Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Handmade Christmas Decorations - Some Ideas

I love Christmas! I love everything about it from buying and wrapping presents to cooking Christmas dinner. And there's nothing I like more than decorating my house with all kinds of festive ornaments. I have a very eclectic mix (I can't resist buying what I like, I'm not disciplined enough to stick to colours and themes!) ranging from old, and slightly tatty, favourites from childhood, to brand new store bought decorations and of course lots of hand made ones too.

Here I thought I'd share some of the decorations I've made for myself and love to take out year after year to make it feel like Christmas. These are just some of the ones I've made (it gets quite addictive; or I make them to sell at fairs but they never leave the house) with some ideas on how you could make some too.

Heart Garland

My handmade Christmas heart garland
I made myself this garland a couple of years ago when I was stuck at home in the run up to Christmas with Whooping Cough. I didn't feel like going shopping for decorations (nor did I think other shoppers would appreciate witnessing one of my coughing fits!) so I made quite a few for myself with what I had in the house. These little hearts are made from Christmas coloured fabrics, stuffed and finished with bows and buttons. A hanging ribbon then holds them to a length of cord and little jingle bells are spaced between them.


I've since made these garlands in different sizes and colours with various decorative features and they now also hang in quite a few peoples' houses. Not bad for a garland made from scraps I had!

Gingerbread garland

My handmade felt gingerbread garland 

I love gingerbread men (and women!). They always look so festive and cheery. When I wanted to make a garland for the rail across the top of the stairs last year they were my first choice. I used felt to give a bright and homely look choosing a gingery colour for the people and hearts and festive red, white and greens for the candy canes and holly leaves. The people are made simply by drawing around a gingerbread man cookie cutter twice, decorating one side with ribbons, bows, buttons and white embroidery thread then using blanket stitch to sew the two sides together. The gingham ribbons hold them on a length of cord which I then covered with felt holly leaves and big red buttons to look like berries. It took quite a while to make but I think it's definitely worth it!

Felt hanging decorations

Felt's a great fabric to work with as it's easy to cut, doesn't need hemming to stop it fraying and comes in an incredible range of colours. That's why I make so many decorations out of them! These hanging decorations are made in a similar way to the gingerbread men above but are stuffed to make them 3D. They hang from virtually every handle in my house at Christmas - doors, cupboards, drawers...


I also have them in lots of festive shapes including Father Christmas, puddings, snowmen, stockings, gifts, baubles, reindeer ... and they're just the ones I can see while sat here writing this!  You can let your imagination run wild with them as they also look great in more simplistic shapes which are easy to sew. 

Cross stitched pictures

When I used to have more time (and patience) I used to love doing cross stitching. I have quite a few decorations and pictures that are stitched but this little elf getting ready for Christmas is my favorite. It was part of a larger pattern of Santa's workshop which was then made into a stocking, but I didn't have the time to complete the whole project so I just took part of the pattern to make this picture. 

Well, there are a few of my handmade creations, I hope they inspire your Christmas crafting too!



Monday, 9 December 2013

Fun Themes For Weddings

I was very excited earlier this year when Brides Magazine (the UK's biggest selling wedding magazine!) sent me an email asking if they could have samples of my gingham favour boxes that I have for sale in my shop on Etsy.com. They said they'd like to photograph them for possible inclusion in their magazine, so I popped them in an envelope and posted them to the magazine. They were returned with a thank you note and since then I've been waiting to see if they were included in the magazine... and they were! The January/February issue came out last week and my little favour boxes are in there!

gingham wedding
Pink Flamingo's favour boxes in the latest issue of Brides magazine

They appear in the 'We heart details' pages where there are themes set out for weddings with products to match. My boxes are featured in the 'Gingham a go-go' theme with lots of other fun items to create a crafty and homespun look.

