Easy DIY Origami Easter Bunnies

This time last year I found a tutorial to make some really easy (yet excessively cute) DIY origami Easter bunnies. They were filled with chocolate mini eggs and given to friends, family and neighbours.

DIY Origami Easter Bunny - Shelley Makes (19)

You can find the DIY tutorial over at Oh So Very Pretty. The initial design is by someone called Jacky Chan, and Leyla Torres has done a helpful YouTube video if you’re a visual learner like me!

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DIY Origami Heart Pancake Topper

In January I got a bit ahead of myself and posted some paper craft inspiration for Valentine’s day. A couple of weeks on, and I’ve finally got round to making a DIY myself, and it involves pancakes!

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All you need for this simple heart is a square of origami paper, a wooden skewer, and preferably a stack of pancakes, or a cupcake. My paper is from Tiger, but you can cut a square from any paper.

This DIY is really easy – you only need a minute to make each heart, if that, so you can make the hearts before you’ve even finished making your pancakes! I don’t know about you, but I love pancakes…

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As well as sticking these on skewers or lollipop sticks to use as cake or pancake toppers, you can also turn them into a cute hanging garland with some string, or stick them to the front of cards.

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Origami Boats (in memory of my Grandad)

I haven’t blogged very much this month because, a few weeks ago, my Grandad passed away. There’s never an easy way to say goodbye to someone, especially when they’ve been around your whole life. For my Grandad’s funeral, I wanted to make a small but personal tribute in his memory.

Memories

When we were little, my grandparents owned a small river boat, which they loved. I have many pictures of my sister and I sat aboard that boat, looking out in awe. Good memories.

Origami Boat

Instructions:

Origami boats are simple to make; all you need is a square piece of paper, and some folds:

Origami Boat Instructions

1. Start by folding your paper diagonally in half to make a triangle. If you’re using coloured paper, start with the coloured side face down. I used polka dot origami paper from Tiger | 2. Next, fold the bottom corner up at a slight angle, and unfold to leave a crease line | 3. Using this crease line, you now need to make an inverse fold | 4. Now your boat is nearly complete. For the finishing touch, cut off the top of the boat to make a flat cabin | 5. Lastly, open up your boat so that it self-stands, and set sail!

Memories

Once the boats were made (I experimented with a few different sizes), I found some of my favourite photos of my Grandad and laminated these into individual pouches (in case it rains). Making a hole-punch in each corner, and a small hole in the back of each boat, I attached the boats and photos together using thread, so that the photos appear to trail behind in the boat’s wake.

Origami Boat

Although it’s very simple, it feels like a fitting tribute to my Grandad whose love of boats and planes I will never forget, and whose laugh (which made strangers laugh), I can still hear in my head.

Thanks for the memories, Grandad. Bon voyage!

The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace

On Friday, my sister and I headed to The Handmade Fair at the beautiful Hampton Court Palace. Running over three days, we were excited to attend the opening day of this inaugural craft event!

The Handmade Fair

We kicked off the day with the Mollie Makes Mash-Up in the Super Theatre, where Mr. X Stitch, ‘the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery’ and Deadly Knitshade, ‘one of the country’s fearsome guerilla knitters’, went head to head to debate which craft was the coolest – knitting or stitching?

Kirstie at Mollie Makes Mash-Up

Considering that both crafts notoriously have a ‘fuddy duddy’ reputation, both craftsbods were keen to set the record straight. In a series of playful rounds, they took it in turns to present some of the coolest and quirkiest works in their field. After each round, the audience voted. As Kirstie said from the outset, “If you don’t like things that are interactive, then you’re going to have a miserable day!”

Picnic benches

Without fuss, Kirstie Allsopp introduced the sessions in the Super Theatre, and chaired the discussions with some of the famous talent such as Cath Kidston. We spotted her a few times walking around in high wedge heels, or my favourite spotting – driving her crew around in a golf buggy!

Just before lunch, we attempted #WorldPomination with Rosy Nicholas in the Grand Makes Tent, who showed us how to make pom poms using the latest gadget. I can safely say it is very easy, and also quite therapeutic, as you sit there winding wool around the pom pom device. After a long day, my sister and I looked at our pom poms (tied to our bags) with pride. Simple things!

What use are pom poms you might ask? Well, I plan to use them for gift wrapping, and to make decorative pom pom garlands. My sister wants to create Christmas tree bauble-esque decorations. The soft-wool pom poms also make fantastic stress balls, or, as my sister and I quickly discovered, they make a fantastic (less painful) alternative to conkers, if you enjoy abusing each other.

Origami flowers

In the afternoon, after a yummy duck wrap, we sat down to a chandelier-earring making Skills Workshop run by the London Jewellery School. It served as a great introduction to jewellery making, introducing the tools you use such as round-nose pliers, and how to do basic joins. Though I’m not sure I’ll wear my creation, I now undersand what I should be doing for next time!

On top of the full experience package (£29) we signed up for an additional 30 minute calligraphy workshop (£10) in the afternoon. In hindsight, I would have loved to book a place on the upcycling workshops run by the inspirational Out of the Dark and Annie Sloan – perhaps next time!

Elsewhere on site, there were a number of exhibitors to explore, including a Hobbycraft tent, where you could buy a huge range of Kirstie craft kits (from candle-making to sewing projects), and Women’s Institute wool. After buying my pom pom maker with glee, I was drawn in by a fascinating felting demonstration – the lady made it look genuinely easy, and said that it was easy. Who knew?!

