Category Archives: DIY

DIYs | Crafts | Makes

Geeky Little Stitcher Monthly Cross Stitch Club

Geeky Little Stitcher Monthly Cross Stitch Club

Today I wanted to introduce a new monthly subscription box I’ve been loving recently. The Geeky Little Stitcher cross stitch club from Jess, based in Exeter. It’s kawaii themed and each month is a based around a different cute foody character. The first box was released in April with an avocado theme, May’s was burgers, June is cake and July’s (now available) is doughnuts – you can see the pattern emerging I’m sure.

Geeky Little Stitcher Monthly Cross Stitch Club Geeky Little Stitcher Monthly Cross Stitch Club

The box costs £9.99 plus £3.50 UK p&p and includes one main pattern, including all the threads you need, an embroidery hoop, aida cloth and a needle. The patterns are bold and contemporary but simple so it’s good even for beginners like me.

Geeky Little Stitcher Monthly Cross Stitch Club

You will also receive a second surprise pattern and themed extras. These are a fabulous touch as the box is already great value. I love the ‘B is for Burger’ pattern (this would make a lovely unusual addition to a kids bedroom). The burger fabric swatch is dead handy for keeping needles safe and I always have room for cute stickers and address labels. And sweets, always room in my belly for them!

Geeky Little Stitcher Monthly Cross Stitch Club

WIP shot. I worked on the pattern for a couple of hours a night for 2 or 3 weekends. I’m pretty slow but I’m sure my stitching will speed up as I tackle more patterns.

Geeky Little Stitcher Monthly Cross Stitch Club

The finished product! I think I like it without the hearts as well, but let me know if you disagree! I can’t decide.

Can’t wait to get started on the next one. You can sign up here and check out Jess’ other designs as well.


#HillarysCrafternoon with Joe Blogs

#HillarysCrafternoon with Joe Blogs


Last weekend I headed up to Birmingham’s Custard Factory to spend the afternoon doing some crafting courtesy of Hillary’s Blinds with Joe Blogs and The Crafty Hen. Using fabric from the new range at Hillary’s we were shown a couple of beginner’s sewing projects.

#HillarysCrafternoon with Joe Blogs

First up were some notebook covers. I selected a bold blue and white patterned fabric, as I liked the painterly quality of the print. The project itself was really simple – a few folds, couple of stitches, some hot glue for the button detailing and you’re done. Now most bloggers love their stationery so this project definitely appealed and it had the benefit of inspiring confidence in our crafting  abilities.


#HillarysCrafternoon with Joe Blogs

The next project was a bit trickier. This time we were making a stuffed bird. I choose a yellow leaf pattern for this (I think it’s called Isra Linden) and a contrasting grey geometric pattern for the belly. Mine frayed a bit when I was stuffing it but I’m happy to call that one ‘feather detailing’. I don’t think I’ll be joining the leagues of master toy makers any time soon, but it’s good enough to become a cat toy! The kitten hasn’t managed to undo all the stitching yet so I’ll take that as a win.

#HillarysCrafternoon with Joe BlogsPhoto courtesy of Joe Blogs

At the end of the day we were able to take our craft projects home with us (with instructions if we wanted to DIY at home again) along with a really cute tote bag made from Hillary’s materials – mine is the red version of my notebook fabric – and some other goodies.

It was a really fun day and superbly organised by Joe Blogs. The tutors from The Crafty Hen were really friendly and happy to help crafters at all levels of skill. Big thanks to everyone and to Hillary’s for having us. Alongside the Birmingham crafternoon they also hosted events in Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow and you can read all about their adventures on their blog here.

DIY | To Be Read Jar

To Be Read Jar

I first saw the idea of a To Be Read jar on Erin’s blog E-Elise and thought it was a really good idea. Recently the fabulous Becky Bedbug and Vivatramp did their own versions which motivated me to get in on the TBR action. I’ve been much better at reading recently and I have built quite the collection to books to read, but I do often struggle to pick. The TBR jar makes it super simple – write each book on a slip of paper, stick them in the jar, pull one out, and read the damn book.

I decided to decorate a spare, small preserving jar with some illustrations cut out from Company magazine.

To Be Read Jar To Be Read Jar

Not the most complicated craft – just get some craft PVA and glue the paper directly on to the jar. With stuff like this I always apply a layer of PVA over the top too as it dries clear but protects the image and just makes it much more secure. I also stuck some washi tape on the lid with “To Be Read” written on it, y’know, in case I forget what it’s for.

To Be Read Jar To Be Read Jar To Be Read Jar

I think it looks pretty good. I have about 30 books in it so I’m setting myself a key rule:

I’m allowed to put a book back into the jar if I really don’t want to read it, but only twice. After that, it’s put into the donation pile for my local charity shop. No hoarding!

