Tag : handmade
Tag : handmade
With the call for more ways to reuse and upcycle - here is a fun and simple make for a little gift bag. You could use any fabrics you like, and of course this wouldn't have to be just for Christmas. You could even use something like an old shirt to turn it from unwanted clothing into something useful and reusable!
You could easily adjust the dimensions to wrap any present - but the measurements below are for a standard wine bottle. I decided to leave the bottle neck on show, but you could make it a little bit higher if you wanted to conceal it.
Measure out a rectangle of fabric - the dimensions for this one I made to fit a standard wine bottle are 32cm x 29cm.
Turn the top edge down by 1cm and stitch into place to secure the seam. I have used a decorative stitch for this, but you could use whatever you like!
Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together and sew in a simple straight stitch down the height, pivot and sew along the bottom using a 1cm seam allowance. Secure your threads in simple knots.
Turn your bag out the right way, place bottle inside and tie up with a ribbon and a now. Et voila! One bottle bag! 🙂
I know (and I say this a lot to myself, and here on this blog about various things) why would I want to MAKE one, when I could BUY one? Because, I am crafty. Mad too, I think. But also - for the sheer personal satisfaction.
To be honest, I was given this beautiful feathers fabric by the Craft Cotton Co, and inspiration just 'came' to me - 'I know that would make an amazing, and different Santa hat!' So, I decided to give it a try. And, then I got a little bit addicted to making them - so I now have one for Mummy, one for Freddie and one for Rupert. Daddy wants no part in this crafty hat situation! Bah humbug - but, what he doesn't know is I am likely to make one for him anyway... does he have a choice?! Not really...
I thought it would be hard... but I promise you, it is a very simple make! The thing that takes the longest is working out the sizes. So, a little bit of maths to get you started - but then you'll be away! And, soon you'll be addicted to making them like me...
Santa Hats Tutorial
Faux Fur Pompom or Pompom of choice
MEASURE - Fabric
First, take the measurement of your wearer's head right around the circumference on their forehead. Now, we are going to measure out two triangles. We need to work out how big to make them to match the circumference. I will give you our measurements and examples below so you can see the workings out!
My head circumference is 59cm. I increased this by 2cm to 61cm to allow a bit of 'wiggle room'.
Width: To work out how long the 'bottom' of the two triangles I would be cutting I divided this by 2 this = 30.5cm.
Then, I added 3cm to this for seam allowances = 33.5cm. Mark either end of this 33.5cm on your fabric ready for the next bit.
Height: Now you want to find the 'middle' of this which is 16.75cm. Mark this point on your fabric and then go as high as you would like the hat to be - I decided on 40cm. Mark this point on your fabric. Now create your triangle back down to either end of your original points with diagonal lines to create your triangle. That sounds very complicated, but is the sort of thing that it will be easier when you are just giving it a go, I promise!
It worked out that each diagonal line worked out to be 43.5cm long for reference.
Freddie's head circumference is 51cm. Increased this by 2cm to 53cm for the wiggle room part.
Width: 53/2 = 26.5cm. Plus 3cm for seam allowances = 29.5cm. This is for the bottom part and width of the triangle.
Height: Halfway point of this = 14.75cm, from here I then marked this at 38cm high. Then I created the diagonal lines back down which = 40cm.
Rupert's head circumference is 45cm. Increased this by 2cm to 47cm for the wiggle room part.
Width: 47/2 = 23.5cm. Plus 3cm for seam allowances = 26.5cm. This is for the bottom part and width of the triangle.
Height: Halfway point of this = 13.25cm, from here I then marked this at 29cm high. Then I created the diagonal lines back down which = 32cm.
MEASURE - Fur
The fur needs to be cut in a long rectangle long enough to go all the way around your head in one go.
Width: I started out with a measurement of 59cm for my head circumference, we then upped that to 61cm for wiggle room. Then, we need to add 2cm for seam allowances = 63cm.
Height: I decided to base this on what I thought 'looked right'. Whatever measurement you would like the fur to be, double this as we will be folding the fur in half (this creates a nice fluffy edge on the head!) I decided 8cm of fur would look nice so I doubled this to 16cm. Then, we need to add 2cm for seam allowances = 18cm.