And this got me thinking about other fun themes and finds for weddings. So here I've put together some of my own picks for an interesting theme for the big day.

rainbow wedding

Rainbow Wedding

1. Paper Heart Garland £18.73 Ant n Frog
2. Butterfly Confetti £6.00 Decoraland
3. Set of 12 Place Cards £6.76 DMGE Shop
4. 50 Favour Bags £12.51 Marry Me Vintage Irish
5. Roses Cake Topper £26.27 It Tops The Cake
6. Personalised Wedding Invitations £7.51 The Parchment Place

woodland wedding

Woodland Wedding

1. 100 Flower Seed Wedding Favours £93.82 Fairy Land Bazaar
2. Floral Crown £21.89 Roses and Lemons
3. Love Bird Cake Toppers £21.27 Blossom Hill
4. Wood Cake Stand £44.66 Dalias Woodland
5. Wedding Thank You Cards £40.66 Starboard Press
6. Favour Bags £15.64 Moonflower Nature Art

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ideas for Advent Calendars

I love everything about Christmas. The decorations, the gift giving (and receiving!), the food are all treats I look forward to throughout the year, and it's this anticipation that makes it even more exciting. So naturally having an advent calendar to countdown to the big day helps to build that feeling that something special is on its way - and I always have at least one on the go from 1st December!

When I was little it was always one of those cardboard advent calenders with a festive scene on that helped me countdown to Christmas. I loved finding the little door each morning and opening it to see which seasonal image was hiding there (and depending on the quality of the calendar trying to figure out what it was). Nowadays though, as a grown up, I still want to experience that anticipation but in a slightly more sophisticated way so now I have fabric calendar I made myself and an advent candle to burn every evening.

handmade advent calendar
The advent calendar I made for myself

My Advent Calendar

I made the calendar above a few years ago when I seemed to have more time to cross stitch. I sewed some simple little fabric bags in red, green and cream cotton material and used iron on bonding to attach a festive image and number to the front of each. I then fill each bag with a little chocolate, tie them with ribbon and use mini wooden pegs to hang them on a length of string along a shelf. The idea is that each bag has the picture facing the shelf and is turned round on its day, but I can't bear to not see all the Christmassy images so I just turn them round to start with!

Advent Calendar Ideas

There are lots of different ways to mark the run up to Christmas in a visual way. These are some ideas I've thought of that would be great to make yourself for your family:

  • have a small Christmas tree (an artificial one that would fit on a table top) and hang a numbered decoration on it each day;
  • have a pile of small boxes wrapped as Christmas gifts with a number on the tag and a small prize or chocolate in each one and watch the pile go down;
  • create a 'jigsaw' picture with a festive image. Each day a piece is added (maybe pinned to a notice board or stuck on a wall) until the full picture is revealed;
  • use a calendar you already have and in the month of December add a festive sticker to each day's box;
  • create a table centre piece for Christmas dinner by adding an item everyday - for example have a piece of florists oasis and add an artificial flower or pine cone each day.

Or if you don't want to make your own...


1. Linen advent calendar by Free Spirit Designs at Wow Thank You £30
2. Magnetic tin advent calendar by Glitter Ink Cards £41.47
3. Advent calendar by Dots and Spots £4.95
4. Wooden truck advent calendar by Little Ella James £32
5. Bunting advent calendar by The Great Hatsby £65

Friday, 22 November 2013

My Favourite UK Crafter of the Week - illustrated stationery, prints and accessories

Stationery. Something I just can't resist! I have a huge collection of notebooks, pencils, erasers, novelty paperclips, post it notes, rulers... the list goes on and on (as does the space it takes up in my house). So whenever I see a hint of stationery anywhere I always have to look, and with my favourite crafter this week I looked quite a few times at their unique creations (and also discovered some other treats too).

As usual, this post is in no way sponsored or influenced. The crafter featured is genuinely a favourite of mine; all quotes are the crafter's own and the opinions are mine. So, with this in mind this week's UK Crafter of the Week is...

Vivid Please

Vivid Please are the wonderful creations of Vicky and David who together combine their skills to produce quirky and fun stationery, jewellery and home accessories. Vicky does 'most of the illustrations', David is a 'technical design wizard' and when their ideas meet it's gorgeous and cute items like this typewriter notebook which result.

Typewriter Moleskine: Customised Note Book
Typewriter Moleskine Customised Notebook by Vivid Please £4.50

There's a strong sense of fun in all the items in Vivid Please's shop, which isn't surprising as Vicky and David started working together because of 'a similar sense of humour and a love of all things odd'. Their first creations were made just to amuse themselves and share with each other at the advertising agency where they worked but soon caught the attention of their colleagues who wanted some for themselves! This made them realise they 'weren't the only ones who liked quirky things' and so started to make items to sell opening their online shop.

