Papercraft Roundup – Gorgeous Paper Flower Tutorials

If you live in the US, Mother’s Day is not far away. If you would like to add a crafty element to your bunch of flowers this year, these gorgeous paper flower tutorials are something to aspire to.

PaperFlowers_Roundup

  • There are so many beautiful flower tutorials on Lia Griffith’s site, it was hard to choose which one to show you. Start with these anemones and then explore the other lovely paper flowers tutorials she shares.
  • I love the colour and texture of these paper hydrangeas from Wedding Chicks. They are, believe it or not, made with recycled paper sewing-pattern sheets.
  • Aiming for a natural and organic feel — and achieving it beautifully — Kelli Murry and Nicole (of Bloem Hill) have created these delicate flowers using fine paper and watercolours.
  • Lucy at Craftberry Bush has made these incredibly realistic Peonies using crepe paper. I love her technique for colouring the paper.

I can’t imagine a mother who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive one of these handmade flowers, let alone a whole bunch.

They would also make a special keepsake for someone. Perhaps you know someone who needs cheering up – flowers work every time, whether the real thing or these magnificent paper creations.

[Image Credits. 1. liagriffith.com, 2. weddingchicks.com, 3. kellimurray.com, and 4. craftberrybush.com.]

 


The Girl Creative – Guest Post – Egg-shaped Easter Box Template

You can find these colourful egg-shaped box templates today at The Girl Creative.

Easy to make, they come in 3 pastel colours — purple, green and yellow. They would be perfect for an Easter hunt and are free to download.

EasterEggBox_2_ItsO

Make Your Own Gifts – Mother’s Day Beauty Bag

Mother’s Day is fast approaching here in the UK. If your mum is a lover of pampering — and I will include myself on that list — this homemade bundle will be fun to make and lovely to use.

Mothers Day 2014

  • Pretty Baby’s toiletry bag tutorial was originally written as a gift idea for men. I love the shape of the bag and the fabric they chose — Echino by Etsuko Furuya. It is also lined with oilcloth, so both lovely and practical.
  • This organic citrus sugar scrub from Ash at Sugar and Cloth is so easy to make. I love the idea of adding a little spoon too. You can just imagine how lovely it smells looking at the picture, can’t you?
  • Lia Griffith’s melt and pour method for making organic lip balm is quick and easy and, as always, Lia provides beautiful labels to complete the package.

A washcloth would be a great addition to the bundle. You could add an appliqué strip, monogram or heart shape in the same fabric as you use for the toiletry bag.

If you are not a maker yourself, but your mum is, why not gift wrap all the materials/ingredients with the instructions included? You could wrap everything in a homemade or shop-bought toiletry bag.

You can find more recipes for pampering your mum on my Pinterest board.

[Image Credits. 1. prettybaby.com, 2. sugarandcloth.com, and 3. liagriffith.com.]

 

Bugs and Fishes – Guest Post – Review of Stuffed Animals by Abigail Glassenberg

As you will read time and again here on my blog, I am a huge advocate of giving books as gifts. There is simply one out there to suit everyone. I am also keen on making your own gifts –  so today’s book review fits the bill perfectly.

I have the great pleasure today to be guest posting at Bugs and Fishes. I’ve written a review of Abigail Glassenberg’s latest book, Stuffed Animals.

If you haven’t come across Laura’s work before and enjoy sewing, you will have great fun looking around. Do take a look at her Crafty Tutorials, including my favourite the Felt Blackbirds. Her felt projects are lovely and would make beautiful little gifts.

ItsO_BookRev_Glassenberg1

The Girl Creative – Guest Post – Printable Children’s Bookmarks

You can download these sweet children’s bookmarks today – a lion and a rabbit – at The Girl Creative. Quick to make, they are great for popping into a card or adding to a book gift.

It was lovely to be invited to guest post for Diana. I will be contributing more gift ideas over the next few months.

Diana’s site is packed with great printables, simple craft projects and recipes. Subscribe to her weekly updates to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Animal Bookmarks ItsO

 

Make Your Own Gifts – Crochet for Beginners

If you love making your own gifts, and are looking to add a new skill to your crafting portfolio this year, crochet could be for you.

Taking up a new craft can sometimes involve big up-front costs. Great news — crochet costs next to nothing to get started. A few hooks, a ball of yarn, and you are good to go for just a few pounds.

Let’s start with some lessons.

I am currently working my way through Heather’s Learn to Crochet series at Twin Dragonfly Designs. There are 10 lessons covering: yarns and supplies, slip knot, chain stitch, single, double and half-double crochet, crochet in the round, shell stitch, front post stitch, and front or back loop only stitch. Not only are there plenty of close-up, step-by-step photos, Heather has included videos, which I am finding particularly helpful.

Another helpful series of videos is available at Fresh Stitches. These include the basic stitches for getting started — including increasing and decreasing — and techniques specific to Amigurumi, Stacey’s speciality.

With a few lessons under your belt, here are some projects to get you hooked on crochet gifts…

Learn to Crochet_1

 

Learn to Crochet_2

 

That should keep you busy.

