5 Cute Christmas Crafts

So I’m officially in the festive spirit- cracking out the mulled wine and humming Christmas songs ad nauseum. I tend to go a little hyper and the fact that is majorly frosty (and even a little bit snowy) at the moment is making me mega excited for a white Christmas.

I have finished buying and wrapping my Christmas presents (all 18 of them!!) Yay for organisation! So, with that over, I’m looking for another activity to keep me going until Christmas Day. Here are 5 cute crafts to get you in the festive spirit.

1. Felt tree decorations

felt

If you need any inspiration, you should get the Cath Kidston Christmas Decorations book- someone bought it for me and it gives you everything you need to make 12 felt decorations.

make-your-own-christmas-decs

2. Santa beard calendar

santabeard

3. Stawberry Santas!

Strawberry SantasFrom Leanne Bakes

4. Holiday coffee holders

holders

5. Pine cone tree

pinecone

All of these crafts can be found on Vicky S’s Christmas Crafts Pinterest board.

Advertisements

The joys of pop-up tape

So, it’s December, the time that comes but once a year- and the best part of it in my opinion. As well as all the overspending, overeating and overdrinking, what I like to call ‘wrapping overkill’ takes hold. This is the OCD urge to make everything look perfect, with colour coordinated ribbon and matchy matchy name tags. All for 0.25 seconds of admiration before it’s ripped to shreds. I’m not criticising- I’m an offender myself!

Scotch pop-up tape

All this perfectionism is, frankly, rather time consuming. One thing that I find does speed things up a bit is Scotch pop-up tape (available for about 2 pounds from stationery shops and supermarkets). It is genuinely one of the most useful things I have bought (credit to my boyfriend for discovering the thing). No more remembering you need sellotape mid-wrap, attempting to break of said tape with teeth and sticking it to nearby furniture for safe keeping (I know you’ve done it too). This inevitable just leads to shoddy work and pieces of furniture with strands of tape permanently adhered to their sides- not a good look in either case.  No more! Just reach for your pop-up tape (cleverly attached to your hand so you still have full use of it for precise wrapping), pull the precut strip of tape and stick it down….Ta dah! Done.

It  looks good too, the pieces are perfect rectangles- perfect for all you fellow OCD wrappers- no teeth marks in sight!

*Note* I have received NO funding, persuasion or even notice by Scotch tape- I’m just a keen happy customer thankful that one thing in my life has got easier!

Pop-up tape

Fabric noticeboard tutorial

Remember that fabric that I used for the sewing stool and was sad that I couldn’t keep? Well, I found a use for the left overs: a new fabric noticeboard. I’m not sure about you but I always have a gazillion bits of paper cluttering the place up and tickets and mementos that I want to hang onto. Well despite already having two noticeboards to cater for this, the paper was mounting again so I thought, why not have a third. And, seeing as cork boards are so darn ugly, it made sense to cover it with that gorgeous fabric.
As you know, I’m never one to spend an hour perfecting something that can be done in 5 minutes flat. This project was no different. I simply stretched the fabric round and used the trusty staple gun (gotta be my favourite thing ever) to attach it to the wooden frame. With some fabrics- like this one- you need to check you’re keeping the pattern straight. After that, I made a ribbon border. As the base is cork, there was no need to glue or staple this on- I just cut it to size and pinned to the board. Then got pinning all my bits and bobs on it. Ta da! No more clutter!

Tutorial: upholstered sewing stool

I’m obviously getting too good at this DIY malarkey.  My mum has set me a ton of  sewing projects to get through.

The first was this manky old moss coloured sewing stool. It’s been sat in a cupboard since I can remember and was in need of a bit of love. We were umming and ahhing about what to do with it. I wanted to recover it with a bold floral print but my mum wanted something plain and oatmeal coloured.

Then, when I was browsing in my local fabric shop I came across this fabric. A compromise if you will: neutral but with a graphic print. I love it and was slightly jealous to be using it for something I can’t keep. Oh well.

Anyway, lazy as I am, I didn’t even bother to take off the old fabric. I simply grabbed my fabric and stapled it over the original stool cover. When it came to the sides I cut four pieces  to length (plus an additional inch for seams) and sewed them together to make a sort of empty box thing (ha- so articulate).