Geek Engraved Pencils Set
Geek Engraved Pencils Set by Vivid Please £3.00

Vivid Please 'believe that a good design should not just fit into one category' and so you can find their clever ideas in all kinds of guises including some wonderful brooches (another thing I have far more than I need of!), iPhone cases, mirrors, cards and prints. Between them Vicky and David have a 'fine art and graphic design background' both of which clearly come through in this cute deer brooch which is hand painted and has a modern graphic feel to it too.

Hand Painted Deer Brooch
Hand Painted Deer Brooch by Vivid Please £10.00

Another element of Vivid Please's work I find appealing is its friendly and comforting style. Based in Scotland where it 'rains a lot', Vicky and David like to find a 'cozy nook' to create in and this idea of being warm and cosy translates into their work too, especially home accessories such as this Mac N Cheese print. Not only is this the best comfort food there is (I've tried a lot, I know my comfort foods!) but the style reflects the relaxed and happy nature that clearly comes through from their fun partnership.

Mac N Cheese Illustrated Print: Home Is Where The Mac N Cheese Is
Mac N Cheese Illustrated Print by Vivid Please £12.00

With the present giving season coming up there are lots of great ideas from Vicky and David, so check out the links below!

To see more of Vivid Please's wonderful creations, take a look here:

Shop with Vivid Please
Vivid Please Blog
On Twitter
On Facebook

Monday, 18 November 2013

How to Make a Quick and Simple Father Christmas for Crafty Projects

Something I adore about Christmas is all the crafting I get to do. I usually start around August (I just can't wait!) and make cards, gift tags and decorations for myself, my family and now my business too. One of my favourite festive characters is Father Christmas (who I actually saw on Saturday at a craft fair!) as he embodies the child like delight of the season.

How to make a Father Christmas for crafts
I use Santa's image in lots of ways from cards and tags to felt decorations. A new and easy design I've come up with this year is the one below which I'll be using in different ways to add a jolly Christmas feel to my crafting; and I'll show you how you can make him too.

How To Make A Quick and Simple Father Christmas

You will need:

  • sheets of card or paper (depending on how you're using the finished figure) in red; white; and peach
  • a ruler
  • scissors
  • a pencil
  • a black pen
  • paper glue
How to make a simple Father Christmas

Step one

Take the red card and use the ruler to draw a triangle on it with a curved line at the base - as in the picture below. (draw it to the size you require for what you will use the finished Father Christmas for). Use your scissors to cut this out.

How to make a Father Christmas Christmas card

Step two

a. Now take the white card and place the red triangle cut out in step one on it. Draw around the triangle.

b. Draw lines as shown in the picture below to make a beard shape and cut in out.

c. Also cut out a small circle which will be the bobble for his hat and two tear drop shapes which will be his moustache.

How to make a santa christmas card

Step three

a. Take the white beard shape cut out in step two and draw around this onto the peachy coloured card.

b. Draw the lines as shown in the picture below to create the shape of his face.

c. Cut out this shape.

make a father christmas decoration

Step four

a. Using the glue, stick the white beard shape onto the red triangle where the two sides of the red and white pieces are in line.

b. Now glue the peach piece onto the white beard as shown in the picture.

c. Next stick the white circle, cut out in step two, at the top of the hat and each of the white tear drop shapes onto the peach piece as shown below.

father christmas card tutorial

Step five

Use your black pen to draw in two eyes and a nose as shown in this picture.

how to make a father christmas

Ways to use Father Christmas...

...as a Christmas card

Simply stick your Father Christmas onto a card with any background or other decoration you'd like and add a greeting.

...as a gift tag

Make sure he's made out of card for this one. Use a hole punch to punch a hole in his hat and thread a ribbon through this to attach it to a gift. Use the back to write your message on.

... as bunting style decoration

Make a few Santas and attach them to a length of string or ribbon. You could glue them onto the string or hang them up with little pegs.

Or let your imagination run wild! However you use this cute Christmas character you're sure to make your craft project extra jolly for the holidays.