So I cut 1 x rectangle 63cm by 18cm of fur. Please note the direction of the fur - you will need to make sure it is pointing 'down' (not across) along the your width of the rectangle.
With Freddie's head circumference being 51cm and we upped that to 53cm for wiggle room, the rectangle I cut was:
55cm (including the 2cm of seam allowances) x 18cm.
With Rupert's head circumference being 45cm and we upped that to 47cm for wiggle room, the rectangle I cut was:
49cm (including the 2cm of seam allowances) x 16cm.
Once you've cut your 2 triangles out of your fabric, place them right sides together before pinning around the edge to secure.
Fold your fur in half so that the two shorter edges meet with the fur on the inside and pin to secure.
SEW - Fabric
Sew up one of the diagonal fabric triangle edges using a 1cm seam allowance to the point of your hat, pivot and then sew back down the other side of the diagonal edge of your triangles.
SEW - Fur
Sew along the edge using a 1cm seam allowance to create a circle of fur.
ASSEMBLE - Pin
Fold your fur in half width ways so you have fur outwards on both sides of the circle of fur.
Turn your fabric 'hat' out the right way, and push the top point as far as you can.
Press with an iron to remove any creases.
Place the hat inside the circle of fur with the edges of both the hat, and the two edges of fur together. Pin in place to secure.
ASSEMBLE - Sew
Using a 1cm seam allowance, sew the three layers together. I would have expected to need to use a 'special' sewing machine needle for this, but I used my 'normal' one, and it was absolutely fine!
Note: Where the two triangle seams meet - there will be a 'dip' of a triangle that doesn't quite fit with the seam allowance on your fur part - which you may have noticed when pinning together - don't worry, we can trim that off in a bit!
Secure your threads and trim off the triangle bits just mentioned.
Hand sew your pompom on to the tip of the hat. Top-tip: make sure to not push your needle all the way through the faux faur pompom - needles are sharp, and the faux pompom is white!!!! #needlesaresharp #redspoldgesarenotagoodlook
I know, I think I'm crazy sometimes too. I could have just bought a costume... But I WANTED to make one. Little Freddie has suddenly become very interested in Mummy's sewing machine - and thinks it is magic that I can take fabric and turn into something 'for you'. How perfect then, to make him a little 'wizard' outfit for Halloween!
Iron and Ironing Board (optional)
Et voila - one cloak! If you decide to give this a go, and need further help or ideas, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Drop me a message on any of The Crafty Lass social media.
Interlining/strong Interfacing Fabric
The main concept of how to make this hat - was from this 'MakerFreak' video: "10 Minute Harry Potter Wizard Hat"... It did take me longer than 10 mins! But, in time if you were making quite a few of these I can understand how it is a very quick make indeed. This tutorial also only shows how to put fabric on the outside of the hat - I decided to line my one also. So, follow the video as far as the final stage, but I also separately made a slightly smaller triangle (this will make sense once you watch the video!) for the inside and then before sewing around the bottom edge to secure, I pinned everything into position tucking all raw edges neatly inside.
The other thing to note is that for this to match Freddie's cloak; I layered up the fabrics: The crushed velvet with starry netting over the top for the outside in a double layer. Then it is the interfacing as the main structure, and just the crushed velvet on the inside. Again, I have chosen to do a decorative stitch around the bottom of the hat just to make it look extra special - but it doesn't alter the make if you wanted to just do something plainer!
Cricut Holographic Vinyl
Cricut Transfer Tape (Optional)
Cricut Maker Machine
Using the Cricut 'Design Space' app I have simply made some star shapes and then font for 'Freddie's Treats'. Using the holographic foil setting on the Cricut Maker* the shapes and text has been 'kiss cut' out and I simply added on to a plain small black bucket. A simple make - yet I think it is effective - and Freddie loves he has his own personalised sweetie container for Halloween!
*The Cricut Maker was gifted but all opinions expressed are my own.
Having studied Art & Design – specialising in textiles for A-Level, BTEC Foundation in Art & Design – specialising in Textiles and then going on to specialise in Printed Textile Design at University – you’d think my go to medium of choice, would always be fabric. Of course, I would never turn my back on the beautiful warps and weft of material but it is sometimes nice to try something new.
