Paper Doily Bakes: Lemon Layer Cake

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Happy Thursday all! Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time will know how much I love baking. Are you one of those bakers who has a certain speciality in the kitchen? My speciality used to be cupcakes, but nowadays I seem to get so much more excited from layer cakes (terrible for my waistline, I know!) I first tried my first slice of lemon cake last year in a local cafe. It was truly delicious and I kept going back for more. Fast forward a few months later and they stopped baking it. I thought I’d try baking it myself at home as I was hosting a small party. It was such a success and it was truly enjoyed by all. I’ve been making it ever since and it’s become a regular in this household! Would you like to know the recipe? Read on!

Firstly, I have two variations depending on how I’m feeling. Both versions are layer cakes made using the same sponge recipe but I alternate the icing technique.

One version is a lemon drizzle topping with small individual swirls of buttercream and sprinkles for decoration, alongside a few tablespoons of lemon curd and full layer of buttercream in between the sponge layers. (shown in the first photo above)

If I’m feeling like making the other version, I replace the lemon drizzle topping with a full layer of buttercream. I place a few tablespoons of lemon curd in between the sponge layers, alongside a second layer of buttercream. I finish this off with some sugarpaste flowers and sprinkles to give it a bit of colour. (shown in the first two photo’s below)

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Feeling inspired? Here’s the recipe…..

Ingredients

For the Cake:

Butter 250g, plus a little extra for greasing the tin

Golden Caster Sugar, sifted 250g

Self-Raising Flour, sifted 250g

Baking Powder, sifted 1 tsp

Organic Free Range Eggs 4 large

Lemons 2, zested

Semi Skimmed or Whole Milk, 1 tbsp

Choose either of the following:

For the Filling and Topping of the Lemon Drizzle/Buttercream Swirls Version:

Lemons 4 (2 for the buttercream icing, 2 for the lemon drizzle)

Caster Sugar 85g

Butter 125g

Icing Sugar, sifted 250g

Lemon Curd 4 tbsp

Cake Sprinkles

For the Filling and Topping of the Buttercream/Sugarcraft Flowers Version:

Butter 250g

Icing Sugar, sifted 500g

Lemons 3, zested and juiced

Lemon Curd 4 tbsp

Sugarcraft Flowers and/or Cake Sprinkles

Piping Bag and Star Nozzle

Method

Step 1

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter, line and flour the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs and lemon zest together until your batter is of a smooth consistency. Add the milk slowly until the cake batter glides off of a spoon.

Step 2 

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. When they’re ready, a skewer or cake tester poked in should come out clean. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Choose either of the following:

For the Filling and Topping of the Lemon Drizzle/Buttercream Swirls Version:

Make the icing by beating the soft butter with the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice from 2 lemons until light and fluffy. Spread half of this mixture over the top of the cake. Spread the lemon curd on top of this.

Take your second layer and place this on top. Gently prick this top layer all over with a skewer or fork.

Make the lemon drizzle topping by mixing together the lemon juice of 2 remaining lemons, alongside the caster sugar. Pour the drizzle over the cake, the juice will sink into it and the sugar will form a sweet, crisp topping.

Once the lemon drizzle topping has set, insert the star nozzle into the piping bag and fill this with the remaining buttercream icing. Make a series of small buttercream swirls around the outside of the cake. Add sprinkle/s to each swirl if you wish.

For the Filling and Topping of the Buttercream/Sugarcraft Flowers Version:

Make the icing by beating the soft butter with the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice until light and fluffy.

Divide the buttercream icing into half. Spread one half of it over the bottom layer of the cake. Spread the lemon curd on top of this.

Take the other layer and place it on top of the layer you’ve just finished. Gently spread the remaining buttercream on top of this layer. Decorate with sprinkles and/or sugarcraft flowers.

Voila! Enjoy. If you’ve made this cake, do let me know as I’d love to see it and hear your feedback. You can share photographs of your creation on my Facebook page if you like. Happy baking and see you soon!

 

 

 

Behind The Scenes at Paper Doily: My New Craft Room

Hello all! First of all I would just like to apologise for the slightly longer than expected delay in updating my blog. You may have seen my earlier post about the new build house we moved into last August? Anybody who has bought a house will understand the upheaval and its possible effect on day-to-day living. In our case, we’ve had builders in pretty much every day over the course of a year, yes really! Well, that aside… whilst I’ve been trading during this time making beautiful party decorations and stationery for my Etsy and Notonthehighstreet shops, my blog has been somewhat neglected. This is now set to change as I am back in action, yay!