Friday, 15 November 2013

My Favourite UK Crafter of the Week - quirky dolls and decor from Cut and Tear

You know when you see something for the first time and instantly need to see more? That's exactly what happened when I saw one of Cut and Tear's retro paper dolls. I'd never seen any like them before so was intrigued to find out more. And I discovered a lot more beauties too!

As usual, this post is in no way sponsored or influenced. The crafter featured is genuinely a favourite of mine; all quotes are the crafter's own and the opinions are mine. So, with this in mind this week's UK Crafter of the Week is...

Cut and Tear 

I have to say something to start with. I've bent my own rules slightly to feature this week's crafter; although based in London for a long time, Kate (the crafter behind Cut and Tear) grew up in the Czech Republic and now lives and works in Munich. But I love her work so much I'm counting the years in the UK here!  And looking at her wonderful creations I'm sure you'll agree with me that it's okay and worth it, especially as she admits, "Craft wise, I belong to Britain and its uniquely quirky craft aesthetics."

RETRO articulated swimmer doll (type 3) / bookmark / toy / paper doll / funky designer gift
Retro articulated swimmer doll £6.00 each Cut and Tear

Kate's beautiful paper dolls are based on her original drawings and designs. When I first saw them I loved them but then thought 'what are they for?'. Kate suggests using them as bookmarks (a wonderful image of the woman's head in her swimming cap poking out of the top of a book!) and I think they'd also make lovely original artwork in frames. As well as paper dolls, the lovely ladies are also transformed into different formats including brooches, dolls and magnets.

Mini brooch / doll MARIE ANTOINETTE / small plastic original accessories
Mini brooch - Marie Antoinette £4.00 Cut and Tear

Working as an art teacher for over 15 years, Kate has built and shared her skills developing her style and range of products. Like many creative people, she started young with a "passion for craft" and was particularly inspired by her female relations who "were small geniuses that saved and transformed every scrap in reach." This has influenced her work today and she loves to use discarded materials and "stuff that no one needs or wants anymore" to make her original creations and pass on the idea of upcycling and making unique pieces to her students.

ELEONORA - Comfort doll / cloth doll / art doll / OOAK
Eleonora comfort doll £20.00 Cut and Tear

A wonderful example of Kate's reusing of old objects is this unique idea for an advent calendar which is cased in an old DVD case. The string and pegs are ready to hang one house with a doll illustration on it each day. The packaging adds the element of upcycling and a joyful, quirky edge that all Cut and Tear's products offer; and for Kate "the joy is multiplied when in the process a material has been saved from a scrap heap."

Mini Advent Calendar in a DVD box / 25 paper houses with dolls / Advent garland / Christmas deco
Advent calendar garland £16.00 Cut and Tear

To find out more about Cut and Tear take a look here:

Cut and Tear's website
Shop on Etsy
Cut and Tear's blog
On Facebook

Monday, 11 November 2013

Christmas Markets and Fairs in Sheffield

I love this time of year when all the little hints (or giant ones depending on where you're looking!) that Christmas isn't too far away are appearing. There's frosty mornings, bright red berries on bushes, the robin sat on the garden fence every morning ... and lots of Christmas markets! I love the great choice they offer of unique gifts and decorations that you'd can't get elsewhere and I'm always amazed by how much creative talent there is locally.

Sheffield Christmas markets

I've already been to three that were all different in their own way and bought a few gift, decorations and foody treats. And there are a lot more to come. If you're lucky enough to be in the Sheffield area between now and Christmas take the opportunity to look at these:

Burton Street Christmas Fair, Hillsborough
Christmas Market, Channing Hall, city centre
Ridgeway Christmas Farmer's and craft market
23rd & 24th
Whirlow Hall Farm Christmas Fayre

Hillsborough Sports Arena Christmas fair
Nichols Christmas Fair, Nichols Building
Tapton Hall food and craft fair
Vintage and craft Christmas market, St Mary's Church
Nether Edge Christmas Market
Wentworth Woodhouse Christmas Fayre
Sheffield Up Market, University of Sheffield
Elsecar Heritage Centre, Unique Xmas gift fair

And every Saturday Morning there are festive treats on sale at Sheffield Country Markets in Broomhill.