I have made many flowers out of fabric before – making HUNDREDS of hand cut petals for our wedding. Sewing these into large ruffled flowers that adorned the tables, the chairs, the corsages – and have since held several flower corsage craft workshops teaching people how to make these.
It was only fairly recently that I started to explore making flowers out of a new material – paper.
Paper, with all its varying weights, styles and colours provides incredible flexibility to create texture where perhaps fabric cannot to the same degree. Paper, when you fold it, it often stays where you put it – you can roll it up, cut it up – without fraying, it can be stretched to create shape (in crepe paper certainly) it can be crumpled up to create folds and definitions. It can be delicate (tissue) and strong (card). It provides a whole wealth of inspiration and ideas. Of course there are delicate silks and structured chords and denims to explore with fabric, but paper somehow feels more tactile, more instantaneous texture. I have always been more focused on the graphic design ON the fabric – colour, the pattern, the print of the fabric, not necessarily the texture.
Colours – I’ve always been inspired by nature and the amazing palletes it brings. What could be more invigorating than looking at the colours of a glorious sandy beach against cool blues of the sea? Or, the remarkable russets, greens, golds and oranges of an Autumnal tree? Or the pastels, brights of a floral summer garden?
Using real flowers as the most obvious starting point, when making paper flowers – I like to try and recreate the styles and shapes and as close to nature as possible… but equally it is quite nice to give a nod to – that the recreation IS paper. For example, peonies – I’ve been known to hand paint crepe paper to specific shades of pink to replicate the imperfect colouring in nature of real peony petals. I have been told that people didn’t realise that it was paper, they looked THAT real! (Mission accomplished!) However, with daisies – I tend to cut the paper into little straight strips. Thus giving square edged petals – they look like daisies, but just not quite.
Flowers can of course, be built into extraordinary displays and bouquets – and what a choice! From tiny little delicate ‘baby’s breath’ to huge ruffly roses and sunny sunflowers. Often interspersed with foliage and leaves building up layer upon layer of colours and textures.
As beautiful and striking as real flowers can be – they do not – very sadly – last.
However, fabric and paper – very happily – does.
I have been honoured to be asked to make various paper flower commissions – primarily for people’s weddings – and most recently, I had a very romantic request – for a first ‘paper’ anniversary gift, to replicate his wife’s wedding bouquet, so that she could keep it! (He’s a keeper!)
Using a wedding photograph as inspiration and lots of secret messages between myself and the groom to make sure it was just right, after weeks of paper folding and making – he gave her his thoughtful gift within the last week. I’m really glad to say she loved it. (Mega brownie points for hubby, right?) Yay!
Looking forward to 2018, I plan to launch paper flower craft workshops for people to come and learn how to make them… in the meantime, if you – or someone you know would like a paper flower commission – please do get in touch!
tableˈteɪb(ə)l/nounA piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs, providing a level surface for eating, writing, or working at.
Babies grow REALLY fast. Everyone tells you – “enjoy it, they won’t be like that for long…”
I heard what people were saying when I first heard this… but I am not sure I really took on board just HOW super mind bogglingly fast time actually disappears… and that some days I think our little one grows before our very eyes. One minute he is wearing that cute little star print vest I love, the next – well, not. I once even thought I had shrunk everything in a wash load – but no no, he really had grown that quickly! Almost overnight…
When he was born, and I had taken approximately 200 first outfits to the hospital in various sizes from very small to very very large ‘just in case’ (we looked pretty much like we were moving house when arriving at the maternity ward, or perhaps maybe a long holiday with 3 cases!!) … he STILL didn’t fit in to any of them. Given the size of my hippopotamus sized bump I was certainly surprised…! Anyway, one of the first jobs for new Daddy was to go out and buy more clothes – turns out we needed very very very small!
Staring at this little bundle of cuteness, who we were suddenly in charge of – and now enclosed in a tiny little babygro on Day 1 – I couldn’t imagine him fitting in to one of the actual ‘going home outfits’ that I’d meticulously and totally unnecessarily planned – let alone all the other what seemed almost ridiculously large items for future months we had at home.
Now, at only (only!) 9 months – he is out of all those wonderful first items – and marching into 9-12 months plus and onwards. So, what to do with all those leftover clothes??