So, I’ve made a few changes to my workspace over the past week. I ran out of space in my original room and we are lucky enough to have a few spare rooms. I thought this post would be the perfect opportunity to give you a little tour of my new craft room, how does that sound?

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My pegboard from Block Design has got to be my most favourite item in the entire room. It’s super handy for storing all of my craft accessories, particularly the ones I use every day. Obviously no peg board is complete without pretty things… You know those things which you don’t actually use on a daily basis but just like to admire?…. (phew, glad I’m not the only one!)

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You can see a close up here. I’ve used blu-tack to display my favourite prints. As it takes centre stage in my room, I wanted it to look vibrant and cheerful and I think it looks just that!

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No craft room is complete without a companion, right? For those of you who don’t know, this is our rather adorable Mabel. Mabel is our 1 year old miniature poodle and is wonderful company. She also has a nephew called Felix, who is our much loved 2 year old miniature poodle. Together they are double the trouble but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Here they are together, striking a pose!

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Luckily, the craft room is big enough to house two ikea desks. The one shown above is for crafting and drawing. I love my trusty desk storage as it keeps everything nice and tidy and very easy to reach. No drawing space would be complete without pretty decorations above it and some gorgeous eye candy in the form of a jug of flowers, would it? The desk to the left of this houses my iMac, printer, scanner, camera and all other technical equipment.

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Opposite my two work desks are a number of trusty ikea shelves which house all of my craft materials, tools and accessories, packaging, books and magazines etc. Even though this is a really functional space, it’s important to me that it remains beautiful, so I like to have lots of handmade touches scattered around that area to cheer me up.

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I love listening to the radio when I’m working. We live in such a peaceful area, it’s nice to have a bit of background noise to keep me inspired. The trolley shown above houses all of my glittered and patterned papers, stationery, scissors and all sorts of other handy bits. As you can probably tell, the shelves have pretty much reached full capacity now and there are still lots of things stored on the floor! Eventually, I’d like to have another form of storage in here, but it feels perfectly workable right now. The large jars you may be able to spot are from our wedding a few years ago, they were used for tasty sweets and have now taken on the role of craft storage!

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Both of my desks face the window and it’s really nice having some green space to look at every now and then. It’s a nice little reminder that I live in Somerset and it’s one of the most beautiful places to live in the country. In the winter I like to light tealight candles whilst I’m working (and I have been known to get the fairy lights out too!) This just makes the room feel extra cosy and perfect for working in whilst sipping a lovely hot chocolate loaded with marshmallows of course!

The memo board opposite my desk is super handy for staying organised. I usually stick floral post it notes to it.  I added my own ribbon to it which seemed a bit more unique than the standard brown twine which it came with. Not that I have anything against twine – I love it, as you can see from the other photos!

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We have the most comfiest crocheting spot upstairs, in what we call the ‘daybed room’ which is located opposite my craft space. Whenever we have visitors, this is where they stay. I have a fair few of my handmade cushions in here and it’s just a really lovely, peaceful space to have a break in during the day. Usually you’ll find Felix and Mabel snoozing in here during the day. Felix likes to throw all of the cushions all over the floor… just to make things extra comfy I imagine! (It’s a dog’s life) I have been told by a few people that this room has reached its maximum cushion capacity…. Is there even such a thing?

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That’s all from me for now, although I couldn’t help but share this photo of Mabel with you, doing what she does best…. posing! I hope you’ve enjoyed having a peek into where Paper Doily Party Shop is based. Happy crafting!

Paper Doily Makes: My Personalised Greetings Card Range

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Happy Friday all! How has your week been? I thought I’d post a little update on the greetings cards I’ve been working on this week, available in my NOTHS and Etsy shops. I’ve designed two brand new cards, featuring my favourite colours. If you can’t get creative with your favourite colours when you’re busy designing, then when can you? I’ve decided to run a trial on personalised cards to see how much my lovely customers like them. After offering non personalised greetings cards before, with some success (but admittedly not as much as I’d hoped) I am feeling positive about these ones! What do you think?

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I love the idea that personalised cards can potentially be treasured as keepsakes for some time. I always feel special when I’m given a lovely card, as I really appreciate the time that lovely person has spent choosing and sending it, particularly when social media and email is so prevalent now! Imagine how special the recipient would feel to know they have had a card designed especially for them?

