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.

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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!

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.

The Ideal Home Show 2012

As any homey keen bean will know, it’s that time of the year when the Ideal Home Show springs up in Earls Court. That makes it one of the best times of year in my opinion. Naturally, I was there bright and early on the second day (partly because my free -!- ticket from Ideal Home magazine was only valid for the first few days and definitely because I couldn’t get time off to be there on the very first day).

Anyway…needless to say it was great. Any place stuffed to the ceilings with interior design classifies as heaven as far as I’m concerned. The highlight is always visiting the fully kitted-out example houses and this year’s  Prince’s Trust Craft house was particularly beautiful, as you can see from these pictures…

A lot of the contents were handmade and I luckily kept my head enough to hang on to the leaflet   for the house as it has a list of suppliers that will definitely be added to my wishlist! My favourite is this butterfly pendant lamp from Boatswain Lighting: simply gorgeous.

            

The other houses were a Swedish designed house by yes, you guessed it, IKEA (surprise!) and a  Santiago townhouse by Dulux (nice paint) which were nice but less my style. I prefer more   rugged and rustic than sleek and stark.

            

I went to see a cooking demo by Martin Blunos which, it being the 17th March was Irish themed and just top off a good day, we caught Alan Titchmarsh, King of the Garden, doing a tutorial. I used to LOVE Ground Force as a kid, if only Charlie and Tommy had been there…

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!