#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2017

Happy New Year everyone! Better late than never, I wanted to finally share my #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa with you! If you’ve not heard me bang on about this before, the CBC Secret Santa is a brilliant initiative by Fiona and Katie who run the weekly #CraftBlogClub Twitter chat every Tuesday at 8pm.

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-12,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ver

Each year, anyone with a passion for craft can take part to make and receive a handmade present from the #CraftBlogClub community. Though I haven’t managed to join the chats much lately, my experience of this community is that they’re one of the warmest, most encouraging bunch of people you could ever wish to e-meet. It’s always a pleasure, so do join in if you can!

Somehow this was my third year taking part (where does the time go?!). In Year 1 you might remember that I made a DIY felt cupcake needle-book and cupcake pin-cushion ring for ZoFlo, and last year I made DIY homemade goats milk and honey soaps for Laura, which turned out quite well.

This year, my Secret ‘Santee’ was Naomi Jade. After a little stalk of her blog and social channels, I saw that she was a lover of all things cosy and also quite girly, so I decided to make her a DIY miniature wall hanging. I used a weaving kit that I got for free with a Mollie Makes magazine earlier this year.

This was only my second attempt at making a wall hanging; a few years ago my sister and I took part in a beginner’s weaving workshop with Peas and Needles at the BUST Summer Craftacular in London, and I loved it instantly. I wish I had learnt to weave as a child – if I had, I might actually be good at it by now!

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-12,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ver

Overall, I found the making process quite therapeutic – hours passed without me realising, when all I was doing was weaving back and forth, or cutting and tying bits of wool on to make tassels. I followed the tutorial on Mollie Makes’ website here, but changed some colours. I did find that a few of the stages were missing, but with the help of other sites and a bit of trial and error I got there, or close enough!

One thing that I think I can definitely do better for next time is to be more careful that I’m not pulling the lines too tight, as the shape did distort slightly, meaning that it didn’t hang completely straight. As I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I did worry about giving this to Naomi as a present, but then I remembered the spirit of #CraftBlogClub, and hoped she wouldn’t mind me gifting her my best attempt.

I received a parcel from Christine from Craftyism. I managed to restrain myself from opening my present as soon as it arrived, but caved in before Christmas day!! Christine had made me some adorable crochet grey slipper socks with blue pom poms! They’re absolutely awesome – I adore them.

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-12,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ver

Thank you so much Christine, and to Katie & Fiona for hosting the #CBC Secret Santa once again! If you made any Christmas presents this year, feel free to post a link in the comments box below!

Advertisements

Etsy Made Local Christmas Markets 2017

A few weeks back I received an exciting mystery package from the Etsy Made Local London Team. To celebrate their upcoming Christmas market in South London, the team sent me a box of specially curated goodies from selected Etsy sellers who’ll be showcasing their handmade wares in December.

Etsy Made Local Xmas 2017-7468 Shelley Makes

I went to my first Etsy Made Local Xmas market in 2015, and I loved it. I went looking for Christmas presents for friends and family but went home with lots of lovely goodies for me! Back then I bought a set of tiny concrete diamond ‘baubles’ from PASiNGA, whose stall I loved, and they come out every year.

Etsy Made Local Xmas 2017- Pasinga Shelley Makes.jpg

I was so excited to receive my package – the team told me that they’d tailored the contents to suit my style and audience, and I don’t think I could have picked better for myself if I tried. The first item I saw was this gorgeous hand-formed blue and white mini rope bowl by Zuzana of Rope Works. The bowls are naturally dyed with Indigo and make perfect trinket bowls for jewellery by your bedside.

Etsy Made Local Xmas 2017-7561 Shelley Makes

Next up I spotted a brown leather key chain from Suede & Co who make handmade leather and suede accessories from coin purses to laptop sleeves. My second leather goody came in the form of a leather cord holder / cable organiser from By Law London. These are perfect for keeping your headphones together in your bag. Janet sells sets of two for £9, alongside other leather accessories.

Another of my favourite items was a fun laser-cut wooden jellyfish brooch by Martin Tomsky. Martin specialises in large intricate wooden laser cut artwork, as well as smaller items. This cute jellyfish from the Ocean Collection costs £10, and is also available in pink. Just in time for Blue Planet 2!

Etsy Made Local Xmas 2017-7661 Shelley Makes

Next up I came across two fabulous glitter typography cards from Oh Squirrel which are hand-printed in London. One says ‘Do Your Best’ and the other says ‘You Got This’, so they’re great motivational cards. You should also check out their gorgeous collection of Christmas cards and stationery. Last but not least I found a geometric notebook (£5) from Made by Aiza who works with colourful, fun prints.

Buying even just one card from a small shop this Christmas can help to keep their creative businesses afloat, and handmade items that aren’t available on the high-street make super-thoughtful presents. Go check it out! If I haven’t tempted you enough, the first 50 people to arrive at the market get a free goody bag filled with a selection of designer-maker items like these. Tempted now?

You can find these sellers and 40+ more at the Etsy Made Local London Christmas Market on Saturday 2nd December 2017 (11am – 5pm) at Tooting Tram and Social. This year, as I’m away, I’m hoping to pop in to the Etsy Made Local Bristol market instead. You can find other regional markets all over the UK.

Thank you to the London Local Team and the makers for sending me this curated kit =)

Christmas Gift Wrapping with IKEA

A few months back I was invited to a festive gift-wrapping workshop with IKEA in London. It was far too early to really think about Christmas back then (I think it was June!), but the event also offered a sneak peak at IKEA’s Autumn / Winter collection (in-store now), which I couldn’t refuse!

You might remember that last year IKEA put on a Christmas tablescaping workshop for a few crafty bloggers, where I obsessed over a gorgeous black bear ornament. This time we were treated to a gift-wrapping workshop with the lovely Janine, who has a completely different creative job by day, but is a widely acknowledged ‘awesome gift wrapper’ on the side – nice to be multi-talented!

IKEA Autumn Winter DIY-203927

It was lovely to see some friendly faces in the form of Gabrielle from Design Curator and Anna from The Smell of Roses (not to be confused with The Only Smell is Roses, which I nearly wrote – too much TOWIE), and to meet some new faces too – namely Lou from Little Green Shed, Jess from The Only Girl in the House and Georgia from Flowers in the Window. As well as making some gorgeous gift-wraps, Georgia also patiently put up with a mega coughing fit from me on the train back to Essex – sorry!

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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