Sheffield Christmas markets

There are lots of opportunities to get ready for Christmas or just get into the spirit of the season at these and lots of other venues too.

Friday, 8 November 2013

My Favourite UK Crafter of the Week - wonderfully illustrated accessories

I can't resist a cute illustration, especially when it's an animal - and even more when it's an animal that's dressed up! That's what drew me to this lovely shop where I discovered lots of drawings, both animals and others decorating a range of accessories. 

As usual, this post is in no way sponsored or influenced. The crafter featured is genuinely a favourite of mine; all quotes are the crafter's own and the opinions are mine. So, with this in mind this week's UK Crafter of the Week is...

Illustrated Goods By Zyzanna

All of these wonderful creations you're going to see are based on original drawings by Zyzanna - although she admits this isn't her real name, it's 'what I've been called by friends and family since I was 14'. I think this is a great name to reflect her work - it's original, different and fun! As I said above, I can't resist an animal that's dressed up and this is even more true when it comes to cats. Obviously, dressing up real animals isn't such a good idea (although I keep trying to get my brother to dress up his cat but for some reason he won't let me) so drawings are the best way to see this! This little kitty is all ready for winter in his chunky jumper.

Cat in a Knitted Jumper shopping bag, reausable eco tote
Cat in a knitted jumper shopping bag £10.00 Zyzanna

Not all of Zyzanna's creatures are dressed up though; some are just as nature intended such as the lovely barn owl brooch below. Zyzanna 'discovered what an amazing material shrinky plastic is' and has made lots of unique jewellery using it based on her original drawings. And this isn't the only brooch she makes; there are a range of different birds and even some lovely trees for them to be mixed with to create a lovely jewellery woodland. 

Barn Owl Brooch Pin Shrinky Plastic
Barn owl brooch £7.50 Zyzanna

Zyzanna has always loved drawing as says it's something 'I seem to do ALL the time'. She's known since she was little that she wanted to be an artist and this childhood dream has come true having graduated in illustration from the Edinburgh College of Art and set up her own business. She originally drew pictures such as the one below and still sells them but realised she could also apply her beautiful drawings to other items to produce a whole range of accessories. 

Berry Picking - Raspberries and a Bear print of an Original Illustration
Berry picking print £15.00 Zyzanna
Currently Zyzanna is based in 'rainy' Edinburgh and this has clearly influenced these earrings! (There's also some other lovely raindrop based jewellery in her shop too). I love the idea of having a set of three earrings to interchange and wear in your own style - they also come in different designs so swapping between the sets would create some interesting combinations too! 

Rain Drop Post Earrings set of three polka dot pattern blue
Rain drop earrings £10.00 Zyzanna

To see more of Zyzanna's wonderful work take a look here:

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tapton Hall Farmer's Market and Craft Fair

In August I went to an unusually timed craft fair - it was on a Tuesday morning. It took place at Tapton Hall in Sheffield and was only a small event with a handful of stalls and customers. I sold a reasonable amount though so thought it was worth going back to again (the markets are held on the first Tuesday of every month) and I was surprised as since August it has grown to more than double the size and was a lot busier!

Tapton Hall Farmers market and craft fair

I had a lovely time looking around all the new stalls and the lovely variety of products on offer. I even bought one or two little Christmas gifts and some treats for myself - delicious Eccles cakes and some soothing Aloe Vera moisturiser. Many of the stall holders said they'd be back for the December market too, so maybe I'll be getting a few more treats next month too (actually, there's no 'maybe' about it, I won't be able to resist!). And where else could you find a reindeer like this on a Tuesday morning?

There were lots of items to discover that I don't usually see at craft fairs and it was interesting to investigate what was available and chat with the stall holders. As you walked in you were greeted with wonderfully scented candles in tempting aromas including a delicious black fig one, and you could even book a candle party for your home! An imaginative use for old cutlery could also be found. Beautifully delicate Sheffield silverware was framed with a little history and picture of where it came from to create a unique piece of home decor and bring new life to cutlery that's past its use. A gorgeous array of tactile leather bags in all shapes and sizes kept me occupied for a while and it was interesting to look through some art supplies perfect for children and grown ups.

