10

Lavender Bunnies

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Last Christmas (all the way back in 2012!) James bought me this book on vintage inspired handmade gifts. It’s so beautiful, it sits on my windowsill next to my Rookie yearbook, and my Tea Party book. Books with big pictures are my favourite. Anyway, I spent last christmas writing essays and I promised my mum that when I graduated we would make the lavender bunnies in my book as gifts. And we did! I know some of my friends and family read my blog, so I didn’t want to write about these before Christmas – I wanted the bunnies to be a surprise. I’m so pleased with how they turned out. They’re not symmetrical but I think they’re cute. The fabric I chose frayed like crazy but once we figured out how to work with it they were super fun to make 🙂

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You will need: Fabric (I used 3/4s of a meter of vintage plaid fabric from ebay), greaseproof paper, pencil, fabric scissors, lavender (you can buy dried lavender online), polyester stuffing, needle and thread, embroidery floss, embroidery needle, ribbon, small pom poms, sewing machine (optional)

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We traced the bunny shape onto greaseproof paper (remembering to leave an inch for the seam) cut it out, pinned it onto the fabric, and cut out 24 bunny shapes • I pinned two sides of the bunny together and sewed around the edges, leaving one side of the head unstitched • We snipped into the corners of the bunny and pushed the fabric through the hole so that the bunny was the right way around • I stuffed the bunnies, alternating between polyester stuffing and lavender

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I hand sewed the stuffing hole closed • We hand sewed on the pom poms as tails, tied the ribbon around their necks and embroidered eyes noses and mouths using the embroidery floss.

I rarely craft with others, so it was really fun to make bunnies with my mum – especially since they were completed twice as fast! They’re one of my favourite things I’ve ever made, I hope they enjoy their new homes.

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6

DIY Snowman Jumper

You guys, I love themed clothes. I have so many glittery dresses and sequined trousers that I bring out at christmas time, but I realised the other day that I don’t own any christmas jumpers. From Saturday I’m expected to go to work in fancy dress (yay!) so I thought I’d whip up a snowman jumper. Initially I planned to embroider the whole jumper with wool but when I realised how long that would take me I stitched the main design in felt like these bloggers.

snowman jumper 1snowman jumper 2snowman jumper 3You will need: A jumper(!) mine is from H&M, wool, a wool needle, white fabric and fabric for the hat and scarf, needle and thread, pom pom rings or cardboard.

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Cut your snowman shape from the white fabric and stitch it to the jumper. Make sure you don’t stretch the jumper as you’re stitching otherwise the design will be crumpled when you wear it! • Cut your hat and scarf from your coloured fabric and stitch it to the jumper • Use your wool and a wool needle to embroider buttons, a nose, eyes and a mouth. Make a pom pom using pom pom rings or cardboard (like this) and stitch to the top of the snowman’s hat.

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Ta da! You have a snowman jumper! I hope this is helping you feel festive. I’m looking forward to going to work in my jumper and lots of glittery make up. Do you have any christmas jumpers?

12

8 Homemade Gift Ideas

I know a lot of people like to have their christmas shopping done by now, but if like me you’re less organised than that, here are some homemade christmas gift ideas from my archives. Handmade presents are often cheaper, you don’t have to wait for weeks for them to be posted to you, and it’s so special to gift something that you’ve spent time making! Plus, homemade presents are usually better quality than shop bought ones, and you can personalise them to suit the person you’re gifting it to.

1.  Fur lined mittens. I made these for a friend last year. They’re a nice beginner sewing project and mittens make excellent christmas presents, since they’re so cosy!

Fur lined mittens

2. Pattern rug. This would be great for someone who’s moved into a new place, or someone who loves a good pattern!

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3. Scented candles. I recently made these for myself, but they’d make the cutest presents!

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4. Paisley Man’s Shirt. This project is time-consuming, but if you started now you’d be finished before christmas. Nothing says “I love you” like homemade clothes.

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5. Embroidered picture. This is a really simple way of creating a personalised artwork for someone.

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6. Massage oil. This is super easy and inexpensive to make, and you could even gift it with an “i owe you a  massage” voucher.

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7. Log vase. If you have a friend that likes earthy decor, this would be the perfect present.

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8. Hand printed shirt. This is a fun and easy project,  and who wouldn’t appreciate a handmade shirt?

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Are you guys hand making any presents this year?

