Snowflake patterned mini bowls

I was bought these little bowls for my birthday- I think they might be dipping bowls for oils and vinegar and I decided they needed a Christmas makeover. I’d seen a few posts on other blogs about decorating ceramics with permanent pen and thought I’d give it a try. The pen I used came from a set I bought from WH Smith that were half price in a sale, they were meant to be fine nib but seem more like thick to me!

Snowflake Mini Bowls

I decided to draw some simple snowflake designs, even though the pens are permanent they rubbed off fairly easily when I made mistakes! To make them properly permanent I saw a tip about drying them in a low oven, so I might try that. At the moment they make perfect bowls for Christmas bits and bobs!

Christmas Snowflake Cross Stitch

This year, I turned my hand to a bit of cross stitch to make a little Christmas decoration. It came about after I finally found some embroidery hoops that I knew I had but couldn’t remember where! They turned up when I was doing a huge clearout of the bedroom cupboard. Anyway, I had a little kit that had been given to me to make a cross stitch card, unfortunately the design for the card wasn’t really my thing so I instead used the Aida from that to make my snowflake.

Christmas Snowflake Cross Stitch Materials

I decided to do a freestyle pattern as snowflakes are symmetrical and so lend themselves to making it up! I had spotted in one of my Christmas magazines the decoration in the picture above and roughly followed this to start off with. However, the snowflake was far to small to stop at that so I kept adding extra until it filled out the hoop. I just have it resting on the mantelpiece for now, maybe next year I shall cross stitch some more to make a proper display!

Christmas Snowflake Cross Stitch

Advent Countdown Ideas

Advent Calendar Envelopes

I know it’s probably a bit late to be posting ideas for advent calendars although I think a couple of days adrift will make no difference! There’s any number of advent calendars out there to buy (chocolate or otherwise) but I particularly love these cute little cards that I bought for my nephews and niece. I started buying them a couple of years ago after seeing them in the window of a shop in Beverley called ‘Something Different’ on Butcher Row. There’s always a really good selection of cards at very reasonable prices. If only I could take a peak at some of the pictures behind the doors before sending them…..

Advent Cards

My crafty idea for an advent calendar started as something I’d seen in a magazine. That was for small, paper advent bags to put gifts in. I thought about making little bags but decided that I wouldn’t have the time (or the patience) to manage 25! I also wasn’t sure how to display them. Instead, I had seen these money envelopes in Wilkinson’s and had been turning over in my mind whether they could be used in a craft. Of course they could- advent envelopes!

Typewriter and Christmas Rubber Stamps

I bought the set of typewriter stamps from Amazon Marketplace (The Pea’s Knees Ltd, £7.99), I already owned the Christmas themed stamps from last year. It turned out pretty quick and easy to stamp up 25 envelopes and then fill them with little treats. My husband is more savoury than sweet(!) which explains the nuts and cheese. Hopefully, some of the chocolates might come my way!

Advent Envelopes and Treats

The noticeboard I used to display the envelopes was from a craft I posted about here. Of course there is any manner of ways to display them- in a Christmas bowl perhaps, or pegged onto a garland.

Advent Calendar Envelopes

Things to Frame

This post will cover a lot of other ones that I’ve done in the past- a best of clips collection I guess! There are so many different things that look good in a frame and so many things that get collected and then put in a drawer/ cupboard that could actually be on the wall making you smile. Clearly there are loads more ideas out there for frame inspiration- however I only have so many walls/ shelves/ radiator cabinets to display them all!

Postage stamp art

This is one of my favourite things that I’ve made recently- it was a long time coming and required patience but the finished picture was worth all the effort! The stamps came from my childhood stamp collection and are mounted on accurately measured foam pads.

Pen line drawing artwork

This picture is an original piece of artwork by my Dad! My husband had been admiring my Dad’s sketches and drawings when we went to visit in the summer and this framed picture of the family home was one of his presents for Christmas. A lovely surprise and perfect for the mantelpiece.

Wall pictures

Here’s a few pictures that are on the wall in the hallway. The leopard cub is a birthday card, the picture of Prague is a postcard and the orchid drawing is from a natural history magazine. All things that would otherwise have ended up in a box somewhere or being recycled!

Framed vintage map

This is a close-up of a vintage map (it’s actually a brand new reproduction of an old map) of Hull, where we live. I could stare at maps of places I know for hours, especially old ones. Knowing which places have always been around and which are new, finding out what was there before fulfills a deep curiousity in the past and my present surroundings. I would definitely recommend buying some old maps to study and display.

Box frame memories

Again, this is a previous post on creating a memory box frame. The deepness of the frame means things such as champagne corks, shells and other trinkets can be displayed. The perfect way to remember a happy occasion/ great holiday.

Framed Wallpaper

The simplest and cheapest idea of them all- framing scraps of wallpaper. Either use some wallpaper left over from another project or do what we did and get some free samples at the DIY store of your favourite patterns! The clip frame is a bargain from Ikea. There are so many lovely wallpapers available online that would look great as framed pictures and most sites will send out a number of designs for free as test samples.

So which ideas have you already used in your house? Let me know of all the good ideas I’ve missed!



Personalised Coasters

One of my presents for Christmas were some glass coasters to put in your own photo or pretty paper.

Personalised Coasters

It’s taken me this long to get around to cutting out some pictures to put into them. I’ve had these roses pictures for ages, they were also given to me and I’ve used them already in a couple of different frames. I picked the best bits of the photos, drew around the guide picture that came with the coasters and then cut them out. The whole thing took about 10 minutes, I can’t believe it took me so long to get them done! Easy to change as well if I get bored with the roses…..

