• Posts Tagged ‘crafting’

    Get crafty this Christmas. Part three: Jams, Gins and home-made snowglobes.

    by  • Saturday, December 5, 2015 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    So in my final part of hand-made gift ideas for Christmas, I’m infusing my own gin, making my own jam and to top it all off, creating hand-made snow globes as gifts for little people! Again it’s all super easy to do, but there are plenty of similar gifts out there too so fear not if you don’t fancy get down and dirty!

    gininfusions

    Infusing your favourite spirit it very simple! Once made, you can then easily decant it into bottles, like these Kilner Sloe Gin bottles, £24.96 for the set, Lakeland.

    Starting with infusing your own spirits, it is literally as simple as choosing your base spirit- in my case I’ve gone for a gin and a rum, then choosing what you’d like to infuse it with (cranberries and oranges for the gin, lime and ginger for the rum) and combining the two together!

    Orange & Cranberry infused Gin

    For every 500ml of gin, you will need 200g of Cranberries, 200g of caster sugar and the rind of 1 orange. You will also need an airtight container to hold the infusion.

    Start by pricking each cranberry and popping them into your container along with the orange rind. In a separate bowl or pan, mix the sugar with the gin and stir until dissolved. Add the gin to the container of cranberries and orange rind leaving at least 2cms at the top. Leave for at least 2 weeks (the longer you leave it, the more infused it will become!) shaking it every 2 days. Once you have the flavour you are happy with, decant into glass bottles, label up with a personalised message, and voila, home-made gin for all the family!!

    jmmin

    Making jams and chutneys is great fun and such a nice gift as you can be as experimental as you dare and come up with some really lovely concoctions for each family member. I’m going for a strawberry and champagne combo, plus I’m adding edible glitter to really give it some sparkle! It used to be quite a task to make your own jam, and if you do it the old school way, it can take a full day and while satisfying once completed, if time is not on your side, then this great starter kit from Ball will be your new best friend!

    jam

    1.Ball preserving starter pack, £19.99, Lakeland. 2. & 3. Glass preserving jars, £2.50 each, Hobbycraft. 4. Adhesive labels, £1.50, Ikea.

    Taking just 40 minutes, this fab new kit allows you to make perfect jam in super quick time, and is ideal for novices! Containing everything you need to turn fresh produce from your garden or the supermarket into your own home-made, vacuum-sealed jams, pickles and chutneys, it will guide you through the batch-making process in three easy steps and its compact size means it’s suitable for even the smallest of kitchens. Once you’ve filled the 4 jars that come with the starter pack, stock up on these fab preserving jars from Hobbycraft to give your jam a real home-spun feel. Add a label with a festive message to the back and your receiver will know just how much they mean to you.

    snowglobes

    Another great idea for a gift for little ones, is a simple snow globe. All you need is a jam jar, some glitter or fake snow, some mini Christmas trees or figurines and water! Ta-dah and a snow globe is born. Check out the video below so see just has simple it is….

    Or if getting crafty ain’t your thing, then check out some great gift ideas below…. Happy Christmas shopping!!!

    gifts

    1.Sipsmith Sloe Gin, £24.95, The Whisky Exchange. 2. Kilner 9 piece preserve start kit, £76, Lakeland. 3. Roots & Wings Organic Apricot Jam, £2.65, Ocado. 4. Gin & Tonic cocktail botanicals, £3.69, Lakeland. 5. Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb & Ginger Liquer, £18, John Lewis. 6. Christmas tree snowglobe, £ 15.40, Laura Ashley  7. White Christmas snow globe, £12, BHS. 8. Robin snow globe, £25, Monsoon.  9. The homemade gin kit, £39.99, The Foundry.  

