Tag Archives: Craft

How do you organise your crafts?

23 Nov

Over the past year or so, my small black bag of supplies has expanded and expanded. For my birthday this year, my old flatmate bought me a wonderful sewing box, so (most of) my sewing kit is all organised, but everything else just gets thrown into a drawer. I did have a go at arranging everything into another sewing box and I even bought a big tool box to put everything into, but it just isn’t enough!



Quite frankly, it’s not that much more organised, but I suppose there is less chance of my slicing my finger off on a rogue stanley knife.

I remember when I heard that Candy Spelling (ie Tori Spelling’s mum) had a whole room dedicated to wrapping presents, I thought she was a crazy lady. Now I can see where she’s coming from. It now makes sense. If I had a mansion, I might have a present-wrapping room too. Sadly I don’t, and I can’t see that I’ll ever have a dedicated craft room, but I might install a ‘craft desk’ at my new flat, and so I have been ogling some craft rooms on Pinterest…

Via Pinterest (can’t find an original source, but it looks very Martha). This actually looks quite doable as it is a ‘behind the door’ storage solution usually used in kitchens. So this is definitely worth investigating (but would still struggle to fit my crap).

Via Houzz. Yes I have pinned a room dedicated to wrapping paper. It is wrong. But also. I want.

Really pretty, but definitely not adequate for my overspillage. Via Country Home

If I had a lot of space and a big wide table, maybe I would actually use my sewing machine more! Via Apartment Therapy

Via Nest of Posies. Her craft room is amazing and completely done herself – really impressive!

Oh my, and then there is this. Jeaaaalous.

How do you organise your crafts? Do you have your own amazing space or share or are you fitting in whatever you have wherever you fit it? I would love to know what you do with your stuff – hopefully it could help me find a solution!

Ideas for craft projects

14 Nov

Some of the ideas I’ve been pinning over the last couple of weeks:

DIY globe garlands – how cute would these be with some fairy lights in them as well?  Via Poppytalk

Gold Toe Flats – SO simple and what a great way to refresh any old flats you have lying about. Via Say Yes to Hoboken

40 amazing edible gifts (how good does the Peppermint Hot Fudge sound!?) from The Kitchn

Wine bottle light – P and I started making this on Sunday, but it turned out the drill bit we hadn’t wasn’t that good for glass so we have ordered the new piece and I’ll write another blog about this soon. Via Wit and Whistle

Another map-related idea (P likes a good map so am on the look out for mappish presents) – we met, we married, we live – so sweet! Via Minimoz

Have you seen any great craft projects lately? I would love to do a Christmas craft round-up for decorating the house and Christmas tree… Post your ideas in the comments!

Book review: Bust DIY Guide to Life

8 Nov

When I was a teen, I used to love Bust magazine. It was fun, different, totally unconcerned about make-up and celebrity gossip and prom, like the other teen magazines seemed to be. When I left high school, I kind of lost touch with the magazine, and since I’ve been in the UK I haven’t really seen it. Until recently, when a blog I follow pointed out that they had just published a book! All about craft & DIY! How exciting. I ordered a copy straight away.

This is SUCH a fun book. The projects range very far and wide. From sewing a simple skirt to creating bookshelves out of vintage books and making a spice cabinet from an old suitcase, from making a tank top & pair of pants from old band t-shirts to making your own sex toys, from hanging a picture to updating your creative resume – there is a huge amount covered in this tome.

It is clear that a lot of love has gone into making this book. The tone is light and fun, but the projects all seem practical, doable and, most importantly and missing from a lot of recent craft books, there are a lot of projects that I would actually like to make. The advice on how to be creative while you keep your 9-5 was quite inspiring and as soon as I finished going through it, I wanted to read the whole thing again.

A really lovely book!

Have you got it? Have you tried any of the projects yet? Let us know in the comments.

