Hillary's craft competition, 2015...

Two weeks without a blog post, I clearly don't have as much to talk about...or it could be the fact of I've just been settling in to my new job...yeah, we'll go with the second one.

Hope you're well, whoever may be reading this. :)

On with the post, just over a year ago I entered a competition with Hillarys. If you want to read my last years post and see my entry you can do by clicking here. (I cringe a little when I reread old posts, so I tend not to do it often...it's for the best).

This year they have decided to run the competition again, find out more about it by clicking here. Second time around I'm seriously super excited! I only knew about the competition this year after receiving an email from Chris from Hillarys, I'm pretty sure he sent the email to everyone who got involved last year but hey, I felt special (not even kidding neither). I haven't really done anything crafty in a while so I was very grateful for this competition coming around, I could rekindle my love for crafts and being creative.

The competition was pretty simple, it was open to bloggers to show off their crafty side (the little slip says 'cut, stitch and blog your way' but it's ok, I didn't stitch but I checked that was ok...yes, I really am that much of a worry wort)! 

To enter the competition we had to simply choose one of the four different fabrics Hillarys gave us the choice between, then use our imagination to create whatever we bloomin' well liked...oh and then blog about it, hence why I'm writing this post. Who can grumble at that?

Out of the fabrics available I picked 'Hatti Raspberry' and once it had arrived in the post I was not disappointed at all. What beautiful quality, pattern and colours.

I'm going to start off by showing you my finished item, then we'll go back in time...one step at a time.

Once upon a time, this noticeboard was an old fashioned photo frame...

Sitting in a charity shop waiting for someone to rescue it. 
I'm pretty sure the frame loves its new look, it's left feeling full of life.

This frame was an absolute bargain costing only £3.50.
Especially after finding a frame before hand for sale at £15 in a different charity shop.
Charity shops are meant to be cheaper? Yes? 

After I'd bought the frame I headed off to a local craft shop which is one of my favourite little independent shops. The ladies in there are so lovely, extremely friendly and helpful.

'Hatti Raspberry' fabric in hand I went on a hunt to find the perfect paint colour to match and some ribbon too. Taking the fabric along with me made my decisions so much easier as I could tell what worked well with the fabric and chosen paint colour.

I've recently painted one of my bedroom walls a beautiful duck egg blue and I absolutely love it, it has made my room feel so much more cosier. So I knew I wanted to find a duck egg blue or a neutral colour to blend in with my room.

In the end after a few debating moments in the craft shop I finally went away extremely happy with my choice, my first choice actually. I got myself some lovely ribbon on board too (see what I did there? funny? no? humor me? ok?).

Materials now all bought that I didn't already own, it's time I start to give you a run down on how I created my beautiful noticeboard...

Step one...
First thing I did was take apart the frame, by take apart the frame I don't actually mean the whole frame. I mean take out the glass, picture and backing.

The frame was so old that everything was held in place by what I can only describe as extremely old parcel tape...I'm sure it isn't that, I'm not sure what it is (I have absolutely no idea so I'll not pretend that I do) it could be parcel tape but it was held in place by that and mini staples hammered into the frame sideways.

Screwdriver and pliers at the ready, it's time to separate this frame!

Step two...
Once the photo and frame were seperated and I just had the frame I decided to give it a clean with some fairy washing up liquid and a toothbrush to get inbetween the detailed edge of the frame. 

After I'd given it a good scrub a few times to make sure it was clean I went around with some kitchen roll to soak up any left over water.

Step three...
Time to get painting. I really enjoy painting, it is so therapeutic.

I treated this paint like I do nail varnish, nice thin coats are better than a couple of heavy blobby thick coats. 

After just one coat! It was pretty thick and not at all wishy washy but a few coats never hurt! :)

I ended up painting either three or four coats, basically enough so I was happy with how the frame looked. Thankfully the weather was nice when I chose to paint the frame so I managed to sit outside and get my paint on.

Step four...
I left my painted frame a good couple of days (ok, more like a week) to dry, it didn't take this long at all. It was dry within a couple of hours but it was a good few days before I picked the frame back up to continue with my project (lack of time).

The next thing I did was decide which way I wanted my stripes to go, running upwards, running side to side or running at an angle, I without a doubt preferred the stripes going across at an angle.

I then took the backing of the old photo, laying it flat down onto my fabric I drew around it. I used a Sharpie laundry marker (I'm sure you could use an ordinary Sharpie) and I allowed about a rulers width all the way around the fabric.

Once it was marked out I just took the scissors to it and cut, cut, cut away.

A little tip here, once I'd cut it out I decided to give it a quick iron to remove any creases (I mean what else do you use an iron for?)... If you're making something you might aswell give it your all, right?

Step five...
Now it's time to add a little wadding to the board. 

Again using the backing of the photo, which is now going to become the backing of the noticeboard. 
I laid the wadding out flat on the table and placed the backing from the photo on top.

Taking some scissors I worked my way around the backing to make sure there would be enough wadding to cover the back and still have enough to fold over the back like so...

As you can see from the photo once I'd got enough wadding I placed the backing onto the wadding (face down) and took my staple gun to hold the wadding in place.

Step six...
Now it's time to do the same with the fabric as I'd just done with the wadding.

The backing of the notice board (which was the photo backing) should now look like a blank canvas and it's time to get placing the ribbons. 

At this stage I made sure the notice board would fit ok in the frame (a little too late now though, it did though so no worries...I knew it would because I hadn't added much more depth to it) then I decided about the ribbons...

Step seven...
Ribbons at the ready it's time to have a play around, experiment...see what works best.

I decided I wanted to add a little character to my board so I took some hessian ribbon and plaited it, just like you'd plait hair. 

A little tip for you, use some washi tape or sellotape (washi tape isn't as messy) and stick the top of your three strands together to a surface to make plaiting a whole lot easier...

Step eight...
Ribbons and plaits in place, it's time to make it final. Staple gun at the ready again...

Staple, staple, staple allllll the way around. Making sure all the ribbons and plaits are securely in place.

Step nine...
Everything in place it's finally time to push the completed notice board into it's frame.

Step ten...
Hang proudly on the wall. Luckily for me the backing (which was the photo backing) had a thick cord already fastened into it so that saved a job. 

A noticeboard isn't complete with various different bits and bobs hanging from it.

I'm so pleased and proud of my entry even if I don't end up winning. It will always have its place in the spotlight whenever I have my fairy lights on... ;)

To create this noticeboard I used the following...

- Photo frame, Cancer Research UK (Charity shop)

- Americana Decor Chalk Paint, available from Hobbycraft. I used colour, vintage.

- Paint brush, B&Q. Any small paint brush should do.

-Wadding (a sheet, not little bits that you stuff teddies with), available from a craft store or a store such as Boyes.

- Ribbon, heart ribbon (Bertie's Bows) and hessian string/ribbon (Club Green). I bought both of them from the local independent craft store, shop around for your needs.

- Staple gun and staples, available Wilkinsons

HOORAYYYYYYYY, we've made it to the end!!!!