     

     

     

     

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    Get crafty this Christmas. Part two: Candles and personalised wine glasses

    by  • Sunday, November 29, 2015 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Following on from my hand-made gift ideas post last weekend, this week I have mainly been waiting for the ‘Black Friday’ email from Hobbycraft to arrive and hurrah, it has! With 20% off everything this weekend, NOW is the time to stock up on some crafting bits and bobs to make your hand-made beauties (while trying not to get distracted by deals for ‘stuff’ instead!). But it’s not the only place to get crafting accessories and tools; Amazon, Laura Ashley, The Range, Paperchase and a whole host of others all have some great deals on items that will make your crafty gifts look oh so profesh. But if you’re not one for getting your hands dirty, there are plenty of DIY kits and ready-made gifts out there too. So it may not have been made by your hands, but it still counts as hand-made!

    candles

    Photo credit: TIMEINCUKCONTENT.COM

    Making your own candles is super simple and once you know how, suddenly any empty vessel found lying around the house will be filled with wax and transformed into a pretty, hand-made candle.

    Glass jars are perfect for it and whether you wait until your jam or marmalade runs out, or buy them in bulk online, all you then need are some wax pellets, wax wicks and a pouring container. Pour the pellets into the container, heat gently over the hob until it melts down to liquid, add a couple of drops of fragrance oil (if you wish- otherwise leave them scent-less), place a wax wick into the bottom of the jar and slowly pour in the molten wax leaving about a centimetre at the top. Leave to cool and bobs your uncle!

    candle2

    1. Yaley premium wax pellets, £9.49, Hobbycraft. 2. Pouring container, £26, Candle Making. 3. Wax wicks, from £2.99, Amazon.

    Here’s one I made earlier this week! It was so easy and super quick and once the wax had set and was cool, I painted a simple gold stripe along the bottom of the jar to add some colour!

    Whether you choose to decorate your jar first, or simple tie a simple ribbon around the top, they make a great gift and the jars can even be re-filled once burn down.

    glass

    1.Red wine glass, £14.99 for 6, Littlewoods. 2. Glass etching cream, £6.95, Hobby’s. 

    An ideal wine lover’s gift, this monogrammed glass is simple to do and will go down just like the wine itself, wonderfully! Simply make a stencil from a piece of paper in your chosen shape or letter, place over the glass and secure in place with a piece of masking tape, paint the etching cream into the shape onto the glass, remove the stencil, leave to dry for 10 minutes and then wash with soap and water and buff with a cloth. Pop it in a box with some tissue and there you have it!

    Follow our simple solutions video below for a step by step guide.

    Don’t fancy making your gift and just want to ‘gift’ your gift? Right you are, the below ideas are for you…..

    giftit

    1.Make your own votive candles kit, £25, Laura Ashley. 2. Personalised drinks measure wine glass, £22, Not on the hughstreet.  3. Start candle making kit, £10, Hobbycraft. 4. Make your own candle kit, £13.50, Etsy. 5. Personlised hi-ball tumbler, £22, Becky Broome. 6. Personalised mason jar mugs, £7 each, Etsy.

    That’s it for this week folks, my final part will be live next weekend when I tackle jam making!!! Until then, happy crafting and don’t get too sucked into Black Friday!!!

     

     

     

     

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    Get crafty this Christmas. Part one: Get your knit/crochet/stitch on

    by  • Saturday, November 21, 2015 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    This Christmas I have adopted a ‘hand-made only’ rule to all the chrimbo gifts I shall be giving to nearest and dearest- mainly in an effort to save as much money as possible for 2016 (rather insanely a wedding and house purchase have been planned for the same year- *gulp*) but also because I am fed up with just buying ‘stuff’ and ‘things’, which no matter how much appreciated, at the end of the day, it’s just another top/CD/necklace/book/game to add to the pile and I refuse to add to the consumer craziness that is the Christmas spending spree. (sorry, mini rant over, everything else about Christmas fills my heart with glee!)

