Not puzzled because there was a uniform - I realise that this is an easy way of identifying each other when three sheets to the wind. Puzzled because not only were they in the same uniform as the three other hen parties in Coppers that night but because nobody really looks like they’re wearing what they want.
If you’re planning a hen for your bestie and don’t really want to spend €20 per person for an ill fitting T - shirt that says “(insert name here)’s HEN” then maybe I could tempt you with an easy little craft project. Make your own individual “sequin pocket T - shirts”, these look pretty cool, you will all be coordinated without looking OTT and will be cheap as chips to make. I’m pretty sure you could even rope your co - bridesmaids into helping with the right amount of prosecco!
Get yourself a load of white/black t - shirts, with a pocket, everyone knows their size in Penneys, so take a note and get shopping. That being said if one of your hens is plus size, they can supply their own top, this is why the basic t shirt is always a good option. Let’s face it everyone likes to look good on a night out and as a former size 22 I can remember the chill going down my spine when people would hand me an XL t shirt from a kiosk for one of these things!! I really wish I had convinced someone to do this project sooner, I would have slightly less embarrassing photos in my past!
We’re off to a good start; you have your T-shirts; now get yourself to a Home Focus or Hickeys and buy a tube of Gem Tac glue and some tubes of flat sequins in the bride's favourite colour. The glue might seem pricey at €11.95 but you’re definitely going to get all the T-shirts out of one bottle and it dries flexible and clear so you can be as messy as several glasses of prosecco gets you!
*If you have a t-shirt with no pocket, get creative - either trace one on with tailors chalk or if you have an artist in the bunch get them to draw shapes, even a star or a heart on the T-shirts and then get blinging.
So there you have it, a fairly fun, unique look for your Hen party night out, one that should keep everyone happy, and the cost down. I got this T shirt for €3 from you guessed it “Penneys hun” - in a style I like and there was about 20 other types in every style imaginable. The glue cost €11.95 and the tubes of sequins €3.95 so if I were to do 12 T-shirts they’d only work out at €5.30 each. I think for €5.30 and a couple of hours of bedazzling that’s a fairly good hen outfit. If you’re a stressed out bridesmaid who could use some craft therapy; take a visit to your nearest Hickeys or Home Focus at Hickeys store to get your blinging supplies. Then get yourself and your girls out dancing!!!
A Starter Kit…
If you have clicked onto this post you are likely to be a novice or a beginner here in the world of sewing and dress making. If that is the case- welcome! Congratulations, you have taken the first step towards developing a skill you can use forever. Something I have learned from my mother is- as a beginner, do not dive in head first. Start small. Otherwise you will get frustrated and give up before you’ve even begun. Here is a list of things you’ll need to get started…
There are two pairs of scissors you will need in your kit. The first, shears or dressmaking scissors. They will make your future dress making projects a whole lot easier provided you choose the right pair. They don’t have to be an investment, but a great investment they will be! Both are designed to make the cutting of fabric a less laborious task, their handles allow for you to get a good grip and really control the cutting, and their sharp blades result in the fabric having a clean cut. You should choose them carefully, as you may find that some are very heavy whilst others too light. It’s personal preference. One thing you will hear time and time again from dress makers is do not, I repeat DO NOT use them to cut paper. Paper will blunt the blades, and therefore render them useless when it comes to the task of cutting fabric. Fabric only, people.
A set of small embroidery scissors is the second pair you will think a handy tool to have, for the likes of cutting thread. A little less clunky and pretty reasonable value.
Thread can vary, and depending on the project you may need to select accordingly. A great starter addition to your kit would either be cotton or polyester (or both). Cotton is versatile and comes in different finishes, it can withstand a lot of heat from the iron and runs smoothly through fabrics, particularly natural fabrics. Polyester is great because it works well with all fabrics and has great longevity- it washes well and keeps its colour. An important thing to consider when buying thread, is to know your thread. You should test it before using it in a machine, as a dodgy thread could cause damage. Tip- when pulled tightly, thread should snap before you cut your fingers. If it doesn’t then consider your machine, if it gets caught will it snap the needle or cause even more damage?
