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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Halloween Inspiration: DIY No Carve Pumpkins

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.

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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

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DIY Wooden Planter for your Doorstep

If you follow me on Instagram you might have already seen a few snaps of my latest DIY – a wooden planter for the dahlia on my front doorstep! My neighbour actually gave me the idea for the planter – she has an almost identical one in a dark lavender colour on her doorstep, and I got jealous.

DIY Wooden Planter by Shelley Makes (46)

Looking for something similar that would make my plastic-potted dahlia feel a little more welcome (and suave), I went on the hunt. On my first stop I found a ready-made wooden planter in Homebase. It looked great, but with a £24.99 price tag, I wasn’t quite prepared to part with the cash.

With a few hours left in the afternoon, I put the question to my boyfriend – “Can we make this?” In typical Jack style, he replied, “Yea”, and so we went around Homebase picking up the bits and pieces we needed to make it ourselves instead. We found cladding for £5.99, and some spruce for £6.

To make your own DIY wooden planter, you will need:

  • 2x lengths whitewood spruce (33mm x 33mm x 1.8m)
  • A pack of tongue-and-groove cladding
  • Saw (for cutting the wood to length)
  • Table saw / router (for creating the grooves)
  • Screws and a screwdriver
  • Some clamps
  • Paintbrush
  • Outdoor paint (We used Cuprinol Garden Shades in Malted Barley)

DIY Wooden Planter by Shelley Makes (47)

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Inspiration: DIY Cupcake Topper Ideas

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!

Shelley Makes DIY Cupcake Topper Ideas

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

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DIY Papercut Christening Card

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!

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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.

DIY Christening Card InkScape

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