[Image Credits. Top picture: Meredith Crawford at One Sheepish Girl, Elise Engh at Grow Creative, Bubblegirl, Karabouts, and Twin Dragonfly Designs. Bottom picture: Moral Fibres, Crafty Is Cool, JJ Crochet, Little Birdie Secrets, and Delia Creates.]

 

Gift Guides – Valentine Card Selection

I am not a romantic – not by any stretch of the imagination. My partner lives at the other end of the romantic spectrum, so Valentine’s Day presents us with an ideal opportunity to compromise and meet somewhere in the middle. I draw the line at grand gestures and gifts at this time of year (and rarely do I draw the line at any gift, I can assure you). But a Valentine card? To me, it is the perfect way to say something you should say every day – I Love You. So, in reverence to those romantics among you, I’ve selected some of my favourite Valentine cards.

Valentine_Cards_1

My first selection is not strictly a card, I know, but it would be remiss of me not to include it – it is so beautiful. Handmade by Poshyarns, the linen envelope is lined with Liberty print cotton, and the embroidery on the felt note and envelope can both be personalised.

This 3D greeting card from Open Box Design is clean and modern on the outside, but bursts open to reveal its contents – “the grandest gesture of your love”.

I love all the black-and-white lino print designs from Sarah Robinson Designs. These love birds are perfect for Valentines. I purchased her Cat Tattoo and the recipient was thrilled – I was tempted to keep it and frame it, but as a good friend, passed it on.

What a brilliant idea for a card – what could be more romantic than sipping tea for two snuggled up together on a cold February morning? Post Tea’s cards contain enough loose tea for two cups and two tea filters.

Valentine_Cards_2

Sussex-based Five Dollar Shake pride themselves on unique design and hand-finished cards. I love the sweet design and gem details of this To My Darling Wife card. Again, designed and printed in the UK, this LOVE card from Card Crush is one of the Sally Scaffardi collection. Both cards, and a lovely selection of other Valentine cards, are available from piccadillylane.com.

My final selections are from Snowdon Design & Craft, available at notonthehighstreet.com. What can I say? If someone told me I was the “Jam In Their Doughnut” or “The Chocolate On My Biscuit”, I would know it was true love. And yes, these are the ones I’ve ordered for my nearest and dearest, and my little boy. Clearly, doughnuts bring out the romantic in me.

[Photo credits. Top image: (1) & (2) notonthehighstreet.com, (3) sarahrobinsondesigns.co.uk, (4) post tea on etsy.com. Bottom image: (1) & (2)  piccadillylane.com, (3) & (4) notonthehighstreet.com.]

Reusable Wrapping – Fabric and Button Gift Wrap

I am a huge fan of gift wrap, but am all too aware of the waste this can create. It is easy to reuse most of the wrapping we receive – and hope that others will do likewise – but what if the wrapping was not only reusable, but part of the gift itself?

Reusable Wrap2

If you are wrapping a gift for someone you know likes to sew, this tutorial is perfect. The wrapping itself is made from fabric secured with colourful safety pins. The garland is a string of buttons and pendants. The label is attached with a safety pin and decorated with matching buttons. And, most importantly of all, it is all reusable. Anyone who loves to sew with have no qualms about adding this little bundle to their stash.

Reusable Wrap1

You will need:

  • a fabric piece big enough to cover the gift, or odds and ends that can be joined
  • buttons, pendants, beads, or sequins
  • embroidery silk or sewing thread
  • safety pins
  • sewing needle

Reusable Wrap3

To wrap the gift:

  1. If necessary, iron your piece of fabric to remove any deep creases. Wrap the gift as if you were using paper, and secure with safety pins. Ensure the pins go through all layers. You shouldn’t need too many to make it secure.
  2. If the piece of fabric you have is large and you don’t want to cut it to size – as I have here in my example – just fold in half and wrap. It will look a little bulkier using fabric as opposed to paper. Don’t worry, the recipient will be far more interested in the lovely piece of fabric they are about to inherit than the neatness of your corners. A larger piece of fabric just gives them more options for using it.
  3. Don’t be put off either by small pieces of fabric. Any seamstress or patchwork fan worth their salt will find a use for odds and ends in no time. To keep the fabric useable, join with a running stitch. This will be easy to remove, strong enough for the job at hand, and leave little to no damage behind.

Reusable Wrap4

To make the garland:

  1. Join your buttons/beads/pendants with a piece of embroidery silk or sewing thread. Remember to leave approximately 10cm (3″) of thread free of buttons at each end – this will give you enough to secure the garland.
  2. Lock each button in place by double stitching – this will stop them sliding merrily up and down the thread.
  3. When you have finished, wrap the garland around the gift and secure tightly with a knot and bow at the back of the gift.

Reusable Wrap5

To make the label:

  1. Attach your label with another safety pin.
  2. Decorate with the same buttons or beads you’ve used on the garland.

This would be a lovely gift wrap idea for a sewing book. You could have a specific project from the book in mind when choosing the fabric and embellishments – getting the recipient off to a flying start.

Do you have any favourite eco-friendly wrapping techniques?

[Images: © It's Organised.]

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