Buy the Bust DIY Guide to Life here

Papered Parlour Open Weekend

3 Nov

The Papered Parlour in Clapham is a workshop space and artist studio that provides workspace for artists to work, and puts on classes for people to learn and practice techniques including wallpaper printing, silversmithing, sewing and more. They held an open weekend a couple of weeks ago and we went along on the Saturday afternoon for  a nosey around. We were inspired by and in awe of the amazing artists who were showing their jewellery, illustrations, paintings, cards, printed tea towels and much more.

Katie paricularly liked the work of Kareena Zerefos who designed the open weekend invitation. She also loved Made with Love‘s printed tea towels and bought this cute robin one from them and this postcard below from Mary Kilvert.

I was really taken with the pretty wooden and hand illustrated bird jewellery by Avarae 17, Pickle and Lily’s bespoke fascinators and the illustration art of Holly Clifton-Brown. Her work is hand drawn fairy tale like figures which remind me of a cross between The Borrowers and the cartoon film of James and the Giant Peach. If that’s your sort of thing I really encourage you to have a look at her website. She also illustrates childrens picture books and has a new one called Elephant White coming out soon.

Well done to the Papered Parlour for an inspiring event.  I am booked in for a silversmithing class in November so will be writing that up and I also have an eye on the photography class to brush up my long lost GCSE photography skills.

Take a look at the Papered Parlour’s website, facebook page and twitter for more information on their classes.

Deer card evolution

28 Oct

The best part about making any kind of art, whether it is cards or painting or collage – whatever – is that feeling when inspiration kicks in. You finish off one thing and you know straight away what you want to do next. I started making embroidered cards using a simple drawing of a deer, a needle and some brown thread.

Then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if the deer was a really bright colour? So I got some flouro embroidery thread and created some very bright pink cards. Then I decided to make a stencil of him, and created some brightly painted cards and some spray painted cards.  In the end there are 7 different varieties, all based on the same original drawing!

Wednesday night’s episode of Frozen Planet has started to make me feel all wintry. I think this weekend I’ll be thinking about ice and snow and Christmas – look out for some Christmassy cards very soon!

PS: If you want to buy any of my deer cards, come along to our swap party tomorrow, where I’ll be selling them. Or you can just get in touch.

Ideas for craft projects

19 Oct

As usual, I have been spending far more time than I should on Pinterest. This week, the craft projects that caught my eye were:

Bird stencilling (inspired by this and Hannah’s card post, I created some bird-on-a-branch cards and blogged about it earlier this week).

Vintage ruler clothes rack. I LOVE this – P & I found a whole load of vintage rulers at a flea market recently, and we were so tempted to buy them, but had no idea what to use them for. Now I know! If I spot them again, I’ll definitely pick some up.

These hanging vases made from old lightbulbs are AMAZING. How great would these look at an outdoor wedding?

I’m really looking for some low-cost Christmas presents this year, and I love these salt-dough ornaments, with sweet little stamps or stencils on them. Cute! I can’t find the exact post that these come from, but they were created by Marley and Lockyer, who also have a lovely blog.

What has been inspiring you this week? Post your links and ideas in the comments!

Ideas for craft projects

11 Oct

Do you use Pinterest? I absolutely love it and am quite obsessed about logging in to see what other people are seeing around the internet.

Some of the craft projects that have caught my eye lately are:

You take a photo that you love into Photoshop, pixelate it so that you have huge blocks of colour, then basically paint by numbers to create a really unique painting for your wall. I love this idea! (via Wit and Whistle)

Create envelopes using Google maps – the route plots the route between you and the person you are sending your letter to! (via Incredible Things)

I am seriously considering doing this cute spray painted bottle idea for my wedding centrepieces – so cute! (via the Colourful Living Project)

And finally, I absolutely must, must visit this paper store in Southampton Row. The papers look AMAZING. Wow. What an inspiring place. Have you been?

What craft projects have been inspiring you lately?

How to Make Jewellery with Tatty Devine

1 Oct

I have been working on this book, so can’t really write a review of it. BUT I can share a few photos of the event that the editor held earlier this week. A few of us got together after work in the office, had some wine, and made some lovely little rosette pins. You can read the full write up on the Tatty Devine blog.

