Archive for March, 2012

DIY Maternity photo shoot

So this isn’t a craft as such but it is a DIY so I thought I’d share with you all how we set-up our little maternity shoot at home.

1) Lighting – we threw open the blinds to let as much natural light in as possible, but not direct sunlight.

2) Background – we originally thought we’d have a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background but it was too fussy. Plain works best.

3) Clothing – make sure whatever you wear shows off your beautiful baby bump, but doesn’t distract from it. I’m all about comfort now so I had maternity leggings and a simple black jersey dress (I bought it on Etsy years ago).

4) Equipment – we used Ben’s fancy pants DSLR, a tripod and a remote. You could also use the self timer on any camera and prop it up somewhere at a suitable height. The remote was good though as Ben could just keep shooting and it gave us more natural shots.

5) Fun – hopefully you can tell we had fun with our photos, don’t be too serious about the perfect shot.

6) Animals – Toby hates cameras so getting him to look in the right direction is impossible so this was a time the remote was very handy. We had a lot of pictures with him looking the opposite way so getting Ben to engage with him seemed to be the best way to make it work. I imagine the same might apply if you have another child in the photos.

7) Post-shoot processing – I cropped, altered the colours very slightly and made one photo (the bump one) black and white. Don’t go mad with effects, just tinker a little to get the look you’re after. I used the soon-to-close Picnik on Flickr to do all the processing. I need a new free image editor soon though.

We’re not experts at this so if anyone has any more tips to share I’d love to hear them!

Nursery projects part 3

{part 1 here} {part 2 here}

Baby due date is just a week away now. I don’t think he or she is going to arrive for a while yet though so there’s still a bit of time to finish up some crafting.

This will be a bit of a whistle-stop tour of all the latest projects as some are so simple they don’t need much explanation.

First up: burp cloths and blanket.

Yes that's my 39-week belly

The blanket is simply one layer of flannel hemmed all the way around (it’s approximately 40″x40″).

The three burp cloths are made from two smaller fabric squares. I sewed the two layers, right sides together, leaving a gap to turn it through. Then I top-stitched all the way round.

I have a matching quilt in the works but I’ve run out of thread so hopefully I’ll be able to finish it and show it to you soon.

Next: owl bookends

These are simply two rectangles of linen with an owl applique made from vintage fabric applied to one of them. I used freeehand machine embroidery and a couple of buttons to pretty them up. Then I stitched the two rectangles together (right sides together) leaving a gap to turn and fill them. They were then filled with cheap rice and the gaps sewn closed.

Not forgetting: teeny tiny baby hats

I used a tutorial by Alisa Burke to get the basic idea. They’re simply made from an old jersey t-shirt, decorated with some pretty fabric paint and stitched together (or you could use fabric glue like Alisa). I didn’t leave the end long enough so instead of tying a knot I sewed it down so it kinda looks like one instead.

Last but totally not least: freehand machine embroidered owl picture

I sketched this owl a little while ago so I decided to play with my favourite craft technique and make a little framed picture.


I backed brown fabric with some heavy interfacing and cut it to fit my frame. I decided to use freezer paper to transfer the basic outline to the fabric. I just ironed it to the fabric and sewed over the top of it. You could use a fabric pen instead. Once I had the outline I tore off the paper and then filled in the details. I’d quite like to make some more of these as they’re so easy.

I’ve got a couple more projects to finish so hopefully I’ll have time to get them done and I’ll be able to show you soon. In the meantime I’ll keep crafting to distract me from the wait until we meet our little boy or girl!

Nursery projects part 2

{part 1 here}

We have a bit of a blue & green bird theme going on in the nursery and this project came to me whilst browsing the Ikea blog. There was a wall of bird boxes hanging on a nursery wall and I thought “I can do that”.

All it took was some fabric scraps, buttons, glue, cardboard and a bit of measuring and planning.

I started with a paper model so I could work out the dimensions and pieces I needed. To give you some idea of scale, the base is 3″x3″ and the height is 6″.

I then used these pieces as a guide to cut out the cardboard (I used corrugated card from an Amazon box).


I have a box full of fabulous vintage fabric that I picked up in Oxfam years ago so I pulled out some blues, greens and browns. Using the cardboard shapes as a template I cut the shapes out allowing about 1cm extra so I had some spare fabric to wrap around the edges of the cardboard. Then I stuck it all down using mod podge.

To assemble the bird houses I used hot glue (my favourite part!) and added buttons.


Finally, to hang them we drilled holes directly in the back of the houses and hooked them on to nails.


I love them combined with the framed Charlie Harper postcards. I don’t mind admitting that this is my favourite project so far.

More ideas: you could hang them from the ceiling instead of the wall; make mini ones for a mobile; stand them on a shelf; make them in a variety of sizes. This was such a fun project, I’d love to see if you have a go!


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