Pins are a bit like hair grips, they will end up everywhere and you will always be grateful to have them at hand. Use them to hold your pattern to a fabric whilst you trace it, they are also handy when you are sewing as they can keep your fabric in place to help you sew evenly (especially as a beginner). There is a variety of pins available, and standard steel pins would be a good place to start. They may not look as decorative, but for sewing tasks they will be versatile and easy to use on most fabrics. An adorable pin cushion will brighten up your sewing area too!
Hand sewing needles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they all have their uses. It can be daunting to know which one to choose, so be advised to go for a general pack. It has a few different lengths and types, so that you can find what suits you best dependent on the project at hand.
Sharps Needle: When in doubt, choose a Sharps needle. Very sharp (as the name suggests) and used for all general sewing projects. A good one for beginners as it will be able to tackle most beginner projects such as your first attempt at free hand embroidery!
Quilting Needle: Its has a short length which allows you to stitch faster than you may with a normal sized needle.
Embroidery Needle: Similar to a Sharps, except with a longer eye which will make threading the thicker embroidery thread a little easier for you.
Knitters or Ballpoint: Both are great for knit fabrics, the rounded edge goes around the yarn rather than breaking through it and potentially damaging your handiwork. Knitters are for hand sewing, closing the seams on your knitting projects, whereas Ballpoint is a machine needle, great for knit fabrics such as jersey.
We have a great selection of pins and needles available online and in store.
Provided you are confident that dressmaking or sewing is something you really have an interest in, it’s time to invest in a machine. We here at Hickeys are big fans of the Brother machines. With a starter machine, the more basic the machine, the less chance you have of overcomplicating your projects. The Brother LS14S is affordable as far as machines go and it is a great starter machine. Easy to use, a nice size and it covers all the basics. It comes with a DVD to show you how to use your machine and they have a YouTube channel that will show you all of their top tips and tricks. With an LS14S, even if all you end up doing in your sewing career is turning up your trousers, it will be money well spent.
Now that you have committed to a machine, you are raring to go and create magic. This is great! But you need to practice first. You need to get to know your machine, which means sitting in front of it and trying out all the settings. Try every stitch, get used to working the reverse stitch button, find the speed that suits you on the pedal. You will be grateful that you took the time to practice, it will make creating your first garment a far less daunting task.
When cutting out a fabric, this tool could be your best friend. Trace around your pattern onto the fabric with tailor’s chalk and it will make your life a whole lot easier. You could get a little more technical by using a blunt tracing wheel and some carbon sheets but really it is not necessary when you are learning- leave it to the pro’s for now.
Tailors chalk doesn’t have to be boring! Go for a lucky dip, you could get a red, yellow or blue Tailors Chalk – the excitement!
Even the best of the best dressmakers will make the occasional mistake. A stitch ripper will save you and your scissors the big task of ripping the stitches whilst also saving your fabric from damage so that you can try again!
We have a nifty little seam ripper with a rounded edge, to save your fabric from any nicks whilst ripping your stitches.
It’s easy to run away with your imagination and picture yourself creating dramatic pieces or a complex outfit, and with practice you will be able to achieve that one day. However, for now start simple. Don’t go out and buy a really difficult pattern and a really stretchy material. You might struggle and find yourself frustrated and feeling less than confident about your skills. Practice, practice and then practice some more. You should spend a while getting to know your machine before you even commit to a pattern. When you feel ready, go with a Simplicity pattern. They are very easy to follow, have some great looks and hopefully you won’t feel overwhelmed with their guidance.
If you are unsure of a pattern, pop into one of our stores! We have catalogues upon catalogues of patterns and styles to choose from. If you need help finding a fabric to suit your chosen pattern, our staff will be delighted to help you.
As the saying goes “Measure twice, cut once”, A measuring tape will save you on your mistakes (hopefully!). Soft and flexible, it will measure your curves accurately and easily. Most of them will come with both imperial and metric units, so that you can follow the sizes easily. A quick tip, make sure you replace your tape occasionally. This is as over the years, it can stretch a little when used often, your measurements may become inaccurate, even if you measure thrice!
