BUST Summer Craftacular 2017

Last weekend the kind people at BUST Craftacular invited me along to their summer shindig at York Hall, Bethnal Green. I’m a huge fan of Craftacular (dubbed ‘London’s coolest craft fair’), which brings together over 70 unique designer-makers, DIY workshops, tea and cake, and fun-loving DJs.

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3678Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Kinska 

If you’re looking for quirky handmade gifts, or just presents for yourself, Craftacular is the place to go. Last year I bought a gorgeous white trinket dish with a tiny leaf imprint from madebymememe (a humble #ceramicsmum), and the time before I bought a moon pin-cushion from Oh No Rachio (onr).

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3679Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Tea Party at the Zoo

This year, my sister bought some beautiful trinket dishes stamped with gold bees from potter Elizabeth of Limehouse Ceramics (who was also super friendly and chatty). Another favourite stall was Sparkle Child, who made fun sparkly crowns, garlands and wands for children – perfect for play-time.

Craftacular UK_Shelley Makes-3674Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Sparkle Child

Continue reading

DIY Valentine’s Craft Inspiration

With less than a week until Valentine’s Day, here’s my round-up of this year’s Valentine’s craft inspiration, including everything from DIY cards, to DIY gift wrap, boxes and planters. Hope you love it! ❤

For previous year’s inspiration, check out here and here, or find one of my DIY tutorials here.

Valentines DIY Inspiration 2017.png

For full DIY tutorials, check out these blogs:

1. Paper & Stitch, DIY Candy Boxes | 2. Paper & Stitch, DIY Watercolour Stationery | 3. Sugar & Cloth, DIY XO Gift Wrap | 4. Oh Happy Day, ‘I’d Pick You’ Flower Valentine | 5. Oh Happy Day, Heart Balloon Valentine | 6. A Bubbly Life, DIY Valentine Flower Bouquet | 7. Paper & Stitch, ‘Life Would Succ Without You’ Planter | 8. The House That Lars Built, Hand Holding Hearts Pop Up Valentine | 9. Studio DIY, 3D Heart Gift Wrap

Continue reading

Hobbycraft’s Spring & Easter Craft Preview

Last week, I went along to Drink, Shop & Do near King’s Cross in London to preview Hobbycraft’s new Spring and Easter craft collections. Ever since I started blogging, it’s been an aim of mine to attend a Hobbycraft event, as I do buy a lot of my supplies from there, so I was thrilled to get an invitation.

Hobbycraft Spring Easter Blogger Event_Shelley Makes-3419.jpg

I tagged along after work and was greeted at the door by the Hobbycraft team. They’d split the Drink, Shop & Do floor into various stations so that you could try your hand at different crafts, and learn more about their upcoming range expansions, from sewing supplies, knit craft, Easter craft, and baking.

Sewing Machines

My first stop was the sewing machine station where a helpful seamstress named Amy sat me down at a sewing machine for the first time, and showed me how to do some basic stitches. Some of you might recall that I was bought a sewing machine for Christmas a few years back, and am ashamedly yet to use it, as I wasn’t really sure where to begin, so I was really excited about this opportunity.

hobbycraft-spring-easter-blogger-event_shelley-makes-3498

Amy explained that they offer in-store ‘Sewing Machine Driving Tests‘ where knowledgeable staff help you learn how to get started on your sewing machine. After showing me the basic controls and levers, we had a go on a ‘test sheet’ where the aim of the game was to follow the lines, and try manoeuvring around corners and curves using various stitches. Obviously practice makes perfect, but it was encouraging to hear about the ‘Sewing Surgeries’ that they offer in-store to help you if you get stuck.

Home Baking

Next up I wandered through to the baking section. Now, I love a good cake, but I’ve never really challenged myself to do a huge amount of baking. A lovely lady from Wilton (which is stocked at Hobbycraft) talked me through some of the cakes she’d baked for the event, and how she got some of the desired effects. I was completely mesmerised, and hearing someone talk through the process also made me realise that it is all entirely do-able if you have the ambition, the vision, and the right equipment.

After oo-ing and aah-ing at the gorgeous designs, I was shown how to pipe my own daisy cupcake, which again, was far simpler than I would have imagined. After telling me which new baking products they were most excited about, I was pleased to find said products in my goody bag – a ‘Colour Right’ Performance Colour System, and a Treatology Flavour System – so no excuses now!

Knit Craft

In the very last room I stumbled across the ‘Knit Craft‘ division where some helpful Hobbycraft bods talked me through their range extensions, and gave me a Knit Craft goody bag, complete with gorgeous teal cotton thread, and a shiny 4mm crochet hook. The bag also contained instructions on how to knit and crochet a daisy. You can find tonnes of knitting and crochet project inspiration on their blog.

hobbycraft-spring-easter-blogger-event_shelley-makes-3430-i

Apparently one of their most popular products is called a ‘Caron cake’, which is basically a huge wod of colour-changing yarn, available in a wide range of colours, which means that you can make really impressive colour-changing scarves with very little effort. Sounds good to me! Did you know that they also have their own Instagram and Twitter handle – check them out at @knitcrafthq.

Easter Craft

Last but not least, the whole venue was decorated with cheerful spring and Easter decorations. I love Easter crafting (it’s possibly my second favourite crafting season – second to Christmas). In the past I’ve made DIY origami Easter bunnies and origami Easter bunny baskets, to name a few projects, but I love looking for new inspiration every year, and the Hobbycraft preview didn’t disappoint.

The Easter range is already in-store if you’re as keen as I am, and you can find the latest updates at #HopToHobbycraft. My goody bag contained two mini Easter cross-stitch kits – cute, huh?

