Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Look What I Made! A little Tutorial for your Delight...

It's been a while since I put a tutorial on my blog... I think it's time to do something about that. So, while I was working away on part one of this little project last night, I hatched a Plan. I would make the second one this morning - and take photographs. Then I would make a tutorial for my blog friends.

Make a Mini-Peg Card Holder

Mini-Peg Card Holders

Yesterday I was in Milton Keynes (yes, that place made famous by concrete cows and huge shopping centre).  It was actually the shopping centre that was my destination and I actually saw the Concrete Cows.  True story - they used to live in a field/park round the corner from where I lived, in MK.  Now they live under the famous Oak Tree, in the middle of the new shopping centre extension.

Anyway, I went into the large branch of a certain famous Department Store chain.  In their haberdashery and craft department, I found two packs of mini-pegs, attached to which were hearts, butterflies and dragonflies.  These are cut from thin wood, which is covered with fabric:

Lovely, aren't they?

So I bought them. Brought them home. Hatched a Plan to make a Present for a certain tiny person's birthday in a month's time.  The tiny person's mummy loves vintage-style stuff, also banners, bunting, streamers and all things long, trailing and pretty.  "I will make a Birthday Card Hanger!" I thought....

So I did. Like this:

Sort your little decorated pegs into an arrangement you like and lay it out on a flat surface.  I had one pack of all-hearts and a pack of mixed butterflies and dragonflies; so I decided to use "Heart, Butterfly, Heart, Dragonfly, Heart... etc" as my arrangement.

Decide how long you want your banner to be and cut a length of thread for it. 

This will depend on a few factors, which you will need to determine yourself really... for me it was wanting to have a banner that held birthday cards, but would be short enough to hang on a fireplace/in an alcove etc; but I also wanted the pegs to be close enough together not to look sparse (as they are small).  I decided to use half the pegs on one banner and then made my thread about 120cm long. 

The length of thread needs to be long enough to hold the pegs and also to leave extra at each end, to attach to something for hanging (a pin, sticky tack stuff, tie onto something etc). 

The thread should be strong enough to take the weight of the cards - 12 greetings cards would be reasonably heavy, so I used a strong linen thread, that I have for book binding.  A piece of strong crochet cotton, string, thin tape or ribbon, or even fine wire, could also be used.

Thread this through a suitable needle. 

* * *

Put the needle through the hole in the peg-spring of the first peg - as shown in picture. 

Pull the thread through until the peg is near the end, but leave a tail for hanging.

Then put the needle back through the hole, in the same direction, to form a loop. 

Pull the loop up, so it is tight round the back of the peg - picture 3.

* * *
Space out your pegs.

You need to space your pegs evenly, so it looks neat and balanced.  As you see, I used my cutting mat as a guide. 

Decide how far apart you want the pegs, thread the next peg on and slide it up the thread, so it is the correct distance from the one before - as shown.  I chose a spacing of 8cm between pegs.

Make sure your peg is the right way up! I'm sure you wouldn't want pegs sticking up in the air, with upside-down butterflies...

Make your loop around the peg-spring. 

Use the tip of a finger to keep the peg in the right place, as the thread will pull through if you let it.

Continue along the thread, spacing each peg the same distance from the one before.

Take care not to slide the pegs along the thread, as you move them out of your way while you are working.

* * *

Use a blob of strong PVA glue to secure the thread loop to the back of the peg.

Lay out the peg string in a line.  Adjust any "slides" that may have occurred - check measurements if you need to. 

Glue every thread loop to its peg.  Leave the whole string to dry thoroughly - a good time for a refreshing cup of tea, your lunch or a good night's sleep!

Make another if you want to.  Hang on the wall - singly or together.

* * *

These would be great at a wedding reception or special party.  You could attach slips of paper - like I have - and guests could take one, write a special message to the Happy Couple / Birthday Person / To Whom It May Concern, then re-attach it to the peg-string.  You'd have a whole line of good wishes to take home!

You could also make these for other occasions.  I have seen these mini-pegs in lots of craft shops etc.  Sometimes they have embellishments attached, others they are just plain.  They come in colours, made of wood or plastic. I've seen gold and silver ones too. 

If they don't have embellishements on, you can make your own, or buy some of the crafters' embellishment packs and attach them to the pegs yourself.

I've seen these with lots of other embellishments - ladybirds (ladybugs!), bees, frogs, fishes, dinosaurs, birds, butterflies, flowers, Santas, reindeer, fir trees, holly, mistletoe.... you get the idea!

You can get them online too.  In UK there's a children's craft catalogue, sent home by many schools, called Yellow Moon.  They have a website where you can buy craft supplies - Yellow Moon, pegs. I'm sure there are other sites too.

Of course, you could make something similar with full-sized wooden spring-pegs.  There are plenty of ready-made embellishments that you could glue onto these.  They would hold all kinds of stuff, from cards to scrap pages, ribbons to bunting flags...

Have a go and leave me a link to your project - I'd love to see what great ideas this sparks off! 


  1. My cat would go nuts over these! LOL!
    Great tutorial. TFP,

  2. HA! Hope your cat can't reach then! Glad you like the post, Rinda.
    I've got a couple of other things lined up for the next week or two... a recipe, a possible giveaway/promotion, an idea for a blog-hop/party...

  3. What an adorable project, Lizzie! Thanks for the tutorial. xo

  4. Thanks for this Lizzie, what a great idea! I was going to make a banner to drape from my bookshelf, but I rather like the idea of using pegs better.

    I remember seeing the Milton Keyes cows from a train once, so I must have passed by where you lived!

  5. What a cute project, thanks for sharing. Would be great for saving little notes that the girls get from their friends.

  6. what a fabulous idea. i love lil pegs but they can be so expensive. thanx for the tutorial
    Jo xxx

  7. Nice Lizzie...I could do this in my studio instead of endless post it notes stuck to my screen with my job lists. And doesn't have to be fancy pegs does it?

  8. Grea idea Lizzie, haven't been shopping at MK for ages, a much maligned place.

  9. Lovely! I have one I did for Christmas cards a few years ago, but I hadn't thought of applying the same idea to birthday cards :)

  10. Those are cute! Much better than the plain string I have been using

  11. Sue, you're right - the Concrete Cows used to live right beside the railway viaduct, which ran along the bottom end of my area of MK.

    Jo, the packets of pegs I bought were J.L's own brand. There were 12 in each packet and they were £2.50 a pack. The ones at Yellow Moon are even cheaper just now - take a look! And full-sized laundry spring-pegs can be bought in pound shops/Wilkinsons/Asda etc for not-much-money. String is also cheap...
    If you use big pegs and thicker string(esp. the hairy stuff!) wrap sellotape round the threading end, so it will go through the holes!

    Louise, my niece made a holder for her polaroids, using plain jute string and plain laundry pegs. It looks fab!

    Thanks everyone! It's nice to get such enthusiastic feedback. Have fun with your own versions!

  12. So cute! This is a lovely project Lizzie, and a very clear tutorial :-)

  13. lovely idea Lizzie! So sweet! Might have to nab a few of my mums clothes pegs now to experiment with! he he! Abi xx

  14. oooh, I like how you anchored them to the string; so smart!


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