So, you’ve collected all your bits & bobs, now you need somewhere to store it all! Sure, you could have it all stashed away in a drawer, but where’s the fun in that?! We have a great variety of little and large sewing baskets. Most sewing baskets will contain a removable compartment, acting as a little shelf for the smaller items in your kit. Sewing baskets also usually contain a small pin cushion for you to use while working away on your projects, as well as a little pocket often useful for the sharp embroidery scissors. Half the fun of a sewing basket is the choice in colours and patterns, so get choosing!
At this point, you should be kitted out and raring to create. If so, fantastic news! Use #HickeysFabrics in your social media posts so we can check out all your creative crafty bits and bobs- we can’t wait to see them! If you need any further assistance in your crafting career, why not pop into your local Home Focus or Hickeys Fabrics store? Our lovely staff will be delighted to help you with any queries you may have. We also host a range of Free Craft Demonstrations, no sign up required, just come along and be immersed in the crafting world. Happy Crafting!
Little else is more exciting to an interior design lover than adding something new to their home. Constantly on the look out for something different and exciting- changing cushions, adding throws, a new rug- you name it! Sometimes the eyes can be a little larger than the wallet, so here is a fun, easy and cost-effective way of adding a little something to your humble abode.
Something most can agree on is that twinkle lights are amazing. They are a low cost, pretty and simple way to jazz up your home- whether you wrap them around your curtain poles or drape them over your bed board to create a cosy feel by some candlelight, they are always welcome. Pom poms are all the rage at the moment, they are fuzzy delights that add texture and a pop of colour to anything you add them to. So, as you have guessed by the title- we have combined the two greats to achieve something even greater. Pom Pom Twinkle Lights. This DIY is fun, wallet friendly and interchangeable. Are you an interior chameleon? All you need is some wool, scissors and a Pom Pom maker, you can literally chop and change the colours with your mood.
Twinkle Lights: Opt for LED as they are a little safer, more energy efficient and more manoeuvrable as you’re not having to plan your display around the nearest plug socket. We have a variety available in our stores for great prices! Find your nearest store.
Pom Pom Maker: Pom Pom makers vary, and we have a great variety available to purchase in our store! However, really you can create a Pom Pom out of things in your home. Check out our Pinterest page where we have a board dedicated to the glory of the Pom Pom, with pins on DIY hacks, inspiration and ideas.
Sharp Scissors: There is nothing worse than a blunt scissors. If it’s sharp it will cut easily and make your task a little more enjoyable. Shop our online scissors selection
Wool: We have chosen two colours, both very on trend shades for 2018, but you can go as simple or as wacky as you like! There are no limits (aside from the length of your twinkle lights). Check out our wool selection online and in store.
Let’s Get Pom Pom’ing.
Step One: Assemble your maker accordingly. This one requires the two grooves and ridges to fit together. You then thread the wool through the middle and hold the short end in your other hand, then wrap! It's best to move back and forth around the half-moon shape, distributing the wool as evenly as you can. Don’t go too thick, as you will have to close the two sides which may prove difficult if your wool is packed on too thick!
Step Two: Once you are happy with the thickness of your wrap on one side of the maker, move the thread of wool to the other side and continue to wrap. Don’t worry about the thread of wool being spread across the two sides, as you will be trimming it later on, and will have a chance to even out your Pom Poms to your liking.
Step Three: Close your maker and use the little white grips to clasp the two pieces together. This secures the maker so that you can concentrate on trimming the wool! Get your scissors and place it between the groove and start cutting. The groove will act as a guide so that your cut remains straight.
Step Four: You can start to see the Pom Pom forming now- how exciting! Get a piece of wool, long enough to wrap comfortably around the width of your Pom Pom and tie a knot. When you wrap through the groove, tie single knot and pull tightly. Twist the thread again and tie a double knot to secure the Pom Pom.
Step Five: Remove the grips and carefully remove the maker. Trim your Pom Pom to size, evening it out as you go. Be careful not to cut the tails of the knot you used to secure the Pom Pom, as we will be needing these later!
Step Six: You should now be left with a variety of Pom Poms, as many or as few as you like dependent on the length of your string of lights. Lay your lights out on a surface and decide where you would like to place our Pom Poms. We chose to have one every four lights.
