Posts Tagged 'DIY'

1st birthday card tutorial

My sweet girl is turning one in a little over two months. That is crazy. However this card isn’t for her but for the gaggle of giggling soon-to-be one-year-olds that we know.

52 crafts in 52 weeks: 1st birthday card tutorial


Blank cards
Pretty paper
Foam squares
Sewing machine
Xyron sticker maker
Silhouette machine
(the last two could be replaced by scissors and glue)

1) Cut out a bunch of ones from your scrapbook paper using your Silhouette (or scissors).
2) Stick a one to the centre of a blank card using the foam squares.
3) Cut out a stack of teeny tiny triangles (you could use silhouette for this too, I wish I had as mine are a bit irregular).
4) Turn them into stickers (or use glue in the next step).
5) Stick them to your card in a bunting-like fashion.
6) Fire up your sewing machine. Stitch over the triangles to represent the bunting ribbon.
7) Make as many as you like & you’re set for birthday season.


A handmade Christmas: hanging the baubles

We have a tree! And it’s flipping massive. We picked it out at a farm that was an hour’s drive away, overlooked the Pacific Ocean and that smelt like Christmas. There were marshmallows being toasted on the fire and trees as far as your eye could see. Magical. And so worth the drive.





Our tree is a redwood which seems apt for us living in California. But it’s spikier than it looks and its branches can’t take much weight. The lack of dropping needles is a real bonus though.



We’ve kept the decorating simple with a mix of store-bought, vintage and handmade ornaments.


My favourite decorations by far are the stars {tutorial at Kate’s creative space}. They’re big, light and easy to make.


And this bauble is filled with one of Emily’s birth announcements cut into strips.



The wreaths are wrapped with yarn (Ben helped with these). {tutorial here}



I also love Emily’s handprint – it’s made with air-dry clay (Crayola).






I love Christmas so I’m sure I’ll be making some more bits and pieces over the next few days. Not long to go until the big day!

A handmade Christmas – super last-minute Advent calendar

Every year I think I’ll make a cute and crafty advent calendar and every year December 1st is upon me too soon and I’ve failed to produce anything. This year I actually succeeded with a day to spare. Go me!

52 crafts in 52 weeks - last minute advent calendar

The numbers were all cut using my Silhouette machine and then I just used my washi tape (I may need to buy more soon, stocks are getting depleted) to make a tree outline and to attach the numbers to the wall.

52 crafts in 52 weeks - last minute advent calendar
One year I may make a longer lasting, re-use every year style of calendar. But this one will work for us this year. And it livens up a very bare piece of wall for a few weeks too. Oh and because it’s masking tape, it won’t damage our rented walls.

52 crafts in 52 weeks - last minute advent calendar

Happy December 1st everyone!

A handmade Christmas – cards

I have a weakness. A weakness for Washi Tape.

52 crafts in 52 weeks - Washi tape
I’m not very good at making anything with the beauties I collect; I just gaze at them adoringly. However when I needed an easy Christmas card design, one that I could do after bedtime (Emily’s obviously), during naps and even in the time Emily was willing to sit next to me “helping”, I turned to my treasured tapes.

52 crafts in 52 weeks - washi tape Christmas Tree cards
I used three different tapes for each card. I just cut pieces of different lengths; stuck them to plain white cards; and finally topped the trees off by punching a star shape.

52 crafts in 52 weeks - washi tape Christmas cards

These could not be easier to make. Now I just have to actually write and mail them. England, you might get them by the New Year if you’re lucky!

52 crafts in 52 weeks - Washi tape Christmas card

A handmade Christmas – gift ideas

Christmas is really soon you know. In less than a month we will be celebrating Emily’s first Christmas and our second (!!) in America. This year will be a bit different to last: we’d just moved in to our house with our 6 suitcases of belongings, two Ikea chairs and a bed. This Christmas I’m going to cook the full traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings and we’ll have a real tree decked out lights and ornaments. I can’t wait.

But before the big day there are some preparations needed. Not least, gifts. Here are some handmade gift ideas from my 52 crafts archives to inspire you to make something handmade this year.

52 crafts in 52 weeks: Handmade notebook

Handmade book – make a simple notebook for the budding writers, artists and list-makers in your life.

52 crafts in 52 weeks: Handmade necklace DIY
Wire jewellery – a simple wire wrapped necklace (why not make earrings too?) using a pretty focal bead.

52 crafts in 52 weeks: Soy teacup candles

Soy teacup candles – who doesn’t love candles?

52 crafts in 52 weeks: handmade clock

A handmade clock – your family will appreciate the time spent making this (pun deliberate).

52 crafts in 52 weeks: painted tote bags

Painted tote bags – perfect for all your gift recipients – you could even wrap other presents inside them and save a tree.

52 crafts in 52 weeks: etched glass candle holder

Etched glass candle holders – or you could etch a vase or a cookie jar.

52 crafts in 52 weeks: recycled wool corsage

Recycled wool corsage – this is an easy peasy gift to whip up for all your friends.

52 crafts in 52 weeks: Kumihimo friendship bracelets

Kumihimo friendship bracelets – make for all your best friends.

I hope this inspires you to make some gifts this year. What are your favourite handmade presents to make and receive?

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!


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