Now, I know bloggers and small businesses like to do a ‘year in review’, and Hobbycraft is no exception. Did you know that in 2016 they sold 70,000 sewing machines, 250,000 buttons, half a million reels of thread, and enough fabric to go up Mount Everest 42 times? We really are a crafty bunch!

Thank you to Hobbycraft for inviting me along, and to you guys for reading this far! All of the goodies that you can see in the pictures here are available in-store and online. As for me, I’ve got a few goody bag bits to play with first! Whoopee! Stay tuned for more Easter makes and inspiration coming soon.

Homemade DIY Goat’s Milk & Honey Soaps

This year I was delighted to take part once again in the #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa. In case you haven’t heard of it, #CraftBlogClub is a weekly Twitter chat which takes place between 7 – 8pm every Tuesday, hosted by the lovely Katie (@katiegetscrafty) and Fiona (@fizzijayne), with occasional guest hosts.

craft-blog-club-secret-santa_shelley-makes-5365

As well as chatting all things craft, throughout the year, Katie and Fiona love to set us seasonal crafty challenges from spring-cleaning (stash swapping) to upcycling, but my favourite has to be the annual Secret Santa where everyone is paired off to create homemade presents for each other.

craft-blog-club-secret-santa_shelley-makes-5458

You might remember that last year I made a DIY felt cupcake needle-book and cupcake pin-cushion ring for ZoFlo, and was lucky to receive an awesome crochet stash from Kate at Albert & Me.

This year I was paired with @knitknatlaura and decided to try my hand at homemade soaps for the first time. A while ago, I found this pin on Pinterest, and decided to give this ten minute DIY a go. The tutorial is by Heidi at Happiness is Homemade – it’s super easy, and the results do look really great.

Continue reading

Homemade Christmas Candles in a Jar

A few years ago my boyfriend and I made homemade jam (with DIY jar labels) as Christmas presents for friends and family. A lot of people kindly returned their empty jars to us (no doubt hoping for more jam), but last Christmas we decided to do something a little different with them – homemade jar candles!

diy-christmas-candles-in-jar-2094

You will need:

This DIY is incredibly simple, and doesn’t take long at all. Start by melting your wax over a saucepan on the hob, in much the same way as you would melt chocolate. The wax should never be over direct heat, so lay your saucepan of pellets (or old candle wax) into a bigger saucepan with boiling water in the bottom.

diy-christmas-candles-in-jar-2184

It’s best not to leave the wax unattended, and not to let it get too hot, so keep an eye on it at all times, stirring occasionally. While your wax is heating up, prepare your jars – make sure they are clean and dry. Add your weighted wick so that it stands up in the centre of your jar, cutting it to the desired height.

diy-christmas-candles-in-jar-2389

Once all wax lumps have melted on the hob, remove the pan from the heat. If you are adding a colour or fragrance, now is the time to do so, but mine were just plain, resulting in a white wax. Whilst molten, pour your wax into your jars to the depth desired. Once poured, leave to cool and set on a flat surface.

Continue reading

IKEA Christmas Tablescaping Workshop

Can you believe that it’s just six more Sundays until Christmas? I don’t know about you, but for me it feels like the months fly by quicker and quicker every year! Still, at least it’s nearly the holidays!

ikea-christmas-43

Earlier this year I was invited to an IKEA tablescaping event with some fellow bloggers to preview IKEA’s Autumn / Winter range, as well as take a sneak-peak at some of IKEA’s scandi-inspired Christmas goodies. I’m a big fan of IKEA, and always try and fit in a visit before Christmas.

The event was held at 19 Greek Street – a modern white event space in Central London. I was thrilled to join some blogger friends – namely Hannah from Crafternoon Cabaret Club, Tasha from Graphique Fantastique, Rosie and Hannah from The New Craft House, and Emma from Emma Jane Palin.

ikea-christmas-51

After an introduction from the IKEA bods who talked us through the four new autumn / winter trends, we were invited to have a leisurely peruse, and get hands-on with our own DIY tablescapes. A credit to the IKEA wares, we soon felt at home, and were all prepared to move in within minutes.

Continue reading

Christmas Maker Markets, London 2017

One of things I love most about winter is the arrival of brand new seasonal maker markets. With Christmas around the corner, it’s the perfect time to buy presents before the panic sets in. Below you’ll find some of my favourite seasonal maker markets in London – pop the dates in your diaries!

BUST London Christmas Craftacular 

BUST Craftacular London.png

When: Sunday 27 November, 11am-5pm

Where: York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green E2 9PJ

Why: The BUST London Craftacular is back, featuring talented, crafty vendors, pop-up cafes, DJs, and DIY workshops. Entrance is £3, and the first 100 shoppers get a goody bag.

I went to the BUST Summer Craftacular last year with my sister and loved it. As well as browsing the wares from independent makers, you can also take part in fun workshops – last year we did a weaving workshop with Peas & Needles – one of my all-time favourite craft workshops.

Christmas Crafty Fox Market

jonnasaarinenatcraftyfoxmarketphotobyyeshenvenema

When: 3-4 December, 11am – 5pm

Where: Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8LQ

Why: The Crafty Fox Market is putting on a host of Christmas markets – this one is in Brixton, and promises the opportunity to support independent designer-makers for a festive shopping experience – with DJs, drinks, food, and an exciting array of craft workshops – more details coming soon.

If you know of any more maker markets not to be missed this winter, please pop them in the comments below. Personally, I can’t wait to start my festive shopping!