Inspiration: DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

Last year I shared my Christmas advent calendar inspiration, but this year I felt I needed all new ideas. As you can see, this time I appear to be favouring the minimalist approach:

Five DIY Christmas Advent Calendars

Are you counting down ’til Christmas? What does your advent calendar look like this year?

For DIY tutorials, visit:

1) Unknown, Minimalist Advent Calendar | 2) Tell, Love and Party, DIY Christmas Tree Advent Calendar | 3) La Maison de Lou Lou, Tree Box Advent Calendar | 4) Hither & Thither, Hanging Bag Advent Calendar | 5) Third Floor Design Studio, Paper Bag Advent Calendar

Christmas Inspiration: DIY Advent Calendars

Can you believe that it’s nearly December? As I write, it is just 26 days until Christmas! I haven’t got round to making a Christmas advent calendar yet, but here’s my DIY inspiration round-up.

It seems I have a thing for boxes dangling from festive branches. All of these designs are stylish and suitable for any grown-up home. From giving 25 mini gift boxes, to writing 25 personalised messages, there is something here for everyone, and all are quick and easy to make.

DIY Advent Calendar

 For full DIYS, follow these blogs:

1. The Merry Thought, DIY Advent Calendar | 2. Hank and Hunt, Hanging Chalkboard Advent Calendar | 3. Oh Happy Day, Mini Tree Advent Calendar | 4. The Lovely Drawer, DIY Printable Advent Calendar | 5. The Marion House Book, DIY Advent Calendar | 6. Love From Ginger, DIY Forest Advent Calendar

Roll on Monday, and let the Christmas countdown begin!

DIY Halloween Inspiration

Halloween poses the perfect excuse to deck the house in silly decorations, as well as dress up like a spanner for fancy dress parties. Below are my favourite Halloween DIYs for adults.

Stay tuned, as next week I’ll be pumpkin carving at Drink Shop & Do in London. Can’t wait!

Halloween inspiration

What are you doing this Halloween? Only two weeks to go! I know Halloween is huge in the US, but I hope it continues to kick off here in the UK – nothing like being scared and eating sweets!

For full tutorials, visit these blogs:

1. Country Living, Spooky Paper Cut-Outs | 2. Martha Stewart, Witch’s Broom Treat Favours | 3. This Heart of Mine, DIY Paper Spider Webs | 4. Martha Stewart, Skull Potato Stamp

Inspiration: Creative Business Cards

This year I’ve gone to loads of craft fairs, and I love picking up business cards from cool craft sellers. Since I launched my blog, I’ve wanted to make my own Shelley Makes business cards.

I’ve always been a big fan of branding, so I love the idea of making my cards match the style of my blog. As it’s a craft blog, I also feel that the cards need to be suitable ‘crafty’, so no Vistaprint for me!

Before I got started, I browsed Pinterest to find some unique DIY inspiration. From stamping, sewing, painting and cutting, here are my favourite creative business card tutorials:

Business Card Inspiration

What do you think? Do you have a fave? I’d love to hear what you did to make your own business cards, or what you plan to do? Keep an eye out for my business card blog very soon!

For full tutorials, visit these sites:

1. Oh Hello Friend, DIY Business Cards | 2. Andrea Romani, Ecological Business Card | 3. Persia Lou, DIY double-sided custom-shaped business card | 4. Akula Kreative, DIY stamped business card confetti filled coin envelope | 5. Akula Kreative, DIY stamped watercolour business cards | 6. Life of Popeye, DIY Business cards for Hive | 7. At Home in Love, DIY Stamped Business Cards | 8. Francesca Pasini, Textile Business Cards | 9. While The Sun Shines, Watercolour cards

Inspiration: Embroidery Hoop Art

When I was younger, I used to cross-stitch (I vividly remember using a lot of pink thread to sew Mr. Blobby), however I’d always thought of embroidery as being more old-fashioned. Recently, with the craft comeback, ‘old’ crafts like sewing, embroidery and dress-making have seen a revival, with talented craftspeople and artists turning to embroidery hoops as modern day canvases.

I love the following designs for their simplicity and humour – they certainly bring embroidery into the 21st century, and I love how the hoops frame the finished work. When searching for inspiration, I came across Mr X Stitch, the ‘kingpin of contemporary embroidery’, and found a lot of wares on Etsy.

Embroidery Hoop Inspiration

When you’re young, your first introduction to cross-stitch and similar crafts is through patterns, but I love the idea that you can just come up with your own idea, and start sewing it onto a hoop, even creating an abstract embroidery hoop by randomly selecting coloured thread and patterns.

As well as using these as inspiration, you could take inspiration from greetings cards, immortalise funny things your kids have said, or frame personal mottos. These are great for decorating the walls of your own home, or giving as thoughtful gifts to friends and family to brighten their day!

