Homemade Jam & Chipotle Jar Labels

Tis the season to start crafting! Are you making any homemade gifts this year? I’ve finally got round to posting about some DIY homemade jams and preserves that we made for family last year.

Homemade Jam | Shelley Makes

The other half took the lead on the jam-making, while I went to work on the labels. I have to say, the labels make such a difference, making this DIY look way more professional than it actually is!

Making jam (instructions courtesy of Jack):

To make the jam, use 50% fruit, 50% sugar, a splash of lemon juice (as the pectin in it helps the jam to set), and a small knob of butter. In terms of equipment, you will need:

Homemade Jam | Shelley Makes

  • Saucepan
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Set of glass preserve jars (my hexagonal jars are from Hobbycraft)
  • Reduced fruit (whatever you fancy / is on offer)

Stew the fruit in a saucepan before adding the sugar, and then slowly, using a thermometer, bring the temperature up to 80°C to a slow simmer, stirring continuously.

Homemade Jam | Shelley Makes

Once all the sugar has dissolved, slowly increase the temperature to 104°C (for approximately 5 minutes). Allow the jam to cool and then pour the liquid into sterilised jars.

After a couple of hours (or once cool) the jam will set, and is ready to enjoy! You can pick any fruit you like – we made raspberry, apricot, and plum jam, plus some homemade chipotle.

Homemade Jam | Shelley Makes

Making the labels:

I used InkScape to make the labels, and decided on a hexagonal design to match the shape of the jars. I used the font Revolution from DaFont.com, as it was the most legible despite the small size.

We also made Jelly Shack barcode labels (using a free font called bar code from DaFont.com) for the back of the jars as an alternative to a ‘Made by’ sticker (as our names are Shelley and Jack, Jelly Shack has become our co-brand – cheesy I know, but it was just a bit of fun!)

Homemade Chipotle | Shelley Makes

I arranged the labels on the sheet so that I could cut them out easily using a rota-trim, but for added ease, you could use a Silhouette machine (I didn’t get one until after Christmas – doh!)

Once cut out, it’s simply a case of sticking your labels in position, and voila! I wrapped each of the sets up in orange tissue and cellophane, with a festive illustration and name tag on the front.

Though inexpensive, these treats went down way better than any present I’ve ever bought!

Crafty Fox Market, Autumn 2014

On Sunday, Jack and I visited the unique Crafty Fox Market in Brixton. Held at The Dogstar, this quirky pub became a craft showroom for the weekend, packed on all three floors with crafty stall-holders.

Crafty Fox Market

My favourite three stall-holders were Takae Mizutani and Sons – who had cute ‘snail’ plant saucers and tiny horse & fort egg cups; Oh My Gee – who sold cards consisting of colourful animal prints and unexpected slogans such as ‘Twat’, and ‘Piss off’; and Floss & Mischief – who is leading the ‘trendy needlework’ scene with a range of taxidermy themed sewing kits and thread art.

Takae Mizutani and Sons

As well as the stalls, there were also a few pay-as-you-go craft workshops, including tote bag screen-printing (£5) with Mr. Wingate, bunting necklace making with Lucie Ellen (£15), or you could sit down with a cup of tea and a casual skull badge cross-stitch with The Sewcial Circle (£3).

For our tote bag, we designed a butterfly screen-print. I’m not gonna lie – it didn’t come out quite as expected; Lesson #1 of screen-printing – remember the Inverse Rule. That said, it did make me realise how easy it is to design and make your own gifts for people, with a little practice!

IMG_3105

I also made a bunting necklace with the lovely Lucie Ellen. It’s fair to say that Lucie did all the hard work in prepping the wooden bunting, however I used my new-found plier skills to connect them.

All in all, we had a great day! I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere quirky to go to catch up with crafty friends in London. It’s a very laid back atmosphere, plus cake galore!

For better pictures (it was very dark inside), visit the Crafty Fox Market Facebook page.