Tapton Hall Farmer's Market

There was also a great choice of craft fair favourites. You could buy some pretty home furnishings including cushions, bunting and notice boards in a variety of patterns and colours. Different styles of jewellery could be found from sparkling silver to delicate beadwork. And of course, as it is a farmer's market, lots of tasty treats including chutneys, local honey, pies, cakes, olives and Turkish delight - something for all tastes!

Tapton Hall Farmer's Market

And of course, there was my stall - all ready for Christmas!

Tapton Hall Farmer's Market

If you're around Tapton Hall for the next farmer's market and craft fair, it's well worth calling in to see what you can discover too.

The next market is on December 3rd from 9am - 2pm.

Friday, 1 November 2013

My Favourite UK Crafter of the Week - for lots of little treats!

There are so many pretty items in this shop it's difficult not to spend a lot of time looking through them all! I've visited the site a number of times to look through all the lovely handmade items and can't helping oohing and aahhing over all the delightful treats.

As usual, this post is in no way sponsored or influenced. The crafter featured is genuinely a favourite of mine; all quotes are the crafter's own and the opinions are mine. So, with this in mind this week's UK Crafter of the Week is...

The Homemade Haven 

What I love most about this shop is all the little treasures and treats you can buy. Zoe, the crafter behind The Handmade Haven, says she's toyed with selling her crafts for a while 'doing the odd Christmas fair here and there' before starting to sell online too. The items she makes are exactly the kind that I'd stop to admire (and buy!) at a fair. These gorgeous clothes peg magnets come in lots of different colours and patterns but my favourite are these with maps on. I think they'd be ideal for holding photos of a holiday or trip.

World map magnets clothespins pegs
Map magnet clothes pegs by The Homemade Haven £3.25

The main reason Zoe started selling her crafts was so she could 'stay at home as much as possible' with her 3 children. I think this homely feeling of family comes across in her pieces which offer a little bit of homemade and handcrafted. These fabric covered buttons are wonderful to add to your own crafts or decorate a bag or some clothing and give them a handmade feeling of their own. (Or if you're like me, hoard them with all the other hundreds of pretty buttons I just can't bear to use!)

Make do and mend fabric covered buttons 19mm x5 scissors pin cushion button cotton reel
Make Do and Mend fabric covered buttons by The Handmade Haven £2.50 for 5

As well as making accessories for the home and crafting, Zoe also makes a range of pretty things to decorate yourself too! She says she 'loves to make all sorts of things' including hair slides, button bobbles and these lovely fabric flower corsages. There are so many uses I can think of for these: decorate a bag, coat or hat; pin them to cushions in your home for a pretty little touch; pinning them on a makeup bag or pencil case for extra cuteness... well, lots of uses and reasons to buy them!

Cath Kidston Corsage Brooch Red Spot
Fabric corsage brooch by The Handmade Haven £12.50

Zoe's also added a range of knitwear 'designed and made exclusively' by her to her shop. I love the design of this scarf for the upcoming winter. I don't usually like wearing scarves until it's really cold as I feel too bundled up in them, but this design is great to fill the gap in the neckline of a coat without all the crossing of layers or knotting to stay in place. Zoe has made her scarves in 'a flexible shape that offers mutliple ways to wear' so they can be useful to cover up wherever you've got a gap!

Handknitted Wool Women's Luxury Scarf and Corsage Set Original Design
Hand knitted wool scarf and corsage set by The Handmade Haven £75

So, if you're looking for a little treat for yourself or the perfect stocking filler (not long now!) take a look in The Handmade Haven. 
To see more of The Handmade Haven's pretty creations take a look here:

Monday, 28 October 2013

Table Confetti For Special Occasions

I love to decorate a table for a special occasion. In fact, this is often one of the main reasons for organising a meal or get together in the first place! For me a beautifully set and decorated table is like extra special wrapping paper on a present. Thoughtful details make the occasion more memorable - and might just detract from my less than perfectly presented food (it tastes fine, it just looks...well, not so fine!)

One of the finishing touches I like to add is table confetti I've made myself with papers which are no longer useful. I use my craft punches to create the upcycled confetti out of texts linked to the occasion or in colours that match the rest of the settings.