I figured Personalised ‘Bridesmaid Thank you Cards’ and personalised ‘Happy Birthday Cards’ were a good place to start, but I hope to roll more designs out very soon. In the mean time, I hope you have a lovely weekend wherever you are in the world. Thank you so much for reading and I hope I’ve inspired you!

Paper Doily Makes: Crocheted Gifts

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Mother’s Day has recently passed in the UK and I felt like crocheting my Mum something special this year. Whatever the occasion, whether it be birthdays, anniversaries, small celebrations, I always like to gift handmade items of some sort. If you’ve ever read my blog post about my wedding, or my recent feature in Homemaker Mag, you’ll know how much I love handmade gestures. Over the next few months, I’m actually planning to write a lot more craft tutorials for handmade party favours and gifts, as it’s quite clear just how much I love parties!

This year, I decided to make my Mum a crocheted scarf. Some could say that it’s the wrong time of year to give somebody a scarf, but the weather here in Somerset doesn’t seem to be getting any warmer despite the changing seasons, so it felt like a lovely gesture.

This particular scarf is on the large side as my Mum does a lot of walking and I wanted it to be super snuggly and toasty. I’ve only recently taught myself the stitch I used for this scarf and I’m also making a blanket out of it for my lounge. It’s called the ‘V-stitch’ and after trying out a few online tutorials, I found Girly Bunches YouTube video to be the most helpful. The technique was very easy to follow and I adapted the instructions myself to make the scarf. I have a lot of wool in my craft room, so rather than buy new supplies, I used a mixture of pink cotton and cream aran yarn. This was the result above and I was super pleased with it, as was my Mum. Yay! It’s lovely when handmade gifts are appreciated.

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I gave my Mum a few other special but non handmade items, including this gorgeous keyring. Isn’t it adorable? The wrapping paper was perfect for Mother’s Day, especially with Easter on the way, don’t you agree?

I hope I’ve inspired you to make your own handmade gifts, particularly if you have a special occasion on the way. Have a lovely day wherever you are in the world!

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!

Homemaker Magazine features Paper Doily

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Today is a very special day, as I’ve been featured in the current issue of Homemaker Magazine as their Reader Maker. Issue 40 is out for sale today and is absolutely wonderful. Friday has surely got to be the most perfect day for any magazine of this kind to come out, right? An entire weekend ahead dedicated to stitching, knitting, crochet and patchwork? Yes please!

Reading the article this morning really got me thinking about how much I’ve achieved with Paper Doily since setting it up in 2014. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day living without taking the time to look back and appreciate the milestones you’ve made along the way.

I’ve received a lot questions lately about what advice I have for crafters starting out on a similar business path. I feel the above article really sums a lot of these questions up, whilst hopefully inspiring others, giving them the confidence they need to get going. Having faith in yourself and your work throughout the good times and the bad times is a fundamental quality in staying on the path to success. There will be absolutely wonderful times ahead where you feel you are on top of the world, followed by the times where life/day to day tasks just get on top of you completely. Keeping your faith, continuing to put in the hard work required and staying motivated are important qualities, and ones which will see you through well!

I thought it would be very helpful to share my top 10 tips for starting your own craft business with you, derived from my experience since starting out almost two years ago.

  1. Write a business plan and ask yourself what it is about your product/s that potential customers will want. Do you feel your products will be desirable?
  2. Who are your customers and where will you find them?
  3. Establish who your competitors are and ask yourself what your business can offer differently. Originality will set you apart from the rest.
  4. Have a marketing/advertising strategy. You can offer the most amazing products but without making a name for yourself and making others aware of your products, your business just won’t be sustainable long term.
  5. Spend a reasonable amount of time on pricing your products, it should not be an after thought. Find out what your customers are willing to pay and what other business costs to factor into your pricing model. Ensure you are not operating at a loss and avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ by lowering prices if you are struggling to sell. Instead, assess whether you are reaching the right target market and make adjustments to the product if you feel it is necessary.
  6. Identify your suppliers and try to make a good/long lasting relationship with them.
  7. What is your key asset? What is it about your business that will help you win potential customers?
  8. Stay motivated. There will be times when life just gets in the way of business (as explained above). Have some coping strategies in place. I live in the countryside and tend to take myself off on a long stroll. I’m also a serial list maker, so I tend to break down difficult tasks into small pieces if the task at hand seems too much.
  9. Stay on top of your accounts. Google drive is very handy for this. It will help you to avoid long amounts of unnecessary work when you could be doing more enjoyable tasks, such as being creative (as you do best!)
  10. Have fun! Remind yourself why you started your business in the first place and constantly come back to this at moments of struggle. It will keep you motivated and will help you to stay grounded!