Some of those clothes have memories engrained in them. Little laughter and magical moments woven into the fibre of their cloth. Forever to be captured on camera and shared into the Instagram #babyspam. The sleep suit on his first car journey home, on his first Christmas day, when he first smiled, and rolled over. The first time in a jumperoo, and at a baby sensory class. The special outfit at his first wedding – and the first time he met his grandparents. The list goes on… all those milestones that suddenly happen, you grab your camera and BAM – that’s what he was wearing when ‘that’ happened…
I can’t look at some of those beautiful little items without smiling, crying, remembering and rejoicing! If they are going to be made into something they need to be CUT UP… So they need to made into something that will be used, loved, cherished.
On this note, we are now starting to plan a 1st birthday party, which I cannot quite believe – but what would a party be without decorations? And in particular, BUNTING.
And so… I have spent this evening, going through the no longer used, but still very much loved, clothes – the cute little fabrics – selecting, remembering, and cutting triangles. The triangles won’t match, there will be colours, stripes, prints and patterns galore. It will be fun! And memorable. Personalised – a year in the life of our little man. I’m not going to lie, a few tears have been shed tonight – happy tears – but I repeat – how can he be growing so fast??!
This craft might take some time, there are plenty of triangles to be cut and sewn, and they won’t be perfect, this bunting will have poppers and seams galore… but what a project!! So enjoyable to plan and make… and so exciting to see the outcome.
I look forward to it being hung, resplendent at his first birthday party!
And if this clever (even if I do say myself) crafty idea – could get any better… my plan is to now do this as time goes on. I will add to it, every year, whenever a new celebration that of course requires bunting is needed – with the next batch of discarded wears so that by the time he is 18 it could no doubt be hung to the moon and back!
Right, I’m off to see what else he can sadly no longer wear, do some more remembering, and to cut triangles…
There are more memories to be made tomorrow, who knows what the day will bring. I hope he is wearing a nice printed outfit!!
It’s June. JUNE.
I’m sure I start every blog post on a comment about time, or very British – the weather, but I seriously do not understand where time goes…
Our little one is approaching 8 months. For those good at maths, that’s two thirds of a whole year, (what??!!) which to me is literally, crazy… time flies when you’re having fun!
Well, my blog posts have certainly been bare, and my Facebook feeds empty – but I have literally been having ‘too much fun’… Well, I have been busy anyway… We have moved house. Which I can tell you, is no mean feat with the compious amounts of furniture and
rubbish stuff we own to move, a dog, a baby… (note: we could NOT have done the house move without our wonderful parents physical help on the day… I know they will read this, and very important for the acknowledgement! We made such a great team!!)
The Crafty Lass – despite being on a slight back burner due to concentrating on the move, and mainly on our forever growing and developing little man and being on maternity leave – is never far from my thoughts. In fact, at the minute, it feels like it is all I think about. I hinted in my last post, 6 weeks ago, that there are ‘big plans’, and I sort of wondered whether to even say anything back then, let alone now… if you admit out loud your deepest thoughts, your dreams, and plans that are coming to fruition – you are vulnerable, but – you are honest. This house move, was for our family. But, it was also majorly for me, The Crafty Lass.
Now, don’t get me wrong – our new home, is a very long term, family home in the beautiful British countryside – but it has the added benefit of a (majorly-exciting-all-consuming-any-spare-thoughts) OUTBUILDING. Which, is currently in the process of being converted to be able to run said workshops from it… The Crafty Lass, used to be mobile – and still will be – however, it will have a new stable base, a lynch pin, a HOME.
Things will take time, things will need to be planned, bought, delivered, practiced – but The Crafty Lass will be expanding its workshops offerings. There is the new house to make a home too, and of course (!) there are various ‘The Crafty Lass’ projects to complete there too. There are blinds to be made, walls to be painted and murals to be designed. There is only one of ‘me’ (thank goodness I am sure ‘The Husband’ thinks…) and my brain is on design and Pinterest overdrive with ideas and ‘vision’ for spaces and the future.
I will, of course, keep you informed of anything majorly exciting in regards to workshops… but I hope you will join me on this new journey and adventure of turning our outbuilding into the new The Crafty Lass HQ. And of course, once this seriously starts to get real… I will be singing from the rooftops that I am holding workshops from here, and then I will need your help! Like, Share… Attend?
