My Craft Swap with RubyRedcrafts

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a craft swap with the lovely RubyRedcrafts. It was the first craft swap I’ve ever participated in and it was so much fun. I’ve been following Rachel from RubyRedcrafts on Instagram for some time and after seeing all of her beautiful makes, I was able to gain a real sense of what kind of things she liked. Here’s what I made:

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Anybody who knows me well, knows that I absolutely love crochet. I taught myself to crochet several years ago and have been happily ‘hooking’ ever since! I just find it so incredibly therapeutic (unless of course I’m following a very tricky pattern) and I love how easy it is to add colour. I run a local, fortnightly crochet group in a cafe, so a lot of tasty cake and warm hot chocolate was consumed whilst this was made. As Easter is coming up, I thought it would make the perfect garland. I’ve made quite a few crocheted party decorations similar to this and I always have so much fun with them.

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Pastel felt flower gift tags with pink twine, need I say any more? Rachel spends a lot of time in her craft room and plans to use these as organisational tags for all of her crafty bits. The felt flowers were all cut by hand by myself. I drew a brief outline of each flower on thin paper to start with to use as templates. After choosing the felt and cutting out each shape, I used a mixture of hand sewing and hot glue gun, with some added embellishments. The brown gift tags came from my local craft store and were the perfect colour, as the pastel colours really shine through against the background colour.

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Rachel and I agreed on three items, the third being these tall, patterned heart cake toppers, perfect for decorating beautiful cakes with at special parties and events.

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This wrapping paper I used to wrap the gifts in was perfect, as it felt so seasonal. The Spring like colours and delicate flowers stood out to me whilst choosing the wrapping paper and the pink twine was the perfect addition!

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These fabulous handmade gifts were Rachel’s craft swap to me. How stunning are they? I love each and every one item Rachel sent and was so overwhelmed that they were created with love especially for me. I’ve now placed the gorgeous padded heart garland in my kitchen. The patchwork needle case is displayed proudly in my craft room next to my sewing machine. It will definitely be used as I’ve been thinking about teaching myself to make patchwork quilts and accessories for some time now. Rachel also included a beautiful handmade coaster for all of my lovely mugs and look at that little rosette!

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Last but not least, Rachel has an adorable dog named Wilson, so I couldn’t leave him out. I have two miniature poodles named Felix and Mabel, and they both love Lily’s Kitchen bedtime biscuits. They are the perfect treat for lucky pooches!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and do get in touch if I’ve inspired you! Have a lovely week.

 

Makers Monday, featuring Shopwillynilly

I’m not really one for setting new years resolutions, I usually just set myself a series of goals relating to my personal/work life. One of my many work goals was to start a regular feature on my blog which others will hopefully love to read and will find lots of inspiration from. Some of you may already know how much I LOVE Instagram. I dedicate a lot of time to it and as a result, have been introduced to some absolutely wonderful makers. My idea for ‘Makers Monday’ revolves around me dedicating an entire blog post to an inspirational maker each week, meaning my blog will be full of not only craft tutorials (and general ramblings) but will also be a wonderful resource for staying inspired and up-to-date with current makers.

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Let me introduce to you to Shopwillynilly set up by Chelsey, who is based in Truro, England. I’ve been admiring Chelsey’s work for some time, mostly through her Instagram account. Her photographs are just wonderful and capture her products beautifully. You can clearly see her excellent attention to detail, wonderful eye for colour, pattern and texture and most importantly, her strong sense of originality.

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Chelsey’s shop is the perfect place for any bride-to-be’s, looking for stylish, shabby chic wedding decor, made with lots of love and TLC. Chelsey’s shop is perfect for special gifts and wedding favours too.

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I bought lots of these adorable jars for my own wedding, as you may have seen on an older post here and wish I had of seen these personalised hearts back then. Homemade jam and chutney have been popular wedding favour ideas for a while now and I can definitely imagine these hearts looking fabulous if used to adorn culinary delights of that sort.

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I would be overjoyed to receive a beautiful keyring such as this one at a loved ones wedding. It’s such a special thought that your guests will be holding on to something forever from your big day. This seems so much more thoughtful (and useful) than the standard place card. The same thought which comes into my head again and again, of ‘why didn’t I see/think of this for my own wedding?’ makes me giggle! There is just far too much inspiration out there.