 

I really hope you enjoyed reading. If you have any more questions or comments then please let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Have a lovely weekend and thank you so much for visiting my blog!

 

Paper Doily Makes: Christmas Tree Cupcake Liner Garland

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As my regular readers may know, I moved house in July of this year and have just taken the festive decorations out of storage. This house is a brand new build, so it’s the first time it’s been decorated for Christmas. How special is that? I’ve loved giving it lots of festive cheer over the past few weeks.

I’m still getting to know where certain decorations are best placed and I’ve moved the Christmas tree twice already. Yes, really! I happened to have a really bare wall in the hallway and thought I’d make something bright and colourful to cheer it up a little. I enjoy hand making at least one decoration each year, as it feels much more unique and special than purchasing, doesn’t it?

Anyway, with that ramble over, I just wanted to let you know that I had so much fun making this christmas tree garland that I decided to make a tutorial for you. Excited? Once you’ve found the materials below, you’ll be good to go. You’ll need:

Materials:

  • A selection of your favourite cupcake liners/wrappers
  • Double sided selotape
  • Clear selotape
  • Scissors
  • Star paper cutter (optional)
  • Twine, thread or ribbon
  • Glitter Paper, or other complimentary decorative paper

 

Method:

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First of all, take 3 of your cupcake liners/wrappers and fold them in half, and in half again, like so.

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Cut three small strips of double sided selotape and attach them to the inside of all of your cupcake liners/wrappers, like so. After you’ve done that, turn your trees over to their reverse side.

Place them together exactly where you want them (in the shape of a tree) and take two strips of clear selotape. Place the selotape on top of the middle and bottom pointed edges on the reverse side. Turn your tree over to the correct side and you should have something similar to the image above.

I used different sized cupcake liners/wrappers for my garland which created a beautiful layered effect. I had some mini cupcake wrappers in the cupboard, similar to what you’d use for making truffles, petits fours etc. These worked very well in giving the garland a bit of interest/uniqueness.

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If you have a star shaped paper cutter, now is the time to cut out stars for your Christmas trees. You can either use a small piece of double sided selotape to attach it to the tree, or some glue. I used glitter paper for the stars, but any paper that works well with your theme will do the trick.

If you don’t have a star paper cutter, it’s not a problem. You can just draw the outline to a star on the reverse side of the glitter paper and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut it out. You also don’t have to use star shapes, heart shapes would look nice, as would most other decorative shapes.

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Once you’ve made enough trees for your desired garland length, take your ribbon or twine and your trusty clear selotape. Turn your Christmas trees onto their reverse sides, with the twine laid out in front of you. Cut a small strip of clear tape per tree and attach them together by placing a small strip of the clear tape in between the twine and the back of the paper star. Voila!

You now have yourself a beautiful Christmas tree garland made out of inexpensive materials and plenty of love and care. Enjoy and do let me know if I’ve inspired you to make your own!

Paper Doily Makes: Crochet Christmas Stocking

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Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without stockings, right? Anybody who knows me well knows that it doesn’t take much effort for me to get into the festive spirit. I’ve been known to have a fully decorated Christmas tree in the lounge by mid November before, but this year I’m trying to be very controlled by holding off until December 1st. How very grown up of me. *giggles!

I browsed the web for an easy crocheted Christmas stocking pattern and happened to come across this. It’s an American pattern, so be sure to use a crochet stitch conversion chart if you’re based elsewhere. Being the creative person that I am, I didn’t feel like using the specified yarn, colours or finish suggested. I free-styled and feel very pleased with the final result. I feel it’s one step further to writing my own patterns, which I’m keen to experiment with in the new year.

For the crocheted bow, there are a multitude of patterns online, I used the Kat Goldin one and added some pom poms for extra prettiness.

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Here’s a close up. I’m very tempted to make a second stocking with a light pink bow for a real kitsch Christmas kind of feel. I can imagine this stocking hanging from a pretty fireplace until Christmas Eve, when it’s obviously only right to leave it at the end of your bed. These crocheted stockings also make the perfect gift for a special family member or friend as they are reasonably quick to make. (I spent a few hours each evening, over the course of a few days crocheting mine). I think handmade gifts add that extra special touch to Christmas and surely mean so much more to the recipient when you’ve put your heart and soul into it.