Fortunately my measuring was right and this was a snug fit. I shimmied it up the sides, ensured the seams sat on the corners and stapled the fabric over the top and under the bottom. This required the removal of the feet but they screwed on so it wasn’t tricky.

Then I added the finishing touches in a contrast pink ribbon- a pull tab to open the stool and trim to cover the staples and rough edges of fabric where I’d stapled it on the inside.

Considering this is only my second or third upholstery project, I’m pretty chuffed with how it turned out. I don’t think my staple gun will be in the cupboard for long!

Pretty in Pink moodboard

Quickly following on from my last moodboard,( in fact quicker than i’d like- Polyvore automatically blogs your collages if you don’t stop it, my bad ) this is my girly bedroom moodboard. Although I’d like the ‘public’ spaces of my house to be more grown up, I can’t help but love unrestrained girliness when it comes to my bedroom. That, and the fact that my current bedroom is predominantly pink, means I’ll be most likely sticking with it when I get my own place. The boyfriend will not be thrilled (“why are 90% of the things you own floral?!?”).
Anyway, here are selection of pink pieces (again from Pinterest on Polyvore- loving the Ps today), enjoy girls! Especially want that shell inlaid bedside table, although I suspect it is WAY above my pay grade!
pretty in pink

Girly bedroom
pinterest.com

cream floral cushion
pinterest.com

Zigzag Rug
pinterest.com

Asterisk shape
polyvore.com

For the Home
pinterest.com

shop
pinterest.com

Pantone
pinterest.com

Sweet Home
pinterest.com

Pantone
pinterest.com

Cool Stuff
pinterest.com

Pantone
pinterest.com

Prettys
pinterest.com

Duck Egg Blue moodboard

As some of you might know, I’m really keen to move out soon. Recently I’ve been having a think about what sort of interior design I’ll want in my new place so that I can try and channel my over the top shopping towards things I’ll actually use.
Polyvore have a great collage tool which is pretty nifty for making moodboards. You just download the ‘clip to Polyvore’ toolbar icon and then you can save any pics you like (just like Pinterest in that respect, and as you can see, I get pretty much all of my images from pinterest- there’s so much I love).  Images without background tend to work best but you can always custom crop them later. When you’ve got a selection of items you can arrange them however you want in the ‘create’ section of Polyvore. Genius really, and so simple to use. For more tips, I found House Tweaking‘s recent blog posts on ‘Making of a mood board’ extremely helpful and easy to understand.
Here’s my moodboard for my future living room. I’m set on plenty of Duck Egg blue and neutrals to balance it out. I want it to be a completely relaxing space that is light but also cosy in the inevitable long British winters.
Duck Egg Blue

Decoupage Dreams

I apologise for being completely MIA for over a week now. In my defence I’ve been mega busy with jobs. Organising our art collection, re-upholstering headboards, sewing table runners, buying supplies for my stall at a boutique fair (more on this later) and looking after a sister with a broken wrist- all whilst holding down a full-time job. Phew! No wonder I’ve been stretched for time!

I had two VERY exciting deliveries this week, the first was some Annie Sloan chalk paint. So excited about this- I’ve wanted some for a while and only just discovered that there’s a stockist in our little town, hidden at the back of an antique shop- result!! I can’t wait to get crackign when I can find a spare evening. I found a DIVINE mirror in a charity shop that will be my first chalk paint project and also a little shelving unit and blackboard I want to spruce up. I’ve heard that a pot goes a long way- just as well it seems!
My second exciting delivery was Mod Podge. I’ve joined the fold.  I couldn’t take being surrounded by amazing decoupage projects any longer without joining in. My friend made me the cutest decoupage notebook for my birthday (it has Russian dolls on it, need I say more) and that was the last straw.

Now I have it, I want to cover everything in sight, the only problem is now that I can’t decide which project to start on first, I’m having inspiration overload. Should it be map coasters, a photo canvas, revamping an old wooden box or fancifying my lampshade. Too many options! Whilst I decide I thought I’d share some of the best projects using Mod Podge that the web (ok, Pinterest- but that all that matters really isn’t it?) has to offer…

For sources see my Pinterest board. And whilst you’re there, why not take a look around and follow me!

