Archive for December, 2010

Merry Craftmas

I hope everyone is having a crafty Christmas. I’m working on week 29 but I won’t be able to post it for a week or so. It’s not very successful so far – see the knitting week for a taste of what to expect!

See you back here in 2011.

{week 28} perfume making

I hadn’t thought of having a go at making perfume until I watched Kirstie & Phil’s Perfect Christmas. It’s a great idea for Christmas presents for your friends, mum and sisters – and with a kit it’s really straightforward.

Perfume making is thought to go back 4000 years – people used herbs and spices, like almond & coriander, as well as flowers.

I bought my kit from Plush Folly – there are instructions and more suppliers on the Channel 4 website.

The kit comes with full instructions, explanations about different ‘notes’ (top, middle, base) and ideas for blends but I came up with my own blend – eau de Christine – made up of sandalwood, rose, vanilla, geranium, cucumber and orange.


It was great fun playing with the different oils to get just the right combination – I’ll definitely be making more eau de Christine and more blends.


{week 27} cross stitch

This week’s project was a freebie – or at least it was only the cost of a magazine. The cross stitch heart kit came free with Cross Stitcher magazine and at first glance it looked very simple.

Cross stitch is just how it sounds – a serious of small sewn crosses that you sew following a chart. This pattern was just one colour so a simple design but the slight complication was instead of using the traditional fabric – aida – it used gingham. Undaunted, I got stuck in. The main problems were: wonky stitches (no holes to guide me, just the gingham design), tangled threads, knots and pulled fabric.

But I got there in the end and I think it’s a very pretty result:

Cross stitch Christmas heart

Do you cross stitch? Do you have any favourite kits?

EDIT: Just seen this useful list of cross stitch resources, looks good.

{week 26} air-drying modelling clay

Wow, I’ve made it to the half-way mark. I thought I’d do some big spectacular craft for this landmark week but unfortunately q lack of time and my health (I’ve hurt my back) intervened so it’s a simple one this week.

I loved playing with the air-drying modelling clay to make simple tags.  It’s really accessible – you don’t need fancy equipment – and anyone can have a go. I bought my clay from Hobbycraft and used biscuit cutters to cut out the shapes after rolling it out – I used baking parchment to cover the board and clay (rather than get clay on my rolling pin!)

Tags made from air-dry modelling clay

The most important thing to remember is to keep it wrapped up once you’ve opened the packet as it will of course dry out otherwise.


I left the shapes to dry overnight and the next morning they were ready to use – I filed the edges with a nail file to make them smooth. I can see loads of ways of using the tags – I’ve used one on a jam jar to make a little candle holder and as decoration on my Christmas presents. I’d also like to have a go at decorating them with paint and rubber stamps (if I have time, week 27 is just around the corner).

Wrapping up Christmas

What other ideas do you have? Have you played with air-drying clay?

{week 25} fabric painting

As Christmas draws ever nearer I’m trying to pick crafts that can be used to make presents or decorations. This week’s craft falls into the first category: fabric painting.

It’s a really simple craft to do – you just need some paints, a brush and something to paint (oh and an iron but I’m hoping you already have one of those unless you like the slept-in-my-clothes look).

I decided to paint some canvas tote bags. Despite loving crafting I am a little artistically challenged on the painting front (and yet, two weeks in a row I’m doing crafts involving painting!) so I kept it simple with circles. I drew them first using a fabric pen and then filled in the shapes with gold and brown paint. A couple of tips – if you’re painting something like a bag or t-shirt that has two layers of fabric make sure you put some paper inside to protect the other layer; and of course make sure you protect the table you’re working on. Once the paint is dried you just iron it to set the design – follow the instructions on your paints.

Painting tote bags

I only had time to paint one bag this week but time marches on and week 26 is just around the corner – I think I need a whole weekend of crafting to have time to finish all the projects I’ve started and keep up with my weekly challenge.


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