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As Felix (the miniature poodle) spent so many hours cuddling me whilst I was crocheting the stocking, I felt it was only right to include his picture. Here he is doing what he does best, snoozing!

I really hope I’ve inspired your Christmas crafting and I’m looking forward to working on many more crafty blog posts in the coming weeks. I’d love to hear from you and see your results if you decide to crochet this beautiful stocking.

 

Paper Doily Makes: 10 festive crafts I’ve made this month

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1. Christmas preparations are in full swing here and what better way to use up leftover felt balls? I went through a foam wreath buying stage several months ago, with plans of making lots of new ones for my shop. I have so many creative ideas running through my head on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget good intentions like this! I recently had a bit of a clear out of my craft space and suddenly remembered what they were for. I’ve made two so far, one Christmas themed one and a pink and purple one. I’m amazed at just how much they transform a space! The crochet christmas decorations were inspired by this months Simply Crochet Magazine (issue 38).

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2. You know how I mentioned above that Christmas preparations are in full swing here? It wouldn’t be Christmas without some festive cake toppers, right? These ones certainly made me smile and undoubtedly add a lot of cheer to your standard Christmas cake.

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3. I recently purchased a set of ‘love’ stamps and some new ink with the intention of making these. They are bound to look gorgeous on Christmas presents and were so easy to make. I bought some blank gift tags and added my own twine for a rustic look. I then used my trusty heart shaped paper cutter to cut out the patterned papers. Once the hearts were in place, I got creative with the hand stamping and voila! If you’re anything like me and are planning on making a lot of homemade gifts this Christmas (including chutney and jam, which are favourite options of mine) these are the perfect labels!

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4. As you may already know, crochet is a huge hobby of mine and definitely takes up a large proportion of my spare time. I couldn’t resist making a festive garland in kitsch Christmas colours. The piece of driftwood used as a photographic prop to drape the garland on, travelled all the way from Sandymouth Beach on a recent weekend away. How special is that? If you’re feeling inspired, head on over to Cherry Heart blog for the ‘twinkler stars’ pattern. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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5. I couldn’t just stop at one set of gift tags, they were far too addictive and enjoyable to make. After sorting through my huge stash of Christmas papers, I came across these. If you’re looking to make your own gift tags, then you must invest in a star paper cutter (and some pretty twine, as there’s always space for twine, right?) The beauty of handmade gift tags is that they can be made to suit your gift wrapping theme perfectly! They also look wonderful sitting under the tree and have a unique touch of handmade.

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6. I went through a phase of making lots of washi tape pegs several months ago and found them so addictive (like most crafts). I still have a HUGE washi tape supply and seem to have accumulated a large amount of these pegs. Gift wrapping has never looked so lovely. They seem to make everything look that extra bit special. They are particularly useful for Christmas parties, especially if you’re having a sweet festive buffet and would like your guests to take home some home baked sweets and treats.

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7. You must be noticing a theme with the gift tags? I just love them (in all colours, shapes and sizes). These scalloped gift tags have a particularly crafty feel to them and I can definitely see my presents looking extra fabulous when it’s Christmas time next month! I like to use matching ribbon or twine to give them that extra special touch. Make sure you have your best fountain pen ready for writing on the reverse side!

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8. Christmas is all about that extra bit of sparkle isn’t it? These glittery heart cake toppers are a favourite of mine, particularly if you’re looking to make a non traditional set of cake toppers for your Christmas cake. I used my heart paper cutter to cut out the shapes (2 hearts of the same size, per cake topper). I then used some double sided selotape on the reverse side of half of the hearts, which held the bamboo skewers in place nicely. To finish off, I took all of the remaining hearts and placed them on top of the skewers, (with the sparkly side facing me) and pressed down to stick in place. This was the end result, of which I’m rather pleased with!

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9. Felt ball garlands are perfect when made this time of year. They look absolutely beautiful draped over a Christmas tree or hanging from a fireplace. I just can’t get enough of making them (in all colours and shapes and sizes!) I wrote a tutorial on how to make your very own here.

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10. Any christmas crafting wouldn’t be complete without a large mug of hot chocolate, right? The cream and marshmellows are such a yummy addition. You should go and make one right this instant, you know you want to!