With the most recent happenings in our broken world, nothing speaks stronger to me than – do it. If you want something to happen, just do it – if you can. But, life is far, far too short to hold back. The last eight months with little man, and the changes that have occurred in that short time… I wonder where we, and the world will be in another 8 months time. I am a big believer in fate, and the minute I walked into this house, I just knew. I had to stop myself from crying in front of the estate agent (stiff upper lip and all that…) apart from imagining where our Christmas tree would go (sure fire we need to get this house moment) I could see fabric, passion, sewing, happiness, creativity, the future…
So, without being a preacher – if you want something don’t let anyone, or yourself (!) hold you back. Go out, do it, live the dream. I’m not quite there yet, but the day I have people here for a workshop, and they leave creative, inspired and happy… I’ve won. I’ve lived the dream. And, now, the next stage is to MAKE IT HAPPEN. Make, Create, Inspire.
What is your dream? Are you actively pursuing it? How does it effect your life? I’d love to hear. xx
I have had many a different role in my career to date… From envelope stuffing and data entry on oil drilling (random I know!) to pot washer and waitressing… shop assistant, accounts, chocolate forecasting… from working in womenswear fashion buying and merchandising, to number crunching on predicting foodie sales for a national supermarket, guest demonstrating on shopping TV and most recently as a Craft Buyer – and importantly, realising my actual long term career dream – and setting up my own craft workshops business – ‘The Crafty Lass’.
I wouldn’t perhaps class ‘motherhood’ as a job – but I would certainly class it as a role – and work! I have (strangely or not) always loved working (born on a Saturday – “Saturday’s child works hard for a living”?) and it is a novelty to me being on maternity leave. It isn’t really a year long holiday – but it does sometimes feel that way (!) – it is definitely play dates, new things to see, learn, try and do – and plenty of tea and cake. I don’t have an Easter four day ‘weekend’ off from ‘work’ – but I do have a lovely four days together as a family. I am simply – loving – this new stage in our life – the good, and the bad! What I am losing in sleep – I am gaining in daily new adventures and discoveries.
However, I am often coming up with new business ideas and directions for The Crafty Lass once this
holiday Maternity leave is over – and with some exciting plans on the horizon – it also got me thinking, just for a bit of fun – if being a ‘Parent’ was advertised as a ‘job’ what would the description say? And… would I apply? I’m sure I would…
- Carer, Chef, Cleaner, Nurse, Chauffeur, Event Planner, Photographer, Teacher, Stylist and Entertainer.
(referred to herewith as ‘The Parent’)
(referred to herewith as ‘The Boss’)
- Full-Time Long Term Contract. Please note you will be required to be on call 24 hours a day, and available at very short notice.
Description and Responsibilities:
- Primary role of The Parent is to ensure The Boss is ‘happy’ by any means necessary.
- Target of ‘happiness’ measured by a distinct lack of ‘grouchiness’.
- You must be able to work out what The Boss is saying and requiring, often via ‘instinct’. This cannot be taught, but it will be something you ‘just know’.
Please note sometimes you may not ‘just know’ – so you will need to be inventive, ask everyone you know questions, be prepared to search Google umpteen times and try various ideas and activities.
- In addition to generally caring, changing and feeding – happiness is often achieved by (but is strictly not limited to) cuddles, playing with toys, singing, jigging, pulling funny faces, repetitively saying ‘boo!’ and dancing around like a crazy person.
Please note that within each 24 hr period, how the overall happiness target is achieved will need to adjust and will often dramatically change. What The Boss may love today – may not work tomorrow – so you will need to show adaptability and ability to think on your feet whatever the circumstances.
- You will need to demonstrate a high ability to multi-task and must be able to accept – and be prepared for a change of plans at a moment’s notice.
- Must be able to determine and structure when it is The Boss’ ‘Nap’ and ‘Bed’ Time.
To achieve this, you must be potentially willing to:
- Gently rock The Boss from side to side continuously, for what feels like hours, no matter tired you are, or how big and heavy they become.
- Read the same bed time story from yesterday (and the day before) as if you’ve never read it before. With different and varying character voices.