Watch a short video I made of our crafty night in >

Wine, cheese and hand puppets

28 Sep

This weekend, I travelled to France with one of my oldest friends, Aline, and her two close friends. The ‘real’ reason for the journey was to carry suitcases of her clothes to her mum’s house in France, as Aline is moving to Zambia for two years in October. However, we all knew the real real reason was to have an excuse for drinking wine and eating cheese.

What does one do of an evening while eating wine and drinking cheese? The obvious answer? Play board games or cards. We had none of these. The second most obvious answer? Make hand puppets of yourself for your friend to take to Africa so that she doesn’t get lonely.

What a brilliant idea. We all brought along scissors, fabric, buttons, and thread, and one girl brought a metre or so of felt. Each evening, we sat around, drank copious amounts of wine, and sewed beautiful dresses for our mini-me’s.

Making hand puppets is ridiculously easy. First cut out a person shaped blob that fits your hand.

Then stitch its sides together and cut out some fabric to go over it as a dress. After her clothes, I added a face and some hair on to my doll.

We had a lot of time and a lot of wine, so we ended up adding all sorts of embelleshments. I embroidered on some glasses, Sophie gave herself some cleavage, Aline some earrings, and George ended up making finger puppets of her cats. I decided that my hand puppet had no neck so had to perform some very careful neck surgery.

In the end I think it was quite a good likeness!

I know it sounds silly, but the four of us had a brilliant time making these. The puppets were cheap, easy, and absolutely loads of fun. We have made Aline promise to take the dolls around Africa with her, and take photographs of them wherever she goes. Whether this will come to pass, I don’t know, but I like the idea of a puppet version of myself visiting countries I have never been to. And as cheesy as it might be, I think Aline will look at these strange creatures are remember how much she is loved by her friends in London. Good luck Aline!

Patchwork Cushion

18 Sep

Today I tried my hand at machine patchwork using instructions from Queen of Crafts. It’s more technical that I thought, there’s a lot of measuring involved and so you need to be patient and careful.

It took approximately four and a half hours and cost £1.75 for the cushion. The fabric was free as I used scraps from curtains I’ve shortened or other past projects.

Having chosen and collected all my fabric scraps and a cushion pad (in Queen of Crafts she suggests using cushion filling rather than a pad but I think either is fine) I measured the cushion and divided by five to work what size squares I would need. The cushion is 35x35cm so that’s 7cm per square with a seam allowance of 1cm either side so 9cm squares. Queen of Crafts says to use a 6mm seam allowance but 1cm seemed easier to measure precisely. I then cut out a card template and used it to cut 25 fabric squares. I then ironed each square.

Now for the painstaking bit – using dressmakers chalk (I didn’t have any so used blackboard chalk!) measure your seam allowance on the back of each square and mark with a ruler.

Lay out your pattern on a flat surface moving pieces around until you get the pattern you prefer.

Then it’s time to start sewing. Using your machine stitch right sides together (chalk marks facing out) using a straight stitch until you have done one line of the patchwork. Then do the other lines as separate pieces.

Next sew the strips together. This is a difficult stage as you need to make sure all the edges of the squares line up and mine didn’t always. I adjusted things by sometimes unpicking and resewing seams to make it all fit. When you’ve sewn all the strips together you have your piece of patchwork. Iron it all flat, pressing out seams where you can. I say where you can because my erratic sewing meant that sometimes I’d sewn in different directions and sewed edges of seams down as you can see here. It looks fine on the right side though.


To make the back take one piece of material and cut larger than 35x35cm. I didn’t have one piece that big so sewed two together. Sew the front to the back on three sides with right sides together and snip the corners at an angle so that it doesn’t bulk up when you turn it right side out.

I sewed one patch on either side of the open edge, turned it right side out, pushed out all the corners and then squeezed the cushion pad in through the opening. Finally hand sew the cushion closed using  stitches as neat and as small as you can.

Ta da! A patchwork cushion. As I used plain fabrics rather than patterned I might go back to it at some point and embellish it with some beading or applique and will share my results if I do.

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