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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
In May of last year I made my Grandma a DIY wordsearch card to combine a few of her favourite things – puzzles, and gardening. Well, a while ago, for some reason, I decided that this DIY wasn’t good enough for the blog, and I deleted it, and now – over a year later – I’ve changed my mind.
This is one of the simplest DIY cards you could possibly hope for. There are tonnes of free wordsearch generators available online that allow you to personalise your puzzles. I used one called www.puzzle-maker.com, where you can choose between making a custom wordsearch or a custom crossword.
Autumn is one of my favourite seasons; I love the red-tinged light that washes over everything, and it gets me thinking about two of my favourite festive events – Halloween, and Christmas! Usually I like to carve a pumpkin for Halloween, but if you hate the goo and the mess, or you just fancy doing something a little bit different, here’s my round-up of the best DIY no-carve (painted) pumpkins.
For full DIY tutorials, check out these blogs:
1. DIY Pun-Kins, Studio DIY | 2. DIY Donut Pumpkins, Studio DIY | 3. DIY Emoji Pumpkins, Brit + Co | 4. Hand Painted Floral Pumpkin, Craftberry Bush | 5. DIY Tiny Message Pumpkins, Lovely Indeed | 6. DIY Hand-Painted Pumpkins, Simple as That | 7. DIY Paint Pen Pattern No Carve Pumpkins, Lovely Indeed | 8. DIY Mud Cloth Pumpkins, Homey Oh My | 9. Decoupage Paper Pumpkin, Brit + Co | 10. Balloon Dipped Pumpkin DIY, Paper & Stitch | 11. DIY Pumpkin Ice Cream Cone, Sugar and Charm
As it’s my birthday tomorrow (and I’ve got cake on the brain), I thought I would celebrate on the blog by sharing some of my favourite DIY cupcake toppers! From pin-wheels to pom-poms to clowns, these four toppers are bound to make your recipient smile, and you get to eat yummy cupcakes too!
For full DIY tutorials, check out these blogs:
1. Better Homes & Gardens, Upcycled Book-Page Pinwheel Cupcake Topper | 2. 6 Bittersweets, DIP Pom Pom Cupcake Topper | 3. Studio DIY, DIY Balloon Cupcake Toppers | 4. Oh Happy Day, DIY Clown Cupcake Topper
Last Sunday, Jack and I went to the christening of a baby boy named Carl. We made a paper-cut card for Carl’s big sister Lauren when she was christened a few years ago, so we thought we’d stick to the same style for her little brother, but this time using my Silhouette cutting machine, instead of a scalpel!
Jack designed the paper-cut image using InkScape (free downloadable vector graphics software), which allows you to import images and convert them to line art, as well as draw various shapes. Jack imported three free line-art images from Google – a heart, a church, and a balloon. After importing and embedding the images, he traced the bitmaps and converted the images into two colours (black and white), so that he could see which sections would be cut out, and which would stay connected.
Once the vector had been generated, Jack modified the image using the node tool, which allowed him to remove unwanted features (such as complicated details on the windows), as well as change certain design elements (such as the door archway). He also created a cute picket fence and bunting.