- Sing the same song over and over (and over).
Please note – that song will be stuck in your head for days.
- On occasion, go for a walk or drive, for no reason other than to induce sleep.
- NEVER run out of batteries of The Boss’ toy that sings sleep inducing lullabies.
- NEVER lose The Boss’ favourite toy and/or ‘comforter’.
- Be able to always locate said toy and/or ‘comforter’ at ‘Nap’ and ‘Bed’ Time.
Please note: if The Boss ever ‘fights’ sleep – please ignore these demands and continue as above. If required – ‘Nap’ and ‘Bed’ Time will often lead to a general ‘happiness’ achievement across a 24 hr period – for both The Parent and The Boss. (see ‘Breaks’ in Benefits and Pay below.)
- Must wash, dress and style The Boss, and be prepared to accept that they will have more outfits than you, and ultimately – look (a lot) cooler than yourself.
- You must be willing to get excited about seemingly mundane things like cardboard boxes – especially when they reject a new toy that came within said ‘cardboard box’.
- You must be willing and able to organise, pack and carry around a hundred and one items with you every day to cover anything and everything The Boss may require.
Notes for the successful candidate:
– You must be able to ‘function’ within the role at all times – despite having to complete various other tasks in life and being on call 24/7 (see ‘Hours’ above.)
– You will need to cope with changes in acceptable conversation topics. You will likely no longer talk about anything other than The Boss. You must also be willing to discuss anything and everything at any given moment – nothing is out of bounds.
For example: topics such as ‘poo colour’, ‘poo consistency’ and ‘poo amount’ are acceptable across the dinner table discussions.
– You will more than likely require an upgrade to an almost indefinite storage capacity for your photographic device to cope with the high amounts of photos taken of The Boss.
Please note you are likely to often share a lot of The Boss photos with the world – perhaps via social media. Other people may love this and others will get bored, but please continue to share at whatever level you feel is appropriate in The Parent role.
– You may need to adjust your own sleeping patterns – sleep when The Boss sleeps if required.
– You will have a budget – however you do need to be prepared to make considerable purchases to undertake the role.
Please note – just when you think you have bought everything you need, The Boss may undertake a ‘growth spurt’ and require a completely new wardrobe, overnight.
Please also note a lot of what you purchase may not actually be necessary, liked or required. See note on ‘cardboard box’ above.
Please also note no formal training will be included with the role and it does NOT include a manual.
Benefits and Pay:
- Breaks: You are entitled to daily breaks however you will need to be flexible on this. Your breaks usually need to fit around the (sometimes non-existent) ’Nap’ and ‘Bed’ Time (see notes above).
Please note you will have to be prepared to drink cold cups of tea if necessary.
- Holidays: you are entitled some holidays. Requests for such will need to be considered on a case by case basis – however, you will still be required to be on call (see ‘Hours’ above).
- Promotions: When you are ready you may report to more than one of ‘The Boss’.
- Pay: You won’t be on any numerical remuneration. However, you will get paid in unlimited unconditional love, smiles and giggles.
This job description is not exhaustive, but it is exhausting. We understand that this is a highly challenging role that will require a patient and loving candidate to fulfil. However, it promises – above all – to be extremely rewarding and heart meltingly brilliant.
In fact – it guarantees to be the best job you will have ever done and will ever do.
So it is nearly February 2017… seriously – where do the days and weeks and months go? One minute I was writing a blog post about welcoming our little one into the world and now he is just over 3 months old and nearly doubled in birth weight!
I always seem to start blog posts about where time is going – but it really does fly by when you are having fun! Valentine’s this year will mark one whole year since we welcomed our four legged friend, Patch into our ever expanding and busy household – and nearly a year to the day we discovered we were expecting our little bubba! Crazy. As you can imagine, I’ve not been really thinking about craft recently… I’ve not exactly had time! However, I have been back designing (when I can!) and I have a few projects on the longer term horizon – but, mainly I’ve just playing with our new little buddy and making sure to keep him happy (and alive!) for the day!!
I know it can be commercial, but I think there is something lovely about Valentine’s Day – The Husband always says he can say I Love You any day of the year (awww) but – I think it is a nice excuse to just show someone you care. And of course – to get crafty and make something! That will mean far more than any shop bought gift… (Well, unless it includes diamonds…!?!) Anyway, here are my top 5 Valentine’s Day crafts to get you inspired to make something for your beloved!