To Be Read Jar

Right, I’m off to read The Deaths.

What have you been reading recently? I’d love some book recommendations – there’s always more room in the jar!

Lucky Dip Club | DIY Washi Flags

Lucky Dip Club DIY Washi Flags

Earlier today I showed you what I received in my Lucky Dip Club box. One of the items was a DIY kit to make mini washi tape flags. It included the cocktails sticks and the green fabric washi tape in the above picture as well as an example flag and some instructions.

The instructions are fairly straightforward so I’m gonna let the images do the talking…

IMG_9438 IMG_9439IMG_9436 IMG_9437IMG_9440

It took me about fifteen minutes to make all 15. So this is a DIY craft that literally takes one minute.  And look how cute they look as cupcake decorations:


Thank you to Lucky Dip Club for giving me the motivation and inspiration to get my craft on!

DIY Cocktail Wreath

DIY Umbrella WreathI love an easy peasy DIY, I’m forever pinning them on Pinterest although sometimes it takes me a while to get to doing them. I pinned the Paper Umbrella Wreath by Family Chic at least a year and a half ago. I finally got round to doing it last weekend. It took me ten minutes. Yeah, get crafting your pins, folks.

DIY Umbrella Wreath componentsAll you need is a whole load of paper cocktail umbrellas – I got mine from eBay here, 144 for £3.99 – and a foam oasis – again I got mine from eBay here, two for £5.99 – bargain!

DIY Cocktail Umbrella wreath how toI’m sure you can figure this bit out, but all you do is open the umbrellas and push them one by one into the foam. Make sure you do one pointing up the way and one facing downwards to make sure that as much of the foam is blocked from view as possible. I tried to ensure an even distribution of colours.

DIY paper umbrella wreathDIY Cocktail WreathTa-Da! I’ll be hanging one on my front door and one on my living room door for my pre-birthday  cocktail party. I’m sure it’ll get everyone in the mood. And the best thing is this only cost £10 and I have plenty of umbrellas left for the drinks. Result!

What do you think of this DIY? Do you have any alternative wreath ideas?



DIY | Eiffel Tower Lamp Makeover

Eiffel Tower LampThis is possibly my favorite item in my living room so I had to share how awesome it is. It started life as a nice but standard cheap lamp from The Range (similar here). For just £15.99 I thought it was a pretty acceptable addition to the living room. But then David’s mum offered to jazz up the plain white shade and made it 100 times better.

Before and After Eiffel Tower Lamp before and after-Sorry, slightly different angles on the photo there!

To achieve this look all you need is a fine point Sharpie or similar. You can lightly trace on lines for guidance with a pencil which can be rubbed out once the ink is dry. Our lamp features the lyrics for Je N’ai Regrette Rien and the French national anthem.

Eiffel Tower Lamp makeoverI think that this very simple DIY makes an already statement lamp into something really special and unique.

The possibilities are endless with this idea too. How about The Owl and the Pussycat on this owl shaped lamp? Or just your favourite song on any plain lamp?

Blurb Instagram Book | #FMSPhotoADay 2013

Blurb Instagram Book coverToday I wanted to show off my Instagram book from Blurb. One of the things I wanted to do from my 30 Before 30 list was to complete the Fat Mum Slim 2013 Photo a Day Challenge and to have a book made of my pictures. Well, gold star for me, as i’ve just done it!

I used the Blurb Instagram book service. It signs you into your Instagram account and then opens a Bookify dashboard to allow you to compile your book. I found it a little tricky at first but once I had a play around with the settings I eventually got the hang of it. It took me around 3 hours in total, including the faffing about at the beginning.

Blurb Instagram book Blurb instagram book Blurb instagram bookKeeping my pictures in date order, I decided to go with a square, 4-a-page layout with the odd single page photos. I think that this looks really effective. There were lots of choices, including for the images to fill the whole page, but I liked the borders. It leaves the option on going in and adding details like date or prompt name later if I decide to. Just like an old-fashioned photo album.

Blurb Instagram Book Blurb Instagram BookI then laid out the front cover (is three photos of myself on the front a bit vain?), and added the book title to the spine. Lastly, I choose the format of the book, going for a hardback book with no dust cover and premium matte paper. The finished book has 101 pages and cost £35.77 including postage. Pretty good deal I felt! It arrived within 10 days which was a lot quicker than I expected.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOverall, I really happy with my little book. The photos look great, considering the fact that Instagram is fairly low-res, and the finish of the book is great. I would definitely order from Blurb again and would happily recommend them if you were thinking of having a photo book printed.