DIY magnetic fabric noticeboard the lazy way

As you will remember, my new monsoon magnets pressured me into re-covering my whiteboard to complement their loveliness.

You’ll notice that this is a ‘lazy way’ tutorial. Once I decide to do a project, it’s happening, regardless of whether I have the right tools or enough time to do it. Inevitably, things can sometimes be a little botched (by the end of this post you’ll see..) but they usually end  up alright!!

 

This project was a true case in point. I had cute floral fabric, check. And nice magnets, check. A way of attaching the fabric to the board….now that wasn’t as easy. First I tried superglue, that sticks anything right? Wrong. Apparently it doesn’t stick fabric to plastic. Well, what can I say? You learn something every day. Not to be defeated by mere superglue I got to thinking of an alternative.  After a while I found myself thinking, hmmm….uhh…sellotape?

Yes, that’s right, I used sellotape and literally wrapped the board like a big flat present. It wasn’t big and it wasn’t clever but it WORKED, so there. I now have a nice magnetic fabric noticeboard. As long as no one takes it off the wall and looks at the back, they’ll be none the wiser.

DIY French bedside table

After a couple of months searching high and low for a bedside table, I decided there was no way I could afford one that I wanted and no way I wanted one of the ones I could afford!

So, being intrepid DIY-er, I decided to craft my way to the perfect item of bedroom storage.

    

I found a sturdy but hideously orange-y varnished pine bedside table in a local charity shop for £20. I went and bought a random shade of cream paint (out of like 20 options- who knew cream was so complex?) and some beautiful knobs to replace the originals.

After laying down some newspaper and gathering my tools (sandpaper and block, paintbrush…), I got to work. Here’s how I did it.

  1. Remove drawers and unscrew knobs.
  2. Sand the whole cabinet roughly – it doesn’t have to be perfect (this a whole lot more dusty than you think- be warned).
  3. Wipe every surface with a damp cloth to remove dust and leave to dry.
  4. Paint all visible surfaces with a thin layer of paint. I left the inside of the cabinet and drawers in/as plain wood because I liked the contrast and well, it’s easier.Leave to dry- a couple of hours should be enough.
  5. Paint a second coat on.
  6. Leave to dry overnight.
  7. Screw in new knobs.

Hey presto, a French-style piece of furniture for a fraction of the price!

How to make a French-style memo board

I wanted to replace the dull magnetic whiteboard in my room with something more chic and so the obvious option was a French style memo board (the ones with the lattice of ribbons over the front to hold your pretty bits and bobs).

Decent ones can be a bit pricey and it’s hardly complicated so I thought, what the heck? I’ll just make my own.

An evening of over-zealous staple gunning later and ta-da! A beautiful home for all my precious paper.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Take an appropriately sized board. I used an old cork pin board as I had it lying around and it was the right size.
  • Get some stuffing- I got polyester wadding from my local quilting shop (incidentally where i also got the fabric).
  • Stretch the wadding over the board and staple to the back of the board, making sure it’s pulled tightly.
  • Next, take your fabric and cut it to size, allowing for extra to go round the back of course. Again using the trusty staple gun, attach to the back of the board pulling tightly. I used this gorgeous Cabbages and Roses print which I got for £5 for a half metre which was the perfect size for this project.

  • Ribbon time. Lay your ribbon over the memo board where you want it to be (I chose a lattice French style) and cut to the correct size, allowing extra to stretch round the back to attach. Pull the ribbon taut and staple to the back of the board. This takes a bit of concentration and patience to get the ribbons straight and parallel. I used another length of ribbon as a makeshift tape measure to ensure that the distance between the ribbons was uniform.
  • Where the ribbons cross stick in long pins to create that quilted look.
  • Attach a piece of string or similar to the back for hanging (if you want to put it on the wall). As I used an old cork board , it already had one.
  • Finally, add all your pretty bits and pieces to the board! Et Voila!