Wednesday, 14 November 2012

'Ahoy me hearties'

The lovely people at Abakhan set me a challenge every now and then to see what I can make from £20 of their products. This is always really hard because there is such a lot to choose from on their website. It takes me longer to choose what to have than it does to make things! You can pretty much get anything fabric or craft related on the website and its very competitively priced. I spotted some skull and cross bones fabric whilst I was browsing and with a pirate obsessed 4 year old in the house knew what my theme was going to be this month. PIRATES! 

I ordered 1m pirate fabric (£4.90), 1m red gingham fabric (£3.35), 2 metres red twisted cord (84p), 1m bleached Calico fabric (3.95), 5 fabric pens (£1.28 each), and 1m red gingham ribbon (38p). I wanted to make lots of little things that would make good presents to show that £20 actually goes quite a long way if you have the time and inclination to have a go at making things. Most of them were pretty simple to make and didn't take lots of time.

A few months ago Izzy and I had spotted some dolls we wanted to make in a craft book from the library but we didn't have any fabric paints. Once I spotted that Abakhan stocked them, I knew I had to order some so that we could finally have a go at making the dolls. The library book with the doll template had gone back to the library so I had to draw one freehand. I am rubbish at drawing so if I can do this anyone can! I just drew a very basic doll shape on a thin piece of card. You then cut two doll shapes out of the calico fabric and let your children loose with the fabric paints!! (Note to self - next time put newspaper down as the fabric pens WILL stain your lovely John Lewis oilcloth table cloth!) Remember that you have to design a front and back for your doll! This is the pirate that Izzy made for Sam.


You have to leave the pieces to dry which takes a day or two. Once its dry you put the painted sides together and sew around the edge leaving a gap for turning it back out, turn out and stuff and sew up the gap. Voila! You have a little doll that your children have designed. You could probably do this with felt tip pens instead but the fabric pens did give the dolls a slightly stiffer, waterproof texture which I liked. Izzy designed the pirate for Sam and then a girl doll for herself. (I'm not sure why her lips appear to be in her neck!). Some of the fabric pens we used were florescent and some sparkly. There are lots of different types to choose from.

It was really good fun making the dolls and Izzy and Sam love them! This would be a great activity to do at a party maybe? The children could decorate them and then get them back at a later date made up as dolls instead of a party bag (although that does sound like a lot of hard work!!) You can make different types of doll by just changing the design slightly eg cats, snowmen etc. 

Of course a pirate has to have a hammock sleeping bag and pillow to sleep in


and a purse to keep his gold coins

A pencil roll for map drawing. You can find a tutorial here

and a drawstring bag to keep his treasure in. I LOVE this red twisted cord. I will use coloured cord whenever I make PE bags now I think as it looks fab! You can find a tutorial for the bag here

A pirate is bound to lost some teeth in pirate sword fights so will need a tooth fairy cushion to keep his teeth safe

A pirate always need a bandana to wear to show he is a pirate (make it reversible with the gingham and it can also double as a cowboy scarf!). 

 and a pirate most definitely needs a cushion to sit on after a long day of finding treasure. This is a really easy envelope opening cushion. It literally takes 10 minutes to make and involves 4 straight lines of sewing! Anyone want a tutorial?

Sam can't quite believe his luck. How many pirate presents?? Thank you Mr Abakhan!!

It was great fun making all these little presents for Sam. Let me know if you make something similar. You can find the Abakhan website here


  1. That is wonderful. I love Abakhan and live in between two of the biggest stores.

    You have inspired me to make something for my 3 year old for Christmas!

    1. Ah thats brilliant! Thanks Kylie. I'm glad I don't live near one as I'd be in there all the time!!

  2. Love these - you have a great imagination

  3. Fabulous makes Louise - I bet Sam is thrilled! x Jo

  4. Never heard of them before but I love what you have made - as always.......looks like great fun too. Loving the idea of a party activity - logged for next year's celebrations. Thanks


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