6

DIY Glitter Garland

There are many wonderful things about Christmas. One of my favourite is that it’s a good excuse to cover everything in glitter. I love glitter! This week I made a glittery gold garland to hang up in my room, and here’s how I did it 🙂glitter garland 1glitter garland 2

You will need: String or a bead chain to hang your decorations onto, PVA glue, gold glitter, paint brushes, gold spray paint and decorations to hang on your garland. I got all of mine from Wilkinsons. You can use pom poms, baubles, mistletoe, twigs from the garden, pine cones, bows, ribbon, whatever you like!

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If any of your decorations aren’t already gold, you need to spray paint them. Do this outside so you don’t gas yourself / ruin the carpet, and then leave your decs to dry • Once your decs are dry, paint shapes onto them using PVA glue and dunk them in the gold glitter • Once the PVA is dry, shake off the excess glitter • Tie your decorations onto the string! My baubles and bows came with ties, and I tied everything else on using gold ribbon

glitter garland 4This is a really fun craft to do with someone else. James doesn’t usually enjoy crafting, but he loved spray painting things and covering them in glitter!

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Now you’ve finished, you can hang up your garland and admire it. Have you ever hand-made christmas decorations? I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday 🙂

5

DIY Scented Candles

I love things that smell good, especially during winter when I’m spending a lot of time indoors. I burn a lot of joss sticks but I also love scented candles, and this is my third tutorial featuring essential oils! (DIY one, DIY two.) I find Yankee Candles super expensive though, especially when it’s so easy to make your own! I think it would be hard to replicate the smell of a Yankee Candle using this DIY, but these candles are still really cute.

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You will need: Glass containers for your candles (you can find so much cute cheap glassware in charity shops, that’s where mine come from!) candle wicks, candle wax (I recommend using either an unwanted candle that’s broken or dirty or soy wax, which is eco-friendly), spray paint, tape, kebab skewers, essential oil, and a doily.

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Obviously you can use any essential oil, but I am totally addicted to lavender! I think it’s the most relaxing scent.

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Cut your doily in half and cut each half into a semi-circle • Tape your doilies onto your glassware so that they overlap. Make sure they sit flat otherwise your pattern will smudge, and make sure you don’t put tape on the part you want to paint! • Turn your glass upside down and spray paint the bottom • Whilst your glass is drying, move on to the next step

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If you are recycling a candle like me, scrape any of the damaged parts from the wax with a knife • Melt the candle in a double burner (this is a pan on top of a pan full of water – you don’t want your wax to cook!) and remove the wick. You can recycle the wick too if you like! If you’re using soy wax just melt this in the pan • Tape two kebab sticks to the top of the glass, and wedge the wick in between them. This will hold the wick in place • Add a couple of drops of essential oil to your wax and pour it into your container. Wax sinks as it cools, so you will need to add more wax after a couple of hours.

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I did a second candle, but instead of using doilies I just taped the top of my glass before spray painting it. This is so simple but I think it’s really effective.

What do you think of my DIY? I think these would make great christmas presents, and you can be as creative as you like with both the scent and the way you decorate your glass! I’m keeping these for myself, they make my room so cosy 🙂

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Have you ever made candles before? Happy Wednesday friends!

10

Autumn Stitching Club #11

Pattern eleven of Wild Olive‘s Autumn Stitching Club is this cute smiley leaf! Colourful leaves are probably one of my favourite things about autumn, although they are looking a little more soggy and a little less crisp at the moment. I don’t think it’s autumn anymore!

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I only have two more of these patterns to stitch until they become a cushion cover. At the moment, I stitch these in front of Homeland on a Sunday night. I’ll have to find something else to occupy me when both of those things are finished! I hope your week is off to an excellent start 🙂

7

Handmade Letter Writing Paper

There’s nothing better than receiving a hand written letter in the post, am I right? Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to contact people immediately on social media, but letters are much more intimate and they demand your attention in a way that a tweet cannot. One of my favourite parts of writing a letter is the decoration. Here are four ideas for decorating your own letter paper. Are you and a long distance friend in need of a catch up? You should write them a letter this weekend 🙂

I wanted to use recycled paper, and the paper I used comes from the Exotic Paper Company. I chose to buy recycled banana paper, but you can also buy paper made from elephant poo. How cool is that!