There is much more to see and swoon over in this beautiful shop. If you do go and take a peek, be warned that you are likely to want to buy everything in sight and may need to exercise some sort of self control!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first ‘Makers Monday’ post, I really can’t wait to share the next one with you. If you’re planning your wedding at the moment, feel free to pin away! (Gosh, the hours I spent on Pinterest whilst planning my own wedding…)

If you’re reading this and would really like to be featured on one of my other instalments, please comment below and I’ll be in touch. I’d love to hear from you and support fellow makers!

Paper Doily Makes: DIY Christmas Gift Wrapping

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Happy December all! It’s that time of year when Christmas shopping becomes a priority for many of you, as do copious amounts of toasty hot chocolates with marshmallows, right? I absolutely love gift wrapping, so I usually wrap the gifts as immediately as possible after getting them home. However, I do realise this isn’t normal and many people leave gift wrapping until the last minute.

There is such an incredible selection of gift wrapping available, the choice can be overwhelming. I personally like to have one specific theme, so all of my gifts look beautifully styled and uniform under the Christmas tree. Brown paper, available from most stationery shops and supermarkets is my favourite wrapping paper to use. If you’re anything like me and happen to have a very large patterned paper stash, you can really go to town with the personalisation. The brown paper gives the gifts a fabulously blank canvas, meaning you can use any colour, theme or style of paper on top of it.

For these gifts here, I used the brown packing paper as a base and then simply cut several strips of patterned paper, attaching them to the present with double sided sticky tape. (Remember not to use too much of this though, given as though they need to be relatively easy to open on the big day). I’ve been rather guilty of making presents too hard to unwrap before, sometimes wrapping them in several layers of paper to add to the anticipation. I’ll be quiet now, shall I!?

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I bought a star paper cutter from Hobbycraft some time ago. This isn’t a sponsored post, I just happen to love using them. I have them in all shapes and sizes and decided to make little star wands and star embellishments for the gift tags.

The star wands were made by cutting two stars out of equal size. I then took a bamboo skewer and some double sided selotape. (Selotape becomes a lifesaver this time of year, doesn’t it?) I turned both stars over onto their reverse side and attached several strips of double sided tape to them. I then placed the skewer on top of one of the stars and finished the wand by placing the remaining star on top of it. The beautiful thing about the star wands, is that they can also be used as cake or cupcake toppers or placed in clear jars as table decorations, meaning the theme can run through your house this Christmas.

You may have also noticed a patterned peg in one of the images above also? This is a washi tape peg and can easily be created at home and used for your Christmas gift wrapping. You can see my earlier washi tape peg tutorial here.

The brown gift tags were purchased from Amazon some time ago. I used my small star paper cutter to cut out several silver glittery stars and attached them to each gift tag with a small strip of double sided selotape. I left a space for writing the recipients name. A gold pen would be perfect for this. You can also handstamp the gift tags like I have done here. (scroll down to number three).

I had some beautiful, sparkly gold sewing thread left over from a previous project. This was wrapped around the present horizontally and threaded through the gift tag. I cut a second, smaller piece of the gold thread and used it to attach the wand to the gift tag and main piece of gold thread. Alternatively you can use decorative ribbon or twine, the choice is yours entirely.

Voila! I’m so happy to show you the final result above, which I am very pleased with! I really hope I have inspired you to start your Christmas gift wrapping earlier than usual. Do let me know if you decide to use my tutorial as a basis for your gift wrapping, I’d love to know.

 

Paper Doily Makes: Paper Heart Cupcake Toppers Tutorial

Cupcake toppers can be purchased pretty much anywhere now, but can sometimes become an unnecessary expense, particularly if you have a large number of cupcakes to decorate. Cupcake toppers can easily be made at home to suit any party theme, and only require a few relatively cheap materials. You’ll be pleased to know that you should be able to find most, if not all of these materials in your local supermarket and craft store. If you have any cake to hand, go and find yourself a beautiful plate, some pretty napkins and make yourself a tea. All of which are the perfect accompaniments to any craft project of course.

Materials: 

Decorative Paper/Wrapping Paper

Double Sided Selotape

Large Heart Paper Cutter

Small Cocktail Sticks

Paper Scissors

Method: 

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1. First of all, decide on how many cupcake toppers you require. For 12 cupcake toppers, you will require 24 paper hearts, to ensure the hearts are all double sided. Take your paper cutter and cut out all of your hearts, placing them in pairs. There is a very wide selection of paper cutters, available in most craft stores. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can definitely adjust the tutorial to your taste and theme.

