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Mario Mushroom Crochet

I am so excited to have finished this project! Sometime in summer I read this post by love elycia about her Mario Mushroom blanket. My little brother is seriously obsessed with everything Nintendo so I knew I wanted to make one for him. It started out as a birthday gift but it had to become a Christmas gift because it was taking me such a long time. Three months later and it’s ready! When planning out this blanket I only left myself a couple of days to sew the squares together. It turns out the granny squares take just as long to be sewn together than they take to be crocheted.

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Before I made this blanket I had never crocheted before. I’m very much a dive-in-at-the-deep end kind of girl when it comes to crafts. I learnt how to crochet a granny square using this lovely Youtube channel and I learnt how to crochet the squares together using this blog post. My first granny square took me between four and five hours but once I got the hang of it they took around twenty minutes. There’s close to two hundred granny squares in this blanket though, so it still took me a long time! Crocheting is a craft I’ve really enjoyed. It’s nice to come home after work, watch some tv and get crocheting. It’s like being lazy and productive at the same time! I’ve also been taking my granny squares on train journeys with me, which has been lovely when I don’t feel like reading.

mario mushroom 5mario mushroom 4(This is what the back of the blanket looks like.)

I’m so pleased with how this blanket turned out and I think my brother is too (if you’re reading, it’s on its way!) And I learnt a new skill. Crochet socks and a granny stripe blanket are next on my crochet list! Have you ever crocheted anything?

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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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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.

paisley shirt 1

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

archie embroidery 1

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.

Massage oil

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?

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.

scented candles 1scented candles 2

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.

Scented Candles 4

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!