For further information, visit these sites:

1. The Love Whale Embroidery Kit, Studio MME | 2. Little Mountain Range, Powerfulanimals | 3. Geometric Hand Stitched Embroidery Hoop, Powerfulanimals | 4. Beetle Geometric Asymmetrical 4 inch Embroidery, Rehabbed Handmade Vintage | 5. Dinosaur Embroidery Hoop, Stephanie Tillman | 6. Hug 4 inch Hoop Art, Grace Gatley Textiles | 7. Friendship Sloth, Stephanie Tillman | 8. Oh, Hey! 5 inch Embroidery Hoop, Sarah K Benning

Inspiration: DIY Wall Hanging

If you follow me on Pinterest you’ll know that I have a soft spot for interiors. As such, you can imagine my excitement when I came across these beautiful interior DIYs showing how to make your own wall hangings. Some are very intricate, but I’ll definitely give the basics a go – they look fab!

Wall Hanging

There are also a number of artists selling their wall-hanging wares on the likes of Etsy such as this Peach and Gold Leaf Tassel Mobile by FleurLux, or any and all handwoven tapestries by jujujust.

For full DIY tutorials, visit these blogs:

1. Love from Ginger, DIY Easy Macrame Wall Hanging | 2. Fall for DIY, Woven Wall Hanging | 3. Simply Grove, Cinco de Mayo DIY | 4. All Sorts of Pretty, Inexpensive and Large Art DIY Wall Hanging

Art Inspiration: Safari by Marcus Davies

On Thursday, I attended a private viewing of artist Marcus Davies’ latest paper-cut collection – Safari, at the Paul McPherson Gallery in Greenwich. Marcus’ signature style involves complex cut and torn paper collages, resulting in incredibly bold and colourful portraits, inspired by nature.

Marcus Davies

I’m a sucker for bright colours and bold designs, so I was immediately a fan of Marcus’ work – some of which is many metres tall and wide – a real masterpiece! Seeing the artwork in real-life is paramount, as you can really appreciate the pain-staking technique; the layers and textures of paper used give a real sense of depth and substance – you want to stroke the animals as though they’re real!

Collage work by the Art Hub artist Marcus Davies.

The exhibition is great inspiration if you love paper-cut art and designs; I’ve no doubt it takes a lot of patience and man hours to achieve. This awesome collection marks Marcus’ return to his first love of illustration and wildlife, after a successful career in the fashion industry. The work is a testimony to Marcus’ eye, patience and research preparation, which bring these works to life.

Collage work by the Art Hub artist Marcus Davies.

You can buy Marcus’ original works, or purchase prints and greetings cards on his website. Alternatively, visit the studio before 24th May 2014 to see the collection first-hand.

DIY Easter Egg Craft Ideas

Easter never used to be a big deal in my house, other than the giving and accepting of chocolate eggs. As I’ve grown up though, I’ve really fallen in love with the decorating side of it – partly due to my boyfriend’s mum, who paints easter eggs every year, and for the last five or so years, has roped me in too! She also decorates the dinner table beautifully, making Easter a real event.

EasterEggInspiration

For tutorials, visit these blogs:

1. Egg Candles, Punchbowl | 2. Message in an Egg, Poppytalk | 3. Egg garland, BHG | 4. Gold Leaf Eggs, Sugar and Charm | 5.  DIY Easter Egg Drawings, Make Room for Design | 6. Sharpie Eggs, Mom.me | 7. Roy Lichtenstein Pop Art Painted Eggs, Art Club Blog

Inspiration: Clay Craft DIY Projects

Beware. I’ve gone and got myself a pack of DAS air dry clay. I’ve never crafted with clay before, so this could either go really well, or really, really badly. As with all of my craft projects, I wouldn’t dream of getting started without a scout around for inspiration, and boy did I find some!

Clay Craft Projects

Check out the tutorials here:

1. DIY Handmade ‘New Home’ Clay Pots, Say Yes | 2. DIY Clay Nursery MobileCreature Comforts | 3. DIY Clay Garden Marker, Wit & Whistle | 4. Imprinted Clay Bowls, Camille Styles

Not all of these projects use air dry clay – the plant pot for example is oven-baked clay, but all have easy to follow DIY how-to guides with plentiful pictures. Let me know if you give them a try!

I think they’d make great pressies, from ‘New Home’ plant pots, to Mother’s Day herb markers, to ‘New Baby’ nursery mobiles – you’re basically covered for any clay eventuality.

Inspiration: DIY Ink Stamps

I hate feeling daunted when I craft something new for the first time, especially when it is something as simple as making a DIY ink stamp – something I’m sure people can make in their sleep. But that is exactly how I felt when tasked with making my own DIY stamp last week.

One way I’ve found of eradicating the ‘fear’ of starting a new craft project from scratch, is to gather together a handful of inspiring how-to’s that help me understand the different tried & tested methods and materials out there. Armed with all of these ideas and instructions, you can’t go wrong!

Here’s my round-up of simple DIY stamp tutorials:

DIY Stamp Inspiration

To read the full tutorials, visit:

1. DIY Heart Cork Stamp, Shelley Makes | 2. DIY Stamp Village, Fellow Fellow | 3. Cork Stamps, Design Mom | 4. Eraser Heart Prints, Cotton & Flax

The nicest thing about these tutorials, is that they highlight the fact that there really is no right or wrong way – you can use so many different materials from rubbers, to corks, to foam – either carving stamps from scratch, or upcycling shapes and sticking them on to easy-to-hold implements.

It really couldn’t be simpler – why not start with a basic stamp like I did, and work your way up to more intricate creations? That’s certainly my aim – watch this space! =)