Craft tutorials

diy-calendarGood news, my dream office is the next room in the house to be plastered and decorated… and I’m counting down the days! I’m desperate to get back my blogging / crafting / arty space. I haven’t been able to get really stuck into a good creative project (minus the whole house renovation thing) for what feels like ages and I’ve forgotten how much I love it.

I was recently set a crafting challenge by Fellowes UK, the office equipment suppliers to see if I could use some of their equipment: a guillotine, a laminator and a binder to come up with a creative DIY. They’d already worked with the fab DIY Blonde who came up with an awesome ice cream pinata, which I think is brilliant!

As part of Each Peach Pear Plum, who were set the challenge too, we’d already crafted up an under the sea storm with our under water picnic ideas so I thought I’d change it up and do something practical that everyone really needs –  a calendar! But not just an ordinary calendar, one that is custom-made with your own photographs and can be reused time and time again.

Here’s my how to:

I designed my calendar on photoshop using the following format (see below). I wanted it to be a square calendar with a simple, clean design. I’ve made my layout available for you so if you want to download it just click here. Note the calendar only has the days of the week, I added the dates in later so that the calendar is truly reusable for any year. The imagery I used is from the website http://www.unsplash.com, I wanted it to have an adventure / nature theme to inspire me when I look at it everyday.

January copyI printed all my sheets off, for the purpose of this craft I did them A4 but the file is A3 size so if you’d like to print it larger you can! Then they needed cutting down to size which the guillotine made short work of.

cutting-down-calendar cutting-out-calendar calendar-pages

Once they were all cut to size I laminated the pages two at a time (in A3 laminating pouches) making sure I put a piece of card underneath to help guide it through.

calendar-making     laminator

Now it was time to bind the pages together. First I needed to make the holes in the correct place and line them on top of the binding comb. The machine was super simple and straightforward to use! Within a few minutes I had my own bound calendar.

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I hung a thread through the binding comb so the calendar could be hung and ta da! You are able to write on the calendar with any dry erase pen. As you can see on the first image I added my dates in for september and started planning in my schedule.

If you’d like to create your own calendar why not download my layout, you can either use my photos or get creative and change them for your own. What about a calendar of family shots or photos of your favourite travel destinations, the possibilities are endless!

make-your-own-calendar diy-wipe-calendar

Thank you to Fellowes for gifting the office equipment so we could get crafty. I hope you enjoy my creation and feel inspired to make your own DIY reusable calendar.

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inspirationbluewreath---lucyIt is officially Spring, my very favourite time of year. Hibernation is over and we remember what it is like to feel sun on our skin and not to have to wrap up in 5 layers! One of my favourite things about spring is flowers, I genuinely feel joy at seeing blossom on the trees for the first time. So when I was contacted by Country Baskets, asking if I would like to take part in their Easter Wreath challenge I said yes, please! Stocking craft flowers, ribbons, craft accessories, Country Baskets is the perfect destination for all floristry craft items and I loved perusing the site to see what I could find for my Spring Challenge!

workinprogress I settled on some beautiful Lilac, blossom, daffodils (of course!) and a beautiful wreath wrapped in Jute to go with some peonies, foliage and berries that I already had in my craft goodies.

Here is my guide to creating a beautiful Easter Wreath to enjoy year after year!

You will need: A wreath, Some ribbon, Spring flowers (I chose Lilac, blossom, daffodils, peonies and some berries and foliage), scissors and a hot glue gun.

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1. Take the wreath from country baskets and attach a loop of ribbon to the back with a hot glue gun. This can be as long or short as you like, about 5 inches long worked for me. Tie the ribbon colour in with the flowers, I opted for a soft green shade (also by Country Baskets)

preparing-the-wreath

2. Select which colour palette you would like for your wreath. I loved the purple lilac and decided to team it with a soft peach, white and a kind of eggy yellow colour which I thought looked lovely and springlike and contrasted well.  But of course that is the beauty of making your own wreath, you get to choose!

3. Decide on your starting point. I wanted the lilac to be mine, as it was the largest of the flowers.

getting-started
4. Cut the flowers to size (ie cut off the stems where you need to) and attach them with the hot glue gun. I had to attach in a few places to make some of the flowers follow the curve of the wreath.

5. Build up the wreath with flowers, working your way round from the lilac, adding the main larger focal points first and filling in with smaller groups of blossom and the berries.

Easter-wreath-close-up

6. Add some foliage before adding some of the flowers to make the wreath look fuller. This is especially the case under the peony heads.

7. Try to balance the colours out so the overall look of the design flows well. Don’t be afraid to take the decision to stop. I didn’t want my wreath to look too overdone and I liked being able to see half of the wreath.And there you have your very own Easter Wreath!

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I was invited by Country Baskets to enter their Festive Face Off. A what? I hear you cry!

The festive face off is a Christmas craft competition run by Country Baskets. 30 bloggers compete with each other to make a crafty decoration from a basket of craft goodness that we received.

So the last week I have been very busy making all kind of homemade decorations. The house is an absolute bomb sight and I have managed to sustain 2 knife cuts and one hot glue gun wound in a week! But with my game face on here is my entry to the competition ;)

The lucky winner will receive £250 voucher to spend at Country Baskets. Awesome! More mess and injuries here we come! No seriously I would love to win this as I am hoping to get my crafting / Etsy business back up and running in 2014.

craft-mess

The basket of crafting goodies we received was enormous, there were artificial flowers, ribbon, bark, decorations, buttons, baubles. I was excited for a whole week about what I was going to make out of it! We are going for a Nordic look this Christmas, you know the simple, naive, traditional Christmas with lots of red and wood (you can’t escape it, it is everywhere!) so I wanted to create something that would work alongside this.

We’ve seen the trend for stick Christmas trees all over Pinterest and I thought I would attempt to make a branch garland for on the fireplace.

Here is how I went about it!

branch

1. I chose the best looking branch I could. This particular one is taken from my mums walnut tree and I love the moss and spiky twigs. It is pretty beautiful on its own!

bells

2. I made some bell bunting out of little gold bells I found in the charity shop for 50p and some red string. I tripled the thickness of the string so it was nice and sturdy and tied the bells in equal spaces across the length. I then draped this over my branch.

nordic-christmas-twig

3. I added the little golden apples to the branch. Remember with Nordic that less is most definitely more!

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4. I made a few simple decorations out of the birch bark. This was literally as easy as pie. I just drew a freehand shape out on the back of the birch and used scissors to cut out the shape. I made a hole with my ‘hole maker’ (is there an official name for these?) and threaded them with some thin gold wire. These were also dotted around the branch.

nordic-christmas-branch

5. It was already starting to look quite full. I had loads of other decorations that I had made that I was tempted to add but I didn’t as it immediately spoilt the simplicity which is the look we are going for when we think Nordic!

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6. Lastly I made the word NOEL out of some wonderful maleable wire that was in the kit and sprayed this gold to fit with the colour scheme. I hung this from one of the twigs and my creation was complete.

How simple was that? But I think you will agree it looks lovely, rustic and charming. Let me know what you think of my design?

And please pop over to I’m home honey in the next few days were you will see how to make a few other decorations like these ones!

DIY-christmas-decorations

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