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2. Take a pair of sharp scissors and cut 3 strips of double sided selotape for your first cupcake topper. The reverse side of 12 of your paper hearts will contain 3 strips of double sided selotape. There will be one long strip in the centre of the heart, which the cocktail stick will be placed on top of, and 2 smaller strips either side of that, to stick the paper hearts together. Repeat this process for half of your paper hearts.

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3. You should now have 24 paper hearts. The reverse side of 12 of them should contain double sided selotape and a cocktail stick, and the other 12 paper hearts should be plain. These plain paper hearts can now be placed on top of those with cocktail sticks, ensuring the pattern is visible on both sides of the cupcake topper. You should now have something beautiful which looks like this.

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When finished, they will definitely impress your guests and give any dessert table that extra special touch! Enjoy!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. 

Paper Doily Makes: Decorative Wooden Pegs

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We’ve been very busy making lots of adorable pegs for our Etsy shop recently and we thought we would share! They are absolutely perfect for prettifying wedding favour bags or wrapped gifts. They would also look lovely in the home, perhaps hanging from a lovely piece of twine with your favourite photographs or artwork attached.

These pegs are just standard clothes pegs and are very easy to find in most hardware stores or supermarkets. I purchased a large pack of these from my local supermarket. I searched online for patterned washi tape and came across such an amazing selection, mainly on Etsy. The great thing about these pegs, is that you only need a very small amount of washi tape to cover them. This means that you will have lots of tape left for coordinating party crafts, should you be having a big DIY session.

I have decided to sell these in lovely packs of 10 here but if you decide to get creative yourself, then let me know. I would love to see!

A very kind reminder: Paper Doily tutorials are for personal use only. Please do not reproduce the above content for resale. 

Paper Doily Makes: Washi Tape Crafts

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This is Paper Doily’s very first craft tutorial so we decided to begin with something simple but oh so beautiful. We absolutely adore washi tape. There are countless designs available, which is super convenient if you have a specific party theme to work towards. Store bought cupcake flags can be quite dear if you need a large amount. It seems far more economical to buy the perfect roll of washi tape, along with some cocktail sticks and have a lovely old DIY session. The washi tape can be used for countless party crafts such as favour bags, gift tags, table decorations, invitations, gift wrapping and even beautiful little thank you cards after your party. You cannot always purchase matching items from shops, so a good DIY job gives you great flexibility.

The construction of the cupcake flags really couldn’t be simpler. Follow these four easy steps below and most importantly, have fun!

  • Use a ruler to measure 8 centimetres of washi tape. Cut the tape to size and place sticky side up. You can make these as small or as large as you desire, this is just a guide.
  • Take your cocktail stick and place it in the centre of the tape. I measured 4 centimetres before sticking the cocktail stick to the tape, to ensure all flags were an equal size, but it is fairly easy to judge by eye.
  • Fold the tape over, holding the cocktail stick at the same time to avoid movement.
  • Take a small pair of scissors and cut a small triangle to make your flags look adorable.

After we finished our cupcake flags, we decided to prettify some chevron drinking straws with some glittery hearts. You can stick your washi tape to paper or card and use a paper cutter to achieve your desired shape. We then used clear double sided selotape to attach the hearts to the straws.

The straws and the cupcake flags will add that extra special touch to any party table and are two easy party crafts you must try. If you follow our tutorial, do let us know how you get on and please send us your photographs, we love to hear from you. Happy crafting!

A very kind reminder: Paper Doily tutorials are for personal use only. Please do not reproduce the above content without full credit.

Styling Inspiration: Whimsical First Birthday Party

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We absolutely love everything about this party styling courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess which has all been lovingly made by Jennifer, the hostess. The theme drew inspiration from windmills, birdcages and elephants. The colours are absolutely beautiful. The pinwheel cupcake toppers are a fabulous idea and so easy to make (with a little practice). The illustrations on display compliment the food, drinks and decorations so perfectly. Whimsical is definitely the best word to describe this party. We are hugely inspired as always and have an urge to make pinwheel cupcake toppers. Keep your eyes peeled as we are currently working on lots of beautiful party decorations (including toppers) which we cannot wait to share with you. Are you currently planning a party and feeling overwhelmed or in need of some crafting inspiration? If so, do get in touch and let us know if there are any craft tutorials which you would like to see.