Upcycled table confetti

Here I'm sharing some ideas for table confetti for different occasion using various texts. These are just ideas, once you start there are so many possibilities to have fun with that have special meaning for you!

Upcycled Table Confetti

Using Books

This is a great way to use pages from books which are old, tatty and unloved. I often pick up books in 'bargain boxes' at charity shops; the books have been read and fulfilled their purpose but now have pages missing, scribbles or stains. I punch around the marked pages to make the confetti. Link the theme of the occasion to the text you choose:

  • birthdays - choose the guest of honour's favourite book
  • Halloween - use a ghost story
  • Valentine's day - a classic romantic novel (or a trashy one!)

Valentine's Day table confetti
An  old copy of Pride and Prejudice and a flower punch make lovely Valentine's Day confetti



Using Maps

Maps and places can hold a lot of personal meaning. Again I look for ones which are tatty or even out of date. As you can see in the picture, this map has damage where it looks like it got wet. They are great for making confetti for:

  • weddings - a place where the happy couple met or are going on honeymoon
  • housewarmings - a map of the new area
  • home coming -  if a loved one has been traveling and you're celebrating their return use maps of where they've been
Wedding table confetti - map
A map of a special place and a heart punch make thoughtful wedding table confetti


Using Sheet Music

I often find old sheet music in charity shops and second hand centres that's been torn or the staples have come out so only half of it is left! This is great to use for upcycling purposes. Music can suit any occasion as songs are attached to many celebrations. Here are some ideas:

  • Christmas - use carols punched into festive shapes
  • anniversaries - try and find music played at the happy couple's wedding
  • Christenings - hymns or nursery rhymes

Christmas table confetti
Christmas carol sheet music paired with snowflake and tree punches make festive confetti



Using Magazines

This is a fun activity for children; there are so many colours and patterns to choose from! It's great for using up the free magazines and junk mail that get posted through the door too.

Magazine table confetti
Fun patterns and colours using magazines to make table confetti

So next time you're holding a special get together to mark an occasion get out the old papers and punches and create a thoughtful finishing touch!

Friday, 25 October 2013

My Favourite UK Crafter of the Week - Stocking Fillers

I thought I'd do something a little different this week with my favourite crafters post. Instead of focusing on just one designer/maker I've chosen a few pieces by various crafters that would make great little gifts or stocking fillers.

If you've seen my blog in the last couple of weeks you'll realise that I've already started my Christmas shopping and I'm buying as much as I can with from small businesses and local makers (most... but when your mum requests Chanel shower gel you have to make some exceptions!). I've been quite organised and bought most items, but I'm still looking for some little extras and treats, so this is as much for me as anyone else!

So far I've bought gifts from local independent businesses, makers and markets as well as from local sellers on Etsy. Now I'm going to branch out further into the UK too, and here are a few ideas all available online...

Favourite UK Crafters - Stocking Fillers

For the children

Children's UK Stocking Fillers


1. Hair Bow £3.50 Button Owl
2. Waldorf Gnome £6.50 Madame Craig
3. Personalised Pirate Crayon Roll £4.00 Wow Thank You
4. Little Knitted Teddy Bear £4.00 Wow Thank You
5. A Clay Police Car Set £4.99 Bought With Thought
6. 2 Gingerbread Men Soaps £2.45 Soppy About Soaps

For Her

Women's UK Stocking Fillers

1. Digestive Pocket Mirror £4.50 Nikki McWilliams
2. Long Tailed Tit Brooch £3.00 Pocket Wren
3. Russian Doll Earrings £5.73 Jackdaw Jewellery
4. Make Your Own Bracelet Kit £4.00 Bought With Thought
5. Grapefruit and Lemongrass Soap £3.95 Wow Thank You
6. Poodles Key Ring Change Purse £6.00 Wow Thank You

For Him

Men's UK Stocking Fillers


1. VW Campervan Keyrings and Magnets £4.00 each Wow Thank You
2. I Am A Rock Legend Badge £1.05 Sam Osbourne Store
3. Lego Man Soap £3.75 each Funny Soaps and Bits
4. Artist's Notebook £6.00 Typescale
5. Record Vinyl Bookmark £2.50 When The Music's Over
6. Lego Brick Cufflinks £3.76 Bits and Badges