Who says that crackers have to be just for Christmas?? This clever idea for Valentine’s photo party poppers would be fun to make and to give as a cute gift! 🙂
A very simple but effective idea, that will brighten your home and say I Love You all year round!
These are MEGA cute, and look really simple to make! Mmmmm tasty! And what’s not to love about chocolate pretzels?!
Who doesn’t love a bit of bunting?? A lovely tutorial here for some rustic heart decor!
Love roses? Love strawberries? Why not have both with this tutorial for an elegant fruity crafty idea!
Going back to the beginning of 2016, The Crafty Lass was asked to make something special for a couple’s beautiful wedding – I was honoured to have been allowed to make something for their big day! After discussions on colours, themes, styles – we decided on making some paper peonies in pinks and creams – and some bunting for various areas of the big occasion to attach to some lovely vintage wicker baskets.
I had quite a few months to get everything made and ready, but I was keen to get started! To make sure everything looked as realistic as possible – I mean, in nature – flower petals are not all exactly the same colour – I set about hand painting special florist’s crepe paper with come watered down paints and inks to allow a soft blended effect in both pinks and white-creams. It gave the crepe paper a lovely, deeper wrinkled surface that I think enhanced the lovely texture of this material. Due to the folds and crevices within the crepe – it allows you to really mould and sculpt – so that at first glance, they can resemble real petals. Well, that was intention, anyway!
Once painted, dried, and the petals all cut out, moulded – they were ready for bringing all together into the flowers. I opted to use florists wire, florists crepe and a hot glue gun for the delicate operation! It was a case of gently building them up into multiple layers, before adding on some ‘leaves’ and et voila! Paper peonies… 🙂
Next up – the bunting. ‘Favours’ (for the guests to collect from the designated area), ‘Cards’ (for guests to leave their lovely greetings to the happy couple) and ‘Blankets’ (as it can be cold in Britain, even in Summer!!) in a navy blue and cream theme. With the bunting attached on to the wicker baskets with the flowers – there was a lovely vintage, soft feel to everything. I shouldn’t blow my own trumpet, but I think they turned out great! 🙂
I really enjoyed making these and I wish the happy couple all the happiness in the world! 🙂
If you’d like something for your special day, please do get in touch!
Looking for a way to personalise your wedding with some unique handcrafted decor and favours? Looking for a special personalised gift? A new baby celebration? Throwing a party with a difference?
If you have an idea, want something creative, have an event you would like to make extra special – see if The Crafty Lass can be of help. 🙂
Please contact for further information and pricing.
Yesterday was a bit of a ‘road trip’! One of my closest and dearest friends had her birthday recently – and as she is also very creative, and we mentioned AGES ago about doing something like pottery making, or decorating – my gift to her was to visit the brilliant, and iconic Emma Bridgewater factory in Stoke-on-Trent. We were booked in for both a factory tour to see the makers and creators in all their skillful glory… and then to go and decorate our very own pieces in their studio. Exciting!
It was a horrible drive up – the weather was typically Britishly grey, rainy, horrid visibility – but when we pulled up at the factory the clouds were on the turn – with blue skies and glorious sunshine just around the corner. A sign that our day was about to be on the up!
Despite the horrid journey, we did arrive quite a bit earlier than planned. But – this actually was a genius move – plenty more time to spend in the factory shop! Winning.
Although marked as ‘Seconds’ you sometimes struggled to work out exactly why it was just that – and ‘Seconds’ – the odd mark here and there that perhaps was ‘out of spec’ but nothing that didn’t stop each piece certainly being a delightful piece of exquisitely handmade piece of pottery here at the very factory in Stoke. Bargains galore – I really did have to reign in my desire and the true definition between ‘want’ and ‘need’… Beautiful mugs normally £19.95 – instead… £11.90 for two anyone?? A true sign of the high quality standards that the factory obviously strives towards.
They are very proud of the fact they are in Stoke – and, that everything is made on site – and so they should be! They are one of the largest employers in the area – around 185 people – and it is just so exciting to see such an industry still in good old Great Britain.
