Log in

Previous 5

We have moved!

If you're reading this, you aren't getting all of the fantastic information this blog offers.

We have moved!

Find us at:

Kucachoo Crafts

We shifted our blog over to wordpress for many reasons including, advanced stats and the ability to permalink.

If you used to subscribe to this blog you can also subscribe to the new one via RSS.

If you stumbled upon this message by using a link, please drop us an email and let us know where at Kucachoo Mail  Thanks!

To dye for....

Having researched how to make plant based dyes, I decided to put the knowledge to good use.

Using simple printer paper and the plants found in my garden I was able to create some home dyed papers in some fantastic colours:

Here's how I did it:

Take 2 table spoons or more of plant material (see links at the bottom of this post) and place in a microwavable dish.  Placed enough water in the dish to ensure all the plant material is covered.  Cover the dish with the lid and microwave on full power for 2 minutes and then at 60% power for a further 20 minutes.  If the dye doesn't seem strong, try another 20 minutes at 60%.

Remove the dish from the microwave and strain the water into a washing up bowl, big enough to take a sheet of paper.

Place the paper in the water and swill so that the paper is soaked.  The length of time the paper should be left in varies according to the strength of colour required.  The best thing to do is experiment.

The following photo shows two colours and paper left in the dye for different times.  The stronger the colour the longer you need to leave the paper in:


Remove the paper and place on an old towel to dry.  When the paper is no longer soaked, but not quite dry, transfer to a flat surface to continue drying or hang on a line or radiator.

Once the paper is dry it can then be ironed flat which also makes the paper soft again.

The resulting coloured paper can be used for book making, journaling or other paper related experiments.

 You can also experiment with dyeing techniques.  Here is paper that has been dyed different colours on each side:

You can also try painting, splashing and other application techniques to produce great effects.  I had experimented with taking the actual material and placing it on the paper to leave it's dye imprint.  This works especially well with grass as it gives a very japanese feel.  Try it and see.

You can find a list of plants that make good dyes and the colours the produce at Pioneer Thinking, though this article mainly concerns cloth dyeing and it is woth noting that for paper dyeing you need not bother with fixatives and such.

And for the plants I used for my paper:

Left to right - 

Grass short dye time (yellow/green)
Iris Root (gray)
Grass long dye time (vivid yellow/green)
Coffee (buff to tan depending on the length of dye time)
Blackberry & Blackcurrent (blue/gray or 'I just washed a white shirt with jeans' colour)
Raspberry & Redcurrent (pale pink)
Blueberry long dye time (dark blue)
Blueberry short dye time (light blue)

I also tried dock root, which gave the exact same colour as grass, and dandelion petals, which is supposed to give vivid yellow but didn't produce anything.  I suspect I didn't use enough.

If you are going to try this project, I highly recommend starting with grass as it is the easiest to produce and gives the best results.  Also let me know and send us your finished pictures at kukachoo [at] hotmail.co.uk

Playing the Rating Game

Some of you might know I am an active member of Swap-bot.  The idea being you can join in swaps and receive ratings for it.

One of the problems on the site is those who are in many swaps, find it hard to remember who sent what after the 7 days waiting period for ratings.

Thus I came up with a solution!  Rating reminder cards.  These are little cards that are included in swap packages to aid the rating process.  They are small enough not to cause a problen sitting next to the pc and can be written on to indicate the swap they are for.  Each card features screen name and a picture that may be relevant to your name.

Here are the rating reminder cards for me (Cloverst) and my hubby (DaddyMat).

both cards


If anyone is wanting cards designing for them I'm more than happy to accept the challenge.  Depending on how pushed for time you are you can contact me through swap addicts group to organize a mutual swap (and both achieve ratings) or keep an eye on Kucachoo Crafts etsy store to by them already mounted and cut.

The cards are available in either single flat cards or double folded cards.

Storage Bag Tutorial

I recently made a bag to store my material scraps in.  I loved it so much I'm planning to make more, as it has so many potential uses.  The bag can be made in under an hour and in this case is made from an old curtain that I found in a charity shop for 50p!!

Here's how I did it:

Cut out two rectangles of the required size from the material you are using.  In this case I was using squared material which made the whole process much easier!  If you are using a curtains as I was, remove the hams beforehand.  (the side ham can be used to make the hanging loop later on.)

Cut out

Place the rectangles together with the best sides facing and pin.  Using your sawing machine on straight stitch, sew around three sides approximately 1-2 cm in and leaving one of the shorter sides open.  Try to do a better job than I did!


Turn the edge of the open edge approximately 3 cm and pin.  Using zig zag stitch, sew over the edge of the fabric to fasten and prevent fraying.  This will form a tube through which the elastic will be threaded.


Turn the fabric inside out so that the best side of the bag is outside.  On the inside of the bag cut a slit in the tube where the elastic is to be threaded at one of the seams.  Attach the end of the elastic to a safety pin and using the push and grab technique, work the safety pin through the tube and out of the other side.


One the elastic is threaded through, attach the safety pin and elastic to the material and pull the feeding end of the elastic until the opening is ruffled.


Detach the safety pin and tie a firm knot in the elastic to secure (make sure the elastic pulls open wide enough to be able to put what you want into the bag!).  Snip the ends of the elastic and tuck into the bag.


If your bag is for hanging you can take the hem from the curtain (or some other material, hemmed to prevent fraying), cut to the required length and sew it in a loop where the elastic tube opening is.  Here is the finished article:


The next bag will be for storing my kiddies shoes!

If you make a bag using this tutorial, send us a photo and a short description of what it is used for to kucachoo [at] hotmail .co.uk and we'll post an article to show off the creations!


Making Journals

An craft that I have become interested in more and more over the past few weeks is that of making your own journals.  I love to journal.  I have many different kinds and find that with my memory being vague as it is they are invaluable to preserving information and thoughts.  Some of the journals I keep include: dreams, thought, inspiration, recipe and family history.  The thought of being able to apply my own creativeness to the actual journal itself makes me want to get started right now!  I've scoured the web to find a range of journal making techniques and tutorials to help create that extra special journal.

Here are some photos on fan books.  There is no explaination to the tutorial but the idea is easy enough to pick up.  These books are small and so perhaps would be best suited to a short event such as a wedding or a holiday.

A similar series of photos about tag books.  Again a bit of imagination is needed on how to make these up but it shouldn't be too difficult.

This is an interesting use of old cd's to make a pretty little booklet to store one memory.

Here's a page of tutorials on how to make different kinds of books.

This is the best journal making tutorial I could find.  It took me forever to find one that had good pictures and looked simple enough.  Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Altered journaling is the art of taking a regular journal and adding to it to make it your own.  I have yet to find a tutorial on this but I founf a picture that explains it reasonably enough.  Here.

If you journal at the moment of you want to journal in the future but aren't sure where to start or even if you are interested in making journals, come and join in the discussion here at our group.  We are also working on collaborative journalling projects where journals are released into the wild to collect other peoples thoughts before they return home.

Previous 5

May 2007



RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com