    But what I love about a hand-made gift, is that it brings happiness to both the giver of said gift, as well as the receiver. Well that’s if you love getting stuck into crafting, sewing, making and the like. If not, perhaps you know someone who does, so a crafty, DIY kit could make the perfect present, and once again bring joy to both parties. Out of the two, I am the former- I love making and creating and although I may have slightly underestimated just how many gifts I need to make this year, I’m determined to do the best I can and create something hand-made for all the family.

    This week I’m focusing on all things knitted, crocheted and stitched and I’ve found lots of great ideas to make yourself or to give as gifts.

    KNit01

    If you’re a keen knitter anyway, and you find yourself readily surrounded by wools and yarns, then knitting these cute baubles and stockings as gifts, will save you lots of dosh as the patterns start from as  little as £1.96. Plus they are the gift that keeps on giving as they can be used year after year and your receiver will always think of you when using them. 1. ‘Wesley Bobs’ knitting pattern, £3.75, by Ann Kingstone at Love Knitting. 2. Crochet Christmas baubles pattern, £1.96, by Jane Crowfoot at Love Knitting. 3. Festive Christmas stockings pattern, £2.50, by Janice Anderson at Love Knitting. 

    Knit02

    If you’re a bit of novice when it comes to knitting but you’re keen to learn, then these kits are perfect as they’re aimed at beginners and include simple step by step instructions. TOP: This block-colour cushion cover is perfect for adding a bit of fun and brightness to any home. Masley cushion cover knitting kit, £39, Stitch & Story. BOTTOM: If you know someone who loves to relax and unwind after a busy day of work, then these slippers will go down a treat. Lola pom slippers knitting kit, £28, Stitch & Story.

    CACTUS

    A cactus that won’t sting you- physically or financially! Download the pattern, don your crochet needle and give the finished product to that wanna be green-fingered friend who has trouble keeping the real thing alive! Small cactus crochet pattern, £3.94, by Flying Dutchman Crochet Design at Love Crochet. 

    gin

    A perfectly modern cross stitch craft kit to make for gin and tonic lovers in your life! This kit contains the fabric, threads, embroidery hoop and needle so you have all you need to make a special gift, for a special friend this Christmas. ‘More Gin Please’ cross stitch kit, £8.95, by The Make Arcade at Etsy

    poms

    Pom pons are so easy to make and very addictive. Using these clever little devices from Clover, they literally take minutes to make and in no time at all you’ll find yourself with a whole fleet of fluffy balls. I love the idea of creating this fun and alternative Christmas wreath- the perfect gift for a youngster to hang on their own bedroom door. Head to the Hobbycraft blog to find out how. Clover Pom Pom maker (35mm & 45mm) £5.90, Hobbycraft. 

    Another way you could use your little pom poms is to make a super fun garland. Simply make your poms in your chosen colours and sizes, then thread them onto bakers twine, and voila! Here’s one I made earlier this week, ready to give to my 2 year old nephew for his room!

    george

    None of these ideas float your boat, but you know a friend who’ll go wild with excitement at the thought of getting stuck right in? Then maybe this round up of crafty, DIY gifts will make their Christmas (and yours!) a cracker.

    gift

    GiftIt

    1. Learn to crochet cushion kit, £42, Mrs Moon. 2. Make a pair of knickers kit, £14.95, The Makery. 3. Traditional wooden knitting dolly set, £3.95, Dotcomgiftshop.  4. Knit your own cushion set, £25, Marks and Spencer.  5. Buttonbag sewing kit suitcase, £22.95, Cuckooland.  6. Knit your own scarf kit, £20, Laura Ashley 7. Butterfly cross stitch kit, £14.99, by Floss and Mischief at Etsy.   8. Finn sewing kit, £22.95, Pippa Blue

    Well I hope you enjoy making, creating or just purchasing some of these crafty Christmas ideas this weekend, I will be looking into the next lot of DIY gift ideas, so check back in next week to find out how I get on making my own candles (cue long evenings spent playing with warm wax!)  and other home-made projects I discover online.

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