Although I knew they were made in Stoke, and yes perhaps hand decorated – I had no idea, that Every. Single. Piece. is TOTALLY handmade. Hand moulded, hand finished, hand checked, hand well – everything – from beginning to end – each mug, bowl, tureen is completely hand created. And, due to that – on the finishing at least, one will never be exactly the same as the next. Each very talented painter – will of course, have to keep to a certain spec, but it will always be their own. Our delightful factory tour guide ‘Julie’ explained that some people that collect Emma Bridgewater pottery – will ONLY collect certain artists pieces. What a compliment! You may be thinking – but how do they know!? Well, underneath each item, the artists leave their little ‘mark’ – usually their initials, and in the romantic eyes – it gives credence to the artist – which, of course it does – but, also it is a part of the quality control system – but either way it certainly shows it was hand created by a person, and not a machine!
Next we headed over the cafe for some well earned (ok, not really – but well desired) tea and scrumptious-moist-really-not-needed carrot cake. What a place! With (as expected!) everything served on in house wares – a now famous ‘polka-dot design’ adorned Aga in the middle, the walls covered with quirky posters and shelf upon shelf of mugs, plates… Just lovely! A fun, relaxed environment akin to the branding and designs of the Bridgewater pottery.
We didn’t actually have long, so we wolfed down our treats – and headed on over to the decorating studio.
We knew we were doing this – but it wasn’t until we were actually inside that we thought about a) what we wanted to decorate and b) what we wanted to decorate it with! Blank pieces started from as little as £6.00 and luckily there were a wide selection of stamps and paint colours – so it wasn’t long before we were inspired and raring to go!
Those girls in the factory are really so talented – they make it look ‘easy’… I had grand visions of all sorts of complicated designs – but in the end settled for some lovely and very ‘The Crafty Lass’ hearts and stars in a repeat pattern around the edges of the iconic Bridgewater mug – in green and pink too, of course.
I love those mugs – we were bought the also iconic ‘Mr & Mrs’ mugs when we got married – and although they have a special meaning of course – they are such lovely mugs to drink from. Heavy, but still actually useable. Thick and solid, but still somehow delicate. It’s crazy – but my morning cuppa of Yorkshire tea, always tastes better in that mug than any other.
Anyway – back to the decorating – we soon learnt that the paint dries very quickly, and that’s quite handy – as if you make a mistake, you can sandpaper it back off! We were fortunate that the scheduled groups after us – weren’t so large, and so with plenty of space – we managed to hang around longer than the normal allocated time. We were so absorbed in our new found love of pottery painting – we hung around in the studio for 2.5 hours…! And due to that – not only did I complete two mugs – one for myself, and one for The Husband but also a ‘Crafty Lass’ inspired matching plate with my now well used ‘Make. Create. Inspire.’ “catchphrase”! I have delightful and rose-tinted visions of my morning tea and toast with them to literally inspire me onwards in my The Crafty Lass days. The only deadline that curtailed us short of moving in and staying there all day and night and decorating pretty much everything – was that the cafe stopped serving lunch at 3.30pm… so we managed to put the paintbrushes down, pack-up, pay and get over there for some more delicious food. (A pesto, mozzarella and tomato toastie and a Ham, Cheese and Piccalilli bloomer – both with salad and plenty of homemade coleslaw incase you were wondering. Delicious!)
The final pieces need to be glazed, fired, cooled – and so they will be sent on to us in just a few weeks time. I cannot wait for the knock on the door the day that parcel arrives!!!
A final mooch around the shop to buy more items that I probably don’t need, but feel that my kitchen is greatly improved by – before back in the car, and off home. A long day – but happy, content and I actually feel like we had a therapeutic, creative and world-away from the day to day stuff – just, put simply – a truly lovely day trip out with my dear friend.
I left feeling inspired. Emma Bridgewater started the company simply because she couldn’t find the right present for her mum. Spotted a gap in the market – and et voila! They now produce 1.2 million pieces of pottery every year.
If you hadn’t already guessed by my above review – I would highly recommend a visit here to anyone. So, if you are ever Stoke way, or fancy a bit of a road trip – head on up there! Your bank balance won’t thank me for the recommendation, but your soul and kitchen certainly will.