Step Seven: Using the tails of wool from your Pom Pom, tie your Pom Pom tightly around the Twinkle Light thread. When you are happy with the placement, trim your tails to blend in with the Pom Pom itself.
We are delighted to offer a range of FREE In-store Events & Craft Demonstrations in a selection of Hickeys Fabrics and Home Focus at Hickeys stores for Spring/Summer 2018. (Please note, you do not need to register, and all are welcome!) If you have any questions or require further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas is growing ever closer, and each year we are left with the dilemma: what do I get for my nearest and dearest?
Thankfully, some people have such a vast range of interests that you can always find them a quirky, fun, and useful gift. Crafters are one such group of people! If you have someone who loves to work with their hands in your family, what better way to show your love this Christmas than to give them the gift of creativity? Craft gifts come with all the joy of creating your own project, whether it's a jumper, a dress, or some beautiful cards, as well as the pleasure of enjoying your creation for years after it's finished!
Whether your loved one is an experienced dressmaker, or a beginner paper crafter, you're sure to find a crafty gift that's going to suit them. There are loads of different options available, so let's take a look at a few gift ideas:
Anyone who's interested in creating their own fashion design and making their own clothes will absolutely love a sewing machine this Christmas. Even a very basic model can let you create amazing and unique fashion pieces! This gift comes with hours of enjoyment, fun, and creativity, so it really is the gift that keeps on giving. The Brother LS14 model is a flexible and versatile machine, suitable for all skill levels.
What dressmaker doesn't dream of a model who can't fidget, complain, or leave? The Adjustoform Sewdeluxe Leg Body Form is a perfect gift for anyone who loves to create their own designs. You can easily alter it to a huge variety of dress sizes, perfect for making clothes for other people.
A bodyform is the perfect way to measure and create designs, without bribing a friend to stand for you while you get to work! A dressmaking model who can't complain about getting poked with needles? Sign me up!
Craft is taking the world by storm. From adult colouring books, to a resurge in knitting, people are starting to come back to creating home accents with their own hands, for truly unique pieces (as well as a new skill!).
Give someone you love the gift of creativity and fun with a craft kit, whether it's therapeutic zenbroidery or knitting up a storm!
What do you get for the crafter who has everything? Somewhere to put it all!
Delight the craft fanatic in your family with a beautiful sewing or craft basket - perfect for keeping all those small bits and bobs that are essential for craft neatly tidied away and easy to find!
For a little extra treat, why not fill the box before you give it as a gift? There are countless craft and dressmaking items that are perfect for filling up these basket - and they're sure to give the recipient a wonderful surprise!
Craft Kits are great fun and can give someone endless enjoyment! We have a brilliant range of craft kits for both kids and adults.
Whatever their interests, you're sure to find a meaningful, fun, and crafty gift for any friend or family member at Hickeys! Why not take a look at all of our fantastic Christmas stock?
Adorn your home with a rustic mini pine cone tree this Christmas! Simple yet so effective... It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. Decorate the tips of your pine cone with gems and embellishment to look like baubles.
2. Make the base from a polystyrene ball. Trim the top and bottom so the edges are flat. Decorate the ball by painting red and adding ribbons and bows.
3. Stick the pine cone to the top of the polystyrene base with glue and top the tree with a festive bead or bow!
We all dream of creating the perfect Christmas - with hot chocolate, beautifully wrapped gifts, milk out for Santa Clause, and of course stocking hung over the fireplace.
What better way to create a fairytale Christmas than with your own personalised, handmade Christmas stocking? Make one for everyone in the family, and pack them full of fun Christmas gifts just in time for Christmas morning!
Here's how you can create your very own beautiful Christmas stocking. Just download our free stocking pattern, and get started!
You've gone through all the effort of choosing a tree and decorating, but the look still isn't finished. It's easy to complete the look with a beautiful Reversible Christmas Tree Skirt.
The fun Scandi Christmas design is perfect for adding a subtle additional decoration to your tree!
It's never too early or late to indulge in some Christmas crafting! What better way to mark the excitement of Christmas than to count down each day with a hidden treat or secret message from an Advent Calendar?! Simply follow our easy steps below to create your own!