Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Don't be tight, spend a little time ... ...

I know that Valentines day (like a lot of other days) has been hijacked by consumerism, but that doesn't mean you have to buy into it, instead of spending a load of cash on a card and a gift for your better half, why not spend a little time making something instead ?

These days all I seem to hear is I don't think I could make this or that, and I'm no expert in making stuff, but that's no reason to not try.

If I can make it you can -


So with that in mind I've made my wife a present for Valentines day and it cost... ... nothing, apart from a little time, and you don't need any special skills either, just a few tools, and to be honest I'm not that old (unless you listen to my kids) and I learnt how to do most of this kind of thing in school, so most people around my age really should have the ability to make things of all kinds.

This isn't a new idea, it's something I've played around with before, but this time I have some new toys, in the shape of some embossing pens, which cost £3 for a set (peanuts) but you can use anything with a rounded end, I was using the end of a crochet hook.

The embossing pens -

They work very well on tin.

A close up of one of the ends, they are like little balls - 

This is the largest one.

These aren't technically for using on metal, more paper, but they work well and make drawing on metal much easier as they run smoother than a crochet hook.

Okay so I've spent a few quid on some embossing pens, but I would have got them anyway ;-) as for the other materials, well tin is easy to come by, in fact if you have a beer or 2 in the fridge you have a load of tin, it just needs a little preparation, you'll need to rub the printing off the can, wire wool works well for this, it's also best to cut the can so you have a flat sheet of tin to work with.

When drawing on the tin I've found it best to put a couple of sheets of paper underneath it, makes all the difference, you can print something out and trace it onto the tin, or do something free hand or draw round something, doesn't have to be complicated.

This is what I ended up with - 

Took about 10 minutes in all.

And that's about it really, all I did then was to stick the sheet of embossed tin onto a bit of hard board using glue, thin plywood works just as well, then I used some Buddleja sticks to make a frame, this is where some basic tools and basic wood working skills come in handy, as you'll need to cut the sticks to make a frame.

Here's mine to give you an idea - 

I used copper wire for the hanging loop.

 The wire hanging loop is made by winding some thin copper wire together, but you could use string, or ribbon, or just drill a small hole in the middle at the top to hang it on the wall, I got the wire from and old pc power supply, top tip, transformers are wrapped with copper wire, you just need to extract it, so any old electrical equipment (and old radio for example) should have some useful copper wire in it.

To make the loop I took 4 equal lengths and wound them together, and what you get should look like the picture below.

The wire loop - 

I used a drill to wind it, it's quicker.

 It's simple to make and comes from the heart, and all it takes is a little time and effort, you'll be re-cycling and did I mention it's cheap (virtually free) which means you can always use the money you saved to replenish the beer supply so you have some tin for next Valentines or for when ever you feel like making something for your better half.

Thanks for reading.

Inspire Me Beautiful


  1. What Brilliant tutorial! Thanks for sharing, Fab idea!

  2. We posted a homemade card to The Daddy One's workplace for him today :)

    My Mum is really into Parchment Craft (she is a teacher) and has rolls of tools that look like that.............Umm............


    In case you are unfamiliar with parchment

    1. I'm sure he'll love it, I always think handmade things mean more than shop bought.

      I shall have a look at your mums blog thanks :-)

  3. Oh that is just beautiful. Handmade does means so much more (to me anyway) Wonderful, as always.

    Thank you for linking up!

  4. I really love this. And I love the wombling way you find your materials! x

    1. Thanks, my wombling does get me into trouble sometimes, my wife thinks I'm part squirrel ;-)

  5. I bet you wife really loved it, another triumph!!

  6. Lovely, thanks for the heads up on the how to too. Think I have everything I need to make one of my very own!

    1. Glad you found it helpful, it's an interesting way to re-cycle.

      Thanks for reading.