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You will need: Paper, Ink or watercolour paint, paintbrush (small and large), jam jars, rubber, craft knife

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Rubber print paper

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To make this rubber stamped paper, first put a little ink in a jar and add the same amount of water • Use your craft knife to carefully cut a shape out of the rubber. The simpler your shape, the better! • Paint the rubber with your water/ink mixture and use a spare piece of paper to dab off the excess • Use your rubber to print onto the paper. Don’t worry if it’s uneven, it adds to the charm!

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Bordered Paper

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If you want to border your paper, you can use any illustration you like, but the most effective designs are simple and abstract. I just used a combination of curly lines, swirls and yellow dots! Before you paint onto your paper, experiment with different amounts of ink and water on your brush, different sized brushes and a variety of pressures to decide which marks you like the most!

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Ombre paper

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Fill two jars with water, and add a couple of drops of different coloured ink to each jar. • Make sure you wipe the excess water off your brush before painting – you don’t want there to be puddles on your letter paper! • Roughly paint a different colour wash on each end and blend in the middle

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Illustrated paper

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First paint a background onto your paper by dabbing a watered down ink onto your paper with a large brush • Use a small brush, and black ink straight from the bottle to paint a simple design in the corner. If you paint your design whilst the paper is wet, the ink will bleed a little, which I think looks cool. If you want a crisper line, wait until the paper is dry.

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So there are some ideas for decorating paper! Which is your favourite? Do you write letters to your friends, or do you have a penpal? I’d love to hear how you decorate your letters!

7

Autumn Stitching Club #10

My latest embroidered pattern for the autumn stitching club is this gourd! I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know what a gourd is. Is it like a funny shaped courgette? Me and James once bought a bitter gourd from the exotic vegetable section in Morrisons and used it in a curry – it was pretty gross but we could have been cooking it wrong!

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I can’t believe I only have two more patterns to go until I can sew all these smiley autumn objects into a cushion. I’m psyched to have the finished project on my sofa!

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Autumn Stitching Club #9

The first time I ever tried a piece of pumpkin pie was this autumn! You can’t be a real blogger unless you love pumpkin, right? I made a couple of pumpkin pies, and although I haven’t got the recipe right yet, they were pretty tasty 🙂 I just wish shops sold pumpkins in the UK for longer than two weeks in October. Anyway, here is my third pumpkin pie of the season, but this time it’s embroidered. This pattern is for the autumn stitching club, of which you can see more here.

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At least the garden is overflowing with apples from our trees, so I could always make apple pie! I’m excited to finish all my autumn embroidery patterns so that I can turn them into a cushion 🙂 Have a great day!

13

Archie Embroidery

It was my Dad’s birthday at the start of the month, and he is so difficult to buy for. Instead of buying him something he doesn’t want or need, I decided to stitch a picture of our bunny Archie for him. It was a time-consuming project but not a difficult one. If you like the idea you could follow these steps to make an embroidered picture of anything – but pictures of pets are the best!

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I looked for some embroidery inspiration online and most patterns used solid stitching for the whole picture. I prefer embroidery that looks more like a drawing than a painting (if that makes sense!), so I stitched most of Archie using the spaced out stitches that you can see. I think it makes him look fluffy, and this method is much quicker! I just did some occasional solid stitching to emphasise his features.

You will need:
Linen
Embroidery Hoop
Embroidery Needle
Embroidery Floss ( I used black, white, light grey, dark grey, light orange and dark orange. It’s nice to have some different shades of the same colour.)
Scissors
Paper
Pencil

Step 1: Sketch out your design onto paper. Then put your linen in the embroidery hoop and pull tight (if you’re new to embroidery, check out these embroidery basics by Wild Olive for help!) Transfer your pattern onto the linen.

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Step 2: Start filling in the pattern using these randomly spaced stitches. I made sure my stitches went in the same direction as Archie’s fur. I overlapped the colours a little and made sure the stitches were shorter where his fur is shorter.

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Step 3: Fill in prominent features with solid stitching! Archie’s eye, nose, the inside of his ears, and his tail are all filled in with solid stitching. I also stitched a line around his four feet, his ears and his nose for emphasis.

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Step 4: Add some tone! At this point, I used my dark grey and dark orange floss to bring the picture alive. Right at the end, I also stitched his whiskers.

Step 5: Cut the linen an inch or two away from the embroidery hoop, and glue to the back of the hoop (I used my glue gun for this.) This way, the embroidery hoop becomes the frame for the picture.

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What do you think? Have you ever stitched a picture?