Rose Picture Coasters

Butterfly Appliqué Pillowcase

After seeing a cushion in Laura Ashley with cute cups on it, I thought I could do something similar with some scraps of fabric I had bought ages ago when contemplating making patchwork quilts (as if that was ever going to happen!). Instead of making a cushion cover, I decided to use a plain pillowcase as it would require less sewing. So, along with the pillowcase and some scraps of different fabrics I used a pattern, pins, thread, scissors and a sewing machine (probably not essential, however it would take longer sewing by hand).

Laura Ashley teacup pillow

Firstly, I decided on a shape for the appliqué patches. As I have butterfly patterns on other things in the house, and it’s a simple shape to draw, I went for that. Alternatives could be the teacups mentioned above, hearts, cupcakes, flowers, birds, basically anything that is relatively simple to draw and then sew.

I drew the pattern freehand on some paper- only half the butterfly though as I could fold the paper in half and then cut out to give a completely symmetrical shape. I had a couple of attempts to get a size I was happy with- I guess with some careful measuring beforehand you could be more precise!

Butterfly applique design for pillow

I then traced around the pattern on the reverse of each of pieces of fabric, making sure the fabric was ironed flat. These were carefully cut out. I spent a bit of time positioning the cut-out butterflies on the pillowcase, making sure they were spaced evenly across the cover. Carefully pin the butterflies in place.

Applique butterfly pillow

The final stage is to sew the butterflies to the pillowcase. I used a contrasting blue thread and zig-zag stitch, but any stitch that will secure the butterflies in place is of course fine! Finally, I hand stitch the thread ends to neaten everything up. This should withstand going through the washing machine, as long as the fabric chosen is cotton.

Necklace Noticeboard

I’ve already done a past blog on customising a noticeboard to display the usual things noticeboards are used for. While doing that I thought how perfect it would be to use little hooks instead to display necklaces and bracelets. I have mine in a big pot and find it a nightmare in the morning, when in a rush, to find the one I want and then untangle it from all the others. This is the perfect way to have them all at hand and looks good enough to be on display all the time.

Making a Necklace Noticeboard

All you need is a noticeboard (supermarket buy at £2.75), some small hooks (any good DIY or craft store), wrapping paper (or wallpaper or fabric) and a bit of double sided sticky tape.

Paper on Noticeboard

Firstly, cut out the paper to size. I cut it to be slightly bigger than the cork part of noticeboard and then crisply folded it to fit and give straight edges. At each corner and half way along each edge I put a bit of double sided sticky tape. I then stuck the paper to the cork.

Hooks on Noticeboard

I placed the hooks where I wanted to screw them in. I decided on three rows- two for necklaces and one at the bottom for bracelets. All you need to do now is to screw the hooks in place.

Finished Necklace Noticeboard

There you have it, a perfect way to display all your necklaces and bracelets! You could stand this up on a set of drawers or even hang it up on your bedroom wall.

Future Craft Projects?

Whenever I’m browsing the shops I like getting ideas for things that can be made at home. Obviously, it would be a lot easier to buy (and probably in some cases cheaper!) but a lot of the time the fun is in the making and not so much the buying. Some of the things I’ve seen recently that made me think ‘I can make that’ are below.

Ribbon Votives

I saw these candle votives over Christmas and thought it was a great idea. A few plain votives, glass jars, small vases, some pretty ribbon, buttons or beads and glue. All together makes a great candle holder!

Buttons picture

This button picture I’m definitely going to create. In fact, I’m a bit disappointed I never thought of the idea myself! So very simple- box frame, and various different buttons sewn onto some fabric to create a shape.

Owl Cushion

The owl cushion on the other hand may be a step too far! I’ve noticed a proliferation of owls over the last few months adorning plates, tea towels, mugs, wallpaper etc and seen quite a few shops selling cushions like this one. Maybe this is one to purchase and not to make…..

Christmas Craft Books

home-made Christmas

I have a couple of craft books that are full of ideas for making Christmas things. The one I’m posting about today is called ‘home-made Christmas’ by Tessa Evelegh. It has some lovely tips on decorating the house and some great things to make. I have followed a couple of the crafts and been inspired by others.

Cranberry heart

One of the crafts that I haven’t yet tried but want to is the cranberry wreath. It looks simple but effective and would fit in perfectly with the red and white theme in the hallway! The only thing is, I’m not sure I can bring myself to use cranberries for anything other than eating! Maybe next year….

Cranberry Heart

Felt Tree Decorations

Felt Tree

Even more tree decorations today! These are ones that I’ve been making myself for a few years now. Felt is a great fabric to work with as it’s so easy to cut and of course doesn’t fray at the edges. The variety of colours you can find are endless! I get my felt from a number of shops: Boyes in Beverley (I think I’ve mentioned them before!), The Range, and Hobbycraft. Boyes even sell it on a roll so you can get it for table-runners or other bigger projects.

Felt Stocking

These decorations came about as I had loads of sequins to use. I cut out the stocking or tree shape (after drawing a simple pattern and tracing around it)- two for each decoration. Then I planned out a pretty design with sequins. I particularly impressed myself with the holly design on one of the stockings! These are sewn on with gold thread and then the whole thing sewn together with an overstitch. Remember to add a loop using ribbon so they can hang from the tree.

Felt Stocking

The stockings can be used to put little gifts in for presents and of course can be scaled up to full-size if you feel so inclined!