Hobbycraft tent

There were also two large shopping tents – East and West, which, unlike many of the craft stalls at Hobbycrafts (ExCel), were full of genuinely unique sellers and businesses; the quality was great, and the stalls looked fantastic. There was something for everyone, and it wasn’t over-crowded. All the exhibitors were pleased to talk to you about their work, and there was a fantastic sense of pride. One lady joked, after the many hours of prep, sweat and tears, “I don’t really want to sell any of it”.

In the shopping tents

Near the entrance, visitors could stop by the Mollie Makes cafe (a media partner), where they could sit down with fellow crafters for tea, cake, and a bit of craft chat, and sign up for a special taster subscription of Mollie Makes. I did, and can’t wait to get reading. Also, the event show guide in itself (£5) is like a craft magazine, with some cool tutorials in there – worth a buy!

Further up the field, Etsy Business School were on hand with a series of talks on how to set up an online shop, how to get the most out of social media, and how to take beautiful product photography. Although I blog and craft for fun right now, it was great to see so many people with a keen interest in selling and promoting their wares. I also fell in love with Etsy shop Neon LDN.

Unlike Hobbycrafts, the fair was also attended by brands who did a great job of engaging the crafting audience. LUSH, for example, had an on-stand fresh flower hair artist, Harriet Parry, who taught visitors how to create fresh flower floral hair pieces using beautiful flowers, as used in LUSH products. As you’d expect, the stall smelt great, and everyone left looking great too.

Making floral hair pieces

I knew in advance of the show that I had better take a lot of cash, as I had a sixth-sense that there would be some amazing wares to buy. I wasn’t wrong. I left the show with a bag full of cotton from Sconch, pom pom makers, and a super-cool tool called a gyro-cut, which is effectively a scalpol, but that you can create effortless curves with. Again, the mind boggles!

Overall, there was a lovely, chilled out atmosphere all day. The fact that the workshops were ticketed meant that there was no competitive pushing or shoving, and everyone was helpful, like-minded and supportive. All in all, we had a really great day out that has given me the confidence to pick up some new crafts, affirming the event slogan – “Everyone has a craft they can do!”

Origami flowers

Considering that we attended the first day of the first ever show, my sentiment is overwhelmingly positive. I think it will be onwards and upwards for Kirstie’s show next year, and no doubt the exhibitors will have some learnings to take forwards to make it even bigger and better. It really was a fabulous job done by all, and a very enjoyable day – as Kirstie would call it, ‘a triumph‘.

Fresh flowers

If you plan on going next year, my advice would be to take lots of cash (I had to sit down for a good ten minutes working out if I had lost some money or spent it – I had spent it), and do come prepared for the elements. As with the Hampton Court Flower Show, with the show taking place outdoors, you are of course slightly reliant on the weather, so be prepared for rain or shine!

Same time next year, Kirstie? Pretty please!

Easy Origami Leaf Card

Yesterday was my boyfriend’s dad’s birthday, and as he’s a lover of origami, we decided to make him a simple yet effective origami leaf card. The last time I made a leaf card it was a paper-cut design rather than a folded origami creation – but this couldn’t be quicker or easier (even for origami newbs!)

Easy origami leaf card

For instructions, watch this YouTube video by Origami おりがみ 折紙 which gives you a step-by-step guide alongside relaxing music. It’s really simple – all you need is a sheet of A4 paper.

I used double-sided wrapping paper from Hobbycrafts (cut to A4) which was patterned on one side and light green on the other. I also tucked in a small square of card with an arrow pointing out that I wrote a birthday message on, rather than writing on the inside of the folded card.

This DIY took 5-10 minutes, and I got it right on my second attempt – the white design that you see in the pics here was the first. If you love origami or have an origami-lover in your life, give it a go!

Let me know how you get on! Enjoy!

DIY Origami Easter Bunny Baskets!

Happy Easter everyone! Today Jack and I went to a family meal for Easter Sunday. Not wanting to go empty handed, we quickly rustled up some mini DIY origami bunny baskets for each of the guests.

Bunny hamper

These are really easy to do – all you need is some coloured paper, white card, individually wrapped chocolates, scissors, pens or colouring pencils, and some optional Easter chicks for decoration.

Instructions:

Start by making simple origami boxes from squares of A4 coloured paper – 1 page (cut into a square) = 1 box. There’s a great how-to YouTube video from Origami Instructions here.

Cut out your bunny heads from white card – if you make one, you can then use this as a template for the others – and draw on their pink ears and whiskers using coloured fine-liner pens.

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Stick the bunny heads to individually wrapped chocolates (we used Ferrero Raffaello) using Sellotape sticky fixers, cut into small blobs, and there you have your rabbits!

Lastly, fill the boxes with shred, add your bunnies, plus any extra Easter things you have such as chicks and mini eggs – and there you have your rabbit hampers, or rabbit hot-tubs, as I like to call them!

Easter bunny hamper

We also had a go at making mini versions using a square from A5 paper (half the size), and left these on the neighbour’s door steps with a ‘Happy Easter’ message on an egg-shaped piece of paper:

Mini bunny

This is a really cost-effective way of giving everyone a special gift at Easter and people often care more about the time and thought put in, than about the amount of money spent.

Oh, and the bunny Easter cards and upcycled envelopes went down a treat too!